Monday, 31 August 2020

No 13028, Monday 31 Aug 2020, Incognito


Solution to 11A has been deliberately left unsolved and is to be answered only by a non-regular/novice commenter, with proper annotation. Those who have answered earlier in the week, please give others a chance.

8   Parts of journeys used by pedestrians (4) LEGS [DD]
9   Hot aquatic beings are contemptible creatures (5) HEELS {H}{EELS}
10 Pay for one third of yard (4) FOOT [DD]
11 Park Rolls Royce in fuel stockyard (6) ?O?R?L (Addendum - CORRAL {CO{RR}AL} - See comments)
12 Bears sots flying around physicist (8) STOMACHS {STO{MACH}S*}
13 Actor’s confused in the spa (8) THESPIAN*
15 Bend! Bend it and place under obligation (6) INDEBT*
17 Buries assortment of men and bots (7) ENTOMBS*
19 Make a priest give up his habit? (7) UNFROCK [CD]
22 Flee changing caps in Eastern Europe (6) ESCAPE {E{CAPS*}E}
24 Excel when cutlass gets broken after initial onslaught (8) OUTCLASS {CUTLASS}*<=>{On...t}
26 ............................. (8) SHOULDER (Based on crossings) The e-paper wants you to make your own clue!!! This despite an apology in the paper today regarding lack of enumerations on Saturday!!! See comments for the intended clue
28 Ötzi was an office manager? Well, not entirely (6) ICEMAN [T]
30 Turn towards strong champion (4) FACE {F}{ACE}
31 Leads main persons (5) HEADS [DD]
32 Sees each young elephant separately at first (4) EYES Acrostic

1   Take away one Japanese plane (4) ZERO {1-1=0}
2   Type of coffee processed around beginning of night gets responses (8) ESPRESSO {RESPOnSES}*
 It’s very hot! But sounds cold! (6) CHILLI (~chilly)
4   Farm labourer’s affable after the beginner leaves (7) PEASANT PlEASANT
5   Scotsman goes after stone thrown for one from Tallinn (8) ESTONIAN {IAN}<=>{STONE*}
6   Scared of air force attack (6) AFRAID {AF}{RAID}
7    Beat Sophocles badly after losing poles (4) COSH SOpHoCles*
14 Delivers sand mixture after end of March (5) HANDS {SAND}*<=>{m..cH}
16 Supports graduates encircling conservative knight (5) BACKS {BA{C}{K}S}
18 Wide ranges of respiration seen around onset of disorder and commencement of sickness (8) BREADTHS {BREA{Di...r}TH}{Si...s}
20 Gets rid of terribly evil seer (8) RELIEVES*
21 Gatekeeper abducted by tandoor manufacturers? (7) DOORMAN [T]
23 Sailor employed and mistreated (6) ABUSED {AB}{USED}
25 Enthusiasm requires water to satisfy it (6) THIRST [C&DD]
27 Trick Xhosa played after son left (4) HOAX XHOsA*
29 Cuts back sex after first abortion (4) AXES {SEX<=}<=>{Ab...n}

Reference List
Hot = H, Strong = F, Beginner = L, Conservative = C, Knight = K, Sailor = AB, Son = S

Dr RKEs TalePiece

Somewhere in the Ötztal Alps on 31st August 1991, two tourists, one a German and the other an ESTONIAN, happen to stumble upon a body ENTOMBed in the ice, on the slopes of the hill. They are AFRAID that they have found a recent murder victim and fighting their first urge to take to their HEELS,  they make bold to inform the local gendarme. The policeman, quietly sips his ESPRESSO, as he listens to them, showing ZERO interest in their find, dismissing it as a HOAX – a fanciful tale he has heard from many imaginative amateur hikers in the past. The duo are RELIEVED that the policeman finally calls his Superintendent. The more sensible Superintendent visits the site and confirms that it is not someone killed recently but a mummy from eons ago. The archaeologists organize a proper dig and carry the mummy and other objects found nearby to the University of Innsbruck. The ICEMAN is nicknamed Ötzi by the media.

We must be INDEBTed to carbon dating technology, which determines that Ötzi lived 4000 years ago! X-rays and CT scans of the iceman's LEGS and one FOOT show that he had walked the length and BREADTH of the mountains in the 45 odd years that he lived, probably a PEASANT, who had to  CORRAL sheep. 3D scanning reconstructs his bearded FACE, with sunken EYES and the HANDS calloused by the copper AXES he used. The tattoos on his BACK seem to have come from some needles used for something like acupuncture. Ötzi  had a bearskin cap on his HEAD and a bladder in which he carried water or drink to slake his THIRST. The STOMACH'S contents reveal that he had eaten ibex meat hours before dying.

Doubtlessly he has been COSHed on the rib cage but he appears to have been killed by an arrow that is plunged into his shoulder. Mushrooms discovered in his bag show that he ABUSED them for their hallucinogenic  effect. One cannot ESCAPE the conclusion that Ötzi, must have been OUTCLASSed by a fellow shepherd, who chose to strike him down when he was drowsy after a meal, possibly in a drugged torpor, may be to make away with Ötzi's sheep. That makes Ötzi the second shepherd to be murdered after Abel!

