Tuesday 30 November 2021

No 13415, Tuesday 30 Nov 2021, 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.

1   Shut down parliament for the scamster (8) PROROGUE {PRO}{ROGUE}
5   Wear a support, dismantle both sides (6) ABRADE {A}{BRA}{Di...lE}
10 Moved faster before Germany was bombed (7) STRAFED {FASTER*}{D}
11 Money’s short, starts operating by investing capital (7) NAIROBI {NAIRa}{Op...g}{By}{In...g}
12 Fish smell, take the top off (5) TENCH sTENCH
13 Net is gone, cutting cost to restore it (9) REINSTATE {R{NET+IS}*ATE}
14 A criminal cop, the sign for the drug dealers (12) APOTHECARIES {A+COP+THE}*{ARIES}
18 Panic about final score — with coach it’s for a long haul (7,5) FREIGHT TRAIN {FR{s..rE}IGHT}{TRAIN}
21 Test venue also twice shifted, involving millions (9) LOS ALAMOS {ALSO+ALSO}* over {M} Enumeration should be (3,6)
23 Animal is under pressure to jump (5) OUNCE pOUNCE
24 First European nation to train a school boy (7) ETONIAN {Eu...n}{NATION}*
25 A question about short girl getting fat (7)  ADIPOSE {A}{POSE} over {DI}
26 Old city in Egypt will be No.1 shortly (6) THEBES {THE BESt}
27 Loves to get time on range with instrument (8) OTOSCOPE {0}{T}{0}{SCOPE}

1   Tongue remains inside saying there’s more on the other side (6) P?S?T? (Addendum - PASHTO {P{ASH}TO} - See comments)
2   Having a row, keeping one in a sort of seal (6) OARING {A} in {O RING}
3   Ready made, not on the leg (3,3,3) OFF THE PEG {OFF}{THE}{PEG}
4   Euphemism of sorts meant entrusted’ (14) UNDERSTATEMENT*
6   Play ends, they come off (5) BAILS [GK]
7   A beautiful, nameless fragrance (8) AROMATIC {A}{ROMAnTIC}
8   Fits loosely — I sleep peacefully, totally drained (8) EPILEPSY {I+SLEEP+Pe...lY}*
9   Upper sides pattern an incorrect version (14) ANTIDEPRESSANT*
15 Fighter in some trouble making payments (9) ALIMONIES {ALI}{IN+SOME}*
16 Rich, essentially safe and smooth (8) AFFLUENT {sAFe}{FLUENT}
17 Ruby and Meg rejected — put on weight (8) GEMSTONE {MEG<=}{STONE}
19 Without an abnormal notation, it’s 100% (2,4) IN TOTO {NOTaTIOn}*
20 Cancel permit to go through river (6) DELETE {DE{LET}E}
22 Stories about Indian river (5) LOIRE {LO{I}RE}

Reference List
Support = BRA, Germany = D, Million = M, Pressure = P, Time = T, Name = N, Fighter = ALI, Indian = I

No TalePiece
Dr RKE busy on emergency call

Monday 29 November 2021

No 13414, Monday 29 Nov 2021, Incognito

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.

8   Say wrongly after commencement of exam, “It’s not difficult.” (4) EASY {SAY}*<=>{Exam}
9   Andhra Pradesh’s circular letter on record having alien in charge is regretful (10) APOLOGETIC {AP}{O}{LOG}{ET}{IC}
10 Leg, including end of femur, became smaller (6) SHRANK {SH{f..uR}ANK}
11 A saint follows Republican president and Russia’s controversial monk (8) RASPUTIN {A}{S}<=>{R}  and {PUTIN}
12 Asked editor to take initial newspaper lot of 25 sheets (8) ENQUIRED {E{Ne...r}{QUIRE}D}
14 In setter's parlance, Ram and Krishna’s favourite food (6) BUTTER [DD]
By Bhargav
16 Eye problem during part of last year (4) STYE [T]
17 Grace! Sit for painter, around centre of swing (5) POISE {PO{swIng}SE}
18 Food returned in protectorate (4) TARO [T<=]
19 Before commencement of exercise, a high-ranking officer is tense (2,4) ON EDGE {Ex...e}<=>{ONE}{DG}
21 Left old German in Indian state’s site of crucifixion (8) GOLGOTHA {GO{L}{GOTH}A}
23 Hospital customers having enforceable rights around institution (8) PATIENTS {PAT{I}ENTS}
26 Slanderous hearsay, perhaps: “Turned spigots, releasing toxin at first” (6) GOSSIP SPIGOtS*
27 Marking completion and dressing down (7,3) TICKING OFF [DD} 
28 Tribal from Ahmednagar (4) NAGA [T]

