Thursday 28 February 2019

No 12561, Thursday 28 Feb 2019, Skulldugger

9   Drama troupe won't adapt linguistic hybrid exemplified by Bollywood (11,4) PORTMANTEAU WORD*
10 Slower alternative: having tubes tied (7) OBTUSER {O{TUBES*}R}
12 Run away from Sun critic (7) SCARPER {S}{CARPER}
13 Clergies acting upset due to this (9) SACRILEGE {CLERGIES+A}* &lit
14 Mo gives it a go, in a manner of speaking (5) TRICE (~tries)
15 Brogues' distinctive features (7) ACCENTS [DD]
18 South American maidens besieged famous Red Indian chiefs (7) SACHEMS {SA}{CHE}{MS}
21 Palpitation suppressed by smooth robber (5) THROB [T]
23 Venerated institution worried about advancing bully (6,3) SACRED COW {S(-c)A(+c)CRED}{COW}
25 Knights disturbing tranquillity donning sackcloth and ashes (7) PENANCE {PE{N}A{N}CE}
26 Repertoire of talents needing special utensil (7) SKILLET {SKILL sET}
29 Unplanned current spike? (4-2-3-6) SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT [CD]

1   Capable of ignoring our patron's oddities! (2,2) UP TO {oUr}{PaTrOn}
 Extremely dry British channel (4) BRUT {B}{RUT}
3   Discharge duty in pursuit of revenge finally (8) EMISSION {r...gE}{MISSION}
4   Right of admission that's enjoyed after 15 (6) ENTREE [C&DD]
5   They refuse to pay queens from Cardiff! (8) WELSHERS [C&DD]  Cheated on this one after getting Welsh
6   Advanced new creature collared by freak (6) MUTANT {MUT{A}{N}T}
7   Drug the geezer smuggled in after social uprising (8) MORPHINE {PROM<=}{H{IN}E}
8   Dreadful old sores undetectable by Bill in the U.S. (8) ODORLESS*
11 Mostly uninspired cold white wine (5) BLANC {BLANd}{C}
15 Appetiser before lasagne? Not quite (8) ANTEPAST {ANTE}{PASTa}
16 Jointly managed depleted uranium and fermium nucleus with this mineral (8) CORUNDUM {CO-RUN}{D}{U}{ferMium} D/Depleted? (Addendum - {CO-RUN}{DU}{ferMium} - See comments)
17 Has misgivings about defective space suits missing cores (8) SUSPECTS {SPaCE+SUiTS}*
19 Direct or indirect loan shark (8) CREDITOR*
20 Deer sounds akin to cattle cries (5) MOOSE (~moos)
22 Sweet Parisian goods (6) BONBON {BON}{BON}
24 Remains here after setback, gutted and distraught (6) CASKET SETbACK*
27 Property right initially unavailable for foreign national (4) LIEN aLIEN
28 Skirt, shirt you called for repeatedly (4) TUTU {T U}{T U}

Bhargav's Talepiece

After wearing his BRUT Eau de toilette and party dress Paul took his car out.

It was a SPUR OF THE MOMENT decision of Paul on sighting his heart THROB in a TUTU gown walking down with her friends.

He stopped his car and took out the packet of Lacto BONBON chocolates from the glove compartment and offered it to them and invited them for brunch (he had  a fancy for that PORTMANTEAU WORD).

He switched off the video in the car and the movie Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles faded.

Ordering was LEFT to his choice. He looked at the list of ANTIPASTI  and ordered Funghi Trifolati. ENTREE was Chicken Chow-mein. Other dishes followed.

What happened next?


Wednesday 27 February 2019

No 12560, Wednesday 27 Feb 2019, xChequer

7   Acts dramatically turning wise to methods employed (6) EMOTES [T<=]
8   Somewhat hard to interrupt critic (6) RATHER {RAT{H}ER}
10 Anchorage declared a city (4,4) PORT SAID {PORT}{SAID}
11 Buffet's show so lacking in direction (6) THWACK {T{sHoW}ACK}
12 Cheerful one in rave (5) RIANT {R{1}ANT}
14 Protester's heartless joy on damage (7) MARCHER {MAR}{CHeER}
15 According to society, on having patronage stripped, an undesirable? (7,3,5) PERSONA NON GRATA {PER}{S}{ON}{pATRONAGe+AN}* &lit
18 Unfrozen reserve available (3-4) ICE-FREE {ICE}{FREE}
19 Restricted access keeping goods concealed (5) DOGGO {DO{GG}Or}
20 Pressure cooker at India's borders creating fear (6) PHOBIA {P}{HOB}{IndiA}
21 Member of Parliament engaged in propagating Tamil medium as National language (3,5) LOW LATIN {OWL} in {TA(-m+n)NIL}*
23 Deer in retreat after camera turns, leaving blurred impression (6) MACKLE {CAM<=}{ELK<=}
24 Having invested at last, you succeeded with mere hunch (6) SLOUCH SLO{yoU}CH Anno pending (Addendum - {S}{LO{yoU}CH} - See comments)

