Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1269: Work in Progress by Gila

Posted by duncanshiell on February 27th, 2013


This is Gila’s second appearance as an Inquisitor setter.  His first puzzle was number 1240 ‘Solve for X and Y’ which I was also lucky enough to blog.




There was quite an extensive preamble to this puzzle, as follows: "Clues are presented in alphabetical order of their answers, which must be entered n the grid where they will fit.  Wordplay in each clue yields an extra letter not to be entered in the grid.  Based on the normal order of presentation of clues, these letters provide an excerpt of the work in progress, less one appropriate word.  Answers to two clues are superfluous: together with the extra letters generated in their clues, they must be appropriately treated to provide a relevant name to be entered beneath the grid.  Finally, solvers must highlight the work’s published title."

An initial study of the clues and the grid yielded the fact that there was just one 7 letter answer and one 7 letter slot in the grid.  It also became clear that one each of the 5 and 6 letter answers would be superfluous to the grid..

The seven letter answer fell quite quickly as ROSEOLA which immediately gave some letters in the grid.  I thought the clue to ROSEOLA was a bit odd given that there were 3 Os in the word play and you could actually ignore a part of the clue to get the answer, although I suppose you still had to realise that the first letter of ONE still had a part to play somewhere.

The jigsaw element of the puzzle fitted together failry easily once a few of the 10 and 11 letter entries were solved.

In this puzzle, I struggled a bit with the superfluous letters. I deduced the excerpt some while before all the clues were solved.  At the end, there was a bit of reverse engineering of some entries to establish where the correct superfluous letter occurred in the wordplay.

In clue order, the superfluous letters spelt out "EGGS OH MY BABY HOW I LOVE YOUR LEGS".  I had a vague recollection of this phrase, but I had to confirm it with further research.  It appears that Lennon and McCartney had a habit of developing a tune and putting rather random phrases against it before writing the final lyrics.  In this case, the full phrase "SCRAMBLED EGGS OH MY BABY HOW I LOVE YOUR LEGS" was the ‘WORK IN PROGRESS [title of the puzzle] for the opening lyrics of "YESTERDAY, all my troubles seemed so far away".  SCRAMBLED therefore was obviously an important word for the final step.

I enjoyed some very good misdirection in the clues, where the range of meanings of a lot of words in English gives compilers huge opportunities for leading solvers away from the right answer.  For example, ‘root’ in the clue for ARYL, ‘those on the board’ in INDEPENDENT and ‘well spun’ in LOLLO ROSSO.

The two answers  that did not feature in the grid were CANCEL and TRAMP with extra letter Y and U respectively.  Using SCRAMBLED as the anagram indicator for these letters we can generate PAUL MCCARTNEY which should be entered beneath the grid. YESTERDAY is found down the leading diagonal.

The final grid looked like this

Inquisitor 1269












                  PAUL MCCARTNEY



Clue [definitions underlined] Wordplay Extra Letter Location Entry / Solution

Aromatic root – it is found next to the railway line (4)


SA (sex appeal; it) + RY (railway) + L (line)




23 down (28)


ARYL (any aromatic univalent hydrocarbon radical.[root])


Track recalling Queen song from a long time ago (4)


WAY (track) + (ER [Elizabeth Regina; queen] reversed [recalling])




2 down (15)


AYRE (an old spelling [from a long time ago] of AIR, especially  as a tune or song, in particular an Elizabethan or Jacobean song [also from a long time ago] for solo voice)


Erase greenish-blue ink on film sheet (6)


CYAN (greenish-blue ink) + CEL (celluloid [cinematographic film generally])




Not entered


CANCEL (delete; erase)


The crust is removed, and salt and pepper are put on it (10)


Anagram of (is removed) THE CRUST + AND




14 across (6)


CRUET-STAND (a stand for holding condiments [e.g. salt and pepper] for the table)


Angler nets dead snail (6)


RODMAN (angler) containing (nets) D (dead)




16 down (24)


DODMAN (snail)


Spare counter in existence mostly for convenience (8)


