Tuesday, 14 April 2015

No 11368, Tuesday 14 Apr 2015, Exa


Exa has found me wanting for some annotations today. I'm stuck in Italy!  It's a pangram as well.

1   Disapproved of jerk, one unknown character whined about (10) CRITICIZED {CRI{TIC}{1}{Z}ED}
7   Face-off in a coffee bar (4) CAFE*
9 & 29 Ac. Turn substantial by gathering a percentage of income in top layouts (4,4,4) COME INTO PLAY [T]
10 Red crackers? Yes, in stock (6) CHEESY {CHE}{YES*}
11 A family shortly flying to a town in Italy (6) AMALFI {A}{FAMILy}*
12 Times a setter overdoses (7) PERIODS Anno pending (Addendum - {PER}{I}{ODS} - See comments)
14 Learner will be reading in lengths on the street to show skills (9) STRENGTHS {ST}{(-l+r)RENGTHS}
16 Tea set’s unfinished (4) CHAI CHAIn
18 Some starting trouble in voyage (4) SAIL {Some}{AIL}
19 See visions of Fast and Furious. Release date is finally due (9) FANTASISE {FAST+ANd}*{IS}{duE}
22 Pack a small guitar into Jack’s trunk - it’s needed to play songs (7) JUKEBOX {J}{UKE}{BOX} Don't see them nowadays now that records have become outdated
24 Character, after end of act, could be one to take a bow (6) ARCHER CHARactER*
27 Books written in French that daughter spoke of (6) QUOTED {QU{OT}E}{D}
28 Produce a variety of green tea (8) GENERATE*
29 See 9 Ac.
30 Not hard cutting an elm tree by end of day (10) ELEMENTARY {AN+ELM+TREE}*{daY}

2   Give them some space! (9) ROOMMATES [CD] ?
3   Short post on the web over large tire design concept (5) T?E?? (Addendum - TWEEL {TWEEt}{L} - See comments)
4   Striking one that cheats with ruler (7) CONKING {CON}{KING}
5   Shoot found in animal garden on top of manure (4) ZOOM {ZOO}{Ma...e}
6   Month’s starting off with complimentary order (6) DECREE {DEC}{fREE}
7   Nouveau riche woman's treasures (9) CHERISHES {RICHE}*{SHE'S}
8   United take advantage of having cut through Fulham defenders initially (5) FUSED {Fu...m}{USE}{De...s}
13 A chief that’s leading (5) AHEAD {A}{HEAD}
15 Net yield very surprising clearly (9) EVIDENTLY {NET+YIELD+V}*
17 One investigating rotten corpse in time (9) INSPECTOR {CORPSE+IN+T}*
20 Learner’s coach is on drugs (7) TRAINEE {TRAIN}{E}{E}
21 Held up in battlefieldno friend to caress lovingly (6) FONDLE Anno pending [T<=] See comments
23 Guys run ably for seconds in routine (5) USUAL {gUyS rUn AbLy}
25 Trolley’s loaded with a unit of weight (5) CARAT {CAR{A}T}
26 Cow gorges often like a beast (4) OGRE {cOw GoRgEs}


  1. Good one Exa.

    12 Times a setter overdoses (7) PERIODS Anno pending

    A = PER
    setter = I
    overdoses = ODS

    3 Short post on the web over large tire design concept (5) T?E?L?

    short post on the web = TWEE(-t)
    large = L

    21 Held up in battlefield — no friend to caress lovingly (6) FONDLE Anno pending

    Reverse hidden in ...battlefi ELD NO F riend...

    1. Thanks Bhavan. Don't know how I missed out on 21D even though I looked for the hidden word !!

    2. Sandhya Madam, where are you? Are you alright?

    3. Sandy is enjoying her vacation in down under :)

    4. Re. FONDL: I got the answer but, when looking for the wordplay, got stuck because the last three letters appear in reversed order in the opening work (Held) too! Trying to fit that in somehow had me stuck for several minutes before I looked more closely at the rest of the clue.

