Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 41 – Alterations by Phi

Posted by petebiddlecombe on October 20th, 2007

petebiddlecombe.

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
E LES(t),SEE, VESSEL
V DE(R.,IV)ED, DESIRED
E DO(R)ME,R, RAMROD
R T.,RACER, RECANT
S STAMINA (2 mngs, inc. pl. of stamen), ANIMATE
A ‘TI(A,R.A.)S, STRAIT
L S(LEND)ER., REDNESS
Across
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.
23 SER.,RATED
29 SET,A(g)E = bristles (BGPF)
30 ENZED = New Zealand in the style of emcee = Master of Ceremonies – Z. in DENE rev.
 
Down
3 I,N(FIRM)ARY
4 M,(n)ATTER
5 TUR(A)N,DOT – the Puccini opera with “Nessun Dorma” in it
7 T,E,REDO (BGPF)
14 DIR(I,GIST)E = under state control
16 T,RUE,LOVE
20 G.R.,EASE – a nice contrast to Turandot!
21 (l)EARNED
24 A(NOA(h))S (BGPF)
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.

2 Responses to “Inquisitor 41 – Alterations by Phi”

  1. Alan O'Brien says:

    The last 6 or 7 Inquisitors have been extraordinarily hard. No wonder the same people keep winning – they must be the only people successfully completing them.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Not especially difficult – let us know if you need any hints.

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