Inquisitor 1593 Mirror Image II by Serpent

May 15, 2019

Another Bank Holiday, and what better way to spend it than recuperating from the after-effects of a particularly horrible cold. Blame the youngest who bring every plague known to man this way. It does mean though that there will be a distinct lack of proper work being done, plenty of solving time, and the sun is shining so… Outside where it is quiet.

Which is lucky because look, we’ve got another one of those blank grid thingies. But I’ve been getting the hang of those of late so no issues.

Mirror Image II, another art themed thing? We’re having a run of sequels.

The preamble. Wordplay omits a letter in 13 clues that we’re not to enter. For the moment, very mysteriously. The rest means little and less at this stage of the game apart from the unclued entry bit which is even less welcome with no clue numbers or bars, and I never did get the hang of grid symmetry. Amateur hour.

Let’s get solving. First solved the corrupting influence followed by extremely poor. How apt. ROTTENEST, as I’ve been feeling. Nowhere to put them though, but first down solved is ASPIRE, which is more promising as presumably it starts somewhere in the first row.

Rewind… An on-line image is evidently an AVATAR, though the R is our first missing letter we won’t enter. Realise must be ATTAIN, with A for anonymous, and a nod to the modern day with “volunteers once”. Presumably our top row, but we’re missing a cell. Let’s assume the symmetry thing will help and lob one to the left, one to the right. ASPIRE crossing in the first column.

Checking letters in place, the top half fills gradually, centre column filled with RED LETTER DAYS (a pretty handy 13 letters) until… A grinding halt halfway down. As it turns out this is because of a rashly filled in ANEMONES, but I didn’t realise that until five hours later and the whole of the gruelling battle for Winterfell.

The youngest in bed, let’s finish this. A moment of inspiration, reptiles being TORTOISES and not PORPOISES, stepping forward through the alphabet, and what a fantastic spot by Serpent. Grid full.

Missing letters we haven’t entered? Well, they happen to spell out RED LETTER DAYS as well. Our unclued entry? Presumably that would be BARNETT NEWMAN across the middle of the grid, an artist I’ve not heard of. But a quick Google pulls up images that remind me a lot of the sort of stuff Rothko used to do. And indeed, apparently he’s an abstract expressionist I’ve not heard of to my shame.

We need to redistribute 13 letters? Presumably take the centre column, and put the appropriate letters in all those cells we left blank. Then shade the filled cells red, leaving something that looks a little like this:

Well, the only highlighter I’ve got that’s close is neon pink so that’ll have to do. Done. And yes, wasn’t that good? Pass me some cough medicine and a glass of whisky, I think I’ve earned both.



One Response to “Inquisitor 1593 Mirror Image II by Serpent”

  1. jonofwales said

    Well, as it turns out the colour should have been blue and not red, as identified by the hidden painting in column 5. Oh well… Nul points, Jon.

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