Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Crossword in Bahasa Indonesia

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

Klasika Crossword

A closer look at the clues:

Klasika 244 Clues

Solving Sequence

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.

Klasika244 FOI

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.

Klasika244 English Answers, After First Pass

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:

Crossword Grid Sifat Tuhan

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.

Klasika244 16d SANKSI

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.

Bahasa Indonesia to English - SANKSI

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??:

Klasika244 12a HEKSA

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:

dilisankan: Google Translate

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??:

Klasika244 Top Row

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').

Klasika244 HAWA

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.]

Klasika244 SENEGAL

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'.

Klasika244 JIBILAH, AJAR

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'.

Klasika244 HORNS

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:

Klasika Crossword 244

The unsolved clues are:

ACROSS: 23a, 29a, 37a, 38a, 41a, 44a, 45a
DOWN: 3d, 7d, 29d, 31d, 33d, 38d, 39d

The clues:

Klasika 244 Clues

Selamat menikmati!

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Kishore said...

All Greek to me! But a piece of luggage (American)! Indah!

Shuchi said...

@Kishore: Answer 7d at least. It contains your favourite consonant cluster!

Kishore said...

I would have put Ideas in 8d, but the telltale Ingrisi is not there to support this. A profusion of Ks and Gs as usual.

Chaturvasi said...

Can you post a numbered solution grid with the available answers entered.

Kishore said...

apologies, I forgot to congratulate you for your linguistic abilities! Next, a cryptic in Klingon?

23a looks like EON, though there is no Ingrisi ...
38a is surely KLIEN

Chaturvasi said...

I have just noted that the image of the filled-in grid from the paper has the numbers in the cells.

Shuchi said...

@Kishore: Misspelling Inggris? Bah! For one.

A cryptic in Klingon sounds delicious!

You are right on poin with KLIEN. I think the same about 23a, though I cannot find confirmation that EON is a valid Indonesian word.

@CV Sir: I have now included a bigger numbered grid image too, that you can get on clicking the paper image. Hope that is more readable.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

Wow Shuchi! I think I need at least an year to try this :P

Kishore said...

Regarding 7d, the last letter N from 21a needs to be written in the partly solved grid. I can only think of Angsan for 7d, but cannot really see how it firs the clue, which for some strange reason I parsed as equal to levirate ....

Shuchi said...

7d: Google translates the clue to "Marriage with ex-wife's brother". I'm assuming the clue really means "Marriage with brother's ex-wife".

A likelier answer is one that menggunakan the same consonant cluster as Inggris and Semanggi.

Shuchi said...

@LV: Once you start, you'll find it isn't as hard as it seems...

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

Used Google translate to get this :D

Sekarang pengetahuan bahasa.

Kishore said...

For those who do not know e language and work with Google (like me), it becomes a bit of a hunt the slipper game

Kishore said...

@Shuchi, that is why I mentioned Levirate marriages, something the the Punjabi chadar ...

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

Is 37 a RIA ? (Joyful, happy )

Shuchi said...

@LV: Happy to see you on the right track.

Try 38d with KLIEN as crossing, for another example of Indonesian spelling.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

Is it KAKU ?

Venkatesh said...

44Ac cemerlang = brilliant = clever = PINTAR

பூங்கோதை said...

very well done Shuchi!
Khayalan-ilusi thingy was too cool!

But …but.. but, now my Friday is gone! And I blame you 
I got these.. but no further. I browsed too many Indonesian pages looking for 45A(it sounded easy!) , but no use .


Shuchi said...

@LV: பூங்கோதை got this one. KRAM (from 'cramp')!

@Venkatesh: Looks good, but there are other synonyms that fit the pattern. As is the bane of non-cryptic clues, we need '29d Gadis muda (6) ?U?T??' solved to confirm.

@பூங்கோதை: Very well done too!

I got 45a using this method: think of another word for RENNIN in English, then adjust its spelling to Indonesian style to match ??M???N.

Found a good link for Indonesian-Indonesian sinonims: Persamaan Kata.

Shuchi said...

Now unsolved:

ACROSS: 29a, 44a, 45a
DOWN: 3d, 29d, 33d, 39d

vasant said...

Extraordinary feat..Shuchi..
Shall try solving on Sunday & in my laptop..

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

Is KLIEN right answer Shuchi ?
@Poonghodhai wow :)
I tried the Inggris synonyms of the word cramp & using the translator I got this word Kanu :)

Shuchi said...

KLIEN is correct, LV.

Shuchi said...

Kishore found a blog that carries the full solution of this crossword! Thanks Pak.

Here it is: Klasika Crosswords #244 Solution.

Lakshmi Vaidyanathan (LV) said...

Wow Kishore,you are an expert :)Had the patience to find out the blog for the cw !