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Inquisitor 1225: One Down by Schadenfreude

Posted by duncanshiell on April 25th, 2012

duncanshiell.

This puzzle had quite a long preamble, as follows: ‘Initially the filled grid will contain seven consecutive empty cells.  One letter must be removed from the answers to 20 clues and the residue used to form a word or proper nouns for grid entry, in seven cases without rearrangement.  The removed letters provide an instruction.  All entries in the final grid are real words or names or phrases, including a well-known brand name.  Those experiencing difficulty may be rescued by 21 down’.

It soon became clear that the length of entries indicated by the clue did not always match the number of cells available for the answer.  This helped identify clues that would have a letter removed from their answers before rearrangement as entries.  This logic generated 1, 12, 15, 16 22, 24, 28 and 38 across, together with 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 30 and 31 as answers to be thematically adjusted.  I had noticed a 2 cell mismatch between the answer length (4) and the available cells (6) at 42 across, so this has to be a different type of clue, but my brain didn’t kick in particularly effectively at that stage.  Lack of attention also suggested that 23, and 26 29, 33 and 35 down were in the thematic adjustment class, although I am sure everyone else noticed early on that the one cell difference between answer length and available space for these was in the wrong direction.

I was well into the solving process before I realised the errors in my logic at the lower end of the grid.  Solving RAI at 35 down and PERFECT at 23 down gave me the clue to where the seven consecutive empty cells were going to be.  Knowing that Schadenfreude is usually scrupulously symmetric in his puzzles, it was fairly easy to deduce where all seven cells would fall.  The symmetry also suggested that there might be seven cells in the  top row that could be significant.  By this stage I had enough letters in the top row to discern the potentilal for TITANIC.  I also had an inkling by this mpoint that CENTENARY was going to be the entry at 1 down.  From this point the identity of all the thematically adjusted answers became very clear and the solving progressed fairly quickly towards the completion of the initial grid.

The 20 clues that required adjustment were

Number Answer Letter Entry Rearrangement?
Across        
1 SCOOT S COOT No – 1
12 RETAILED I RELATED  
15 RUNDLE N LURED  
12 KRATERS K TERRAS  
22 SIT-UPS S TUPIS  
24 BAHREIN H RIBENA  
28 RIVIERA I RIVERA No – 2
38 CAPLIN P LINAC  
42 AITU I TAU  
43 SANA N ASA  
Down        
3 STOUR S TOUR No – 3
5 STEER E TRÉS  
6 ARRASED R AREADS  
7 RESENTED T NEEDERS  
9 CAULD D CAUL No – 4
30 HEIGHTS E THIGHS  
31 ARABIN B NAIRA  
33 SERRA R SERA No – 5
36 BEIN I BEN No – 6
37 DISS S DIS No – 7

 

The message spelled out SINK SHIP – INSERT DEBRIS

At this point the grid looked like this:

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Applying the first part of the message was fairly clear – TITANIC had to be moved to the space in the bottom row.  A little bit of thought and some inspection of possible new words at the top soon generated FLOTSAM (goods lost by shipwreck and found floating on the sea) as the word to be inserted in place of TITANIC in the top row.

The final grid looked like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A number of words were changed as a result of the sinking and strewage of the wreckage.  We had:

Number Original New
1a COOT COOF (fool)
7a NICELY SAMELY (unvaried)
42a TAU TAUTIT (adjectival form of taut is its sense to mat or tangle)
43a ASA CASA (house, mansion)
3d TOUR FOUR (cardinal number)
4d IOTAS LOTAS (brass or copper pots [India])
5d TRES ORES (mineral aggregates)
6d AREADS TREADS (steps, walks)
7d NEEDERS SEEDERS (plant that produces seeds)
8d ILLUSION ALLUSION (indirect reference)
9d CAUL MAUL (handle roughly)
35d RAI RAIT (expose to moisture, variant of RET)
23d PERFECT PERFECTI (a body of Catharists in the 12th and 13th centuries, living very strict lives)
26d GALLIO GALLIOT (small galley)
28d SOLER SOLERA (system of sherry production involving blending wines of various ages from a series of graded casks to achieve uniformity)
36d BEN BENN (reference Tony BENN, politician)
33d SERA SERAI (harem)
37d DIS DISC (any flat thin circular body or structure)