1   President’s laundry lot (10) WASHINGTON {WASHING}{TON}
2   Setter left Middle Eastern country followed by American residing in church city (8) ?Y?A?U?E (Addendum - SYRACUSE {SYRiA}{C{US}E} - See comments)
3   Perhaps, bread maker captivates new financier (6) BANKER {BA{N}KER}
4   Divine female leaves island for 60 minutes (4) HOUR HOURi
5   Maybe, sheriff’s team takes one lawyer into custody (8) POSSIBLE {POSS{1}{BL}E}
6   Revise Ulster outcome (6) RESULT*
7   Fruit stored in khaki wigwam (4) KIWI [T]
13 Performing dog goes around India (5) DOING {DO{IN}G}
15 English art reformation for human beings, for example (10) EARTHLINGS
17 Expecting green pant to be repaired without using a bit of elastic (8) PREGNANT {GReEN+PANT}*
18 In olden days, you stood on material from the beach? That’s grand! (8) THOUSAND {THOU}{SAND}
20 Doctor signs for liquids consumed (6) DRINKS {DR}{INKS}
22 Mark and couple of females exit a computer session (3,3) LOG OFF {LOGO}{FF}
24 Dry brew cocktail dispensed by war bride when travelling (4) ARID {wAR+brIDe} No need to travel!
25 Lose ornament in sporting location (4) SPOT SPOrTing

Reference List
Alien = ET, In charge = IC, Saint = S, Republican = R, Editor = ED, Left = L, Institution = I, Church = CE, New = N, Island = I, Lawyer = BL, India = IN, Female = F 


It is not EASY to recognise your classmates when you meet them on the 50th anniversary after graduation. Five decades RESULT in change of not just your looks but actually the personality. But mannerisms don’t change and that can help you SPOT people even after so many tears.

“Just look at Rick, he still has the habit of shrugging the left shoulder alone!”

“That majestic POISE of Victoria, it only seems all the more regal after so long!” such are the refrains being heard when the alumni of the medical school of State University of New York Upstate, SYRACUSE, are holding this meet. People have come from THOUSANDS of miles to relive the memories of their younger days. Nostalgia is kindled by the Boney M music, a rage back then. ‘Ra Ra RASPUTIN, Lover of the Russian Queen’ goes the foot-tapping rhythm. People are busy catching up, ENQUIRing after those with whom they have lost contact over the decades over DRINKS. Life has been mundane for most but the stories of some make people sit up ON the EDGE of their seats.

“I heard Mitchell gave up medicine and has become a BANKER, taking over his father’s business- I also heard the IRS is hot on his heels”  

“Gary is all over Facebook, he is DOING a FERTILE practice even in the ARID state of Arizona”

“Social media is not for me. I heard that PATIENTs are TICKING OFF their doctors in public fora like never before”  

“Remember Sarah, she was PREGNANT when she took the final exam- she had five more children and this experience is the POSSIBLE reason she has become the Chairman of the American association of Pediatrics!”

EARTHLINGS are the same all over the planet, be it in NAGAland or in WASHINGTON. They are unAPOLOGETICally mean in their GOSSIP. Those who SHRANK from this kind of small talk have to be content eating their dessert of KIWI cupcakes with BUTTERcream, while their ex-mates are still on their cocktails….

Well, the HOUR is 8.30am and I have to LOG OFF now. See you another day.

Sunday 28 November 2021

Special, Sunday 28 Nov 2021, Amrita

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



The Sunday Crossword No 3178, Sunday 28 Nov 2021

1   Unstraps a little sarong shifting in warm spots (8) SUNTRAPS (+s)SUN(-s)TRAPS
5   Primarily, full lists of regions' Amaryllidacaea, etc! (6) FLORAE Acrostic &lit
10 Tense, like a guitar neck? (7) FRETFUL [DD]
11 They're seen with soldiers, say, getting George Cross: happy times (7) EGGCUPS {EG}{GC}{UPS}
12 Sides of langoustine consumed ... off-colour in French city (5) LILLE {La...nE} over {ILL}
13 US cop story, not right to reboot film (9) OCTOPUSSY {US+COP+STOrY}* 
14 Sees chest heaving, having eaten undercooked snack (6,6) CHEESE STRAWS {SEES+CHEST}* over {RAW}
18 How rotor-head's spinning is a problem (4,3,2,3)  HARD ROW TO HOE*
21 In home counties these days, smallest part unsullied (4-5) SNOW-WHITE {SE} over {NOW}{WHIT}
23 Some nonlinear systems offering approaches (5) NEARS [T]
24 'Podgy' (mostly fat) servicemen getting starter of hamburgers (7) LARGISH {LARd}{GIS}{Ha...r}
25 'A very European' fury? That's mean (7) AVERAGE {A}{V}{E}{RAGE}
26 Go back into – or out of – employment (6) RESIGN [DD]
27 Face cry that's voiced for pasta topping (8) MEATBALL (~ meet bawl)

