Tuesday, 20 May 2014

No 11089, Tuesday 20 May 2014, Mac

Welcome Mac, an excellent opener. Like Kishore stated yesterday, another graduate from the THCC academy.

          You might be seeing the Niagara,
          Or lazing on the French Riviera,
          Sipping a fresh lime.
          Go back before time,
          "Mac", and you’ll end up getting a camera.

          You might have played Spassky,
          You might have ridden a husky,
          Ad infinitum,
          But the minimum,
          We expect from a "Mac", is some whiskey.
1   It keeps one down-to-earth (1-5) G-FORCE [CD]
5   Secret session about withholding outdated currency (8) SESTERCE [T<=]
9   Fe or Li’s period of radioactive decay (4-4) HALF-LIFE {LI+FE}*/2
10 Is a snotty person full of it? (6) MUCOUS [CD]
11 He discerns the state of the atmosphere by processing raw methane (10) WEATHERMAN*
12 Garland on a princess (4) LEIA {LEI}{A}
13 Disgust expressed in ensuing merriment (8) LAUGHTER {LA{UGH}TER}
16 Talent can be hidden (6) LATENT*
17 He’s let off from responsibility (6) MANTLE {MAN}{LET*}
19 Disadvantage of guzzling a primarily straight alcoholic drink endlessly (not a gin cocktail) (8) DOWNSIDE {DOWNing}{S}{cIDEr}
21 Man city (4) MALE [DD]
22 Repressed criminal arrested, held in (10) RESTRAINED {RESTRA{IN}ED*}
25 A bunch of characters in Java, perhaps (6) STRING [CD]
26 Upset about a boy having primarily secret affairs (8) LIAISONS {LIA<=}{1}{SON}{S}
27 Pilot is inwardly strict, in a cold-hearted manner (8) FRIGIDLY {F{RIGID}LY}
28 English setter, with onset of Salmonellosis, is throwing up (6) EMESIS {E}{ME}{S}{IS}

2   Animal trapped in iron structure (5) FRAME {F{RAM}E}
3   Primarily, replace equipment functioning improperly, that is, overhaul (5) REFIT Acrostic
4   Renowned specialist admitted me in, by accident (7) EMINENT {E{MINE*}NT}
5   Ocean (French ocean) drowns model ship (7) STEAMER {S{T}EA}{MER}
6   With a change of direction, discussion becomes innovative (7) SEMINAL SEMINA(-r+l)L
7   Mushrooms expired, stuffed into cases improperly (9) ESCALATES {ESCA{LATE}S*}
8   Warned against free education (9) CAUTIONED*
14 Mineral obtained from devastated blast area (9) ALABASTER*
15 Lunatic raging about the congress (9) GATHERING {GA{THE}RING*}
18 Madly angered (7) ENRAGED*
19 Criticise drama show (7) DISPLAY {DIS}{PLAY}
20 Struggle with food served up raw, at first (7) WARFARE {WAR<=}{FARE}
23 Problem child (5) ISSUE [DD]
                                                                                         Cartoon by Bhargav

24 Dissatisfaction arising from lack of excitement over gaming console, so it’s said (5) ENNUI (~ on wii) Never knew that Ennui was pronounced as (~ on we)


  1. Welcome to the new setter - Mac.
    S is clued in as 19 primarily straight; 26 primarily secret
    'Primarily' appears to be favoured by this setter.

    1. He primarily prefers that.

      I was also thinking the same. Top secret affairs would have worked too.

  2. +1 for the byline. Excellent puzzle. Welcome Mac and way to go.

    1. +2 Stupendous debut puzzle.

      The only nit to pick is in 27a:

      Pilot is inwardly strict, in a cold-hearted manner (8)

      This suggests Pilot is inside strict, but is very easily fixed by making it "Pilot's" so that the cryptic instruction becomes Pilot has inwardly ...

    2. If pilot is taken as a verb meaning 'Fly' and containing 'strict' (rigid) it works alright. At least, that is how I figured it and is also in the original post. Maybe, a container indicator is missing.

  3. Welcoming with warm hearts, Mac
    You being right on track
    We propose
    No adios
    Give us more, keep coming back

  4. Weatherman sayeth: It may rain, it may not rain, it may be windy, it may not be windy, but, but the Sun WILL NOT shine during the night!!

    1. Nowadays, it is not rising in TN during the day too, I understand ...

    2. All strokes- backhand,forehand and paralytic as well !

    3. Kishore@9.18-
      There are always (2) leaves protecting from the Sun!

    4. Too much sun can burn the leaves

  5. Nice parsings, comments and cartoons.

  6. A doubt about 10D-
    The clue as it stands (full of it) indicates a noun whereas 'mucous' is an adj.

    1. I agree - the spelling of the noun and the adjective being different, seeing a noun suggested here did make me wonder whether I had the right word.

  7. Enjoyed an ejoyable new setter two days in a row. can we expect a hat trick?
    Only a few gaps primarily arising out of an outdated currency.
    'Outdated currency' is 2 antonyms appearing together. This is a figure of speech- don't remember the name for it.

    1. Thank you NR. I got the name wrong and corrected it.

  8. Thank you for a good puzzle, Mac. Hope to see many more!

  9. Got it. It is called 'Onomatopoeia'.

    The famous quote goes like this-

    "His honour rooted in dishonour stood,
    And faith unfaithful kept him falsely true,"

    1. Onomatopoeia is a technique in which certain physical attributes like sounds, textures, etc. are represented through words. Examples: ding-dong, click-clack.

      Oxymoron refers to words with opposite meaning that are used in the same sentence. Examples: Jumbo Shrimp; Little Giants.

