Saturday 29 February 2020

No 12871, Saturday 29 Feb 2020, Sunnet

1   India supports unlimited consumption (6) INTAKE {IN}{sTAKEs}
4   Shocked papal assembly was in the forefront (8) APPALLED {PAPAL*}{LED}
10 Bond with beryllium implanted in false tooth (9) DEBENTURE {DE{BE}NTURE}
11 Rub a seer wrongly (5) ERASE*
12 Perhaps 3 comb-like devices (5) CARDS [DD]
13 Reviewed Rajaji’s papers? That’s quite complicated (9) CRITIQUED {CR}{I{QUITE*}D}
14 Set rusk baked in ivory holders (7) TUSKERS*
16 Dash of caramel anglaise (4) ELAN [T]
19 Put on tailless deer (4) STAG STAGe
21 Preferably detains criminal (7) INSTEAD*
24 Fabulous offer on lamps (3,3,3) NEW FOR OLD [CD] From Aladdin's story
25 Excellent meal with some primal cut (5) SUPER SUPpER
26 A little goat to destroy a pasture (5) GRAZE {Goat}{RAZE}
27 Missile’s failure to burn initially (5,4) SMART BOMB {BOMB}<=>{SMART}
28 Play, novel and movie (3,5) TOY STORY {TOY}{STORY}
29 Field is without children now (6) SPHERE SP{HERE} Anno pendng

1   Show in order to get rid of the central character (8) INDICATE {IN}{DICtATE}
2   Plant’s channel went upwards (8) TUBEROSE {TUBE}{ROSE}
3   Relative goes with empty stomach to Lords (5) KINGS {KIN}{GoeS}
5   Right publicity to cut across is missing (7) PRECISE {PR}{ExCISE}
6   A jittery emir jails natives (9) AMERICANS {A}{EMIR*}{CANS}
7   Union measure (6) LEAGUE [DD]
8   Fears some dark studies (6) DREADS {Dark}{READS}
9   Half a month is taken to freeze some semi-solid extracts (6) JUICES {JUne}{ICES}
15 Mostly wide open mixer (9) EXTROVERT {EXTRa}{OVERT}
17 Footballer’s mistaken hope to keep undesirables out using this (8) PEEPHOLE {PE{HOPE*}LE}
18 Clever girl inside is charming (8) ADORABLE {A{DORA}BLE}
20 Bigger food retailer for the auditor (7) GROSSER (~grocer)
21 One of us is an independent Scotsman (6) INDIAN {IND}{IAN}
22 Caught dark warrior (6) KNIGHT (~night)
23 Sticky rotten waste yard (6) SWEATY {WASTE*}{Y}
25 Direction to put back a body (3-2) SET-UP {SE}{PUT<=}

Reference List 
India = N, Papers = ID, Cross = X, Inependent = IND, Yard = Y, Direction = SE(South East)

Friday 28 February 2020

No 12870, Friday 28 Feb 2020, Skulldugger


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 4 PM.

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

1   Legal officer taken in by woman’s loss (6) DAMAGE {DAM{AG}E}
4   Get used to Bill’s hanging around flat (6) ADAPTS {AD{APT}S}
9   Foxtrot on the heels of this resounding tone (4) ECHO [DD]
10 Fail to pull out useful scrabble tile (4,1,5) DRAW A BLANK {DRAW}{A BLANK}
11 Jack’s doctor is inattentive (6) ABSENT {ABS}{ENT}
12 Warship incapable of being penetrated by cold rain at sea (8) IRONCLAD*
13 Speak contemptuously of domesticated lamb mixing with wild sheep (9) BLASPHEME {LAMB+SHEEP}*
15 Nice pals in Guam island (4) AMIS [T]
16 Cutback for presses! (4) PINS<=
17 Thespian essentially concerned with maturity as a function of intelligence (9) ESPIONAGE {thESPIan}{ON}{AGE}
21 Posh officer groomed by hairstylist (8) COIFFEUR {U+OFFICER}*
22 Moderator’s university supplanted by European conglomerate (6) EMPIRE (-u+e)EMPIRE
24 Waffle design hero developed framed by artist (10) LOGORRHOEA  LOGORRHOEA {LOGO}{R{HERO*}A}
25 Colt for a stick-up (4) ARAB {A}{BAR<=}
26 Go steady so far (2,4) TO DATE {TO}{DATE}
27 Secretary position temporarily free (6) PAROLE {PA}{ROLE}

1   Unit of volume! (7) DECIBEL [E]
2   Low, extremely secretive creature (5) MOOSE {MOO}{Se...vE}
3   Maker removed roof off cage to halve expenses (2,5) GO DUTCH {GOD}{hUTCH}
5   Monster to persist (6) DRAGON {DRAG ON}
6   Law enforcers, professional killers pursuing American politician (9) POLICEMEN {ICEMEN}<=>{POL}
7   Footwear made of wood and string originally (7) SANDALS {SANDAL}St...g}
8   Rico hugs momma, tripping on hallucinogen (5,8) MAGIC MUSHROOM*
14 Fig adorns sculpture with poise (9) SANGFROID*
16 Religious leader dispersed troops around Vatican city (7) PROVOST {PRO{V}OST*}
18 Picked up flour arrangement in a bake off! (7) IKEBANA* (Flour arrangement ~ flower arrangement)
19 Hamburger with cheese ultimately appropriate (7) GERMANE {GERMAN}{c...sE}
20 Hunt animal(6) FERRET [DD]
23 Optimal info regularly typed out with keyboard (5) PIANO {oPtImAl+iNfO}

Reference List
Bills = ADS, Jack = AB, Posh = U, University = U, European = E, Artist = RA, Low = MOO, Vatican = V

