Sunday, 31 October 2021

The Sunday Crossword No 3174, Sunday 31 Oct 2021

1   Chart showing pub and hotel stocking mostly pinot, perhaps (3,5) BAR GRAPH {BAR}{GRAPe}{H}
5   150 snakes offering embraces (6) CLASPS {CL}{ASPS}
9   Placed in water, bananas simmered (8) IMMERSED*
10 Sent back kind of pudding the French consumed: it's very rich and creamy (6) ECLAIR {RICE}<= over {LA}
12 Divulge what they do in 'Danny, the Champion of the World' (4,3,4,4) GIVE THE GAME AWAY [C&DD]
13 Liability set to return in experimental environment (4,3) TEST BED {DEBT}{SET}<= 
14 Elderly relative's fragrant (to some extent) (4) GRAN [T]
18 A little sad, Everyman's a rejected novelist (4) AMIS {Sad}{I'M}{A}<=
19 Perhaps Victoria, perhaps Dave (7) STATION [DD] 
23 'No hit', twice: Kent ace resolved to accept defeat (4,2,2,3,4) TAKE IT ON THE CHIN {NO+HIT+HIT+KENT+ACE}*
24 Not very quiet birdhouse – it's full of bees (6) APIARY A(-v+p)PIARY
25 Romeo, gutted; teardrops, perhaps – for his love? (8) ROSALINE {RomeO}{SALINE} Semi&lit
26 'Horrible Bosses' to occupy one's thoughts (6) OBSESS*
27 Rates some classes' sessions (8) ASSESSES [T]

1   It's used in snooker game (6) BRIDGE [DD]
2   Take out a degree of indirectness (6) REMOVE [DD]
3   They're seldom seen: essentially drab grim items of neckwear (8) RARITIES {dRAb}{gRIm}{TIES}
4   Illustrated talk giving position of baby in the womb (12) PRESENTATION [DD]
6   Loudly compare fungus and alga (6) LICHEN (~liken)
7   Film's leads hiding – icy, stuck up (4,4) STAR WARS {STAR{RAW<=}S}
8   Distracted stingray wandering off (8) STRAYING*
11 Listen to a man performing Old Testament book (12) LAMENTATIONS*
15 Opposed to puncturing starch in the City (8) SANTIAGO {S{ANTI}AGO}
16 Serviceman, new, sporting flowers and booze (4,4) PINK GINS {PINK{GI}{N}S} 
17 Programmer's dearest material (8) LOVELACE {LOVE}{LACE} 
20 Terminating in Gulf, river irrigating Sumer, primarily? (6) TIGRIS Acrostic &lit
21 Some singers some paper reported (6) CHOIRS (~quires)
22 Arising, well-groomed entertaining knight prepares for investiture (6) KNEELS {SLEE{N}K<=}

Reference List
Hotel = H, 150 = CL, The in French = LA, Very = V, Quiet = P, New = N, Knight = N

Saturday, 30 October 2021

No 13390, Saturday 30 Oct 2021, Spinner


1 Emotional air all around leading to a change for the better (12) AMELIORATION {EMOTIONAL+AIR*}
10 Bust chiefly shattered in blast (5) BOSOM {BO{Shattered}OM}
11 Fulfilling programme primarily emphasising anchor’s yell (9) APPEASING {APP}{Emphasising}{Anchor}{SING}
12 Hurt jawbone plated with metal (6) ACHING {A{CHIN}G}
13 Most savage cryptic clue set traps solver ultimately! (8) CRUELEST {CLUE+SET*} around {solveR}
15 Resistance overcome by widespread disease concerning the skin (9) EPIDERMIC {EPIDE{R}MIC}
16 Sing jazz improvisation from intro ofSmelly Cat’ (4) SCAT {Smelly}{CAT}
20 Track // family // business (4) LINE (MD)
21 Worker embraces a young, queer woman offering advice (5,4) AGONY AUNT {A{A+YOUNG*}NT}
24 Flight? In other words, ’twas airy! (8) STAIRWAY {TWAS+AIRY*}
26 Male takes no true responsibility! (6) MANTLE {MA{N}{T}LE}
28 On getting work, sign-up actively for donating! (9) SUPPLYING {SIGN+UP*} around {PLY}
29 Egg on various unheralded lads everyday, for starters (5) OVULE (Acrostic)
30 To assist, they play captions as CM rambles (12) ACCOMPANISTS {CAPTIONS+AS+CM*}


