Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 98 – Favourite by Loda

Posted by duncanshiell on November 21st, 2008


LODA is a regular contributer to the Inquisitor series and his (?) puzzles cover a wide range of subjects. This one took us into deepest Peckham in London. We were told that the wordplay in each of the fifty five clues would lead to the answer plus an additional letter. Of the fifty five clues, eighteen had no definition and the extra letters in these spelt out the theme of the puzzle. The remaining thirty seven clues led to six thematic names. Finally we were told that two additional thematic names had to be highlighted in the grid.

I took a while to get started on this puzzle and but finally got in through 21 across where ‘Simpson’s partner’ got me thinking about Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, writers of Hancock’s Half Hour and Steptoe & Son. Perhaps if I had read my crystal ball right at that time I might have gone on to think about situation comedies a bit further.

Gradually I identified a number of anagrams in the clues without definition and the grid began to take shape. It was about halfway through that I started to recognise letters spelling out part of the names of a character or two from Only Fools and Horses and the whole thing fell into place as far as extra letters were concerned.

The extra letters in the eighteen clues without definitions spelt out ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES.

The extra letters in the remaining clues yielded MARLENE, DELBOY, DENZIL, RODNEY, BOYCIE and RAQUEL, all of whom were regular characters in the series.

Another regular character was TRIGGER, located at 1 down and the key family name of DELBOY, RODNEY, Grandad and Uncle Albert is TROTTER which can be found at 1 across.

I usually find short answers quite difficult to solve. In this case the average answer length was 5.2 letters but there were a lot of checked letters which helped considerably. Indeed, fourteen clues were fully checked and the average number of unchecked letters per answer was just under 1. It was therefore an interesting grid and must have been difficult to fill when being compiled. I suppose so many fully checked answers means that it is possible to complete the grid without understanding all the wordplay. As a blogger, I have to try and understand it all come what may! I think I’ve got it right although there was a bit of head scratching on some of the answers for a time. For example, en meaning nut is not a combination I have come across before. Other new words to me included NIDGET (idiot), DRAGÉE (sweet enclosing a drug), GECK (a dupe). The GECKO was well known as I lived in rural Malaysia in the early 1970s and came face to face with many lizards of all shapes and sizes.

I guess it is easier to write clues with just wordplay than it is to write clues with wordplay and definition. It is however more difficult to solve clues without a definition until you have a few checking letters. I enjoyed the clues – it took me a long time to associate ‘Brooklyn’ with ‘dad’ 8 down when establishing the wordplay. I was fixated on Brooklyn going with $1000. When I first solved 16 across a week before I wrote the blog, I think I linked FAV to the short title of the puzzle quite quickly but it took a long time to get the connection again when I came to write the blog. I liked ‘jumper’ for [kanga]roo in 28 across. I am not sure about my interpretation of the wordplay in 10 down given that I am using TURKEY in the word play as well as giving TURKEY as the answer, but I think my logic works even if it is not what LODA intended. Also, I am not one hundred per cent sure of my wordplay in 23 down DONOR

Overall a diverting puzzle that took me a couple of two hour sessions to solve.

Time now to look forward to Inquisitor 100 tomorrow. Probably not as big a milestone as the recent Listener 4000, but an important event nonetheless.

In the detailed information below, Letter 1 refers to clues where a definition has been given, and Letter 2 refers to the 18 clues where no definition has been given.

No. Entry Letter 1 Letter 2 Components of Wordplay
1 TROTTER O TOR (hill) + OTTER (animal) = TROTTER
6 NIDGET N Anagram of (supply) TENDING = NIDGET
11 ROGUE L Anagram of (twisting) OR GLUE = ROGUE
13 OKRA M OK (yes) + RAM (beat hard) = OKRA (vegetable)
14 PACER Y PAY (settle) + CE (church [of England]) + R (rule) = PACER
16 AVER F FAV (short for ‘favourite’, the title of the puzzle) + ER (queen) = AVER
17 GEAR A AGE (period) + A (a) + R (king) = GEAR (clothes)
19 NODI R Anagram of (out) IRONED excluding E (earth) = NODI (difficulties)
20 GECK O GECKO (lizard) = GECK
21 GALTON L GALL (irritate) + TON (heavy weight) = GALTON (reference Galton & Simpson, scriptwriters of situation comedies)
23 DECENT E DENT (notch) containing (around) CEE (the letter C) = DECENT (moderate)
24 GOOD N Anagram of (trained) DOG NO = GOOD (well)
25 ESPY E SP (species) contained in (in) EYE (spring of water) = ESPY (see)
28 ROARER O ROO (short for kangaroo [jumper]) + anagram of (woven) RARE = ROARER
29 TURNIP L TURN (act, e.g. an act in a variety show) + LIP (insolence) = TURNIP
31 HERE D HERD (drive) + E (energy) = HERE (this place)
33 CORM E C (cocaine = charlie or radio code word for C) + OR (or) + ME (me) = CORM (stem)
35 DETOUR L Anagram of (sick) RUDE LOT = DETOUR (deviates make a detour)
36 SPARED B SP (special) + anagram of (cut) BREAD = SPARED (avoided)
37 GOAT S Reverse of (flipping) STAG (male) containing (has) O = GOAT
39 USED O OUSE (river) + D (depth) = USED (an archaic or former meaning of observed)
42 TEND Y TED (to spread grass) containing (around) NY (city of New York) = TEND (minister)
44 GULL A GU (a viol or fiddle once used in Shetland) + ALL (the lot) = GULL
45 GROUT D GUT (channel) containing (in) ROD (stick) = GROUT (lees)
46 MERE E Hidden word in …..CAME ERECTED….. = MERE (boundary)
47 PRUNE N RUN (flow) contained in (into) PEN (weir) = PRUNE
48 TOSSER D Anagram of (sort) SORT DES = TOSSER
49 SWINGER H SHE (she) containing WING (fan) + R (right) = SWINGER


