Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Hindu Crossword 9384

the-hindu-crossword It has been over a month since I wrote in detail about a whole puzzle; the last was THC 9350 when we took turns to write for our THC community. I plan to attempt detailed posts about specific puzzles once a month or so, and more frequently if time permits.

9384 was uncomplicated with many easy charades and anagrams. Nothing to hold one up for long, other than an unfamiliar word  on 19A (biology stumps me as usual). I find that M.Manna’s clues use innovative solution definitions and the surface reading is pretty good - to maintain which the correctness of the wordplay is sacrificed at times.

ACROSS

1 Revelation which should broaden the pupil’s views (3,6) EYE OPENER [CD]
The pun on 'pupil' is a nice touch, but why not just: 'Revelation that broadens the pupil's view'? This drops a connector and a superfluous plural without loss of meaning/accuracy.  

6 Smart cheat (5) STING [2]
Fine double-definition.

9 Henry to ride around for a place to conceal (5) H IDER*
Straightforward clue.

10 Theoretical solution for reducing a beer gut? (9)RATION ALE
I like the use of 'gut' here. The surface reading leads you to think of getting rid of a pot belly, but 'beer gut' actually refers to ALE in this clue. Don't see how 'reducing' gives RATION though – shouldn't the corresponding word be 'reduce'? Also, the RATIONALE of a thing is its underlying principle or reasoning: why 'theoretical'?

11 Tender fish I take on board (10) CHAR I TABLE
Nice charade.

12 He succeeds in heartening the IRA (4) HEIR [T]
In spite of the 'IRA' signaling strongly the presence of a hidden word, this was still not solved at sight. Maybe because of the neat definition. Thumbs up for the hidden word indicator 'heartening'.

14 Supplied to soldiers again (7) RE ISSUE
I didn’t follow the wordplay clearly for this one. Is soldiers = ISSUE? For 'supplied' as the definition, shouldn't the solution be REISSUED?

15 Con man turns up in disgrace (7) SCAN DAL<-
Con=SCAN in the sense of 'study' perhaps, and man=LAD is passable (LAD is nearer a boy than a man, though). But 'turns up' as reversal indicator for an ACROSS clue is not OK I think. 'Con man returns in disgrace' would be more apt.

17 They are fleeced by dirty fellows who take one in (7) PIG{EON*}S
I like the definition, but where is the anagram indicator for ONE?

19 Inner portion of organs are affected to dull ones in Middle East (7) ME{DULL}A
MEDULLA fits the definition 'inner portion of organs' all right but the wordplay isn't convincing: 'Middle East' = ME and DULL is placed as-is, but how does A appear? 'ones'=A??

20 Do the French give state benefit? (4) DO LE
Simple one.

22 Vagrant with no job becomes a bouncer (10) TRAMP O LINE
job=LINE as in 'He is in the business line', to describe occupation.

25 A ship comes in with their consent (9) A SS ENTERS
Another simple charade.

26 Ann with Al records events as they happened (5) ANN AL
'The answer is ANNAL' is probably the only clue that could have beaten this in an Easiest Clue contest.

27 Timber reordered by one (5) EBONY*
Anagram indicator more creative than 'reordered' can surely be used; 'timber' opens up so many possibilities.

28 They are those who lend their ears (9) LISTENERS [CD]
All right.

DOWN

1 The in-charge arranges a system of rules to follow (5) ETHIC*
Easy anagram.

2 Charming the listener in the finale (9) END{EAR}ING
Have seen a similar clue recently, so this was solved easily.

3 Authorisation needed for every special assignment (10)PER MISSION
With 'for every'=PER, the answer was obvious.

4 Dashed upset over charge for recount (7)NAR<- RATE
Very nice one. 'Dashed upset' means 'very distressed' in the surface reading, and gives the reverse of RAN for the solution. The definition works well too - it fits in as the noun (meaning 'verification'). in the surface reading, and the verb to give the solution.

5 What the skeleton does when badly flustered? (7) RATTLES [CD]
Fun cryptic definition.

6 Prevent post disruption (4) STOP*
Very easy anagram.

7 Picture me in mature years (5) IM AGE
The wordplay seems faulty – it gives IMAGED (I'M AGED) rather than IMAGE.

8 Gruel liar prepared for an underground fighter (9) GUERRILLA*
Straightforward anagram.

13 So camera shy it’s almost unbearable? (4,2,4) HARD TO FACE
Another nice cryptic definition.

14 Tied up — are prepared to cast off (9) REPUDIATE*
A slightly more challenging anagram to unscramble, but not to spot: the anagram fodder was a giveaway.

16 Note union’s shilly shallying (9) D ALLIANCE
The word 'DALLIANCE' sounds so lyrical, just finding it in the solution pleases me :) The Guardian crossword too carried this word a couple of days ago. (Guardian 24527: Flirtation of one and all at church (9) DALLIAN* CE)

18 Contradictory conditions between dream and reality resolved as reality (7) SURREAL
Unsure of the annotation. If 'Contradictory conditions between dream and reality' is the definition, how does 'resolved as reality' tie in? Too many REALs in here: two in the clue text and one in the solution.

19 Rhetorical use of one’s supposed words (7) MIMESIS [CD]
Straight, non-cryptic definition.

21 Look to catch donkey with this? (5) L{ASS}O &Lit
I have a soft spot for &Lit clues, so this was welcome! The wordplay is very easy but will do.

23 She lies for a pound (5)E{L}LIS*
Indicators for anagram and container - both absent?

24 See around New York without others (4) ONLY*
I don't mind indirect anagrams if the anagram fodder is effortlessly got, but I do mind incorrect placement of anagram indicator and repetition of wordplay ('see'=LO) in near-adjacent clues.

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