2 Deformed from accident involving player with two other players (9) MISSHAPEN {MIS{S}HAP}{E}{N}
3 Drunk old man gets energy on drinking energy drink (8) LEMONADE {OLD+MAN*}+{E} around {E}
4 Old friend’s a gem (4) OPAL {O}{PAL}
5 According to some sources, they’re charged with multiple counts of defamation! (10) ASPERSIONS {AS PER}{Sources}{IONS}
6 Setter matures on imbibing methods introduced in icons (6) IMAGES {I}{Methods}AGES}
7 Ignorant rogue loses principal while accruing interest (5) NAIVE {kNA{I}VE}
8 Basically, underwater vessel? (1-4) U-BOAT {Underwater}{BOAT} &lit
9 Protest a fool’s arrogant, thoughtless enactments at the outset (7) AGITATE {A}{GIT}{Arrogant}{Thoughtless}{Enactments}
14 A qualifying test invested in viewpoint of realism (10) PRAGMATISM {PR{A}{GMAT}ISM}
17 Fashion scam nearly brought down model (9) CONSTRUCT {CON}{STRU{C}T}
18 Tightest of catches goes down — with it, match essentially! (7) CLOSEST {C}{LOSES}{maTch}
19 “I’m on a car, cooking pasta!” (8) MACARONI {I+M+ON+A+CAR}

22 Dance away to unending beat (6) FROLIC {FRO}{LICk}
23 Often, etiquette embraces dogma (5) TENET (T)
25 Royal phalanx shields dominant leader (5) ALPHA (T)
27 Silver lining of Raja’s wonderful city, perhaps? (4) AGRA {AG}{RajA}

Reference List

Programme=App, Metal=Ag, Resistance=R, Worker=Ant, No=N, True=T
Player=S (South), Players=EN(East&North), Energy=E, Energy=E, Old=O, Setter=I, Interest=I, Qualifying test=GMAT, Nearly=C(Circa), Catches=C, Silver=AG

Colour/Font Scheme

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

Friday, 29 October 2021

No 13389, Friday 29 Oct 2021, KrisKross


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

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

1   Small fly circling a painting (8) SEASCAPE {S}{E{A}SCAPE}
5   Limitless dosand chutney as supplements (4,2) ADDS ON {DOSa+AND}*
9   One living underwater in canoe runing mostly self-propelled? (8) OCEANAUT {CANOE*}{AUTo}
10 Exit with a second person at the end of act (3,3) WAY OUT {W}{A}{YOU}{acT}
12 Nobles revolting, say, meet Lenin regularly in disguise (9) GENTLEMEN {EG<=}{MEET+LeNiN}*
13 Subsequently, both sides drink fresh tea (5) LATER {L}{TEA*}{R}
14 Racecourse cancels a tax (4) SCOT aSCOT
16 Anger caused by hot, naughty scene (7) INCENSE {IN}{SCENE*}
19 Extensively analyse planet Mercury finally (7) APLENTY {PLANET*}{m...rY}
21 Bear run in America (4) URSA {U{R}SA}
24 State of a husband breaking a promise (5) IDAHO {I D{A}{H}O}
25 Angered at barking dog (5,4) GREAT DANE*
27 Rings to catch river fishes (6) TROLLS {T{R}OLLS}
28 Spooner’s ultimate delight is a son or daughter (8) RELATION {s...eR}{ELATION}
29 Vegetable in the middle of tray / plate (6) RADISH {tRAy}{DISH}
30 Distraught soldiers, tense, getting into action (8) DEMENTED {DE{MEN}{T}ED}

1   Cast off depression (6) SLOUGH [DD]
2   A horse carrying a German over the hill (6) AGEING {A}{G{EIN}G}
3   John left holding a Panama, say (5) CANAL {CAN}{A}{L}
4   Drop best saw (7) PLUMMET {PLUM}{MET}
6   Difficult situations resulting in hair loss? (9) DEADLOCKS [DD]
7   Fair Carol consumes wine (8) SPORTING {S{PORT}ING}
8   Clerks sign below brief memo (8) NOTARIES {ARIES}<=>{NOTe}
11 Opposing anarchy, nation tries incompetent leaders (4) ANTI Acrostic
15 They are wicked to keep ducks as pets (9) CANOODLES {CAN{OO}DLES}
17 American is terrified packing a cylinder of gunpowder (8) CANISTER [T]
18 Doctor said “All OK. No sugar, for starters, and caffeine, maybe” (8) ALKALOID {sAID+ALL+OK}*
20 A man held up for a long time (4) YUGA {A}{GUY}<=
21 Evangelist cycling east with the French guitar (7) UKELELE {(-l)UKE(+l)L}{E}{LE}
22 Sailor about to attack? On the contrary — he is a man of discrimination (6) RACIST {T{SIC}AR}<=
23 Escort protecting short maiden gets tipped (6) LEANED {LEA{NEe}D}
26 Kid happily eats last bit of chocolate (5) TEASE {EATS*}{c...tE}

Reference List
Small = S, With = W, Hot = IN, Run = R, Husband = H, River = R, Tense = T, Horse = GG, A in German = EIN, John = CAN, Left = L, East = E, The in French = LE 

Thursday, 28 October 2021

No 13388, Thursday 28 Oct 2021, Bruno

Solution to 26A 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.

