Inquisitor 1480 Bookshelf by Phi

March 15, 2017

The last Inquisitor by Phi I attempted proved to be rather tricky, solved over more than a few days, so I wasn’t sure what we were going to get today. The preamble looks friendly enough though – letters to be removed from some clues before solving, four answers we’re going to have to scramble before we put them in the grid, and what’s it all about? Four books are present, identified by the unclued entries, three missing, work out what they are and write them in the (very small) spaces beneath. No problem?

I don’t know whether it’s just familiarity with Phi’s puzzles, but the clues are falling pretty rapidly – first in is 8ac, where the pretty clear signposting that ‘the French’ is at the front is a nice gimme to start. Even those pesky extra letters look like they’re not going to cause too many issues, both 9ac (-v) and 10ac (-e) pretty easy to spot. Not too much of a pretty wet Saturday afternoon passes before most of the grid has fallen, which isn’t necessarily good news, because I’m rapidly running out of places where those four consecutive, jumbled clues can be entered. At the close I have everything but the unclued entries and 16ac / 17ac. A lot of staring (including the space of tea, children’s bath-times, bed, etc) before it occurs to me that perhaps these are two of the scrambled entries, which must mean that the next two are as well, and we have a full set of answers. Those extra letters we’ve removed from some of the clues aren’t really helping much, apart from sending me on a bit of a wild goose chase on Google, and there must be the nagging suspicion that I haven’t got them quite right, so ignore them.

Those entries that need to be scrambled:

ELITIST
MATTE
ME-TOO
BAZOOKA

Lots of T’s in there, and lots of O’s. Let’s look at the unclued entries, then, and assume they’re all in Chambers. The first certainly is, handily sign-posted in the preamble as being at 1ac – well, it’s got to be A. This is the point that the word search on the Chambers app comes into its own. We’ve got:

A
BACITRACIN
FRONTIER
HOLARCTIC
RAN?
TAKAMAKA
WIFFLEBALL
ZYTHUM

Based on the already filled in entries, and the letters we’ve got in the jumbled entries. And now we can now put those in as well. The only issue outstanding is RAN?. We seem to be looking at dictionary entries, starting at A, and going through to ZYTHUM, the last entry in Chambers, so let’s go with RANT, the last of the choices available.

Looking at the grid, all those T’s and O’s from the jumbled clues have resolved themselves into four ‘TO’s across the centre of the grid. So we have those well known books:

A TO BACITRACIN
FRONTIER TO HOLARCTIC
RANT TO TAKAMAKA
WIFFLEBALL TO ZYTHUM

We’re not looking at real book titles, evidently. We’re told we really should be looking at the dead tree version of Chambers. Does it come in seven volumes? Apparently not, really. But we do seem to be looking at sections of it, with some very obvious bits omitted. Let’s look at what we’re missing. I’ve got a hard copy of the 10th Edition, which is missing the wonderfully named WIFFLEBALL, but we can still make an educated guess and get:

BACK TO FRONT
HOLD TO RANSOM
TAKE TO WIFE

Which looks more like it. The preamble was perhaps a little misleading, but I got there in the end (I hope). I never did make sense of what those missing letters were trying to tell us, but that’ll do for this week.

iq-1480

Until next time, with Nimrod and The Listener?

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3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1480 Bookshelf by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    Nope, didn’t finish – despite solving all the clues. Jolly well done Jon.

    • jonofwales said

      Looking at the blog on Fifteensquared it appears a lot of solvers struggled with the final step, including the blogger. I suspect I got a little lucky. Well done getting as far as you did!

      • AndyT said

        Ah, this has happened a few times before! Really Mephistos and plain Azeds are more my level when it comes to barred puzzles – it’s the final monkeying about which tends to defeat me. Never mind – it was fun as far as it went.

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