Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 60 – Proceedings by Zero

Posted by duncanshiell on February 28th, 2008


The title – Proceedings – alludes to ‘Carry on’, so this crossword was an entertaining romp down the history of ‘Carry On …….’ films, of which there were twenty-nine original and one compilation made between 1958 and 1978.

We were told that extra letters in the wordplay of most clues, in clue order, would spell out a quotation. Thirty-three of the forty-three clues yielded an extra letter to give the immortal words of Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar in Carry on Cleo:

Infamy! Infamy! They’ve all got it in for me.

The answers to the remaining ten clues had to be altered thematically. It became apparent that these ten clues generated a word that was one letter different from the subject of a Carry On film, or in one particular case, one letter different from ‘Carry On’ itself.

For example, COBBY was changed to CABBY to give Carry On Cabby and CARPING was changed to CAMPING etc.

The answers to 2 down and 5 down also got adjusted as a consequence of altering the ‘Carry On’ subject, to yield ANIONS and MAIM respectively. All the entries in the grid were real words.

Finally we were asked to highlight one row in the grid. During solving, the plethora of O’s at the left hand end of row 4 seemed to suggest that this would be the row to highlight. With the required adjustment of LATRON to MATRON at the right hand end, we were left with another of Kenneth Williams’ well known phrases:

Ooooooh Matron!

I suspect we could debate how many Os there should be in Oo…oh but the constraints of a crossword allow artistic licence!

Solving time – one evening session, with a little bit of extra time satisfying myself as to the exact positioning of the extra letters in the wordplay. All in all, an excellent celebration of the Carry On era.