1   Sneaky, frequently hiding piano (6) SOFTLY {S{OFT}LY}
2   Tease a little weak-kneed learner (6) NEEDLE [T]
3   First-year divinity student's a sweetie! (9) REFRESHER [DD]
4   Upon swell, exercising rowers – what each must do? (4,4,6) PULL ONES WEIGHT {UPON+SWELL}*{EIGHT} Semi&lit
6   Help large English dog that's upset (3-2) LEG-UP {L}{E}{PUG<=}
7   Primitive painter showing topless bride's outfit (8) ROUSSEAU tROUSSEAU
8   One writes 19th letter a year before first (8) ESSAYIST (ess){S}{A}{Y}{1ST}
9   Does roast with beef, batter and timing advice for chef? (4-6,4) BEST BEFORE DATE {DOES+BEEF+BATTER}*
15 Model superlatively lusty: most problematic (9) THORNIEST {T}{HORNIEST}
16 He painted his mum, a referee at times (8) WHISTLER [DD]
17 A Queen's wavy patterns in wardrobes (8) ARMOIRES {A}{R}{MOIRES}
19 Country's athletic club taking in judo practitioner, amateur ascendant (6) CANADA {A{DAN}{A}C}<=
20 A second spring besides (2,4) AS WELL {A}{S}{WELL}
22 Loudly call for squeeze (5) WRING (~ring)

Reference List
Home counties = SE, Servicemen = GI'S, Large = L, English = E, Year = Y, Model = T, Queen = R, Athletic club = AC, Amateur = A,  Second = S 

The Hindu Cryptic on Sunday #62, Sunday 28 Nov 2021, Incognito

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 27 November 2021

No 13413, Saturday 27 Nov 2021, Incognito


8 Four followed female with a bit of envy. How many persons does that make? (4) FIVE {F}{IV}{Envy}
9 Lathe operator follows servant in unputdownable book (4-6) PAGE-TURNER {PAGE}{TURNER}
10 Note on lake a mythical creature of yore (6) FAERIE {FA}{ERIE}
11 Checks old pit having a bit of silver (8) EXAMINES {EX}{A}{MINE}{Silver}
12 Confused peers ask orators (8) SPEAKERS {PEERS+ASK*}
14 Fathers attempt to make food (6) PASTRY {PA'S}{TRY}
16 Bread dough (4) CASH (DD)
17 Hammer key currency (5) POUND (MD)
18 Trees in Wilhelmstrasse (4) ELMS (T)

19 Flee from Spanish promontory (6) ESCAPE {ES}{CAPE}
21 Mrs Lennon gets food by beginning of act in Japanese city (8) YOKOHAMA {YOKO}{HAM}{Act}
23 Liar sank violently in Ceylon (3,5) SRI LANKA {LIAR+SANK*}
26 Tells untruth about 51 flowers (6) LILIES {LI{LI}ES}
27 Badly create PIN using first prime for trainee (10) APPRENTICE {CREATE+PIN+Prime*}
28 Magazine editor’s requirement (4) NEED (T)


1 Excitedly said, “Sapper vanishes” (10) DISAPPEARS {SAID+SAPPER*}
2 Scold poacher wandering around middle of April (8) REPROACH {POACHER*} around {apRil}
3 Superintendent of Police’s with that lady at beginning of evening ball (6) SPHERE {SP}{HER}{Evening}
4 Curve old girl makes with ease, I hear (4) OGEE {O}{G}{~EE}
5 Fitted belt and rushed around net (8) STRAPPED {S{TRAP}PED}
6 Coaches model before showers (6) TRAINS {T}{RAINS}
7 Repeatedly setter creates popularly transmitted idea (4) MEME {ME}{ME}
13 Dusty, littered den (5) STUDY {DUSTY*} 
15 Unforgotten and taken on rolls again? (10) REMEMBERED (D&CD)
17 Carrying empty gun, confused parent goes around (8) PREGNANT {PARENT*}around {GuN}
18 Yet Helen synthesised gas (8) ETHYLENE {YET+HELEN*}
20 Laurels funny charm (6) ALLURE {LAUREL*}
22 King is followed by sicker assassin (6) KILLER {K}{ILLER}
24 Hits gunners in front of private secretary (4) RAPS {RA}{PS}
25 Surrounded by some parts of pyramid (4) AMID (T)

Reference List

Four=IV, Female=F, Note=Fa, Old=Ex, Father=Pa, Spanish=ES, 51=LI
Superintendent of Police=SP, That lady=Her, Old=O, Girl=G, Model=T, Setter=Me, King=K, Gunners=RA, Private Secretary=PS

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


Haruto Tanaka of Nissan Motor Corp, YOKOHAMA is on a special mission in SRI LANKA. The CASH STRAPPED Sri Lanka, cannot afford to set up manufacturing plants on its own but NEEDs vehicles for its army and agriculture. AMID intense competition, Nissan has sent Haruto Tanaka to secure the bid.  Haruto Tanaka, who had TRAINed as an APPRENTICE of Ashwani Gupta, the COO of Nissan, was made to STUDY not just the market in Sri Lanka but about all related SPHERES with the customary Japanese thoroughness.   This included the traditions of the Sri Lankans, the business ethics of the officials (or, rather the lack of it- you know, you cannot ESCAPE giving bribes at all levels) and the politicians involved in decision making.  He REMEMBERED to say “bohoma stuti” (thank you) every time he was greeted with the ubiquitous “ayu bowan”(wish you a long life).