Sunday, 30 August 2020

The Sunday Crossword No 3114, Sunday 30 Aug 2020

1   Bowler's second stopping run ... leads economically to 3 down (3-5) HAT-TRICK {HAT}{T{R}ICK}
5   Reconstituted spare parts for Everyman in the old country (6) PERSIA {PERS{I}A*}
10 Our cousin's a warrior, we hear (7) GORILLA (~guerrilla)
11 You can see right through this earl with the old predicament (7) EYEHOLE {E}{YE}{HOLE}
12 Fool almost getting married, in a manner of speaking (5) IDIOM {IDIOt}{M}
13 In desperation, hold out scrap (4-5) LAST-DITCH {LAST}{DITCH}
14 Advice lacking energy, odd: 'Stand one's ground' (3,3,5) DOS AND DONTS {ODD+STAND+ONeS}*
18 Southern guy is nasal, revolting, disgusting (2,4,2,3) AS UGLY AS SIN {S+GUY+IS+NASAL}*
21 Errant – so badpole dance (4,5) PASO DOBLE*

23 One in 5 now wanting some veterinarian to return (5) IRANI [T<=]
24 Setting down two things musician might do for audience (7) PLACING (~play sing)
25 Best part of visual increased tenfold (7) OPTIMAL OPTI(-c+m)MAL
26 Esme Llywellyn's a little malodorous (6) SMELLY [T]
27 Sup tasty prepared remains (5,3) STAYS PUT*

1   Witches, soldier included in something distinctly Scottish (6) HAGGIS {HAG{GI}S}
2   It's a complex container for rising Doctor! (6) TARDIS {ITS+A}* over {DR<=} &lit
3   Not initially well groomed – could become one to emulate (4,5) ROLE MODEL {wELL+gROOMED}*
4   Mathematician blathers madly, wasting time in Savoy (7,7) CHARLES BABBAGE {BLAtHERS}* in {CABBAGE}
6   Polish team regularly getting goal (5) EMEND {tEaM}{END}
7   Primarily, something hollered out with the utmost noisy energy? (4,4) SHOW TUNE Acrostic &lit
8   Incorrectly, 'the May stone'; it's the February birthstone (8) AMETHYST {THE+MAY}*{ST}
9   Riotous pastoral events? (8,6) PEASANTS REVOLT* &lit
15 Finding crater on island, attempt practice with canines (9) DENTISTRY {DENT}{IS}{TRY}
16 Cold shaken off, biceps flexed, a doctor's inserted instrument (8) BAGPIPES {BIcEPS}* over {A}{GP}
17 Partridge perhaps pulls funny face earlier in absurd endeavour (4,4) MUGS GAME {GAME}<=>{SMUG<=} (Correction - {GAME}<=>{MUGS} - See comments)
19 Pervert hides letter from Greece; it involves muscle-stretching (4-2) WARM-UP {WAR{MU}P}
20 Knight abandons aggressive tone (6) VIOLET VIOLEnT
22 Man fleeing bright-bottomed baboon? That's boring (5) DRILL manDRILL

Reference List
Bowler = HAT, Run = R, Earl = E, The old = YE, Married = M, Energy = E, Southern = S, 100 = C, 1000 = M, Soldier = GI, Stone = ST, Island = IS, Cold = C, Doctor = GP, Knight = N

Saturday, 29 August 2020

No 13027, Saturday 29 Aug 2020, Incognito

Enu added as the web version did not have it at the time of beginning to solve


1   Brewed wine held? Capital! (3,5) NEW DELHI {WINE+HELD*}
5   Violate rule on kick-off? Just the opposite (6) OFFEND {OFF}{END}
10 Poet hides first dollar in deceit (5) WILDE {WIL{Dollar}E}

11 A male Serb produced a coherent light ray (5,4) LASER BEAM {A+MALE+SERB*}
12 Scientist found in club of financiers (6) BOFFIN (T)
13 Rehearsal to manage experiment at first (5,3) TRIAL RUN {TRIAL}{RUN}
15 Dismissed and shot (5) FIRED (DD)
17 Heard revenue was misrepresented by the chap in office (9) INCUMBENT {~INCOME BENT}
19 “Sir, stores recycled electrical components” (9) RESISTORS {SIR+STORES*}
20 Medicine man carries frozen water for a kitchen machine (5) DICER {D{ICE}R}
21 Repairmen have afterthought about wood (8) PLUMBERS {P{LUMBER}S}
23 God took seat on ewer (6) SATURN {SAT}{URN}
27 RAW martial arts? (3,6) WAR DANCES {RAW*} Reverse Anagram
28 Release rent and leave (3,2) LET GO {LET}{GO}
29 Despair, losing energy, and collapse into turbulent waters (6) RAPIDS {DeSPAIR*}
30 What a person, always lying, may end up having? (3,5) BED SORES (CD)

