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

November 9, 2010

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!