Thursday, 4 September 2014

No 11181, Thursday 04 Sep 2014, Spinner

1   Poorer returns to claim Chief’s head by conditional contract (6) ESCROW {ES{Chief}ROW<=}
4   Leave what Spiffytrix used to do (3,5) SET FORTH {SET} {FOR}{TH}
10 Succumbed to false offer hiding original legal limitations (4,3) FELL FOR {FE{L}{L} FOR*}
11 Release pressure after clan riot in America (7) UNCLASP {U{CLAN*}S}{P}
12* With knight retiring, Rajput warrior king’s endangered (3,1,4)  RAN A RISK {RAN A} {RIS<=}{K} What's the Asterisk for?
13 Ultimate glue to join surface (6) EMERGE {gluE}{MERGE}
15 Webb signals with flags (4) EBBS [T]
17 A politician earns about five hundred from Centre of Commerce & Industry (9) AMPERSAND {A}{MP}{EARNS*}{D}
20 Lack of motion due to onset of sexually transmitted disease (9) STILLNESS {S}{T}{ILLNESS} My COD
21 Speed-controlling Spinner? (4) GEAR [CD]
24 Call from the East to protect animal sent back from a foreign locale (6) EXOTIC {E{XO<+}TIC<=}
25 Accepts holy man’s mantra since adopting church (8) STOMACHS {ST}{OM}{A{CH}S}
28 Quickly alter a hint with a bit of software engineering (2,5) IN HASTE {A+HINT+Software+Engineering}*

29 Operator ably rowing ships manufactured at Navy bases? (7) OARSMAN Acrostic Operator on double duty
30 Round end? (8) FULLSTOP [CD]
31 Lo! Arm chewed up by Suarez’s front teeth! (6) MOLARS {LO+ARM}*{Suarez}

1   Imposes English army on Spanish capital (8) ENFORCES {EN}{FORCE}{Spanish}
2   Kind of cool new way to introduce a series (5) COLON {COOL*}{N}
3, 26  It may eliminate ambiguity in “He called Spinner, a cricketer and a setter.” (6,5) OXFORD COMMA Definition by example
5   Some science tuition case (4) ETUI [T]
6   Fake sac designed to cover Mysterio’s head? (4,4) FACE MASK {FACE {M}ASK*}
7   Adjust tail compass (9) REARRANGE {REAR}{RANGE}
8   Mother-in-law’s 2, ex-wife’s 1 (6) HYPHEN Definition by example
9   Expecting noise about upcoming thinker (9) PRESUMING {P{RESUM<=}ING}
14 So a tennis broadcast’s a crowd puller (9) SENSATION*
16 Promise to wed crush at brothel (9) BETROTHAL*
18 With Spinner in, spell is bowled (8) ELLIPSIS {ELL{I}PSIS*}
19 … to squeeze, with specialist’s tips (8) PRESENTS {PRES{ENT}S}
22 Help cover difference in height (6) RELIEF [DD] ? Anno not clear See comments
23 Rome: By design, it takes nine months to come to life (6) EMBRYO*
                                           Cartoon by Bhargav
27 Turn down love after probe (4) VETO {VET}{O}



  1. 22d Difference in height is 'relief'. For eg. lettering on a coin, or Braille on paper

  2. 12 What's the Asterisk for?
    Amongst the marks, asterisk is conspicuously absent. It is 8 letters long and ends with risk, just like 'RAN A RISK'. Maybe it was the first choice of gridfill and planned to be clued with the symbol. Or maybe there is something else ...

  3. Strictly speaking, I am not sure if ampersand is a punctuation mark. I think it may be considered as a symbol of et=and

    1. & is not a punctuation. The theme is typographic symbols

    2. That is an apt def of the theme, Deepak

  4. Replies
    1. I think so. IMO the whole clue is the defn. Head is not the defn., it refers to the M in Mysterio.

  5. A question to cricket enthusiasts (in lighter vein) : How many Spinners are permitted in a team?

    1. Eleven! All of them are experts in lying, telling tales, spinning yarns, reel vidarathu, buruda vidarathu, kathai alakkarathu, etc.

    2. Ram
      In Ponniyin Selvan, Kalki uses the term 'punaisuruttu'

    3. Rightly said Sir; Punaisuruttu means betting (Soodhu), defrauding (Mosam seithal) etc. It fits like a T

  6. Kishore
    Ref: your Comment at 8:34.
    Did you look for def in that clue?

    1. Sorry, that's my bad,
      The Col has indeed indicated the def.
      Now the asterisk becomes redundant.
      So we can't read the setter's mind.

  7. Deepak
    Ref: your cartoon.
    Are they pauses in an empty conversation?

  8. CV, your comment reminds me of a quote from Sidney Wang. On opening the door and seeing that nobody is inside, he exclaims, " a room full of empty people!"

