Monday, 2 June 2014

No.11100, Monday, 02 Jun 2014, Buzzer

This one has a nice buzz to it

It's 11100 now and 11111 is not far away


1 Japanese mat is so long - half a mile! (6) TATAMI (TATA MIle)
          A student of Latin might say Tatami is plural, not singular. But then, Japanese is all Greek to him.
5 Artist entertained by charming minister (6) CURATE (CU(RA)TE)
10 School to transform with inclusion of two masters (4,5) ALMA MATER (AL(MA MA)TER)
11 Provide oral samples for tape (5) VIDEO (T)
          Remembered the M Oily tapes, which were not video, ... He got the oil ministry in the earlier cabinet. They knew it was his middle name ...
12 They help in getting hold of secret societies in China (5) TONGS 2
13 Push-pull bogey to collapse (2,5,2) GO BELLY UP (PULL BOGEY)*
                                                         Read with reference to 19d
14 Foreigner flying routinely out of NY (7)  OUTLIER (ROUTINELY-NY)*
16 With that girl, I led to location of Mahakali caves (7) ANDHERI (AND HER I)
          It used to be pretty dark here till BEST times came 
18 Essays describing universal Greek hero (7) THESEUS (THESE(U)S)
20 State of Lucknow gets second push for development (7) UPSURGE (UP S URGE)
21 Pick a baton bearing conductor (9) ELECTRODE (ELECT ROD E)
          Can make you sing Zubin, Zubin, Zubin, ...
23 A cove with a sound bite (5) BIGHT (~BITE)
25 Very captivating to look at mass filming technique (3-2) SLO-MO (S(LO M)O)
           Mathematically stated Lt (x -> ∞) SLO MO = Still photograph
26 One refraining from using a banister (9) ABSTAINER (A BANISTER)*
           Roger !
27 Hard money initially spent for wellbeing (6) HEALTH (H wEALTH)
28 Flexibility is Bruce's style (6) LEEWAY (LEE WAY)

2 Heading off a lunatic publicist (5) ADMAN (mADMAN)
3 Branch, first one to engineer peace (9) ARMISTICE (ARM IST I CE)
4 Part of fingerprint e.g. erased as a whole (7) INTEGER (T)
          Continuing from 25a  Lt (x -> ∞) 1+1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 ... = 2
5 Brains key in developing career (7) CEREBRA (CERE(B)RA*)
6 Party in bar is over (5) REVEL (LEVER)<
7 Toy car model, one current to have (5,4) TEDDY BEAR (T EDDY BEAR)
8 Point at state houses in turmoil (4,9) EAST SOUTHEAST (STATE HOUSES)*
          I prefer North by Northwest
9 Free analysis about corrupt IPL ... (13) COMPLIMENTARY (COM(PLI*)MENTARY)
15 ... then article on supporting transparence ultimately (9) THEREFORE (THE RE FOR E)
17 It helps stop dead, car/bikes out of control (4,5) DISC BRAKE (D (CARBRIKES)*)
19 Saint's mantra a church put up with (7) STOMACH (ST OM A CH)
20 Tool is you heard, mostly plastic (7) UTENSIL (U TENSILe)
22 Consciously provoke an evil creature (5) TROLL 2
24 Casually going to a Konkan region around new naval base (5) GONNA (GO(N N)A)
         I came across this word first in Dennis the Menace

*reminded me of Goodnight, Vienna by Bertie Wooster


  1. In 23a why is the homonym fodder (bite) given so blatantly. All that we have to do is read it aloud for the answer to strike us (that is, if we had already known the word and its meaning).

    1. 23 A cove with a sound bite (5) BIGHT (~BITE)

      Another funny thing I observed in this clue. The homophone indicator 'sound' also means 'bight'. Like the Bight of Biafra, we have the Puget Sound!

    2. CV, interesting question.

      That is something I have started doing consciously over the past few puzzles. Somehow seems fairer than giving a synonym of the word whose homophone is the answer. Based on reasoning like this:

      To clue 'time' (ignore the surfaces as they may not be sound, made them up just to illustrate)

      Spell article wrongly (4) Find anagram of synonym of 'thing' (item) - unfair
      Spell a herb loudly (4) Find homonym of synonym of 'herb' (thyme) - fair?

      I find that the second type of clues are accepted as fair game. But that didn't make sense to me, so have been using words for fodder directly like bight here, check/seed from last set for Czech/cede.

