Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 64 GENERAL HOSPITAL by Arachne

Posted by Hihoba on March 28th, 2008


Excellent crossword! Quite testing and certainly fun, with enough continuous progress to keep you interested.

There were five types of clue.

1. Five “appendectomies” where the last letter had to be deleted before grid entry,

2. Five “births” where D for daughter or S for son had to be removed from the middle of the “mother’s” body,

3. Five “cosmetic procedures” which turned out to be liposuction – the removal of fats (in this case fat, lard, oil, ghi and butter),

4. Five “serious operations” on the clue, which turned out to be transplants, letter(s) being transplanted from the wordplay to the definition. I only solved these after completing the rest of the puzzle!

5. Twenty normal clues.

The first thing to do was to carry out a letter count on the clues. Ten had one letter more in the clue than in the diagram and five had several letters more. These last five I assumed to be the “cosmetic procedures”, which was confirmed by 33D SIGHING where the only word of four letters to fit in the grid was SING meaning GHI had to be omitted. At this time it was not clear whether this was three consecutive alphabetical letters or clarified butter! Later (FAT)ALLY confirmed the latter and the others followed quite quickly, apart from NUT BUTTER, the clue for which gave me great pleasure! 

HUSS(Y) gave the lead to the appendectomies, and LEN(D)S to the births, though I remain unhappy about “donates” as a definition. 

Solving time : several hours

25A HUSS(Y) is a “drab”, anagram of shy round US
8D BILL(Y) is a “Scots brother” – B(atchelor) + illy (rarely poorly). I found it as a 1549 definition in Merriam- Webster online but not in Chambers.
18D INC(H) is “a little bit” – trim (p)inch (compress). This is the abbreviation mentioned in the rubric.
31D CREE(D) is “beliefs” – (ar)e in cred (short for credibility). Confusing that a D had to be removed – could have been a daughter, except that it didn’t come form the “body” of its mother!
28D PASTE(L) is “delicate” – anagram of pleats
Giving Birth
1A SPA(D)E “bone” is the scapula – (i)s + pad (dressing) + E (drug) 
24A RY(D)AL is a “village” in Cumbria – hidden in Angry Dalits
34A VI(S)A is an “endorsement” – it is vis-a-vis (opposite number) minus vis (force or power) as in Hooke’s law “Ut tensio sic vis”
9D LOO(S)E – double meaning, relax and producing plegm easily
32D LEN(D)S – not very sure about this as “donates”. It’s not in Chambers. l(ungs) + ends (dies)
Cosmetic Surgery
16A POL(LARD)ED is “having had bits removed”  – anagram of [old Pearl d(ied)]
39A BR(OIL)ED is “got extremely hot” – Br(other) + oiled (applied balm)
6D (FAT)ALLY is “resulting in death” though I’m not very happy about the grammar! Fat (obese) + All (every) + y(ear)
23D NUT (BUTTER) “a vegan would eat this” – and as a Spoonerism But (only) Nutter (crazy person). Love this clue!
33D SI(GHI)NG is “respiration”- anagram of [Singh i (one) g(ood)]
Clue Surgery
11A LORIOT R is transplanted so the clue becomes “Bird . . . .fright”. – L(earner) + (t)O + RIOT (fight)
15A ACE R is transplanted, so the clue becomes “Care about card” – anagram of cae
30A ECLAT ST is transplanted so the clue becomes “. . .pansticked . . . lustre” – anagram of   lace + (velve)t. Chambers gives lustre as a synonym of eclat.
2D PRECIOUS L is tranplanted so the clue becomes “Is couple . . . darling” – anagram of [Is coupe r(ight)]
22D ISLANDS N is transplanted so the clue becomes “. . . gents Tonga” Is(aiah) + (acquires) lands (gets)
Normal Across Clues
4 PLAYABLE is “can be performed” – play (operation) + able (practised).
10 TRALEE is an Irish bay – anagram of tar + lee
12 RECITALS are “renditions” – anagram of articles
17 RECTITIS is “intestinal inflammation” – anagram of [citr(a)te is]
21 GONION is “part of jaw” – anagram of [ongoin(g)]
26 CREASE is a “wrinkle” – cr is a third of creams + ease (diminish)
27 FLATPACK is “a piece of self-assembly furniture” – a pack for the flat
35 DISTRACT is “divert attention from” (Princess) Di’s + tract (as in intestinal ditto)
36 TENDON is a “sinew” – tend (nurse) + on (leg – cricket side)
37 TAILLE is a “tax” – 1L in tale (archaic total)
38 MESSAGES are “teachings” – sage (wise man) in mess (confusion)
Normal Down Clues
1 STRAIGHTEN is “smooth” – anagram of [treating h(i)s]
3 ELITE is “the best” – lit(erature) in e(arly) + E(nglish)
5 LEAST is “the minimum” – hidden in file a story
7 ARMOIRE is an “antique wardrobe” – Ar(abian) + moire (watered silk)
13 TACOMA is a “port” in USA – t(his) + a(ppalling) + coma
14 ADDLEPATED is “mixed-up” – anagram of [lad depa(r)ted]
19 TYRANT is “oppressor” – tyro (beginner) with o(ld) replaced by ant (worker)
20 FASCICLE is a “bundle” not only of nerves – F(orce) + asci (cells) + cle (anagram of cel(l). Two dictionary lookups here for me. Fascicle was unfamiliar as was ascus for a cell – plural asci.
29 CARIB is a South “American Indian” – c(hipped) + a + rib

One Response to “Inquisitor 64 GENERAL HOSPITAL by Arachne”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    8D *is* in Chambers: POORLY = ILL (both synonyms of UNWELL), and the entry for ILLY is “(rare) ill”.
    But I hadn’t noticed that the ‘births’ were each D or S.

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