Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1171 – And a Prayer by Nutmeg

Posted by kenmac on April 13th, 2011


What rotten luck, to have to blog a reasonably difficult Inquisitor in
a week where I had to drive to both Galway and Dublin for “all day”
appointments.  When I finally got time to sit still, the answers
were very slow to come.  I think this maybe caused panic to set in
and I couldn’t see the wood for the trees.  A quick appeal to my
fellow bloggers brought forth a completed grid – thanks Hihoba.
So I’ve had to do this crossword backwards.

The pramble tells us that seven across answers plus seven down answers
are thematic and have to be anagrammed before entry. And the 10-letter
answer in the top row is entered normally but is also thematic.
It turns out that all the thematic answers are anagrams of birds and
the normally entered answer is both a fruit (from the clue) and a bird.
The table below shows the first significant words from the clues, the
answer and the bird (where appropriate.)

First Word(s) Length Answer Bird Position Direction Definition Wordplay
Chemical 5 ALTAR a7 a Table [co]ALTAR
(chemical minus CO(mpany))
Seed 4 ARIL RAIL i10 a Seed Covering AR[able so]IL
(periphery of)
Siberian 7 AROLLAS f3 a Siberian trees AROS[e] (stunted)
contaiing ALL (anag: rotten)
A not 7 AUSLESE f6 d Fermentation A+USELES[s] (not
quite) (anag: fermentation – I think)
A deprived 8 A-WEATHER WHEAT EAR a1 d To windward A+WETHER
(castrated (ouch) – deprived ram)
containing A(rea)
Elgin 5 BOOLS h2 a Elgin (Scottish)
BOO[t]S (High
Street store) with L(eft) instead of T(ime)
Inmate 8 CONSULTS l5 d Questions CON (inmate)+LT
(lieutenant) inside SUS (doubtful)
It makes 6 CORSET SCOTER e2 d Don’t fully
understand :-(
Trader 5 CRARE d1 d Trader R(oubles) inside
CARE (mind)
Rather 4 DAMP d6 d Rather soggy P (soft)+MAD
(bananas) (rev: served up)
Arrest 5 EBOOK h1 d For which PC may
prove useful
Plants 6 ELODEA a6 a Plants LO (look)+DE[ad]
inside EA (river)
Great 4 EMIT a9 d Great healer EMIT (rev: raised)
It’s rarely 4 ETNA a3 a It’s rarely rumbled E[s]T[o]N[i]A (odd
numbered letters, not even)
They 5 HEIRS a2 a They expect [t]HEIRS minus
Secretion 7 HORMONE MOORHEN a10 a Secretion HOR (whore
(tramp))+MONE (moan (bellyache)) (homophone: reportedly)
Hard 7 HYRAXES g1 d Conies H(ard)+YR
(year)+AXES (kills off)
Joanna’s 3 IAN ANI j4 a Scotsman [p]IAN[o] (Joanna)
Arranged 7* IN PLACE PELICAN d9 a Arranged IN[n]
(briefly)+PLACE (job)
Within 5 INTRA a11 a Within IN (home) ART
(rev: going west)
In Paris 5 JEHAD e8 d Fervent campaign JE (French for
I)+HAD (held)
Recent 6 LATEEN ELANET k1 d Rigged in a
particular way
(recent)+E[lectio]N (case of)
Characters 6 LEMONS b7 d Fruit [s]MOLENS[k]
(peeled) (anag: exotic)
Poet’s 5 LINER g8 d (double def) (double def)
What 5 LOANS SOLAN j1 d (cryptic
[r]OANS with
R(ight) changed to L(eft)
List 3 MEU EMU a9 a Plant ME[n]U (list)
minus N(ew)
Lining 5 NACRE CRANE f1 d Lining material [be]ERCAN[s]
(hidden and reversed: turning up in)
Settling 6 OPTING k7 d Settling Can’t see this one
Revolutionary 4 OSSI l1 d Citizen of
communist state
IS SO (true) (rev:
Eligible 5 PARTI i8 d Eligible bachelor PARTI[cular] (not
Sow 6 PELTER PETREL b1 d Sharp shower PER (for each)
inside ELT (sow)
Wild fruit 10 PICK-CHEESE b1 a Wild fruit CHICK PEAS
(Spoonerised) GREAT CLUE! ;-)
Soprano 7 PRONAOS c4 a Temple entrance SOPRANO (anag:
They 5 QUOTA c8 d Allowance QUOTER (homophone:
they say)
Appear 4 SEEM SMEE i4 d Appear SEE M[e] (brings
backmemories of all the times that appeared in my school books)
Fierce 5 SET-TO h6 a Fierce fighting OTTE[r]S (rev:
rejected) R(ight) missing
Being 10 SLANDERING SANDERLING b12 a Muck-raking Can’t see this one
either :-(
Turning 7 SLIPUPS f8 a Blunders PUPIL (trainee)
inside SS (on board)
Cow 6* STEP ON g7 a Cow (subdue) NO PETS (strict
rule for lodgers) (rev: brings back)
Furniture 6 STICKS h6 d Furniture Won’t move
Obstruction 7 TELETEX a5 a Fast transmission
No idea :-(
Paint 5 TINTS STINT h11 a Colours [pa]INT (PA
(father) shed) inside T[ediou]S

