Stats – 22 unique entries were received in all for this puzzle. A whopping 16 of those who attempted the puzzle got a full score of 31. The following is the list of people who had full scores, in alphabetical order..

1. Aashwina Mouli
2. Akshay Bhandarkar
3. Amrita Majumdar
4. Ashit Hegde
5. Ashley Smith
6. Col. Deepak Gopinath
7. Ganesh Nayak
8. Guruswamy Nataraj
9. Mona Sogal
10. Narayan Mandyam
11. Raju Umamaheswar
12. Sridhar Vedantham
13. Supriya Mithal
14. Vasant Srinivasan
15. Venkatraghavan S.
16. Viresh Ratnakar

Congrats to all of you.

Here’s the Solution grid

Questions asked at the end of the puzzle included Annotations for Clues 11A, 15A and 22D.

Here are the Annotations

1 Belt, blue jeans and intricately embroidered tops designed for an anniversary (7,7) LEATHER+(BLUE+J+I+E)*
8 Two of six mother birds moulted (5) (-mo)TH(-er) -b(IRD)-s
9 Calling love to go out for a holiday (8) VOCATION-O+A
11 Sound, reflecting inside the walls of loudspeakers, scratches (7) L(-oudspeaker)S<<NOISE<<
12 Set clear boundaries of the complex (7) CLEAR+T(-h)E*
13 Union Membership fee? (5) CD
15 Glittering bits of emerald and diamond fixed to metal hawk (9) TIN SELL E(-merald) D(-aimond)
17 Clumsy people in plane drop one large, crushed fruit (9) (PEOPLEINPLANE)*-(ONEL)*
20 Nervous? Fasten seat belts! (5) T
21 Black eagle flying across Indian cemetery’s entrance (7) EAGLE*< IC
23 For starters, macho Cajun’s about to eat a slice of Tibetan deer (7) M(-acho)+CAJUN*<<T
25 A ram slid, hurt butterflies (8) ARAMSLID*
26 Follower of old Iranian prophet is back in European city (5) PAR(IS<<)
27 Best instruction that may be given to a casino bouncer, say (3,3,6,2) CD/HP (Get the better of (~Hp OFF))


1 Participant in a kids’ swimming competition gets seven stars (6,6) CD/DD
2 Cassius Clay, for example, – would The Greatest present him like this? (5) ALI AS
3 Dirty, shy, nomadic, crude man of science (15) (DIRTYSHYNOMADIC)*
4 Come again? Are you Spooner? (7) DD/CD
5 Grubby person who accepts a pledge article (7) UNCLE+AN
6 Hot subject’s revised plotting is yet to be finalised (2,3,7,3) IN+THEME+PLOTTING*
7 It’s designed to be a fast attack vehicle (1-4) Semi &lit TOBEA*
10 Fervently wish boss invites daughter for a rag (12) HANKER+CHIEF<<D
14 Got money from the East (3) DD
16 Straight river, mostly flowing north (3) NIL(-e)<<
18 Tool to hire and fire (7) PICK+AXE
19 Cornering a vessel, enemy virtually charged as one (2,5) ENEM(-Y)* A SS<<
22 Invest every nickel and dime, chiefly on Euro’s 50% recovery (5) Acrostic E N D+ EU (50% Euro)
24 Trickster kicks out fraud member of the legal system (5) (-con)JUROR

1ACGridfest – Grid 8 – Food for Thought – Solutions, Annotations & Stats

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