Inquisitor 1479 Symbol by Shark

March 8, 2017

After last week’s dismal failure with Schadenfreude’s puzzle, let’s just say that I was half looking forward to this week’s challenge, and half wondering if I was about to embark on a lengthy losing streak. So the good news, first off, is that the preamble looks pretty straightforward – the clues are normal, for a start, with only two cells that have to have anything odd done with them. Some unclued entries, but these are around the edge of the grid so we don’t need to worry about them for the moment. The sort of bad news is that the clues are pretty vigorous, as you’d expect really, but we’re not talking about totally unable to get anything into the grid difficult, and progress is fairly good. One entry at 1d that isn’t in Chambers, but the mighty Google’s heard of it so we’re OK. And if one entry isn’t in the big red book, why not another? FARTY for 26ac across, anyone? Yes, I did enter it into the grid, and no, nothing else would work in that corner so out it went for the eminently more sensible FOLLY. And we’re on a roll, with even those two cells that contain 2 letters each being pretty easy to spot, a CH in one, and a TH in another.

A bit of luck in the NE corner meant I had enough letters in the unclued 4ac to make a stab at it. PISCES? Are we looking at star signs, or perhaps something to do with fish then? A fair few more entries, and with the help of our unchecked/mutually checked letters we can have an intelligent stab at the fishes that fill the unclued entries. And that’s the grid just about done, with only a few bits left to fill. 32ac was the only one to really hold out, and EARP was a bit of a guess, but yes, PEAR apparently can mean brilliant. Who would have known?

So now we have to change seven identical letters to something else. Well, it’s got to be F then, and as we’re looking at lots of F_IS_Hes, let’s change those F’s to H’s, for once confidently with a pen.

I’d guessed pretty early on what we were likely to be drawing with that curved line, and the preamble pretty generously tells us that we’re starting and ending in column 1. The only surprise was that I was expecting the fish to be the other way round. And then we’ve got to change those five cells to characters. It’s going to be Greek, then, isn’t it? And I guess we’re looking for this?


ICHTHYS. Iota, Chi, Theta, Upsilon, Sigma.

Hallelujah. Unless I’m missing something obvious, which is always possible, I’m going to call that a win, and a much needed one. Thanks to Shark for an enjoyable challenge. Not the most difficult of Inquisitors, solved in one sitting and a bit, but thoroughly enjoyable, and probably pitched at about my ability level. 🙂


Until next week then, when we wonder if Phi set the concise crossword too for the hat-trick?


6 Responses to “Inquisitor 1479 Symbol by Shark”

  1. AndyT said

    A round of applause from over here. 🙂

    I didn’t have time to attempt this one, but distinctly remember reading the preamble and thinking “it’ll be a fish”. With no justification whatsoever, except perhaps that there aren’t too many symbols which can be described with just seven points.

  2. AndyT said

    Any joy with Phi’s “Bookshelf” puzzle?

    • jonofwales said

      I think I’ve got there. How’ve you been getting on?

      • AndyT said

        All clues solved bar one; cryptic message composed of those extra letters revealed; pretty confident as to which words need jumbling but haven’t worked out how, and the theme is still a mystery. It’s been a five minutes at a time sort of affair thus far, but it’ll need my undivided attention if I’m to stand a chance of progressing further, methinks.

      • jonofwales said

        You’re almost there then. Good luck with the rest!

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