Friday, 10 July 2020

No 12984, Friday 10 Jul 2020, Karaoke

RULES FOR POSTING COMMENTS ON FRIDAYS ONLY

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ACROSS
1   Take responsibility for roles over band (8,5) SHOULDER STRAP {SHOULDER}{PARTS<=}
8   Stealoco regularly carried mineral (4) TALC {sTeAm+LoCo}
9   Disorderly behaviour by angry bear to get allowance (10) ABERRATION {BEAR*}{RATION}
10 Fruit aid becomes indicator (6) CITRON iNdICaTOR* [CA]
11 Women’s trousers for bullfighter (8) TOREADOR [DD]
12 Clumsy criminal in angry violent riot (9) MALADROIT {M{AL}AD}{RIOT*}
14 50% drop in bloodsucker on spot (4) SITE paraSITE
15 Funny comedian lacking perhaps main principles (4) CODE COmEDian*
16 A fight over issue — it should have happened sooner (5.4) ABOUT TIME {A}{BOUT}{EMIT<=}
20 Hanging fate after illegal coup’s preference (3,2,3) CUP OF TEA {FATE*}<=>{COUP*}
21 Inventor reviewed end of match (2-4) NO-SIDE<=
23 Pedestrian in the sky? (4-6) ROPE-WALKER [CD]
24 “What a relief!” Some say (4) PHEW(~few)
25 What would one do to betray? (4,2,3,4) STAB IN THE BACK [CD]

DOWN
1   Brings to life around without drug by endurance (7) STAMINA ANIMATeS<=
2   No banks worry for money (5) ONCER cONCERn
3   Greenhorn is more deficient about reading (7) LEARNER {LEA{R}NER}
4   Exciting cover — it keeps the bed warm (8,7) ELECTRIC BLANKET [ELECTRIC}{BLANKET}
5   Unlawfully arrest philosopher (6) SARTRE*
6   Trial suit stitched for church official (9) RITUALIST*
7   Offer from expert model (7) PROPOSE {PRO}{POSE}
13 Plant with capital leaflet growing (9) ANDROMEDA {AND}{ROME}{AD<=}
15 Soupcon converted into tickets (7) COUPONS*
17 Rattle exposed sunny server (7) UNNERVE {sUNNy+sERVEr}
18 Slow over and said to be lacking force on Wednesday (7) MIDWEEK {DIM<=}{WEEK}(~weak)
19 Artist drawn cloud formations (6) STRATI*
22 One breaking revolutionary mirrors is largely brown (5) SEPIA {A{1}PES<=}

Reference List
Criminal = AL, Drug = E, Reading = R, Leaflet = AD


Dr RKE's TalePiece

The famous ANDROMEDA circus was playing in our town once. My father PROPOSEd we go there in the MIDWEEK as the crowd would be less but I guess it was because he managed to get free COUPONS for our family of four for that day. PHEW, what an experience it was! The atmosphere was ELECTRIC. As a boy, I was fascinated by the array of strange animals, the comic clumsy clowns, the STAMINA of the bodybuilders and the agility of the acrobats. Finally, it was ABOUT TIME for the top billed item of Kunjumol. She was a ROPE WALKER. She appeared in SEPIA coloured TOREADOR pants, that matched the colour of her skin. In the floodlights, even the sandal TALC  pancake on her cheeks was clearly visible. Plastic wings were attached to her SHOULDER STRAP to make her look like an angel.

Kunjumol’s father Thankachchan had trained her from childhood well and she was a quick LEARNER. By the time she was 12, she was an expert in rope walking. She then perfected her own death-defying act of leaping into the air, while in the middle of the rope and landing on one foot. Walking 30 feet up in the air was in itself UNNERVing and imagine doing a somersault at that SITE! Certainly, not a CUP OF TEA for most rope walkers. She had used the safety BLANKET below during rehearsals, but for the show she chose to do her act without that protection.

Being a RITUALIST, she touched the rope with her hands and then touched her eyes with the hands to pray for providence.  The rope swayed violently as she put her first foot on it but she stayed as if glued to it by some divine force. She must have wondered if there was an ABERRATION somewhere. She cautiously reached the middle of the rope and took her celebrated leap. She appeared to remain suspended mid-air for a fraction of a second and then came crashing down, alas missing the rope. There was a collective gasp from the audience. A MALADROIT clown in a CITRON outfit, who was on one SIDE, rushed with blinding speed to hold the falling girl in his arms and save her life.

The papers were full of stories about the heroic rescue by the clown. They also revealed how Kunjumol’s jilted lover, a circus artisan, had tried a STAB IN THE BACK by slightly slackening the rope that day. My father remarked “when the rich wage war, the poor die” but I was too young to grasp the significance of this quote, which I learnt later in college was from Jean Paul SARTRE. True to the prediction of the press, Kunjumol and the clown who saved her were soon married.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

No 12983, Thursday 09 Jul 2020, Gussalufz

Solution to 7D has been deliberately left unsolved and is to be answered only by a non-regular/novice commenter, with proper annotation. Those who have answered earlier in the week, please give others a chance.

