Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 126 – Fatal Attraction by Ikela

Posted by duncanshiell on June 5th, 2009


The preamble to this puzzle was fairly complicated and needed reading a two or three times before I got it clear in my mind as there was reference to clued entries, unclued entries, words in the theme, other words, words (clued or otherwise) preceding words (clued or otherwise), other relevant words that were not in the grid at all and unclued words forming thematic pairs.

We were told that three unclued entries, and the first element of the theme, may precede one of the clued entries. Three others, and a second clued entry, may precede the same two words (sometimes hyphenated). The second element of the theme may precede this clued entry. The remaining four may be paired to make a relevant pair. Solvers should highlight the two clued entries, and write the theme (three words) below the grid.

In the end it all made sense and was written unambiguously, although I felt one set of thematic associations was fairly contrived – the ‘in Furness’ or ‘-in-Furness’ set, but I guess BARROW is not the easiest word to use thematically. The hyphen (or not) is important if you are a scholar of English place names, or if you live in any of the named places.

There were therefore ten unclued words and two clued words relevant to the thematic element of the puzzle. The two clued words were symmetrically placed in the grid at 22 across – PARKER and 28 across BARROW.


The various combinations required were

DOROTHY PARKER – American writer and poet (1893 – 1967)

FESS PARKER – American actor born 1924, best known, it says in Wikipedia, for playing Davy Crocket and Daniel Boone in the 1950s and 1960s.

CHARLIE PARKER – American jazz saxophonist (1920 – 1955)

BONNIE PARKER – Bonnie of Bonnie and Clyde

I had heard of three out of the four Parkers.




DALTON-IN-FURNESS, all towns or villages in Cumbria.


The two pairs were FAYE DUNAWAY and WARREN BEATTY who played BONNIE PARKER and CLYDE BARROW in the 1967 film BONNIE AND CLYDE.


The theme to be written under the puzzle was therefore clearly BONNIE and CLYDE. The title of the puzzle, ‘Fatal Attraction’, is itself a film title, but not the title of the thematic film.  Bonnie and Clyde were indeed attracted to each other and the attraction was fatal in that both got killed in a final shoot-out with police.


Ikela is a setter’s name that I have not come across before.  There was a good deal of thematic material in this puzzle which I enjoyed solving in a morning session of about two and a half hours.  I would be very happy to solve another puzzle by Ikela.


For all but one of the clues, I found the wordplay clear, but I can’t remember a previous blog where I have had no anagrams to explain until I got into the Down clues  I am not really sure of the wordplay for 16 across ON ICE


I probably will not be able to respond to any comments on this puzzle immediately.


No. Entry Wordplay
5 SULFUR SUR (on) containing (catching) FLU (infection) reversed (turning) = SULFUR (bright yellow)
8 AMETABOLA BATE (in falconry, to try to fly from the fist or perch while still attached to a leash) reversed (back) contained in (being gulped by) (A + MOLA [the sunfish]) = AMETABOLA (a classification of insects)
9 IAGO I (Italy) + AGO (in the past) = IAGO (a villain in Shakespeare’s Othello)
10 LAGENA LAG (delay) + INA (Irish girl’s name meaning ‘fire’) = LAGENA (bottle)
13 TURN TURIN (Italian City) excluding (leaving) I (one) = TURN (a ‘go’ in a game)
15 CREEP C (caught) + PEER (fellow) reversed (returning) = CREEP (someone cringing)
16 ON ICE According to Chambers, O is used in addressing, marking the occurrence of a thought; NICE is related to ‘please’, ICE is hard, HON is short for Honourable, a form of address and we could lose (postpone [?]) the H (hard), but you will see that I am struggling.  However, there is no doubt that it all equals ON ICE (postponed)
17 SHUT SH (quietly) + UT (the same as DO, the first note of the tonic solfa) = SHUT (bar)
19 ARVO (A [one]) + OVER [finished]) without (lacking) E (energy) = ARVO (afternoon)
20 ATTILA A (one) + LIT (landed) + TA (Territorial Army, volunteers) all reversed (in total retreat) = ATTILA ([the Hun], savage commander)
22 PARKER PARKER (a car parker positions his/her car in a roadside row) = [Nosey] PARKER (a nosey chap)
25 VERSE OVERSEE (supervise) excluding (being blackballed) the first and last letters (outsiders) O and E = VERSE (part of a chapter)
28 BARROW BOW (show respect) containing (having in) ARR (arrived) = BARROW (old graveyard)
29 TROG GO + RT (right) all reversed (back) = TROG (walk wearily)
30 RAIN DRAIN (sewer) excluding the first letter (blocked at first) D = RAIN (water)
31 TITLE TITLE (right) = TITLE (book)
32 REFIT REFT (past tense of ‘reave’, an old word meaning rob) containing (put in) I = REFIT (installation of new equipment)
33 AREA RE (about) contained in (to enter) AA (volcanic rock) = AREA (region)
34 EAGRE EAGLE (a military standard carrying the figure of an eagle) with L (left) changed to R (right) (changing hands) = EAGRE (bore)
36 STRICT S (second) + TRICK (deception) excluding (cut short) K + T (time) = STRICT (severe)
37 DOSS DO (ditto, the same) + SS (ship) = DOSS (sleep)
38 PENTECOST PEN (write) + E (musical note) + COST (estimate expenditure) = PENTECOST (festival)
39 EUSTON NOTE (remark) reversed (retract) containing (about) US (American) = EUSTON (London railway station)
No. Entry Wordplay
1 NEGRITO NEO (artificial language) containing (to embody) GRIT (toughness) = NEGRITO (a member of any  of a number of short-statured black peoples of SE Asia)
2 ATEN Anagram of (confused) TAEN (see 18 down) = ATEN (Egyptian God)
3 WANZE WANE (decline) containing (to accept) Z (fourth letter [in fourth place] of PRIZE) = WANZE (old word [as before] meaning waste away)
4 YOK YOKE (burden) excluding (the last letter (never-ending) E = YOK (laugh)
5 SLIP-UP SLIP UP could be a [down] clue for PILS (lager) = SLIP-UP (error)
6 LIBRARY LIBRA (sign of the Zodiac) + RY (railway) = LIBRARY (where you can go for a book)
7 ROW PORT ROW (argument) + PORT (drink) = ROW PORT (a small square hole for an oar in a vessel’s side)
11 AISLE AISLE (homophone for I’LL [I shall]) = AISLE (passage)
12 REVEILLE EVE (the day before) contained in (probing) RILLE (a narrow furrow on the moon [Chambers gives ‘rille’ as an alternative spelling of the more common ‘rill’])
14 UNAWARES UNA (reference Una Stubbs, actress and dancer) + WARES (items for sale) = UNAWARES (unexpectedly)
18 TA’EN NEAT (cattle) reversed (up) = TA’EN (taken, held)
21 IVOR Hidden word in SURVIVORS = IVOR (boys name, possibly meaning bow-warrior)
23 OBTRUDE Anagram of (wobbly) BOTTOM excluding (ignored) TOM + RUDE (vulgar) = OBTRUDE (butt in) I am not sure whether ‘way’ in the clue goes with ‘rude’ or ‘to butt in’. It doesn’t feel right with either, but it is needed to improve the surface.
24 ORGIAST Anagram of (dancing) GIT and ROSA = ORGIAST (libertine)
26 SINUS IN (home) contained in (in) (S [south]+ US [America]) = SINUS (cavity)
27 PATRIOT PAT (well-prepared) + RIOT (serious disorder) = PATRIOT (one who serves his/her country).  I suppose ‘quell’ is used to indicate PAT over RIOT because it is a Down clue.
31 TATER STATER (old coin) excluding the leading (mislaid at first) S = TATER (a potato, reference jacket potato)
33 ARCO RC (Catholic) contained in (entering) A and O (reference A Level and O Level exams) = ARCO (the end of a pizzicato passage in a piece of music, i.e stop plucking/picking the strings and revert to bowing)
35 END END (part of a bowling competition played from one end of the green or rink) = END (the end, this being the final clue)

