A Thought Experiment – Solutions, Annotations & Results

Stats -A whopping 26 submissions were received for this puzzle. Of those who submitted, 11 got the full score of 30. Most people managed to answer atleast one of the two bonus questions asked as well..

Here’s the Solution grid

We had asked two questions at the time of submission. These were

1. According to the puzzle, What time is it? and
2. As per the grid. what is the result of the experiment?

Question 1 elicited a number of fun responses, most of which were centered around the clock. The answer (buried) in plain sight was the clue acrostic (stringing together the first letter of each clue) which read – “Time to release Schrodingers Cat”

The answer to Question two was the NINA along the Periphery (highlighted in yellow) which read – “The cat is alive” clockwise and “The cat is dead” anti-clockwise

Here are the Annotations.

8 Trekking Bulgarian left out bun for Tibetan sheep (6) buLGARIAn*
9 I, Vera, am composing a Latin prayer to Saibini (3,5) (I VERA AM)* A
10 Made uncouth sounds and shockingly beheld consuming last bit of croc (7) BEHELD* around C
11 European leader’s symbol? Tau! (6) BRAND T
12 Text “Sepia pictures returned” (6) TAN ART<
13 007’s female counterpart had a Thai ram slaughtered (4,4) (A THAI RAM)*
14 Reveal old model (6) EX POSE
16 Endlessly cheats some, say, producing raw material for plaster of Paris (6) GYPs ~SOME
20 Lock up soldiers kidnapping royal descendant (8) IMP(R)I SON
23 Emmer wheat, rice and maize, for example, initially germinate with showers (6) G RAINS
25 Accommodation for horses built by policemen after releasing prisoner (6) conSTABLE
26 Strike donkey accompanying a Unionist lieutenant (7) ASS A U LT
27 Employees with boring jobs? (8) CD
28 Suspension of breathing, disturbed nap with open eyes aching initially (6) APN* O E A


1 Crushed ribcage around beginning of boisterous game (8) RIB(B)CAGE*
2 Hatchling in eyrie? Or in Beagle Terrier? (6) T
3 Roads where Whig rolls in straw with spades (8) WHIG* in HAY S
4 Old carriages constructed from some teak and pieces of elm, mahogany and sal (7) T AND E M S
5 Dead-nettle part seen behind bird (6) HEN BIT
6 Irritating problems? He – Caesar – is jumpy (8) (HE CAESAR)*
7 Nice construction around end of road ruined initially – becomes incombustible material (6) (NICE* around D) R
15 Geometrical shape of Arab opal revised (8) (ARAB OPAL)*
17 East European guy returns with ring for captive servant (not European) (8) GUY< O SLAVe
18 Roaming singer: “Merlin captivated Saint when roaming” (8) MERLIN* around ST
19 Seamen swarm around ship all together (2,5) (SEAMEN* around S)
21 Come to be fully developed having a muter disposition (6) (A MUTER)*
22 Allowed liquid to pass through grain containing excellent protein sources (6) SE(E P)ED
24 Travelling Columbian gives up cob for old students (6) (COLUMBIAN-COB)*

Here is the scorecard (sorted by score and then in the order of submissions received)

Congrats to Ramki Krishnan, who was the first one to submit an all correct entry and to all others who maxed the score as well.

12 people rated the puzzle as “Excellent” and 13 rated it “Good”. 21 clues in the grid got picked atleast once in the top 3 favorites voted by the solvers. The clue for “Drillers” was picked by 9 out of 26 solvers, as one of the favorites. Tantra and Imprison each got 7 votes.

Thanks a lot to The Oracle (Kishore) for this really fun experiment and for opening the puzzling season for 2018 with a big bang.

Did you enjoy the puzzle? Do you have any feedback for us or for the setter. Do comment in the blog and let us know.

A Thought Experiment

1ACross and The Oracle wish all our readers and members a very Happy New Year. Now that you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms of going off sugar, fats and other goodies of the holiday season, it is time to exercise … those parts which have probably gone rusty due to inadequate or absence of use over the last fortnight or so.  We are, of course, referring to your grey cells (unless you have dyed them to some unimaginable colour). Time to use them for


The online interactive version can be completed and submitted by anyone who wishes to participate, on or before EOD 20th January 2018.. All those who submit entries have a chance to enter our new leaderboard for 2018.

