Wednesday, 30 September 2020

No 13054, Wednesday 30 Sep 2020, Incognito

Solution to 3D 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   Cess on one car (for hire) (4) TAXI {TAX}{1}
9   A fighter gets ring for Spanish friend (5) AMIGO {A}{MIG}{O}
10 Get submerged in washing place (4) SINK [DD]
11 Scary exclamation about louse egg and fish (6) BONITO {BO{NIT}O}
12 Dahlia arranged around outskirts of Hyderabad in pretentious manner (8) LAHDIDAH  {LA{Hy...aD}IDAH*}
13 Princess’s flower’s ill fortune (8) DISASTER {DI'S}{ASTER}
15 Bug born and led astray (6) NEEDLE {NEE}{LED*}
17 Is tabby excited to look after young one? (7) BABYSIT*
19 Sir, some compounds are chemicals with same molecular weight but different arrangement of atoms (7) ISOMERS*
22 Composer hid the French chemical (6) BLEACH {B{LE}ACH}
24 Monstrous ladies with consuming interest? (8) OGRESSES [CD]
26 Chinese guy follows bird for accomplice (8) HENCHMAN {CH}{MAN}<=>{HEN}
28 Landlord certain to include question about commencement of insurance (6) SQUIRE {S{Q}U{I}RE}
30 Little data found in certain forms (4) INFO [T]
31 DIN or new ISO designed by Europe (5) NOISE {N}{ISO*}{E}
32 Arranged sale of drinks (4) ALES*

1   Ex–British Prime Minister has egg and a thick cold sauce (4) MAYO {MAY}{O}
2   Perhaps, armed forces immorality... operating in absence of Medical Officer (8) MILITARY IMmoRALITY*
3   Elephant driver’s ham? (6) ?A?O?T (Addendum - MAHOUT {HAM}* [RA] - See comments))
4   Small mountain railway carries a Clinton’s wife (7) HILLARY {HILL}{A}{RY}
5   They can be sweet between bedfellows (8) NOTHINGS [CD]
6   Hope to climb a steeple (6) ASPIRE {A}{SPIRE}
7   Indian Chartered Accountant goes to South American empire (4) INCA {IN}{CA}
14 Badly uninstall, losing nuts altogether (2,3) IN ALL {uNInstALL}*
16 Big and regal. Confused? (5) LARGE*
18 Cruel Indiana male in shade (8) INHUMANE {IN}{HU{MAN}E}
20 Brawny curs maul badly (8) MUSCULAR*
21 Find out excitedly and announce using this exclamation (5,2) FOUND IT*
23 Sancho rode, carrying TV personality (6) ANCHOR [T]
25 The remaining journalist took a break (6) RESTED {REST}{ED}
27 Bird from Northern Europe (4) ERNE [T]
29 Animal returned to tall, hollow plant (4) REED<=

Reference List
The in French = LE, Question = Q, New = N, Europe = E, Railway = RY, Indian = IN, Indiana = IN, Journalist = ED

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

No 13053, Tuesday 29 Sep 2020, Neyartha

Solution to 20A 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.

7   Characteristic of certain chromosome fragments revealed in Saracen triceps (8) ACENTRIC [T]
9   Language making the disturbed hypnotist sit out (6) PYTHON HYPNOTist*
10 Open with a shout at a pep rally for a religious song (10) PLAINCHANT {PLAIN}{CHANT}
11 A gem of a language (4) RUBY [DD]
12 Language error makes son drop back (4) LISP (-s)LI(+s)SP
13 One may visit this at the end of a restaurant meal (4,4) CASH DESK [CD]
16 Revolutionary communist behind the gate with the heartless lady is a hospital employee (7) ORDERLY {OR}{RED<=}{LadY}
18 Invest in a film after the king and knight trade places to get a Russian satellite (7) SPUTNIK {PUT} in {S(-k+n)NI(-n+k)K}
20 Large church making the scholar get attached to a vitreous mineral (8) ?A?I?I?A (Addendum - BASILICA {BA}{SILICA} - See comments)
21 Verified statement from the leading members of the Finnish-American comedy troupe (4) FACT Acrostic
23 Language from Jack makes the Conservative leader drop the sparkling wine (4) JAVA {J}{cAVA}
24 Young girl drinking ciders formatting the storage media (5,5) LASER DISCS {LAS{CIDERS*}S}
25 Disconnect resulting from a swift swallow upsetting the peacekeepers in front (6) UNPLUG {GULP<=}<=>{UN}
26 New chair getting interrupted by Adam’s wife is one who gets things done (8) ACHIEVER {ACHI{EVE}R*}