10 Responses to “Inquisitor 126 – Fatal Attraction by Ikela”

  1. Simon Harris says:

    I’ve been just about brave enough to tackle Inquisitor recently, and enjoyed this one a lot. It’s also made me appreciate what a significant amount of work must go into these posts, so many thanks for that.

    I did wonder if Ikela was [m]IKE LA[ws] himself, but that could just be coincidence.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Ikela set Inquisitor 45 (The Archers) from November 2007 …
    I’ll dig out the clue for ON ICE at the weekend.

  3. Colin Blackburn says:

    Ikela also set three puzzles for the Weekend series that preceded the Inquisitor.

    Crossword Database search

    I’d guess it is Mike Laws.

  4. nmsindy says:

    It is Mike Laws.

    Very enjoyable puzzle, on the easy side, and one which solvers of the normal cryptic would have found quite accessible – the gap between the puzzle types is not as great as some think. The only essential extra requirement is the Chambers Dictionary. The theme came quickly with the ‘in Furness’ part taking a little longer to tease out.

    Incredible blog as always from Duncan.

  5. Mike Laws says:

    16 across: “Postponed start of address, being hard to please (5, two words)” – O+NICE. Chambers gives “hard to please” as one definition of “nice”.

    “Ikela” goes back to 1992, when the series was called “Crossword” in the “Independent Saturday Magazine” and referred to as the ISM.

  6. nmsindy says:

    I forgot to say that I thought the title was really good, as Duncan has explained.

  7. Terry Kirk says:

    It seems to me there is an error in one of the thematic place name entries. Shouldn’t it be KIRKBY-in-Furness?
    If it is so, that makes the third error this year for Inquisitor puzzles (after MOOL/MOOI in 107 and REINDEER/S in 112). Are the puzzles proof-read in advance? Sorry to sound like an old grouch, but avoidable errors of this kind spoil the enjoyment for me.

  8. Duncan Shiell says:


    I suspect you are thinking of Kirkby Lonsdale which is on the borders of the Lake Distruct and the Yorkshire Dales.

    I had a good trawl through Memory Map and my Ordnance Survey maps before I completed the blog. Kirby-in-Furness definitely exists and is a town\village near Ulverston in the Lake District.

  9. Terry Kirk says:

    Hi Duncan,
    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It does seem very odd. Googling brings back results for both Kirkby and Kirby, often both spellings within the same website. Wikipedia has Kirkby-in-Furness. I went to my local Waterstones, but they didn’t have the particular OS map I needed. I did however look at 3 road atlases (Michelin, AA and Collins) and all had Kirkby-in-Furness rather than Kirby-in-Furness. Curiouser and curiouser.
    Best Regards

  10. Anne Bushell says:

    It’s definitely Kirkby-in-Furness! I live there.

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