Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1277: The Long View by Wickball

Posted by duncanshiell on April 24th, 2013


This week’s Inquisitor has a new setter – Wickball.  Welcome Sir [or Madam]

The puzzle is entitled ‘The Long View’ with a preamble that stated "Every clue yields a redundant letter, either in the clue itself or arising from the wordplay; these letters spell out a quotation.  Nine clues lack definition: of these, one is the final word of the quotation, one is the author, six may be associated with the author and one relates to the quotation itself.  Solvers must shade the author in the completed grid together with his title."

It took me a little while to get going, but I finally made inroads through a number of anagrams.  With the anagrams it seems to me the redundant letter could be omitted from clue, or omitted from the word play.  In most cases, I have shown the letter as being omitted from the wordplay as it is easier to see what is going on that way.  I suppose if you omit the letter from the clue you are left with non-words in the clue and that may be considered a no-no.  I think there are some other instances where the redundant letter could be omitted from either the clue or the wordplay – e.g. the odd container and contents clue where the relevant piece is spelled out explicitly in the clue.  Whatever the choice, the redundant letter is unambiguous.

There were a number of clues that I liked very much – e.g. the clues to KNOT (2 across, for the clever use of the redundant letter in the clue), GIANTS (40 across, for its surface), CRYOLITE (44 across, where Al refers to aluminium rather than the gangster),  THOR (4 down; I find hidden word clues surprisingly tricky – they usually fall after considering the rule ‘if you can’t solve it – look for a hidden word’) and UNITY (10 down, another clever use of redundant letter in the clue).

In the clues, I think the outskirts of Caithness is geographically unsound given that Caithness is a very sizeable area; however as a crossword device to indicate the first and last letters of a word it is perfectly sound.

It was deducing the word SHOULDERS in the quotation that gave me the penny drop moment as I did actually know this quotation – IF I HAVE SEEN FURTHER IT IS BY STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF …  At this point SIR ISAAC NEWTON loomed large and the answers to the undefined clues became more obvious.

In clue order, the undefined answers are

CALCULUS (5 across) – Leibniz and NEWTON are usually both credited with the invention of calculus.

GRAVITY (21 across) – reference NEWTON‘s Law of Universal Gravitation (and the apple of course)

ISAAC NEWTON (27 across)

GIANTS (40 across)

LAWS OF MOTION (1 down) – another of NEWTON‘s fundamental laws

TWO POUND COIN (14 down) – the final phrase of the quotation STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS  is inscribed on the outer edge of a £2 coin

OPTICS (12 down) – associated with the quotation

CRADLE (20 down) – a device that demonstrates conservation of  momentum and energy via a series of swinging spheres

RINGS (22 down) – an interference pattern caused by the reflection of light between two surfaces, first studied by NEWTON in 1717

It is the word GIANTS that completes the quotation.  OPTICS is the word associated with the quotation as Newton writes it in a letter of 1676 to Robert Hooke with whom Newton was in dispute over some discoveries relating to OPTICS.  The shorter phrase ‘STANDING ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS‘ predates NEWTON.  Wikipedia suggests it was first used to refer to building on the work of others back in the 12th century

The final grid looked like this – I assume the author’s title simply refers to his Knighthood indicated by SIR in the row above ISAAC NEWTON

Inquisitor 1277













The title THE LONG VIEW highlights the ability to see a long way from the great height of the SHOULDERS OF GIANTS.



