Wednesday, 20 August 2014

No.11168, Wednesday 20 Aug 2014, Scintillator

Scintillator scintillates with his 'e-co' system. I have a few annos pending ...

1 The Arabian takes a trace of confection in hotel menu (1,2,5) A LA CARTE (AL A TRACE*)
5 God's word to jettison chief in vessel (6) ORACLE (CORACLE - C)
9 Source can't be found for tightly drawn visual of a post-mortem (8) AUTOPTIC (tAUT OPTIC)
10 To manipulate head over heels and to be untruthful is typical of women (6) GIRLIE (RIG< LIE)

By Rishi

12 Music band causing men with cold hearts to melt (9) ORCHESTRA (OR C HEARTS*)
13 Short of choices, he grills fish (5) CISCO (CHOICES - HE)* a bit unsure of the indication, is it short of choices or short of 'he' to indicate deletion of 'he'?
14 Jack's calling aloud to find animal (4) TAHR (~TAR)
16 A refusal might be allowing amateur an exception (7) ANOMALY (A NO MAY around L)
19 Restricted type of firm (7) LIMITED (2)
21 Fizz in going around tizzies (4) SODA (ADOS)< since tizzy = ado
24 A peasant's cry of joy (5) YAHOO (2)
25 Nobleman in Britain said to find a Conservative praiseworthy (9) LAUDATORY (~LORD A TORY)
27 Get the picture of one wearing funky miniskirt(6) INTUIT (1 in IN  TUTu)
28 Relatively tough criminal topped in German resort (8) STRONGER  (G RESORT)*? N from?
29 When on the move, one's perhaps fine without this (6) TICKET (CD)
30 Honourable rule, having an objective to subjugate at all times (8) REVEREND (EVER in R END)

1 American area, most of which spans a rainforest (6) AMAZON (A in AM ZONe) &LIT
2 See husband putting flour on top to make a bond (6) ATTACH (ATTA C H)
3 Fruit drink to seduce powers that be (5) APPLE (PP in ALE)
4 Get dope to soak up excitement (7) TWITTER (TWIT RET<) See comments
6 Uncordial teasing that could brew into a storm (4-5) RAIN-CLOUD (UNCORDIAL*)
7 What you get from a profitable venture in California is immense (8) COLOSSAL (0 LOSS in CAL) I disagree, zero loss is not necessarily a profitable venture, it may be just break-even ...
8 Forthright seers, accepting as well, according to listeners (3,2,3) EYE TO EYE (~TOO accepted by 2 EYEs) Not sure if defn. is ok
11 Language, not of this island though (4) JAVA (CD,DD)
15 One involved in defacing a treacherous leader — he's our mandate (9) AUTHORISE (1 in A T HE'S OUR)*
17 Fun to hear old composer's collection of favourite songs? (8) PLAYLIST (PLAY ~LISZT)
18 Fat, noisy mice scurrying around with energy (8) EMPHATIC (~FAT with MICE*)
20 Dean's into modelling (4) DELL (T)
21 Public service is stopped and let to face stir (7) SHUTTLE (SHUT LET*)
22 Shy to make eyes at figure on the net (6) GOOGLE (GO OGLE) 'Figure' and 'on the net' could possibly be treated as two separate defn.s, but I leave it at that ...
Cartoon by Bhargav

23 Extremely hungry at wedding, newly-wed nearly turns cross (6) HYBRID (HungrY BRIDe)
26 It's trouble to stay in a house of bricks (5) ADOBE (ADO BE)



  1. Too much padding in the clues in my opinion

    1. Some w/p have 4 or 5 components. I think this is partly responsible for the long clues given that these components need to be linked.

  2. 4 Get dope to soak up excitement (7) TWITTER (TWIT

    TWIT TER<-. Why 'get'?

    1. Thanks. Raghu for an answer to your question, please see DG's first comment. 'get' it?

    2. In this particular instance, there is no padding. I think it improves the surface reading of the whole clue. But the prob is: one may soak in some feeling such as sorrow or even excitement but what does 'soak up excitement' mean?

    3. IMO get is not needed. Soak up 'fun' = Soak up excitement.

    4. It works in my opinion. It's like "getting" one wordplay component to another and arriving at the answer

    5. Can the clue work w/o 'get'?

    6. Could work but the surface may seem incomplete. With "get," the clue reads better

    7. "Dope to soak up excitement" looks fine to me

  3. Can you find a newly wed anywhere else othet than at a wedding?

    1. Exactly. 'at wedding' is redundant.

    2. at wedding plays no role in the clue, imo, Not even for the surface ...

    3. Why, can't the newly-wed appear elsewhere in a coffee club or theatre or somewhere else?
      But it's quite correct to say 'at wedding' does not play any part in the clue.