Tough going today.

1   Judge releases leader of common people to society (6) ASSESS {mASSES}{S}
4   Black? Face strict condition and charges (6) TARIFF {TAR}{IFF} 
8   Middlemen are mainly just thieves without a bit of remorse (7) JOBBERS {Just}{rOBBERS}
9   Last time to remove dead after second Everest mission (7) VENTURE {EN(-d+t)TURE}<=>{eVe...t}
11 Perfectly evil being in IT/HR acts weirdly (10) ANTICHRIST {IN+IT+HR+ACTS}*
12 Message from posh school sent back (4) NOTE<=
13 Agreed — boring Public Relations employer... (5) PAYER {P{AYE}R}
14 ... insolent in character, should be put back to storage (8) ENTREPOT {EN}{PERT<=}{TO<=} Not sure of Anno (Addendum - {TO{PERT}NE}<= - See comments)
16 Parcel from sandwich shop — so... (8) DELIVERY {DELI}{VERY}
18 ... check it has all users’ desired starters first (5) AUDIT {IT}<=>{All}{Us..s}{De...d}
20 Not losing love for aliens... that’s the bottom line (4) NETT N(-o+et)ETT
21 Helping to trade in New York and London, the English are in dexterously-made clothing? (5,5) SHARE INDEX [T] 
23 Puerto Rico’s gold taken at America at a certain rate (3,4) PRO RATA {PR}{OR}{AT}{A}
24 What didn’t come from abroad during the Ever Given crisis? Setter’s wines (7) IMPORTS {I'M}{PORTS}
25 Ask Democrat along with... (6) DEMAND {DEM}{AND}
26 ... thousand stuck-up leadership to leave? That’s difficult (6) ?N?T?Y (Addendum - KNOTTY {K}{sNOTTY} - See comments)

1   Gold pinned on maiden often to decorate (5) ADORN {mAiD{OR}eN}
2   Bullpen’s instincts to rally at the back with support (7) SUBSIDY {SUBS}{ID}{rallY}
3   Additional price increase includes coal (9) SURCHARGE {SUR{CHAR}GE}
5   Spy after years got new assignment, finally (5) AGENT {AGE}{N}{a...nT} 
6   INXS takes drug to be great (7) INTENSE {IN}{TEN}{S}{E}
7   If returns on Rupee/dollar over time is put on most of stock exchanges, it could be an initial investment (5,4) FIRST COST {IF<=}{R}{S}{T}{STOCk}*
10 Employee’s body part has many parts (9) LIVERYMAN {LIVER}MANY*}
13 Peter looked up to favourite (9) PREFERRED {P}{REFERRED} P/Peter?
15 Merchant from Madras’ often tense & confused (9) TRADESMAN {MADRAS+TeNsE}*
17 Hot period one’s stuck in is temporary (7) INTERIM {IN}{TER{1}M}
19 How eater becomes dater? That’s what usually happens on a date... (4,3) DINE OUT {D IN E OUT}
21 Organised protest is going up — supported by money (3-2) SIT-IN {IS<=}{TIN}
22 Gate guard starting to stray away (5) ENTRY sENTRY

Reference List
Society = S, Identify Friend or Foe If and Only If = IFF, Time = T, Dead = D, Public Relations = PR, Character = EN, Aliens = ET, Puerto Rico = PR, Gold = OR, America = A, Thousand = K, Democrat = DEM, New = N, Drug = E, Rupee = R, Dollar = $, Peter = P, Hot = IN, Money = TIN

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

No 13387, Wednesday 27 Oct 2021, Karaoke

Solution to 25A 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   Fancy setters consume a drink (7) IMAGINE {I}{M{A}{GIN}E}
5   Important holy book contains verse about origin of life (7) PIVOTAL {PI}{V}{OT}{A}{Life}
9   Reportedly snaps flowers (5) PICKS (~pics) Iffy definition in my view
10 Up-and-coming Prince played morsing with essential skill (9) PROMISING {P}{MORSING+skIll}*
11 End discussion of a bill — look into the wrongdoing and penalise without initial fears (10) GUILLOTINE {GUIL{LO}T}{fINE}
12 Humorous scene without money, without comedian finally (4) SKIT SKInT
14 Grafts to coaches without initial inhibitions at workshops (11) TRANSPLANTS {TRAiNS}{PLANTS}
18 It gives a facelift when plain story is cooked up with some heroine (11) RHINOPLASTY {PLAIN+STORY+He...e}*
21 Deadly weapon uncovered in exchange of 500 to 1000 (4) NUKE NU(-d+k)KE
22 Recurring advantage with initial expenses in lease withdrawal (10) RETIREMENT {RE{MERIT<=}{Ex...s}NT}
25 Loss of self-respect when sailor lost initial right-of-way (9) A?A?E?E?T (Addendum - ABASEMENT - {AB}{eASEMENT} -  See comments)
26 Enclosures for animals of landowners have no guard in the end (5) LAIRS LAIRdS
27 Die out or regularly seek support (7) ENDORSE {END}{OR}{SeEk}
28 Troublemakers’ chain loses power (7) ROWDIES {ROW}{DIES}

