Sunday, 11 May 2014

Special, Sunday 11 May 2014, Pluralist

Welcome to our new setter Pluralist.
Three answers per commenter (with annotations) as usual till 6 PM
Positive comments / brickbats are welcome for encouragement / improvement.

2     Article on contentious Heights for African national (7)
6     Famous singer on first-name terms with retired Prime Minister (4)
11   Fully awake now, but was diligent before dropping peeled lentil (9)
12   A copy marked to the artist reaches African capital (5)
13   Ignored Parisian sibling appearing in public as sand rabbit (9)
14   On the Nile with Agatha, comes to Pemberly with Phyllis, from Doon with Ruth (5)
15   A Rand by any other name? (3)
16   Leave 'im? Quite the opposite, said the carpenter (6)
Cartoon by Rishi
18   Top half of pillar gets military rank, in short (3)
20   Carnatic concert featuring “Road to Perdition”? Initially, perhaps (3)
22   Announcers change order of opening trios in ersatz Crimea (6)
23   Twice beginning Indian studies (3)
25   Tumult when Aussie bowler adopts Greystoke style of introduction (5)
26   Shed frenzy? Can politicians do it while campaigning? (9)
28   Dressed to the mint chocolate thins? (5)
29   Defining defence negatively could evoke this response (4,5)
30   Freedom fighter in free translation (4)
31   As Head of Government replaces first King, smugglers become shooters (7)

1     May sit on the porch having Indian tea and finishing thriller  (4,5)
3     Loudly kiss sailor– it tastes divine! (6)
4     Nullity atop nullity gives shape of layer’s output (5)
5     First letters and then TV show consuming Mark – he’s not voting (9)
7     Old-fashioned body of spies turning up under dome (7)
8     Flooded Alpha existed earlier as Hotel (5)
9     All together in international alliance with one offspring (6)
10   Bird raged fitfully with a bit of noise creeping in – take a look! (6)
17   Originally vibrant Indian music becoming unusually noisy during University inaugurations, we got ethnic group from country of 2 (9)
19   1 walks in after 9 have walked (4,3,2)
21   Cut off tail before cooking antelope with cornmeal (7)
22   Laxman’s Rekha may keep the bastman safe (6)
23   Tolerates (no resistance) from black crows (6)
24   Rolling back, Jagannath’s rath simply reveals Assyrian deity (6)
25   Adam the First, coming and going endlessly, nourished travellers in the desert (5)
27   Headless Japanese warrior? (5)

Across Lite version can be accessed at the following link PLURALIST 1



  1. My comments before going through the puzzle:

    Welcome on board. Whether we will be on a PLUS TRAIL* is yet to be seen.

    Will be have samosas or a PURI STALL*?

    Incomprehensive clues can lead to ULTRA SLIP*.

    Tough ones can put us on SUTRA PILL for headache.

    No offence please. It's all in a lighter vein. ;-)

    1. *Corr. Will we have samosas....

    2. I thought you had posted from Kolkatta ;-)

    3. Sorry, another goof-up - Read as incomprehensible in the place of incomrehensive...

    4. DG 10:38 Bery sorry. The mistake corrected in the meantime in my post 10:33.

  2. 3d Loudly kiss sailor – it tastes divine! (6) NEC (~neck) TAR

    *** A neat homophone clue, the definition flowing from the stealthy action suggested by the wordplay. So the clue makes for smooth reading.
    BTW, I am not taking the suggestion made in the clue. For, when once you taste nectar, it's dil maange more.

    15a A Rand by any other name? (3) AYN (AYN*)

    ***Another pithy clue (so unlike other wordy ones) -

    Modelled on a famous done-to-death Shakespearean tag, the clue works well. It remains unshrugged.

    16a Leave 'im? Quite the opposite, said the carpenter (6) JOINER (join 'er, being the exact opposite of leave 'im)

    *** Another concisely written clue with ellipsis in solution word suggested by ellipsis in wordplay.

    Just picked up three clues that I could solve straight off. I haven't done the puz as a whole: those days are gone when 24 hours did not pass without my completing a XWD. Now it's a nodding acquaintance with grids.

  3. 9. D. UNISON. ((UN)(I)(SON)


    AB - First Letters
    STAIN - Mark
    ER - TV Show

    1. Does this say that Pluralist is from the US of A ?

  5. Two from me:

    17D - OVIMBUNDU - acrostic - 'inaugurations' being indicator
    24D - IS HTAR <- reverse (T) - Assyrian goddess of love, procreation, and war.

