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Inquisitor 1257: Cover Version by Jambazi

Posted by duncanshiell on December 5th, 2012

duncanshiell.

Although Jambazi has appeared in the Independent daily puzzle series, this is his first Inquisitor puzzle.

The preamble was fairly short and stated "Taken in order, the initial letters of superfluous words in all but the last two clues identify a location.  By highlighting 31 cells, a representation of this for a classic work is revealed.  Changing two other unchecked cells in the completed grid will form an abridged title of the work".

 

 

There were 53 clues in the puzzle, which is quite a lot even for a barred crossword.  Presumably the phrase from first letters had an influence on the number of clues.  I was in a minority recently when I suggested the clues in a daily Independent puzzle were suitable for beginners, but I’ll go out on a limb again and say these clues were not too difficult once the superfluous word had been identified.  I thought that many of the clue surfaces were excellent and added considerably to the overall enjoyment of the puzzle.  Clues that stood out for me included:

13a with its implied linking of African and Jamaican athletes;

17a conjured up a clear picture;

24a with another athletic association.  There is a 50K walk in the Olympics

6d bringing in the Listener crossword;

7d associating Kryptonite (even although it was superfluous) with Superman;

and the tennis theme in 20d.

There were other clues that I liked but I don’t want to bore readers with too many lists.

The phrase from the first letters of superfluous words built up quite quickly.  ST JOHNS WOOD beame obvious early on, and the emergence of WHISKY helped me deduce NOVEMBER, ALPHA, YANKEE, EIGHT and NINE before I had solved all the clues.

The full phrase from the first letters was ST JOHNS WOOD LONDON NOVEMBER WHISKY EIGHT NINE ALPHA YANKEE

The grid at this point looked like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick bit of googling provided the information that ABBEY ROAD studios are located at the post code NW8 9AY.  The cover of the Beatles ABBEY ROAD LP is fairly well known one, featuring each of the Fab Four on a ZEBRA CROSSING (41 across) in the street.Further studyThe final grid looked like this:

Further study of the grid showed vertical occurences of GEORGE, MACCA, RINGO and LENNON providing a representation of GEORGE Harrison, Paul McCartney (MACCA), RINGO Starr and John LENNON with their feet on the crossing in the order as shown on the cover of the LP.  Given that the last letters of each person E, A, O and N are also in ZEBRA CROSSING we highlighted only 31 cells to gat a representation of the cover of the classic work.

Finally changing the unchecked Y and the second unchecked A in 2a GRAYBEARD to B and Y respectively gives us ABBEY RD in the centre of the top row.

The final grid looks like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To refresh your memories, the cover of the LP is shown below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The title of the puzzle, Cover Version, is, obviously,  a cryptic reference to the graphic represnattion of the image on the cover of the LP

Across
No. Clue Word Letter Wordplay Entry

2

 

Fogy across the pond’s nub, mysterious stranger lifted from Barnaby Rudge novel(9)

 

stranger

 

S

 

Anagram of (novel) BARNABY RUDGE excluding (lifted from) an anagram of (mysterious) NUB

 

GRAYBEARD (an American spelling [across the pond] of GREYBEARD [old man; fogy])

 

11

 

Boy following teenager’s letters caught wearing protection (8)

 

teenager’s

 

T

 

MAIL (letters) + C (caught [notation in cricket scoring]) + LAD (boy)

 

MAILCLAD (wearing a coat of mail; protected)

 

13

 

African runner, worlds fastest man, doesn’t finish in the middle of Jamaican heat (5)

Jamaican

 

J

 

BOLT (reference Usain BOLT, the world’s fastest sprinter at 100 and 200 metres, excluding the final letter [doesn't finish] T) contained in (in) EA (central letters of [middle of] HEAT)

E (BOL) A

EBOLA (river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; African river.  The river is probably best known for giving its name to the toxic EBOLA virus)

 

15

 

One puffing out hat that’s left inside office (7)

 

office

 

O

 

L (left) contained in (inside) BOATER (straw hat)

B (L) OATER

BLOATER (one puffing out)

