Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 144 – Gross by Schadenfreude

Posted by duncanshiell on October 9th, 2009


Schadenfreude is one of the most regular Inquisitor setters.  I have blogged a number of his puzzles in the past and all have proved challenging.  This one was no exception.  It took me a while to get the theme, but once I did the whole thing got a lot easier.

The preamble was fairly short and to the point.  Ten clues have a misprint in the definition and the correct letters spell out an alternative title for the puzzle.  The answers to fifteen other clues are to be thematically treated, partially or wholly, before grid entry.

The correct letters from the misprints, in clue order, spelled TAX RETURNS .  The original title of the puzzle was GROSS, one of whose meanings is total pay without deduction of tax.  Fifteen answers which could also mean ‘TAX ‘ in their entirety, or contained a shorter word meaning ‘TAX‘ had to have the ‘TAX‘ element reversed before entry into the grid.  In all but one case, this reversal involved checking letters from crossing clues.  In the answer for 22 Down, AIR TAXIS, where TAX itself was reversed, no cross-checking letters were involved.

The various TAXES were all in Chambers and in clue order were:

















I solved this in one afternoon session.  I wouldn’t rate this one at the most exciting end of a scale of Schadenfreude’s puzzles, but it provided a pleasant afternoon’s solving nonetheless.  I always find Scahdenfreude’s wordplay precise and understandable.

No. Misprints Wordplay Answer (before tax return) Tax Entry
1 T cash – cast  TAM (tam o’shanter; cap) contained in (put in) SP (special)       STAMP (cast)
5   Anagram of (destroyed) CHLORATES excluding (away) R (right) ESCHALOT (vegetable) lot ESCHATOL
11   Anagram of (unusual) E (English) and PANSYS     SYNAPSE (neural connection)
12 A truck – track ER (Elizabeth[Regina]) contained in (wearing) RAIL (an old word for cloak)     RERAIL (put back on the track)
14   SCOOTERS (motor-boats) excluding (escaping) O (love) SCOTERS (ducks) scot TOCSERS
15   Anagram of (cooked) SHE + R (Romeo) + I (one)     SEHRI (a meal eaten before sunrise; morning meal)
16   T (last letter of (end of) FEAST) + IS + SOT (drunk)     TISSOT (French painter – in Chambers Biographical Dictionary, as were all of Schadenfreude’s obscure poets in a recent puzzle)
18   IDEAL (theoretical) excluding the final (endless) L     IDEA (plan)
19 X empress – express O (old) + PINE (evergreen tree)       OPINE (express a doxy or opinion)
21 R junket – junker IS contained in (consumed by) (ART [cunning] and O [duck])     ARISTO (A Junker is an a narrow-minded, overbearing reactionary aristocrat)
23   Anagram of (changes) SO I MUST ACTION CUSTOMISATION (making to measure) custom MOTSUCISATION
27   DOC (one of the seven dwarfs) reversed (returned) containing (carrying) anagram of (broken) RON     CONROD (connecting rod; engine component)
29   MISS (leave out) + A     MISSA (religious service)
30   EN (space) + O (on) + W (wicket)     ENOW (sufficient)
31   Anagram of (playing) NURD and TOY excluding (leaves) R (Rex) ON DUTY (at work) duty ONYTUD
33   O (ordinary) + V (verse) + ATE (worried) OVATE (an Eisteddfodic graduate who is neither a bard or a druid) vat OTAVE
35   REST (remain) contained in (in) POS (position)     PRESTOS (very quick passages in music)
36   STEN (gun) containing (toting) PI (private investigator; detective)     STEP IN (intervene)
37   Anagram of (supply, as a variant on supple) CREATING excluding (no) G (good)     TACRINE (a drug)
38   TAIL (dog) + LESS (not so much) TAILLESS (a guinea pig has no tail) taille ELLIATSS
39 E call – cell Anagram of (deviously) SLY + ED (editor)     LYSED (caused a cell breakdown)


