Inquisitor 1755 End of Line by Dysart

June 21, 2022

Yikes was the operative word on looking at this week’s preamble – lots of stuff about encoding, entries to be changed, etc. It’s enough to make the poor solver want to throw in the towel at the outset. Except that a closer look confirmed two things – that the grid fill required entry of only two encoded items, and that the finished version contains real words / names. That’s more than a fighting chance to you and me.

The two encoded entries would turn out to be to the NW and SE, and both be countries. I didn’t spot it at first, but what’s actually entered in the grid are horses. The only debate regarding the first being whether it was PIEBALD or PYEBALD. That pesky unchecked letter. As it was, the end game would sort out that ambiguity, as it often does.

First though would be the sort of steady, rigorous solve that typifies many an Inquisitor solve when the clues are normal ones. There seemed to be more than the average number I couldn’t parse, in particular the S&M one. By Saturday morning I’m often not up to this sort of thing, in particular when it has been One Of Those Weeks, so this should come as no surprise to the regular reader.

A highlight would have to be PING for “check on PC”, perhaps due to a working career doing exactly that on a tiresomely regular basis which meant that it leapt to mind with surprising alacrity.

The “well-known dramatic line”? Well, it was pretty well known. My thoughts leapt Cornick’s way straight away, thinking – this would be right up his street. Kingdoms, horses, and all that jazz. Thus the aforementioned horses in place of countries.

I didn’t know the name of the horse from the story, but Google did, giving the one-letter change to the SW – SURREY. As if to point us in the right direction, Dysart had very generously crossed it with YORKER.

All that was left was to find kingdoms to replace with horses, being ENGLAND -> MUSTANG and REALM to the lesser known TAKHI, and to work out which letters we would need to amend, via the code used at 1ac and 43ac, to give RICHARD III. As there was no Y, but with the requirement for several I’s, the aforementioned ambiguity was thus duly resolved.

Pretty neat, eh? I would like to say that this was solved in the warm sunshine that was, indeed, shining, but it being accompanied by gale force winds, it wasn’t. But that’s the great British summer for you, and this being a non-Jubilee weekend there was something worth watching on the television.

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