Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1223: Fools by Rasputin

Posted by kenmac on April 11th, 2012


There’s a misprint in the definition in all clues. In clue order, they spell out a two part instruction, which will help us to identify a “running joke.” Once the grid’s complete, we have to transform the rows into background noise, in a suitably repetitious manner. Finally, we’ll find several instances of one particular letter already in place.

The puzzle has a fairly straightforward rubric so, using the rule of thumb that says, “the easier the preamble the harder the puzzle”, I expected a rough ride.

This is Rasputin’s second Inquisitor outing. His previous was 1170, almost exactly a year ago and judging from the comments and the fact that I don’t remember it, I guess I didn’t finish. :-/

One or two of the misprints were fairly obvious but in general they were quite well obscured by clever word play.

The title, FOOLS, referred to the three unclued answers (a2:HARRY SECOMBE, g1:SPIKE MILLIGAN and m1:PETER SELLERS), collectively The Goons. The misprinted letters spelled out ERASE LIGHTS OTHER THAN UNCLUED AND R THEN FILL WITH RHUBARB.

Thus we had to erase the whole grid except the goons and some R’s (several instances of one particular letter) and write RHUBARB, RHUBARB, RHUBARB, etc. across the entire grid. According to Chambers, RHUBARB is a word muttered repeatedly to give the impression of indistinct background conversation and this device was, apparently, used (and abused) during recording of The Goon Show. It also means nonsense, which some may argue was The Goons’ major output.

Shown below are the original solution and the final solution (showing the original R’s). Nice one, Rasputin!


No. Clue Misprint Letter Entry Wordplay
1 Arrant individual spreading old rumour about me ARRANT->ERRANT E ROAMER ME inside ROAR (rumour: old word for OUTCRY)
6 Make chap take pity for poet in backward drinking place CHAP->CHAR R BREW UP REW (take pity) inside PUB (rev: backward)
10 On Spey, cause fish to run into bothy FISH->FASH A HURT R(un) inside HUT (bothy)
11 Threw up in SE Asian academy THREW->SHREW S TUPAIA UP inside TAI (SE Asian)+A(cademy)
13 Hitman essential to beat a maniac HITMAN->HETMAN E ATAMAN [be]AT A MAN[iac] (hidden: essential to)
14 Beast covered a rector in cream BEAST->LEAST L BAREST A+R(ector) inside BEST (cream)
15 Lane used by sportsmen parking behind fitness centre LANE->LINE I GYMP GYM (fitness centre)+P(arking)
16 Rotten akee top chopped, axed as well AXED->AGED G EKE [a]KEE (top chopped) (ang: chopped)
17 Maybe one taking mates to express disapproval with doubling of drug MATES->MATHS H TUTEE TUT (express disapproval) +E(cstasy) x 2
18 Discordant sort to hear, as it were HEAR->HEAT T ROST SORT (anag: discordant)
20 Limited garden next to French-style farm dwellings in US DWELLINGS->SWELLINGS S EDEMAS EDE[n] (garden, limited)+MAS (French farm)
22 Clive might produce this in capital (as they say locally) CLIVE->OLIVE O AROMA A ROMA (in Rome in Italian)
24 Bath has marks on section – use filler to remove these FILLER->FILTER T SPAMS SPA (bath)+M(arks)+S(ection)
26 Cycling round Arabian Gulf scorched by seat SEAT->HEAT H SEARED RED SEA (Arabian Gulf) cycled
28 In the highlands, he might seek dear girl with independent base DEAR->DEER E GILLIE GILL (girl)+I(ndependent)+E (base)
30 Railroad as chance finally to flee from impurity FLEE->FREE R ELUTE EL (railroad)+UT (as)+[chanc]E (finally)
33 Free substance that is sent back round spacecraft FREE->TREE T ELEMI LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) inside IE (that is) (rev: sent back)
35 Wits mouth second bit of joke before assembly WITS->WITH H ORALLY [j]O[ke] (second bit of)+RALLY (assembly)
38 Overdue returns end elsewhere END->AND A ETAL LATE (overdue) (rev: returns)
39 Watch braid become gaudy in the middle! BRAID->BRAND N OMEGA [bec]OME GA[udy] (hidden: in the middle)
40 Tweed‘s torn on left side evenly after start of Hogmanay TORN->TURN U HIE H[ogmany]+[s]I[d]E (evenly)
41 Dudes that shift dodgy gear DUDES->DUNES N AREG GEAR (anag: dodgy)
42 Sold dish device linked to computer with special content SOLD->COLD C MOUSSE S(pecial) inside MOUSE (computer device)
44 Odd to erode standing of adult priest in front of couple ODD->OLD L APPAIR A(dult)+P(riest)+PAIR (couple)
45 Style in way of working desk? He’s born with it DESK->DUSK U MELANO ELAN (style) inside MO (modus operandi) (way of working)
46 Many a vast fleet captured by America
VAST->VASE E URNS RN (fleet: Royal Navy) inside US (America)
47 Outside right wildly paces side of pitch PITCH->DITCH D ESCARP R(ight) inside PACES (anag: wildly)
48 In hindsight, golden pubs (as it were) shimmer SHIMMER->SHAMMER A SNIDER RED (golden)+INS (pubs) (rev: in hindsight)