 

17

 

Hot boob tube for hooker to wear ultimately (5)

 

Hot

 

H

 

ERROR (final letters of [ultimately] TUBE FOR HOOKER TO WEAR)

 

ERROR (boob)

 

18

 

Northern Rock level, but area cut by American property price indicator (13, 2 words)

Northern

 

N

 

Anagram of (rock) LEVEL BUT AREA containing (cut by) A (American)

R (A) TEABLE VALUE*

RATEABLE VALUE (a value placed on a property, used to assess the amount payable to the local authority each year; property price indicator (?)  I suppose it gives an indication of relative value)

 

19

 

Russian secret police study back up move (4)

 

study

 

S

(UP + GO [move; as in "it's your go"]) all reversed (back)

 

OGPU (Russian secret police 1922 – 1934)

 

22

 

Wordworth the poet might with this chime (5)

 

Wordsworth

 

W

 

RHYME (the word RHYME itself RHYMEs with CHIME)

 

RHYME (what poets do, well most of them anyway)

 

24

 

Olympian Christie’s death zone? Sporting name undergoing 50K switch? (4)

 

Olympian

 

O

 

NIKE (reference NIKE sports company,named after the winged goddess or spirit of victory of the same name) with K changed to (undergoing switch) L (Roman numeral for 50)  If you type NIKE into Google you get far more references to the sports company than the goddess -it’s page 6 before the goddess gets a mention)

 

NILE (reference Agatha’s Christie’s novel Death on the NILE; Christie’s death zone)

 

26

 

Drink group losing older member … (3)

 

older

 

O

TEAM (group) excluding (losing) M (member)

 

TEA (example of a drink)

 

27

 

drink support group (7)

 

drink

 

D

BRACKET (projecting support)

 

BRACKET (a group or category defined and demarcated by certain limiting parameters) double definition

 

31

 

Low cost to China, working for a song (11)

 

Low

 

L

 

Anagram of (working) COST TO CHINA

 

OCTASTICHON (a song of eight lines)

 

32

 

Given to moralising – Orthodox priest to make money at last (7)

 

Orthodox

 

O

 

P (priest) + REACH (make) + Y (final letter of [at last] MONEY)

 

PREACHY (given to moralising)

 

33

 

Rain Man narrowly missing odds in equal amounts (3)

 

narrowly

 

N

 

ANA (RAIN MAN excluding [missing] letters 1, 3, 5 and 7 [odds] RIMA)

 

ANA (in equal amounts)

 

35

 

Bore Queen after Diana, say (4)

 

Diana

D

 

EG (for example; say) + ER (Elizabeth Regina; queen)

 

EGER (eagre [bore or sudden rise of the tide in a river])

 

37

 

Overweigh sponge cake – decigram replacing kilo (5)

 

Overweigh

O

 

CADGE (CAKE with DG [decigram] replacing K [kilogram])

 

CADGE (scrounge; sponge)

 

40

 

Soon Nikon camera manufacturer has no opening (4)

 

Nikon

 

N

 

CANON (reference CANON cameras) excluding the first letter (has no opening) C

 

ANON (soon)

 

41

 

Navigator’s markings on way means to bring back the quagga? (13, 2 words)

 

Navigator’s

 

N

 

ZEBRA CROSSING (a QUAGGA is an extinct S African wild ass (Equus quagga), less fully striped than the zebras, to which it was related.  Potentially we could re-create QUAGGAS by CROSSING a ZEBRA with another similar animal)

 

ZEBRA CROSSING (black and white markings on the road [way] to signal a pedestrian crossing)

46

 

Mathematician caught tanker offshore (5)

 

offshore

 

O

 

OILER (sounds like [heard; caught]) EULER (reference Leonhard EULER, mathematician)

 

OILER (tanker)

 

47

 

Celibacy can cut Viagra need (7)

 

Viagra

 

V

 

ABSTINENCE (celibacy) excluding (cut) TIN (can)

 

ABSENCE (need)

 

48

 

Cut off footballer losing head over English papers (5)

 

English

 

