Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1114 – Two Dozen by Loda

Posted by Hihoba on March 5th, 2010


We found this a very  interesting and entertaining crossword. I (Hi) found it easy to start, but difficult to finish – the opposite of my normal experience! Twelve across clues had to be “treated” before entry, as did twelve down clues. The methods of treatment were different and to be discovered from the misprints in the other ten clues in each case.

The twelve treated down clues were easy to spot as their clue lengths were two letters longer than the grid spaces for them. The first ones I got were ASHIEST (30D) and SHASTRA (3D) which were simple anagrams. When REDISTIL and EASE had been solved in the across clues it looked as though the first and last letters had to be removed before entry. I worked on under this assumption and eventually arrived at TOP AND TAIL as the misprinted letters, confirming my guess. On completion, all the missing first and last letters made “RAF USE LODA’S HOT GEAR SYSTEM”. I had to use this to get the last two down entries, both unfamiliar words,  FINSKO and STAWS.

In the across clues, things were trickier as there was no length discrepancy to help. So any clue could have been of either type. The fact that the modified entries were symmetrical was a great help here. Having found SEXISM (34A), the across treatment seemed to be simply to reverse the entry. This worked with NAZI and SENSES, but there seemed to be some major problems with WIDOWS and MISSIS which would have left a word at 21D as ??EM?RW which was clearly impossible! However if M and W were switched we could have PREWARM for 21D which fitted the clue nicely.

So the across rule seemed to be “Reverse the letters and invert Ms and Ws”. My efforts at the extra letters were REM(or S)A( or U)PINL(or A)TE which did not seem helpful at all until Ho discovered the word RESUPINATE, a botanical term meaning “upside down by twisting”.

So all twelve “treated” across entries have to be entered flipped 180 degrees (upside down by twisting). The simplest way of entering them is to turn the crossword upside down before entering the words normally. This makes no difference (amazingly – clever Loda!) to any of the checked letters except W and M which become each other. U, A and M in the unchecked letters will be inverted and C, D and E will be reversed. As an example WUSSES (which includes all three elements) will appear as:




The only way of illustrating this  in this blog is by the rather clumsy insertion of a picture, so I’ve indicated letters that are upside down/backwards in italics below.

 Clue  Answer  Grid Entry/Misprint   Explanation
 1  SCHISM  WSIHCS  A breach – SCH(ool) + ISM
 5  NASION  NOISAN  Midpoint of nose – [IS ON (b)AN(d)]*
 9  ETNA  sauceR(s)  A vessel heated by a saucer of alcohol – and a volcano!
 10  YUAN  MonE(t)y  Boxer (Chinese) money – NAY reversed round U
 11  DOPA  S(f)ort  Compound – Op in D(utch A(rea)
 13  WUSSES  SESSUM  Weaklings – W(eight) + USES round S(tretching)
 16  IONISM  WSINOI  Greek dialectical term – [IS ON M(a)I(l)]*
 17  ENTREPOT  HU(i)ll  Hull, maybe. Hull in Quebec is one according to Google, perhaps Hull in the UK is one too! EN (nut in Chambers is an en in printing) +TRE(e) + POT (grass)
 19  OHMS  SMHO  Electrical units – OS round HM
 20  ATAP  P(c)alm  The nipa palm – A(merican) + TAP
 22  NINON  NONIN  Fabric – NIN(e) + ON
 24  SIMON  NOWIS  Chap – I(ncome) S(upport) reversed + MON(day)
 26  DELI  pI(e)e  Place to buy expensive pie? Hidden in indelicate.
 27  NAZI  IZAN  Extremist – Z in NA +I
 28  REDISTIL  giN(g)  Distil is to make e.g. gin and I suppose “run again” clues the RE (ugly though!) – LIT reversed (wheels!) after [RIDES]*
 31  MISSIS  SISSIW  Wife – MISSES (fails to meet) with E replaced by I. I liked this clue a lot!
 34  SEXISM  WSIXES  Offensive behaviour – EX in [MISS]*. I liked “Riley” as an anagram indicator!
 35  ERSE  cA(e)nt  Cant (language peculiar to a group) from Ireland. - hidden in Father Seamus
 36  ORTS  biT(s)  [SORT]*
 37  EASE  EdgE(y)  Edge and ease both mean to move carefully – sounds like Es
 38  WIDOWS  SMODIM  Women left – WI(N)DOWS
 39  SENSES  SESNES  Wits – SS round [SEEN]*
 Clue  Answer  Grid Entry/Misprint  Explanation
 1  WESTERN ISLES  ParT(k)??  Makes little grammatical sense, but I presume it means Part OF Scotland? [TREES N S LEWIS]*
 2  FINSKO  INSK  Reindeer hide boot. (I only got this by elimination of all other tops and tails from the given phrase.) - FINS (arms) + KO (Maori digging stick!)
 3  SHASTRA  HASTR  Holy writing – [HAS STAR]*
 4  SUM UP  shO(i)rt  Deliver short version – SUP(erior) round UM
 5  NAYWORD  P(c)lay  Shakespearian slogan – [ANY]* + W(ith) + OR + D(iamonds)
 6  HONESTY  ONEST  Integrity – HONEY round ST
 7  SOWN  scA(u)ttered  Scattered on the ground – Clever wordplay “progressively” meaning take one letter later from each word, so Swarming mOre saWflies whiNed
 8  NATIONALISES  owN(l)s  Ensures the country owns – [ONES TAILS AIN]*
 11  ADVISOR  DVISO  Counsellor – [SAID (l)OV(e)R(s)]* (remove most of sel(l) from lovers)
 12  PROHIBIT  D(w)on’t  Don’t allow – PRO + HIT round BI (switch hitter = bisexual)
 14  SNOOZIER  T(h)ired  More tired – [IRONS ZOE]*
 15  GREASE  REAS  Musical – GR(oss) + EASE
 18  STAWS  TAW  STAW is Scots for STALL, one of the meanings of which is “surfeit”. Excesses are surfeits – wordplay is SWATS reversed
 21  PREWARM  heA(f)t  Formerly heat – P + RE + W + ARM
 22  O’NEILL  NEIL  US playwrite – ONE ILL
 23  UNITE  NIT  Join – UTE round NI
 25  MINSTER  INSTE  Abbey church – MISTER round N(ote)
 28  ERICOID  RICOI  With heather-like leaves – ERIC (fine) + ID round O(regano)
 29  DAWTS  I(j)an’s  Scottish pets – DAW + (CA)TS – ca’ is Scots for drive
 30  ASHIEST  SHIES  Most dusty – [HAS SITE]*
 32  SOSO  welL(t)  Well (tolerably) – SOS + O(utflow)
 33  TEXANS  EXAN  States men – [AS NEXT]*

