Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1157 – Please… by Eddie – 18 December 2010

Posted by duncanshiell on January 5th, 2011

duncanshiell.

The preamble stated that the first words of a traditional verse are spelled out by single extra letters generated by the wordplay in each down clue, in order.  The perimeter (clockwise, in which the barred-off letters could make a BANAL POET CROON) is "clued" by the rest of the first line.  A name hidden in the grid cryptically represents the second line and must be highlighted.

As this was the last Inquisitor before Christmas there was a good chance that the traditional verse would have a Christmas theme.  This was the case.

The extra letters spelled out CHRISTMAS IS COMING.  For a long time, I had a Y in COMYNG [possibly an old fashioned spelling] as I wanted the call for attention in 27 across to be YO as used by George W Bush when attracting the attention of our last Prime Minister, but one, at a summit meeting – YO BLAIR!  It was only when writing the blog that I realised that OI! would work equally well thereby giving me an I rather than a Y.

The full wording of the first line is CHRISTMAS IS COMING, THE GEESE ARE GETTING FAT.  A study of the perimeter showed the potential for SNOW and HARVEST as types of GEESE, each being fairly central to a column of the perimeter.  Further study led to the other two types of GEESE, viz BRENT and CANADA.  Given that the other noun in the first line of the verse was FAT, it was not too difficult to deduce CORPULENT, PORTLY, ROTUND and PLUMP running round each of the corners of the grid.  This gave us GEESE getting FAT alternately round the perimeter.  The barred off letters in the perimeter can indeed be arranged to make BANAL POET CROON.  I used the phrase as a check against the GEESE and FATs I deduced, rather than trying to use the letters to form the GEESE anmd the FATs  The four letters in the corners U, T, U and U fell our fairly easily.

The next line of the verse is PLEASE [TO] PUT A PENNY IN THE OLD MAN’S HAT.  This could form a clue to BOWLER (man’s hat, virtually out of fashion now, hence ‘old’) containing D (penny; perhaps this should have been referred to as ‘old’ but we are constrained by the words of the verse.) = BOWDLER.  The word BOWDLER is central to the middle row of the grid.  Thomas BOWDLER is best known for publishing an expurgated version of the works of Shakespeare in the 19th century, so that the works would not be offensive to women and children.  His name is now used to refer to censored versions of books and plays.

I had to think a bit to parse all the clues,as I didn’t understand them all as I did the puzzle.  I think I have sorted them out properly now.  

New words (or meanings) or me this week included GALE, TALA, SCRAN, PUTELI, RIPRAP, DIOL, MARAE, RHIZOPOD, TRENTAL and PALABRAS,   The clueing was vey fair.

I don’t know how long I took to complete the puzzle as it was fitted in around lots of other things over the Christmas period.

2010 has been a good year for the Inquisitor.  I look forward to an equally good year in 2011.

The title ‘Please…‘ comes from the first word of the second line of the verse.

I have updated the blog in the light of Mike Laws comment at 1 below.

U M P B R E N T C O R P U
L A S T H U R R A H O A L
P R A B I R S E U G A L E
T A L A Z O O N S K R A N
S E T T O P U T E L I B T
E D E E P E N A F T E R S
V E R B O W D L E R E A N
R W A N D A C O N I C S O
A P R I P R A P E N S E W
H O R S A H R T S S T A P
D I O L L E D I T H A S O
N N Y G L A M O R I S E R
U T O R A D A N A C Y L T
Across
No. Wordplay Entry
9 LAST (endure) + HURRY (rush) with the last letter (finally) Y being replaced by (going to) (A + H ([Hotel is word for the letter H in international radio communication]) LAST HURRAH (final performance; swansong)
10 R (right) contained in (stuck in) BISE (cold wind near Switzerland) BIRSE (Scot’s word for bristle [hair standing up])
12 GABLE (reference Clark Gable, film star [1901-1960; old]) excluding the middle letter (heartless) B GALE (outburst)
13 T (first letter of [start to] TALK) + A (about) + LA (note of the tonic sol-fa) TALA (a traditional rythmic pattern in Indian music)
14 NARKS (intoxicating effect of too much nitrogen; located in Chambers under nitrogen) reversed.  Before Mike Laws comment at 1 below, I had written: I think this must be using NARC- as a prefix meaning ‘of or relating to the illicit production of drugs”, rather than NARC as a noun which refers to a narcotics agent. SKRAN (food)
15 OTTER‘S (animal’s) reversed (retreated) excluding (offering no) R (resistance) SET TO (fight)
16 PUT (place) + ELI (biblical priest) PUTELI (a flat bottomed boat used on the Ganges)
17 DEE (River Dee) + PEN (enclosure) DEEPEN (lower)
18 Anagram of (extravagantly) FEAST containing (gobbling) the third letter (third portion) R of CHRISTMAS AFTERS (pudding)
20 BREVE (lan obsolete musical note twice as long as semi-breve, the most commonly used long note today) excluding the final letter (shortened) E reversed (about) VERB (a word signifying an action; acting term)
22 Hidden word in (contribution to) AREA NEVER REAN (ditch or watercourse in Somerset [local])
24 Last letter of (finally) REMEMBER + WANDA (reference the film ‘A Fish called Wanda’) RWANDA (Country in Central Africa; African community)
26 CONS (tricks) containing (involving) (I [one] + first letter of (bit of) CALCULATION) CONICS (branch of geometry focusing on the cone and its sections)
28 RIP (disreputable person) + RAP (blame; ‘take the rap’) RIPRAP (loose broken stones)
30 ENS (being or existence) + first letters of (primarily) ERUDITE and WITH-IT ENSEW (Edmund Spenser’s spelling of ensue [follow])
32 Anagram of (could be) of RASH and first letter of (at first) OUTRAGEOUS HORSA (reference Hengist and Horsa, the joint leaders of the first Saxon band of warriors to settle in Britain)
33 PATS (gently strikes) reversed (back) STAP (an obsolete [old] affectation for stop [obstruct])
34 Anagram of (abuse of) IDOL DIOL (an alcohol)
35 EDIT (prepare) + first letter of (first of) HARMONIES EDITH (reference Edith Piaf, French singer)
36 Anagram of (wanting makeover) MORE GIRLS containing (engaging) A GLAMORISER (one who makes alluring, bewitching; could, at a pinch, be interpreted as meaning beautician, hence the ‘?’)

