Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1132: Secret Excitement by Hypnos

Posted by HolyGhost on July 7th, 2010


After the relatively gentle strolls (or canters) of the last few weeks, this puzzle proved rather a stiffer challenge (or maybe I just wasn’t really in the mood).
Two of the first clues I solved were those whose answers had to be treated before entry, and with another couple I couldn’t immediately figure out the wordplay, so I was getting nowhere fast.

But I plodded on, and things slowly slotted into place. Eventually I had enough of the extra letters from the wordplay to make a decent stab at the quotation and was soon rewarded when I found “MY HEART IN HIDING STIRRED FOR [A] BIRD” from THE WINDHOVER, a poem by GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS. This enabled me to enter STRATEGIES as SAIGRETTES at 11a, and STRENE as STERNE at 8d. Now that I knew I had to stir the heart of the answer to a misprinted definition to produce a bird, I quickly found MISSEL in 1d and SHRIKE in 23d, backed out the actual answer, then figured out the misprint.

Next I found enough of the author’s name in the completed grid in the shape of a hovering bird, which gave me more letters for clues I hadn’t solved yet, and noticing that the corrections were looking like they could be arranged to read aviary I deduced the misprints in 43a and 25d to solve those clues and find the final two birds: LANDRAIL and ARIEL.

Once more, quite a few new words for me: LAXISM, SAKIEH, TROPPO, NESKI, STRENE, ESCROLS, …
And finally, the title Secret Excitement = “IN HIDING STIRRED”, I guess.
{Got a bit held up at the end with the wordplay at 14a and 19a – I think they’re OK, but am more confident of the latter.}

No. Answer
(corrected misprint)
1 RESISTS M SIM (=Simeonite =evangelical) in RESTS (=breaks)
7 NISEI Y NISI (=legal condition) around YE (=the, archaic)
TRAT (=restaurant) + EG (=say) + IE (=that is) in SS (=on board)
(plans, in a war)
12 IRKS H K(ing) in SHRI (=title of respect) rev.
{SHRI is more commonly SRI, so I initially wondered about the extra letter}
13 GEOS E GEE (=surprised expression) + OS (=outsize =enormous)
{why do I seldom remember some words from Orkney and Shetland?}
14 HERA A HABANERA (=dance) – BAN (=bar)
15 SPIRAEA R SIR (=gentleman) around P(arking) + AREA (=district)
17 DEPART T E(ast) + PT (=point) in DART (=river)
19 PINNER I PI (=pious =good) + INNER (=sportsman’s target)
20 EGHAM N GEN (=information) rev. + HAM (=meat)
22 DOODLES H D(os)H + OODLES (=abundance)
24 LAXISM I AXIS (=powerful alliance) in LIM(a) (= SA city)
26 HEARTS D HEADS (=leads) around (qua)RT(ers)
28 ALREADY I AILRED (=abbot, {of Rievaulx} ~1150 CE) around A + Y(ard)
31 SYLPH N PLY (=work) rev. in SHEN (=hands-on therapy) – E(nergy)
{SHEN is another answer I fail to recall}
33 CRETAN G TANG (=point) after CORE (=gang) – O (=nothing)
35 SECTOR S SECT (=dissenting group) + SORT (=arrange) – T(ime)
38 LORELEI T LET (=allowed) + I(ndian) after LORE (=learning)
40 SEMI I Hidden: (t)IME IS(olated) rev.
41 OARS R ROARS (=bellows)
42 FLAK R FR(requently) +LAK(e)
CARD (=character) + IN (=popular) + ALLY (=friend)
(in basic style)
44 ISSUE E IE (=that is) around USES (=exploits) rev.
45 ENSURES D DENS (=lairs) + URE (=river) + S(un)
No. Answer
(corrected misprint)
MISS (=girl) in RELY (=bank)
(in slack fashion)
2 EARP F FEAR (=anxiety) + P(ressure)
3 SAKIEH O I + E(mploy) in SOAK (=steep) + H(eight)
4 SALAAMS R S(ociety) + ALAS (=sadly) around ARM (=branch)
5 TIGER B G(rand) in TIBER (=river)
{that’s the third and final river}
6 TROPPO I TRI(m) (=fit) + OPPO (=rival)
7 NESKI R Hidden: (ow)NERS KI(tchen)
ST (=street =road) + RENÉ (=Frenchman)
(Ed’s line)
9 EERIEST D DIES (=day, Latin) in TREE (=service, perhaps) rev.
10 I SAY T I(ndependent) + STAY (=last)
16 INLAY H HIN (=liquid measure) + LAY (=cover)
18 TOADS E TO (=in contact with) + ADES (=hellish place, Milton)
21 AIRTS W WAITS (=delays) around R(ight)
W(icket) + S(ociety) in HIKERS (=those on outing)
(feature on a cat)
AE (=one, Scot) + RIALS (=currency abroad)
(they’ll convert waves)
29 LEMMAS N L(i)N(e)S around EMMA (=novel)
{note to setters: other novels are available, qv #1129, 9d}
30 ANKARA D DAKAR (=another [capital]) around N(ew) + A(cademy)
32 LOLLER H L(ike) + HOLLER (=shout, dialect)
34 ABODE O A + BOODLE (=stupid person) – L(ake)
36 EOSIN V SO (=in a high degree) rev. in VEIN (=tube)
37 ASCI E AI (=A1 =road) around SEC (=dry)
39 EASE R ERASE (=destroy)

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 1132: Secret Excitement by Hypnos”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    HolyGhost – my solving process was very similar to yours. Back-solving some clues in this type of puzzle is more or less inevitable, but I confess to having tried to justify CANARY (with only four of the letters certain) in a “grid-cage” at first, before I twigged :-)

    Having started it in the pub, I enjoyed finding out, before closing time, exactly what to look up (in a book) when I reached home.

  2. Quixote says:

    I thought this was a very clever idea, beautifully executed. I suspect it would have made it to The Listener, had it been submitted there. Well done, Hypnos!

  3. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very good, everything v well integrated, in what must have been a hard grid to construct. Very tough, only saw what was going on when all the letters of THE WINDHOVER appeared, had not heard of the poem, everything resolved itself fairly quickly after that. Re 19A, I think INNER is “place near sportsman’s target” – the target would be the BULL’S EYE, I think.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Re 19a: Chambers has BULL’S-EYE as “the centre of a target”, and INNER as “that part of a target next to the bull’s-eye”, which is why ‘place near’ in the clue seemed fairly redundant to me.

  5. Scarpia says:

    Thanks HolyGhost.
    This was a bit tough for me,got about half way without spotting any theme and gave up after 12 across.I couldn’t work out where the extra letter could come from as the clue worked perfectly well with “sri” reversed around “K”.
    I can see now,thanks to your blog,that it was a very cleverly worked puzzle.

  6. Hypnos says:

    Thanks to Holy Ghost for his blog and all for comments which are much appreciated.

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