Thursday, 8 March 2018

No.12259, Thursday 08 Mar 2018, Dr. X

It is not often that doctors come to us with questions seeking solutions, but that's what is in store today. Plenty to like with good surface stories and wit to boot. Ticked ESPRIT DE CORPS, FILED, SO-SO, ILL FAME, SPLENDOUR, OAKS, TOTEM POLE. Thanks Doc for the daily drug.

As per the new norm, 27A has been left open till 10:00 AM for any rookie commentator.

ACROSS
1 Dire prospects ruined morale of group (6,2,5) ESPRIT DE CORPS [DIRE PROSPECTS]*
8 Entered midlife sadly? On reflection, I’m lost (5) FILED [miDLIFE]*
9 Strictly trousers for women in suburbs? (9) OUTSKIRTS [CD]
11 Desperate call to catch ball by bowler at match between close rivals in England (5,5) LOCAL DERBY [CALL* outside O + DERBY]
12 Pedestrian’s urgent appeal for help essentially ignored (2-2) SO-SO [SOS + ignOred]
14 Chooses not to participate in destroying outpost (4,3) OPTS OUT [OUTPOST]*
16 One naughty fella embracing maiden of disrepute (3,4) ILL FAME [1 + FELLA* outside Maiden]
17 Most heroic veteran crushed by defeat (7) BOLDEST [OLD inside BEST]
19 Japanese grill, almost thrash composer at the start of interrogation (7) HIBACHI [HIt + BACH + Interrogation]

21 Wrong answer? Ironic (4) AWRY [Answer + WRY]
22 Clear evidence that one’s just been fired? (7,3) SMOKING GUN [CD]
25 Core of disease removed from organ! Grim spectacle (9) SPLENDOUR [SPLEeN + DOUR]
26 Girl alongside bar — object of many chivalric quests (5) GRAIL [Girl + RAIL] ...glad the definition didn't say 'object of many loud nightly quests' ...
27 Gossips at office welcoming ultimately hot stories about couple of models (6-7) ?I?T?E-?A?T?E? {Addendum - TITTLE-TATTLES {TIT{hoT}TLE}-{TA{TT}LES} - See comments)

DOWN
2 Lobby wanting power in dirty politics (7) SOLICIT [pOLITICS]*
3 Virile, unlike those of noble birth? (3-7) RED-BLOODED [CD]
4 Square slit that provides fulcrum for an oar (5) THOLE [T-square + HOLE]
5 Blister has burst! Not a bit of redness found (9) ESTABLISH [BLISTEr + HAS]*
6 Gives approval to conserve acre of trees (4) OAKS [OKS outside Acre]
7 One in the garden so enthralled by detailed design (7) PERGOLA [ERGO inside PLAn]
8 What one might be after a vegetarian meal — in high spirits (4,2,5) FULL OF BEANS [CD]
10 Kindle used to send this message? (5,6) SMOKE SIGNAL [CD]
13 What bats do is unreliable (3-2-5) FLY-BY-NIGHT [CD]
15 Tribal emblem, unfinished crown and ring found in sacred place (5,4) TOTEM POLE [TOp + O inside TEMPLE]

18 Legendary rock singer lonelier perhaps, needs narcotic primarily (7) LORELEI [LOnELIER]*
20 Related to business, fly East (7) COGNATE [CO + GNAT + East]
23 Indian dish — preparation of okra containing a bit of masala (5) KORMA [OKRA* outside Masala]
24 One couple wants divorce ultimately (4) UNIT [UNITe]

37 comments:

  1. Nice wordplay with some interesting definitions Doc. Nice, enjoyed!

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  2. 21D) office = BITTLE; utlimately hot = t; (-B)(+T)ITTLE = TITTLE
    stories about couple of models = TA(TT)LES
    Solution = TITTLE TATTLES; {[(-B)(+T)ITTLE][TA(TT)LES]}

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    Replies
    1. {[(-B)(+T)ILLET]*[TA(TT)LES]}

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    2. What is the indicator to delete B moreover if you delete B from BILLET and add T as you have indicated, you will get TILLET

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    3. guess at office = TITLE; [TIT(T)LE];

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    4. Yes! Office= Title, as in he assumed the office/title of Director general. Well done!

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    5. Colonel thanks for updating the blog with the answer for 27A

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  3. Thank you Bhavan for taking time out to blog! Made my day :)

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    Replies
    1. No problem Satyen was happy to do it like we discussed.

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  4. Thank you Doc. & thank you Bhavan- both enjoyable. The nice preamble directly led to Bhavan.

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  5. Lovely and enjoyable surfaces Doc.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Paddy! Glad you enjoyed :)

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  6. 24D- Couple and divorce giving a 'unit'!- Highly imaginative. Just an example for humorous surfaces.

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  7. 27a: tittle-tattles - {title(office)+t(ultimate....hot)}*+{ta(tt)les}

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  8. Enjoyed this prescription from the Dr. The doses were full of enjoyable CDs(puny definitions) that made you smile. Thanks Doc for a bright start to the morning and Bhavan for an enjoyable blog

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Vasant! Glad you had fun solving! :)

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  9. Does this mean Thursday blogging by Bhavan? If yes then it will give Col. 3 days respite.

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    Replies
    1. No. Bhavan, had promised Dr. X that he would blog one of his CW's

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    2. During the S&B meet in December at Chennai?

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    3. No, we were corresponding on email. I was telling Bhavan that I have incorporated all the technical suggestions he has made on THCC. And that he should continue to comment on the blog, since it is good for solvers and setters alike to have a respected voice elaborate what is right and wrong. I also expressed a desire that he blog one of my xwords if time permits. Bhavan kindly agreed.

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    4. That is very nice to hear.

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    5. I was also under the wrong impression that we had spoken about this at the meet in Dec! Oh well.

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  10. Enjoyed the crossword, Doc! Many chuckle-worthy clues - esp the CD's. Thanks!

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  11. So if it is Thursday, it will be Dr Nabar? I normally do not open the comp until noon . Today, the Doc raised the TOTEM POLE and sent out a SMOKE SIGNAL. The morale of the THCC is raised with his ESPRIT DE CORPS. I kind of liked SPLENDOUR & OUTSKIRTS wordplay. Full BLUE-BLOODED cryptic crossie this one is ! Thanks Doc.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Raju for your interesting comments as always! :)

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  12. 4D- T from Square?
    I am reminded of the long T square we used to carry to our engineering drawing classes. This has now been shelved like many other things- Slide Rule, log tables etc.

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    Replies
    1. Yes you are correct Paddy! T comes from T-square which is the T-shaped Ruler.

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  13. Enjoyed the grid doc 😊 many lovely clues... my fav ones - Lorelei, Totem pole, solicit, esprit de corps...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot Arvind! Really nice to see you comment here :)

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