Inquisitor 1607 If Only, If Only … by Ifor

August 20, 2019

Back to earth with a bang after two weeks in the sun, summer having given way to torrential rain and gale force winds. But Ifor to soften the blow… Normal down clues, across entries modified one of two ways, mysterious extra words in the clues too.

Let’s start with the downs, coward that I am, and what an inglorious start it was too. Yep, I assumed “oddly” in 1d was “initially” and couldn’t solve it. Yes, that’s where my mind is at the moment. So my FOI was 5d, and an anagram of CHINTZ. The crossing 15ac is another anagram, LIMBOUS. How to enter it though? A wild stab in the dark says we’re either going to add or remove letters, but there are several options. Leave it.

Not so for 23ac which will be ZAREBA or ZAREEBA in the grid, and the extra word spotted too.. Blimey.

Onward, slowly but surely.

Is the entry for 45ac RET or RES from REST? Ah, the across entries are in pairs. Same letters added or removed from each. That helps.

Second lightbulb(ish) moment. The added letters aren’t just any old ones, but repeated ones. ZAREBA -> ZAREEBA, CARDUS -> CARDUUS.

No idea about ?UIT or ?EYS. Some pretty low unchecked letters there. The top right is a little tricky too, for that matter.

That phrase then. It’s the letters from each row, isn’t it? DOUBLE OR QUITS, presumably.

Those handy letters giving S(Q)UIT and (Q)UEYS.

Job done. Oh yes, those superfluous words from the across entries. The possible amendments are alphabetical from A upwards, aren’t they? Pretty nifty.

The whole thing in fact could be said to be pretty nifty. To the first week back in work then, duly invigorated.

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