Please remember to save the puzzle while solving so as to be able to answer the questions at the end of the puzzle.

Annotations for the puzzle will be discussed at 1ACross on Sunday, January  21, 2018.

Happy solving.

Here’s the link to the interactive puzzle

Here’s a link to the PDF 

Animal Crackers – Solutions, Annotations & Stats

Stats -Only 10 people managed to submit the completed grid for this puzzle. Of those who submitted, 8 got the full score of 30. Most people managed to get all the answers to the bonus question correct as well.

Here’s the Solution grid

The description of the puzzle read “Animals had crept into ten of the answers in this grid. Can you find them all..”.

These animals (including some birds and insects) found hidden among the solution words were

1. Ass 2. Moose 3. Gnu 4. Seal 5. Orca 6. Cat 7. Bee 8. Owl 9. Ant 10. Ram

Here are the Annotations.

1 Gala skating segment from former Russian territory (6) T
5 Cut off follower of Garcia? (8) DD
9 Tranquillises outliers – extraordinary measures? (8) (TRANQUILLISES-LIERS)*
10 Keen old king tossed in turbulent sea (6) (TUT>> SEA*)
11 Norwegian, perhaps, cutting everything in field? It’s not to be worried about (5,5) F(AL(SEA)L)ARM
12 Boundless river belonging to US? (4) (c)OURS(e)
13 Cam and rotor constructed in one machine (8) (CAM+ROTOR)*
16 Tie a vessel following case of cancer (6) CR+A+VAT
17 Plant type of beans around Liechtenstein at first (6) LI + MUNG<<
19 Low in pot, daughter left (8) VA(MOO)SE+D
21 Branch of cheese without advocate? (4) LIMB(urger)
22 Drink red ale, perhaps (6,4) GINGER + BEER
25 Northern girl’s fiance is salaciously, secretly, going around (6) Rev T
26 Suffering and depressed amidst unopened wrapping (8) (b)ALING << LOW.
27 Bank notes invested in horses, randomly (8) E+A >> HORSES*
28 Country of citrus production (6) CITRUS*


2 She’s selling central air (5) L+AURA
3 Bobby, perhaps, is also on board (5) S(AND)S
4 Maria translated into account what Jesus spoke (7) MARIA* >> AC
5 Paradise Lost: a novel leading to anguish (7) (PARADISE-A)*
6 Feeble menial, collected by The Agency, returned (7) CI(MEAN)A<< 7 Maybe gun control is child’s play (3,6) DD 8 By the sound of it, everything Erdogan perhaps dined on is hash (9) ALL TURK ATE HP 14 Moving to Nigeria in spring? (9) TO NIGERIA* 15 Some bastard framed you and me following bound volumes (9) SOME* >> NIB+US
18 Hatemonger, without her treatment, became comic villian (7) (HATEMONGER-HER)*
19 Gave confused gathering a Windows OS and Outlook (7) GAVE* << A+NT
20 Robert, perhaps, is after a leader? (7) CD
23 Inferior, slow flying saucers (5) B + SLOW*
24 Reportedly, next game console causes boredom (5) ON WII*

Here is the scorecard (sorted by score and then in the order of submissions received)

Congrats to Bhalchandra Pasupathy, who was the first one to submit an all correct entry and to all others who maxed the score as well.

2 people rated the puzzle as “Excellent” and 8 rated it “Good”. 16 clues in the grid got picked atleast once in the top 3 favorites voted by the solvers. The clue for “Vamoosed” was picked by 7 out of 10 solvers, as one of the favorites

Thanks a lot to elmith (Darren) for an interesting grid. We hope to host more of your puzzles in future as well.

Did you enjoy the puzzle? Do you have any feedback for us or for the setter. Do comment in the blog and let us know.

TOIL – Solutions, Annotations & Stats

Stats -The puzzle was pretty tough and though we had nearly 300 page views, we received only 6 submissions, from the following people..