    3. Nice to note that you go the extra mile to be fair to the solver- err on the safer side.

    4. Have done this too. Anyway when you don't know if it is the same word or you have to find a synonym and then a homophone, it can still present a challenge. So not always just a clear signal to solver, it may be for surface considerations or something else

    5. IMO, giving 'sight' in a clue whose required answer is SITE or 'might' for the answer word MITE is easy and I am afraid an inelegant way of doing it. It also makes the solving dead easy.
      If 'meat' is in the clue for a word that is MEET or METE, there might be some cerebration for the solver to do!

      I wonder whether it is an acceptable way of clue-writing of this particulat type of clue, viz. homophone or sound-alike.
      Have you come across such examples in reputed UK crosswords?
      As for me, I can't remember. I have to look up crossword books in my library. Will try to do that and come back whenever I can.

    6. I wonder whether it is an acceptable way of clue-writing of this particulat type of clue, viz. homophone or sound-alike.

      Like I said if we insist on giving the anagram fodder in the clue, why not the homophone fodder too? I realised how hard it is especially with clues employing Spoonerism, having to imagine a phrase synonymous to what is specified in the clue and then inverting the syllables. That's when I decided I'll look at my homophone clues in general.

      Have you come across such examples in reputed UK crosswords?

      I haven't kept track of any such info one way or the other. But most if not all use what you call a 'standard' homophone clue. A quick glance at crosswordunclued and Peter Biddlecombe's guide confirm the same with examples like:

      Refer to a location, reportedly (4) (from crosswordunclued)
      Church service sounds correct (4) (Peter Biddlecombe's yagcc)

      I might be out on a limb with this one, but I'm happy to live with that idiosyncrasy.

    7. I don't have strong feelings on this one. At best (or worst depending on your point of view) one can say that it makes it too straightforward or easy. But certainly one can't say it is unfair or invalid. And to say the contrary is unfair is also something I don't agree with. It will probably go down as setter's preference

    8. I get what CV means. Sometimes when the homophone fodder is nearly spelt the same as the answer, I might end up taking the route of synonym of homophone too. (I'm looking at 26ac in THC 11101).

      Clue writing is definitely a woolly business and if I set myself too many restrictive 'rules' I'll end up either backtracking my words or not being able to write certain type of clues. I'll have to see which one it will be.

  2. Quite a coincidence. Today we have TH 11100 and yesterday's special ended up with 111 comments.

    Thanks to Abhay for posting the clue list.

  3. 13A - I was trying to work on the terminology of Ro Ro in railways for some time..

    Ro ro ke thak gaya...

    1. Why were you rowing? You just had to go belly up!

    2. You've got to be belly-gerent...

  4. Liked many topical terms like UP, corrupt IPL and others.

    Tatami was a new word. If asked, what would the late JRD have said? Who, me? ;-)

    1. Obviously, you are not into online trading in shares. People who are, are familiar with de mat ...

    2. I would like to share some personal information. I do not hold any shares nor am I interested in share trading...

    3. Hear, hear! Richard, the sher-heart!

    4. Mangal Ho! Sher-E-MANGALore!!

    5. CGB, I know you have special love for our region.

      The western coast of India, as legend has it, is called Parshuram / Parsuram Srishti because Bhargav, aka Parsuram, acquired the land from the sea by flinging his axe into water when asked to seek a habitat for his followers...

    6. Oh MAN, mythology GALORE!!


  5. Today's clues caused a lot of CEREBRAtion a la 5D.

    1. Lichard : Your CEREBRAtion reminds me of my good African friends; for them , every day is a cerebration of rife ! That's what they tell their fliend Lanju !!
      Incidentally, Lichard phonetically means something else in Hindi-- which was my usage !

    2. I really meant R(L)ICHARD ! Thank God , your'e not in Nairobi. or else, every day you've to suffer being called a Lichhad !!

  6. Nice as usual for a Buzzer CW. Enjoyed though missed a few- worst is missing my complementary ticket to IPL (though a day late)

  7. All you teleganites will have to change the number plates of your vehicles. I wonder what they will have, my guess is TG

    1. Wiki has already listed TG is the vehicle registry code for the new state.

    2. Local news I read a few days back. Mr.KCR prefers TS for Telengana State and his wish is likely to be granted by the authorities concerned in the near future.

  8. TG it will be. And maybe SM or SA for Seemandhra.

  9. Thanks, Buzzer - very nice one with a lot of very smooth surfaces (especially liked 5a, 11, 14, 18, 28, 5d, and 8).

    I couldn't parse where the last E in electrode is coming from - it's not clear in the blog either.

    A *very* minor quibble (or two): I wish you had found a way to avoid the superfluous "base" in 24, and an additional comma (after 'is') in 20d would have made the surface reading smoother without spoiling the wordplay. (All IMO, of course!)

    Thanks for the blog, Kishore - both the cartoon and the comments are very amusing indeed!

