Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1259: Clashes by Xanthippe

Posted by kenmac on December 19th, 2012

kenmac.

Preamble: In nine cells (adjacent or diagonally adjacent), letters clash. These clashes must be resolved appropriately so that all entries are real words. The resolved clashes, starting in the top row, define 37 in the context of the completed grid.

A reasonably short preamble for a change. Though I wonder why it wasn’t a little shorter; surely “in nine contiguous cells” would have sufficed.
Anyway, on to the puzzle. Most of it fell pretty quickly though I caused myself grief by putting FINITELY for 40a. The hardest part for me was the top right corner. I had no real idea about ODI meaning cricket and for a long time I thought the corrected misprints would lead to APPIAN WAY. At that stage I was under the misapprehension that we had to keep one of the misprints.
So, as it transpires, in each affected cell, both misprints had to be replaced by a completely different letter. After a bit of experimentation, I came up with A THIRD WAY. OK, what does that mean? At this stage, 37a contained _TREE_ giving STREEK, STREEL or STREET. A STREET is a “WAY”, I guess. After a few minutes pondering this, I realised that we had PASSAGE and ROAD in the completed grid, making STREET the third “way.”
One answer has left me flummoxed. 11a must be CONCERTS (though CONCERTI threatened for a while) but how does it work? I can see ONCE and staR and, at a stretch, C=alto but where does the TS come from? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
I have to say that I felt there was something missing with this puzzle. I can’t put my finger on it though I do think the title is a bit weak. I’d be interested to see what others think.

Across
No.
Clue Entry
Alternate Entry Wordplay
1 Old resident of Indian Ocean island
port’s hot
MALAGASH MÁLAGA
(port)+Hot
6 Audibly rough and cross ROOD ROAD RUDE (rough;
homonym: audibly)
9 In agreement mostly, Alicia’s middle is lacking

firmness

ATONIC AT ONe (in
agreement)azaq+alICia
(middle)
10 Instruction to golfer perhaps shooting 80 – “laugh!” TEE-HEE TEE-TEE TEE HErE minus R
(80)
11 Former star ultimately succeeds alto in musical

performances

CONCERTS CONCERTI (sorry – just can’t see this one :( )
See comment #1 below
12 You can hear part of car that’s round exhaust TIRE HIRE TYRE (part
of car that’s round; homonym: you can hear)
14 Dashed weed among sedges, half
destroyed
SPEEDED SPEEDER PEED (wee -
past tense) inside SEDges
(half destroyed)
17 Loose rocks with new row of trees
providing shelter
SCREEN SCREED SCREE (loose
rocks)+New
20 Dejected Australian opener say, cut
loosely – caught out
ABATTU Australian+BAT (opener say: opening bat)+cUT minus Caught (anag: loosely)
22 Disreputable woman wearing cross gets
money upfront
MINX Money+IN (wearing)+X (cross)
24 Felt attire covers shabby clothes TATT WATT felT ATTire
(hidden: covers)
25 Arrange five consecutive letters? STOW STOA S TO W (five
consecutive letters: S, T, U, V, W)
26 Commander of Henry VII’s bodyguard
butchered oxen
EXON OXEN (anag:
butchered)
27 Elizabeth introducing bishop after active leader

of convent

ABBESS ABBEYS Active+Bishop+BESS
(Queen

Elizabeth I)

28 Unruffled Frenchman skipping a little
work with another
SERENE SergE (French mans’ name) minus ERG+RENÉ (another French
mans’ name)
32 Sideways trot over say, a second
trench
PASSAGE EG (say)+A+Second+SAP (trench) (all rev: over)
35 A way of securing 13 collection STUD STUD (horse
(13 down) collection)
36 Ensnare 10 confused fish ENTANGLE TEN (anag:
confused)+ANGLE (fish)
37 (unclued)
38 An agent hugs Republican lover ADORER Republican inside A
DOER
(agent)
39 Race programme that is dropped from
knitwear
CARD CARDie
(knitwear; minus IE (that
is))
40 Exactly one Greek character permitted
back aboard motor yacht
MINUTELY I (one)+NU (Greek character)+LET (rev: back) inside MY (motor yacht)


