Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1186 Crash-proof by Ploy

Posted by Hihoba on July 27th, 2011


After reading how disappointed Chalicea was that HolyGhost found her puzzle easy, I’m a bit hesitant about saying that this was one of my quicker Inquisitor solves. The clues seemed very straightforward, and the theme dropped out of the two letter choices pretty easily. Having said that, I found it an entertaining and nicely constructed puzzle.

The only problems lay in the rubric. Without going into detail it contained a logical inconsistency and a potential ambiguity, both of which could easily have been remedied. Being misled in the clues is fine, but not in the rubric!

Choosing one of letters 2 and 3 of the definition part of the clues gave SIXTY-FIVE MILLION YEARS AGO, CHICXULUB CRATER YUCATAN. Now that is the K-T boundary when the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred, so the word to be deleted was DINOSAURS and the agent of the distinction was an impact with an ASTEROID. DINOSAURS is found on the next to bottom row of the diagram, where elimination leaves real words: TON and A across and SLAE, SIENA, PURE, DEMONIC, RESIDE and CLOSET down.  ASTEROID is on the diagonal from square 2 to the bottom right. A completed diagram is at the bottom.

ASTEROID is 8 letters, so we only need find 7 more letters and MAMMALS are conveniently placed on the top row.


No. Answer Definition Letter Wordplay
2 IMAM Mosque officer S MIAMI minus I(ndia) reversed
5 MALSTICK Painter’s steady I TICK (credit) follows SLAM reversed
10 YLEM Fixed, by some, as elemental source X (X)YLEM (woody tissue)
11 YEASAYER Enthusiastic agreer T [EASY]* in YEAR (student group)
12 SIWASH Gypsy without a tent Y Hidden in Tutsi was happy
13 ASHCAN Refuse container F AS (so far) H(enry) CAN
15 SANTS Sikhism’s devout people I SANS (discarded Greek letters) round T(ime)
16 ECARTE Divertissement may feature this position (ballet) V [CREATE]*
17 ACCEPTER One saying yes E [PET CARE]* round C(anine)
19 NEWS Something not heard before M First letters of Noon Even We’re Sceptical
20 QUEUE Pigtail I QUE (what French) + U(nderman initially) +E(arl’s)
22 DESERT To leg it L [T(a)SERED]*
26 ERASER Deleting device L ERAS + E(nginee)R
29 MEALY Whitish I MEASLY (spotty) minus S(un)
30 EARS Projecting parts O E(uropean) A(cting) + R(ight) + S(ucceeded)
32 IMPOSTOR One pretending to be another N I(nternational) + T(enor) in [PROMOS]*
35 FAILLE Rayon fabric Y FA(M)ILLE
37 NISSE Benevolent character E Hidden reversed in blessings
38 LEARNT Gained skill A [(p)LANTER(s)]*
39 RIDDEN Worked up out of position R RID + [END]*
40 TONDINOS Insculpted circles S Hidden reversed (about) in mason I’d notified
41 URSA Bear A (o)U(t) unlimited + RSA
42 SERENADE Light composition G [EA(st) ENDERS]*
43 CERT Something inevitable O RE reversed (about revolutionary) in CT
1 LYSSA Nocuous disease C LASSA with A replaced by Y
2 ILIACUS Thigh muscle H I +  [(c)ALCIU(m)]* + S
3 AMATEUR Dilettante I AUR(a) (baseless mystique) round MATE (confounded)
4 MISSPEAK Vocalise incorrectly C = MISS PEAK
5 MY HAT Exclamation of disbelief X [(pol)YMATH]*
6 LASERS Sources of light U LAGERS with G(allons) changed to S(weden)
7 TACAN Electronic navigator L [(c)AN ACT]*
8 CENT Currrency unit U (as)CENT
9 KREESE My blade waves (= kris) B K(en) + REES (= Rhys, impetuous man) + E
13 AKEE Esculent fruit C Sounds like A QUAY
14 ARETA Virtuous female R ARET (award) + A(cademy)
18 DEMONIAC Party dominated by evil spirit A [MIDOCEAN]*
21 EERIE Strangely frightening T Sounds like EYRIE
23 RESIDUE Remainder E [S(l)IDE RU(l)E]*
24 CLOSEST Narrowest R LOSES (tanks) in CT (Connecticut – New England state)
25 DEFATS Maybe removes dripping Y DEF (excellent) + (co)ATS
27 SIENNA Burnt sometimes in colour U ANNE IS reversed
28 EMIT Declare C TIME “up”
31 SLADE Valley (a small one) A Scottish past tense of SLIDE
33 PURSE Steal old bungs once T [SUPER]* –  a bung is a purse
34 RENAY Earlier deny A RONAY with E(nergy) for O
36 ALOE Century plant N ALONE minus N(orway)

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1186 Crash-proof by Ploy”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    Yes – another one towards the easier end of the spectrum. That makes four in a row – does this mean that this coming weekend’s puzzle will be a stinker for me to blog? (I did get slightly delayed by 15a SANTS and 1d LYSSA, and also, for some reason, by the wordplay at 41a.)

    Hi(hoba) – I couldn’t see much wrong with the rubric. Was it “To complete the grid, solvers must remove the sufferers”?

  2. Hihoba says:

    No The first problem was the first sentence. “Either . . . provides a letter, one of which must be chosen.” You can’t choose one of a letter! Positions 2 & 3 provide two letters, one of which must be chosen!
    The other problem was the positioning of the (15 letters in all) I was unsure whether I was looking for ASTEROID + 15 letters of beneficiaries or ASTEROID + 7. The comma before “and” didn’t help, and it could so easily have been stated “15 letters must be highlighted in the grid, representing the singular cause of the event and some ultimate beneficiaries.” – No possible confusion now.
    Pedantic? Perhaps, but years of setting science exam papers have made me very wary of the potential misunderstanding of instructions!

  3. Sol Indovina says:

    Preferably, while you gain knowledge, can you mind updating your site with more information? It is very perfect for me.

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