Who would think that this long life would be cut short so cruelly? Yes, Haruto Tanaka has DISAPPEARed under mysterious circumstances. The police EXAMINE his mobile phone found on the driveway. The last message they find is to a gift company in Yokohama to home-deliver FIVE LILIES and some choice PASTRY to his PREGNANT wife back home. Nothing to indicate that he had left home in a great hurry, dropping the cell phone as he climbed into the car. His car is found abandoned in the ELMS Garden outside the city and the OGEE shaped tyre mark indicates he had swerved the car violently. But where is he or his body?

The Japanese High Commission is REPROACHing the police for making no headway. The media RAPS them for not closing in on the KILLER, publishing MEMEs that poke fun of their inaction. That the police do not discover the cause of the disappearance / death, makes it fit for a plot of a PAGE TURNER story.

Of course, this anecdote does not have a FAIRIE tale ending. Had only the body been found the police may have discovered that Haruto Tanaka was given ‘sake’ laced with ETHYLENE glycol. This colourless, odourless sweet liquid can be mixed in wine without altering its taste. It first excites the nervous system, makes the person flustered and finally causes heart and kidney failure. The professional killers (hired by rival auto companies) then must have followed his car and removed the body to dispose of it. From the scraps of information put out by the police, this is not just an ALLURing theory but actually the only plausible one, that your own Sherlock Holmes from Trichy has worked out. 

Friday 26 November 2021

No 13412, Friday 26 Nov 2021, 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

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

8   Ignoble like e or 10 (4) BASE [DD]
9   European married in Southern Europe (5) SWEDE {S}{WED}{E}
10 Father’s in American tree (4) UPAS {U{PA}S}
11 Second knight had first dance and moved in a gliding way (6) SKATED {S}{K}{ATE}{Dance}
12 Last word in a line (8) TERMINAL {TERM}{IN}{A}{L}
13 Target of the Fallschirmjager? Let fall Zulu on England (4,4) DROP ZONE {DROP}{Z}{ON}{E}
15 Dog me, for example (6) SETTER [DD]
17 See old boy begin to play tennis (7) OBSERVE {OB}{SERVE}
19 Combat wear carried around a long distance (7) WARFARE {WAR{FAR}E*}
22 Golly! Confused about first compound intermediate between glycerine and alcohol? (6) GLYCOL {GLY{Co...d}OL*}
24 Replied, “One small, weak deer was injured” (8) ANSWERED {AN}{S}{W}{DEER*}
26 Relating to a group of peoples’ state after thine break down (8) ETHNICAL {THINE*}{CAL}
28 Bear expenses of a couple of ladies having fish (6) AFFRAY {A}{F}{F}{RAY}
30 Japanese redcap has high class hop (4) JUMP {J}{U}{MP}
31 Group of soldiers return poor model (5) TROOP {POOR}{T}<=
32 Queue’s left Indian exasperated, to begin with (4) LINE {L}{IN}{Ex...d}

1   Parcel’s initially confiscated in Pakistan (4) PACK {PA{Co...d}K}
2   Make sixfold production of telex and UPS (8) SEXTUPLE {TELEX+UPS}*
3   Familiar with second-hand shirt opening in the front (4,2) USED TO {USED}{T}{Op...g}
4   Milder man gets fifty English roses to start with (7) GENTLER {GENT}{L}{E}{Roses}
5   StateNorth-eastern king confiscates metal endlessly at first (8) NEBRASKA {NE}{BRASs}{K}{At}
6   Question is not whimsical (6) QUAINT {QU}{'AINT}
7   Short group of sentences from average article (4) PARA {PAR}{A} 
14 Engineers start to booby-trap the Spanish fighter (5) REBEL {RE}{Bo...p}{EL}
16 Spooky East European retainer ievil, for starters (5) EERIE Acrostic
18 Tempo of love spread by Raleigh, for example (8) VELOCITY {LOVE*}{CITY}
20 No charge before autumn in the US leads to rapid decline (8) FREEFALL {FREE}{FALL}
21 Plaything has three balls at the end of session (7) BALOON {BALL}{O}{O}{s...oN}
23 Copy an unusual awning (6) CANOPY*
25 Heady Indian souvenirs old Bob caught in front of the mountains (6) SCALPS {S}{C}{ALPS}
27 Gangster leaders of Tajikistan have Uranium? Good! (4) THUG Acrostic
By Bhargav
29 The Princess Royal residing in Bannerghatta (4) ANNE [T]

Reference List
Southern = S, Europe = E, Second = S, Knight = K, Line = L, Zulu = Z, England = E, Old = O, Boy = B, One = AN, Small + S, Weak = W, State = CAL, Ladies = F(Female), Japanese = J, High class = U, Redcap = MP(Military Police), Model = T,Left = L, Indian = IN, Shirt = T, Fifty = L, English = E, King = K, Question = QU, Average = PAR, Engineers = RE(Royal Engineers), The in Spanish = EL, Old Bob = S(Shilling), Caught = C


Gagandip Singh had volunteered for the PARA SF, an elite unit of the Indian Army. The training program for these paraTROOPers is so gruelling that all but 20% of the trainees drop out. They are made to get USED TO deprivation of water and food for a whole day and deprivation of sleep for 3 days at a stretch. Apart from OBSERVing the daily ritual of a 20km- run with a 10 kg backPACK and 7kg of arms, they are also trained in techniques of hand-to-hand combat, so essential in counter-insurgency operations where they have to engage armed REBELs and THUGs.