9 Responses to “Inquisitor 1171 – And a Prayer by Nutmeg”

  1. Hounddog says:

    I grade the Inquisitor puzzles based on when I finish them (or decide to give up). This was a Friday finish, which is very much at the high end of the scale for me and I was on the verge of giving up until a rush of answers got me to the tipping point that allowed me to start filling in the grid.

    I guessed the theme from the title, and this was confirmed by four of the first five answers I got being Nacre, Liar, Seem and Slandering.

    There was a frustrating interlude caused by a failure to spot Wheatear as an anagram of a-weather, but once that was resolved the rest fell into place (although Elanet, Ani and Pickcheese were new to me).

    A particularly satisfying one to complete.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    For me this was at the other end of the scale to that of Hounddog. I comfortably did the majority of the puzzle on a flight from Oslo to Amsterdam with the last few answers filled in on the Amsterdam to Newcastle flight. I did have Chambers on my iPod which was useful in confirming a few answers. Definitely completed on a wing! The theme came out of a guess when I got NACRE and saw CRANE as an anagram. It took me a while to get the theme word, PICK-CHEESE, but what a lovely word and a great Spoonerism! I got WHEATEAR from the grid but had more problems going backwards to find the clue answer. I should have guessed the word play component WETHER as I run past many a GREY WETHER when out on the hills.


  3. ele says:

    Like Hounddog@1 took me all week to get most of the clues in plain and to confirm it was birds. Then took a deep breath and entered wheatear in top left hoping that Nutmeg couldn’t have been so malign as to start it at the bottom left, and set out on a wing and a prayer indeed. Fortunately it all started to fit and the last unsolved answers fell into place. But probably would have given up except for some collaboration with a fellow solver + knowing my birds, although elanet, ani and pick-cheese (solved essentially from the Spoonerism) were new ones. But I agree, a great sense of achievement once done. Thank you Nutmeg.

  4. Ali says:

    I enjoyed this one, but it was a real toughie. I cold-solved around half of the clues and then spotted EMU and CRANE as possible anagrams that made sense with the title. I couldn’t get started on the grid fill though as I only ever looked at the ‘fruit’ definition of PICK-CHEESE and then assumed that, as it wasn’t a bird, it would go in the bottom row (I hadn’t solved SLANDERING by this point). Once I’d realised that it was also a bird and moved it up, the rest fell into place fairly easily, though I needed to run a fair few answers through an anagram engine before I established that they were birds.

    Thanks to Nutmeg for another tough but fair puzzle, and extra kudos for the ‘Elgin marbles…’ definition, which had me puzzled for ages!

  5. Scarpia says:

    Thanks kenmac.
    Like you I couldn’t complete this one,only my second failure so far this year (I think).
    Without check letters I was always struggling and as I didn’t get the key clue (PICK-CHEESE) I was unable to get any help by starting to fill the grid.
    I only managed just over 50% of the clues,including a few of the anagrammed birds.I tried filling the grid from the bottom up,as SANDERLING was the first answer I got,but this didn’t lead me anywhere.
    I was well and truly Nutmegged by this one!

    Respect to all who finished!

  6. Hi of hihoba says:

    Sorry I couldn’t be more help Kenmac. I did finish this with some difficulty!
    The questions you had in the table are:
    CORSET: COR sounds like Corps (body) SET (firm) Sort of &lit definition. I liked this one a lot!
    OPTING (settling on) is TOPING (on a bender) with T(emperature) dropping! Liked this too!
    Struggled with SLANDERING which is SER(V)ING (being fit, not very) round LAND (country) – muck-raking.
    TELETEX is LET (obstruction) in TEE (post) + X (vote). I question the definition “fast transmission service”!
    I got the bottom half of the jigsaw from EMU/EMIT intersecting and the top half from TELETEX and HYRAXES intersecting at an X.

  7. Colin Blackburn says:

    Like Hi my tentative first grid entries were HYRAXES and TELETEX. I may be misunderstanding your questioning of the definition, Hi, but TELETEX is not Teletext – just in case that was the source of the query. TELETEX was an upgrade to the Telex service allowing the (fast) transmission of facsimile documents. It was quickly superseded by the rapid growth of email.


  8. Hi of hihoba says:

    I was only questioning the description “fast” (and in Chambers “high speed”) by comparison with what we have become used to in these days of fibre-optic broadband!

  9. Colin Blackburn says:

    Not all of us are on broadband let alone fibre-optic broadband! Though I take your point.

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