Tuesday, 7 April 2015

No 11362, Tuesday 07 Apr 2015, xChequer

Reached this far after a monumental struggle.

7   Loving touch worries son (6) CARESS {CARES}{S}
8   Confrontation resulting from blue movie maybe anticipated (8) SHOWDOWN {SHOW}<=>{DOWN}
9   Tolerate reverses without resistance, plunge, day spent unrestrained (8) EFFUSIVE {rEFFUS<=}{dIVE}
10 Kid overcome by setback in races (6) TRIBES {T{RIB}ES<=}
11 Pleasures without bearing young ones (5) JOEYS {JO{E}YS}
12 A symbol bearing singular detail (6) ASSIGN {A}{S{S}IGN}
14 Unharvested, rot set in whenever hot, it is assumed (6,2,3,4) WITHER ON THE VINE {IN+WHENEVER+HOT}* over IT
17 Enter harbour in shabby boat (6) DINGHY {DING{H}Y}
18 Society facing mass depression (5) SLUMP {S}{LUMP}
22 Bells toll at counter bagging rations (6) ALLOTS [T<=]
23 Shot setter without regrets — it's horrible (8) GRUESOME {G{RUE}O}{ME} Go and shot? See comments
24 Uniform Act prevents checks — troops once screened by these (8) TESTUDOS {TEST{U}{DO}S} Had to cheat for this one
25 Removes dirt from club tips (6) CLEANS {C}{LEANS}

1   Rule violated if format disturbed? Quite the contrary (3,4,2) FAR FROM IT {R in {IF+FORMAT}*}
2   Poverty of writer, female, expressed in rage (6) PENURY {PEN}{fURY}
3   When shot, turns to jelly (5) ASPIC {AS}{PIC}
4   March perhaps, hiding messy tie and old handkerchief (8) MONTEITH {MONT{TIE*}H}
5   English pope died in vain, IRA involved? (6,2) ADRIAN IV {D in {VAIN+IRA}*}
6   New bridges due to be held privately (5) OWNED {OW{N}ED}
8   Speeds up, gets those snap rolls (5,2,3,3) STEPS ON THE GAS*
13 Several miles away consequence follows very soon (3,6) ANY MOMENT {mANY} {MOMENT}
15 Basis of terrorism in extremely disgusting dens (8) HIDEOUTS {HIDEOU{Te...m}S}
16 Vantage point round bank (8) RINGSIDE {RING}{SIDE}
19 Voice of experience providing a warning flag (6) LESSEN (~lesson)? See comments
20 Swift navy (5) FLEET [DD]
21 Feeling impact if pressure is high (5) HUNCH (-p+h)HUNCH

GRID (Same as yesterday)

PS: Height of goofups!! Clues of the CW for tomorrow (No 11363) with the grid for today are already up in the online edition whereas the CW for today is yet to appear!!


  1. Re the query against 23a
    go, n. 'try'
    shot, n. 'try'
    Have a shot = have a go = have a 'try'

    1. 'Shot' has other senses too as the present setter has given us his own lesson. See 3 dn.

  2. Time to be honest for the second successive day.
    I had not come across the phrase phrase WITHER ON THE VINE before today's crossword.
    Where do these setters pick up their phrases from?
    Are these setters so clever to begin with or do they also pick up their lesson as they lessen their laziness and read up?
    Or have they lived in a milieu like rural areas of the UK where they have heard these expressions in their day-to-day conversation?

  3. Tough one today. Many blanks. That Col finished is a tribute.

    Had heard of WITHER ON THE VINE (probably having read it once), but didn't know the meaning.

    Have a doubt about the "assumed" part. When we say assumed it means: worn (over). Here if it is "it is assumed" does it mean that "it is" surrounds the anagram fodder? For the fodder to surround "it" should it not have been "it assumed"? I may be wrong here.

    1. Took on and surround both are same. My doubt still is about the "is" following "it"?

    2. Special efforts needed on xChequer days, like setting the alarm to get up earlier than usual, taking a couple of walks in between solving, etc etc

    3. "it's" could give 'it has' or 'it is'.
      But 'it is' is 'it is'.
      So Raghunath's doubt will remain.