 

This was a very enjoyable puzzle which just got better as it went on.  As in all good puzzles, there was misdiection aplenty.  We expect it in the clues, but here we had the consequences of adjusted words and blanks overlapping.  We also Schadenfreude’s ability to generate two stages of a grid where all the entries were words even though 18 of them changed between the intermediate stage and the final stage.  I wonder how long Schadenfreude took to construct the grid.

I didn’t really use the fact that there were seven cases of adjusted words without rearrangement although I have noted the seven in the first table in the blog.

Schadenfreude seems to be keen on anniversaries – two of his previous three Inquisitor puzzles also focused on anniversaries.  Inquisitor 1198 dealt with the 25th anniversary of the Independent newspaper and Inquisitor 1207 was built around the 100th anniversary of Amundsen reaching the South Pole.

I don’t find Schadenfreude’s clues easy, but I always find them parsable once I have got the answer.  Sometimes the answer comes through the definition, sometimes through the wordplay.

There were a few words that were new to me, but there were also many that I have seen in barred crosswords before.  I struggle a bit with the spelling of BAHREIN at 24a but the E is required.

There were three clues in a row – 5, 6 and 7 down where the wordplay involved taking the last letter of a word, but to criticise is nitpicking on my part.  I couldn’t write a decent clue at all.

The title of the puzzle – ONE DOWN – was revealed as CENTENARY

Across
No Clue Wordplay Answer Letters Entry
1 Duck trapped by Angus perhaps to make a swift departure (5)

O (zero; duck [in cricket]) contained in (trapped by) SCOT (Angus is a Scottish name [of a man, or of a county/district])

SC (O) OT

SCOOT (make a swift departure)

S

COOT (short tailed waterfowl)
7 Illicit drug left in US city well (6)

(ICE [illicit drug] + L [left]) contained in (in) NY (New York; US city)

N (ICE L) Y

NICELY ([done with]great care and attention; well)

 

NICELY
11 Low river adjacent to former national park (6) EX (former) + MOO (low, as in cattle lowing) + R (river) EXMOOR (National Park in South West England)

 

EXMOOR
12 Dog in Jock’s yard is flogged (8)

TAIL (follow like a dog; dog) contained in (in) REED (Scottish [Jock] word for an enclosure, especially a partially-roofed walled yard)

RE (TAIL) ED

RETAILED (sold; flogged)

I

RELATED (connected)
14 Student note found in letter (5)

UT (a syllable representing the first note of the scale, now generally superseded by doh; [musical] note) contained in (found in) TEE (the letter T)

TUTEE (a person who is tutored; student)

 

TUTEE
15 No time to wheel round (6) TRUNDLE (to wheel) excluding (no) T (time) RUNDLE (a round)

N

LURED (enticed)
16 A striker, not one playing bowls (7) Anagram of (playing) A STRIKER excluding (not) I (one) KRATERS (large two handled bowl for mixing wine in)

K

TERRAS (earthy volcanic tuff used as a hydraulic cement; variant of TRASS)
17 A mostly muffled alto note is flatter (7) A + (DULL [muffled] excluding the last letter [mostly] L) + A (alto) + TE (a note of the tonic sol-fa) ADULATE (fawn upon or flatter)

 

ADULATE
18 River’s flow swamping southern part of US city (8, 2 words)

(EA’S [river's] + TIDE [flow]) containing (swamping) S (southern)

EAS T (S) IDE

EAST SIDE ( the side of Manhattan Island, New York which abuts the East River and faces Brooklyn and Queens; part of US city) .

