Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1251: Two Setters in Search of Two Characters (and An Author) by ??

Posted by kenmac on October 24th, 2012


Preamble: Lost in the grid while celebrating a centenary, two familiar Inquisitor setters’ 4 words of introduction to their rescuer (x, unclued, using two answer slots) may be discovered in two grid sequences (15 letters in total). The surname of a second relevant character (y, one answer slot) is also unclued. Their creator (z)’s full name is also featured, utilising the letters in the shaded squares. Clues are listed in alphabetical order of their solutions, which should be arranged wherever they will fit. Extra single letters yielded by the wordplay in all clues give, in order, an instruction aiding solvers to arrive at the final solution. Between them Chambers and the ODE justify all entries apart from the name of a Belgian comic artist.

So, x and y are hiding in the grid along with their creator z, that’s reasonable enough but what about the two familiar setters are they there or is it just the words they used?
The clues are not in conventional order but are, instead, presented in alphabetic order of their answers.
The first ten clues succumbed very quickly and that should have made me realise that I was in for a rough ride! Sure enough, I quickly ground to a halt and the rest of the clues were very slow to yield. Later, when I had six of the last seven clues it looked like it was going to spell SOFT TOY. Aha! I wonder if it’s the centenary of the TEDDY BEAR – nope, that was 1902! After several more fruitless internet searches I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a soft toy. Later I saw SUPPOSED WORDS OF A TOY which led me down several blind alleys. Then one morning when I woke up I suddenly realised that it was WORDS OF X TO Y, at this point I kicked myself for being so stupid and thanked my subconscious :-)
I’m always a bit scared of the crosswords where we have to fit the words into a blank grid but I struck lucky as I initially tried the two 9-letter and 7-letter answers in their correct positions. The rest of the grid fill was reasonably easy and once I had the shaded squares filled I could see that they spelled out BURROUGHS. Knowing that Edgar Rice Burroughs created Tarzan, a quick trip to Wikipedia confirmed that the first Tarzan book (Tarzan of the Apes) was published in 1912. EDGAR is to be found from g12 to k12 and RICE from d6 to g6. The three unclued entries are 8a, 39 and 40 giving us APE MAN (8a and 40) and PORTER (39) Porter being Jane’s surname.

The extra letters from the clues generated REPLACE OUR INTRODUCTION WITH SUPPOSED WORDS OF X TO Y. Since I guess nearly everyone knows the phrase “Me Tarzan, you Jane” incorrectly quoted, I then searched the grid and found WE NIMROD AND LATO from c3 to j3 and c10 to i10, which have to be replaced with ME TARZAN YOU JANE. Remarkably, this leaves us with real words in 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 7d, 8d, 11d, 13d, 14a &15a and 24d, 26d, 27d, 30d, 32d, 34d, 35a, 36d & 37a – 35a being our Belgian comic artist.
This was a superb puzzle. My only gripe would be that it was not at all fair to anyone discovering The Inquisitor for the first time as they might not know Nimrod and Lato.
Thanks to our two heroic setters – I’m glad you’ve made it back to civilisation and look forward to your future offerings.

And finally, for those that missed the dialogue between Holy Ghost and me four weeks ago:, here’s a link to Prepostorous Tales.