7 Responses to “Inquisitor 1114 – Two Dozen by Loda”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    A thoroughly enjoyable puzzle.

    The only problem I had with it was constructing the solution diagram for publication!

    However, eimi managed to sort it out (don’t ask me how), after a lot of experimentation with his software. It would have been much easier to have sent the diagram filled in by hand – as used to be the case when I started doing crosswords.

    The result of his handiwork will be seen next Saturday week, with the appearance of IQ 1117.

    (Unfortunately, from that date, the closing date for entries will be one day earlier.)

  2. Jake says:

    Being new to Inquisitor I figured out 33dn first ‘Texans’ knowing that two letters needed to be removed, but which two?

    I not ashamed to say this was way over my head, and guessed I’d wait ’til the good folk here posted the information/answers, then try and work my way through the puzzle with aid.

    puzzle 1115 Dysart seems more my thing (I hope)
    I had some tips from Mike Laws – thanks Mike, so, hopefully it may be one I’m able to finish?

    Thanks for the blog on this. You’re good people.

  3. Hi of Hihoba says:

    Mike, In my attempts to illustrate the “resupination” I found a “flip font” but it was one of those with very odd shaped letters, and anyway WordPress couldn’t cope with it. I could have done it laboriously using pictures, but decided it was too much effort. So I look forward to seeing it when the result comes out. There were some advantages in the old days when people used to write letters and talk to each other rather than using email!
    Thanks for the heads-up about closing dates.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Not too difficult to get going. Started on the down clues and got 7d & 14d, which gave me ???A??T??? for the down phrase – (un)fortunately I guessed TOP AND TAIL straight away. Some intersecting across answers indicated they had to be entered backwards, and so I thought the rest would be plain sailing. But I struggled for a while with D?MTS for 29d … until it dawned on me that the across treatment was to enter the answers upside down as well.

    The rest followed à la Hihoba’s blog. Quite satisfying.

    PS What purpose is “stitch” serving in the clue for 5a?

  5. Mike Laws says:

    HolyGhost – 5 across.

    Chambers gives for NASION “the median point of the nasofrontal suture” – sv “suture” in it.

    Jake – not way over your head, since you’ll have sussed it all by now.

    Welcome aboard!

  6. HolyGhost says:

    Mike – Thanks … in my haste, I’d somehow foolishly misread “suture” as “structure”.

  7. RayFolwell says:

    Very ingenious and enjoyable. We spotted the upside-down treatment first and then tried to find UPSIDE DOWN from the misprints.

    It was not clear whether we were meant to use the misprinted letters or the corrected letters, but that’s only a minor grumble.

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