Inquisitor 1643 Two’s Company by P I N K

April 28, 2020

I don’t think it would be a spoiler, given the puzzle title, to note that the members of PINK seem to be self-isolating even in the byline. Phi dropped a hint earlier in the week that a special was in store, and it didn’t take a genius to guess at the likely subject matter. Luckily, because we’re lacking in geniuses in these parts.

What did surprise me was a grid fill lacking in gimmicks, one that wouldn’t have been out of place in terms of difficulty for the average plain Azed. I tend to start ordinary cryptics in the bottom right corner, and glanced that way first today out of habit, to see OLD like a shot. As expected you needed your copy of the BRB to hand for beauties like NGWEE and ECUELLE, and many such in the word play, but such is far from being a chore. Much elsewhere went in with little ado, and with the mornings longer these days due to the lack of dance and the customary supermarket visit, the grid fill was duly finished before lunch. And that after a particularly broken night’s sleep. I’m guessing I’m not alone in broken night’s sleep these days.

To the last bit of the preamble, which I’d studiously ignored to that point. Thankfully our setters have given an example of what we’re supposed to do, otherwise I don’t think I would have been up to it. Reference my earlier comments.

So first, which letter only appears twice in the grid? That would be I. And picking appropriate letters from the clues based on its position gives? CHANGE CONTENTS OF TWO CELLS BAR OFF ALL CELLS CONTAINING… V or I. Thankfully there aren’t any V’s, so we’re to bar off the I’s. And then?

Then, well, if you were to look across the diagonal NW to SE of the original grid you’d spot SELFISH NATION. Change to letters to give? SELF-ISOLATION, which will have come as a surprise to nobody, but has still done more to convince me of the need to do so than all the half-witted state-sponsored messages I’ve been doing my best to self-isolate from the past month.

So good spot, if it was PINK’s spot. Do stay safe everybody, and remember to self-isolate but not self-immolate, as spell check handily suggested a few weeks back.

2 Responses to “Inquisitor 1643 Two’s Company by P I N K”

  1. batarde said

    Haha! You beat me to it – infinitely preferable to three word slogans. Enjoyed this one.

  2. Cornick said

    One I actually persevered with for a change, and it was quite fun piecing together the message for the diagonal switch-thingy, which provided a satisfying pdm at the end.

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