Posted by kenmac on July 4th, 2012
A reasonably straightforward rubric for a change: Two unclued entries must be thematically modified to give two others, and an appropriate word in a dozen down clues must be treated likewise before the clue can be solved. Twentyseven cells in the completed grid must be highlighted, to reveal a thinker plus two dates marking the start and finish of something with which he was famously associated.
So a familiar journey begins, I can’t figure the theme until I’ve figured the clues and I can’t figure the clues until I’ve figured the theme!
There were some words that were quite obviously out of place in the down clues and I soon realized that they were all four-letters but that fact didn’t help much at this stage. In the grid we had two words shaded yellow and two green, did the greens both become yellow (or vice versa) or did one green become the other green and one yellow become the other yellow?
Whilst solving the clues, I kept my eyes on the diagonals, such as they were but nothing popped out and then I suddenly spotted ALAN (f2) and remembered seeing Google’s “doodle” reference to Alan Turing’s 100th birthday. Then noticing that the square above ALAN (f1) is blocked off, I found T and R either side of it and in the symmetrically opposite squares I had I and G so it looked like TUR (e1) and ING (e13) formed his surname. This meant I had identified 10 of the 27 squares to be highlighted. This plus the 9 on the middle row gave 19 so I still had 8 left to find – hmm…!
Aha! Then I spotted M*THISON lurking in the centre column (f6). Was a man called MATHISON associated with Alan Turing?? A quick trip to Wikipedia revealed that MATHISON was his middle name: 2 squares left to find and I still hadn’t filled 8 of the squares on the middle row. The preamble mentioned dates and since Turing was associated with World War II, I took a punt on them being 1939 and 1945 (the year the war started and the year it ended.) Finally, I spotted WAR between 1939 and 1945- very nice! So there we have the 27 squares. ALAN MATHISON(f6) TUR(e1)+ING(e13) and 1939WAR1945(a7.)
Now, how do we find the association between the four unclued entries (G*ID(a1), C*AN(h1), HA*M(a13) and DU*S(h13))?
Assuming that RADIX doesn’t expect us all to have brains like Turing’s, I imagine that he’s used a very simple cipher but it took me a while (and believe me, I kicked myself when I discovered it) to realize that we had to add 1, 9, 3 & 9 respectively to the letters G, R, * & D to derive H, A, * & M and 1, 9, 4 & 5 to C, *, A & N to give D, U, * & S. The only words that fit the bill are GRID becomes HALM and CLAN becomes DUES. Applying the same cipher to the clues to all answers that touch 1939 and 1945 (with the exception of the two 3-letter answers) allows us to determine the words in a dozen down clues that had to be treated similarly. These words can be found in the DOWN solution, below.
(disclaimer: for the last 8 months or so I have been solving The Inquisitor with my daughter, Laura and she has become much more confident and comfortable with them just lately. In the discussion of the thematic material above, “I” should read “Laura” as she did all the thematic solving, so kudos to Laura. Has the pupil finally become the master? I’d better watch my back. )
Finally, I’m not sure what the title’s all about. COGITO ERGO SUM means “I think, therefore I am.” Is it just a reference to Mr. Turing being a great thinker or is it somehow encoded?
Also, there are a few clues I didn’t fully understand: 30a, 33a, 18d and 24d.
Nice puzzle, Radix. Great fun and lots of thematic material!
|9||Stale Indian bread
could be naan
|ANNA||NAAN (anag: could
taking excessively wicked Israelite for Muslim primitivist
wicked Israelite: ref: Ahab)
inside WEE (jimmy
flaps about chief of spooks being slapdash
(chief of) inside SMILEY
sand dunes means a bit of work
|13||Irish girl must
hate Northern Ireland
Ireland) (anag: must)
|15||Rage I’ll be in
tomorrow (not before, note)
(minus A(nte) before) and minus N(ote)
wag head (about time!) – what informal charm!
|SWEETNESS||T(ime) inside SWEE (nag
has it with Hercules maybe, both topless
|OMPHALE||rOMP (it: sex)+wHALE (maybe -
couldn’t justify it )
|19||Learned lady in
vessel travelling west, then another
|SAVANTE||ETNA+VAS (both vessels)
(rev: travelling west)
|26||How to get going on a
cold morning? – in truth, pass out!
|PUSH-START||TRUTH PASS (anag:
|28||Once award a
|ARETT||A(RE)+TT (Tourist Trophy)|
|29||Fish knows such a line
is attached to old rod
FISH former weatherman)
angler in race
def) – not sure what IN RACE has to do with it
|IS INANE (anag:
|32||René’sclose, second about: persevere||PRESS ON||PRES (close in
French: RENE is a French man)+S(econd)+ON (about)
– dial me at will from Perth to get asteroidal!
minus DIAL AT leaves EROS not really sure how to read the
|No||Clue||Entry||Coded Word||Cypher||Decoded Word||Wordplay|
|1||Prostitution on Sunday – flip
finally, I’m mad
|2||Part of foot wearing silk||INSTEP||SILK||1939||TROT||IN (wearing)+STEP (trot)|
|3||Ed’s cut grog drunk – what a show-off!||DASHER||GROG||1939||HARP||ED’S+HARp (cut short) (anag:
|4||One of two linked communities and
separate farmstead, both in Galloway
|TWIN TOWN||TWIN (farmstead)+TOWN
(farmstead) both Scottish
|5||Chime, for instance||RHYME||&lit clue. RHYME rhymes
|6||Plant found in California? Grin wildly,
getting there first
|7||Elevated king or queen above fray
essentially? The reverse!
|AERIAL||FRAY||1945||GAED||gAEd above (not below) RIAL
(king or queen)
|8||Cancel slaughter: frag ten, not fifty||NEGATE||FRAG||1945||GAEL||GAEl (no L: not fifty)+TEN
|14||Maori people, women among us?||IWI||W(omen) inside I and I (us)|
|18||Troublesomely persistent? Indeed so,
but without wine, no good
|PRESSING||I can see No Good at the end and
|19||Joint requiring special brog, hard||SCARPH||BROG||1939||CARP||S(pecial)+CARP+H(ard)|
|20||Goddess: endlessly eild being central
to distinctive character
|AURORA||EILD||1939||FROM||fROm inside AURA (distinctive character)|
|21||Child’s biro could be a must, I fancy||AUTISM||BIRO||1939||CRUX||A MUST I (anag: fancy)|
|22||Sian drunk? Like Stephen! (Saint
|STONED||SIAN||1945||TRES||(double def) TRES (very)
|23||Peck on one’s friz from Brazilian bird||JABIRU||FRIZ||1945||GAME||JAB (peck)+I (one)+RU
(game: Rugby Union)
|24||Queen embraced by graduate –
|BRA||R (queen) inside BA (graduate) not entirely sure of
|25||Croc rests close to swimmers,
|STRESS||CROC||1945||DASH||RESTS (anag: dash)+swimmerS (closing
|27||Secret police arrest missing Soprano||STASI||STASIs (missing S(oprano))|