  4. Re 19d Voice of experience providing a warning flag (6) LESSEN (~lesson)?

    'Voice of experience' gives LESSON. What we learnt in all those story poems of old and moral stories from our puranas and other literature.
    'providing' may be taken as a connector.
    The words 'a warning flag' are puzzling.
    Am wondering if 'warning' is a typo for 'waning'.
    Even if it is, the parts of speech of 'waning' and 'lesson' do not seem to match.
    And 'flag' , v., [to[ lessen seems to be tautological.
    All in all, the Col's QM is quite in place.

  5. Finishing the puzzle now with Colonel's help

  6. Ref 4a
    In Madras that is Chennai (you know where my heart is!) there is a Monteith Road.
    BTW, when I looked it up in American heritage, the meaning I got was, to quote,
    n.A large basin with a notched rim on which cups or glasses can be hung, typically used as a punch bowl.
    [Possibly after Monteith (Monteigh), an eccentric 17th-century Scotsman who wore a cloak scalloped at the hem.]

    1. That is the first meaning shown in Oxford

  7. Brilliant again, xChequer - kudos, and a million thanks! When solving a puzzle in the paper, I put marks against the clues I like - today, the clues section is awash in those marks - I am not even attempting to list them. I must admit, though, that 20d didn't quite fit into the very high standard set by the other clues - it has a bit of a Monday Rufus quality - not a bad clue at all, just very simple!

    Got all the seemingly tough ones and then stumbled at - of all things - LESSEN. I just couldn't get this despite staring at the crossing letters and the clue for ages.

    I had to look up MONTEITH, TESTUDOS, and ADRIAN IV to ensure that they existed and meant what the definition suggested - the wordplay led there unerringly - the mark of great clueing for unusual words. HUNCH fell into place almost at once largely because the device was used just yesterday for NATIONAL (in the same quarter of the same grid!).

    DG: Thank you for the blog, and congratulations on getting this done in time for the blog - it's a remarkable feat!

  8. Col,
    You set the alarm for what time? Here the papers are delivered not before 7.20 - 7.30, that leaves an hour before your blog appears and then I lose patience to finish the puzzle, if it is something like it is today.

    1. My paper is in between 6 and 6:15 which means I need to be all set by 6 after finishing the morning chores and Cocoa's morning walk

    2. It's literally like a 100m dash on xChequer days

    3. Lucky guys having the paper that early.

  9. Tough as old leather! Could manage just half-a-dozen only!! :(

  10. Re. Raghunath's query about 14a: "is assumed" can also mean "is appropriated". Thus, "it is assumed" could be taken to mean that "it" is appropriated by the preceding anagram. This is perhaps the least fluent clue of the lot, but I think it works.

    1. I think it works when "assume" = "accept" which then means that "it" goes inside the anagram fodder. That's the problem for solvers with container indicators, it can work both ways in some cases. I think there's no problem with that meaning of "assumed"

    2. I still don't get your doubt. I don't see what is wrong in 'it is assumed' to indicate that 'it' is being taken in or adopted

    3. When you say A assumed CB it means: C(A)B. "A is assumed = "A is" assumed that is A IS outside? But if assume = accept then "A" goes in.

    4. I think the difficulty is that you are considering only "assumed" as the containment indicator. I see "is assumed" as being the containment indicator.

    5. Abhay, Are you ref to Col or me?

      "Is assumed" works when you take it as "appropriated" or "accepted". But to take it as "took on, don, wear, put on, cover" it does not work for just "it", it has to be "it is"

    6. I have indeed taken "assumed" to mean "appropriated" (accepted will work just as well). In your posting at 10:48, I saw {A is assumed} equated with {"A is" assumed}, whereas I see it as {"A" is assumed}, in which case the meaning of assumed is not in doubt.

    7. I had added < / hair-splitting > (without the gaps) to end my above posting, but I guess it got deleted as the angular brackets would be seen as an HTML tag. Just wanted to say that I do realise I am splitting hairs at this point!

  11. Back to doubt raising mode!

    2 Poverty of writer, female, expressed in rage (6) PENURY {PEN}{fURY}

    What's the deletion ind for the sudden disappearance of that furious 'female' from the anno pl?!

    1. expressed = squeezed or pressed out, as juice from an orange. Courtesy 'Free dictionary'

  12. Raghu 10:27 - I get my set of 5 newspapers (including TH) around 4-45 am at my doorstep!