Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 62/Choices by Nutmeg

Posted by Colin Blackburn on March 15th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

I had so solve this puzzle immediately after solving another Nutmeg puzzle so I was hoping for a very different theme. The preamble suggested choices in solving clues and in entering answers. At first I stared bemusedly at the clues wondering how to best start this one. Then I noticed something. A lot of clues had short words of the form xORy. Mmm, a quick count of the clues with the letters OR embedded within words revealed just half. The penny drop for this one is right at the start.

So, each time an OR appears I have to choose one half part of the word or the other. This works fine for the first few I try with just four letter words but then it breaks down when the words are longer. So, it the letter one side of OR or the other. This works and fits in better with the triple choice in one word. A couple of the normal clues solved reveal words with OR in them and so a similar choice has to be made before entering. From this point in it’s just a slog, and very enjoyable slog though.

To the setter’s credit all of the choices in the grid check with other choices. This is an excellent construction and makes it just a little trickier.

a reel is a Scottish (hence Ian’s) tune.

Across
2 CHLPRELUDES CHORAL PRELUDES (SAD HERO PURCELL)*
10 FREAK PASTor’s F+REAK REAK is an old word, hence ‘past’.
11 EDIIAL EDITORIAL EDIT+”Oriel” ref Oriel College, Oxford.
12 CUSCLE CORPUSCLE PUS+CL in CORE CL = extremely crucial.
13 EVAPTE EVAPORATE PAVE< + ORATE flag is to pave, as in lay paving stones or flagstones.
15 ESCED ESCORTED ESCORT+ED ref Ford Escort, ED = limits of England
16 HELMED MorsE ME in HELD
19 MEMLANE MEMORY LANE MEMO + NEARLY*
21 EDUCIBLE CREDITors ED for CR in CRUCIBLE the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield is home to the snooker world championships.
24 MARSH TIT HISTory HIST* in TRAM<
26 ESSENCE Corn C in ESSENE I think there is an error in this clue. An Essene is an ascetic rather than an aesthete.
28 REENCE REENFORCE REEN+FORCE
31 MEANB MEANBorn BARON* in MEN
33 PISTOL forGET dd? I’ve not checked this one, is Pistol one of Falstaff’s servants? See comment 1.
35 IMPUNE IMPORTUNE IMP+(f)ORTUNE
36 DEOANT DEODORANT (DO NOT READ)*
37 ENDER ENDORSER DORS in RENE< ref Diana Dors, British actress.
38 NEWSTHINESS NEWSWORTHINESS (NEW SHIRT SEWN SO)* rags = newspapers.
Down
1 AFCE AFFORCE A F-FORCE the stutter from s-squad gives the stutter in f-force.
2 CRUSADE corA’S (A’S)< in CRUDE
3 HESCOURSES HORSES FOR COURSES HORSES+FOR+COURSES
4 LACED SorbET (p)LACED
5 REEL dorIAN’S forTUNE dd
6 LIVE EXorcIST EVIL<
7 UIALLY UXORIALLY (b)UXO(m)+I in RALLY
8 ELT SorrOW (f)ELT
9 SUEDETTE Worn SUE+(w)ETTED<
14 PMANTEAUDS PORTMANTEAU WORDS cd a portmanteau is a case that gives its name to a word construction like ‘slithy’ for ‘slimy’ and ‘lithe’ where two words and their meanings are packed together.
16 HEL norMAN & forLorn HE+L tricky triple choice in ‘forlorn’!
17 PETER PAN corPoreAL PETER+PAN …and another. Peter Pan was Wendy Darling’s pal. Incidentally, Barrie created the name Wendy.
18 LIMN WordING “limb”
20 MESS MORE OR LESS MORE + LOSERS* ref Thomas More and another great compression into four letters.
22 FIENNES ThorOUGH “fines” Ranulph Fiennes is an explorer who has led many tough expeditions. I have, though, beaten him in the Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon!
23 CENTOS horOSCOPE reCENT OScope
25 ACE HorsE A+CE I’m not sure about this one. either HE or SE should lead to A. See comment 4, HE = A.
27 LEPNE LEPORINE (PERIL ONE)*
29 COAT CORROBORATORS COR+ROB+ORATORS Fantastic construction here getting 3 ORs in there.
30 TITI AcorN TITI(an) Titian is a colour (used by the painter).
32 BERS BORDERS BO(a)RDERS
34 IDE Work-OUT (w)IDE

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 62/Choices by Nutmeg”

  1. rayfolwell says:

    Pistol is one of Falstaff’s followers in The Merry Wifes of Windsor.

  2. jetdoc says:

    Nutmeg had a Listener and this IQ — which was much more challenging, and therefore more enjoyable, for me anyway — published in the same week.

    I agree about the mistake in 26a — it should be ‘ascetic’.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    I can’t remember the Nutmeg Listener offhand even though I know I did it.

    I’m guessing the ascete was spell-checked to aesthete and not corrected.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Yes, we all agree that ESSEN[C]E was wrongly clued.
    25d: Chambers gives “a^2 (dialect) … he; she; it …”, so HorsE becomes HE, leading to A.
    And in 5d, it’s not just dorIAN’S but dorIAN’S forTUNE.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the additional corrections and clarifications. I’ve amended the blog entry.

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