Monday, 21 September 2015

No 11505, Monday 21 Sep 2015, xChequer

7   Duct not empty but free-flowing (6) FLUENT {FLUE}{NoT}
8   Arrived without energy, voicing distress in drive (8) CAMPAIGN {CAMe}{PAIGN}(~pain)
9   Rocket leaves earth at separating sequence (8) ESCALATE {E}{SCAL{AT}E}
10 Everyone else got her seat reserved (6) OTHERS [T]
11 Slips in small jokes (5) SKIDS {S}{KIDS}
12 Alternative thesis holds up (6) HEISTS*
14 Prepare to shift onus, losing pride (4,2,4,5) GIRD UP ONES LOINS*
17 Dog spacing out blackbird (6) BEAGLE {B}{EAGLE}
18 Limited firm (5) PITHY [DD] (Addendum - TIGHT [DD] - See comments)
22 Release book without jacket, butler intervenes (6) OUTLET {O{bUTLEr}T}
23 Mention glitches after one in two shakes (2,2,4) IN NO TIME {1}{NO TIME}*
24 My ideal spot in coastal road (8) CORNICHE {COR}{NICHE}
25 Withdraw in simulated trance (6) RECANT*

1   Intimate secret about kin abroad (5-4) CLOSE-KNIT {CLOSE-{KIN*}T}
2   Tip one sketching picture, say, a complimentary payment (6) REWARD <=
3   Small-time music band (5) STRAP {S}{T}{RAP}
4   Stamps with impression of 'Yours truly' rejected by managers (8) EMBOSSES {EM<=}{BOSSES}
5   A physicality essentially seen in male and his manner of doing something (8) MACHISMO {MAC}{HIS}{MO} &lit (Addendum - {M}{{A}{p...iCa...y}{HIS}{MO} - See comments)
6   Originally ancient area to gather, over in Greece (5) AGORA {An...t}{G{O}R}{A} &lit
8   Excited seeing caramel custard (5,8) CREME ANGLAISE*
13 Picking up beefcakes that don't upset stomachs? (2,3,4) ON THE MEND {HE-MEN} in {DON'T}*
15 Spot fish, including bass, gently moving in water (8) DABBLING {DAB}{B}{LING}
16 Policy fee to cover undertaking (8) PRACTICE {PR{ACT}ICE}
19 Flawless in diplomacy (6) INTACT {IN}{TACT}
20 Folding mattress, put up merino tufted cushions (5) FUTON [T<=]
21 Still to introduce missing son (5) INERT INsERT



  1. Got 2 wrong..9A & 2D: which shows that rechecking & annotation are very important...loved the clues & was able to fill the grid before 6:00 am.....along with the long ones beagle & outlet were my favorites...

  2. I put down 18d as TIGHT - I think that's a better fit for the DD.

    1. You mean 18A: i put it down as RIGID

    2. Sorry - I did mean 18A. I guess RIGID fits too, which would make it an iffy clue then - what a pity!

    3. I had 18ac as FIXED and was in a fix to get 13dn !

    4. I had put it down as 'Tight' and was sure it would be right.

  3. Not able to get the anno of MACHISMO as given in the post...i put it as DD

    1. (A + physiCality) seen in M and HIS Modus Operandi.

  4. Lovely crossword.

    I had TIGHT for 18a too

    I think 5d is A + (physi-)C(-ality) inside M(-ale) + HIS + MO

    1. Got MOas modus operandi from CV sirs comment above..thanks

    2. (Yes, but I must tell members that I deleted that Comment of mine as it was not quite correct in the wordplay mentioned.)

  5. What a puzzle, xChequer! The &lit at 5d is alone seems worth the price of admission, but that would be doing injustice to several other gems scattered around the puzzle - 14a, 17a, 1d, 2d, 13d - the last one, especially, is a masterclass in clue construction. Thank you for an exciting morning!

    I am not fully clear about the parsing of 9a. Is "leaves" in there only for the surface?

    Thank you for the blog, DG!

  6. Abhay
    Why don't you see 'leave' as a link word?
    A (rocket) leaves/sees/wherein we can observe the rest of the clue

    1. Bingo! Thank you - I missed that.

    2. Thank God, this didn't show up when my granddaughter was beside me.
      To understand this Comment of mine, first please read my 11:19 below. Thanks.

  7. Bravo! 8D takes the cake and the custard!

  8. Yippee first time an xchequer puzzle done and dusted .... of corz the pithy tight rigid is a q. Had all three options and chose pithy ... as most apt. Felt like a cowboy blowin off smoke from a fresh hot gun

  9. My granddaughter is visiting us after writing her exam and will be here till her father picks her up later. Just now she looked over my shoulder. To her grandma's question as to what she wants to eat, she has demanded noodles.
    See how we are influenced not only by ads but even by what people write!
    Srividya, you deserve a packet of money from ITC.

  10. Extraordinary piece of work. Creative indicators, smooth and polished reading. Setter's wisdom shows in the surfaces. A bit on the tough side, but I like that; it was a delight to solve with several PDMs. Beautiful work. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you very much xChequer...