Tuesday 22 December 2015

No 11581, Tuesday 22 Dec 2015, Skulldugger

Trouble in the SW corner.

5   Undergo detailed transformation to make verb form (6) GERUND UNDERGo*
6   Leader of elves follows Santa with article (6) CLAUSE {CLAUS}{Elves}
9   Regain consciousness in bed holding setter with love (4,2) COME TO {CO{ME} T}{O}
10 Discerns inaccurately and countermands (8) RESCINDS*
11 Make out during break-up song (4) SNOG*
12 Braid had ya going mad during disastrous spell (3,4,3) BAD HAIR DAY*
13 Where criminals hang out as part of sentence? (11) CONJUNCTION {CON}{JUNCTION}
18 Mark of possession that's perhaps too obscure (10) APOSTROPHE* My COD
21 Vexed, upset by desire (4) EROS <=
22 Sound elements doctor downloaded into cells (8) (Addendum - PHONEMES {ME} in {PHONES} - See comments)
23 Systematic orderly structure reportedly leads to duty on alcohol, for instance (3,3) SIN TAX (~ syntax)
24 Road surface could be “car mat”? (6) TARMAC*
25 Many a freshwater carnivore flounders around after decapitation (6) OTTERS tOTTERS

1   Properly organised opera gig might feature one (8) ARPEGGIO* &lit
2   Lay to rest nurse and doctor who embraced void after end of shift (6) ENTOMB {EN}{shifT}{O}{MB}
3   A thing of superior quality — affirmative action perhaps! (5,3) CLASS ACT {DD?Anno pending See comments
4   Younger panel member heartlessly besieges Northern Ireland (6) JUNIOR {NI} in {JUrOR}
5   Justification for yesterday's grind (6) GROUND How do we classify this clue? [DD] - See comments
7   Make appealing, even extremely expensive (6) ENDEAR {EveN}{DEAR}
8   Rotting pads decomposing in remote commercial establishment (7,4) TRADING POST*
14 I, being French, admire sad lamentation (8) JEREMIAD {JE}{ADMIRE*}
15 Hero's sweetheart pursuing love's bloom (8) OLEANDER {O}{LEANDER}
16 Happy hunter's final result (6) UPBEAT UPSHOT ? {UP}{SHOT} - See comments
17 Slippery creatures' conventions in speech (6) MORAYS (~mores)
19 More than one way to preserve a tomato? (6) (Addendum - SUNDRY [DD] )
20 Substitute trapezist leaving pit acrobatically (6) ERSATZ TRApEZiSt


  1. 3 A thing of superior quality — affirmative action perhaps! (5,3) CLASS ACT {DD?]
    yes, it is a DD. Second meaning:

  2. 5 Justification for yesterday's grind (6) GROUND
    Justification - GROUND
    yesterday's grind = past tense of grind = GROUND

  3. 16 Happy hunter's final result (6) UPSHOT
    DD: second meaning - the final shot(in archery)

    1. How is it a DD. Upshot is not Happy. I can accept it as a CD

    2. I took it as a charade...UP= happy + Shot= hunter(as in he is a good shot)

    3. Sorry got confused with UPBEAT!

  4. My contribution for the day!

    Could you please highlight the definitions for 21 & 22 Across?

    1. 22a - def is sound elements , 21a should be Desire ? ..

    2. Agreed :) Mine was a reminder for Col Sir to highlight them.

  5. Oops.. couldnt finish this one.. top half was okay but south west ouch..skirted a lot of them like phonemes, otters, morays and oleander but couldnt parse them properly :( had oleander as orlandos which put me off too .. totally 12a hee hee .. tuff one Skulldugger..

  6. Theme is grammatical terms: gerund, clause, apostrophe, conjunction, phonemes

    1. 23A ~syntax also? Surprised that "Sin Tax" was not grid filled as "Syntax", as it would have added to the theme word set, without any change in crossings

    2. Duty on alcohol, for instance, reportedly is a systematic orderly structure (6)

    3. Well spotted Ramesh. I initially did have "syntax" in the grid, but found myself with a version of the Colonel's clue. I abandoned it as I thought the (homonym of (category that must be guessed from example)) structure slightly too clunky and unfair, and settled for "sin tax" instead. Though I suppose there are ways to do it more elegantly. Also, I find the best theme crosswords employ the theme in some of the clues as well, and though it is not totally apparent in this clue, you could have the theme in the clue rather than in the answer.

  7. Wonderful puzzle from Skulldugger. Many Matured clues. 13 and 18 A get special mentions

  8. Today is a crossword anniversary. The first crossword puzzle was published this date in 1913.

    1. Thanks to the creator of first crosswords ! Or else, we wouldn't be in this blog !!

      Many Happy returns on this day of crossword anniversary ! CV can comment about the journey and where we are heading to ?

      and Shuchi too in her blog?

  9. Slippery creatures got my samosas:(

  10. I never knew they ate samosas:-)

  11. If they don't eat samosas, we'll eat their share!! Thoroughly enjoyed the crossword, Skullugger, took me back to school grammar classes! Phonemes and otters had me in a spin for quite a while.