No Clue Letter Wordplay Letter Entry



On board, irate knight has no input (4)




KT (knight) containing (has … input) NO

K (NO) T



KNOT (nautical mile per hour; rate on board [ship])



Copper falls out with copper (8)




Anagram of (out) CU [chemical symbol for copper] and ALLS and CU [copper]




CALCULUS – undefined




One more broadcast on the air (7)




Anagram of (broadcast) ON THE AR



ANOTHER (one more) – the I could be omitted from the clue or the wordplay




Intone inclination (4)




CHANT (intone)



CANT (lean)




That’s a surprise! I manage to lose in broken resistance (6)




OH! (expression of surprise) + (I MANAGE excluding [to lose] IN)


A OHMAGE (resistance) – either A could be omitted, either from the wordplay or from the clue



Buddhist states toss Ravi out (7) V Anagram of (out) TOSS RAI  

SATORIS (states of sudden enlightenment, sought in Zen Buddhism) – here too the V could be omitted from the wordplay or the clue



Intend to repress independent spirit (6)




MEAN TO (intend) containing (repress) I (independent)




MANITO (a spirit or sacred object among certain Native American tribes




Plate found by cops on outskirts of Caithness (4)




DIS (Detective Inspectors); cops) + CS (first and last letters of [outskirts] CAITHNESS)




DISC (plate)




Tie-back in ill-gotten gains (7)



TIE reversed (back) contained in (in) GRAVY (money or profit obtained by corrupt practices or graft; ill-gotten gains)




GRAVITY – undefined – another one where the E could be omitted from the clue or the wordplay.




One stalled by endless new problems (6)




ACE (one) contained in (stalled by) FRESH (new) excluding the last letter [(endless) H




FACERS (problems)




Developer of circuit returned after start of project in New York (4)



(P [first letter of {start of} PROJECT} contained in (in) NY [New York]) + (OR [reference an OR logic circuit] reversed [returned])

(P) Y RO<


PYRO (pyrogallol [a phenol obtained by heating gallic acid, used in photographic developing]; developer)



One noticed spots in damaged font (11, 2 words)




I (one) + (ACNE [spots] contained in [in] SAW [noticed]) + an anagram of (damaged) FONT


F ISAAC NEWTON – undefined



One fearsome rogue on the rampage (4)



Anagram of (on the rampage) ROGUE



OGRE (a man-eating monster or giant of fairy tales; one fearsome) – another one where the U could be omitted from the clue or the wordplay




Upset islanders regularly harboured old Eastender (6)



SADR (even letters [regularly] of ISLANDERS + DEN (reference Dirty DEN one of the characters at the start of Eastenders)




SADDEN (upset)




Separate fluid steadily (7)




Anagram of (fluid) STEADILY




DIALYSE (the separation of substances by diffusion through a membranous septum or partition)



Something to heat part of boat from the stern (4)




KEEL (part of boat) reversed (from the stern)




LEEK (vegetable; something to eat)




Smoother, but not hard, metal here (6)




IRON (metal) + HERE excluding (not) H (hard)



IRONER (a smoother)




Alternative to cold rice pudding, nothing less! (7)




OR (alternative) + an anagram of (pudding) (TO and C [cold] and RICE excluding [less] O [nothing])




ORECTIC (having an appetitie; if you are hungry and decline the only option of cold rice pudding you will still have an appetite)




Recline, perhaps, after a gin cocktail (6)




Anagram of (cocktail) A GIN + SIT (recline, possibly)




GIANTS – undefined




Grand tirade about grass (4)




(K [1000, grand] + RANT [tirade]) all reversed (abhout)



NARK (informer; grass)




Salicine hastily treated neck muscles (7)




Anagram of (hastily treated) SALICINE




SCALENI (paired muscles in the neck extending to the first and second ribs, being obliquely situated and unequal-sided) – either I could be omitted




Al is found in this ruined cloister yard (8)




Anagram of (ruined) CLOISTER and Y (yard)




CRYOLITE (an icestone or Greenland spar, sodium aluminium fluoride, earliest source of aluminium. [chemical symbol Al])




Breaking up, it’s sacrificed in busiest exploits (4)




Anagram of (breaking up) BUSIEST excluding (sacrificed) IT




USES (exploits)


No Clue Letter Wordplay Letter Entry



If too slow, many will need perking up (12, 3 words)




Anagram of (will need perking up) IF TOO SLOW MANY




LAWS OF MOTION – undefined




Works broadcast’s essential (5)




KNEAD (sounds like [broadcast] NEED [necessity; essential]))




