Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 116 — Well Chuffed by Salamander

Posted by Colin Blackburn on March 27th, 2009

Colin Blackburn.

A very enjoyable journey from Salamander I was well chuffed with it! The theme turned out to the the SETTLE-CARLISLE LINE, a beautiful and dramatic railway line linking the two towns and travelling along the edge of the Yorkshire Dales passing some of the National Park’s most glorious scenery.

The first of the extra letters in the word play part of each clue, subtly different to extra letters produced by word play which is how I read it at first, spelled out HORTON, DENT and APPLEBY. These three towns are stops along the railway line. The line could be traced in the grid from departure at Settle to arrival at Carlisle following a rough north-west path. Between Dent and Appleby the line passes through the longest of its several tunnels, the BLEA MOOR TUNNEL, the last word connecting the two towns in the grid.

The remaining extra letters spelled out PENYGHENT and INGLEBOROUGH, two STEEP landmarks. These two hills, along with Whernside, form the Yorkshire Three Peaks. If I had any criticism of this puzzle it would be the word STEEP being thematic. The hills, far from mountains, have the odd steep bit but it felt like the word was there just to make the numbers up.

The puzzle was published the day after RED NOSE DAY, perhaps the inclusion of that entry assured the date of publication? More importantly it was published on the day of the Dentdale 14 mile race, starting in Dent. Is Salamander a runner as well as a railway enthusiast?

(XY Z)* anagram
X[Y]Z insertion
X[y]Z deletion
ZYX< reversal
X.Y.Z. initials or abbreviation
vwXYZab hidden word
The fourth column indicates where the extra letter appears in the word play.

1 CARLISLE unclued
7 SAFE SA< FE has
10 YBRENT Y B RENT Mayo one of those words that when you have YBR in the grid you doubt exists.
13 SAILOR (A LORI[e]S)* lorries “no end of effective” gets rid of the E.
15 REINTER REIN TER obstetrics
17 NEB dd Staten Nebraska
18 SEPAL LAPSE* Lapsed
19 ARD [h]ARD[r] harder
20 BOODLE rrELDOOBus< no boodle = counterfeit money.
22 NUT OIL NU[n] TOIL newt
23 LINE unclued
25 GAROTTE R.O.T. in GATE agate
29 NINETEENTH (TEN IN THE EN)* pen the colloquial term for a golf club’s bar.
30 AHAB grAHABou Telegraph
32 DOWSE dd Walter
35 PEDALO apPEDALOpa leopard
39 HOT ROD DOROTH* Dorothy
40 OPTICIAN OP “Titian” Pop
41 SHIAH SH I A H. She
43 SETTLE unclued
1 CYRUS CYSUR* cryosurgery cryosurgery – roger = cysur[y]. Cyrus was a king of Persia.
2 ABELE AB ELE[y] elegy 13 = sailor = AB.
3 LENWADE (WE ANDLE)* handle I’d not heard of Lenwade before and so this one went in last.
4 STEEP unclued
5 ESHER ES[t]HER intern T is in the middle once the extra E is omitted.
7 SILLITOE “silly tow” Staid Sillitoe wrote Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. The T needs omitting from staid to give the homophone indicator.
8 ALONSO A LON S.O. Lion Alonso was the King of Naples in The Tempest. S.O. is Standing Order
9 FOREBITT (ROTTE FIB[re])* rotten a forebitt is a post for holding a rope at the foremast.
20 BLEA MOOR unclued
21 ETNEAN liET NE ANge nee
26/38 RED NOSE DAY RE[a]D NOSED A Y bread A is top grade.
27 THORPE TH[POR*]E poor thorpe is a hamlet in the ld Viking areas of England.
28 CAPOTE dd caper
31 JOHNS dd Boyos
33 OATH yO A THird you
34 SHOAL ScHoOl AiLy gaily
36 GRIT RIGT* right

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 116 — Well Chuffed by Salamander”

  1. Duncan Shiell says:

    As you say, an enjoyable romp from Settle to Carlisle. The cluing was of a high standard and the depiction of the line including the tunnel was clever.

    I share your concerns about STEEP as a descriptor for Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent. I considered STEEM, an archaic spelling of steam, as another possibility given that the line presumably started life as a steam railway. In the end I plumped for STEEP.

    It is very many years since I walked over three peaks in the area. It would be good to walk it again some time.

  2. Salamander says:

    Thanks to Colin and Duncan – glad you enjoyed it.

    I’m certainly not that sort of runner, but did find P-Y-G (via the nose) and I’borough (from Gaping Ghyll) “steep” enough last time I did them! (And Wainwright regarded them as honorary mountains, I believe.) Colin’s right, though: the grid had one too many clued entries to allow the messages, so STEEP was a bit of a cop-out; please forgive….

    Hoping to take the Settle-Carlisle line again this summer – it’s a marvellous experience.

    Regards to all bloggers.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for commenting, Salamander. One thought I had was whether you considered having a fully unchecked letter or two at some point in the TUNNEL. This would have demonstrated that the solver had found the path. (Similar to, your almost namesake, Salamanca’s current puzzle in the EV series.)

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Unfortunately (for me), I glanced at the title, read the rubric, and about 5 minutes into a walk pencilled in the first two entries – SETTLE and CARLISLE.

  5. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Enjoyed this though never quite got round to finishing the last two or three in the NW corner. As a southerner who’s not been north of Manchester for ages, working out Dent and Blea Moor Tunnel were a good challenge. I’d encountered the rest before, except Lenwade.
    Preamble was fairly obvious, though I pondered BLUEBELL as a possibility for 1A for a while.

  6. rayfolwell says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle. Having read the rubric, my first thought for 43/1A was FLYING SCOTSMAN.
    Must get to travel the line again, although it does seem safe from closure now.

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