Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 122 – Papa by Phi

Posted by duncanshiell on May 8th, 2009


The preamble stated that ‘eight double clues lead to two solutions (two of two words); straddling the two in the order presented is a thematic word.  The thematic words (one of two words) have a numerical connection, and each should be replaced by its associated number expressed as a letter (A=1,27,53 etc).  In one case we were told to choose the specific over the generic’.

The title being PAPA, my immediate thought was Ernest Hemingway – wrong!

I really enjoyed this puzzle. I thought that the cluing was very rigorous and spare, using as few as words as possible whilst remaining absolutely clear.

It took me a while to deduce all the double clues, as one in particular (24 down) was fairly short for a standard clue, let alone a double clue. There were also red herrings where clues in a similar style (e.g. half of 21a and all of 32a, 17d and 19d) did not all lead to double clues.

The first double clue I found was 14a giving me LONDON as a possible theme word. This made me think of the 2012 Olympics, but I felt that we were unlikely to be looking for ’2012 mod 26′ as a mathematical function to deduce the theme letter. It was a combination of ECHO and LONDON that somehow formed the idea of Symphonies in my mind. A little bit of googling then threw up Haydn, or Papa Haydn as he is sometimes known. All the theme words are names of one of Haydn’s 104 Symphonies.

In standard clue order the theme words are:

Theme Word Symphony Name Symphony Number Number mod 26 = letter
LONDON Symphony No 104 in D Major, London 104 0 or 26 = Z
LE MIDI Symphony No 7 in C major 7 7 = G
DRUM ROLL Symphony No 103 in E-flat major 103 25 = Y
BEAR Symphony No 82 in C major 82 4 = D
LAUDON Symphony No 69 in C major, Laudon 69 17 = Q
FAREWELL Symphony No 45 in F-sharp minor, Farewell 45 19 = S
ECHO Symphony No 38 in C major, Echo 38 12 = L
OXFORD Symphony No 92 in G major, Oxford 92 14 = N

There are generally considered to be 104 numbered Haydn Symphonies.  With the London being No 104, I guess this is the ‘specific’ rather than the ‘generic’ referenced in the preamble.

As many solvers will know, Phi is based in New Zealand and it is very common to find a New Zealand reference in his crosswords. My knowledge of New Zeraland flora and fauna has advanced significantly since I began to do crosswords regularly a couple of years ago. We had a geographical New Zealand link in this crossword with one answer being Wellington, the capital. I have only spent a couple of days in Wellington, en route to Hong Kong on business a few years ago, but I would like to go back.

I rated this as one of the most challenging and enjoyable Phi crosswords I have done.

No. Answers


Theme Word

Components of Wordplay
1 CHEZ Anagram of (cracking up) CZECH (excluding [losing head] first letter C ) = CHEZ (at the home of)
4 ESCAPIST (CAP [head] + IS) contained in (restrained by) EST (Electric Shock Treatment; controversial psychiatric treatment) = ESCAPIST (unreal)
10 DRUGGISTS DR (doctor) + UG (expression of disgust [isn't UGH the expression of disgust, whereas Chambers and SOED give UG meaning 'arouse loathing' or 'feel loathing'. Collins doesn't have UG at all) + GISTS (points) = DRUGGISTS (pharmacists)
11 AMIGO AM + I + GO ( ready) = AMIGO (friend)





L (line) contained in BOND (written obligation) = BLOND (fair)

Anagram of (rearranging) EDISON = ONSIDE (part of [cricket] field)

15 AGOUTI A + GOUT (disease) + I = AGOUTI (one of  the crossword world’s favourite rodents)
16 DATA (A + TAD [a little]) all reversed (holding back) = DATA (information)
17 TREND T (the) + R (right) + END (purpose) = TREND (fashion)
18 DISPOSSESSED DISSED (not respectful) containing (about involving) POSSES (vigilante groups) = DISPOSSESSED (landless)
20 ESSENTIAL OIL Anagram of (to be distributed) ISOLATE LINES = ESSENTIAL OIL (used for aromatherapy treatment)
23 NIOBE IN reversed (turning) + O (over) + BE (live) = NIOBE (A tragic/distressed mother from Greek mythology)
26 URAL PLURAL (several) excluding (dropping) ( P [power] + L [line)])= URAL (river in Russia and Kazakhstan, in places forming the border between Europe and Asia)
28 COINER CO (company) + anagram of (free) REIN = COINER (inventor)





GO (leave) + LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) = GOLEM (robot)

ID + anagram of (arranged) IT SO = IDIOTS (fools)

32 IDIST ID + anagram of (arranged) IT SO (excluding (mostly) the last O) = IDISTS (users of the Ido language, an international language developed from Esperanto)
33 CAENSTONE Anagram of (rocky) ONE ASCENT = CAEN-STONE (a cream coloured limestone rock) from Caen in France)





SIDED (set apart) + RUM (peculiar) = SIDE DRUM (instrument)

TROLLING (fishing) excluding (having no) T (time) = ROLLING (starting)

35 ZEAL Hidden word (displaying) in LAZE A LOT = ZEAL (intense enthusiasm, an unexpected trait displayed by people who laze a lot)
No. Answers


Theme Word

Components of Wordplay





CRABBED (ill-tempered) excluding (cut down) the last D = CRABBE (George Crabbe [1754-1832], English poet)

ARDEN (Forest of Arden) + CY (CLEARLY without its middle letters [heart]) = ARDENCY (passion)