1   Language detailing a direction-less quantity (5)  SCALA SCALAr
2   Imperceptibly put feminist in a fix after the welcome by a single friend (15) INFINITESIMALLY {FEMINIST+IN}*{1}{ALLY} (Correction - {1}{FEMINIST+IN}*{ALLY} - See comments)
3   One might start from here to find about getting embedded in the misleading charts (7) SCRATCH {S{C}RATCH*}
4   One put on this might experience unease (4) SPOT [CD]
5   Pilferage stoppers in the warehouse get time to replace fine products subject to a recall (5,10) STORE DETECTIVES  {STORE}{DE(-f+t)TECTIVES}
6   Pompous doctor with wine gets picked up by a short-legged horse from the south (9) BOMBASTIC {MB}{ASTI} in {COB<=}
 Brief news summary of the return of the fast bowler (5) RECAP<=
14 Drink an egg-less appetiser (3) SUP SoUP
15 Relative’s Greek letter brought in after I removed sculpted granite (5-4) GREAT-AUNT {TAU} in {GRANiTE}*
17 Floral arrangement put on the radio (3) LEI (~lay)
19 Cricket player to grab flipped box for the woven mats (7) BATSMAN {NAB<=} over {MATS}*
21 July holiday in the US for the auditor’s out (5) FORTH (~fourth)
22 Loosens crewel segment to get to the fastener (5) SCREW [T]
24 Sign language (4) LOGO [DD]

Reference List
Son = S, Gate = OR, King = K, Knight = N, Jack = J, Conservative = C, About = C, Time = T, Fine = F

Monday, 28 September 2020

No 13052, Monday 28 Sep 2020, Arden

Solution to 1D 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.

9   Classy headgear, an ideal (7) UTOPIAN {U}{TOPI}{AN}
10 The loan goes for fuel (7) ETHANOL*
11 Moorland once a part of Florida (7) ORLANDO [T]
12 Old patriarch provides a support for an actor (7) ABRAHAM {A}{BRA}{HAM}
13 Parsee not used to this language (9) ESPERANTO*
15 Dodge pickup — indeed a very good vehicle (5) EVADE [T<=]
16 Mornings, regular haulage comes inside compound (7) AMALGAM {AM}{hAuLaGe}{AM}
19 Short course at following petition (7) ENTREAT {ENTREe}{AT}
20 Starts taking hold, strange way to play music (5) THRUM {Ta...g}{Hold}{RUM}
21 Sporting giant — taking care, serving (9) ATTENDING {AT{TEND}ING*}
25 Nothing left, one felt inadequate with Patty (7) FALAFEL {FA}{L}{A}{FELt}
26 Country close to turmoil, free those only (7) LESOTHO {t...iL}{THOSE*}{O}
28 The Spanish bar John Turner, perhaps (7) CANTINA {CAN}{TINA}
29 Bone sets, closes around hip at the centre (7) OSSICLE {OSS{hIp}CLE*}

1   Storm warning over old city (6) ?U?O?E (Addendum - FURORE {F{UR}ORE} - See comments))
2   Helping party election, heading north (6) DOLLOP {DO}{POLL<=}
3   Air current passes through workers (4) MIEN {M{I}EN}
4   Old judge — part of nine to uphold and issue a ban (6) ENJOIN {NI{O}{J}NE}<=
5   Deadly but not hard, one is much less (3,5) LET ALONE {LEThAL}{ONE}
6   Let anchors drift in port (10) CHARLESTON*
7   Turn each into something formless (8) INCHOATE*
8   Fruit fly perhaps is largest in size (8) PLUMPEST {PLUM}{PEST}
14 Politician briefly on a roll — representing a street urchin (10) RAGAMUFFIN {RAGA}{MUFFIN}
16 Ex US President exposed, truth will be of interest to historians (8)  ARTEFACT {cARTEr}{FACT}  
17 Plain art could be evergreen (3,5) AIR PLANT*
18 Afloat at sea, I’m on top with something to eat (4,4) MEAT LOAF {AFLOAT}*<=>{ME}
22 Pull everything in, it’s greasy (6) TALLOW {T{ALL}OW}
23 Fellow becomes tense in the middle, actually it’s complete (6) INTACT IN(-f+t)TACT
24 Scowl as David, say, gets a fifty (6) GLOWER {G{L}OWER}
27 Band provides hard support for special forces (4) SASH {H}<=>{SAS}

Reference List
Classy = U, Nothing = FA(Fanny Adams), Left = L, Only = O, John = CAN, Party = DO, Current = I, Old = O, Judge = J, Hard = H, Fellow = F, Tense = T, Fifty = L 