(SAVE [spare] reversed [counter]) + IN + (ESSE [existence] excluding the final letter [mostly] E)




6 down (19)


EASINESS (convenience)


Palace eyes lie bewitchingly (6)


Anagram of (bewitchingly) EYES LIE




3 down (16)


ÉLYSÉE (reference the ÉLYSÉE palace, official residence of the French President)


Gradually, Belgian city has largely emptied (6)


GHENT (belgian city) + LY (letters left after removing all but the first and last letters of [emptied] LARGELY)




26 across (13)


GENTLY (gradually)


Young lady rejected boring plant I pruned (4)


OIL RIG (plant required for oil-well drilling [boring plant]) reversed (rejected), excluding (pruned) I




13 across (5)


GIRL (young lady)


Are old people first and foremost active?  It’s unclear (8, 2 words)


GREYS (old people) + ARE + A (first letter of [foremost] ACTIVE) ‘old people first’ is a direction to put GREYS in front of ARE




10 across (4)


GREY AREA (a situation in which there is no clear-cut distinctions; it’s unclear)


Rely on those on the board to stop internal freethinker (11)


(DEPEND [rely on] + MEN [those on {chess} board] contained in (to stop) INT (internal)




15 across (7)


INDEPENDENT (capable of acting or thinking for oneself; freethinker)


Lecture in two parts includes not one source of Scriptures (10)


(BI [in two parts] contains [includes] LECT)  [lecture]) + O (?) + NARY (not one)


I don’t think I’ve got the wordplay right here as I haven’t dealt with the O



24 across (11)


LECTIONARY (a book of church lessons for each day; source of Scriptures)


Fit up one small piece of lifting equipment (5)


WELL (fit) reversed (up; it is a down clue) + I (one) + S (small)


either L could be the extra letter



18 down (25)


LEWIS (a dovetail iron tenon, made in three pieces, for lifting blocks of stone; a piece of lifting equipment)


Sweet alternative, well spun, that will do as a salad ingredient (10, 2 words)

LOLLY (sweet) + OR (alternative) + SO (well!) reversed (spun) + SO (that will do)




17 across (8)


LOLLO ROSSO (a curly-leaved variety of lettuce; salad ingredient)


German guy‘s good fortune landing pair and six (8)


LUCK (good fortune) containing (landing) (DUO [pair] + VI [roman numerals for six])




12 down (23)


LUDOVICK (German name)


Free party you and I held in capital of Angola (4)


WE (you and I) contained in (held in) LIG (a party with free refreshments)




21 down (27)


LWEI (the unit of currency [capital] in Angola)


Before John Milton latterly, experts initially went for Spenser (5)


ERE (before) + NN (last letters of [latterly] JOHN and MILTON) + E (first letter of [initially] EXPERT)




19 down (26)


RENNE (ran [went] as used by Edmund Spenser)


Spraying aerosoal over one’s head is rash (7)


Anagram of (spraying) AEROSOL containing O (first letter of [head of] ONE)


Either of the two Os could be the one contained.  Any of the three Os in the wordplay could be the one omitted.  In fact, neither of the remaining Os needs to be contained if we consider the first letter of ONEand the containment indicator together to be superfluous.



11 down (22)


ROSEOLA (rose coloured rash)


Least risky party on board ship? (6)


SEA FEST (party on board ship)




1 across (1)


SAFEST (least risky)


Saucy adult logo is re-designed with good sense (11)

Anagram of (re-designed) SAUCY and A (adult) and LOGO IS

Either of the Os could be omitted

O 1 down (14) SAGACIOUSLY (judiciously, with good sense)

Drive off cliff (4)


SCARE (drive off)




7 down (20)


SCAR (cliff)


Vital dog permit attached to leads – it allows entry everywhere (11, 2 words)


SKYE (reference SKYE terrier; dog) + LET (permit) ON attached to) + KEY (vital)




8 down (21)


SKELETON KEY (a key with its serrated edge or the shaped part of its bit filed down, so that it can open many locks; it allows entry everywhere)


Everything written up in special books gives point of view (5)


(ALL [everything] reversed [written up, this also is a down clue]) contained in (in) (S [special] + NT [New Testament [books)


Either L could be omitted



4 down (17)


SLANT (point of view)


On a bill, it shows the owner as "White Line" (8)


AS + WAN (white) + MARK (a starting-line in a race)




23 across (10)


SWAN-MARK (the notch made on the swan’s upper mandible [part of a bird’s bill], as a mark of ownership.