Thursday 27 February 2020

No 12869, Thursday 27 Feb 2020, Vulcan

1   Cuisine thats exciting and lively (12) ENTHUSIASTIC*
10 Police chief said to be heroic (7) MARTIAL (~marshal)
11 Plain obvious, not a roundworm (7) CRAWLER {CLEaR} over {RAW}
12 One from the UK mostly to employ another one from there (6) S?O??? (Addendum - SCOUSE - {SCOt}{USE}&lit - See comments)
13 Moralist checked corruption in project (8) PROTRUDE {P{ROT}RUDE}
15 Abandon and betray a soldier (6,3) DESERT RAT {DESERT}{RAT}
16 Peaceful up to this time (5) STILL [DD]
17 Section of the crowd yelling — what do you call it? (5) ROWDY [T] &lit
19 I run about, nothing ever stopped me (4,5) NILE RIVER {I}{R}<= in {NIL}{EVER}  &lit
22 Air conditioning not good in transport, it could be a bug (8) BACILLUS {B{AC}{ILL}US}
24 One about to step over this is going to feel cold (3,3) ICE CAP [CD]
26 Symbols discussed in Physics for instance (7) SCIENCE (~signs)
27 Eye specialist’s clout is slipping (7) OCULIST*
28 Key measures brought about to protect life, primarily for one in need of protection (6,6) ASYLUM SEEKER {KEY+MEASURES}* over {Life}

2   Worried sick over in North America (7) NERVOUS {N}{OVER*}{US}
 Musical hour with songs on piano by Charles! (4,5) HAIR ??R?Y {HAIR}{??R?Y} (Addendum - HAIR SPRAY - {H}{AIRS}{P}{RAY} - See comments}
4   One in city, say (4) SOLE (~seoul)
5   Rightly, Bill to organise an event at the end of fiscal year (10) ACCURATELY {AC}{CURATE}{f...aL}{Y}
6   Liking cut sandwiches over bread that's crisp (5) TOAST {T{O}ASTe}
7   Local culinary stores — finding them is painful (7) CALCULI [T]
8   Entertained a thought (6) AMUSED {A}{MUSED}
9   Vocal about Democrat Pierce’s extreme hardship (6) ORDEAL {OR{D}{P...cE}AL}
14 Makeover with aunt wearing gold in a certain style (3,7)  ART NOUVEAU {OVER+AUNT}*{AU}
16 Criticism after university takes over one building (9) STRUCTURE STR(-1+u}UCTURE
17 To sack the American president eventually is tough (6) ROBUST {ROB}{US}{p...nT}
18 Native American kid in Wisconsin area (7) WICHITA {WI}{CHIT}{A}
20 A measure adopted by plant manufacturing immunising agent (7) VACCINE {V{A}{CC}INE}
21 Name is right, place is in Eastern European capital (6) REPUTE {R}{E}{PUT}{Eu...e}
23 Tall and large, clumsy yank (5) LANKY {L}{YANK*}
25 Consignments — huge amount (4) LOTS [DD]

Reference List
Run = R, Air conditioning = AC, North = N, Bill = AC, Year = Y, Over = A, Democrat = D, Gold = AU, University = U, Kid = CHIT, Area = A, Measure = CC, Right = R, Eastern = E, Large = L, Hour = H, Piano =P

Wednesday 26 February 2020

No 12868, Wednesday 26 Feb 2020, Anon

 Oafs hair cut oddly in country (5,6) SOUTH AFRICA*
9   Oh! Returned to platform with prisoner (7) HOSTAGE {OH<=}{STAGE}
10 Look up to Bill in difficulties (6) ADMIRE {AD}{MIRE}
11 Experiment with case (5) TRIAL [DD]
12 Alien leaves, blows up gifts (7) DONATES DetONATES
15 Install end to end bundle (4) LOTS (-s)LOT(+s)S
16 United Nations, in chaos, declines those lacking official approval (10) UNLICENSED {UN}{DECLINES*}
18 Frightened by wound, journalist’s not at home (6,4) SCARED AWAY {SCAR}{ED} {AWAY}
20 Suppress Oriental curse (4) BANE {BAN}{E}
23 Weigh half of North African at toll (7) LIBRATE {LIByan}{RATE}
24 Argue when left out from air travel (5) FIGHT FlIGHT
26 Remove last bit from cocktail for Italian poet (6) MARINI MARtINI
27 Turkish hostels built from broken minarets, missing bit of neatness (7) IMARETS MInARETS*
28 Those who rent out revile sages mercilessly (5,6) LEASE GIVERS*

2   Prophet first off boat (6) ORACLE cORACLE
3   Bound to abnormal diet (4) TIED*
4   Doctor’s acclamation (lacks bit of caution) of body structure (10) ANATOMICAL ACcLAMATION*
5   Aries summons, goes berserk (8) RAMPAGES {RAM}{PAGES}
6   Rugs for dear in vehicles (7) CARPETS {CAR{PET}S}
7   Allow Caucasian to record (9) WHITELIST {WHITE}{LIST}
8   Help fool regularly in situ (6) ASSIST {ASS}{In+SiTu}
13 Peacekeepers notice object during excavation (10) UNEARTHING {UN}{EAR}{THING}
14 Promote, bring it back from within counter (9) ADVERTISE {ADVER{IT<=}SE}
17 Abstains from choruses (8) REFRAINS [DD]
19 Clipped Adelaide-made instrument (7) ALIDADE ADELAIDe*
21 Fisherman to turn right (6) ANGLER {ANGLE}{R}
22 Regular half of carnival operation (6) AFFAIR {hAlF}{FAIR}
25 Leaders kept inventing electric vehicles in European capital (4) KIEV Acrostic

