Inquisitor 1695 Sign Up Here! by Ploy

April 27, 2021

Or as it will be forever known here, lessons in inadequacy.

Because I’m supposed to be pretty nifty at this crossword lark, so people tell me. A supposition which would be found to be based on very shaky ground indeed Saturday morning. Things which were nice:

  1. The sunshine;
  2. Coffee and croissants.

Not so nice: Staring at a grid in which I’d entered the grand total of five answers for a large part of the morning.

A sensible person would have put the thing to one side for a while, but well, I’m pig-headed like that. Evidently I should have, because after lunch and suitably fuelled, progress was swifter and the grid eventually filled. Highlights? Those would have to be WHIM-WHAM and WABOOM, obviously, a little whimsy in the midst of a pretty gruelling solving experience.

Feelings of inadequacy were forever close to hand, though, in particular on realising that my parsing skills were likely to yield by way of extra letters no more than:

WHAT FORMING NET CLUES CAN GIE (or maybe Y at the end).

I suspect the last one is probably GIVE, but still, that’s not a clue even the best of us would be able to solve, I suspect, so I’ll have to presume that large chunks are pretty random.

Fortunately, the suspicion that the groups of letters struck from the clues were likely to be less so proved to be correct. Uncles, you see. I’ve even got a few. FESTER, VANYA, BUCK and SILAS.

The curves to draw and straight lines are supposed to represent a pawnbroker’s sign, as it said in the title all along, because every good crossword solver knows that’s what an uncle is, though in this neck of the woods at least it’s a usage limited to our own little world. My artistic skills not being up to Ploy’s invitation to embellish to your heart’s content, you’ll have to make do with some dodgy highlighting.

And the phrase? BOB’S YOUR UNCLE, presumably. Though my own feelings when fully expressed would include those of exhaustion, general despair, and loss of faith in my solving abilities. But that’s my fault and nothing to do with Ploy who’s done a nice job of putting me through my paces with a very carefully put together and satisfyingly complete puzzle. Next time I promise I’ll be up to the job. Honest.


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