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Inquisitor 1161 – Nicknames by Ifor – Saturday 23rd January 2011

Posted by duncanshiell on February 2nd, 2011

duncanshiell.

Ifor is a new compiler for the Inquisitor but he has had four crosswords published in The Magpie and one published in the Telegraph Enigmatic Variations series, all in the last two years.  I think I have completed at least one of his/her Magpies and enjoyed the experience.

The preamble stated that the wordplay in each down clue generates an extra letter; read in clue order these explain how successive pairs of across clues are to be treated before solving (usually resulting in the appearance of non-words in the clues).  Two possible causes of this treatment appear hidden in the grid in unabbreviated form and must be highlighted to reveal the "abbreviated" thematic location.

I wonder if I was the only solver who didn’t study the preamble properly and assumed that it would be the entries that would be treated in some way.  It usually is.  After I started solving, I realised that the first few acrosses I solved from the definition  seemed to fit into the grid without change, even although I couldn’t understand the wordplay fully.  At that point I had another look at the preamble and realised that it was the clues that had to be adjusted in some way. I have tried to solve some Magpie puzzles where words in the clue have had to be anagrammed before solving, so the concept of changes to clues was not entirely new to me.  It is the first time I have come acoss the idea in an Inquisitor though.

From that point, the puzzle became a little easier, but I still found it to be a significant and very entertaining challenge.  The message spelled out by the extra letters in the down clues wordplay took a while to become clear as the first two words and the last three words were all three letters or less and I was making more progress on the early and late down clues than I was in the middle set.  Finally, it dawned on me what was going on and the message:

I’M A CELEBRITY, GET ME OUT

became apparent.

By this time I had begun to understand what was going on in the across clues and I had identified BONO and MADONNA as letters to be omitted from 11/13 across and 14/15 across.

The 10 celebrities that we had to GET OUT of the pairs of across clues were:

Clues Celebrity
1/5 CHER
11/13 BONO
14/15 MADONNA
17/18 GARBO
20/21 PELÉ
26/27 ELVIS
29/30 STING
33/34 CILLA
36/37 JORDAN
38/39 PRINCE

 

Once the grid was full we had to identify two possible causes of the treatment to the clues.  The full names of the two presenters of the show are DECLAN DONNELLY and ANTHONY MCPARTLIN and their names can be spelled out in the grid in the shape of an O and a Z respectively, thereby depicting OZ (Australia) as the abbreviated thematic location for the programme. I believe the show is filmed in Queensland.

I have watched no more than a few minutes of the show in any year since it started in 2002, but somehow I knew enough about it to know that ANT & DEC, as they are commonly known, were the presenters.  I am certainly not an expert on the constestants.  I think that only JORDAN (aka Katie Price) from the list of Celebrities in the puzzle has actually taken part in the show.  Clearly GARBO and ELVIS could not have taken part.  No doubt the rest had something better to do.

P O E M L U P S P E A K
A P P E A L R O E S N E
T A H R L B I R L I N N
S D E C A C A N T H O N
Y O D E L E P O O G Y E
L U R D A N E I N M P L
L K A M N C A L C I U M
E S P A D A N P A D M A
P N N O F E A R T L I N
S A P I E N T E R A C E
E F T S E I U S E N E T
S U N T R A P S E D D A

 

I thought this was a wonderful puzzle that kept me thinking right to the end. There was a good mix of clue types with excellent misdirection in a number fo the clues.

The clue I found most difficult to parse was 6 down, involving the compund anagram of E G and PRIAPEAN.  Otherwise, I think I have understood what is going on in the wordplay.

IInevitably, given the need to fit so much thematic material into the grid and generate the requisite letters,  there were some entry words that I had not come across before, but the wordplay was rigorous and helped considerably.

I assume the title ‘Nicknames’ is just a pun on ‘Nick’ meaning to steal, pinch, take out, get out and Names refers to the Celebrities – hence get the Celebrities out.

There were a couple of vertical bars missing from the printed grid in rows 2 and 11, 4 cells in from the right and left respectively. The number 13 should have been one cell to the right in row 2. This did not detract from an excellent puzzle.

The full name of the show is I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out OF HERE! but I don’t think we need worry too much about the missing ‘OF HERE!’ from the thematic elements of the pouzzle

 I look forward to another puzzle from Ifor.

