Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1270: 19/116 by Raich

Posted by Hihoba on March 6th, 2013


A very brief numerical title, which I couldn’t check until I completed the whole crossword.

Extra letters in wordplay and four unclued entries had something in common. When we discovered what that was, we had to highlight 23 relevant squares in the grid.

Some tricky clues, but the grid filled in slowly and the first across unclued entry was ?U??ART?N and the corresponding down clue was ?I??AR????. This led to DUMBARTON (not many words fit ?U??ART?N) and hence (via thoughts of Scottish towns) to KILMARNOCK. The other two fitted MOTHERWELL and HIBERNIAN – so not towns but football clubs!

By now enough extra letters had been identified to indicate DUNDEE UNITED and ABERDEEN. I also had LANARK, but my knowledge of Scottish football did not run to the name of Lanark’s club as THIRD LANARK – Wikipedia helped there. Then DUNDEE appeared along with H????? (I had a lot of blank entries in the bottom right hand corner!). This must be HEARTS – which helped with filling in the missing blanks.

So I guessed that these teams must be winners of something in Scottish football, but there was a glaring omission in the list of winners – RANGERS and CELTIC, the “OLD FIRM” the most prolific winners of all were missing!

This article contains the following nugget of information:

Summary 1891-2012 (116 championships) 

54 Rangers
43 Celtic
4 Heart Of Midlothian, Hibernian, Aberdeen
2 Dumbarton
1 Third Lanark, Motherwell, Dundee, Kilmarnock, Dundee United

If you add 4 wins each for Hearts, Hibs and Aberdeen (=12), 2 for Dumbarton (=14) + 1 each for Third Lanark, Motherwell, Dundee, Kilamarnock and Dundee United you reach the magic total of 19.

So in 19 championships out of 116 (title), Rangers or Celtic have NOT won!

And lo and behold on the diagonal was the phrase:


Nicely done Raich.

Inq 1270 1


 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer  Extra letter  Wordplay (extra (L)etter)
 1  PM’s no quiet swimmer (3)  EEL  –  Sir Robert (P)EEL
 10  Fast mover, the German, following special exercises of French (7)  SPEEDER  D  S(pecial) + PE (exercises) + (D)E (of French) + DER (the German)
 12  Old buildings, thousand, recycled oil (6)  THOLOI  U  THO(U) + [OIL]*
 13  Gents burn chopped cactus (6)  MESCAL  N  ME(N) SCAL(D) (burn, chopped)
 15  Unit got most of army mad, bonkers! (8)  GRAM-ATOM  D  [GOT ARM(y) MA(D)]*
 16  Blame old gods – bird returned (5)  ODIUM  E  O(ld) + DI (gods) + (E)MU reversed
 18  Mammals in that place (Iowa) at heart of feud (8)  EUTHERIA  E  Heart of (f)EU(d) + THER(E) + IA (Iowa)
 19  University Pastor, square, willing to get involved? (5, 2 words)  UP FOR  U  U(niversity) + P(astor) + FO(U)R (square – 2×2)
 21  Stag, riotous at first, reform needed, right? (7, 2 words)  RED DEER  N  R(iotous) + [(N)EEDED]* + R(ight)
 23  Indication of surprise over freed animals (4)  HERD  I  HE (EH – indication of surprise reversed) + R(I)D (free)
 25  Money (yen) aunt’s changing (4)  YUAN  T  Y(en) + [AUN(T)]*
 27  Milton’s preface resolving spite at shelter (7)  EPISTLE  E  [SPITE]* + LE(E) (shelter)
 29  Doctor missed unusual quake (5)  SEISM  D  (Doctor = anag) [MISSE(D)]*
 30  Stonecrop she brought on board ship with books (8)  ROSEROOT  H  S(H)E in RORO (ship) + OT (books)
 33  Child’s not finishing delightful drink (5)  TONIC  E  TO(t) (child’s not finishing) + NIC(E)
 35  Rights advocate almost gained new stamina (8)  WOMANIST  A  WO(n) (almost gained) + [ST(A)MINA]* +
 40  Moved quickly to kick grass (6)  TOETOE  R  TO(R)E (moved quickly) + TOE (kick)
 41  See men in the city (6)  LAHORE  T  LA (SEE) + OR (men) in (T)HE
 42  Being nears unexpected trap (7)  ENSNARE  S  ENS (being) + [NEAR(S)]
 43  Désirée’s man (3)  SIR  –  Hidden in DéSIRée
 No.  Clue (definition)  Answer  Extra letter  Wordplay (extra (L)etter)
 2  Lady’s distracted Père struggling with two-piece? (7)  ÉPERDUE  T  {French feminine form of adjective}: [PERE]* + DUE(T)
 3  The French hosts oddly lacking (4)  LESS  H  LE (the French) + (H)oStS
 4  Estate sundial missing poles (4)  UDAL  I  remove S & N from (s)U(n)D(I)AL
 5  It’s cold to imprison English relative (4)  BRER  R  BRR(R) (cold) round E(nglish)
 6  Answer (dry) covering poor player’s turn in NY (5)  AT-BAT  D  A(nswer) + TT (dry)round BA(D) (poor)
 7  Foreign character, learner on vacation at house (3)  RHO  L  (L)(earne)R (on vacation – remove middle letters) + HO(use)
 8  Thomas Gray regularly supported by editor in old clothing (6)  TOGAED  A  T(h)O(m)(A)(s) G(r)A(y) (regularly) + ED
 9  Nothing on Monday in Northern Ireland departments (5)  NOMOI  N  O (nothing) + MO(N) in N(orthern) I(reland)
 11  Linen part of the car upholstery (4)  ECRU  A  Hidden in thE C(A)R Upholstery
 14  King accepted Thailand more certain to rise (6)  ATREUS  R  A(ccepted) T(hailand) + SU(R)ER reversed
 17  In Moldova sanction annual festival (3)  MOD  K  MD (Moldova) round O(K) (sanction)
 18  Queen, extremely dainty, left Welsh guy (4)  ERYL  D  ER (Queen) + (D)aintY + L(eft)
 20  Hard-to-please types with money for ultimately nutrient solids (6)  PRISMS  U  P(U)RISTS (hard-to-please types) with (nutrien)T replaced by M(oney)
 21  Regret cutting top off plum (3)  RUE  N  (P)RU(N)E (cut top P off)
 22  Head start not entirely the point (4)  EAST  D  Hidden in hEA(D) STart
 24  Amiable? Not initially – he wavers (3)  WET  E  (s)WE(E)T (amiable less initial letter)
 26  From the 3 (LESS), Academy, rich source, essentially Doric (7, 2 words)  A MINORI  E  A(cademy) + MIN(E) (rich source) + (d)ORI(c)
 28  Company sailor supports second Channel flier (6, 2 words)  SEA-COB  A  CO(mpany) + (A)B (sailor) below S(econd) + EA (channel)
 31  Thingummy excited hobo? Ja! (5)  OOJAH  B  [HO(B)O JA]*
 32  Ship to promote dance after call for attention (5)  OILER  E  OI (call for attention + RE(E)L reversed
 34  Frank painter (4)  OPEN  R  Sir William O(R)PEN, Irish painter
 36  Southern garden recognised (4)  SEEN  D  S(outhern) + E(D)EN
 37  A dog where Jack goes? (4)  TOSA  E  Jack (tar) goes TO S(E)A
 38  Octave of old festival 22 (EAST)  University arranged (4)  UTAS  E  [U(niversity) (E)AST]*
 39  Earn ground, some land (3)  ARE  N  [EAR(N)]*