 

Down
No. Wordplay Extra Letter Entry
1 MAR (spoil) + ACE (one) I think this clues works with and without the missing letter as AE is a Scots word for one, but no doubt many non-Scottish solvers would need the Scots link highlighted in some way . C MARAE (Maori meeting-place)
2 PER (a) containing (put that into) SHALT (‘ought’ in its almost obsolete sense of ‘obligation to’) H PSALTER (the book [of psalms])
3 POZ (an old slang shortening of ‘positive’) reversed (going over) contained in (to probe) an anagram of (suspect) HORRID R RHIZOPOD (basic form of life)
4 EURO (a wallaroo, any of several types of large kangaroos) + PIE (confusion,) I EUROPE (various States)
5 T (time) + RENTALS (hire charges) S TRENTAL (a series of 30 requiem masses)
6 CAT (whip) + USE (function) T CAUSE (that which produces an effect; to act effectively)
7 OAR (row, where ‘oar’ is a verb) contained in (inhibited by) RIME (hoarfrost) M ROARIE (Scot’s word for noisy)
8 PAL (mate) + A + BAR (Scots word for joke) + AS (when) A PALABRAS (Spanish word meaning ‘words’)
11 (Anagram of [malfunctioning] DAD and CROSS) containing (about) (NU [Greek letter] reversed [sent up]) S SOUNDCARD (printed circuit board)
17 Anagram of (out) WIPED + anagram of (sort of) INTO I DEWPOINT (the temperature at which a given sample of moist air becomes saturated and forms dew; cold sweat
19 NEST (residence) contained in (installed) an anagram of (new) SAFER S FENESTRA (window)
21 CHEAT (fraud) excluding (given no) T (time) contained in WARD (custody) C WARHEAD (explosive)
23 EASY (laid back) containing (about) COST (price) O ECSTASY (drug)
25 (MARRY [join] containing [touring] O [Ohio]) + first letter of (first of) OUTINGS M ARROYO (rocky ravine)
27 OI (call for attention) + anagram of (out) POINT I OPTION (choice)
29 NAP (sleep) reversed (over) containing (keeping) ALL (everything) N PALLA (a Roman woman’s mantle; old cloak)
31 EA (each) + anagram of (injured) LEGS G EASEL (support)

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 1157 – Please… by Eddie – 18 December 2010”

  1. Mike Laws says:

    14 across: not SCRAN, but SKRAN, an alternative spelling. It was “(the) NARKS”, defined by Chambers as “the intoxicating and anaesthetic effect of too much nitrogen in the brain” which was to be reversed.

    Many thanks for the blog, Duncan. All feedback helps.

  2. Duncan Shiell says:

    Mike

    Thanks for the correction – I have updated the blog.

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Duncan for your usual excellent blog.
    Very enjoyable Xmas Inquisitor,with some nice witty clues and the more obscure words very fairly clued.I too had SCRAN for 14 across,justifying it in the same way.I thought the definition was a bit loose for Eddie.I should have looked deeper into that one!
    Well worked theme,which has proved useful in solving another Xmas puzzle.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    O bugger – a blunder on the last puzzle.

    I, too, missed SKRAN with a K. (I was finishing the puzzle whilst on a bus from Damascus to Aleppo, but that’s no excuse for not checking properly when I got home to a dictionary.)

    Happy New Year everyone.

  5. Scarpia says:

    Re.my previous comment – I meant,of course,the definition of NARCS.

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