Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 123 – Whereabouts by Lato

Posted by petebiddlecombe on May 16th, 2009


Solving time: about two hours

This was an interesting geographical challenge, with just about the right amount of work for me remaining to be done after the grid was nearly completed from plain clues – I’m not a great fan of puzzles with a significant “final step”.

The key thematic content was two place names and something connecting them. The first name had three elements; each one indicated by a set of four unclued answers, in a different way for each set. The connecting link was presented as a “sounds like” for two clues which lacked definitions, and the second place name was an anagram of two adjacent answers in the grid.

For once, the vast majority of answers just had plain cryptic clues. My first pass on the acrosses wasn’t too promising, but there was easier stuff among the downs, and this got most of the grid filled in, with the biggest blank area at bottom left where three unclued answers were in adjacent columns. Checking letters in the unclued answers suggested that SOLDIER,SERVANT and HUSBAND were possibilities, and these suggested MAN as one of the three components. My first thought then was MAN-CHEST-ER, but I couldn’t match anything with CHEST or ER, so then thought further and came up with Godmanchester, which is somewhere in the Fens. GOD matched WODEN and BACCHUS, and Chester matched -FIELD and WIN-. For the connection, Wikipedia revealed that Godmanchester is on the Great Ouse, and sure enough “GREY TWOS” could be made out of a couple of unfinished answers. It also gave me a useful crib list of nearby places, which helped me see that (NIGHT,DUNNO)* from 3 & 7A = HUNTINGDON.

So the full set of thematic material is:

First placename: Godmanchester (to be written under the grid)

Elements of Godmanchester:

Element Link Themewords
MAN Meanings in Chambers definition HUSBAND, ROCK-PILLAR, SERVANT, SOLDIER

Connection: Great Ouse = “GREY TWOS” (29A, 21)

Second placename: HUNTINGDON = (NIGHT,DUNNO)* (3A, 7A)

13 R.E.,TOO,K
19 EEL=lee rev.,S= bank of “Stream”
20 ASCITES = (case it’s)*
22 YR.,NEH=hen rev. – the YRNEH is some kind of inverse of the Henry in physics.
26 TURCO = court* – an Algerian infantryman in the French army
29 G(R)EY – maybe a bit cheeky to use obstructing to mean “containing” in one of the no-def. clues. That’s my excuse for needing the thematic stuff to see it.
34 ANGORA CATS – raca=worthless in (Gaston)* – helped by seeing raca somewhere else recently.
36 NUTR=turn*,I,A – nutria is another name for the coypu, though just filing it under “rodent” is probably enough – that’s all I remembered.
37 EIL=lie rev.,D – eild is a Scots word for “milkless”, of cattle
38 TSUGA – A(u)gust rev. – I can’t remember what kind of tree the Tsuga is, and doubt it matters.
7 DO(I)T – a small obsolete Dutch coin
10 ORRIS – 2 defs, just in case anyone else guesses that ris=lace (nope).
21 TWOS – W in sot rev. – sot once meant “fool” – another tricky clue for the other half of “Great Ouse”.
25 BUFFA=comic opera actress,LO
30 LIC(H)i(t)
31 A(t)RIA
32 SAVE – bar as in “all bar one”. The mistress is Eva Braun
33 FOID = feldspathoid. OF=from rev.,ID.
35 T,Il(l) – til is sesame in Hindi.

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 123 – Whereabouts by Lato”

  1. Hihoba says:

    Interesting how we get to the same place by different routes. I got NIGHT quite early and looked for 10 letter place-names including it. My first guess was my home-town Nottingham (Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest?) but rapidly came up with Huntingdon and Godmanchester. The GREY TWOS bit eluded me for a long time and those two long clues with no definition were a very good distraction!

  2. Mike Laws says:

    I had a bit of an advantage in solving this, having had a (rather unwise) fling with a girl who lived in Godmanchester when I was at Cambridge – her parents’ house even backed on to the river!

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very good esp being able to solve it having never heard of the place. The breakthrough that unlocked the secrets was GREY TWOS.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    If he can solve them that fast, how come his blogs are often late?

  5. Lato says:

    Many thanks for blog and comments.

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