Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1128 – Conflicting Opinions by Phi

Posted by duncanshiell on June 10th, 2010


I usually enjoy Phi’s offerings and this was no exception.

The preamble was fairly complex as there was a lot to be done before clues could be solved.  We were told that all bar two clues had to have a letter removed, not always leaving a real word, before being solved.  In clue order these letters would spell the first line of a glee.  There were six unclued answers forming three pairs.  We are also told that in the glee, each of two of the pairs were associated with a letter.  Any word crossing a component of one of these pairs had the associated letter removed, wherever it occurred..  The definitions in these clues referred to the full word while the wordplay, and lengths given, referred to the mutilated form that had to be entered.  Finally, the originators of the glee, appropriately treated, formed the third pair.

I suspect that some solvers with a good musical knowledge would immediately think – Glee, Two originators, and two letters – and come up with – Gilbert & Sullivan, Mikado and A & B.  Unfortunately, my detailed knowledge of glees, and G&S was not good enough to make the connection immediately.  Indeed, I used the internet towards the end to confirm what was going on.

The reference is to a glee, or part song, in The Mikado sung by Mikado, Katisha, Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah and Pitti-Sing.  The chorus, if that is the correct term, refers to HAPPY UNDESERVING A in the first part and WRETCHED MERITORIOUS B in the second part. All entries that crossed HAPPY or UNDESERVING had their As removed, while all entries crossing WRETCHED and MERITORIOUS had the Bs removed.  One of the  originators, GILBERT crossed MERITORIOUS and was entered as GILERT.  The other, SULLIVAN, crossed UNDESERVING and lost an A to be entered as SULLIVN.

The first line of the glee was SEE HOW THE FATES THEIR GIFTS ALLOT.  That is 29 letters.  There were 32 clues.  I think therefore, that all bar three clues had a letter removed, rather than the two suggested in the preamble.  A very minor point.

I solved this in two sessions. The first session was a disaster when I just couldn’t get going at all and I stopped after half an hour with very little solved. On returning the next day, everything seemed to be a lot clearer and I got my head round all the preamble such that it all fell into place and I completed the puzzle in about a further hour and fifteen minutes.

The clues were unambiguous and precise.

No. Letter removed Definition Wordplay Entry
1 Sshears SMYTRIE (a collection of small things) S (Sunday) + MY + TRIES (hears, excluding the final letter [cut] S) SMYTRIE
6 E – Mean ERICH (alternative spelling of eriach [a blood fine paid by a murderer to his victim's family, in old Irish Law) ERIC (man's name) + H (hard) ERICH
9 E - see LYES (short side-branches of railways) LY (first and last letters of LONGITUDINALLY, i.e. the word has its core removed) +SE (reversed [doubled back]) LYES
10 H – Thin SAND TRAP (a bunker on a golf course) ([SN {tin}+ DR {doctor}]containing [bandaging] T [it]) + P (softly) SNDTRP
11   LESLEY (girl’s name – the male version is Leslie) LES (definite article in French, reference ‘Figaro’) + LEY (reference ‘ley line’) LESLEY
12 O – Go GEAR UP (prepare for new challenge) G + (PURE [free] reversed [returning]) GERUP
14 W – sewed GERMANY (European country) GERM (seed) + NY (last letters [ends] of GOBELIN and TAPESTRY) GERMNY
15 Tto VERBOTEN (banned) REV (clergyman) reversed (returned) + O + TEN (a cardinal number) VEROTEN
20 H - hear EAGERLY (keenly) (Anagram of [spinning] EAR and LEG) + Y (last letter of [end of]  CALAMITY) EAGERLY
21   BLITZED (intoxicated) LIT (drunk) + ZED (BOOZED [drank] excluding the first three letters BOO [not half]) LITZED
23 E – wage BOXCAR (goods vehicle) OX (strong male) + CARD (wag, without the final letter [reduced] D) OXCAR
24 F – aloof ALONSO (Spanish name) ALOO containing (seen around) NS (North and South – partners in bridge) ALONSO
25 A - tuba BATHROBE (covering suited for the tub) A (one) + anagram (decorated) of OTHER ATHROE
26 T – Stun RAHU (a Hindu mythological demon that swallows the sun and moon at eclipses) Hidden word(not all of them) in …..OFFER A HUNDRED…… RAHU
27 E – Dee BEDDED (put in river channel) (ED + DE) (DE flowing both ways) + D (had) EDDED
28 S – tellls ESTELLE (girl’s name) Hidden word in (in) …AGONIES TELL EVERYONE ESTELLE