1   Root bearing tree's core supply (8) RESOURCE {tREe}{SOURCE}
2   Order alcoholic drinks back in bar (4) SORT SOR{T} Anno pending (Addendum - {SO{baR}T} - See comments)
3   Meal's over each time having eaten for example (6) REPAST {PER<=}{T} over {AS}
4   Absolutely reliable accountant working to save the big house (4-4) CAST-IRON {CA}{STIR}{ON}
5   Chat, here windbag extremely relaxed! (4,3,3) CHEW THE RAG {CHAT+HERE+Wi...aG}* &lit?
6   Inquiry to find missing person, one in flight leaving trail (6) TRACER [DD]
9   Spanish bayonet men dead, seal building (5,6) ADAMS NEEDLE*
13 Unopened new snack bar loaded counter with sauce (6,4) ANSWER BACK {nEW+SNACK+BAR}*
16 Raising capital in Romania? Millions to join forces as a rule (8) NORMALLY NO{Ro...a}{M}{ALLY} No/Raising? (addendum - {RON<=}{M}{ALLY} - See comments)
17 Most certainly mean round old men (3,5) TOO RIGHT {T{O}{OR}IGHT}
18 Mine host primarily around to welcome United in Bury (6) INHUME {MINE+Host}* over {U}
19 Trail behind wood cleared in valley (6) DAWDLE {DA{WooD}LE}
22 A peculiar plant (4) ARUM {A}{RUM}


Tuesday 26 February 2019

No 12559, Tuesday 26 Feb 2019, xChequer

7   Escape from tour organised by one in France (6) OUTRUN {TOUR*}{UN}
8   Prime pick (6) SELECT [DD]
10 Need a couple of blankets, spreads and covers in this? (3,5) BED LINEN [CD] (Addendum - {NEED+BLa...s}* Over {IN} Semi&lit - See comments)
11 Greek money earlier showed purchasing power (6) LEPTON  {LET ON} over {P}
12 Round gold piece (5) ORBIT {OR}{BIT}
14 Rice and broth, alternatively fresh bread (7) BRIOCHE {RICE+BrOtHe}* Alternatively or Alternately?
15 Fool assimilating tender truth changes, it's what a prodigal might do (6,2,3,4) RETURN TO THE FOLD {FOOL+TENDER+TRUTH}*
18 Serve holding mug and a tumbler (7) ACROBAT {AC{ROB}{A}T}
19 Muzzle-loading gun stripped by learner in labour camp (5) GULAG {GAG} over {gUn}{L} 
20 Frisk doctor in prison (6) GAMBOL {GA{MB}OL}
21 Inviolable state of court defying reason (8) SANCTITY {SAN{CT}ITY}
23 Reputation of time piece that keeps working (6) HONOUR {H{ON}OUR}
24 Wodehouse films mostly end in full house (6) PLENUM {PL{ENd}UM}

1   Very much like accomplished family member possibly (5,3) LOVED ONE {LOVE}{DONE}
2   Uprising after killing king and the others (2,2) ET AL LATEr<=
3   Basket case in nightmare aboard boat (6) PUNNET {PUN{Ni...rE}T}
4   Nearly healthy, sent up hot drink (4-4) WELL-NIGH {WELL} {H}{GIN}<=
5   Relaxing without exercise, clubs showing due consideration (10) RESPECTFUL {RES{PE}{C}TFUL}
6   Goes to shake cat's-paw (6) STOOGE*
9   Book half-heartedly silent about monitoring teetotaller for personality evaluation (7,4) INKBLOT TEST {BOoK+SILENT}* over {TT}
13 Indecent guy also gets first prize (4,6) BLUE RIBAND {BLUE}{RIB}{AND}
16 Tour of Melbourne, one including religious education? No, No (8) NOBELIUM {MELBOUrNe+1}* [CA]
17 Portion of wicket put up with covers gets sticky (3,5) LEG STUMP {L{GETS*}UMP}
18 Detachment from army outposts securing approach (6) APATHY {Arm{PATH}Y}
19 Kind of elegant, leaving amateur shooting … (6) GENTLE ELEGaNT
22 … fish in a barrel? Quite the contrary (4) TUNA {A}<=>{TUN}


Monday 25 February 2019

No 12558, Monday 25 Feb 2019, Scintillator

Scintillator in election mode?

