Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1238: GOOD QUESTION by Schadenfreude

Posted by Hihoba on July 25th, 2012

Hihoba.

Despite the designation “by Schadenfreude” in the title, the puzzle element of this turned out to be quite straightforward. The preamble was mercifully brief, telling us that a title would appear in the top and bottom rows and this would indicate what to remove from 23 answers before entry into the grid.

I first ringed the clue numbers (20 in all) of all those with white squares in them. This left 23 where the given length was longer than the space in the grid. This gave a starting point.

The first across clue gave a hidden FAVELA, so I was off to a flying start! Soon the top line read ??E?EH?V. . . This looked like THERE or WHERE for the first word, so I tried 1D and a simple anagram led to WASTERFULNESS. So WHERE H?V. . . then. After finding EMBALMERS at 13A, PEANUT OIL at 19A and a few others, it became clear that we had to remove plants from the 23 green squared answers. So ASTER, BALM and PEA came out of the three examples above.

So WHERE HAVE quickly led to WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE?, and the theme was established. The song has an interesting history which you can read here.

All that remained (Ha!) was to fill in the rest of the blanks.

I found a number of the flowers unfamiliar and difficult to find, so the table below contains a very brief indication of what the least familiar ones are.

There is one word where Chambers did not lead to Schadenfreude’s answer. This was ETHERIALISE whose spelling is not in Chambers, Collins, the Oxford D & T, on-line Merriam-Webster, or the Shorter OED. EtherEalise is the only form of the verb in any dictionary that I possess. ETHERIAL is in Chambers and the SOED but not the other three which only have etherEal. A simple adjustment of the clue to eliminate an I instead of an E would not have impacted on the diagram as the letter in question is unchecked. Ba thinks I (Hi) am being too pedantic, but Ho agrees with me!

A couple of definitions raised a grin (ANURIA and LESBIANS).

A nice puzzle from Schadenfreude, solved without too much trauma! A 2 on the Henderson scale? A completed grid can be found at the bottom.

 

 Normal  Clues

Across
 No.  Answer  Definition  Wordplay
 10  FAVELA  Shanty town  Hidden in “grieF A VELAsquez”
 20  THESIS  Downbeat (musical)  THE IS (article is) about S (entropy)
 23  TITHING  Payment  GIT reversed (backward person) round THIN (meagre)
 29  BRASERO  Tray containing hot coals  [BEARS]* + R(un) + O(ver)
 31  STAITH  Wharf up north  TA (Terriers) in [THIS]* (this derelict)
 34  STEEVE  Stiff (Scottish) and incline  Double meaning
 36  ESNE  Slave  ENS (being) + E(arl) all reversed
 38  ABOUT  In the opposite direction  A (an) BOUT (attack)
 41  GLOMMED  Texan’s eyed (US slang)  MME (French woman) in [GOLD]*
 42  ANURIA  No relief (inhibition of urine formation!!!)  AA (fragmented rock) round [RUIN]*
Down
 3  EVENTER  Competitive rider  E (close to surrogatE) + VENTER (mother)
 4  ELEGIT  A formal document (abolished in 1956!)  E(cstasy) + LEGIT
 5  HARELIPS  Facial abnormalities  ARE in H(ot) LIPS (kisses)
 6  VAULT  Dome (of the head) and achieve great fame  Double meaning
 9  LESBIANS  They’re not straight (!!!)  [BAS(e) LINES]*
 14  SLATTERNS  Sluts  [FIRE SLATTERNS]* = self-restraint
 17  SOUARI  This has its roots in Guiana (you can find this reference under BUTTERNUT in Chambers)  SOU (change in France) over IRA (terrorists) reversed
 24  HORSECAR  Vehicle  [MUST HORSECAR]* = chorusmaster
 28  ELECTRO  Facsimile (Electro is an abbreviation for electrotype, a facsimile coin)  ELECT (choose) + R (king) + O(ld)
 32  ALOOF  Distant  A + LO (look) + OF (specified as)

 

