Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 145 – IN MEMORIAM-II by Phi

Posted by Hihoba on October 16th, 2009


Superb stuff from Phi as usual. Impeccable clues and a nice theme with a bit of work needed to fill in the middle five rows.

I thought it was quite dificult enough without the extra puzzle of mistakes in the grid! I read through the clues, and one of the first answers I got was IDOLA for 22D, and couldn’t find anywhere to put it! I only found it a home after solving both 28A and 30A (NAILS and RAVEN-HAIRED) which located the last two letters.

This masterly summary of the problem was received from another past winner. “I’m assuming that 7D is (5), thus destroying a bar; that 22D (5) is symmetrical to it; that 22A is 23A, 23D is 24D and the spare 24 vanishes.”

On to the puzzle proper. We had an unclued cat’s name in the centre and two thematic answers clued by wordplay only. Five more thematic answers were clued as wordplay-only parts of  “double clues”, which intersected with the cat’s name – also assumed to be thematic.

30A Ramshackle verandah . . . clearly was an anagram containing a word for passion and looked a likely wordplay-only candidate. RAVEN-HAIRED filled the bill, and 1A was its symmetrical equivalent. This was CARBON BLACK and a theme began to appear. We were looking for a BLACK cat’s name intersected by other words for black. My first instinct was Lucky – wrong! Phi’s deceased cat was SOOTY, intersected from top to bottom by SABLE, COAL, EBONY, JET and INKY.

Ho commented “There were some words new to me: SANTALIN, COMPOTIER, HILDING, REPAND, LEGUAAN, BEKNAVE, RICKER, but that’s why one needs a dictionary!” I (Hi) would add SCREEVE and PODURA to the list; there is no problem with unusual words as long as the wordplay is reasonably straightforward. I do suffer when unusual words are clued by other unusual words in the wordplay – as in REPAND, where RED (for Scottish redd meaning refuse) was pretty obscure too! This is not a complaint – the clue is totally fair – just a comment on my solving ability.

Thematic Across
 Row 5  SANTALSABLEIN  SABLE is “Demand to receive book”  – B in SALE
     SANTALIN is colourful stuff: AN TAL(e) in SIN
 Row 6  MADELCOALEINE  COAL is CO (military leader) + AL(l) (almost completely)
     MADELEINE is a girl: MADE LINE (drew) round E(uropean)
 Row 7  AGRAEBONYFFES  EBONY is E(lephant initially) + BONY (spare)
     AGRAFFES are clasps: A(ll) + G(i)RAFFES
 Row 8  TEAMJETSPIRIT  JET is JE (in France I) +T(ease)
     TEAM SPIRIT is collaborative working: [IS PART TIME]*
 Row 9  COMINKYPOTIER  INKY is DINKY (dainty) D(aughter) dropped
     COMPOTIER is a serving dish: COMPO + TIER
Normal Across
 1  CARBON BLACK  Undefined: CAR + LACK (need) round BONBON (sweet) less ON (feasible)
 11  REELMAN  Surf life-saver: RAN round EEL + M
 12  QUAKE  Natural disaster: QUAKE(R) – Friend
 13  ORPHANAGE  Charitable institution: ORPH(e)AN (musician) + AGE
 15  AUREOLE  Ring: (F)AURE (composer) + OLE (both with accents!)
 23  HILDING  Old word for a coward: L in HIDING
 27  NANTUCKET  American island: N(ote) + ANT (soldier) round TUCKE(r) (a lot of food)
 28  NAILS  Features of birds’ bills: A in NILS (ducks)
 29  SCREEVE  Drawing on the pavement: S(pecial) C(onstable) + REEVE
 1  CROSSMATCHING  Running medical tests: ROSS (Scottish island) + M(ale) in CATCHING
 2  AERY  Visionary: A(p)ERY
 3  REPAND  Slightly wavy: RED (refuse) round PAN
 4  OMASAL  Means relating to the OMASUM, the third stomach of a ruminant, aka bible! OM + AS (taking role of) + A + L(ine)
 5  NANA  Grandma: NAAN half picked up!
 6  LEGUAAN  A lizard: LEAN round GUA(n) – tailless game bird
 7  CUPEL  A goldsmith’s vessel: CEL(uloid) round UP
 8  KAYO  Put down: OKAY first to last
 9  SKYLINE  Horizon: LIN in SKYE
 10  DEFENESTRATE  Lovely word for chuck out of the window! See statue on bridge in Prague. DEFEND round [A STREET]*
 14  STEAM  Old-fashioned: STEM round A
 17  E-FITS  Documents assisting identification: ST(r)IFE reversed
 18  GEOIDAL  Rounded form: [IDEA LOG]*
 19  BEKNAVE  Condemn as dishonest: B(ook) + [KEEN]* round A V(olume)
 20  PODURA  Springtails (insects): POD + URA(L)
 21  RICKER  Tree-trunk: RICK (heap) + RE reversed
 22  IDOLA  False notions: I DO + LA
 24  LAIR  Study: (B)LAIR
 25  ETCH  To engrave: (cours)E + (i)TCH
 26  MEVE  Old word for move: M + EVE

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 145 – IN MEMORIAM-II by Phi”

  1. Duncan Shiell says:

    Another enjoyable puzzle from Phi with a challenging twist involving the middle 5 rows where we didn’t know the order of the rows or know which of normal clue and wordplay came first in any of these 5 double clues. It was CARBON BLACK that helped me get SOOTY and then the whole thing fell into place.

    Like you I struggled with the mismatch between clues and grid for a little while. I think the numbering of the clues and the indicated answer length were correct in relation to what the grid should have been. As you say there were two extra horizontal bars in the grid and the numbering in the grid around 22,23 and 24 was wrong.

  2. kenmac says:

    Thanks Hihoba,

    I guessed SOOTY fairly early on, which really helped when I finally forced myself to attempt the middle 5 rows – EBONY was the one that got me started.

    Thanks for the explanation of 4d) I knew I must have it right but BIBLE for a cow’s third stomach; wow, I never knew that!

  3. HolyGhost says:

    I can’t say that I found this puzzle hugely enjoyable – difficult, yes, but not commensurately rewarding.

    I agree with Hihoba about REPAND (although REDD has been clued in a similar way before), and with Kenmac about BIBLE – the closest I got to rationalising this was from “psalterium” via “psaltery” to “Psalter” … but then the Book of Psalms is only part of the Bible.

  4. Mike Laws says:

    An apology for grid errors will appear below the solution notes. Users of Crossword Compiler will know that the mini-chaos was the result of one wrong click.

    I first came across bible as one of the four stomachs in an early Azed “Theme and Variations” puzzle.

    From today, Inquisitor solvers are invited, underneath the entry instructions, to e-mail me with comments and queries.

  5. Richard Heald says:

    As well as ‘bible’, ‘omasum’ and ‘psalterium’, the third stomach of a ruminant is also known as the ‘fardel’ and the ‘manyplies’ (with various alternative spellings). How come the other stomachs don’t have so many names?

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