Inquisitor 1483 Ecological by Kruger

April 5, 2017

The first of our spring-time puzzles, solved alfresco, albeit with the odd gust of wind threatening to blow the paper away. And one that looks a bit gentler than some we’ve had of late – redundant words in some clues, which are going to point us towards a quotation, and some clues that will need adjusting before they go in the grid. Par for the course, really. Relatively gentle clues today, with lots of the grid filling, but bits here and there not really making sense – wordplay and crossing letters not matching. I’m guessing then those are the ones we’ll need to adjust before they go in the grid. For once I’m even spotting the redundant words pretty readily – getting out of the habit, perhaps, of only part solving clues where the answer’s obvious ingrained after years of daily solving. At the end I’ve got a fairly full grid, a handful of entries where only one word will fit, but the wordplay doesn’t, which makes me a bit uneasy – usually adjusted answers aren’t so obvious, I suspect there’ll be a bit of reverse engineering going on.

Those redundant words then, where we’re looking for 2nd or 5th letters:

caravan a/v
unusually n/u
inept n/t
notice o/c
flying l/n
selected e/c
thieving h/v
naive a/e
unlikely n/k
synthetic y/h
hostage o/a

Which gives us “Anton Chekhov Uncle Vanya”, which I’ve sort of vaguely heard of. OK, hardly at all. Google to the rescue, and there are a couple of quotes that look like they might be the one. It’s a green theme, so my first thought was this, that I decided later was wrong: “What must human beings be, to destroy what they can never create?” With a bit of help from the dictionary I’ve already got a full grid, but haven’t fully parsed all of those treated answers, which isn’t how these puzzles usually end. Working backwards from the letters I’ve now got and the wordplay, in the hope it will make sense of the theme:

CL(OTTER)ING
SKY(LARK)ING
RE(NEW)AL
W(ARDEN)ING
P(AVON)INE
S(WEAR)WORD
FEELING -> FINELEG
DEPOSIT -> TOPSIDE
NATION -> ANOINT
REGION -> IGNORE

One animal, one bird, two forests, two rivers, and… whatever those anagrammed entries are supposed to be telling us. This quote then?

The Russian forests are literally groaning under the axe, millions of trees are being destroyed, the homes of animals and birds are being laid waste, the rivers are getting shallow and drying up, wonderful scenery is disappearing forever — and all this is happening just because people are too lazy and stupid to stoop down and pick up the fuel from the ground… Man is endowed with reason and creative power so that he can increase what has been given him, but up to the present he’s been destroying and not creating… The land is getting poor and more hideous every day.

NATION and REGION I suppose come under “land”, but the other two? FEELING maybe for “reason and creative power”, sort of, DEPOSIT for “fuel from the ground”? But how are those two paired then? No idea… I’ve got a full grid, anyway, which I’m hoping is correct. A sort of win, even if I’m not sure I’ve completely got to the bottom of what’s going on.

Until next time then with Ifor, and the mysterious Pallo.

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3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1483 Ecological by Kruger”

  1. AndyT said

    Excellent work, Jon. I tinkered with this a little, found a few of the redundant words (plus a false positive as it turns out), but lacked the stamina and inclination to take it further. I’m enjoying this series of Inquisitor blogs, even if it does make me feel rather dim-witted. Well, I already knew that. 🙂

    • jonofwales said

      Thanks, Andy. Yesterday’s Monk felt a lot harder than this offering. 🙂

      • AndyT said

        “Thrawn” is the word which comes to mind for yesterday’s, which is nice in a way because I don’t often get to use it.

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