1   Criticise one politician’s note about union government (6) IMPUGN {1}{MP}{U}{G}{N}
2   Drug? No, not relating to the North (6) ARCTIC nARCoTIC
3   Quarantine about nuclear radiation (10) INSOLATION {I{N}SOLATION}
4   Maybe Indian in Bangladesh is old loyalist, boycotting riot (5) EXPAT {EX}{PATriot}
5   Poor signs flawed prediction (9) PROGNOSIS*
6   Unproductive blood vessel, it is said (4) VAIN (~vein)
7   Ruler follows weak philosophy (8) THINKING {KING}<=>{THIN}
8   Most insubstantial cock-and-bull story narrated at trial (8) LIGHTEST (~lie){LIGH}{TEST}
13 Childhood companion’s drama casts elf and owl (10) PLAYFELLOW {PLAY}{ELF+OWL}*
15 Eels learn swimming like everything as it should be (3,6) ALL SERENE*
16 There is no escape from it with the introduction of carbon in historic period (4,4) IRON CAGE {IRON {C}AGE}
17 Naughty Malik is cuddled by mid field hand (8) MILKMAID {MI{MALIK*}D}
19 They always come together before Big C (6) GEMINI [C&DD] 
20 Irregular siestas? Stop taking drug, it stops flow of blood (6) STASIS SIeSTAS*
23 Season not beginning, lay to rest (5) INTER wINTER
24 It’s a sign of grief, RIP! (4) TEAR [DD]

Reference List
Holy = PI, Verse = V, About = A, Prince = P, Look = LO, 500 = D, 1000 = K, Sailor = AB, Note = N, Union = U, Government = G, Nuclear = N, Carbon = C, Drug = E

by Dr RKE

Srivaani, the PROMISING young star, was at the GEMINI studios for a screentest. She had to play the PIVOTAL role of Radha-the MILKMAID, in a TV serial ‘Gokulam”. ENDORSEd by none other than the owner of the studio, the director could not IMAGINE rejecting her- the problem was only the prominent beak that Srivaani had. He called Srivaani’s mother and said “I will cast your daughter. Just get her nose a little flattened. You have 3 weeks before I start shooting”.

 Srivaani had grown up THINKING that her aquiline nose was what set her apart from her PLAYFELLOWs in Chennai and was rather VAIN about it. “This is not a mere SKIT, it is a megaserial that may lead me to big screen roles” she consoled herself, “so let me face the GUILLOTINE''. Bracing herself, she went to Mr.Ram Chander FRCS, the famous cosmetic surgeon. He took the photos of the nose and fed it into his laptop and after a few mouse clicks, he had 3 pictures of the girl with 3 different types of noses. “PICK your choice, A here is preferred at Hollywood, B at Bollywood and C at Kollywood.” Srivaani’s mother took over and said, “Doctor, it should be B. My daughter’s destination is Bombay, Chennai is only the stepping stone”. Srivaani, still coming to terms with the surgery, sat silently wiping the TEAR in the corner of her eye. Her mother asked “Is it some kind of TRANSPLANT, there will be no scar on the nose, no?”. The doctor said “oh, not that complicated, all I will be doing is a RHINOPLASTY from within”. “Just sign the forms and make sure you read the part on the PROGNOSIS before you give consent” advised the doctor, “you may have a little STASIS of secretions for a few days”, knowing full well that no one ever reads the fine print.

That very afternoon, Srivaani was wheeled into the operating room. “Why is this place freezing cold as if in the ARCTIC '', she thinks shuddering. The anaesthetist sticks in a needle into her forearm and in a few minutes, it is ALL SERENE. The next thing she knows is someone slapping her cheek saying “it’s all over, wake up, wake up”. “Why am I feeling like I’m in an IRON CAGE?” wonders the girl. “Take a deep breath” urges the doctor but she can make only the LIGHTEST of effort, as she has delayed recovery from the muscle relaxant effect. A few more minutes of assisted breathing and she feels she has been let out of a choking LAIR into the open to breathe fresh air, a new life with a new nose!

Need I mention that the master sculptor, Mr.Ram Chander, has once again delivered a nose that will be zoomed on in close-up romantic scenes, a nose about which lyricists will write poetry, a nose that fans are going to root for, a nose that will keep appearing on the cover of glossies all the way to her RETIREMENT from cinema?