1   Bwana turns into an Indian aristocrat (5) NAWAB {BWANA*}
2   Fries in uncontrolled conflagrations (9) WILD FIRES {FRIES*} Reverse Anagram
3   Priest holds me back and gets resin (5) ELEMI {EL{ME<=}I}
4   Prison ship’s strongman Banner (4) HOLD (MD?) HULK (DD) See comments
6   Equipped before conflict, editor came, after golf cry, with weapon (9) FOREARMED {FORE}{ARM}{ED}
7   Servile meerkat has a chief (5) EMEER (T)
8   Autocrat found when numerator’s underling lost a couple of consecutive directions (9) DOMINATOR {DenOMINATOR} 
9   Circle street before race is conducted and force to leave (9) OSTRACISE {O}{ST}{RACE+IS*}
14 Depart in confusion, leaving Democratic Party reorganisation, forming a regime enumerated by Plato (9) TIMOCRACY {deMOCRATIC+partY*}
15 Destructive capacity of ignition coupled with strength (9) FIREPOWER {FIRE}{POWER}
16 Console and entrain after a quick run (9) DASHBOARD {DASH}{BOARD}
18 Meet English nobleman about to return (9) ENCOUNTER {EN}{COUNT}{RE<=}
22 Tear open Non-Resident Indian in Uttar Pradesh (5) UNRIP {U{NRI}P}
24 A burden for a Titan, but easily carried by a schoolchild (5) ATLAS (DD)
25 Corners presently, coming back carrying some ketchup (5) NOOKS {SOON<=} around {Ketchup
26 Primarily Iceland, Serendip, Langkawi, Elephanta or any one of them (4) ISLE (Acrostic)

Reference List

Medicine man=Dr, Afterthought=PS, Energy=E
Priest=Eli, Editor=Ed, Golf cry=Fore, Circle=O, Street=St, English=En, Nobleman=Count, About=Re, Non-Resident Indian=NRI, Uttar Pradesh=UP

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, 28 August 2020

No 13026, Friday 28 Aug 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.

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

7   Happy girl and boy (4) GLAD {G}{LAD}
8   Allow writer is English (9) AUTHORISE {AUTHOR}{IS}{E}
10 Afraid Edward is following second vehicle (6) SCARED {S}{CAR}{ED}
11 North European’s rat is cooked for leading light (8) POLESTAR {POLES}{RAT*}
12 Anils ark is destroyed in Ceylon (3,5) SRI LANKA*
14 Drugs distributed around centre of Erode in vegetables (6) GOURDS {G{erOde}URDS*}
16 Feeling sorry about journalist following small mediocre actor (7) ASHAMED {A}{S}{HAM}{ED}
18 Extraordinary rum (7) UNUSUAL [DD]
21 Incarnation wildly aggravates, after losing scrambled eggs (6) AVATAR {AggRAVATEes}*
23 Itinerant assailant loses special German Shepherd (8) ALSATIAN ASsAILANT*
25 Excited Asians encircle elite corps’s killer (8) ASSASSIN {ASSAI{SS}N*}
27 Trot out around aestuary at first and turn (6) ROTATE {ROT{A}T*}{Es...y}
29 A love-bird flies displaying uniform colour (5,4) OLIVE DRAB*
30 Hide and pelt (4) SKIN [DD]

1   Notices Chinese army identity documents (8) PLACARDS {PLA}{CARDS}
2   Flower and ring for retiring communist (4) ODER {O}{RED<=}
3   Forgive mafia boss following father and mother at last (6) PARDON {DON}<=>{PA}{m...eR}
4   Temporary post constructed next to pass (7) STOPGAP {POST*}{GAP}
5   A lion and hog disturbed gangster (8) HOOLIGAN*
6   Peck’s misplaced skis (4) KISS*
9   Icelandic captive animal (5) ELAND [T]
13 Doctor eats little — possibly minimum (5) LEAST {EATS+L}* L for Little?
15 Disturbed about teacups breaking in absence of air-conditioning (5) UPSET {TEacUPS}*
17 Exits starting of exorcism with headless female monsters (8) EGRESSES {Ex...m}{oGRESSES}
19 One flier ran riot in slaughterhouse (8) ABATTOIR {A}{BAT}{RIOT*}
20 Prohibiting persons’ means of advertisement (7) BANNERS [DD]
22 Place in Goa? Or in Nova Scotia? (5) VASCO [T]
24 Initially, Senator Bush is worried about Central Park’s plants (6) SHRUBS {Se...r}{H{paRks}UBS*}
26 Barbarian’s song (4) ARIA [T]
28 Try criminal leaving race, for example (4) TEST conTEST

Reference List
Girl = G, English = E, Second = S, Journalist = ED, Special = S, Criminal = CON

Dr RKE's TalePiece

VASCO Perera, the physiotherapist to the SRI LANKA cricket team is on the bus with the team members at Lahore, on their way to the stadium to play the first of two TEST matches. It is UNUSUALly chilly for August this morning and he is UPSET that the cold would worsen the ROTATor cuff pain of Gunaratne, the strike pacer of the team. He looks out of the window and sees colourful BANNERS outside the stadium, to welcome the team. There are also people sitting in protest with PLACARDS, for God knows what.