Reference List
Bill = AD, Journalist = ED, Oriental = E, Left = L, Right = R,

Tuesday 25 February 2020

No 12867, Tuesday 25 Feb 2020, Lightning

1   Pots providing extra support (8) BACKSTOP {POTS}* [RA]
5   A treaty curtailed by governor of tribe (6) APACHE {A}{PACt}{HE}
9   Negligent, left engineer amidst stroke (8) CARELESS {CARE{L}{E}SS}
10 Multi-car collision at eastern rim (6) PILEUP {E}{LIP}<=  (<= for UP)
12 One that is proper, at first painful and insensitive (5) PRUDE {Pa...l}{RUDE}
13 Long story about second gemstone belonging to bishops (9) EPISCOPAL {EPI{S}C}{OPAL}
14 Not enough to mark chapter on electromotive force (6) SCARCE {SCAR}{C}{E}
16 Fit sailor, wearing headgear, left with energy (7) CAPABLE {CAP}{AB}{L}{E}
19 France correct to confiscate electronic goods (7) FREIGHT {F}{R{E}IGHT}}
21 Everyone entering autonomous program for a ticket (6) BALLOT {B{ALL}OT}
23 Cant meet at sea without new law (9) ENACTMENT {CANT+MEET}* over {N}
25 Mysterious saint returns with quickness (5) SPEED {DEEP}{S}<=
26 Theme of article about royal flier (6) THREAD {TH{R}E}{AD}
27 Are vents designed for old people? (8) VETERANS*
28 Mislead American man around oriental lake (6) DELUDE {D{E}{L}UDE}
29 Initial element of problem incomplete with old information (8) HYDROGEN {HYDRa}{O}{GEN}

1   Black spice ground with muscles (6) BICEPS {B}{SPICE*}
2   Vehicle primarily bought by relative, perhaps it is precious (9) CARBUNCLE {CAR}{Bo...t}{UNCLE}
3   Soothe segment of dorsal vertebrae (5) SALVE [T]
4   Old boy at a part of movie becomes offensive (7) OBSCENE {OB}{SCENE}
6   First son of king nearly joins one mate (9) PRINCIPAL {PRINCe}{1}{PAL}
7   Poor boy protecting European (5) CHEAP {CH{E}AP}
8   Pears lie scattered by trellis (8) ESPALIER*
11 Short dance — it may be compact (4) DISC DISCo
15 This man could be indispensable (5,4) RIGHT HAND [CD]
17 Loud sound with energy reverberated, it may come back (9) BOOMERANG {BOOM}{E}{RANG}
18 Assumed a fellow resolved defect (8) AFFECTED {A}{F}{DEFECT*}
20 Join at right grade (4) TIER {TIE}{R}
21 Physical contact — it could help start a car (7) BATTERY [DD]
22 Greed is only withholding inventor (6) EDISON [T]
24 Unusual sensation before attack at a mountain range (5) AURAL {A}{URAL}
25 Fleece quiet listener (5) SHEAR {SH}{EAR}

Reference List
Governer = HE, Left = L, Engineer = E, Eastern = E, Second = S, Chapter = C, Electromotive force = E, Sailor = AB, Energy = E, France = F, Electronic = E, New = N, Saint = S, Royal = R, Flier = AD, Oriental = E, Lake = L, Old = O, Black = B, Old boy = OB, European = E, Fellow = F, Right = R, Quiet = SH

Monday 24 February 2020

No 12866, Monday 24 Feb 2020, Incognito

8   Rejects order after order for South Asian dumpling (4) MOMO {OM}{OM}<=
9   North European covers clubs’ disco, for example (5) DANCE {DAN{C}E}
10 Right in Goa, rocking ship (4) ARGO {A{R}GO*}
11 Animal crawling with nest can be nauseating (6) IGUANA {nAUseAtING}* [CA] Saw this fellow in Bali yesterday
12 Ivan and Carl pirouette at celebratory event (8) CARNIVAL*
13 Bail arranged with directions for some Indonesians (8) BALINESE {BAIL*}{N}{E}{S}{E} I am amongst them for the last few days!
15 Artist in coffee shop gets flask (6) CARAFE {CA{RA}FE}
17 Arrive around ten at first, wearing special uniform clothing (7) COSTUME {COME} over {Ten} in {S}{U}
19 Moulding irons having carbon with one cutting tooth (7) INCISOR {IRONS}* over {C}{1}
22 Mummy, Cain returned for lunatic (6) MANIAC {MA}{CAIN<=}
24 Arranging oil pacts for sources of fuel (8) COALPITS*
26 Distributor’s pupils damaged in front of emergency room (8) SUPPLIER {PUPILS*}{ER}
28 Soldier’s German march (6) PARADE {PARA}{DE}
30 Royal captivated by munchkin girl (4) KING [T]
31 Amount returned by in-charge for some entertaining notes (5) MUSIC {SUM<=}{IC}
32 Gave money some time before Easter (4) LENT [DD]