Only those with tremendous endurance and courage are chosen to JUMP from parachutes. The FREE FALL course requires at least 50 jumps from 33500 feet altitude. After taking off from the airBASE, the pilot ensures that the craft has attained the right height for the jump. To prevent icing of the fuel at that height, ethylene GLYCOL has to be added to the aviation fuel.  In the High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) technique, Gagandip easily attains a TERMINAL VELOCITY of 120 mph and he says at this stage he feels as if he is floating rather than falling, being wafted by the GENTLER wind- the air resistance matching the gravity. It must be such an EERIE feeling to crash towards Mother Earth from that height. As Gagandip nears the DROP ZONE, he has to tug the rip-cord at the precise moment, which is his life LINE. Viewed from the ground, it is a QUAINT throwback to the images you have seen of the D-Day drops at Normandy, the sky being dotted with the BALLOONing CANOPY of the numerous parachutes. Gagandip sometimes carries a dog, usually a SETTER, to assist him in search ops. In the LoAC at Ladakh, he has often landed on ice and has SKATED his way down.

The para regiments have ANSWERED every call to defend the country, sticking to their motto of Shatrujeet. On this 13th year after the 26-11 terror attacks in Mumbai, let us all thank the likes of Gagandip Singh in the Special Forces of the Indian army, because of whom we can sleep peacefully.

Thursday 25 November 2021

No 13411, Thursday 25 Nov 2021, Hypatia

Solution to 1A 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   Commotion from one held-up in court? (6) R?C?E?  (Addendum - RACKET [DD] - See comments)
4   Rain storms crossing in the morning around harbour (6) MARINA {RAIN}* in {AM<=}
9   Emperor shoots arrogant guards (4) TSAR [T]
10 Say crab cactus, near rocks (10) CRUSTACEAN*
11 “Harischandra” initially screened from machine projecting movie (6) CINEMA MAChINE*
12 Reverend airing sticky stuff with kid in scheduled hour (4,4) TIME SLOT (~slime tot)
13 American soldiers entering welcome treaty (9) AGREEMENT {A}{GREE{MEN}T}
15 Chase people (4) RACE [DD]
16 Story of son succeeding king in musical composition (4) SAGA {S}{AGA} (Addendum - (-r+s)SAGA - See comments)
17 A sacred book with heavyweight describing India’s struggle (9) AGITATION {A}{GITA}{T{I}ON}
21 In the US, say red party captures a state (8) COLORADO {COLOR}{A}{DO}
22 Icons of Italy playing games (6) IMAGES {I}{GAMES*}
24 Swamps in planet earth trapping Hydrogen and Sulphur (10) MARSHLANDS {MARS}{H}{LAND}{S}
25 Remains clean (4) DUST [DD]
26 Scolding eschewing capital punishment (6) HIDING cHIDING
27 Army so responsibly protects city (6) MYSORE [T]

1   Knight backs Arthur, perhaps taking a chance (7) RISKING {SIR<=}{KING}
2   Mufflers essentially in fashion (5) CARVE sCARVEs
3   Cry from demand by divorcee? (7) EXCLAIM {EX CLAIM}
5   Fall from a bus tour many take regularly (6) AUTUMN {A+bUs+ToUr+MaNy}
6   Perpetual tax saved by current worker (9) INCESSANT {IN}{CESS}{ANT}
7   Jack only got shellfish (7) ABALONE {AB}{ALONE}
8   Area for shooting thin gun (7,6) HUNTING GROUND {THIN+GUN}* [RA]
14 Lost great player during finale (9) ENGROSSED {EN{GROSS}{E}D}
16 Chant following saint with a Church organ (7) STOMACH {OM}{A}{CH}<=>{ST}
18 Craving voyeurs finally entertained by XXX (7) THIRSTY {THIR{v...rS}TY}
19 Several obey unexpectedly, thus supervise ably (7) OVERSEE [CA] {OVERSEE+ABLY=SEVERAL+OBEY}
20 A long line distributing volume of liquid (6) GALLON {A+LONG+L}*
23 German car with zero sound (5) AUDIO {AUDI}{0}

Reference List
American = A, Soldiers = MEN, Son = S, King = R, India = I, Party = DO, Italy = I, Jack = AB, Player = E(East in Bridge), Church = CH, Line = L


It was in the AUTUMN of 1891 that the Grand Duke of Russia, the representative of TSAR Alexander II of Russia visited MYSORE. G.P.Sanderson, who had CARVEd a name for himself as being a SAGA in the HUNTING GROUNDS, arranged a special Khedda operation to entertain the dignitary. The INCESSANT monsoon rain had temporarily ceased and the DUST on the roads leading to Kakanakote had settled well. The MARSHLANDS near the Kabini river were abuzz with the squeak of the blue Indian Roller birds, the croak of frogs and crawling CRUSTACEANS like crabs. The river flowed in a ravine. Now, don’t imagine anything as large and dry as the Grand Canyon on the COLORADO. Kabini is lush with vegetation. The Grand Duke EXCLAIMed that he had not come into contact with nature in all its glory as he was seeing now.