Sunday, 27 September 2020

The Sunday Crossword No 3118, Sunday 27 Sep 2020

1   Eat rice, get convoluted modern device (1-9) E-CIGARETTE*
6   Revolutionary plans to send annoying messages (4) SPAM <=
9   Advanced highly rated holding company (10) PRECOCIOUS {PRE{CO}CIOUS}
10 Measure that's used to exercise prisoners (4) YARD [DD]
11 Dish, bland, pig and duck purée (5,7) BLACK PUDDING* {BLAND+PIG+DUCK}*
15 Thin stole (7) PINCHED [DD]
16 Restroom mostly refreshed for Spanish performers (7) TOREROS RESTROOm*
17 Saves, regrets holding keyboard key (7) RESCUES {R{ESC}UES}
19 Primarily, remote oceanic section, some skirting East Antarctica? (4,3) ROSS SEA Acrostic &lit
20 Nicholas II's preferred way to serve vodka? (5,7) WHITE RUSSIAN [DD]
23 Voice in maëlstrom regularly lost (4) ALTO mAeLsTrOm
24 Styled á la Titian etc, for starters? (10) ITALIANATE {A+LA+TITIAN+Etc} Semi&lit
25 Maëlstrom's exciting in East End (4) EDDY (~'eady)
26 Sculptor's King And His Victim Eating Duck (5,5) HENRY MOORE {HENRY}{MO{0}RE}

1   Observe onset of flipping apocalypse (4) ESPY {a...lYPSE<=}
2   Part of bike, aluminium chain (4) IKEA [T]
3   Play with plaything? (1,5,5) A DOLLS HOUSE [DD]
4   Shown European, persuaded Tory to leave (7) EVINCED {E}{conVINCED}
5   Take trick before east voided and boast (7) TRUMPET {TRUMP}{EasT}
7   Quiet deceiver concealing silver: is master revealing theft? (10) PLAGIARISM {P}{L{AG}IAR}{IS}{M}
8   Hot old oven on cliff somewhere in Africa (10) MADAGASCAR {MAD}{AGA}{SCAR}
12 Somewhere in Africa, challenges Everyman to leave meat containing hint of aniseed (3,2,6) DAR ES SALAAM {DARES}{SAL{An...d}AMi}
13 Large creature and small creature's whitish, says Spooner (5,5) SPERM WHALE {S}{PERM WHALE}(~worm pale)
14 Tailored dean's suits by yourself (10) UNASSISTED*
18 Dash hurriedly with temperature dropping, dash to and fro (7) SHUTTLE S(Cold to Hot)HUTTLE
19 One standing on leaf? Tea leaf? (7) RUSTLER [DD] Cockney Rhyming slang Tea leaf/Thief(Rustler)
21 A month in Spain (and part of Ireland) (4) MAYO [DD]
22 Kelly's inheritance? (4) GENE [DD]

Reference List
Company = CO, Key = ESC, Duck = 0, European = E, Quiet = P, Master = M, Old oven = AGA. Small = S

The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday #4, Sunday 27 Sep 2020, Arden

The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday can be accessed at the link given below. The interactive version at the link is free you just need to sign in using an email ID and password, no subscription is required.

The crossword is not being blogged as the annotations are provided in the interactive version itself which can be seen if you click on 'Show a hint' under the 'reveal' tab on the top.

The same will be posted on every Sunday at 6 AM.


Saturday, 26 September 2020

No 13051, Saturday 26 Sep 2020, Arden

 Solution to 13A 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   Little over half a dollar to accept is no useit could be termed immoral behaviour (14) LICENTIOUSNESS {L1 CENTS} over {IS+NO+USE}* 
10 In the past, pound essentially was a unit of weight (5) OUNCE {O{poUnd}NCE}
11 Country once said to have been annexed by another (9) INDONESIA (~once){ONES} in {INDIA}
12 Oh dear! Butter’s returned to get wine (7) MARSALA {ALAS}{RAM}<=
13 Think, often it becomes left-of-centre (7) R?F?E?T (Addendum - REFLECT {LEFt of CenTRE}* [CA] - See comments)
14 One among them met a six-footer (5) EMMET [T]
16 Return, make way, talk and vanish (9) EVAPORATE {PAVE<=}{ORATE}
19 When you finally become big in the company, show arrogant behaviour (9) BOSSINESS B(-u+os)OSSINESS
20 Weld it together, keep as it is (5) DITTO [T]
22 Cancels agents lacking regular gear (7) DELETES DELEgaTES
25 Live longer, not in the end (7) OUTLAST {OUT}{LAST}
27 Tragic end you accept everything that’s pure (9) UNALLOYED {END+YOU}* over {ALL}
28 It is wasted before middle age (5) THING {THIN}{aGe}
29 Definitely no entry no... no youll mess it up (3,2,4,5) NOT ON YOUR NELLY*

