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Inn Joke by Mr Lemon

Posted by shirleycurran on 16 September 2011

Rumours said that we might be in for an easier solve this week as the coming weekend is a bank holiday. Yes, this coming weekend! Writing a numpty blog on a Friday is an unusual experience for me but no, I am not complaining or muttering that we solved this one as the coffee cooled. A gentle solve is a welcome experience and leaves a long wet weekend ahead for other pursuits. But an hour and a half! Yes, really!

The reason for the ease with which we solved Mr Lemon’s ‘Inn Joke’ is fairly evident. As so much of the grid was taken up with the perimeter and the unclued lights, the clues had to be impeccable and transparent. We filled the grid, as usual, from the south-east corner with no real hitches. RENO had us puzzled for a while as we were looking for a note (TI, for example, and RE) and the clue seemed to be upside down. Of course, the ONER was ‘about’.

Within an hour, we had a complete grid except for the perimeter. Our unclued entries gave  ???PISSIMUS , ?EMO, and F?IT and it didn’t take us long to work out that Juvenal’s ‘Nemo repente fuit turpissimus’ was the culprit. ‘No one ever became utterly bad all at once.’  

That was when we coloured our unchecked letters green and attempted to slot in the sixteen letters that had so obligingly appeared when we corrected some of those very obvious misprints. (…firmer kingdom historically, mirk over amount of radiation …, early bruit – lovely gifts from Mr Lemon!)

No numpty red-herrings then? Of course there was one. We wasted a few minutes attempting to fit the letters from corrected definitions into the perimeter. It has become such a habit to use those rather than the misprinted letters themselves (some editors prefer that don’t they?)

However, most of the perimeter made obvious sense – ‘It takes seven years to become a s?l??i?or’ and our remaining OICT soon completed Mr Lemon’s joke, and, of course, explained the INN of the title. I wonder what the solicitors amongst the solvers thought of the implication!

Thank you Mr Lemon for a gentler romp than some of the more recent nasties and for such flawless cluing.

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One Response to “Inn Joke by Mr Lemon”

  1. […] finally started to tackle the regular puzzles, starting with Mr Lemon’s Inn Joke, Listener 4152. Somewhat luckily I managed to win the prize three puzzles later, and since then I’ve started […]

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