Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6290/Dac – 2D than the average setter

Posted by neildubya on December 13th, 2006


Quality stuff. I can only repeat something a fellow blogger said about Dac, that aspiring setters should study his clues and learn from them. His puzzles aren’t particularly tough and they don’t have any themes or grid gimmicks but his clue-writing is absolutely spot-on.

1 AST(i) in WED – no collusion with the Independent crossword editor was needed to ensure that this clue appeared on the right day as Dac is “Mr Wednesday”.
4 LIGHT SUP(per) – first drink, now fags. Is Dac craving something?
10 (SHE’S MALES)* – the sort of behaviour usually related to getting 1A.
13 ER in (BOW TIE STORE)* – ref to the Wodehouse character. Word-perfect surface reading.
16 LAST CHRISTMAS – which reached number 2 in the singles chart in December 1984, pop pickers. Amazingly, this song has its own entry on Wikipedia, proving once and for all that some people have too much time on their hands.
19 ROVER in P(u)B
22 IN,A,WAR in CHE – what would crossword setters have done if the young Che had decided to continue with his medical studies rather then becoming a Marxist revolutionary and icon?
23 LIARD – hidden. I’d never heard of this. It’s not in the Concise Oxford or the online Chambers but it is in the online Collins so I guess that makes it a little obscure so a hidden clue type is the perfect device here.
25 AT,TEN,D – I liked “at ten” for “mid-morning”. Very neat.
2 RE,TRAMS< – not a tough clue by any means but I thought this was very cleverly constructed.
3 I in (SEAS TRUE)*
8 OS in PAD,A – another new word for me. I hesitated with this as I’ve only seen PAD to mean an entire residence rather than just a bedroom. It’s in Collins as a “bed or bedroom” though. Once all the checking letters are in place, and provided you know O(ut)S(ize), it’s fairly straightforward from there.
10 SANDWICH BOARD – cryptic def and nothing to do with North London. Sandwich is, of course, a town in Kent.
15 A,SC,ENDED – something else I didn’t know: SC (scilicet) is Latin for “namely”.
16 O in LENIN,E
18 H in APACE
20 E,PACT – the final new bit of knowledge for me and the last answer I filled in, albeit not confidently. The word refers to the number of days by which the solar year exceeds the lunar year. Not an easy word but the wordplay nudges you in the right direction.

3 Responses to “Independent 6290/Dac – 2D than the average setter”

  1. says:

    POSADA – had an advantage with this, having recently been to Portugal on holiday, staying in their national hotel chain called Pousadas (“chain” here has connotations that they don’t deserve – there are common features but each one is far more distictive than a Howard Johnson or Marriott). The equivalent Spanish chain are Paradors, so I can imagine one or two people with the equivalent Spanish holiday experience briefly thinking “I need another white square”. Nice to see a clue for Leonine that doesn’t mention popes.

  2. says:

    23 ac – LIARD – Chambers has two definitions -grey, dapple-grey; an old french coin of little worth. Not having seen the puzzle, I can’t comment on which is the appropriate definition, but thought that it might be worth posting this info anyway.

  3. says:

    Absolutely agree Dac is a model – flowing clues, never a doubt when the answer is found.
    This one I found quite easy – solving time 13 mins. Favourite clue: SHAMELESS.

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eight − = 4