Tuesday 21 October 2014

No 11220, Tuesday 21 Oct 2014, Gridman

1   Plate in digging machine (8) TRENCHER [DD]
5   Job with a big gun (6) BERTHA {BERTH}{A}
10 Mournful soldier gets a place in semi-election (7) ELEGIAC {ELE{GI}{A}Ction}
11 See 1dn.
12 Nothing to write about engineer? Start again! (6) REOPEN {RE}{O}{PEN}
13 Full of integrity, son's without any wealth (8) SPOTLESS {S}{POTLESS}
15 State old tennis player has no learner (4) AVER lAVER
16 Ready, like a would-be traveller (3,3,2,2) ALL SET TO GO [C&DD]
18 Abodes from which birds have flown away (5,5) EMPTY NESTS [CD]
20 One's blown ace's objection back (4) TUBA {TUB}{A}<=
23 Tense about woman I left in evenfall (8) TWILIGHT {T{W}{I}{L}IGHT}
24 Attack is working with Russian. Be quiet! (6) ONRUSH {ON}{RU}{SH}
26 More difficult to catch Odisha's top collector (7) HOARDER {H{Odisha}ARDER}
27 Fellow you introduced in the first month is a profligate (3,4) DON JUAN {DON} {J{U}AN}
28 Boat with German mister at end of July (6) WHERRY {W}{HERR}{julY}
29 Father, good man, in a bad way, takes drug - cough drop (8) PASTILLE {PA}{ST}{ILL}{E}

1 and 11ac. Others hear how a tent gets prepared for the circus (3,8,4,2,5) THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH* Awesome anagram
2   I complete said apartment feature that helps you see who's calling (7) EYEHOLE {EYE}{HOLE}(~ i whole)
3   Cheat Greek character the French hoisted (6) CHISEL {CHI}{SEL<=}
4   Without head, give instruction to every single one (4) EACH tEACH
6   Having few teeth, attendee suffers (8) EDENTATE*
7  Walker briefly besieged by Spanish bull is wreck (7) TORPEDO {TOR{PED}O}
8   With this, not even a supernatural being has any likelihood of succeeding (1,5,2,1,6) A GHOST OF A CHANCE [CD]
9   Come round to suggest it's made up of different parts (9) COMPOSITE {COM{POSIT}E}
14 Wheels roll before turning up in some place (9) ELSEWHERE {WHEELS*}{ERE}
17 Solid gas container in the Indian kitchen (8) CYLINDER [DD]
19 Undisclosed military rank (7) PRIVATE [DD]
21 Anu and Sulu mix in a combination that is rare (7) UNUSUAL*
22 Nameless opponents finally left with team leader to loosen in a way (6) UNKNOT {UNKNOwn}{Team}
25 Aide's preposterous notion (4) IDEA*



  1. +1 for comment against 1d/11a

  2. 12 Nothing to write about engineer? Start again! (6) REOPEN {RE}{O}{PEN} Anno not clear?

    1. Engineer- To put the components (O,pen,re) in order?

  3. Perhaps a bit of self-analysis might help.
    Take 2d:
    I complete said apartment feature that helps you see who's calling (7)
    Surely, this must be one of the longest defs. ever to appear in THC.
    But I am not ashamed.
    No published UK crossword is likely to have such a transparent, clear-cut, on-a-platter def.
    In my opinion, crosswords have limited appeal in India. Unlike rabid solvers on this forum, many look at a puzzle casually, solve some four or five and then leave for work. Few return to it in the evening with the intent to polish off the crossword.
    Thus anyone who looked at the above in those few casual moments would have solved the clue - without even bothering to fill the relevant slot.
    If a clue is bad, if a clue has some wrong element, if a clue has an imprecise def, if a clue has a component missing, if a clue has an unacceptable homophone, if a clue has insufficient/redundant anag fodder, if a clue has a grammatical error, I would feel very uneasy.
    A clue being just easy is not a problem with me.
    If, while observing all requirements, the writing of the clue becomes somewhat roundabout because the word breakup is as such and consequently, it becomes hard, so be it!
    But I won't frown on - desist from - easy clues.
    What do my readers think?
    Should crossword clues be elusive so the solver unravels it?

    1. I find it easier to qualify a clue as good/sound since there are no two ways about surface story and cryptic parsing. They are either good or not.

      Easy is a relative measure where it becomes all subjective. A FITB clue to complete a quote from Shakespeare or Chaucer might be easy for those into them, but horribly hard for people like me.

      I welcome 'easy' clues that allow my way into the grid so I can get extra help with the crossing letters to untangle more intricate ones.

      To paraphrase from Don Quixote, to make a crossword it takes all sorts (of clues)

    2. A clue should be fair i.e. give a fair chance to it being solved. Tough or easy is relative. A few years ago I would have found today's xword tough. Even 2D would have been diffucult for me to get. Good or bad then stems from the solver's perception.

    3. CV @ 8:56 :: You are always looking for ants to drop your sledge-hammer !!

  4. Well, if this anagram had been written some fifty years ago, I would be proud. Those were the days when anagram was limited by your vocab and working out the available letters using paper and pen and with a lot of scratching and rewriting.
    But now, with technology development, and availability of anagram software that throw up possible words from a given string and also other software which has rendered mundane work much easier, we can, with some work, produce suitable anagrams.

