Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1188: Firsts by Schadenfreude

Posted by HolyGhost on August 10th, 2011


I have to say, this was a masterful offering from Schadenfreude, an old friend of the Inquisitor, and invariably ‘firm but fair’ – this was no exception.
The puzzle concerns two people and two significant “things”. Two entries are unclued (one of the people and one of the “things”); the other person and the other “thing” have to be highlighted in the completed grid. Seventeen clues have a misprint in the definition, correct letters spelling a thematic name.

Having solved a few across clues, I noticed that 20a had only 5 cells for a 9-letter entry; then 22a had 6 cells for 9 letters. Hmm. But 22a was soon sorted as ZERO-RATED to be entered as 0RATED; revisiting 20a gave me THREEPEAT to be entered as 3PEAT. What I already had led me to guess the unclued 1d as BORN 30 JULY yy, but with later answers this was quickly revised to simply BORN 30TH JULY. (Steadfastly resist any temptation to resort to Google – that would only spoil the fun.) Onto the downs: all the answers that intersected the unclued 5a were one letter short, and, since I already had VAMOSE at 13a, these had to be entered starting in the second row.

I can no longer remember which clues held me up – at some point in the process of writing this blog my laptop produced the alarming message “Catastrophic hardware failure imminent. Immediately back-up your data and replace the hard drive.” … it died before I could. Anyway, I’m now back in business over a week later with a shiny new PC.

The thematic name emerged as CATHERINE EARNSHAW, but I have to admit that I have a hole where some others have knowledge of English literature pre-1900. (Instead I favour Russian, French, and to a lesser extent German, Italian, Spanish.) Google takes me fairly directly to Wuthering Heights, and it’s straight back to the puzzle … KATE BUSH fits for 5a, making new words for 6d, 7d, 8d, 9d, and 10d; WUTHERING HEIGHTS can be found in the grid, symmetrically disposed in rows 3 and 10, and we see EMILY BRONTE descending from the E of KATE BUSH in column 9.

A quick check: Emily Brontë and Kate Bush were indeed both born on 30 July; Wuthering Heights was the former’s first (and only) published novel, and not only the latter’s first single, but also the first single written and performed by a woman to top the British charts (ref. Chambers Biographical Dictionary). All very pleasing and elegant – our thanks go to Schadenfreude.

No. Answer Corrected
1 BONNY comely BON (=good, French) + N(ew) + Y(ear)
5 KATE BUSH Unclued
11 ONE-MAN … single male ON (=forward) + NAME (=clan) rev.
13 VAMOSE scat VASE (=ornamental vessel) around MO(re)
15 RAW hard R (=regina, queen) + A + W(elsh)
17 INGLE fire SINGLE (=small) – S(on)
18 TEASEL … to roughen … [A(bout) + STEEL]*
THREEP (=dispute, Scot) + A(mateur) after E(xtra) + T(ime)
21 SYRIAC CAYS (=isles) around IR(=ish) rev.
Z(ulu) + ER (=queen) + ORATES (=delivers a speech)
23 AMBS-ACE A + MB’S (=doctor’s) + ACE (=outstanding)
25 LECANORAS A(re) + NO (=not) in [CLEAR]* + S(un)
28 HEATERS fires … EAT (=worry) + ER (=Elizabeth) in HS (=high school)
31 RORTER conman [ERROR]* around T (=the, northern)
32 JONSON pen J(ack) + [SOON]* + N(ew)
{pen = author}
35 NIECE NIE (=near, obs.) + CE (=church)
36 EIGHTS crews HEIGHTS (=hills) – H(ead)
38 LABIA labra LA (=Los Angeles, US city) around A + BI(sexual)
40 AUK roch AU (=gold, precious metal) + K(irkpatrick)
41 SARNIE snack R(ule) in SAN (=sanatorium, hospital) + IE (=that is)
42 CENTRE resort RECENT (=up-to-the-minute) with letters moved cyclically
43 PARTNERS R (=recipe, take) in [PARENTS]*
44 SPAER he can predict PA (=old man) in SER(mon)
No. Answer Corrected
1 BORN 30TH JULY Unclued
2 ON APPRO O(ld) + N(ationalist) + AP(parently) + PRO (=in favour of)
3 NEW ZEALAND NEW (=fresh) + ZEAL (=enthusiasm) + (l)AND (=secure)
4 YATE Y(ard) + AT + (som)E
6 _VESTA VEST (=settle) + A
7 _ARES (b)ARE (=naked) + S(un)
8 _MI MIMI (=operatic heroine) = answer repeated
9 _ONERS ONEROUS (=oppressive) – OU (=man, S African)
{iron man = pound note}
10 _ELLA CELLA (=temple’s inner chamber) – C (=circa, about)
12 MUTATE UT (=note) in MATE (=assistant)
16 HASSAR HAS (=gets the better of) + SAR (=sea bream)
19 DIASTEMATA [TASTE AMID]* + A(nterior)
24 MORPHO MORPH (=variant form) + O(range)
26 ARISEN A + SIR (=gentleman) rev. + EN (=nurse)
27 LECTURE LEE (=Peggy perhaps) around [CURT]*
{Peggy Lee: American singer, songwriter, actor}</
29 T-SHIRT T(ime) + SHIR (=to make gathers in) + T(orn)
30 SAGGER S(pecial) + GER (=tent) around AG (=silver)
33 OMASA ALAMO (=mission) rev. with S (=seventy) for L (=fifty)
{bible = third stomach of a ruminant = omasum}
34 NIXIE NIX (=nothing) + IE (=that is)
37 TEES balls are … TEES (=letters)
39 ANN … a woman ANN (=stipend)


3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1188: Firsts by Schadenfreude”

  1. Geoff Dennis says:

    I enjoyed the puzzle a lot and I finished it but I have one small question: what was the setter up to in the top right corner? Why not just clue the one letter longer answers, AVESTA, EMI etc? Would that have made it too easy?

  2. Scarpia says:

    Thanks HolyGhost and congratulations on finishing.
    I got so far with it and got put off by the letter counts(especially in the top right hand corner).
    I had ALIGHT for 6 down,which fitted the wordplay,definition and letter count(but not the crossing entries).

    Should have got the theme as 30th July is my birthday,perhaps the lunchtime drinks dulled my brain!

  3. Hi of hihoba says:

    I agree with you, a super crossword. Like HG I found the “incorrect” word lengths my lead in to the theme. A strange birthday coincidence too. (Or is it, perhaps KB wrote the song as she knew she shared EB’s birthday!)
    One extra point, worth a mention as we often get comments about it; when KATE BUSH was added in the yellow squares all the remaining entries were still real words!
    I have some sympathy for Geoff Dennis’s point above, but I would say that the clue numbers could have been reallocated and the “real words” point added as and aid to filling in the unclued squares.

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