Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1129 Oh! by Schadenfreude

Posted by Hihoba on June 16th, 2010


I found this pretty challenging (=difficult), though really interesting, and certainly would not have finished it without computer aids! (My favourite is a little program I’ve had for many years called “Puzzlex”.)

We had to omit a letter, wherever and however often it occurred, from each across answer. We then had to treat the down answers according to the first sentence of a quote, the second sentence of  which resulted from the omitted letters.

The first action was to find out how many letters were omitted from each across clue and write down the actual grid length by each clue. This helped as there were sometimes two or three occurrences of the same letter to be removed.

I did’nt get the quotation until I had nearly finished the puzzle. Why is it that the bottom right hand corner seems to be where one starts, giving the last words of any quotation, rather than the first? Anyway the word DARK (more likely than dank, dick or duck!) seemed to be in evidence at the end of the quote, and an internet search yielded nothing useful. (I failed to look up “dark” in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations which would have helped considerably. This proves that one should not become over-reliant on the internet!!)

EARPHONES, CRESTON (q.v.), LEAPERS and GARDA pointed to DRAY reversed for 37D and I found the extraordinary GANOIN for 30D by assuming it was also reversed. I continued in the assumption that Down clues were upside down, and, after finding a number of the Down answers, eventually got sufficient letters from the Across clues to identify the quote. “I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME IN THE DARK” by O. Henry. The previous sentence in the quote isTURN UP THE LIGHTS.”  which is the instruction to enter them reversed and the title Oh! refers to the author.

Even with this knowledge I still had a number of questions about wordplay (all now resolved) and was held up by having Barabbas as my Biblical character in 43A instead of Barnabas! This puzzle balances some pretty easy clues in 1126 and 1127. There were a lot of unfamiliar words and unusual meanings, and the omission of a letter in the grid entry is intrinsically difficult. All’s fair . . . though!

Clue  Omission  Grid  Answer  Wordplay for grid entry - Definition for answer 
 1  I  NLET  INLET  (a)N(d) + LET (give power to) – an arm (e.g. of a river)
 4  D  EOAN  DEODAND  Of dawn – personal chattel causing accidental death
 7  O  DNATR  DONATOR  D(utch) + NAT + R – presenter 
 12  N  EURO  NEURON  A wallaroo (large kangaroo)  - a cell
 13  T  GLEEY  GLEETY  GLEY (clay) round base E – covered with viscous transparent stuff!
 15  W  KELA  KWELA  KA round EL – South African folk jazz
 16  A  ENTMED  ENTAMED  [TEN]* + MED – Shakesperian word for subdued
 17  N  ICHE  NICHE  IE round CH(aplain) - Chambers has niche in the definition of tabernacle 
 18  T  PALMEE  PALMETTE  PE(ru) round ALME – a palm-leaf ornament
 19  T  LAWCOUR  LAW-COURT  [COUL(d) WAR]* – hall of justice
 21  O  CRLLA  COROLLA  CR + LL  (lines) + A 
 23  G  UESTBEER  GUEST BEER  [BRUTE SEE(n)]* – ale that’s not normally available
 25  O  NNNIES  NONNIES  N(a)NNIES – meaningless words
 26  H  ANUKKA  HANUKKA  A + N (knight) replaces P in PUKKA – Jewish festival
 28  O  EARPHNES  EARPHONES  [SHEEP RAN]* – we hear through them
 32  M  ETEOR  METEOR  ETE (French for summer) + O(ver) + R(iver) – luminous (see Chambers)
 34  E  STNCILD  STENCILED  [CLINT'S D]* – American version of stencilled
 36  I  CHCORY  CHICORY  CH(eck) + O in CRY (report) – a plant (growth?)
 38  N  ULIE  UNLINE  U(niform) + LIE (press in Chambers) – to remove the lining from
 39  T  CRESON  CRESTON  [C NOSER]* – a rocky outcrop – is this a rock edge?
 40  H  SLEP  SHLEP  SLEP(t) – a Yiddish nobody
 41  E  LAPRS  LEAPERS  R in LAPS – Arkle and Red Rum were leapers (steeplechasers)
 42  D  EBUG  DEBUG  EG round BU – remove bug from program
 43  A  BRNBS  BARNABAS  B(orn) + R (king) + (a)N(d) + B + S(aint) – Biblical character
 44  R  GADA  GARDA  GAD + A – Irish policeman
 45  K  ROAU  ROKKAKU  (A)R(e)O(p)A(g)U(s) – a Japanese fighting kite
 1  LINEN  Underwear - LINE + N(avy)
 2  NOWHERE  Out of the running – [HER NEW O]*
 3  OCELOT  Cat – O(nly) + C(hild) + TOLE (lure) reversed
 4  HELOTAGE  Slavery – [THE GAOL]* + E(nforced)
 5  POLO  Game – PO(op deck) + LO
 6  SPLEEN  Organ – [SLEEP N(oisy)]*
 8  BRETON  Hat – BR(own) + ETON
 9  LEMMA  Heading – L + EMMA
 10  LIKELIEST  Most promising – IKE LIES in LT
 11  MARAUDER  Pirate – [A MURDER A]*
 14  PERSEVERATE  A condition in which actions are repeated -  anagram of REPRESENTATIVE MALE with AILMENT removed i.e. [REPRESEATVE ]*
 20  RURITANIA  Land of “The Prisoner of Zenda”, a romance – RU + TITANIA with R(un) replacing T(he)
 22  BUCKEENS  Impoverished Irish youths – BUCKS round (s)EEN
 24  ASSONANT  In correspondence – A + S(pecial) + SON + ANT
 27  OBELISK  Needle – IS in [BLOKE]*
 29  BISHOP  Man on board – BISH + PO(-faced) reversed
 30  GANOIN  A layer on scales – O NAG reversed (of carp back) + IN (in season in Chambers)
 31  RELUCT  Hold back – RE + [CUT]* round L
 33  NIECE  Relative – NICE round E (Spain)
 35  UGGED  Intensely disliked – (p)UG + GED
 37  DRAY  Wooden sledge – D(eserted) + RAY (Charles)

One Response to “Inquisitor 1129 Oh! by Schadenfreude”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    Twigged that down answers had to be entered upwards after solving just 5 or 6 clues – GUEST BEER & PALMETTE across, BRETON, SPLEEN & LIKELIEST down (up).

    The wordplay in the across clues was often more illuminating than the definition, but I soon had enough omitted letter to guess the quote and check it out – and then the other missing letters that were thus revealed enabled me to figure out the other defined words, e.g. the entry at 45a is ROAU, the answer with 3 K’s missing, so looked at ROK…

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