The object of the Khedda was to get a herd of wild elephants out of the jungle  HIDING and force the THIRSTY beasts towards the river. This was done by lighting fires to scare them and by the RACKET made by the drum beaters. A trained female elephant would also be used to lure the unsuspecting males (the carrot and stick, you know!). The trench built near the river would be camouflaged with those shoots and leaves, which elephants love to eat. The animals ENGROSSED in filling their STOMACHs with the enticing feed would fall into the trench. The young calves generally fell first and, in AGITATION the bigger members of the herd would step in trying to save the young ones with a deafening trumpeting, alas, only to also fall into the ditch. Once in the trench, the pachyderms would be denied food and water (did you know that elephants drink 20 GALLONs everyday?). Sanderson seated atop a kumki (trained) elephant would OVERSEE the whole operation while those who were RISKING their lives were the Kurubas, the native tribal RACE in the forest. There was no formal AGREEMENT to cover their wages and often all they got for their labours was a pittance and a kick on the ribs from the boots of the white Saheb. Thankfully, the Khedda has been outlawed, but only as late as in 1973.

You can see the IMAGES of this notorious Khedda in which Sanderson captured 14 adults and 5 calves all at one go, in the portraits that hang in the Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore to this day (please note that the TIME SLOTS of this museum have been modified in view of the coronavirus pandemic).  Don’t get misled by the name and expect to see anything related to this Khedda in the Malayalam CINEMA by the same name, as this film by Manoj Kana uses the name only figuratively. 

Wednesday 24 November 2021

No 13410, Wednesday 24 Nov 2021, Hypatia

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.

1   Spreads anguish on air (6) THROWS (~throes)
4   Spoil sweetheart with butter and spice (8) MARJORAM {MAR}{JO}{RAM}
9   Seduce every soldier clinging to uniform (6) ALLURE {ALL}{U}{RE}
10 Types pressing 4th letter from either end for frequently searched terms (8) KEYWORDS Anno pending (Addendum -{KEY{W or D}S} - See comments)
12 Rushed around picking up a veil and greeting (8) NAMASKAR {N{A}{MASK}AR<=}
13 Hoist on second wheel (6) SHEAVE {HEAVE}<=>{S}
15 Arena in the area set to accommodate state strike (12) AMPHITHEATRE {THE+AREA}* over {MP}{HIT}
18 A deeply ingrained habit? (6,6) SECOND NATURE [CD] (Addendum - nAture - See comments)
21 Shoot in British farm (6) BRANCH {B}{RANCH}
22 Gelato and frozen cakes from place to place (2,3,3) TO AND FRO [T]
24 After opening of semester, all busy circulating curriculum (8) SYLLABUS {Se...r}{ALL+BUSY}*
25 Fleeces husband wearing brands (6) SHEARS {S{H}EARS}
26 According to Spooner, process blames navigation aids (4,4) ROAD MAPS (~mode raps)
27 Adolescent sampling old city dish (6) TUREEN {T{UR}EEN}

1   One who has a good track record? (8) T?A?N?A
2   Breads stuffed with clean pickled fish (8) ROLLMOPS {ROLL{MOP}S}
3   How mail hacker functions without a glitch? (5,4,1,5) WORKS LIKE A CHARM {MAIL+HACKER}* [RA]
5   Say nothing’s absent in surplus (4) AVER (-o+a)AVER
6   Ha! Hear all run to work after agreement in Germany with former PM (10,5) JAWAHARLAL NEHRU {JA}{W}{HA+HEAR+ALL+RUN}*
7   Doctor erred taking a scan again (6) REREAD {RERE{A}D*}
8   Satisfied about King supporting America’s weapon (6) MUSKET {M{US}{K}ET}
11 Remains in Formula one with working model (7) FASHION {F{ASH}1}{ON}
14 Small group cycling with animal in play area (7) SANDBOX {S}{(-b)AND(+b)B}{OX}
16 Argues irrationally about fine fellow’s franchise (8) SUFFRAGE {SU{F}{F}RAGE*}
17 Focuses on batting after ducks (6,2) ZEROES IN {IN}<=>{ZEROES}
19 A rebus puzzle for addict (6) ABUSER*
20 Hiking trail hadn’t covered flower (6) DAHLIA [T<=]
23 Drop ecstasy in supply for crack (4) QUIP eQUIP

Reference List
Sweetheart = JO, Soldier = RE(Royal Engineers), Uniform = U, Second = S, British = B, Husband = H, Absent = A, Agreement in German = JA, With = W, King = K, Formula One = F1, Fine = F, Fellow = F, Batting = IN, Ecstasy = E


“NAMASKAR, welcome aboard the Palace on Wheels” said the coach attendant. He had a colourful turban in the FASHION typical of Rajasthan and a cultivated British accent. For DAHLIA Robinson, visiting India for the first time, the greatest ALLURE was the visit to Bharatpur, where her great grandfather had been the British Regent. She had been fascinated by the portrait that hangs in the British Museum, showing him in full regalia, complete with the MUSKET in his arms. She had read and RE-READ JAWAHARLAL NEHRU’s Discovery of India (which was on the SYLLABUS for her course on Indian History at St. Anne’s College, Oxford), which made her take this solo trip to discover the India of her dreams.    

