Wednesday, 15 April 2015

No 11369, Wednesday 15 Apr 2015, Mac

6   Country right next to Eurasian mountain range (5) RURAL {R}{URAL}
8   Lousy care given, leading to complaint (9) GRIEVANCE*
10 Plaster reportedly adhered with epoxy, essentially (6) STUCCO (~stuck){STUCC}{epOxy}
11 Billboard collection (8) HOARDING [DD]
12 Schedule’s clear and organised (8) CALENDAR*
13 Money as part of incentive (4) CENT [T]
15 Sign in a forgotten language (7) DICTION inDICaTION
17 Rumour how to get here? (7) HEARSAY (~here say)
20 V for Vendetta starts to get a bit interesting before the end (4) GIBE {Get}{In...g}{Be...e}{thE} (Addendum - FIVE - {For}{In...g}{Ve...a}{thE} - See comments)
22 A very quiet, old place is suitable (8) APPOSITE {A}{PP}{O}{SITE}
25 Unbalanced distribution of piles? Odd! (8) LOPSIDED*
26 Edward got 10/10 for project (6) EXTEND {E{X}{TEN}D}
27 Giant aquatic mammal eats wild sole in large quantities (9) WHOLESALE {WH{SOLE*}ALE}
28 Body-part (elbow) dislocated (5) BOWEL*

1   Country having aborigines living, originally (9) AUSTRALIA {AUSTRI{Ab...s}{Li...g}A} &lit
2   Place to grow fruit or vegetable (7) ORCHARD {OR}{CHARD}
3   Possibly armed revolutionary’s political initiative (8) DEMARCHE {ARMED*}{CHE}
4   Leading Hindu crossword setter’s set (6) HARDEN {Hi..u}{ARDEN}
5   Old boy moves out of dirty locale (5) SCENE obSCENE
7   Old Incan ruins buried last of treasure over time (7) ANCIENT {ANCI{t...sE}N*}{T}
9   Charlie’s aged and aloof (4) COLD {C}{OLD}
14 Silly banter with the German mixologist (9) BARTENDER {BANTER}*{DER}
16 Exaggerate and vacuously state what a junkie or suicidal fellow might do (8) OVERDOSE {OVER}{DOSE}(~does) (Addendum - {OVERDO}{StatE} - See comments)
18 Cook its root for Italian dish (7) RISOTTO*
19 Inherent in shoes and also slippers (7) SANDALS [T]
21 Abuse criminal until spectators start to intervene (6) INSULT {IN{Sp...s}ULT*}
23 Is this the kind of pressure friends exert on one who takes a leak? (4) PEER [DD]
24 Some more tea/coffee? (5) MOCHA {MOre}{CHA}



  1. After a long, long time I sat down to solve a THC.

    Very quickly done.

    Interestingly, the first ans. in was DEMARCHE.

    After the allotted time (10 to 15 mins.), I was yet to get 15a, 20a and 24d.

    Of these I regret I did not get 24 ac. If I had spent a few MOs more, I should have got it.

    As for 15a and 20a, I feel the clues are not as clear-cut as most others in this interesting CWD are. I don't agree DICTION is language.

    No comment on 20a. Even as I wonder how the Col got the answer, let me see how others react.

    1. 20A: I'm not sure how the anno works.

    2. CV sir, from Chambers Thesaurus:

      diction (noun) : speech, articulation, language, elocution, intonation, pronunciation, inflection, fluency, delivery, expression, phrasing

      (formal) enunciation, locution

    3. A thesaurus lists words that are equivalents of X or words that are rather associated with X.
      I think we must have some discrimination in choosing the syn. in speech or writing but especially as definition in a crossword clue. Mere substitution may not always work.

    4. On thesauruses and their use, please read

    5. >> A thesaurus lists words that are equivalents of X or words that are rather associated with X.

      I agree with your first statement but not the second. Dictionaries yes, but not thesauri.

      As an example, if you look up 'brain' in a dictionary (Chambers 12th edition is what I have), it shows 'brainchild' which is a related entry. But no thesaurus would (or should) list 'child' as an entry under 'brain' or vice versa

      >> I think we must have some discrimination in choosing the syn. in speech or writing but especially as definition in a crossword clue. Mere substitution may not always work

      Agreed about substitution, but it is easy to see why the setter chose that particular synonym ( to avoid being asked how does one 'sign in a forgotten speech' for example which also makes no surface sense)

      I'm not suggesting that we have to blindly follow something because it is in a book (several abbreviations come to mind) but a setter has to set store by some dictionary or the other. If a synonym is backed by Chambers, I'd be happy to use it too.

  2. 16 Exaggerate and vacuously state what a junkie or suicidal fellow might do (8) OVERDOSE {OVER}{DOSE}(~does)

    OVERDO + StatE

  3. 4d our favourite setter turns up ... Same issue as a couple of days earlier...

    1. The same issue was raised for 'Buzzer Beater' as here. I would justify the inclusion because the requirement of GK in crosswords has always been there. We accept 'An animal, say' for any animal. And so on. We even extend it to the Animal kingdom. I feel 'A setter' is on the same lines as this. It is up to the setter to decide how easy he wants to make it for the solver. He could just say setter. Or TH setter. Or Multi-grid setter. I feel such usage only raises the difficulty of the clue but doesn't make it unfair,necessarily.

  4. 20A is incorrect. And 16D was intended to be parsed as Raghunath's @8:45

  5. If one who takes a leak is a PEER, who is
    a) one who keeps a buzzer?
    b) one who is a follower of Harper?
    c) one who addresses people very respectfully in Hindi?
    d) one who addresses girls very disrespectfully in Tamil?
    e) one who is a chronic ogler?
    5) one who is forever a winner?
    6) one who will not volunteer and do any work at any time?

