Inquisitor 1586 Carte Blanche by Eclogue

March 27, 2019

There might be some solvers out there who say – “Oh good, it’s a Carte Blanche” – but as regular readers will know I’m not one of them. Call it lack of confidence in my own solving abilities, and on a weekend when I’m feeling somewhat under the weather. Into every life a little rain must fall, and fall it is doing in some style too.

Fuelled by some typically bland fast food – which does have the advantage of being cheap, and the kids like it for some unfathomable reason – to the preamble, of which there is little. Misprints, the correct answers to which spell out further instructions.

In anticipation of a lot of cold, hard solving – onward.

The first across I feel I should know, but don’t. USTINOV I do though, being a simple anagram. We like to see lots of those in puzzles like this. Oh look, another long anagram, a CELEBRANT who is revelling and not revealing himself for which he would presumably be arrested.

Downs? Apparently DEACON can also signify the skin of a young calf. Who knew? Well, Eclogue obviously.

A few solved, and buoyed on by past successes in such puzzles, why not just start lobbing answers in? USTINOV somewhere to the right on the second row based on those word counts, DIM SUM which I did eventually get top left, DEACON crossing going down, and so on.

Which is to say that either I’m getting better at these blank grid things, or Eclogue’s being rather generous. A little tussle in the NE corner until COSTNER finally fell, and done. And you know what, I did enjoy that grid fill after all.

The instruction? Needless to say I didn’t get all the misprints first time, but it reads: ERASE ALL BAR FINAL CONTENT OF PANDORA’S BOX.

Apparently all that was left in the box at the close was HOPE, which I didn’t know. But it is there across the SW to NE diagonal.

What flew out though? This is where it gets a bit sticky – there seem to be lots of different versions. Disease, misery and death though, certainly, which about sums up how I’m feeling this weekend. I can see the letters of death in the wrong order in one diagonal, and the same with disease to the NW. Also a scrambled “moths”, which is apparently the form all the said evils came out in.

None of which is particularly convincing. Red herrings? Yeah, I think so. The title says Carte Blanche, the instruction says erase all content bar HOPE. So all we’re left with is hope? I think so. And I think that’s rather nice, too, actually. All that remains is HOPE.

RIP, Schadenfreude.

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