Wednesday, 10 November 2021

No 13398, Wednesday 10 Nov 2021, Lightning

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   Remain firm with side at stalemate (8) STANDOFF {STAND}{OFF}
5   Snapper arrived with rear admiral (6) CAMERA {CAME}{RA}
9   Essential and used to calculate area under curve (8) INTEGRAL [DD]
10 Secure a farm building (6) STABLE [DD]
12 Fellow exiting airplane with little luggage (5) LIGHT fLIGHT
13 High command gives difficult task (4,5) TALL ORDER {TALL}{ORDER}
14 Cut top of mushroom left inside to plant (6) GARLIC {aGAR{L}IC}
16 Caught on edge, offspring becomes red (7) CRIMSON {C}{RIM}{SON}
19 Show former lover greeting with 0/1 (7)  EXHIBIT {EX}{HI}{BIT}
21 Frustrate one caught in lightning going past dirty place (6) STYMIE {M{1}E}<=>{STY}
23 Inspire eastern national with bravery (9) ENCOURAGE {E}{N}{COURAGE}
25 Raisin ain’t provided to Egyptian peninsula (5) SINAI [T]
26 Agency these days with a fleet (6) ARMADA {ARM}{AD}{A}
27 Obstruct one working horse (8) STALLION {STALL}{1}{ON}
28 European horse primarily mentioned in Hamlet, maybe? (6) EPONYM {E}{PONY}{Me...d}
29 Drop rate by mistake for one who exploits (8) PREDATOR*

1   Woman protecting one lady regularly with broad plate (6) SHIELD {SH{1}E}{LaDy}
2   Tough rap artist initially changing signature (9) AUTOGRAPH {TOUGH+RAP+Ar...t}*
3   Excavate one ton — it may be seen on the left (5) DIGIT {DIG}{IT}
4   Highly excited, fellow dashed with nervous movement (7) FRANTIC {F}{RAN}{TIC}
6   King for one, with appeal on last day in command (9) AUTHORITY {AUTHOR}{IT}{daY}
7   Set measure on furniture (5) EMBED {EM}{BED}
8   Odd sailor to make a mistake with hard worker (8) ABERRANT {AB}{ERR}{ANT}
11 Endlessly impede alliance (4) BLOC BLOCk
15 Period where childbirth may happen? (6,3) LABOUR DAY [CD]
17 Second insectit may be dissected by researcher (9) SCIENTIST {S+INSECT+IT}*
18 Bishop always on time for coffee, perhaps (8) BEVERAGE {B}{EVER}{AGE}
20 Returned some gin (4) T?A? (Addendum - TRAP <= See comments)
21 Lieutenant in absolute protection (7) SHELTER {SHE{LT}ER}
22 Cold season where temperature drops for Newton — he’s a champion (6) WINNER WIN(-t+n}NER
24 Short performance by desert dweller left out — ordinary! (5) CAMEO {CAMEl}{O}
25 Hard item at first taken inside, exchanged for money (5) SOLID {SOL{Item}D}

Reference List
Side = OFF, Rear = R, Admiral = A, Fellow = F, Left = L, Caught = C, 0/1 = BIT, Eastern = E, National = N, These days = AD, European = E, Ton = T, Appeal = IT, Measure = EM, Sailor = AB, Second = S, Bishop = B, Lieutanant = LT, Temperature = T, Newton = N, Ordinary = O


The film heroine-turned Chief Minister is here for the LABOUR DAY function. She is SHIELDed by Black Cats who fend off FRANTIC AUTOGRAPH seeking boys and girls. Having worked under the arc LIGHTs for 20 years, she has no difficulty in constantly EXHIBITing that plastic smile for the DIGITal CAMERAs of the ARMADA of reporters, unmindful of the melee around her. Dressed in a CRIMSON coloured saree for symbolic reasons (red is for revolution) and there is no denying that the CAMEO pendant (one appropriate for her star sign Leo) she has on her neck gives her that magical aura of a WINNER. Hasn’t she, by the AUTHORITY of her forceful persona, been able to stitch together a STABLE coalition, a new kind of a political BLOC and keep the PREDATORs from the opposition at bay? She has the SOLID support of the women electorate, a power that helps her STYMIE the ABERRANT old fogeys in her party. This people power has ENCOURAGEd her to confront the Central Government successfully in many a STAND OFF. INTEGRAL to her appeal is the way she is able to mesmerize her audience with a direct and simple speech in the colloquial tongue that goes straight to their heart- none of the flowing, flowery oratory practised by yesteryear male politicians. That is how she lives up to the EPONYM of a “maneater”.

The organizers of the labour day function walk her to the temporary SHELTER put up near the dais and offer her a BEVERAGE of green tea. (You don’t have to be a nutrition SCIENTIST to figure out that she is forever watching her weight). She climbs on to the dais, where the assorted ministers, party functionaries and officials stand with folded hands- there are never any chairs for them. Today, her speech is focussed on the burning issues like the rising price of onions and GARLIC and the debt TRAP into which the labour force has fallen into. She makes off-the-cuff announcements promising liquidation of loans, something that is going to be a TALL ORDER for the officials to carry out. As a politician she knows that what is said is more important than what is delivered.   Every sentence is punctuated by wild cheers and applause from the audience, which needs no prompting from the EMBEDded party supporters in the crowd. She walks out of the venue and the picture of a queen’s victory march on a STALLION is what comes uppermost in my mind, conditioned by numerous such roles she has played on the silver screen.


  1. 20 d
    Answer TRAP = GIN
    some = part
    Returned, so PART becomes TRAP

  2. Wow! What a tale!
    Befitting a bright Lightning CW.
    Heartfelt thanks to both for brightening a dull morning (here in Chennai)

  3. 21A- one caught in lightning- beautifully constructed! My COD

  4. Liked frantic..
    There are a few clues with root issues

  5. Smooth sailing today. Thanks for nice clues given by Lightning.RKE tale has striking similarity of late CM Jayalalitha journey. Thanks once again giving enjoyable clues and tale.
    With regards,

    1. πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™ No names mentioned. All characters are fictional and any resemblance to actual persons is incidental, although some may feel it is intentional!

    2. Agreed. That'swhy I also did not mention any - it is upto the reader to assume any. (Identity/ name lies in the eyes of the reader!)

  6. Good clues aplenty as usual, thanks Lightning!

  7. Exciting grid and kudos to Mr. Venkatesh Prabhakar aka Lightning.
    Well, I erred by reckoning 1-A as DEADLOCK and thereby failed to attempt 1-D, 3-D & 4-D whereas was right in solving 2-D.
    And ultimately, on accessing this blog site, learnt my mistake.

  8. Excellent grid. EPONYM & GARLIC I struggled. rest all solved. SCIENTIST, ABERRANT, WINNER, LIGHT was too Interesting. Thanks Lightning.

  9. 1A .Should have been (5,3) and not (8) IMHO, though I went on a WGC

    1. It is an eight letter word,sometimes hyphenated.

  10. Week, for me, started with a horrible puzzle from Vidwan. Today my faith in the cannuness of the setter's is redeemed with a delightful grid from Lighning.

  11. Nice grid. Me too had my confidence restored after vidhwan. My fav - STYMIE, FRANTIC, EPONYM, STALLION.