No. Misprints Wordplay Answer Tax Entry
1   ASS (associated) + E (English) + SS (bodyguards) ASSESS (judge) assess SSESSA
2 T swamp – stamp P (last letter of [close to] CAMP) contained in (in) TYE (common  land)     TYPE (stamp)
3   AN (one) + TI (musical note of tonic solfa) + THE + T (tense) ANTITHET (an instance of a balanced contrast) tithe ANEHTITT
4   Anagram of (devious) MASTER containing (hiding) ASS (behind)     MATRASSES (tubes)
5 U staff – stuff ESC (escape) + U (university) + DO (party)     ESCUDO (Portuguese money [stuff] although they use the Euro now)
6   (CE [established church] contained in SESSION [sitting]) + IS + ST (saint) reversed (backing) SECESSIONISTS (they favour withdrawal) cess SESSECIONISTS
7   CS (civil service) containing (in) an anagram of (working) ARENT     CRETANS (islanders [Crete])
8   O contained in (stopping) an anagram of (terrible) THEIR     HERIOT (a fine)
9   S (small) + CAT (fish) SCAT (go away1) scat TACS
10   TALLER (of greater stature) with O (old) replacing (not) A (amateur) TOLLER (bell-ringer) toll LLOTER
13   IRON (a goose is a tailor’s smoothing iron) + W (with) + OO (two ducks) + D (dead)     IRONWOOD (tree)
17 R headiness – readiness CINC (Commander in Chief) contained in (in) an anagram of (foreign) PORT     PROCINCT (rpreparedness; eadiness)
20   Anagram of (interfered with) PRETTY SON POST-ENTRY (a late entry in a horse race [reference Newmarket]) stent POTNETSRY
22   Anagaram of TRIAL excluding the final (short) L + A (about) + SIX reversed (returned) AIR TAXIS (small aeroplanes or helicopters making short trips).  Surely this is two words 5,3 and not a single word 8? tax AIRXATIS

(R [king] + EDEN (reference Sir Anthony Eden, British Prime Minister 1955-1957) contained in (in) CT (court)

    CREDENT (believable)
25 N ticker – tinker MO (doctor) contained in (in) an anagram of (dodgy) SUES     SMOUSE (to trade as a pedlar; tinker)
26   (A [are] + U [film certification for all to see]) contained in (in) SRI + A (final letter [at last] of LANKA)     SAURIA (reptiles)
27   Anagram of (off) TO CAST     COTTAS (vestments)
28   LD (lord) contained in (wearing) (GEE [suit] + D [had]) GELDED (emasculated; removed the nuts) geld DLEGED
32   V (victor) contained in (in) LEY (open country) LEVY (all for) levy YVEL
34 S light – sight VAN (shovel) + E (earth)     VANE (a sight on a surveying instrument)

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 144 – Gross by Schadenfreude”

  1. Colin Blackburn says:

    A rare Inquisitor solve for me but I enjoyed this one and found it a little easier than usual for a Schadenfreude. At some point around half way through the penny dropped. So the second half was a bit quicker but no less enjoyable for that.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Older solvers will remember that Gross (the original puzzle title) = 144 (the puzzle number), twelve dozen.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    I agree with Duncan – not as challenging as many Schadenfreude’s, but the last two or three clues took me a little while.
    And, yes, AIR TAXIS at 22d is two words.
    It was a bit of a hunt in the completed grid to find the fifteenth answer to be treated, until I deduced that it could not have any of the reversed letters cross-checked and saw the (blindingly obvious) TAX.

  4. Mike Laws says:

    Schadenfreude submitted this puzzle with the title “Annual Chores” which I felt gave the game away too soon. It certainly made me think of tax returns straight away, especially as an alternative title was to be discovered. I’d been pondering about a possible “gross” theme for IQ 144, then spotted the opportunity. I asked S. and he didn’t mind the change of title, so I went ahead.

    As for “air-taxi” v. “air taxi”, dictionaries are inconsistent on hyphenation both between and within editions. When whoever was in charge of words beginning with S in Chambers deleted most of the hyphens in compound words beginning “sea-“, the editor i/c L didn’t under “land-“. In some editions, there were discrepancies in hyphenation or not between a compound word’s apprearance as a headword and part of a definition.

    What to do, when giving enumerations in brackets?

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