Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 132 – EXCESS by Phi

Posted by kenmac on July 16th, 2009


Well, here goes with my first blog. I picked up my Independent with some trepidation but as soon as I turned to The Inquisitor and saw that it was by Phi, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. I find Phi’s cluing to be reasonably fair most of the time and this was no exception. I was also all geared up for some July 4th US Independence theme but ’twas not to be.

According to the preamble: A number of answers 12 and in doing so provide a definition of 12. Numbers in brackets do not always refer to clue answers.

Several of the across answers that bordered the left edge or right edge were too long for their grid space thus causing them to HANGOVER the grid (effectively losing their first or last letter, as appropriate.)

The excess letters to the left spelled out THE WRATH and the excess letters to the right spelled out OF GRAPES thus THE WRATH OF GRAPES which I’m sure many of us have experienced as a result of the EXCESS the night before.

Solving time: 90 minutes

No. First Answer Last Wordplay
(absolutely) (all reversed: backing)
5 EVER S O E(nergy)+VERSO
(left hand page)
9 T RUMP RUM inside TP
10 ONESEL F ON (acceptable)+FEELS
(anag, anagrind:odd)
11 H ORSESHOE (gardene)RS inside HOES
(tools)+HOE (extra one!)
(poles)+HOW (question)
14 E GMONT EG (say)+N(ew)
inside MOT (French for word:
word in Paris.) Egmont, opus 84, by Ludwig van Beethoven, is a set
of incidental music pieces for the 1787 play of the same name by
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I’ll have forgotten that next week 😉
15 STUN G NUT (devotee) inside GS
(G&S) (reversed)
17 W ORRIT OR (gold) inside WRIT
(legal document)
19 GLOAT (ow)L inside GO
(attack.) This one had me baffled for ages as I knew
it had to be GLOAT but I
couldn’t see how GOAT
represented “attack”- d’oh!
20 OTAGO TAG (name) inside OO
(rings.) OTAGO is a region in
the south of the south island of New Zealand. Anywhere near where
Phi lives? I don’t know.
22 FUREU R FUR (hide)+RUE
(reversed.) Apparently a French word for extravagant admiration
23 R USHY RUSH (sudden flow)+Y
(unknown.) RUSHY=made of
(position) inside LA (the
French.) LAPUTA: a flying
island in Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, inhabited by people who
engage in ridiculous projects.
26 A CID FREAK CID (police)+Following
inside AREA (sector) +K(ing).
ACID FREAK: a person who takes
LSD habitually.
28 TURNIP TO P NIP (smart) inside POT
(prize)+RUT (furrow)
(reversed.) TURNIP TOP: the
green sprout of a turnip in its second year, used as a vegetable.
29 T OSSING SOT (a drunk)
(reversed)+SING (to give
30 HEIN E EIN (one in German) inside
HE (fellow.) Heinrich HEINE:
German poet
31 H OTTED (po)TTE(ry) inside HOD
(trough.) HOTTED: informal
word for heated
32 DEPRES S EP (extreme pressure)
inside DRESS (bandage)
No. Answer Wordplay
1 DRONGO CUCKOO Anagram (anagrind: flying) NO GOOD ROC
(d)UCK (losing head)
2 AURUM U(ranium) x2 (repeatedly)
inside ARM (inlet.) AURUM:
the Latin word for gold. Confused me for a little while because I
thought the leading AU was gold
3 EMSWORTH Anagram (anagrind: out) THROWS ME.
Lord EMSWORTH is a recurring
character in PG Wodehouse’s Blanding’s stories who breeds pigs.
Having never read any Wodehouse, I don’t know if the dotty refers
to the pigs’ markings or the fact that EMSWORTH was absent-minded
(or both.)
(excessive.) ASSOTT:
Spenserian adjective for infatuated
(heartless and reversed)
6 ESTH Hidden: likES THis
7 REROUTE OUT (way of escape) inside
RE (soldiers) x2
(subdued)+T(ime) inside
12 HANGOVER (unclued)
16 TAR PAPER REP (salesman)+ A
(fool) (all reversed)
18 ROSIEST OS (outsize: unusually
large)+I inside REST
(and in German)
22 FLANGE L(ine) inside FANGE(d)
25 UNTIE (mo)UNTIE (reputedly
successful policeman) without MO (moment: second)
27 DUST Hidden: avoideD US Temporarily

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 132 – EXCESS by Phi”

  1. Duncan Shiell says:

    Ken – Welcome to Inquisitor blogging and thanks for your very clear exposition of the clues!

    A pleasant puzzle by Phi, as ever. I think Phi always has at least one New Zealand reference within his clues and answers with Otago being the example this time. I did wonder if the DRONGO-CUCKOO was native to New Zealand as Phi had given us quite a catalogue of New Zealand birds in other puzzles in the past, but I discover it is an Asian bird.

    I started off down the left hand side of the crossword, so as I solved the first few clues I wondered if we were going to omit the letter O, or omit the second letter of some across clues, but finally I realised that we were doing something with the first letter of left hand acrosses and the last letter of right hand acrosses. HANGOVER dropped out soon after. It was quite late on before I noticed THE WRATH OF GRAPES was appearing with its links to EXCESS and HANGOVER.

  2. kenmac says:

    Thanks Duncan,

    Apologies to everyone for the dodgy spacing in the explanation part but it was me against OpenOffice and HTML and in panicking because time was against me, I settled for what you see.

    Note to self: must try harder.

    I also wondered if DRONGO-CUCKOO was a NZ reference since DRONGO is an Antipodean slang word.

  3. Simon Harris says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with your layout – it clearly demonstrates how the puzzle worked :) I enjoyed this one, and continue to be amazed by Phi’s output.

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