Sunday, November 28, 2010

Literary Stuff 2

Each Clue explanation is divided into Analysis, Aesthetics and Afterword.

Visual Key to Clue Analysis :
Definition : BOLD
Wordplay : Italics with keywords underlined as well
Link : Normal


A2. Writer given university situation but no parking. (5) _ A _ _ _

Analysis : Writer given university situation but no parking

University situation = campus

No parking = no p

campus - p = Camus ( writer )

Aesthetics : When reading the sentence situation means something else from what is intended by the setter.Intended meaning is the actual location of the university.

Afterword : Camus's words: "We refuse to despair of mankind. Without having the unreasonable ambition to save men, we still want to serve them" from La Peste (The Plague) are as relevant today as they were in 1947. Only of a handful of post war European writers who resisted the siren call of Marxism , he was in favor of Mediterranean humanism.

B2. Novelist needing to raise capital. (4,6) _ _ C _ _ O _ _ _ _

Analysis : Novelist needing to raise capital

raise = jack      capital = london

Aesthetics : The link word is rather long but gives a picture of a poor writer who has to write to survive.

Afterword : Jack London was an adventure writer of the first water.The Sea Wolf,The Call of the Wild and White Fang are some of his most famous works.

C2. Saint Henry penning epilogue for author. (8) _ _ _ N _ _ _ _

Analysis : Saint Henry penning epilogue for author

Saint Henry = St hal
penning means to surround
epilogue = end
giving us st end hal = STENDHAL ( author )

Aesthetics : Nice combo of penning,epilogue and author - all linked to writing.

Afterword : Stendhal wrote exquisitely on love - having failed miserably at it in real life."If you don't love me, it does not matter, anyway I can love for both of us." is one of those quotes that springs to mind when you see a couple where one partner still has the hots while the other is cool.Nevertheless, "Half – the most beautiful half – of life is hidden from him who has not loved passionately."
reminds us that to have loved and lost is a must for every man - at least for once in his life. Here and there are some comments on Stendhal's On Love.

This time around the clues are to do with types of writers.

D2. Stranger grabbing supporter is bemoaning linesman. (7)   _ _ E _ _ _ T

E2. Promise forger he'd be good at coining? (9)  _ _ _ D _ _ I _ _

F2. Aesthetic writer sees beauty by assignation on radio (10)  _ _ _ _ E _ _ _ S _


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Literary Stuff

Torquemada was the inventor of the cryptic puzzle.A scholar and linguist he was passionate about puzzles and loved setting them for kith and kin over dinner to avoid small talk.In the 1920s as crossword fever swept England, he created the first cryptic puzzle (1924 ) - being bored with straightforward clues. A voracious reader with an impressive memory, Torquemada favoured literary clues, using quotations from poetry, plays and the classics.

Early crosswords had more literary references than today's crosswords.This reduction is due to the fact that more and more crossword solvers do not have a background in the classics.

However, there are still a lot of good clues regarding literary stuff and in this series, we will see that they still have a place among other types of clues that require the solver to have some knowledge about.

Even if you don't, it's possible to solve them from the wordplay and then confirm it online.

The three below are to do with famous authors.