Down




No.
Clue
Entry
Alternate Entry
Wordplay
1 Scotsman’s computers MACS MACS (Scotsman’s)
2 Hermit left US city, heading north LONER Left+RENO
(US city; rev: heading north)
3 Father’s gone from country up north some
time back
ANCE frANCE minus
FR (father)
4 Estates – cars styled around a type of
Jaguar
ACRES ACRED E (type Jaguar) inside CARS (anag: styled)
5 Try hard on organ HEAR HEIR Hard+EAR (organ)
6 Pear-tree cultivated, say, two thirds in
a different form?
REPEATER (.666
recurring)
REHEATER PEAR TREE
(anag: cultivated)
7 Poetic correspondent’s first to
support cricket match
ODIC OTIC ODI (one day
international)+Correspondent

(first letter)

8 1:30 perhaps in haunt, make food readily
available
DERATION AERATION RATIO (1:30
perhaps) inside DEN
(haunt)
13 Horse, one of five entering here,
oddly scratched
EQUINE QUIN (one of
five) inside hErE (oddly scratched)
15 Scholar adopting green in combination colour

scheme

DECOR DECOY ECO (green)
inside DR (scholar)
16 Unit of pressure and reduced unit of
effective
cross section
BARN RAWN BAR (unit of
pressure)+’N‘ (and, as in
fish ‘n’ chips)
17 Sticky patches are resolved in text
message
SMEARS ARE (anag:
resolved) inside SMS (text
message)
18 A baker’s first afternoon splitting up
refined Italian bread
CIABATTA A+Bakers (first letter)+Afternoon inside ATTIC (refined; rev: up)
19 Stretched out English editor who’s
embraced by nurse
EXTENDED EX (out)+ED (rev: English=spin) inside TEND (nurse)
21 Take up some of these labelled packages BALES theSE LABelled
(hidden: some of; rev: take up)
23 A small broom is, weather permitting,
taken outside
WISP WASP IS inside WP (weather permitting)
28 Nick accepted time in old health
centre
SATAN Accepted+Time inside SANatorium
29 A bore redrafts half of agreements EAGRE AGREEments
(half of; anag: redrafts)
30 Prickly seed case Georgia’s taken from
fast food
BURR BURgeR minus GEorgia
31 Reportedly animal stock abound TEEM TEAM (animal
stock, homonym: reportedly)
33 Despicable person, chap who likes a
drink about noon
SNOT Noon inside SOT
(chap who likes a drink)
34 Frightful queer yellow clothes EERY quEER Yellow
(hidden: clothes)

5 Responses to “Inquisitor 1259: Clashes by Xanthippe”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    11Ac is ONCE (sta)R succeeding (i.e. taking the place of) A(lto) in CATS (musical).

  2. Hi of hihoba says:

    Thank you Richard for the explanation of CONCERTS. I was in exactly the same situation as Kenmac with this one. I also agree with Kenmac that this was a rather weaker theme than most of the recent Inquisitors, and felt that the rubric’s “resolving” clashes did not convey what we ultimately had to do.

    Solvable but slightly unsatisfying.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    I thought this was OK, but a bit on the thin side as others have said. At a stretch “A Third Way” could also indicate the manner of resolving the clashes. (I haven’t seen this type of sorting out conflicts before.)

    As to the preamble, some people take “contiguous” to mean touching on a side and so would rule out cells ‘touching’ only at a corner, so I for one was happy that this ambiguity was not an issue.

    SERGE in 28a took me ages to realise, much much longer than twigging CATS in 11a.

    And I don’t agree with Ken’s explanation at 19d (Stretched out English editor who’s embraced by nurse): definition is “stretched out”, wordplay is E(nglish) + ED(itor) around X (by, as in multiplication symbol) + TEND (nurse).

  4. Steve Foulds says:

    Thank you for the blog Kenmac. Holyghost you are correct on the theme ‘A third way’ is supposed to indicate what you have to find to resolve each of the clashes (your explanation of how 19d works is also correct). The third way in the grid was added to assist any solvers that were struggling to resolve the clashes – but as a few have commented it was a little weak. I could have worked something in on the political aspect of the phrase but chose not to as, however I’d done it, somebody would always be unhappy!
    Xanthippe

  5. kenmac says:

    @3 Thanks H___ G____, I was never happy with my explanation.

    @4 Ah but it’s all about keeping the blogger happy! Keep that in mind next time ;-)

    MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.
    (HAPPY HOLIDAYS)

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