  6. 20a reminded me of this (cut and paste from Imdb):

    V: [Evey pulls out her mace] I can assure you I mean you no harm.
    Evey Hammond: Who are you?
    V: Who? Who is but the form following the function of what and what I am is a man in a mask.
    Evey Hammond: Well I can see that.
    V: Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation; I'm merely remarking upon the paradox of asking a masked man who he is.
    Evey Hammond: Oh. Right.
    V: But on this most auspicious of nights, permit me then, in lieu of the more commonplace sobriquet, to suggest the character of this dramatis persona.
    V: Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition.
    [carves "V" into poster on wall]
    V: The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous.
    V: [giggles]
    V: Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it's my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.
    Evey Hammond: Are you, like, a crazy person?
    V: I am quite sure they will say so. But to whom, might I ask, am I speaking?
    Evey Hammond: I'm Evey.
    V: Evey? E-V. Of course you are.
    Evey Hammond: What does that mean?
    V: It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence. Are you hurt?

    1. One of the best examples of alliteration I have come across, after the first line of the Kalimah/Kalma ....

  7. Sorry, for the rather long comment ...

    Re CV:
    a.beekeeper c.jeer 5.Amarjeet wonder why CV shifted from alpha to numerical

  8. Oversight; age-related impairments

  9. Answers to a and 5 need to be revised.

  10. Defn V stands for Vice as in Vice Admiral etc.
    Vendetta starts -v

    1. A bit interesting- i
      C -?
      The end-e

  11. It is FIVE F & V from for vendetta

  12. 20 V for Vendetta starts to get a bit interesting before the end (4)

    F(or) I(nteresting) V(endetta) thE

  13. C- see ?- Mohsin's comment @8.45. Now you see?
    While Kishore is on V, let me wish everyone a Happy Vishu.

  14. Raghu & Suresh seems to have got it.

  15. Thank you Mac for the early morning mocha, since I missed the samosa.

  16. 19d has a nicely hidden answer, but the definition isn't accurate. In a Venn diagram, sandals and slippers would be intersecting sets.

    Liked 8a, 26a, 2d, 23d.

    1. +1

      and since you can only nitpick an otherwise excellent puzzle:

      4d: 'Leading Hindu' doesn't work cryptically to indicate the letter H. "One leading Hindu" might
      21d : same thing, 'spectators start' doesn't work for 'S'. "Spectator's start" might

    2. 4D: Agree it's a bit iffy (though a bit like "top X" ? ). The clue was set a while back. Not sure I'd use the same device now.

      21D: Don't see why it doesn't. It's not dissimilar to "X, Y, Z starts" to indicate 'starts of X,Y,Z'. Like in the sentence "the race start (time) was delayed"

    3. I can understand 'race start = starting/start/beginning of race' but what does 'starting/start/beginning of spectators' imply?

    4. As long as "X start" reasonably translates to start/beginning of 'X', it is now a cryptic instruction implying the 'beginning letter of X'. I don't see why it still needs to make sense in the literal/surface sense as 'start of X'.

      Surely that holds true for all such indicators? Just like 'the end' = 'end of the' = E

    5. Mohsin,

      As I see it, "X start" does not equate to start/ beginning of "X." Syntax-wise it doesn't seem right.

      "X start," if translated, would mean, the whole "X" starts or all the characters in "X," start. However, what we need here is the first character of "X" and hence would have to be worded differently. Maybe "Start of X," "First of X," "X's first" etc.

      I'd say, it's the difference between saying "Movie's first" and "Movie first." While the former gives us the sense of "first in movie," the other one is more like "Movie takes the first place." In short, both ain't the same.

      I hope you see the difference.

    6. On start/end indicators, there's this excellent article on Alberich's site:

    7. @VJ's 6:34,

      I get your point. In certain contexts, "X start" does not imply "start of X". Yet, in other contexts, it does (like the example I cited).
      Just like "X ending" does not imply "ending of X" in some cases (like 'happy ending'), but it does in others (like 'movie ending').

      As long as the usage can be justified for some contexts, it is now just a case of parsing a cryptic instruction likewise,

    8. @Shuchi,
      Thanks for the link. It's an interesting read. And I do agree that it's a weak indicator, just because of limited usage. But I'm not averse to using it, as it is justifiable. Probably just depends on how satisfied I am with the surface.

      And, yeah, "start X" seems outright wrong.

  17. Nice puzzle. Missed out on 20 Ac & 23 Dn.

  18. So is 20A Vice or Five? Had me stumped, too.
    Agree that diction is not language, I think, should be speech.
    Otherwise an enjoyable crossword!
    Good morning all.

  19. 16 Dn : Correction to correction needed in the anno pl.

  20. Happy Vishu, Baisakhi and for the new zodiacal year

  21. Happy Vishu and Baisakhi...New year...etc. Neat puzzle from Mac...i liked Wholesale 27a. got the answer for 15a but did not really get the anno. Now on 24d isnt mocha pronounced Mocca ...

    1. Yes it is. See Colonel's anno. It is not given as a homophone

  22. Except the 20A, got all. Am I eligible for samosa? At least a bit?

  23. Just too smooth. Loved this puzzle. Some lovely clues like 6A, 26A, 1D etc. Not convinced by 17A. To get 'here' you would have to 'say hear' rather than 'Hear say' is what I felt. Loved how some of the often used parsings like Mo-Cha were presented in very crisp new surfaces.

  24. Happy Vishu to ye-all !! Didn't realize how yet another year has gone by !!

    Spring here in York, at last as can be seen by the Cherry blossoms budding and blooming !! Bright and sunny day !!