    4. I think "at wedding" is used to properly define "newly-wed." A woman is not a bride long after I.e. days after the wedding is over though she could still be newly-wed

    5. VJ
      Other than Bride or Bridegroom what else can you infer from "newly-wed" ?

  4. 29a too is oddly worded. I think he means that the person gets 'fine'd . Or is there something else, I am missing?

    1. You're right. Probably a typo missing 'd.

    2. I see what you mean. In fine, this CD doesn't seem to come off quite well.

    3. Yep, CD could have been better. A person who's fined is not "fine."

  5. It's a tribute to Kishore, having posted the blog by 0830. This is a tough one.

  6. 28 Relatively tough criminal topped in German resort (8) STRONGER (G RESORT)*? N from?

    The answer to 'N' maybe found in 'topped'?

    1. I presume Scintillator means "topped in German" as G and N from German

    2. I too was thinking on those lines. But I am not sure how 'topped in X' can give the initial and last letters of X.

    3. top as a verb means to remove the top off. Probably N = topped IN.

  7. In UK based blogs setters rarely drop by in the Comments section to answer any queries. Usually it's other solvers who clear any doubts.
    Even rarer is a setter commenting on the clues of a fellow-setter.
    However, in this blog we find that is almost always a setter who points out what he perceives are errors or inconsistencies in the clues.
    I don't find anything odd in this.
    In India, most solvers do the puzzles in a perfunctory manner. Those who look at the clues in a critical manner are those who by innate nature or education or practice or a combination of all these are those capable of turning into setters or those who are already setters.
    So there is nothing surprising in setters anatomising the clues.
    I, for one, am not averse to my clues coming under the scanner of my fellow-setters.
    Opinions on this Comment welcome from fellow-members of this esteemed blog.

    1. I don't think there's anything wrong in fellow-setters commenting on clues written by their counterparts. Here, most setters continue to solve puzzles written by other setters and as solvers, if they wish to make a comment or two they should feel free to do so. As long as there's no personal attacks, it's all fine. As such, clues are discussed based on its merit and not on who's written it. A clue is sound or otherwise regardless of who's written it.

      As long as focus is on the clue in question there's nothing wrong in setters dropping their 2 cents in.

    2. I'm with VJ.

      I'm primarily a solver for 29 days of the month.

      I think the focus should be on what a solver says than what he does for a living (or a hobby).

      Colonel being retired has got nothing to do with his opinion of a clue or crossword. Similarly CV being a fellow setter is incidental to any concerns he raises about another's clue.

  8. None of us perfect and we could make the odd mistake or two. I'm open to scrutiny by bloggers here.

    1. +1
      Mistakes committed by any of us, makes us aware of pitfalls to be avoided

  9. Away from today's topic. Is it possible for anyone to create dictionaries similar to "Bradford's Crossword Solvers Dic." or "Oxford Crossword Dictionary". I am suggesting this, as these books are not India based. I am not sure if everyone have seen these books..

  10. 23D: The clue works without 'at wedding', but the surface suffers. The bride was possibly hungry after the elaborate rituals, and this plausible context is lost, and the clue reads brusque and crossword-ish.

    29A: The intended cryptic-ness was to stem from the use of 's, which has to read as 'has' for the cryptic definition to work. One 'has'/gets fine if one does not have a ticket. Agreed the clue is not wholly satisfying.

    28A: Bhavan is right - top=behead, topped IN=N, german=G, etc.

    7D: The question is not where one could face zero loss. The definition in a cryptic clue need only be sufficient and not necessary. I reckon "What you get from a profitable venture" is sufficient to define zero loss. It is not necessary since there could be other means/businesses to make zero loss.

    4D: I think there is a subtle difference: you soak in your sorrow, but you need to soak up or absorb the excitement in your environment. Suppose you are in a party where everyone is high and you are feeling left out, then the clue could be a goading from one of your friends. The bottom line is that while 'soak'='saturate', 'soak up'= 'absorb'. Again, 'get' helps the surface, and is universally accepted as a charade indicator, and reads rather better than the abrupt version without it.

    Kudos to the colour coding of wordplay by Kishore. He should have finished the puzzle really quickly.

    1. 28A, I feel Germany = G is not such a commonly abbreviation that it could be used as an anagram fodder without any indicator.

  11. Got around to doing this very late today. A scintillating time indeed - thank you to the setter, and also to the blogger and the cartoonists!

    I especially liked the clues for PLAYLIST and RAIN-CLOUD - deft wordplay and very smooth surfaces. Kudos to Scintillator!

    One quibble: in 25, the definition for LAUDATORY is given as 'praiseworthy', but laudatory actually means expressing praise. It is laudable that means praiseworthy. (For illustration: my LAUDATORY comments above are about the LAUDABLE clueing by Scintillator!)