    5. Sorry for the typos! :(

    6. Thanks LV for the info on Sandhya Ma'am. :)

  2. I haven't solved this. May I raise an issue.
    1a is CRITICIZED.
    19d is FANTASISE.
    The question is even if the THC publisher (in the absence of a pucca crossword editor) doesn't insist on some consistency, shouldn't an individual setter have some principles.
    We can't have -ise in one slot and -ize in another.
    What do you think?

    1. No problem I feel. English is a universal language and in India, I think, with the number of US Indians here we have a fairly equal mix of both spellings.

      I go beyond to state that any word which figures in the 22 or 23 volume OED is acceptable without an indicator.

    2. Suresh
      I am afraid you miss the point.
      I was not suggesting that a setter must only use -ize or -ise ending of these verbs.
      Perhaps a setter can in different grids use either.
      Of if he chooses to, stick to one or the other in all his work.
      But in a single grid, he can't use the -ise ending in one light and -ize in another.
      Consistency is a virtue or so I believe.

    3. I got your point first time CV. I feel that the two versions can be used interchangeably in the same grid without a problem.

      I would go the the extent of saying that even in formal official communication the two forms can exist simultaneously in the same letter. In India, at least in this country, for sure.

    4. Also, talking of consistency. I am questioning the very idea that it is a virtue in crosswords. I do not mean the type of inconsistencies of our past infamous setter, which do not meet the basic standard of correctness.

    5. Bit of a grammatical error in my 1:25. Sorry

    6. Would you then extend this to all the spelling differences in British and US spelling, including the dropping of the u in "-our" endings, the "-re" endings becoming "-er", etc? Especially in the latter instance (e.g., "centre" versus "center"), complications could arise as the wordplay would remain much the same but the spelling could affect crossing words.

      FWIW, I think consistency in spelling according to one tradition or the other *is* a virtue as it removes an additional complication for the solver.

    7. Yes, Abhay. I certainly think so. And my views on this has been quite consistent FWIW.

      'Additional complication' is not an issue at all. After all, this is a crossword and complication is welcome.

    8. I agree with the issue raised...
      The setter should have had this thought through

  3. 16A Tea set’s unfinished (4) CHAI CHAIn
    Can it be Set = CHAI[-R] (To place in a chair) ?

    1. Well, you may be clever but that is not likely to be the setter's intention. This is not to underestimate the cleverness of the setter.

  4. Exa, by virtue of having won, in a different avatar, last week's DIY COW, is moderating/judging this week's comp. As usual, I have entered three attempts but my quick entries rarely go to the podium but usually figure in the shortlist.

  5. Wishing everyone a Happy Tamil New Year.

  6. Iniya Tamizh Puthandu Nalvaazhthukkal
    Translation is 'happy tamil new year', to those who celebrate it today. ..
    The first sentence is a copy paste job to avoid any embarrassing mistakes : )

  7. Nice one from Exa! Some say 'T' clues are very easy to spot but I failed to spot both that were on offer today. How cleverly, or should I say, cunningly he has camouflaged them! Couldn't get 9&29 Ac. Got 21 Dn but couldn't parse it! Nevertheless an enjoyable solve. Thanks Exa. :)

  8. Thoroughly enjoyed this. I could get barely a quarter of the answers on first pass, another quarter on third pass. The rest needed to be slowly and carefully teased out from the elaborately constructed clues. An hour well-spent!

    Many thanks to Exa and DG!

  9. Happy New Year.
    The whole country celebrates thanks to Shri Ambedkar's parents.

  10. I humbly submit that I agree with Mr. Suresh. Cryptic crosswords are all about beguiling the solver ; no doubt, a small nudge in the nuance being recognized (sed?) will certainly help with the connecting letters to correspond with each other. Z is a unique letter and S is common. So let the setter's intrigue be sorted out by a discerning solver .

  11. Didn't realize (s) !! Happy Tamil New Year to those who celebrate. To me, each day is a new day and a new year to celebrate with cryptic crosswords !!