Inquisitor 1719 Whowasdun by Charybdis

October 12, 2021

I had a dream, and it was about falling ladies. Some would say that the week’s Inquisitor had finally driven me to distraction. Perhaps they would be right, because following a pretty swift grid fill, I proceeded to spent all Saturday afternoon, evening and night staring at the grid trying to ascertain how the LADY in the diagonal across the centre might, presumably, fall, to give a “possibility for the victim’s name”.

Ironically, if my solution is correct, I had GLADYS in mind for a long time, but just couldn’t seem to get it to work. And then, overnight, I dreamt that I was reading the accompanying Fifteensquared blog which revealed all. Presumably I misread, because I’m sure it said that the name would be found across the bottom row of the grid, the lady having fallen thus far, because I only have the L, A and D of LADY toppling backwards to the centre of the grid.

Feel free to refer me to a counsellor, or advise that I take up a new hobby.

Mind you, things didn’t start that smoothly. My first answer solved was HYPNOTOID, which I proceeded to enter confidently in the grid, only to find that we were a cell short. As a quick count ascertained that we were for all the across entries. A solve of a few downs seemed to confirm that we just had to omit the last letters, and being of a suspicious mind I jotted them beside the answers, which gave, with little ado:

LADY DON’T FALL BACKWARDS

Which a quick Google search revealed was a fictional book from HANCOCk’s (35ac, see) The Missing Page. We only have missing letters, but it’s close enough. The missing page in question apparently should have revealed the identity of the murderer, much to the frustration of Hancock and Sid James.

Look, there’s the detective, duly altered, near the top of the grid.

All of which was completed before lunchtime, perhaps as a result of not being able to get out due to seasonal but still quite dispiriting downpours, but also because, well, this was at the easier end of the scale.

And then it would be another twenty-four hours before I finally spotted that moving LAD as I have would give GLADYS. Why Gladys? Am I barking up completely the wrong tree? When I’ve begun to dream about crosswords is it time to move on? Probably, probably. The fact that as well as noting beside the grid that 20d tickled me, but also that I was particularly impressed with 11d in a puzzle where there was no 11d would seem to confirm this.

Pass me a strong drink, followed by the name of a good psychiatrist and a lie-down in a darkened room.

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