Posted by petebiddlecombe on October 20th, 2007
Solving time: about 2 hours
At last, a fairly gentle Inquisitor, which I should really have finished off even faster – and earlier! The thematic answers were to have one letter replaced, and then to be altered in some other unspecified way. A good rule in cases like this is to consider the simplest options first. Sure enough, it fairly soon became clear that the second alteration was reversal, which has the right number of letters to match the “original letters, in clue order, spell” bit of the preamble. Reversing words ties with anagrams as probably the commonest tranformation used.
In notes below, BGPF = “barred grid puzzle favourite” – a well-used trick or one of those words that keep on coming up as answers.
If I’d done this puzzle on the day of publication, the preliminary round of the Times Championship might have been less stressful, as I’d probably have had DOME, which held me up, more prominent in my memory from the fourth thematic clue.
|Thematic – answer, version with letter replacement, after reversal|
|R||RED RAG = “read rag”, GARDEN|
|S||STAMINA (2 mngs, inc. pl. of stamen), ANIMATE|
|9||DAN(A)E – A mythological lady who must have been raped. Zeus is my guess for the perp.|
|10||ST.,ELA(t)E – a C. look-up will confirm elate = elated.|
|12||ERRORS – can’t quite understand the wordplay here – I can see hesitation = ER, before = OR (BGPF), and edge of ravines = R or S, but that only gives 5 of the 6 letters. Any offers?|
|18||TOR(S)E – a Fr.-influenced spelling of torso.|
|19||(s)ET,AGE – more Fr.|
|29||SET,A(g)E = bristles (BGPF)|
|30||ENZED = New Zealand in the style of emcee = Master of Ceremonies – Z. in DENE rev.|
|5||TUR(A)N,DOT – the Puccini opera with “Nessun Dorma” in it|
|14||DIR(I,GIST)E = under state control|
|20||G.R.,EASE – a nice contrast to Turandot!|
|26||WEEN(y) – “I ween” for “I fancy/think” is somewhere in G & S to rhyme with another “-een” word. Not really useful information, just the way I discovered the word … – and no, I’m not a great fan of G & S either.|