Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1271: Voyager by Regson

Posted by kenmac on March 13th, 2013


Preamble: This puzzle marks a classic voyage. Solvers must shade both the name and the destination of the voyager. In clue order, the first letters of the single extra words in most clues give an additional instruction. One entry is an abbreviation.

I found the clues to be particularly tough. It took a long time to get started. When I finally made a breakthrough, I found the top half fell quicker than the bottom half.

Keeping a watchful eye on the diagonals (as ever) BOUNTY (d4, e5, f6, h7, i8, j9) finally jumped out at me. A quick trip to Wikipedia confirmed what I already knew, that HMS Bounty‘s prescribed  destination was TAHITI (d9, e8, f7, g6, h5, i4), so there we have the name and destination of the voyager.

IQ1271By now I had enough of the first letters of single extra words to see the message ALSO SHADE ACTUAL END POINTS OF THE VOYAGE, thus we also have to shade SPITHEAD (a8, b7, c6, d5, e4, f3, g2, h1) and PITCAIRN (e12, f11, g10, h9, i8, j7, k6, l5) the start and end points of The Bounty’s actual journey.

As alluded to (above) I found most of the clues tough but fair but there were a couple that I thought were just too convoluted. Some people on this board have been calling for peoples’ favourite clues but I’d like to nominate 20d as the worst clue I’ve ever had to blog. :(

9a gave me the most grief, it kept insisting that it wanted to be MINIMAL but with no justification.

Anyway, apart from 20d, great puzzle – thanks Regson.

Clue definition extra word
Initial letter Wordplay
1 Favour brief accord modified at conclusion BEFRIEND A
BRIEF (anag: modified)+END (conclusion)
6 A sampling of little love apples in a country basket LEAP L
littLE APples (hidden: a sampling of)
9 Extremely tiny antique US tool used in string theory MINIMAX S
MINIM (extremely tiny; obsolete: antique)+AX (axe in US)
10 Clay converted to this component of oxidised metal ingots ALI [ref: Cassius Clay] O
metAL Ingots (hidden: component of)
11 Tax once assessed on land in southern Hawaii by graceless teenage Australian earl HIDAGE S
HI (Hawaii)+DAG (graceless Autralian teenager)+Earl
13 Wee Scot adopts one honky-tonk pianist GRIEG H
I (one; inside: adopts) GREG (diminutive of Gregory (Scottish name))
14 Reports might contain these directives issued by Captain Nemo? SUBHEADINGS
SUBmarine HEADINGS may have been issued by Captain Nemo on The Nautilus in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
16 Stroke business associate, not Alcatraz prisoner TACT A
conTACT (business associate; minus prisoner: CON)
17 Disrespectful old Greek American having a change of heart TEIAN D
TExAN (American; middle letter (heart) changed to an I)
18 A cat in these expensive garments could be playing Asian twist music SWIMSUITS E
aSian tWIST MUSIc (minus A CAT IN; anag: could be)
22 Racial origin of the ageless mysterious Ulster town ETHNICITY A
THE (anag: mysterious)+NI (Ulster)+CITY (town)
25 God above calmly returning for ever in Scotland SURYA C
SUR (above)+AY (for ever (Scottish); rev: returning)
27 A regular train journey through Capetown – it goes on for ages AEON T
cApEtOwN (alternate letters: regular)
29 Cell in which the rector conspires with two Unitarian Yankees ERYTHROCYTE U
THE RECTOR + YY (yankee twice) (anag: conspires)
30 Order an ancient army division TAXIS
(double definition – both of which were new to me)
31 That conifer is being returned for a flowering alyssum plant THRIFT A
THaT (conifer: FIR (rev: being returned) replacing A)
33 Canadian Channel 8 not lately featuring something very difficult SNY L
8 down (pigSNY; minus PIG (something difficult)
34 A European monarch chases religious labourer PIONEER E
PI (religious)+ONE (a)+ER (monarch)
35 About half of 20 ridiculous national worries EATS N
A+TSEtse (half of 20d) (anag: ridiculous)
36 Informal discussion about hill north of an Italian city PARMESAN D
RAP (informal discussion; rev: about)+MESA (hill)+N(orth)

Clue definition extra word
Initial letter
1 Piece of furniture for short barbarian doctor in informal speech BAHUT
BArbarian+WHO (doctor; homonym: in informal speech)
2 I almost yield to actuaries following polite female railway trustee FIDUCIARY P
Female+I+DUCk (yield; almost)+IA (actuaries)+RY (railway)
3 Arsenic could be synthesised by the reaction of osmium, cerium and silicon with this acid RNA O
ARseNic (anag: could be; minus CE (cerium) and SI (silicon)
4 Independent Indian ruler always entertains Regson EMEER I
ME (Regson, the setter) inside EER (always)
5 Indian script notates divine snake’s religious teaching NAGARI N
NAGA (divine snake)+RI (Religious Instruction)
6 Wagons take out thirteen New Guinea natives LORIES T
LORrIES (wagons; minus R (take))
7 Sour, sour beer in a large cocktail ALEGAR S
A LARGE (anag: cocktail)
8 Sportive eye spying on ostriches PIGSNY O
SPYING (anag: on – as in ON the way to being drunk, I think)
12 Group of formal decorative plants without a bit of simple shade GHOST F
G (group of)+HOSTAS (decorative plants; minus A Simple (bit of))
14 “In the beginning”, twelve saintly apostles were saying SAW T
Saintly Apostles Were (initials: in the beginning)
15 These are rarely exorbitant obligations – after a game, that is NIMIETIES
NIM (game)+IE (that is)+TIES (obligations)
19 Dwarf promptly once accepting herbal tea but refusing sip of ale TITCH H
TIT (promptly)+CHa (tea minus Ale (sip of))
20 A thousand men and this insect could produce 250 earwigs, emmets and ants TSETSE E
A+M (thousand)+MEN+TSETSE (this insect; anag: could produce E (250)+EMMETS+ANTS)
21 Two Victorian princes accept universal class of sacred books PURANA V
Universal inside Prince and RANA (prince)
22 More than one offensive Italian onlooker sees around a tree EYTIES O
TI (tree) inside EYES (sees)
23 Replace nursemaid’s head with young bird – this could require surgery HERNIA Y
aIA (nursemaid; intial: head replaced by HERN (bird))
24 Short drunkard loses antique copper nail, indirectly TOE A
TOpEr (drunkard; short; minus P=penny=copper)
26 Machine for entering garage without a delay MOTOR G
TO (for) inside MORa (delay; minus: without A)
28 Former element is not another one in retrospect NITON
NOT+IN (indium) (rev: in retrospect)
32 Arrange the feathers of exotic wingless bird REE E
pREEn (arrange feathers; wingless: start and end removed)

