Inquisitor 1667 Follow the Leader by Serpent

October 13, 2020

So, you’re feeling somewhat frayed too. Autumn is here with the added frisson this wonderful year of Covid. Reasonable excuse. What does that mean, anyway? It’s raining, we’re all getting claustrophobic, and the memory of last week’s Inquisitor rout looms large.

For a while this looked like being another. Is it just me or were the clues this week particularly fiendish? Consisting of not just extra letters in some, but of entries that needed adjusting before entry in the grid. The latter is wont to result in much soul-searching on my part. A quarter of the solving time resulting in only four entries in the grid I was indeed ready to throw in the towel.

TRUMPET TREE to the rescue, being a nice long entry. We like nice long entries. The belated discovery that we have RATs missing from the adjusted ones. PratING, PIratES, and so on. Rats everywhere, but not being indoors the council won’t dispose of the things in “the current climate”, almost as if that were a convenient money-saving-excuse. At least they’ve cut the grass. Small mercies.

False step alert. Rats being disposed of, and leaders to follow, means the central entry is obviously the PIED one himself. Well, he will be at the close, but the crossing entries don’t work for the moment. Getting ahead of myself again. Our favourite old tax lies to the SW, though the volunteers are at least acknowledged as being “old”, a blow to crossword setters everywhere.

And, oh, if 5ac is BUKSHI I’ve no idea why. But what’s new.

Grid full. See, I managed it this week.

The hints from the extra letters. The first couple, well, I don’t where they fit. S something? The rest though is all about the piper himself AND IN DID COME THE STRANGEST FIGURE. At last we can amend BOYS AND GIRLS for what is not only a strange but sinister FIGURE. Yep, the child snatcher always frightened me too. Still does, truth be told.

Phew. Done, I think. Good stuff, Serpent, good stuff. But my brain. It hurts.

2 Responses to “Inquisitor 1667 Follow the Leader by Serpent”

  1. Guy Barry said

    That all seems to be in order:

    https://guys-diary.blogspot.com/2020/10/inquisitor-1667-follow-leader-by-serpent.html

    I am told that the first two letters removed, SP, stand for the Latin phrase “sine prole” (without offspring), though there’s no way I’d have worked that out for myself.

    I’m having a rest from the Inquisitor now – #1668 looks too much like hard work!

  2. Guy Barry said

    https://guys-diary.blogspot.com/2020/10/inquisitor-1667-follow-leader-by-serpent.html

    All seems to be in order. I am told that the “SP” at the start of the string of removed letters stands for the Latin phrase “sine prole” (without offspring), though there’s no way I’d have guessed.

    I’m taking a break from the Inquisitor now – #1668 looks too much like hard work!

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