Inquisitor 1492 Rude Card by Schadenfreude

June 7, 2017

A traditionally grey, damp Bank Holiday weekend, and my third encounter with Schadenfreude of the year. Lots of time to solve then, hiding in the kitchen from the equally traditional half term colds brewing in the other room. The preamble looks straightforward enough. Misprints in the definitions of twelve clues to form a thematic phrase, some empty cells we’ve got to fill later – a “cryptic representation” of the phrase. Empty cells equals lots of pencilling and rubbing out later. Fab.

Cue quick progress, jotting in the answers that are too short for the entries with best guesses, because otherwise we’re left with a lot of cold solving which is slow work indeed. We can always move them after, based on crossing letters where they look likely, shifting letters when they don’t. The misprints in the definitions are pretty generous, straight as they are from the big red book. And those empty cells? It becomes clear in the NW corner that there’s a pattern, a diagonal line. Follow that round the grid, surely it’s a diamond shape? Solving steps up a gear. A distinct lack of question marks at the close, Schadenfreude on relatively gentle form.

To the end game. Those misprints. Well, they don’t make much sense. Try an anagram solver. Still no sense. Let’s look at what words might fit the empty cells, in the hope the “cryptic representation of the phrase” is going to be a message and not just the shape of a diamond. Look at what will fit, what makes sense, and then start at the bottom of the diamond: ILL OR PHYSICALLY UPSET.

OK. To those misprints again. Perhaps one is wrong? Yes, 19d which I was never sure about. The answer’s KEEN, and the definition must be ‘low’, not ‘raw’.

ROUGH DIAMOND

Very nicely done, and not too difficult as it turns out. The tally for 2017? Schadenfreude 1, Jon 2. Huzzah! Until next time when Ifor lands a quadruple whammy. Ouch.

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