Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1211: Anticipation by Nutmeg

Posted by kenmac on January 18th, 2012


We have to find two quotes (from the same source) around the perimeter and then, cryptically, three down clues will combine to deliver the first. The allusion has to be completed by filling the one blank cell. I searched and searched but couldn’t find a barred-off cell anywhere. :-( Every clue contains an extra word and the first letters of these spell out part of a third related quote. To help us complete the perimeter, Nutmeg has given us the phrase: MOTTO: I HIRE TEAHOUSE.

As alluded to above, I expected the one blank cell to have been barred off for us but on reflection, I’m glad it wasn’t as it added another dimension to the puzzle. Eagle-eyed solvers will have spotted that the lengths of 10d and 29a did not match the grid thus d10 (in my grid) is the cell in question. Incidentally, 10d was my favourite clue in the puzzle, it sent me searching for definitions of copper suggesting that, somehow, it changed state or some such thing!

The initial letters of extra words led to GOT A LITTLE LIST OF SOCIETY OFFENDERS. A quick BING search and I find that this is a line from a song, by Ko-Ko, from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. By now, enough letters were filled in on the perimeter that I was able to guess at SHARP and this led to SHORT SHARP SHOCK then it wasn’t long till I discovered the second quote TO LET THE PUNISHMENT FIT THE CRIME also from The Mikado. The last lines of the song, I Am So Proud, are as follows:

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison with a life-long lock
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block

And, if you want to hear it, click here.
So, now the final piece of the puzzle is solved, three down answers: 12, CHEAP AND, 6 CHIPPY, 10 CHOPPER and the CHOPPER sits on top of a completely black block in cell d10.

I found the clues to be tricky but fair with a lot of misdirection. It took me a while to get going with the SW corner giving way first and SE didn’t really fall until I had filled the perimeter.

Thanks Nutmeg, great puzzle but “sarcastic THANKS” for having me going round the house trying to sing “Cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block” for days, much to my family’s annoyance!!


No. Clue (definition) (extra-word) Initial
Entry Wordplay
8 Means of controlling stray gorillas essential
for great ape?
G REATA [g]REATA[pe] (hidden: essential for)
9 Girl‘s overwrought, placing unopened tub in oven O AGATHA [b]ATH (unopened) inside AGA (oven)
11 Decisive time for catholic theologians bound by agreement T TRUCIAL [c]RUCIAL (decisive) T(ime) replaces C(atholic)
13 In`Ayrshire academies they’re taken aboard lifts A HIGHERS (double def) Highers are Scottish equivalent of “A” levels – at last they were  when I took them!!
14 Unusually wise person (no Scotsman) living alone L SOLO SOLO[mon] (unusually wise person) minus MON (Scotsman)
15 Critical slap audibly delivered to idle nag I KEEP AT KEY (critical)+PAT (slap) (homonym: audibly delivered)
16 Feel sorry about  record tax included in payment T REPENT EP (record) inside RENT (payment)
17 Historically declare truce, for example, as conflict ends T SAYST SAY (for example)+[a]S+[conflic]T (ends)
18 Scots Lutheran mumbles ‘sorry’
after mass
L MOOPS M(ass)+OOPS (sorry)
21 Executive slip makes revolution possible E COUPON COUP (revolution)+ON (possible)
25 Corrupt lecher collected fine at court L INFECT FINE (anag: collected)+CT (court)
27 Navy abandons isolated industrial plant I ALOE ALO[n]E minus N(avy)
28 Fail to keep appointment with
Scottish comedian
S STAND-UP (double def)
29 Crook throwing off tail runs with greater comfort T COSIER C[r]OSIER (crook) minus R(uns)
30 Native American‘s expert opinion rejected by senate O SENECA SEN(ate)+ACE (rev: rejected)
31 See Asian bread as free food for Edmund F LOSEN LO (see)+SEN (money: bread)