1   Put off using pluckiest tool for harvest (6) SICKLE pLuCKIESt*
4   Preference's eating cold desserts (4-4) CHOC-ICES {CHO{C}ICES}
9   Cayenne, a dozen boxes (6) ENNEAD [T]
10 Wrinkle on mouth's unseemly (8) UNSMOOTH*
12 The panel recruits a bigwig (8) ELEPHANT*
13 Is it a surety for Kaveri? (6) BANKER [C&DD]
15 The second person to declare a feast (4) YULE (~you'll)
16 Married girl aims to train newbie to put on a little weight (10) MILLIGRAMS {L} in {M+GIRL+AIMS}*
19 Partners rather well-fed. Boss? Not quite (10) BEDFELLOWS {WELL+FED+BOSs}*
20 Cut off = 'Pare' (4) REAP*
23 Big girl previously getting hot footwear (6) GALOSH  {GAL} before {OS}{H}
25 Accommodate a trapped brute (8) PREADAPT*
27 Gold to intermingle advanced robots (8) AUTOMATA {AU}{TO}{MAT}{A}
28 One taking a French female without gentlemen is secure (6) IMMUNE {1]{MM{UN}E} What's the role of gentlemen? (Addendum - {1}{MM}{UNE} - See comments)
29 Sitting duck, calm symbol (4,4) EASY MARK {EASY}{MARK}
30 Read about Montana, got into a reverie (6) DREAMT {READ*}{MT}

1   Landscape said to be found on top of lines (7) SCENERY (~seen){SCENE}{RY}
2   Hidden scam reportedly shut (9) CONCEALED {CON}{CEALED}(~sealed)
3   Look at what's turning to hate (6) LOATHE {LO}{AT}{EH<=}
5   Provide a deal (4) HAND [DD]
6   See, by morning, a panel will be announced for political race (8) CAMPAIGN {C}{AM}{PAIGN}(~pane)
7   Face of grandfather, possibly (5) CLOCK [CD]
8   Free press hangs about man's circles (7) SPHERES {SP{HE}RES*}
11 Limited edition of scentit lessens style (7) ENTITLE [T]
14 Buds and devotees God left reeling (7) FLOWERS FolLOWERS O/God?
17 A cute lab needing surgery (advanced) for hip parts (9) ACETABULA {A+CUTE+LAB}*{A}
18 Son tucking into pies served by mother? Worst! (8) PESSIMUM {PE{S}SI*}{MUM}
19 Celebrity is beaming all over (3-4) BIG-NAME*
21 Nerveless bones — what one may need (7) PATIENT ? [DD] See comments
22 Unskilled actor half-deserves censure (6) HAMMER {HAM}{MERits}
24 Lincoln walking out of absolute ruckus — a bloomer (5) LOTUS abSOLUTe*
26 Adept removing particles from tadka ingredient (4) STAR muSTARd Not sure of anno. Mud/Particles?
Bhargav's Talepiece

The college union election was nearing and the CLOCK ticking. Ajith was busy with his CAMPAIGN. He was known to favour the HAMMER and SICKLE party.

His father was a retired BANKER and a BIG NAME in the blade finance business. Ajith DREAMT of one day becoming a Finance Minister.

Vani could be seen with a lot of FLOWERS in her head and no wonder her symbol was a LOTUS. Paul lent her a helping HAND.

Rani took an ELEPHANT symbol and joined the fray.

What happened next?


Sunday 24 February 2019

Special, Sunday 24 Feb 2019, Supriya Mithal

Welcome to Supriya as an Independent setter this time.

Three answers per commenter as usual till 6 PM (Annotations compulsory)
Please provide all your answers in one comment.

8   Deliver auditor's child (4)
9   Say, Kim, Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian are a little bizarre! (10)
10 A hostess ,essentially caught between two alternatives for a speaker (6)
11 Charge : wife and husband are endlessly loud with advancing years (8)
12 Pose provocatively for money (4)
13 Chef Banner cooked  green vegetable (6,4)
17 River leaves putrefied sludge (4)
18 A sailor returns around lunchtime for dish (5)
19 Sympathy's brief when husband leaves (4)
20 Possibly remind Stew of U.S. region (10)
22 Rifle fire (4)
23 Sequential notes one stored in strange room (8)
27 Model wrote society columns (6)
28 Michael Jordan perhaps kicked ball for Shetland Argus (6,4)
29 Support others (4)