No. Clue Misprint Letter Entry Wordplay
2 Dove better than rotten headless fish as starter DOVE->DONE N OUTGONE [p]OUT (fish) (headless)+GONE (rotten)
3 Complex unknown areas Will’s to bring up from head HEAD->DEAD D ARAYSE AREAS+Y (unknown) (anag: complex)
4 How surfers record ‘Match of the Day‘? MATCH->MARCH R ETAPE (perhaps E(lectronic) TAPE (record))
5 Editor supported leak with files FILES->TILES T RUNED RUN (leak)+ED(itor)
6 One side of Abba’s live disc DISC->DISH H BABE [ab]BA+BE (live)
7 Cunning art is advanced means of handling boasts BOASTS->BEASTS E RIATAS ART+IS+A(advanced) (anag: cunning)
8 Before closing of bar, drain pinta PINTA->PINNA N EAR EA (drain)+[ba]R
9 Cree joins, changing surname right away CREE->FREE F UNSEAM SU[r]NAME (right away) (anag: changing)
12 Second suit lacking one in hand HAND->HIND I RETRAL RETR[i]AL (second suit) (lacking one)
19 Biting mole MOLE->MOLL L TART (double definition)
21 Carbine butchered game CARBINE->CARLINE L MAGE GAME (anag: butchered)
23 Commode area contains places for shoes SHOES->SHOWS W ODEA [comm]ODE A[rea] (hidden: contains)
25 Private loan in emergency: initially this funds one in lowered position FUNDS->FINDS I PLIE P[rivate]+L[oan]+I[n]+E[mergency] (initially)
27 Taxi for one, heading off arrogance TAXI->TATI (Jacques Tati) T AUTEUR [h]AUTEUR (heading off)
29 Save vision of Wise Men entering in East SAVE->HAVE H IMAGINE MAGI (wise men) inside IN+E(ast)
31 Stretch part of New World ditty DITTY->DIRTY R LIMOUS (stretch) LIMO+US (new world)
32 We’ll delete series after long time WE’LL->HE’LL H ERASER ERA (long time)+SER(ies)
34 Glided past channel in two ways GLIDED->GUIDED U STEARD EA (channel) inside ST(reet)+R(oa)D (two ways)
36 Sends over the French solution shortly SENDS->BENDS B LEANS LE (the in French)+ANS(wer) (shortly)
37 Source of ten pro bono rises? TEN->TEA A YAPON NO PAY (pro bono) (rev: rises)
40 Believe brat’s losing his head BELIEVE->RELIEVE R HELP [w]HELP (brat) (loses head)
43 What’s essential to Scotsman’s rig? For him quite the opposite RIG->BIG B SMA [scot]SMA[n] (hidden: essential to)




8 Responses to “Inquisitor 1223: Fools by Rasputin”

  1. Ali says:

    I enjoyed this one a lot. An accessible theme and it’s always nice when you solve 1A on first read. I got held up slightly by the …AND R… part of the instructions, but all became clear once I’d checked all my answers and the rubric.

    Excellent blog as always, though I think you’re ‘his previous outing’ needs to be ‘their….’. This is a joint effort I think and at least one of the team is female.

  2. regalize says:

    I always enjoy Inquisitors and this one was no exception. I too was a bit flummoxed by ‘AND R’, was convinced for a while that I’d gone wrong with those particular clues.
    I do love setters with a silly sense of humour – this brought back happy memories of those old radio shows and this puzzle made me laugh.
    Thanks, Kenmac for the blog and Ra-ra to Rasputin.

  3. Chalicea says:

    Dear Kenmac,
    Your 22 across solution is delightful, but I think you are more likely to smell a CLOVE than an OLIVE.
    Great blog, thanks.

  4. Dave Hennings says:

    Nice blog, kenmac, and my comments are exactly as those from Ali & regalize. Regarding 22ac misprint, I’m not sure now whether I was in the Clove or Olive camp, but suspect it was the latter!

  5. Voulez-vous says:

    Really enjoyed this puzzle, so, many thanks go to “Rasputin”.

    Thanks, also, for the blog kenmac!

    I found it hard to complete the final step after working SO hard to get the answers. Tremendous fun.

  6. kenmac says:

    #3 Chalicea,

    I confess I never even thought of CLOVE. The Italian connection had me in no doubt that it was OLIVE.

    Is Italy renowned for its cloves? Do olives produce a significant aroma?

    These questions will keep me awake for … at least 5 minutes 😉

  7. HolyGhost says:

    Entertaining, enjoyable, and not too hard, not too easy.

    Unlike kenmac, I had CLOVE and it was OLIVE that never occured to me.
    And as Ali says at #1, Rasputin is a team of 3 (Chalicea herself, together with Ilver and Artix – FMM I believe).
    Whether or not that gives her greater authority over 22a, I leave to others.

    And I wonder if the other connection between RHUBARB and FOOL (a purée of fruit scalded or stewed, mixed with cream or custard and sugar) was intentional, or accidental …

  8. Artix says:

    Prdximity to April 1st and fruity connections were indeed both intentional – thanks for all of your generous comments and especially to KenMac for excellent initial solver’s blog….

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