10 Responses to “Inquisitor 1271: Voyager by Regson”

  1. Kettledrum says:

    1d I had read that as Hu(n) – short barbarian, inside bat = informal speech of a foreign language (4th defn in BRB)

  2. Joan MM says:

    I agree with you about 20 Down, it’s a dire clue. I solved it but had no reasoning, so thanks for your explanation.

  3. Thomas99 says:

    Re 20d – I don’t agree. “Could produce” seems ok (in fact rather familiar) for a comp. anag. indicator and once “earwig” has gone it’s an inventive clue, with a clear, literate cryptic reading and even additional help from 35a for anyone unsure about the “E” (the one obscurity – rather a mild one by the standards of this puzzle!). It also manages to move the definition away from the beginning or end, always a plus if it works. It’s an extraordinary suggestion that it’s the “worst clue I’ve had to blog”. It’s difficult, but then so are most of these clues. In style it’s very reminiscent of successful clues in Azed competitions. (In fact the approach of the comp. anag. with the definition in the middle is typical of Azed himself – but he’d probably make it shorter.)

    I think Kettledrum is right – “Doctor” is the spare word in 1d with the parsing as he says and “discussion” in 36a is part of the wordplay, as you say, so can’t be spare.

    I did find this harder than most of the Inquisitors I’ve done – some of the definitions were almost cruel – but I know they deliberately vary the level and it’s nice to have one focused on tough clues (as opposed to eccentric overall construction – which is also great fun) now and again.

  4. Hi of hihoba says:

    I won’t join in the 20d controversy, but would like to add an additional twist in the diagram, which is that the word BOUNTY leads from SPITHEAD through TAHITI to PITCAIRN mirroring the voyage. Cool!

  5. kenmac says:

    #1 & #3
    You’re right, it works much better that way. DOCTOR is indeed the extra word, I screwed up with 36a, DISCUSSION is not superfluous. :-(

    I’ve never done an Azed puzzle so such subtleties are lost on me. I just didn’t enjoy solving it and I certainly didn’t enjoy blogging it. What do you think is the worst clue I’ve ever had to blog?

  6. NormanLinFrance says:

    I have almost no Inquisitorial experience, but wish I’d been introduced to them earlier. I can’t see anything wrong with 20: it’s complicated, sure, but it does what it’s supposed to do – makes you think very hard.

  7. Raich says:

    Yes, 20D was a composite anagram. These are very common features of Azed puzzles (may even have been invented by him) so the fact you’ve never solved Azed, kenmac, might be a factor in your reaction to it.

    There usually is a ‘this’ in such a clue which can give a strong indication that this device is being used.

  8. Trebor says:

    Enjoyed this, think it would make a good introduction to Inquisitors (well at least relative to a few recent ones!).

    Didn’t quite get it all though, gave up trying to deduce the extra words in a series of clues so only got “ALSO SHADE ??? POINTS OF THE VOYAGE”. Enough to find the other hidden words.


  9. HolyGhost says:

    I felt that a few clues were a bit clunky, including 20d – but that one was clearly signposted and not difficult. What I really don’t like is thematic barred puzzles with clues that refer to answers to other clues (here, 33a to PIGSNY at 8d, and 35a to TSETSE at 20d).

    I appreciated that BOUNTY went from SPITHEAD to PITCAIRN via TAHITI – very nice touch. But I thought that the clue for 7d was weak: “Sour, sour beer …” with one “sour” as the redundant word, and the other as part of the definition. This, coupled with the lack of precision in the ‘additional instruction’, led me to wonder whether I was looking for the END POINTS of the voyage, or the END POINT (singular); and, if plural, where Bligh and Christian respectively ended up. There seemed to be enough slack in the number of clues that didn’t include any redundancy to say … ACTUAL START AND END OF …

    But a good debut from Regson, with just a few rough edges.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    We had the same thought about ‘sour’ as the redundant word for 7d as HolyGhost@9 and agree with most of you about 7d being rather convoluted. However, there was also much to enjoy.

    Having completed the puzzle we took ages to find SPITHEAD – no idea why as we had been checking diagonals. Once we had discovered that, the rest all fell into place …… with a little help from google to confirm everything.

    Thanks to setter and blogger!

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