 

EAST SIDE
22 Alcoholic drinks restricting the other exercises (6)

SUPS (alcoholic drinks [specific definition in Chambers]) containing (restricting) IT (sexual relations, also known as ‘the other’)

S (IT) UPS

SIT-UPS (exercises in which the head and torso are raised from a lying position while the legs remain still)

S

TUPIS (a group of South American peoples inhabiting the Atlantic coast and the Amazon basin)

24 American in Belize to control a sheikdom (7)

(A [American] contained in (in) BH [International Vehicle Registration for Belize]) + REIN (control)

B (A) H REIN

BAHREIN (Kingdom/Sheikhdom of BAHRAIN.  For this clue to work, the spelling of the result has to be BAHREIN rather than BAHRAIN.  The only reference I can find to a spelling with an E is by using  French or by looking at the title of a book cited by Wikipedia – The Bahrein Islands (750–1951): A Contribution to the Study of Power Politics in the Persian Gulf)

H

RIBENA (brand name for a blackcurrant drink)
25 High official almost wasting away in German company (6)

(TABES [latin for wasting away] excluding the final letter [almost] S) contained in (in) AG (Aktiengesellschaft; German for a joint stock company)

A (TABE) G

ATABEG (Turkish ruler or high official)

 

ATABEG
27 More bitter certainly keeps Oscar ultimately happier (6)

(SURE [certainly] containing [keeps] O [Oscar in international radiocommunication]) + R (final letter of [ultimately] HAPPIER)

S (O) URE R

SOURER (more bitter)

 

SOURER
28 Island in flowing water by a warm coastal district (7)

(I [island] contained in [in] RIVER [flowing water]) + A

RIV (I) ER A

RIVIERA (warm coastal district)

I

RIVERA (reference Mexican painter Diego RIVERA [1886-1957])
29 Cheerful John succeeded for Germany (5) DUNNY (lavatory; John) with S (succeeded) replacing (for) D (International Vehicle Registration for Deutschland; Germany) SUNNY (cheerful)

 

SUNNY
32 Legislative body has a bloke out of Spain in trouble (8, 2 words) Anagram of (in trouble) HAS A BLOKE excluding (out of) E (Espana; International Vehicle Registration for Spain) LOK SABHA (the lower house of the Indian Parliament; legislative body)

 

LOK SABHA
34 Somewhere to study arranged in nunnery (7)

ARR (arranged) contained in (in) CELL (small monastery or nunnery dependent on another)

C (ARR) ELL

CARRELL (desk or alcove in a library for private study)

 

CARRELL
36 Accommodation I’d best rent (6) Anagram of (rent, as the past tense of rend) I’D BEST BEDSIT (combined bedroom and sitting room; accommodation)

 

BEDSIT
38 Fish apparently seen in cloudy pool (6)

AP (apparently) contained in (seen in) (C [cloudy] + LIN [variant spelling of LINN; pool])

C (AP) LIN

CAPLIN (small fish of the smelt family,

P

LINAC (a linear accelerator)
39 Spooky enchanted land with no entrance (5) FÉERIE (fairyland; enchanted land) excluding the first letter (with no entrance) F EERIE (spooky)

 

EERIE
40 Fifth columnist trick seen by ordinary Republican (7) TRAIT (a ‘trick’ is a characteristic mannersism, habit or trait) + O (ordinary) + R (Republican) TRAITOR

 

TRAITOR
41 Hand shaking dropping golf shot (6) Anagram of (shot) SHAKING excluding (dropping) G (golf in international radio communications) NASKHI (Arabic cursive handwriting; hand)

 

NASKHI
42 Demi-god to stay out of bed expectantly (stripped) (4) WAIT UP (stay out of bed expectantly) excluding the first and last letters (stripped) W and P AITU (Polynesian demi-god)

I

TAU (nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet)
43 Hospital informally accepted capital (4) SAN (sanitorium; informal word for hospital in the past) + A (accepted)

SANA (Capital of the Republic of Yemen.  The spelling SANA also cropped up in Inquisitor 1209: The Calm before the Storm by Samuel  which I also blogged.  John Lowe, one of the commenters on that puzzle informed us that a trawl through his collection of old atlases yielded the fact that SANA or SANA’ is an old spelling of the current usage, SANA’A.)