Across
No. Clues Celebrity Wordplay Entry
1 Code post-mortem notes regularly kept   The second and fourth letters of (regularly) NOTES contained (kept) in PM (post-mortem)  POEM (ode)
8 Start to say something before stoned pusher takes money from US CHER Anagram of (stoned) PUS + PEAK (a variant of PEAG [native American shell money]) UPSPEAK (start to say something; begin to speak)
11 Bored plea after a parking case that’s taken to higher court   A + P (parking) + anagram of (red; variant of redd [put in order]) PLEA APPEAL (an APPEAL is taken to a higher court)
13 Rest with right time off? None for slave BONO (REST excluding [off] R [right] and T [time]) + NE ESNE (a domestic slave in Anglo-Saxon times)
14 Grown-up kid’s mad on teacher’s odd characters   First, third, fifth and seventh (odd) letters (characters) of TEACHERS TAHR (a Himalyan wild goat; grown-up kid [young goat])
15 Nail rib back onto new navy chief’s boat MADONNA IL RIB reversed (back) + N (new) + N (navy) BIRLINN (a chief’s barge or galley in the Western Isles)
17 Opening of garages in Detroit put an end to most of the old plant   First letter (opening) of AGES + CAN (put an end to; North American [in Detroit) slang) + two of the three letters (most of) THE ACANTH (an obsolete [old] variant of acanthus [any plant of the prickly leaved Genus Acanthus)
18 Song with varying pitch from boy with elaborate lyric line GARBO Y + ODE (an elaborate lyric) + L (line) YODEL (a song with varying pitch)
20 Pope to go back to the old instrument   PO + GO reversed (back) + YE (old form of ‘the’) POOGYE (an Indian nose-flute; instrument)
22 Dull person’s learned luck’s half bad PELE Anagram (bad) of (ARNED + LU ([half of LUCK]) LURDANE (dull person)
26 No 20 periodically runs out of of crucial slippery elm   Anagram  (slippery) of CRUCIAL excluding (out) R (runs) + M CALCIUM (greyish white metallic element with Atomic number 20)
27 Publicity agent advises new brand in Spain ELVIS Anagram of (new) (PA [Publicity Agent] and ADES) ESPADA (sword in Spain; Chambers gives one of the meanings of ‘brand’ as ‘sword’, from its glitter)
29 Treads softly before Moprocco’s sacred flower   PAD (tread softly) + MA (International Vehicle Registration for Morocco) PADMA (the sacred lotus)
30 Definitely not noting fare changes STING Anagram of (changes) NO FARE NO FEAR (definitely not)
33 Sit with a pencil out, showing judgement   Anagram of (out) (SIT and A PEN) SAPIENT (showing wisdom; showing judgement)
34 Competition in community galas briefly returned CILLA (EC [European Community] + AR (Argon [gas], briefly) all reversed (returned) RACE (competition)
36 Newts set free outside fjord   Anagram of (free) SET containing (outside) F EFTS (newts)
37 Newsgroups broadcast dance tunes, returning CD not required JORDAN Anagram of (broadcast) DCE TUNES excluding (not required) CD USENET (in computing, a worldwide collection of newsgroups)
38 Paper’s print hit the spot for a tanner   SUN (newspaper; paper) + T + RAP (hit) SUNTRAP (spot to catch the sun; ideal for someone wishing to gain a suntan; spot for a tanner)
39 Heroic songs of dead in piece PRINCE Anagram of (in pie [mixed state]) DEAD EDDA (a collection of Scandinavian heroic songs)

 

Down
No. Wordplay Extra Letter Entry
1 Even letters (rhythmically [regularly occurring]) letters of PIANIST I PAT (tap feet)
2 Anagram of (travelling) HAMPERED M EPHEDRA (jointed, nearly lifeless desert plants; growth of deserts)
3 Anagram of (mobile) CAMERA excluding (ignoring) A A MERC (abbreviation [compact] for MERCEDES [foreign car])
4 LA-LA (to sing an accompaniment using syllables rather than words; wordlessly accompany) + CLAN (sect) + D (deserted) C LA-LA LAND (state of being divorced from reality; state of fantasy)
6 An anagram (hopelessly) of the entry, PRIAPEAN and E (English) and G (good) would generate the word APPEARING E PRIAPEAN (reference Priapus, ancient deity personifying male generatiev power, considered to be chief God of lasciviousness and sensuality; preoccupied with sex)
7 SON (child) containing (holding) (L [left {hand}] + R [right {hand}]; both hands) L SORN (Scottish [in Perth] word for one who ‘obtrudes oneself as an uninvited guest'; a gatecrasher)
8 PEON (farm worker) containing (accepting) LET (an archaic [previous] meaning of ‘let’ is hinder, prevent; delay) E PELTON (The Pelton Wheel is one of the most efficient wind turbines, invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s)
9 ANNO (in the year) + BY (past) B ANNOY (trouble)
10 Anagram of (sadly) IN LIKE MANNER excluding (blacked) both occurrences of the letter I (together the two Is sound like ‘eyes’) R KENNELMAN (a male attendant who looks after dogs, which may well be Boxer dogs)
12 PAID (hired) + OUK (Scottish [in Glasgow] word for ‘week’) I PADOUK (timber tree of the red sanders Genus)
16 Anagram of (could make) STYLE LESS and P (positive) T SYLLEPSES (figures in rhetoric in which a word does duty in a sentence in the same syntactical relation to two or more words but has a different sense in relation to each.; using words ambiguously more than once)
19 (A [active] + IN + YE (old form of [dead] ‘the’) + ACNE [spots]) all reversed (turned) Y ENCAENIA (annual commemoration of founders and benefactors at Oxford University)
21 Anagram of (frantic) LIPS GO containing (without [outwith]) RES (reserve) G OIL PRESS (a machine for expressing oil from seeds or pulp, and presumably from nuts [nut: fruit with edible seed]; nuts crushed by this)
23 (DEN [Scotiish word for a narrow alley] + A [area)] + L [left] +DIM [indistinct]) all reversed (set back) E MIDLAND (distant from the coast)
24 PUT (render) + MICE (knots to prevent slipping, a nautical term; seaman’s knots) T PUMICE (a piece of lava used for smoothing; a smoother)
25 M (reference M, spymaster in the James Bond novels and films) + A + MOIST (rather wet) M MAOIST (an adherent of the Chinese type of communism expounded by Mao Zedong; leftie)
28 Anagram of (shambles) UNSAFE E SNAFU (chaos; shambles)
31 FOE (enemy) + (RE [concerning] reversed [returned]) O FEER (archaic word meaning ‘companion'; old friend)
32 TRUE (straight) + first letter (opening) of ESTORIL  (Estoril used to be a Formula 1 racing circuit, so the clue is very appropriate) U TREE (corner, where ‘tree’ is used as a verb)
35 Hidden word (imprisoned) in REGRETTABLY T ETA (a member of the lowest Japanese class, which did work considered menial olr degrading; foreign worker)

