Monday, 15 May 2017

No 12007, Monday 15 May 2017, Skuldugger

Tough going on a Monday morning! Some uncommon words didn't help the cause.

1   Ambassador's staff member nearly in fix (6) ATTACH ATTACHe
4   Charm and unhand! (6) DISARM [DD]
9   Spirit of independence in revolutionary sphere (4) BRIO {BR{I}O<=}
10 Hermit finding radical alternative to money becomes generous (10) MUNIFICENT {MUNI}{IF<=}{CENT}
11 A soldier infiltrates a party slowly (6) ADAGIO {A}{D{A}{GI}O}
12 Commencing side-splitting hijinks that helps recall (8) MNEMONIC cOMMENCINg*
13 She's got animal magnetism! (3,6) SEX KITTEN [CD]
15 Reportedly nasty air (4) MIEN (~mean)
16 Genuine nanotech tubes, boxes (4) ECHT [T]
17 Soft material used in many a sheep rifle (9) FLINTLOCK {F{LINT}LOCK}
21 Preparing antigens for plants (8) GENTIANS*
22 Maintenance of Lucknow stronghold? (6) UPKEEP {UP KEEP}
24 Earth has two alien empires heh? (10) HEMISPHERE*
25 Casual refusals from West and East for North Indian food (4) NAAN {NA}{NA<=}
26 Gender identity primarily expressed in series (6) TRAINS {TRA{Id...y}NS}
27 Take-offs hoaxes? On the contrary (3-3) PUT-ONS [CD]

1   Cut obtained by removing cockatoo crest from birdcage clumsily (7) ABRIDGE BIRDcAGE*
2   A great multitude runs out for knickers (5) THONG THrONG They hardly are knickers!!!
3   Act left after latter half of TV comedy show (7) COMPORT {sitCOM}{PORT}
5   Less certain in case of fire, quake (6) IFFIER {IF}{FIRE*}
6   Nit-picked careless articulation of the novelist (9) AUCTORIAL ARTICULAtiOn*
7   Turn into soldiers in advance, say (7) MENTION {MEN}{INTO*}
8   Took back menu on discovering type of pepper I sprinkled to be quite plain (13) UNEMBELLISHED {MENU<=}{BELL}{I}{SHED}
14 Hairy task falling to this lot in the past? (9) KSHATRIYA* They are not there now?
16 Ingredient of three successive letters written ahead of time (7) ELEMENT ELEMEN{T} Anno pending (Addendum - {EL}(~l){EM}(~m){EN}(~n){T} - See comments)
18 Modern upper classes welcomed exhibition opening in the Victoria and Albert after initial rejection (7) NOUVEAU {NO}{U}{V}{Ex...n}{A}{U}
19 Contemporaries' firm gets rebellious servant (7) COEVALS {CO}{SLAVE<=}
20 Australian creeper a foreigner in China (6) TAIPAN [DD] Second part of DD not clear See comments
23 Samurai skill daughter deployed during game (5) KENDO {KEN{D}O}



  1. 16 Ingredient of three successive letters written ahead of time (7) ELEMENT ELEMEN{T} Anno pending

    maybe phonetic spelling of L M N= El, Em, En?

  2. 20d

  3. 12A This clue, leading to mnemonic, is one of the best I have come across. Another outstanding clue, probably from the Indian Express, that is etched in my memory is 'one syllable might (8)'.

    1. Elegant way of saying strength

  4. I always wonder how you re able to complete even difficult ones by 8:30. When do you start?

    16D Before somebody points out the absence of a homophone indicator, let me say that these were not meant as homophones.El, Em and En are phoenetic spellings of the letters as pointed out by Raghu and find a place in the dictionary.

    1. +1 for CW completion before 8.30

    2. I start at 6:15 daily. On xChequer days, I start at 5:15 despite which I am found wanting quite often.

  5. Agree with the opening comment..very tough for a Monday morning....took a long time to unravel 14D, 6D, 17A, 20D

  6. 10 Hermit finding radical alternative to money becomes generous (10) MUNIFICENT {MUNI}{IF<=}{CENT}
    Am not getting how 'radical alternative'is connected to {IF with reversal ind}. Need help pl.

    1. Alternative=if; radical is reversal indicator

    2. Likely! But how is alternative = if?

    3. Thanks Vasant. IF part is still not clear.

    4. Missed the point 'Radical=Revolutionary'. :)

    5. Alternarive: like ifs & buts or if this were like this then...

  7. Commencing side-splitting hijinks that helps recall (8)

    Qn: What does grammar require? 'help' or 'helps'? In the above, does 'helps' go back to 'hijinks' or 'commencing'?

    1. Help:agreement of subject number with verb

    2. I was too quick..on second thoughts..if subject is Commencing then helps is ok

    3. Agreed. Can 'that' go so far away from 'Commencing'?

  8. 10A Radical for reversing - OK?
    22A Lucknow = UP?
    24A The def gives hemispheres, right?

    1. 10A:radical=revolutionary
      22A:Lucknow stronghold=UP Keep looks fine..quite innovative infact

    2. 24A: Def could have been..Earth has one of the two...

  9. Skulldugger really dug out my skull.