Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1202 – Old Mates (Plus One) by Lato

Posted by Hihoba on November 16th, 2011


Another corker to go with the last six inquisitors. All really challenging and extremely enjoyable (always helped by the occasional win – 1199 in my case!)

A long and complex preamble told us to find six unclued answers linked to a group by various means. In 23 clues there were extra letters which described a “key character”. These could be anagrammed to give . . .  I stopped reading at this point and decided to solve some clues!

A first read through yielded few answers, and most were in the bottom right corner (as usual).

I plugged on until I had most of the diagram filled. My eye was drawn to the white squares on the diagonal from the top left to bottom right. If you included the green squares on this diagonal it read OF HENRY VIII. Now my knowledge of history is sketchy at best, but we all know he was a) responsible for the dissolution of the monasteries and the establishment of the C of E and b) he married six times –  Divorced Beheaded Died Divorced Beheaded Survived. There being no obvious link with religious matters, I concluded that the six wives were the issue here. So the six unclued answers were linked to Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. (A search of Wikipedia yielded the names and the sequence.)

Some were anagrams according to the preamble and A?G??? for the last one must be [ARAGON]* which is ANGORA. ?O?S?R? must be [SEYMOUR]* which is MOUSERY. I was a little concerned about DO?AR, but realised that Catherine HOWARD was beheaded, so [(H)OWARD]* is DOWAR and similarly [(B)OLEYN]* is ONELY. This left Parr and Cleves to be dealt with by definition. Cleve is a hillside, so by definition we get to HILLSIDES and parr are one year old SALMON.

It was, by now, pretty clear that the three words to be written below the grid, the precursors of OF HENRY VIII, (to be highlighted) must be THE SIX WIVES.

Pretty good so far, but more to come. The extra letters seemed to indicate IN HISTORY HIM WITH FIVE EXES, though that is 24 letters. Further examination revealed that it should be HIM WIV FIVE EXES (is “wiv” textspeak?). The single letter abbreviation for 26A is M(arried). So we were to anagram [IN HISTORY HI(M) WIV FIVE EXES]* which, would you believe, yields “THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII”

Amazing! Thanks to Lato for hours of fun. A pity that it would be possible to submit the crossword without solving the final splendid anagram, but think what you would have missed!

 Clue  Answer  Extra  Definition: Wordplay
 1  AGED  Grey: DEGA(s) rejected
 4  PAL  I  (me old) China: P +A(I)L
 6  COBBER  Bruce’s (Australian) buddy: C(l)OBBER
 11  MEMBRANE  Film: ME (Maine) + [BARMEN]*
 13  ERF  Plot: (S)ERF (slave haS finally lost)
 14  CAUL  11 is Membrane, as is a caul: sounds like call
 15  NIGHTCLUB  Hotspot: NIGH (not far off) + CL (150) in TUB (Bath)
 21  YOYO  N  Fool: YO(N) (that) + YO(u)
 22  CREEP  Geek: C(ollege)  + PEER (look) reversed
 24  NEUTRON  Particle: NON (not) round [TRUE]*
 25  COB  H  Horse: C(aught) + (H)OB (rustic)
 26  MARRIED  No definition: DRAM (tot) round EIR(e) (most of country) reversed
 28  ZOE  I  Girl: ZO (cross – the good old zho again) + (I)E
 30  ALLEL  Gene: ALL (whole) + E(vi)L
 32  YAUD  Old mare: DU(tch) + AY (always) reversed
 40  LAID  Bet: L(ynch’s first) + AID (help)
 41  ITA  S  Palm: hidden in mI(S)TAke
 42  LLEWELYN  T  Welshman: (T)ELL reversed + [NEWLY]*
 43  GET IT  You understand?: GETT(y) (rich man shortly) round I
 44  SYTHES  O  Times (for Edmund Spenser):[YES T(O)SH]*
 45  TEN  R  Number: (s)TE(R)N – S(on) drops off back – nice clue!
 46  RACE  Stock: R(ight) + ACE (one)
 1  ADEN  Y  Port: A(bout) + DEN(Y) (refuse)
 2  GORIER  H  More distasteful: [GROI(n)]* + (H)ER
 3  DACHA  Cottage: DA (lawyer) + CHA (tea)
 4  PRATE  I  Gossip: P(riest) + (I)RATE (angry)
 5  AMUCK  M  Out of control: (M)A + MUCK(er) (best friend – omitting ER, Charles’s mum)
 7  OBA  W  African chief: hidden in thrO(W)BAck
 8  BAMBOOZLE  I  Trick: BAMBOO (grass) + L(I)Z (Hurley) reversed (over) + E (drug)
 9  ENOW  Sufficient: (r)ENOW(n)
 10  RENT  Double definition – opening & payment
 12  ELLIE  Her: (w)ELLIE – boot minus W(ife)
 16  BUTEA  Tree genus: BUTE (Scottish island) + A
 17  BYRD  Composer: sounds like bird (prison sentence)
 18  MCCOY  a ‘real’ man (the real McCoy): MCC (Lord’s men) + OY (Scottish grandchild)
 19  LE BOURGET  French airport: GE (Georgia) in [TROUBLE]*
 20  TUI  V  NZ bird: T(V) (set) + (q)UI(t) essentially
 23  PASCH  F  Festival (Jewish): (F)P (former pupil = old boy) + A(merican) + SCH(ool)
 26  MUDS  I  Smears: MU (letter) + (I)DS (Ian Duncan-Smith)
 27  REF  V  Official: RE(V) (cleric) + F(emale)
 29  RALLY  E  Banter: R(E) (about) + ALLY (supporter)
 31  EMETIC  Medicine: CITE (refer to) + ME (note) all reversed
 33  PLANE  E  Smoother: P(E)LE (much admired Brazilian) + round AN (one)
 34  V-SIGN  X  Gesture: V (see) + SI(X) + G(entleme)N (empty)
 35  CIDER  Drink: CI(n)DER (refuse nameless)
 36  HALS  E  Painter: [L(E)ASH]*
 37  INLY  S  Poet’s thoroughly: IN (trendy) + (S)LY (foxy)
 38  SATE  Malaysian food (same as satay): [EATS]*
 39  REE  Double definition – female sandpiper & yard

The diagram was:

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 1202 – Old Mates (Plus One) by Lato”

  1. Tramp says:

    A wonderful puzzle. Excellent clues and I loved how the anagram of the extra letters spells out the theme. Apparently, the white squares in the grid was a printing mistake; it didn’t detract from the enjoyment though.

  2. kenmac says:

    Thanks Hi, great blog. Thanks for the explanation of 20d and 23d, I just didn’t get the extra letters there, though I knew that a V and an F were required somewhere between 9 and 23. I can’t remember the clue for 20d but I thought I managed to justify the T from SET, somehow. In 23d I had PA as “old boy.” :-(

    And 45a misled me for ages as I had it as (S)PIN+E, committing the number one sin of crosswords by entering the answer without full justification, tsk, tsk!

  3. HolyGhost says:

    Not quite so much trouble as 1200 & 1201, and the white squares on the diagonal made it easier.

    Similar to Ken, 20d and 23d were the last two I resolved, being helped by knowing to look for a V and an F.

    Some have suggested that “wiv” (as textspeak for “with”) originated from phones with predictive text, since “8tuv” are all on the same button on the keypad – not sure I buy this tho’ as there are far more words “wit…” than “wiv…”.

    Hihow do you get your Grid-nnnn.jpg to look so pretty? (Mine generally come out rather scruffy.)

  4. Lato says:

    Many thanks to Hihoba for a most gracious blog and to others for their comments.

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