    1. Sigh - got the bearing=direction bit seconds after hitting send! :(

    2. 'Base' is to get the 2nd n, ie the first letter of naval. Doubt you'll find superfluous words in a Buzzer puzzle

    3. Abhay,
      Bearing, in navigation, is a term for direction - E(ast) in this case.

    4. Kishore:
      No One's Gonna Change Our World
      - The Beatles

    5. Bhala
      Is the base of 'naval' N or L?
      Should we assume that in this down clue it is
      L ?
      Even then is the base N or L?
      And if NAVAL is written in the normal way, 'base' doesn't work, does it?
      - Confused (please give some allowance for ageing process!)

    6. Apologies to Buzzer if I am trying to explain away his clue, but since question is directed to me shall reply. 'Base' is one of those indicators which can stand for both first letter and last letter. In this case, base is probably used with the meaning 'starting point/foundation'. Only then you can get to the second 'n' in 'gonna'.

    7. But having said that, am gonna open up a new point for consideration. In many circles, they would insist that it should be 'naval's base' and not just naval base (let's assume that base for first letter is OK). I generally find this quite rigorously applied in UK crosswords. Certainly not in THC (not referring to today). A purist point of view or just basic grammar? Perhaps a topic for Shuchi to consider

    8. Thanks Bhala, your parsing is what I had in mind.

      As for the single letter indicator 'naval base' can the same be not seen as navy's base or base for navy etc to yield N? My thoughts are the same as what Alberich says here. The relevant part is:

      I don’t much like “Race start” or “East End” or “January first” to indicate the letters R, T or J. Grammatically all of them are weak. I think a justification can be found however in that we talk about the “Jones house” to mean the house of the Joneses or the “Federer serve” to mean Federer’s serve, so even without the apostrophe S there is, by analogy, a justification for this type of thing. In the case of “January first”, this is how Americans often express dates so there is a clear parallel with “the First of January”. I regard words like “start”, “first”, “end” etc placed after words without the apostrophe S to be weak indicators – I grudgingly accept them from those who contribute to this site and will, if all else fails, do it myself, but if this can be avoided I vastly prefer it.

    9. I just don't know the answer Bhavan. I have come across some instances where objections have been voiced. As a better practice I've just decided that I will try to use the apostrophe or express it as 'first of ...', 'base of....', whatever. I am generally not in favour of making a substitution (ie to say naval base = base of navy) and then deriving the letter. If 'naval' had a synonym which does not start with 'n', the device will fail. So unless one is really desperate why take the easy way out is the conclusion I have come to.

  10. I found this:

    base 1 (bās)
    1. The lowest or bottom part: the base of a cliff; the base of a lamp.
    2. Biology
    a. The part of a plant or animal organ that is nearest to its point of attachment.
    b. The point of attachment of such an organ.
    a. A supporting part or layer; a foundation: a skyscraper built on a base of solid rock.
    b. A basic or underlying element; infrastructure: the nation's industrial base.
    4. The fundamental principle or underlying concept of a system or theory; a basis.
    5. A fundamental ingredient; a chief constituent: a paint with an oil base.
    6. The fact, observation, or premise from which a reasoning process is begun.
    a. Games A starting point, safety area, or goal.

  11. CG has gone to some length. But my first reaction would be that base would be something like origin or starting point ( I am talking about general perception) and the first or starting letter fits to this description. Down/ Across does not make a difference here.

  12. In continuation of yesterday's Special:Paddy:
    Dash my bald head ! I must have been in the Land of Nod. B(a)d B(a)d of me !!
    Kishore: at times, the postings vanish.. in the clouds ? So when is the next Balderdash? from BD? makes every one's Brain go Dead !!

    CV: Dhool is a Hindi word? How did it migrate to Tamil? I'm a Dhool Ka Fool in such matters

    1. Several persons survived, nay enjoyed, the lobotomy

  13. Renga swami : are you the same from Chennai who has won the Anagram Puzzle in the NIE today? If so , congratulations are due !

    1. If it is Chennai, then it must be Annanagaram puzzle ...

    2. For Dharmapuri guys it will be Pennagaram ...

  14. If he has won, then we should ask him: Kofi Annan!!

  15. BHAVAN the BUZZER : this was a a zubi zubi puzzle that I enjoyed !

  16. Fabulous crossie, Buzzer! It was like a mystery novel, did not get anything in the beginning and things started to reveal. One minor crib is I would have preferred using elastic instead of plastic for tensile. Nonetheless it did it for me!

  17. Yes Raju, it is me who won the Casual Manger puzzle in NIE Edex today. Lucky to get the lottery prize.