Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 43 – NAIRO by Loda

Posted by petebiddlecombe on November 2nd, 2007


Solving time: 1.5 – 2 hours – Chambers used for 25D only

There was early mention of this puzzle on Derek Harrison’s message board, which indicated that one of the green squares was misplaced. The confidence and timing of the statements indicated that the puzzle was probably fairly easy, as indeed it was. There were four thematic elements in all:

  • Six unclued perimeter entries, each of which had an effect on …
  • … an “adjoining” entry – these six words clued by wordplay only and all synonyms
  • Letters in green squares that could be arranged to give the name of a “thematic advocate” (7,5)
  • His creed/advice (which turned out to be the same thing), partly represented by the title and partly by a four-letter word in the grid

The six wordplay-only clues were the first of these to emerge, with 20 COSTARD and 11 ONION leading the field and suggesting something greengrocery (I wondered about rotting fruit and veg), but then followed by 30 BRAIN. At this point I remembered that ‘onion’ can mean your head or brain, and suspected that costard (=apple) might also do so. Later on I found 1 NAPPER, 23 NODDLE and 17 CRUMPET – all of which fairly obviously had to be jumbled given the checking letters. By this time, some of the unclued entries had been guessed too – OPIUM, then MORPHIA and MARIJUANA. So the theme had to be mind-altering drugs, and Timothy Leary was hot favourite for the advocate – confirmed easily by this stage. (The misplaced green square was the one numbered 32 – the one numbered 30 should have been green instead.) The title, NAIRO, had made me wonder about Leary’s death which I mistakenly thought had taken place ‘on air’ (anag.), but this was a red herring – in fact it took place on video but the public haven’t yet seen it. The thing to remember was “Turn on, tune in, drop out”. N(AIR)O matches the first two of these, so is there ‘drop out’ in the grid? Yes – the word PROD in the second row. The remaining drugs are BARBITONE, BENNY and CHARLIE.

Altered Minds
11 ON,I,O,N
17 C=cloudy,RUM,PET
20 C(OST=sot*)ARD
30 B,RA(I)N
1 N.A.,P.,PE,R – or something like this – I can’t quite see how to make “parking place, not lot” into PPE
23 NODD(y),(f)LE(w)
9 PRODUCE – ROD=bunch of twigs in UP rev., then C.E.
10 RENNET = tenner rev. – a kind of apple – so probably a good thing I didn’t look it up until just now, or I might have thought it was a theme hint.
13 ROGER,TO,N – which I’ve never heard of but assume must be near Glasgow – this is probably how the Scots feel about clues leading to Cockfosters and the like.
16 SEEPY – P=penny in eyes* – fluid is the anag. indicator, and pots the containment one.
26 SHELTA – ‘S = is, L in the*, A = Australian
29 W,E (bridge partners),I.R.=Inland Revenue = “the taxman”. And wier4 in C is a Scots Guard, so to speak.
31 PHENOL = (lone hp) rev.
2 INN(ARD=plough)’S
3 J,(b)EER – “joint” seems to be the first of a few hints at the theme
4 ARIGHT – (1, G.H.) in RAT*
5 NONESUCH – a name for a plant called black medick. In the US, the ‘medick’ part is spelled ‘medic’. So nothing to do with racism in the E.R.
6 CU(IT.,E)R – a Scots word for ‘pamper’
15 T(ERRA=rare*)RIA(l)
19 POT.,I,ON – another theme hint
25 T,HANK = to catch, as on a loop

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