Inquisitor 1521 The Hard Stuff by Phi

December 27, 2017

So as the festive season looms, the order of the day for Saturday:

  1. Take the kids to their dance lesson.
  2. Quickly solve the prize cryptic and concise puzzles while hanging round during (1).
  3. Lunch.
  4. See how far I get with the Inquisitor before:
  5. The pantomime.
  1. Tick.
  2. There’s a problem, I’m struggling with the daily cryptic, and that’s Phi as well. This doesn’t bode well for (4).

What do we have? A few unclued entries, normal down clues. Across entries where we don’t enter certain letters from the definition in the grid. They’ll “yield a sequence of numbers”, and then we write an associated phrase under the grid. Sounds reasonable.

Let’s begin at the beginning with 1 across, and hey, it’s an easy one, a reverse of CITE and E. What about that definition? EMETIC will fit, and it turns out to cat can mean to vomit. Huzzah. What about the down clues that cross it? Well, 6d and 9d are fairly obvious too. And so is a lot of the rest of the grid, much going in quicker than the daily cryptic. Perhaps I’m just more awake after lunch than before it, especially on the weekend?

Those unclued entries? With much of the grid filled in we can guess at ARTHUR C CLARKE, there’s HOLE midway down, so LOOP in the top right? Yes, Loophole was his first professional sale back in 1946. Apparently he was born 16 December 1917, which uncannily happens to be 100 years ago. Who knew? Well Phi did, obviously.

I think most solvers will have guessed what three word phrase we’re looking for, but let’s persist with those extra letters, which are all evidently Roman numerals, and the remainder of the grid. Last in 18ac, for no good reason I can see now, and 16ac, where working out the missing letter took a little work. What do we have?

MMX MMLXI MMMI

Which are the last three books in the Space Odyssey series. The missing number is evidently MMI, so under the grid goes A SPACE ODYSSEY? Looks good to me.

Thanks Phi for an enjoyable, pretty breezy solve. A welcome bit of light relief which was almost, but not quite finished before the aforementioned pantomime. Oh yes it was…

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One Response to “Inquisitor 1521 The Hard Stuff by Phi”

  1. AndyT said

    Yes, that went smoothly, my only gripe being that the required phrase was plain as a pikestaff long before the crossword was finished. I derived some perverse enjoyment from disentangling those Roman numerals, just to spin proceedings out a bit.

    No need for that with the next one: it’s clear enough what’s going on but Artix may as well be speaking Klingon for all I can get to grips with his style of clue writing.

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