1   Boy meets girl in air (4) SONG {SON}{G}
2   He may study bonsai mutation around end of August using tweezers at first (8) BOTANIST {BO{a...sT}ANIS*}{Tw...s} &lit
3   Time Washington Engineers’ promotional program (6) ADWARE {AD}{WA}{RE}
4   Passed groggy cat during destruction of Eden (7) ENACTED {EN{CAT*}ED*}
5   Tom’s partner’s tin fuel container (8) JERRYCAN {JERRY}{CAN}
6   Vehicle crossed road for expensive foodstuff (6) CAVIAR {CA{VIA}R}
7   City’s fragrant part (4) AGRA [T]
14 A Gypsy’s smell (5) AROMA {A}{ROMA}
16 Look in lard for buoy (5) FLOAT {F{LO}AT}
18 Scotsman and his mother, to some extent, show aggressive masculinity (8) MACHISMO {MAC}{HIS}{MOt..r}
20 Scamp riles badly and endangers (8) IMPERILS {IMP}{RILES*}
21 Auditor returns with hair for female performer (7) ACTRESS{CA<=}{TRESS}
23 Call into question one military policeman with damaged gun (6) IMPUGN {1}{MP}{GUN*}
25 Camelid found in Tegucigalpa cathedral (6) ALPACA [T]
27 United Nations’ information technology establishment (4) UNIT {UN}{IT}
29 Have food and pass away around mid-morning (4) DINE {DI{m.rNi.g}E}

Reference List
Order = OM, Club = C, Right = R, Artist = RA, Special = S, Uniform = U, Emergency Room = ER, German = Deutsch = DE, In-charge = IC, Girl = G, Engineers = Royal Engineers = RE, Auditor = CA, Military Policeman = MP

Sunday 23 February 2020

Sunday Special, 23 Feb 20, Contributed

Max of three clues per solver.


1 Get on with a gentleman on Greek island frittering away afternoon (3,2,3)
5 Second long-distance runner is a happy sort (6)
9 The reference is to a learner, ‘soul in torment’ (8)
10 Expert gets suitable gain (6)
12 Rank achieved by palace attendant finally (4)
13 Between boy and girl there’s no reasoning (10)
15 City hangout is sweet (6)
17 Uncle back working as construction worker (5)
20 Speech has no tips on proportion (5)
21 Noted invader mentioned a guiding tool (6)
24 Stop! Trouble at the end of a couple of streets (5,5)
27 Boyfriend breaks tip off nice-looking object (4)
29 Dullards Amin and the drunken sot meet (6)
30 Boy spins around in Greek island group (8)
31 Look on bore reflectively (6)
32 No quarters given twice to balderdash (8)


1 Hot soil in home (6)
2 He counts as a bank employee (6)
3 Examine international cricket match? (4)
4 Insubstantial stuff from female writer (5)
6 Societal norms code developer twisted at last (5)
7 Hoist father aboard with skier’s permit (4,4)
8 Attempting once more for a second hearing (8)
11 College head and learner tear around to make wine (6)
14 Repeat from stable chorister (4)
16 Looks forward to a week with a SIT round (6)
17 Bigot’s slipper? (4)
18 More shaggy British Russian’s more bashful (8)
19 Inform about bird taking away secretly (8)
22 Show me the way to deceive (4,2)
23 Chase union leader coming into money (6)
25 Active person has time to be mollycoddler (5)
26 Taylor endlessly working to apply with vigour (3,2)
28 The sign of the summer? (4)

The Sunday Crossword No 3088, Sunday 23 Feb 2020

1   President grandly dines, leading to gym session (5-3) PRESS-UPS {PRES}{SUPS}
5   Invention that secures part of level crossing (6) VELCRO [T]
10 Report following that woman’s affair (7) SHEBANG {BANG}<=>{SHE}
11 Russia’s banks fiddle endlessly with cases from Italy (7) RAVIOLI {Ru..iA}{VIOLIn}
12 A little dab at Ikea fabric (5) BATIK [T] Batik is not a fabric but a technique of applying dye
13 Dislocated nine noses? Definitely not (2,2,5) IN NO SENSE*
14 Why so blue, kid? Regrettably, it's the drink (6,6) DOUBLE WHISKY*
18 Uninjured, rare bird almost crashed into something met at high speed (5,7) SOUND BARRIER {SOUND}{RARE+BIRd}*
21 Recklessly races back for pescatarian’s dish (4,5) CRAB CAKES*
23 Next to west section of church, left a kind of orange (5) NAVEL {NAVE}{L}
24 Oafs to run about, in a way (2,1,4) OF A SORT {OAFS+TO+R}*
25 Opens a French port and sips (to begin with) (7) UNCORKS {UN}{CORK}{Sips}
26 Shocked? About time to become experienced (6) TASTED {TAS{T}ED}
27 So splendid (4,4) VERY GOOD [DD]

1   Ignore eyewitness without hesitation (4.2) PASS BY PASSerBY
 Lets out what a Cockney comic does, we’re told (6) EGESTS ( ~ 'e jests)
3   Cask of don drunk with crisps, etc (5,4) SNACK FOOD*
4   Silk pants being laid out as festive treat (4,2,8) PIGS IN BLANKETS*
6   Tolkien’s language not hard, reveals the King (5) ELVIS ELVISh
7   Colonel ingests oxygen atop headland, showing aplomb (8) COOLNESS {CO{O}L}{NESS}
8   Cartoon character sounded kind of fat (5,3) OLIVE OYL (~ olive oil)
 A curry, beer cans laid out as festive treat (9.5) CRANBERRY SAUCE*
15 Tint with blubber, leading to commotion (3,3,3) HUE AND CRY {HUE}{AND}{CRY}
16 Intimidate and turn spy with touch (5,3) PSYCH OUT {SPY+TOUCH}*
17 Alcoholic aficionado on vacation, scoundrel’s drinking orangey liqueurs (8) CURACAOS {Al...iC}{Af...dO} in {CURS}
19 Clever? Solomon? To some extent? To a huge extent! (4,2) EVER SO [T]
20 Miss getting into album? Shut up (6) CLOSED {C{LOSE}D}
22 What goes in mulled wine? Bit of cinnamon, dear (5) CLOVE {Ci...n}{LOV