No. Clue (definition) (extra-word) Initial letter Entry Wordplay
1 Leading Rhodesian sportsman sadly had bats withheld S SENIOR R[h]O[d]ESI[a]N (anag: sadly) minus HAD (anag: bats)
2 Bargain offer, goods outwardly sound? O HAGGLE GG (good x 2) inside HALE (sound)
3 Amongst rushes, note curious inflorescences C RACEMES ME (note) inside RACES (rushes)
4 He’s backing Irishman and not backing Italian I PATRON PAT (Irishman)+NOR (not) (rev: backing)
5 University cutting expenditure can’t stand high in Paris E HAUTE U(niversity) inside HATE (can’t stand)
6 Twenties’ drop-out supports college food outlet T CHIPPY C(ollege)+HIPPY (drop-out)
7 Antelope sending up a youthful bleat in Saskatchewan Y KAAMAS A+MAA (bleat) inside SK (Saskatchewan) rev: sending up
10 Element of change involving hard options for air transport O CHOPPER H(ard) inside COPPER (element, also change as in money)
12 Fellow full of energy and fun often has cheerful following F CHEAP AND E(nergy) inside CHAP (fellow)+AND
17 Uncle’s gutted – caught in black frock and liable to prosecution F SUEABLE U[ncl]E (gutted) inside SABLE (black)
19 Expenses exaggerated – not surprisingly, companies taken in E ONCOST COS (companies) inside NOT (anag: surprisingly)
20 Make up name for series after start of run N OFFSET OFF (start of run)+SET (series)
22 Unpopular princess almost finished ahead of duke D OUTRAN OUT (unpopular)+RAN[i] (princess, almost)
23 Getting on escalator, bear is heading down E OLDISH HOLD (bear)+IS (with heading (first letter) down at the bottom)
24 Good for nothing son renounces talents R NOUSES NO USE (good for nothing)+S(on)
26 Leading criminal caught, not serving time C CHIEF [t]HIEF (criminal) C(aught) replaces T(ime)

4 Responses to “Inquisitor 1211: Anticipation by Nutmeg”

  1. Hi of hihoba says:

    I found the clues difficult, particularly 12D where the answer is not in the dictionary – not a complaint, merely an observation! It therefore took ages to get to the stage of beginning to unravel the quotations. Once LITTLE LIST appeared, however, the advantage of playing in the orchestra pit for a week of performances of “The Mikado” started to pay off, and I finished it in quick time.
    Excellent blog to an excellent crossword, so thanks to Kenmac and Nutmeg.
    Final point – the title “ANTICIPATION” refers to “Awaiting the sensation of” a Short Sharp Shock.

  2. HolyGhost says:

    A notch tougher than the puzzles around the festive period – managed very few on the first pass.

    Unlike Ken, the SW was my last quadrant – first was NW and some of NE, enough to make the leap to SHORT SHARP SHOCK, followed by the rest of the perimeter before too long. And I too stalled a while on CHEAP AND at 12d (which then seemed a prime candidate for being part of the highlighting, together with CHOPPER and its trailing blank).

    So, thanks Nutmeg for a stiff workout, and of course Ken for the blog.

  3. RatkojaRiku says:

    My thanks go to Nutmeg for a quite exquisitely crafted puzzle, one which stretched me just enough for it to provide a thoroughly enjoyable challenge.

    I found the clues to be well worth solving in their own right, irrespective of their role in revealing the puzzle’s theme, which isn’t always the case with themed puzzles.

    I am not terribly familiar with The Mikado, and indeed did not know that the expression “short sharp shock” had been immortalised by it. Once I’d sorted out the perimeter, however, I was pretty sure that G & S would provide the source of the allusion to be highlighted in the grid and turned to Google with that it mind.

    Obvious though the blacking out of the one remaining cell now seems, I actually filled it with a letter “b”, to suggest the alliteration of “big, black block”, mirroring that of “cheap and chippy chopper”. So, Nutmeg, you had the last laugh on me this time!

    Incidentally, I too found that the NW corner fell into place last of all. And thanks to Hi of hihoba for the explanation of “anticipation”, which I hadn’t fathomed depsite having tracked down the full quotation.

    As for Nutmeg’s claim that her anagram of the perimeter’s unchecked letters would be “unhelpful”, I would maintain that the reference to the teahouse hints at Japan and might thus bring images of Mikados more readily to mind.

  4. Madwag says:

    I’m kicking myself for not buying this independent! As a long-time performer of G&S who has played Ko-Ko, Pooh-Bah and The Mikado (but not simultaneously) I’ve been waiting for a G&S theme to crop up. Rats!

    However, this is an excellent analysis of a clever puzzle, so many thanks for that. I have posted it to Savoynet, for all the other G&S nuts worldwide to admire.

    I’m bemused by the video link, though. Clearly the voice of Martyn Green (from the 1950’s) as Ko-Ko, but it doesn’t look like him…

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