Clue Conventional
Entry Extra
Mushroom jelly not completely
full in flavour
23a Agaric R
AGAR (jelly)+RICh
(full in flavour)
Princess accepted old coin 30d Anna E
(princess) ANNE+Accepted
After one game I express surprise about defences 2d Apologias P
A (one)+POLO (game)+I
inside GASP
Return to den and work on a rhetorical
10a Aporia L
(den)+OP (work)+A (all rev: return to)
Inquires when Jamaican music will be
20a Asks A
SKA (Jamaican music) inside AS (when)
Perpetrator of classical music stored
in web cache
1a (Johann
Sebastian) Bach
(hidden: stored in)
Live with a fundamentalist group on islands 1d Bahamas E
BE (live)+A+HAMAS (fundamentalist group)
Shrink company or we go bust! 3d Cower O
COmpany+OR WE
(anag: go bust)
Scoundrel’s promise to pay druggie stranger
(as Alice said repeatedly)
18d Curiouser U
(scoundrel)+IOU (promise to
Doctor has a little sulk in Tannochbrae 13d Dort R
DR (doctor)+ORT
Say, stop working over border! 34d Edge I
EG (say)+DIE (stop working) (all rev:
The Wanderer is French story
with twist
16a Estray N
EST (is in
French)+YARN (story; rev:with twist)
Fluid feature of NE Spain advanced gas 34a Ethyne T
(fluid feature of NE) with E (Spain) “advanced” – ETHTYNE
Heady elixir and cocaine involved in
28a Exilic R
ELIXIR (anag:heady)+Cocaine
Honoured adversary with spread in the
41a Fêted O
(adversary)+TED (spread in
the sun)
Miserly Scottish gad-about? 42a Gare D
Bush occasionally trimmed displays these (a
bit shorter)
5d Hairs U
bUsH (occasionally trimmed)+AIRS (displays) – bit of an
ugly clue, IMO
Can use gardening tool without barrow in
the village?
14a Howe C
WC (can) inside HOE
(gardening tool)
Run into friendly girl 7d Mary T
Run inside MATY
The same flipping trouble in the middle 8d Medial I
IDEM (the
same;rev: flipping)+AIL
Big, awkward, local girl’s space to
turn round
19a Mor O
(rev: to turn around)
Hawaiian bird making way for one joining language
12a Na-dene N
(one joining) inside NENE
(Hawaiian bird)
Fresh roll cut and pears 9d Nelis W
NEW (fresh)+LISt
(roll; cut)
It’s so hot and dry here – love white
37a Oast I
O (love)+ASTI
(white wine)
Near backward youth in Orkneys estate 15a Odal T
(near)+LAD (youth;
Eject from the troubled South 31a Oust H
SOUTH (anag:troubled)
One allowing escape abroad in case 27d Outlet S
(abroad)+LEST (in
A hymn for American to write about
35a Pean U
AU (gold) inside PEN
(to write)
Devastate one of Frank S’s wives in
38a Ravage P
AVA G inside
(theatre) (Ava
‘s wife)
Rope wrapped round each moving part 33d Reata P
EAch inside
(anag: moving)
Repair circuit in store free 11d Resort O
OR (circuit)
inside STORE (anag: free)
Pink eggs 33a Roe S
He’s a revolutionary atomic physicist
from India
29a (Meghnad)
(anag: revolutionary)+Atomic
Leaders of science department have note for staff 25d Sceptre D
(leaders of)+DEPT
(department)+RE (note)
Fashion model has seat 32d Shape W
HAS (anag:
Go into wrong men’s address in Naples 24d Signor O
GO inside SIN
(wrong)+OR (men:other
Cardinal’s pen farceur kept 21d Sixty R
(farceur: Brian Rix) inside STY
Above backing American horse 29d Supra D
US (rev:
backing)+PRAD (horse)
Is not a foreign language 17d Taino S
(anag: foreign)
Crosses out, as in error 22a Taus O
(anag: in error)
What? Tup’s first to mount most fancied young ewe? 26d Theave F
EH (what)+Tup (first letter)+FAVE
(most fancied)
One avoiding tax modestly donating a third to play digitally 4a Thumb X
TaX (one (A) avoiding)+HUMBle (one third missing)
Scots lost money 4d Tin T
TINT (lost)
Perthshire fox in bother 36d Tod O
TO DO (bother)
You said Ken may regenerate ruin 6d Unmake Y
(homophone: you)+KEN MAY (anag: regenerate)

12 Responses to “Inquisitor 1251: Two Setters in Search of Two Characters (and An Author) by ??”

  1. PeeDee says:

    I love the animated GIF, that caught my attention!

    I have not tired the Inquisitor, in fact I don’t even know what publication it is from but on the basis of this blog I may well give it a go in the future. Looks very good indeed.

