Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Archive for the 'Inquisitor' Category

Inquisitor 44 – Missing letters by Mynot

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 15th November 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: 2-3 hours for the clues…

Time to admit defeat on this one – I can’t see the last step. The instruction provided by the missing letters in clues is “Colour correctly cells containing theme letters”. The theme is to be ‘deduced by observation’ and has one letter obscured by the central black square. Well I’ve stared at the puzzle for quite a while on several occasions and apart from lots of words with H/I/P/C in them – HIPPIC, PITHY, CHIPPY and so on – I can’t see anything, so I await the inevitable comment telling me how easy the theme and last step are.

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Inquisitor 44 – patience please

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 10th November 2007

petebiddlecombe.

There will unfortunately be a delay on Inqusitor 44. ‘loonapick’ hasn’t had time to do this puzzle and has decided to stop writing reports. So hold on while I tackle the puzzle. The good news is that we have three new volunteers for Inquisitor reports, so we’ll continue with a team of four.  And thanks to loonapick for the work he’s put in for most of the first Inquisitor year.

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Inquisitor 43 – NAIRO by Loda

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 2nd November 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: 1.5 – 2 hours – Chambers used for 25D only

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Inquisitors

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 31st October 2007

petebiddlecombe.

The report for No. 42 is now complete.  And 43 is solved so will be blogged promptly.

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Inquisitor 42 – Twenty years later by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 30th October 2007

petebiddlecombe.

loonapick had to admit defeat on this puzzle.  This was partly because the theme of the puzzle mainly affected England rather than Scotland.  It was Michael Fish and his quote about the telephoned hurricane warning – the puzzle appeared on the 20th anniversary of the 1987 storms (I saw repeats of the quote three or four times on the TV that day – so I think loonapick also struggled as he didn’t start on the day of publication).  The ‘eye’ in the centre of the grid was presumably a visual hint.

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Inquisitor 41 – Alterations by Phi

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 20th October 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: about 2 hours

At last, a fairly gentle Inquisitor, which I should really have finished off even faster – and earlier! The thematic answers were to have one letter replaced, and then to be altered in some other unspecified way. A good rule in cases like this is to consider the simplest options first. Sure enough, it fairly soon became clear that the second alteration was reversal, which has the right number of letters to match the “original letters, in clue order, spell” bit of the preamble. Reversing words ties with anagrams as probably the commonest tranformation used.

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Inquisitor 40 – New Broom by Dimitry

Posted by loonapick on 15th October 2007

loonapick.

Sorry for the late post, but I have to admit that I really struggled with this one, and I haven’t quite finished it, as one of the answers still has me beat.

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Inquisitor 39 – a plea for help

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 5th October 2007

petebiddlecombe.

I’m stuck on this with little time left before going to Cheltenham. I’ve solved all but three of the normal clues but have no idea about the theme. If you’ve solved it, leave a comment to say to or send an e-mail to [email protected] , and we can work out a joint blog of some kind early next week.

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Inquisitor 38/Nutmeg – OI

Posted by loonapick on 28th September 2007

loonapick.

For once I tackled the Inquisitor on the day of publication, and, by lunchtime, it was finished. 

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Inquisitor 37 – Late hit boxer by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 21st September 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: ages – at least 6 hours

This puzzle had 44 clues in total, 17 with misprints, and 16 to be treated somehow. That leaves 11 normal clues with no treatment. I’m sure there’s someone out there who had this done in an hour or so and then took Fido for a walk whistling a merry air. That person isn’t me. I’ve been fighting with this one for nearly a week as I write this, and still have one answer I can’t quite justify.

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Inquisitor 36/Kea – Olympic Jigsaw

Posted by loonapick on 13th September 2007

loonapick.

Jigsaw puzzles like this add a new element to solving a barred crossword, because you have to solve a significant percentage of the clues before you can start placing them in the grid.

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Inquisitor 35 – Three Sixes by Loda

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 7th September 2007

petebiddlecombe.

I lied when I said I’d solved this and lost it – I solved most of it and lost it as I discovered in my re-solve. The theme was very easy to spot from “Three sixes” and the “horned one” in the edge-quote unch phrase – devils, presumably without Beelzebub or Mephistopheles who should be blindingly obvious to xwd fans. After solving some of the normal clues and ones with extra words, I went off to the ODQ to look up ‘devil’ (as there was a V?L sequence on the right edge and a V in the top row). “The devil’s most devilish when respectable” – (EB) Browning – was clearly what I needed for the edge-quote. With this much done, you’d think the rest would be a doddle, but it was quite hard work for me. My re-solve ended with a bit of a flap over getting from ?Y?VIA to SYLVIA (that third unch seemed like it had to be a vowel, and if you’re wondering about the twins, Rhea Sylvia was apparently mother of Romulus and Remus), and the “where’s that def?” grief from failing to spot “cut” as the extra word in 22D.

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Inquisitor 34/Phi – Look Here! No, Here! No, Here!

Posted by loonapick on 30th August 2007

loonapick.

Either I am getting better at Inquisitors or this one was not as challenging as it first appeared.  When I bought the paper last week, I took one look at the puzzle and thought “Oh! This looks tough”.  However, when I actually sat down and had a go at it a week later, it was actually quite easy.

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Inquisitor 33 – Holiday by Schadenfreude

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 24th August 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: c. 45 mins, no books, but one mistake found on checking answers

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Inquisitor 32/Loda – A La Natasha

Posted by loonapick on 16th August 2007

loonapick.

As far as Inquisiotrs go, this was pretty straightforward.  A few recent puzzles have been of the “extra word in the clue” type, so I am becoming accustomed to them. 

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