E

 

PELE (reference Brazilian footballerPELE) excluding the first letter (losing head) P containing (over) ID (identity papers)

EL (ID) E

ELIDE (cut off)

 

49

 

Only initially taper off around limit of bikini line – model’s hair removed with this? (8)

 

model’s

 

M

 

Anagram of (off) (O [first letter of {initially} ONLY] and TAPER) containing (around) (I [final letter of {limit of; boundary of} BIKINI] + L [line])

EP (I L ) ATOR*

EPILATOR (a tool to remove hair)

 

50

 

Black metal in river damaging martinets (9)

Black

 

B

 

Anagram of (damaging) MARTINETS

 

STREAM-TIN (tin-ore found in alluvial ground; metal in river)

 

Down          

No.

Clue

Word

Letter Worplay Entry

1

 

Early photograph, in the morning British edition, of short model (9)

 

edition

 

E

 

AM (in the morning) + BR (British) + O (shortened form of OF) + TYPE (model)

 

AMBROTYPE (an early kind of photograph made by backing a glass negative with black varnish or paper so that it appears as a positive

 

2

 

Girl on date ruined old shoe (6)

 

ruined

 

R

 

GAL (girl) + AGE (determine the age of; date)

 

GALAGE (an obsolete form of [old] GALOSH [rustic shoe sandal or clog])

 

3

 

Rising Independent cuts rubbish writing (4)

 

writing

 

W

 

I (independent) contained in (cuts) ROT (rubbish)

 

RIOT (disturbance of the peace by a crowd; rising)

 

4

 

Wings cooked with hollandaise sauce ultimately (4)

 

hollandaise

 

H

 

À LA (in cooking, prepared with) + E (final letter of [ultimately] SAUCE)

 

ALAE (wings)

 

5

 

Some trouble brewing inside bubble (4)

 

inside

 

I

 

BLEB (hidden word in [some] TROUBLE BREWING)

 

BLEB (a bubble, as in water)

 

6

 

Set advanced Listener – beginner close to ready (5)

Set

 

S

 

EAR (listener) + L (learner; beginner) + Y (final letter of [close to] READY)

 

EARLY (advanced)

 

7

 

Kryptonite concerning first lady for Superman actor (5)

 

Kryptonite

 

K

RE (concerning) + EVE (first lady)

 

REEVE (reference Christopher REEVE, actor who played Superman)

 

8

 

Italian city in favour of lira? ‘Yes‘, by Italy (5)

 

Yes

 

Y

 

FOR (in favour of) + L (lira) + I (international vehicle registration for Italy)

 

FORLI (Italian city)

 

9

 

Shortly obscure eye’s focal point (4)

 

eye’s

 

E

 

CLOUD (obscure) excluding the final letter (shortly) D

 

CLOU (main point of interest; focal point)

 

10 Inedible food from China (4)

Inedible

I

FAR E (Far East – descriptive of the location of China) FARE (food)

12

 

Governments reckon reward up (4)

 

Governments

 

G

 

MEED (reward) reversed (up; down clue)

 

DEEM (think; believe; reckon)

 

14

 

Gill drunk in a hotel bar around children (8)

 

hotel

 

H

 

Anagram of (drunk) IN A BAR containing (around) CH (children)

BRAN (CH) IA

BRANCHIA (gill)

 

16

 

Cover for troubled street, perhaps Met arm a copper partially (6)

 

troubled

 

T

TARMAC (hidden word in [partially] MET ARM A COPPER)

 

TARMAC (example of a road surfacing; cover for a street perhaps)

 

20

 

Measure Nadal’s power, serve not returned (4)

 

Nadal’s

 

N

P (power) + ACE ([tennis] serve that is not returned)

 

PACE (measure)

 

21

 

Like Indian dirt tracks?  After van’s engine initially cuts out, adventurer wanders (8)

 

Indian

 

I

 

Anagram of (wanders) ADVENTURER excluding (cuts out) (V and E [first letters of {initially} VAN’S and ENGINE)

 

UNTARRED (a dirt track will not have a TARRED surface)