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

No 13386, Tuesday 26 Oct 2021, Avtaar

Solution to 22D 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   European leaves Asian behind (6) ASTERN eASTERN
4   Boxes having old-fashioned fasteners (8) PADLOCKS {PA{OLD*}CKS}
9   Quench ones thirst, drinking straight (6) HONEST [T]
10 Game old wife mostly played in Warangal, on vacation (8) WILDFOWL {OLD+WIFe}* in {Wa...aL}
11 Vivacious imp delighted about popular children’s game (3,2,3,6) PIG IN THE MIDDLE {IMP+DELIGHTED}* over {IN}
13 Carol sang, accompanied by one playing a horn (3,7) COR ANGLAIS {CAROL+SANG+1}*
14 Order with respect to arresting Avtaar (4) WRIT {WR{I}T}
16 Chief of the private urban community (4) TOWN {The}{OWN}
18 Time when nothing works in Riyad? Ah! (3,4,3) BAD HAIR DAY {RIYAD+AH}* [RA]
21 “The Art of Cooking” — books with novel designs in Word (6,8) WINDOW DRESSING {W}{DESIGNS+IN+WORD}*
23 One surviving, perhaps with pain? That’s shocking! (4,4) LIVE RAIL {LIVER}{AIL}
24 I read about the ultimate in white sugar (6) DEARIE {I+READ}*{w..tE}
25 In the past, stop a rescue at sea after onset of storm (8) SURCEASE {A+RESCUE}*<=>{St..m}
26 Jealous fellow — drunk in every party’s conclusion — goes missing (6) ENVIER {IN+EVERy}*

1   Tennis legend has trained England’s #1 (4) ASHE {HAS*}{En...d}
2   Peppier African city (7) TANGIER [DD]
3   They were seen wandering in USSR and Siberia, chiefly (8) RUSSIANS {IN+USSR+And+Siberia}* &lit
5   Web media broadcast featuring runaway hit devotional number (5,4,2) ABIDE WITH ME {WEB+MEDIA* over {HIT}*
6   Story about Count’s boy (6) LADDIE {L{ADD}IE}
7   Harry turned florid, drinking hot stew (7) CHOWDER {C{H}OW}{RED<=}
8   Essay describing book by one European in a prominent manner (9) SALIENTLY {SAL{1}{E}{NT}LY}
12 India stalls spreading plants like the Spanish moss (11) TILLANDSIAS*
13 Beds with hollow wheels seen around ancient part of England (9) COTSWOLDS {COTS}{Whe{OLD}elS}
15 One in Cologne street — a German scientist (8) EINSTEIN {EIN}{ST}{EIN} 
17 Convinced now? (7) WONOVER {NOW}* [RA]
19 Pennies, surprisingly, are about 67% Indian (7) DENARII {ARE+INDIan}*
20 Android — for the people, ultimately a source of enlightenment (2,4) BOTREE {BOT}{foR}{thE}{p...lE} Enu should have been (2,4) See comments
22 Does fine, giving up yield (4) ?E?R (Addendum - DEER DEfER - See comments)

Reference List
European = E, Popular = IN, With = W, Harry = COW, Hot = H, Book = NT, One and A in German = EIN, Street = ST, Fine = F


Jim Smith heard the PADLOCKS click after the Arab prison guard shoved him into the cell. He had been off-loaded from the ship on which he was a stowaway at the TANGIER port. The HONEST captain of the ship did what was right in getting rid of the LADDIE at the first port-of-call after he was discovered hiding behind a mast ASTERN, while crossing the English Channel. The young man from a small TOWN in COTSWOLDS, the Captain admitted, had WON OVER many hearts among the deckhands, with his eager face and friendly banter. They had shared their quota of CHOWDER with the boy and that was all he had to eat since boarding the ship at Dover. While the Moroccan police came aboard for Jim, the Captain whispered something into his ears “DEARIE, ................." So saying, he had thrust a few PENNIES into Jim’s pocket. He could not bear to see the worry WRIT over the boy’s face.

Left alone in his cell, Jim fell asleep on the floor. He dreamt of the English summer, when he would go hunting WILDFOWL and DEER, the local tavern where he would play the COR ANGLAIS and further back in time, when as a small boy he would play PIG IN THE MIDDLE with his friends. This idyllic world around him had collapsed when his dear papa, his only living relation, blew his brains out with the hunting rifle one night. Jim just wanted to get away from the pain of it all and like all true blood English laddies, he took the next train to Dover. After some months of doing odd jobs at the port, bitten by the eagerness to sail, he boarded the MV EINSTEIN sailing to Alexandria via Tangier.

Jim hadn’t heard the expression, but the next day at the court was a BAD HAIR DAY. He could not make out what the police and the magistrate asked him in some foreign tongue. He shut himself out with the only prayer song he knew that was repeatedly playing in his mind “ABIDE WITH ME”- particularly the lines..

