Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quiz: What's unXimenean About It?

Sponsored Links

spot-non-ximenean-elements As a follow-up to previous posts about Ximenes and Ximenean vs. Libertarian approaches to clueing, here is a little quiz for you.

A list of anagram clues, with their annotated solutions, is given below.

Each clue has some element that will make Ximeneans (i.e. crossword setters/enthusiasts who uphold the standards laid down by Ximenes)  frown.

Your task is to

  • Say what is unXimenean about the clue.
  • Say whether you like the clue or not.

Put your thinking caps on and have your say. Comments will be held unpublished till Friday 22nd Jan 2010, so that those who visit late also get a fair chance to try.

1. Guardian 24902 (Bronxie): One who thinks about fluid (5) MUSER
    Anagram of SERUM (fluid), with "about" as anagrind.

2. Independent 7215 (Radian): Derringer's exploits? (6) PISTOL 
    Anagram of PLOITS. PISTOL is ex-PLOITS.

3. Guardian 24070 (Rufus): Madly devouring without end, showing gusto (6) VIGOUR
     Anagram of (DEVOURING – END), with "madly" as anagrind.

4. Sunday Times 4356: Secured, however noted error (8) BUTTONED
    BUT (however) + (NOTED)*, with "error" as anagrind.

5. THC 9566 (Gridman): Engine parts from crate burst or fell apart (12) CARBURETTORS
   (CRATE BURST OR)*, with "fell apart" as anagrind.

6. THC 9546 (Neyartha): Half-witted doctor declines aid from the vocal bishop’s neighbour (7,5) TWELFTH NIGHT
    Anagram of (HALFWITTED – AID) with "doctor" as anagrind.
    NIGHT is a homophone of KNIGHT, which is bishop's neighbour in chess. 
   (Ignore the missing definition – this clue was part of a themed puzzle, in which answers were Shakespeare's plays. 
    That's not the error here. Thanks to Ramna for pointing this out.)

Bring on those comments!

Update: Answers to quiz: What's unXimenean About It?

Related Posts:

If you wish to keep track of further articles on Crossword Unclued, you can subscribe to it in a reader via RSS Feed. You can also subscribe by email and have articles delivered to your inbox, or follow me on twitter to get notified of new links.

7 comments

The MEANDERthal man said...

1)One who thinks about fluid (6) -Indirect anagram
2)Derringer's exploits? (6) - Exploits != ex ploits. Also ex is an anagram indicator? :O
3)Madly devouring without end, showing gusto (6) - The letters to be deleted should be in that order in the fodder.
4)Secured, however noted error (8) - error does not suggest noted has to be anagrammed
5) Engine parts from crate burst or fell apart (12) - I don't find much wrong with this clue
6) Half-witted doctor declines aid from the vocal bishop’s neighbour (7,5) - doctor does not suggest anagramming of half-witted. Doctor half-witted or half-witted doctored should have been used. Also there is no definition and I am not a fan of vocal bishop's neighbour = night either.

Ramna said...

Thanks to Shuchi I get to learn a lot more.

My comments on the 5 below

1. Guardian 24902 (Bronxie): One who thinks about fluid (6) MUSER
Anagram of SERUM (fluid), with "about" as anagrind.


This is atypical since fluid can be anything, first to get that SERUM is intended with no clues seems daunting. May be better if it were Blood fluid or something.

2. Independent 7215 (Radian): Derringer's exploits? (6) PISTOL
Anagram of PLOITS. PISTOL is ex-PLOITS.


Really can't get it, though can be got straight from Derringer may be.

3. Guardian 24070 (Rufus): Madly devouring without end, showing gusto (6) VIGOUR
Anagram of (DEVOURING – END), with "madly" as anagrind.

Very valid and clear clue. Similar to ones we get in THC. See no problems with this one. Definition is clear, Anagram indicator is clear, fodder is also very clean.

4. Sunday Times 4356: Secured, however noted error (8) BUTTONED
BUT (however) + (NOTED)*, with "error" as anagrind.

No comments on this one. But seems ok. Wouldn't have got it though.

5. THC 9566 (Gridman): Engine parts from crate burst or fell apart (12) CARBURETTORS
(CRATE BURST OR)*, with "fell apart" as anagrind.

Probably an example of how Anagrams should be clued. Easy surface reading, definition, fodder and indicator. Fell apart is a surely a clean anagram indicator according to me.

6. THC 9546 (Neyartha): Half-witted doctor declines aid from the vocal bishop’s neighbour (7,5) TWELFTH NIGHT
Anagram of (HALFWITTED – AID) with "doctor" as anagrind.
NIGHT is a homophone of KNIGHT, which is bishop's neighbour in chess.

This shows the difference between Gridman and Neyartha. Btw what you fail to include here is that, this puzzle was starred for Shakespear works. There is no definition here because it was starred.

maddy said...

Hi Shuchi,

A very belated, very happy new year. My takes -
1. One who thinks about fluid (6) MUSER - Two issues -
(i)Indirect anagram (Gets Ximenian's goat, not mine..)
(ii) 'About' by itself as anagrind doesnt work. This certainly gets my goat also :)

2. Derringer's exploits? - Liked the intent, not the execution. 'Exploits' is a single word and can't be inferred a ex-ploits. However, the use of 'ex' for an angrind is certainly innovative and food for thought for compilers...

