Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 124 — Tots by Nitsy

Posted by Colin Blackburn on May 22nd, 2009

Colin Blackburn.

Quite an easy puzzle for me though I didn’t fully understand the theme until the very end despite seeing HENRY JAMES on the main diagonal about half way through. Though solving the clues quickly and fitting in the reversals I failed to see a sensible word from the initials of the extra words. It turned out to be SCREW, turned, and thus suggested Turn Of The Screw by Henry James. The 12, symmetrically placed, theme words were all synonyms for SCREW, in various senses, turned in the grid.

(XY Z)* anagram
X[Y]Z insertion
X[y]Z deletion
X.Z alternate letters
ZYX< reversal

Across
1 ASKS [b]ASK S I had this one included in the extra letters for a while as I managed to read it as [b]ASKS. This along with the error in parsing 31a didn’t help to confirm the theme quickly despite having completed the grid.
5 * GYP dd I had to confirm this one by checking all the dictionary matches. I knew ‘scout’ as a college servant, maybe that’s an Oxford word. GYP = cheat = screw.
8 MERE ME RE[d] Nitsy = me.
13 * BLOT BOLT (LO B)< T I think this is BLOT = destroy or obliterate? See comments below, BOLT = arrow.
14 PIERT PIE R T R = ‘rear of popular’. Pie = piemag = magpie.
15 ATHENA A T[HEN]A goddess of wisdom.
16 W EARNED [l]EARNED (weapons)
17 REFT RE FT Re = Ra, the sun god. FT = Financial Times.
18 E NEW N E W (exceptionally)
19 TRAIL dd
20 * GUARD (A DRUG)* (prison) GUARD = screw.
23 REEFER E in FREE* R a midshipman
24 RETRAL RE TR[i]AL a biological term, cf retro.
27 * TWIST T W ITS*
29 STOAT S TO[A]T
31 R TAR coaT A Road &lit (ring) I really messed up on this one reasoning that it was ‘coaT A Ring’ and that ‘road’ was superfluous. I considered ‘road’ being the extra word but then the clue made no sense as an &lit. It didn’t dawn on me that removing ‘ring’ left a sound clue!
32 LEON LE[O]N LEON is a big city in Mexico, it is also a city in Spain, Nicaragua and the USA (at least).
34 KUMARA (KARMA U)* the Maori word for the sweet potato.
36 INTERN dd
37 RHEUM R[H E]UM E = ecstasy.
39 * RUIN RU[I]N
40 JEER (entREE Just)<
41 C* MAR ARM* (carelessly) I still wasn’t 100% sure that this was both a theme word and an extra word clue, but it was the only C I could justify and the preamble doesn’t rule out double duty.
42 ECHO E C HO (surveyor’s)
Down
2 SHIA SH[I]A[h] I = head of Islamic but Islamic also augments the definition.
3 * WRECK CREW* K K = stern of Junk.
4 SIR IS< R
5 PETER dd a PETER is, apparently, a high card followed by a low card, so played as a signal to one’s partner, in bridge.
6 GLAD G LAD
7 NOTELET NOT [E] LET
9 * FLEECE dd
10 RENFREW REN[FR]EW a Scottish town.
11 * ROTATE (ARE OTT)*
12 SPEND dd
13 TODAY TO[DA[d]]Y
17 REEST R.E SET* a horse suddenly refusing to move might be said to REEST.
19 TURIN TUR[n] IN
21 REVENGE (EG NEVER)<
22 GASTRIC (CIG’S TAR)*
24 * JAILOR JA[OIL*]R can = prisoner, hence can opener = JAILOR = screw.
25 * EXTORT tEXT OR Novel
26 JOKER dd gag = joke, cf The Joker from Batman.
28 TRAMP TRA[M]P
30 AURUM bureAU RUMmage drinkable gold as a medicine.
31 * CHEAT CHE TA< CHE Guevara
33 KNUR K RUN< K = end of silk.
35 RUSH dd I think here ‘cut’ = RUSH in the film sense, though that is more often rushes.
36 HOE HO[l]E

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 124 — Tots by Nitsy”

  1. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Colin
    13a Your parsing (LO B)< T is correct but this gives BOLT (arrow) not BLOT.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    5a GYP is Cambridge, not Oxford
    31a I had the same problem as Colin …
    32a … and here the word BOUNDS (?) is superfluous

    Can’t remember the clue for 13a, but have a vague recall that the parsing was that LO went after the B, and before T.

    And only after completion + highlighting did the significance of the title strike me.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    HolyGhost
    13a was ‘Behold book going backwards Time’s Arrow‘ so LO B reversed T.

    32a ‘bounds’ was indeed superfluous but it was not one of the ‘extra words’. With this type of ‘extra word’ puzzle there is often a red herring or two (deliberate or otherwise).

  4. HolyGhost says:

    OK, so I reconciled clue and entry for 13a as LO+B+T with the B going backwards i.e. earlier in the letter sequence.

    And having realised that the letters in redundant words spelt WERCS, I knew that BOUNDS was a superfluous extra word and my search for the R led me to RING, in the clue before.

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the comments. I typed this blog up late at night in a hotel room in Paris during a very busy two-day meeting out there. I solved 13a fine on paper (as my parsing shows, I hope). I then seem to have typed the wrong word into my pro forma blog due to only partly reading it backwards from the grid. I then compounded this mistake by forgetting my parsing and looking for a definition to the word I’d entered in the blog rather than reading the clue properly again.

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