Never knowingly undersolved.

Inquisitor 1278: MISPRINTS by Schadenfreude

Posted by Hihoba on May 1st, 2013


Twelve across and thirteen down clues have a single letter misprinted in their definitions, the correct letters being different in each case. A description of the “missing” letter, symmetrically disposed, must be highlighted in the completed grid.

So it’s fairly obvious that we are looking for the missing one of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Nothing else to do but get on with the clues.

 No.  Clue (misprinted definition)  Misprint  Answer  Wordplay
 1  West facing meadow covered in blue Scottish clover (6)  E clever  SKEELY  LEE (meadow) reversed in SKY (blue)
 6  Retrograde prison camp with uniform for American exiles (6)  GALUTS  STALAG reversed with U(niform) for first A(merican)
 10  Aristocrat generating panic with unfinished trial (9)  PATRICIAN  [PANIC TRIA(l)]*
 12  Sexual activity in flight – Morag’s beaming (6)  L blaming  WITING  IT (sexual activity) in WING (flight)
 13  Queen Elizabeth II unknown to ask a question (5)  QUERY  QU(een) + ER (Elizabeth II) + Y (unknown)
 14  Waste products for example are found next to estuary (6)  EGESTA  EG + EST(uary) + A(re)
 15  European girl worried about black bird? (6)  J jird(!!)   GERBIL  [E(uropean) GIRL ]* round B(lack)
 17  Soldier and Liberal in church God divined (7)  D divided  CANTLED  ANT (soldier) + L(iberal) in CE (church) + D (God)
 18  Slut posed nude at last (4)  G glut  SATE  SAT (posed) + (nud)E
 19  Bishop and cardinal taking in daughter society no longer adores (8)  N adorns  BEDIGHTS  B(ishop) + EIGHT (cardinal) round D(aughter) + S(ociety)
 21  Young men carrying twenty five blocks (8)  A blacks  BOYCOTTS  BOYS (young men) round 25A COTT
 25  Poet’s brat caught too much (4)  O boat  COTT  C(aught) + OTT (too much)
 27  Rector and priest worried about online vendor (7)  E-TAILER  R(ector) + ELI (priest) + ATE (worried) all reversed (about)
 28  Posh Greek character accompanied by lecturer with Latin accent (6)  S ascent  UPHILL  U (posh) + PHI (Greek character) + L(ecturer) + L(atin)
 29  Component of mineral oil in part given a technical backing (6)  CETANE  Hidden reversed in givEN A TEChnical
 30  Serious disease follows the last of her strokes (5)  I strikes  RAIDS  AIDS after (he)R
 32  Transfer volunteers back for service (6)  ATTORN  TA (volunteers) reversed + TO (for) + RN (service)
 33  A mistake to incarcerate rascal with a slight accent (9)  BROGUEISH  BISH (mistake) round ROGUE (rascal)
 34  Reassemble round back of conference suite (6)  Q quite  REALLY  RALLY (reassemble) round (conferenc)E
 35  Hell, like a stay in Scotland (6)  P help  ASSIST  AS (like) + SIST (Scottish stay)
 No.  Clue (misprinted definition)  Misprint  Answer  Wordplay
 1  Tall sons go before children (6)  K talk  SPEECH  S + PEE (to “go”) + CH(ildren)
 2  A pagan crook short of cocaine delirious with an erotic plant (11, 2 words)  X exotic  KANGAROO PAW  [A PAGAN (C)ROOK]* + W(ith)
 3  Tense father heading north in charge of convention (7)  T contention  ERISTIC  T(ense) + SIRE reversed before I(n) C(harge)
 4  A bird landed on top of tree next to duck well lost! (9,2 words)  LITTLE OWL  LIT (landed) + T(ree) + [O (duck) WELL]*
 5  Explosive sensing device to determine constant changes (12, 2 words)  MINE DETECTOR  [TO DETERMINE C (constant)]*
 6  Puzzled silver fish up north,  under 400 (6)  M muzzled  GAGGED  G (=400) + AG (silver) + GED (fish)
 7  Nasty slur about head of Olympics threatening games (5)  Z gazes  LOURS  [SLUR]* round O(lympics)
 8  Conservative abandons clever trick down under (3)  U truck  UTE  CUTE (clever) minus C(onservative)
 9  Chin left covered in painful swelling (5)  C chic  STYLE  STYE (painful swelling) round L(eft)
 11  Fragility developed in regularly bold setters (11)  BRITTLENESS  [IN B(o)L(d) SETTERS]*
 12  Jailed women, sexually deviant, not British (4)  F failed  WENT  BENT (sexually deviant) with W(omen) for B(ritish)
 16  English swine and a poor leaderless mouse like ground cover (9)  EPIGAEOUS  E(nglish) + PIG (swine) + A + [(m)OUSE]*
 20  One end of spit going inside pierces gland enlargements (7)  GOITRES  I (one) + (spi)T in GORES (pierces)
 22  Wet spinning tyre burst crossing US city (6)  B web  TELARY  [TYRE]* round L(os) A(ngeles)
 23  Contrite lecturer accepted by God (4)  V contrive  PLAN  PAN (god) round L(ecturer)
 24  Brother supported by genuine German waiter (6)  R writer  BRECHT  BR(other) + ECHT (genuine German) – German has a rather nice double use as Brecht is a German writer
 25  Dealer operation once in credit (5)  H healer  CURER  URE (operation once) in CR(edit)
 26  160 laid off coming in and going out (5)  TIDAL  T (=160) + [LAID]*
 31  Army gun’s name (3)  Y guy  IRA  Double definition of Irish Republican Army and Ira