KNEAD (work)




Futile to set up ten on TV? (6)




TO reversed (set up; down clue) + IO (10, ten) + SET (TV [SET])




OTIOSE (futile)




Goad reluctant horseman to take part (4)




THOR (hidden word [to take part] RELUCTANT HORSEMAN)




THOR (God in Norse mythology)




Equips a fleet with a female title (4)




A + RN (Royal Nay; fleet) + MS (a title substituted for Mrs or Miss before the name of a woman, to avoid distinguishing between the married and the unmarried)



ARMS (equips)




Dearth of bread following sex change (4)




LOAF (bread) with F(female) changed to M (male) thereby undergoing a sex change




LOAM (earth)




Queen abandons one of her pets, being insignificant (3)



CORGI (one of the Queen’s pet dogs) excluding (abandons) R (regina; queen)


I COG (an unimportant person in a large organisation; insignifcant being)



Song about team first to tactically loosen play (6)




LAY (song) containing (about) (XI [Roman numerals for eleven [number of players in a team on many sports] + T [first letter of [first to] TACTICALLY)




LAXITY (loose play)




Nancy’s sister gone away at last (5)




UNIT (one) + Y (last letter of [at last] AWAY)




UNITY (reference the six Mitford sisters, of whom NANCY and UNITY were two)




Choose one function (6)




OPT (choose) + I (one) + COS (cosine; mathematical function)




OPTICS – undefined


14 New town wants pen company installed (12, 3 words)


Anagram of (new) TOWN containing (wants installed) (POUND [pen] + CO [company] + ?)  I’m struggling with the wordplay here.  Clearly the redundant letter is N to fit the quotation.  Is it just that installed is doing double duty in the clue and we want IN (installed) as part of the contained letters so that we can keep the I and throw away the N?


N TWO POUND COIN – undefined



Retrospectively act over tax declaration (6)




(LAW (act, as in Act of Parliament) + O (over; cricket notation) + VAT [value added tax]) all reversed (retrospectively)








Arch over lake in heart of Eden (6)




ARCH reversed (over) + (L [lake] contained in [in] DE [midlle letters of {heart of} EDEN])




CRADLE – undefined




Check on unions boss




REIN (check) + GS (General Secretary; the Leader of the Trade Unions Congress is known as the General Secretary)




RINGS – undefined




Measures effect on sales of changing sides (4)




ALES with L (left) replaced by R (right), thereby changing sides




ARES (units of metric land measure)




Shy about lapsed catholic’s crystal gaze (4)




SHY containing (about) RC ([Roman] Catholic) reversed (lapsed)

S (CR<) Y



SCRY (practice crystal-gazing; crystal gaze)



Lasso slipping over Ted in money-making opportunity (6)




TED reversed (slipping over) contained in (in) OTE (on-target earnings; money-making opportunity)




ODETTE (girl’s [lass] name)




Unknown Truro leader of insurgency starts ordering mayhem (6)




Anagram of (ordering) (Y [unknown in mathematics] and TRURO and I [first letter of [leader of] INSURGENCY])




RIOTRY (mayhem)




O’Connor covers call transfers (6)




DES (reference DES O’Connor, entertainer) containing (covers) CAL




DECALS (transfers)




Sad about article in old East Germany (5)




(RE [wth reference to; about] + A [indefinite article]) contained in (in) DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik [old East Germany]))

D (RE A) R


DREAR (gloomy; sad)




Fires up Nissen-like houses (5)


E KILNS (hidden word [houses] reversed [up; down clue] in NISSN LIKE)   KILNS (fires)



Nettle bishop with a third note (4)


  RR (Right Reverend, the form of address for a bishop) + A + MI (third note of the tonic sol-fa) R RAMI (a plant of the nettle family)



Local once occupied Baron’s stronghold (4)




ONST (hidden word in [occupied] BARON’ STRONGHOLD)




ONST (dialect [local] form of ‘once’)




Second Australian in Europe soon covered in hair (4)




(S [second] + A [Australian]) contained in (in) EU (European Union; commonly referred to in the press as Europe)

E (S A) U



ESAU (son of Isaac described in the Bible as being covered in hair)




Failing international lines (3)




I (international) + L (line) + L(lines) [lines]




ILL (ailing)



8 Responses to “Inquisitor 1277: The Long View by Wickball”

  1. Jake says:

    Thanks for blogging this Duncan,

    I was happy with most of the clues but came stuck in the NW quadrant.

