Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1134 – Octagonal by Eddie

Posted by Hihoba on July 21st, 2010


We were asked to find and rearrange eight unclued answers before entering them in the grid. I had ???MN?Y for one and A?ILR? for another quite quickly. This led inevitably to thoughts of GERMANY and BRAZIL and . . . World Cup football again. The unclued eight instantly suggested either the seven previous winners and the current one (which won’t be known until the day after the crossword comes out) or the eight quarter-finalists with one (the winner) to be highlighted.

How to treat them? Well the only letter left in common between BRAZIL and GERMANY (which crossed)was the R, and this suggested an alphabetical sort. The position in the grid was clearly significant from the rubric – so the quarter-finalists seemed to be the way to go.

The four across lights represented the matches ARGENTINA v GERMANY and PARAGUAY v HOLLAND which were in one half of the draw, entered as AAEGINNRT, AEGMNRY, AAAGPRUY, ADHLLNO (but Eddie red-carded for a serious foul!) respectively.

The down entries were the other half of the draw, being  URUGUAY v GHANA and BRAZIL v SPAIN, entered as AGRUUUY, AAGHN, ABILRZ, AINPS

The red card was handed out to Eddie for failing to notice that N comes before O in the alphabet, not vice-versa! So HOLLAND appeared in the puzzle as AHDLLON instead of ADHLLNO. I hope other solvers were not too put off by this, in an otherwise well-constructed and very topical puzzle. I particularly liked the idea of having to wait until after the final before the solution could be sent in! But PLEASE no more football for a while!

The final between Holland and Spain has not yet happened at the time of writing – I’ll fill in the result after Sunday!

And it was SPAIN!

 1  SINATRA  old singer – [ISNTA]* + RA 
 5  PAMPAS  plain – MAP reversed + PAS (action), “to start” appear to be noise words  
 9  TERCIO  infantry – [TIRE CO]*
 10  PALIO  race – PAL + I + O
 11  PUDU  South American deer – UP reversed + DU(tch) 
 12  TAKE SILK  become a QC – TAKES +  ILK
 13  ISEULT  Gaelic girl’s name meaning fair – I’S + E + ULT
 16  ESDRAS  book in the Apocrypha – hidden in makES DRAStic
 19  X-RAY  photograph – YAR (Yemen) + X (kiss) reversed
 21  SCARF  cravat – SCARF(ace)
 23  WINDORE  Ancient word for window – WINE round ROD reversed
 25  PIRANA  river fish – PA round IRAN
 26  IMAM  leader of mosque – I + MA(n) +M(osque) with “leader of mosque” serving a double purpose.
 27  MAIRI  Gaelic form of Mary – MAIR + I
 28  DENSE  compact – DENS + (availabl)E
 29  ESSENCIA  fine Tokay – ESSEN + CIA
 1  SALPINX  ancient trumpet – SAX round LP (album) + IN (popular)
 2  NEEDED  lacked – DEN round DEE all reversed
 3  TICKLER FILE  a reminder – TRICKLE (drop) with the R to the bottom + [LIFE]* 
 4  ANOA  wild ox – A + NOA(h)
 5  PROKER  may stir things up – POKER round R
 6  MIASM  unhealthy atmosphere – hidden in acadeMIAS Machinations
 7  PALINDROMIC  like BOB (reversible) – (Michael) PALIN + CID reversed round ROM
 8  SMOKY  pub breaking the law – S(howing) + MY round OK
 14  SARCODE  protein – SAR + COD + E(nergy)
 15  ADAW  subdue (old poetry) – A + DAW
 17  AGNAME  a name over and above the ordinary name, here Eddie the Eagle (and Eddie the Editor!) – [MANAGE]* 
 18  PYEMIA  a nasty disease – PYE (= pie in Chambers “type confusedly mixed (printing)”) + AIM reversed
 20  URARI  source of poison – hidden in foUR ARIstocrats
 21  SHAD  an anadromous (ascending rivers) fish – [DASH]* 
 22  FROE  a cutting tool – FOE round R. This makes the alphabetical order of HOLLAND incorrect!
 24  DIAN  goddess – N + AID reversed

12 Responses to “Inquisitor 1134 – Octagonal by Eddie”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    I think a red card is a bit harsh, although I’d accept a yellow one without any dissent at all.