    1. This was a fantastic anagram, so appropriate as well. When there are so many letters involved, to get them into such a coherent and relevant structure is really great. Loved it.

    2. Let me try another...

      Eh, he throws, targets one at touring circus (3,8,4,2,5)

    3. Ha! Alternate Down clue 1 & 11. Nice one, CV Sir. :)

  5. CV@9.01-
    Still, 1,11 is more than awesome- The greatest anagram on TH?
    Enjoyed the workout today, though I missed 100% by a whisker. Bhavan put it right- it takes all sorts to make up a good CW- easy,difficult,anagrams, T's,CD's,charades...more the merrier.

  6. 'Should the CW be elusive so the solver unravels it'- I do not think so. It should be within reach of most, enjoyable and thought provoking and probably bring a smile when you get it. A simple ( Laver-L) was enjoyable to me.

    1. +2 ...and today's puzzle was within my reach to get a centum, with some help from the Net! A spotless puzzle!
      Thanks, Gridman. :-)))

    2. I think I first came across Rod Laver in those instructive tennis cartoonstrips that used to be printed in some newspaper. The Vaseline Lever was heard of a bit later. I somehow mentally mixed up the two and ended up concocting a tautological Rof Lever

    3. Anagram with Laver too or is it Spoonerism?

  7. On occasions I have taken part in international on-line 'clue-writing competitions' (actually 'anagram writing competitions') where you will be given such long phrases and you're expected to produce an anagram.

    I have not won them, though. The winners will be those that go an extra mile where the anagram produced glances more closely at the original fodder and rather matches in some way from a recent book, TV show, film, historical event, geographic location, etc.
    That culture bit is closed to us.

  8. I have tried a few U.S. CW's too when I was there when I also felt the culture bit quite a bit. A few clues were quite beyond our limits.

  9. A columnist watching a champion crossword solver at work...


    Qn: Who sees you doing the crossword?
    Serious and funny answers invited.

    1. In olden days it would be that steel water tank with a long chain dangling to pull and flush - nowadays these tanks at the toilet are low-level, sleek, smart, and discreet with full/half options. Or it is just a big steel knob that you press as long as you want.

      Today it's just the ventilator that is overlooking.

      Wait a minute - somebody is tapping on the door.

    2. My alter ego on the computer screen

    3. My wife, (who thinks that this is a waste of time), even when I am not doing the crossword.

    4. Suresh, is that you from Vizag who has won yesterday's anagram puzzle in the NIE? If so, congrats are in order.
      On the subject of anagrams and CV's comments, I find these weekly ones in the NIE a chore by merely trawling on to the Anagram Solver and deciphering the Theme, which is the only major cerebral activity involved. Many a tyimes there have seen mistakes in them, which I promptly point out to the paper, with , of course, no remedial action being taken. The prize is a Parker jotter or some such, of which I have a collection of half a dozen, after prising them out of the organisers by repeated phone calls and emails !! My wifey calls it a sheer wasted effort, as these pens are never to be used ! And why do they title it as OFFICE MANGER?

      On CVs request for comments on the easy ,medium or hard or toughie crossies choices, I welcome all, which is provided in corpulent dollops by the indefatigable compilers here. keep em' coming ! As a fellow blogger has commented, it is all relative to qualify , whether a particular crossie is easy or tough; it all depends upon the day's cerebral buzz or inertia.

    5. It is not our Suresh of Vizag. It is one from Pudhucheri. A lot of mistakes are there in the puzzle Casual Manger, which makes the puzzle more interesting - to correct them. About 15 minutes of time is spent every week for this puzzle. Have you tried other puzzles on page 16 of EDEX - Maths quiz, picture quiz and GK quiz etc. I have won prizes in all the categories. I used to get 2 Parker pens earlier for every win. But now they have restricted to one pen only. Of course, it takes more than 6 months to get the prize.

  10. Off track
    You can not beat this creativity

    Pankaj fell in love
    Pankaj married
    Pankaj divorced
    Pankaj Udaas

    Sonia was walking
    Sonia slipped
    Sonia fell into the drain
    Sonia Gandhi

    Kangana hit the ball
    Kangana took a single
    Kangana did not reach the crease
    Kangana Ranaut.....

    .... and so on

    1. ...and so on indicates there are many more. Yes, creative. Who has the patience to make so many or is it contributions from many over a period? Easiest part is there are no limits including laguage. Names connected to their profession was more interesting.

  11. Edex anagram puzzle is the only one I try, besides the daily cryptic on the penultimate page of the NIE.

    Sorry, I got confused between the two places ! With all the change of names frequently taking place, one does get a bit muddled ! VIzag is Vishakhapatnam and Puducherry is Pondicheri, right? Now in Karnataka State, they are on a name-changing binge !! I wonder what difference it makes ! I still insist upon Madras and Bombay, as these names are not only sounding international but also sophisticated !! If they have no controversy to raise, these politicos resort to the pastime of changing names !

  12. Who sees you doing a CW?
    I sometimes feel they are more interested in looking out for some edibles spread out by my wife rather than my doing the CW!!