Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1247: Cause and Effect by Pointer

Posted by kenmac on September 26th, 2012


Preamble: The unclued across entries are five names that may be seen on a map; their relative locations are represented approximately by their shaded initial letters. The region on the map, slightly extended beyond the bounds of the grid, is the setting for a novel whose title comprises two clued answers. With all answers entered, three letters in each of the 2nd and 12th rows must be altered to reveal two words, each occupying 6 contiguous cells; these 12 cells must be highlighted. The two words describe a cause and effect alluded to in the novel. Also, a word appears in the final grid that describes the five unclued entries – this must be overwritten in an appropriate colour. In the story, some of this may well have contributed to the cause, but here some of it contributes to the effect. All entries in the final grid are real words.

Wow! What a long preamble, hopefully it will begin to make sense as the clues are beaten into submission.

I don’t recall seeing any puzzles from Pointer but I’m sure Holy Ghost will put me right.

The unclued entries prove a little troublesome as they’re clearly not in Chambers. My initial breakthrough came when OneLook suggested BROUILLY. Then a trip to Wikipedia revealed that Brouilly is part of the Rhone region of France. A few blind alleys later, I relaised that we were looking for crus within the Beaujolais region of France: FLEURIE, CHIROUBLES, MORGON, RÉGNIÉ and BROUILLY.

With most of the grid filled I set about looking for the novel. I struck lucky as I decided to start looking in the rows first and for some reason I started with the bottom row. CLOCHEMERLE rang a little bell inside my head and, sure enough, another trip to Wikipedia revealed that Clochmerle is a novel by Gabriel Chevallier about plans to install a new urinal in the village square. At this point I just about dried up as there is very little information about Clochemerle on the internet and I’ve never read it, neither did I see the 1972 British TV series (though that’s probably where the little bell came in) and I couldn’t make any word changes work in the 2nd and 12th rows. The only thing I could see was FRIDAY could become URINAL if I changed the 1st, 4th and 6th letters but since that left non-words, it clearly wasn’t right.

I was on the verge of giving up when I decided to re-read the preamble for the thousandth time and this time, something clicked. The phraseology (6 contiguous cells) made me realise that the words were probably over more than one row. Since we had to change 3 letters then it was likely that it would be 3 on one row and 3 on the row above or below.) Woo-hoo! There we have it CAPED (11a) becomes CANAL, making UNBLOWN, ALAND and ILEAL (6d, 12, 7d) giving us URINAL (the CAUSE) in h2, i2, j2, h3, i3, j3; and FRIDAYS (34a) becomes MAYDAYS, making SWARM, STOAE and APPUY (22d, 27d, 24d) giving us MAYHEM (the EFFECT) in g12, h12, i12, g13, h13, i13.

So, on to the last piece of the puzzle. My first thought was Beaujolais but since there are no J’s in the grid, that thought quickly disappeared. My next thought was RHONE but the 4 H’s didn’t come to anything. Visit 1001 to the preamble – some of it contributes to the effect. Got it! It’s the GAMAY grape (c12, d12, e12, f12, g12.)

So, now we have a problem, we have to highlight MAYDAY and we have to “overwrite” GAMAY in an “appropriate” colour. It’s a black grape and I guess most people do their crosswords in black so maybe we have to overwrite in purple. How many people have purple pens?

STOP PRESS: See comment #2 below, Gamay grapes are RED.

One last (minor) gripe, the clues to 16a and 6d go over two columns, I wonder if the editor can try to avoid that as it makes the clues that wee bit more difficult.

Anyway, nice puzzle even though it did have me climbing the walls!
Thanks Pointer.


1 Spot this bird to spot another TERN BIT (spot)+TERN = BITTERN
9 Bill needs euro to go back to dance RUEDA AD (bill)+EURo (all rev: to go back)
11 Worked as a gardener, getting rid of docks,
and kept a path
(worked as a gardener; minus LANDS (docks))
13 Side is short and sweet FLAN FLANk (side;
14 To a degree, La Scala applauds prelude ALAAP la scALA APplauds
(hidden: to a degree)
15 One element of flowered design
is no good in capital
LIS (Fleur-de-lis) LISbon (no
16 In Scotland, wise woman takes hemp inside hot


inside HOWDIE (wise woman
in Scotland)
17 What sexton did after rector turned to
make an angry sound
(what sexton did) (all rev: turned)
20 What might bring you round from lost
last round
(rev: round; hidden: from)
23 Furry creature contracted disease
(short: contracted; anag: somehow)
25 Pat King is married to Jack KNOB (is a knob of butter the same as a pat?) King+NOB (jack)
27 Reeling drunkard leaves another stain SPOT tosSPOT
(drunkard) minus SOT (drunkard; rev: reeling)
29 A cattle transporter, say, in general


(cattle transporter)
31 Settler in Pennsylvania taking some
time before going away
(Pennsylvania)+YEaR minus A (before)
33 Garments hang loosely on front part of
SAGA SAG (hang
loosely)+Atrium (front
34 When weekends begin following Sabbath,
diary is rewritten
FRIDAYS Following+DIARY+Sabbath (anag: rewritten)
35 A bit of cloth’s left to line hat CLOCHE Cloth (a bit
of)+Left+OCHE (line)
36 Bird in lake plunging into water MERLE Lake inside
MERE (water)