Reference List
Left = L, Run = R, Time = T,  Hard = H, Oxygen = O

Saturday 22 February 2020

No 12865, Saturday 22 Feb 2020, Incognito

 So-called fiddler toured Reno (4) NERO {RENO*}
9   Sketch a spanner and get a contraption installed over the moat (10) DRAWBRIDGE {DRAW}{BRIDGE}
10 Untidy torn cloth label (6) RAGTAG {RAG}{TAG}
11 Think of English face (8) ENVISAGE {EN}{VISAGE}
12 Take back engineers, sailors, and other ranks before beginning of battle (8) REABSORB {RE}{ABS}{OR}{Battle}
14 Some money for a horse (6) AMOUNT {A}{MOUNT}
16 Leer at old girl student with enthusiasm at first (4) OGLE {O}{G}{L|{Enthusiasm}
17 Roman poet without a right to produce watch (5) VIGIL {VIrGIL}
18 Port // bottle stopper (4) CORK (DD)
19 Juliet and Roman girl return getting travel fatigue (3,3) JET LAG {J}{ET}{GAL<=}
21 Small note is accompanied by Middle Eastern currency for monument (8) MEMORIAL {MEMO}{RIAL}
23 Pull car back with energy for an auto competition (4,4) DRAG RACE {DRAG}{CAR<=}{E}
26 “Richard, that is Lord Mountbatten’s pet name” (6) DICKIE {DICK}{IE}
27 Daily has extraordinary grit about commencement of expose... results in a harmless threat (5,5) PAPER TIGER {PAPER}{GRIT*} around {Expose}
28 Sees // spots on coconuts (4) EYES (DD)

1   High flying lawyer? (5,5) LEGAL EAGLE (CD)
2   Wine is fit; can be transported (8) PORTABLE {PORT}{ABLE}
3   An American lawman and soldier at ball give instructions to go slow (6) ADAGIO {A}{DA}{GI}{O}
4   Model has mimic’s measuring device (4) TAPE {T}{APE}
5   Firstly, over everything... (5,3) ABOVE ALL {ABOVE}{ALL}
6   ... fellow initially incorporating a small business can be a failure (6) FIASCO {F}{Incorporating}{A}{S}{CO}
7   Very eager in a synagogue (4) AGOG (T)
13 Ask for monetary dole with hesitation for a married Muslim lady (5) BEGUM {BEG}{UM}
15 Descriptions about locals having a couple of rupees (10) NARRATIVES {NA{RR}TIVES}
17 Virginia permits bums (8) VAGRANTS {VA}{GRANTS}
18 Hundred prophets’ boats (8) CORACLES {C}{ORACLES}
20 Made an entry about dogleg manoeuvring (6) LOGGED {DOGLEG*}
22 Latest method followed by Royal Navy (6) MODERN {MODE}{RN}
24 Widen a hole for 480, 500 or 516 sheets of paper (4) REAM (DD)
25 Placing Director General between Edward and Elizabeth gives an advantage (4) EDGE {E}{DG}{E}

Reference List

English=En, Engineers=RE, Sailors=ABS, Other Ranks=OR, Old=O, Girl=G, Student=L, Right=R, Juliet=J, And Roman=Et, Girl=Gal, Energy=E, That is=I.E.
An=A, American lawman=DA, Soldier=GI, Ball=O, Model=T, Fellow=F, Small=S, Business=Co, Rupee=R, Virginia=Va, Hundred=C, Royal Navy=RN, Director General=DG, Edward=E, Elizabeth=E

Colour/Font Scheme

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

Friday 21 February 2020

No 12864, Friday 21 Feb 2020, Incognito

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 4 PM.
8 Thanks! With side-car for hire? (4)
9 American emergency room’s customers (5)
10 Hit returning friends (4)
11 Champion consumes and swindles (6)
12 Scurrying mice follow a boor and scholar (8)
13 Now, present book and sticker (8)
15 Portray German with ancient Scot (6)
17 Man from Kigali managed to hold magical stick (7)
19 Stern champ’s pained expression (7)
22 Elves scamper around Saint’s ship (6)
24 Look Duke! Stare! Possibly, it is Polaris (8)
26 Rich and excited flute fan (8)
28 Soon returns carrying special drug and traps (6)
30 Plot in Lapland (4)
31 Helpmates, not wayward pals, can be subject matter (5)
32 Smashing pie after end of dinner’s ready to eat (4)

1 Cab returns with hotel musician (4)
2 Wild animal consumes engineer and vegetable (4,4)
3 Gold ship that is from Down Under (6)
4 Fine writing instrument’s with a lieutenant by end of day (7)
5 I smear Hawaiian, for example (8)
6 Dozing general’s surrounded by snake (6)
7 Waterway in Dharwad, India (4)
14 Prescribed medicine quantity, including a drop of wine and divine groundwater (5)
16 Two military commanders get a drink (5)
18 Horribly laments about current diseases (8)
20 State: “Young woman and heavenly beauty, but not hot” (8)
21 Praise father consuming milky coffee (7)
23 South American queue to get sodium chloride solution (6)
25 Destroyed garden menace (6)
27 Touched soft material (4)
29 For starters, entertainer showed public yellow spot (4)


