Fifteensquared

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Archive for the 'Inquisitor' Category

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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Inquisitor 31 – On a swim by Kruger

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 10th August 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time: ages!

The only previous Kruger puzzle I remember was about No. 6 in the Inquisitor series, based on the Offa’s Dyke footpath and associated places – one that I found pretty tough and was quite relieved not to be writing about.

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Inquisitor 30 Group Dynamics by Quixote

Posted by Colin Blackburn on 2nd August 2007

Colin Blackburn.

An unintentional train journey led me to buy the Independent on a Saturday and solve most of this puzzle on the way home (London to Durham so not that fast!) Then a forgetful blogger failing to get a paper gave me the chance to write this. So, the Independent didn’t increase their sales but I did enjoy this puzzle from Quixote. It was at the easy end of thematics but with very good cluing from Quixote and not too many unusual words.

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Inquisitor 29 – Occupation by Phi

Posted by petebiddlecombe on 27th July 2007

petebiddlecombe.

Solving time 18:13

A very easy puzzle for me, partly because the theme tied into one of my interests. In eight theme answers, a letter had to be removed before jumbling, and the removed letters in order “identify what occupation the resulting entries have in common”. The other 32 clues were straightforward, with only about a quarter leading to “Chambers words”, so it didn’t take long to spot thematic answer / entry pairs like INCISORS / ?OSSI?I and DRIVER / ?ERDI, leading to theme answers Rossini and Verdi, both composers. The other six composers followed pretty quickly – from the checked letters in other unclued entries rather than from the thematic clues. I solved most of these after the event, though one still puzzles me. For those less acquainted with modern classical composers, Arnold, Ligeti and Reich were probably tricky thematic answers. For other clues, I’ve only listed the ones with the most obscure answers – ask about others in comments if they have you baffled. Defs in double quotes for these are copyright Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd: The Chambers Dictionary 2003.  (I’m being lazy and pasting from the CD-Rom version). Read the rest of this entry »

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Inquisitor 28/Schadenfreude – Changing Places

Posted by loonapick on 20th July 2007

loonapick.

There aren’t many things more satisfying than that moment when solvers of the Inquisitor or The Listener experience when the device the setter has used to complicate the puzzle reveals itself.  A light-bulb moment which is only amplified by the relief that flows over the solver who is also a blogger.

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