2   Slight tickle ends shortly, he doesn’t know (9) IGNORAMUS {IGNORe}{AMUSe}
3   Purge your adversary, America for the fourth of July (9) ENEMA ENEM(-y+a)A
4   Wait, see an alternative subject (9) TAIWANESE*
5   Previous book changed hands internally (5) OLDER O(-r+l)LDER
6   Exotic, grand, if so, it’s cool (4-5) SANG-FROID*
7   Follow regularly, been astute (5) ENSUE {bEeN+aStUtE}
8   City watch allows former PM soundly ease out (7) SEATTLE {SE{ATTLee}E}
9   Red invitation over the highway (6) COMMIE {COM{M1}E}
15 Rehearsal on holding 50% of that event (9) TRIATHLON {TRIA{THat}L}{ON}
17 A bar’s evacuated, takes another second for him to run away (9) ABSCONDER {A}{Ba{SECOND*}R}
18 Clerical work — extremely unusual to include music (9) ACTUARIAL {ACT}{Un{ARIA}u..aL}
19 Tribal garden — the French agree on name (7) BEDOUIN {BED}{OUI}{N}
21 One is powerless when it happens (6) OUTAGE [CD]
23 Minimum energy to survive outside (5) LEAST {L{E}AST}
24 Very subservient to state authority (3-2) SAY-SO [DD] (Addendum - {SO}<=>{SAY} - See comments)
26 Form of taxit’s included in article (5) TITHE {T{IT}HE}

Reference List

Big = OS, America = A, Hands = R,L, Ease = E and E, Agree in French = OUI, Name = N, Energy = 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

Dr RKE's TalePiece

Jay Ram was pacing about in the plush living room of their apartment in SEATTLE, WA. He said “Sara, no, NOT ON YOUR NELLY, you are not spending the night out. We have discussed this before and the LICENTIOUSNESS of your American friends is repugnant to our culture. You will return home before 9 pm, like a good Indian girl”. Jayaraman Sundaresan (known as Jay Ram) had settled in the USA 2 decades ago and had brought up his OLDER son Kris (Krishnan Sundaresan) and younger daughter Saraswathi (Sara) like all other American kids in the neighborhood. They went to the same schools, ate the same food, played the same games and naturally, their American upbringing REFLECTed on their attitude. The boy excelled in TRIATHLON and the girl, true to her Indian origin, had been in the finals of the spelling bee contest.

The strain started showing when the daughter was in her teens. It was the SANG FROID of their mother Radhika and her UNALLOYED faith in them that often saved the kids from the father’s outbursts. Her calming presence often made Jay’s BOSSINESS EVAPORATE without a trace. Radhika, who knew a battle royal was to ENSUE between the dad and his daughter, said “her closest friends are that girl from INDONESIA and that TAIWANESE. They share our Asian values. Have an OUNCE of trust in our daughter. Sara sure knows her limits”.  “Ok, this time, if you SAY SO. But if this repeats itself DITTO the next time, I would pack her off to study at Madras staying with your dad and mum” grunted Jay Ram, though his voice sounded LEAST convincing.

Sundaresan, Jay’s father, an octogenarian widower living with them, had beaten hollow all the ACTUARIAL assessments of the insurers and had OUTLASTed a hip fracture and a prostate cancer. He peeped out of his room after Jay stormed out of the house and told his daughter-in-law “Radhika, there was a time back in Coimbatore, when Jayaraman became an ABSCONDER from college, having joined the COMMIE outfit called SFI.  Of course, I had total faith in the way that I and my Meenakshi, that blessed soul, had brought him up. I knew he would be able to draw the line ultimately and lent him a rather long rope. He reformed when it mattered and is now serving this capitalist country. I hope he has not DELETed all this from his memory. I am sure it will soon dawn on this IGNORAMUS to let the kids do their own THING”. Radhika ever in control merely said in admiration for the old man “yes, Appa” and like a doting daughter she reminded him to take his weekly ENEMA.

Friday, 25 September 2020

No 13050, Friday 25 Sep 2020, Arden


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   Capital Colombo evacuated, is in a mess (7) NICOSIA {Co...bO+IS+IN+A}*
5   ‘De profundis’ from the French duo (7) DESPAIR {DES}{PAIR}
9   Bit quiet on the phone (5) PIECE (~peace)
10 Gum chewing boy’s diary (9) CHRONICLE {CH{RON}ICLE}
11 They provide content for writers (9) INKSTANDS [CD]
12 Bright fellow, is healthy (5) LITHE {LIT}{HE}
13 Exercise equipment found to be about 45 inches by fluke (4) BARB BARBell 
15 Dynamic or static? (8) INACTION {IN ACTION}
18 Greek movie review on ‘Inferno’ (8) HELLENIC {CINE<=}<=>{HELL}
19 Gun recoils — practice (4) NETS<=
22 In France, some are below (5) INFRA [T]
24 Work on a virus while holding fort, perhaps (9) PORTFOLIO {PO{FORT*}LIO}
26 Well, American billionaire’s called for some Italian food (9) SPAGHETTI {SPA}{GHETTI}(~Getty)
27 Flower tips — rough imitation, close to rose (5) RHINE {RougH}{Im...oN}{rosE}
28 Stiff examiner finds trap empty (7) CORONER {COR{O}NER}
29 Digs into one, dubious honour awaits him (7) NOMINEE {MINE} in {ONE}*

