Inquisitor 1542 Pretence by Wiglaf

May 23, 2018

Saturday rolls round and what do we have with it? No numerical puzzles it seems, though that Playfair is still firmly on the cards. Wiglaf, with a cornucopia of misprints, unclued entries, and something to highlight at the close. This week we’re fuelled by espresso, The Fall, not to mention a full serving of chips and birthday treats, because it’s that time of year again. Suitably invigorated, and past memories of Wiglaf suitably vague, to the grid.

Maybe it’s the caffeine, but this looks to be relatively straightforward. I like to start with an anagram, and look, there’s one at 9ac which means that AEROSOLS must be a synonym for sprays and not splays. One misprint down, thirteen to go. LSD at 26ac is going to lead to nothing but ACID in the wordplay, though a slightly tricky misprint there I must confess to ignoring until the very close. How many German scientists do you know? More than me I’m betting, so lucky Wiglaf’s been kind with the wordplay at 28ac.

Unclued entries. JOSHUA looks good to me. As does DALE (but as it turns out nul points for that one, and that’s why we do these in pencil).

Last ones in the NW. Ten leads to IO and not X as I was sure for too long, giving that well known mussel the UNIO. So apart from the ones Wiglaf hasn’t bothered to clue that’s a full grid, though making sense of the misprints will have to wait because as is de rigueur I’ve made a bit of a mess of them.

Those last unclued entries. Don’t ask why, but I was always convinced the one down the bottom was CANFIELD, because, well, there’s only so much you can construct from A UK YUCCA FEAT. No idea with the long down one, but… That’s CARY GRANT across the top, meaning DALE is DYLE and the long down is CRUIKSHANK.

Googling Cary Grant and Cruikshank leads to Charade, a film I haven’t seen. But apparently Grant plays “Brian Cruikshank (alias Peter Joshua, alias Alexander “Alex” Dyle, alias Adam Canfield)”, so there you go. It also stars Audrey Hepburn meaning I’m doubly remiss in having neglected it all these years.

What do we need to highlight? Well, that would be CHARADE and DONEN across the NW to SE diagonal presumably.

Oh yes, those misprints, let’s go and look at them again. They’re supposed to spell out the real name of “the player”, Archibald Leach, and lo and behold in retrospect they do. Phew. And yes, you’d change your name too, wouldn’t you?

So thanks Wiglaf, great stuff, thoroughly enjoyed. And next week, that Playfair?

One Response to “Inquisitor 1542 Pretence by Wiglaf”

  1. batarde said

    I’ve been off the Inquisitor for a while since John started talking about all that GCHQ stuff. That’s what the Listener is for and the idea of picking away at Playfair or Vigenère ciphers holds scant appeal, let alone numerical puzzles. However, I was at a loose end and wound up enjoying this one, especially the “oh – *that* Archibald!” moment. Just the right sort of level for me. Must watch the film some time soon.

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