1   Illegal residence? setter gets court order (6,4)
2   Exotic tree in Wellington for one, is a source of food colouring (8)
3   They have neat products? (5,5)
4   Dispatched a large number (4)
5   English soldier ascends volcano (4)
6   Quietly,husband leaves rehab for a bit of fun, finds something ready-made (6)
7   Oriental exits theatre unaccompanied (4)
14 Former partner mostly lies about separation (5)
15 Jewellery shop perhaps,or one of many (5,5)
16 Worker ,one at church , gets religious instruction with saint- a  false prophet (10)
19 Father and son get weapon - it's for additional security (8)
21 Woman nags and hits (6)
24 Old friend's a gem (4)
25 Bit into tikka from the sides (4)
26 Say, Wolverine's not an idiot! (4)

Across Lite version can be accessed at SUPRIYA 1


The Sunday Crossword No 3036, Sunday 24 Feb 2019

1   Organisations in dispute still around (3-3) SET-UPS [T<=]
4   Secret ring in compound in command (8) ESOTERIC {ES{O}TER}{IC}
9   Maiden in story, delicate in glare of publicity (9) LIMELIGHT {LI{M}E}{LIGHT}
11 Run across wanderer (5) ROVER {R}{OVER}
12 Pursue fanciful goals, having hour in event with artist with fashionable inclinations (5,8) CHASE RAINBOWS {C{H}ASE}{RA}{IN}{BOWS}
14 Obsession with affair (5) THING [DD]
16 Successor I hire, not bothered by resistance (9) INHERITOR {I+HIRE+NOT}*{R}
17 Inspector’s complaint about core of policy causing incredulity (9) DISBELIEF {DI'S}{BE{poLIcy}EF}
19 Speaker's quiet part (5) PIECE (~peace)
21 Vessel for cargo designed to enrich Spain (9,4) CONTAINER SHIP*
24 Substitute for unknown quantities (5) PROXY {PRO}{XY}
25 Nordic person, one with family around east, turning communist (9) ICELANDER {1}{C{E}LAN}{RED<=}
26 Loud and clear, after end of appointment, getting told to go outside (8) STRIDENT {S{a...nT}{RID}ENT}
27 Reveal demon with skill (6) IMPART {IMP}{ART}

1   Concern about one in lonely state (10) SOLICITUDE  {SOLI{C}{1}TUDE}
2   Drums upset sleep? Endlessly nervous about that (7) TIMPANI {TIM{NAP<=}Id}
3   Seeds to beat (5) PULSE [DD]
5   Be indecisive after admitting one theft in error (3,2,3,5) SIT ON THE FENCE {ONE+THEFT}* in {SINCE}
6   Engine in lead, up around poor ground, following northward track (9) TURBOPROP {P{POOR*}B}<= after {RUT}<=}
7   Vicar is, on appeal, to consider again (7) REVISIT {REV}{IS}{IT}
8   Rude scoundrel on time (4) CURT {CUR}{T}
10 Good informer, one with answer in story giving pleasure (13) GRATIFICATION {G}{RAT}{1}{FIC{A}TION}
13 Nonconformist ready to accept split with prophet coming up (4,6)  FREE SPIRIT {RIP}{SEER}<= in {FIT}
15 Jealous desire to possess new watch (5-4) GREEN-EYED {GREE{N}{EYE}D}
18 Assistance copper raised during search (7) SUCCOUR {S{CU<=}COUR}
20 Animal identified by expedition’s leader on day in country (7) ECHIDNA {Ex...n}{CHI{D}NA}
22 River and wood covering area in kingdom (5) REALM {R{E{A}LM}
23 Love quiet American composition (4) OPUS {O}{P}{US}


Saturday 23 February 2019

No 12557, Saturday 23 Feb 2019, Vulcan


1. New head of state to continue causing controversy (11) CONTENTIOUS {State+TO+CONTINUE*}
8. Mark of designation (4) SIGN (T)
9. Things about a man shown in a film (10) GOODFELLAS {GOOD{FELLA}S}
10. As a matter of reality, it's not quite fine, shoddy work (2,4) IN FACT {FINe*}{ACT}
11. Asian queen featuring in one article (7) IRANIAN {I}{RANI}{AN}
13. Less cryptic clue in lower case (9) MINUSCULE {MINUS}{CLUE*}
15. Ship's course on river (5) LINER {LINE}[R}
16. Team's in declineloss sinking in (5) SLIDE {S{L}IDE} Defn in the middle?
18. Exotic green site/place in Africa (9) SERENGETI {GREEN+SITE*}
22. Traveller from Michigan gets concession (7) MIGRANT {MI}{GRANT}
23. Teams regularly having troubles with communication systems (1-5) E-MAILS {tEaM}{AILS}
26. 1/2 O? (10) SEMICIRCLE (CD)
27. Article is quite meaningful in part (4) ITEM (T)
28. Right mixture of Tin and Titanium firstly added to this component (11) ENTITLEMENT {E{TIN*}{Titanium}LEMENT}


