Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1183 – Ignore Diddly? by Samuel

Posted by kenmac on July 6th, 2011


The blog now arriving on platform 152 is the late running 1183 from kenmac.

What a tough offering from Samuel!  This puzzle came out on the day of the Sloggers and Betters do in Birmingham and I stared at it on the train on the way there … and stared, and stared. On the way home I’m sure I did a passable impersonation of someone staring, though it made even less sense :-( Maybe the very tasty Tribute ale had something to do with that!

Anyway, eventually with a little divine intervention (you know who you are!) I was able to solve it though I still found the clues quite tough.  Samuel seems to have stepped up a gear (now that life’s begun!)

The preamble tells us that the first and last letters of 20 extra words form the first line of a song, which might describe four characters to be found repeatedly in the grid. Their entry method is implied by the second line of the song. Their arch-enemy is clued without definition and their creator is hidden in the grid. Normally, when I know that there are extra words to be found, some of them are reasonably obvious and just leap out but Samuel has done a good job of disguising them here.

Anyway, it turns out that the first song line is THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES and the second line is THEY GO UP DIDDLY UP-UP, THEY GO DOWN DIDDLY DOWN-DOWN!  Since the title instructs us to ignore DIDDLY, this means that we’re looking for four characters who can be described as MAGNIFICENT MEN and they have to be entered both UP and DOWN.  The four characters in question are BIGGLES, ALGY, GINGER and BERTIE who are incidentally “up there” with all my childhood heroes – I couldn’t get enough Biggles!Finally, 1-across is the answer clued without definition (ERICH) VON STALHEIN and the author (CAPT. W. E.) JOHNS is hiding in the grid. 

No. Entry Extra word Definition Wordplay
1 VON STALHEIN (none) ON HALTS (anag: at sea) inside VEIN (vital vessel)
8 LACUNAE Depressions LAC (vast number)+U[ndergoing] (at first)+NAE (no)
10 GEOLOGY TITAN Study of rocks G[reek]+E[xperts]+O[pinions] (initially)+LOGY (dull)
11 DOR HOST Mock (once) ROD (bar) (rev: overturned)
12 LINGS OUTWEIGH (double def) (double def)
13 REIST Become rank RE[s]IST (S[apper] leaving)
14 ADAGE SLATE Old saying EGAD (oath)+A(bout) (rev: going west)
15 GUARANI ENNUI South American money GUAR[d] (D(ied) missing)+ANI (bird)
16 SALIENT MINER Striking [i]S ALIEN T[o] (hidden: essentially)
19 GLIOSIS Disorder of the brain G(erman)+[a]L[b]I[n]O[i]S[m] I[t]S (regularly)
20 ELASTIC ADOLF Resilient CIT(izen)S+ALE (fesival) (all rev: returns)
22 CHUGS GIRL Explosive sounds C(atholic)+HUGS (embraces)
24 GONER Stiff (as in dead body) Ooh, err, Mrs. how did this clue get past the censors 😉 

[ma]N inside GOER (promiscuous)

26 ONEGA NEARBY Lake in Russia ONE (joke)+AG (silver) (rev: about)
27 NUT IMPI Tough N(ame)+UT (as)
28 GROSSLY Stupidly R (take) inside GOSS (holiday mementos)+L[acke]Y emptied)
30 INORBED FOOTMEN Encircled BRIDE ON (anag: buggy)
31 ASSUREDNESS Confidence ASS (fool)+URE (operation)+D[raws] (at the outset)+NESS head)


No. Entry Extra word Definition Wordplay
O (love)+N(ew)+IDEAS (anag: to confuse)
3 NEO Artificial
ONE (anag: ruined)
4 THOSE INVITING Ones there T(ime)+HOSE (socks)
5 LAY OUT Knock
LA[d]Y (discarding  D(aughter))+OUT (in error)
6 EULER Mathematician [p]ULER (with E (250) instead of P (400))
7 INDIANS CONFIRM Workers IN+D(iamonds)+IAN (Scotsman)+S(ucceeded)
9 CURARI Poison CUR (dog)+A[ttack] (beginning)+[c]RI[b] (uncovered)
17 LEAN-TOS ENCYCLOPEDIA Sheds LEAN (unprofitable)+TO[me]S (volumes) (without ME)
JOHN (can: toilet)+NO (numeric)+[puzzle]S (ultimately) 

I wonder if NUMERIC is used correctly here – or have I misunderstood it?

21 SEERS THROUGH Wise men SE[v]ER (cut through) (heartlesly)+S(ection)
22 COOED MIMI Spoke fondly COO[k]ED (tired out) (missing K(ing))
23 SAYS ENLIVEN Remarks [as]SAYS (AS leaving)
25 URDÉ NIECE Pointed RUDE (anag: out)
29 SEE INMATES Judge SEE[m] (lacking M(oney))




2 Responses to “Inquisitor 1183 – Ignore Diddly? by Samuel”

  1. Samuel says:

    Thanks for the good write-up, Ken, and I’m sorry that you found the puzzle so hard. I thought it at the easier end of the Samuel range, but I’m notoriously poor at assessing how difficult my puzzles are. For instance, I recently sent a puzzle to the Magpie that I thought would be a C/D grade, but turns out to be an A-grade!

    Hopefully the puzzle brought back fond memories of Biggles for solvers. I still read the books occasionally as an adult, and own 80 or so of the 100 books in the series. Unfortunately many of the later books are very hard to come by, and prohibitively expensive :-( So if anybody has any Biggles books they fancy selling cheaply, please get in touch!

    Oh, and regarding 24ac – I normally include one risque clue in each puzzle when I submit it. Very few get to publication, though :-(

  2. HolyGhost says:

    My immediate recollection of this puzzle was that it wasn’t that hard … but on reflection I now remember that – yes – it was pretty difficult to get going. (I put this down to starting the puzzle while on a narrow-boat on the Huddersfield Canal with no dictionary, but that probably wasn’t the problem.)

    Re 18d: I think that the correct wordplay is JOHN (=can) + S (=puzzles ultimately) + ON (=forward), with “numeric” simply having been removed.

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