Just as the team is about to alight the bus, he catches sight of a bearded youth, dressed in OLIVE DRAB suddenly springing into action from the group of protesters. At first, Perera thinks it must be one of the fans out to KISS the hand of Jayawardane or Sangakkara. But he is GLAD he caught sight of the eyes of the young man. There is no glee of the fans in them. Instead, what Perera sees in them is the murderous intensity of an ASSASSIN. Perera, who had served in the army in a previous AVATAR, has seen that same crazed look in the militants during the Jaffna war. He darts to the sole EGRESS from the bus and locks it in a flash, preventing the cricketers from alighting and equally preventing the assassin from coming aboard. Perera shouts “duck, duck down” in a commanding voice and as the cricketers go down to the floor of the bus there is a blinding flash, a “boom” behind the bus. Jaleel, the driver of the bus, who had left the engine running, in a reflex action, accelerates in a flash, moving the bus forward by a couple of metres. This ensures that the suicide bomber is not deadly close to the bus when he detonates the explosives strapped to him. Apart from minor injuries from falling shrapnel, the team gets away unscathed, by the SKIN of their teeth.

The SCARED cricketers are herded out of the bus into the safety of an armoured police van and driven to the hospital, cancelling the match. The international media declare in high decibel that the Pakistan authorities must be ASHAMED for failing to protect the visiting sports team.  The LEAST one expects is a strongly-worded statement from the authorities. No wonder the STOPGAP prime minister issues no such statement as he is a puppet in the hands of the ISI, that had AUTHORISEd the attack and masterminded it in the first place.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

No 13025, Thursday 27 Aug 2020, Incognito

Solution to 28A has been deliberately left unsolved and is to be answered only by a non-regular/novice commenter, with proper annotation. Those who have answered earlier in the week, please give others a chance.

 Indian clerk’s degree has note to university (4) BABU {BA}{B}{U}
9   Naidu left Telugu movie-maker’s theatrical performance (5) DRAMA {D RAMAnaidu}
10 Dance, hags, dance! (4) SHAG*

11 Fat Queen’s pantry (6) LARDER {LARD}{ER}
12 Hot father left Rene, for example, and turned into an accomplice (8) HENCHMAN {H}{frENCHMAN}
13 Male singer’s language (8) MANDARIN {MAN}{DARIN}
15 Fight with soldiers in Greek city (6) SPARTA {SPAR}{TA}
17 Pestering horse carrying girl with drink (7) NAGGING {NAG}{GIN}{G} (Correction - {NA{G}{GIN}G} - See comments)
19 Excited diners consumed a fish (7) SARDINE {S{A}RDINE*}
22 Here, you may find, after loss of an article, a Scandinavian girl (6) INGRID {IN a GRID}
24 Waylaid intoxicated Dame embracing American President (8) AMBUSHED {AM{BUSH}ED*}
26 Dance involving female sergeant, for example, going round spinning male (8) FLAMENCO {F}{MALE*}{NCO}

28 Princess’s hot! Has some singed garments (6) D?O?I? (Addendum - DHOTIS {D{HOT}I}{Si...d} - See comments)
30 Make a sweater for Knight having Ngultrum and sex appeal (4) KNIT {K}{N}{IT} Symbol for Ngultrum is Nu?
31 Bristles, and eats nuts with energy (5) SETAE {EATS*}{E}
32 Criminal Dons indications of consent (4) NODS*

1   Little jumper possessed by separatist (4) PARA [T]
2   Trained canine, steer and badger (5,3) GUIDE DOG {GUIDE}{DOG}
3   Lover rebuilds road next to emergency room (6) ADORER {ROAD*}{ER}
4   Hadji goes around India displaying the slogan “Victory to India!” (3,4) JAI HIND {JAIH{IN}D*}
5   Its milk may pulverise Asian gem (8) MAGNESIA*
6   A maths formulation for a physical problem (6) ASTHMA*
7   North America and South America’s space agency (4) NASA {NA}{SA}
14 Turkish chief elected once more (5) AGAIN {AGA}{IN}
16 Present, for example, could be stressful (5) TENSE [DD]
18 Writhingly sunned around English school in this condition? (8) NUDENESS {NUDEN{E}{S}S*} Semi&lit
20 Rebate given by Sid on return with nobleman (8) DISCOUNT {SID<=}{COUNT}
21 For starters, carrying of innumerable treasures during day results in armed robbery (7) DACOITY {DA{Ca...g}{Of}{In...e}{Tr...s}Y}
23 Meteor travels far away (6) REMOTE*
25 Animal which can be found in Karlsbad, Germany (6) BADGER [T]
27 Advanced about six weeks before Easter (4) LENT [DD]
29 Fictional adventurer’s Indian — displays limits of daredevilry (4) INDY {IN}{Da...rY}

Reference List
Note = B, University = U, Queen = ER, Hot = H, Father = FR, Soldiers = TA, Girl = G, Female = F, Knight = K, Sex appeal = IT, Princess = DI, Energy = E, India = IN, English = E, School = S

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

No 13024, Wednesday 26 Aug 2020, Neyartha

Solution to 2D has been deliberately left unsolved and is to be answered only by a non-regular/novice commenter, with proper annotation. Those who have answered earlier in the week, please give others a chance.

Just waiting for COVID-19 to get over to eat all these Italian delicacies.