1   Name on shocking pink piece of cloth (6) NAPKIN {N}{A}{PINK*}
2   Deadlock for test team playing (9) CHECKMATE {CHECK}{TEAM*}
3   Dispatched to fetch Charlie in Cologne... (5) SCENT {S{C}ENT}
4   ... in case son shifts to capital (9) ASCENSIONThis is an Island and not a Capital. I think Arden mistook it for Asuncion which is the capital of Paraguay.See comments
5   Day work for teacher who’s promoted (5) DORIS {DO}{SIR<=}
6   One hundred for the most probable lead in a game (9) SINGLETON {SINGLE}{TON}
7   Races with army unit to get airborne (5) ASCOT {ASC}{TO<=} Is the definition okay?Ascot is the race course.
8   Soldier free to move in jacket (6) REEFER {RE}{FREE*}
14 Canopy over barren China from bottom to top (9) BALDACHIN {BALD}{(+a)ACHIN(-a)}
16 Instrument on electric cable, it carries charge (9) ACCORDION {AC}{CORD}{ION}
17 A huge number overuse colour television set (9) OCTILLION {CoLOur+TeLevIsION}* [CA]
20 Music on fire — said to be part of 16 (3,3) AIR SAC {AIR}{SAC}(~sack)
21 Stick together with the man in the middle... (6) COHERE {CO{HE}RE}
23 ... just assuming liberal style (5) FLAIR {F{L}AIR}
24 Sellers may dwindle (5) PETER [DD]
25 Assembly sounds doubtful of carrying support (5) FORUM {UM}<=>{FOR}

Reference List
Name = N, Charlie = C, Army unit = ASC, Soldier = RE(Royal Engineers), Liberal = L

Thursday, 24 September 2020

No 13049, Thursday 24 Sep 2020, Gridman

Solution to 3D 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   Revolutionary spoke about Chennai leader (7) RADICAL {RADI{Ch...i}AL}
5   Seek clever incomplete group first (6) SEARCH {ARCH}<=>{SEt}
9   One good bathroom in a summer house (5) IGLOO {1}{G}{LOO}
10 Sailor hurried back — I have the story (9) NARRATIVE {TAR}{RAN}<={I'VE}
11 Being noncommittal, not using capital, getting small fringes (7) EDGINGS {hEDGING}{S}
12 Felt uneasy holding cool, certain booty (3,4) THE PELF {T{HEP}ELF*}
13 Question a rising traitor in an Arabian land (5) QATAR {Q}{A}{RAT<=}
14 Alternate winter place with police chief missing (9) INTERLACE {wINTER}{pLACE}
16 For which an aspiring politician may want a party ticket (5,4) EMPTY SEAT [CD]
19 Holy man depressed with hovel broken (5) SADHU {SAD}{HUt}
21 Can girl with light be excited? (7) TINGLED {TIN}{G}{LED}
23 English aura is spread around a huge landmass (7) EURASIA {E}{AURA+IS}*
24 Breakaway choir master leaving one male group of musicians (9) ORCHESTRA {CHOiR+mASTER}*
25 I moan about a biblical character (5) NAOMI*
26 The old strenuously stay zestful (6) YEASTY {YE}{STAY*}
27 It offers cold comfort, perhaps (7) EARPLUG [CD]

1   What an enquiring person would do to get an answer (5,1,8) RAISE A QUESTION [CD]
2   If Turkish, it’s sweet! (7) DELIGHT [CD]
3   Boast endlessly about ace singer such as Kishore (7) C?O?N?R (Addendum - CROONER {CRO{ONER}w} - See cmments)
4   Big electoral victory is ground-breaking (9) LANDSLIDE [DD]
5   Proud walk in support? (5) STRUT [DD]
6   Non-professional in a mature turn-out (7) AMATEUR*
7   Fancy ring given to artist (7) CHIMERA {CHIME}{RA}
8   Fella gesturing could do with controlling own behaviour (4-10) SELF-REGULATING*
15 Little birdie and servant capture the French part of book (5,4) TITLE PAGE {TIT}{LE}{PAGE}
17 Badly review American revolutionary’s flair (7) PANACHE {NAP<=}{A}{CHE}
18 Son picks up response about eastern criers (7) YELPERS {S}{REPL{E}Y}<=
19 More calm visionary grabbing short French boy (7) SERENER {SE{RENe}ER}
20 Rob uttered a falsehood accepting old afterword coming up (7) DESPOIL {LI{O}{PS}ED}<=
22 Spotted cuckoo (5) DOTTY [DD]