No. Entry Letter 1 Letter 2 Components of Wordplay
1 TRIGGER O Anagram of (stupid) GIT ROGER = TRIGGER
2 ROVE N R (take) + OVEN (kiln) = ROVE (range)
3 TUARTS Z TARTS (prostitutes = pros) containing (imbibe) UZ (ouzo without first and last letters, i.e. without ends = endless) = TUARTS ([eucalyptus] trees)
4 EVEN I EN (nut,[look under NUT in Chambers] containing (holding) VIE (contest) = EVEN (not odd)
5 RORO L ROL (Rolf, docked of its last letter) + reverse of (capsized) OR = RORO (roll on, roll off ferry)
6 NODDED R ODD (casual) contained in (trapped by) anagram of (awful) NERD = NODDED (napped)
7 DRAGEE O ORANGE (fruit) without N (new) contained in (in) DE (Delaware) = DRAGÉE (sweet)
8 GAVE D G ($1000) + DAVE (reference David Beckham, Brooklyn Beckham’s dad) = GAVE (donated)
9 ERECT N ERNE (eagle) + CT (court) = ERECT (raise)
10 TURKEY R TURKE (turkey (bird)cut, to give TURKE) first + YR (your) = TURKEY
12 ECTOGENOUS E Anagram of (massaging) EGO ETC + NO USE (useless) = ECTOGENOUS (capable of living independently or outside the body of the host, like some parasites)
15 NICKUMPOOP S NICK (notch) + SUM (whole) + POOP (deck) = NICKUMPOOP
18 ALTAR Y YALTA (reference Yalta agreement) + R (first letter of (front of ) ‘ridge’) = ALTAR (wall ledge)
22 ALOE B A (a) + LOBE (a division of a leaf) = ALOE (medicine, a bitter purgative drug)
23 DONOR O DO (party) + ON (on) + O (first letter of ‘of’) + R (final letter of [finally] ‘October) = DONOR (one who gives)
26 SNARE Y Anagram of (off) YES RAN = SNARE (moral danger)
27 PIKE C PICK (choose) + E (ecstasy [drug]) = PIKE (reference Private Pike in Dad’s Army, frequently called a ‘stupid boy!’ by Captain Mainwaring)
30 PADDLER I PI (pious) + ADDLER (ladder [climber (?)] with first letter falling down the word) = PADDLER (canoeist)
31 HOGGET E Anagram of (broke) THE and O (round) and EGG = HOGGET
32 ETTLES E Reverse of (to go back) SETTEE (single decked Mediterranean vessel) containing (round) L (loch) = ETTLES (Scots word meaning intends)
33 CUSSER S CUSSES (swears) + R (recipe) = CUSSER
34 SATURN R Anagram of (new) STAR + URN (vessel) = SATURN (ringed planet)
35 DOURO A DOA (dead on arrival) containing (clutching) OUR = DOURO (Iberian river)
38 ALMS Q QA (Q & A) + LMS (London Midland and Scotland railway) = ALMS (charity)
40 EGGS U EG (for example = say) + GUS = EGGS (bombs)
41 DRAW E Anagram of (injured) WADER = DRAW (entice)
43 NINE L Anagram of (work) LINEN = NINE (a time, e.g. nine o’clock)

2 Responses to “Inquisitor 98 – Favourite by Loda”

  1. George Hill says:

    I think there is another element – not essential to solving the crossword , but entertaining nonetheless. All the unclued words are (loosely) “Only Fools and Horses” e.g. Trotter, Trigger, Pacer are horses, nickumpoop, prune, gull are fools! Can’t take credit for this, it was spotted by a friend!

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Tricky in parts for those who don’t watch much TV – as well as the theme & characters, we had GALTON & SIMPSON, as well as PIKE.
    And cluing DAVE via Brooklyn (Beckham)’s dad is a touch too “Hello” magazine for my taste.

    But having each undefined entry as either a Fool or a Horse was indeed a nice touch.

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