Tuesday, 29 January 2013

No.10682, Tuesday 29 Jan 13, Incognito

When he can dish out good clues like ENDEAVOUR, TEENS, ASTRONAUT, TOOLS and amusing ones like MANICURED, I have no idea why does Incognito opt for very odd surfaces in others!

1 Detectives put footwear into broken mugs (8) GUMSHOES (SHOE inside MUGS*)
5 Friend goes back up carrying a broken pot to get a computer (6) LAPTOP (PAL<= + POT*)
10 Type of column ratio Nicholas concealed (5) IONIC (T)
11 These mathematical bits can sometimes be vulgar (9) FRACTIONS (E)
12 Cut // duty (6) EXCISE (DD)
13 Marsupial put zero money around point of sale (7) OPOSSUM (O + SUM outside POS)
15 Praiseworthy quality of restructured timer (5) MERIT (TIMER)*
17 Try a space shuttle (9) ENDEAVOUR (DD)
19 Send wireless message to Indian village to make an erstwhile piece of audio equipment (9) RADIOGRAM (RADIO + GRAM)
20 Adolescence means support in front of partners (5) TEENS (TEE + NS)
21 Hot apes ran amok at a place where hot scones are sold (7) TEASHOP (HOT APES)*
23 Greek letter obtained by American lawman following Mary’s follower (6) LAMBDA (DA after LAMB)
26 Cockney hamster goes before barrier? Capital! (9) AMSTERDAM ('AMSTER + HAM)
28 Sangh scrambled to grind teeth (5) GNASH (SANGH)*
29 Condition where something is not utilised when one sun disintegrates (3-3) NON-USE (ONE SUN)*
30 Develops (putting ten in place of five), mutates and bursts (8) EXPLODES (DEvXELOPS)*

1 Dirt found when General Electric absorbed retrograde Russian space station (5) GRIME (GE outside MIR<=)
2 Doctor’s claim about male patient successfully treated with beautifully treated hands (9) MANICURED (MAN I CURED)
3 Cuts irregularly at mediocre writers (5) HACKS (DD)
4 Magical creature found at the end of a bookshelf (3) ELF (T)
6 Roast tuna mix usually sent on space trips (9) ASTRONAUT (ROAST TUNA)*
7 Gimlets, screwdrivers etc., from a teetotaller’s viewpoint (5) TOOLS (CD)
8 Stamps stamps found on postal covers (9) POSTMARKS (?)
9 Army officer gets over bad mood and finds the chief steward (9) MAJORDOMO (MAJOR + MOOD*)
14 Four-legged structures strewn near sea walls post trade reconstruction (9) TETRAPODS (POST TRADE)*
15 Tom Sawyer creator said to be two fathoms deep in water (4,5) MARK, TWAIN (C&DD)
16 Lets shoot around without biting power (9) TOOTHLESS (LETS SHOOT)*
18 When someone has fallen off the ship, shout this after you shout ‘Man’(9) OVERBOARD (E)
22 Fire-raising by headless clergyman (5) ARSON (pARSON)
24 Divine messenger once heard of at the world’s highest waterfall (5) ANGEL (DD)
25 Burnt remains to which to return to (5) ASHES (E)
27 A thousand and nine Romans blend in (3) MIX (M IX)


  1. I agree with the headline comments - I am not an ace solver by any means but was able to go through the whole grid without nary a pause. But more importantly, I did not derive a whole lot of satisfaction in having done so. I guess this puzzle is just not my cup of tea.

    1. Hi veer, good to see you here again after ages.

    2. Thanks Bhavan. Kind of fell out of solving the Hindu Crossword for a bit. Much has changed it looks like in terms of the # of setters.. Look forward to some more fun.

  2. "without nary"

    Double negative? !

    I think it should be "with nary a pause" or "without a pause".

    "Nary' means 'never'.

    1. Touche, CV sir, realized the error after hitting "publish" but let it be at that time. But could not escape your eagle eye and I am sure of others as well.. In any case, the sentiment's still valid for me. I know you enjoy a good clue or several good ones that are pleasing to the spirit, if you will. Enough stirring that pot..

      Incognito (I think this is the first puzzle of this setter that I solved) spotted a nice word, GUMSHOES, but for me, it was a great chance at a DD:
      Detective's footwear (8)
      Two very different meanings of the same word clued in a way that reads well too, with an apostrophe thrown in for good measure. Would have made the clue a little tougher, but solving which could be more satisfying, IMO.


    Yes, the idea is good but the repetition of 'treated' may probably have been avoided.

    I have a doubt. "The beautifully treated hands" - are they those of the doctor or the male patient?


    1. In a similar way, in 18 D Shout is repeated.

    2. From today's HT (old Times) crossword

      Digitally processed my satisfied patient? (9)

    3. Well, isn't it the gold standard, I mean The Times? But credit to Incognito for gettin (almost getting) it perfectly.

    4. Bhavan @ 9:52 The clue you have cited is interesting. I guess 'my', like 'man', has been used in the form of an interjection in the HT puzzle. Let me know.

  4. Ditto! I can imagine the dissatisfaction - when a novice like me could solve it in one go, the Masters must not be happy at all.
    May be, Incognito was in a hurry when he set this one.
    Lovely, sunny winter morning in Delhi, to-day. Good morning all.