1 Robber given time: he does little TRIFLER Time+RIFLER (robber)
2 Thought goes into construction of clue
alongside number that describes a particular space
CLUE (anag: construction
3 Sh, hear this REHASH &lit. SH HEAR
(anag: REHASH)
4 Northern mate follows fellow with money
dropping litter
FARROW Fellow+mARROW (mate: northern)
5 It flows in the river Aude, but not
the Dee – that’s peculiar!
EAU AUdE (no D; anag: peculiar)
6 One taking lead past hill ballooned UPBLOWN PB (lead)+LOW (hill; archaic: past)
inside UN (one)
7 What Claridges and Adelphi share could be
the best
(common letter; anag: could be)
8 Feathers (soft down) now brings fashion
into ball
(feathers; P (soft) moves
down)+HERE (now)
10 Border collie may mind this (or maybe
not mind)
(anag: maybe)
11 Dated, old tune – not new – runs
loosely through recording
(not New)+Runs (anag:
loosely) inside CD
12 No good going out of the country to discover
this mammal
ELAND EngLAND (minus NG (no good))
14 Excited before golf AGOG AGO (before)
18 Daily Star is reprinted without date and
Independent without columns
(minus Date and Independent; anag: reprinted)
19 Bank has provided in abundance RIFELY IF
(provided) inside RELY
20 Heads out to sea in cutter, slowly at
first, keeping velocity constant
SKAWS K (velocity
constant) inside SAW+Slowly (at first)
21 Mollusc’s idle in bog LOLIGO LIG (idle)
inside LOO (bog)
22 Turner’s waste was broken up for
recycling, throwing nothing away
SWARF WAS (anag:
broken up)+FoR (nothing away; rev:
24 Support for defence is mounting up in
Italy every year
(per annum; rev: mounting)
26 Bobcat loses its tail in tangle with rodent BOBAC BOBCAt (no
tail; anag: in tangle)
27 Shop floor doesn’t want closure of
(floor; minus factorY (close of))
28 An upset for Ospreys, losing nil-seven. It

produces blast at end of game

(minus O (nil) and S(even); anag: upset)
30 Force end of peg off object – a little

punch will suffice

FOAL Force+gOAL (minus peG (end of))
32 Stand-up comedian needs this assistant AIDE comEDIAn
(rev: stand up; hidden: needs this)

10 Responses to “Inquisitor 1247: Cause and Effect by Pointer”

  1. starburst says:

    That’s a very useful post, thanks

    I got to the same stage as you but I gave up rather than re-read the preamble thousands of times. It strikes me that solving the ‘change of letters’ involves/d rather a large element of arbitrariness, so I’m not inclined to bestow bouquets on the puzzle

  2. JoanMM says:

    Chambers gives ‘gamay’ as ‘ a variety of red grape’, so I highlighted the word using a red pen.

  3. kenmac says:

    Re: #2 Thanks JoanMM, I never even thought to look in Chambers! Post is updated.

  4. nmsindy says:

    The above address is Dave Hennings database which can be searched in many ways and will give details of puzzles in all the main themed series – as you will see, Pointer has set many puzzles but this may be an IQ début

  5. Ross says:

    For me this was one of the more challenging Inqs this year – but given the Beaujolais I thankfully was confident I was looking for something red. 2 days, though, it took to find GAMAY (after many near misses), notwithstanding the giveaway that it was largely hidden in the ‘effect’.

  6. HolyGhost says:

    Pointer’s IQ debut indeed, tho’ he has set two Listener‘s (and numerous Magpie crosswords, as the link at comment #4 will show). And a fine initial outing this was too. (Can’t agree with starburst at comment #1 – what’s arbitrary about it?)

    The grid-fill wasn’t that tough, but the endgame took a while. I was familiar with the BBC’s Clochemerle with the fabulous Roy Dotrice, but that didn’t help a great deal. I resorted to trawling through the possible single-letter changes of entries that intersected rows 2 & 12 and hit upon FRIDAYS → MAYDAYS to give MAYHEM, and then URINAL fell out soon after. Finding GAMAY wasn’t too much of a struggle after that, but then I had to cogitate on the “highlighting” v. “overwriting”. Still, all OK in the end.

    Inspired to write now as Radio 6 just played “Preposterous tales in the life of Ken McKenzie” by I, Ludicrous. Never heard it before – it’s great. (Are you the Ken McKenzie???) Note: The sound on YouTube is rubbish.

  7. kenmac says:

    Re: #6
    I first heard the song about 15 years ago and I wondered if it was about me as certain bits of it were vaguely familiar; for example, I have won every game of Trivial Pursuit I’ve ever played … ;). About 3 or 4 years ago I bought I, Ludicrous’s “20 Years in Show Business” and also emailed Will Hung (great name) and he assured me it was about another Ken but I still remain slightly unsure as they’re a london based band and I was in London based around the same time!

    The song was also one of John Peel’s favourites:,_Ludicrous

    I have a copy of the single which I’ll post on DropBox in the next couple of days (can’t tonight – I’ll be out “drinking heavily again”) for the benefit of anyone who wonders what H___ G____ and I are talking about.

  8. HolyGhost says:

    PS For anyone who’s interested, the sound on the YouTube link is not rubbish – the speakers on my laptop are!

  9. kenmac says:

    If anyone’s still watching, here’s the single:

  10. HolyGhost says:

    Preposterous indeed! (Now safely loaded onto my iDevice – thanks.)

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