Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1189: Banker by Lato

Posted by duncanshiell on August 17th, 2011


The preamble seemed quite complex on the first read through.  It stated “possible associations (not themselves in the grid) of eight unclued entries must be correctly paired.  Each pair is then completed by a simple cryptic interpretation of a ninth unclued entry (2 words) to give four individuals.  Associated entries are defined by extra single words in eight clues.  Hints to the identity of each individual are spelt out by extra single letters from wordplay in the remaining clues.  These
include two abbreviations.  Unchecked letters in thematic entries could read: TOM J, CLEM, MAX, DR M.”

My usual strategy when I fail to understand the preamble fully is just to start solving and see if the preamble comes clearer as I go along.  That was the case here.  I got a couple of the extra definitions fairly early on – flag and punishment – and a few of the extra letters in the wordplay dropped out also.  The first small step forward came when I associated ROGER with the unclued JOLLY to find an answer to the definition flag.  The next step forward was finding ANDREW FERRARA  in the dictionary and realising I had an answer for blade.  The major breakthrough was deducing the unclued DOLLY MIXTURE and seeing LLOYD as an anagram (mixture) of DOLLY.  Then ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER came to mind and from that point it was an iterative process deducing the associated words, the definitions and the extra letters in the wordplay, which in turn helped to solve the remaining clues.

In the end we had the following:

Extra definition Unclued Entry Associated word Phrase
punishment DRILL PACK PACKDRILL (a military punishment of marching about laden with full equipment)
retreat CAMP DAVID CAMP DAVID (country retreat for Presidents of the United States)
driver MARK WEBBER MARK WEBBER (Formula 1 driver with the Red Bull team)
carpenter CART WRIGHT CARTWRIGHT (a carpenter who makes carts)
award CROSS GEORGE GEORGE CROSS (an award for outstanding courage or heroism, established during World War II, given where a purely military honour is not appropriate)
blade FERRARA ANDREW ANDREW FERRARA (a make of sword-blade highly esteemed in Scotland from circa 1600)
flag JOLLY ROGER JOLLY ROGER (a black flag with white skull and crossbones, flown by pirate ships)


Using the LLOYD deduced above, the final step was to link the four individuals to the definitions formed from the extra letters in the wordplay.  This gave:

Definition Individual
Wartime PM DAVID LLOYD GEORGE (Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War I)
Trigger ROGER LLOYD PACK (actor who played Trigger in Only Fools and Horses, a UK sitcom that ran for many years and has itself been the theme of Inquisitor crosswords in the past)
Guggenheim NY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT (architect of the Guggenheim Museum in New York)
Cats ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER (wrote the music for the musical ‘Cats’)


The completed grid  is shown below.


















The unchecked letters in the unclued entries do indeed comprise TOM J, CLEM, MAX, DR M.

I think it would be possible to complete the grid without understanding all the elements of the puzzle, but the understanding certainly helps considerably.  For submission, solvers only needed to send in the completed grid without indicating the four individuals.

One of the entries in the puzzle was ETCHINGS at 31 across.  My most recent blog in the Independent was for the Saturday Prize Puzzle of 6th August.  That puzzle was compiled by Tyrus, a pseudonym of Jim Toal, who is also the Lato compiling this Inquisitor.  The clue in the Independent was different – Impressions of internet affairs about to split leading to C (about to) contained in (split) E-THINGS.  I suspect there are different lead times for Independent Prize Puzzles and Inquisitors, but it would be interesting to know how often compilers find themselves clueing the same word in a short space of time and whether they find it hard to get a previous clue out of their mind.

Once I got into this puzzle I enjoyed it more and more as the penny dropping moments followed one another.  

As an analyst rather than a creator I enjoy solving.  I don’t have the confidence to set, but find it interesting to try and work out how compilers of Inquisitors go about their work.  Presumably the phrase DOLLY MIXTURE and the number of people with LLOYD in their names provided the germ of the idea for this puzzle.  I guess that finding associations with the 8 non-LLOYD components of the names was fairly easy, although I don’t think ANDREW FERRARA and FRANKTENEMENT would have come to my mind at all!  It must have taken some time to edit the hints to the individuals into the number of clues available.  I note that the grid is 180° symmetric.  In some puzzles the complexities of the theme dictate that symmetry has go.  Not here obviously.  I wonder if the use of extra letters in the wordplay actually makes the compilers job easier as he/she can choose where to use the extra letter.