 Italian soup obtained from the sick mountaineers leaving Ukraine (10) MINESTRONE MOuNTaINEERS*
9   Heroic poem displayed in a picture postcard (4) EPOS [T]
10 Italian bakery item’s bits strewn around the bed by one... (8) BISCOTTI {BIS{COT}T*}{1}
11 ... sending back unusual casing for the quarter with an editing tool (6) ERASER {RARE}<= over {SE}
12 Having lack of clarity resulting from post-rain shoes in water? (5) MUDDY [DD]
13 Unnamed persons picking up deformed hoops for a spiritual movement (9) THEOSOPHY {THE{HOOPS*}Y}
14 Draw between the Poles pitted against each other? (7) ATTRACT [CD]
17 A gentleman returning with fragrant oil for an Italian dish (7) RISOTTO {SIR<=}{OTTO
20 Sensible newspaper making an unusual impact outside (9) PRAGMATIC {P{RAG}MATIC*}
22 Italian dish made using grandpas talents (5) PASTA [T]
25 Cell on a slide makes Mao undergo initial turmoil in front of Lincoln’s retreat (6) AMOEBA {M<=AO}ABE<=}
26 Mirror used as a medical instrument (8) SPECULUM [DD]
27 Key found in the corridor according to hearsay (4) ISLE (~aisle)
28 Truly, I cant break up without speaking (10) TACITURNLY*

1   Social environment in Michigan makes the Pole drop out of the shortened line-up (6) MILIEU {MI}{LInEUp}
2   Reverses an edit on the measures to take after power loss for a short time (5) ?T?T? (Addendum - STE(-p+t)TS - See comments)
3   Tense about performing this evening after it turns dark (7) TONIGHT {T{ON}IGHT}
4   I am behind the office messenger welcoming the salesman from the south with a meat dish (8) PEPERONI {PE{REP<=}ON}{I} I thought it's spelt as PEPPERONI? See comments
5   Smooth music making the student trade places with George for an Italian dessert (6) GELATO (-l+g)GE(-g+l)LATO
6   Dreadful team show, in a way (8) SOMEWHAT*
8   Final note in the repeat performance replaced by the German’s signal-scrambling device (7) ENCODER ENCO(-re+der)DER
15 Sanitarium arranging the disposal of an Italian dessert (8) TIRAMISU SanITARIUM*
16 Secret service picks up the tab before the volunteers for the Italian bread (8) CIABATTA {CIA}{TAB<=}{TA}
18 Question interrupting the opera composition makes it less transparent (7) OPAQUER {OPA{QU}ER*}
19 Cut up and inspect (7) DISSECT [DD]
21 An old and eccentric man at the hot water spring, reportedly (6) GEEZER (~geyser)
23 Ruffle created by the ombudsman under stress lambasting English leaders (6) TOUSLE Acrostic
24 Italian sauce making the resistance vanish suddenly (5) PESTO PrESTO

Reference List
Quarter = SE, Pole = N, Power = P, Time = T, Student = L, George = G, Note = RE, The in German = DER, Volunteers = TA(Territorial Army), Question = QU, Resistance = R

Dr RKE's TalePiece

TONIGHT, Elena and Antonio Rocci are at the ISLE of Capri, for their first anniversary. ATTRACTed by the holiday MILIEU in the island resort, they have arrived from Naples by boat in the morning. They are SOMEWHAT upset that their visit to the Blue Grotto was called off because of the high tide. The sea water has turned MUDDY and OPAQUER today and is not likely to suffuse the cave with the eerie blue glow even if the tide were to be low, informs the boatman.  Walking hand-in-hand in the Gardens of Augustus, has made up for what they missed. As the pair sit there on a bench overlooking Marina Piccola, Elena fondly TOUSLEs the golden hair on her dear husband’s head. Why is Antonio not at his talkative best- why is he looking so TACITURN today?  May be, he is hungry. The couple have had little to eat all day save for some BISCOTTI that Elena had so PRAGMATICALly packed into her handbag. Dinner at Hotel Bellavista is still an hour away. “How I wish I had packed that CIABATTA I baked yesterday” thinks Elena.

Finally, they are in the honeymoon suite of the hotel, having ordered in-room dining. In their famished state, there is no bickering over what to order. A bottle of chianti (an anniversary gift from the hotel) arrives first. The maître d’ hotel has recommended, borlotti MINESTRONE for starters, PESTO PASTA for her and RISOTTO alla Milanese and PEPERONI for him for the main course. Having eaten their fill, they pore over the menu and take their time to select the dessert. Antonio selects Stracciatella GELATO while Elena opts for dark rum TIRAMISU.

This story does not DISSECT the details of what happened next. It is time we leave the couple alone now to their solitary bliss.

P.S. Antonio and Elena want you (the prying reader) to know that fagged out by the exertions of the day and a belly full of the Italian cuisine, they dropped off to sleep on the sofa minutes after the plates were cleared!

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

No 13023, Tuesday 25 Aug 2020, Arden

Solution to 17D has been deliberately left unsolved and is to be answered only by a non-regular/novice commenter, with proper annotation. Those who have answered earlier in the week, please give others a chance.

