Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1206 – Gallic Wisdom by Kruger

Posted by Hihoba on December 14th, 2011


I found this one – let’s not beat about the bush – very difficult. Without my laptop and Chambers on-line I would never have finished it! I have to say that the whole thing was scrupulously clued, fair and an excellent puzzle from Kruger, just hard.

My main source of difficulty was that there were three types of clue and, in some cases, no indication of which category any given clue belonged to. Twelve answers were to be “treated before entry” in some way. Some (no number given) answers contained a misprint in the definition, the corrected letters leading to the method of treatment for the twelve. The remainder were normal.

Nine clues had a length which did not match the grid length – some longer some shorter. This left three of the twelve where the modified form was the same length as the unmodified, making them indistinguishable from the other types of clue.

My first read through of the clues was not encouraging. One of my answers on the first read through was 13D, BARNET which immediately was a problem as it did not fit with LOESS at 20A.

I found that I had to stop work on the crossword at intervals and leave it for a while before coming back and finding a few more answers. Most was completed by Monday afternoon after several sessions on Saturday and Sunday.

I could not find the “Gallic Wisdom” connection for a long time, then as the misprints slowly emerged the word CHACUN appeared. I had, by this time linked 26A, PIPES with PLUMBER and 34A, ROOFING with TILER, so “Chacun à son goût”  seemed unlikely, and the word “MÉTIER” as a job or occupation sprang to mind. The French phrase emerged as “À CHACUN SON MÉTIER” and ten of the twelve “treatments” seemed relatively straightforward. The clue answers give rise to objects, subjects or occupations, the grid entry is the job whose responsibility they are.

The phrase FARCE WHEN CHAMP BROKE JAVELIN given in the rubric was necessary to check the spelling of 1D, JACKEROO (could be jackAroo) and gave me the grid entry for 17A, COOK, and it was only at this point that I was certain that this was the twelfth treated clue. It still took some time to solve it, simple though it seemed when I’d done it! 1A, JARVEY remained a mystery for some time, but eventually a solution presented itself, after I remembered sp for sine prole.

In the tables below I have tried to include as much of the clue wording as possible, rather than my normal brief explanations. Is this better or worse?

A completed grid can be found at the bottom. In it I have highlighted the twelve treated answers and indicated the unchecked and mutually cross-checking letters.

Thematically Treated answers:

 Clue  Answer  Grid  Definition  Wordplay
 1  TRANSPORT  JARVEY (Hackney-coachman)  Put to death (Shakespeare)  TORT (wrong) arrested (put inside?) R(ector) AN (one) SP (sine prole = without issue)
 5  LAW  TANADAR (Indian policeman)  Community rules  (F)LAW (break) not starting
 17  FARE  COOK  Price of ticket  Is FAIR (reasonable) we hear
 26  PIPES  PLUMBER  Tobacco fills  Portuguese wooden casks (double definition)
 34  ROOFING  TILER  Cover for top of house  Change [OF O-RING]*
 45  BEER  ALEWIFE (old meaning)  Pillowcase  B(l)E(d) unevenly on E(mergency) R(oom)
 1  SHEEP  JACKEROO (newcomer on Australian sheep-farm )  He follows  SWEEP(search) where H(usband) kicks out W(ife)
 13  BARNET (hairstyle)  TONSOR (barber)  A London borough  ARNE (composer) in outskirts of B(ren)T
 17  MEDICINE  CHEMIST  Drug  MEDICI (Florentine family)’s N(ew) to E(cstasy)
 24  MOTORS  MECHANIC  Moves fast  to include OR (sodiers) In MOTS (annual checks)
 31  BANKING  SHROFF (banker or moneychanger)  Elevation  of financial institution (double definition)
 38  MUSE  BARD  Silently consider  On reflection, finally solvE  SUM (arithmetic problem)


Misprinted Clues:

 Clue  Answer  Misprint  Definition  Wordplay
 14  INCHPIN  A (hurt to hart)  Food obtained from hart (sweetbreads)  INCH (part of foot) and PIN (leg)
 15  NAOS  C (well to cell)  Cell in temple  SON (disciple) returning without onset of A(ilment)
 21  RATIO  H (calf to half)  Half?  RIO(T) amusing person almost, eats skin of A(bjec)T
 23  DIATOM  A (Olga to alga)  Alga  AID (help) turned round + TOM (cat)
 32  SERAC  C (glazier to glacier)  What may be broken from glacier  CARES (worries) about
 35  SECT  U (colt to cult)  Cult  William (Shakespeare)’s cutting
 40  SEAL  N (chair to chain)  Chain (Chambers definition 4)  Edmund (Spenser)’s wicker (Chambers definition 5)
 43  SATISFY  S (nerve to serve)  Serve  SAY (for example) includes an unusual showing of [FIST]*
 46  DROMIC  O (Celts to colts)  Where colts may compete (a racecourse)  DIC(k) detective nearly retains ROM (memory)
 4  YAPP  N (bidding to binding)  Binding  (Dumm)Y finally + APP(roved)
 6  ARNOLD  M (fan to man)  Man(‘s name)  R(uns) into AN (one) + OLD (long-standing)
 9  RESTS  E (base to ease)  Is at ease  REST (part of armour) on front of S(uit)
 11  VIOLA  T (plans to plant)  Plant  VIOLA(te) (fail to observe) T(h)E heartlessly cut
 25  GUINEA  I (corn to coin)  Coin no longer seen  G(abon) + U (acceptable) IN E(ast) A(frica) at first
 27  BEE  E (parson to person)  Busy person  BEE(r) drink left unfinished
 42  RYE  R (grass for glass)  Grass  Port (double definition)


