Crass Word

Why is The Hindu a dutiful child with bright, shiny and healthy teeth?

Because, it mostly copies The Guardian and pastes a lot.

Update: I am informed by James that the amount of copy pasting is not enough to warrant the joke above. So readers be informed that the above exists just for joke’s sake.

Well, not the news items or editorials, which are creditably original and dreadfully dull, but the crossword, which in particular, is rather unoriginal. I fail to understand why we (Indian cryptic crossword buffs i.e.) must continue to be adept at

  • British pub terminology
  • Scottish Towns and Castle names
  • Pommie boy and girl names (all those “Girl and boy with you in the middle becomes a yearly affair” type clues – ANN U AL),
  • completely Brit acronyms like MO for doctor (Medical Officer)
  • and other anachronistic verbiage.

Don’t we have crossword setters who set their cryptic clues with much more localized context. Imagine the possibilies for subtle and allusive clues with all our diversity.

ps: Readers who are not fans of cryptic crosswords, it’s a little hard to squeeze in a guide in a blog post. But suffice to say that solving a good cryptic is one of life’s great pleasures. Cryptic crosswords stretch one’s brain into interesting shapes and directions as they demand quite a bit of lateral thinking.

For e.g. how would we design a Chennai-centric, contemporary English cryptic crossword for The Hindu? Plis to excuse for the poor quality clues and shady crossword structure for I am not a pro at crosswords. Perhaps she should start doing this.




Click here to see how this would look like in The Hindu

The solution will be posted early next week. Feel free to post answers in the comments section.

Update: Oh well. Looks like Scudie , Praveen and Siddharth have solved pretty much most of it. So here’s the solution, along with the fundaas.


2 Strange matter of GMail failure (5) – GILMA (GMail “failure” (anagram) is strange matter (gilma))
3 Fawn upon the department in charge
of college entrances (4) – DOTE (Dept of Technical Education, “dote” also means “to fawn on”)
6 Auspicious patterns on the floor (5) – KOLAM – straightforward
10 Apostle group show off (5,5) – PETER PARTY (Apostle – Peter, group – Party, showoff = peter party)
12 Gary’s country goes after the water
for general kasamusa activities (5) – JALSA (Gary (Kirsten)’s country – SA, goes after the water (JAL))
13 Invitatn 2 tlk ls, rite mr (4,3) – FREE SMS (Invitation to talk less, write more)
14 Question Tom about insectile barrier (8,3) – MOSQUITO NET (Anagram of “Question Tom”)
18 Aped Senora deliberately and drank
carbonated drink in essence. (6,4) – PANEER SODA (Anagram of Aped Senora)
19 Steamed pancake in horrid lining (4) – IDLI (found “in” horrid lining)
20 Stoical entrant stumbles into a lot
of platforms (7,7) – CENTRAL STATION (Anagram of “stoical entrant”, has a lot of platforms)
21 Paint the town 98410 72571 (1,5,5,4) – P JAMES MAGIC SHOW
22 Amaklamatic Elephant loses illumination (8) – GAJABUJA (Ok. This was a slightly shady one. Elephant – GAJA, loses illumination – BUJA (Hindi) = Gajabuja, which is amaklamatic)


1 Cutting classes to continue to
sleep here, presumably (4) – BUNK
2 Gulf news paper, we hear, is rather dirty (6) – GALEEJ (“sounds like” KHALEEJ, which is a newspaper in the gulf)
3 Divine being crudely hailed for
drink, we hear (5) – DEITY (Crudely hailed – DEI (in tamil) + TEA, we hear, therefore TY)
4 Goodbye. I say no to ridiculously
cheap automobile (4,4) – TATA NANO
5 North Indians say enough to get approval
for ticketless travel (3, 4) – BUS PASS (North Indians say enough – BUS, to get approval – PASS, ticketless travel – bus pass)
7 Where planetary positions are aligned,
union decisions get made. (9,4) – HOROSCOPE MEET
8 It buzzes with complete elevated traffic (7) – FLYOVER
9 Senthil’s “other” fruit (6) – BANANA (reference to the legendary joke)
11 Anglicized Rasam (11,4) – MULLIGTAWNY SOUP
15 Rising Son, or dictator? (6) – STALIN (Reference to DMK’s rising “son” and the russian dictator)
16 Immediately, a betel leaf?
Completely inneffective! (10) – SOONAPAANA (Immediately – SOON, a, Betel leaf? – PAANA?)
17 Sounds like Gallic extraction is
panacea for all ills (6,3) – FRANCH OIL (French – Gallic, sounds like)