Thursday, December 30, 2010

To all our viewers

Salutation to unknowns; around three-quarters appear about a quarter of an hour earlier. (1,5,3,4)

Crossword 9 Answers Explanation


1. Insertion of dreadful pun inside it (5)
Definition ‘Insertion’: letters of ‘pun’ (dreadful = rearrange) inside ‘it’ = INPUT

4. Wonderful purse design (5)
Definition ‘Wonderful’: anagram (design) of ‘purse’ = SUPER

7.Child of resonance (3)
 Definition ‘Child’: ‘of’ indicating within ‘resonance’ = SON

9. Decorated or terribly neat (6)
Definition ‘Decorated’: ‘or’ plus anagram (terribly) of ‘neat’ = ORNATE

11. Local man gets collected (4)
Definition ‘collected’: ‘gets’ indicating content of ‘Local man’ = CALM  
12. Confirmation about tree (3)
Definition ‘tree’: ‘about’ indicating content of ‘Confirmation’ = FIR

13. No moons affected by seasonal wind (7)
Definition ‘seasonal wind’: ‘affected’ indicating anagram of ‘No moons’ = MONSOON

15. Student deserved to be wise (7)
Definition ‘wise’: compound of ‘Student’ = L plus ‘deserved’ = earned = LEARNED

18. Objection to returning tub (3)
Definition ‘Objection’: ‘returning’ indicating reversing ‘tub’ = BUT

19. Mad for food (4)
Double definition of ‘Mad’ and ‘food’ = NUTS

20. A drama about ships (6)
Definition ‘ships’: ‘about’ indicating anagram of ‘A drama’ = ARMADA

23. Lose argument about the Baltic, say (3)
Definition ‘ the Baltic’: ‘about’ indicating content of ‘Lose argument’ = SEA

24. Wait to play the first shot (5)
Double definition of ‘Wait’ and ‘play the first shot’ = SERVE

25. Lions’ conceit (5)
Double definition of ‘ Lions’ and ‘conceit’ = PRIDE


1. Club putting away small pieces of metal (4,7)
Definition ‘small pieces of metal’: compound expression of ‘Club’ = iron plus ‘putting away’ = filing(s) = IRON FILINGS

2. Refusal to include country (3)
Definition ‘country’: ‘to include’ indicating content of ‘Refusal’ = USA

3. Baby’s drink (3)
Double definition of ‘baby’ and ‘drink’ = TOT

5. Quiet instrument (5)
Double definition of ‘Quiet’ and ‘instrument’ = PIANO

6. Argue about monster scale (11)
Definition ‘Argue’: ‘about’ indicating anagram of ‘monster’ plus synonym for ‘scale’ = rate = REMONSTRATE

8. One Roman’s emperor (4)
Definition ‘emperor’: apostrophe ‘s’ of ‘One Roman’s’ indicating content = NERO (whole clue could also be definition)

10. Negative out of ignorance (3)
Definition ‘Negative’: ‘out of’ indicating content of ‘ignorance’ = NOR

13. Creature of romance (3)
Definition ‘Creature’: ‘of’ indicating content of ‘romance’ = MAN

14. Agree with the head (3)
Definition is the whole clue = NOD

16. Croat turned performer (5)
Definition ‘performer’: ‘turned’ indicating anagram of ‘Croat’ = ACTOR

17. The rascal takes ages (4)
Definition ‘ages’: ‘takes’ indicating content of ‘The rascal’ = ERAS

18. Serpent with feathers (3)
Double definition of ‘Serpent’ and ‘feathers’ = BOA

21. More polite with salesman (3)
Definition ‘salesman’: ‘with’ indicating content of ‘More polite’ = REP

22. Ruin in remarkable condition (3)
Definition ‘Ruin’: ‘in’ indicating content of ‘remarkable’ = MAR (‘condition’ conceivably superfluous but acting as ‘filler’)


Monday, December 27, 2010


Readers are well aware that punctuations judiciously used in sentences enhance ease of reading and comprehension.

Punctuations are a comparatively recent occurence. Long ago, writing was limited only to a few. As writing expanded to cover all sorts of  subjects, it incorporated and invented a few symbols. Today, there are about a dozen punctuation symbols we use in writing.

