Tags: crosswords


Morning walk during the lockdown,140420

My walk around the driveway of the apartment building this morning. Fragrances spilling from the jasmine on someone's balcony, and from the Frangipani blooms; much milder, from the Parijata tree. An orchid spray holding its own for the past few days, in spite of the heat.


A Tailorbird calling loudly, out of all proportion to its size. Mynas feeding on the palm berries.


Barbets flying from tree to tree. Several people taking their waste to the compost bin. A milk vendor delivering his daily quota. Dust on the parked cars, with no naughty little fingers drawing pictures or names on them. A view of the vegetable shop opposite the front gate, whose narrow entrance makes a joke of distancing. The first butterflies of the morning, flitting, large and small.



The sun gathering power by the minute. The usual smile and "Good morning" to,and from, one lady who walks regularly, and the absence of response from other walkers, though I see them daily, too. The building security men with their masks on; they are an essential service. No newspaper delivery; I will return to read the Deccan Herald and Economic Times online, and print out the crosswords that make my early morning enjoyable.


Cryptic Crosswords

I love my morning cryptic crossword. It's a very Brit thing...I am hopelessly addicted. I do the Deccan Herald every day; the compiler of the Eco Times crossword changed a while ago, and I am just getting to grips with the compiler's mentality.

I like the Indian Express,too, and though it's not my favourite, I do the Business Standard one too, just to keep my hand in with different compilers. The Hindu cryptic is a smug and self-satisfied crossword that I do not like, but I will do it if I can't find anything else. But my great favourite is the cryptic crossword on Saturday in the Deccan Herald. It's so witty...it often sets me laughing!

I remember the days in Chennai when the Eco Times had just been introduced; there were small prizes (such as cosmetics) for the first person to finish, and I loved winning all the junkola!

This morning, I posted a "Crossbird" in one of the birding groups I belong to; at once, someone called

Minchu Kulkarni

who works for


pinged me, and helped me make a proper online crossword of it. All the clues are names of birds (no technical stuff, just general names)..you can try it out


Have fun, and let me know how it went...it's very simple indeed. Today's learning...thank you, Minchu! Looking forward to learning more from you.

The Business Standard Crossword Again....

crswd 241110

Today, KM pinched the Deccan Herald first (I usually read the paper, finish the crossword and give it to him to take on the drive to Hosur.)...so, while Skyping with KTB, I decided to try my hand at the BS (well-named!)

cryptic crossword

again. I don't want to say I don't like because I can't do it! So I did complete it, but still feel that the answers are not really great...what on earth is that "Twofold Yap" (9 across)? I *know* it is the answer, but it makes no sense to me.

However, I *am* satisfied that I can complete it...now, I am introspecting to see whether this is an egoistic feeling...

Doing a new cryptic crossword...but not liking it!

I do try to learn new things, and recently, when


gave me a few clues to the Business Standard crossword, I decided to try my hand at that, too.

I like to do the Deccan Herald, the Indian Express, and the Economic Times cryptic crosswords on a regular basis. I detest the Hindu crossword as it often has mistakes, misspelt words from other languages, and sometimes plain clues instead of cryptic ones.

Well...I've been doing the Business Standard cryptic for a month or so, now...and I can't say I like it.

Each crossword setter has hes own "style" which one has to get used to, and I've done that. But, to me, the clue must be cryptic, but the answer must be a simple word or phrase, that should "click" into place when I get it. These criteria, the BS (ah, well-named!) crossword fails to meet.

I completed the crossword today, let's look at some of the clues:

7 dn. Has he a superior argument for becoming a mathematician? ( 6,8).

the answer is "Senior Wrangler". Unless you happen to know that a Senior Wrangler is a mathematician in either Oxford or Cambridge (don't know which) there's NO way you're going to associate "wrangler" with "mathematician." And...how is "senior" allied to "superior"?

13 ac. Inversely egg-shaped instrument includes tax ( 7).

the answer is obovate

Now what kind of an obsolete, unused word is that?

Another day, I had this clue:

Chinese seeing eye dog (4,3)

the anwer was "Shar Pei".

Shar Pei is NOT a well-known breed of dog, and it is certainly NOT a seeing-eye dog.

So...I'm doing the crossword because I don't want to be bested..but I'm not enjoying it. I think I'll stop doing it, after all!

(no subject)

Another confession, another "uncool" thing about me...I am a cryptic crossword fanatic!

Here's my post about cryptic crosswords in Bengaluru newspapers...


I do love cryptic crosswords, and do any crosswords that I come across...from the very Brit crossword of the Statesman, to the sometimes-ok-sometimes-awful Hindu, to the tickle-my-wits Indian Express or the Deccan Herald...but the Saturday crossword remains my favourite!

Two of my favourite pastimes


I love cryptic crosswords; I adore the Deccan Herald Saturday one, which is very witty; like the DH daily and the IE daily and the Eco Times daily ones; don't like the Hindu one but will do it if there is nothing else. I was told that the cryptic crossword is an essentially "British" pastime...is it, I wonder?

I also love doing this daily (it is one of the few card games that one can play on one's own; I have made cards for dyslexic children as it is a simple game of pattern recognition:


I love lots of other "parlour" games like Cranium, Carcazone, Boggle, Dingbats, Dictionary, and so on, but most of these require others to play with...and I don't have company most of the time...