# Fifteensquared

## EV867 — The Three Rs by Obtrox

Posted by Colin Blackburn on June 26th, 2009

Oddly, my previous blog, and my final blog for the Inquisitor series, IQ 128, was an Obtrox puzzle. More oddly, it used exactly the same device: two extra letters from the wordplay in each clue of one set making up a quotation, the other set being normal. The only difference was that the two sets were the opposite way around.

I found the clues in this one a little easier, perhaps I was used to it by now, and having got a key word in the quotation I was able to rattle of most of the clues quite quickly. However, I was still faced with the same problem of having the odd answer from the definition and checking letters but not fully understanding how to fit the extra two letters in to satisfy the wordplay.

Also, like the other puzzle I was slightly dissatisfied by the final step. Here the quotation was, (Education is) WHAT SURVIVES WHEN WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED HAS BEEN FORGOTTEN, by the American psychologist B. F. Skinner. After discovering SKINNER in the grid running downwards in the fourth column the final R of his name and two more Rs (the rest of the 3 Rs of the title) in that row were blacked out. There was no indication that the three Rs of the title all sat in one row but they were in fact the only three Rs in the entire grid, leaving no ambiguity. The letters remaining in the third row from the bottom spelled out the subject of the quotation, EDUCATION. Well, not quite. The letters of that row spelled out EDUCATIONA. I thought this was a slight weakness.

Other than that it was an enjoyable puzzle to solve with some excellent cluing. I think there was a mistake in the PDF version for 37dn, but it looked more like a typo than anything else. I just hope the next Obtrox puzzle I tackle does something different!

(XY Z)* anagram
X[Y]Z insertion
X[y]Z deletion
ZYX< reversal
X.Y.Z. alternate letters or initialisation
“xyz” homophone

Across
1 WH ET AL WHET [de]AL et al means and elsewhere as well as and others.
5 AT BATHETIC BA THE ATTIC
11 SU LAMPOONED L[A SUMP]OO NED
13 RV BOBCAT BO B CAR TV TV = the box
14 IV TOO IT VOO[doo]
15 ES MAL MALES
16 WH NON-FAT NOW N.F. HAT
17 EN ALKALI AL[K AL]IEN
18 WH DOGSLED WD HOGS LED WD is the IVR for Domnica (formerly the Windward Islands)
20 AT KETAS KE[T[un]A]ATS Pacific salmon.
21 HA DESK HA[DE]S K K = Kirkpatrick (catalogue of Scarlatti’s works)
22 SB TADPOLE STAB D POLE
25 EE SABLE (ALE BEES)*
29 NL SENNETS SEN [ca]NN[ot] LETS
33 EA MAAM E.M. A.A. A.M.
34 RN CLONE LONER in C[abi]N
36 ED ASEPSIS EASED P SIS
38 HA AMOEBA (ABE OMAHA)< Abe Lincoln.
40 SB INSTEP BINS in PETS<
41 EE RED RE DEE
42 NF RUC RUN FC ruc is another spelling of roc.
43 OR RATION OR[R]ATION
44 GO PHONETICS GONE in (H TOPICS)* I originally had the more obscure TYNE here for lost, that gave me the promising looking FORTY in the quote.
45 TT SLEEKENS SLEET [KENT] S It took me ages to work this one out as I had SWEETENS in the grid and assumed sweet = ice(cream). It turns out the sleet is a US word for the thin layer of ice that forms when sleet freezes.
46 EN IDEM ENID [d]EM[o]
Down
1 ELAND EN[g]LAND
2 TABOOED (A DEB TOO)*
3 AMONGST A[MO]NGST
4 LOCALISE ACOL< LISE ACOL is a bridge bidding system.
5 BOATEL B.O. A TEL B.O. = branch office, the other abbreviation has already been used.
6 ANTA A[N[o]T]A AA = “motoring outfit”!
7 TETANAL T [v]ET ANAL
8 EVOKE EV[OK]E
9 TOMATO (TAM TOO)*
10 COLISEUM COL[I’ SE]UM[n]
12 SALAL S A[LA]L la = indeed.
19 SKIN S[KI]N Sn = tin, phylloquinone is vitamin K1.
23 DEMENTED (NED TED ME)*
24 POMP POM P
26 ATTACHE A T ‘TACHE ie moustache.
27 MASTOID MAST O[v]ID
28 FAIENCE F[A I]ENCE
30 ELMEN E L MEN “made of elm…” isn’t a great definition.
31 NOODLE “new” D EL< I assume this refers to the US pronunciation of “new”.
32 ASIANS (A SIN’S A)
35 NERVE NEVER*
37 SPASM gaSP AS Magician the clue as printed is : “Gasps as magician demonstrates spell (5)” The extra S would seem to be a typo as the clue’s surface still works without it.
39 IRON [pe]NORI<[as]

### One Response to “EV867 — The Three Rs by Obtrox”

1. nmsindy says:

Enjoyable puzzle with a very apt thematic treatment of the quotation. Not got the puzzle with me now, but I’d no problem with EDUCATION on its own as subject, and never looked beyond it. I too found the clues quite easy, but, unlike the earlier Obtrox in the Inquisitor series that you mention, I found the thematic material straightaway. The preamble led me to look for Rs and as you say there were just three in the grid.

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