Reference List
Good = G, Sailor = TAR, Small = S, Question = Q, With = W, Girl = G, English = E, Male = M, Artist = RA, The in French = LE, American = A, Son = S, Eastern = E, Old = O

Dr RKE's TalePiece

I DELIGHT in studying people on train journeys without starting a conversation. The earphones I always wear (sometimes not even connected to my mobile phone) are perceived to be the EARPLUGS signalling that I do not want to be spoken to. This, plus the act of ostensibly poring over a newspaper spread such that it covers my face partly, allows me the freedom to observe people around me undisturbed and draw my conclusions, like an AMATEUR Sherlock Holmes. No matter if the inquisitive man on the opposite seat cranes his neck to read the TITLE PAGE of my newspaper.

So it was, when on a journey from New Delhi to Haridwar by train in 2013, a man in his thirties, got in at Ghaziabad and took the EMPTY SEAT next to me.  His ochre dress, the tilak on the forehead, and the rosary in his hand made it clear he was a SADHU. However, he had a muscular build, short hairstyle and a neatly trimmed moustache.   These CHIMERic contradictions RAISEd THE QUESTION, what could be his NARRATIVE? Has he given up a job, a loving wife and a little kid, in SEARCH for the inner truth, like a modern Buddha? Has he given up a YEASTY life and is seeking to atone in the mountains?  Has he turned a religious RADICAL spurred by the Ram Janmabhoomi struggle?  Does he belong to one of the orders of monks that are helping out in the rehabilitation of Uttarakhand after the floods and the LANDSLIDEs six months back? The voice of the CROONER (Lataji) came over my earphones “Ajnabi kaun ho tum?”

Lulled by the rocking of the train and the SERENER music, I must have dozed off for a while and suddenly woke up TINGLED by the cold breeze coming in through the open door of the compartment. The train was slowing for a halt at the Deoband station.  I caught sight of the sadhu, having alighted the moving train, running behind a man at a surprising pace. I just got a glimpse of the ‘sadhu’ catching him by the EDGING of the sleeve of his green shirt. Wasn’t the man sleeping in the side upper berth in the same green shirt? Theories continued to float in my head.

Later in my hotel room at Haridwar I caught the entire story on the TV news. The ‘sadhu’ turned out to be SP Raman Singh in disguise and he had caught one of the terrorists who had planted bombs in Old Delhi recently.  The caught terrorist had spilled the beans on the plot that was ORCHESTRATed from QATAR and their links with terrorist organizations across EURASIA. This was one narrative that had not crossed my mind. From that day, I gave up on my DOTTY theorizing about my fellow passengers and I now carry chanting beads during journeys! 

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

No 13048, Wednesday 23 Sep 2020, Gridman

Solution to 17A 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   Check top recent list (8) TABULATE {TAB}{U}{LATE}
5   French writer has son going back for shoot (6) SPROUT (+s)SPROU(-s)T
10 Istriwallah a strong personality (4,3) IRON MAN [DD]
11 Aged man strode around, having pocketed pounds (7) OLDSTER {O{L}DSTER*}
12 Proclaims the woman ignored measures (6) OUNCES annOUNCES
13 Society girl back to place a support to the mattress (8) BEDSTEAD {DEB<=}{STEAD}
15 Article is one in a list (4) ITEM [DD]
17 Thieves let gambler send son to the East (10) ?E?U?A?ORS (Addendum - PECULATORS (-s)PECULATOR(+s)S - See comments)
20 By no means early birds (10) LATECOMERS [CD]
22 Hindi people’s old symbol (4) LOGO {LOG}{O}
26 Secure call coming to the point (8) TAPERING {TAPE}{RING}
27 Radio’s gone phut — leave! (3,3) SET OFF {SET}{OFF}
29 Industrialist gets female to iron crisp fabric (7) TAFFETA {TA{F}{FE}TA}
30 Performer discards attires (7) ARTISTE*
31 Offensives where films are shot (6) ONSETS {ON SETS}
32 Dispatch spymaster on the way (8) TRANSMIT {TRANS{M}IT}