  2. Liz Geear says:

    Super-duper stuff from Nimrod and Lato and thanks kenmac for the animated grid and helpful blog. This puzzle was one of those Inquisitors that took me absolutely ages to complete (nothing new there then), mostly because I originally misplaced one of the 9 letter solutions.
    The Inquisitor is in the magazine section of Saturday’s Independent. Well worth the £1.60.

  3. PeeDee says:

    Thanks Liz, I’ll give it a go on Saturday.

  4. Ross says:

    This Inq was a great solve, although I do question the carte blance element – did it really add anything to the puzzle?

    Anyone have any idea of why the letters in BURROUGHS are in their respective places in the grid? I wondered if they were supposed to help with filling in the grid, but I didn’t find them helpful in that respect, since I didn’t really know what I was looking for them to say until I had pretty much worked the whole thing out, by which point I had completed the grid in draft anyway.

  5. Ross says:

    (I should also note that I spent so long trying to make the answer to 5d HERGE that I barely spotted PEYO before sending it off!).

    Thanks for the blog.

  6. nmsindy says:

    I thought this was a superb puzzle esp as the quote would be familiar to most. When I saw the carte blanche element, along with everything else, I thought it might be almost impossible but, rather, I made progress steadily from the start. I agree the real words gave excellent confirmation and I finally tracked down that Belgian comic artist. Many thanks, Nimrod, Lato and kenmac for the blog.

  7. Ross says:

    PeeDee – you should certainly give the Inq a go. Generally it is easier than the Listener but still has those wonderful ‘aha’ moments when everything falls into place.

  8. HolyGhost says:

    A tough one this week. In many(/most?) cartes blanches, the small number of longer entries (here two 9s & two 7s) intersect and that helps — not so in this puzzle, and for a long time I had only CURIOUSER & BAHAMAS so I struggled to begin the fill even with a host of shorter entries I’d discovered. But it was fair game and an enjoyable ride. (Nimrod‘s style came through, but I agree with the blogger that the hunt for that & Lato would have been a bit hard for irregular solvers.)

    Many positives here, but …
    I do agree with kenmac that the clue leading to his 5d is rather lax: “bUsH (occasionally trimmed)” losing the U in order to yield the single letter H is not that great!

    In response to Ross (comment 4): the location of the cells containing the letters of BURROUGHS happens to consist of the first occurrences of B, U, etc. in the grid reading left to right, then top to bottom; I suspect no more, no less, than that.

    And finally …
    I stupidly forgot to look for EDGAR & RICE in the completed grid. I guess I’d have achieved a correct submission (there was no requirement to highlight them), but in spirit I have to mark myself as a fail on this score.

    PS (so above wasn’t “finally”): what’s the reference to “the ODE” in the preamble? What is this? I didn’t need it, whatever it is.

  9. duncanshiell says:

    HolyGhost @ 8

    I think ODE is a reference to the Oxford Dictionary of English.

    I found this the hardest Inquisitor for some time. I failed on understanding the XTOY bit in the message and only got it when kenmac and I met in a coffee bar in Hawick in the Scottish Borders earlier this week.

    Like Ross, I was trying to fit Hergé to one of the clues.

    An excellent puzzle.

  10. Hi of hihoba says:

    I too enjoyed this puzzle. I like alphabetical jigsaws anyway, and this one seemed relatively straightforward if you started (as I did) with BACH and BAHAMAS at the top left.

    The rest was more tricky!

    Like Duncan I failed on the X to Y part of the message, and like HG missed EDGAR and RICE. But a superb puzzle and thanks to our two ?? setters.

  11. starburst says:

    I quite agree about the unfairness of the “and Lato” bit. I’ve only recently started doing the Inquisitor again after a few years off the Indy, and I think it’s a little de trop to require the solver to know all the setters. A pity, because until then I thought this was great stuff

  12. chesley says:

    Starburst @ 11 : a bit unfair to Lato, I think. He has been one of the most profilic contributers to IQs over many years.

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