Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 134 MICKEY MOUSE by Charybdis

Posted by Hihoba on July 31st, 2009


Excellent puzzle from Charybdis – no extra words or letters in the clues, just a nice conceit in his letter from the editor. This was most confusing at first, but the meaning fell out as the grid neared completion. A lot of dictionary work was required for unusual words and meanings.

I got the three white unclued words quite quickly, Mickey Mouse appeared in FANTASIA as the APPRENTICE SORCERER. (Music by Dukas – tumty tumty tumty tiddley tumty etc.) He cast a spell to get the broomsticks to fetch water from the well, but didn’t know how to stop them. Hence he was seen to MIS-SPELL which can be found on row 8. Now the editor comments that at least Charybdis in his original crossword had given this 8 letters not 7. In other words he had not mis-spelled it MISPELL! So the other four unclued entries at 1D, 8D, 9D and 40A must be mis-spelled, and the editor wants them corrected (note that the definitions are OK), and consequent minimal alterations made in the grid, so that crossing answers are real words.

The mis-spellings were:

1D, FUSCHIA corrected to FUCHSIA. This meant amendments to 13A where SHARPIE becomes CHARPIE and 15A where CANGS becomes HANGS

8D, PHAROAH corrected to PHARAOH and 9D, DESSICATED corrected to DESICCATED. These resulted in 19A changing from DETROIT to DETRACT and 22A from BROACH to BROOCH

40A, PUTRIFY corrected to PUTREFY. (I must confess I would have mis-spelled this myself!) 38D is amended from FRIER to FREER. 

I’m not really into timing myself but at least I finished it on Saturday while I also watched some golf and cycling, listened to some of the Test Match, went for a cycle ride and went to a party in the evening, so it couldn’t have taken too long!

P.S. I was very upset to discover, on the Crossword Centre Message Board on 20 July, a post clarifying the rubric and correcting the error in the clue for 34D. NO information should EVER be given before the closing date for entries, whatever the provocation. It makes it entirely unfair to those who are not readers of that board!

The entries below are the answers before the amendments above.

 1  FANTASIA unclued
 11  URGENT – (H)UR(T) + GENT
 12  PEAHEN – PEN round A HE
 14  EASE – sounds like Es
 15  CANGS – new word to me, a Chinese portable pillory for petty offenders! C + AN + GS
 20  IPOMOEA – a plant, I(ow)A round POM + OE (same as OY, grandchild) 
 22  BROACH – meaning to open up, B(arrel) + ROACH, the butt of a marijuana cigarette! 
 24  REAR – double meaning (hinder with a long I in the sense of hindmost)
 27  AGHA – AGHA(ST) nice clue!
 29  DEMISS – humble (rare), DE + MISS
 30  PELLETS – L(aw) E(nforcers) in PELTS
 37  GLEAN – GEAN (the wild cherry again!) round L
 38  ZERDA – Two new words, zerda is an alternative name for the fennec, and ZEA is a cereal genus, round (T)R(O)D
 39  EIRE – EIRENIC means peaceful, remove NIC(E)
 41  SCERNE – an old word for to distinguish visually. [SCREEN]* though I’m not to happy about “is up” as an anagram indicator.
 42  RENEGE – hidden backwards in degenerate
 43  SEA – an &lit clue, Principally S(alt) + EA (water) providing the definition too. Clever!
 44  SORCERER unclued
 1  FUSCHIA (sic)
 2  NGANA – the tsetse fly disease, hidden
 3  TERGUM – back plate of an arthropod, [G(O)URMET]*
 4  STIRP – a new word to me, meaning pedigree, STIR (U)P
 5  IDEA’D – not a very nice word for “had an idea”. I (one) + DEAD
 6  APPLEBY – place name, APPLE + BY
 7  DEALT – DEAL + (I)T
 8  PHAROAH (sic)
 9  DESSICATED (sic)
 10  UNEATH – old word for difficult, remove DERN (an archaic word for secret) from UNDERNEATH
 16  APPRENTICE unclued
 18  TORS – (MEDIA)TORS – e.g. ACAS – there seemed to be a stray full stop in the clue!
 21  AMP – A(ffairs) + MP
 23  RALE – rattle from a diseased lung, hidden
 25  EMIGRES – another &lit clue A product of corrupt [REGIMES]* providing definition as well
 26  ISOETES – [SO(M)ETI(M)ES]*. I liked the clue, though whether quill-shaped (Chambers) is the same as “feathery” I’m not quite sure.
 28  ASSAYER – AS + SAY + ER
 29  DURESS – DRESS round U(niform)
 31  LIERNE – architectural ribbing (new word to me) LINE round ER
 33  ILANA – Jewish girl’s name, hidden
 34  NAPOO – WW1 slang for dead. Is there a mistake in the word play? [ANOAP]* does not work
 35  KNURR – a hard ball, K (Cambodia) + R (take) round RUN reversed
 36  FRIER – FRI(day) + ER

7 Responses to “Inquisitor 134 MICKEY MOUSE by Charybdis”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks for the blog Hihoba. I wonderful puzzle making a triple of Charybdis puzzles over two weekends (EV and Listener are the other two.)

    I got the solution and made the corrections as you have but I dithered slightly wondering why those four words. I spent some time wondering if they were connected with the film or with each other in some way. In the end I decided they were simply four commonly misspelled words. I think I might have misspelled one or two of them in my time!

    Great preamble. Superb clues, some excellent devices.

    Re 34ac: The clue was corrected to:

    No OAP prepared for dead of WW1

    giving (NO OAP)*

    (Although I know you wrote and submitted your blog before the correction was published.)

  2. nmsindy says:

    Re issuing of corrections/confirmation, I understand the point being made in the blog and the logic behind it.

    Nonetheless I can’t see that there is anything wrong with such information being given (by the editor directly or with his approval) on public outlets that crossword fans look at.

    I think the arguments given are entirely valid in a commercial context eg when tenders are being sought and all potential tenderers are entitled to have the same information. But I think it’s taking it a bit seriously to look at it in a similar way when it’s just a crossword and the opportunity is there to clarify and avoid doubt.

  3. Mike Laws says:

    Off your high horse Hihoba, please.

    The original comment, couched in sufficiently provocative and gratuitously offensive terms to be desrving of its quick deletion, was seen by Charybdis, and provoked a clarification (which no one with a sense of humour would have needed), and an apology for an error, which was so transparently so that it would not have inhibited any competent solver from completing the puzzle correctly. I endorsed his comments.

    No one, other than a naive neophyte, would uave been advantaged in any way. The gist of a privately received message pointed out that the crossword is more important than the blog. I’ll endorse that too.

  4. Paul B says:

    Quite right too. You don’t need to be a genius, Hihoba, to work out who caused the (incredibly small) problem relating to this fine puzzle, or to see that no advantage was given.

    The truly unfortunate thing about this is to witness how a fellow who is, by common consent, something of an ignorant pig should be paid so much attention.

  5. Tilsit says:

    As the person who removed the original offensive post. I agree entirely with Mike L. People who had seen the original postwer also disadvantaged as it implied the puzzle was in some way faulty.

  6. Hihoba says:

    I did not see the original post and so have no idea what was implied or stated. Indeed I was not aware that the message board even existed until it was brought to my notice by Colin B! All I saw was a correction to a prize puzzle on a board where the heading is the sentence “Please do not discuss (or even mention) current puzzles until after the solution is published.”
    I do agree that the problem in this case is minor, but the principle is major. Many solvers are unaware that there are blogs and message boards, and they should not be disadvantaged. Solvers who do read them deserve all they get if they believe the posts from “ignorant pigs” (to quote Paul B)!

  7. nmsindy says:

    The Crossword Centre website (run by Derek Harrison) is long-established. There is a link to it from this site – click on Links to see it (and other websites related to crosswords).

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