Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 57 26 ACROSS by Phi

Posted by Hihoba on February 8th, 2008


After three pretty difficult ones, this was a bit of relief.
Most of the “normal” clues were pretty strightforward. One piece of wordplay eluded me for a long time – “Fourteenth place on the crawl” for barn. I’m still not entirely convinced about my explanation below (21A).

It rapidly became clear that the four down clues were not consecutive words, and the second one down appeared to have some American context. With the last letter being O I twigged that it was AMERICANO round something. This led to thoughts of COFFEE, and hence rapidly to LATTE, ESPRESSO and FILTER. The F in Filter then gave 6A as DECAF – clued without definition.
I already had “Twice” as a superfluous word in 18A and thought of “twice cooked” for biscuit – hence dipping BOURBON, NUT, SNAP and COOKIE in coffee is DUNKING (26 across).

Solving time :1.5 hours

1 LAPLANG – a grass is LAG round LAN (Local Area Network)
6 DECAF – no definition. FACED reversed
11 AGAMOID – a lizard is a + gam(leg) + o(nothing) + I’d
12 B(R)AKE – as in clam-bake, an American party
13 UNSPELL – UN(A French) + SELL(deception) round P(ower)
15 (T)OPER – German for opera as in “Die Dreigroschen Oper” (Threepenny Opera)
17 UREIC – 1CURE(one treatment) “recycled” – i.e rotated first to last twice
18 DIARIES – RAID reversed + IS round E(nglish). Twice is the surplus word
19 REACTED – READ(study) round CT(court) E(uropean)
20 SOSO – double meaning. So, so as two words meaning very, very as in “She’s so, so clever!”
21 BARN is a big building. On a pub crawl, bar A would be the first call, bar B the second .. and bar N the fourteenth. Pretty far-fetched I think!!
23 HAS+SOCK – something for the knees is an excellent definition!
26 DUNKING – see above
28 NIFTY – neat. L = fifty with F replaced by N(umber). Good clue!
30 ACNE – ACE round N(ame)
31 TELAMON – NOT(on no account) round MALE(man) reversed
33 PEAT – PET(favoured) round A
34 PRESIDE – PRIDE round ES (tu ES = you are French)
35 ESTOP – hidden
36 TROCAR – (carrot)* a medical perforator
2 AGAPAE – love-ins = agape round A(merican)
4 NOUGAT – (a tongu(e))*
5 G(a)IN trap
8 CREE(d)
14 SUI – Latin word (is u(seless))*
16 FREAKY – FRY round (st)EAK. Cooked is the surplus word.
22 AMIE(N)S – French friends round N(ame)
24 S(K)INNER – B.F. Skinner, American psychologist with second letter removed.
25 CAN +ADA – ADA is a computer language named after Ada Lovelace, Babbage’s “programmer”
27 NYM – Pistol, Nym and Bardolph are the comic sodiers in Henry IV and V. Hidden backwards.
29 FLAT – FAT(rich) round L(pounds)
32 (P)ORT

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