Thursday 20 February 2020

No 12863, Thursday 20 Feb 2020, Incognito

7   Bends arms and ribbon loops for ships’ prows? Fiddlesticks! (4) BOWS [MD]
8   Notwithstanding changing spot in fire, abandons a bit of roast (2,5,2) IN SPITE OF {SPOT+IN+FIrE}*
10 Pakistan’s intelligence agency follows donkey to St. Francis’ place (6) ASSISI {ISI} after {ASS}
11 Poet composing sonnet about The Big Apple (8)  TENNYSON {TEN{NY}SON*}
12 Chessmen jump at uncle’s place (8) PAWNSHOP {PAWNS}{HOP}
14 See inside carcass — it’s gory (6) BLOODY {B{LO}ODY}
16 Law for including Chandigarh, say, in Punjab, for example (7) STATUTE {STAT{UT}E}
18 Thousand dollars per annum for ancestor (7) GRANDPA {GRAND}{PA}
21 Mountain where you can see a gunner with one who has deserted (6) ARARAT {A}{RA}{RAT}
23 Small human resources plane crashed into shell fragments (8) SHRAPNEL {S}{HR}{PLANE*}
25 State: Doctor madly ran (8) MARYLAND*
27 Signed off a pattern? (6) DESIGN*
29 Tulsas bot produces partial sums (9) SUBTOTALS*
30 Queen arm-twisted Yankee (4) MARY {ARM*}{Y}

1   Uninterrupted repair of cantonments in absence of soldiers (8) CONSTANT CANTONmenTS*
2   Liquor available in Hastinapur (4) ASTI [T]
3   Complete language, but no name (6) FINISH FINnISH
4   Atom with same number but different mass is nothing to an endless drinker (7) ISOTOPE {IS}{O}{TO}{PEg?} (Addendum - {IS}{O}{TOPEr} - See comments)
5   Ore found in hotel in California with saloon (8) CINNABAR {C{INN}A}{BAR}
6   Decline destroying expensive new yacht initially (4) DENY Acrostic
9   American car driven round first of Junagadh’s inlet (5) FJORD {F{Ju...h}ORD}
13 Stenographer’s piece of money, right? (5) NOTER {NOTE}{R}
15 Make a clean breast of personal state (3,2) OWN UP {OWN}{UP}
17 Four-footed creature to depart wildly (8) TETRAPOD*
19 Customers at 12 having one penny and account books (8) PLEDGERS {P}{LEDGERS}
20 Secondhand automobile America cared about (4,3) USED CAR {US}{CARED*}
22 Hits around circle and walks about (5) ROAMS {R{O}AMS}
24 Without opening hardish sort of vegetable (6) RADISH hARDISH*
26 Boys maybe uncouth persons (4) YOBS*
28 Amount to nothing in Japanese wrestling (4) SUMO {SUM}{0}

Reference List
The Big Apple = New York(NY, See = LO, Per Annum = PA, Gunner = RA(Royal Artillery), Small = S, Human Resources = HR, Yankee = Y, Soldiers = MEN, Name = N, Right = R, Penny = P

Dr RKE's TalePiece


Francis, today's hero, is  named after the saint of ASSISI.  He is a good GRANDPA who narrates stories to his granddaughter MARY. He CONSTANTly reads the Bible, even at bedtime. One night, snoozing with the Holy Book on his chest, he has a dream in which God warns him of the coming of the Deluge. God commands him to DESIGN an ark to save all the species. Francis has to PLEDGE his USED CAR at a PAWNSHOP to get money for the project. He builds the ark, on a FJORD, using gopherwood and paints its BOWs the colour of CINNABAR. He ROAMS the earth collecting a pair of each species of TETRAPODS and birds,  carefully checking the SUBTOTALS of each category that God ordained. He stocks provisions to last 7 days and nights but does not take RADISH as it is against the STATUTE. IN SPITE of his efforts, he cannot prevent a couple of YOBS, intoxicated with ASTI, staging a BLOODY SUMO contest on board. There is no DENYing that this causes the ark to Break, Break, Break (as TENNYSON would have put it). The ark runs aground to a FINISH on Mount ARARAT, which is the geographical antipode to MARYLAND. With that Grandpa Francis wakes up. 

(I have to OWN UP that the NOTER of this modern Noah's story, unable to face criticism, has gone INCOGNITO!)

Wednesday 19 February 2020

No 12862, Wednesday 19 Feb 2020, Neyartha

1   One in Boston laid the seeds of a revolution... (3,5) TEA PARTY [CD]
5   ...against a piece of poetry in the recital (6) VERSUS (~verses)
9   Not good to start off the work of a sailor in a pilot’s field (8) AVIATION nAVIgATION
10 Bully in the plaintiff’s cricket club gets dismissed by Bishop (6) ABUSER A(-cc+b)BUSER
11 Tall male welcoming company assignment in a foreign office (4,10) HIGH COMMISSION {HIGH}{CO}{M}{MISSION}
14 Emu cushioned partially by a slimy protective fluid (5) MUCUS [T]
16 Sensible to get behind a little change to become careful with money (5,4) PENNY WISE {WISE}<=>{PENNY}
17 Seemingly endless university closure following Dana’s disruption (2,7) AD NAUSEUM {DANA}{U}SEUM Anno pending (Addendum - AD NAUSEAM {DANA*}{U}{SEAM} - See comments)
19 Speedy hedgehog making heir push Curie back after confusion at the end (5) SONIC {S(-c)(ONI*}(+c)C} (Addendum - SONIC S(-ci)ON(+ci*)IC )
20 Water shows dust patterning in a particular direction (14) SOUTHWESTWARDS*
23 Coaches daughter for a short time and withdraws (6) DRAINS (-t+d)DRAINS
24 Doctor complicated CEC’s ouster by a foreign office employee (8) DIPLOMAT cOMPLIcATeD*
25 Sailor with an intoxicating cigarette (6) REEFER [DD]
26 Daughter misplaced fruit after the Indian girl’s entry and became emotionally troubled (8) AGITATED {GITA} in {(-d)ATE(+d)D}

