Fifteensquared

Inquisitor 1255: Last to Go by ___

Posted by kenmac on November 21st, 2012

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 Starlet (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 Home (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)

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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