Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 149 – Out of Pocket by Ikela

Posted by duncanshiell on November 13th, 2009


I think this was Ikela’s second Inquisitor (update: I gather it his third).  I blogged a previous one just under 6 months ago.  That one, entitled Fatal Attraction,  was based on Bonnie and Clyde.  This one had no link to films, actors, actressess, other famous artists or place names, but instead was related to money.  Specifically, it was related to the pound in your pocket (hence the puzzle’s title ‘Out of Pocket’), as described below.

The preamble was complex.  It read ‘ Three sets of three, minus the same last word in each case, appear as 14 unclued grid-entries (ten to be paired).  The first of six words (three pairs) forming the fourth set appears as part of a clued word, and must be highlighted.  The other five, the last of which is the same as that omitted from the first three sets, appear as otherwise redundant words in five clues.  Two characters representing the theme are to be entered in the central square.’

It was only after I had deduced the theme and sorted out all the unclued words that the preamble made complete sense.  It was ‘minus the the same last word in each case’ that confused me a bit.  Initially, I wasn’t forming the three sets of three properly, and therefore couldn’t work out how six of the of nine unclued objects were missing the word ‘bridge’.

The theme was the design on the reverse of the United Kingdom £1 coin.  I hadn’t realised that there was a five year cycle of designs representing each of the four Countries forming the United Kingdom. plus one representing the Royal Arms. 

The fourteen unclued entries formed the following nine objects

Scotland   Wales   Northern Ireland  
1984 and 1989 THISTLE 1985 and 1990 LEEK 1986 and 1991 FLAX PLANT
1994 and 1999 LION RAMPANT 1995 and 2000 DRAGON 1996 and 2001 CELTIC CROSS


The EGYPTIAN ARCH bridge can be found  in Newry, County Down.

The fourth set, made up of redundant words and part of one entry, related to England and comprised the following three objects:

1987 and 1992 (Not 1982, as the pound coin was only introduced in 1983) OAK TREE
1997 and 2002 THREE LIONS


The word OAK  appeared as part of OAKEN (14 across) and had to be highlighted. The other redundant words – TREE, THREE, LIONS, MILLENNIUM and BRIDGE appeared in the correct chronological order.

Even with fourteen unclued words there were still forty four clues to be solved.  The entries from these clued words had an average length of  5.07 letters per entry. which strikes me as quite low.  The average word length of the unclued words was slightly higher at 5.5 letters.

This took me quite a while to crack, especially the unclued words.  Given what looked like DRAGON, LEEK, THISTLE, and CROSS I was tempted by FLAG rather than FLAX for quite a long time.  EGYPTIAN and PLANT didn’t seem to fit with anything until I started on a bit of research. Given that I grew up in Edinburgh,  FORTH seemed to go logically with RAILWAY and had an affinity with MENAI so those two objects fell into place fairly quickly.

I found the cluing unambiguous, though perhaps not always reading completely smoothly.  Some of the definitions required a bit of lateral thinking, but that’s fair enough.  I don’t think definitions always need to be lifted word for word from Chambers or Collins or whatever dictionary rules for the specific crossword.  I guess it took a couple of 2 hour sessions to solve it all.  

I have entered £1 as the two characters in the central square.

Finally, I think in the clue to 41 Across that someone got their Hawaii’s and their Haiti’s mixed up.

