Monday, June 22, 2009

Free Of Charge

ion-charge-crossword In science, ION is a charged particle. In crosswords, ION may be simply "charge"[1].

As it was in this clue from THC 5087[2], one of the last to get solved today on Orkut's Hindu Crossword community:

No charge for assembly as it is a religious place (7) CONVENT{-ion}

The charge = ION equation gives enormous possibilities to the setter. A whole range of words end in -ION, courtesy of nominalization (converting a verb to noun by adding a suffix e.g. "decide" –> "decision").

"Charge", too, has many uses for the surface. You can charge (accuse) someone of crime, charge (ask for payment) the customer for goods purchased, place a child in the nurse's charge (care), be in charge (command) of a situation, or charge (supply with electric charge) your mobile phone, to mention a few.

With "charge" in the surface, the typical wordplay involves addition or removal of -ION from a word.

Given that perspective, have a go at solving these clues from the New Indian Express/Economic Times archives:

Numbers take charge in stress (7)
Account charge for a large number (7)
Second one charged to leave person retired as poet (7)

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[1] …ION is simply "charge": That's technically inaccurate, but it is used so widely that we accept that anomaly.
[2] THC 5087 was published more than 14 years ago, on 4th Jan 1995. For a change, today the community took to solving something from the archives.

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5 comments

Col_Gopinath said...

Numbers take charge in stress (7){TENS}{ION}

Account charge for a large number (7) {BILL}{ION}

How about 'Grinder charge for a large number (7)'

Shuchi said...

Both right, Colonel.

Hint for the 3rd clue: the definition is "poet".

Shuchi said...

How about 'Grinder charge for a large number (7)'

:)

We could extend this to the entire range of large numbers:
TRILLION = ringing charge
QUADRILLION = as bore, charge
...
DUODECILLION = chap with love in the heart and charge on the back, gets about sick

Making the full surface to be meaninful is a different ballgame, though. Sometimes starred (definition-less) clues are much easier to write!

maddy said...

Second one charged to leave person retired as poet (7)

{S}{PENS{-ION}ER}

Shuchi said...

Bingo, maddy! The SPENSER clue if you notice defines ION as "one charged", which I think is nicer than only "charge".