Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1163: Common Knowledge by Samuel

Posted by kenmac on February 16th, 2011


A nice easy preamble for a change. We’re told that six entries are clued without definition and all the other clues generate an extra letter. The extra letters generate a “line”, which identifies the theme. Five of the six non-definitions are thematically linked “locations” and the other one is the surname of the creator. Lastly, we have to transpose two symetrically opposed letters to reveal the 10-letter word that prefixes one of the locations.

That’s pretty straightforward so on to the clues.

The first one I “solved” was 1 down (no definition) – BARLEY+IS+D(ay) anagrammed makes DESIRABLY. This turned out to be completely wrong and ensured that I had tremendous trouble with the LHS for ages. :-(

Strangely enough, the first thematic I got for real was also on the LHS – 32a BULGARIA. Wondering who could have ever claimed to create Bulgaria my mind wandered off in all directions and hit upon The Wombles.  By now I had enough of the extra letters to see that WOMBLES and WIMBLEDON might be lurking.  From then on it was pretty much plain sailing (after I rubbed out 1 down!!)

The last piece of the puzzle was to swap the “L” from 2 down with the “R” from 31d to form GREAT-UNCLE on the main diagonal (b2-k11.)  I have to say that I don’t really see what this last move lent to the puzzle; is there some significance of “going from left to right” (or something?) I checked the lyric but nothing’s jumping out.

So, there we have it.  The theme (hence the “line”) is THE WOMBLES OF WIMBLEDON COMMON ARE WE by Elizabeth BERESFORD and the five linked answers are (GREAT-UNCLE) BULGARIA. TOBERMORY, ORINOCO , WELLINGTON and BUNGO.

And finally, as noted by Hi in comment 4 (below), the title COMMON KNOWLEDGE is a clever reference to the fact that The Wombles have a vast KNOWLEDGE of Wimbledon COMMON.

No. Extra Letter Entry Definition Wordplay
3   WELLINGTON (none) LEW (lukewarm) (rev: over)+LING
(fish)+TON (great amount)
9 T EGERIA Adviser [col]EGE TRIA[lled] (hidden: retaining)
10 H GAIETY Hilarity EIGHTY+A(fternoon) (anag:
going bananas)
13 E BONGRACE Sunshade BONE (seize)+GRACE
15 O ECHT Genuine ECHO (response)+T[rouble]
17 M SCAR Mark SCAM (swindle)+R(uns)
18   ORINOCO (none) [T]ORINO+CO (conscientious
20 B FAGOTTO Fagotto FAG (smoke)+BOTTO[m] (minus
24 L TUILYIE (Glaswegian’s) struggle TU (trade union)+ILL+YIE(ld) (60%) (anag:
26 E RELUMED Rekindled (in the past) (Leonhard) EULER (rev:
27 S AGAR Seaweed A[dorn]S (gutted)+GAR (pike)
28 O DO IN Ruin DO (ditto: duplicate)+ION (particle)
30 F AECIUM Part of mushroom (fungus) CAFE (anag: cooked)+
(pieces of) U[ncooked]+M[eat]
32   BULGARIA (none) BULG[e] (shotened)+ARIA (melody)
33 W AREOLA &lit LOW AREA (anag: perhaps)
34 I UGLIER More grotty UGLI (fruit)+IRE (rev: returning)
35 M AVERSENESS Reluctance MASSES NEVER (anag:
No Extra Letter Entry Definition Wordplay
1   BERESFORD (none) BERE (barley)+S (is)+FOR
(adapted to)+D(ay)
2 B AGUACATE Fruit BAG (carrier)+U(pper
class)+A(ccepted)+CATE (dainty)
3 L WERT(originallyWELT) Beat WELL (skilfully)+T(ime)
4 E LIBRATE Balance LIBERATE (steal)
5 D IGNARO Stupid person I(sland)+DRAGON (anag: injured)
6 O NAGS Horses G[ather] inside NAOS (temple)
7 N TEA COSY Brew warmer STAY ONCE (anag: in order)
8 C NYE (Once) near NY (New York)+EC (city (of London)
11 O IRENE Woman of peace [p]IONEER (anag: confounded)
12 M ZERO Cypher [a]ZE[d] (uncovered)+ROM (gypsy)
16   TOBERMORY (none) TO BE (the future)+R (king)+MOR
(awkward girl)+Y[earn]
19 M CHIAUSED Cheated CHI (Greek character)+AMUSED (diverted)
21 O GALILEE Israeli province GALILEO (Astronomer)+E[spied]
22 N LINEAGE &lit NAIL GENE (anag:
23   BUNGO (none) BUN (roll)+G(erman)+O(ver)
24 A TERRAE Earths ATER (rush)+RA[c]E
(people minus C(loudy))
25 R LACK Want L(iberal)+RACK (destruction)
29 E GALS Young women GALE (wind)+[clock]S
31 W ILIS(originally IRIS) Peeper’s (eye’s) part IR(ish)+WIS (know)
32 E BAA Bleat BE (bill of

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 1163: Common Knowledge by Samuel”

  1. Hi of Hihoba says:

    Thanks Kenmac. Pretty strightforward. The only thing I had to check was the author.
    I agree about the letter exchange. I could not see the point either, and it had the added disadvantage of leaving a non-word (ILIS) in the grid, which is always a pity!

  2. HolyGhost says:

    I too got BULGARIA very early on (first pass) and immediately thought “Wombles”, soon confirmed by TOBERMORY & ORINOCO. So, not too hard at all.

    Possibly uncharitably, I assumed that the L-R swap was simply a device to extract the setter from a hole. Problem: with most of the grid constructed with various Wombles and GREAT UNCLE nearly there on the diagonal (with WERT at 3d), how is the Bottom Right corner to be finished? Solution: make 31d IRIS and change its counterpart to WELT – at least all the answers are real words and L & R are natural exchanges. (Even at the expense of being stuck with ILIS as a final entry.)

  3. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Kenmac.
    Felt rather pleased with myself as this is the first puzzle by Samuel that I’ve managed to finish.
    I was expecting to be brought back down to earth on reading the comments here – “Pretty strightforward”,”not too hard at all”. Thanks all!

    The theme fell early for me as well and I thought the cluing was more straightforward than usual for this setter.
    A very enjoyable puzzle and a nice tribute to the lady who sadly passed away towards the end of last year.

  4. Hi of Hihoba says:

    P.S. I thought the title “Common Knowledge” was a nice touch!

  5. kenmac says:

    Yes, you’re right Hi. I meant to put that in my blog, I have added it now.

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