In a taxi in Jakarta, I found an abandoned newspaper with a crossword in Bahasa Indonesia on it. This was the first time I saw a crossword in Indonesian and I was pretty excited. The driver let me carry the newspaper home and I decided to try solving it.
Over the course of the last few months, living in Indonesia, I have picked up a bit of the language. Bahasa Indonesia is written in the Roman script; a big chunk of its vocabulary shares etymology with English/Hindi. I now understand enough to recognize patterns and parts of speech, and to attempt basic conversations (sometimes wih awry results, as when I requested housekeeping to 'wash away my room after I went') - not enough to solve crosswords.
But with online tools by my side, I thought I could take a stab at it.
During a conversation at IXL 2015, I had learnt something amazing: some of the world's best Scrabble players do not speak the language they play in, their expertise comes from grasp over the dictionary and the techniques of the game. I also remembered Hindi crossword contests on CU – most of those who finish the crosswords do so mainly because of their ability to solve crosswords; by their own admission, they aren't fluent in Hindi.
These two reminders were inspiration enough. I set to solving.
Here is the grid and the clues, and then my solving sequence. 36 of the 50 clues have been solved – I invite you to pitch in and complete the grid.
Klasika Crosswords #244: Grid and Clues
A closer look at the clues:
The length and structure of the clues suggest that this is a non-cryptic crossword.
A few of the clues are tagged (Inggris). Assuming these lead to translations in English, I tackle them first.
My FOI is 2a: SICK - a direct translation of Sakit.
8a Adalah (2) - a word I know well, it appears before nouns in Bahasa Indonesia to stand for 'is' (e.g. anda adalah gajah = you are an elephant). In goes IS.
11a, 14a, 27a, 28a, 6d, 42d – simple translations - GAG, ALL, RUN, ELSE ANGLE, OAR.
Of the Inggris-tagged clues, I don't answer 32d Tanduk (5), 35a Badan duniya (3) or 30a Kumpulan (9) in the first pass. 'Tanduk' = horn/antlers – neither fits the answer length. For 'kumpulan' = set/assembly, and 'badan duniya' = world organization, I need more checkers to zero in on the solution.
I move on to the non-English answers.
The capitalized word in 25a Tanda kendaraan Pontiakan (2) suggests a proper noun. The clue translates to 'Signs vehicle Pontianak'. Pontianak is a city in West Kalimantan, its vehicle registration sign is KB. I put that in.
21a Atas Nama (2) must be a standard abbreviation for 'Atas Nama'. What could it be? This page tells me it is a.n.
The top-right corner of the grid now looks like this:
15a Sifat Tuhan (3) E??: The clue means 'Nature of God'; taking the checkers into account, letter patterns in Indonesian suggest that the second letter should be consonant, the third a vowel. ESA seemed like a likely answer, but I can find no clear justification for it online - Google translates ESA to one/single.
I try to validate ESA with the crossings.
If ESA is right then 16d Tindakan sebagai hukuman (6) is SA?KS?. The clue means 'Action as punishment'. The answer must be a type rather than a synonym of the definition.
Can it be SANKSI? Having talked plenty about the implementasi of an aplikasi of late, I am fairly confident about this deduksi. Google Translate returns a confirmasi.
My next attempt is the highly specific-looking 1d: Nama belakang Presiden ke-15 AS, menjabat dari 4 Maret 1857 hingga 3 Maret 1861 (8). Indeed, the clue is asking for the last name of the 15th US President who served from 4 March 1857 to 3 March 1861. Online search immediately points to BUCHANAN.
40a Memperingati ulang tahunnya setiap 5 Oktober (3) - another GK clue. It wants to know whose anniversary Indonesia commemorates every 5 October. It is the TNI.
5d translates to Football Association, Ambon- a lookup of Indonesian football clubs for Ambon/?S? gets me PSA.
24a Lambang kilia Natrium (2) – Symbol of sodium = Na.
36d Gugusan bintang yang bercahaya sangat terang (5) ??I?? wants 'a cluster of stars that shine bright'. ORION? I check that the word in Indonesian is the same.
On to 12a Bentuk terikat enam (5) H?K??:
Enam = six. The translation of 'Bentuk terikat enam' to 'Unbound form six' doesn't convey much but the checkers suggest HEKSA [from 'hexa'. In Indonesia, 'x' is spelled as 'ks'. Yes, I found this crossword in a taksi.]