1. Wine from China, it is awful (7) CHINATI {CHINA+IT*}
2. Person in Japan showing expertise in martial arts, that's his thing (5) NINJA (T)
3. It is about a plant disease and therefore it is taken up with conservationists initially (7) ERGOTIC {ERGO}{IT<=}{Conservationists}
4. So, it's time for a drinking spree (4) TOOT {TOO}{T}
5. Shoe // with cloth (6) OXFORD (DD)
6. Fancy new ceiling fixtures eventually cutting off sound (9) SILENCING {N+CEILING+fixtureS*}
7. This home overwhelms anyone basically (6) PALACE {P{Anyone}LACE} &lit
12. Circular // one in the skies (5) FLIER (DD)
14. Inferior launch drawing criticism (5,4) UNDER FIRE {UNDER}{FIRE}
17. Idle American measure with nothing in it (6) LOITER {L{O}ITER}
19. Biblical scholar, say, residing in English town for the most part (7) EXEGETE {EX{EG}ETEr}
20. Most difficult examination, everybody's consumed by it (7) TALLEST {T{ALL}EST}
21. Recruit some keen listeners (6) ENLIST (T)
24. Accept an offer that's excellent primarily (5) ABIDE {A}{BID}{Excellent}
25. Tail it's small/shortened (4) SCUT {S}{CUT}

Reference List

One=I, Article=An, River=R, Loss=L, Michigan=MI
Time=T, Nothing=O, Small=S

Colour/Font Scheme

DefinitionSolutionComponent lettersEmbedded linksTheme word Anagram IndicatorC/C indicatorReversal IndicatorHidden word IndicatorLetter Pick indicatorDeletion IndicatorHomophone IndicatorMovement IndicatorPositional IndicatorSubstitution, IndicatorLink/Connector, Extraneous

Bhargav's Talepiece


Abdalbari was an IRANIAN and INFACT the TALLEST in the school. He was one of the GOOD FELLAS and never got into any CONTENTIOUS issue.

The SIGNS of one who had studied in OXFORD and an upbringing in a PALACE could easily be seen.

One thing not known to anyone - he was a NINJA, well trained in NINJUTSU.


Friday 22 February 2019

No 12556, Friday 22 Feb 2019, Anon

All those who are not regular commenters but who are rookie commenters or silent followers of the blog are requested to post answers with annotations in the comments section. In your own interest please avoid looking up the answers from the interactive version. Don't hesitate to post your annotations, in case you make a mistake in the annotation someone will correct it with the right annotation.

Each commenter is requested to post only 5 answers thereby giving others also a chance to participate. Please provide all your answers in one comment.

Regular solvers/Veterans can post 1 answer each, but after 11 AM only

The regular blog will replace the clues at 2 PM.

Thanks for the response, here's the regular blog.

1   Celebrity to nearly offend in speech (11) DISTINCTION {DI{STINg}CTION}
9   Furious temper in border (7) ENRAGED {EN{RAGE}D}
10 New leader had better cypher (6) NOUGHT {N}{OUGHT}
11 Accurate demand (5) EXACT [DD]
12 Sleep up awkwardly on fig trees (7) PEEPULS*
15 Finishes goals (4) ENDS [DD]
16 Stubborn chief’s Chinese secret society captures rebel leader (10) HEADSTRONG {HEADS}{T{Re..l}ONG}
18 Woodworkers’ vehicle has writer, almost curt (10) CARPENTERS {CAR}{PEN}{TERSe}
20 Is at the French land mass (4) ISLE {IS}{LE}
23 Boy traps business grad at a dance (7) LAMBADA {LA{MBA}D}{A}
24 Stories lacking freshness from end to end (5) TALES (-s)TALE(+s)S
26 Stop fight with cart (6) BARROW {BAR}{ROW}
27 Leave, return, capture a gangster (7) ABANDON {A}{NAB<=}{DON} As per wordplay this is {NAB<=}{A}{DON}
28 Noisy gadget broken but dependable (6-5) STEADY-GOING*