1   Reportedly pulled along by a despicable person (4) TOAD (~towed)
2   Excuse provided by leaders of ASEAN leveraging Indira’s brazen ideas (5) ALIBI Acrostic
3   Could these be dropped in certain socially inferior circles? (7) AITCHES [CD]
4   Layer found by Oscar, tucking into the wine from the south, on the globe (11) TROPOSPHERE {PORT<=}{O}{SPHERE}
6   Foreign office making the liberal leave the raucous assembly (7) EMBASSY ASSEMBlY*
7   Mistrust making the cousins design an envelope for the Greek letter (9) SUSPICION {SUS{PI}CION*}
8   Inflexibility resulting from contraction after commencement (10) STRINGENCY aSTRINGENCY
12 Coarse carpet containing nickel protects upset Greek character in the emancipation process (11) MANUMITTING {MA{N{MU<=}I}TTING}
13 An Indian car model for the foreign office employee (10) AMBASSADOR [DD]
15 Bone turning up inside an ice-cream holder in a foreign office (9) CONSULATE {CON{TALUS<=}E}
18 Rattle the peacekeepers with a turning device (7) UNHINGE {UN}{HINGE}
19 Vegetable concealed by Field Marshal Lothario (7) SHALLOT [T]
21 Scheduled retreat’s a fancy way to resign (5) DEMIT<=
22 Nail on an upright member in a timber framework (4) STUD [DD]

Reference List
Not = N, Good = G, Cricket Club = CC, Bishop = B, Male = M, University = U, Curie = Ci, Daughter = D, Oscar = O, Liberal = L

Dr RKE's TalePiece


Miss Eliza Doolittle sells SHALLOTs for a living and being PENNY WISE, she cannot afford attending a finishing school. Professor Henry Higgins, the famed phonetician, who can accurately place the origin of a man hailing 2 miles SOUTHWESTWARDS of Coventry Garden merely  by his accent, takes on the challenge of MANUMITTING Eliza from her wretchedness by simply teaching her not to drop the 'AITCHES, transforming the language of a guttersnipe into that of a gracious lady. His housekeeper Mrs.Pearce goes about changing Eliza's attire and teaches her the use of a handkerchief to wipe the MUCUS instead of the sleeve of her gown. The STRINGENCY of Higgins' exercise of saying AD NAUSEAM phrases like "In Hertford, Hereford, and Hampshire, hurricanes hardly ever happen" DRAINS her of all energy but she finally  masters the diction of the Queen's English. 

Higgins takes her to a TEA PARTY in the Hungarian HIGH COMMISSION, hosted by the AMBASSADOR. It is attended by CONSULATEs and DIPLOMATs from several nations. Eliza passes off for a lady of high birth, raising no SUSPICION, until she sees a STUD, dressed in a REEFER, one Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Things become UNHINGEd when she drops her guard and shouts out an unladylike profanity in her excitement. AGITATED by this Prof.Higgins turns the ABUSER. Not cowed down by his abuses, Eliza perseveres and joins an AVIATION company. She  becomes the chief of cabin crew on their superSONIC flights, that fly above the TROPOSPHERE. Freddy DEMITs his post in the EMBASSY and joins the same airlines to continue wooing Eliza. 

Tuesday 18 February 2020

No 12861, Tuesday 18 Feb 2020, Arden

1   Quietly drew away, was smart (6) SHREWD {SH}{DREW*}
4   Transported from regular perch — but not moving (8) ECSTATIC {pErCh}{STATIC}
10 Stone man lived in denial, perhaps (9) ALMANDINE {AL{MAN}DINE*}
11 Part of the problem, one that’s defective (5) LEMON [T]
12 Studied country’s extended borders (7) PERUSED {PERU'S}{Ex...eD}
13 Knowing finally the paint's to be mixed (7) SAPIENT {thE+PAINTS}*
14 Because of a song only... (3,2) DUE TO {DUET}{O}
15 ...soldiers and spies have reactionary tendencies (8) REAGENTS {RE}{AGENTS}
18 Dear Mike’s new profession (8) DIEMAKER*
20 Send back watch (5) TIMER<=
23 Not good to have set up the last fighting unit (7) BRIGADE {B{RIG}AD}{thE}
25 Two drinks over mid afternoon? There is mortification (7) CHAGRIN {CHA}{G{a..eRn..n}IN}
26 Posed say with French composer (5) SATIE {SAT}{IE}
27 Happy to take on, dog’s tail is stretched (9) ELONGATED {EL{ON}{doG}ATED}
28 A flower takes form, it’s of inferior quality (8) DECLASSE {DE{CLASS}E}
29 Weighed down with last of the tomatoes rotten (6) ADDLED sADDLED

1   Frank meddles regularly, causing flight (8) STAMPEDE {STAMP}{mEdDlEs}
2   “Rue over etiquette”, they say (7) REMORSE {RE}{MORSE}(~ mores)
3   Trims down, unusually violent weather (9) WINDSTORM*
5   Shady character stole a fancy car (7,7) CHELSEA TRACTOR*
6   Bulb lit up by accident (5) TULIP*
7   Play’s in American city, by the way (7) TEMPEST {TEMPE}{ST}
8   Old king, one wearing something pretty (6) CANUTE {C{AN}UTE}
9   Making friends with cricket players, part of children’s code (7,7) FINDERS KEEPERS {FRIENDS}*{KEEPERS}
16 Alien entered England’s borders, was no longer friendly (9) ESTRANGED {STRANGE} in {En...nD}
17 Crime syndicates growing racket in the country (8) TRINIDAD {TRI{DIN<=}AD}
19 Depoliticise conversion, losing sleep is stupid (7) IDIOTIC DepOlITICIse*
21 One writing in Tamil dealt with union affairs (7) MARITAL {A}{R} in {TAMIL}*
22 Rated a book as old (6) ABUSED {A}{B}{USED}
24 Field where soldiers enter one by one (5) ARENA {A{RE}N}{A}