N

ASA (Hebrew christian name; also Advertising Standards Authority)
Down      

 

 
No. Clue Wordplay Answer Letter Entry
1 Unclued       CENTENARY (the weekend the puzzle was published was the centenary of the sinking of the White Star Liner RMS TITANIC)
2 Elaborate hoax takes in English duke (an idiot) (6)

(Anagram of [elaborate] HOAX containing [takes in] E [English]) + D (duke)

OXH (E) A* D

OXHEAD (blockhead;idiot)

 

OXHEAD
3 Formidable old battle (5) STOUR (obsolete [old] word for formidable) STOUR (battle)

S

TOUR (prolonged journey)
4 Tiny amounts in vases lacking depth (5) DIOTAS (ancient two-handled vases) excluding (lacking) D (depth) IOTAS (tiny amounts)

 

IOTAS
5 Commotion in Glasgow has finally spread (5) S (last letter of [finally] HAS) + TEER (spread) STEER (Scottish [Glasgow] form of stir [commotion])

E

TRÈS (very)
6 A chair’s back slashed, covered in tapestry (7) A + R (last letter of [back] CHAIR) + RASED (variant spelling of RAZED [slashed]) ARRASED (covered with rich tapestry)

R

AREADS (declares)
7 Did grudge about nurse end in violent education? (8) RE (about) + SEN (State Enrolled Nurse) + T (last letter of [end in] VIOLENT) + ED (education) RESENTED (received badly; did grudge)

T

NEEDERS (those who lack things they cannot do without)
8 Fancy restaurant scrubbed from picture (8) ILLUSTRATION (picture) excluding (scrubbed from) TRAT (trattoria; Italian restaurant) ILLUSION (false perception; fancy)

 

ILLUSION
9 Indifferent Scottish university lecturer taken in b y scoundrel (5)

(U [university] + L [lecturer]) contained in (taken in by) CAD (scoundrel)

CA (U L) D

CAULD (Scottish word for cold [indifferent])

D

CAUL (net or covering for the head)
10 Tiny local square courts (5) LEET (dialect [local] word for little [tiny]) + S (square)

LEETS (court-leets [courts of record held in a manor before the lord or his steward.])

 

LEETS
13 Attempt to conceal scratch in this decorative work (7)

TRY (attempt) containing (to conceal) RACE (scratch [fifth meaning in Chambers])

T (RACE) RY

TRACERY (decorative work)

 

TRACERY
19 Swelling on Virginia’s bottom rising (5) (RE [with reference to; on] + BUT [American {Virginia} term for bottom]) all reversed (rising; down clue) TUBER (swelling)

 

TUBER
20 Muscle on a Spanish family head (5) AB (abdominal muscle) + UNA (Spanish for one; a Spanish) ABUNA (Ethopian patriarch; family head)

 

ABUNA
21 See preamble    

 

CARPATHIA (RMS CARPATHIA was a Cunard Liner that rescued many of the survivors from the sinking of RMS TITANIC.  RMS CARPATHIA was itself sunk in the Atlantic in 1918, being torpedoed by a U-Boat)
22 Restaurant not available in the wake of Iain’s rave (7) TAVER (Scottish [Iain] word for ‘rave’) + NA (not available) TAVERNA ([Greek] restaurant)

 

TAVERNA
23 Flawless Roman commander with his engineers retreating (7) PREFECT (a Roman commander) with RE (Royal Engineers; engineers) reversed (retreating) PERFECT (flawless)

 

PERFECT
26 Soldier’s holding everything over: he normally avoids responsibility (6) GI ([American] soldier) containing (holding) ALL (everything) + O (over [in cricket scoring])

GALLIO (a person who keeps himself or herself free from trouble and responsibility.