6   Game covered by some fanatic (5) BIGOT {BI{GO}T}
7   Central fund for one settled outside, is it fair? (8) UNBIASED {fUNd}{B{1}ASED}
10 Reduced work, drinking wine — that’s relaxation in France (7) DETENTE {DE{TENT}Ed}
11 Wayward boy has to tell (7) ERRATIC {ER{RAT}IC}
12 A three-D representation is grounded (7) EARTHED*
13 Vigilant about British incursion, one backs Canadian province (7) ALBERTA {AL{B}ERT}{A}
14 Ripe bananas — touching, but not hard for moving around (11) PERIPATETIC {RIPE*}{PAThETIC}
19 Match cryptic clue, having provided final answer (7) LUCIFER {LUC{IF}E*}{a...eR}
21 Naive girl could be genuine (7) INGENUE*
23 Dishonourable characters — no real code of honour in Japan (7) BUSHIDO {DISHOnoUraBle}*
25 Another name on our entrance (7) ENAMOUR {NAME*}{OUR}
26 Punctual to do, then refuse (2,3,3) ON THE DOT*
27 Arden’s asleep, seen once in a while (5) COMET {CO{ME}T} Asleep = In Cot

1   Propaganda support — supports a good thing (8) AGITPROP {PROP}<=>{A}{G}{IT}
2   Order to carry gun, will create stink (6) STENCH {CH}{<=>{STEN}
3   Fantastic Mr.Natwarlal! (5-5) SUPER-DUPER [DD]
4   Order only imported instrument (4) OBOE {OB{O}E}
5   Way to break free perhaps and rot (6) FESTER {ST} in {FREE}*
6   Harry puts up token resistance (6) BADGER {BADGE}{R}
8   Bill picking up bill or tumbler? (7) ACROBAT {AC} and {TAB}{OR}<=
9   Run to school, study (5) SCRAM {S}{CRAM}
13 Attention diverted, end of Marie, perhaps (10) ANTOINETTE {ATTENTION}*{m..iE} Semi&lit
15 Basically rifle carrying gunner, by fluke becomes stylish (7) RAFFISH {RA}{riFle}{FISH}
16 Study battlefield, it will be a clear course (8) CONSOMME {CON}{SOMME}
17 Force to throw the last ball (5) ?L?B? (Addendum - GLOBE {G}{LOB}{thE} - See comments)
18 Fuss about the Queen’s hunt (6) FERRET {F{ER}RET}
20 It’s like in getting into business in Las Vegas (6) CASINO {C{AS IN}O}
22 Look, hit the ball towards fine leg (6) GLANCE [DD]
24 Probability of delay, daily service starts (4) ODDS Acrostic

Reference List
British = B, One = A, Hard = H, Good = G, Order = CH, Only = O, Way = ST(Street), Resistance = R, Bill = AC, TAB, School = S, Gunner = RA(Royal Artillery), Queen = ER, Force = G(Gravity)

Dr RKE's TalePiece

Frank Wilson was sitting in the River Café, at Calgary, quietly sipping his CONSOMMÉ Celestine one afternoon. He cast a sideward GLANCE on the large built man with a well-tanned face and looking RAFFISH in a colourful tie sitting at the next table. That one glance was taken as a licence for the stranger to come over and he shifted to the empty seat opposite Wilson’s. He said “Hi, I’m Philip Tremblay”. Without even waiting to hear Wilson introduce himself, Tremblay said “people say I am a compulsive conversationalist”. Wilson was about to discover that the so-called ‘conversation’ was all one-way.   Tremblay said his PERIPATETIC job (without specifying the details) had made him travel around the GLOBE and he had several tales to tell, all at one time. The windfall he had made one night at a Las Vegas CASINO - his experience of seeing the Halley’s COMET in 1986 in the Arizona desert - his short-lived affair with an INGENUE who was an ACROBAT with the Great Russian Circus - his experience of playing the OBOE in an amateur orchestra - how he learnt the meaning of BUSHIDO while doing business in Kyoto – the BIGOTry of the Englishman he met at Cairo- eating FERRET meat in Jakarta - the STENCH of the Sunda stink badger in Java - one SUPER DUPER tale merging into the other fluidly. And all this before Wilson could finish his bowl of soup!

The rational part of Wilson wanted to call off the meal order and SCRAM from the café but his romantic side was ENAMOURed by Tremblay, that he sat for the best part of an hour, listening to more tales. Of course, the doubt kept crossing his mind “why on EARTH is he telling me - a perfect stranger- all this? What are the ODDS that he is really a salesman or just a cadger looking for a free lunch? Isn’t there an ERRATIC element that I can see in some of his stories?” but these misgivings did not detract Wilson from hosting Tremblay a lunch. ON THE DOT at 2 pm, Tremblay rose abruptly and excused himself and walked away. Two men in uniform spotted him at the entrance to the café and silently marched him to a van. Wilson ran out and just managed to hear one of the uniformed men saying “Philip, the LUCIFER has got into you again. Next time you run away this way, we will have you handcuffed by the police”. The logo on the vehicle read “ANTOINETTE Correctional Facility, Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre, ALBERTA, Canada”.

Monday, 24 August 2020

No 13022, Monday 24 Aug 2020, Arden

Solution to 27A has been deliberately left unsolved and is to be answered only by a non-regular/novice commenter, with proper annotation. Those who have answered earlier in the week, please give others a chance.