  9. CV, I like the drawings in your cartoons, especially the attention to detailing. They are definitely worthy of publication in a paper for a wider audience

    1. Friends
      Thanks for the compliment.
      Still I don't think I will venture into any wider space than this wonderful blog.
      First of all, I am not a trained artist. It is just scribbling but that is from an acute appreciation of jokes and careful glance at political cartoons.
      You know, how much I liked Ajit Ninan in Target!
      ToI is doing injustice to the artist by carrying his pocket cartoons in such a small size that it is impossible to read the caption comfortably or to take in any detail - and he is a great one in adding those little touches.
      If I liked - and still like - Ajit's cartoons, it's because many of them issue forth from pun on words - a trait that makes all of us crossword buffs.Should that man try his hand at a crossword, he would wrap it up in no time.
      As a lad of 10 or 12, I used to like Gopulu's wordless jokes in the Contents page of Ananda Vikatan.
      Among pocket and political cartoonists in Tamil, I had much respect for Madan (I don't mention his predecessors in Vikatan as I was too young then). After him, Tamil publications have had - and still have - many but I never cared for them until Madhi emerged in Dinamani.He is head and shoulders above the others. In TH Surendra has popular and immediately perceptible ideas but I think his drawing is rather sparse.
      I said I am not a trained artist. That's true. But interest in drawing was even when I was a boy - some sketches were published in the children's page of The Statesman in 1957/58.
      I would say my drawing is still amateurish.
      My earliest efforts here were on paper, scanned outside and uploaded at home. Today I draw effortlessly on mini iPad with a free app and after some online enhancements they appear here.
      I thank you, Deepak, for giving me space and everyone else for their encouragement.

    2. Modesty , thy name is CV ! I join others in lauding your, what you call as, amateurish, efforts. Your toons remind me of the Ananda Vikatan especially when you attach a shendi(Tuft of hair on the head tied up?) of a man. Isn't it a brahmin's pate? Of course, it also reminds me of the Bhaiyya in front of my school, selling chana kurmura in a basket hung around his neck in the front, in my younger days. We used to stick a piece of chewed gum on it playing pranks . He dare not chase us as he is pregnantish with the load in the front ! I pity his plight on reaching home
      !! I'd love to see this caricatured in one of your future toons !!

      As for spinners and yarners, I don't know why-- In Bombay in our office, there was this guy from Kumbakonam, very glib in his tongue , ready with his excuses, and we used to tease him: Don't do a Kumbakonam on us !! With apologies to all Kumbakonians , if any , here. No offence meant. Our friend could have been one of his kind. I can , however, dare say now with my experience here : don't do a Coimbatore on me ! as these guys here are so smooth as butter when it comes to promises made but not kept !! .

  10. CV,

    'Punaisuruttu' is a term fairly commonly used in homely conversations, mainly as a twin with 'poi'- like "Don't use your poi punasuruutu with me, I will not fall for it".

    Let me join others to appreciate your lovely cartoons. I have always done so, but today's 2 typically tufted figures are so life like. Pl. keep up the good work and we enjoy our "Limited circulation" privilege!

  11. Nice surfaces and, on the whole, an enjoyable crossword.

    As much as I like 4A, I don't think it's a fair one. Spiffytrix set grids for this paper for a relatively short time and a few years ago (16 xwords per the tag cloud in this blog), so how likely are people who started solving TH crosswords recently, and who have never heard of him, to get the reference? And I dare say even then using the name as anything other than pure fodder could be deemed unfair. (No disrepsect intended, wherever Spiffy may be -- in fact, he was one of my favourites during the time he set for TH.)

    1. Agreed, but Spiffy was one of my favourites. Could not pass up the opportunity to mention him.

    2. As the WP is 'set for TH' for the solution SET FORTH (not 'sets for TH'), the name of a setter who does not contribute any more was needed.
      Of course, we could have had NJ, but the choice is personal.

  12. Sorry for the late entry, much like TN movie police.

    To clarify,

    Both 29A and 6D were written such that the entire clue being the definition. Maybe the use of the lesser known masked-man Mysterio wasn't sufficient.

    The asterisk is a mystery to me too. I think I forgot to remove it after marking the clue for modification. But Kishore Ji's detective work is so sellable that I think it might as well have been the case.

    30A Intended to be a charade with Full=round and end = stop , with the whole clue as the definition.

    22D Multiple definition Relief = Aid, Cover (as in Relief Nurse) and diff in height (relief features).

    23D The cartoon captures the exact thought process I went through while writing the clue. It brought a big smile to my face.

    Thank you for the comments. Looks like the least no.of comments in a long while.

    1. Thanks, SS, for detailed response. Any thoughts on enu for 30a?

  13. Hi spinner ..
    Nice cwd today :)
    Split up in 4A is very innovative
    Had a problem however with selection of starting letters in 10,20 and 28 across ..