Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 156 – Team by Loda

Posted by petebiddlecombe on January 1st, 2010


Happy New Year! (he says as he stores up this report on Christmas Eve)

This seasonal puzzle had a theme which I guessed from the title – the eight reindeer who pull Santa’s sleigh (I’m never quite sure why Rudolph isn’t one of these, but Mrs B who can remember more of the song than me, reckons his big red nose lit the way on a foggy night – this fits the lyrics, in which he seems rather an outsider). The eight are not clued, but the rows containing them have clues containing letter mixtures of the row’s contents. Rudolph and Santa are the other two names to be shaded in the grid (like the other eight reindeer) – in the centres of the top and bottom rows. Initial letters of surplus words in Across clues tell us where they’ll be going soon. Clues were very straightforward, so the puzzle was completed in about half an hour (untimed), with only 16A requiring a look at Chambers. But there’s still a call for help at 9D below.

1 T / PURR – PU rev., RR = Roller (Rolls-Royce) – the message letters are shown first
5 O / DOLPHINS = (hold, snip)*
11 T / O.R. = men, ANT = worker
12 H / MANATI – M = Mark, ANATI = Anita*
13 - / DASHER/C/DANCER – letter mixture: …ed ranch scared
16 E / S(KA)IL(e) – Ka is an ancient Egyptian spirit (one of those 2-letter Scrabble words Alan Yentob was talking about on the box last night, and the one that lexicographer Elaine Higgleton had forgotten the def for, despite having a choice of 3), sile is a sieve, and to skail is to scatter or spill
17 - / PRANCER/E/VIXEN = expire can Vern…
18 N / IMOGEN = (becoming – BC)* – just checked the First Names section in C and found that Imogen is nearly as false a “Celtic” name as Fiona (q.v. ibid.) – it’s supposedly a misprint for Innogen which actually means daughter
20 O / DEARS – are* in DS = daughter and son
22 - / COMET/E/BLITZEN = …ect emit benzol
27 R / NIC(e),ADS – “bad” is one definition of “nice” in Chambers – just as “good, attractive” is a def. of “bad”
31 - / DONNER/EA/CUPID = Di pounced near
34 T / O = old,CTAL = talc*
35 H / ENNUIS – hidden in “when nuisance”, with the surplus word in the way – a trick you can pretty much guarantee to see somewhere in a puzzle with surplus words
36 P / EL = (elevated) railway, ‘S = has, A, N=new – Elsan is a brand of chemical toilet which I think I may have used in my parents’ caravan.
37 O / TAR,TAR = “pair of Jacks”
38 L / SERAC = rev. of cares
39 E / (c)AUS(SI)E,S –
1 P.(OD(d)S.
2 (pl.)URAL
3 RASTA – R for P in pasta – nice to see a clue not based on reversal of “an emperor” = “a Tsar”
4 (ro)UTES
7 HANKIE – ankh = cross with the H moved, then i.e.
8 (d)ITCH
9 NI(E)CE – I can’t understand “Pope’s daughter” as the def. from looking things up in C, and a quick look at ODQ and the Oxford Lit Companion didn’t find anything about a niece from Alexander Pope – any ideas?
10 S(ER)INS – commit is a def. of sin in C
14 HINGE = reverse. “e.g.”, add in, and H = hospital, and reverse the order of the components – there are enough indicators in the clue to justify this, though it takes careful reading
15 CAR,O’,B
17 PIC,ADORS = roads*
20 DIS,C
21 RETINAE = trainee* (cut = drunk = AI)
24 TAEL = rev. of (hil)L,EAT – striclty a tael is 1.3 oz., but what’s 9g between friends?
25 Z,APS = rev. of S.P.A.
26 NAD=and*,IRS=US taxmen
28 SENNA = rev. of Anne’s
29 BANTU = “ban two”
30 MUIRS – from first letters of words in clue
32 (ca.)NAL,A – nala is a Hindi word for watercourse or drain
33 REAL – 2 defs

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 156 – Team by Loda”

  1. Hihoba says:

    Thanks for the New Year wishes – which we reciprocate!
    Nice, if easy seasonal puzzle.
    To clarify 9D, if you look in Chambers under niece, it gives “a pope’s or priest’s daughter”. I struggled with this too!
    The rubric mentioned a jumble of 12 letters, whereas the clues actually contained a jumble of all 13 letters, including those which were not part of reindeer names.
    Rudolph and the other eight are actually part of two entirely separate poems/lyrics, so no surprise that they don’t appear in the same “team”.
    And finally I think you have to highlight SANTA CLAUS, not just Santa.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Hihoba is pretty much spot on with his comments, as ever.

    I thought “Should I take this on holiday with no dictionary, or should I try and polish it off before leaving?” Made the wrong choice – I should have taken it. Like PeterB, I guessed the theme from the title and had little need of Chanbers. C’est la vie.

  3. Peter Biddlecombe says:

    Thanks Hihoba – where was CLAUS in the grid (copy not to hand) – I looked briefly for it but didn’t find it.

  4. Hihoba says:

    CLAUS was immediately under SANTA!

  5. Peter Mabey says:

    I’m surprised 6d proved so difficult: as the pope & priests are supposed to be celibate I was aware that their children were described as nieces (or nephews) for the sake of propriety.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

6 × = thirty