    2. More Oxymoron of modern time:

      Microsoft works, American Intelligence

    3. 2 (too?) nice ones, Renga!

    4. Thank you NR. I was a little confused at first, but then got it right.

  10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1h6pNNvtao

    1. Thanks for the link, Bhargav. Shilpa's dance matches with Mac's debut puzzle!!!

  11. Sorry. I think it is called 'Oxymoron'

  12. Some of you might recall my mentioning Sqn Ldr Ramesh Rao, who was with the RIAF and IAF and in service during WW2. He left on his last flight today morning. He was 92. Incidentally, Gp Capt Mohan "Manna" Murdeshwar was his neighbour at AFS Hindon ...

    1. Nice of you to remember and recall veterans. May his soull rest in peace.

    2. Sorry to hear the news.My condolences.

      MManna, a former IAF officer & THC setter, has settled in Hyderabad. Hope he can join one of the S&B meets.

  13. Loved the clueing for HALF LIFE and SEMINAL - in the latter, the "change of direction" had me hunting for changes between E-W or N-S till the penny dropped about direction=side!

    A query 5d: "French ocean" would (as far as I know) give us "océan", not "mer" - the latter is the French word for sea. Would it be better to be more precise when asking for a non-English word to be used?

  14. Kishore's cartoon reminded me about a cartoon on meteorologist by R.K.Laxman in his famous "You said it". I am not able to trace it on the net. Shall try to get it. Meanwhile here is one on our infamous 'protected' water supply-


    1. Thank you for the link. I will read it in detail later. I have one of his cartoons in book form and I traesure it.
      But the one I am referring to, is showing a bus stop where all are waiting in rain with either with an umbrella or a rain coat but a lone main getting drenched, with the caption- "He is working in the meteorological dept., I presume"!

  15. Gita Iyer from the US is going to be in Chennai between 24 Jun and 10th Jul. We are thinking of an S&B Meet at Chennai on 29 Jun or 06 Jul. How many are desirous/willing to attend and if so let me know which date is more suitable, I personally would prefer 29 Jun. Do mail me and let me know. Details of location and time will be decided depending on the response.

  16. Welcome news. Count me in- any day is fine for me.

  17. Thanks, all, for the heartening response.
    A few clarifications:

    @Nadathur's 08:41 / Srikanth's 08:44: Yeah, I seem to have overused 'Primarily' :) . Not too fond of cluing "first letter of X" as "top X", but in hindsight, I should have rewritten some of the clues.

    @Bhavan's 09:21: Does "is inwardly" equate to "is inside" ? I would have thought "X is inwardly Y" parses as "X has Y inside" (replace 'inwardly' with 'internally'). Of course, "pilot's" is always the safer way to go :)

    @Padmanabhan's 09:41: My bad. I'd always thought 'mucous' to also be an alternate spelling of 'mucus'. I've apparently been using the word wrong all along :)

    @Abhay's 10:04 : Re 'French ocean', point taken. Felt 'ocean' and 'sea' were more or less interchangeable, but a language change surely makes it more difficult

    1. 27A looks fine IMO.

      I found other issues in an otherwise nice puzzle.

      * 17A: "from" looks out of place considering that it appears just before definition.

      * 26A: "I" for "a" is not exactly fair. They are never used interchangeably

      * 19A and 3D: Indicators like primarily are nicer if they appeared after the fodder

      * 4D: Specialist =/= ENT

  18. Lots of neat clues.
    Liked 16 22 across, 2 6 15 down.

  19. A really nice opener Mac. Liked the way so many clues were cleverly concealed. Surfaces were also quite neat.

  20. Good crossword today. I do not see a real problem with sea, English or French.

    Did not quite like 5A telescopic anagram. May not be a problem of construction. Just that instinctively do not like some clues.

  21. It isn't a telescopic anagram, as such. It is just a reverse telescopic. The letters appear in the same order when read in reverse.

  22. I enjoyed the crossword thoroughly. Brilliant surfaces. Half-Life was well clued, reminded me of the computer game.

  23. Fantastic opener Mac, with really good surfaces. Enjoyed solving it.
    Was a toss-up between Half-Life & Seminal for My COD :) Man city was topical too given they won EPL last week.

  24. CV: Thanks for your detailed explanation of the Orkut's( mal)function and on the use or or non-use of pseudonyms by setters. I still feel, without being vainglorious, egoistic or immodest, each creative artist( I include compilers here !) should take credit where it is due. In that respect, I defer to dear old NJ !!

    Today's Orkut gave me this !! Across
    0 PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> The Hindu Crossword 11089 - The Hindu function publist(item){url ="http://www.thehindu.com/";id ="4";
    That's it. I give up !!

    Paddy: I do not like to buy the Hindu because, I do not enjoy reading anything in it, except for its crosswords. I do not find this to be value for money as it is the costliest of all the mainstream dailies. So I try the Orkut or else wait for the clippings from a friend of mine who is loyal to the Hindu ( like most South Indians who like their Kumbakonam degree coffee?). I'm so used to the TOI the NI Express and after coming to CBE, Deccan Chronicle, which take up the whole of the breakfast time and nearly two to three hours of my mornings, to the exclusion of anything else except to help my helpmeet in the laundry and such mundane and tawdry chores. I was guilt-ridden when I tried to buy the Hindu, only for the crosswords, for a fortnight and then I gave up !

    Welcome Mac .I am yet to try the crossword but I see that you already have got rave reviews ! Keep it up !

    1. Raju,

      It is ok if you are not reading TH- other than the CW.
      While I was in U.S. I used to take a print out from TH website, but today I find there is only the grid but no clues. I am not sure if it is only today or they have made it a practice. I am happy as long as I am here and get my copy of TH, but....