1   Shouldn't go bad, could be traded (6,3,4) BOUGHT AND SOLD*
10 Anorak too small to wear, don’t bother initially (5) DWEEB {Dont}{WEE}{Bo...r}
11 Fifty or ten? Get corrected glasses (9) LORGNETTE {L}{OR}{TEN+GET}*
12 Whistle-blower briefly backed by political group gets popular votes (9) REFERENDA {REFEREe}{NDA}
13 May be a factor in only one animal (5) RHINO {RH}{IN}{O}
14 Slinking away leaving passport, say in Shanghai (7) SIDLING {S{ID}LING}
16 Singers about to get entry (7) INGRESS*
18 Whine during working time, that’s rich (7) OPULENT {O{PULE}N}{T}
20 Guerdon made to sink (2,5) GO UNDER*
22 Fellow enters boozer, sent back for de-addiction (5) REHAB {BA{HE}R}<=
24 It's in Paris — surrounding Montmarte perhaps one gets extre mely cold (9) CHILLIEST {CEST} over {HILL}{1}
26 Crime sheet covers minister’s residence (9) PARSONAGE {P{ARSON}AGE}
27 Writer starts out writing tips for another writer (5) I?S?N (Addendum - IBSEN {nIBS}{pEN} - See comments)
28 Correct- compare mostly hand and leg, it helps you study brain function (13) ENCEPHALOGRAM  {COMPARE+HANd+LEG}*

2   Covers off, beds completely uncovered and stuffed (7) OVERFED {cOVERs}{oFf}{bEDs}
3   Arden gets a big fancy material (9) GABARDINE {ARDEN+A+BIG}*
4   Not about the French uprising, it’s often gripping (5) TALON {NO{LA}T}<=
5   Managed to bring up appraisal, it’s telling (9) NARRATING {RAN<=}{RATING}
6   Echo sounder — possible reason to scrap second test (5) SONAR ReASON*
7   Facilitates exchange as if it’s a framework (7) LATTICE faCILiTATEs*
8   Talk on zero representation — get a labelling machine (13) ADDRESSOGRAPH {ADDRESS}{0}{GRAPH}
9   Emigrants dont go around protesting (13) DEMONSTRATING*
15 One doesn’t need an invitation to do this (4-5) GATE-CRASH [CD]
17 Demanding fish meal on top (9) GRUELLING {GRUEL}{LING}
19 Welcome home! Supporting American woman (5,2) USHER IN {IN}<=>{US}{HER}
21 Both sides in advance, speed goes up in the middle of the ocean (4-3) DEEP-SEA {Ad...cE}{SPEED}<=
23 Fellow’s bankrupt, had changed sides (5) BLOKE B(-r+l)LOKE
25 Thought law was perfect (5) IDEAL {IDEA}{L}

Reference List
Fifty = L, Only = O, It's in French = CEST, Home = IN, Law = L

Dr RKE's TalePiece

I was working at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Queen Square. It was one of the CHILLIEST London winters and after a GRUELLING night duty with a steady INGRESS of patients, all I wanted to do was to GO UNDER a warm quilt and catch up some sleep. But first I had to hand over the patients admitted at night to a fellow houseman, a BLOKE from Pakistan. This fellow was quite a DWEEB but he had a good memory. It was he who reminded me that Sir Desmond Bickerstaff was to conduct a clinic (bedside teaching session) that morning. So, it was goodbye to that warm quilt and I forced myself to keep awake for a few more hours. Bickerstaff’s Monday morning classes were so famous that students from the Great Ormond Street Hospital would also GATECRASH to pick up the pearls of clinical wisdom from the aging professor.

Precisely at 10am, the distinguished Sir Desmond, in his customary GABARDINE suit walked in. He was USHERED IN by Victoria Haines, his trusted head nurse for decades. She held out the white apron and his LORGNETTE (which he needed to only read the ENCEPHALOGRAM). The patient to be discussed was an OVERFED obese man I had admitted at night and I was given the unenviable task of NARRATING the patient’s history before Sir Desmond. He caught me SIDLING towards the foot end of the bed and said “young man, look sharp; let us see what you have in store for us”.

I did my best to fight off my drowsiness and thought I had given a detailed account. I was happy when he said “Well, dear fellow, that is the best narration I have heard in years”. So, I was in for a rude shock when he added “It covers everything except the most important- what is the job that this man does for a living?” I had not foreseen how this could be important. He asked the patient and the man said “I retired a month back as a SONAR operator in the DEEP SEAs- this pain in my hand forced me to give up the job I loved”. The professor then went on to DEMONSTRATING the physical signs. Of course, I had picked up the neurological signs of muscle wasting, loss of sensation and reflexes in the right hand but what I had missed mentioning were the RHINO-like callosities in his right palm and over the right collar bone. “These callosities are seen in those who habitually carry a heavy vibrating equipment in their arms. This is the hallmark of occupational neuropathy. I am sure as hell that he has brachial plexopathy, also called by the fanciful eponym of PARSONAGE Turner syndrome. This seen in obese diabetics and the occupational strain worsens the symptoms. He needs an electromyogram and Victoria here will arrange for the chaps in REHAB to see him”.

