Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6272/Dac – easy but nice

Posted by petebiddlecombe on November 22nd, 2006

petebiddlecombe.

Independent 6272/Dac – easy but nice

Solved in 5:05.  Got a reasonable start with 5A and then the easy anag at 5D. Should really have had 1A first time for a sub-5 clocking, but never mind. Don’t be deceived by the lack of a theme into thinking this is an inferior product. Aspiring setters should study these clues carefully for clarity, wit, and fairness.

Across
5 RAT TRAPS – colloq. for metal pedals.
11 POST,CHA(I)SE
13 AFRICAN,VIOLET’S – the A V is a flower, and also the name of the pinky/purply colour worn by Loughborough University sports teams. In my student sporting days, this looked really silly in the BUSF cross-country champioinship race programme next to stuff like “Purple with UL badge”.
15 SEND TO = anag. of Ostend, COVEN,TRY
18 F,AWN
19 SALSA,VERDE=”Verdi”. If you’ve been watching Strictly Come Dancing, dance = salsa should be a doddle.
24 G,ANY,MEDE=”mead”. Ganymede was a cup-bearer in Gk. myth
25 SE(X)T ON – simple enough but makes a very nice clue.
 
Down
6 T=small portion of this,ABLE WINE = anag. of “in Elba we”. And the whole clue works as a humorous def too.
7 RETINOL – which is Vitamin A, but the def. here is just “Vitamin”. The A is in the wordplay telling you to anagram orient(a)l. This kind of apparent definition/wordplay overlap is a favourite setter’s trick.
13 A LEX,AND R.A. – briefly tempted by Princess = Di from days of old.
14 CROUSTADE – anag of ROASTED, (d)UC(k) – I initially went for the other interpretation and tried to anagram (r)OASTED DUC(k). Where more than one reading is possible, you need to try them all.
17 T(HERO)UX – tux(edo) = US for “dinner jacket”.
20 ARRAS – hidden – a tapestry, named after the Fr. town where they were made, best rememberd from “get thee behind the arras”, somewhere in Shakespeare.
21 DIE,GO = O.G. reversed. Some football wishful thinking?

5 Responses to “Independent 6272/Dac – easy but nice”

  1. says:

    Yes, this was excellent as usual from Dac. Though I did not solve any acrosses on first reading, the downs were easier, and I finished in 19 mins , about average for me for Dac. Always a pleasure to work out a new word just from the wordplay as I did with CROUSTADE.

  2. says:

    Dac has a really nice cluing style that fits well with the Indy – nice contemporary references with a little humour and a pleasant challenge.

    Unlike the Guardian’s Chifonie, whom I find dour and a hark back to the puzzles of Lavengro and so on in the 80’s. No real feeling of satifaction when you finish it.

  3. says:

    So, with a few obvious exceptions – some of whom set for both papers – would we be in agreement that the Independent is generally the better of the two crosswords these days?

  4. says:

    I changed a couple of months ago from doing Times and Guardian every day and Indie on Sat, to Times and Indie with the Guardian as a Sat-only extra. I miss some of the Guardian setters, esp. those not available in Times or Indie, but so far the Indie hardly ever serves up a puzzle I’m unimpressed by. I was getting to the point in the Guardian where rather unfairly to some of their setters, I’d only bother with my favourite half dozen or so. So for me, it was time for a change. The real test of the Indie will be whether I’m still doing their puzzle every day in a decade or two…

  5. says:

    I completely agree with Peter. The Indie crossword is way out in front right now.

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