Reference List
Only = O, Soldiers = RE, Flower = River = DEE, Over = RE, Way = ST, One = AN, A, Writing = R, Book = B

Dr RKE's TalePiece

Mrs.CANUTE, the recently wedded wife of a DIEMAKER from TRINIDAD was ECSTATIC, when her husband presented her an ALMANDINE garnet ring for her birthday. Her father, who had been REMORSEful as he thought her daughter had married DECLASSE, was pleasantly surprised by the gift. He was SHREWD enough to sense that his son-in-law could not possibly afford such a costly gift. He got it PERUSED by a jeweller, who treated it with some chemical REAGENTS and declared it to be a cheap fake.  A WINDSTORM, nay a TEMPEST, blew through their MARITAL life, when she found out to her CHAGRIN that the ring was LEMON. An ELONGATED war of words followed, in which she ABUSED not only her husband but his entire clan. The diemaker sent a bunch of TULIPs with a note that said "'Sorry, I Love You, I'll Stop Acting IDIOTIC". Strange are the ways of a woman's mind; DUE TO this simple gift she was pacified and it prevented them from getting ESTRANGED. Of course, being SAPIENT, she had also extracted a promise from him that he would buy a CHELSEA TRACTOR, a real one, for her next birthday. 

Monday 17 February 2020

No 12860, Monday 17 Feb 2020, Arden

9   Maybe bad sign — it takes guts (7) ABDOMEN {BAD*}{OMEN}
10 Sam, perhaps on a roll initially, can't make out (7) UNCLEAR {UNCLE}{A}{Roll}
11 Each adopted the wild cat (7) CHEETAH {EACH+THE}*
12 Big bird with a nice clipped tail (7) TITANIC {TIT}{A}{NICe}
13 Rain on grass, odd rain creates a hotchpotch (9) POTPOURRI {POT}{POUR}{RaIn}
15 Testing time for kidsTerminator bombed airport terminal (5) APRIL {AIRPort+terminaL}* [CA]
16 Late to cover study, you can go no further (4,3) DEAD END {DEA{DEN}D}
19 American upset with scrambled eggs and tea — it’s prompt (7) SUGGEST {US+EGGS+T}* (Addendum - {US<=}{EGGS*}{T} - See comments)
20 Long, maybe nearly fifty gone (5) YEARN NEARlY*
21 Redemption meant to modulate and check voice (9) ATONEMENT {A{TONE}MENT*}
25 Long time spent in line like an animal (7) LEONINE {L{EON}INE}
26 Case of cockney demand for some bling (7) EARRING (~ 'earing)
28 Food complaint, two characters flipped inside (7) ALIMENT A(I<=>L}MENT
29 Melissa used for earthmoving activity (7) SEISMAL*

1   Crazy plan to get an aide (6) MADCAP {M{ADC}AP}
2   Start with one diamond opening (6) ADVENT {A}{D}{VENT}
3   Novel must be filth (4) SMUT*
4   Party by the hour, no universal support (6) ANCHOR {ANC}{HOuR}
5   Sit out among doctors, shows respect (8) CURTSIES {CUR{SIT*}ES}
6   A beautiful fish, less than right in a way (5,5) ACUTE ANGLE {A}{CUTE}{ANGLE}
7   Fake news? True, she does provide nourishment initially (3,5) WET NURSE*
8   Risk taking people, by law get a handcuff (8) BRACELET {B{RACE}{L}ET}
14 Placing reliance on a mode of transport (5,5) OCEAN LINER*
16 Air filter for chemical wash (8) DRYCLEAN {DRY}{CLEAN}
17 A defence pact faces trouble over Asia Minor (8) ANATOLIA {A}{NATO}{AIL<=}
18 Face oddly excites tongues (8) DIALECTS {DIAL}{ExCiTeS}
22 Some are embarrassed on being hauled up to port (6) ODESSA [T<=]
23 New meaning, not new puzzle (6) ENIGMA MEAnING*
24 Switch to Google — loves to go (6) TOGGLE {TO}{GooGLE}
27 Scotch during regular reunions (4) RUIN ReUnIoNs

Reference List
Grass = POT, Fifty = L, Aide = ADC(Aide-de-camp), Diamond = D, Universal = U, Law = L, New = N, Love = 0

Dr RKE's TalePiece


In the month of APRIL 2019, a luxury OCEAN LINER, ENIGMAtically named TITANIC II,  lifted ANCHOR and set sail from the port of ODESSA. Some SUGGEST that it was a MADCAP idea to have named it so, knowing well the RUIN, literally a 'DEAD END,' that the earlier ship by the same name had run into.  It was UNCLEAR if the captain of this ship, who hailed from ANATOLIA, known for his LEONINE courage, YEARNed for a place in naval history or only wanted his two minutes of fame. He was seen on deck in a DRY CLEANed crisp uniform wearing a BRACELET and a single EARRING, which were his lucky charms. A POPOURRI (for that is how POTPOURRI ought to be pronounced, the 'T' being silent in the proper British DIALECT) of dishes awaited in the plush hotel named 'ALIMENT' two floors below the deck,  where the maĆ®tre d' CURTSIEd to welcome the guests. SEISMAL activity many nautical miles away caused the ship to pitch and yaw violently, causing a revolt in the ABDOMEN of the diners. They thought the end was near, fell to their knees and prayed for ATONEMENT. Captain Cool, fleet as a CHEETAH, charged to the control room and merely TOGGLEd some switches, turned the ship's course at an ACUTE ANGLE, and they were back on to smooth waters. That is what ADVENT of technology has done to make shipping safe.