Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Clue challenge: Annotate these answers VI

annotate-cluesNew edition of clue challenge: a set of eight cryptic clues with tricky parsing is given below. The answers are provided. Can you work out how the clue leads to the answer? Post the annotated answers in the comments section.

Update (1st November 2012): Annotations added.

1. FT 14029 (Loroso): Self-interest soon overcome by effect of growing up (8) EGOMANIA
Annotation:IN A MO (soon) in AGE (effect of growing), all reversed i.e. up; definition: self-interest.

2. Times 25243: I felt that leaving guy was deflating (4) FELL
Annotation:OW (I felt that – exclamation of pain!) deleted from i.e. leaving FELLOW (guy); definition: was deflating. See Invisible Interjections for more examples of wordplay with disguised exclamation.'Fell' = 'was deflating' in the sense of subsiding/dropping in height e.g. a soufflĂ© falls/deflates after being taken out of the oven.

3. Sunday Times 4506 (Dean Mayer): Small amount of liquid I spit (5) CLONE
Annotation:CL (small amount of liquid – centilitre) ONE (I); definition: spit. 'Spit' = 'spitting image' or 'clone', as in the phrase 'the very spit of'.

4. Independent 8113 (Quixote): It’s a popular one with cruciverbalists! (5) DRINK
Annotation:Cryptic definition – 'it' is Italian Vermouth, a cryptic abbreviation popularly used in crosswords. 

5. FT 14142 (Alberich): Without coat, appear to be cold in store (4) HIVE
Annotation:SHIVER (appear to be cold) without coat i.e. without the letters on its edges; definition: store.

6. Guardian 25770 (Paul): Animal ending in both two corners? (8) HEDGEHOG
Annotation:[bot]H + EDGE (corner 1: the meeting of two lines) HOG (corner 2: to gain control of) ; definition: animal.

7. Times 25263: Upset, much the worse for wear, one’s out for the count (4) GRAF
Annotation:Reversal of FAR GONE (much the worse for wear) - ONE; definition: count (in Germany).

8. Times 25299: A note put out describing perhaps his scheme as crazy (2,7,6) ON ANOTHER PLANET
Annotation:(A NOTE)* around NOT HER PLAN (perhaps his scheme); definition: crazy.

Visit our past clue annotation challenges: I, II, III, IV and V.

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.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Hindu Crossword 1001 [October 19, 1974]

I hope you enjoyed battling with The Hindu Crossword 1000 set by Admiral Katari, the first crossword compiler of The Hindu. Admiral Katari's family has kindly shared two of his crosswords with us, here is the second of the lot – The Hindu Crossword 1001. This crossword was originally published in The Hindu on the same date as today, exactly 38 years ago.

Interactive Across Lite version created by Chaturvasi, available here: THC 1001 Interactive.

Have fun solving. I found this slightly easier than the previous crossword. Perhaps solving one built some familiarity with the setter's style? What do you think?

[click to enlarge]

The same rules apply: enter your answers with annotations in the comments section. Max 3 answers per person.

I'll update this post with the solutions on October 22, 2012 (Monday).

Update [October 22, 2012]:

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.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Hindu Crossword 1000 [October 17, 1974]

As promised in my post on Admiral Katari, here is The Hindu Crossword no. 1000 set by him. This puzzle was originally published in The Hindu on October 17, 1974. Enjoy solving.

Interactive Across Lite version created by Chaturvasi, available here: THC 1000 Interactive.

Instructions: Post answers with annotations in the comments section. Max 3 answers per person.

I'll update this post with the solution grid, handwritten by Admiral Katari, on October 15, 2012 (Monday).

[click to enlarge]

Update [October 15, 2012]:

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.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Remembering Admiral Katari, the first crossword setter of The Hindu

Plenty is written and said in the media about Admiral Ram Dass Katari's legacy as the first Indian Navy Chief. Very little is said about his legacy as the first Indian cryptic crossword setter.

On Admiral Katari's 101st birth anniversary, I dedicate this post to him for his invaluable contribution to the world of cryptic crosswords in India.

Here are some rare photographs and facts about Admiral Ram Dass Katari (1911–1983) the cruciverbalist.

[Many thanks to Admiral Katari's family Ravi Katari, Ramu & Lalita Ramdas, Tehzeeb, and friend Cmde (Rtd) Ranjit Rai for their inputs.]

1 In 1971, the then Hindu editor Gopalan Kasturi who knew Admiral Katari and his skill with crosswords suggested that he set the crossword for the paper. Admiral Katari agreed, and then discovered that setting a crossword was not as easy as it seemed. He bought some books of blanks and spent a long time practising grid creation and filling. He made his own grids by hand and was very particular that the same words and similar clues did not repeat themselves.

The Hindu Crossword grids by Admiral Katari 
Handmade grids by Admiral Katari on the left, print versions of crosswords on the right.