Inevitably, crossword-setters set some clues with punctuations in them serving as decoys. In rare cases, the solvers had to take them into account to reach the solution.

The clues that follow are some examples where the punctuations serve as decoys or cryptic elements.

A3: Look at daring to admit "I'm sorry?" (6)   _ E _ _ _ _

B3: "Serve Duke!" I cry (4,3)   _ _ _ _  O _ _

C3: "Tom here!" (jeers)  (10)  _ _ _ _ A _ _ I _ _


Friday, December 24, 2010

From the Cryptonites... all our Christian viewers :

Wish for two gifts of the Magi , one locally produced with strict contract. (5,9)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Literary Stuff 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

G2. Treasure-seeker pants hugely, having diseased liver. (4,4,6)

Treasure-seeker pants hugely, having diseased liver.

pants hugely = long johns
diseased liver = ilver

treasure seeker : long john silver


The reading is a bit strained.Somehow, pants and diseased liver are not natural connections.( as compared to pants and diseased lungs)
Also, pants hugely = long johns is a bit of a stretch. We know long johns to be "underpants with long legs"
The setter in using 'hugely" might have wanted to communicate that the clothing item is pants mainly. But I  think it does not quite work. Any one who can get a better connection - please comment.


Treasure Island is a children's classic which adults reread throughout their life. This most famous of treasure tales , has a cast of characters never to be forgotten.One figure in that cast is responsible for the popular image of the pirate. One-legged with a parrot on his shoulder, Long John Silver is an unusual fictional character. He has many virtues in him - yet he is a mutineer. Such ambiguity in a children's story is very hard to come by. Despite his criminal intent , I remember being quite happy that he didn't swing at the end of a rope at the end. Stevenson must have loved him too.

H2. Is man left without old woman an outcast? (7) _ _ _ _ A _ L

Is man left without old woman an outcast?

man = he
left = l
old woman = ma
without is an indicator that tells us that hel is outside ma
 is h ma e l
ishmael is an outcast.


old woman as ma is not quite there. I think using "mother" would add power to the reading.


Ishmael is mentioned in the Bible when Abraham beds Hagar, maid to his barren wife Sarah to produce a son. Ishmael is his name but when a son Isaac is granted to Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael are cast out of the tribe.

I2. He opposed the Turkish brothel local keeps. (7)

He opposed the Turkish brothel local keeps.

keeps is the hidden indicator and within brothel local  we can see OTHELLO
It was he who opposed the Turkish in the tale by Shakespeare.


Very nice reading as the solver will not separate Turkish & brothel initially.


Though Shakespeare gave the title of his play to Othello, his version of Iago is one of the most diabolical characters ever created.The mighty general stands no chance against the Machiavellian manipulator.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crossword 8 Answers Explanation



1.    Possibly great, if I’d been pleased (9). GRATIFIED. Definition is ‘pleased’. Anagram of ‘great if I’d’,  ‘possibly’ is the anagram indicator.

8.    Daughter tears weeds (5). DRIPS. Definition is ‘weeds’. ‘D for daughter’, and ‘tears’ = ‘rips’.

10.    Drama involving a rope (5). OPERA. Definition is ‘drama’. Anagram of ‘a rope’, ‘involving’ is the anagram indicator.

12.    Relaxed during conversation (3). SAT. Definition is ‘relaxed’. Hidden word.

13.    Gained raw onions outside (3). WON. Definition is ‘gained’. Hidden word.

14.    Consumer’s new ruse (4). USER. Definition is ‘consumer’. Anagram of ‘ruse’. Anagram indicator is ‘new’.

15.    Recent change to core (5). CENTRE. Definition is ‘core’. Anagram of ‘recent’. Anagram indicator is ‘change’.

16.    Isolated a section (5) APART. Double definition.

18.    Look round ship that’s not as good (6) LESSER. Definition is ‘not as good’. Ship is ‘SS’, and a synonym of look (leer), goes around it.

20.    Alright for artist to have food (4). OKRA. Definition is ‘food’. ‘Alright’ is ‘OK’, and ‘artist’ is ‘RA’.

22.    Island produce (3). COS. Double definition. ‘Cos’ is a type of lettuce, as well as (an alternative) name of a Greek island.