    4d led me to SPUR. ‘GOAD’ = SPUR, and is associated with HORSEMAN.
    6d led me to FITS. FLITS = Fleet, minus L (the extra letter) = FITS, which of cause means EQUIPS.

    Which then of course led me to get totally stuck and put the crossword to one side and start another puzzle.

    Chambers confirmed my answers so I was sure they were correct.

    ISAAC NEWTON was my third entry, and LAWS OF MOTION fitted at 1d both of which I highlighted – I don’t send them off, especially when I have lots of unfilled cells…

    Not sure about this puzzle.

  2. Jake says:

    25d SCRY also hidden.

  3. duncanshiell says:

    Jake @ 2

    You’re right, but I think that’s just coincidence as there is no indicator of a hidden word, the definition would overlap one of the words hiding SCRY and most of the other words in the clue would be redundant!

  4. Hi of hihoba says:

    As an ex-scientist I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, and didn’t have to look up any of the Newton-related words, so thanks to Wickball and to Duncan for the blog.

    I got into it via the quotation, on the grounds that there cannot be many quotes starting with ?FIH, and found the appropriate one using the clue in the title. Once the redundant letters were established the clues were relatively straightforward.

    My understanding of the “one relating to the quotation” was the two pound coin, all the others relating to Newton himself.

    I am grateful for the explanation of the definition in 38A, though I don’t like it much. This clue seemed like another without definition to me but lacked a connection to Newton.

  5. Nick says:

    I too struggled to understand the link to Newton of 38a which I was sure was without definition and having seen this explanation don’t like it much either. I wouldn’t like that to take too much away from the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle though.

  6. HolyGhost says:

    A great debut from Wickball, with a superb mélange of clues. As the blogger says, UNITY (10d) was a good one, as was KNOT (2a). (ORECTIC at 38a wasn’t that good at all – unless it’s an &Lit. with ORECTIC as a nounal form …)

    I agree with Hihoba @4 that TWO POUND COIN is surely the unclued entry that relates relates to the quotation itself.

    And I had a different understanding of the wordplay for GIANTS at 40a, the clue being “Recline, perhaps, after a gin cocktail”: SIT (rev.) {the I being redundant} after [A GIN]*. I read it as recline = sit back (with, in a somewhat Araucarian way, the synonym of “recline” leading to further indication of how to treat the wordplay). {At least that’s one way that all the words in the clue are pulling their weight.}

    Thanks to Duncan & Wickball – see you both again before too long.

    PS I’m not a big fan of G(rand), which = 1000 dollars, being synonymous with K(ilo), which = 1000 in general. (42a)   Hey-ho.

  7. Wickball says:

    Many thanks, Duncan, for your thorough report and for your complimentary comments on my first ever IQ(I am a he,by the way). Thanks, also, to Hi and HolyGhost for your kind remarks.

    Profound apologies for 38A, which Duncan generously read as an &lit. In fact, the definition got lost after the first draft and I am ashamed to say that I did not spot it (perhaps because it wasn’t there!) The clue should read “Mouthwatering alternative to…..”

    I promise to try harder in future

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    Hi Wickball – we really enjoyed your debut puzzle and forgave you for 38ac which we didn’t like because of the standard of the rest of the clueing! Thanks for your explanation.

    We needed to search on wiki for some of the related links. Somewhere in the deep recesses of our minds, we vaguely remembered the quote but had no idea that it was on the two-pound coin. It’s always uprising what you learn from doing crosswords.

    Hope to see you back again and thanks Duncan for the blog!

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