So the missing letter is W. A quick search in Chambers gave the definition “the twenty-third letter of the modern English alphabet, a 5c addition to the Roman alphabet, a doubled u or v used to express the voiced consonantal sound heard eg in English way, weak, warrant.”

I started looking for something appropriate in the shape of a W and after spotting TWENTY in the third column, was able to follow the phrase TWENTY-THIRD LETTER IN ALPHABET in an appropriate shape.

Lots of unfamiliar words that required dictionary confirmation (for me) including skeely, galut, witing, jird, cantle, cetane, sist, kangaroo paw, eristic, epigaeous and telary. Excellent clues with well hidden misprints – I had to eliminate letters from an alphabet to locate and solve the last eight misprint clues.

Nice to have simple comprehensible rubric, so thanks to Schadenfreude for an enjoyable solve – happily for the blogger, not one of his most difficult.

Inq 1278

8 Responses to “Inquisitor 1278: MISPRINTS by Schadenfreude”

  1. Bertandjoyce says:

    Reading through the excellent blog, we think our experiences were pretty similar. The last few misprints took a bit of finding and we also spotted the possibility of TWENTY which led fairly easily to the hidden letter shape.

    An enjoyable puzzle so thanks to Schadenfreude.

  2. shikasta says:

    I worked out that G must be 400 & T must be 160 from the wordplay & checked letters but I don’t know why. Could someone explain please?


  3. NormanLinFrance says:

    There’s a wikipedia article on Mediaeval Roman numbers. Almost all the letters were used for some weird and wonderful numbers, including those two.

  4. shikasta says:


    Thanks – not something I’d heard of before, but a useful article for future puzzles too. Just glad Schadenfreude didn’t use K=151 – I could never have guessed that!

  5. Hi of hihoba says:

    All the Mediaeval Roman numerals used can be found in Chambers. They are one of my pet hates in that dictionary and in crosswords, along with Spenserian words clued by “Ed” etc.

    I feel that things which dropped out of the language hundreds of years ago have no place in a “normal” crossword, but might be forgiven in extenuating circumstances in the Inquisitor.

  6. shikasta says:

    @Hi of hihoba

    Thanks – I’m waiting on delivery of Chambers – my ODE, which is perfectly adequate for “normal” crosswords, clearly isn’t adequate for the Inquisitor. I was compelled to find a more comprehensive dictionary after “Divisions by Stan” when a number of words I could not confirm either in the ODE or via Google turned out to be correct – & it was only when searching again more precisely that I found this site & the many references to Chambers.

    I don’t understand your reference to “Spenserian words clued by “Ed”” – I’ve seen various clues involving archaic poetic words whether indicated by Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton etc., or just by old poet or poetic, but I don’t get the “Ed” clue.

  7. HolyGhost says:

    Very much on the easy side, this one.

    shikasta @6: ‘Ed’ refers to Spenser’s first name (Edmund); likewise, you might see ‘Will’ for Shakespeare & ‘John’ for Milton …

    Thanks to blogger & setter.

  8. shikasta says:

    @ HolyGhost

    Thank you – I can now see how that could be a pet hate.

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