Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1187: Not Funny by Loda

Posted by kenmac on August 3rd, 2011


There are nine unclued entries. Eight of them represent eleven from a set and the ninth represents the last line of a quote formed by superfluous words in across clues. In the same way superfluous words from down clues lead to the work from which the quote is taken. From the superfluous words we have to take the second and fourth letter, in either order.

This was a fairly straightforward puzzle except that I caused myself a bit of grief by entering the wrong answer to 27a – I entered GRADE without fully justifying it – tsk, tsk.

The relevant letters of the across clues spelled THE TROUBLE WITH PRACTICAL JOKES IS THAT VERY OFTEN THEY GET (ELECTED). And the work is THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF WILL ROGERS. Thus the eight (or eleven) from the set are ELECTED presidents of The United States of America.

In chronological order of taking office they are:Inquisitor 1187 grid

John Adams 1797-1801
John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
Andrew Johnson 1865-1869
William Howard Taft 1909-1913
Woodrow Wilson 1913-1921
Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969
Richard Nixon 1969-1974
Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
George Bush 1989-1993
Bill Clinton 1993-2001
George W. Bush 2001-2009

I found some of the definitions to be a bit misleading, which I enjoyed 😉 but some of the wordplay included misleading punctuation and I wonder about its acceptablity. Eg 33a NUT – should be lower-case and 3d magpies and owls should be capitalized.

Still, an enjoyable puzzle and a lovely political comment!

Thanks Loda.

No. Entry Extra Word Letters Definition Wordplay
1 OCHLOCRAT SHUTTING TH A supporter of mob rule [s]CHOOL (head dismissed) (anag:
dismissed)+CRAT[e] (without finishing)
4 SNOW KEITH ET Charlie (=cocaine =snow) S(ucceeded)+NOW
6 ALLOY ARROWHEADS RO Bronze (eg) AL(uminium)+LOY (digger=spade)
8 GRATIS RUGBY UB Free RAG IT’S (anag: organised)
9 SISS WEALTHY LE Relation (in short) IS inside SS (bodyguards)
11 REEF BIGWIG’S WI Bank FREE (anag: supply)
12 AXIS ETCH TH Bone A[retfacts] (initially)+SIX
(rev: back to front)
13 INCEPT SPORT PR Begin (abandoned – ie obsolete) IN[s]PECT (sunless) (anag:
14 TROUT SCRATCHED AC Interfering old bag (=woman) R (take) in TOUT
15 LATENT JITTERS TI Concealed LATE (gone=dead)+NT (no trumps)
16 BORDER FANCIES CA Flower-bed BOARDER (lodger) (homonym:
17 ESCRIBE ELIJAH LJ Draw geometric design ASCRIBE (attribute) (leader
becomes A(ssociate))
19 REDCAPS BOOKED OK Military policemen RE (soldier)+SPACE (anag: out)
21 ABREAST PEASANTS ES Side by side A(cres)+BREAST (dug)
23 WAHOOS ASPIDISTRAS IS Ornamental shrubs A[ll]+O[nions] (tops)+SHOW
(anag: chop)
24 LANATE ITCHES TH Downy LANA (genipap wood)+TE (note)
27 ARDEB STRANGERS AT Measure BEDRA[ggled] (half of) (rev:
from the east)
28 LAMENT HEAVY VE Deplore MEN (pieces) inside LAT(rine)
29 BRAG GREY RY Boast B(lack)+RAG (theatre curtain)
30 URNS COFFEE OF Coffee makers RUNS (anag: off)
31 ERST GENTS’ TE At first Hmm… I’m sure I justified this
one but at the time of writing this blog, I can’t remember :-((Clue: [Gents’]
terms for the larger ladies? Just at first
32 AMUSED STANDPIPES NT Diverted MADE US (anag: sick)
33 ENROL CHIEF HE Record EN (=N=nut)+ROL[l]
34 ELSE EYEGLASSES YG Besides [mod]EL SE[lf-awareness] (hidden: some)
35 HORNSTONE OTHER ET Rock HORNS (instruments)+NOTE (anag:


No. Entry Extra Word Letters Definition Wordplay
1 OASIS THAT TH Device for flower-arranger [s]O A SIS[al] (hidden: secured)
2 LOSEL DECADENT EA Rascal LOSER (inept person) (R(ight)
changes to L(eft))
3 ARENAS SUITABLE UT Places to see owls or magpies so
to speak?Owls = Sheffield Wednesday, Magpies = Newcastle United, I believe.
N(ew) inside AREAS (pieces of
4 STARERS ABSOLVE OB Lorgnette (once) ARREST+S[windlers] (anag:
5 WASTRELS BOVINES’ IO Feeble animals SEL[l] (cut)+STRAW (anag:
7 YIPPEE AGGREGATE GR Whacko! PIPE (anag: burst) inside YE
(the (discarded=obsolete))
10 SCORER WARPED AP One composes S[ymphony]+CORE (company)+R(ule)
16 BEATABLE MYTHICAL HY Can be switched (just the
BEA (former fliers: British European Airways)+TABLE (picture)
18 IRONER LOOFAH OF One smoothes RON (chap) inside [k]IER (vat)
19 RENEGUE VIEWERS WI Welsh GREEn (anag: misguidedly)+EU
(rev: backing)
20 PALACE SLYLY LL Large public building A C(olt) inside PALE (enclosure)
22 STEREO ARBOURED RO This describes sound TREES (anag: aspen)+O[rchard]
25 AMENT EGRESS GE Catkin [test]AMENT (will)
26 ETTLE USER RS Intend (Scottish = Aberdour) [m]ETTLE (no taste of M[alt])


4 Responses to “Inquisitor 1187: Not Funny by Loda”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    The wordplay for 31a was the last one I tumbled to – it’s “terms” (i.e. last letters) of thE largeR ladieS jusT.

    Not a particularly stiff challenge. (No quibble from me about NUT, owls & magpies.) I did puzzle over the “8 from 11″ part of the rubric, and even noticed that some names belonged to more than one president, but I never put the two together. I was looking for some defining attribute, such as “led their country into war”, not just a set of presidential surnames that could be fitted symmetrically into a grid …

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Kenmac, for the very comprehensive blog with grid and all. Enjoyable puzzle from Loda, with the theme clear reasonably early as it did look like Presidents filling those white boxes which it’s v useful to have set out in the puzzle in the Indy Weekend. I did get the idea of the repeated names all right leading to the 11. Solving then led to the amusing quote which was new to me and very interesting to find out. Google gave the details via Wikipedia if I recall. You’re right about the Owls and Magpies teams. I think the lack of capitals in the clue is covered by inclusion of “so to speak” in the clue.

  3. kenmac says:

    Re: #1
    Thanks HG for the explanation of 31a – on reflection, I didn’t have it. 😉

    Re: #2
    Thanks NMS, I kinda did know the Magpies and Owls really, I just get grouchy about people making assumptions that everyone knows everything about football. Keeps me going, I suppose!

  4. hounddog says:

    I sort of knew the quote – I thought it was ‘political’ jokes which threw me for a brief moment until the penny dropped. It needed Google to remind me that it was Will Rogers, though.

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