Thursday, October 29, 2009

French Isn’t Always The Language

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France, cryptically In the earlier post about French words in crosswords, we saw many clues in which the presence of words like "France", "Paris" indicated a French translation of the adjacent word.

This is likely, but not always true. Some examples follow where these words are not language indicators.

In the next clue, the word "French" is used in the wordplay to name a French resort, and does not indicate a language switch.
NIE 08-Aug-09: Announcement to put up in a French resort (6) N{OT<-}ICE

In the next, it simply leads to its standard abbreviation FR.
FT 13205 (Crux): Phoney French car I got rid of (5) FR AUD{-i}

Sometimes, it is part of the definition and shows that the answer has a French connection.
THC 8595 (Gridman): French astrologer astounds Ram terribly (11) NOSTRADAMUS*

Or it could be something else altogether. Like in the next clue (what's the answer?):
NIE 01-Apr-09: It may show interest in Paris and London, for example (7)

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Ganesh T S said...


Chaturvasi said...

Or, it may not be in the clue at all!
Two foreign nationals together might give a gleam (6,6)

Shuchi said...

He He. Thank you, Ganesh.

Chaturvasi said...

THC clue that you cite is by Gridman when the puzzles were not being attributed.
This can be determined if one is familiar with the grids that he uses to this day.

Kryptonologist said...

My first thought on that last one was CAPITALS, but it didn't fit the enumeration. Had I paid more attention to the first part, I'd've realized the clue was written incorrectly. It should be:

It may show interest in Paris or London, for example (7)

Chaturvasi said...

While agreeing with Kryptonologist's revised version of the last clue, I am not sure if the solution depends so much on the second part of the clue.
I believe that it depends on the first part.
"It may show interest" clearly expects the answer to be singular.
My own doubt is if 'capital' just shows interest or yields it.

Kryptonologist said...

"It may show interest" is fine with me. It does assume a bit of artist license and is somewhat vague, but in cryptics this is allowed precisely because there is a second way to get to the answer. In this one, both definitions are a little vague in fact, so finding the right answer depends on both halves of the clue supporting each other and, in the case of a double definition, on both agreeing grammatically with the answer.

Shuchi said...

I've updated the post to mention Gridman with the THC clue, thanks CVasi.

About the CAPITAL clue, I agree with Kryponologist that "and" is a flaw. No quarrel with "It may show interest". Despite the nitpick, I like that clue!

Vasana said...

The party is usually over by the team the part of the world I reside wakes up. Nevertheless, a great post. Capital indeed ;)

Shuchi said...

Hi Vasana,

Thank you. You could still have a go at the three open clues at the end of this post - French Words In Crosswords.

I should sometimes publish when my readers from US get to write the first comments :) 10am PST next time, what say?

Vasana said...

NIE 9814: Joins up with the French company first (7) COUPLES
FT 13179 (Bradman): Lodge with French art found in the course of journey (6) DEPART Not sure...
Times 24365: Parisian who enters state positively trembling (7) QUIVERS??

Also, ignore my flippant comment (along with the typo). Merci for offering to change your posting time, but you do not have to!

Shuchi said...

Hi Vasana,

Good tries! COUPLES is correct, and QUIVERS is almost there. Hints...

Lodge with French art found in the course of journey (6)
Hint: Think of "art" as in "thou art". "Lodge" is the definition.

Times 24365: Parisian who enters state positively trembling (7)
Hint: Read "state positively" together.

Vasana said...

RESIDE and AQUIVER :) Thanks for the hints!

Chaturvasi said...

Following on AQUIVER...

In a book review that I sent to a well-known newspaper, my first sentence was: "Times are achanging." But it saw the light of day as "Times are changing".

Ask the sub why he changed it and he might say, "Space is limited".

He may not be aware of the subtleties in the use of the language.

Jotter said...

Very informative, thanks. As of last month, I didn't even know there were such things as crossword I am amazed at the depth of knowledge that is out there.

Also, at the risk of self-promoting, I used many of the tips found in your blog to compile a crossword myself using a standard THC grid. If you or any readers have some time, I would love to hear how I fared *trying* to be cryptic...

Shuchi said...

Hello Jotter,

Thanks, and congrats for compiling a full grid! I'll surely have a look.

You might want to read two articles written by one of my favourite compilers Anax who sets for Times/Indy. These have lots of good tips for aspiring setters:
Actually Setting
A start-to-finish story of setting a cryptic crossword puzzle

And CVasi's article about creating your own grid, here: Make your own crossword grid