Posted by loonapick on September 28th, 2007
For once I tackled the Inquisitor on the day of publication, and, by lunchtime, it was finished.
This wasn’t particularly diificult by Inquisitor standards, and would be a good puzzle for soomeone who wants to make the move from the more difficult daily puzzles into barred puzzles.
So what did we have to find in this puzzle?
27 across indicated a theme-word, so it would be nice to get that out of the way quickly. Therefore I concentrated on finding the crossed words. The first two clues I solved were 24dn TWITE and 23ac ERNE, both birds, but that didn’t turn out to be relevant.
The only common letter between the two words was E, so it was obvious that they had to be entered as ETWIT and EERN, given that the answers had to begin in a square OTHER than the first.
I worked my way around the south-east corner for a few minutes, and after placing a few more letters, I managed to work out that the answer to 27ac was CIRCLE LINE (the OI of the title).
I now had the theme, which also explained the “circular” clue entry method. After completing more of the puzzle, I could see that I was being asked to fill in London Underground stations in the shaded border around the puzzle. Given the checking letters that I had, and at last finding a use for the Underground map that is always printed in the back of my diary, I worked out that the stations were:-
FARRINGDON, MONUMENT, TEMPLE, WESTMINSTER and BAYSWATER
Cleverly, the settler had arranged them so that they ran in the correct order clockwise and they more or less coincided with their geographical locations.
This made solving much easier than I imagine it was to set the puzzle.
Most of the clues were fairly straightforward, and certainly not much more difficult than some that I have recently come across in Guardian and Times daily puzzles.
My favourites were:
10 DUD-IS-(bru)M(mel) – DUD referring of course to Dudley Moore, comedic partner of Peter Cook.
11 WOMENS LIB – (mine blows)*