Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1255: Last to Go by ___

Posted by kenmac on November 21st, 2012

kenmac.

Preamble: Several clues contain words to be extracted before solving. These surplus words fall into 6 consecutive blocks of 4, each block providing material to define two further words: one of each pair is an otherwise unclued grid entry, the other a word that differs from that entry in a consistent way. Filling in the central square, solvers must highlight two names – the pseudonym of one, in conjunction with other features of the puzzle, will reveal the setter of this puzzle to be entered over the grid, while the equivalent remnants of the pseudonym of the other must be highlighted in an unclued entry.

So, another “whodunnit”, eh? That’s two in a row for me to blog.
Interesting that the first sentence of the preamble says “several clues …” then the second sentence says “… 6 consecutive blocks of 4 …” I quickly worked out that 6×4=24! At this stage, of course, I had no idea what we were going to do with the extra words but knowing that the blocks of four were in consecutive clues made finding the extra words that bit easier. While solving, I kept a watchful eye on both diagonals, as I’m sure every Inquisitor solver does all of the time, and I saw that I could almost pronounce the first part of NW-SE – HABLOT, sounds French! Then I looked at the few I had in the second part and BROWN(E) jumped out. A quick trip to Wikipedia established that HABLOT BROWNE (English, not French) was the main artist for Charles Dickens‘s books. Another look at NE-SW and I realised that we wanted to put DICKENS there but that put a K in the centre square? Of course, old Hablot’s middle name was Knight, so that’s that bit done and dusted.
Time to concentrate on the six groups. By now I had most (if not all) completed. The first group was first to succumb: QUART and QUARTZ, which made me think we were looking for homonyms until I re-read the preamble, “… differs from that entry in a consistent way.” Once I had (Sophia) LOREN, I chanced my arm and found (Konrad) LORENZ, whom I’d never heard of! The rest fell into place quite easily – see the table below although (Lola) MONTEZ proved tricky to justify since she was Irish but she specialised in “Spanish dancing.” And JEWISH IMPREGNATE COOKERY SPLEEN took a while to unravel – I hope I have it right. The last guy (Pierre) BOULEZ might as well have a name check as well, don’t want to upset anyone ;-)

So, on to the last piece of the puzzle, Hablot’s pseudonym was PHIZ and Charlie’s pseudonym was BOZ. BO (without the Z) could be found at the start of BOULE, leaving PHI as our setter.
And the title of the puzzle, “Last to go” indicates that the last letter of the alphabet has to go. (There are no Z’s in the grid.)
Nice neat puzzle. Thanks to PHIZ and BOZ for providing the inspiration and special thanks to PHI.

So our six groups were:

No.
Word
Composite clue
Answer
1 COMMON TWO PINTS

QUART

9 PINTS
11 MINERAL COMMON MINERAL

QUARTZ

12 TWO
20 AUSTRIAN ITALIAN ACTRESS

LOREN

22 ZOOLOGIST
24 ACTRESS AUSTRIAN ZOOLOGIST

LORENZ

27 ITALIAN
35 SPANISH CARD GAME

MONTE

36 DANCER
37 GAME SPANISH DANCER

MONTEZ

38 CARD
2 JEWISH IMPREGNATE

MILT

3 IMPREGNATE
4 COOKERY SPLEEN (JEWISH COOKERY)

MILTZ

5 SPLEEN
10 MATERIAL GREASY MATERIAL

GLIT

15 GREASY
18 APPEARANCE GARISH APPEARANCE

GLITZ

21 GARISH
25 GREEK GREEK PARLIAMENT

BOULE

26 COMPOSER
29 FRENCH FRENCH COMPOSER

BOULEZ

30 PARLIAMENT
Across
No.
Clue (definition)
Entry
Extra word
Wordplay
1 Common
American group with millions invested in Chinese farmer
HUSBANDMAN COMMON
US
(American)+BAND (group)
inside (invested) HAN
(Chinese)
9 Girl, English, to finish
pints
EDIE PINTS
English+DIE (to finish)
11 Forbidden cross
containing mineral phosphorus
TAPU MINERAL
Phoshorus

inside TAU (cross)

