Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 83 – Rockery by Charybdis

Posted by duncanshiell on August 8th, 2008


The preamble for this puzzle was fairly short, comprising only two sentences.

We were told that eight unclued entries were all instances of the second half of 45 across. One of the instances was to be formed from two of the unclued entries (1 down + 38 across).  One of the instances of the second half of 45 across was the whole of 45 across.  This got me thinking about areas of botany or biology where plants, birds or creatures are given latin names which can be constructed of two identical words – e.g. cygnus cygnus (whooper swan).  It turned out that I was thinking vaguely along the right lines, but the reality was a bit simpler once the second half of 45 across was deduced as PLANTS.

Secondly we were told that the completed grid would hold nine examples of what could be found in a rockery. These nine examples had to be highlighted before submission, so Hihoba’s comment on the Inquisitor of last week, that you don’t always have to solve the final step win the prize, doesn’t apply in this case. However, given my problems with this last bit, perhaps it would have been better for me if we didn’t have to highlight anything.

The clues were not difficult to solve. Indeed, I found this one of the easiest grids to fill for some time and completed the grid in under two hours.  That’s fast for me.  Many of the clues wouldn’t have been out of place in a daily cryptic of the kind blogged elsewhere on Fifteensquared.

The eight unclued plants were deduced as follows:
18 across: PERIWINKLE
23 across: PETUNIA
31 across: CRAB
39 across: ANEMONE
1 down, 38 across: BLADDER NUT
28 down: LETTUCE

With the grid completed, it was now the time to seek the nine rockery examples of lengths 4, 4, 6, 6, 6, 7, 10, 10 and 12.  This was the most challenging part of the puzzle for me and I am not sure that I have got the right nine examples.  Initially, I went looking for species of alpine plants or heathers that might be found in a garden rockery but the appearance of MUSSEL (edible shellfish) in row 2 and LIMPET (mollusc that clings to rocks) in row 6 soon convinced me that we were being asked to look for examples of creatures or other living organisms that can be found in rock pools.

I felt that these would be located left to right across or vertically down, but I also had a good look at right to left, and up, as well as studying all sorts of diagonals in both directions.

It became apparent that some of the unclued entries would have to double duty as plants and creatures or seaweed in the rockery as the only way of getting 10 and 12 letter examples seemed to involve PERIWINKLE (as an edible gastropod with a shell), SEA-LETTUCE (seaweed) , and BLADDERWRACKS (more seaweed).

The only relevant seven letter word that I could find was ANEMONE (in its meaning as sea-anemone or soft-bodied polyp).

This left a six letter word and two four letter words for the rockery.

On the grounds that WINKLE was part of  PERIWINKLE, I plumped for SHRIMP (shellfish) as the remaining six letter word.

There is another six letter possibility in RED-EYE which is a rudd or roach. I think though that a roach is a freshwater fish and therefore unlikely to be found in rock-pools.

One four letter word, again doing double duty as a plant and a rock pool inhabitant, was CRAB (shellfish)

For the final four letter word, from the vaguely relevant words available, I had a choice of FISH (row 2) and LANT (row 13).  I decided that FISH was too generic, so I plumped for LANT which is another word for LAUNCE (an eel-like fish that buries itself in the sand at ebb-tide).  I am a bit unsure though whether the LANT ventures into rocks or just lives in open sand.

If you dig a bit further, and look at back-words and up-words as well, you can see KEEL (row 11), CERO (column 2), TIDE (column 9 up). and SEAL (column 13)   I couldn’t find anything relevant on any diagonal.  I am sure there are many rusted and broken KEELs lying abandoned on rocks all over the world.  A CERO is a large tropical West Atlantic fish, so probably not a frequent inhabitant of rock pools.  The TIDE comes in and out every day, creating rock pools along the way.  On holiday this year I saw many SEALs basking on rocks just by the shoreline as the sea crashed around them.  SEAL however is already part of SEA-LETTUCE.  

I have submitted my nine rockery inhabitants as BLADDERWRACK, SEA-LETTUCE, PERIWINKLE, ANEMONE, MUSSEL, LIMPET, SHRIMP, CRAB and LANT but I don’t feel confident.