  6. There are hints of a theme being in place...Maybe be too early to guess.


  8. 12A- accra
    African capital- Def.
    Copy marked- CC
    Artist- Ra

  9. Replies
    1. Paddy, CV has submitted 15A at 10:35.

    2. Thank you for pointing out. I am eligible for one more.
      13A- Cassandra- T
      publiC AS SAND RAbbit

  10. 22d- Crease- DD?
    Lakshman's rekha- line
    Batsman safe- line (crease)

  11. 1dn
    def:may sit on - pato chair
    porch - patio
    indian tea - cha
    finished thriller - r

  12. 3dn
    def it tastes divine - nectar
    loudly kiss - neck - nec
    sailor - tar

  13. 10DN: GANDER; N inside (RAGED)*

  14. Replies
    1. Initial letters of * Road to predition *

    2. Understandable , but shouldn't the letters indicator be ( !,!,! )

    3. I think acronyms in regular use get seen as one word rather than as discrete letters. Will check other uses of common acronyms in crosswords to see how the word-count is given there.

    4. Few weeks back Sowmya (in her BL ) xword had set a clue for NDTV with 4 as enum . CV sir told her that the enum should be (1,1,1,1 )

    5. That is useful information for future reference. Thank you, Lakshmi!

  15. Making up for 7 Down: 31A (-R+G)UNNERS=GUNNERS

  16. 21dn
    def cornmeal - polenta anag. of antelop(e)


    A superb cl;ue !

  18. 29 across: WELL TAKEN-- defining defence - a sports term for a ball well taken in defence?

    Clever positive - negatice clue.

  19. 1D - DECK CHAIR - Porch (DECK)+CHAI+R
    11A - CONSCIOUS - Conscientious - (-L)ENTI(-L)

  20. 1 down : DECK CHAIR-[[ used to sit in the porch by oldies -
    Porch- deck-- chai = Indian tea0with thriller's end letter

  21. Almost completed-- Greetings and welcome to the new compiler PLURALIST with plural clueing devices- very refreshingly new = Keep compiling !

  22. 3 from me

    6A - LATA <= {ABV}
    14A - DEATH [GK]
    8D - {A}{WAS}{H}

  23. Shrikanth @ 10:54

    20A says he/she isn't

  24. 30A: AZAD, free =AZAD ( in translation)

    1. Not fair. Translation to which language?

    2. Good point! I thought the crosses and the definition would suffice, but the target language would indeed be useful to know if solving the clue on its own.

  25. 6A Famous singer on first-name terms with retired Prime Minister (4) LATA <=

    14A On the Nile with Agatha, comes to Pemberly with Phyllis, from Doon with Ruth (5) DEATH (TD)
    'Death on the Nile' by Agatha Christie
    'Death comes to Pemberly' by PD James (Phyllis Dorothy James)
    'From Doon with Death' by Ruth Rendall
    My CoD

    8D Flooded Alpha existed earlier as Hotel (5) (A)(WAS)(H)

  26. My COD is 25A - Alas, my quota is over!

  27. 25A MEL EE (a la Tarzan)
    29A NONE TAKEN In response to No offence meant.
    25D MAN NA (-m<)

  28. Most enjoyable crossword. Nice clues.

  29. Across
    25 ME LEE (Brett or his elder brother Shane)
    23 {B}{ROOKS}
    25 {MAN}{NA[-m]<=} - edible substance that God provided for the Israelites during their travels in the desert

  30. And 28A is one of my favourites.

  31. Replacement for duplication:
    22 CRI[-mea] ERS[-atz] - opening trios (three letters), change order CRI comes first, ERS goes behind
    23D B I S
    28 NINES DD Dressed to the nines; After-eights (After Eight Mint Chocolate Thins)

  32. Very Enjoyable Xword with many superb clues!

  33. That's it then, till next Sunday. Thanks Pluralist.

  34. Not quite - no-one seems to have got 27dn yet!

  35. This is Pluralist, aka Abhay Phadnis. Many thanks to everyone for attempting the crossword and for the many kind comments! Please do let me know if any of the clues had any gaps that I may have missed.

    And still waiting for 27d! :)

  36. Sorry, Prabhanjan - my comment crossed yours! Good to see it's fully in place now. Again, thanks to everyone - especially to Col Gopinath for all his efforts in putting it up.

  37. Abhay,
    Kudos on an excellent maiden attempt.
    A variety of crisp clues engaging immediate attention and posing a challenge to the solvers.
    The solver gets a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of 'A-HA' on laying the CW to rest.
    Any reason for selecting the particular nom-de-plume? Is it related to your training work?

    1. Thank you, Venkatesh - very encouraging feedback indeed!

      The nom-de-plume is just a reflection of my worldview. Its roots lie in the lovely phrase used by Louis MacNeice (in his poem 'Snow') to describe the world - "incorrigibly plural." Subhaanallaah!

  38. Good one Tempts me to try my hand at creating one

    1. When can I expect your creation for the Sunday special

  39. Hi Abhay,

    Nice effort. I thought taking care of a few things may help. Sorry if I'm being a little pedantic here. In my defense I could say, you asked for it ;)

    18A, Top half of pillar leads to PIL and not COL, as I see it. Expecting the solver to obtain half the word after substitution doesn't seem fair IMO.

