Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 81 – QUESTION AND ANSWER by Quixote

Posted by Colin Blackburn on July 24th, 2008

Colin Blackburn.

A fairly light puzzle from Quixote this week, though I don’t mean that in a bad way. I worked through the puzzle very quickly, for me, getting stuck on just one of the cryptic clues. This in turn meant not being able to fully resolve two of the unclued rows.

The across clues were all definition and letter mixtures, DLMs. These are not cryptic clues but, like Printer’s Devilry, make reasonably regular appearances in thematic puzzles. The extra twist here was that the letter mixture contained an extra letter, this made things a little harder. Luckily the standard constraint of the mixture starting at the start or ending at the end of a word helped. A DLM clue can have several superfluous words that lend to the surface but can create ambiguities giving more than one potential mixture. Often it isn’t worth looking at a DLM clue until you have a checking letter (20ac may have been an exception for some). One letter isn’t usually enough to pin down the exact letter mixture but the more checking letters the more you can zero in on the answer.

So, my strategy here was to first cold solve as many down answers as possible. Then, using the checking letters, identify as many letter mixtures as possible. Solve a few of these and then iterate. All the time keeping an eye on the extra letters and what they might spell. I ignored the unclued rows until I haad the theme.

The extra letters spelled out HOW MANY BOB DYLAN the response to this is, of course, that the answer is blowing in the wind. The unclued across rows were thus resolved as anagrams of synonyms of ANSWER inside names of WINDS.

In the analysis below I have not examined the DLM clues, there is no point, but simply stated the answers and extra letters. It would be interesting to know from the setter how much superfluous material can be added? Is it just to create a good surface or to deliberately create ambiguities.

Across DLMs
1 H ALONSO driver
6 O EGESTA waste materials
11 W ACUMEN insight
12 M RAVER party type
13 A PEACHY excellent
15 N FARE charge
18 Y EILD Jock’s producing nothing
20 B SINGING MASTER music teacher
24 O ANTA tapir
29 B ORRA odd in Motherwell
30 D PREACH advocate
31 Y GAZAR material
32 L SQUIRT small person
33 A ESTEEM think
34 N PETREL bird
Unclued across rows
REPLY in LEVANTER
RETORT in MISTRAL
RESPONSE in BURAN
SOLUTION in ZONDA
Down
1 ALARMIST A+RM in A+LIST RM = Royal MArine = Jolly
2 LECTIN CLIENT*
3 NAME TAG GATEMAN<
4 SPEARY EAR in SPY
5 ELCHEE EL+CHE+E Che Guevara.
6 EERY (b)EERY
7 GRANOLA GRAN+O+L+A
8 STEARATE (TASTE REA(l))*
9 TERRAN ERR in TAN
10 ARIEL “aerial”
14 CRANTS CR(y)+ANTS
16 TIMBRE chesTIMBREathing
17 INERRANT IN + RANTER*
19 PRENATAL PARENT* +A+L
21 INSTATE (A TENT IS)*
22 SUN CULT L in S+UNCUT
23 BURGOS BURG+OS OS = out size = large
25 AORIST A(m)ORIST
26 OPAQUE O+P(l)AQUE
27 NAIRNE ((g)RANNIE)* Lady Nairne was a Scottish song writer, I found after some time.
28 BONZE NOB< + ZE(al)
30 PRIM PRIM(o)

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