Inquisitor 1726 Character Assassination by eXtent

November 30, 2021

A book recommendation this week in the form of letters omitted, although even the mighty Amazon search engine would have struggled to do much with:


Which is as good an indicator as any to the regular reader that I struggled too. Granted I started late, this being the weekend when traditionally we bake the Christmas cake, but despite having a full grid by 10PM Sunday, I was lacking the full book title, had letters in the left and right columns, but not even a guess at the highlighting or what to do about the “encoding”.

Any bafflement regarding the two columns we’d been busily moving letters removed into can partly be explained by an unlucky K for KORAN rather than the required Q, but still, my inability to decipher the following doesn’t bode well for a successful reading of ELLA MINNOW PEA, the volume in question, as apparently the letters used (allowed) diminish in number as the book proceeds. According to Wikipedia, that is.


Though we haven’t strictly speaking avoided the use of certain letters, which does make me doubt myself. It was only the other day too that I remarked on my lack of grid awareness, and here’s yet another example, the letters being a pretty random bunch as far as I could tell.

Never doubt my Googling skills though, which led to the Wikipedia page in question, the fact that the pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” plays an important part in the book, only to be substituted at the close by “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs”, the latter a rearrangement in the form I have it of the original letters in the left and right columns.

It’s just left then to highlight the author, and LMNOP (Ella Minnow Pea, you see), the only remaining letters allowed by the end of the book.

All of which leaves me itching to have a look at the volume in question, though I’d love a sneak peak first as I suspect I may not be up to the challenge, and Amazon for once doesn’t have a Look Inside.

Oh well, the puzzle was finished, and enjoyed, albeit with a suspicion until the very last that I was about to run out of time. Perhaps I should start getting up earlier Saturday morning.

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