Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 146 – Mean – what do you think? – by Lato

Posted by petebiddlecombe on October 23rd, 2009


It was quite difficult to make progress at first, but the “extra letters in wordplay” phrase started to emerge from CIANS suggesting “politicians”, and QUISLING as a possible unclued answer. Looking up “politicians” in ODQ was fruitless, so I worked away at the clues, then Googled the full phrase with the help of the initial “ninety per cent”. The complete slightly parapharased version is “Ninety per cent of politicians give the rest a bad name, Kiss(inger)”. The full set of ten unclued politicians is MUGABE, MANDELA, BUSH, MOSLEY, STALIN, THATCHER, QUISLING, GOEBBELS, ARCHER, SADDAM – I guess Mandela is the most likely candidate to represent the ten per cent. The final “give the rest a kiss” from extre letters seemed a nicely bizarre touch. Probably about 3 hours all told, so roughly average Inq. difficulty.

7 N / SETTS = S,NETT,S=section – a set or sett is a square of tartan as well as a paving block
10 I / LUCID = Luc,I=in,ID=Idaho
11 N / OUTSHOT = NOUT=cattle,SHOT
12 E / ISHTAR = IS, rev. of RATHE(r)
13 T / SOAP = STO(A)P – soap = “women as sex objects”
14 Y / TALL = TALLY = score
16 P / LET GO = LE(TGP)O – TGP from first letters of “the government papers”
18 R / WINCED = hidden word – MoscoW IN CREDit
20 C / TOQUES = TOC=rev. of cot (small boat),QUES(t)
22 E / SHAG = S(HE)AG
24 N / SORDO = SON,R=take,DO=act
26 T / CRIB = C(RIB)T – a crib is a brothel
28 F / DESIRE = DES,(f)IRE – ire and fire can both mean “passion” – I saw the wrong one and wondered whether the extra letter in wordplay was missing here
29 P / A FEW BOB = A = one, F = fine, PEW = box (“an old square pew” in C), BOB = Hope
31 O / RELIC = RELIO = rev. of oiler,C
33 L / DONA = DONAL = O in rev. of LAND
35 I / CHAD = CHAI = Romany for a woman,D
39 I / ANGER = AN = article,GERI = Spice Girl (Ginger Spice)
1 I / CLIMATIC = C.(LIMA,TIC = rev. of cit)I., C = about
4 N / DITT = D.I.,T.N.T.
5 S / AYR = SAY,R
6 G / EUOI = E.U., GO = “to be done away with”, I
8 I / TOP GEAR = A in anag. of (ego trip)
9 V / STOOD = S=second, TO=extremely, V.D. = embarrassing infection
15 E / ARES = rev. of “see Ra” – much time wasted on ARED from Ra and Deo, which doesn’t quite work, eventually fixed by the requirement for an extra E, not O.
18 T / DUMB = DUM=mud re.v,BT
19 H / WADS = WA(D)SH
21 E / SORE = SOREE = rail (bird)
22 R / SHAW = ‘S,R(H)AW
23 E / FREEMAN = FERE = mate, rev. of name = reputation
25 S / OPEN = SO,PEN
28 T / DRAMA = D(R)AM,AT
30 A / BLAST = A.B.,LAST
32 K / TALI = TALK = rabbit,I=island
34 I / AGAR = AGARI(c)
35 S / IBIS = I = Italy,B,(m)ISS
37 S / MOP = M.(o)P.’S

7 Responses to “Inquisitor 146 – Mean – what do you think? – by Lato”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    I’ll accept BOB (=Hope) graciously, and GERI (=Spice Girl) grudgingly, since the Spice Girls do have an entry in Chambers Biographical Dictionary (newly after Schadenfreude’s puzzle #137 with all those names of poets). But LEO (=Blair) is hardly timeless, and maybe the same goes for TOP GEAR (=a TV show).

    And too many of the extra letters in wordplays were clued as isolated letters (e.g. the I in 10a) or as one letter in a two-letter word (e.g. HE in 22a, GO in 6d, SO in 25d).

    All of those are fair and doable, but reduce enjoyment/satisfaction for me.

  2. nmsindy says:

    My solving experience was very similar to Peter’s. Saw QUISLING very early and thought this might be very easy but no – it took me three hours or so too, if I recall. The title leaves it to judgment but I’d say it’s all presented as an amusement (as IMHO puzzles should be) based on the quote. I enjoyed it anyway.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    PS And of course the unclued entry at 2a cryptically indicates the first word of the puzzle’s title …

  4. Mike Laws says:

    nmsindy is spot on about the Lato’s intention.

  5. Mike Laws says:

    (Delete “the”)

    So is Holyghost.

  6. Lato says:

    Thanks for the blog and comments.

    TOP GEAR may not be timeless but it has been running since 1977.

  7. Andy Stewart says:

    For reasons I won’t go into, I tackled this very late in the day. I thought it was a delightful puzzle. I liked the misleading, but amusing, KISS coming at the end of the incomplete quote, and I enjoyed compiling the list of politicians, which came easily once I had the theme. Until I had the quote the only unclued entries I had were MUGABE, THATCHER and SADDAM. I did have slight reservations about BLAIR = LEO, but had no problem with the other references. I loved the clue to SOAP, which was my last entry.
    The quotation is itself rather interesting. I think that I would include it’s originator amongst the “ninety per cent”.

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