Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 111 – Piano Practice by Nutmeg

Posted by petebiddlecombe on February 20th, 2009


In each row’s pair of answers, one letter moved from one clue to the other, the moving letters giving two words, thematically described by 4 down. There were four unclued downs also matching the theme, and then two more to bew found in the grid and highlighted. The moving letters gave MOHS, CHROMATIC and 4D turned out to be SLIDING SCALES, so the theme words were types of scale – Mohs is one of rock-hardness. The unclued downs were RICHTER (earthquakes), BEAUFORT (winds) , DIATONIC (musical) and MUNSELL (colours). The two two be found in the grid were BURNHAM (teachers’ pay in UK state schools) and CELSIUS (temperature).

Most of this was fairly plain sailing, but I was held up at the end by what seemed like a mistake at 26, which made 19D impossible to solve until I decided one of the checkers had to be wrong.

I’ve picked the clues that seemed hardest, but as ever ask away if something else stumped you.

4 SABUCAS = Cuba in SAS, all rev. = SAMBUCAS – M
11 HNUCL=lunch*,EIN = NUCLEIN + H
12 AGGLE = G for N in ANGLE = HAGGLE – H
14 ENDSUP = sentence = “Send up” with S moved = END UP + S
17 R(HE(s)D)AN = REDAN (field work) + H
18 TORC = “talk” = TORCH – H
25 MRAL = Mr. Al = MORAL – O
26 SO(T.U.)L,M = STULM + 0. This is the mistake – the definition given is “prop for miners”, but Chambers only supports this def. for STULL, not STULM, and L=pound=money seemed to fit perfectly well, so I had SOTULL for this answer for a long time. (STULM is an adit or draining-shaft, which cannot be a “prop”).
28 B(rah)MIN = BIN + M. The possibility of interpreting this entry as “B minor” had me hoping for a “? maj” entry elsewhere to make the pair of answers to be found in the grid.
37 TC=Ct. rev.,RACK,S = TRACKS + C
1 ISHMAEL – H.M. replaces R in Israel.
2 CON,ACRED=Cadre*
5 COG=bowl,NAC=can rev.
9 R.(E,N.T)A. as in rent-a-mob – the prefix answer
10 ANSATE = with a name=handle. – SA=it in ETNA=small vessel, rev.
19 FUME,TTES=test* – the scent of high game
21 EL(e.g.)ANCE = to throw as a lance
24 A(B.S.E.)NT
25 MILDE(w),R

One Response to “Inquisitor 111 – Piano Practice by Nutmeg”

  1. Duncan Shiell says:

    Moving letters between words in rows was a device I had not come across before so I struggled a bit for the first half hour.

    Like Peter, I spent some time on the STULL issue before deciding that 19 down just had to be FUMETTES. Unfortunately, this is not the first error in the Inquisitor in recent months.

    Mohs and Munsell Scales were completely new to me and I haven’t come across a reference to the Burnham Scale for years. There was a time though, perhaps 20 or 30 years ago, when it never seemed to be out of the news.

    As ever, a thematic crossword has increased my knowledge and kept the grey cells in working order.

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