No. Extra Letter Adjusted Entry Solution Components
1 CABBY COBBY COY (evasive) containing (about) BB (barrel = b – twice) = COBBY (stout – in dialect = local)
4 CAMPING CARPING CARING (concerned) containing (about) P (priest) = CARPING (to find fault with, to nag about trivialities = nit-picking)
10 I INFILL Hidden word: Some (hidden) certaIN IF ILLiberal…. = INFILL (to fill in or take up space)
11 N CAESURA Anagram (development of) SUGAR CANE without G (no start to) = CAESURA (a pause or natural breathing space occurring anywhere in a line of verse = hold-up)
12 F TIERCET T (tenor – twice, i.e. TT) surrounding (penning) FIERCE (savage) = TIERCET (a group of three lines)
17 MATRON LATRON LA (Los Angeles = City) + TRON (market place) = LATRON (robber)
18 A SNAKED SNED (dens [=studies] back [reversed]) containing (assuming) AKA (also known as = alias) = SNAKED (wound, past tense of wind)
19 M EARHOLE EARTH (connection without T [time]) + MOLE (spy) = EAR-HOLE (ear or listening apparatus)
22 Y TOORIES TOYS (playthings) containing (around) ORIEL (window without the final L [not closed])) = TOORIES (Scottish word meaning small heaps)
23 I REARED READ (learned) containing IRE (fury) = REARED(raised)
24 N ÉTRIER ENTER (become a member of) containing (to get inside) RI (Royal Institution) = ÉTRIER (a small rope ladder = means of ascent)
26 F CURTESY C (cold) + FURY (anger) containing (about) TEST (trial without the final T [not concluding]) = CURTESY (the right of a widower to a life estate in the land of his late wife)
28 A AGAINST AA (Australian Army) + GAINS (wins) + T (a bit of [first letter of] territory) = AGAINST (opposing)
29 SPYING SPRING SING (squeal) containing (about) PR (press release) = SPRING (release)
30 M MENSAL Anagram (suffering) of ALMS-MEN = MENSAL (monthly = each month)
36 CARRY ON CARRION CAR (wagon) + RIBBON (without BB = not very black) = CARRION (dead and rotting body or flesh of any animal = old meat)
37 Y NINNIES Hidden, reversed (found backward) within AngleSEY IN NINties = NINNIES (simpletons)
38 T CRESOL CREST (topknot, found under definition of topknot, rather than crest, in Chambers) + O (trace [first letter] of old) + L (trace [first letter of Listerian]) = CRESOL (an isomeric compound used as an antiseptic)
39 H ANGEKOK HANGED (executed without D (i.e. penniliess) + K (knight) + OK (all right) = ANGEKOK (an Inuit sorcerer or shaman)
40 HENRY HERRY HERR (master, the German form of address equivalent to sir) + Y (a common mathematical variable) = HERRY (praise, as used by the cruciverbalist’s favourite poet, Edmund Spenser)
No. Extra Letter Adjusted Entry Solution Components
1 E CITO CITE(summon) + O (leader [first letter] of Oftsed) =CITO (quickly)
2 Y ANIONS ONIONS ON (in the direction of) + anagram of (carousing) NOISY= ONIONS (heads [slang]))
3 V BIRO BIO (short for biography, life-story) containing VR(Queen Victoria) = BIRO (pen)
4 CLEO CLEF CLEFT (division without [relieved of] T (tense) = CLEF (character on a musical stave/staff)
5 E MAIM RAIL REAL (genuine) containing (wearing) I (one) = RAIL (an obsolete (old) word for a cloak)
6 A ISOTHERM Anagram (unruly) of EMIRS containing (stay within) OATH (promise) = ISOTHERM (a [contour] line on a map depicting equal temperature)
7 L NUR Two definitions: NUR (a hard ball or knot of wood); NURL (bead)
8 L GROOLY GOLLY (expressing surprise or admiration = crumbs!) containing (coated in) R and O (slices [first letters of] raw and ox) = GROOLY (gruesome)
9 G DANNEBROG D (Dutch) + ANNE (Queen [Anne]) + B (British) + GROG (beer, especially in Australia) = DANNEBROG (the Danish national flag)
13 O COETERNAL Anagram of (restyled) COOLNEATER = COETERNAL (equally eternal = just as long-lasting)
14 T THEORETIC THE (the) + TORE (rushed) + TIC (an involuntary habitual response) = THEORETIC (not practical)
15 I VARITYPER VARITY (VERITY [truth] with A [about] replacing E ([last letter of Shakespeare]) + PERI (beautiful fairy) = VARITYPER (a typewriter-like machine which has changeable type)
16 T OAXACA COAX (to pet without [non-] C [canine]) + A (a) + CAT (feline) = OAXACA (a city in Mexico)
18 SCREAMING STREAMING STRING (succession) containing (in) EA (each) and M (master, as in MA [master of arts] etc) = STREAMING (arranging pupils by ability)
20 I OSIRIS Every second letter of (regularly) tO hIm So It RaInS = OSIRIS (the greatest of Egyptian Gods son of Heaven and Earth [the kind of guy to whom you would surrender yourself if you wanted rain], with the whole clue having a touch of &Lit)
21 CRUISING BRUISING B (Belgium) + RISING (rebellion) containing (in) U (united) = BRUISING (hard-hitting)
25 N EGERIA VEGETARIAN without (topless) V and (no thanks) TA = EGERIA (a female adviser [of Numa Populis, king of Rome 715 - 673 BC])
27 F INDOOR FIND (discover) + O (old) + OR (gold) = INDOOR (inside building)
31 O LEEK LEE (Everyone’s favourite General) + KO (knock out) = LEEK (taken as the national emblem of Wales)
32 JACK PACK Two definitions: PACK (intimate, confidential) and PACK (bundle)
33 R FREE FRERE (brother [French]; Armand Arouet was Voltaire’s brother) = FREE (release)
34 M ONLY MOLY (magic herb given by Hermes to Odysseus) containing (found in) N (a little [first letter of] nutrition) = ONLY (just)
35 E INN LINEN (laundry, though not specifically so defined in Chambers or Collins. Other dictionaries make explicit references) without L (left) = INN (one’s nearest pub or local)

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