Inquisitor 1564 Soft Tube by Schadenfreude

October 24, 2018

Schadenfreude. I’ve struggled with Schadenfreude in the past, so he’s already got the psychological edge. Not that he really needed one with this week’s offering. Softened up already by two days worth of torrential rain and general signs of it being autumn, a grid that says straight away that you’re going to be shoving letters into the border. Two from each row and column. Which means that, yes, it’s our old friend the long cold solve followed swiftly (or not so swiftly) by the application of a bit of hard logic to the resulting mismatch of letters.

So it proved to be. A very slow grind through the clues. Crossing letters entered when identified. After a bit the realisation that multiple letters can go in some squares, the border being a bit of an unknown. Not helped by such obscurities as INGE for dean. One where the BRB won’t help, but a swift Google will. At which point we all thanked the gods that the first bit was obvious, and the answer equally so, so perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps I’m being dim too, because 1ac was one I spotted pretty early in the dictionary having guessed ONUS for responsibility, but did I jot it down as being obviously the correct answer? No I did not, not until the bitter end.

Talking of which, how did you do with that border? Mine was a complete mess with multiple options for loads of cells, and not much way of making sense of them. The end game’s supposed to consist of highlighting twelve cells that make up a “cryptic representation of the perimeter.” I looked in the diagonals. I looked up and down. And then I looked across, and spotted VELVET. And then GROUND above that. Or bits of it at least. And then went about completing the names of various members of The Velvet Underground in the perimeter, and thus filling the rest of the grid. Though I was a little thrown on seeing Moe Tucker’s full name…

Phew. How close did I come to giving up? Somewhere shortly before that last paragraph. Hard work indeed. Luckily it’s wet, and we can’t get out anywhere, but still… Here’s Venus In Furs by way of a present for sticking it out.

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