Friday, August 3, 2012

V and W in homophone clues

V-W-homophones In The Hindu Crossword, it is not unusual to come across homophone clues that equate V with W.

THC 10238 (Sankalak): Prisoner reportedly put on the scale and transported (8) CON VEYED ~weighed

THC 10262 (Buzzer): Escape route pronouncedly left intact (4-4) VENT HOLE ~went whole

THC 10403 (Arden): Effort to put up the painting gets an audible cry (7) TRAVAIL (TRA)< ~wail

Very few Hindu crossword solvers object to it online. The defence is that V and W sound similar enough to be acceptable in cryptic crosswords.

I'm interested to hear your opinion. Do you think the three clues above qualify as accurate homophones?

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7 comments

Kishore said...

Wery vell vritten ...

I rest my case.

raju umamaheswar said...

Why not? Homophones are just that! Similar sounding words. Those clues quoted by you are valid homophones alright.

Cryptic crosswords have the licence to lead and mislead. I have learnt this after seeing the Hindu Indianised crosswords. We are not conducting any class for the solvers in English Grammar and phonetics.

All and any grist to the cryptic mill is welcome.

Krishna said...

These examples look OK to me. Is there a catch?

justinwestcork said...

I've never come across this. It must have something to do with Indian accents. I don't think it would be accepted here in Ireland, or in the UK, where the pronunciation of V and W are very different (unless you're impersonating a comedy German). Homophone clues are always the subject of controversy since we don't all speak English the same way. Even in the UK there is a huge difference depending on what part of the country you come from. For this reason I always prefer it when the homophone indicator is something like 'as some might say'.

Shuchi said...

@Kishore: :-) Didn't we have a discussion on this on THCC once? I sort of remember there was just me and Shyam saying V <> W.

@raju: Do you mean it is OK for crossword clues to ignore grammar and homophone clues to ignore phonetics?

@Krishna: Yes! Have a look at this video: V sound...not W.

@justinwestcork: Thanks, I thought as much. Indian languages like Hindi have the same sound for V and W, so even if we see the difference between the two in English, it seems minor to us.

raju umamaheswar said...

Yes, Shuchi. We are dealing with homophones and a compiler need not throw any indirect hints as what Justinwestcork has suggested. The solver will find the way to figure it out.

We did discuss this in the THCC blog where we dwelt on V entailing the lower lip touching the upper teeth and W to be a full mouthed double U.

NJ had made us us to find every which way to solve a cryptic crossword and of late, it is Buzzer and Scintillator !!

Shuchi said...

@raju: "NJ had made us us to find every which way to solve a cryptic crossword and of late, it is Buzzer and Scintillator !!"

You are joking, right?