Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 147 – Bear Puzzle – by Raich

Posted by kenmac on October 30th, 2009


Inquisitor 147 What a bad start, I thought.

I looked at 1 across and got the
answer straight away.  Usually when that happens, I’m doomed to failure. But, as it happens, it wasn’t an omen, I managed to solve all of the clues fairly quickly.  My problem was that I wasn’t always sure about the extra letter until the end.

Making anything meaningful from the extra letters took a long time.  I couldn’t figure out the extra letter in 12 across, and because the first few letters spelt: EN?MY I was convinced that I was looking for a quote with ENEMY in it.  I had already spotted CHURCHILL in the grid so I spent ages trying to find Churchill quotes containing ENEMY.  I was convinced that BEAR (from the title) represented RUSSIA but had not found it in the grid.  Had there been any hair on my head at the start, it would have been torn out by now.

A nice little touch, I thought, to find RUPERT lurking in the grid (at the start of row 4) it may have misled a few people.

Anyway, the extra letters spelt out: ENIMYSTRIDDLEERYGMA or RIDDLE inside MYSTERY inside ENIGMA thus representing Winston Churchill’s 1939 radio broadcast: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.”

So the originator (CHURCHILL) and the subject (RUSSIA) had to be highlighted in the grid.

No. Entry Extra Letter Wordplay
1 UNSCRUPULOUS E OUR CLUES PUN (anag: awfully)+US (thanks Duncan – see “Responses” below)
9 UTAH N NUT (head)+AH (expression of surprise)
10 SAIL S(Nato)AIL (sluggish person)

TIE (draw) (rev: back) inside THIS. I spent ages on this one, even having the correct answer, convinced I was looking for E as the extra letter (for EN/E/MY, see above)
13 EN BLOC M MEN (soldiers)+BLOC(K) (obstruction-K(ing))
15 TAMILIC Y T(ense)+AMI (friend)+L(ook)+ICY
16 ARBROATH BRA (rev: withdrawn)+ROATH (loath (unwilling) with L(eft) changed to R(ight))
17 NUMERIC NUM (union)+ERIC (fine): NUMERIC is an obsolete (as before) word for identical.
19 LATHS LAT (pillar)+H(ack)S
21 SUCRE S SC (South Carolina) inside SURE (stable): Ecuador currency.
23 RHACHIS T R(ome)+HAS containing CHIT
27 UP IN ARMS PURITANISM-IT ((sex) appeal) (anag: somehow)
29 ANCHUSA R RANCH (farm)+USA (country that’s across the “pond” (Atlantic Ocean))
31 TUCANA CUT (cross) (rev: about)+ANA (gossip collection): this one took ages to justify
32 STINGO I SITIN (protest)+GO (try)
33 TUTU TUT (disapprove)+(h)U(ssy)
34 IDEE Hidden word: gIDE Exploited
35 DISSIMILARLY SIR SILLY+MAID (anag: in another way)
No. Entry Extra Letter Wordplay
1 UNTRANSLATED D TURN (anag: around)+AND+SLATE+D(aughter)
2 STEP STEPPE (plain) (homophone: speaking)
3 CATERER D CARD (jack) containing TE+RE (a couple of notes)
4 UPSTAIR L RITUALS+P(astor) (anag: bizarre)
5 PLEAT E PELE (famous footballer even I’ve heard of!)+AT (Laos currency).
6 LABIA LAB(oratory) (place for experiment)+I(nternational)+A(gency)
7 OILLET (T)OIL+LET (a tennis service obstructed by the net)
8 SUCCESS STORY E SUES (takes legal action) containing C(arbon)+CESS (tax once)+TORY (politician)
9 UHURU UH(LAN: network)+URU(guay)
11 LOIN LION (courageous guy) (internally switched)
14 RORE OR (either) inside R(hym)E.  I didn’t like this clue, I thought it was clumsy :(
18 CHIASMI R CHI (old character)+AS (while)+MIR (commune)
19 LAND Y LADY containing N(ew)
20 ACARIDA G A+CIGAR AD (anag: brought up)
22 COCCUS M COC(K)+CUM+S(pecial)
24 IMAGE Not too sure about the wordplay here.  I originally had I’M+AGED (with D as an extra letter)
25 KNUT KT (Knight – also Knight of the Thistle; Knight Templar) containing NU (letter). KNUT is the same as NUT
26 CHATS A ACHAT(E(nglish))S
28 PSALM SAL (girl) in PM (afternoon)
30 ONER Absolutely no idea on this one except for the definition: something exceptional :-(Clue: France and Germany each have something exceptional.

10 Responses to “Inquisitor 147 – Bear Puzzle – by Raich”

  1. IanN14 says:

    30ac. The words “France” and “Germany” each contain One “R”…

  2. Duncan Shiell says:

    24d -I think AGE is simply being used as a verb meaning ‘to mature’

    1a – I think you need +US after the anagram.

    14d – I thought this was ok just reading it as ‘R or E’ – either end of ‘rhyme’, but I can see that ‘conveys’ is an odd word to use in the clue.

    I struggled with fitting something to RUPERT for quite a long time. Like you I was also looking for ENEMY at the start of the clue. It was seeing RIDDLE followed by ERY that finally triggered what was going on.

    Not too difficult, but good fun.

  3. kenmac says:

    Re: 1a – oops a typo :-( I’ll correct it later. 😉

  4. HolyGhost says:

    I thought that this puzzle was just about par for the Inquisitor – I had a bit of a hole in the lower left corner for a while (29a, 31a, 33a, 25d, 22d, 26d) even though I’d guessed CHURCHILL.

    I agree with Duncan about 24d (AGE=mature), and I groaned when I finally justified 14d (R or E), but not as much as with 30d (ONE R), which was one of the first answers I got but probably next to last to justify – after all, France and Germany also each have ONE A, ONE E, and ONE N!

  5. Jim T says:

    I really liked this – an ideal theme for a puzzle. Clever red herring with Rupert too.

  6. Wil Ransome says:

    Nice crossword (after seeing the blog); it defeated me — Chambers Crossword Dictionary has ‘Tethys’ as a nymph and I couldn’t find ‘Thetis’ anywhere. And I was sure that 31ac (TUCANA) was T{a}u c ana, so the extra letter was an a and this mucked up the very clever ‘riddle inside a mystery etc’.

    But now I see it it’s clear enough.

  7. Mike Laws says:

    Obviously, the Churchill quotation has been used before (how could it not have been?), but Raich’s treatment of it was spot on for an easy-side Inquisitor.

  8. Raich says:

    Thanks very much for the excellent blog and all the comments, which are much appreciated and have been carefully noted.

    Re TUCANA and THETIS, Chambers does not includes proper names, apart from first names in an Appendix. Raich uses them if they are in Collins, which does include proper names, including those two.

    A v minor point on the blog – in 35 ac “in another way” is the definition with “get involved with” indicating the anagram.

  9. Hypnos says:

    Very enjoyable to solve and the red herring was cunning and

  10. Andy Stewart says:

    I found this a very enjoyable puzzle, most of the clues were on the easy side so filling the grid was mostly straightforward, but I couldn’t make sense of the message initially, and like the blogger was looking for something involving ENEMY. Once I had the quote all fell into place and I was able to make sense of the message, a neat touch.
    To my shame I did not spot RUPERT.

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