23.    He’s in the wrong (3). RON. Definition is ‘he” (a man’s name), and it is a hidden word.

24.    Tilts over a walking stick (5). STILT. Definition is ‘walking stick’. Anagram of ‘tilts’, and anagram indicator is ‘over’.

25.    Join military group to the East (5). UNITE.  Definition is ‘join’. Military group is ‘unit’, and abbreviation for ‘East’ is ‘E’.

26.    Fascinated by appearance with key (9). ENTRANCED. Definition is ‘fascinated’. ‘Appearance’ is ‘entrance’, and (musical) key is ‘D’.

2.    Lift gets more money (5). RAISE. Double definition.

3.    Cricket match can be a trial (4). TEST. Double definition.

4.    Blossom like a river (6). FLOWER. A blossom is a flower, but a river is also a flower (different pronunciation!)
5.    It happened in the Seventies (5). EVENT. Definition is ‘it happened’. Hidden word.

6.    Loses dour arrangement, not humming (9). ODOURLESS. Definition is “not humming” (a bit of a tricky definition). Anagram of ‘loses dour’. Anagram indicator is ‘arrangement’.

7.    Fastidious watchman (9). CARETAKER. Double definition.

9.    Soldiers only left an umbrella (7). PARASOL. Definition is ‘parasol’. ‘Soldiers’ is ‘paras’, and ‘OL’ is an abbreviation for ‘only left’.

11.    Game of bridge (8). PONTOON. ‘Pontoon’ is a card game, as well as being part of a bridge.

15.    Scared to include transport (3). CAR. ‘Transport’ is the definition. Hidden word.

17.    Annoy new pets with hesitation (6). PESTER. The definition is ‘annoy’. Anagram of ‘pets’ plus ‘ER’ for hesitation.

19.    Heir wasted coins (5). SCION. Definition is ‘heir’. Anagram of ‘coins’.  ‘Wasted’ is the anagram indicator.

21.    Ink spilt on iron blade (5). KNIFE. Definition is ‘blade’. Anagram of ‘ink’, plus the chemical symbol for iron (FE).

23.    Destroy what’s left of the castle (4). RUIN. Double definition.

Craig and Mary

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Literary Stuff 3

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


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


Stranger grabbing supporter is bemoaning linesman.

Stranger = ET ( extra terrestrial )
Grabbing is Containment indicator.
supporter is = leg is

E  LEG  IS T  = bemoaning linesman


Bemoaning linesman conjures up a classic image of a complaining sports official.Yet it neatly fits as a cool definition of an elegist.


An elegist is the author of a mournful poem lamenting the dead.
An elegy brings forth the classical idea of memento mori, a Latin phrase which means, "Remember that you must die."

Some lines from Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" :  

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,  
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:  
No children run to lisp their sire's return,  
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

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


Promise forger he'd be good at coining?

Promise = word
forger = smith
wordsmith = he'd be good at coining


Coining refers to the ability to put together words effectively.Excellent combination of forger and coining which would set you thinking of counterfeiter.


Someone who makes up words, intentionally, creatively, or purely on accident with the slip of the tongue.That's how some would define a wordsmith. Here are some words which might catch on and become part of our regular vocabulary:

Ignoranus:  A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
Foreploy:  Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
Giraffiti:  Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
Sarchasm:   The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
Glibido: All talk and no action.
Hindkerchief:  Really expensive toilet paper; toilet paper at Buckingham Palace.
Cashtration :  The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

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


Aesthetic writer sees beauty by assignation on radio

Beauty = Belle
Assignation = Tryst
on radio is homonym indicator
tryst becomes trist
by just indicates that belle is beside trist
sees is the link word.
belletrist = aesthetic writer


Very effective coupling of Aesthetic and Beauty.


The word comes from belles-lettres meaning light and elegant literature, esp. that which is excessively refined, characterized by aestheticism, and minor in subject, substance, or scope.

Gustave Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary , a novel which in the telling paid great attention to the trivial details of everyday life and which started a trend in 1857 and later became a craze.

He also wrote Salammbo: The Maid of Carthage ,  a powerful romance - realistic in the deepest sense. This is a must-read book.The ancient world comes alive in all its horror and voluptuousness.