1. Bhalchandra Pasupathy

2. Kishore Rao

3. Ratnakar Sonthi

4. Venkatraghavan Sahasranaman

5. Samurai Pony (Mona Sogal + Supriya Mithal)

6. Viresh Ratnakar

In addition, to the above we also got a last minute submission from

Anirudh Sahni who managed to complete the grid in record time despite starting late. Although he wasn’t able to complete and send the full solutions before the deadline, the effort is appreciated by us.

Here’s the Solution grid

The message obtained by rearranging the letters in the purple square was “TOIL AND BE STRONG”

Here are the Annotations.

1 Fringe novel edges around East Las Vegas (8)

S(ELV)EDGE, EDGES*, novel = *, fringe = def..

2 Giant Jobs Company’s east-coast location (8, two words)

Giant = BIG, Jobs Company = APPLE, east-coast location = def..

3 I, accompanied by Tritons, played music for the masses to begin with (8)

I + TRITONS*, played = *

4 Remarkable guide all but gave us Burns’ address finally (8, two words))

Remarkable = UNCO, (GUID –e (all but)), = moral, ref. Burns’ ‘Address to the Unco Guid’.

5 A frog, perhaps René, returned first, in a hurry (8)

Frog (fastener type), René returned = ENER, first in a hurry = FAST

6 Seize stoned sailor (8)

Seize = def., stoned = high, jack = sailor

7 In Rome I strip away bouts of self-indulgent activity (8, two words)

In Rome I = EGO, I STRIP*, away = *

8 Couple on board she described earlier, for a fellow traveller (8)

On board she = SHIP, Couple = MATE

a Cry at model’s apearance (5)

Sigh + T; appearance = def..

b Donald loses heart for love crush (5)


(c) Pirate’s revolutionary tales (5)


d Some chieftain that Cain’s entertaining could be a fence supplier (5)


(e) Dreadful Lagos porridge is served here (5)


(f) It’s vanilla. honest! (5)


(g) Academic lot had concealed this material (5)

Telescopic, def. material

(h) ‘Dance around, old Etonian!’ soldier suggested (5, two words)

(JIG< + OE)*, soldier = def.. (N.B. OE for Old Etonian is supported by the OED)

(i) Boorish Ozzie topped back knee joint with little hesitation (5)

Boorish Ozzie = def., top (-H)OCK = back knee joint + ER
(j) Congress meeting in the pipeline (5)

DD: congress, meeting in the pipeline

(k) A scholar’s preposterous unlimited slip-ups (5)

(-S (LIP-UP<) –S) (preposterous / unlimited); scholar= def.

(l) Do sit! Sadly her address could take a while to deliver (5)

(DO SIT)*, sadly = *

(m) Short reptile (argot, maybe) (5)

(ARGOT)*, maybe = *

(n) Mates – that’s an unusual break in Oz! (5)

Mates = BOS, that’s = IE. Unusual break = def. ref. to an cricketing term for googly

(o) Panegyric a chap in Spain referred to with revolutionary self-confidence (5)

EL + EGO<; panegyric =def..

(p) Nick lived up to his name!(5)

LIVED< = devil (TD)

Given the very high standard of the puzzle, everyone who submitted is indeed a winner.  However, we decided to score the entries and  each correct answer (including the Anno.) was given a score of 1 point. Incorrect answers were not given a score for annotation.

Here is the final scorecard.

1. Bhalchandra Pasupathy – 24.5/25

2. Ratnakar Sonthi – 24/25

3. Venkatraghavan Sahasranaman – 24/25

4. Kishore Rao – 23.5/25

5. Samurai Pony (Mona Sogal + Supriya Mithal) – 23/25

6. Viresh Ratnakar – 21.5/25

Bhalachandra Pasupathy is therefore the clear Winner. He was also the first to send the solution and his submission was a veritable work of art, going above and beyond what we requested. Attached is a screenshot.

Thanks a lot to Brian and Uma for a challenging grid. Thanks are also due to Martin who helped to test solve and suggested some valuable tweaks.

All those who sent in solutions had generous words of praise for the setters and the unique puzzle and 1ACross is delighted to have hosted this.  I am sure that, along with us, our readers also look forward to more puzzles from you.

Did you enjoy the puzzle? Do you have any feedback for us or for the setters. Do comment in the blog and let us know.