Never knowingly undersolved.

Beelzebub/Columba 911 29-07-07

Posted by neildubya on August 10th, 2007


The Beelzebub puzzle, published in the magazine section of the Independent on Sunday, is currently set by two setters: Phi does three a month and Columba does one. Columba used to be a setter for the daily Independent cryptic (he often appeared on a Wednesday, if memory serves) and I often used to buy the Independent whenever he appeared as his puzzles were always very challenging but great fun. His clues are very fair (as you’d expect from an Azed comp winner) and often quite complex to unravel. If you’ve never encountered this setter before, a number of his puzzles appear in this book.

The Beelzebub puzzle tends to be a bit easier than a plain Azed puzzle and I think that was true for this particular puzzle. I managed to solve just over half the clues in this one before needing to open the Big Red Book of Words. I still don’t understand 3D though.

1 OP,MILL< in ART,ANT – ALL-IMPORTANT. One of the last few I filled in and quite tricky to parse.
11 ER in LINE – “expression of uncertainty” is usually either “um” or ER.
14 COMMA,N,DEER – top notch clue. The definition is not easy to pick out and “does” is deceptive.
16 YEN,TA – straightforward wordplay for a tricky word.
26 ATTIC,IN,I in LO – another good one, with a very smooth surface reading and reasonably straightforward wordplay.
28 ON in IRE,R – simple word but the wordplay is deceptively tricky. The definition has to be picked out from “One pressing forward” and ON for “forward” could be easily missed.
1 AGO,ROT – which is a unit of currency in Israel. “Back?” for AGO is tricky but fair.
3 INROADS – can’t work out the wordplay for this. Any offers? The full clue is “Raids containers for pills and plugs“.
4 MIC,MAC – a Native American language apparently.
5 OPAL< in OLD,RID,A – excellent clue but a tough one to parse. OLLA-PODRIDA is a highly seasoned Spanish dish.
10 LAME,ILL<,CORN – fairly easy wordplay, although I have to confess that I saw “weak” and just looked up LAME- in the dictionary.
17 PINTPOT – I knew the word, as I expect most people would, but didn’t know it could mean a seller of beer. TP for “troop” was also new to me (I think).
19 HEM,(v)IOLA – should have got this quicker than I did but HEM didn’t occur to me as an “attempt to get attention” – I was thinking of things like “Hey” or “Oy”.
21 SIN< in AGE

6 Responses to “Beelzebub/Columba 911 29-07-07”

  1. conradcork says:

    Yes, Wednesday was Columba day. No disrespect to the current Mr Wednesday, Dac, but the day is not the same without Mr Gumbrell.

    BTW you must have inside information to know who sets which Beelzebub.

  2. neildubya says:

    It’s not inside information anymore though! No secret really – I asked Eimi, and he told me.

  3. petebiddlecombe says:

    3D: An inro is a little Japanese box, and ads are “plugs” colloquially. I’m going to guess that “containers” should have been singular rather than plural.

  4. Testy says:

    The plural of INRO (new word to me) would also appear to be INRO!

  5. eimi says:

    Inro is also the plural. I’ve noticed a difference in style between the puzzles of Phi and Columba, but I knew whose they were beforehand, so perhaps I’m not the best judge.

  6. petebiddlecombe says:

    That’ll teach me to guess …

    Anyone who’s going to remember inro should file away ‘etui’ too.

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