Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1266: WOODCHUCK PUZZLE by Plench

Posted by Hihoba on February 6th, 2013


Another first time setter – welcome Plench! The rubric read:

Nine clue answers have been thematically affected. Two cases are of a different sort from the rest, and a third item of this type can be found in the grid in appropriate form. Solvers must draw a smooth outline around its nine letters. Numbers in brackets refer to lengths of grid entries.

Easy to understand the puzzle element from the title and the rubric. Not knowing the number of letters to remove nor which clues to remove them from, nor which two were the odd ones out made it more tricky. It turned out to be a good challenge.

We had to remove (chuck) wood from seven clues before entry into the grid, and similarly remove two other items (which turned out to be “chucked” too) leading us to a final item for chucking, hidden in the grid, round which we had to draw a smooth outline.

The seven similar woody items were trees (OAK, ASH, ELM, YEW, DEAL, PINE and TEAK) and the other two items were DISCUS and CABER – both wooden items thrown/tossed. We bloggers always prefer the grid to contain only real words if possible, and this was accomplished with panache!

The final wooden chuckable was a BOOMERANG in an appropriate shape.

There was a lot to admire in the clueing. I particularly liked the linking of “Scary Movie” and cinephiles in 42 across and the two linked musical clues at 17 and 19 down, the Copland clue was particularly good.

{My smooth curve leaves something to be desired – best I could do with the tools available!}

Inq 1266 anim

The “woody” clues first.

 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer(wood)  Grid  Wordplay
 11  Char’s water boiler Kate ordered and installed, after unwrapping (5)  (TEA-K)ETTLE  ETTLE  [KATE]* + (S)ETTLE(D) (installed “unwrapped”)
 21  I heard warts dissolved with eastern lotions (6)  E(YE-W)ATERS  EATERS  EYE (I heard) + [WARTS E(astern)]*
 38  Guano filth’s all over the place and what’s lighthouse doing? (8)  OUTFL(ASH)ING  OUTFLING  [GUANO FILTH’S]*
 42  Scary Movie, say, left cinephiles shaking, right? (8)  S(PINE)CHILLER  SCHILLER  [L(eft) CINEPHILES R(ight)]* (Excellent clue!)
 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer(wood)  Grid  Wordplay
 7  Grape nectar – the essence of wine-bar’s bubbly (3)  (CABER)NET  NET  [NECTAR (win)E_B(ar’s)]*
 22  Jerry put out some plum and  grapefruit (7)  POMP(ELM)OUS  POMPOUS  PO (Jerry) + [SOME PLUM]*
 25  Put out of action after receiving curse? That’s open to debate (5)  (DISCUS)SABLE  SABLE  DISABLE round CUSS
 32  Balkan national is docked – with VAT added that is even rougher (5)  CR(OAK)IER  CRIER  CROA(T) (Balkan national) + KIER (a vat)
 35  Whiskey passed round sporting side is improperly distibuted (4)  MIS(DEAL)T  MIST  MALT (whiskey) round [SIDE]*

Now the “normal” clues:

 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer  Wordplay
 1  Unoriginal material leaving the French juve lead bemused (6, 2 words)  DEJA VU  [JUVE (LE)AD]* (le – the French – removed)
 5  Southern Iceland to follow Scotland’s later sentence structure (7)  SYNESIS  SYNE (Scottish later) + S(outhern) + IS (Iceland IVR)
 10  Dine out (no starter for Ruth, Samuel etc) — hope food isn’t this (8)  INEDIBLE  [DINE]* + (B)IBLE
 13  “The Regulars” in battlefield support (3)  TEE  Every third letter in baTtlEfiEld
 15  Once more, get upset on board defective train (8)  REATTAIN  EAT (upset) in [TRAIN]*
 16  Cor, cut off chap backing as animal bounds (9, 2 words)  HOME RANGE  HOMER (= cor = 11 Hebrew bushels) + (M)AN (cut off chap) + EG (as) reversed
 18  Hearing of yore? (4)  OYER  Oyer is a legal hearing: [YORE]*
 22  Fruit gives energy and zip when eaten (5)  PEPOS  PEPS (gives energy) round O (zero or zip)
 24  Up on the beach after sun shifts across (6)  AHORSE  ASHORE with S(un) shifting to the right.
 26  Furnished for the elderly, almost perfection in fact (6)  BESEEN  Obsolete word for furnished: BES(t) = EEN (in fact)
 28  Old adult periodically seeks watering holes (3)  OASES  O(ld) + A(dult) + SeEkS (periodically seeks)
 29  Covering for the face spoiled a smile (6)  MESAIL  [A SMILE]*
 31  Paint section of Arabic epitaph (4)  BICE  Hidden in AraBIC Epitaph
 34  Arrived in disorganised library that’s lost track, having two Chambers (9)  BICAMERAL  CAME (arrived) in [LIBRA(ry)]* (lost track = RY removed – nice!)
 40  Doctor’s equipment (3)  RIG  Nice double meaning.
 41  Earlier interest in European Union admitting Russia retrospectively (5)  USURE  Obsolete form of usury:  EU round RUS all reversed
 43  Broken by extreme pressure, old republic is partitioned (7)  SEPTATE  EP (extreme pressure) in STATE (republic – obs)
 44  Stick — —- on billboard? (6)  ADHERE  AD HERE. Wonderful &lit-ish clue!
 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer  Wordplay
 1  As before, father-lasher possibly the first to go the wrong way (5)  DITTO  COTTID is the bullhead aka father-lasher. Remove C and reverse – took a while for the penny to drop here!
 2  A couple of spaces on rear of balcony on the other side (5)  ENEMY  EN + EM (spaces) + (balcon)Y
 3  Military vehicle to move to the right before parking (4)  JEEP  JEE (move horse to the right) +P(arking)
 4 Number following 6 – product of 7 originally (4)  VINO  VI (6) + NO (number). 7 (see above) was CABERNET before removal of CABER – a grape variety. Another excellent clue!
 5  Slimy mud ultimately blocks drain (6)  SLEECH  S (ultimately blockS) + LEECH (drain)
 6  Group of students (mature) plough final in history for a start(4)  YEAR  Final in (histor)Y + EAR (mature (obs) word for a plough)
 8  Put on party with ecstasy (5)  STAGE  STAG (party) + E(cstasy)
 9  Sect members, with no head for business, reorganise it (7)  SENUSIS  [(b)USINESS]*
 12  Vault over this arch one stuck in swamp (6)  LIERNE  I (one) in LERNE (swamp where Hercules killed the Hydra)
 14  Member touring House in Congress is fit (5)  THROE  Shakespearean word for a spasm: TOE (member) round H(ouse of) R(epresentatives)
 17  Perhaps Copland, as Rodeo man, composed avoiding weird modes (5)  AARON  Copland’s first name: remove MODES from A(S) R(ODE)O (M)AN and “compose” [AROAN]*. Brilliant!
 19  or, musically, confused Oasis (5)  OSSIA  [OASIS]*
 20  Race over to get money from Beijing (4)  TAEL  LEAT (mill race) reversed
 21  Finally agree to duration as at least two billion years (4)  EONS  1 EON = 1 billion years: last letters of (agre)E tO duratioN aS
 23  Cavern (dark, gloomy) before what moved people in Magical Mystery Tour? (6)  EREBUS  ERE (before) + BUS (travelled in by the Beatles etc in Magical Mystery Tour)
 27  Need government, once Resistance is quelled (6)  EGENCE  (R)EGENCE (government once)
 30  Be aware, places going up all over island (5, 2 words)  SIT UP  PUTS (places) reversed round I(sland)
 33  Insurance agreement covers tidal flood (5)  EAGRE  Hidden in InsurancE AGREement
 36  No place for easy-going sarcasm (4)  ACID  Remove PL(ace) from (PL)ACID (easy-going)
 37  Give a preliminary payment for real wood(4)  ARLE  [REAL]* Excellent use of “wood” (= mad) as anagram indicator.
 39  Gazelle turned up, nothing odd in open country (3)  LEA  Remove odd letters form gAzElLe and reverse



5 Responses to “Inquisitor 1266: WOODCHUCK PUZZLE by Plench”

  1. NormanLinFrance says:

    Thanks for the blog. I’d never done an Inquisitor before and really enjoyed this work-out (thanks to David). You can only wonder at how much thought and preparation went into the compiling, and admire the end result, with, as you say, proper words all over.

  2. Bertandjoyce says:

    Do not apologise for any of the blog Hihoba! We love all the flashing colours etc.

    We enjoyed the puzzle and completed it fairly easily. We had a good laugh when we looked at the next one in the IQ series and noticed the same clue and had a real sense of 1ac and 1d! We thought it was a printing error until we saw the preamble. However we are getting ahead of ourselves here!

    Thanks Plench.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    Not much traffic on this puzzle – I’d have expected more. It was a fine puzzle, if not overly challenging. And, yes, leaving actual words after “tree” removal is a sign of class. I was stupidly concerned by the lack of symmetry of the BOOMERANG but became quite content (and very knowledgable about asymmetric boomerangs).

    And Bertandjoyce (above), I don’t think it’s good to talk about an active puzzle except in a most cursory fashion – I came to “the next one” late.
    (The same goes for Ross, comment 13 on the previous blog – keep your powder dry.)

  4. Ross says:

    Sorry HG. Given that the Indie crossword isn’t online, anyone doing v2 would know v1 (surely?), so I’d not seen too much of a problem… Anyway, mea culpa. I was surprised by how easy this puzzle was. Joys awaited.

  5. Neil Hunter says:

    I wish I had seen BertandJoyce’s comment a little earlier. I too assumed it was a printing mistake – and recycled. Then, having seen their comment, I had a mini-odyssey round local libraries to find the magazine.

    As for the puzzle, which was fun, I got hung up on the ‘jav’ of deja vu, fully expecting to find a javelin.

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