 

23

 

Nimrod: "Very hard keeping setters quiet" (4)

 

Nimrod

 

N

 

(V [very] + H [hard]) containing (keeping) US (setters – Nimrod is the pseudonym of the editor of the Inquisitor series, John Henderson)

 

HUSH (quiet)

 

25

 

Foreigner – alien called home finally on earth (9)

 

earth

 

E

 

ET (extraterrestrial; alien) + RANG (called) + E (last letter of [finally] HOME) + RE (concerning; on)

 

ÉTRANGÈRE (foreigner)

 

28

 

Admirers call round (4)

 

Admirers

 

A

 

RING (call)

 

RING (round) double definition

 

29

 

Learners approach a cul-de-sac’s new dual exits (6)

Learners

 

L

 

Anagram of (new) A CUL-DE-SACS excluding (exits) DUAL

 

ACCESS (approach)

 

30

 

Muslim scriptures missing core prophecy- nosensical to Buddhist (4)

 

prophecy

 

P

 

KORAN (the Muslim Scriptures in Arabic) excluding (missing) the middle letter (core) R

 

KOAN (in Zen Buddhism, a nonsensical, logically unanswerable question given to students as a subject for meditation)

 

34

 

One doesn’t follow Harman, Labour member? (6)

 

Harman

 

A

 

NON CON (not a Conservative, so possibly a member of the Labour party.  It’s not releveant to the adjusted clue, Harriet Harman is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and a leading member of the shadow cabinet)

 

NONCON (nonconformist – one who doesn’t follow the herd)

 

36

 

Book from abridged bible’s disturbed fallen angel (5)

 

abridged

 

A

 

Anagram of (disturbed) BIBLE’S excluding (from) B (book)

 

EBLIS (the chief of the fallen angels in Muslim mythology)

 

37

 

Carpet Power to Vanish yellow mark (5)

 

yellow

 

Y

 

CARPET excluding (to vanish) P (power)

 

CARET (in proofreading, etc a mark, , to show where to insert something omitted)

 

38

 

Amorous climax came in excitement (4)

 

Amorous

 

A

 

Anagram of (in excitement) CAME

 

ACME (the culmination or perfection in the career of anything;climax)

 

39

 

Drummer to copy Nirvana’s cover (5)

 

Nirvana’s

 

N

 

DR (drummer) + APE (to copy)

 

DRAPE (cover)

 

41

 

Australian Kylie and her country upset over English immature crab (4)

 

Kylie

 

K

 

(A [Australian] + OZ [Australia; {her} country]) reversed (upset; down clue) containing (over) E (English)

ZO< (E) A<

ZOEA (a larval stage of certain decapod crustaceans, eg of crabs; immature crab)

 

42

 

Old age brings up Employment Department untruth (4)

 

Employment

 

E

(D [Department] + LIE [untruth]) reversed (brings up; down clue) EILD (archaic word [old] for age; also means old age directly)

43

 

Ancient witchcraft round AC/DC – American entourage (4)

 

entourage

 

E

O (round [shape]) + BI (bisexual; ac/dc + A (American)

 

OBIA (obsolete [old] variant spelling of OBI [witchcraft and poisoning practised in the W Indies, Guyana, etc])

 

44

 

Stall car (4)

 

 

 

 

 

SEAT (stall [a church SEAT with arms])

 

SEAT (brand of car)  double definition

 

45

 

Character of comic strips in Peru’s former capital (4)

 

 

 

 

 

INTI (comic character, first appeared in Incredible Hercules #117)

 

INTI (former unit of currency [capital] in Peru)

 

 

14 Responses to “Inquisitor 1257: Cover Version by Jambazi”

  1. Joan MM says:

    Thanks for the blog. Like you, I thought some of the clues in this were excellent. I was slightly puzzled re your mention of ‘with their feet on the crossing’ – I thought of it as simply the four Beatles ON a zebra crossing.

