Inquisitor 1519 Space Invaders by Shark

December 13, 2017

It might be December, but I’ve resisted the demands to put up the decorations for one week at least, so instead of crawling round in the attic hunting for a load of dusty bags, I’m settled with the weekend’s i, a newly sharpened pencil, and a copy of the big red book. So what do we have? A cryptic comment regarding one corner that should be filled in, clashes that “must be resolved” to form a three-word phrase, one unclued entry, handily shaded so we won’t miss it.

Once more into the fray. 8ac is the first clue and it’s an obvious one – SLASH. So this is going to be a doddle, isn’t it? Not quite – clashes always leave me feeling unsettled, because you can’t trust any of those entries, can you? But today’s clues are quite forgiving of my solving abilities throughout, though by mid-afternoon I’ve run out of steam. Fast forward to the evening, and the suspicion that those clashes are going to be in a diagonal from NW to SE. Now that makes things easier. The unclued 1ac? It’s got to be GOOSEBERRY, which is a pretty heavy hint as to why we’ve got those three barred off corners. Last in today 14ac, and a pretty tricky definition – veg (out), UNWIND presumably, though it’s ages before I’ve got anything close to the parsing.

To those clashes. Obvious, innit? Including the blank NW corner, TWO IS COMPANY. Except that the preamble is pretty clear that we’re supposed to be left with real words at the close, and VEOTING and TOILEC are certainly not, in the BRB or via a fairly desperate Google search. And I’m pretty sure it’s suppose to be “TWO’S COMPANY”.

So, has there been an almighty cock-up somewhere? Or are we supposed to do something else with those clashes? “Resolved” is a pretty ambiguous term to be using, after all. What other words will fit if we put other letters in place of those clashes? There we go, now we have THREE’S A CROWD across that diagonal. Hurrah. And wasn’t that neat? Very nicely done, and probably a complete nightmare to sort out when trying to put that grid together. Thanks to Shark for a thoroughly enjoyable solve, that for the first time in ages I’ve managed to polish off in just the one day. Azed, anyone?

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One Response to “Inquisitor 1519 Space Invaders by Shark”

  1. AndyT said

    Didn’t get on with this one at all, and slunk off feeling despondent. So jolly well done, Jon. Azed is far more suited to my pitiful abilities usually – but I was doing okay with Encota and will have a proper go at polishing that off when an opportunity presents itself.

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