Sunday 20 December 2009

Special Grid in The Hindu Crossword 9719

The completed grid of today's The Hindu Crossword 9719 (Gridman) looks like this -


Notice something special?

It's a pangram!

A pangram in cryptic crosswords is a grid that uses each letter of the alphabet at least once. More about pangrams here.

First time ever?

I haven't come across a pangrammatic grid in the Hindu crossword before, but that may be because I haven't looked hard enough. Can other solvers confirm?

Grid Analysis

Pangrammatic grids tend to have more obscure words than usual, since the setter has an additional restriction to take care of when assigning answers to the lights.

I must compliment Gridman for creating a pangram - including "difficult" letters like X and Y not once but multiple times - without resorting to esoteric vocabulary. There's a setter with consummate command over grid fills.

THC 9719 contains 156 letters, spanning the alphabet as below:


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Panchmal said...

I solved the grid but did not notice anything unusual!! It takes Suchi to point-out. Did you not show us how to count the alphabets in a crossword sometime back? Not that I will ever do it. Not that serious about crosswords!

Chaturvasi said...

I have been solving THC since No. 1 but I am afraid I cannot be certain that this is the first pangrammatic grid in the feature. The reason is simple - I was not looking for it in the past.

It could be - or not!

There is no accompanying note that all the letters of the alphabet have been used at least once (as in a certain puzzle in a certain Indian newspaper, without the grid not being equal to the declaration) but, as you have shrewdly observed, this HC is indeed a pangram.

Note to solvers generally: UK crosswords are often pangrams (with a particular setter producing it repeatedly) and bloggers often say that if you see certain letters - J, Q, X, Z - you might suspect a pangram and from then on it's a question of checking the grid for the presence at least once of all the 26 letters.