Here is the solution to Carnatic Cryptic Crossword Puzzle #1. Note that as indicated the answer for 5D has 6 letters as indicated by the puzzle grid, and not 7 as indicated by the clue.

Solution to Carnatic Cyptic Crossword Puzzle #1


Here is an explanation as to how the answers are indicated by the clues for cryptic crossword newbies. Hopefully this will help you learn to tackle future puzzles:

  • 1D – SIMHANADA: simhananda  is the shorter, perhaps corrupted form of simhanandana, which is the longest tala in carnatic music. The word starts with simha meaning lion
  • 2A – TYAGARAJA:  Combine the words Ya  Taj Agra  to get tyAgarAja – the one considered by most as the greatest composer in CM.
  • 3D – AHIRI:  The letters  i (single) and hair de-scrambled (is the reason for)  yields Ahiri, a raga with which is associated the myth that singing it will mean no food for the singer that day!
  • 4A – MALAVI/MALAWI:  mALavi is a raga. Malawi (malAwi) is a country in the africa.
  • 5A – SAVERI:   Combine save (meaning salvage) and ri (short for rishaba) to get sAvEri.
  • 6D – ANNAMAYYA –   The word Anya is taken, and inside it is placed (i.e. Anya held) the word Yaman written backwards  (i.e. namay) to get (reveal) annamayya, another name for the composer annamAcArya (him).
  • 7A – DVIJAVANTI/DWIJAVANTI:  At the start of the name of the raga dvijAvanti, we have dvi (meaning two) and java (which is taken as coffee with a play on words).
  • 8D – SARAMATI:  The words Rama and Sita combined and unscrambled to get sAramati, the raga.
  • 9A – MRDANGAM:  Take two letter M’s (M & M) and inside it (contains) place the word grand (albeit scrambled) to get mRdangam, the instrument. The additional connotation here is that mRdangam itself is considered a grand instrument. 
  • 10D – DHRUVA:  The answer dhruva is the name of a tala (rhythm), and the word dhruva is also the Indian name for the North Star (Pole Start).
  • 11D – NERAVAL: The words Ran a vale when de-scrambled (around) yields neraval, a form of improvisation in carnatic music.
  • 12D – GAULA:  The answer is the name of raga. The letters Gaul refer to Asterix.
  • 13A – TAMPURA: Take letter P (the start i.e. head of the word Padmasura)  and the word trauma and de-scrambled (P is “muddled” with trauma) to get tampura, the drone for carnatic music.
  • 14A – NISHADA: The words a Danish when de-scrambled (produced by) the word nishAda, the name for the last note (swara) in the octave.
  • 15A – JAVALI:    Take the word/letters VA (abbreviation for the US State of Virginia) and place it in the word jail that is scrambled (bad jail) to get jAvaLi, a form of carnatic composition that frequently has explicit lyrics of an adult nature (risque).