  2. duncanshiell says:

    Using ‘feet’ was just a clumsy way of saying I was impressed that Jambazi managed to get the names of all four Beatles ending on the ZEBRA CROSSING. If he had used PAUL, that name would have straddled the crossing. I suppose he could have got JOHN in on the far side, but I suspect that LENNON made the construction of the rest of the grid a bit easier.

  3. John Lowe says:

    Duncan

    Thank you for your usual very detailed blog. I think that the comic character you have found for 45 down is so obscure as to be known only a miniscule proportion of the population. I think that “Character of comic strips” is actually Tintin without his ends.

    Possibly if Jambazi reads this blog he may clarify the issue. Thanks to him for an enjoyable puzzle.

  4. duncanshiell says:

    John Lowe @ 3

    You make a valid point that the INTI I found is very obscure. However, I just typed ‘inti comic character’ into Google and the reference to the Incredible Hercules comic was the first entry.

    However, I see that one definition of ‘character’ in Chambers is ‘any essential feature’ so I agree that INTI could be considered as a ‘character of TINTIN.’

  5. John Lowe says:

    I actually meant that “strips” indicated the removal of the end letters of Tintin as a comic character to give inti…

  6. duncanshiell says:

    Yes – I think that’s probably 2-0 to you!

  7. Tom Willis says:

    This was my first real attempt at an Inquisitor (I’d previously been frightened off by the perceived level of difficulty but persevered with this as I’m a fan of Jambazi/Tramp) and after battling with it for 3 days I finally cracked it. It was very satisfying when the postcode penny dropped and the four names emerged.

    Thanks for the very clear blog.

  8. kenmac says:

    I was honoured when Jambazi contacted me in March this year to discuss the idea he had for this crossword, having never set a barred puzzle before. Understandably he didn’t want to waste time if it wasn’t a goer and the editor doesn’t like to discuss potential puzzles beforehand; preferring to solve them cold.

    So I saw the solution 8 months before I saw the puzzle. As the extra letters began to appear I had this nagging feeling of déjà vu and then when I found the four names I thought, “isn’t this similar to a puzzle that was out a few months ago?” – d’oh!

    The one thing that niggled me was that a large number of clues (I didn’t count them) had a capitalised word as the extra word, making it easier to spot the superfluous words.

    And I didn’t notice that their “feet” were on the crossing, it’s so obvious now that you mention it.

    Nice “flashy” grid, Duncan ;-) well done.

  9. kenmac says:

    Oh, one other niggle. I think that WHISKY is wrong, I believe that WHISKEY is correct:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FAA_Phonetic_and_Morse_Chart2.svg

  10. HolyGhost says:

    Yes – not too difficult an opener from Jambazi. I guessed the theme rather early from a partial London postcode plus the puzzle’s title, confirmed by ZEBRA CROSSING at 41a.

    I agree with John Lowe‘s understanding of how the wordplay for 45d works (comments 3 & 5) – though it was by far and away the last clue that I resolved to my satisfaction.

    And along with kenmac at comment 9, I found WHISKY instead of WHISKEY a minor irritant.

    There were a couple of other weaknesses for me: TARMAC & UNTARRED (16d & 21d) are too close, and slightly worse is having RANG in the wordplay for 25d and RING as the answer at 28d, clued by “called” and “call” – and in consecutive clues.

    Nevertheless, thanks go to Jambazi, and of course Duncan for the blog. (Let’s hope that flashing grids don’t become de rigueur – I think I’ll use them only when there is some change to the completed grid required before submission.)
    >>> Incidentally, here the rubric states that “Changing two other unchecked cells in the completed grid will form an abridged title of the work”. Is this an instruction, or merely a statement of fact?

  11. Liz Geear says:

    I thought the grid was beautifully crafted – not just getting the four on the crossing, but in the right order too to represent the cover. Great, Jambazi and Duncan for another beautiful flashing grid.

  12. Jambazi says:

    Many thanks Duncan for the excellent blog. It made me quite proud of this puzzle when I saw how good it looked on your blog. Thanks also to all those that have commented.

