Thursday, 4 January 2018

No 12206, Thursday 04 Jan 2018, xChequer

Answer and annotation for 2D left for a rookie commenter till 10 AM.

7   Standard of evaluation encountered by old Irish cops (6) METRIC {MET}{RIC}
8   Get support from sucker: an old, out of date, English pun? (4,4) LEAN UPON {AN+OLd+E+PUN}*
9   Decoration for four wheels, hub exposed (4-4) FROU-FROU {FOR+FOUR}*{hUb} With some help from Google
10 Old coin from South Africa, gift-wrapped (6) BEZANT {BE{ZA}NT} Google to the rescue again.
11 Long days hurt (5) ACHED {ACHE}{D}
12 Cuckoo in a clock case, how ingenious (6) WHACKO {A+ClocK+HOW}*
14 Marvel drug? Standard in many countries (3,5,3,4) RED WHITE AND BLUE [DD] With help from Google again. Marvel refers to comic book publisher here
17 Toy train's first rake (6) TRIFLE {Tr..n}{RIFLE}
18 Completed major (5) ADULT [DD?] See comments
22 Not fully mature to weather a shock (6) TRAUMA {MATURe}* over {A}
23 Tiny hill setting apart Long Island, remarkable for absolutely nothing (8) NIHILITY {TINY+HILl+I}*
24 Refers to studies about society ultimately (8) CONSULTS {CON{S}{ULT}S}
25 Small cat retracting claws if leaving dominant ideas (6) MOTIFS {S}{TOM}<= over {IF}

1   Passage in study declared withdrawn (9) RETRACTED {TRACT} in {REED}(~read)
2   Excellent Australian beef (6) ?R?U?E ()
3   Start small concern (5) SCARE {S}{CARE}
4   Energy exhausted, Caribbean playing defence for keeps (8) BARBICAN CARIBBeAN*
5   Doodlebug's thrill followed by fiasco (4,4) BUZZ BOMB {BUZZ} {BOMB}
Located duck in pool (5) FOUND {F{O}UND}
8   Signs of mirth from Lady Gaga, briefly upset about anything connected with her appearing topless (8,5) LAUGHTER LINES {L}{SENILe<=} over {AUGHT}{hER} Reverse engineered anno
13 Succeed in nothing, farm going up in smoke (4,2,3) PULL IT OFF {O}{TILL} in {PUFF}
15 Alternative milk supplier's bag reportedly inferior per Spooner (3,5) WET NURSE (~net worse)
16 New, albeit after one month, can be copied (8) IMITABLE {1}{M}{ALBEIT*}
19 Weak idle minds, however scarcely born weak (6) DILUTE {IDLE}* minds {bUT}
20 Bachelor having scope to be cleaner (5) BROOM {B}{ROOM}
21 Dishonour counterfeit Euros (5) SHAME {SHAM}{E}

Bhargav's Tale

The Inimitable Jeeves
Almost anything is trivial to Jeeves.
But today, he, dressed in RED WHITE AND BLUE had to LEAN upon the table and look carefully at the day's crossword. At times he secretly CONSULTS the computer.
Not really. Soon he FOUND that he had solved most of the clues.  Yes, his solving skills will put to SHAME even a champion.
He does PULL IT OF and the LAUGHTER LINES are visible.
Finally he cries WHACKO.
And then the stiff whisky without any DILUTE!!!


  1. 18 completed (legal age for adult/major)

    1. Yes sir. Just saying I read 18a as (18 completed) /major DD.

    2. Ok I didn't think of it that way

    3. Of late, we are seeing clues numbers becoming part of clues.

  2. 15a homophone only for worse->wurse.

    1. It's a spoonerism as well

    2. Yes sir. Spoonerism on net wurse.

  3. Hi Col,
    2dn is GROUSE

    Sort of DD, meaning beef as well as an Aussie term for excellent

    Mukund Jagannathan

  4. The components after the break up of the phrase have been handled well with great imagination. I think crossword setters are endowed with a fertile imagination and can conjure up funny situations.
    The use of 'Gaga' with proper capitalisation in surface but false capitalisation in wordplay is superb.
    Some of our setters are in no way less than UK setters though we may have some limitations compared to UK setters because of their milieu, culture, etc.

    1. You are absolutely right. That clue (8 dn), MOTIFS and PULL IT OFF were constructed very well

    2. Thanks CV and Raghu. Just to clarify CV, re 8dn., wasn't quite fertile imagination. There was a lot of press noise in Sep last year (must have been just before I started on this puzzle) about LG appearing topless. Hence this wording, otherwise little point in having this string imo, can be clued in many ways, and certainly wasn't meant to titillate

  5. Half of the puzzle was not that hard, the other half fairly tough.
    Could get quite easily Metric, Ached, Whacko, Trifle, Trauma, Consults, Motifs(in Across clues) & Retracted, Grouse, Scare, Found, Imitable, Broom and Shame. The rest had to be diligently cracked with the crossings & googling.

  6. NIHILITY= Poornamadam, Poornamidam, poornaath poornamudichyate,Poornasya poornamadaya, poornamevasishyathe !! from setter to solver, can we say ? Are we all nihilists when we fill in the voids ? Black, white and black? A whacko lot, that's what w are ! No retraction, no trauma, nothing diluted, no shame but only laughter lines all over , once we complete this wonderful puzzle from Jawbreaker name ! Our own Spooner !

  7. Raju in his elements!
    CGB revelling in PGW style.
    Lightening the mood of the tough CW?
    Thank you.

  8. Today's was very tough for me..

    1. You have to solve the tough as well as easy yo become a better solver

  9. 8D Lady Gaga! :) Superbly constructed clue Bhala... xChequer at his imperious best!

  10. Got all except 2D! Couldn't anno laughter lines and Red white blue though I got them with junction letters... for 2D thought of Grouse for beef but can't figure out Excellent and Australian funda.. anyways happy that I solved almost all... the first xChequer grid of the year! 😊😊

    1. Hi Arvind. In Australia, grouse refers to very good/excellent. Hence DD