Never knowingly undersolved.

The Inquisitor Puzzles 2012 – A Review by Nimrod

Posted by Admin on December 31st, 2012


2012 was, I hope you’ll agree, a great year for the Inquisitor Crossword. As we roll on into another year and with plenty more excellent puzzles already in production, I hope you won’t mind my recording thanks to all the brilliantly inventive setters involved, from the “old hands” like Schadenfreude, Lato and Kruger, to the “new kids on the block” like Shark, Jambazi and Gila; as well as bloggers, commenters, editors and my invaluable solving team.

When feeding back their comments to me, each member of the solving team grades a puzzle out of 5 on scales of Enjoyment, Difficulty and the ‘wow’ factor of the Final Step, or Penny Drop Moment. I solve each puzzle from scratch and do the same: my own ratings are given for each puzzle below. Where I have contributed as a setter, the given ratings are distilled from the comments made about the puzzle by the guest editor.

As solvers may have deduced, and as you can see below, puzzles are “blocked” in fives. In each five (note the middle score), one (*) is considered the easiest of the bunch, and one (***) the hardest, and three medium (**) difficulty puzzles complete the group.

31/12/11:1210 Incomparable! Glow-worm 423*
07/01/12:1211 Anticipation Nutmeg 433**
14/01/12:1212 Dicta Phi 323*
21/01/12:1213 20/20 Ferret 333**
28/01/12:1214 How Charybdis 434**
04/02/12:1215 Countdown Schadenfreude 454***
11/02/12:1216 Cold Cuts Loda 323*
18/02/12:1217 Request Stop Ifor 544***
25/02/12:1218 Rehoused Lato 433**
03/03/12:1219 Location Kruger 333**
10/03/12:1220 Rules for 27 Raich 333**
17/03/12:1221 Known – or Unknown? Nimrod 334**
24/03/12:1222 Joiner Hypnos 334**
31/03/12:1223 Fools Rasputin 333**
07/04/12:1224 I’m Back Augeas 323*
14/04/12:1225 One Down (date specific) Schadenfreude 454***
21/04/12:1226 Six Characters in Search of an Author Samuel 433**
28/04/12:1227 No Question Phi 434**
05/05/12:1228 Characters Shark 433**
12/05/12:1229 Wino Nutmeg 434**
19/05/12:1230 Union Amusement Kruger 444***
26/05/12:1231 Out of Fashion Lato 444***
02/06/12:1232 Bottoms Up! Charybdis 323*
09/06/12:1233 Comedy of Errors Ifor 333**
16/06/12:1234 Nimrod’s Unique Night Out Nimrod 334**
23/06/12:1235 Cogito Ergo Sum (date specific) Radix 334**
30/06/12:1236 1 to 38 (date specific) Phi 323*
07/07/12:1237 Revolutionary  (date specific) Ploy 334**
14/07/12:1238 Good Question Schadenfreude 333**
21/07/12:1239 MP’s Fancy Samuel 434**
28/07/12:1240 Solve for x and y Gila 455***
04/08/12:1241 Obsession Chalicea 323*
11/08/12:1242 Prizewinner (date specific) Schadenfreude 333**
18/08/12:1243 Paradise Kruger 434**
25/08/12:1244 Instability Phi 333**
01/09/12:1245 Barred (date specific) Nutmeg 455***
08/09/12:1246 What do You Get…? Samuel 433**
15/09/12:1247 Cause and Effect Pointer 433**
22/09/12:1248 Second, Third and Fourth Nudd 434**
29/09/12:1249 Grid Change Syd Lexis 323*
06/10/12:1250 West End Hit Shark 444***
13/10/12:1251 Two Setters in Search of Two Characters and an Author.. ?? (Nimrod/Lato) 343***
20/10/12:1252 Easy Street Kruger 434**
27/10/12:1253 Missing Schadenfreude 423**
03/11/12:1254 Alike Ferret 433**
10/11/12:1255 Last to go To be deduced/Phi 433**
17/11/12:1256 The Answer is 5 Eclogue 334**
24/11/12:1257 Cover Version Jambazi 324**
01/12/12:1258 Wets Lato 444***
08/12/12:1259 Clashes Xanthippe 333**
15/12/12:1260 Inevitably! Glow-worm 423*
(Ratings are withheld for the live puzzles by Rasputin and eXternal.)