The darkness deepens Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me

Suddenly, he heard a clear voice ring out in English. “Jim, I am here to take care of things”. With some whispers from the stranger to the right ears, some oiling of hands at the right places and some discreet phone calls, the man arranged for Jim to be released soon from detention. Jim still thinks it is the Lord who abided with him when the darkness deepened.

Now, you don’t have to sit under the BO TREE to be enlightened on how this magic came about. He was the brother of the captain of the ship, working in the British Embassy at Morocco. But as they say, we are all instruments of the Lord, aren’t we? And the Lord chooses which instrument to use and when!

Monday, 25 October 2021

No 13385, Monday 25 Oct 2021, Vulcan

Solution to 8D 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   Perhaps light, funny and something hilarious (5-7) THIGH-SLAPPER*
10 Wyatt to carry silencer (7) EARPLUG {EARP}{LUG}
11 Firm working through this evening (7) TONIGHT {T{ON}IGHT}
12 Have a hunch about Arctic people keeping time (6) INTUIT {IN{T}UIT}
13 End of girl’s answer (8) DISSOLVE {DI'S}{SOLVE}
15 Speaking of Titanic — extremely depressing — it’s sad (9) DICTATING {TITANIC+De...nG}*
16 Old wing’s visual style (2,3) OP ART {O}{PART}
17 Trouble in group settlement (5) UPSET [T]
19 Bug entering a fruit (9) TANGERINE  {T{ANGER}INE} A/Tine? (Correction -{ENTERING+A}* - See comments)
22 With ease swimming in these waters (5,3) WHITE SEA*
24 What a writer may use to eliminate characters (6) ERASER [CD]
26 Place and day to wear a robe (7) ADDRESS {A}{D{D}RESS}
27 European guy worried to come out (7) EMANATE {E}{MAN}{ATE}
28 Stop after large train had got derailed (5,2,1,4) GRIND TO A HALT {L+TRAIN+HAD+GOT}*

2   Woman’s quote about a nonconformist (7) HERETIC {HER}{CITE<=}
3   Good home/retreat and a new town basically to roam (9) GALLIVANT {G}{VILLA<=}{A}{N}{Town}
4   Indication of warnings ignored (4) SIGN [T]
5   Terrible strain man finds severe (10) ASTRINGENT {STRAIN*}{GENT}
 Pressure on workers to make clothes (5) PANTS {P}{ANTS}
7   Symbols of royalty relating to celebration around India (7) REGALIA {RE}{GAL{I}A}
8   It means the end time (6) ?E?I?D (Addendum - PERIOD [DD] - See comments)
9   Authenticate an examination, say (6) ATTEST (~ a test)
14 Upset its poorly garnished on the outside (10) DISTRESSED {D{ITS*}RESSED}
16 Go too far past a stretch of water (9) OVERREACH {OVER}{REACH}
17 Expose one in Paris with clout (6) UNWRAP {UN}{W}{RAP}
18 Climb to go for a party (7) SHINDIG {SHIN}{DIG}
20 Establish a booth at home initially (7) INSTALL {STALL}<=>{IN}
21 Student starting off a profitable venture (6) EARNER lEARNER
23 Adhesive ultimately found in tree, one kind of resin (5) ELEMI {EL{a...vE}M}{1}
25 Vulcan gets second reminder (4) MEMO {ME}{MO}

Reference List
Time = T, Girl = DI, Old = O, Day = D, European = E, Large = L, Good = G, New = N, Pressure = P, India = I, One in French = UN, With = W, Second = MO


ELEMI Dickens is always UPSET and DISTRESSED when people misspell and mispronounce her first name as Emily. TONIGHT, she is at a SHINDIG, thrown by Alex Johnson, one of her batchmates from the Chicago Art School, where they are studying OP-ART. Not one known to GALLIVANT, she is wishing she could simply DISSOLVE from the scene but Alex is a dear friend and it would break his heart to vanish. She wishes that she had EAR PLUGs to shield herself from the noisy band and even more to shut out the inane THIGH-SLAPPERs from the emcee. She finds a bar-stool and sits holding a glass of TANGERINE juice and is covertly playing an ERASER challenge game on her phone.


So, she is surprised when a young man EMANATEs from the crowd, walks up to her and says, “Hi, Ms. Elemi Dickens, I’m Chris EARNER” and offers his hand. She is uncertain if this was a SIGN asking her to join in dance or simply a pick-up line and she hesitantly shakes the hand. Chris INTUITs that she is feeling totally out-of-place and says “shall we take a walk in the garden?”. She normally declines such proposals, but her interest is kindled by his ADDRESSing her by her proper first name. She thinks that ATTESTs a thoroughness of mind, something that is also evident from the starched PANTS he is wearing and a T-shirt that says “Save the WHITE SEA beluga-WWF”. They take a stroll in the garden and within a short PERIOD, Elemi is seen holding hands with this new acquaintance. The loud music, the noisy shouts from those partying hard and in fact the whole world around her seems to GRIND TO A HALT. ‘This is not my Prince Charming with all his REGALIA’, says an ASTRINGENT rational voice from within her. But the emotional voice quells that objection saying ‘look, he has UNWRAPped me from the shell I have been hiding in’.