No. Redundant Word Wordplay Entry
7   BE contained in (cast in) OYER (a hearing in a law court) OBEYER (one who does what he/she is directed to do)
9   ORDERLY (Non-commisioned Officer) ORDERLY (quiet)  Double definition.  Interestingly, ORDERLY was also clued as a double definition in the Independent  7190, which I have also blogged today (Well-behaved hospital attendant)
12   LERP (this answer) combined with UP could be re-arranged as PURPLE LERP (a secretion produced on the leaves of certain plants; ooze)
13   CONCERT (musical performance) omitting first and last letters CT (outsiders barred) ONCER (a £1 note, still in use in Scotland)  This could have been linked to the theme, but I suppose that would have made deduction of the theme a lot easier.
14 TREE O (of) and KEN (knowledge) containing (esnaring) first letter of (originally) ADAM OAKEN (made of wood)
16   LAIR (den) reversed (put back) RIAL (an old English coin for the purposes of the clue.  It is also a current standard monetary unit in a few countries today)  Another possible thematic link.
18   MISÈRE (an undertaking to take no tricks in cards) omitting (rejected) M (Mike) ISÈRE (a Department in the Rhone-Alpes region of France)
20   SYNE (Scots for next) excluding (cut off) the final letter E + first letter of (beginning) CONSIDER SYNC (coincidence in time)
22 THREE CARS (vehicles) omitting (lost) C (Charlie) + LANE (way) reversed (on the way back) ARSENAL (magazine for ammunition)
23   OGRE (fearsome individual) containing (around) AD (notice, advertisement) O GRADE (a pass in a former Scottish examination)
27   Anagram of (demolished) HUNGARY excluding the final letter Y (almost) NURHAG (a Bronze Age [ancient] tower)
28   ONE reversed (bowled over) contained in (captivated by) ONE (a certain) OENONE (a nymph of Greek mythology)
31   DM (decimetre [= 10 centimetres]) containing (being [re]installed) LAW (rule) reversed [reinstalled] DWALM (Scots word for swoon [a reaction to fainting])
33 LIONS PEP (go) containing first letter of (first of) RELEASED PERP (US slang, perpetrator of a crime; criminal)
34   TOILER (hard worker) omitting the first letter (mislaid at first) T OILER (garage accessory)
39   I contained in (interrupted) LATH (thin strip of wood) LAITH (Scots word (reference Kirsty) for loath; unwilling)
40   RIM (border) + U (Ururgay) RIMU (coniferous tree of New Zealand)
41   AGO (in the past) + UT (old word for first note of the scale) + A (associate) AGOUTA ( a rat like insectivore of Haiti [Chambers] or northern South America,  Central America and the West Indies [Wikipedia].  Not Hawaii)
42   HI (greeting) + REDCAR (town in Yorkshire) omitting (out) D (day) HIRE CAR (you may drive this)
43   (N + N [notes]) contained in (for injection) REIN (control) RENNIN (enzyme)


No. Redundant Word Wordplay Entry
1   COLOR (blush) + A (first letter [starts] of AMERICAN) + DO (fuss [archaic]) I think I have parsed this right.  I wondered initially if American in the clue related to the spelling of COLOR and whether ADO equated to ‘fuss’, but that would have left me with ‘starts’ as a redundant word. COLORADO (American State)
2   TYRE (rubber. Reference, I think, to ‘burn rubber’ to create a squealing of tyres by going very fast) TYRE (a port in Lebanon)
3   Anagram of (composed) LONDONER excluding (not) ON (working) RONDEL (a verse of 13 or 14 lines)
4   PE (physical education) + RE (religious education) PÈRE (father)(
5   A (American ) + RAN (competed in) ARAN (reference Aran sweaters)  For many years, I though this was a reference to Arran, the Scottish Island, but it is, of course, a reference to Aran, the group of Islands off the coast of Ireland.
6   Anagram of (puzzles) CRYPTIC excluding (given no) CR (credit) TYPIC (representative)
8   Eric BLAIR chnaged his name to George Orwell Cherie Booth changed her name to Cherie BLAIR when she married Tony
10   DOME with O (old) replaced by (chased out of by) E (European) DEME (a local population of interbreeding organisms; a group of animals)
11   The final letters of each of (end up) CAROL, LULU and AMANDA can be represented as L, U AND A.  Note that LUANDA is also a hidden word in LULU AND AMANDA, possibly giving CAROL as another red herring for a redundant word. LUANDA (capital of Angola)
15   Clue can be rewritten as …..found in RENNIN ONCE…. as RENNIN is the answer to 43 Across.  Entry is hidden word (found in) NINON (fabric)
17   AS (when) + SET (position) ASSET (the entire property of all sorts belonging to a merchant or a trading organisation ; collection [?])  I am not entirely sure of the parsing here. Note discussion below – this should, of course, be ASANA (yoga position) = AS(when) + ANA (collection).
19 BRIDGE ON (playing) contained in (escorted by) RA (Royal Academician; artist) RONA (woman’s name)
21   HAY (grass) reversed (uprooted) + WE  Not sure what ‘planted in’ is doing in the clue other than as a link to make the surface more sensible. YAHWE (Jehovah; the name of God)
23   AN (indefinite article) + WE reversed (set up) ANEW (once more)
25   I’M contained in (into) GUP (gossip)  I considered ‘what’s’ as a redundant word. GUIMP (a yarn with a hard core)
26   SILER (a strainer) reversed (shooting up) + H (heroin) RELISH (smack)
29   RAFT (a lot) + ER (queen) RAFTER (beam)
30   ARNAUT (an Albanian, especially one in the Turkish Army in past times) excluding (sacked) A (one) ARNUT (earth-nut; plant)
31   TARDY (late) reversed (turning up) excluding the last letter (nearly) Y DRAT (damn!)
32   Hidden word (seen in) KALAHARI LAHAR (mud flow)
35   L (left) + AIR (display) LAIR (Australian slang for a flashily dressed man. Roy is a fashion conscious young Australian male)
36   1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th letters of (on odd occasions)) ENLISTED ELSE (besides)
37   Hidden word (embodied by) CALIGULA reversed (in retrospect) GILA (reference gila monster, a venomous lizard)
38   AM (morning) + UN (dialect [local] for one)  ‘worshipped’ was another candidate for a redundant word AMUN (Egyptian God)

