Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1122: Last One Standing by Loda

Posted by HolyGhost on April 28th, 2010


Not that tough a crossword – many normal clues could be solved cold on the first pass through, and the theme yielded fairly quickly. But enjoyable for all that. (Was the puzzle number – double-1 double-2 – a veiled hint?)
Some clues, 22 in all, have no length indications, and have to be entered with one or two elements of a set omitted. The answer to one normal clue representing the final element must be highlighted.

OK – after a first pass and lots of entries already in, I turned to the ‘special’ clues, finding answers such as REPARTEED, BEACH HUT, IYYAR, each with two letters too many, and each with a double letter (to be removed). The theme was soon confirmed with a cascade of YAKKA, DONNART, HAJJI, NAVVY, etc., and the 22 ‘specials’ clearly had different double letters removed, probably three with two pairs making 25, leaving one letter of the alphabet as the Last One Standing. Which was it to be? I guessed QQ, which is indeed the abbreviation of QUARTOS at 24d.

No. Answer Wordplay
1 COIF [I C (=see) OF]*
4 AGAR A + RAG (=scold) rev.
7 FANS Double definition
10 VACUUM V (=against) + AC(e) (=one) + U(niversity) + UM (=expressing doubt)
12 BEACH HUT EACH (=every one) + H(enry) in BUT (=only)
13 BAZAAR close homophone: BIZARRE (=fantastic)
14 YAKKA YAK (=talk) + KA (=jack(daw), Scot)
17 EXXON EX (=without) + X (=error) + ON (=allowing supply)
18 NAILS SNAIL (=slowcoach) front to back
19 FERLY [RELY]* after F(ellow)
20 IYYAR I (=one) + Y(ear) + RAY (=look) rev.
21 ASIA AS (=like) + I(ndi)A
23 ODDS (=price): answer leads to P(r)I(c)E {?}
24 QANTAS Q(uery) + ANT (=insect) + AS (=like)
27 SNUZZLED S(on) + NUZZLED (=fostered)
29 CIAO C(h)I(n)A(‘s) O(n)
31 MATS MATES (=pals) – E(nergy)
34 ASP & Lit.: A(ll) + S(erious) + P(oisoning)
36 BOLLARD LOB (=throw) rev. + LARD (=stuff)
39 HAJJI JJ (=judges) in HA (=hall, Scot) + I(nterrogate)
40 NAVVY V (=against) in NAVY (=service)
41 TAPPIT TAP (=pipe) + PIT (=stone)
43 SNUG GUNS (=weapons) rev.
44 WART WARTIME (=1942, e.g.) – IME (homophone: I’M)
45 SKIING SKIN (=hide) around I (=one) + (seein)G
46 SOBBED SO (=very good) + BB (=very black) + ED (=journo)
No. Answer Wordplay
2 OFFSADDLED OFF (=leg opposite, cricket) + (i)S + ADDLED (=rotten)
4 ACCOY AC(count) + COY (=shy)
5 ABUNA AB (=sailor =jack) + UN (=one, dialect) + A(ctive)
7 FACIA FA (=note) + CIA (=spies)
8 ACYLS SLY (=wily) + CA (chief accountant) rev.
9 STAG ST (=hush) + AG (=silver)
11 MANIA ANI (=bird) in MA(d) (=insane)
15 AS IF ASIF (=Iqbal, test cricketer)
16 BROODS B(achelor) + ROODS (=crosses)
22 ACCOMMODATED MOCCASIN (=shoe) – SIN (=offence) rev. + [TOM DEAD]*
24 QUARTOS QUART (=capacity) + O(f) + S(unday)
25 SIAL SAIL (=ships), centre rev.
26 NADA Hidden: (Chi)NA + DA(wdles)
29 COITUS IT in CO(balt) + (f)US(e)
32 TOYER [(Pol)O TYRE]*
35 STINK KNITS (=draws together) rev.
36 BARRING BAR (=court) + RING (=clique)
37 SNOW S(un) + NOW (at this time)

9 Responses to “Inquisitor 1122: Last One Standing by Loda”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    No, not that tough, but Inquisitors don’t have to be too tough, just not too easy!

    I remember the theme fom a Sabre Listener crossword in the late 70s, which also used EXXON, and an alternative non-Chambers spelling for the QQ.

    Titles should be relevant in some way – “Last One Standing” refers not only to fact that QQ was the last thematic item, but also that QUARTOS was a down entry.

  2. Quixote says:

    I enjoyed this as a gentle Saturday evening slow-burner solve and thought it just the right level of difficulty for an Inquisitor. Like Mike, I was reminded of Sabre’s puzzle (one of his easier ones!).

  3. mc_rapper67 says:

    Maybe I looked at this for too long and got double-vision!

    I didn’t spot that the abbreviation of QUARTOS is QQ, I only found QTO as the abbreviation of a single QUARTO…so, I plumped for 1D – CUBIFORM – homonym for Q (CU) + twice (BI) + formed (FORM).

  4. scarpia says:

    My first response on Fifteensquared.I have followed the blogs from work for quite a while but have only just managed to get a good internet connection at home so as to be able to join in!
    I very much enjoyed this Inquisitor,the main difficulty I had was with 2,22 and 30 down.the double,’doubles’ causing me problems.

  5. Mike Laws says:

    Just reread the blog. HolyGhost, why did you have to guess which the last one was? All the other 25 members of the set of doubles had been omitted.

    And mc_rapper67, why didn’t you look under qq in Chambers?

  6. HolyGhost says:

    Mike – I made the guess when I was about half way through the puzzle, obviously not at the end.
             And is my wordplay for ODDS at 23a correct?

  7. Ali Lloyd says:

    mc_rapper67, I also toyed with highlighting cubiform. I thought it was a nice cryptic indication of QQ.

  8. Mike Laws says:

    Yes it is, HG. A bit off the wall, but at least ODDS is fully checked.

    Sorry about misinterpreting the bit of your blog about QQ – it was 2.54am!

  9. Chris Jones says:

    I’ve just seen today’s solution and, like mc_rapper67, also went for cubiform as a credible definition of QQ. A very enjoyable puzzle nonetheless

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