1   City’s spin over oil spill (7) TRIPOLI {TRIP}{OIL*}
2   Cake for junior girl scout (7) BROWNIE [DD]
3   Ignoring cold, mountaineer is able to move freely (6) LIMBER cLIMBER
4   Smack fly that’s up (4) TANG<=
6   Somewhat pleased about model — where she might be kept on (8) PEDESTAL {PEDES{T}AL*} Semi&lit
7   Moving — thus, one is very active (2,3,2) ON THE GO [DD]
8   Lecture by one in exchanges (7) TIRADES {T{1}RADES}
9   Made rough distribution of volunteer force (4,5) HOME GUARD*
14 Society, say, mad and divided into sections (9) SEGMENTAL {S}{EG}{MENTAL}
16 Star heartily imbibing eastern drink (3) TEA {sT{E}Ar}
18 Make fun of useless newspaper (3) RAG [DD]
19 Saint about dental decay that is most alarming (8) SCARIEST {S{CARIES}T}
20 Ignore bird among building blocks (3,2,2) LET IT GO {LE{TIT}GO}
21 Alerts dandies about one page (7) TIPOFFS {T{1}{P}OFFS}
23 Old pro with large amount to obtain a marsupial (7) OPOSSUM {O}POS{SUM} Anno pending (Addendum - {O}{P}{OS}{SUM} - See comments)
24 Eccentric old females on regular route (7) OFFBEAT {O}{FF}{BEAT}
25 Was very keen, say, to get Greek money (6) LEPTON (~leapt on)
28 Just exhibition (4) FAIR [DD]

Reference List
Top = U, Son = S, Pound = L, Old = O, Female = F, Spymaster = M, Cold = C, Model = T, Society = S, Eastern = E, Saint = ST, Page = P. Pro = P

Dr RKE's TalePiece

The ONSET of summer marked the annual FAIR in our village.  A number of makeshift stalls and tents would SPROUT magically overnight in our school ground. A man would go around the streets in the morning beating a drum on a bullock cart and distribute brightly coloured pamphlets to TRANSMIT information on the salient attractions in the fair that would open at 4pm. This was a RAGtag collection of street ARTISTEs, showmen and peddlers.  We would SET OFF in a bunch to have a gala time, with the coins assiduously saved for months jangling in the pockets of our shorts. The first item on sale would always be the 2 feet wide Delhi Papad, dripping with oil. It had to be washed down with the TANG of a “sherbet”, which was little more than coloured water. The OLDSTERS of course needed their TEA served scalding hot in little mud cups. There was always a turbaned medicine man announcing an OUNCE of his quick-fix potions for everything from headache to piles.

The SCARIEST item was the Hall of Horror with its skull-and-crossbones LOGO.  The black TAFFETA walls, the dim red light, the intermittent puffs of smoke from a hidden machine, the eerie noises all added to the effect and admittance was strictly one at a time. An IRONMAN with a dragon mask would all-on-a-sudden pounce from out of thin air with a blood curdling cry, blandishing a real skull with a red glow between its jaws. Chandru, my friend, had become scared stiff in there and had wet his pants. He put up a brave front on exiting and insisted that it was only spilled sherbet. “True”, we said “indeed it was the sherbet that had passed through your bladder”.

LATECOMERs would miss out on the giant wheel. Now, don’t imagine those huge things in the amusement parks that you see nowadays. This was hardly 15 feet in diameter, but it was ‘giant’ enough for our village. The man who ran the giant wheel could get his power only before the lights were switched on in the grounds and the shops. A retired HOME GUARD from the village, who boasted of having trained with a real gun, gave us TIP(OFF)S on how to shoot dummies at balloons. To his utter dismay, he could not pop even one balloon. Not willing to LET IT GO at that, he let out a TIRADE at the poor quality of the gun, the poor lighting, the poor this and the poor that.   

On returning home, the real ordeal was to TABULATE my spending, tote it up and present it to Dad, famed for his disapproving look, no matter how small the figure. I would make sure I had already run some errands to earn some BROWNIE points with Mummy dear, ever the saviour to bail me out of strident castigation from the martinet dad. This year ON THE GO, I hit upon the OFFBEAT idea of “playing the ‘POSSUM”. I pretended to be fast asleep when my dad came in for the inquisition. As they stood by the BEDSTEAD, I could hear Mummy tell Dad “poor kid, don’t wake him”.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

No 13047, Tuesday 22 Sep 2020, Gridman

Solution to 20D 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   Honest saint’s honest about answer (8) STRAIGHT {ST}{R{A}IGHT}
5   On reflection, wrong by one new resident (4-2) LIVE-IN {EVIL<=}{1}{N}
9   A pencil drawing of a bird (7) PELICAN*
10 One involved in open case (7) PATIENT {PAT{1}ENT}
11 The man’s simple and cruel (9) HEARTLESS {HE}{ARTLESS}
12 Applaud principal head wanting increment (5) RAISE pRAISE
13 Genuine-sounding fishing companion of Rod (4) REEL (~real)
14 Sound correspondence old granny kept in fancy cases (9) ASSONANCE {ASS{O}{NAN}CE*}
17 UK national nearly hides reported dishonesties (9) BRIBERIES {BRIt}{BERIES}(~buries)
19 Too slow in holding capital (4) OSLO [T]
23 Dance with hesitation in sleazy bar (5) RUMBA {R{UM}BA*}