3. Madly devouring without end, showing gusto (6) VIGOUR - The letters to be deleted should ideally be together in a word and not scattered, else each letter should have separate indicators. The argument that one should first jumble the letters and then remove the chaff like Devouring* = Vigourend = Vigour - end, doesn't work for me.

4.Secured, however noted error (8) BUTTONED - The only issue I can see is the nounal anagrind, not that major an offence in my book, Am sure many will disagree and must already be fuming and contemplating legal proceedings against me under IPC Section 107 ( abetment of crime)

5.Engine parts from crate burst or fell apart (12) CARBURETTORS - Though I didn't like the anagrind, don't thnk there is anything wrong.Is there? or is it just a googly?

6.Half-witted doctor declines aid from the vocal bishop’s neighbour (7,5) TWELFTH NIGHT
(i) See 3 above
(ii)See 4 above
(iii) Use of 'from' as a connector is misleading and something I certainly frown upon.
...Must say though, liked the second part of the clue a lot.

dram said...

1. Indirect anagram… criminal! Also I think ‘about’ should come before the fodder not after
2. Can’t have a word be part anagrind, part fodder. Should be one or the other
3. I don’t think this is as bad, clear anagrind and fodder with instruction to delete END. I would accept it. I guess you are saying that the letters END do not appear in that order in the fodder so you have to rearrange and then delete. I’m interested ot read what you say about this one.

4. ‘Error’ is a noun, and as such it does not indicate that something should be done to the letters in the fodder. ‘incorrectly’ would work, and does not deteriorate the surface much because it is pretty poor already.

5. I think the anagrind, where a verb, should not be in the past tense. I’d be in two minds about accepting this, might forgive it as it is a fairly straightforward clue and the surface needs the past tense.

6. The second cryptic ignores the word Twelfth. The clue also has the same problem as #3

I could live with #3 and perhaps #5, the rest are unnaceptable.

Thanks for an interesting selection of not-great clues

Chaturvasi said...

Just as I sat down to write my comments on the above clues I notice that the enumeration at the end of the first clue must have been reproduced here as 5 and not 6as mistyped.

Shuchi said...

Fixed. Thanks.

Vinod Raman said...

1. Guardian 24902 (Bronxie): One who thinks about fluid (5) MUSER
Anagram of SERUM (fluid), with "about" as anagrind.

"about" is just about acceptable as an anagrind, but only if it immediately succeeds the fodder and not precedes it

2. Independent 7215 (Radian): Derringer's exploits? (6) PISTOL
Anagram of PLOITS. PISTOL is ex-PLOITS.

There's more than one problem with this clue. "Ex" is totally unconvincing as an anagrind. And the fact that indicator and fodder are in the same word makes the clue even more obscure. Even if "ex" were a valid anagrind, usages like figurehead=F, pigtail=G are unXimenean

3. Guardian 24070 (Rufus): Madly devouring without end, showing gusto (6) VIGOUR
Anagram of (DEVOURING – END), with "madly" as anagrind.

To be Ximenean, subtraction clues require that the letters being snipped (END in this case) occur in the same order in the fodder (DEVOURING in this case)

4. Sunday Times 4356: Secured, however noted error (8) BUTTONED
BUT (however) + (NOTED)*, with "error" as anagrind.

As far as Ximenes was concerend, nounal anagrinds are a strict no-no, when occuring in the above form, i.e. "noted error=noted*" isn't ok, but "error in noted=noted*" is fine

5. THC 9566 (Gridman): Engine parts from crate burst or fell apart (12) CARBURETTORS
(CRATE BURST OR)*, with "fell apart" as anagrind.

The anagrind is acceptable and conforms to Ximenean norms. The slight niggle I have with the clue is "from". With "from", the surface makes lesser sense that it would when rephrased as - "Engine parts from crate burst or falling apart"

6. THC 9546 (Neyartha): Half-witted doctor declines aid from the vocal bishop’s neighbour (7,5) TWELFTH NIGHT
Anagram of (HALFWITTED – AID) with "doctor" as anagrind.
NIGHT is a homophone of KNIGHT, which is bishop's neighbour in chess.

Whoa! This would certainly have made Ximenes turn in his grave. In this case, it's not even a nounal anagrind. It's a verbal anagrind that occurs after the anagram-fodder! If "doctor" is intended as an imperative verb, i.e. as an advice to the solver, then it should precede the fodder. If it's to follow the fodder, it should be "doctored". The subtraction is Ximenean, since the letters are in order. "from" is inappropriate as a concatenation connector. Because of "from", it's unclear whether "aid" is to be removed from "the vocal bishop’s neighbour" or from "Half-witted doctor". "vocal bishop" only just manages to convey the homophone, but "the vocal" completely obscures even that. Yes, there are too many things going on in the clue - first the solver has to come up with "bishop's neighbour=knight", then get the homophone of "knight", then somehow magically ignore "from" (how would the solver know when to ignore/include it?)