Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 15 – Space by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on April 20th, 2007


Solving time: 43 minutes – and should have been faster

One of those puzzles where the setting achievement seems considerably greater than the solving one. The unclued entries that must be “expanded to fill the available space” are the names of gaseous elements. It turns out that where clued answers intersect unclued lights, the clue is to the answer with the letters from gases omitted, unless these letters are included in the periodic table abbreviation. So the change from (e.g.) Ar to ARGON is the “expansion”. The intersecting clued answers make real words both with and without the ‘gas letters’. The clue leads to the “without” version, so the “with” versions are also unclued answers that expand to fill the available space. This helps the solver a lot, once they realise what’s going on. Lower case letters in answers below (e.g. the i in SiALIC) are ones added from intersecting gases. I can’t remember what gave the theme away, but I think it was mainly the fairly broad hints in the title and preamble.

12 SiALIC – S.A.=sturmabteilung,L,I/C
15 tRONA – R,ON,A – {on = drunk} is an advanced cryptic xwd cliche.
16 TE(LEG=gel rev.)A – a 4-wheeled Russian wagon
17 ErASED – E(ASE=sea*)D
18 SENECAn – seen*,ca.
20 CLOT – L for O in coot
24 K,AID – a N African chief.
27 Ne/NEON
28 RULEd – RU(L)E
29 ROOn – RO-(R)O
30 H(U.S.)O
37 pAREoS – A,RES=Ser.<= – solvers of Azed 1819 will remember that a pareo is a Polynesian wrap-around skirt.
38 WIlLEy – WIL(d)E. A willy or willey is a willow basket - the variant spelling for the other kind of willy is willie, which spoils some innuendo opportunities.  When solving, I thought Schadenfreude had been forced to use a proper noun for one ‘expanded’ word.
39 tYINg – (a)YIN – hint for beginners: the Hebrew alphabet is nearly as useful for xwd purposes as the Greek one.
40 SAIL – 2 meanings
41 oRATeS – TAR<=,S
42 FLuATe – F,LAT = latissimus dorsi – a lower back muscle
3 gABLE – A(B)LE
4 oSTENT – S,TENT – a new meaning of this word for me.
5 ENIAC = Caine<= – these days, not many people know that Eniac = “electronic numerical integrator and calculator”. Sadly, other old computer acronyms like EDSAC and LEO don’t get into Chambers.
7 N/Nitrogen
10 ACADIAn – A = A, magistrate = cadi, from = à, as in Thomas à Kempis.
21 (d)OILY
22 H/Hydrogen
24 K/Krypton – this is the one that slowed me down, by about 10 minutes – I didn’t remember my inert gases well enough so had to solve the intersecting clues and then work out what letters could be added to them to make other words – the opposite process to most of the gases, where the word length implied a short list of possibilities.
25 DE(TEN)T,E – honour = ten, as in bridge.
30 He/Helium
31 O/Oxygen
32 TA(Y)RA – the tayra is one of those handy xwd creatures, and tara is bracken.
34 SWIFT – two meanings, both new to me – “swiftly, adv.” and “tighten with a rope”.

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