Fifteensquared

Inquisitor 1240: Solve for X and Y by Gila

Posted by duncanshiell on August 8th, 2012

The preamble told us:

In x clues, there is a misprint of one letter in the definition.  The correct letter is y places back alphabetically.

In y clues, the wordplay generates the answer with a misprint of one letter.  The correct letter (to be entered) is x places forward alphabetically.

For solving purposes, A follows Z and vice versa to create continuous alphabetical loops.

All remaining (x + y) clues contain an extra word, the extra letters of which in clue order explain how the value of x + y must be highlighted in the grid (x + y) cells in total.

One immediate deduction from the preamble and the fact that there were 42 clues was that x + y + x + y =42.  Hence x + y =21

The first type x clue that I solved was 12 across where TINGE in the clue had to change to HINGE

H is 12 places in the alphabet back from T.  For the x definition misprint clues therefore we have the following transformation:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C D E F G H I J K L M N

If x was 12, y had to be 9 and the transformation for y wordplay misprint clues was:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A B C D E F G H I

The redundant words did not stand out as obviously as they have done in some other crosswords that I have solved.  The first I got was RUSSIANS in 9 down as the rest of the clue clearly resolved to ESPY

I solved the clues fairly steadily, building on the crossing letters.

Writing the blog I noted that the wordplay construction was not complicated, but it still made one think laterally at times.  The challenge and the fun in this puzzle also came from determining the misprints and the redundant words.  The original clues had excellent surfaces, and some still did after removing words or changing letters.

The initial letters of the redundant words spelled out

IN GERMAN AND PORTUGUESE

My German is good enough to know that 21 is EIN UND ZWANZIG.  My Portuguese is non-existent, but it was clear that the required word was going to run vertically down the grid to the right of the 2 depicted by the German.  VINTE E UM seemed the obvious candidate, confirmed by Google.

My final grid looked like this:

The title, SOLVE FOR X AND Y is self-explanatory given the preamble and the final step.

Gila was a new setter to me, but a bit of googling threw up Alberich’s crossword website AlberichGila  which described Gila as a blogger on fifteensquared focusing on Independent crosswords.

I really enjoyed the challenges in this puzzle and I look forward to solving another crossword by Gila

Across
No Original Clue Extra Word Misprint Amended Clue Wordplay Letter change Entry
1

Jar of money accepted quite illegally in Berlin (6)

ILLEGALLY

Jar of money accepted quite in Berlin (6)

TIN (money [slang]) + A (accepted) + JA (yes; quite, in German)

TINAJA (a very large full-bellied earthenware jar, used [especially for storing and maturing wine] in Spain)

5

Did a bit to come forward (6)

ACTED (performed; did) + E (one of the definitions for E in Chambers is ‘bit’, possibly related to the drug ecstasy, but I am not sure)

T > C

ACCEDE (come forward)

10

Barrister wanting cocaine needs to request new supply (7)

NEEDS

Barrister wanting cocaine to request new supply (7)

RECORDER (barrister) excluding (wanting) C (cocaine)

REORDER (request new supply)

12

A tinge of sadness initially, following a team (4)

T > H

A hinge of sadness initially, following a team (4)

A + XI (eleven; team [in many sports]) + S (first letter of [initially] SADNESS)

AXIS (hinge [the Earth's axis as described by Milton {poet}])

13

Roman coins were finally found in the centre of Etruria, Italy (5)

E, last letter of (finally) WERE, contained in (RUR, the three middle letters of [centre of] ETRURIA + I [Italy])

RUR (E) I

R > A

AUREI (gold coins of the Roman Empire)

14

Celebrities taking in Europe’s premier spots (6)

NAMES (celebrities) containing (taking in) E (first letter of [premier] EUROPE)

NA (E) MES

M  > V

NAEVES (pigmented spots or an overgrowth of small blood vessels in the skin)

17

Details of the pay your assistant rejected (5)

P > D

Details of the day your assistant rejected (5)

