Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 127 – When it began, by Raich

Posted by petebiddlecombe on June 12th, 2009


Solving time: maybe 2 hours in several bursts

The thematic material in this puzzle was

  • Five words from a quote, plus its author, provided by extra letters in wordplay for all but 7 clues.
  • Four unclued answers of a kind.
  • “When it began”, to be written in 4 characters under the grid.

Answers emerged fairly smoothly, though there are some subtle points described below, and two (22, 27) took much longer,partly from a rushed ‘ACETATE’ at 7. Although I made an early rash guess at “Early computing” from “When I.T. began”,the right theme came out without too much trouble from the quote extracts – “When sex=it began”, from Annus Mirabilis by Philip Larkin. The quote words were “Chatterley ban Beatles’ first LP – Larkin”. The unclued words were CONGRESS, BED, NOOKIE, INTIMACY and the characters under the grid “1963” of course. The trickier clues are analysed below – if I’ve missed out something that baffled you, please ask.  My overall impression was good – nothing to argue about in the clues, and I understood them all eventually.  A good example of finding a memorable quote and making it into a well-worked puzzle.

14 ERASER+T – SET in RARE rev.
15 ANETIC+T – Anetic=soothing. article=AN,festival=TET,in=I,Cuba = C. Unusual “charade glue” – “A dealt with B” = “A,B”
23 TUNNEL+L – TUN=nut rev.,NELL(ie)
32 GERALD+B – (sing)GER,BALD=obvious
35 PERSONAE+A – PER.,SAON(A)E – first of two French rivers here
38 ELEA+A – EEL,E(nter),A – Elea was a Gk. colony in Italy – see ‘eleatic’ in Chambers
4 EMIR+L – LE = “The masculine French”,MIR=Russian commune
6 ROBE+S – R(OB.)ES. ob. = obiter = “by the way”,
8 NADIR+I – N.(AID),IR. “Northern Irish” taken as two words and abbreviated separately, so not “N.I.”
9 ALEC+R – CLEAR(s)* – Time to look at “Some first names” and find that Alexander=”defender of men”.
17 OISE+T – TOISE = Fr. length measure of 6.395 ft, OISE = runner = our other Fr. river.
20 SLIDDERY+P – (riddle,spy) – sliddery=slippery
26 RELAX+L – RE(LLA=all rev.)X – “relax” = an instance of relaxation
27 ZOEAL+A – Z(A.O.)EAL – zoeal=relating to zoea, a larval stage of some crustaceans.
30 NOSE+K – S(p)OKEN – teller=informant=nose
31 KAVA+I – K(AIV=via rev.)A – ka(e) is Scots for ‘jackdaw’. Kava is a S Pacific plant and the drink made from it.
32 GRAT+N – GRAN,T – Grat = past tense of greet=Scots for ‘cry’.

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 127 – When it began, by Raich”

  1. Quixote says:

    Since Raich has been known to say kind things about me, I’ll just say how much I enjoyed this one. 1963 was went I went to university — Beatlemania and all that!

  2. Hypnos says:

    Very enjoyable to solve with some cleverly chosen definitions and quite tricky clues esp in the NW corner. Good to see Larkin featuring in a crossword!

  3. Jim T says:

    Lovely puzzle with excellent clues and a nicely amusing theme which I discovered quite late on.

  4. Raich says:

    Many thanks for blog and comments.

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