But it is to another story I would draw your attention. From "Three Tales" - a story that encapsulates the violence and mysticism of the Middle Ages - The Legend of St Julian the Hospitaller. It is a short story but to feeeel the effect of a master belletrist , you must  read it slow and aloud.Each sentence is like a scene in a movie.

The three clues below refer to fictional characters.

G2. Treasure-seeker pants hugely, having diseased liver. (4,4,6)

H2. Is man left without old woman an outcast? (7) _ _ _ _ A _ L

I2. He opposed the Turkish brothel local keeps. (7)


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crossword 7 Answers Explanation



1.Bird at two parties (4) DODO. Definition is “bird”. Two parties is “do” and “do”.

4.Element of victory (4)    GOLD. Definition is “element”, and gold is the colour of victory (eg gold medal).

6.Yield a plant ovule, say (4) CEDE. Homophone. “Cede” sounds like “seed”.

8.Most arguments are about celebrity (4)  STAR. Definition is “celebrity”. Hidden word.

11.New tsar of painting and sculpture (4)     ARTS. Anagram of “tsar”.

13.Bore of distinction (7) CALIBRE. Double definition.

14.Decline three keys (3) EBB. Definition is “decline”. Three musical keys.

16.Thanks for every candle (5)  TAPER. Definition is “candle”. “Ta” = “thanks”. “per = “for every”.

18.Terribly eager to concur (5)  AGREE. Anagram of “eager”.

21.Painting of them Urals (5) MURAL. Definition is “painting”. Hidden word.

22.Huge Elgar composition (5)     LARGE. Anagram of “Elgar”.

24.Member of the whole group (3) LEG.  Definition is “member”. Hidden word.

25.Facts about table that sparkle (7) GLISTEN. Definition is “sparkle”. Sandwich clue, with “gen” fitting around “list”.

28.Betting journalist was rushed (4)     SPED. Definition is “rushed”. “Betting” is “SP”, and “journalist” is “ED”.

30.The bird in the other nest (4)     ERNE. Definition is “bird”. Hidden word.

31.Aide’s unusual impression (4) IDEA. Definition is “impression”. Anagram of “aide”.

32.Destroy what’s left of the castle (4)     RUIN. Double definition.

33.Notice the location (4) SPOT. Double definition.


1.Record that may have slipped (4) DISC. Definition is “record”, and the wordplay refers to a slipped disc.

2.Trade in lead construction (4)    DEAL. Definition is “trade”. Anagram of “lead”.

3.Compassion at the core (5)    HEART. Double definition.

4.Procure from strange tradesman (3)    GET. Definition is “procure”. Hidden word.

5.Boring sort of bard (4)    DRAB. Definition is “boring”. Anagram of “bard”.

7.Imagine being armed, possibly (5)    DREAM. Definition is “imagine”. Anagram of “armed”.

9.Snarl at the first corner (6)     TANGLE. Definition is “snarl”. Take the first letter of “the” and add on a word for “corner”, which is “angle”.

10.Strive, really, to contain tributary (5)    RIVER. Definition is “tributary”. Another hidden word.

12.Reportedly burn prophet (4)    SEER. Definition is “prophet”. “Seer” sounds like “sear”.

15.Buddhism follows underwear forward (6)    BRAZEN. Definition is “forward”. “Underwear” is “bra”, and “Zen” is Buddhism.

17.Super sort of container (5)     PURSE. Definition is “container”. Anagram of “super”.

19.Starting point for riches (4)     RAGS. & Lit clue….”from rags to riches”.

20.Urged to produce five notes (5) EGGED. Definition is “urged”. Answer is using 5 musical notes.

23.Berry Senior (5)    ELDER. Definition is “senior”, and “elder” is a type of “berry”.

24.Left tune to study (4) LAIR. Definition is “study” (noun). “L” for left and “air” for “tune”.

26.Stumble on the journey (4)     TRIP. Double definition.

27.Tidy in one attempt (4)    NEAT. Definition is “tidy”. Hidden word again.

29.Hoping to include secret number (3)    PIN. Definition is “secret number”. Hidden word.

Craig and Mary