Torquemada was the pseudonym of Edward Powys Mathers, a brilliant scholar and linguist, who composed 670 crosswords for the Observer between 1926 and 1939, the year of his death.  He was one of the first great masters of the cryptic crossword, although many of his crosswords are considered too unfair and obscure by modern standards. This is certainly the case in this virtually impossible puzzle. Mathers took his name from a Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition - a tradition that Ximenes and his successor Azed (Deza) continued. Black Marigolds and Coloured Stars, a collection of poems by E Powys Mathers is published by Anvil Press.

E Powys Mathers by Hester Sainsbury

Plain Puzzle by Torquemada

Across
1. and 13 It isn't caused by underwriting (10, 5)
10 Crime of Don Alhambra del Bolero (7)
14 and 16 across The too enthusiastic should beware of 1 across and 13 (9)
17 Particle (6)
18 'Chicken-skin, delicate, white, Painted by -- Vanloo' (5)
19 The saint of sick schoolboys (3)
20 rev. 'I took thee to curse mine enemies,'I said,'and, behold, thou hast blessed them' (5)
23 Letters of 36 (3)
24 The reformation of a pawnbroker (5)
26 and 27 Of resting bodies (6)
29 rev. Distinct 'haves' in Spenser (3)
31 and 30 I guard the interests of a magazine (8)
32 Grows whiter when turned into a leaf (5)
33 Found in 32 (6)
36 Letters of 23 (3)
39 rev Foreign incubus (5)
41 and 37 Lord Moggeridge's passion (5)
42 rev A belt is (5)
43 Hopped (5)
Down
1. Have you got me? You must be dense (10)
2. I creep and am enough to make a cat smile (8)
3. Napier's blunder (6)
4. One below two below (8)
5. Die-hards have no use for me (9)
6. and 7 'A man of lowly station,/A miserable, grov'ling --- /Besought her approbation' (4)
6. and 8 Towards the east of Scotland (6)
9. Art which Kenneth Grahame's dragon had to recapture (11)
11 Instrument obtained from damping jute (7)
12 'I don't know where Dinn may be,' said this kind of a reptile (4)
15 and 16 Letters of 6 and 7 (4)
21 A bat is (6)
22 One of several places in Montparnasse which will provide you with real tie (7)
25 'So it is, if thou knew'st our purposes.' 'I see a -- that sees them' (6)
26 Shaft (6)
28 Hamlet, where rude producers of sleep (5)
35 and 34 Meeting (6)
38 and 40 Stevenson let this get by him (4)

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