    1. @Rita, in my case it is not so much of dissatisfaction/unhappiness, as just being puzzled.

      Good for you with the weather. We just got pulverized by torrential rains that resulted in a 3 day house arrest.

    2. Torrential rains - where is this? Surely not Chennai?

    3. @Rita, I live in Australia on the Gold Coast

  5. Must be welcome summer showers,Bhavan!

  6. Oh! My happiness in doing it fast without any external aids and getting a 100% punctured badly!:-)

  7. Thank you Incognito & Bhavan for telling us about the real meaning of Mark Twain. Very interesting titbit.
    Lambda had been clued recently, but I had forgotten the clue and have no database.

    1. +1 for Mark Twain

      A search did not throw up LAMBDA since Feb 09 so you must have seen it elsewhere

    2. Thank you Col. I must have seen it in one of the quickies. More than the clue or the word, it is the figure that I remember. Probably it could have appeared in some other ref.

    3. Beyond 2009:

      THC 8422 of 2005:
      8 Greek character, a docile creature, with a prosecutor (6)

  8. Kishore,
    Wsa MIX discussed/ mentioned recently while we were on words with Latin numerals?

  9. 22D: "headless clergyman"

    Gives us a clue on who the setter could be?

    1. Well, that and the use of the expression "Capital!" in 26A. So Wodehousian.


    2. Great imagination. Lots of Wodehouse lovers on this blog.

  10. Smooth going. Did not have any hassle. Tom Sawyers gave the answer easily. Came to know the other meaning of Mark Twain only after the blog was posted.

  11. Looking at the clues you get the feeling that Incognito is capable of much more!

  12. Bhala's picture is the only one which gets blown up to half scree size every now and then in the blog. I wonder why

    1. Is it only you Suresh with this issue? Wondering whether I should change the pic otherwise

    2. Oh sure Bhala. You could put in a picture of a sexy woman in a bikini.:))

  13. no crossword must be dismissed because it is too easy

    our judgement must be on cluemanship

    are the clues well-written

    does the wordplay lead to the answer

    i wish i could do an analysis but not possible today

    i have a terrible backache - sitting, standing, turning everything is acutely painful

    i had a similar episode decades ago

    other backaches in between were got over quickly

    1. Sorry to hear. Wish you a quick recovery

    2. 'Get-well-soon' wishes from me too. Please take care of yourself.

    3. Sorry to learn about the bad back ache. Get well soon, hope it clears up quickly.
      Have you tried a good physio?

  14. Yup, Paddy and then it t
    urns up here !

    CV, sorry to note that the back pain is back. Wishing you speedy recovery

    1. On a lighter note - some years ago, when I worked for the mainstream web media, I had developed a similar pain because of the same posture in front of the on long durations.

      Since I had the final word on every headline, a colleague, with delicious revenge, asked me if he could post this headline Richard's Back in Trouble!...

    2. Erratum: The last part of the first para of the above post to be read I had developed a similar pain because of the same posture in front of the PC on long durations.

  15. Extremely sorry for not coming up to your expectations. It only means I have to put in more efforts.

    1. Incognito, Thx for coming on as well as giving us a good morning. Setting some 30 clues that hang together is a tough art - I have not done it though I have dabbled in the art as have several here. I am sure, as a published setter, you see your share of opinions. For my part and not without (double negative nod to CV sir) a little envy, we are amongst friends here and I wish you nothing but the best. Cheers..

  16. A few explanations:

    11A was intended to be a CD
    8D was meant to bring up the verb and noun forms of 'stamps'
    22D Headless was used to bring in a sense of the macabre
    25D was intended to be a CD
    27D 1009 = MIX

    1. I for one, did find 11A cryptic. It was the last to fall :).Had fun solving.

  17. Received from a friend

    Howzzabt a lil pun!

    How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it.
    Venison for dinner again? Oh deer!
    A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
    Haunted French pancakes give me the crêpes.
    England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
    I tried to catch some fog, but I mist.
    They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
    Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.
    I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
    I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
    This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.
    When chemists die, they barium.
    I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
    I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.
    PMS jokes aren't funny. Period...
    I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
    Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?
    When you get a bladder infection; urine trouble.
    Broken pencils are pointless.
    What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.
    I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
    I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.
    Velcro - what a rip off!

    1. Enjoyable collection!

      I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me. How does one handle the bar?

    2. Ouch, ouch, ouch! This is hugely 'punny'! Really enjoyed them, specially the lousy Marx.
      Thanks for the smiles.

    3. Enjoyed Col.Thanks. Our friends,starting from Kishore can add a few more.

  18. Must appreciate the guy/s who coined all these phrases. The best part about you having put up here is that it provides plenty of fodder to a setter to use the Velcro.

  19. Thank you Col. Enjoyed all- paticularly Liver-pool & the Type-O ( it took me a while ti figure it out)

  20. Hi, I wanted to share this clue that I came across yesterday:

    Book with grammatical and spelling errors in central part (8)

    Found it tough before solving with crossings and a little guess work, and then found the clue quite clever.

  21. Cv,
    Wishing you back to painlessness soon.

  22. Thanks, Veer, for your kind wishes. See you in March.