It was a tricky choice, but my own puzzles of the year were:

1 Solve for x and y by Gila

2 Request Stop by Ifor

3 Countdown by Schadenfreude

What were yours?

Finally, a big, big Thank You to Gaufrid, without whom via Fifteensquared it would be impossible to look back with so much fondness on all of the Inquisitors of the Year. Best wishes to him and to all for 2013!



9 Responses to “The Inquisitor Puzzles 2012 – A Review by Nimrod”

  1. jetdoc says:

    A fantastic year of Inquisitors!

    Here are my top three, in no particular order (they have come out in reverse order of setter, which is as good as any):

    Paradise by Kruger

    Solve for x and y by Gila

    20/20 by Ferret

  2. Vortigern says:

    An excellent year indeed. My favourite three (though there were many other very entertaining ones)were a cluster in the 1240s:

    Paradise by Kruger: a carte blanche that exploited the lyrics of Big Rock Candy Mountain to great delight

    Barred by Nutmeg: a superb grid celebrating the composer John Cage and his famous silent piece using its title to thematically employ 4Ms and 33Ss

    Second, Third and Fourth by Nudd: fascinating coincidences around the last words of US presidents

  3. Liz Geear says:

    I am already on record as being the world’s no1 IQ fan. Long may it reign over us.
    My 3 favourites:
    ‘Bottoms up’ by Charybdis
    ‘Request Stop’ by Ifor (not least for the dodgy champagne prize).
    ‘Cover verson’ by Jambazi.
    Apologies to all other setters, I have enjoyed every single one.

  4. MANG says:

    Also a very big IQ fan. The must do crossword of the week. Standard recently has been excellent. My top three were:
    1 Paradise by Kruger
    2 Wino by Nutmeg. I like Nutmeg’s crosswords and this one, based on a DH Lawrence quotation was 5 on the fun factor for me.
    3 West End Hit by Shark

    Lots of other good ones including Nimrod and Lato’s ‘two setters in search of two characters and an author’

  5. Colin Blackburn says:

    As I only do a small selection of the Inquisitor puzzles I’m just going to nominate my top one. Living rurally I can very rarely get hold of a physical paper so the Inquisitors I do are fairly randomly distributed depending on old papers lying around the house of a friend I stay with when working or those I pick up when travelling. It probably adds up to no more than a dozen a year. And so, with a drum roll, my top one was:

    Paradise by Kruger

    Happy new year everyone,


  6. Nudd says:

    As another, like Colin, consigned to the sticks, I too had difficulty in securing a reliable supply of Inquisitors (though I have been helped significantly of late by a white knight, for which many thanks!).
    I very much enjoyed the vast majority of those I did do, of which my favourites were Nutmeg’s Barred, Kruger’s Paradise and Nimrod/Lato’s Two setters etc.
    Sincere thanks to all setters, bloggers and the Editorial / testing team for a most enjoyable year.
    Very best wishes to all for a happy and successful 2013.

  7. twencelas says:

    Has been my weekly puzzle of choice for more years than I care to remember.
    As to the top 5 (it was supposed to be 3) of the year – a tricky choice, those below are purely based on the beauty of the end game then I would go:

    1257 Cover Version by Jambazi
    1250 West end hit by Shark
    1235 Cogito Ergo Sum by Radix
    1240 Solve for x and by Gila
    1215 Countdown by Schadenfreude

    Long may the quality continue – many thanks to all the setters and Nimrod as editor. Long may the variety continue into 2013.

  8. Helen Ougham says:

    Apologies for slow response! Very many thanks to the setters and editor for a great year of Inquisitor puzzles. It’s almost impossible to single out three, but here goes (in no particular order, hence alphabetically by title) – my favourites were

    Barred by Nutmeg
    Solve for X and Y by Gila
    Two Setters in Search of Two Characters and an Author by Nimrod/Lato

    with Inevitably! by Glow-worm, No Question by Phi, and Paradise by Kruger also rating very highly.

    All the best to everyone for 2013.

  9. Ali says:

    Blimey, I had no idea that this review had been posted, let alone that my little offering might figure in it…!

    Many thanks to John H and all other bloggers/commenters who have offered kind words. I’m genuinely touched. Thanks also to all the other IQ setters whose puzzles have always delighted (and very often defeated) me, and who are a constant source of inspiration.

    Here’s to much more of the same in 2013


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