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Inquisitor 1261: DIY Card by Rasputin

Posted by duncanshiell on January 2nd, 2013

duncanshiell.

Rasputin is the pseudonym of a group of three crossword setters (Artix, Chalicea and Ilver).  I only know that because Chalicea admitted to their composition by commenting on a previous Inquisitor crossword by Rasputin.  This is Rasputin’s third apperarance in the Inquisitor series (previously 1170 and 1223).

The preamble told us to "Shade (in 20 ac) the whole of an area whose border is a 25-cell message.  Resolve clashes to change eight cells to corresponding new colours.  One cell contains a symbol rather than a letter. Numbers in brackets refer to the original forms."

When faced with preambles like this, I usually compare the numbers in brackets with the available spaces in the grid.  This showed that there were 10 clues yielding answers longer than the available space – not just the eight cells that had to do something with colour.

The title of the puzzle – DIY CARD – seemed to indicate that we might be making a Christmas Card.

The first three ‘adjusted’ entries that I solved were DEPLUME to fit in 4 cells, MARIGOLD to fit in 5  and CORING to fit in 5, but I was initially too thick to see what was going on.  It was solving POLEMONIUM to fit 6 spaces that finally made the penny drop, especially as I had solved 20 across (GREEN) by this time.

The duality of STAR in ASTARTE (5 across) and STARNIE (6 down) confirmed the development of a Christmas Tree and yielded the symbol 1261 star required for the two words to fit in the space available.

I didn’t think that any of the clues were particularly difficult, but the puzzle made for an enjoyable few hours over the Christmas period.

Most of the entries I have come across for, some only in crosswords.  The new ones to me were YULANS, SEASE, AFFRAP, GUSLES,FUSTOCand UNPINKT.  The use of FESCUE for pointer was also new to me.

Before the colouring exercise, the grid was formed as follows

Inquisitor 12612

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing the the coloured shape was going to resemble a tree, and noticing the location of the additional colours, it seemed likely that the message would be contained in cells forming an approximate triangular shape around the edge of the tree.  It was the two options for CHRIS leading into the bottom left hand corner that gave me the entry to the full message.  Symmetry determined the correct location of every letter in the message which read A HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE.  The message began in the cell at junction of the third row and sixth column. and finished in the cell above, as shown below

Inqusitor 12615

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the colours removed from the adjusted entries were then used to replace the underlying green shading.  When it comes to shading, I am not 100% sure whether the border should be shaded or not.  I think it probably should be,  but as I wasn’t submitting the puzzle for a prize, I didn’t agonise about it too long.  With the border included, all the new coloured lights are contained within the tree.  The colours I have used are not completely accurate but they are fairly close.

The final grid (with a little attempt at creating a set of twinkling fairy lights) is as follows

light show 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We therefore have a do it yourself Christmas Card which you can scroll off the screen very easily.

It’s a bit late now for Christmas, but A Happy New Year to you all.

 

Across
No. Clue Wordplay Definition Clash Entry

1

 

Sucker apparently not in view (5)

 

AP (apparently) + HID (concealed; not in view)

 

APHID (a small homopterous insect that sucks plant juices; sucker)

 

 

 

APHID

 

5

 

A vedette vacuous theatre goddess (7)

 

A + STAR (a vedette is a stage or film star) + TE (first and last letters of, ignoring the middle letters [vacuous] THEATRE)

 

ASTARTE (Phoenician goddess of love)

 

 

 

A1261 starTE

 

9

 

Cut top off pea (4)

 

VETCH (any of various climbing plants of the pea family, excluding the first letter (top off) V

 

ETCH (cut)

 

 

 

ETCH

 

13

 

Pointer following type of bid (not opening) (6)

 

F  (following) +  RESCUE (reference RESCUE BID) excluding the first letter (not opening) R.  I initially focused on CUE as the ‘bid’ part of the clue as there is a CUE BID in bridge.  However, I couldn’t make the ES fit in that case, so thought a bit wider and came up with RESCUE BID.

 

FESCUE (a pointer used in teaching)

 

 

 

FESCUE

 

15

 

Irreligious for the time being? (5)

 

NON (not) + CE (Church of England) – hence not C of E; perhaps not religious.  The ? indicates that the clue is giving an example of a religious organisation.