    20A, I thought it was a little vague. Furthermore, the definition should be "What carnatic concerts feature." Right now, I see a mismatch.

    28A, Thought the brand reference here was a little obscure. I felt it needed an indicator or something.

    3D, Kiss loudly is a better order if you need a homophone for NECK. Well, for instance, if you wanna up the volume, you'd say, "play music loudly" and not "play loudly music."

    1D, What's the definition here? "May sit on?" It seems incomplete. Maybe, "Something to sit on" or "One may sit on it" seems better.

    5D, The word "consumed" to change order of things? Not sure how it works. As such, the clue instructs that STAIN goes inside ER.

    31A: Not sure why there's "first" in the clue.

    1. 31A Because there are two "r"s in runners. There was a discussion on this yesterday.
      5D works because STAIN is consumed by first letters then tv show,meaning ABER

    2. Thank you for your comments. A few points in response, if I may:
      - In 1d, the definition is "May sit on porch", with porch doing double duty as part of the wordplay.
      - I take your point about 5D: it could well be construed as Mark being consumed by ER. I thought adding the "then" in the clue would suffice, but I agree that there is still room for misinterpretation.
      - In 31a, I have specified "first King" because there are two R's in the word (runners) that has to be changed - I am simply clarifying which R has to be replaced with G!

    3. Thank you for your response, Suresh - good to know 5d was clear to many people! :) And thank you for your praise in your earlier comments.

  40. Thanks for your response.

    I feel double duty thing should be avoided while cluing.

    And noted the significance of "first" in 31a

    Though "and then" was a little misleading. Without it, if the surface permitted, would have worked

  41. Abhay , the fearless !! Did you spend any length of time in the African Continent? Some clues can only be answered only by those well up with that continent ! Your clues have lots of pluralistic connotations . Have you been compiling before? If this is your first, let it not be your ;last ! Thanks for breaking my Sunday routine as I do this late r in the day but today, I ventured earlier than usual, to try out the '' new comer ''.

    I find it a tendency amongst compilers to not give the numbers in brackets properly, as without it, one could be led up the garden path and bitten by creepy crawlies !!

    1. Thank you! No time in the African continent at all (although my parents-in-law did spend many years there). I know at least one of the Africa-related words was tough, but I thought the wordplay for that clue was clear enough to get the word even if one didn't know it (of course, that is the setter's opinion!).

      This was my first crossword, but it surely won't be my last!

      I am not sure about how to read your last line: are you saying there was a problem in the indicated word-count? I realise there was perhaps a slip-up in labelling RTP as (3) rather than as (1,1,1), but are there any others that i have missed?

    2. Raju wrote "...a tendency amongst compilers to not give the numbers in brackets properly, ..."

      I would have appreciate it if Raju had pointed out any specific instance where the enu was given wrongly and advised the setter to watch out. The setter would be grateful.

      This kind of a sweeping statement doesn't help as the present setter himself is tormented by a doubt if he has made any mistake.

      Constructive criticism is always welcomed. Recently, on noticing one such discrepancy elsewhere, I wrote to the setter that if an abbr is an acronym that is pronounced as a word it may be treated as one word but if each letter of abbr is pronounced then it is letter by letter. Thus NATO or SEBI is 4 but CBI or RBI is 1,1,1.

      The setter was thankful for this suggestion.

    3. "...if an abbr is an acronym that is pronounced as a word it may be treated as one word but if each letter of abbr is pronounced then it is letter by letter."

      I think that is a brilliant way of resolving the issue! Thanks for the tip.

  42. It is Kishore's birthday today.
    Many Happy Returns of the Day, Kishore.

    1. Thanks. The difference possibly between the actual date (which coincides with Shrikanth's) and the official date (as Kishore himself has given in THCC Members site).

  43. CV: Trust you to get on my case !! I expected you to ! I'm all for cryptic crosswords and varied methods used. and the idea is to beguile the solver. However, Your definition is acceptable, provided the formed acronym spells out a word like P.I.N for personal identification number -- Again, I'm punctilious with punctuations like apostrophe, colon or a comma or a full stop. I ve come across many cases, where the acronym is a mere collection of alphabets like AI for Air India and surely, a compiler has to indicate 1,1 and not 2. Apostrophes and umlauts are laos conveniently forgotten while cluing- this may be used as a ploy to confuse the solver, provided that was indeed the intention of the compiler.

    I came across one such wrong indicator in one of Sandhya's Brand Crossword recently and I did make a comment. When I come across any more in my future attempts , I shall bring them forward in this blog .

    I'm sure, knowing me well, all compilers by now know that my comments are to be just taken as comments and not to be bisected, trisected or dissected threadbare ! I mean well to all compilers as IO have a lot of respect for all pof them , as I do know how difficult it is to compile, especially themed anes and panagrams etc.

    I rest my case !!