Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1250: WEST END HIT by Shark

Posted by Hihoba on October 17th, 2012



This is Shark’s fourth offering in this series. One of his previous puzzles was last Christmas, with gift, toys and presents under the tree.

This was a nicely constructed puzzle with straightforward clues (i.e. no extra/missing letters or misprints) covering the whole grid except for one 10 letter phrase. This phrase was from a “famous verse”, and the preceding observation had to be “reflected in the grid”.

The phrase turned out to be MY FAIR LADY, which chimed nicely with the title “West End Hit”. [I had the pleasure of playing in the orchestral pit during a week of performances by an amateur operatic society. I must say that My Fair Lady was a great pleasure to play - tune after tune, my favourite being On the Street Where You Live.]

However, this was entirely irrelevant to the theme of the puzzle, where the preceding line was from the Nursery Rhyme London Bridge is Falling Down which runs:

London Bridge is falling down,

Falling down, falling down,

London Bridge is falling down,

My fair lady.

Who the fair lady was I don’t know, but the history of the bridge and the origins and lyrics of the rhyme can be found here.

Anyway the instruction clearly involved finding the letters of “LONDON BRIDGE” and moving them to the bottom row of the grid. The rubric indicated that gaps were to be left where the original letters were, and the resulting grid entries were all to be real words, ignoring the blanks.


There was one ambiguity. Either of the O’s of GOO (28D) could be removed, leaving either MOA or MA at 30A. This was resolved by noticing that the blanks left in the diagram were in the shape of a bridge if the second O of GOO was removed (see After diagram).

Finally 14 cells were to be highlighted where the thematic object ended up. Now London bridge was removed to Lake Havasu City in 1967, but after a fruitless search I realised that that would have been the new bridge, not the one that was falling down. So the location of the fallen bridge was in THE RIVER THAMES which was to be highlighted in contiguous cells starting at cell 1. A final plus for Shark is that the highlighted cells are in the shape of the River Thames at London Bridge!

Good fun, and thank you Shark.

The first diagram is of the unaltered grid, the second of the final grid.

 Before:                                                                                 After:











 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer  Wordplay
 1  Symbol of saint (Anthony) from crown found in tip  T-CROSS  CR(own) in TOSS (tip)
 5  Goddess upset about girl  ATHENE  ATE (upset) about HEN (girl)
 9  Way of drawing attention to adult on edge  AHEM  A(dult) + HEM (edge)
 10  Heath’s relative (Pyrola is related to erica) is an arsonist – not quite a convict  PYROLA  PYRO (arsonist) + LA(g)
 12  See – tiger mutilated monkey  GRIVET  [V (see) TIGER]*
 13  It is found in stale (= urine) bread removing crust, initially acceptable  UREA  U (acceptable) + (b)REA(d)
 14  One way to railway enclosure  AVIARY  A (one) VIA (way) RY (railway)
 16  Benefit from cut fabric  PLUS  PLUSH (fabric) cut
 18  Do reverse car for home of legend (Norse Giants)  UTGARD  UT (do - sol-fa) + DRAG (car) reversed
 20  Martial arts outfit (judo/karate) from soldier base  GIE  GI (soldier) + E (base)
 21  Being 32 and single (dumping old friend)  ENS  32 is NUT, another name for a printing EN + S(ingle); INGLE is an obsolete name for a friend
 22  Blast from perhaps Persian hotel in Kent area  SCATHE  CAT (perhaps Persian) + H(otel) in SE
 26  Church dignitary restricts hoax and is the third member of clergy to become cruel  DEHUMANISE  DEAN round HUM (hoax) + IS + (cl)E(rgy)
 27  Papillon’s companion returning old  AGED  DEGA reversed (Dega is Papillon’s companion in the eponymous film)
 29  Fish included in cheese pie from Scotland  BRIDIE  ID (fish) in BRIE
 30  God? No God for primate (W. African monkey)  MONA  MONAD (God) minus D(eus)
 31  Gave a hint and connected line right  INKLED  LINKED (connected) with L(ine) moved to right
 33  Free except with employment causing wear  EXCUSE  EXC(ept) + USE
 34  Sheep‘s tense next to bomb  TEGG  T(ense) + EGG (bomb)
 35  Albert, perhaps, is a piercing  LABRET  [ALBERT]*
 36  Rising above the water and see resort surrounding the French sea  EMERSE  [SEE]* round MER
 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer  Wordplay
 1  Oriental mat made from odds and ends friend added together  TATAMI  TAT (odds and ends) + AMI
 2  Hunting knife decapitated mortal  CHIVYING  CHIV (knife) + (d)YING (mortal)
 3  German returns and shaking fist and returns unwanted present  REGIFTS  GER reversed + [FIST]*
 4  Jet conceals international genius  SPIRIT  SPIRT (jet) round I(nternational)
 5  Measure time in reverse  ARE  ERA reversed
 6  Rip to shreds youngster: attention!  TO-TEAR  TOT (youngster) + EAR (attention)
 7  Relay running in good time  EARLY  [RELAY]*
 8  Tease wife about discarded computers (only in the latest Chambers)  E-WASTE  [TEASE W(ife)]*
 11  Bird with head down finds plant  MEU  EMU with E “down”
 15  Black toilet paper  BLAT  B(lack) + LAT(rine)
 17  Sloth is one surrounded by circular ripples in dirty water, perhaps  RINSINGS  SIN (sloth) in RINGS
 19  MacDonald’s going (Scottish word) thin – time to leave  GAUN  GAUNT minus T
 20  Cooking griddle is slippery in places  GLIDDER  [GRIDDLE]*
 21  Paint European lover no longer around  ENAMEL  E(uropean) + LEMAN (obs for lover) reversed
 23  Repetitive cycling is best  CHOICE  ECHOIC with the E “cycling”
 24  Prostitute (mutton) leaves returning by New York location  HARLEM  Prostitute is HARLOT, mutton is EM (printing) so HARLOTEM minus TO (by) reversed = HARLEM.  Not too keen on this – is there a better explanation?
 25  Scottish whine is number one round England  PEENGE  PEE (number one) round ENG(land)
 26  Star from wide nebula  DENEB  Hidden in wiDE NEBula
 28  Sentimentality is almost genuine  GOO  Almost GOO(d)
 32  Fruit cake or fruitcake (mad person)  NUT  Triple definition

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1250: WEST END HIT by Shark”

  1. Bertandjoyce says:

    A really cleverly constructed puzzle and enjoyable to solve.

    We discovered London Bridge fairly quickly after we’d solved most of the clues but we then spent ages looking for references to the Arizona desert where the original bridge was relocated! Couldn’t believe that we hadn’t seen the obvious! A real DOH! moment when we did.

    Thanks to Hihoba and Shark.

  2. Hi of hihoba says:

    I understand that there is a problem with comments, which are not being appended to this blog at present. Investigation is under way.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    Can’t remember how hard or easy I found this – tho’ I did get delayed by having NIT for 5d. (It fits the def. – see nit^4 in Chambers – and the wordplay from “time in reverse”.) Also delayed by the authentic (?) Iona & Peter Opie version “London Bridge is Broken Down”, but I dismissed the US relocation quite quickly.

    I noticed that the highlighted cells snaked river-like across the grid, but hadn’t spotted that they echoed the Thames at London Bridge – do they really?

    I had exactly the same query as Hihoba with the wordplay of “by” = “to” at 24d, so can’t offer anything better. Thanks go to him for the blog, and to Shark for another engaging puzzle.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

three + = 6