2   Gin cocktail, oddly obtuse, at metal bars? (6) INGOTS {GIN}*{ObTuSe}
3   South Indian tribe starts training only day after (4) TODA Acrostic
4   Astray drone nears illiterates (10) NONREADERS*
5   Shouts after third drink at darlings (8) TRUMPETS {afTer}{RUM}{PETS}
6   Shakespearean character to return greeting (7) OTHELLO {TO<=}{HELLO}
7   Respect for short clergyman of Church of England (9) REVERENCE {REVERENd}{CE}
8   Slip and trip (6) ERRAND {ERR}{AND}
13 Drank, beat journalist not at home (6,4) BELTED AWAY {BELT}{ED}{AWAY}
14 Vigorously rinse eggs coming out (9) EGRESSING*
17 Bear hair entangled in collection of dried plants (8) HERBARIA*
19 Adjust againtear pad in a riot (7) READAPT*
21 Medieval helmet has salad, third dressing (6) SALADE {SALAD}{drEs...g}
22 Purify street with shower (6) STRAIN {ST}{RAIN}
25 Starts tasting almost cooked oil fried tortilla (4) TACO Acrostic
Bhargav's Talepiece

The STRAIN of the TRUMPETS could be heard clearly through the music system.

HEADSTRONG Paul had managed to get Rani to be his partner in the LAMBADA dance in the carnival. ENRAGED Rani wished to ABANDON the rehearsal.

However she did not like TALES being spun around her and Paul and this was the EXACT reason for her to carry on.

Paul was one who opined that the ENDS justify the means.

What happened next?


Thursday 21 February 2019

No 12555, Thursday 21 Feb 2019, Lightning

1   Excellent spinner cut (3-5) TOP-NOTCH {TOP}{NOTCH}
5   Delivery of drink around morning (6) BEAMER {BE{AM}ER}

9   Not spiritual, four getting into revelry (8) CARNIVAL {CARN{IV}AL}
10 Support overwhelms firm — it could bring good luck (6) MASCOT {MAS{CO}T}
12 Big oriental ship missing tip (5) LARGE L{bARGE} L from? (Addendum - LARGessE - See comments)
13 Made tulip arrangement in abundance (9) AMPLITUDE*
14 Respect flier with difficulty (6) ADMIRE {AD}{MIRE}
16 Typical of young woman interrupting commander in chief (7) CLASSIC {C{LASS}IC}
19 Outlast heat, reach hidden auditorium (7) THEATRE [T]
21 Emperor threw a royal case (6) CAESAR {A+R+CASE}*
23 Speak for salesman with grudge (9) REPRESENT {REP}{RESENT}
25 Style of European shoe — hollow (5) ECLAT {E}{CLeAT}
26 Measure energy with trap inside machine (6) ENGINE {EN}{GIN}{E}
27 Indifferent head missing success by chance with agency (8) LUKEWARM {fLUKE}{W}{ARM}
28 Scribble on sheet’s top inch (6) SCRAWL {Sh..t}{CRAWL}
29 Instrument with small slow drip (8) STRICKLE {S}{TRICKLE}

1   Essay (story) without chapter on king (6) TACKLE {TA{C}{K}LE}
2   Bird on segment of raised surface (9) PARTRIDGE {PART}{RIDGE}
3   Not beginning to co-exist? Its branch could foster peace (5) OLIVE {tO}{LIVE}
4   Extraordinary race had become a farce (7) CHARADE*
 Get rid of aid create confusion (9) ERADICATE*
7   Pharma cautioned somewhat in this island (5) MACAU [T]
8   Cut down resistance on English Channel (8) RETRENCH {R}{E}{TRENCH}
11 Endlessly show Mahabharata, say (4) EPIC dEPICt
15 Kin he wont blend with privy to special information (2,3,4) IN THE KNOW*
17 Informal conversation at track outside shopping complex (5,4) SMALL TALK {S{MALL}TALK}
18 Say consumed top of red snapper filleted and flipped for appetizers (8) STARTERS {STA{Red}TE}{Sn...eR<=}
20 Regular cricket side left Engineer out (4) EVEN EleVEN
21 Feline costume? (7) CATSUIT [E]
22 Remain without a setter describing one puzzle (6) STYMIE {STaY}{M{1}E}
24 Attendant with right mobile device (5) PAGER {PAGE}{R}
25 Fuel emission contained resin (5) ELEMI [T]

Bhargav's Talepiece


Student Yu Yan was from MACAU and a TOP NOTCH dancer.  She was very much IN THE KNOW of beauty treatment and would often exfoliate her face with OLIVE oil. Used ELEMI for aroma therapy.

She was often seen in a CAT SUIT and was chosen to REPRESENT her institute in the upcoming THEATRE CARNIVAL.

Needless to say she had a LARGE following of ADMIRERS.

What happened next?