Normal Clues:

 Clue  Answer  Definition  Wordplay
 10  AVESTA  Holy scriptures for some  A VESTA (match)
 12  URALITE  Altered mineral  In UTE (truck) [RAIL]* transported
 16  KOALA  Antipodean native  OK (fine) overturned + A(ustralian) + L(ibrary) A(ssociation
 18  ANKH  It is symbolic of life  (hidden) in ArabiAN KHan
 20  LOESS  Deposit  LESS (a smaller amount) about O (nothing)
 29  OUIJAS  They could help us reach the other side  OUI + JA (Agreed for two Europeans) to join (lifeguard)S eventually
 37  DIRT  Rubbish  DIR(ector) starting to T(alk)
 39  OSAKA  Oriental city  [SOAK]* ham + A(cting)
 41  ORALITY  Tendency to use speech  non M(ale) (m)ORALITY (virtue)
 44  RAMULI  Little shoots  wild [(p)RIMULA]* has no P (soft)
 2  RENAL  Of organ (liver)  [LEARN]* playing
 3  ETHANOL  Alcohol  HAN (Chinese) in ETO(n) (public school mostly) + L(eft)
 5  TUI  Bird  (e)TUI – unopened box
 7  NAPOLI  City  NAP (steal) + refined [OIL]*
 8  DIAMETER  A chord (geometric)  MAID (spinster) retrospectively + [TREE]* struck
 19  KRU  Man from Liberia  To audience (sounds like) CREW
 22  TAILGATE  Style of playing jazz  TAIL (limited) to GATE (street)
 28  ESCOLAR  Fish  E(nergy) + SCAR (parrot-wrasse) swallows most of OL(d)
 30  ARIOSI  Pieces  The first couples (2 letters) to AR(range) IO(lanthe’s) SIgnature
 33  ALKYL  A radical  KY (Kentucky) in ALL (everyone) – contrarily everyone in Kentucky
 34  TESSA  No longer a means of saving  ASSET (something worth having) in retirement
 36  DATUM  It’s a fact  DA (father) has TUM (babyish stomach)

8 Responses to “Inquisitor 1206 – Gallic Wisdom by Kruger”

  1. John Lowe says:

    Thanks for this.

    I finished the grid and submitted it without ever managing to solve the clue for 1 across – the list of unchecked letters made JARVEY the necessary answer to be inserted.

    It was difficult, but satisfying to finish (or at least to fill in all the squares).

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, Hihoba, and Kruger. I entirely agree with you that this was a very hard puzzle indeed. Also that the clueing was top drawer and scrupulously fair. The breakthrough was seeing MECHANIC fit in the ‘motors’ one. The French phrase is in the foreign phrases section at the back of Chambers. I then was able to work out some of the ‘métiers’ from the answers I had but will have to admit I finished the puzzle using the phrase given in the preamble and did not actually solve every single clue so thanks for your explanations of those.

  3. Ron Williams says:

    Tough but very enjoyable.
    Gallic Wisdom had me looking for a “Norman” theme for a while!

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Quite tough, but not fearsomely so. (Some clues/answers/entries overstretched my vocabulary somewhat, esp. SHROFF, JARVEY, and a few others.) The dam broke when I tumbled to PLUMBER and CHEMIST, intersecting.

    I always find it a bit irritating when one can complete the grid perfectly without solving all the clues – as I did here with 2 or 3 of the specials. But I plugged away, and got there a mercifully short time later.

    But I like a challenge, so thank you Kruger for the puzzle (and Hihoba for the blog).
    (As to Hi’s “Is this better or worse?” – no better for me, but then I was satisfied with my answers anyway.)

  5. Hi of hihoba says:

    I do agree with HolyGhost that it is annoying when the grid can be completed and submitted without a full understanding of the puzzle. This is not too common, but also occurred in 1202, where understanding the final anagram (which was brilliant) was not essential. Perhaps this is something the editor could bear in mind?

  6. nmsindy says:

    While in an absolutely ideal world, every clue would have to be solved and understood to complete a puzzle, I think there will be exceptions such as this excellent puzzle. I doubt if I would have been able to solve it without that phrase being given, in view of the overall level of difficulty esp considering the clued answers were being completely replaced by another rather than by eg some manipulation of their letters.

    This device in a puzzle always gives (me anyway) welcome confirmation that the solution is correct. Also without it, some other way would have had to be found to deal with the JACKAROO/JACKEROO issue, remembering that the clue did not lead to that word.

    I’d also agree with HolyGhost that while it was hard, it was not fearsomely so as he puts it. Should he ever visit Killarney, the word JARVEY would no longer seem so strange.

  7. HolyGhost says:

    For some time, the Ring of Kerry circuit, mainly along the Kerry Way, has been on my list of long-distance paths in the British Isles that I’d like to tackle. Should I do so, I should clearly check out Killarney, nmsindy, and a JARVEY to boot.

  8. Kruger says:

    My thanks to Hihoba for an excellent blog and to those who have taken the trouble to comment.

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