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.

TOIL – Solutions, Annotations & Stats

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3 thoughts on “TOIL – Solutions, Annotations & Stats

  • 08/12/2017 at 3:51 am

    I’ve been abstaining from the highly addictive 1ACross group lately in order to get other things done, so I would have missed this puzzle if Uma had not tagged me in a post about it on her wall and got me intrigued. I finished it in a bout of insomnia.

    The puzzle format and clues were hard! Solving some clues didn’t help as much with the other clues as in a normal crossword. I usually try not to resort to online tools and references, but I needed them here, with all the unfamiliar and slang words.

    The last answer I got was UNCO GUID, with the help of the intersecting letters. I thought “guide” was GURU for a long time. Wikipedia’s article on Burns mentions his ‘Address to a Haggis’ and ‘Address to the Deil’, but not this one.

    DON’T LET GO BRAINS is what I first came up with for the Nina, which seems to be apt advice, if ungrammatical. 🙂

    I did not get ODIST, though I knew it was an anagram of those letters, and I did not have the right anno for SHIPMATE. (I think that would have scored me 23.5 if I had submitted my annos and answers in time.)

    Ingenious puzzle, Brian and Uma! An unco grid if there ever was one. Thanks for the fine job hosting and scoring, Sowmya.

    • 09/12/2017 at 8:30 am

      I enjoyed it as well, and remarkably, I had pretty much the same journey as Anirudh (re: guru, Unco Guid, shipmate, odist!).

      Getting crossing letters from the interlocking shapes and using the fact that the shape *was* the 5th letter was clever and a lot of fun!

      Quite liked some of the cryptic defs too (on board she, her address…, … porridge might be served here).

      My only minor nit : selvedge uses too many letters in sequence from “edges” and (I think) uses its root as well.

      Many thanks to the setters!

  • 10/12/2017 at 9:56 am

    The last comment is mine. Accidental anonymity 🙂


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