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. 


  1. Excellent Tale piece to match the Excellent Puzzle. Had never heard of Ruth Bishop nor the Rotavirus. ( one of the few things I remember from my Biology Classes is Mitosis and meosis!). Thanks Doctors for the Monday Morning Entertainment.

    1. Got the spelling of meosis wrong and was struggling. Borrowed knowledge about mutosis and meosis.

    2. Me Too! Join the club(imagine a smiling emoji here) in praising the excellent tale by RKE.
      With regards,

  2. Hats off Sir!

    Sanjeev Verma

  3. Informative,entertaining and including so many solution words. Thank you Dr. On elaborating on a real life researcher. We will have to read up more about her- not about over the head part.

  4. DRASTIC EFFORTS taken in FLORIDA to HUNT and nab the guy who went to JOIN THE CLUB as a BLIND DATE and engaged imself in stealing!


    What are the ODDS that he will be caught?

    GOK (God Only Knows)

    1. Ortho Paul
      Inspite of my obstinate effort, calculation of odds ratio regarding nabbing the guy is well above my head.I guess he will be nabbed in Toronto if not in Florida

    2. Nice Sketch too CGB Sir! Literally " a blind" date!

  5. 26a ROTOR = machine part.
    most of strut = (ROD -D)=RO; rotating =( RO<->OR)=OR

  6. Salk, Sabin, Epstein and Barr are real too and highly respected virologists

    1. Thanks Doc for the info. Only Salk I have heard(for Polio vaccine?).

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Doctor X, your crossword puzzles are as wonderful as ever. Dr. RKE's story is just as wonderful.

  9. Romantic Adventure
    Miss. Marple was really worried about John. He had just returned from TORONTO after his latest assignment. Apparently a state of art lab, had just been inaugurated there. It was entirely funded by Mr. Trope, the erstwhile showman from Hollywood. The speciality of the lab was, most of the VIROLOGISTS who worked there were robots. Female robots.

    John at just 36, had JOINED THE CLUB of confirmed bachelors last year & spent all his weekends at the RACE COURSE with her neighbour, the VETERINARY Dr. Mayers.

    All her EFFORTS to HUNT for a romantic partner for John yielded ARIDEST of results. She even OBSTINATELY pushed him into a BLIND DATE with Ms. Jennifer from the bank, but that too ENFILADED into nothing.

    But now John was behaving strangely. When she JOUSTED him from his dreamlike stance, his face turned FLORID(A). His INFANTILE behaviour was unfathomable & she wondered about consulting the OUIJA practioner, as to what could be wrong.

    After much coaxing & cajoling, she got the truth out. John had fallen in love!!!! That too with a female robot. Apparently he met Ms. Robbie (Robot) at the convention & she explained patiently to him, all about MEIOTIC & other processes. While almost all of it went ABOVE HIS HEAD, her blue eyes & blonde hair went straight to his heart. & what is more, the robot had even given him her mobile number.

    Imagine Ms.Marple's shock when she saw Ms.Robbie's photo? What could be the ODDS that Ms. Robbie was none other than Ms. Marple's best friend Ms. Christie's daughter? Only 3 months back Agatha had shared her photo on WhatsApp. And it was a dead ringer.

    Of course John refused to believe. But Ms. Marple acted quickly. She called Agatha & got her daughter's number. When John saw that the 2 numbers were the same, his reaction was so drastic, he looked almost like OBELIX to Miss.Marple.

    Recovering quickly, she made John dial the number & then quickly snatching the phone from him told Ms. Robbie, that her BLUFF had been caught. She was no robot but Ms. Vanessa Christie, a beautiful woman, who obviously had developed a yen for John. Why else would she give him her number?

    Turned out, while the lab was genuine in its research, the robot VIROLOGISTS was a stunt by Mr. Trope, to garner international attention & get easy funding. Women like Ms. Vanessa, who still found it so difficult, to get their rightful place in the male dominated field of Microbiology Research, agreed to what they thought was a minor scam, to continue with their passionate work.

    All is well that ends well. When he saw prosecution & perjury LOOMING large for producing FALSE EVIDENCE, Mr. Trope called the media & told them, it was all a joke to lighten the serious ambience of scientific research.

    John & Vanessa continued their long distance romance, thanx to mobiles & internet & John finally resigned from his club of confirmed bachelors.

    At the marriage reception last week, Ms. Marple & Ms. Christie were the happiest pair. From friends they were family now.

    1. Fantastic narrative, though late in the day (rather early in the night!!).

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