A final MEMO to the dear reader: you are free to choose the ending of your choice:

1.     ED & CE have a lasting relation

2.     ED & CE have a brief relation and then they go their separate ways

3.     ED & CE never meet each other


Note: The ending you choose will DICTATE your character respectively as

A.    A romantic optimist

B.    A level headed realist

C.    A hopeless pessimist

Sunday, 24 October 2021

The Sunday Crossword No 3173, Sunday 24 Oct 2021

1   12 sheep delay broadcast (10) SLEEPYHEAD* (See 12 below)
6   Employs guessers now and then (4) USES gUeSsErS
9   Traditional musician's fiddle enthralling ol' Kansas (4,6) FOLK SINGER {F{OL}{KS}INGER}
10 Fossil fuel in eyeliner, we're told (4) COAL (~kohl)
12 Somnolent type to tear open vehicle with seafood (3,3,6) RIP VAN WINKLE {RIP}{VAN}{WINKLE}
15 A little unclear, nervous beginner (7) LEARNER [T]
16 Gets in boats to resort (7) OBTAINS*
17 Spend a lot, swell place obtained (7) SPLURGE {S{PL}URGE}
19 Go Dutch, splash out, save penny – stroke of luck! (7) GODSEND {GO}{D}{SpEND}
20 I saw Gary race around roads (12) CARRIAGEWAYS*
23 Highway travelled by horse noisily (4) ROAD (~rode)
24 Fastidious Everyman given time: 'silly not to deliver' (10) METICULOUS {ME}{T}{ridICULOUS}
25 Egyptian city where god's rejected (4) SUEZ<=
26 Ungodliest, harrowing: together they circle the world (10) LONGITUDES*

1   Primarily, spiritualist ultimately finding ihsān? (4) SUFI Acrostic &lit
2   Beauty magazine, whichever way you look at it (4) ELLE [GK]
3   Granadilla spread one consumed on Friday. Peeled? Quite (7,5) PASSION FRUIT {PASS{1}ON}{FR}{qUITe}
4   Constituents of Antioch, an overseas principality once (7) HANOVER [T]
 I tucked into tea, not ardently consumed (3,4) ATE INTO {I} in {TEA+NOT}*
7   Bouillon for starters: pungent, inedible, the French food not yet eaten? (10) STOCKPILES {STOCK}{Pu...t}{In...e}{LES}
8   No end of fish and beef (10) SILVERSIDE SILVERSIDEs 
11 The raw bananas: I try a dish, but ... (8,4) BIRTHDAY SUIT*
13 Vulgar wiseacre's teaching aids (5,5) FLASH CARDS {FLASH}{CARDS}
14 Bespoke material old duke ordered (6-4) TAILOR-MADE {MATERIAL+O+D}*
18 Artist representing Creole? Good (2,5) EL GRECO {CREOLE+G}*
19 Slack-jawed at first, getting affectionate with royal (7) GAWKING {Ge...g}{Af...e}{With}{KING}
21 Spy giving up date of birth (including name) (4) BOND {BO{N}D<=}
22 Wife avoiding insects and snakes (4) ASPS wASPS

Reference List
Place = PL, Dutch = D, Penny = P, Time = T, The in French = LES, Old = O, Duke = D, Good = G, Date of birth = DOB, Name = N, Wife = W

The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday #59, Sunday 24 Oct 2021, Afterdark

The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday can be accessed at the link given below. You need to register and sign in using an email ID and password, subscription may or may not be 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, 23 October 2021

No 13384, Saturday 23 Oct 2021, Hypatia


1 Opinions of student lacking principles(5) IDEAS {IDEAlS}
4 Buy from both sides to exchange(5) BANDY {B{AND}Y}
11 Artist’s photo behind ocean(7) PICASSO {PIC}{ASS}{O}
12 Meticulously reboot computer starting this month(7) OCTOBER {REBOOT+Computer*}
13 Condition of one on a horse(5) RIDER (DD)
14 Discover profile’s public(6,3) FIGURE OUT {FIGURE}{OUT}
15 Captures black diamonds opening bids(10) ADBUCTIONS {A{B}{D}UCTIONS}
17 Requests time away from assignments(4) ASKS {tASKS}
19 Partner of footballer, say with Engineer’s salary(4) WAGE {WAG}{E}
21 Heard Spooner collect support for old music ensemble(6,4) STRING BAND {(-b+ST)RING (+B-st)AND}
25 Litigants proposal restricting international dispute(9) PLAINTIFF {PLA{I}N}{TIFF}
27 Works for Bush(5) PLANT (DD)
28 Minor, 6, introduced to pilot(7) TRIVIAL {TRI{VI}AL}
29 Fearful swine flu frequently around vacation(7) LEISURE {fEaRfUl SwInE fLu<=}
30 In France, it is guarding royal insignia(5) CREST {C{R}'EST}
31 Bury dad lost by 11, perhaps(5) INTER {paINTER}


