Saturday 31 December 2022

No 13751, Saturday 31 Dec 2022, Gussalufz

Rangoli by Gowri

It's a double Pangram to end the year.

9   Rare garnet of a light variety, cut and sculpted with love (9) UVAROVITE {UV}{VARIETy+0}*
10 Previous home's fourth hundredfold downgrading (5) ABOVE ABO{-d+v}E
11 One boxing pear-shaped fruit right next to the bananas (7) FIGHTER {FIG}{R}<=>{THE*}
12 Leaf cover over "play" parts? (4,3) LILY PAD {LI{PLAY*}D}
13 Every now and then, secure app a tiny bit (5) SCRAP {SeCuRe+ApP}
14 Snarl, "Go back and, er, get the guy with the booze!" (9) BARKEEPER {BARK}{PEE<=}{ER}
16 Zero-zero? Crowd slumps in distress, no more excited for this (9,6) CROSSWORD PUZZLE {ZERO+ZERO+CROWD+SLUMPS-more}* 
19 Very wide, perhaps cut awfully meekly—no risk, ultimately (9) EXTREMELY {EXTRa}{MEEkLY*}
22 Thick strings from one side to the other creating bounds (5) LOPES (-r+l)LOPES
24 Just be better organised, embracing constant discipline (7) SUBJECT {JUST+BE}* over {C}
26 Zebus playing with a couple of roosters? Very cool! (7) SUBZERO {ZEBUS*}{ROo...s}
27 In addition, backed a direct tax, due periodically (5) EXTRA {A+diRecT+taX+duE}<=
28 Grasping gin cocktail after getting lazier at work (9) REALIZING {GIN}*<=>{LAZIER}*

1   Quick update: all flights finally serve starters and drinks! (6) QUAFFS Acrostic
2   Animal's mangled organ found in tree after climbing (8) KANGAROO {ORGAN}* in {OAK<=}
3   Very tense in the tube (10) TOOTHPASTE {TOO}{TH{PAST}E} Just TUBE for Toothpaste okay?
4   Male bird flying, holding one part of a leaf (6) MIDRIB {M}{IDR{1}B*}
5   Refined marijuana overwhelms bachelor at the end of December, ... (4-4) WELL-BRED {WEED} over {LLB}{d...eR}
6   ... can get sick after the first of January (4) JAIL {AIL}<=>{Ja...y}
7   Well, you little animal, make something stronger! (4,2) SOUP UP {SO}{U}{PUP}
8   Petrol dealer's upset about the introduction of foreign energy (4-4) LEAD-FREE {DEALER}* over {Fo...n} and {E}
15 I use Iraq, Libya (in no particular order), overlooking, say, surprisingly stable states (10) EQUILIBRIA {I+UsE+IRaQ+LIByA}*
16 Encourage eating peas regularly? I like paneer, perhaps to a greater extent (8) CHEESIER {CHE{pEaS}{I}ER}
17 Abruptly, Chappell is back, confident after getting rid of top opener (8) OVERTURE {TREVOr<=}{sURE}
18 Impedance one removed from jammed pipeline that carried a lot of gas (8) ZEPPELIN {Z}{PIPELiNE}*
20 Must I bother showing up? Very much! (2,4) TO BITS [T<=]
21 One agrees unquestioningly, "long" is about two sizes off, right? (3-3) YES-MAN {YE{S}{M}{A}N} A from? (Addendum - {YE{S}{M}ArN} - See comments)
23 Of a kind of weather that's wet, around monsoon's onset (6) SMOGGY {S{Mo...n}OGGY}
25 Flex a muscle, nailing test (4) EXAM [T]

Reference List
Love = 0, V(5) hundredfold = D(500), Right = R, Go = PEE, Constant = C, Male = M, Energy = E, Impedance = Z, Sizes = S,M 

Notes from Gussalufz

This crossword bids adieu to the year gone by. There is a nina (in the fourth column from the right) that reads, BYE ZOZZ. "ZOZZ," of course, is meant to be squinted at, to get a passable imitation of 2022 :-).

This puzzle is a double pangram: every letter of the alphabet appears at least twice in the solution, which is again a nod to 2022, the year that has an abundance of "2"s.

In fact, the puzzle is nearly a triple pangram—as another little homage to 2022, 22 letters appear at least 3 times in the solution.

Fitting in so many "J"s, "Q"s, "Z"s, etc. made it hard to create any thematic entries, and there aren't any. The surfaces of 5d and 6d allude to the end of the year and the beginning of a new year, respectively.

I try to not repeat an indicator word within a crossword, but "cut" (for omitting the last letter) slipped through in this one, making an appearance in both 9a and 19a.

Finally, yet again, a crossword of mine has landed on a number that is a reversible prime! Both 13751 and 15731 are prime numbers.

Personal notes

Autumn is in full swing here; leaves have gone through incredible shades of red and yellow and are now mostly brown and falling. It's the best time of the year, according to Oona, my 7-year-old dog. She loves to stand under a large tree in my neighbourhood, waiting for large clusters of leaves to fall. It's not the leaves themselves that actually interest her—it's their shadows. These wispy shadows dart across the ground, kindling a deep-rooted hunting instinct in her, as she probably imagines them to be a fierce and/or edible swarm of creatures scampering around! Here's an obligatory link to an Oona pic [].

Wishing everyone a happy new year, one filled with dogs and cats and other good things.


  1. 21D Long is YEARN - Right Off is YEAN Around S(mall), M(edium) - YES MAN

  2. 16a typo. Not 0. Zero+slumps-more*.

  3. 10A (-d+v) ??? . Sree_Sree sir to rescue ..please

    1. D=500. V=5. Hundredfold 1/100.

    2. D is 500, V is 5. Hundredfold downgrading -> D 'reduced' to V

      My COD. A good brainteaser today. Thoroughly enjoyed solving.

    3. It is there in the reference list

    4. That was great . I could not decipher hundredfold.. thank you to Sree_Sree and Veena

  4. Very challenging. Not much of progress, though improved the cracking , a lot...

  5. Amazing Puzzle. Thank you, Gussalufz and Colonel for the wonderful blog.

  6. Wonderful notes from Gussalufz. Many things, i coukd learn.Thanks G L

  7. Thank you Gussalufz for the wonderful double Pangram and the most enjoyable notes. Thank you Col. for giving 'Notes' its due importance. Since the setter had to accommodate so many parameters (set by himself) most of the clues had to be tougher than usual,but still enjoyable.

  8. Col. must have had his hands full to put up the blog at 8.30!

  9. Teue. It is like solving final accounts problems from the dreaded ," shukla and grewals" book on Advanced Accountancy

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Yes, those were the days when I used to struggle with the problems in that book. Fortunately, a year later I saw solutions in two parts for that book

  10. Enjoyable crossword.

    A few small comments.15D What is the role of 'surprisingly' in the clue?
    11A Why pear shaped? A fig isn't pear shaped.
    24A 'Better' is superfluous here

    1. Correction. Apparently a fig is pear shaped. We only see what is sold in dry fruit shops

    2. 24A- Better helps surface reading.

    3. What we see is the dry form of fig- not its original shape.

    4. I think 24A reads equally well without the word 'Better'

      That word confused me for a while, until I realised it was superfluous

    5. Organised is not well accepted anind. better organised in the sense of reorganised fits the bill.

    6. Surprisingly is the anind. Not in any particular order to indicate say is not in the same order.

  11. Gussalufz stretches himself beyond the possible limits in setting such extremely hard crossword puzzles. Thoroughly enjoyed solving. Took too much time though for completion.