Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 76 — Up, Up and Away by Phi

Posted by Colin Blackburn on June 21st, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

The clue is in the title, “Up, up and away” …in my beautiful balloon. A song probably known to many of my contemporaries as the music from the Nimble advert. Nimble was a brand of bread aimed at those hoping to lose weight. The cunning trick was to get more air in and then make the slices smaller and thinner than standard loaves. You really were eating less.

Anyway, where was I? Yes, balloons. I knew it had to have something to do with balloons. After getting a couple of the extra middle letters in the wordplay I guessed BALLOON would be part of the 14 letter creation. Then I got the final IC of the 14 letter title and BALLOONATIC seemed an obvious crosswordy word. A quick Google revealed that THE BALLOONATIC was a Buster Keaton short. I’ve seen a fair amount of Keaton but this one didn’t ring a bell. Not one of his best apparently. Maybe Phi thinks otherwise.

BUSTER KEATON nicely gave me the six pairs of extra letters and let me quickly complete the puzzle. I hadn’t got any of the answers to be inflated before I got Keaton’s name so I’m not sure how I would have found this without the help of the Internet.

I was left wondering whether there was anything more signficant in the puzzle that I was missing or maybe Phi, like me, just liked the term Balloonatic?

The first entry is the grid entry at that number. The second is the clue solution at hat clue number. Green = extra middle letters, red = inserted pairs of letters, blue = number at which inflated answer appear in he grid.

* = anagram
< = reversal
dd = double definition

Across
1 COM AT OSE N in TRIAL 30 I had to look this up but Antoine Trial was a comic tenor. He gave his name to a thin nasal operatic voice.
7 PUDU PU T +DU
10 ODDS OD+DS two heartless words.
11 IRIDAL IR+I+D+AL(l)
12 MESSRS MES H + R in SS I had ???SRS for a while and was convinced that one of the intersecting answers must be wrong.
14 TURN RUT< + N
15 MAR ON IAN MON+ERA 18
19 TOORIE TOO+ E RIE a Scottish word for a small heap, ‘pile’ is nicely deceptive giving the impression of a small castle somewhere in Ayrshire.
21 TON-UP NOT< ‘…not suited for a down answer?’ Groan.
22 SWANNY WAN in SNY great adjective! a SNY is a Canadian side-channel, apparently.
23 END-ALL EN+DALL(y) ens and ems are print units.
26 MODEM MODE M M is letter 13!
27 SERAPH SER B +AP+H(ear)
30 TRI BU NAL CAT< in INT 38 excellent clue with the break hidden in ‘Un-neutered tom’.
33 PERI PE A R+I
34 SIESTA E L S in IT in SA Ernie ELS is a crossword staple.
35 BRUNEI BR+UNE+I
36 EROS othER L OSer
37 YANG N in GAY< ref. Yin and YANG.
38 INT ER ACT DARNED dd 8
Down
1 COMMUTER COMM+ O UTER
2 ODEA (A+EDO)< EDO was an old name for Tokyo.
3 ASSOT ASS+(cl)OT
4 TERNE PLATE T(hat) in PLANETREE*
5 ON-SITE londONS O ITEventuates
6 SIVA SI N +V+A
7 PITARA I+TAR in PA
8 DAR KE NED C+O + SOME* 1ac
9 ULNA U+L+NA
13 SNOW-MOBILE S+NOW+MO+BILE excellent clue.
16 RANDEM R AND EM ref the band R.E.M.
17 LINDEN L+IN+ A DEN
18 MON ST ERA ARI(a) in MAN 15 a MARIAN is an English Roamn Catholic from the time of Queen Mary.
20 SYMPLAST SY+MP+LAST
24 ARMING FARMING – F
25 WHISHT WHI T ‘S H(o)T WHIT, short for Whitsuntide, was a regular holiday slot for many. WHISHT is a Scots word asking for quiet.
28 QUEER QUEEN with R for N
29 UPBY UP+ I BY
31 REIN NI C ER<
32 ATOC A TO C I got this early on and had to wonder whether the encyclopedia was many-volumed, ATOC, or just two-volumed, ATOK. The former seemed more likely.

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 76 — Up, Up and Away by Phi”

  1. Chris Jones says:

    Hi Colin

    An informative, in-depth review thanks. Just a small point about “Up Up and Away” – this was not from the Nimble advert (“I Can’t Let Maggie Go” by Honeybus, if memory serves) but a top 10 hit for Fifth Dimension. I’ll get me anorak …

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Interesting clarification Chris. I remember “I Can’t Let Maggie Go” but I also remember “Up Up and Away”. At least one source claims the first tune for their 1970 campaign and the second for their 1974 campaign. Another source claims that the second was never a Nimble theme. 1974 fits better into my television memory but it may be a false memory. No need for the anorak.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    Attacked this quite differently from CB. From intersections with Across answers, soon realised that only DARKENED would fit in 8d, which had nothing to do with the clue there, but DARNED had everything to do with the clue at 38a. So the ‘specials’ were likely to be 6+2 letters each, the clue at 8d was a ‘special’ whose answer had to be fitted elsewhere, and the answer at 38a had to come from somewhere else. And the dominoes started falling …

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