Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1220: Rules for 27 by Raich

Posted by HolyGhost on March 21st, 2012


Answers to 16 clues have one letter removed (wherever it occurs) before entry; wordplay refers to the entry. The three unclued entries are of a kind with what these missing letters suggest. Ten cells are to be highlighted in the final grid.
If I were to stretch John H’s easy-to-hard ranking from 1-3 to a less coarse 1-5, I’d grade this a 2.

I started this in the wee small hours of Sunday morning, after the guests at my birthday dinner had left. I solved about 40% of the clues on a quick run-through, then went to bed. After a late breakfast I picked it up again, and made steady progress. I had STRIC from letters omitted from the across answers and I thought of STRICTLY and maybe BALLROOM, but that didn’t fit with the letters I already knew were omitted from the down answers. Then I got an A preceding STRIC, and then another one, so MAASTRICHT looked a better bet, and that meshed well with my guess of AMSTERDAM as the long unclued entry. So, cities in the Netherlands? No, because I could see LISBON coming from the down answers, and ROME and NICE as the other two unclued entries. And that implied that the “27″ in the title referred not to 27a (ENDS), but to the 27 member states of the EU.

Pretty much done, just agonising over whether AGE for “old” in the wordplay at 33a was good enough, and whether DIEU at 14a could be defined by “power”, but there were no other contenders for that. I looked on the diagonals for the ten cells to highlight – nothing doing, so I began looking across the rows, and there, in row 4 starting at column 3, I spotted EU TREATIES (coincidentally confirming DIEU).

A pleasant stroll – owing to the gentle clues. But all quite neat – a grid construction with answers mutilated so as to leave a message can’t be that easy. (And a nice split between MAASTRICHT from the across entries, and LISBON from the downs.) Thanks Raich – I have a very busy week ahead.

(A disappointing loss for Liverpool at Sunderland on Saturday, but Gerrard’s hat-trick against Everton was a perfect birthday present …
 … followed by a win last weekend against against Stoke in the FA Cup quarter-finals, setting up a rematch with Everton in the semis.)

No. Answer/Entry Omitted
4 ADA   ADA(m) (early man)
7 RAIL·AN M RAGLAN (coat) with I for G(ood)
12 ·REC·-NUT A TUNER (piano worker) rev. around C(ocaine) (drug)
13 MI·ALLY S MI (Military Intelligence) ALL (quite) Y (unknown)
14 DIEU   IE (that is) in DU(tch)
15 TIES   TIRE (become weary) − R(esistance) + S(train)
16 ISH   IS(land) H(ospital)
17 GOURME· T GE(orgia) around OU (Open University) RM (room)
21 AMO·INI R A(ccepted) MO(nth) IN (at home) I(taly)
22 RICY   RI (Rhode Island) C(learl)Y
23 MUMM   MU (Greek character) + MM (Messieurs, Frenchmen)
24 STER·LE I (mini)STER LE(ft-winger)
26 E’ER   E(mbrace) ER (the Queen)
27 ENDS   (K)E(n)N(e)D(y)S
29 FROE   FR(ench) + OE (Old English)
31 C·I KUNG H [KING CU(t)]*
32 EDIBLE   [B(asl)E DELI]*
33 ARBI·RAGEUR T BRA (supporter) rev. I(ndia) (ange)R + AGE (old) UR (city)
34 TENPIN   NIP (smart) + NET (clear) rev.
35 EMU   (doc)UME(ntary) rev.
No. Answer/Entry Omitted
1 CORD   CARD (king, say) with O (nothing) for A
2 PSE··ISMUS L PS (postscript, afterthought) [MISUSE]*
3 ECCE HOMO   EC (East Caribbean) CO(mpany) around [HOME]*
6 ALTRUISM   A(merican) LT (lieutenant) + IST (first) after RU (Rugby Union, game)
8 IRATE   (p)IRATE(d) (made illegal copies)
9 ABLE   B(ishop) in ALE (beer)
10 NAYSAYER   sounds like NEIGH-SAYER (horse)
18 ·RASSIERE B RAS (prince) IS rev. (h)ERE (in this place)
19 FIRE-R·BED O FIR (tree) E(astern) R(iver) BED (resting place)
25 USURP   U(nionist) S(it-in) + U(niversity) + RP (Regius Professor)
28 AGIN   A(ustralian) GIN (drink)
30 EERY   EE (eye, Scots, sight) + RY (railway)
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2 Responses to “Inquisitor 1220: Rules for 27 by Raich”

  1. Hi of hihoba says:

    I had a very similar experience. I had entered AMSTERDAM on the grounds of the two Ms and then found AA at the start of the omitted letters. I tried to find where I had gone wrong in these two clues, but then twigged Maastricht and remembered the significance of 27 and that was pretty much it. Nice one Raich.

  2. Raich says:

    Many thanks, HolyGhost, for the excellent blog and thanks, Hi, for the comment. Yes, I am pleased to say that the puzzle was well received, and, while it was relatively easy in Inquisitor terms, I think, no one said it was TOO easy. Yes, placing Maastricht and Lisbon separately in the across and down clues was intentional. Also, to be fair to the solver, in all the clues where letters had to be removed, the grid entry was at least six letters long – as is very clear from the blog in the format it is set out in.

    Raich cannot share the disappointment about the Liverpool defeat referred to in a match he attended on the very day the puzzle appeared. He was hoping also to upset the prospect of the Merseyside FA Cup Semi also referred to, but, that, alas, was not to be, esp disappointing after getting out of Goodison Park with a draw in the first match.

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