Inquisitor 1514 Memory Shaker by Dysart

November 8, 2017

Halloween approaches, and so rather than having time to sit down with the Weekend i, Saturday afternoon consists of standing uneasily on the fringes of a kids Halloween disco, dishing out cash on demand for drinks, crisps and sweets. Such fun. Autumnal colds mean we’re grounded for the rest of the weekend, fortunately, so to Sunday afternoon with the paper and what looks like a pretty straightforward preamble. Normal clues, some unclued entries with a common word missing from each, a cryptic representation of it to draw, a synonym to highlight.

As expected when we’re dealing with normal clues they aren’t necessarily on the easy side, but not impossible either. Stuck? No problem, let’s look at those unclued entries. The one down the LHS is evidently IN THE .O.R. The one above C.I.E… That looks like CHIMES for the second, HOUR for the first. With MIDNIGHT missing from both? And that, to be honest, is all we need to fill the grid. A clue here, a clue there, and a bit of help from Google for the unclued entries, but only a little, gives us:

AFTER MIDNIGHT
CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT
MIDNIGHT COWBOY
MIDNIGHT FLYER (the only one I’d not heard of)
IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR
MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN
TOM’S MIDNIGHT GARDEN

Still stuck a little in the NW corner? There’s the cryptic representation of MID-NIGHT – G – to sketch in, and more checking letters.

The bit to highlight? WITCHING HOUR diagonally SW to NE. Easy-peasy. Too easy, in fact. Is there another Gila trap lurking? Those supplementary clues that I haven’t bothered to look at. Are we supposed to solve them? Well, I can’t, if we’re supposed to that is. But I can untangle the letter jumbles in each, to give the names associated with the unclued entries: CLAPTON, WELLES, VOIGHT, EAGLES, PICKETT, RUSHDIE, PEARCE. And, are we done? I think so. An enjoyable, pretty straightforward seasonal treat all round. Unless of course Dysart had a hidden trick up his sleeve all along I’ve managed to, as so often, miss.

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