lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Double Dutch

Double trouble, or twice the delight? That is the question.

If it is Friday it is usually Brendan. This Friday was no different. Brendan's proving to be as much fun as Araucaria, and that is to say a lot, Dear Reader. Take a gander at this. He compiled a crossword where each across solution is a repeat of letters.

I always start with one across and work my way through. One across was: Officer with American company joining us for African food (8)

I giggled. But when I read the next across clue, I realised that there was a pattern. I took a minute to scroll through the clues. Yes, all the across clues seemed to be repetitions of a few letters. Oh joy! Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Cheat that I am, I changed my modus operandi and tackled the down clues.

1 down: Opening with key, he can wrongfully enter (6) Marvellous, yeah. Priceless, actually.

2 down: Kind of language used by cultural icon (6) Hmm. I have to think.

3 down: American author in family group on Cyprus (6) I got that, even though I don't read him.

4 down: Dead - unlike Pluto, for example (10) Nice take, bud.

6 down: Short dress a friend put on in sheikdom (3,5) I laugh out loud at this, it's been done before.

7 down: One police force intervening in domestic crime (8) Been there, done that. But a nice divvying up, I grant.

8 down: Bias isn't commonly seen in cosmetic treatment (3,5) Good one, this. Brilliant, in fact.

13 down: Formerly altered three, zero and four, say (10) Now, Missus Em is in love, totally.

15 down: Isn't switching partners in court natural behaviour? (8) Oh, yes. It is, it is.

16 down: Frightens girl in love with boy (8) Same difference, I say and smile.

17 down: Are a set of rules needed when calling elsewhere? (4,4) Obvious, and Missus Em is grateful for small things.

19 down: "Arrest that woman". Said the emperor (6) Heh! Yes sir, right away sir, say I, as I fill in the solution.

20 down: Melancholy detective without love (6) Another Old Faithful.

21 down: Cable 5 attached to Queen Elizabeth (6) Um, I know this one, I am sure, but let me cross- check with the across clues now.

Like I said, I usually solve the clues by number, begin at the beginning and all that. Unless of course it turns out to be a totally challenging crossword and then I have to think and check other clues and see what letters I have got on the grid already and am sure about, and how they might help me arrive at the solutions for the other clues.

But Brendan had already set the tone; repetitions of letters was the theme. So I started on the across clues, which I knew will be all doubles, twins or pairs in some way. I had to get the across clues before I could solve 5 down and 21 down. But hey, there is no pleasure without pain, like the monkey said while indulging in a chore.

5 across: Warlord executed for treason (3-3) Ha, I was right. But let's just make sure, shall we?

9 across: A fish swallowing a scrap, something got from seaweed (4-4) I knew it, I knew it!

10 across: Quiet noise made, knocking back the odd drink (6) Oh, Missus Em is swooning, smitten all over again.

11 across: Move slowly between church and home for your health (4,4) Yeah. I am chuckling, too.

12 across: "Tea for two" as dance music (3-3) I knew it. All suspicions confirmed, yeah.

14 across: Take special note, having originally ordered port in spa (5-5) A nice twist and it took me a while to figure it out.

18 across: One way to buy this land in Australia (5-5) I giggled madly at this.

22 across: Fierce person creating problem with teeth (6) Oh, what joy!

23 across: Rude type outside pub, back on a Pacific island (4,4) Ditto, ditto. Missus Em is giggling helplessly here, good grief.

24 across: Confined in quarters, admit nothing, keep calm (3,3) Oh, oh, oh. Smitten, I tell you, hopelessly in love with this guy.

25 across: One confused host entertains another's big names (8) Priceless, corkscrew thinking won't begin to describe it.

26 across: Low grade in examinations only boys get (6) Now, I am floored. This is seriously good stuff.

27 across: a flightless bird in her grasp? Right on! (4,4) This is about as perfect as it can get.

Folks, I know I should provide the solutions, but let Prakash have his fun. I will post an update with the solutions tomorrow. But I am beginning to wonder though. Which is more pleasurable, the solving or the crowing about it? Hmm, must consult the Bard about this.



Anonymous Rajesh said...

Unfair. Who is this Prakash, another Raymond West to your Miss Marple? Come on, Lali. Post the solutions.

3:18 pm  
Anonymous None said...

Go on now! Show off,lady! While we ordinary folks read you with admiration and stars in our eyes. Yeah, await the solutions. Lets see what you grasp so easily while we can only scratch our heads in confusion.

3:45 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rajesh, None- Come on. I said I will post the solutions. Prakash wanted me to leave out the solutions so he can have a go. Fair enough, I thought. My crossword enthusiast readers need to have fun too, right?

And Rajesh- yes, Child. I noticed that dig.

3:59 pm  
Blogger icarus prakash said...

thappu paNNittanE muruga... :-)

beri beri difficult lalitaji

i did manage to crack a few. ( 5 to be precise ) without referring to other sources. But wasnt sure about them except 'tea 4 two' : cha cha

let me see how far i can go

7:08 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Prakash- Ask and thou shall receive, hm?

Five is pretty good, I tell you. Cha cha is obvious, an Old Faithful kinda clue, almost.

But Prakash, you earned raised hackles from my readership, you did, you did. Heh. Now if they will post comments instead of mail-bombing me indignantly...

Yeah, if wishes were fishes we'd all cast nets, I know. Happy solving, solutions will be up tomorrow. :D

9:55 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

Ooh yes! I dislike Prakash almost as much as I dislike you. Show-off AND leaves us hanging in the air, hmfph!

Fine then, be that way. I shall not take the least notice of you henceforth. Follow me, everybody except Prakash.

10:53 pm  
Anonymous Ash said...

This is a seriously good compiler, Lali. Impressive. The across clues are priceless. Go on and post the answers, put your readers out of misery.

11:58 pm  
Anonymous Prophet of Doom said...

Lookin' forward to the solutions ..

1:12 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1: Couscous
5: Haw-Haw
9: Agar-agar
10: Murmur
11: Chin-chin
12: Cha-cha
14: Baden-Baden
18: Mooney Mooney
22: Tartar
23: Bora Bora
25: Hotshots
26: Testes
27: Kiwikiwi

Oh, and those are my suggestions for the Across clues. They include some guesses... I don't have the grid to check. The Downs are workable too, but didn't seem as interesting. I hope I didn't rain on your parade? ;)

—The Verbiwhore

3:42 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Rimi- Don't exit stage left, darling. I beg you. I will post the solutions, I promise.

Ash- Ditto,ditto. Roger wilco.

Ram- Sure. Await the next post. Soonish.

Anon- You got two wrong. Never mind, you didn't really rain on my parade. A leedle drizzle maybe. :-)

7:14 am  

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