Inquisitor 1489 Blank Verse by Triton

May 17, 2017

A quick glance back through Fifteensquared shows lots of Inquisitors by Triton last year, but perhaps I missed them because I can’t remember solving any of his / her puzzles. So easy, difficult, impossible? Hopefully not the latter, coming off a string of losses and… because my conscience has got the better of me and… so, to the garden.

Later that same day… The preamble. Merging the across and down clues is a device I’ve seen in Azed puzzles, so not that scary, though with the added complication of a superfluous word separating each, which will give us the lines of a poem; and some without definition, which will “help”. Help not always being that helpful, for me at least, when it comes to the Inquisitor. To the clues, which don’t seem to be too bad – 11ac and 1ac falling on the first attempt, and a few extra words cropping up. But are they supposed to be right at the beginning / end of each clue? If the clues are separate, isn’t the line between each usually a bit blurred? Why the capitals at the start of each in that case? Colour me confused. Onwards anyway, most likely in entirely the wrong direction, but any progress is better than none, hopefully.

By late evening I’ve got maybe three quarters of the grid filled, bar a few empty spaces here and there, and am still none the wiser regarding our verse. To the next day, and some coffee, and what would be a quiet afternoon sitting in the garden until the youngest come out to generally cause chaos. The SW corner is still pretty empty, and I’m not making progress, so try a different approach. Those lines of verse, perhaps they’ll help. Start by looking at the superfluous words we have, and it becomes clear that yes, they don’t have to be right at the start / end of each clue, and the first three words are… “There was a…” Looks like a limerick? Our first clue without definition happens to be in the same place, SENORITA, so… “There was a young lady from Spain.” Most definitely a limerick then. It’s helping with a couple of clues, now I’m certain the start / end of each isn’t the same as the way they’ve been printed. But I still can’t get 29ac/30d/36ac, though the latter must surely be ROTTER, but why? Brain freeze.

Anything else that might help? “A small change to the completed grid” is going to give us the author of the poem and the last line. Are we supposed to rub something out? We have TBRITON about two thirds of the way down. A quick Google and there’s no sight of this limerick, so presumably Triton’s the author. Hang about, QUABRAIN crosses that going down. Change the B to a T to give us Triton and quatrain? That rhymes with Spain, anyway, and a definition in Chambers for NO-GO (in vain), another undefined clue. We’ve also got “she could manage…” No more, from NAPOO. Which must rhyme with “by the end of line…” four, from TIDDY (something to do with some ancient card game). So for the clues without definition we don’t chuck them into the poem in exactly the same order they appear? Just more or less.

I reckon this is our limerick then, though at the same time it wouldn’t surprise me if there was something amiss, I’m not the most careful of solvers and prone to silly mistakes:

There was a young lady from Spain
Who worked at a sonnet in vain
By the end of line four
She could manage no more
The result being just a quatrain

So highlight A QUATRAIN and TRITON in the grid, followed by a brief burst of inspiration to finally complete that SW corner. Phew. That was tough, but thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks, Triton!

Until next week, and a game of hide and seek.


4 Responses to “Inquisitor 1489 Blank Verse by Triton”

  1. AndyT said

    I admire your persistence, Jon. I began to lose interest (and heart) around half way through the grid fill, and didn’t pick it up again. This was out of my league.

  2. Triton said

    Hi Jon – glad you enjoyed the puzzle (and got the solution spot-on!). The capitals in the clues weren’t designed to confuse, only to mark the start of the second line of each of the rhyming couplets.

    • jonofwales said

      Hi Triton, thanks for popping by, and the clarification. And also for the puzzle, which must rank as one of the finer Inquisitors of the year. 🙂

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