Wednesday 20 February 2019

No 12554, Wednesday 20 Feb 2019, Incognito

8   Eatery in Delhi is without heating, to start with (4) DELI DELhI
9   Meets English nobleman with eastern money (10) ENCOUNTERS {EN}{COUNT}{E}{RS}
10 Igloo collapsed around girl's male escort (6) GIGOLO {GI{G}OLO*}
11 Wide road popular with theatre-goers (8) BROADWAY {BROAD}{WAY}
12 Thick letters from brave at front (4,4) BOLD FACE {BOLD}{FACE}
14 Artists hide magician's stick in country (6) RWANDA {R{WAND}A}
16 Luminous body seen in some farthest areas (4) STAR [T]
17 Hark! Lost part's deep inside (5) HEART {HEAR}{losT}
18 Inter in English town (4) BURY [DD]
19 Firebug expels son in favour of model painter (6) ARTIST AR{-son+t}TIST
21 Kyoto Polo gymkhana's contribution to a branch of maths (8) TOPOLOGY [T]
23 Summary of something existing in thought but without physical existence (8) ABSTRACT [DD]
26 Putting fastener in gear part and managing (6) COPING {CO{PIN}G}
27 Heard store is renovated for animal business (5,5) HORSE TRADE*
28 Bank on impure lying characters partly (4) RELY [T]

1   The police are travelling first part of ride in chopper (10) HELICOPTER {THE+POLICE}*{Ride}
2   Detective Inspector's command leads to confusion (8) DISORDER {DI'S}{ORDER}
3   Bengali? Or, a Spanish lady? (6) SENORA {SEN}{OR}{A}
4   Protective crust over wound formed by skin cells and blood initially (4) SCAB Acrostic
5   Actuator may become a despot (8) AUTOCRAT*
6   Ancient measure of distance between sporting venues? (6) STADIA [DD]
7   Killer whale commonly seen in Majorca and Minorca (4) ORCA [T]
13 Correct previous part of drama (5) EXACT {EX}{ACT}
15 Scottish dagger carefully handled for Douglas Adams's detective (4,6) DIRK GENTLY {DIRK}{GENTLY}
17 Stolen trousers or short shorts? (3,5) HOT PANTS {HOT}{PANTS}
18 Rough estimate that can be made at playground? (8) BALLPARK [DD]
20 To be exceptional, one has to have a score of at least 120 in this trial led by setter and Bond's gizmo supplier (1,1,4) I Q TEST {I}{Q}{TEST}
22 Fairchild's aircraft cost a lot of money (6) PACKET [DD]
24 Reserve reading material (4) BOOK [DD]
25 Reverse shop vehicle (4) TRAM <=

Bhargav's Talepiece


Vani had no HEART to study diligently. One who is likely to score low in an IQ TEST, the EXACT reason for her to join IIM was to get a good catch.

She had difficulties in COPING with her studies but was seen hopping around campus in HOT PANTS, eager for some close ENCOUNTERS with Paul. 

Her BALLPARK estimate of the wealth of Paul's family was not very much off the mark and she wished to one day become SENORA Paul.

But at present times the position of her STARS was in DISORDER....

What happened next?


Tuesday 19 February 2019

No 12553, Tuesday 19 Feb 2019, Incognito

8   Initially, third Unidentified Flying Object flies back to get food (4) TOFU {Th..d}{UFO<=}
9   A Greek letter in possession of the original Phantom (5) ALPHA [T]
10 Firstly non-vegetarians consume cattle (4) NEAT {No...s}{EAT}
11 Able — able to dance (3-3) CAN-CAN {CAN}{CAN}

12 Politicians throw out cop and run amok, for starters (8) INITIALS poLITIcIANS*
13 Brothel’s doorbell is broken (8) BORDELLO*
15 India has container storing energy for cold period (3,3) ICE AGE {I}{C{E}AGE}
17 These may be found in these clues and correspondence (7) LETTERS [DD]
19 Equipment to synthesise plasma in the presence of gravity (3,4) GAS LAMP {G}{PLASMA}*
22 Mixed gin and tea for consumption? (6) EATING*
24 Safe vessel for a boy who did not grow up (5,3) PETER PAN {PETER}{PAN}
26 Princess's edict makes for confusion (8) DISORDER {DI'S}{ORDER}
28 Marilyn is no more confused (6) MONROE*
30 Test version of software found in Dushanbe, Tajikistan (4) BETA [T]
31 The Territorial Army’s character (5) THETA {THE}{TA}
32 Frenchman carries weapon back to trial (4) EXAM {M}{AXE}<=