 

NONCE (the time being)

 

 

 

NONCE

 

17

 

Wives monkey about US ward (5)

 

SAI (capuchin monkey) containing (about) ER (emergency room; hospital ward in US terminology)

S (ER) AI

SERAI (harem; wives)

 

 

 

SERAI

 

18

 

Topless tarts you heard before trees (6)

 

YU (sounds like [heard] YOU) + FLANS (open tarts) excluding the first letter (topless) F

 

YULANS (Chinese magnolia trees)

 

 

 

YULANS

 

19

 

Cat care in the past (5)

 

RETCH (obsolete form of [in the past] RECK [care])

 

RETCH (vomit; cat)  double definition

 

 

 

RETCH

 

20

 

Raw novelist lacks finish (5)

 

GREENE (reference English novelist Graham GREENE ([904 - 1991]) excluding the final letter (lacks finish) E

 

GREEN (raw)   GREEN

21

 

Led me up, staggering, to strip (7)

 

Anagram of (staggering) LED ME UP

 

DEPLUME (strip of plumes or feathers)

 

PLUM / R

 

DE1261plumE

 

23

 

Mad zealot reveals blade (4)

 

ADZE (hidden word in [reveals] MAD ZEALOT)

 

ADZE (cutting tool with arched blade)

 

 

 

ADZE

 

24

 

Return to examine sound flat (4)

 

PALP (to feel, examine, or explore by touch) reversed (return)

 

PLAP (a flatter sound than a PLOP)

 

 

 

PLAP

 

25

 

Condemned a grim, worn-out plant (8)

 

Anagram of (condemned) A GRIM + OLD (worn-out)

 

MARIGOLD (composite plant with ornage-yellow flower)

 

GOLD / D

 

MARI1261gold

 

26

 

Vehicle Inspectorate initially approved label for container (4)

VI (Vehicle Inspectorate) + AL (first letters of [initially] APPROVED and LABEL)

 

VIAL (container for liquids)

 

 

 

VIAL

 

28

 

Two Brits at Sydney ball (6)

 

POM (in Australia, originally a term to describe an immigrant from Britain, or more generally now any Briton) + POM (agin, to give two Brits)

 

POMPOM (fluffy or woolly ball)

 

 

 

POMPOM

 

31

 

Heckle elite Nazis deserting for no reason (6)

 

NEEDLESS (for no reason) excluding (deserting) SS (Schutzstaffel; Nazi elite corps)

 

NEEDLE (heckle)

 

 

 

NEEDLE

 

33

 

Artist making odd changes in exercise (4)

 

YOGA (practice of exercises described in a system of HIndu philosophy) with the odd letters (1 and 3) YG  swapped round (changes) to become GY

 

GOYA (reference Francisco GOYA [1746 - 1828], Spanish painter)

 

A / RED

 

GOY1261red

 

34

 

Leave to rot (5,2 words)

 

GO OFF (leave)

 

GO OFF (rot)  double definition

 

O / ANIL

 

G1261anilOFF

 

36

 

40 abandoned congregation (4)

 

F (medieval Roman numeral for 40) + OLD (abandoned)

 

FOLD (congregation [of a church])

 

 

 

FOLD

 

38

 

Take one path (4)

 

R (recipe [Latin]; take) + ACE (one)

 

RACE (track or path over which anything runs)

 

 

 

RACE

 

40

 

Bone cracking walnut kernel (4)

 

Anagram of (cracking) ALNU (middle letters of [kernel] WALNUT)

 

ULNA (larger bone of the forearm)

 

 

 

ULNA

 

42

 

Neck soprano in drag (5)

 

S (soprano) contained in (in) HALE (drag)

HAL (S) E

HALSE (neck)

 

A / OR

 

H1261or LSE

 

44

 

Ed’s to reach Great Lake twice (almost) (5)

 

SEA (great lake) + SEA (great lake again [twice]) excluding the final letter (almost) A

 

SEASE (Spenserian [Ed{mund}] word for ‘reach’)

 

 

 

SEASE

 

45

 

Two-tone pattern in roll and bagel (6)

 

TRILL (roll) + O (the shape of a bagel)

 

TRILLO (rapid alternation of two notes a tone or semitone apart; two-tone pattern)

 

 

TRILLO

 

48

 

Born cheeky? (5)

 

NATAL (of the buttocks [nates]; cheeky)

 

NATAL (of or connected with birth; born) double definition

 

 

 

NATAL

 

49

 

Evian’s lively spots (5)

 

Anagram of (lively) EVIAN

 

NAEVI (pigmented spots)

 

I /PINK

 

NAEV1261pink

 

50

 

Plant radioactive element in space?  On the contrary (10)

 

EM (space in prnting terms) contained in (in) POLONIUM (radioactive element)  As ‘space’ in ‘radioactive element’, this is the opposite of (on the contrary) radioactive element in space.

