Inquisitor 1490 Clue Two III: Hide and Seek by eXternal

May 24, 2017

A game of hide and seek, and a title that… well, that could mean anything. 🙂 eXternal, who’s beaten me two times out of three in the Inquisitor. Yikes. Today misprinted definitions to give us the hider and seeker, letters omitted from the wordplay of others the quarry. The endgame a maze. Lots to think about, so perhaps that’s why, following a promising start with 1ac and 6ac falling quickly… nothing else for an embarrassingly long time. Hungover? Tired? No, just a misread preamble, failing to notice that letters are omitted from the wordplay, not that we have to omit them. At which point the grid begins to fill, but… Eurovision, and a busy weekend, and it’s a full two days before I get a chance to move beyond the three quarters full grid.

With a glass of Penderyn whisky to ease matters along, and suitably psyched out having had two days to stew things over, onward with those final clues. As is often the case, a few buggers at the end, but for once I’ve managed to parse the clues properly, so I’ve got the misprinted definitions, and the letters omitted from the wordplay. Blimey. If only 31d, which I can’t make head or tail of, would fall…

Perhaps the endgame will help. The misprinted definitions first, because that’s easier, the corrections giving us: Henry II and Eleanor. Hurrah. To the letters omitted from the wordplay, which have to be read “top to bottom and left to right.” A painstaking copy of the grid into Excel – because I’m really not that confident I haven’t messed something up – and highlight the letters there, albeit with some doubt over the final R (no, I still can’t work out what the pipsqueak in 35ac might be). Do they look sensible? Yes they do – Rose Of The World – presumably Rosamund Clifford, Henry’s mistress.

The omitted letters forming bars, we’re to follow “the shortest route from top left to the start cell of the quarry”, and there she is in the grid, ROSAMUN?, giving us EDNA for 31d, where I can see wordplay now, but why in the world is Edna “delightful”?

Talking of a maze, Wikipedia tells us that:

The traditional story recounts that King Henry adopted her as his mistress. To conceal his illicit amours from his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, he conducted them within the innermost recesses of a complicated maze which he caused to be made in his park at Woodstock, Oxfordshire. Rumours having reached the ears of Queen Eleanor, the indignant lady contrived to penetrate the labyrinth, confronted her terrified and tearful rival, and forced her to choose between the dagger and the bowl of poison; Rosamund chose the latter and died.

6ac is DAGGER, so I think I can guess what we’re going to have to change in the final grid, but let’s check. Pick the odd letters from the top left along that shortest route to the ill fated mistress to give us: Way To Forfair. Forfair – “to perish or decay”. Change 6ac to POISON, and we’re done, I think, and learnt something along the way. Fingers crossed, that’s evened things up a bit with eXternal, and a very fine contest it was too. Until next week when the i serves up Phi, Phi, and more Phi.

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2 Responses to “Inquisitor 1490 Clue Two III: Hide and Seek by eXternal”

  1. AndyT said

    Bravo, Jon. The preamble put me off attempting this one, and the same goes for Phi’s next time.

    • jonofwales said

      If I can’t make sense of the preamble then I tend to ignore it to see what happens. Sometimes that works, sometimes I come a cropper, which almost happened with this one. 🙂

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