Fifteensquared

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Inquisitor 139 – PAIRS by Nutmeg

Posted by Hihoba on September 4th, 2009

Hihoba.

My thanks to Ho for this one as neither Hi nor Ba could do it. We found it much harder than Tennyson’s Maud and the poets a few weeks ago, though Ho didn’t!

There were Double Clues – two clues run together, the answers fitting in either of the two available symmetrical slots, and Single Clues which led to two answers. The answers to the Single Clues turned out to be clues in themselves which led to a second answer of the same length as the original. Again either answer could fit in either available slot and were not necessarily words.

It was all made more difficult by the number of unfamiliar words (about 8 requiring a dictionary check!). Complex, and a lot of jigsaw work to be done even if you could solve the clues!

There was a cross-check phrase, but I would have preferred a bit more guidance on the meaning of the term ‘unclued’ letters , which seems to mean letters from the secondary answers to the Single Clues which are not cross-checked. Our count of  these letters was only 12, not 14 as in the rubric. They were made up of:

PN from RENNAPS, I from TIMER, NOI from NEOLITHI, PE from REPRESE, PP from PEOCPR and HR from NETROHS. This yields “IN ‘PP’ HORNPIPE, but I am at a loss to find the extra RN!

In the table relating to Double Clues below, the clue numbers have been reversed if the second answer fills the first space in the grid and vice versa. The answers and explanations are in order of the clues. The word after the split is indicated. A full grid can be found at the bottom for clarity.

Double Clues:

Across
 No.  Answers  Split at First half   Second half
 35,1  ICILY/ROPES  guys  (S)ICILY  RES(ervation) round OP
 11,33  EPOCHA/CHOREE  foot  COPE reversed + HA(rriers)   a trochee (foot!)CHORE + E
 32,12  EPHA/COMA  company  Hidden in largE PHArmaceutical  CO + M + A
 30,14  MOTEN/SET BY  appoint  Spenserian for may: MO(second) + TEN (XI – 1!!)  reserve: SET (appoint) + BY (handy)
 26,17  ELMIER/ASSOTS  backing  [LIME]* + RE reversed  STOA reversed round SS
 25,19  TOSS/REAP  gather  TO (closed) + S + S (societies)  REP (material) round A
 23,21  SPURGES/SLEEKIT  glossy  GE in SPURS  LEEK in SIT(e)
Down
No. Answers  Split at First half Second half
 27,2  EXCEL/OPENS  put  top: replace PT (gym) by L(eft) in EXCEPT (bar)  starts: O (protest in C but cry ??) + PEN (put inside) + S
 3,24  POTASH/BIHARI  Indian  POT + [HAS]* (hit as anag. indicator??)  BI + [1 RAH] reversed
 21,6  SEDUCES/ENSEALS  stamps  [CUSSED E]*  ENS (being) + [SALE]*
 29,7  ONCE/MISO  notes  former: O(ld) + C in NE  MI + SO (notes)
 15,8  BOAR-SPEAR/ICECREAMS  finishes  B + OARS + PEAR  ICES round CREAM
 20,9  APOCOPE/EMBRAID  lace  A POPE round CO  [DIME]* round BRA
 

In the table relating to the Single Clues the No. column indicates where the answer to the primary clue is to be placed. The secondary answer goes in the other position

Single Clues:

Across
 No.  Answer  Explanation  Second Entry  Explanation
 5  DEMIREP  shady character: PERI + MED all reversed  REPRESE  “Demi” REPRESENTATIVE
 31  CUTBACK  BACK (support) after CUT  NETROHS  SHORTEN “back”
 28  COP-OUT  excuse: COP + OUT  PEOCER  COPPER “out”
Down
No. Answer Explanation Second Entry Explanation
 22  TURNKEY  TURKEY round N  RENNAPS  “Turn” SPANNER
 4  SHORTAGE  SHORE round TAG (to dog)  NEOLITHI  “Short” NEOLITHIC
 10  PAY UP  discharge: PA + YUP  TIMER  REMIT “up”

 

 

R O P E S D E M I R E P
E P O C H A N I C O M A
N E T R O H S S E T B Y
N N A B R P E O C P R U
A S S O T S A N R E A P
P A H A A S L E E K I T
S P U R G E S O A B D U
T O S S E D E L M I E R
I C O P O U T I S H X N
M O T E N C U T B A C K
E P H A C E C H O R E E
R E P R E S E I C I L Y

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 139 – PAIRS by Nutmeg”

  1. Richard Palmer says:

    The ‘unclued letters’ are unchecked letters in the unclued answers plus the R and N where two unclued answers intersect.

    I found this about as difficult as last week’s as far as filling the grid is concerned but I didn’t bother to look for all the obscure poets in that one, I just confirmed the ones listed in Bradford’s.

    The Inquisitor has definitely got harder this year and is now often harder than the Listener.

  2. Hihoba says:

    Thank you for that Richard. The extra RN eluded us. I wasn’t clear why we had been given them anyway as they didn’t seem to help with solving the rest of the puzzle!

  3. kenmac says:

    I didn’t get a single answer in this puzzle despite staring at it for a week. :-( So well done to Ho.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Didn’t find this much harder than average – solved a few pairs and a lone intersection (e.g. COMA + EPHA, and EMBRAID) and I was on my way. Some guesswork placing other entries, and things fell into place – maybe I got lucky.

  5. Mike Laws says:

    I found this puzzle hard, but fair and fun. A variation on the standard Ximenes/Azed special “Left and Right” – with the bonus of clues to which the answers were wordplay in themselves. And the clueing was impeccable.

    Thanks, “that nut, Meg”.

  6. Hi of Hihoba says:

    I have absolutely no complaints about the puzzle or the clues, which I agree were impeccable! Like kenmac, I just couldn’t do it – my fault not Nutmeg’s!

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