Inquisitor 1512 Boom and Bust by Ploy

October 25, 2017

Now that’s what I call a preamble. Letters to be lifted, words to be moved, unclued entries. Eek. The grid’s a more sensible size this week, though, which is something positive at least.

Onward. And look, I’ve spotted a letter to be moved to the clue above almost straight off. Huzzah. And a word that needs to be moved to the right in one of the downs. Double huzzah. But why do some of the down clues have answer lengths that are shorter than the space in the grid? I thought I knew what I was doing there for a bit. Concentration levels aren’t helped by Saturday afternoon spent in the seventh circle of hell, in other words the children’s section of Clarks Shoes. And Sunday afternoon finally getting a bit of weather dry enough to finish sorting the garden for Autumn. Rock n roll.

But we’re getting there – it swiftly becomes obvious that the unclued down must be SOUNDBARRIER, though we were probably meant to get it from the letters / words shifted, and not a rare moment of inspiration. So that’s what the title’s getting at. And that unclued entry on the left – it’s going to be something to do with breaking the sound barrier, obviously. What was the first plane to do so? The Bell X-1. Making sense of 13d and 24d all at once, where both DASH and ONE that evidently weren’t going to fit in the space available can now pretty confidently be entered as symbols. Sneaky, no hint of that in the already voluminous preamble. And as it needs to travel to the right, that’s why those word lengths are too short – those cells are supposed to be empty. Shift Bell X-1 across that sound barrier, over to the right, and…

There, all done, and hope there isn’t something obvious I’ve missed in a slightly bitty, we-need-to-cram-this-into-whatever-time’s-available-because-I’m-busy sort of solve. The three words we were supposed to garner from the letters / words moved? I sort of worked those out in retrospect given what I had and the unclued down, just in case they were meant to be some sort of instruction. They weren’t, were they?

3 Responses to “Inquisitor 1512 Boom and Bust by Ploy”

  1. AndyT said

    Interesting … mine wound up a little different. I have “BELL XS1” on either side of the sound barrier: on reflection the deletion of the left hand side does make sense, but leaving it in works too. As for the “S”, that was the original designation, which had changed to plain old X-1 by the time of the first supersonic flight, but for whatever reason that particular test was XS-1 flight number 50. Huh? I think we can both argue plausibly for our different results, which is a bit unfortunate. Roll on Saturday for the solution.

    The three words, (“ride” “burn” “soar” if I’ve got them right) were no help at all; deducing “sound barrier” made all the difference however.

    • jonofwales said

      I had XS penciled in for a while, half wondering if 13d was one of the clues that would need to be adjusted. But once I’d decided that one=1, dash from SLAPDASH must go in as -, and the clue left as-is. Time will tell…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: