Inquisitor 1646 Pocket Money by Shark

May 19, 2020

To begin at the end then, as it were. It took until Sunday, a whole day following Shark’s inquisition, before I realised that the general flurry of activity regarding Nurse Nightingale in crossword circles was down to her fast approaching bicentennial. In my defence the fact has been somewhat overshadowed by other newsworthy items.

And it was only several hours after completion, feeling generally disgruntled with the outcome of the puzzle down to the various incongruous elements – TETRADRACHM, ATHENA, LADY, LAMP – before Google leapt to Shark’s defence. Ms Nightingale had a rescue-owl you see called… ATHENA, and said coin had an owl on one side too for good measure.

Oh yes… MONA. NESH. TOGLATTI. I take it you spent as much time solving those as the rest of the puzzle too?

Previous to that I’d identified NIGHTINGALE, and duly highlighted it, though it took a while longer to work out what had been pocketed, even with the list of extra letters. That bit in the preamble about crossing bars having been characteristically glossed over until it came to the crunch. Perhaps because I was feeling pretty pleased with myself on getting the correct multiple letters, and spotting CRIMEAN WAR in the misprints. Pride as ever coming before a fall.

Which is a pity, because up until then the solve had been a rapid one in the rapidly dissipating heatwave, and rapidly dissipating lockdown too it must be noted, with the entry for NUZZER winning the prize for unlikely looking word of the week.

Back to the start then, and an uncharacteristically early start down to a surprisingly easy Saturday puzzle, and an early night occasioned by the wish to avoid the general nonsense surrounding VE Day. Though I will admit to raising a glass of vodka to toast our Russian comrades in arms. Na Zdorovie.

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