(YR [your] + AID [helper; assistant]) all reversed (rejected)

DIARY (details of the day)

18

God cast back a single child – the son of Cain (5)

GOD

Cast back a single child – the son of Cain (5)

ONE (single) reversed (cast back) + CH (child)

ENO< CH

ENOCH (son of Cain, not the same as the ENOCH mentioned in Genesis as a great grandson of Adam and ancestor of Noah)

19

One takes a long time to get involved (4, 2 words)

I (one) + EON (a long time)

E > N

IN ON (involved)

22

Refer to books and copy each record (9)

EACH

Refer to books and copy record (9)

VIDE (refer to) + OT (Old Testament; books) + APE (copy)

VIDEOTAPE (record)

25

Renovations that may be stopped before blaze breaks out (9)

RENOVATIONS

That may be stopped before blaze breaks out (9)

FREE (I’m not quite sure what part of the clue this represents. All I can think of is that relates to the whole clue as something initally provided FREE may not so be for ever and the FREE service may be withdrawn or stopped) + an anagram of (breaks out) BLAZE

FREE ZABLE*

FREEZABLE (stoppable by cold)

29

Mountain ridge forming part of Swaledale (4)

MOUNTAIN

Ridge forming part of Swaledale (4)

WALE (hidden word in [forming part of] SWALEDALE)

WALE (same as WEAL [a ridge raised on the flesh by the stroke of a whip)

31

Add two points, then take one point (5)

A > O

Odd two points, then take one point (5)

EE (East East - two points [of the compass]) + R (recipe [Latin]; take) + I (one) + E (point [of the compass])

EERIE (strangely; weird; odd)

33

Aga Khan’s power stripped from Persia, somehow (5)

AGA

Khan’s power stripped from Persia, somehow (5)

Anagram of (somehow) PERSIA excluding (stripped from) P (power)

SERAI (khan or caravanserai)

35

Navigate new line past a buoy to reach Baltic port (6)

NAVIGATE

New line past a buoy to reach Baltic port (6)

DAN (a small sea marker-buoy) + ZIG (new line)

DANZIG (Polish city, now known as Gdansk, on the Baltic coast)

36

Automobilists occupy a Clio; for example (5)

AUTOMOBILISTS

Occupy a Clio; for example (5)

A MUSE (Clio was one of the Nine Muses in Greek mythology)

AMUSE (occupy pleasantly)

37

Fear right before death (4)

F > T

Tear right before death (4)

R (right) + END (death)

REND (tear)

38

Russian girl remains active after lunch (7)

EAT (lunch, as a verb) + ASH (remains) + A (active)

E > N

NATASHA (Russian girl’s name)
39

Never a serious portion, it will run out (6)

N > B

Never a serious portion, it will rub out (6)

ERASER (hidden word in [portion]) of NEVER A SERIOUS

ERASER (something that will rub out)

40

Engineers join protest to put trains back on the Northern Line (6)

NORTHERN

Engineers join protest to put trains back on the line (6)

RE ([Royal] Engineers) + RAIL (protest, as  a verb)

RERAIL (put trains back on the line)

Down

No. Original Clue   Misprint Amended Clue Wordplay Letter change Entry
1

Reportedly, three members in group tip dubious deal (8)

DUBIOUS

Reportedly, three members in group tip deal (8)

TRADE-OFF(sounds like [reportedly] TREY [a set of three {members in a group}and DOFF [tip])

TRADE-OFF (the giving up of one thing in return for another; deal)

2

Russian boxing superior Welshman (5)

IVAN (Russian [name]) containing (boxing) U (upper-class; superior)

IV (U) AN

V > E

IEUAN (Welsh man’s name)

3

A truly detailed batch (4)

B > P

A truly detailed patch (4)

A + REAL (truly) excluding the final letter [de-tailed] L

AREA (patch)

4

Epic pyres found regularly during Hadean period (6)

PYRES

Epic found regularly during Hadean period (6)