A2. Writer given university situation but no parking. (5) _ A _ _ _

B2. Novelist needing to raise capital. (4,6) _ _ C _ _ O _ _ _ _

C2. Saint Henry penning epilogue for author. (8) _ _ _ N _ _ _ _


Crossword 6 Answers Explanation



1. Vulgar sort of weld (4) LEWD: Definition VULGAR; ‘sort of’ indicating anagram of ‘weld’

4. Resting place out East (4) SEAT: Definition RESTING PLACE; ‘out’ indicating anagram of ‘East’

6. Cape’s new rate (4) PACE: Definition RATE; ‘new’ indicating anagram of ‘Cape’

8. Phase pets out (4) STEP: Definition PHASE; ‘out’ indicating anagram of ‘pets’

11. Boy has nothing to pack (4)  LOAD: Definition PACK; ‘boy’ = LAD has O (nothing); L(O)AD

13. Land seen off by girl SENEGAL: Definition LAND; ‘Off’ indicating anagram of ‘SEEN’ = SENE; girl = GAL

14. Also among pandas (3) AND: Definition ALSO; ‘among’ indicating some letters of ‘pandas’

16. The same two dots (5) DITTO: Definition THE SAME; which is usually indicated by ‘two dots’

18. Shock a quiet friend (5) APPAL: Definition SHOCK; A P (Piano = quiet) + PAL (friend)

21. Trace out a box (5) CRATE: Definition A BOX; ‘out’ indicating anagram of ‘trace’

22. I call out for shade (5) LILAC: Definition SHADE; ‘out’ indicating anagram of ‘I call’

24. Swan enclosure (3) PEN: Double definition of SWAN (pen is a female swan) and ENCLOSURE

25. Everyone has gone mad about ship (7) GALLEON: Definition SHIP; ‘mad’ indicating anagram of ‘gone’ = GEON  Everyone = ALL has GEON (gone mad about) = G(ALL)EON

28. We’re off to get a jug (4) EWER: Definition A JUG; ‘off’ indicating anagram of ‘We’re’

30. The way out of the planet (4) LANE: Definition THE WAY; ‘out of’ indicating some letters of ‘the planet’

31. Fear going round mythical ship (4) ARGO: Definition MYTHICAL SHIP; ‘round’ indicating some letters of ‘fear going’

32. Appearing to have food (4) PEAR: Definition FOOD; ‘to have’ indicating some letters of ‘appearing’

33. Insect of biting nature (4) GNAT: Definition INSECT; ‘of’ indicating some letters of ‘biting nature’


1. Blessed with not as much (4) LESS: Definition NOT AS MUCH; ‘with’ indicating some letters of ‘blessed’

2. Navy bird (4) WREN: Double definition of NAVY (WREN is a member of former Women’s Royal Naval Service) and BIRD

3. Food as ordered by boy (5)  SALAD: Definition FOOD; ‘ordered’ indicating anagram of ‘AS’= SA; boy = LAD

4. Reported character of geographical feature (3) SEA: Definition GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURE; ‘reported’ indicating sound like ‘character’ (letter C)

5. Incline towards nurse (4) TEND: Double definition of INCLINE TOWARDS and NURSE

7. Complaint about broken coil (5)  COLIC: Definition COMPLAINT;  About = C (Circa); ‘broken’ indicating anagram of COIL = OLIC     About broken coil = C + OLIC = COLIC

9. Church either side of the head (6) TEMPLE: Double definition of CHURCH and EITHER SIDE OF THE HEAD

10. Natural feature of plate design (5) PETAL: Definition NATURAL FEATURE; ‘design’ indicating anagram of ‘plate’

12. Attorney volunteers information (4) DATA: Definition INFORMATION; Attorney = DA (District Attorney); Volunteers = TA (Territorial Army)

15. Impression of negative charge (6)NOTION: Definition IMPRESSION; Negative = NOT; charge = ION

17. Ring about river ogre (5) TROLL: Definition OGRE; ring = TOLL; river = R; ring about river = TOLL about R = TROLL

19. Yearn for a tree (4) PINE: Double definition of YEARN and A TREE

20. Drink to large improvement (5) LAGER: Definition DRINK; ‘improvement’ indicating anagram of ‘large’

23. Vehicle to leave its shipment (5)  CARGO: Definition SHIPMENT; vehicle = CAR; leave = GO

24. Stay as a rugby player (4) PROP: Double definition of STAY and A RUGBY PLAYER (forward)

26. Merit of learning (4) EARN: Definition MERIT; ‘of’ indicating some letters of ‘learning’

27. Tidy in one attempt (4) NEAT: Definition TIDY; ‘in’ indicating some letters of ‘one attempt’

29. Rewarded with struggle (3)WAR: Definition STRUGGLE; ‘with’ indicating some letters of ‘rewarded’

Chian Min

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Idioms Explanation

Each Clue explanation is divided into Analysis, Aesthetics and Afterword.

Visual Key to Clue Analysis :
Definition : BOLD
Wordplay : Italics with keywords underlined as well
Link : Normal


G1. Very well suited for hunting? (2,3,4)

Analysis : Very well / suited for hunting?

