Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 105, WARTIME SUSPENSE by Schadenfreude

Posted by Hihoba on January 9th, 2009


The usual shudder occurred when I saw that it was Schadenfreude this week and I wasn’t disappointed! Not only misprinted clues, but also columns with a letter to be moved. This meant that even when the relevant down clues were solved, they didn’t necessarily help a lot with the across clues! Still an excellent crossword and a great sense of satisfaction on completing it.

I struggled for two days, finishing most of the middle section, but I found the top row and the bottom three “challenging”.

I initially thought that the “WARTIME SUSPENSE” of the title might refer to the Christmas truce of 1914 but not so. Wrong war!

The letters to be raised started with U or S, then X or I then ?, then G. This led me down the blind alley of thinking that it started with SING or SONG, but solving INANE seemed to indicate SIEG (rather than UXID!) and the word HANG seemed to be present in the misprinted letters. It suddenly dawned that we were HANGing OUT something and the letters to be raised to the top row spelled out SIEGFRIED LINE.  The song, “Were gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line” was popularised by Flanagan and Allen and was sung by troops in WW2. Those of us of a certain age heard it on the radio or heard our parents sing it. A few solvers may have actually sung it while on service, but I suspect that for most it is a historical footnote.

The first words,  “WE’RE GONNA HANG OUT” were spelled out in the misprints. Once there were definite places for the down letters the across clues succumbed quite quickly, and the misprinted letters (mostly in across clues, but the final OUT in the downs) were realtively easy to find. I’m still not convinced about the first N of GONNA, though!

This left “THE WASHING ON THE” unaccounted for and I found the seven items to be highlighted hanging symmetrically from the top line. They are TANKTOP, BLOUSE, CORSET, SLIP, COAT, SHIRT and SWEATER. 


 Raised Letters  from
Clue Misprint  Answer; Explanation
 1  W  TABS and w(d)eeds are cigarettes; TAS round B(lack).
 4  E  CYST is also known as a we(i)n; C (see) + Y(ankee)’S + T(ense).
 7    CUSKS are torsks – a fish I’d never heard of under either name!; C(harlie) (i)S round USK.
 11    ABLOOM means in blossom; A + BLOOM. 
 12    CHAW is a plug of tobacco; CH(eck) + A + W(ire).
 13    NAOS is a temple; NA (Scottish no) + OS.
 14  R  LIPARITE is a r(j)ock; L(eft) + I + [PIRATE]*.
 16  E  SIPE is a groove(y); EP + IS reversed.
 18  G  TASHED is g(p)rimed; TA + SHED.
 20    DIKTAT is an order; KID reversed on TAT (pony).
 22    OLEATES are salts; [SEE A LOT]*.
 24  O  NOOSE is a bo(a)nd; NO + OE (grandchild) round (hi)S.
 25  N?  PARER is a shaver; Not sure about the short discharge. It may be shorn(t) AR(C) in PER (“a” as in two-a-penny).
 27    SIGHTER is a practice shot; S(L)IGHTER. Strange grammar in this clue and I may have missed something.
 29    HESTIA is a greek goddess; [HATES]* round I(taly).
 30  N  VINTRY is a win(d)e shop; V(ery) + (W)INTRY.
 34  A  CALL is a Spenserian ca(u)p; C(oloured) + A + LL.
 37  H  LANGRAGE is a sh(l)ot; [ANGEL]* round RAG. Not too sure about “rich” as an anagram indicator.
 38    ANOA is a buffalo-like creature; AN + O + A.
 39  A  STAR is lea(n)ding; S(ociety) + TAR (set on).
 40    SUNDRY is divers; SUN (bask) + DRY.
 41    GENOA is a sail; EG reversed + NOA(H).
 42  N  EASE is loosen(r); EA(ch) + S(quare) + (becam)E.
 43  G  TOSA is a dog(n); TO (for) + S(ex) A(ppeal) (“it”).
     * in the misprint column means that the bold italic letter has been raised.
Clue Misprint  Answer; Explanation
 1  O  TANK is a co(r)op (prison); TANK(A) are Canton dwellers.
 2  *  ABAXIAL is away from the main branch; A BAAL round XI.
 3    SOSO is average; SO (note) + SO (that will do).
 4    CORSE is poetic for corpse; CORE round S.
 5    SLIPES are runners; SLIP + E(asy) + S(ection).
 6  *  TAPE DRIVE (two words in my dictionary) is a recording mechanism; T(o) + APE + DRIVE.
 7    COATING is a layer; COG round A TIN.
 8  *  LUCRE is money; LUC(K) + R(egina) + E(arl).
 9    SHIR is a gathering; SH + IR(ish).
 10  *  KATANAS are weapons; [A TANK'S A(dvanced)]*.
 15    USERS are established rights; (M)USERS.
 17  *  EATERY is a restaurant; EA + TRY round E(nglish).
 18  *  TOPHUS are gouty deposits; TO + PUS round H.
 19  *  DEMARCATE is separate; D(irector) + [TEAM RACE]*.
 21  *  TOTTIE is a girl; HOTTIE is a hot water bottle. Nice clue!
 23  *  TRIFORIA are galleries; [AIR FOR IT]*.
 25    AERATE is to excite; A + ERATO with E for O.
 27  *  SCAGLIA is limestone; C + AG in [SIAL]*.
 28  U  ERRORS are bu(a)gs; (T)ERRORS are rogues.
 31  *  ILLUDE is to trick; ILL is peevish + (R)UDE.
 32  *  INANE is empty; INN round A + E(uropean).
 33  *  AGGRO is hostile behaviour; GR in A GO.
 35  T  BANT is to diet(d); B + ANT.
 36    MAYA means both South American people and an illusion.

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 105, WARTIME SUSPENSE by Schadenfreude”

  1. Duncan Shiell says:

    I couldn’t find the first N in GONNA either. However, we do get 15 letters (as stated by the preamble) without the extra N, as in WERE GONA HANG OUT -so perhaps we are looking for something that isn’t there. Having said that, every reference to the phrase has GONNA with two Ns

    I can get 25 across to yield a C PER (a) containing ARC (discharge) = PARER (shaver) but this is clearly not an N. However, The Inquisitor has had the odd error in its clues in recent months and mistakes do happen. I would be very happy to be proved wrong and be shown a convincing argument for a missing N in 25 Across. I think it has to be 25 Across that yields the letter as 27 and 28 are clearly self contained without extra letters.

    Despite the slight query over GONNA, I enjoyed the puzzle. I thought about the Siegfried Line fairly early on and the clothes began to appear to confirm the theme. Schadenfreude did another puzzle of this form in The Listener series last year : 3986 Terminal Suspension based on Little Bo-Peep and lambs with their tails hung on a tree across the top of the puzzle

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Given the title, I got the theme well before finishing reading the preamble – a crossword with the same theme and construction appeared in the Independent on Saturday some years ago, so it was disappointing. (Not 100% identical though – some of the items of clothing had changed.)
    Will check 25A this evening.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    Agree with Duncan above – we’re looking for just 15 letters, which means GOING TO has contracted to GONA rather than the more common GONNA, as given in Chambers & elsewhere.

    I guess “rich” is just about OK as an anagram indicator (37A), and “relative” = “comparative” so I guess the clue at 27A passes muster too.

  4. Chris Jones says:

    I had a distinct feeling of deja-vu with this puzzle. Has not the same theme been used, fairly recently, in the Independent’s pre-Inquisitor incarnation ?

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