Comments on THC 9579


1 Part of the paper carrying adverts from individuals may, however, pall on consumer (8,6) PERSONAL COLUMN*

***Anag. The def is precise, if lengthy. I have no prob. with the anag. Signal ‘however’. The anag. fodder ‘pall on consumer’ is apposite and gels so well in the surface reading.

8 Good man in demand built a cosy home (6)- NE{ST}ED

***C/c. I feel that ‘demand’ somehow doesn’t go well with the surface reading. Perhaps NEED could have been given gratis, when the surface reading would be perfect.

9 Ancient Italian who subdued centaurs (8) ETRUSCAN*

***Anag. Neat. Acceptable AInd. A neat one-word anag fodder.

11 Burmese Inland Revenue, challenged, will pay back costs incurred (9) REIMBURSE*

***Anag. with an abbr. component. Meaningful surface reading. Again, an acceptable AInd. Some solvers might argue that anag signals must indicate some kind of agitation, shake-up, etc, but I am not among them.

12 Manifold evil revealed in a pithy dramatic work (5) HYDRA

***Hidden. Nice def. Some may say that there’s a word hanging in the hidden fodder but where it improves surface reading I don’t mind it at all. However, here ‘drama’ itself might have been enough.

13 Wild horse in frenzied state, a no-good (7) MUSTANG

***Charade. Must, a N G. The comma is there because the verb is omitted. Clue reads like a newspaper headline.
Surface reading is meaningful.

15 Proteins like pepsin, renin etc (7) ENZYMES


17 Send a rogue to the gallows with this kind of downcast look (7) HANGDOG

***Charade. But this is derived from the phrase “Send a rogue to the gallows” as a whole. As ‘hangdog’ is elliptical from the phrase ‘hangdog look’, the clue has “this kind of”.

19 Gas consumed a newborn child (7) NEONATE

***Charade. Grim event but neat wordplay.

21 Wads of currency needed for a posh car (5) ROLLS

***DD. True statement as well.

23 Sailors swindle the German escaper (9) ABSCONDER

***Charade. Neat, with not a word wasted.

25 Former journalist, accepting fee, is praised (8) EXTOLLED

***C/c. Plausible surface reading.

26 Cheap decoration from cans, Spanish article (6) TINSEL

***Charade. Here the last component is not handled well.

27 What a fiancée may get — a “busy” tone on phone? (10,4) – ENGAGEMENT RING

***DD. DDs are usually pithy but I also like this sort of dual statements.


1 The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog (7) PANGRAM

***Clue by example. I would expect the clue to say this is an instance of what it is.

2 Indian sage of Irish extraction (5) RISHI

***Anag. Neat with good AInd.

3 Where to go if too enthusiastic? Into the water! (9) OVERBOARD

***Interpretative. Raises a smile.

4 Precious stone that makes a gossip audibly suspire (4,3) CAT’S EYE

***Homophone. We have to read the whole phrase “that makes a gossip audibly suspire” to get the ans. What a beautiful word in ‘suspire’. Susurrating!

5 Sound happy (5) – LAUGH

***CD. Pithy!

Evergreen material for road-making I begin applying (9) MACADAMIA

***Charade. Neat surface reading.

7 Odd coins, about 50, in recorded history (6) ANNALS

***C/c. Typo here. ‘Odd’ should have been ‘old’. Should the def have been ‘historical records’ to make it clear that the word req’d is plural. For the def now can give just ‘annal’.

10 Daughter with a worn garment, what a transvestite may wear (4) DRAG

***Charade. An unusual meaning of a known word.

14 Solitary person who made just one century (9) SINGLETON

***Charade. But you have to read the whole phrase “person who made just one century” to get it.

16 He studies animals in Kalamazoo logistically (9) ZOOLOGIST

***Hidden. K. is a place in Michigan (a good discovery) but I feel the word containing the latter part of the word req’d does not go well in the surface reading.

17 Hothead, sporting a gun, caused injury (6) HARMED

***Charade. Perfect English.

18 Good boy, I say, gets an amorous look (4,3) GLAD EYE

***Neat charade with a homophone.

19 Frontal feature, very big in one direction (4) NOSE

***C/c. Good def. I do come across such a thing in someone who is a stranger but whom I come across at an event to which I go from time to time.

20 Individual sound filter (7) EARPLUG

*** Straightforward. Why ‘individual’? Because it is singular whereas the device goes always in a pair.

22 Student in comfortable seat can sing to musical syllables (3-2) SOL-FA

***C/c. Invokes a pleasant image.

24 Old statesman with novel ideas (5)

***Anag. Neat surface reading, ‘old’ and ‘novel’ in contrast with each other.

3 Responses to Comments on THC 9579

  1. Shuchi says:

    Thanks for writing this, CVasi Sir. A very pleasing, technically sound puzzle.

    The first clue of a puzzle sets its ‘mood’ for me, so to speak, and I thought 1A was great. 17A is another good example of lengthy but carefully crafted clue.

    I am not so comfortable about 19A’s surface. I think that sorrowful imagery is best kept away from crosswords. There was a clue in the Guardian last month, for which the answer was TERMINAL CANCER. I was quite put off with that clue, too. This may be just my personal taste but there it is…

    27A is very nice. As Gaufrid would say, more a d&cd than a dd.

    1D I don’t mind the unindicated def by example so much as the obviousness of the pangram 🙂 Font displays, school textbooks use this. I would have preferred something lesser known – Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs?

    It’s funny how our own inclinations lead us to associate meanings with words. NESTED and SINGLETON are words used frequently in programming. To see NESTED defined as “built a cosy home” is a refreshing change!

  2. Shuchi says:

    7 Odd coins, about 50, in recorded history (6) ANNALS
    Should the def have been ‘historical records’ to make it clear that the word req’d is plural. For the def now can give just ‘annal’.

    I think the def is fine. “history” on its own is an aggregate of a plural (past events). “the annals of war” = “the recorded history of war”. Is the word ANNAL even used in the singular?

    10 Daughter with a worn garment, what a transvestite may wear (4) DRAG
    ***Charade. An unusual meaning of a known word.

    I am surprised to learn that this meaning is thought unusual, even the Col. mentions it. I guess reading tabloids has had the +ve effect of adding unusual words to my vocab 🙂

  3. Bill Butler says:

    Hi Rishi,

    2D: An Indian sage of Irish extraction … RISHI

    I just may have to steal that for one of my Irish crosswords :o)


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