When this blog goes live, I shall be camped on a farm in Cropredy, along with 20,000 others attending this year’s Fairport Convention annual festival, and won’t have access to a computer until Sunday.    I hope the weather holds out for the end of the week, but it’s not looking hopeful.

No. Entry Components of Entry
2 COMPATRIOTIC COMIC (funny) containing (about) (PAT [convenient / at the right or place] + RIOT [disturbance of the peace by a crowd]) = COMPATRIOTIC (of people in the same state or country)
10 LITMUS Anagram (a form) of BOTULISM excluding (when absent from the outset) BO (chap / man) = LITMUS (this indicates; red for acid, blue for alkili)
11 SELFISH Anagram (corrupt) of IS FLESH = SELFISH (unkind? / usually implies a disregard gor others)
12 EDWIN RED WINE (vin rouge) without the first and last letters (endless) = EDWIN (Male Christian name meaning both ‘prosperity or riches’ and ‘friend’)
15 DERIG DE RIGEUR (is required) excluding (except for) EUR (Europe) = DERIG (dismantle, especially sound and lighting gear in a theatre)
16 REDEYES Anagram (running) of DEER + YES (indeed) = RED-EYES (a common fault in amateur flash photography causing the pupils of the subject’s eyes to appear red)
17 DRY SUNDRY (more than a couple) excluding (out of) SUN = DRY (things out the sun ‘would be less likely to be dry’)
18 PERIWINKLE a creeping evergreen plant
20 SLIM SLIME (mother, defined in this case as a slimy mass of bacteria) excluding (lacking) E (energy) = SLIM (go on a diet)
23 PETUNIA South American genus of ornamental plants
25 ROPE Hidden (caught in) PROPELLER = ROPE (hawser)
26 NGAIO Two definitions – NGAIO MARSH (authoress) and NGAIO (tree)
27 NOEL Similarly, two definitions – NOEL (Christmas carol) and NOEL EDMONDS (a seemingly ever present ‘personality’ on some television screens)
29 WHAT FOR Anagram (out) of HOW FAR and T (last letter [ending] of MEASUREMENT = WHAT FOR (punishment=carpeting as in I’ll give you what for!)
31 CRAB wild apple tree (tree is defined as ‘a large plant’)
33 RESOLUTION REVOLUTION (putsch) with V (very) replaced by S (succeeded) = RESOLUTION (a formal proposal put before a meeting)
39 ANEMONE a member of the genus Anemone of the crowfoot family
38 NUT with 1d, gives BLADDER NUT, a genus of shrubs
41 PRINT SPRINT (a quick run) excluding (after polling) S = PRINT (go to press)
42 CLEEK Constituent (with) of anagram (all over the place) LACKEYED, the other constituent (making…of it) being DAY = CLEEK (a golf club)
43 KAINGAS KAIN (tribute) + GAS (something impressive) = KAINGAS  (Maori villages)
44 ORPHIC PHI (greek letter) contained (swallowed by) ORC (killer whale) = ORPHIC (relating to the mysteriies of Orpheus))
45 SHRIMP PLANTS small Mexican plants of the acanthus family
No. Entry Components of Entry
1 BLADDER See 38 across (BLADDER NUT)
2 CICERO HERO (champion) excluding (losing lead[ing letter]) H after (behind) CIC (199 in Roman numerals / almost 200) = CICERO (a measure of type between pica [12pt] and English [14pt])
3 OTARY TAR (sailor) contained (taken) in O and Y (first letters [initially] of OLD YARNS) = OTARY (an eared seal)
4 PUDGE PUD (short for pudding = dessert) + EG (for instance) reversed (up) = PUDGE (an informal term for a squat, fat and flabby person, i.e. one who is overweight)
5 ASWARM AS WARM ( all of uniform temperature) = ASWARM (moving in a mass)
6 RENEW WIENER (of Wien, or in English, of Vienna) excluding I (I’ll leave), and reversed (returning) = RENEW (make a fresh start)
7 OFTEN SOFTEN (melt) excluding (no topping) the leading S = OFTEN (frequently)
8 TIDY two definitions TIDY (fairly big) and TIDY (of the tide, which rises and falls around the coastline; the Shorter Oxford gives ‘tidy’ as an example of an adjective formed from a noun with the sense ‘of or pertaining to’, ‘having the nature, qualities, or appearance of’…..)