Turning to me Sir Desmond said (I learnt later that he was quoting [This word will be added later]) “the spectacles of experience; through them you will see clearly a second time” and added a line of his own “there may be a substitute for me as a teacher but there is no substitute for that IDEAL teacher, clinical experience”

Sunday, 23 August 2020

IXL 2020, 23 Aug 2020

Hi Everyone,

As far as my memory goes this is the first time that there has been no Crossword/Blog post on a Sunday. Therefore as CV suggested I am putting up a post about the Indian Crossword League (IXL) to ensure that there is no gap in the blog. Though there have been Blank posts earlier on holidays which have fallen on weekdays.

As most are aware the online rounds of the IXL is starting from today with the first of the 10 Online  rounds coming live at 11 AM. Those of you who have not registered for the competition can still do so. The online rounds will have 15x15 Grids with varying levels of difficulty. Though the highest marks of 100 will go to the fastest all correct entry time for submission is open till 11:59 PM of the subsequent Friday. Results will be announced on the subsequent Saturday and a leaderboard formed. which will have the cumulative scores after each round. At the end of the 10 online rounds the top 30 of the leaderboard will be called for the offline round to be held at Bangalore where initially there will be a written round and based on the fastest all correct entries the top 6 will be selected for an onstage round. This year the organisers have also decided that participants who come within the top 5 in at least 5 rounds will also be invited for the finals in case for some reason they do not figure in the top 30.

I would like to advise all participants of IXL to continue submitting their solutions and not give up after a couple of rounds in case they find that they do not figure in the top 30 of the leaderboard.

As this is a competion which is open for submissions from 11 AM of Sunday till 11:59 PM on Friday, all commenters here are advised not to discuss any of the clues or solutions till such time the result of each round is declassified on the following Saturday.

Wishing all the aprticipants all the best. May the best cruciverbalist win.

Saturday, 22 August 2020

No 13021, Saturday 22 Aug 2020, Arden


Lots of holes in the north east corner (Since filled up by the Col)

1   Formula one at last, after price is fixed (6) RECIPE {PRICE*}{onE}
4   Paper fox will run away in the middle (8) FOOLSCAP {FOOL}{eSCAPe}
10 Two boys go through tunnel in the city... (9) BALTIMORE {B{AL}{TIM}ORE}
11 ... one takes middle path seeking solitude (5) LONER {ONE} between {L} and {R} Semi&lit
12 Hard work to follow around middle of test ground (7) TRAVAIL {T{RAV}AIL} Rav='Middle of test ground' is not clear (Addendum - {TRA{oVAl)IL} - See comments)
13 The bricks had to be loaded into the cart (7) RICKSHA [T]
14 Noon, perhaps is correct (5) AMEND {AM}{END}
15 One plays a part as ones trade places in the country (8) THESPIAN {THE}{SP{A<=>I}N}
18 Cut extra bone (8) SPARERIB {SPARE}{RIB}
20 Lager without head? That’s strange! (5) EERIE {bEER}{IE}
23 Residential building tend to go for national subject (7) ISRAELI {RESIdentIAL*}
25 New issue is gas filled, in other words (7) NEONATE {NEON}{ATE}
26 Warm clothing initially bought in market (5) SABLE {SA{Bought}LE}
27 Retain suspect hiding money, he keeps moving (9) ITINERANT {RETAIN*} around {TIN}
28 Event to put on and get on (8) DRESSAGE {DRESS}{AGE}
29 He reviewed painting, it’s repeated (6) MANTRA {MAN}{ART<=}

1   Doubt expressed in actual defence (8) REBUTTAL {RE{~BUT}AL

2   Criminal involvement in rapelooks a patch up job (7) COLLAGE {COL{LAG}E}
3   Take one penny off the Prince and the Queen, play the field (9) PHILANDER {PHILip}{AND}{ER}
5   A dream run — they play it standing on the casino floor (3-5,6) ONE-ARMED-BANDIT {ONE}{DREAM*}{BAND}{IT}
6   Cry for internal independence rises like a flower (5) LILAC {CAL{I}L}<=
7   One among the players, on top of a game (7) CANASTA {C{AN}AST}{A}
8   Refuse fair play if missing leverage (6) PARLAY {fAiR+PLAY}*
9   Somehow tolerating it around home — it’s part of growing up (6,8) TOILET TRAINING {TOLERATING+IT*} around {IN}
16 Phone used by men with a number of things happening (9) PHENOMENA {PHONE*}{MEN}{A}
17 Made entirely new, losing count on bananas (8) DEMENTIA {MADE+ENTIrely*}
19 Account for extra wires, without insulation (7) PARABLE {sPARe}{cABLEs}
21 Parade ground close to unitget used to it again (7) READAPT  {PARADE*}{uniT}
22 Bureaucrat is asleep and bent (6) BIASED {B{IAS}ED} Asleep= In bed
24 Jars drain from top to bottom (5) EWERS {(-s)EWER(+S)}

Reference List
Boy=Al, Boy=Tim, One=A, One=I, Money=Tin, Penny=P, Prince=Philip, Queen=ER, A=One, One=An, Home=In, Bureaucrat=IAS, Independence=I, 

Colour/Font Scheme

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