12 A two
pound source of tripe, not initially white
ALBUMEN TWO
A+LB (pound)+lUMEN
(source of tripe; not initially)
13 Poet with heroin aboard vessel LORCHA
Heroin
inside LORCA
(poet)
14 Face attempt to reverse discussion

in New York

DIALOG
DIAL
(face)+GO (rev)
16 Arab going to most of proper camp DUAR
DUe
(proper; most of)+ARab
17 Poet’s godless article so
punctured by heads of each order
ATHEOUS
Each

Order (heads of) inside A (article)+THUS
(so)

19 Chromosome in time
securing regional father figure?
IDANT
DA
(regional father) inside IN Time
20 Austrian
euphemism: term for cat meat
GOSHT AUSTRIAN
GOSH
(euphemism)+caT (end: term)
22 Expert zoologist
backing Dutch species affected by habitat
ECAD ZOOLOGIST
ACE
(rev: backing)+Dutch
24 Some model, actress
and starlet – graceful creatures
ELANDS ACTRESS
modEL AND
S
tarlet (hidden: some)
27 Fen decorated by French and
English in Italian celebration
EN FÊTE ITALIAN
FEN
(anag: decorated)+ET
(French and)+English
28 Lives for Hollande’s rivals VIES
(double def) Lives in French (Hollande
being French President)
30 This writer recalled study in German

city

EMDEN
ME
(this writer; rev: recalled)+DEN
(study)
32 Player performing in French
opera
MANON
MAN
(player)+ON (performing)
33 Pacino role left one
enthralled by crazy actor
CARLITO(‘s
Way)

Left+I (one) inside ACTOR (anag: crazy)
35 Spanish
gold? French are producing other minerals
ORES SPANISH
OR
(gold)+ES (are in French)
36 Rare washer, not half
dirty, came up to dancer
GROMET DANCER
GROtty

(dirty; not half)+MET (came
up to)

37 Molecular group I go to
find in Holland game
NITRYL GAME
I+TRY (go to find) inside NL (Netherlands: Holland)
38 Ray Wood playing opening
card
DOORWAY CARD
RAY WOOD
(anag: playing)
40 Local manure, found in
compost at home
TATH
composT AT
H
ome (hidden: found in)
41 Director’s kept round designer DIOR
O
(round) inside DIRector
42 Part of town I see
emerging from eccentricity in redesign
CITY-CENTRE
ECCENTRicITY minus I C (see) (anag: in
redesign)
Down
No.
Clue (definition)
Entry
Extra word
Wordplay
1 Man saws, getting farm subsidies HEADAGES
HE (man)+ADAGES (saws)
2 Piqued comment penned by suspect Jewish governors SUBAHS JEWISH
BAH (piqued
comment) inside SUSpect
3 Impregnate kine
easily, only some getting born
NEE IMPREGNATE
kiNE Easily
(hidden: only some)
4 Aloe chopped in a cookery
broadcast in some Greek style
AEOLIAN COOKERY
ALOE (anag:
chopped)+IN A (anag:
broadcast)
5 Historic spleen
discharge: see a gash filled with a discharge,
ultimately
VACUATE SPLEEN
V (see)+A inside CUT
(gash)+dischargE
(ultimately)
6 Dense rock apparently molten in heat APHANITE
APparently+IN HEAT (anag: molten)
7 Alan’s attraction arrived by chance ALIT
ALan+IT (attraction)
8 The Scotsman’s tips promoted compositor SMOOT
TOOMS (tips;
rev: promoted)
10 Material grains
upset onset of each enzyme
DNase MATERIAL
SAND
(grains; rev: upset)+Each
(onset of)
15 Greasy guest,
slovenly, died, having eaten greedily
GUSTED GREASY
GUEST (anag:
slovenly)+Died
18 Pouch of rocks that is black and
silver, retaining cold appearance
ICE BAG APPEARANCE
Cold inside
IE (that is)+Black+AG
(silver)
21 Triumphal comments about air for garish flowering plants OLEARIAS GARISH
ARIA (air)
inside OLES (triumphal
comments)
23 Similar individuals’ uppish attitude,
limited by pain, minimal energy
GENOTYPE
TONE (rev:
uppish) inside GYP (pain)+Energy (minimal)
25 Greek girl’s
difficulty blocking advance payment
ANNETTE GREEK
NET
(difficulty) inside ANTE
(advance payment)
26 Real Aussie composer:
neat couple of pieces from didgeridoo
DINKY-DI COMPOSER
DINKY
(neat)+DIdgeridoo (couple
of pieces)
29 Old French coin
driving activity, nothing more
SCUDO FRENCH
SCUD
(driving activity)+O
(nothing)
30 Parliament: Queen’s
run out before Minister’s final gaffe
ERROR PARLIAMENT
ER (Queen)_RO (run out)+ministeR (final)
31 Charley has one band engaged in old
lyric
DIMWIT
I (one)+MW (band: medium wave) inside DIT (old lyric)
34 Some cute answer from erotic poet TEAN
cuTE ANswer
(hidden: some)
39 Company around river picking up Tolkien
creation
ORC
River inside
COmpany (rev: picking up)