1   A little bit of input-output tabulation analysis, for starters (4) IOTA Acrostic
2   29's capital has German wine (8) MUSCADET {MUSCA{DE}T}
3   Lecherous four left carnival (6) CARNAL CARNivAL
4   Record endless noise reverberating around rookie character (7) EPSILON {EP}{NOI{L}Se*}
5   Herb’s in charge of a public building (8) BASILICA {BASIL}{IC}{A}
6   Raw prune I mashed ... (6) UNRIPE*
7   ... using a log carved in prison (4) GAOL*
14 Symbol of resistance is large after starting with nothing (5) OMEGA {O}{MEGA}
16 A type of radiation from magma compound (5) GAMMA*
18 Having one broken digit in railway termini can cause stiffness (8) RIGIDITY {R{1}{DIGIT*}Y}
20 Animals have a right to voice boxes (8) LARYNXES {L{A}{R}YNXES}
21 Ran around an expensive car and fought (7) SPARRED {SP{A}{RR}ED}
23 Is old watering hole line having the same pressure at all points? (6) ISOBAR {IS}{O}{BAR}
25 Design cot with mat for a feline (6) TOMCAT*
27 Change side in the middle of the month (4) IDES*
29 Headless woman's country (4) OMAN wOMAN

Bhargav's Talepiece



The girl who refused to be seen in a PETER PAN.
Daughter of a strict NAIR well settled in ARNI after having worked in distant IRAN. She had been brought up with a fair amount of RIGIDITY. Entered IIM Kozhikode after passing the entrance EXAM with flying colours.


Only BETA of an Australian billionaire.
After EATING TOFU and beef (what a combination!) had just opened a bottle of MUSCADET in his room which was found in total DISORDER. He was watching an old MONROE movie.
Any IOTA of doubt as to where he was bound next? Not to any BASILICA but...

What happened next?


Monday 18 February 2019

No 12552, Monday 18 Feb 2019, Neyartha

It's grape season here in Bangalore as well

1   Frustrating arrangement traps Oscar in a borderline unethical public relations exercise (12) ASTROTURFING FRUSTRATING* over {O} Never knew this
8   Consult a naturalist for the provision of a grape variety (7) SULTANA [T]
9   Princess leaving the old-timer at sea with a grape variety (6) MERLOT OLdTiMER*
11 Abandoned in a state of flux (9) UNSETTLED [DD]
12 Grape variety from a Greek character getting a century on return (5) PINOT {PI}{TON<=}
14 An order of mammals requiring the corn Ravi cooked with a vitamin (9) CARNIVORA {CORN+RAVI}*{A}
16 We're getting the energy to go in front with a pitcher (4) EWER (+e)EWER(-e)
18 Send out the inverted timer after removing the cap (4) EMIT TIMEr<=
19 Vani sung off-key after consuming the old French grape (9) SAUVIGNON {VANI+SUNG}* over {O}
21 A time for bats to fly with the speaker's chess piece (5) NIGHT (~knight)
22 Firm British sailors hunt for something likely to be seen in an American field (9) CORNSTALK {CO}{RN}{STALK}
23 Grape variety to laugh at? That is right! (6) RIBIER {RIB}{IE}{R}
25 Single Yankee sent out by the Democrat to get a tight-fitting garment (7) UNITARD UNITAR(-y+d)D
26 Adamant Rani's netting in tatters (12) INTRANSIGENT*

2   Egocentric description of the portions in a buffet? (4-7) SELF-SERVING [DD]
3   Come by again to treat tainted segment (8) REATTAIN [T]
4   Cattle herd supervisor's coin flip welcomes the storyteller upset by a follower (5,4) TRAIL BOSS {T{LIAR<=}{B}OSS}
5   Poem in recital by daughter covered with frost (5) RIMED (~rhyme){RIME}{D}
6   Enter uninvited into an Italian website featuring a low vibrating sound from the south (6) IRRUPT {I{PURR<=}T}
Slime made from grinding of offal originally (3) GOO Acrostic
8   Countess made to go around Switzerland to get the family shields (10) SCUTCHEONS {SCUT{CH}EONS*}
10 Description of a person in a birthday suit? (5,5) STARK NAKED [CD]
13 Left out landowner has no hesitation in re-development for a profit occasionally (3,3,5) NOW AND AGAIN {lANDOWNer}*{A}{GAIN}
15 Samurai in trouble after hiding half a pound in the fish tanks (9) AQUARIUMS {SAMURAI}* over {QUid}
17 Grape variety for a sweet white wine (8) RIESLING [GK]
20 Sense a narrow focus? (6) STRICT [DD]
22 Vatican court gets an article to barter for the old trinket (5) CURIA CURI(-o+a)A
24 Bird needing no introduction to the Maori tribes (3) IWI kIWI