 

GALLIO
29 Attic king without wife on top (5) SOLE ([in legal terminaology] without [husband] or wife) + R (Rex; king)

SOLER (upper room; attic)

 

SOLER
30 Limits of crew in high school (7)

EIGHT (a set of eight things or persons; e.g. a crew in the Oxford and Cambridge boat race) contained in (in) HS (high school)

H (EIGHT) S

HEIGHTS (limits [in Chanbers Thesaurus])

E

THIGHS (part of the leg from the knee to the hip)
31 Extract of gum harvest in Angola (6)

RABI (spring grain harvest in India and Pakistan) contained in (in) AN (International Vehicle Registration for Angola)

A (RABI) N

ARABIN (the essential principle of gum arabic; extract of gum)

B

NAIRA (currency of Nigeria)
33 Sons across river are climbing mountains (5) S (sons) + (ARE containing [across] R [river]) SERRA (mountain range; mountains)

R

SERA (watery liquids)
35 Artist introducing current popular music (3)

RA (Royal Academician) + I (symbol for electric current)

RAI (a modern, N African form of popular music)

 

RAI
36 MacDonald’s comfortable existence? Not quite (4) BEING (existence) excluding the final letter (not quite) G BEIN (Scottish [MacDonald] word for ‘comfortable’)

I

BEN (mountain peak)
37 Grass is arrested by plainclothes copper (4)

IS contained in (arrested by) DS (Detective Superintendent; plainclothes policeman[copper])

D (IS) S

DISS (Algerian reedy grass)

S

DIS (Pluto, the infernal world)

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 1225: One Down by Schadenfreude”

  1. Speo says:

    Thanks to duncanshiell for the excellent blog and Schadenfreude for the Titanically challenging Inquisitor.
    I had to delve slightly deeper to solve ARABIN @ 31d as although I sourced chambers for rabi as being the
    ‘harvest’ part of the clue; Wikipedia gave the International Vehicle Registration as ANG [also mentioning
    that it was an unofficial registration].
    However further research on the kingkong homepage, [the anorak zone], lists AN as the correct registration for Angola since c1928. Clue solved!
    Many thanks to all, a really enjoyable Inquisitor to solve.

  2. Hi of hihoba says:

    I tumbled across the theme very early, having CE??E??R? for 1D relatively early on, and having been bombarded by Titanic-related items on the radio and television for weeks. Completion was another matter! Having tentatively entered READERS instead of NEEDERS at 7D didn’t help. However the greatest difficulty was on the bottom row for me, where it took me ages to realise that AITU and SANA (which I had originally entered in full) had to be abbreviated, and the IN formed part of INSERT (I was expecting SORT!). A superb puzzle from Schadenfreude. Hard but fair!
    I should mention that Ho had solved a very similarly themed puzzle from the Crossword Club magazine (by Curmudgeon?) involving both flotsam and Titanic. Did anyone else have this experience?

  3. kenmac says:

    Another great puzzle from Schadenfreude. I just love it when the final grid consists of real words. To me it shows up other compilers who leave us with a grid full of nonsense (Rasputin’s RHUBARB excepted: http://fifteensquared.net/2012/04/11/inquisitor-1223-fools-by-rasputin/.)
    Like Hi (and Ho and Ba and probably the entire population) I had more than my fill of that damned ship but this puzzle was a welcome relief. My PDM came when a tentative search for 21d gave me KARNATAKA. My synapses then sprang to life and suggested CARPATHIA. 1d wanted to be YESTERDAY for some time and that threw me for a while but it finally succumbed to pressure.
    Great blog, Duncan.

  4. HolyGhost says:

    Doh! What an idiot. Having completed the initial grid-fill, I sunk the ship, but was then distracted, and failed to return to the puzzle to insert the debris. How stupid do I feel.

    Ah well, I never send them in anyway.

  5. Lansdowne says:

    Duncan says “Schadenfreude seems to be keen on anniversaries – two of his previous three Inquisitor puzzles also focused on anniversaries.” Surely the point is that few other Inquisitors relate to anniversaries, or otherwise relate to the date they are published. The Saturday crosswords before being labelled Inquisitor would routinely be based on the date, a distinctive feature that was lost in the rebranding.

    The fact that one could identify the clues where the length differed from the grid space makes this a fair puzzle. Too often we see the dread words “numbers in brackets indicate the length as entered” and occasionally those words are true but missing.

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