POL (EM) ONIUM

POLEMONIUM (a plant of the Jacob’s Ladder genus)

 

LEMON / D

 

PO1261orIUM

 

51

 

Chatter about adult story (4)

 

GAS (chat) reversed (about) + A

 

SAGA (story)

 

 

 

SAGA

 

52

 

Asian food glut (4)

 

SATE (variant spelling of SATAY [a Malaysian dish of marinated meat barbecued on skewers,]; Asian food)

 

SATE (glut) double definition

 

 

 

SATE

 

53

 

Festive food table enthrals very large European (8)

 

CHART (tabular statement; table) containing (enthrals) (OS [outsize; very large] + E [European])

CHAR (OS E) T

CHAROSET ([in Judaism] a mixture of finely chopped apples, nuts, spices, etc mixed with wine, and eaten with bitter herbs at the Passover meal; festive food)

 

ROSE / R

 

CHA1261rose T

 

Down          

No.

Clue

Wordplay

Definition Clash Entry

1

 

Acting very loudly, blame bard’s strike (6)

 

A (acting) + FF (fortissimo; very loud) + RAP (blame)

 

AFFRAP (Spenserian [bard's] word for strike)

 

 

 

AFFRAP

 

2

 

Safe toilet demonstration (8)

 

PETER (safe) + LOO (toilet)

 

PETERLOO (reference the PETERLOO demontration and massacre of August 1819 – demonstration for reform of parliamentary respresentation)

 

 

 

PETERLOO

 

3

 

Hard top perhaps not at first satisfactory around parking (6)

NICE (satisfactory) excluding the first letter (not at first) N + CA (circa; aound) + P (parking)

 

ICECAP ( the icecap could be described as a hard top above the water and/or land beneath)

 

 

 

ICECAP

 

4

 

Neat county town (6)

 

DURHAM (one of a particular breed of shorthorned cattle; neat [ox, cow, bull])

 

DURHAM (DURHAM is both a county and a city.  There is a song entitled DURHAMtown)

 

 

DURHAM

 

6

 

Wee twinkler affected retinas (7)

 

Anagram of (affected) RETINAS

 

STARNIE (small star; wee twinkler)

 

 

 

1261 starNIE

 

7

 

To flirt, right?  Not right! (3)

 

TORY (Conservative; right [winger]) excluding (not) R (right)

 

TOY (flirt)

 

 

 

TOY

 

8

 

Accustomed to last daughter being demoted (6)

 

ENDURE (last) with the D being moved (demoted; down clue) to the end of the word to form ENURED

 

ENURED (accustomed to)

 

D / GOLD

 

ENURE1261gold

 

10

 

Given support, say, having eaten around 4? (5)

 

TEAED (sounds like [say] TEED [given support for [a golf ball]))

 

TEAED (taken TEA; having eaten around)

 

 

 

TEAED

 

11

 

Trick one out of money (3)

 

COIN (money) excluding (out of) I (one)

 

CON (trick)

 

 

 

CON

 

12

 

Y or S in H? (6)

 

S contained in (in) HOTEL (H is referenced by HOTEL in international radio communications)

HO (S) TEL

HOSTEL (Y is shorthand for a YMCA or YWCA hostel)

 

 

 

HOSTEL

 

14

 

Tried in Bow to bury Scots (4)

 

EARD (HEARD [tried in a court of law] as spoken in the East End of London dropping the leading H]

EARD (a Scots form of bury)

 

 

 

EARD

 

16

 

Axe college holidays (6)

 

C (college) + LEAVE (holidays)

 

CLEAVE (cut; axe)

 

 

 

CLEAVE

 

17

 

Outdated society match (5)

 

S (society) + TEAM (match [clothes etc, often with with])

 

STEAM (old fashioned; outdated)

 

 

 

STEAM

 

20

 

Smile – leader of reds beset by ruin (4)

R (first letter of [leader of] REDS) contained in (beset by) GIN (a spirit sometimes referred to as "mother’s ruin")

G (R) IN

GRIN (smile)

 

R / PLUM

 

G1261plum IN

 

22

 

Work a long time, pcoketing Guinea (5)

 

EON (vast age; eternity; long time) containing (pocketing) RG (International Vehicle Registration for the Republic of Guinea)

E (RG) ON

ERGON (work)

 

 

 

ERGON

 

27

 