Letters 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 (regularly during) HADEAN PERIOD

AENEID (latin epic poem written by Virgil)

6

Coder, after hacking online gets a conviction (5)

ONLINE

Coder, after hacking gets a conviction (5)

Anagram of (hacking) CODER

CREDO (belief or set of beliefs; conviction)

7 What students need for a night out? Extra liquor! (5)

EX (extra) + VAT (a liquor containing a reduced, colourless, soluble form of insoluble dye in which textiles are soaked, in order afterwards to take up the colour through oxidation when exposed to the air)

V > E

EXEAT (formal leave of absence, especially for a student to be out of college for more than one night)

8

Tamper rewriting stupid recipe (7)

T > H

Hamper rewriting stupid recipe (7)

Anagram of (rewriting) STUPID and R (recipe)

DISRUPT (hamper)

9

Russians observe English secret agent (4)

RUSSIANS

Observe English secret agent (4)

E (English) + SPY (secret agent)

ESPY (observe)

11

Duck, then shoot a bird (6)

O (duck) + RIFLE (shoot [with a rifle])

F > O

ORIOLE (a golden yellow bird with black wings)

15

What old Parisian used for measuring tile (4)

RUNE (any of a set of tiles inscribed with letters of the old Germanic alphabet, used for fortune-telling)

R > A

AUNE (an old French measure of length; what old Parisian used for measuring)

16

Fiddle virtuoso

F > T

Tiddle virtuoso

WHIZ (urinate [US slang]; tiddle [a child's word for urinate])

WHIZ (variant spelling of WHIZZ, a person remarkable talented or skilful at something)  double definition

20

Mercenary earlier cuts passed on by trade union (8)

Mercenary earlier cuts passed on by union (8)

ERE (before; earlier) contained in (cuts) VENAL (corruptly mercenary)

VEN (ERE) AL

VENEREAL (transmitted by sexual intercourse; passed on by union)

21

One who brings up religious education during ceremonial meal (7)

RE (religious education) contained in (during) SEDER (Jewish ceremonial meal and its rituals on the first night or first two nights of the Passover)

S (RE) EDER

S > B

BREEDER (one who brings up)

23

Old lion print underwear (4)

UNDERWEAR

Old lion print (4)

O (old) + LEO (lion)

OLEO (oleograph [a print in oil colours to imitate an oil painting)

24

Grecian mistaken as true father of Agamemnon (6)

GRECIAN

Mistaken as true father of Agamemnon (6)

Anagram of (mistaken) AS TRUE

ATREUS (father of Agamemnon in Greek mythology)

26

Discount supermarket found in central urban district (4)

URBAN

Discount supermarket found in central district (4)

ALDI (hidden word in [found in]) CENTRAL DISCOUNT

ALDI (reference European discount upermarket chain ALDI.  Now well established in the UK.  Apparently it is short for ALbrecht DIscount)

27

Buy tatty climbing book for daughter (6)

Y > M

Bum tatty climbing book for daughter (6)

RAGGED (torn or worn into rags; tatty) reversed (climbing ; down clue) with B (book) substituted for (for) D (daughter)

BDEGGAR

BEGGAR (sponger; bum)

28

Old woman given a breath of life (5)

GRAN (old woman) + A

G  > P

PRANA (the breath of life in the Hindu religion)

30

Laziest way to go about extinguishing hot ashes (5)

EXTINGUISHING

Laziest way to go about hot ashes (5)

Anagram of (about) LAZIEST excluding (to go) ST (street, way)

AIZLE (hot ashes)

32

Scarper as one male stands his ground (5)

STANDS

Scarper as one male his ground (5)

I (one) + M (male) + an anagram of (ground) HIS

I M SHI*

IMSHI (go away!; scarper)

33 Indisputable by law (4)       JURE (variant spelling of IURE [by law]) J > S

SURE (indisputable)
34

Arabian man enjoys a rum cocktail (4)

ENJOYS

Arabian man a rum cocktail (4)

Anagram of (cocktail) A RUM

UMAR (a man’s name common in Arab speaking countries; Arabian man)

10 Responses to “Inquisitor 1240: Solve for X and Y by Gila”

1. John Lowe says:

Thank you, Duncan, for a very comprehensive blog.