2 HAMZA HAM (clumsy + ZA (first and last letters [both sides of] ZEBRA) = HAMZA (sign used to represent the glottal stop in Arabic)
3 EXISTS SEXISTS (discriminatory group) excluding the first letter (lacking leadership) S = EXISTS (is)
4 ERODE ER (queen) + ODE (lyric) = ERODE (somewhat wearing)
5 SUPERSTORE SUE (go to court) containing (about) an anagram of (inaccurate) REPORTS = SUPERSTORE (major retailer)
6 AGOG A + GONG (medal) excluding (removed) the N (name) = AGOG (eager)





PILE (fortune) excluding (much of) the final E + AU (gold) = PILAU (an Asian dish of rice)

DON (fellow) + OR (gold) = DONOR (benefactor)

8 ISSUES TISSUES (papers) excluding the first letter (ignoring foremost) T = ISSUES (points for discussion)
9 STET SET (ready) containing (to receive) T (it) = STET (instruction to restore after marking for deletion, often used an instruction to a printer or typist/word processor)





FAN (supporter) + FARE (to cope) = FANFARE (announcement (?), I’m not convinced that this definition is right.  A fanfare may precede an important announcement, but I’m not sure that the fanfare/flourish is the actual announcement)

WELL (successfully) + IN + G (good) + TON (fashion) = WELLINGTON (City – the mandatory New Zealand reference in puzzles by Phi)






MIDDLE C (C is the middle letter of PURCELL, hence MIDDLE C is a ‘feature of Purcell’) = MIDDLE C (musical note)

HOST (presenter) + (E + L ) the last letters (final) of  MADE and TROPICAL = HOSTEL (extra-collegiate hall of residence, e.g. at a University)

>17 TEA TEAR (small amount of fluid) excluding (except last bit) the final R = TEA (drink)
19 ONE NONE (an abstainer would not have any drink) excluding the first letter (not initially) = ONE (drink, as in ‘a quick one’)
21 SOILED SPOILED (besmirched) excluding P (first letter/hint of PURITY) = SOILED (also meaning besmirched)
22 OROIDE Hidden word (in) COSTUME DIOR ONCE reversed (promoted, for an up clue) = OROIDE (an alloy of copper and zinc or tin, imitating/fake gold)





BOX (coffin) = BOX (hit) – double definition

FORD (car) + ONE = FORDONE (destroyed)

25 GOING Individual letters O,N of ON contained (infiltrating) ,at different places (separately) within GIG (concert) = GOING (working)
27 AT SEA AT SEA(bewildered) = AT SEA (in the drink/sea) – double definition, one cryptic
29 OJAI OJAI (first letters of [initially] OPENS JULY AUGUST INTERMITTENTLY) = OJAI (city in California that hosts an annual classical music festival)
30 EASY QUEASY (sick) excluding (without) QU (question) = EASY (calm)

7 Responses to “Inquisitor 122 – Papa by Phi”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    Even when I’d solved all the clues, it took me a while to realise exactly what it was that had to be entered, i.e. BOTH solutions to the double clues, with the spanning word replaced by a single letter. (Having spent the last month or so setting exam questions & checking them for ambiguity or vagueness, I guess I was reading the rubric the same way …)

    And yes, I agree about UG in 10a.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Brilliant puzzle and brilliant blog! Getting into the thematic area took me a while but the penny dropped when I’d two, LE MIDI and LONDON. Phi’s interest in music made me suspect Symphony numbers tho I’m not personally very familiar with the works. Did not know about PAPA till verifying and had thought maybe something to do with the alphabet where than stands for P.

    Did understand how the clues worked – it was very good that an example was given in the preamble – ‘straddle’ alone would not have made it clear to me.

    Really liked MIDDLE C.

    Re the generic v specific, I thought this might refer to, the one Symphony (Bear, I think) which was in the Paris symphony group i.e. to use the specific name rather than Paris.

    Thanks, Phi, for a great puzzle.

  3. Peter Mabey says:

    As I got MIDI first, and have been listening to the Radio 3 commemorative programmes, I immediately thought of ‘Papa’ Haydn, and it wasn’t necessary to Google for likely symphonies for the other double clues, except LAUDON, which I’d not heard of.

    I think that generic v specific refers to the fact that all of the last 12 are called his London symphonies, having been presented at his visits to England.

    MIDDLE C was brilliant!

  4. nmsindy says:

    Not got the puzzle with me now, but I think from Peter Mabey’s comment at 3 and also the original blog, that I got the generic v specific issue the wrong way round in my comment at 2.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Re comment 4 above, have gone back to the puzzle now and can confirm I was wrong re generic v specific. A strength of this puzzle was that even if one was not familiar with the works (like me), it could nonetheless be solved.

  6. Hihoba says:

    I loved this puzzle! I had the list of hidden words for some time, and (as a practising violinist) was shamed into having to ask Ba (of Hihoba) about the connection and he instantly came back with the Papa Haydn information – though he hadn’t done all the double clues.
    I agree that it is London which is “specific” rather than generic to give a single number.
    I was also a bit worried by UG, but didn’t bother to look it up as the answer was so clearly right!
    From Hi

  7. Telberts says:

    A very enjoyable puzzle.

    I don’t suppose it matters (but it gave me palpitations thinking I had entered something wrong before I checked this blog) there is a misprint in the solution as printed in the Indy today for 27 down.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

+ 3 = six