6 Responses to “Inquisitor 1270: 19/116 by Raich”

  1. kenmac says:

    Thanks Hi for explaining the title. I had everything else but the title eluded me though I suspected it was something like that.

  2. regalize says:

    Grrr! I hate football and sectarian Scottish football in particular (even though my cousin is Bobby Lennox). This puzzle was published when I was actually in Kilmarnock. 15 18 and 33ac gave me the way in. It was a case of ‘phone a friend’ or resort to Google (which I hate having to do to complete a crossword).
    However, a lovely, lovely puzzle. Thanks Raich and Hi.

  3. HolyGhost says:

    A good job that Rangers weren’t stripped of their 5 recent titles – they were found guilty in late February of “failing to make proper disclosure of side-letter arrangements during 2000-2011″ and fined £250,000 – or else the puzzle would have had to become “19/111″.

    My first thought on seeing the puzzle’s title was Jim Laker’s famous feat in a test match in the 1950’s, but a quick check informed me that his figures were 19 wickets for 90 runs. I spotted DUNDEE UNITED in the sequence of extra letters quite early on, and then the unclued entries tumbeld out. So, quite an easy one. Nevetheless, thanks go to Raich and Hi.

  4. Wil Ransome says:

    A very nice crossword. I was unsure about the numbers in the title, and also wondered whether one was supposed to shade the letters SP near the beginning of the hidden phrase.

  5. Bertandjoyce says:

    Despite not being the slightest bit interested in football in general, let alone Scottish football, we still enjoyed the puzzle. With a bit of electronic assistance we managed to sort out the relevance of the title and hence were able to shade in the relevant squares! Heaven help us if the internet had not been available!

    An impressive compilation by Raich and thanks to Hihoba for the blog.

  6. Raich says:

    Many thanks, Hihoba, for the excellent blog and to all for their comments. It was particularly gratifying that people with little or no interest in football were able to work through it and enjoy it. I reasoned that, in a UK publication, it was unlikely that anyone would not realise that this was about football clubs once the words began to appear.

    Addressing a few points that have been raised, the info could be confirmed in a number of places on the Internet but also without it. Football’s equivalent of cricket’s annual Wisden, the Sky Sports Football Yearbook (formerly Rothmans) has it all in a single paragraph (p 768 of the current edition).

    Re Rangers and their possibility of losing titles, I guess if they had lost them, the next question would have been should the titles be given to the runners-up (in all cases Celtic) so perhaps the 116 would have remained correct after all.

    I’d not noticed the SPL (Scottish Premier League) mentioned by Wil near the highlighted bit so it was as well that it had been specified that 23 letters were to be highlighted. The SPL is a reasonably recent creation whereas the puzzle goes right back to the start of the League so perhaps drawing SPL into into the puzzle would not have been appropriate.

    While most people probably know this already, I’ll just mention that, because of the breaches, Rangers have been demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish football so, barring further league reconstruction, won’t be adding to their titles for at least three seasons. Whether this leads to the 19 increasing in that period is quite another question however with Aberdeen in 1985 having been the last.

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