Thursday 29 January 2009

The Hindu Crossword 9442: Gridman

the-hindu-crossword Found much to enjoy in this crossword. There remains one more answer to fill in (27A), and another (7D) where the annotation needs explanation.

16A and 21A were my favourites, and I have tiny objections to 25A and  20D.

All the trademark Gridman effects are there in this puzzle - Indian references, cryptic definitions (occasionally bordering on straight), and well-crafted charades.


1 These relate to wrong handling of English (8) ABUSAGES [CD]
This was clearly a cryptic definition but one of the last I could get, only after the checking letters were in place.

6 Irish poetry without source (4) {-v}ERSE 
A clue with the same wordplay was in yesterday's Guardian 24608: The language of poetry needing no introduction (4)

9 Trench in the edges of guardhouse a barrier (6) G{RILL}E
This might have held me up if it wasn't for the 'edges of…' part. With G{..}E in place, GRILLE came easily.

10 Bitter about champion dismantling crib (7) ACE RBIC*
I wondered first why a champion would dismantle a baby's bed, but then recalled that 'crib' could as well be a barn. Or was this a reference to the card game? In any case, I liked this clue.

13 Adored nun going around without ornamentation (9) UNADORNED* 
A very obvious anagram, with a slightly forced surface reading. Since just a letter's transpose from {N}UNADOR{}ED gives {}UNADOR{N}ED, I might have liked this clue more if it had played on that.

14 Around to catch the Spanish one, a Shakespearean character (5) C{EL I}A
A regular container/charade, but I appreciate that the definition isn't 'girl' (a pet peeve of mine), but it qualifies her as 'a Shakespearean character'.

15 Despatched a small coin as told (4) SENT{~cent}
We had the same wordplay from Gridman a month ago, in THC 9412: Forwarded a foreign coin, reportedly (4)

16 Odd fellow with a big Indian bird (10) KOOK A BURRA
I like the trailing end of the clue. It took crossing letters to see that the definition is 'bird' and not 'Indian bird', and that the 'Indian' goes with 'big'.

19 Workers' associations may have this kind of rivalry (5-5) INTER UNION
All right but not great; straightforward definition.

21 Honorific for leaders of some Hindu ritualistic institutions (4) S H R I
A flawless acrostic.

24 Catch old boy, a rich man (5) NAB OB
Easy charade.

25 Dog animal tad on the loose (9) DALMATIAN*
Another anagram where the surface reading is shaky. Also grammatically incorrect? Shouldn't it be 'a tad on the loose'?

26 Football passes a serial unfolds (7) AERIALS*
Two full anagrams in a row. This, too, easy to spot.

27 Medical officer pleased Cockney with a drop (6) D?A?P?
The wordplay suggests DR {-h}APPY, sadly DRAPPY is no word. DRIPPY fits the definition better but that would mean revising 23D. I'll wait for other solvers to enlighten me on this one.

28 Touched gently, we hear, a coffin (4) KIST{~kissed}
The letter K in the first cell for a 4-letter word limits the answers, so I got KIST quite easily though I did not know the word. The dictionary confirms that KIST does mean coffin.

29 Honour to girl at department for being law-abiding (8) OBE DI ENT
The filler 'to' between 'honour' and 'girl' could have been dropped, I think.


2 At inn, obtain value for money (7) BAR GAIN
A neat charade with a nice simple definition.

3 Everybody in lodge is unhealthy (6) S{ALL}OW
Smart use of lodge to mean SOW. Everyone = ALL was a giveaway.

4 Beginner is envious and almost sexually aroused (9) GREEN HORN{-y}
I rubbed my eyes when I saw this – was I really seeing this clue in The Hindu and not the Private Eye crossword? The charade split the compound word into its actual base components (GREEN + HORN = GREENHORN), which made it undemanding for the solver.

5 At hearing remained grave (5) STAID{~stayed}
The third homophone in this puzzle, and my favourite one. 

7 Leader of railwaymen more clever holding soft tool (7) R AB{B}LER
I'm not sure how soft gives B.

8 Outcries change a Mexican's lot (12) EXCLAMATIONS*
Good anagram. The first one in this puzzle that I liked without reservations.

11 Card game for company in base messed up (6) ES{CO}BA*
Easy enough to guess, even if you don't know the name of the card game.

12 Sign of interrogation (8,4) QUESTION MARK
Straight definition again.

17 Enlightenment is king at present has sovereign advantage (9) K NOW L EDGE
The charade breakup is creative and is woven together well, but this needs a comma after 'present' to be grammatically correct.

18 Sailor in the course of a song in peninsula (6) AR{AB}IA
OK, nothing exciting about this.

20 Sat up holding poet's tunics (7) TA{BARD}S<-
Amusing surface reading. The  's of "poet's" is the possessive suffix on the surface, and IS in the cryptic reading.

22 It keeps a lock in place (7) HAIRPIN [CD]
Crossword mantra: When you see locks and waves, think HAIR.

23 Man in nearly big Indian city (6) MA{NAL}I{-n}
One of the last answers entered. It satisfies the wordplay but it's clashing with 27A so I'm having second thoughts. Regarding the clue itself, the 'nearly big' doesn't read very well.

25 Record Orissa's primary dance (5) DISC O
This clue took longer to solve than it should have. It set me thinking of Odissi. It was amusing to get DISCO after all. Nice one!

Update (30th Jan 09): DRAPPY is actually the answer for 27A. This must be a rare word; it is not recognized by

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Panchmal said...

First time I am seeing and using this 'comment' facility!

23 Dn is 'BAD AMI'. Nearly big Indian is BADA(-A)and I think AMI is french.There is no indicator for it to be MIA* or Mian (-e).
7 Dn is incorrect. Rabble is a tool not a Rabbler. Also it is only a hooked tool used in smelting and nothing soft about it. Rabbler can only mean a rabble rouser!

Chaturvasi said...

It is ADAM (man) in BI (nearly BIg)

Chaturvasi said...

'rabble' is both noun and verb.

The noun form 'rabbler' is derived from the verb 'rabble'.

The anno is R A(B)BLER.

B is soft; in indications onpencil.

'soft' is part of wordplay.

Only 'tool' is the def.

Shuchi said...

Hi Sridhar, Welcome to the comment space of Crossword Unclued!

BADAMI looks better with CVasi's explanation, though MANALI works fairly well too, as: Man = NAL, nearly big = MAI{-n}, Indian city = definition.

In either case - MANALI or BADAMI - the crossing letters remain the same and have me stuck with 27A!

7D: I had worked it out as CVasi says, except that I couldn't explain how B equalled 'soft'. The pencil association, ah yes. I've used so many Bs in my sketching classes.

Chaturvasi said...

Re your comment on 4dn.

Some thirty years ago Debonair, when Anil Dharker was the Editor, used to carry a thematically sexy crossword but the reader perhaps had his nose buried in the pinups.