Inquisitor 1526 Inner Turmoil by Harribobs

January 31, 2018

Harribobs’ Captain’s Log was voted best Inquisitor of 2016-7. A very worthy winner, so expectations are running high. No pressure. šŸ˜‰ What do we have today?

The preamble? Let’s just say that together with the way those clues are grouped an inner turmoil is exactly what I’m left feeling, and not in a good way. If we don’t have our work cut out solving the clues we’ll be hard pressed knowing what to do with them afterwards. Backwards, forwards, cycled, completely random. Yikes. Extra words in some clues lead to an instruction. Something to highlight at the end. “Advice – use a pencil!” You bet I will.

The clues. Well, a garden in Saint is pretty obviously SEDENT at 10dn, with “Andrews” as an extra word, and some of the cycled clues are pretty doable, but that list of jumbled clues is pretty extensive, and without knowing where the letters go progress is inevitably slow. The extra words? Well, I’ve got them, and without too much in the way of wailing and gnashing of teeth. A few checking letters here and there by applying a bit of logic. The elusive 1ac – MARRAM – which should have been one of the easy ones – it’s one of the normal clues – but takes a word search and a bit of reverse engineering with the wordplay. Last in? 15ac, which must be EGERIA (with NI as the insurance, which took far too long to work out) but won’t fit. Because as it becomes clear – an hour later – my logic was flawed.

All of which sounds like a steady, pretty reasonable process in retrospect. But in fact took two days, off and on. I can’t remember the rating system for Inquisitor difficulty but Harribobs’s turned it up to 11.

What does the message from the extra words tell us (with Excel at hand to sort the answers)?

sort internal nw to se diagonals

Now this is where it gets scary. Armed only with a ruler, a rubber, and a pencil that’s a lot more blunt than when we started, off we go, as we’re instructed, sorting the letters in each NW-SE diagonal. Now we’ll find out if our answers are correct, with reference now and then to the BRB. No room for error. And having to erase most of that painstakingly filled out grid. Inquisitor solvers the country wide weep silently into their cups of tea – or is it something a bit stronger at this point? As it turns out I only messed up once as far as I can tell, forgetting the W in 20ac, the quite marvellous TWOCCER. Lucky I took a snap of the grid before I started rubbing most of it out. Now we’ve got a grid full of real words rather than the mess there was before.

And the last step, that word we’re supposed to find? Turns out I’m a bit rubbish at that too, but luckily Quinapalus isn’t. šŸ˜‰ ORDERLINESS. Highlight it in a quite fetching shade of green, throw down the paper, and reach for a stiff gin. Was it satisfying when all the diagonals sorted led to all those real words? Very much so. But did I feel like my head was going to explode getting there? Oh yes…

2 Responses to “Inquisitor 1526 Inner Turmoil by Harribobs”

  1. JT said

    Following the most overrated Inquisitor of 2017 with an early runaway winner for the least enjoyable of 2018 is quite an achievement.

    The paper will hit the recycling bin before I even look at the puzzle next time I see *that* name at the top of the page.

  2. AndyT said

    By contrast, “Captain’s Log” seemed outstanding to me, and I voted accordingly. Ain’t no accounting for taste, is there? Lost interest / the will to go on with this one, however.

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