The surfaces of the clues all made reasonable sense to me.

The only aspect of the puzzle that escapes me is the significance of the title – BANKERS.  I suppose it could be a reference to LLOYDs banking group..

Blog number 100

No Clues Extra definition Wordplay Extra letter Entry
5 Will resist oxidation without question (7, 2 words)   WON’T RUST (will resist oxidisation) W ON TRUST ([accepted] without question)
10 Row with US prosecutor in order (6)   OAR (row) + DA (District Attorney; US prosecutor) + IN A ORDAIN (order)
11 Are running round pen as form of punishment exercise (7) punishment Anagram of (running)  ARE + O (round) + BIC (brand name for a ballpoint pen)   AEROBIC (form of exercise)
12 Welsh girl heading for some Middle Eastern country (4)   First letter (heading for) S of SOME + IRAN (Middle Eastern country) R SIAN (Welsh girl’s name)
13 Republican’s appropriate inclination (4)   R (republican) + TAKE (appropriate, as a verb) T RAKE (inclination)
14 Solitary cat beginning to eat a little (8)   LION (cat) + first letter (beginning) E of EAT + SOME (a little) I LONESOME (solitary)
15 Police bullet nearly hit men in ground (12, 3 words)   Anagram of (ground) BULLET excluding the last letter (nearly) T and HIT MEN IN M THIN BLUE LINE (police)
20 Stalks around Highlands – Easter recreation (5)   Anagram of (recreation) EASTER E STRAE (a Scottish [around Highlands] word for straw [stalks of corn])
22 Instrument (pianoforte) one starts to find easy (4)   PF (pianoforte) + I (one) + first letters of (starts to) FIND EASY P FIFE ([musical] instrument)
23 Scots retreat quietly floundering somewhat (4) retreat Hidden word in (somewhat) FLOUNDERING   LOUN (Scottish word for quietly)
24 Fellow tucked into extra fish (4)   F (fellow) contained in (tucked into) MORE (extra) M ORFE (golden-yellow semi-domesticated fish)
25 Driver not so concerned for camels (5) driver Anagram of (concerned) NOT SO   OONTS (camels)
31 Impressionist’s works (and others)  matter to society (8)   ETC (et cetera; and others) + THING (matter) + S (society) T ETCHINGS (impressionist’s works)
33 Stigmatise carpenter dropping new nail (4) carpenter BRAND (stigmatise) excluding (dropping) N (new)   BRAD (a small tapering nail with a side projection instead of a head)
34 Nothing distresses louts (4)   O (nothing) + IRKS (distresses) R OIKS (louts)
35 Calm intelligence of the people welcomed (7)   LAIC (of the laymen; of the people) contained in (welcomed) PATE (intelligence) I PLACATE (calm)
37 Big-hitter might ultimately crash out during series (6)   MIGHT excluding (out) the last letter H (ultimately) of CRASH contained in (during) SER (series) G SMITER (big-hitter)
38 Award a thousand to Eleanor – it signals the end (5) award K (thousand) + NELL (short familiar form of ELEANOR)   KNELL (something that signals the end of anything)




