Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1175 – Left Out by Nimrod

Posted by kenmac on May 11th, 2011


The perimeter is clued thematically while the numbered clues (to the remainder of the grid) have a redundant letter in the wordplay, which spells out a message indicating what to do with the perimeter entries. Though we are told that the perimeter answers have to be “mutilated” before entry. This all seems straightforward enough except, wait a minute, the editor has added some kind of disclaimer. Apparently the title and message must not be taken at face value.

OK, I found the numbered clues reasonably easy and solved almost all of them before tackling the thematics. This led to the message OPPOSITION MEMBERS VOTING WITH THEIR FEET. I pretty much twigged the theme from the first thematic I solved. There are 8 thematics which I’m calling A through H. The first one to crumble (D) was a fairly obvious anagram and I could see that some of its letters were in place in the NE corner. This led me to guess that HIS and HERS were to be taken out – OPPOSITION MEMBERS, indeed.

Thus all the thematics contained opposing words that had to be removed (i.e. they have VOTED WITH THEIR FEET.)

The rest of the thematics proved to be quite difficult and if it wasn’t my turn to blog I would probably have given up. I didn’t actually solve my last one (RAINBOW TROUT) until Wednesday. :-(

I’m guessing that the editor’s note was some kind of reference to the fact that parts of the UK were holding elections in the week that this puzzle was published. And The Independent does not want to be seen to be influencing anyone’s vote.



Ref / location Answer Opposites Entry Definition Wordplay
A / a1 GOBSTOPPER GO STOP BPER Sucker GOBS (spits)+TOPPER (posh hat)
DAY NIGHT SUN Schoolkids don’t tend to like it DAUNTING SHY (anag: unusually)
C / h1 UPSIDE-DOWN UP DOWN SIDE Complete confusion UP (success)+SIDE (team)+DOWN
WELL ILL MUSH London district SWELL (expand)+HI (greeting) inside MULL (warm)
F / l12 POSTE
IN OUT RABOWTR Spotted swimmer IN BAR (anag: brawl)+OWT (anything)+ROUT (brawl.) I think BRAWL is doing double duty or I may have missed something.
ON OFF PROBATIICE Advisory point PROBATION (testing)+OFFICE (group of staff)


No. Entry Extra letter Definition Wordplay
8 YUAN O Eastern piece YOU (solvers)+AN
10 REPLICA P Fax PRICE-PLAN (anag: out)
12 CASCARA P Buckthorn A SCARP (steep slope) inside CA(lifornia)
13 SKI O Winter runner OIKS (louts) (rev: turning back)
14 INHERITRESS S She’s left HER SISTERS IN (anag: trouble)
17 REA I Husky-voiced singer (Chris Rea) RE (on)+AI (A1: main road north)
18 SUING T In petition for IN inside GUST (anag: nasty)
19 TORCHING I Act of arson TO (aimed at)+RICH (fat cats)+IN+G(overnment)
20 TABOR O Drum TA (cheers)+BOOR (ill-mannered person)
22 AT SEA N On a cruise SENT+AA (two A(mericans)) (anag: unexpectedly)
24 CHORDATA M Group of animals CHORD (notes)+ATM (hole in the wall: Automated Telling Machine)+A
26 BOUND E Limit BOUNDE[r] (ignoring final letter)
27 OON M Scottish baker (oven) MOON (which might illuminate)
29 PASTORALISM B Real rural character BRISTOLS PAM A (anag: smashing)
31 RID E Clear RIDE (go up)
32 VANUATU R Island republic NAURU+VA (Virginia) (anag: oddly)
34 SPIRAEA S Plants RIP+SEA (two tides) (rev: ebbing) inside AS (when)
35 ACNE V Spots C(old) inside VANE (weather indicator)
No. Entry Extra letter Definition Wordplay
1 PYA O Asian currency [c]OPY (C(lubs) rejected)+A(merican)
2 RACE T Stock TRACE (very small quantity)
3 SNARK I Boojum (as in The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll) IS+NARK (singer: informer)
4 NEATEN N Make clear [on]E [a]NTENNA (minus ON A) (anag: set off.) A bit of a clumsy clue in my opinion.
5 ILLEST G Everyone’s better than him LEGS (limbs) inside I (one)+LT (lieutenant)
6 DISSUADE W Deter from D(ay)+ISSUE (edition) containg WAD (stuff)
7 TAKE NOTE I Observe KEN(tucky)+O(hio) inside TIT (songbird)+E(ast)
9 USHERS T Conducts THE USSR (anag: revolution)
11 PARAGON H Model PH (pub)+ARAGON (Spanish area)
15 MOTORIST T Driver TORT (wrongful act) inside MOIST (perspiring)
16 SCENARIO H Outline CHINA ROSE (anag: wilting)
17 RICOTTA E Cheese RICE (grain)+OTT (full flavoured: overthe top – I think)+A (one)
21 BANIAN I Fruit salesman Not sure :-( I can see Roman couple (II) but nuttin’ else.
23 ADSORB R Acquire film from contact A+DRS (doctors)+ORB (circle)
25 HOOVER F President (Herbert
HOF (court)+OVER (finished)
28 NANAS E Nurses NA (not available)+SANE (all there) (anag: on the roll)
30 LUCE E Fish dE CUELlar’s (hidden: stocks) (rev: rising)
33 TEE T Driving place (golf) TETE (head in French)

