Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 37 – Late hit boxer by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on September 21st, 2007


Solving time: ages – at least 6 hours

This puzzle had 44 clues in total, 17 with misprints, and 16 to be treated somehow. That leaves 11 normal clues with no treatment. I’m sure there’s someone out there who had this done in an hour or so and then took Fido for a walk whistling a merry air. That person isn’t me. I’ve been fighting with this one for nearly a week as I write this, and still have one answer I can’t quite justify.

I solved 25-30 of the clues without realising what this was all about. I spent time trying to make anagrams of the title, and most of all, trying to find the misprint phrase. For ages, this looked as if it was going to be THE TA_L_W_T IN THE ____ (underscores in the second word indicating spaces where one or more letters could go). But searching of Chambers established that none of the TA?L???? or TAL?????? words made any sense. All I had for sure was that the words amended in the grid seemed to have some jumbling near the end. I also knew that 15A was HOSTA, converted to HTOSA or ATOSH, and the latter looked more plausible to me. At long last, I decided to cheat a bit with 1D, the one about the map projections. Here, I’d failed to realise that the word ‘or’ in the clue was not a def/wordplay link, but the beginning of the answer. So I looked for (g)LOB(e) in (right shape)*, not {or,(gl)O(be) in (right shape)*} which gives orthographies, which I found with the aid of the Chambers CD-Rom when I decided to cheat a bit. Now if my ‘end-jumble’ idea was right, the end of this word had to be jumbled to fit. Cheating again, I found that raphies* is Shar-pei. Also, 15D now had to be HTOSA and I remembered Tosa = a dog breed, so down went the penny. The phrase is not THE ____ IN THE ____, but THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG – at 6D I had one of those fatal mischosen misprints – the def. of BEATEN, misprinted as ‘banked’ was ‘banged’, not tanked = thrashed.

LASSIE and SETTER at the end of the long answers helped to settle lots of stuff in the grid, and I was soon down to the last few clues – 1A and 4D, and 41A. A bit more cheating on these found LUATH and RACHE, my last two definite dogs. That just leaves one dubious dog at 4D (see below) but otherwise I reckon I’m done.

Overall verdict – a fair puzzle, but some of those dogs are a bit obscure and the internet has been well trawled for this report. But for someone who generally prefers cats (mostly for reasons of laziness), this was quite educational.

Wagging tails
1 OUT,HAUL / Luath – the wolfhound belonging to Cúchulainn, an Irish mythological hero. (If any setters need more improbable-sounding dogs, I recommend Phorp, who slew Luath.)
6 BI(CAR)B / Rab – presumably in Rab and his Friends (1859) – a book by the Scottish writer Dr John Brown (says the ‘pedia) – or is there some better-known Rab?
14 ECRU – R in cue* / cur
15 HOSTA = (has to)* / Tosa – a heavily built Japanese breed, bred for fighting
16 A TEMPO – (team)*,Po / pom = pomeranian
21 NAN,N/A / Nana – the Darlings’ dog in Peter Pan
24 SECTIONALISES = (so can see it all)* / Lassie
41 (p)REACHER / rache – a dog that hunts by scent
1 OR,THOGRAPHIES – or,(gl)O(be) in (right shape)* / Shar-Pei – the Chinese breed with the coat one size too large
4 TA,T(A)RY = a vague area where the Tatars lived / Ray?? the entry has to fit TAT?A?, and none of atyar, tyar, yar, ar, atray, tray, ray or ay seem to be dogs in C. So a name like Rab is about my best shot after looking in Wikipedia and Brewer’s dog lists. Any better offers? Perhaps Schadenfreude’s dog is called Ray?, he said clutching at straws.
5 HUMAN INTEREST = (see Truth in Man)* / Setter – the dog that couldn’t be left out
9 BERCHTESGADEN – (the n(i)ce badger’s)* – and I have a vague notion that I saw ‘badger’ as a nickname for Hitler somewhere, which would make this a very clever clue / Dane – which doesn’t have to be great – C reveals that the Dalmatian is the ‘Lesser Dane’
28 BE,HOLD – which looks like an old chestnut / dhole – the wild dog of India. A fiendish one which you could easily miss and ink in the clue answer!
29 CAME,R.A. / Maera, dog of Icarius, the man whom the god Dionysus first taught to make wine – so says Ian Ridpath on his Star Tales site, which looks like one worth remembering for stuff about constellations – he even has a list of “disused constellations” or similar.
31 O,G=Golf (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie),PU=turned up. The OGPU were predecessors of the KGB. / pug
32 S(K)ITE – a braggart / tike = tyke
Misprints (answer / corrected word)
11 BAUERA – (a,b(ur)eau)* / planT
13 TAN(IS)T / Heir
17 TROJAN – (jan(i)tor)* / bEing
19 EDDISH = dished* / caTtle
20 G,LEN(gth) / vAlley
26 R,OIL,S = oil is Aussie slang for news / rIles
29 C(omp)A(reb)R(oom)S / sLeepers
35 M(AD)ID – a new word for me, meaning … / Wet
37 PULL – N in null=invalid replaced by P / drAg
39 S(KEEL)Y – SY = ‘extremely sunny’ – this is hard, as a Scots word for clever is … / gleG
6 B(EA,T)EN – ea = river is an old barred-grid favourite / banGed
7 IR.(K)E,’D – almost a duplicate for the misprint in 26A here / rIled
10 R(ATTLE(e)R – posh car = RR = Rolls Royce / sNake
12 HUM,S – to hum is to hoax, and so is to gull. / Gulls
18 J(A)IL(l), for which one of the many slang words is … / piT
22 N,AV.,E – which can also mean … / Hub
36 DIS,C=see3 in Chambers / Eight
40 I(M,ARE)T. – a hospice or inn in Turkey
2 LENO – fabric as well as funny men Dan and Jay
25 C(O’ ROLL)A – should got this one much sooner

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 37 – Late hit boxer by Schadenfreude”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    4dn TRAY is listed as a dog in Bradford’s though I have not checked what sort of dog it actually is.

  2. Mike Laws says:

    Tray is a dog in King Lear. I haven’t read through it to find out whose! Yes, a hard puzzle, but no less enjoyable for that. Schadenfreude, closely followed by Loda, is the most prolific contributor to the IQ series.

  3. Wil Ransome says:

    Phew! Who said these Independent puzzles were easier than The Listener?

  4. HolyGhost says:

    4dn See “Old Dog Tray” by Stephen Foster (1853)

  5. HolyGhost says:

    6ac The dog wagging the tail of BICARB is more likely to be CRAB, Launce’s animal in “Two Gentlemen of Verona”.

  6. Alan O'Brien says:

    There have been quite a few times when I have not managed a single grid entry with Inquisitor!

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