2 Firm contract to recruit detectives(7) DECIDED {DE{CID}ED}
3 Separate summary(8) ABSTRACT (DD)
5 Flower season’s finally back(6) ASTERN {ASTER}{seasoN}
6 Suspect friend returned promissory notes(7) DUBIOUS {BUD<=}{IOUS}
7 Like drinking gin up in ancient city(6) SPARTA {A{TRAP}S<=}
8 Study to pass quickly without constant struggle(8) CONFLICT {CON}{FLI{C}T}
9 Carol reducing size in hope!(4) SONG  {(-l+S)ONG} Reducing Size= Large (L) replaced by Small (S)
10 Free big rat isn’t underground(6) GRATIS (T)
16 Handy tool?(4,4) NAIL FILE (CD)
18 African counterpart, essentially paying erratically over time(8) EGYPTIAN {countErpart}{PAYING*} around {T}
19 Animal twisting foot with one twig oddly(6) WAPITI {PAW<=}{I}{TwIg}
20 Hot garlic sauce ultimately kept in ice(7) GLACIER {GARLIC*} around {saucE}
22 Generally, a student’s first real uniform gets crumpled(2,1,4) AS A RULE {A}{Student}{REAL+U*}
23 Proper rag picked up for chores(6) DUTIES {~ DUE TEASE}
24 Rock singers without resistance to change(6) GNEISS {SINGErS*}

26 Covid: Lesser cases while away(4) IDLE (T)

Reference List

Student=L, Ocean=O, Black=B, Diamonds=D, Time=T, Partner of footballer=WAG, Engineer=E, International=I, 6=VI, In France, it= C'est Royal=R
Detectives=CID, Promissory notes=IOUs, Constant=C, Time=T, One=I, Uniform=U, Resistance=R

Colour/Font Scheme

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



This is to warn you of a certain type of person like Mr.Sharma. By the time you finish reading this you will FIGURE OUT why I say so. AS A RULE, you will find this type of person sitting on the stone bench, adjacent to the petunia PLANT, in the park in your housing society, never mind that it is OCTOBER and the sky is overcast. He has a NAIL FILE in hand but no one has ever seen him use it on his nails. He is ostensibly there watching his grandson, a RIDER of a baby scooty. But his real motive is to ensnare one person every day into a conversation. It all starts quite TRIVIALly as he ASKS you, “you are in Flat 805 in H block, right?”. Please be warned that even if you reside in the said flat, it would be better to mumble something to the contrary and not pause. If you make the mistake of saying, “yes, Uncle”, be prepared to collect the WAGEs of your sin.  You might as well forget all IDEAS of completing the shopping, picking up the Amazon delivery from the watchman and dropping your daughter for her STRING BAND practice. He has the DUBIOUS distinction of not letting anyone go away when he has DECIDED to perform this seeming act of ABDUCTION.


The difference between you and him is you have DUTIES and no LEISURE and he vice versa- and therein lies the CONFLICT. In an IDLE act of thoughtlessness, if you sit by him on the bench, within the next 10 minutes he will extract all the info about you, maybe even about your Aadhaar card (on which your name is misspelt). He would say, “O, Gopalan is your father, I know him back from the days when he was an AGM in State Bank.”  There is no use telling him, “No, my father has retired from ISRO”. It is best to maintain an ABSTRACT silence because either way he is going to BANDY about how he bulldozed his way to a loan (for a SONG of an interest rate) from Gopalan of State Bank 20 years ago and how he got the gift of a clock GRATIS from him. Probably poor Mr.Gopalan just wanted to tear himself away from this motor mouth. INTER alia, he will launch into how he had a run-in with the promoter of the building society. If you want to escape, the only strategy is to maintain a GNEISS like rock-silence or the cold countenance of a GLACIER atop a Himalayan CREST, making him wonder if you have a sound hearing. You can also draw some modern art like PICASSO on the sand with your toes. Results not guaranteed, but what is the harm in trying?


My advice is let your favourite SONG play in your head, loud enough to drown out this monumental bore. And while at it, just pray for Mr.Sharma’s daughter-in-law to come along, because she is the only one known to be capable of freezing a charging Mr.Sharma on his tracks.