Double definition meaning in the pink.

Aesthetics : The second reading of the clue doesn't yield any keyword to hang on to.So a double definition seems to be in the works.

Afterword : "in the pink" of course means that one is in good health. The lesser known fact might be that "pink" is the colour of hunting jackets. However , according to some sources : The association of the phrase 'in the pink' with the so-called pink jackets worn by the UK fox-hunting aficionados is unproven. The jackets, which are in fact scarlet, have been said to have derived their 'hunting pink' name from a tailor called Thomas Pink and that 'in the pink' refers to both the jackets and to the healthy, energetic approach to the pastime that many hunters adopt. Fox-hunters can be said to be literally in the pink but the hunting derivation is nevertheless far-fetched. There are no historical records of any such Thomas Pink and his association with the fox-hunting fraternity wasn't suggested until long after the first references to pink jackets.

H1. Study computing or not? I don't care ! (4,2,2,5,2)

Analysis : Study computing or not? I don't care !

computing can be IT (information technology)
So study computing can be take it
not would imply the opposite ie leave it.
or would remain as it is
i don't care is the definition meaning take it or leave it.

Aesthetics : not fulfills its function as an antonym indicator.

Afterword : In some circumstances the phrase sounds rather harsh as in "That;s my final offer. Take it or leave it". However, there is another aspect which invokes neutrality rather than indifference.For example, "Most people cannot resist Swiss chocolates but I can take it or leave it."

I1. Modern piano and organ found in chest outside gallery (5,2,3,3)

Analysis : Modern piano and organ found in chest outside gallery.

piano = soft
organ found in chest = heart
gallery = tate ( famous gallery in UK )
soft heart is outside tate ( s tate of the art )
state of the art = modern

Aesthetics : Brilliant linkage of two instruments - piano and organ . Another link is between the chest and the gallery.This one is more subtle - chest conjures up artifact from the past and is likely to be seen in a gallery.

Afterword : The earliest usage of the term "state of the art" documented by the Oxford English Dictionary dates back to 1910 from an engineering manual by Henry Harrison Suplee (1856-post 1943), an engineering graduate (U. Of Pennsylvania, 1876), titled Gas Turbine: progress in the design and construction of turbines operated by gases of combustion. It reads: "In the present state of the art this is all that can be done."


Friday, November 5, 2010

Crossword 5 Answers Explanation



1. Bird bit embankment (9) PARTRIDGE Combination clue where bird is the definition. bit = part and embankment = ridge

8. Small step into void (5) SPACE Combination clue where void is the definition. Small = S and step = pace

10. Show appreciation to husband in military vehicle (5) THANK Insertion clue where husband (H) has to be put in military vehicle (TANK) to give THANK which is to show appreciation.

12. Firm with new prisoner (3) CON Combination clue where firm (CO) and new (N) join to form CON which is a word meaning prisoner.

13. One ran for a long time (3) EON Anagram indicator is "ran" ; so ONE is rearranged to form EON which is very long time.

14. Time to order something (4) ITEM "order" is the anagram indicator working on TIME to change it to ITEM which is something.

15. Joined the team (6) UNITED double definition as united can be both "joined" and "team".

16. Smashes figure at school (5) BUSTS Combination clue where figure = BUST and school is S.
Busts means smashes.

18. Lost one-nil while browsing the net (6) ONLINE Anagram indicator is "lost" in the sense of having "strayed". Applying it to one nil will give us ONLINE which is synonymous with browsing the net.

20. Bound to adjust diet (4) TIED adjust is the anagram indicator applicable to DIET giving us TIED which is the same as BOUND.

22. Wanted to include the creature (3) ANT Container clue is revealed by "to include". Hence WANTED contains something which is a creature and its ANT.

23. Quantity of contents (3) TEN Another container clue where "of" serves as indicator that a quanity is within conTENts.

24. He admits being the proprietor (5) OWNER Double definition where OWNER , other than meaning Proprietor also fits as one who admits (owns).

25. One transaction is perfect (5) IDEAL Another combination clue where one = I and transaction = DEAL. Together they form IDEAL which is perfect.