10 Responses to “Inquisitor 1255: Last to Go by ___”

  1. Hi of hihoba says:

    I thought this was a cracker! We’ve had a superb run of Inquisitors recently.

    I came to the answer in a slightly different way to kenmac. I found most of the blocks of four extra words and found the Italian actress and Austrian zoologist connection first, got the Z connection from that and QUARTZ, then Dickens/ Boz and Hablot K Browne/Phiz last of all. Final tidying up followed. I agree about the Irish Spanish dancer, but was happy to forgive Phi for the minor misdirection!

  2. Thomas99 says:

    I really appreciate it when a blog is done as well as this. Many thanks. It was a great puzzle, brilliantly constructed. I couldn’t believe it when he actually turned out to have been called “Hablot”! You always have to read those rubrics carefully – I wasted some time assuming that the four words had to be taken in the order they appeared, which of course is not actually implied in the instructions. (“Greek composer?”, “French Parliament??” etc. – I seemed to spend ages on Xenakis, Vangelis and Sénat before the penny dropped.)

  3. Steve Foulds says:

    Enjoyable puzzle for me too. I saw Browne on diagonal but didn’t expect Hablot to be a name. My way in was also Quartz. On solving the clues I wouldn’t have guessed it was a Phi although I’ve solved many of his puzzles overtryhe years.

  4. Li Geear says:

    Oh what a beautiful blog and a just as beautiful IQ. Yes, indeed, kenmac we do automatically look at those diagonals as the clues go in and actually the NW corner quite quickly gave me Hablot. I remember when studying Dickens what seems like hundreds of years ago we also looked at the illustrators, and this gave me that final letter which made the rest of the puzzle work like a dream.
    Thanks to you and of course to Phi.

  5. HolyGhost says:

    I was initially misled by a (too?) literal reading of the second sentence of the preamble: “These surplus words fall into 6 consecutive blocks of 4″ – it’s the clues that are in blocks of 4 not the extra words, & also it’s the clues within each block that are consecutive not the blocks themselves; this led me to suspect that the blocks would be formed by cells in the grid … ah well. It was only when I discovered LOREN(Z) that I unravelled my error. And then things moved along smoothly.

    I noted that “Last to go” means not only the last letter of the alphabet had to go, but also the last letter of the word, and as I was completing the puzzle, I thought that LATO (or LODA) might be the setter, though PHI did cross my mind. So thanks to him, and to kenmac for a rather fine blog.

  6. BertandJoyce says:

    This really was a tour de force from one of our favourite setters. Where does he get his ideas from?

    We’d solved most of the puzzle without knowing why but on googling the diagonal, on the off chance it all fell into place.

    A fantastic blog kenmac – it really does justice to a brilliant puzzle. The Inquisitor is the highlight of our weekend. We haven’t missed one since the paper started and this was one of the best!

    Thanks Phi for a puzzle full of Phiz!

  7. Phi says:

    I had a discussion with the ed re Ms Montez. It struck me that people would be wary of assuming anyone called Montez was Irish, and she was a ‘Spanish dancer’ according to what was effectively a genre. I made a particular point was that you’d still call your local fast-food shop an ‘Indian takeaway’ even if the proprietor was born in Walsall.

  8. jon surdy says:

    I don’t understand the word pairs for milt/miltz

  9. Violet says:

    Jon at 8: MILT(Z) aren’t pairs – it’s 1+3. Look in Chambers for MILT: (of fishes) to impregnate, and the spleen (also, in Jewish cookery, MILTZ).

  10. jon surdy says:

    Thanks Violet

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