43a Poros (2) – means 'axis' in English. Synonym AS in Indonesian.
17a Sebuah Ormas Islam (2) N? suggests NU.
18d Bagian kalimat yang dilisankan (6). I ask a friend what 'dilisankan' means, as Google does not have a translation for it:
I learn that 'dilisankan' means 'spoken'. With U?AR?? in the grid, what fits the definition 'part sentence spoken'? Could it be a derivative of the Hindi 'uchchaaran'? I try spelling 'uchchaaran' as its plausible Indonesian equivalent UJARAN [double letters condensed, chch = j], and find that it does mean 'speech'.
Next stop at 1a Matahari (6) B?S???? And 5a Angon (6) P??A??:
The clues mean 'sun' and 'air'. Can the answers be BASKARA (from the Hindi word 'bhaskara' meaning 'sun') and PAWANA (from the Hindi word 'pavan' meaning 'air')? [In Indonesian, भ/bh = b, व = w, ऊ/oo = u. For example, bhoomi = bumi, vijay = wijaya.]
I write in 1a BASKARA and 5a PAWANA.
8d Khayalan (5) is a fine example of the confluence of language influences in Indonesian. 'Khayalan' comes from 'khayal' – 'thought' in Hindi/Urdu, often an abstract one. The answer is its synonym ILUSI, which shares its root with the English 'illusion'.
35a Badan duniya (3) ?NO is clearly UNO.
I know from reading TV subtitles that 4d Bermakna ganda (6) i.e. 'not meaningful' can be AMBIGU (from 'ambiguous').
10a Zat yang diperlukan tumbuhan atau hewan untuk pertembuhan (4) ?A??. The clue translates to 'substances necessary for the growth of plants or animals'. Since the first letter of ?A?? must end the word ??B?LA? and its last letter must be the second last of ???U?I???, only a small subset of letters can fit 10a to form plausible checkers. I guess it is HAWA (Hindi has the same word for 'air').
26d Racun tikus (8) BE?????? – thanks to this prime time news story, I do not need the translator for racun = poison. Tikus = rat, so I run through possible rat poison names. I find that arsenic = BERANGAN.
13d Alat untuk mengamankan arus listrik (7) S????N?. means 'Tools for securing electrical current'. I translate 'fuse' and get SEKRING. That fits.
19a Paguyuban (9) K??U?I?A?, which means 'circle of friends', is now looking like KOMUNITAS. [In Indonesian, when 'c' is pronounced as 'k', it is spelled with a 'k'; when pronounced as 's', it is spelled with an 's'. We conduct diskusi, separate words with spasi, laugh at komedi. Also, English words that end in –ity usually end in –itas in Indonesian. Such is the language's singularitas.]
KOMUNITAS also clinches the answer to Negara di Afrika (8) which, so far, had other possibilities like ALGERIA, KAMERUN, LIBERIA. I put in SENEGAL.
With SENEGAL in the grid, one can safely infer that 30a Kumpulan (Inggris) (9) G???????G is GATHERING.
From this point onwards, Google Translate begins to fail me...
I cannot find a suitable answer to 9a Sifat bawaan; tabiat (7) ??B?LAH, via Google Translate for 'trait' or 'character'.
Kamus Lengkap Indonesia-Inggris gives me a breakthrough: the word is JIBILAH.
The next hurdle 22a Pentunjuk kepada orang untuk diketahui (4) AJ?R is a bigger one despite the crossings – the translation makes no sense:
I ask a friend again. "Is the answer PEMBERITAHUAN?", the friend asks in return. It has to fit AJ?R, I say. AJAR is the answer - that means 'teaching'. So much for 'Instructions to the person to be known'.
I had earlier passed HORN for 32d Tanduk (5) due to the length mismatch. Now the grid fill is H???S. The plural HORNS might work.
Here I take a pause.
Complete The Grid: Over To You!
36 of the 50 clues have been solved. Can you solve the rest?
The partly-filled grid looks like this:
The unsolved clues are:
ACROSS: 23a, 29a, 37a, 38a, 41a, 44a, 45a
DOWN: 3d, 7d, 29d, 31d, 33d, 38d, 39d
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