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 1161 – Nicknames by Ifor – Saturday 23rd January 2011”

  1. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Duncan…and well done for cracking this one!
    I found this very tough and it ended up as my worst ever attempt at an Inquisitor.I didn’t even manage half the puzzle.
    Like you I got some of the acrosses without being able to quite fit the wordplay – now I see why.
    I don’t usually like puzzles with a celebrity theme but the ones in this puzzle were certainly well known enough,even for me.So no complaints,I can’t even blame the missing bars for my failure.
    A very clever puzzle but a bit above my ability I think.

  2. Hi of hihoba says:

    I agree with Duncan that this was a beautifully conceived and constructed puzzle. Hard too!
    I really thought that I wouldn’t be able to solve it, especially as, due to some misconstrued down clues I had “I mangle Brits. Get me out” as the phrase!
    Light eventually dawned via Cher and a re-examination of my extra letters.
    I take it that the omission of “of here” is compensated for by the appearance of OZ in the grid.
    I’m ashamed to say (as an ex Chemistry teacher) that I didn’t understand the reference to “No. 20 periodically” in 26A until I read this blog! I also hadn’t understood why “red” in 11A meant anagram. So thanks for the clarification Duncan.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    Yes, quite a toughie, this one. (And all the better for that, at last, in my opinion.)

    Managed to solve quite a lot of the down clues, and felt happy with my across entries (about half of them) without really knowing what was going on. Slightly hindered by the missing bars which I always seem to resolve very late, but when I did, I realised that EFTS had to be the entry at 36a, which gave me JORD- to be removed from the clue coupled with -AN from the next one … and I saw the light. (Knew of all the celebs, but had to Google ANT & DEC to find full names – leading to pleasing highlighting.)

    Some removals affected the definitions, some the wordplay, and some the anagram indicators (e.g. ‘pie’ at 39a) – all very good stuff from Ifor.

    Don’t really go for the composite anagram at 6d: I read this as a misprinted clue that should be “English no good in appearing hopelessly …” with ‘English’ cluing the extra E in the wordplay. Mike Laws – please confirm, or explain.

  4. Ali says:

    Thanks for the excellent blog Duncan (as always!)

    Like Scarpia, I came a cropper on this one. I managed to fill most of the top half and eventually cottoned on to the names theme, but the bulk of clues just got the better of me, particularly the downs, and I eventually got distracted by this week’s puzzle!

    Now that I’ve seen the solution, I can only tip my hat to the setter. A brilliantly worked theme and excellent grid construction.

  5. HolyGhost says:

    Re: the wordplay at 6d.
    A clarification from Ifor (the setter) via Duncan (the blogger):
    ‘About the clue to PRIAPEAN – my intention was that “English good in appearing” implied replacement of G by E before anagramming. Unfortunately the conflict between inserting “is” for the syntax and “are” for the surface prevented me from doing either.’

    So, both of us were wrong …

  6. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was a very good puzzle – I too found it quite tough though not spectacularly so but got there in the end apart from the final step. I’ll have to admit I’ve never watched the programme and knew nothing about it tho I had heard of it. I found Declan and Anthony but not the surnames, none of all of this would have have known to me without the help of Wikipedia. A great début in the series and I hope we will see more – BTW it’s not the first Inquisitor where material had to be removed from clues before solving, 1144 used a similar device. Thanks, Duncan, for the great blog as always and Ifor for the puzzle.

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