She had ZEROED IN on the Palace on Wheels as the way to see Rajasthan in style although her friends had QUIPped that she could do the trip by air and road at half the cost.  She hated having to read ROAD MAPS and so this conducted tour by train suited her best.  Only one friend, who had taken the train tour earlier, AVERred that this trip is going to WORK LIKE A CHARM.  As the train chugged out of the Delhi station, she settled down comfortably in her suite. The butler had left a TUREEN on the side table, with warm soup flavoured mildly with MARJORAM. The [THIS WORD WILL BE ADDED LATER] walked TO AND FRO, supervising his coach attendants, making sure that his guests were looked after royally. There was a rope that hung by the bedside, passing over a SHEAVE, used for ringing the bell to summon the attendant and a fake ‘pankha’ adorning the well air-conditioned coach.

She opened her laptop, typed in the search KEYWORDS and she was feasting her eyes on the images of the Bharatpur fort. With the gentle roll of the train, she was soon asleep dreaming of that huge AMPHITHEATRE in the Bharatpur fort, where her great grandfather, had stood with the tiger he had shot on a shikar and the BRANCHed antlers of the deer he had shot. It had become her SECOND NATURE to eulogize the colonial past of India. She could not bring herself see the point of later day Indian historians, who portrayed the British as ABUSERs of the natural wealth of India.

After all, history is a SANDBOX, to be shaped by your imagination. Dahlia can have her version and you, yours and me, mine. 

Tuesday 23 November 2021

No 13409, Tuesday 23 Nov 2021, KrisKross

Solution to 16A 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   Greeting chap about to enter jail for delivery (8) CHINAMAN {C{HI}{MAN<=}AN}
5   Intelligence of mean criminal trapping copper (6) ACUMEN {A{CU}MEN*}
9   A fellow missing from joyful occasion of summer (8) AESTIVAL {A}{fESTIVAL}
10 It could be used to fire a churchman, say (6) CANNON (~canon)
12 Senior person, exhausted after working, saving last of allowance (9) PENSIONER {SENIOR+Pe..oN}* over {a...cE} Semi&lit
13 Advance copy (5) FORGE [DD]
14 Sign over shirt and tie (4) KNIT {INK<=}{T}
16 In tears, silent, starting to sob for some time (7) M?N?T?S (Addendum - MINUTES {M{IN}UTE}{Sob} -  See comments)
19 Old friend having nervous problem related to the eye (7) OPTICAL {O}{P{TIC}AL}
21 Part of rancha hardy fence (2-2) HA-HA [T]
24 Turns around and cuts (5) SNIPS<=
25 Prepares to fight us with spear, perhaps to protect queen (7,2) SQUARES UP {US+SPEAR}* over {RE} (Addendum - {US+SPEAR}* over {QU} - See comments)
27 Vehicle accessory from Cuba thrown into empty heap (6) HUBCAP {He{CUBA*}aP}
28 In Arctic ice, Ron engaged a guide (8) CICERONE [T]
29 Gourmet finally endorses wines (6) TOKAYS {g...eT}{OKAYS}
30 Finished painting over court as ordered (8) DIRECTED DIRE{CT}ED {DI{RE}{CT}ED}

1   Guys stealing money become winners (6) CHAMPS {CHA{M}PS}
2   Cook Annie squeezing small bananas (6) INSANE {IN{S}ANE*}
3   Excuse made by one after jumping bail (5) ALIBI {1}<=>{BAIL*}
4   Touching story (not Saki’s first), isnt translated (7) AGAINST {sAGA}{ISNT*}
6   Bird remains on edge (9) CHAFFINCH {CHAFF}{INCH}
7   Engineer trains me to build towers (8) MINARETS*
8   Bull in Paris? Negative — probably Essen (8) NONSENSE {NON}{ESSEN*}
11 Victorian is nearly ready (4) PRIM PRIMe
15 Unavoidable tax cuts by end of day (9) NECESSARY {NE{CESS}AR}{daY}
17 Question from bowler, say, after poor shot, to claim wicket (4,4) HOWS THAT {HAT}<=>{HO{W}ST*} Semi&lit
18 Actively bikes on, starting to track antelope (8) STEINBOK {BIKES+ON+Tr..k}*
20 Final where KrisKross enters for a record (4) LIST L(-a+i)IST
21 One who was bound to survive? (7) HOUDINI [GK]
22 Companion in tight corset (6) ESCORT*
23 Unfurl new drapes (6) SPREAD*
26 Note: First woman magistrate (5) REEVE {RE}{EVE}

Reference List
Jail = CAN, Fellow = F, Shirt = T, Old = O, Queen = QU, Over RE, Money =M, Small = S, Negative in French = NON, Wicket = W, Note = RE

Monday 22 November 2021

No 13408, Monday 22 Nov 2021, Dr. X

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.