It’s shocking taking a power walk (5)


TRAUMA (emotional shock; it’s shocking) excluding (taking) A




Not entered


TRAMP (walk)


Hair gets tangled with ends of rollers (5)


Anagram of (tangled) GETS and RS (first and last letters of [ends of]) ROLLERS)




5 across (2)


TRESS (hair)


Sentimental towards a social media message (5)


TWEE (sentimental) + TO (towards)




5 down (18)


TWEET (social media message [on Twitter])


Edible alga lab cultivated with UV (4)


Anagram of (cultivated) LAB and UV




20 across (9)


ULVA (a kind of edible seaweed)


Novel, sensational gold purse by Calvin Klein (11)


YELLOW (gold) + BAG (purse) + CK (Calvin Klein)




9 across (3)


YELLOWBACK (a cheap, sensational novel, specifically one with yellow board or paper covers, common in the 19 century)


Dust-up in Perth – youth leader is about to prepare for plastering (5)


(Y [first letter of [leader] YOUTH + IS) containing (about) KEY (to prepare for plastering)




25 across (12


YIKES (an argument or fight [dust-up] in Australia [Perth])



6 Responses to “Inquisitor 1269: Work in Progress by Gila”

  1. Hihoba says:

    I think it’s worth pointing out that John Lennon had nothing at all to do with “Yesterday” – either in its composition or its playing or singing. It is the song that McCartney wanted referred to as “McCartney Lennon” but Yoko Ono would not even concede this much.

    The tune came to Paul at night and he invented the Scrambled Eggs line to make sure that he remembered it when he woke up. There is an excellent Wikipedia article on it here

    I filled in the grid and found the diagonal and the article before going on with the checking of the “Eggs. . . ” phrase.

    Good crossword. I like alphabetical jigsaws anyway and having to use the “correct” order of the clues was a new twist.

    It is a always a pity when you can (as you could here) have sent in the answer without having completed the last phase, but think what you would have missed!

  2. John Lowe says:

    For the word play of LECTIONARY (24 across) I think that “in two parts” should be (B)INARY, however I then don’t much like “not one” to clue “zero” and therefore the letter O.

    Am I being too picky?

    Thanks for the blog, Duncan, and thanks, too, of course, to Gila for the entertainment.

  3. Chesley says:

    Re Hihoba @1. Using correct order of clues isn’t new – it has been used many times before but is always an extra twist to the PDM and always welcome.

  4. Bertandjoyce says:

    We enjoyed this puzzle although we had to resort to google at the end to work out the significance of the phrase formed by the superfluous letters.

    Joyce had no problem with ROSEOLA as she suffers from a form of it (Duncan – you have an extra ‘a’ by the way in the aerosol) although it did seem strange to add ‘O’ and then ignore it.

    Thanks Duncan for the blog and Gila for a good challenge!

  5. HolyGhost says:

    An engaging workout, not too tough – as Duncan says, the unique 7 letter entry and solving a couple of the 10/11 letter entries made the jigsaw element that bit easier.

    John Lowe’s parsing (at #2) of LECTIONARY concurs with mine (and “not one” = zero = 0 just about passes).

    Echoing Hihoba (at #1), McCartney on a (recently repeated) Parkinson fragment was quite adamant that the song was his & his alone.

    And regarding Chesley (at #3), Paradise by Kruger (Inquisitor 1243 from last August – voted favourite puzzle of 2012) recently used the device of a jigsaw where the extra letters generated by the clues in conventional order yielded a message/instruction.

    Thanks Duncan; thanks Gila.

  6. John H says:


Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

− 2 = five