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 1175 – Left Out by Nimrod”

  1. slaney says:

    21d I took “footloose fruit” as banan(a) with, as you say, the two IIs – Roman couple – inserted.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    Sympathies to Ken for having two ‘toughies’ in a row.

    As with him, I got [HIS]TORIOGRAP[HERS] quite easily, and [POST]E REST[ANTE] soon after. Then came [GO]B[STOP]PER, which meant that the deletions weren’t always leading and trailing letters, followed by [UP]SIDE-[DOWN], followed by … a long pause. So I eye-balled a map of London for a district that would fit with MU?? in the bottom right corner – MUS[WELL] H[ILL] and just three to go.

    Another pause, and I could see that the entries to thematics G & H were 17 characters, down from 27 characters in the answers, so, 10 letters to be removed. These had to be two two-letter words and two three-letter words & probably a two- and a three- in each case: IN & OUT, and ON & OFF suggested themselves. I decided to resort to electronic aids. Pattern-matching *R*B*O*T* yielded 636 possibilities (pfff!), and – yes! – RA[IN]BOW TR[OUT]; easier going with *R*B*A*T*I*C* (only 35 possibilities) and I saw enough to get to PROBATI[ON] [OFF]ICE (not in Chambers).

    One to go: the S?N entry in the top row from an 11 letter answer. No joy, so I slept on it. And, as I drifted into wakefulness on Bank Holiday Monday morning, into my head popped SUN[DAY] [NIGHT] – and I thought “How appropriate.”

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    I agree with Ken about OTT in 17d, and with slaney about banan(A) at 21d, where “fruit” is part of the wordplay and the definition is just “salesman”. With regard to thematic G, the anagram indicator is “involved”, and “brawl” is not in fact doing double duty.

    I seem to have gone on a bit … sorry.

  3. Hi of hihoba says:

    A good crossword – you’re expecting BUT, so here you are!
    SPIRAEA is in my Chambers as A plant, not plantS, so an inaccurate clue.
    I don’t approve of full flavoured as a clue for OTT, I could find no justification for it, perhaps the author or editor could explain the thinking?
    I’m afraid Chris Rea as a husky-voiced singer utterly passed me by. The clue was solvable via the wordplay though.

  4. John H says:

    Hi Hi,

    Spiraea is also the name of the genus, hence plants.

    The OTT clue was an edited version, I think I used ‘blue’ in the original.


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