24 Venkat, with no time, nearly rises thwarting trickeries (9) KNAVERIES {VENKAt+RISEs}*
25 Six carelessly losing no good instruments (7) VIOLINS {VI}{LOSINg*}
26 Idly moving to the insurers — that’s perfect! (7) IDYLLIC {IDLY*}{LIC}
27 Food item for the less wary? (6) RASHER [DD]
28 Stopped North Indian repudiator coming back (6,2) REINED IN {NI}{DENIER}<=

1   County accepts software for a gem (8) SAPPHIRE {S{APP}HIRE}
2   About the property contract — let it go! (7) RELEASE {RE}{LEASE}
3   Stimulate one new spy, say (6) INCITE {1}{N}{CITE}(~sight)
4   When, in a form of protest, you may yearn for a bite? (6,7) HUNGER STRIKES [C&DD]
6   Break in travel abroad (8) INTERVAL*
7   Mournful English, and Gaelic outpouring (7) ELEGIAC {E}{GAELIC*}
8   Stone container turned upside down to get seasoning (6) NUTMEG {GEM}{TUN}<=
10 Assignment to worker relating to a wellness recovery period (4-9) POST-OPERATIVE {POST}{OPERATIVE}
15 Vie with Arabs in a way that is irritating (8) ABRASIVE*
16 Gold thus put in container by islander (8) CORSICAN {C{OR}{SIC}AN}
18 Muzzle-loaders are strict disciplinarians (7) RAMRODS [DD]
20 Small child learner one had met with crash helmet (7) S?I?L?D (Addendum - SKIDLID {S}{KID}{L}I'D} - See comments)
21 Legal action to recover priest’s last rupee ended (6) TROVER {p...sT}{R}{OVER}
22 Put faith in Len and Roy striving together (4,2) RELY ON*

Reference List
Saint = ST, Answer = A, New = N, Old = O, Granny = NAN, Time = T, Good = G, North = N, Indian = I, About = RE, English = E, Gold = OR, Thus = SIC, Small = S, Learner = L, Rupee = R

Monday, 21 September 2020

No 13046, Monday 21 Sep 2020, Karaoke

Solution to 4D 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.

9   Philosopher cooked risotto without onions originally in drink (9) ARISTOTLE {A{RISoTTO*}LE}
10 Strained future maybe (5) TENSE [DD]
11 Start boarding school after end of spring (3,2) GET ON {s...nG}{ETON}
12 Professional workshop equipment gets around 100 procedures (9) PROTOCOLS {PRO}{TO{C}OLS}
13 Seeds consumed by extinct primates with the close of biggest peace offering (11) APPEASEMENT {AP{PEAS}EMEN}{b...sT}
16 Reeked of hunting ground? Have surgery (2,5,3,5) GO UNDER THE KNIFE*
19 Delay disrupted trade in army allowance (11) RETARDATION {R{TRADE*}ATION}
24 Really faint flare fired from pistol (4,5) VERY LIGHT [DD] (Addendum - {VERY}{LIGHT} - See comments)
25 Performer stripping sides from plant (5) ACTOR fACTORy
26 True lassis regularly used herb (5) TULSI {TrUe+LaSsIs}
27 Implement perhaps Friday party policy (9) MANDOLINE {MAN}{DO}{LINE}

1   Clutch back end of cigarette lighter (5) BARGE {GRAB<=}{c...tE}
2   Point out horse (5) PINTO*
3   Classic bear on a road (8) STANDARD {STAND}{A}{RD}
4   Come forward, raising heartless Punch and Judy (4,2) ?T?P ?P (Addendum - STEP UP PUPpETS<= - See comments)
5   Withdraw quietly and do penance in church monument (8) CENOTAPH {P}{ATONE}<= in{CH}

6   In component of bathometer (2,4) AT HOME [T]
7   Island nation’s singles infiltrating subcontinent (9) INDONESIA {IND{ONES}IA}
8   Spooner’s mentioned harsh accommodation (9) BEDSITTER (~said bitter)
14 Unfinished tomb in stone compound (9) AGGRAVATE {AG{GRAVe}ATE}
15 Born absolutely to embrace female creature (9) BUTTERFLY {B}{UTTER{F}LY}
17 Notice Georgia in capital sporting event (4,4) ROAD GAME {RO{AD}{GA}ME}
18 Is fair trial impossible in this court? (8) KANGAROO [CD]
20 Earl in trouble over papers placed differently (6) RELAID {EARL*}{ID}
21 Purpose of ointment to exclude old and married (6) INTENT oINTmENT
22 Distressed sir leaves artistic storage area (5) ATTIC ArTisTIC
23 Anguish good for bishop, in short (5) GRIEF (-b+g)GRIEF (Correction - BRIEF (-g+b)BRIEF - See comments)

Reference List
100 = C, Quietly = P, Born = B, Female = F, Papers = ID, Old = O, Married = M, Good = G, Bishop = B