lalita larking

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

Location: Kolkata, India

Friday, July 06, 2007

Boys will be boys

I have got boys on my brain. It's not what you think, so you can stop sniggering. I have come across a crossword to blog about after a longish while, that's all.

Look, if you are going to sigh, there she goes harping on crosswords again, you are welcome to skip this post, but don't blame me if you miss the juicy bit at the end. And the clues were brilliant, so I am doing you a favour.

Themes in crosswords can be a bother if you have to figure out the theme first. But sometimes the theme is clear, as in today's Araucaria offering. Every single across clue, and there were fourteen of them, started with the word boy.

There were some gems in the down clues too. The pleasure of arriving at an answer by using cruciverbal logic, and finding you are right when you check it, is something all crossword enthusiasts know. My day was made when I solved this:

Turn to preserve car body in African kibbutz (6)
The solution is ujamaa. U as in U-turn, jam for preserve, and AA for car body.

As I said before, themes can be daunting or entertaining. Today's theme was entertaining. The boys were all wonderful.

Boy and girl formerly out of love (8)
Clarence. Clare and once without o.

Boy in island embraced by grandma (6)
Ninian. Nan around in and i.

Boy possessed by time? (4)
Nick. Time here is a spell in jail.

Boys with 6 carat gold said: "Scarper" (6,4)
Victor Hugo. The numeral 6 is misleading, because you wonder if it is linked to clue number 6. VI, CT, or, and you go.

Boy debt collector goes to prison (6)
Duncan. One of the meanings of dun is to persistently demand payment. Can is one of the many slang terms for prison, others being jug, pen, brig, nick, quod, stir, clink, chokey, cooler, slammer and rather strangely, glasshouse.

Boy from centre turning East (7)
Terence. An anagram of centre and e.

Boy to walk with bird (7)
Stephen. This is so simple.

Boy facing his first few balls? (6)
Justin. Brilliant, right?

Boys injure philosopher with stone, missing 10 (4,6)
Mark Antony. This is a lovely break up. Mar, Kant, onyx without x. 10 is again a little misleading.

Boy with change (6)
Walter. Simple.

Boy with one final song (8)
Alastair. A last air, heh

So I have boys on my brain. Also because my favourite toy boy called to set up a lunch date. As for the title of the post, much as I dislike tautology, the only other title I could come up with was ― boy, oh boy!



Blogger dipali said...

Boy, oh boy, that was a smashing post!

7:46 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

Dolling up already, are you? Have a great date Lali.

8:10 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

been reading your blog 2 months. amazing you rite abt so many things.

9:30 pm  
Blogger JohnB said...

Grrr... This is the second time in recent days I have stumbled upon your blog. The first was fine, though I failed to see who would be interested in explanations of clues. This time, however, I arrived here having Googled "African kibbutz" in a lazy, at-the-office-away-from-my-books attempt at the clue whose answer you so promptly provide. That was no fun. While I respect (and indeed share) your affection for the Guardian crossword, please reconsider your presentation; at the very least separate the clue from the solution by a couple of lines so that readers (and those such as myself) might attempt the clues themselves first. Please also consider the probable breach of copyright you are committing.

11:23 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Dipali, Rajesh- Thanks.

Anon- If you have been reading me for two months, you must have noticed that I dislike SMSese.

JohnB- The solutions to the day's crosswords appear on the latest solutions' page online, so I am not revealing much. I never blog about prize crosswords until the results are out. I wrote and asked Guardian crossword editor last year, before I took to blogging about specific crosswords.

I did used to give the clue alone, but my readers wanted the solution in the same post. But I will definitely consider separating the solution from the clue a bit, thanks for the suggestion.

8:03 am  
Anonymous PTC said...

and who is the favourite toy boy,may I know?

12:20 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

PTC- *bats eyelashes* You are. Didn't you know?

1:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. I stumbled across your blog in exactly the same way as JohnB, but no complaints as never would have got ujamaa in a million years. The only other one we hadn't got was 'humphrey' - explain that one if you can !
BTW, I read 'boy possesed by time' as a reference to 'in the NICK of the time'
Regards JasonC

3:51 am  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- I wish I could explain Humphrey, Jason. I solved it yes, but couldn't figure the logic. I had an entertaining ten minutes searching 'humpy', 'humpey' and HRE, though. Oh, and 'blues queen', too.

Ah, 'in the nick of time'. That didn't strike me.

Did you get 18 across of Shed's Prize crossword? I am stuck there.

10:44 am  
Blogger Vini said...

Teeny weeny observation, the stone, missing 10, would be a reference to onyx, without the x which is the roman numeral for 10.

12:20 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Vini- I didn't elaborate that because it's so obvious. All cryptic crossword enthusiasts know C,D,M along with the IV, V, VI and X.

2:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not obvious that stone missing ten means onyx without X. Was racking my brains about it until Google came to the rescue. One reader more who came Googling clues, ma'am. Your blog is interesting. I find the non-crossword articles most engrossing. Many hours left going through them, as yet. What a site. Thank you Google.

11:00 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- Thank you Google, indeed. Do visit again.

12:14 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy finds blues queen during dance (8) HUMPHREY
If HUMP is the blues, and R (regina) is queen then is HEY a dance?

5:21 pm  
Blogger Lalita said...

Anon- I wish I could figure the logic. It is still nagging at me.

6:18 pm  

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