8 Responses to “Inquisitor 149 – Out of Pocket by Ikela”

  1. George Hill says:

    Well done! I found this pretty hard and didn’t quite finish. That’s two difficult ones in a row!
    I got most of the way there and had gathered the associations with the three countries, and even managed to identify the four bridges, but fell at the last hurdle by failing to associate the bridges with the countries. I also failed to realise that the final set of three referred to England as I didn’t find lions and wasted much time trying to insert an L into perp to find a word giving “go”.
    Agree with you about the Haiti/Hawaii problem.
    I think ASSET is position (SET – v. to place) with AS before it (starting), but collection as a definition is suspect!

  2. HolyGhost says:

    I agree with Duncan about 41a – two islands HA*I are being confused.
    In 40a, the U clearly comes from Uruguay, but that’s a new abbreviation for me.
    And I parsed 1d as COLOR (=American for colour) + ADO (=fuss), with “starts” simply reinforcing the fact that COLOR precedes ADO.

    Before I solved 33a late on, I had “burnt” in the clue for 2a as a redundant word, thinking along the bridge theme …
    And there is the famous Egyptian Bridge in St.Petersburg and Dragon Bridge in Ljubljana which nudged me away from the theme for a while.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    PS I think ASSET is position (stock exchange speak) leaving AS =when + SET =collection, with “starting” being redundant reinforcement as in 1d.

  4. George Hill says:

    I am far from clear that an asset is a position – though I’m not an accountant. Certainly Chambers doesn’t think so. Not a good clue!

  5. HolyGhost says:

    Sorry – we’ve been talking rubbish here. The answer to 17d is not ASSET, but ASANA – a “position in yoga”, with ANA being a “collection” (under headword “-ANA” in Chambers).

  6. Duncan Shiell says:


    Sorry – a senior moment (yet another one!) – I compiled the blog from comments I made beside the clues rather than looking at the grid. I do indeed have ASANA in the grid I have submitted and yes, Holy Ghost is abolutley right in the parsing.

    I’ll leave the blog as it is so that readers can understand the comments.

  7. HolyGhost says:

    Duncan – maybe an amendment/addition to your blog for 17d referring readers to our comments would be helpful.

    And this was in fact Ikela’s third outing as Inquisitor: previous puzzles were no. 45 from November ’07 as well as no. 126 last May.

  8. duncanshiell says:

    Done – two amendments

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