ACROSS
9   Gourmet rice, pan-fried after adding slices of unripe eggplant (9) EPICUREAN {RICE+PAN}* over {Un...e} and {Eg...t}
10 Cat, in no uncertain... (5) OUNCE [T]
11 ... terms, gets all excited about a ball. Genius! (7) MAESTRO {M{A}STRE*}{O}
12 Posh bureaucrats going around smoking pot? Heavens! (7) UTOPIAS {U}{IAS} over {POT*}
13 Kenyas aquifer borders a lake in Tanzania (5) NYASA [T]
14 Who gets this famous piece of self-indulgence not long after the onset of 16!? Lucky! (9) MONOLOGUE [CD/GK]
16 Artificially good writing oft overwhelms a play (7,3,5) WAITING FOR GODOT {GOOD+WRITING+OFT}* over {A}
19 Old bards imbibing a couple of quarters for powers (9) EXPONENTS {EX}{PO{N}E{N}TS}
22 Drunk is outside Gussalufz’s control (5) LIMIT {L{I'M}IT}
24 Think of emailing about student dropping out (7) IMAGINE EMAIlING*
26 Resort misses out on a turn to shine (7) SPANGLE {SPa}{ANGLE}
27 Tabassum acknowledged filming this masala (5) SUMAC [T]
28 Somehow, I'll get him publicity (9) LIMELIGHT*

DOWN
1   Then Im revising returns to reveal these bad actors! (6) VERMIN [T<=]
2   Scholars limitlessly reprimand one after missing half a test (8) LITERATI {bERATe}{1} after {LITmus}
3   Hailing from a southern region, cook is a natural! (10) AUSTRALIAN*
4   Naughtily dream of removing a buckle (6) DEFORM {DREaM+OF}*
5   Subtle implication of union representation over termination (8) INNUENDO {INNU{END}O*}
6   Chant in an upside-down position while drinking juice to make magic (4) MOJO {OM<=} over {OJ}
7   When wife’s gone ahead for baseball event (6) ?N?I?G (Addendum - INNING - wINNING - See comments)
8   Confirm backslide after idiot has replaced leading virologist (8) REASSERT RE(-v+ass)ASSERT
15 She might try upright beer and beer laced with a bit of gin (5,5) LEGAL EAGLE {LEG}{ALE}{A{Gin}LE}
16 Tiny pizza gets disheartened student crying as hard as possible (8) WEEPIEST {WEE}{PIE}{St...nT}
17 With great care, drink frothy lager, avoiding a spray, ultimately (8) GINGERLY {GIN}{LaGER*}{s..aY}
18 Heartless guy running wild with mad ego provides manipulative leadership (8) DEMAGOGY {GuY+MAD+EGO}*
20 Samuel’s play’s sin? Misinterpreting this stellar material in Ulysses! (6) PLASMA [CA]{sAMuels+PLAys+Sin}*
21 Reuses a mediocre, exposed, old password, partially (6) SESAME [T]
23 XX film of tomorrow — admission not restricted! (6) TWENTY {To...oW}{ENTrY}
25 The computer industry’s leading currencies: hryvnia and yen (4) ITCH {IT}{Cu...s}{Hy...a}

Reference List
Posh = U, Quarter = N, Student = L, Juice = OJ(Orange Juice), Wife = W, Restricted = R



Dr RKE's TalePiece

Palghat Mahadeva Iyer sits cross-legged on the floor performing anga-NYASA, touching the 12 parts of the body, reciting the appropriate mantras while doing the oblations to his ancestors on this new moon day. This is followed by dropping water GINGERLY from a silver container over a handful of black SESAME seeds. A young man is watching the ritual intently with fascination.

Looking at Mahadeva Iyer with his bare-bodied, ash-smeared obese frame in this posture, one would scarce IMAGINE that here was the most famous LEGAL EAGLE of the Thiruvananthapuram bar. During his long INNINGs, the LIMELIGHT had always been on him, with junior lawyers ITCHing to hear his flawless utterances in flowing language. The subtle INNUENDOes that SPANGLEd his arguments, directed at the opposite party’s counsel were a stuff of legend. In these days when lawyers (not to mention, judges) hardly belong to the LITERATI, Mahadeva Iyer was able to intersperse his MONOLOGUES in court with appropriate quotes from the classical works of English, Sanskrit, Tamil and Malayalam. As is the rule with his species, he was an EPICUREAN and a MAESTRO in Carnatic music.

His fervent hope was that his only son, Gopalakrishnan, would step into his shoes some day when the young man joined the law college. As it happens often, a man who is held in high esteem outside of his home, does not appear an ideal hero to his children.  Notwithstanding all the effort that Mahadeva Iyer spent on grooming his son to be a practicing lawyer, Kris (for, he had thus shortened his name) was only interested in a corporate career. Mahadeva Iyer was drained of his last OUNCE of energy, trying to convince Kris, trying to paint an UTOPIAN picture of a wonderful career in the Thiruvananthapuram bar. Even the WEEPIEST protestations from Smt. Chandrika, his mother, did not stop Kris from REASSERTing his will. He went abroad to  work for an AUSTRALIAN company, married and settled there never to return to his home town.

Mahadeva Iyer, pushed to the LIMITs of despair, felt that he and his wife were rather like Vladimir and Estragon in Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT.

You can imagine how EXPONENTial their joy was, when Kris’s son, a strapping youth of TWENTY (who naturally had the genes of Mahadeva Iyer in his PLASMA and every cell),  became fed up with Western culture and sought to return to his roots in India.  So, it is this young man, the junior Mahadevan (Dave to his friends back in Australia), who sits today watching the oblation. He has already absorbed much of the ancient wisdom from his grandpa. He enjoys the delights of Palghat dishes from his grandma. He has started to play the veena. Dave looks set to step into his illustrious grandfather’s shoes, if not in legal circles, at least in all other things dear to the aging luminary.