    This last year or so, I’ve enjoyed solving a few of Lato’s excellent IQ puzzles and I was delighted to finish, during our summer holiday, the brilliant QUIZ IQ that Nimrod set. I still feel that I am a novice when it comes to solving advanced cryptics — I don’t get enough time to solve them and I think that explains some of the issues I had when trying to compile this puzzle: particularly around creating the grid.

    I’d wanted to set a barred-grid puzzle for a while but could never come up with a decent idea. I did have a few attempts that, unfortunately, were too weak to ever see the light of day — a shame really because I’ll never get those days back! Anyway, in March 2012, I happened across the phrase ZEBRA CROSSING and immediately thought of Abbey Road. I don’t even like the Beatles and know nothing about the album so I checked out its Wikipedia entry. I couldn’t think of a way of working any of the songs into a puzzle but then I had the idea of trying to recreate the cover. I checked out the artwork on the internet and figured I could have the band members walking across ZEBRA CROSSING which could span the whole of the grid, as it’s 13 letter long. I was pleased to see that I could get George, Ringo and John/Lennon into the grid, walking across the road, as it were, whilst maintaining the correct order on the sleeve, but, I thought this was going to lead to another failed project when I saw there was no way of slotting Paul/Mccartney in between the first two. I was about to give up when I saw the A and thought of MACCA.

    Before starting work on the grid, I thought I needed to put the title somewhere in there (even though this doesn’t appear on the LP cover; at least it didn’t when I checked Google Images, although there is a title in Duncan’s picture above). I spent ages searching for words that could be changed easily into ABBEY ROAD; nothing materialised but I came across GRAYBEARD which wasn’t a million miles from ABBEY RD. I thought I’d use this and nervously set about designing a barred grid. Barred grids still seem foreign to me and I stuggled for ages trying to fit ZEBRA CROSSING, checked with the ‘feet’ of GEORGE, MACCA, RINGO and JOHN/LENNON, and GRAYBEARD, into a grid. I managed to do it but each attempt had either way too many short answers or too many entries with insufficient checking. I think my early efforts had over 70 clues. In the end, the best that I could come up with was this grid. Realising that I’d already wasted far too many days on what some teachers refer to as “basket work” I didn’t want to add to this by writing lots of clues only for the editor to say the grid was rubbish. I contacted John Henderson saying that I had an idea and that I wanted to check that it hadn’t been done before and that the grid was ok; John passed me on to Ken. I told Ken that I was thinking of spelling out the address and postcode of the street using extra words in the clues. Ken thought it would be preferable if I used some other way of spelling out the message: superflous single letters in wordplay for example. I think this would have been better but I already thought I had enough of a challenge ahead of me so decided to stick with the extra words. The clues were written quite quickly and Jim Toal did a good job of test-solving the first effort. At the end of March, I’d settled on the pseudonym Jambazi (Swahili for Tramp, my Guardian name) and sent it to John Henderson for his consideration. After test solving by the IQ team and a few minor improvements it was deemed suitable for publication.

    JohnLowe is correct — (T)INTI(n) is the correct parsing for 45 down. On reflection, it perhaps is a little tricky,

    KenMac et al — I can only apologise for the misuse of WHISKY for the radio code word. It never entered my head to check this.

    HolyGhost — you’re right about the ambiguity of the wording of the preamble. I should have explicitly put “solvers must change two unchecked cells….”. As for the UNTARRED/TARMAC and RING/RANG issue, it had never occured to me that the setter should, in all clues, avoid using words that are similar to one of the grid entries. Is that an unwritten rule of advanced cryptics?

    I’m struggling for inspiration for another attempt at an advanced cryptic but hopefully I’ll get to do another.

    Thanks again folks

    Jambazi

  13. Raich says:

    I think in general editors of series like this prefer to tackle puzzles cold as a solver would.

    The Listener crossword website (address below) contains, among much else, very detailed guidelines for setters thinking of making a submission.

    http://www.listenercrossword.com/

  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    We’ve just caught up with this puzzle after returning from holiday.

    We enjoyed it and thought it was well constructed, so please Jambazi have another go!

    Thanks Duncan for the blog and flashy grid!

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