Rapacious carnivore chomping a herbless sausage roll (8)

 

Anagram of (chomping) A and (SAUSAGE excluding [less] SAGE [herb]) and ROLL

 

ALLOSAUR (large, lizard-hipped, carnivorous dinosaur)

 

 (R / ROSE

 

ALLOSAU1261rose

 

29

 

50% of preamble about hollow painting (8)

 

PREA (first four letters [of 8 = 50%] of PREAMBLE) containing (about) DELL (hollow)

PRE (DELL) A

PREDELLA (painting in a compartment along the bottom of an altarpiece or other picture)

 

RED / A

 

P1261red ELLA

 

30

 

Card in shires must not corrrect Earl (7)

MAN (variant of MUN [dialect word {in the shires} for 'must') + ILL (not right ;not correct) + E (earl)

 

MANILLE (in the card games ombre and quadrille, the highest card but one)

 

ANIL / O

 

M1261anil LE

 

32

Party thanks licentiate about wedding gift (5)

 

DO (party) + TA (thanks) + L (licentiate)

 

DOTAL (relating to dowry [wedding gift])

 

 

 

DOTAL

 

33

 

Good instrument picked up for nothing (6)

 

G (good) + SITAR (musical instrument) reversed (picked up; down clue)

 

GRATIS (free; for nothing)

 

 

 

GRATIS

 

34

 

Instruments in Red Square? (6)

 

S (square) contained in (in) GULES (red colour in heraldry) 

 

GUSLES (Balkan or Russian musical instruments)

 

 

 

GUSLES

 

35

 

Cuts of knotted wood (6)

 

Anagram of (knotted) CUTS OF

 

FUSTOC (wood of a tropical American tree)

 

 

 

FUSTOC

 

36

Music festival criminal flashed heartlessly (6)

Anagram of (criminal) FLASHED excluding the middle letter (heartlessly) S

 

FLEADH (festival of traditional Irish music)

 

D / LEMON

 

FLEA1261or H

 

37

 

Thought idly of drunken date with Master of the Rolls (6)

Anagram of (drunken) DATE and MR (Master of the Rolls)

 

DREAMT (thought idly of)

 

 

 

DREAMT

 

39

 

Removing essential parts of the company phone (6)

 

CO (company) + RING (phone)

 

CORING (removing central [essential] parts of)

 

OR /A

 

C1261or ING

 

41

 

Leaves a drink (4)

 

A + TAP (any alcoholic drink drawn through a TAP)

 

ATAP (leaves of the Nipa palm)

 

 

 

ATAP

 

43

 

Unfasten knot once rid of holes (7)

 

UNPIN (unfasten) + KT (knot)

 

UNPINKT (Shakesperean word [old; once] for ‘not decorated with punched holes’)

 

PINK / I

 

UN1261pink T

 

46

 

Climbing warm and dry valley (3)

 

AIR (warm and dry) reversed (climbing; down clue)

 

RIA (drowned valley)

 

 

 

RIA

 

47

 

Served up starters of avocado and eggs (3) AVO (first three letters of [starters of] AVOCADO) reversed (served up; down clue) OVA (eggs)   OVA

 

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1261: DIY Card by Rasputin”

  1. Chalicea says:

    Duncanshiell, what a superb blog and delightful representation of our DIY Card with your flickering lights thrown in. (Yes it’s Chalicea again on behalf of the three of us.) Indeed we did intend the border with the message to be shaded. I think our tree would have looked somewhat peelie-wally and spindly without that, with its lights perched on its extremities.
    All the best for 2013.

  2. Bertandjoyce says:

    What a fantastic blog! The twinkling lights were an inspiration as was the original idea for the puzzle.

    We have wondered in the past how setters work together on a puzzle. Do they brainstorm first of all and then allocate clues between them or does one person come up with the idea and then ask for help?

    Our New Year’s resolution is to add a comment each week on our favourite crossword series.

    The star came quite easily but we had some difficulty with some of the colours until we figured out PLUM and then GOLD. Having completed it the message still took quite a while.

    We had the same problem as Duncan with unfamiliar words but then that’s what we expect on a Saturday!

    Thanks to all of Rasputin for the message and a Happy New Year to all.

  3. Liz Geear says:

    Sorry, late for this thread – BRILLIANT all round! Much mixing of highlighters for me to get eg. plum and anil.
    Thanks Duncan for the illuminating blog and to Rasputin.
    Chalicea – ‘peely-wally’? Oh love it. Naebdy south of the border kens it.

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