    My only excuse is the extremely short space of time available, to both construct and clue the puzzle, between the final whistle of the last game in the Round of 16 and the deadline for sending the crossword in to the magazine. But it shouldn’t have happened, and I apologise.

    It was particularly annoying, since there would have been such an easy fix, involving ARNE, ERNE or ORNE.

    And don’t worry, Hihoba, the published solution notes will end “… and SPAIN won the cup. That’s enough football for a while!”

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    I did wonder whether HOLLAND, as it was not entered like the others, was the one to be placed under the grid. Why? Well, there is no football team of that name, assuming usual English country names, so I considered NETHERLANDS as what should be placed under the grid. But two blindingly obvious reasons that this is wrong:

    1.This was a World Cup puzzle and there is a winner.
    2.The wrong order would have been a bit more obvious than two letters switched.

    I then wondered if this was a subtle flaw hinting at the team Eddie had tipped for the cup?

    Excellent puzzle, my first Inquisitor for many weeks (I don’t get to paper shops at the weekend).


  3. HolyGhost says:

    Even a yellow card is maybe a trifle harsh for transposing O and N – just glad I’d got FROE before entering the scrambled HOLLAND (which, with licence, is acceptable as an alternative to NETHERLANDS).

    (For a while I thought the unclued answers were the first round group winners, so tried to shoe-horn “US of A” where “GHANA” went.)

    And Hihoba hasn’t got all the quarter final pairings quite right – it wasn’t PARAGUAY v HOLLAND and BRAZIL v SPAIN, but PARAGUAY v SPAIN and BRAZIL v HOLLAND.

    But a good blog, & a nice crossword.

  4. Hi of Hihoba says:

    Perhaps a yellow card would have sufficed! But, unlike HolyGhost, I got the theme before FROE and so searched through all the definitions of ?RNE for anything remotely connected with the clue, before realising there was a mistake!
    Sorry about my mis-reading of the quarter finals. My reading of the halves of the draw was wrong – and I attributed more to the position of the teams in the grid than was actually there!

  5. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Hihoba.
    I’m always pleased to finish an Inquisitor.They are at the higher end of my solving ability.
    I do love the fact that there is usually an extra twist to work out before completing the grid,even if you do get the theme.
    As usual,for me,I only twigged the theme once the rest of the grid was complete,so the little error with “Holland” didn’t hinder me.Like Colin I wondered if this was a tip from Eddie,luckily I didn’t put any money on it!
    This puzzle was so well clued there was no hint of ambiguity,even to a relative novice,like myself.
    Excellent stuff!
    Pleased to read “ That’s enough football for a while!”

  6. Mike Laws says:

    If anything could have been regarded as a tip, I suppose it could have been the pale orange background tint, but that was pure coincidence, although I would have preferred Holland to win.

    So near and yet so far three times now!

  7. Bannsider says:

    Has anyone noticed how they are always “Netherlands” on the BBC and “Holland” on ITV(!)

    Sorry Mike but I was rooting for Spain. I am even sorrier tho that I missed your puzzle.

  8. nmsindy says:

    NETHERLANDS is the official title used by FIFA, but the fans always chant HOLLAND…

  9. Bannsider says:

    Yes indeed! Odd as officially Dutch people are supposed to prefer “Netherlands” as a name

  10. eimi says:

    I’m glad Spain won too, leaving Holland/The Netherlands to concentrate on the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

  11. twencelas says:

    I too really enjoyed this puzzle and probably a few words from the ref. is all it merits. The last thing it would deserve would be any form of suspension.

    Only down side was the quality of the final itself.

    To see how easily an error can occur, to quote your own words Hihoba “So HOLLAND appeared in the puzzle as AHDLLON instead of ADHLLNO.”

  12. Hi of Hihoba says:

    Oh dear. Now I’ve got to send myself off!

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