Inquisitor 1621 Stone the Crows by The Ace of Hearts

November 26, 2019

Stone the crows indeed. After several weeks of particularly testing puzzles, it’s… Time for another, but one that is particularly so. All but five clues adjusted before entry into the grid, as it turns out leaving non-real words. Definitions for the real thing, wordplay the mangled entry. I can be pretty miserably poor at sorting out wordplay.

First pass through the clues… An incorrect across – was I the only person to get hung up on “nubeculae” for 14ac? Which had the misfortune to cross with a correct down – DILU(V)IAN.

That was about as far as I got for a long time, this being the very epitome of the slow, hard grid fill. Frustratingly so at first, but you know what, once I’d accepted that this was one for the long haul, it turned out picking off those entries one by one became quite pleasurable. In a masochistic sort of way, I’ll grant you. One eye on the puzzle, another on the TV, and an it-will-have-to-be-metaphorical other on the fire we’ve lit not just because we’ve finally cleared the chimney of the crows’ nest that had well and truly blocked it (a happy coincidence), but because it appears to be several degrees too cold for the time of year.

Through Saturday evening…

The themed entries. Well, 10d from crossing letters must be EXALTATION, that much is clear, but as for the rest?

Let’s look at the missing letters. After the by now de rigueur cock-ups are resolved – CONVERT ANSWERS TO COLLECTIVE NOUNS.

An exaltation of larks, it transpires. The answer to 10d being? LARKS. Huzzah. An UNKINDNESS of crows, though that was one I failed miserably to parse. A RUSH of POCHARDS, and a BUILDING of ROOKS.

30d, though. ?LAN. No collections of birds look likely to match.

As so often happens, on giving up and drifting off to sleep later, and much warmer, it comes. That glorious moment of revelation. CLAN, a collection of PEOPLE. Neat.

Job done, and an ultimately satisfying solve it was too. But aren’t we due an easier one soon?

One Response to “Inquisitor 1621 Stone the Crows by The Ace of Hearts”

  1. jonofwales said

    An unkindness of RAVENS, Jon, RAVENS. Not that it made any difference to the completed grid. šŸ™‚

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