Never knowingly undersolved.


Posted by Hihoba on May 2nd, 2012


A relatively straightforward offering by Samuel, whose last puzzle in this series was on Christmas Eve 2011.

Five characters filled five of the eight unclued entries. The sixth character was to have a “titular form” entered in the central square. In 17 clues an extra letter was given by the wordplay which yielded two other names for this character. The other three entries referred to “subsequent titular connections”. The author was to be found in the grid.

I don’t keep a count of the number of clues solved on a first reading, but after my first run the grid was distressingly under-populated. Working steadily, more and more answers appeared, though the extra letters did not make much sense, and indeed I would never have got them all without having discovered the work in question first.

Eventually I found ANTHEA (or Althea), CARPET and PHOENIX in the unclued entries, and resorted to Google, having failed to connect phoenix and carpet. Google instantly found me a wikipedia entry for “The Phoenix and the Carpet” by E(dith) Nesbit (7 or 11 letters). This represented a good lead but also a problem because the author had to be found in ten highlighted squares in the final diagram. Ignoring this for the moment, reading the article I found ROBERT, JANE, CYRIL and THE LAMB to add to Anthea as my five characters. The book is part of a trilogy, starting with “Five Children and It” and ending with “The Story of the Amulet”. AMULET was the eighth unclued entry. So PHOENIX, CARPET and AMULET represented the three ”subsequent titular connections”.

Moving to the article on Five Children and It I found that the main protagonist was PSAMMEAD the SAND-FAIRY also known as IT (the sixth character’s “titular form” of the rubric). So IT was to be entered in the vacant central cell, and this also yielded ED[IT]H NES+BIT in the shape of the letters I and T in the grid. 11 letters in the space of 10, very neat!

Some nice clues from Samuel requiring dictionary searches and quite a bit of head scratching about the location of the extra letters. Not too difficult if you spotted the theme, though I found that  solving the top left corner depended on having filled in the unclued squares first.

Another very enjoyable puzzle in the series and yet another piece of knowledge gained!












Extra letter clues:

 No.  Clue  Grid   Extra   Definition: wordplay 
 11  Deal successfully with 2012 bigwig  COE  P  2012 bigwig (Seb Coe 2012 Olympic supremo): CO[P]E (deal successfully with)
 14  Obsolete publication actions promoting disorder  EDITION  S  Obsolete publication: [S]EDITION is actions promoting disorder
 20  Almost trap director during wait for Cape Town magistrate’s office  DROSTDY  A  Cape Town magistrate’s office: DRO(p) (almost executioner’s trap(-door)) + D(irector) in ST[A]Y (wait)
 26  Face former lover’s climax  APEX  M  Climax: [M]AP (face) + EX
 31  Drunkard captured by ruler initially yielded rare doctrine  ESOTERY  M  Rare doctrine: SOT in [M]EER (ruler) + Y(ielded)
 33  Parking by base in Sydney, abandon sailor for vehicle  PEDICAB  E  Vehicle: P(arking) + E (mathematical base) + DIC[E] (Australian  for abandon) + AB (sailor)
 35  Mate uncovered gold cross  TAU  A  Cross: (m)[A]T(e) (mate uncovered) + AU (gold)
 36  India destroy eastern compound  INDENE  D  Compound: IND(ia) + EN[D] (destroy) + E(astern)
 1  Piece of armour skirt at first repels weapon  TASER  S  Weapon: TAS[S]E (piece of armour skirt) + R(epels)
 4  Trumpet about Saturday for five years  LUSTRE  A  Five years: LURE (trumpet) about S[A]T(urday)
 5  Note maiden, 17  MEMO  N  Note: M(aiden) + [N]EMO (Captain of the submarine Nautilus in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, a HYDRONAUT – 17D))
 6  Drench most of sorry drunken beggar in New York  SCHNORRER  D  Beggar in New York: {[D]RENCH + SORR(y)}*
 8  Unknown paid money to go for Ed  YEED  F  Go for Ed (Spenser): Y (unknown) + [F]EED
 15  Dane riled hooligan in Edinburgh  NED  A  Scottish hooligan: {[D[A]NE}*
 24  British rage during period for contraction in France  ABRÉGÉ  I  Contraction in France: B(ritish) + [I]RE (rage) in AGE (period)
 29  Carnivore without wife cooked anywhere almost  HYENA  R  Carnivore: {ANY(w)HE[R](e)}*
 32  Army rule from six  SENA  Y  Army: SENAR[Y] is from six, remove R(ule)


Normal clues:

 No.  Clue   Grid  Definition: wordplay
 13  Coming back without hard abuse from Glasgow  SNASH  Abuse (Scottish): SANS (wthout) reversed + H(ard)
 16  Speculator runs after the old revolt  THEORISER  Speculator: R(uns) after THE O(ld) RISE (revolt)
 21  Priest got up and ultimately spoke tediously  PROSED  Spoke tediously: P(riest) + ROSE + (an)D
 23  Discharge chap arriving by hospital  CATARRH  Discharge: CAT (chap) + ARR(iving) + H
 27  Shambles subsides with success over earl  ABATTOIRS  Shambles: ABATES (subsides) with E(arl) replaced by RIOT reversed (success over)
 34  Scold took refuge in church  CHIDE  Scold: HID in CE
 37  Note law about sheep  TEXEL  sheep (breed): TE (note) + LEX reversed
 38  Beat site of Taj Mahal for ancient Greek figurine  TANAGRA  Ancient Greek figurine: TAN (beat) + AGRA
 2  Chinese direct current about river vehicle  HANDCAR  Vehicle: HAN (Chinese) + DC + A(bout) + R(iver)
 3  Message exposed demo trouble  EMAIL  Message: (d)EM(o) (exposed demo) + AIL
 7  Kitchen staff rejecting recipe promoted Moroccan  COOKROOM  Kitchen: CROOK (staff) minus R(ecipe) + MOOR reversed
 9  I increase diameter, like a rainbow  IRISED  Like a rainbow: I + RISE + D(iameter)
 10  Opulence left wife heading off violent passion  LUXURY  Opulence: L(eft) + UX (wife) + (f)URY
 12  Oscar sent up record dance  ONE-STEP  Dance: O(scar) + {SENT}* + EP (record)
 17  Gutless hubby and daughter outran deranged submariner  HYDRONAUT  Submariner: H(ubb)Y + D(aughter) + {OUTRAN}*
 18  Two circuits are things to be observed  NOTANDA  Things to be observed: NOT + AND (two logic circuits) + A(re)
 19  Let vicar off, straight up!  VERTICAL  Straight up!: {LET VICAR}*
 22  Judge caught out command again  REORDER  Command again: RECORDER minus C(aught)
 25  Missing right, let turn to the left in the Highlands  HIE  Turn to the left (Scottish): HIRE (let) minus R(ight)
 28  Pray about fashionable present  BEING  Present: BEG (pray) about IN (fashionable)
 30  Australians boasting topless bird  KITE  Bird: SKITE is Australian boasting


One Response to “Inquisitor 1226 – SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR by Samuel”

  1. HolyGhost says:

    My breakthrough was CYRIL, to join the already discovered ANTHEA & ROBERT (and also PHOENIX) – and then called for Google’s help.
    Same as Hi, I required the thematic entries THE LAMB and AMULET to aid solving the Top Left quadrant.
    I decided to enter IT vertically in the central cell … but I didn’t dwell on that for long, since the orientation seemed somewhat inconsequential.

    So, yes, a relatively easy ride; and a companion piece to FIVE CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR from Samuel (IQ 1179, last May).

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