9 CHASE CHASTE (virgin) excluding (having no) T (time) = CHASE (pursuit)
11 SIRI SIR (eg -addressing a master in school) + I (one) = SIRI (pawn, both siri and pawn can be defined as betel)
13 EDITOR Anagram (up) of D (first letter of  [leader of] DAILY) and I TORE = EDITOR (who may well write the leader column or leading article of a newspaper)
14 DELI Hidden (bottles) in MADE LIQUEUR = DELI (delicatessen) food shop
19 KNOB a definition KNOB (boss is defined as knob or stud) and a homophone (sounds like) NOB (a person of wealth or high rocial rank, and therefore well connected)
20 SPAS SPASM (sustained involuntary muscular contraction or fit) excluding the final (not quite enough) M = SPAS (springs)
21 LET LETHAL (death-dealing) without (not) HAL (Henry VIII) = LET (suffer)
22 INFLOW INF (information) + LOW (base) = INFLOW (affluence)
23 PAR P (first letter [beginning] of PRISONER) + A + R (run) = PAR (short for paragraph or several sentences served together)
24 UNA LUNAR (moony, cf tidy at 8d, (excluding [remove from]) L and R (both hands, left and right) = UNA (girls’s name)
28 LETTUCE a composite plant
30 HENS HE (that man) above (sits on) NS (poles, north and south poles) = HENS (layers of eggs)
31 CINEOL Anagram (works) of CHLORINE excluding (absent) R and H (first letters [initially] of rudimentary hygeine) = CINEOL (a camphor-smelling disinfectant)
32 LUNGIS I (one) contained (having around) in  LUNGS (respiratory organs /breathers) = LUNGIS (long cloths used as sashes)
33 RACKS two definitions – RACKS (strains) and RACKS (draws off from the lees)
34 OMANI MAN (fellow) contained in (held by) OI (cry used to attract attention) = OMANI (a citizen of the Sultanate of Oman)
35 UNCAP Anagram (not in a fit state) of PAUNCH excluding the final  H (mostly) = UNCAP (take the top off)
36 TELS First, third, fifth and seventh letters (regularly) of TRELLIS = TELS (mounds in Arab lands formed from accumulated debris from earlier mud or wattle habitations)
37 OPERA Hidden (some) in HOPE RATBAG = OPERA (Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung is a cycle of operas)
38 NIGHT KNIGHT (chess piece) excluding (without the) K (king) = NIGHT (dark / black)
40 EMIR ME (Charybdis, setter of the crossword) reversed (goes up) + IR (Inland Revenue / taxman) = EMIR (ruler, i.e. the one in charge))

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 83 – Rockery by Charybdis”

  1. Hihoba says:

    I confess to missing LANT and submitting FISH. I found the dual nature of PERIWINKLE, CRAB

  2. Hihoba says:

    I confess to submitting FISH rather than LANT (which I hadn’t spotted!). I found the dual nature of CRAB, ANEMONE and PERIWINKLE rather unsatisfactory, and how did a rockery become a rock pool?

  3. Boy racer says:

    I agree with Hihoba. This one was rather disappointing. It seemed reasonable to assume that CRAB etc would not be used twice. I thought I must be missing something.

  4. Rosie says:

    I deliberately chose FISH as a better match for CRAB than the more obscure LANT. But like the other posters I would also have preferred to have new words to find rather than reusing the old ones.

  5. HolyGhost says:

    Been away for August, so some catching up to do.
    I too settled on LANT in preference to FISH – but that’s what’s wrong with some Inquisitor puzzles … it’s just not clear whether one has finished or not.

  6. HolyGhost says:

    15 A: The wordplay leads to DE RIGUEUR minus EUR – it looks like someone made the common spelling mistake of omitting the U after the G.

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