 Flower Clues

Across
 No.  Clue solu(flower)tion  Flower  Definition  Wordplay
 11  (SEDGE) WARBLER  SEDGE  A songbird  [W(ith) LARGE BREEDS]*
 13  EM(BALM)ERS  BALM  They preserve  AL (almost all) in [MEMBERS]*
 15  B(RUTA)LISE  RUTA (Rue)  Degrade  BRUT (dry) + A(merican) + [LIES]*
 16  LIN(STOCK)S  STOCK  These hold burning matches  L(eft) + IN + STOCKS (boxes)
 18  (FLAG)ELLA  FLAG  Punishing equipment  FELLA (chap) round LAG (falling behind)
 19  (PEA)NUT OIL  PEA  Greasy stuff  [UP TOE-NAIL]*
 26  SCRAW(LING)  LING  Illegible writing  S(on) + CRAWLING (lousy)
 27  HE(AVEN-S)ENT  AVENS  Very timely  [AN EVENT SHE]*
 37  SCOR(DATURA)  DATURA (thorn apple)  Alteration of normal tuning  [RADAR SCOUT]*
 39  SCOOT(ERS)  ERS (bitter vetch)  Motor boats  SCOTERS (ducks) round O(ld)
Down
 1  W(ASTER)FULNESS  ASTER  Macbeth’s (Scottish) extravagance  [SWAN'S TRUE SELF]*
 2  HAR(BORAGE)  BORAGE  Shelter in Seattle (American spelling)  Remove C ($100) from (c)HARGE and insert BORA (strong wind)
 7  (WELD)ABLE  WELD (mignonette)  That can be joined  DAB (fish) in WELL (spring + E(stuary)
 8  (DISA)LLIES  DISA (orchid)  Separates (according to John Milton)  DI (detective) + SALLIES (rushes out)
 12  REC(REATE)S  REATE (water crowfoot)  Sports  [CARS E (base) TREE]*
 21  (GOLD)EN-EYES  GOLD (marigold)  Ducks  GO (turn) + L(eft) + DEN (retreat) + EYES (nests? Chambers has “a brood, esp of pheasants”)
 22  P(ROSE)CUTABLE  ROSE  Can be pursued by law  PROSE (plain) + CU (copper) + TABLE (committee)
 25  ETHERIA(LIS)E  (fleur-de-)LIS  Render spirit-like  Remove E(ccentricity) from [HIS (e)ERIE TALE]*
 30  O(SCILLA)TIONS  SCILLA  Rocks  [LACS SOIL INTO]*
 31  S(CALLA)WAG  CALLA (arum)  Ne’er-do-well  S (Roman numeral for 7) + CALL (telephone) + A + WAG (truant)
 33  (IRIS)H STEW  IRIS  Food  [WRITES]* round I’S (one’s) H(ospital)
 35  NUM(ERICA)L  ERICA  Could be expressed digitally  [(co)UN(t)ERCLAIM(s)]* (counterclaims minus cost)
 40  (CANNA)BIN  CANNA (tropical)  Narcotic substance  CAN(adian) + NAB (seize) + IN (popular)

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 1238: GOOD QUESTION by Schadenfreude”

  1. Al Dente says:

    Thanks to Hihoba for the blog and particularly for the link in to what is a very interesting history of
    the song. My favourite version was Johnny Rivers folkrock 1965 US TOP 40 hit. Very nostalgic Hihoba, thanks
    for the good start to my day.

  2. Bertandjoyce says:

    This was one of the first Inquisitors that we haven’t finished.

    12d, 40d, 18ac, 21d eluded us. Normally we would keep on hunting and searching during the week but this one just didn’t seem to inspire us. Maybe it was because we had returned from Greece and had a backlog of Inquisitors to catch up on! The difficulty seemed to be that with so many flowers to choose from, if you couldn’t get ‘into’ a clue there was little hope, especially in short entries like 40d.

    Still, it woke up the brain cells and the Inquisitor is still up there among the best.

    Sorry Schadenfreude, we really enjoy your puzzles normally so please don’t take offence. Thanks Hihoba for the blog – we really needed you this time. Three heads worked better than two for this one – or did one of you complete it on your own?

  3. Hi of hihoba says:

    Thank you Bertandjoyce for the comment. I managed to solve the whole thing on my own (by Tuesday) except for 12D where I had to refer to Ho and Ba. Odd that, as REATE was one of the answers in the previous week’s Inquisitor by Ploy. I think the problem was with the pronunciation of “recreates” (wreck-reates!). My last success was with 40D CANNABIN; this was difficult due to the removed letters being at the start of the word, and I was not familiar with either the flower or the narcotic!

    Getting the theme very early and then having to fill in the blanks is not the way my Inquisitor solving normally goes.

  4. Bertandjoyce says:

    Well, we are VERY impressed! We both knew canna as a plant as we saw many of them in South Africa where my (Joyce’s) parents lived for a while. I loved them so much that i grew some of them in pots as they don’t overwinter very well. We’d not heard of cannabin though – more familiar with cannabis – although not ‘intimately’ so to speak!

    However long we’d looked at the clues we don’t think we would have managed to finish. Some of our friends think we are so strange, saving crosswords while we are away and then as soon as you finish one it goes into the bin without even entering it for a prize.

    We often wonder if they will ever publish some of the best ones. Although they may get thrown away, the themes live on in our memories!

  5. HolyGhost says:

    A late addition to this thread of comments – in a hotel in Hanoi, having recently arrived from the backwaters of Laos.

    As with the blogger, the theme came easily – rather too easily I fancy – and then there was the ‘trek’ to find the the final 2 or 3 flowers to finish off (linSTOCKs and CANNAbin from memory) – sympathies to Bertandjoyce.

    I agree with Hi that the puzzle was probably a grade 2, and with him (& Ho) about ETHERI/EALISE – the it’s not too predantic to grumble.

    Re 21d, EYES, nests, pheasants, etc. – I think that ‘nests’ can have a broader usage than that which is common, to mean ‘brood’, or some such.

    So … cheerio from Vietnam. Thanks to all.

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