No. Letter removed Definition Wordplay Entry
2 T - yet MANYEYED (having excellent vision) YEYE (repeated occurrence of YE) contained in (limited by) MND (Motor Neurone Disease) MNYEYED
3 H – Loth TESLAS  (SI units [of magnetic flux density]) SET (lot) reversed (to be taken up) +  first letters of (hints of) LUMENS (an SI unit) and SECONDS, (an SI unit) TESLS
4 E – site RASHEST (most reckless) SH (quiet [mum]) contained in (invading) REST (sit) RSHEST
5 I - ruins AIERY (variant of eyrie [high building]) I (one) + E (final letter of [final touch of] GORSE) + R (runs) + Y (yard) IERY
6 RRev EVANGEL (gospel) EV + N (north) + GEL (set) – (I think ‘to deliver’ act as link words only) EVNGEL
7 G – bugs RAIDERS (they attack) RIDERS (people on bus) RIDERS
8   INTRAMURAL (in normal studies) I + N (note) +TRIM (presentable, excluding [avoiding] I [one]) + URL (web address) INTRMURL
10 I – Waive SIGNAL (wave) Anagram of (cocktail) GIN contained in (carried by) SAL (girl) SIGNAL
13 F – Rifle NEEDLE (rile) NEEDED (required, without the final letter [mostly] D) containing (around) L (lake) NEEDLE
16 T – fast FLASHBULB (it helps to photograph [snap]) Anagram of (at sea) FAS HULL FLASHUL
17 Sshe BABY HOUSE (toy girl may love) Anagram of (plays) AS HE YOU AYHOUSE
18 A – area BIZARRE (peculiar) I (one) + Z (zone) + (R (runs) contained in [into] ARE) IZARRE
19 Llid ZEBROID (striped) ZERO (nothing) + ID ZEROID
21 L – Al LOAVE (to form a head as in a cabbage) LOVE (passion) containing (involving) A LOAVE
22 Oomen CORBIE (crow) OR (other ranks; men) contained in (seen in) CIE (abbreviation for French Compagnie [company]) CORIE
24 T – at AMBOS (pulpits) A (at) + M (mass) + O (on) + S (Sunday) AMOS

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1128 – Conflicting Opinions by Phi”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    Thanks for such a comprehensive blog, Duncan.

    The same apology for the two-for-three error as I’ve aleady sent to those who e-mailed me privately. Careless annotation on the original solving copy, I’m afraid.

    May I suggest that those of you who haven’t set this kind of puzzle reflect (if you haven’t done so already) on the skill and patience required to design such a grid-fill? It’s not easy! Thanks, Phi.

  2. Hi of Hihoba says:

    I really enjoyed this puzzle. Like Duncan I was slow to start. I was in the caravan without access to the internet, so was fortunate in knowing the glee. (I played in the orchestra pit for the Mikado for a week many years ago!). As usual I started at the bottom right and didn’t finish the top left until the end. I spotted the B omission quite quickly but didn’t find bizarre and zebroid until quite late. This led to mis-identification of Gilbert as GALANT and hence meritorious as ceremonious which held me up for some time.

    The lights came on when I eventually found SE? H?W at the start of the quote.

    As Mike says, what a brilliant grid, and thanks to Phi for hours of fun!

  3. HolyGhost says:

    This one required quite a bit of concentration, solvers having to remove one letter from most clues before solving, and with the wordplay leading to the answer with one letter removed (wherever it occurred) in an unspecified number of clues.

    But with some inspired (lucky?) guesswork, I checked the ODQ for MERITORIOUS under GILBERT and, having drawn a blank, resorted to the internet – and was rewarded. With the first line of the glee now known, the rest slotted neatly into place.

    I concur – one has to admire Phi’s construction.

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