26. Famous person unexpectedly bit celery (9) CELEBRITY "unexpectedly" serves as anagram indicator for bit celery which transforms into CELEBRITY - a famous person.


2. A quiet expert is fast (5) APACE A = A quiet = P expert = ACE Fast is the definition

3. Afterwards from both ends (4) THEN Tricky clue as "from both ends" is a normal indicator of a palindrome. However, "from" serves as a container indicator and if you look at BOTH ENDS you can get THEN from it.Definition is Afterwards.

4. The purpose of camping (6) INTENT Double definition with Intent = Purpose and IN TENT is a tongue-in-cheek replacement of camping.

5, He gets an allowance (5) GRANT Double definition as He would simply indicate a male name which is GRANT and this also means allowance.

6. Intuit to follow puller of sled (6,3) ESKIMO DOG intuit = eskimo and follow = dog giving us Eskimo Dog as a puller of sled.

7. Rearrange desk to confound then flee (9) SKEDADDLE Anagram indicated by "Rearrange" applies to DESK to give us SKED ; confound = addle and flee is the definition of skedaddle.

9. Search at home with energy to join (7) COMBINE Search = Comb at home = IN energy = E giving us COMBINE which is JOIN.

11. Raised those I'd altered (7) HOISTED altered "those id" gives us HOISTED which is RAISED.

15. Amused with employment (3) Again a container clue very subtly indicated by "with" indicating that AMUSED is in possession of something that means employment. amUSEd reveals the answer.

17. Throw nut and regret being disloyal (6) UNTRUE throw is an anagram indicator which changes NUT to UNT and regret = rue thus giving us UNTRUE = disloyal.

19. Clean off a weapon (5) LANCE off is the anagram indicator which when applied to clean gives us LANCE which is a weapon.

21. Useless in pet management (5) INEPT Either "useless" or "management" can be anagram indicators. In this case its "management" and manipulating " in pet" we have inept which means useless.

23. Row about rite (4) TIER about serves as anagram indicator for rite, giving us TIER which means Row.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Holidays

To all our Hindu visitors :

Very quietly in grass, thick with back-flowing rock, one gets greeting. (5,9)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Each Clue explanation is divided into Analysis, Aesthetics and Afterword.

Visual Key to Clue Analysis :
Definition : BOLD
Wordplay : Italics with keywords underlined as well
Link : Normal


D1. Let me tell you what my tutor will do. (4,2,5) _ A _ _ _ _ _ _ R _ _

Analysis : Let me tell you / what my tutor will do

Double definition meaning mark my words.


Neat surface reading.The setter finds two ways to express this idiom used usually in the context of wanting people to remember what you are saying.let me tell you is also the way we start a sentence when we want people to pay attention to what we are about to say.what my tutor will do is the description of the marking of a written essay.


"me" and "my" in the clue would give away the 2 lettered word.

E1. Desolate on a break with nothing to do. (2,1,5,3) _ _ _ L _ _ _ _ _ N _

Analysis : Desolate on a break with nothing to do

break is anagram indicator for desolate on a giving us at a loose end.


Desolate ties in nicely with nothing to do - ennui being the result.


loose end means a minor unresolved problem or difficulty. How did at a loose end come to mean with nothing to do? After all, there IS something to do if you have a loose end.

F1. Faltering guards pursuing one won't, strangely. (2,3,5) _ _ _ _ O M _ _ _ _

Analysis : Faltering guards pursuing one won't, strangely

guards = minds

one wont strangely = i wont strangely = in two

pursuing puts in two ahead of minds

answer is in two minds which means faltering


Technically tight clue, but surface meaning is not quite complete.What won't they do- these guards who are pursuing one?


Though the idiom refers to any one not being able to reach a decision, a whole lot of science is dedicated to the duality of mind and it seems our thought processes are indeed driven by two minds.

Here is the final set of idioms.

G1. Very well suited for hunting? (2,3,4)

H1. Study computing or not? I don't care ! (4,2,2,5,2)

I1. Modern piano and organ found in chest outside gallery (5,2,3,3)