Wednesday 13 August 2014

No 11162, Wednesday 13 Aug 2014, Buzzer

Though I got through this one in a jiffy I'm unable to get some of the annos.

6   Spoiling for a nice black coffee (4,4) CAFE NOIR*
9   Old wrongdoing led to blackmail (6) EXTORT {EX}{TORT}
10 Open (adj) fair alternately (4) AJAR AdJ fAiR
11 Clueless like a cadet embracing navy (10) UNINFORMED {UNI{N}FORMED}
12 I'm a bum trashing a city (6) MUMBAI*
14 Best to reduce number by 10% of sight (7) OPTICAL Anno pending (Addendum - OPTI(-m+c)CAL - See comments)
15 Tennis pro, a real maverick character finally gets a fitness consultant (8,7) PERSONAL TRAINER {TENNIS+PRO+A+REAL}*{R}
18 Arranged or set up theatrical groups (7) TROUPES*
20 Parking line boundary gives surety (6) PLEDGE {P}{L}{EDGE}
22 K-kid? (10) GRANDCHILD {GRAND}{CHILD} Child on double duty? See comments
23 Give information on mobile during speech (4) SELL (~cell)
24 Have fewer returns for a craft (6) VESSEL VE{SSEL<=} Anno pending (Addendum - {'VE}{SSEL<=} - See comments)

Cartoon by Rishi

25 Closet as ideal hiding place for lay-by (3,5) SET ASIDE [T] Another great T clue like yesterday

1   Mock entrance exam before one for real (4) JEER {JEE}{Real}
2   Liquid remedy (8) SOLUTION [DD]
3   Consider right hiking wages before income tax (3,3) SEE FIT {SEE F<=}{IT}
4   Engaging rule breaking attorney in operation (10) ATTRACTIVE Anno pending (Addendum - {ATT}{R}{ACTIVE} - See comments)
5   Fictional butler, extremely utile and loyal (4,4) TRUE BLUE {TRUE BL*}{UtilE}
This is the real True Blue !
7   Old French region depicted in European journal (5) ANJOU [T]
8   They might help nosily in mending relationships (13) RHINOPLASTIES* Semi & lit
13 Graduates before long to first musician (10) BASSOONIST {BAS}{SOON}{1ST}
16 Return from hospital department, reeky all over (5,3) ENTER KEY {ENT}{ER KEY}*
17 Criticise one song essentially lacking pace (8) RAPIDITY {RAP}{1}{DItTY}
19 Sauce or jam (6) PICKLE [DD]
21 Arctic for example is up top (5) GELID {GE<=}{LID}
23 Indifferent and same old same old leaders (2-2) SO-SO Acrostic



  1. 14 Best to reduce a number by 10% of sight (7)

    Best - OPTIMAL ( as in "to make the optimal use of etc.")
    to reduce - to change one part into another, to treat analytically as in "to reduce the formula in writing"
    a number - M -
    10% - 10 per cent of M (1000) is 100 - hundred - C
    [thus change M to C and get OPTI[-M+C]AL
    of sight - def for word reqd.

    Maybe there is a simpler explanation than the above.

    I do see how the other pending clues work but I am leaving them for others to chip in.

    Re "K-kid" I see it an occasional, picturesque clue where you sub Grand for K, add the word 'child' for kid and get the answer. My argument is that 'kid' is not doing double duty and the clue is definition-less.

    1. I think your explanation is spot on for 14. Couldn't have been any shorter.

      And 22's one of those clues that don't have a definition - like GEGS

    2. That was the parsing in my mind, but the clue is not good anyway. Overlooked the fact that L is as valid as M for number.

    3. Reduction of a number by 10%, when the number is M=1000, will leave us with 900 ...

  2. 4D
    in operation: ACTIVE
    attorney: ATT
    rule breaking: R in ATT ACTIVE

  3. Critique of 25d: The hyphen has no place here. If we remove it, the surface reading appears to suffer.

    'lay-by' (hyphenated) is a noun meaning "an area at the side of a road where vehicles may pull off the road and stop.
    'lay by' is a verb meaning 'deposit, hoard, set aside'

    1. 'To' for 'for' without hyphen in lay by?

    2. "place(v) for lay-by" was the intended definition.

  4. 24a: I think have = VE here. Like I've = I have

  5. I think the anagram in8D is just awesome. It gives rhinoplasties a different look!

  6. 24 A - 'Fewer' means LESSER and imo it may have to be 'few' returns so as to get less <-. Experts enlighten me pl!

    1. Think it's OK. 'Few' would be 'little', and 'fewer' would be 'less'

  7. Today's score about 80% only :(

  8. I got them all today - rare event, but didn't get a couple of annotations.

  9. RELATIONSHIPS almost anagrams to ALPENHORNISTS, and for the shortest moment I imagined that that was the solution to 8D.