1   Where bowler might be difficult to understand? (5,4,4) ABOVE ONES HEAD [DD]
8   Spar with American in scrap (5) JOUST {JO{US}T}
9   Inane fellow tottering around drunk on retirement is immature (9) INFANTILE {INANE+F}* over {LIT<=}
11 Devilishly cool female on vacation meets hunks heartily in jamboree (10) INFERNALLY {IN}{Fe..lE}{R{huNks}ALLY}
12 Cheese in gala, largely first-class (4) FETA {FETe}{A}
14 Visitor on tour covering provincial capital (7) TORONTO [T]
16 Forceful detectives about to arrest intoxicated star (7) DRASTIC {D{STAR*}IC<=}
17 Forces involved in relief for tsunami (7) EFFORTS [T]
19 Devise trick briefly to control unruly mare (5,2) DREAM UP {D{MARE*}UPe}
21 Appear in despair after losing girl (4) LOOM gLOOM
22 Chart outlined by foreign visitor, one studying about Covid-19, say (10) VIROLOGIST {VIRO{LOG}IST*}
25 Chancy romantic encounter in bedtad anxious to win back love (5,4)  BLIND DATE {IN+BED+TAD}* over {L} (Correction - {BED+TAB}* around - {NIL<=})
26 Rust on most of strut rotating machine part (5) R?T?R (Addendum - ROTOR {ROT}{ROd<=} - See comments))
27 Perjury by trafficker about illegal sale at retro bar (5,8) FALSE EVIDENCE {F{SALE*}{DIVE<=}ENCE}

2   One deceiving student, caught by guard (7) BLUFFER {B{L}UFFER}
3   Modify to include entire broadcast relating to treatment of animals (10) VETERINARY {V{ENTIRE*}ARY}
4   Yes, in France and Germany, it’s a mystic device (5) OUIJA {OUI}{JA}
5   Boundary around a field, poorly raked (9) ENFILADED {EN{A+FIELD}*D}
6   Try to find number in booth (4) HUNT {HU{N}T}
7   Silly tirades, most jejune (7) ARIDEST*
8   Pregnant after brief affair? Me too! (4,3,4) JOIN THE CLUB [CD] (Addendum - {IN THE CLUB}<=>{JOb} - See comments)
10 One freeing top American criminal (11) EMANCIPATOR*
13 Track model abandoning show in resort (4,6) RACE COURSE {R{ACt}ECOURSE}
15 Determined old boy, popular in country (9) OBSTINATE {OB}{ST{IN}ATE}
18 Free, endless ice-cream soda around American state (7) FLORIDA {FLO{RID}At}
20 Many mention about conducting one operation primarily relating to cell division (7) MEIOTIC {M}{CITE<=} over {1}{Op...n}
23 Compile book describing about symbols in ancient manuscripts (5) OBELI [T<=]
24 Advantage increases with Australia’s opener dismissed for duck (4) ODDS (-a+o)ODDS

Reference List
Fellow = F, Cool = IN, Girl = G, Bar = DIVE, Student = L, Yes in French = OUI, Yes in German = JA, Number = N, Model = T, Old Boy = OB, Many = M


Ruth Bishop, flew in from FLORIDA to TORONTO to address a scientific congress of VIROLOGISTS.  She was a woman who had come up by her own EFFORTS in this INFERNALLY difficult field of virology, staging a successful HUNT for a tiny viral particle that was only one-billionth of a metre. This little monster causes INFANTILE diarrhoea – a disease that takes the toll of about 5 lakh infants every year, all over the world. She had named the virus ‘rotavirus” because of the similarity of its shape to the [THIS WORD WILL BE ADDED LATER] wheel. This virus also afflicts young calves in dairy farms, as any VETERINARY practitioner knows.

Now, if I tell you the details of her research, I am sure it will go ABOVE ONE’S HEAD (including mine!). Suffice it to say, she overcame the ODDS, by her OBSTINATE persistence, and her innovativeness. She had devised a DRASTICally unconventional way to grow the virus- using MEIOTIC cell culture. She was not bogged down by her initial scientific papers getting rejected by peer reviewers, marked with red OBELI and with the ARIDEST of comments, some even accusing her of giving FALSE EVIDENCE, all but short of calling her a BLUFFER. I guess most of the seniors who reviewed her papers could not digest the fact that a young woman had done what they could not do.

In Toronto, she took to the podium and enthralled her knowledgeable audience with the process   of discovery of the rotavirus. But it is her final message that held the most appeal.  I quote: “The real JOUST is not between virologists but between the virologist and the virus. If you DREAM UP big, stay focussed and never quit, you will come out a winner in the RACE COURSE of research. Do so and you can JOIN THE CLUB of people like Salk and Sabin, Epstein and Barr. There are many LOOMing threats from viruses to humans. Let us put our joint efforts to become the EMANCIPATORS of mankind”.  I unquote. The thunderous ovation she got that night is a signal that the scientific world is changing, albeit slowly.

P.S. Ruth Bishop and her work on rotavirus is real. I could not help adding a little spice to the story.