Print and handwritten versions of The Hindu Crossword no. 1000 
Print and handwritten versions of The Hindu Crossword no. 1000. The family recalls that Admiral Katari was inordinately tickled with this - he told them that he had managed to get hold of this crossword from the then Chief of Bureau for the Hindu, Shri GK Reddy, while on one of his visits to Delhi from Hyderabad.

2 Admiral Katari set The Hindu Crossword single-handedly and anonymously for several years after its inception. [The Hindu began to carry setters' by-lines only in 2008.] In a time when informal channels of communication were next to non-existent, very few solvers were aware of the real identity of the paper's crossword setter.

3 Since he was the only crossword setter at the time, when going away on leave for longish spells he would work fervently in the weeks before to leave a stock of puzzles with the paper and some reserve.

4 As the family rummaged through trunks and cupboards containing Admiral Katari's possessions, they discovered a battered cardboard box containing fourteen bundles of paper tied with string - each bundle containing 100 crosswords similar to the one in the picture above. This adds up to 1400 crosswords compiled and written by hand.

Admiral Katari's crossword bundle 
Discovered in a battered cardboard box: crossword bundle tied with string.

5 As a solver, his crossword of choice was the Times of India crossword, a UK-syndicated cryptic in those days. Records of his solving time are not available but his family recollects seeing the completed crossword on his desk at home in Delhi frequently.

6 An expert Scrabble player, he was clever with fitting words into connecting spots and had a huge vocabulary to draw from. When his children played against him as a twosome, a score less than 700 was hopeless.

7 Admiral Katari only used lead pencils for solving crosswords, and got very angry if anyone used a pen. He hated to see a newspaper folded over down to the crossword size!

8 When he realised in the late 1970s that he was not going to be able to continue setting crosswords, he trained a successor in Commodore Warner, also from Hyderabad, who picked up his setting style as well as his standards. Commodore Warner set the crosswords for Hindu for about three years, and in turn trained his successor in Hyderabad.

9 Crossword memorabilia, including The Hindu Crosswords 1000 and 1001, are on display at Katari Memorial Hall, A/21, Sainikpuri near Secunderabad. Some pictures from the site:

Katari Heritage Hall 
Name board at the entrance to the Katari Heritage Hall, which was inaugurated a year ago on 8th Oct 2011.

Katari Heritage Hall 
Admiral Katari's daughter Mrs. Lalita Ramdas with her son-in-law Carl Jenkins Jr. at the Katari Heritage Hall.

Admiral Katari in Burma
Admiral in Burma: closer look at the framed photo in the image above.

Crossword memorabilia on display at Katari Heritage Hall
Crossword memorabilia on display at the Katari Heritage Hall. The label reads:
The Second Retirement: 1969-83 Gold And Bridge; Crosswords For The Hindu; Mazagon Dock And Sundry Boards; Lions Club, Rotary, Sports Bodies, And Social Work

10 This anecdote isn't exactly about crosswords but I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Cmde (Rtd) Ranjit Rai, who was a cadet when Admiral Katari was the Navy Chief, recounts this incident:

Admiral Katari came to INS TIR and on inspection in his anglicised accent asked Cadet Gill, a thait Sardar, "Do you sail?"

Gill replied, "Sir, sometimes"

Gill did not sail so we said, "Why did you lie to the Chief?"

Gill said, "I thought he asked me if I shave. He is smart; he saw I trim my beard."

In closing, a closer shot of The Hindu Crossword 1000 and 1001.

The Hindu Crossword 1000 and 1001 

Coming up next: crossword set by Admiral Katari, for you to solve.

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.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Peter is safe

Peter-Safe In crosswordland, the most famous Peter is probably Biddlecombe. The second most famous must be 'safe'.

Peter is slang for 'safe', as in money box. The origin of the word is unclear. Some sources say it comes from the same root as the Biblical St Peter – the Greek word for rock Petra, since safes are supposed to rock solid. Others say it comes from the Cockney rhyming slang Peter Pan = can, where 'can' could mean 'safe' or 'prison cell' - both safes and prison cells are enclosed spaces and need to be hard to break into/out of. 

Here is an extended discussion on the derivation of the word.

Whatever the etymology, cryptic crossword setters have taken to the 'safe' meaning of Peter extremely well.

Independent 8025 (Dac): Plate wife kept in safe (6) PEWTER
W (wife) in PETER (safe)

Using the false capitalization trick, 'Peter' can pass off as a proper noun on the clue's surface and transform to SAFE in the wordplay.

Times 24553: Peter gets into position for a bit, being cautious (2,3,4,4) ON THE SAFE SIDE
SAFE (peter) in ON THE SIDE (position for a bit)

Solve These

Guardian 25657 (Araucaria): Safe merchants with theatrical personality (5,7)

Times 24767: Play safe with hammer (5,3)

FT 13327 (Mudd): A force kept within safe limit (9)

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.