Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor #8/Overcooked by Charybdis

Posted by loonapick on March 2nd, 2007


This was a very frustrating puzzle for me. It appeared very easy at first, but then I hit a wall with the last six or seven clues. It wasn’t that I couldn’t work out the answers – more that I couldn’t decide which letters to “squeeze out” before entry into the grid. A quick e-mail to Peter Biddlecombe, with an equally quick and helpful answer and all became clear.

There were four devices in this crossword. I’ll go over them first, then look at some of the better clues.

1) Some of the answers were unclued. It quickly became obvious that the puzzle was linked to the time of year. SHROVE TUESDAY goes in across the top line (1ac), and the shape of the shaded squares kinda looks like a pancake pan, so the theme became clear. The other unclued solutions were MILK (13 ac), EGG (32 ac), FLOUR (33ac) and SALT (7dn), pancake ingredients, although I have to admit we don’t have salt in our family recipe.

2) The shaded letters in the shape of a pan read KILOGRAM and GETS FULL.

3) Ten letters, sprinkled around, had to be squeezed out, and rearranged to give two further ingredients. I thought at first that it was LEMON JUICE that was being sought, but couldn’t find a way of getting a J, so had to rethink that. Peter suggested that it was LEMON and SUGAR that I should have been looking for, and that made things considerably easier. The ten clues which required to have letters removed were:-

10 AGITATED – AGED with (<=Tati) inside (excellent clue, loved comedien for Tati) – entry AITATED (G)

20 LUDIC – entry LDIC (U)


25 RYPER – ptarmigans, homophone of RIPER – entry YPER (R)

44 FOSSA – entry FSSA (O)


2 ARILLODES – (are so dill)*, false arils, entry RILLODES (A)

27 MOLL – entry OLL (M)

34 UNLORD – (old run)* – entry UNORD (L)

38 SHELLY – entry SHLLY (E)

4) The least obvious thing that needed to be done to complete the puzzle was to identify an alternative fill to the pan. I have to admit that I didn’t know what the setter wanted me to do, so Peter came to the rescue again. The contents of the pan are to be tossed, like a pancake, so if you put the 2 letters from the bottom row into the top row and do the same with the 3rd and 4th rows, you get an alternative fill for those words which have letters in the pan, so for example 26 across (AGOGE) becomes AGOGO and 21 down (CRED) becomes CROC.

Some of the better/more difficult clues not mentioned already.


12 TAUP(I)E – Taupie or tawpie is a Scots word for a clumsy girl.

15 MOLLIE – homophone of MOLLY – apparently mollie = mallemaroking, which is a word of Dutch origin for “carousing of seamen in icebound ships”. Who decided that such a specific term was required??

39 CONTINUO – (onion cut)* – the bass part, as written for a keyboard instrument.


3 VAG(rant)I – cranial nerves

6 ETAS (<=sate) – an eta was formerly a member of the lowest class in Japan.

19 G-L(A)UR – a Scottish word for mire, and a lur was a curved Bronze Age trumpet.

22 SAID, also spelt sayid or sayyid, is an honorary title given to some Muslims.

36 C(r)OFT – a very good &lit. clue, COFT being the past participle of COFF, a Scots word for “to buy”

One Response to “Inquisitor #8/Overcooked by Charybdis”

  1. says:

    This was one of the finest puzzles I’ve ever done – all being revealed slowly and in discrete steps. Charybdis is one of the more difficult Listener setters with a particular talent, as this puzzle demonstrates, for grid construction. I think this may have been the first of Charybdis that I solved and it gave great satisfaction as each element became clear. Spent about 4 very enjoyable hours at it.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

5 × four =