Posted by HolyGhost on June 8th, 2007
Note: This was actually posted early in January 2010.
Whilst compiling an index to the Inquisitor blogs, I noticed that there was an early one missing from May-07. So here’s a highly retrospective blog to fill the hole in an otherwise unbroken sequence …
Eight (helpful) letters are missing from the wordplay in eight across clues. Nine spaces that are left after all answers are entered must be filled and highlighted, together with 13 other cells.
The first thing one noticed is that the length indications for several down answers were in excess of the cells available – and all these entries intersected the ninth row, the 13 cells of which were unchecked; it transpired that numerals had to replace number-words, e.g. NETWORKER became NE2RKER. Next, several other down answers were too short, e.g. MANIC had to be entered as MANI_C, all nine missing characters being in the fifth row (also with all cells unchecked).
Row 9 emerged as BORN26MAY1907, and the eight helpful letters spelt out TRUE GRIT, starring JOHN WAYNE which was to be used to fill the spaces in row 5 (producing nine new words – good old Schadenfreude). John Wayne was indeed born on the said date, and originally named Marion Michael Morrison. All very enjoyable.