I also had trouble parsing 25 across. I feel that if “that may be stopped” indicates FREE, then the definition should be the whole clue, and I can’t make that fit.

I am curious to know in which edition of Chambers you found E related to BIT (5 across). I can’t see it in my (2003, I think) edition. I tried looking up the association online, but was unsuccessful…

Thanks also to Gila: as well as enjoying solving the crossword, I have learnt some Portuguese – I usually stop at French and a little German!

2. chesley says:

Well you live and learn! I have never noticed e = bit before and can’t, for the life of me, understand why it should be. Any definitive answers?

3. Rob H says:

Thanks for the blog. Hadn’t done my arithmetic, Maslanka-style, at the start so didn’t spot the (x+y)+(x+y)= 42.
Re 25A, think the free part of clear refers to ‘out’(as in out of prison). The definition ‘that may be stopped’ refers to something, like your TV, that can be ‘frozen’

4. duncanshiell says:

John Lowe @ 1

E defined as ‘bit, bite’ is in the current edition (12th Edition) and the previous one. I am not sure about earlier editions.

5. nmsindy says:

This was an impressive (amazing!) construction with some excellent clues, my favourite being VENEREAL. Pretty hard, but ultimately solvable and v enjoyable. Many thanks, Gila, and Duncan.

6. Matthew says:

Chambers says that E is “often mute, commonly indicating a preceding long vowel or diphthong: cf not, note; bit, bite”.

I can see how if you were looking quickly at the entry for an interesting word to indicate E, you might mistakenly think that the semicolon is separating two definitions.

7. John Lowe says:

With reference to 1, 2 5 and 6: I now see that clause embedded in the principal definition for E (including in my 2003 edition of Chambers) – and as a consequence I don’t think bit or bite should legitimately be used as an indication for E – unless there is some other indication, elsewhere.

8. Jim T says:

Very inventive puzzle which I really enjoyed. The x and y clues were excellent.

9. Shark says:

I test solved a puzzle once where the setter had used bit = e. Quickly reading Chambers I can see why it looks as if they are synonyms, but if I remember correctly it is in relation to the phonetics of the words bite/bit. I therefore think that bit does not equal e and advised a change on that particular puzzle. Perhaps John H could comment if reading

10. Ali says:

Many thanks to Duncan for the excellent blog and to all for the comments. I’m glad that the puzzle seemed to go down well.

The title itself was the starting point for the puzzle. I’d never seen the letter substitution idea done in this way before (though I’m sure it has at some point), and it was good fun finding the definitions and wordplay that could be adapted. I hope they weren’t too taxing.

As I studied German at uni, I always intended to use einundzwanzig for the 2. Vinte-e-um was used for the 1 purely as it is was the right number of letters to keep the symmetry in the highlighted grid. That 21 was a recurring theme throughout was more good fortune than anything else. It never actually dawned on me that solvers could do the (x + y) + (x + y) = 42 sum before starting, but, as I always say to people, I’m a words man, not a numbers man!

Regarding the ‘E = bit’ debate, I make use of the iPhone version of Chambers (which is now equivalent to the printed 12th edition I think). Under the entry for E/e (noun), the ‘mute 5th letter’ definition referenced by Matthew @ 6 appears under heading 1., but the “Bit, bite’  example then appears as a standalone entry under its own heading 2. I generally never question the numerous single letter indicators in Chambers (there are more than enough of them and they are useful), but agree that this looks a bit strange in hindsight.

And, yes, ‘out’ was  designed to indicate ‘free’ in the ‘out of jail’ sense in FREEZABLE.

Anyway, I’m now on the board so to speak and hope to provide more fun in the future.

Ali (Gila)

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