Extra definition  Wordplay Extra letter Entry
1 Honour witch who’s given up witchcraft (5)   OBE (Order of the British Empire; Honour) + HAG (witch) reversed (up) G OBEAH (witchcraft)
2 Earl in dispute with catty poet (6)   Anagram of (in dispute) EARL + KIN (catty, a Japanese and Chinese weight) E LARKIN (reference the English poet Philip Larkin, 1922 – 1985)
3 John’s jumper hanging on line (3)   L (line) + ROO (kangaroo; jumper) R LOO (lavatory; john [an informal use in America])
4 Raw recruits in yard spit on square (4)   Y (yard) + GOB (spit) + S (square) G YOBS (raw recruits)
6 Glasgow’s own northern Japanese people (4)   N (northern) + AINU (Japanese people) U NAIN (Scottish [Glasgow] word for ‘own’)
7 Unchanging newspaper rounds on Sun (8)   TIMES (newspaper) contains (rounds) LEGS (on; cricketing reference) G TIMELESS (unchanging)
8 Hitman, one working for association (5)   GUN (reference ‘hired gun'; hitman) + I (one) + ON (working) G UNION (association)
9 Pretended English food’s horrible (8)   SHAM (pretended) + E (English) + FUEL (food) E SHAMEFUL (horrible)
16 Scruff upset an author (4)   AN reversed (upset) + PEN (author) N NAPE (scruff [back of the neck])
17 Point blade at horseman’s heart – nasty (4) blade Anagram of (nasty) AT and the middle two letters SE (heart) of  HORSEMAN   EAST ([compass] point)
18 Get the better of colt aboard another horse – official (8, 2 words)   C (colt) contained in (aboard) an anagram of (another) HORSE + OFF (official) H SCORE OFF (get the better of)
19 Tried to raise issue – not a nice experience (8, 2 words)   HEARD (tried [in a court of law]) + EMIT (issue) reversed (raise) E HARD TIME (not a nice experience)
20 Suspicious – regularly monitor claims for back trouble (8)   Anagram of (suspicious) the 2nd, 4th and 6th characters (regularly) of MONITOR and CLAIMS I SCOLIOMA (abnormal curvature of the spine; back trouble)
21 Sport keeps marines in old city (4)   TOY ([amorous] sport) containing (keeps) RM ([Royal] Marine) M TROY (old city)
22 Lecturer in profitable accommodation (freehold) (4) freehold L (lecturer) contained in (in) FAT (profitable)   FLAT (accommodation)
26 Assistant Irish barman, local one, filling case (6)   UN (dialect [local] from of ‘one’) contained in (filling) CRATE (case) N CURATE (In Ireland, an assistant barman.  I expect many of us will look at the Church of England CURATE in a new light now)
27 Loutish Aussie snorted coke lines (5)   Anagram of (snorted) COKE and RY ([railway] lines) Y OCKER (an oafish uncultured Australian; loutish Aussie)
28 Independent Celts fighting for separate land (5)   I (independent) + anagram of (fighting) CELTS C ISLET (a piece of land surrounded by water; separate land)
29 Soldiers that shoot duck, and another animal (5)   RA (Royal Artillery; soldiers that shoot) + TEAL (any of several kinds of freshwater duck) A RATEL (an animal of the badger-like genus Mellivora)
30 Flag NW flower garden? (4) flag EDEN (reference the River [flower] Eden in Cumbria [NW England])   EDEN (reference Garden of Eden) double definition
32 Indian people getting train to work (4)   Anagram of (to work) TRAIN T NAIR (a people of Kerala, India)
36 Make out in prison (3)   SCAN (make out) S CAN (slang for prison) double definition

6 Responses to “Inquisitor 1189: Banker by Lato”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the great blog, Duncan, quite a tough and complex puzzle but got there in the end – I’d say you’re right about those Lloyds and bankers. Congrats on blog 100, I must count mine sometime, it’s a lot more than that, I think, as it happens…

    In the early days of 15 sq NeilW told me at one point I’d written more than anyone, including himself, but I’m sure I’ve been passed out now as the site has developed from those early days and my rota is very much lighter than in the past.

  2. Tramp says:

    Well done duncanshiell on 100 blogs and on a wonderful explanation of the puzzle.

    This was one of the best puzzles I’ve ever done. It kept me entertained for days. I’ve never tackled an Inquisitor before but loved this one.

    The breakthrough for me came when I saw that DOLLY MIXTURE fit in the grid and this could be a clue to LLOYD; this was surely the two-word hint mentioned in the preamble that could link the four individuals.

    I’m guessing, but I reckon DOLLY MIXTURE and the four people were the starting point for the puzzle but that’s only a small part of the ingenuity of the puzzle.

    Wonderful stuff.

  3. IanN14 says:

    I think the title is more specifically hinting at Lloyd’s Names.

  4. Lato says:

    Many thanks for the excellent blog, Duncan, and for the other comments.

    Wasn’t aware that ‘etchings’ was in both puzzles which were written several months apart.

    You’re quite right about the extra letter clues – they are generally easier to write.

  5. HolyGhost says:

    Rather a late comment, I know, but I’ve only just returned from a week’s holiday.

    Echoing Duncan, I must say that I found the preamble one of the more confusing of recent months – I think I was most put off by “Associated entries are defined by extra single words in eight clues.” That is simply not the case – it should be something like “Correct pairings are …”

    But an OK puzzle, of about average difficulty.

  6. HolyGhost says:

    Forget the “Correct pairings are …” above – it’s as bad as the original. (Cannot blame ‘jet-lag’ – the flight was only 4 hours.) More correctly, it should’ve read “Each unclued entry and its association …”

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