Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6307/Dac

Posted by Colin Blackburn on January 3rd, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

When I began this puzzle I expected a fairly easy ride as usual with Dac. In the end this puzzle took me way too long mainly due to the time spent looking at one or two clues. I felt that these two clues were unfair for a daily cryptic with no searchable dictionary to hand, though the majority of the clues were fair and relatively easy.

9 LOLLOP — LOLL+OP — lollop is a nice word meaning bound, as in jump. The definition was nicely hidden by the surface.
10 HILARITY — HILAR(IT)Y — Hilary is both a male and female name.
11 BRASSERIE — BRASS(ER)IE — a brassie is a golf club, not something I knew but with a couple of checking letters it was a good guess.
14 COMPROMISED — double definition.
18 LINCOLNS INN — LINCOLN’S+INN — inn = local, Lincoln’s Inn is one of the four Inns of Court in London. I can’t work out if it should or shouldn’t have an apostrophe. Most sources quote the name with while the Lincolns Inn website quotes it without.
21 READY — READ+Y — again, the definition, set, is nicely concealed in the surface reading.
22 THEME SONG — (GENT’S HOME)* — number = a song.
24 TURN AWAY — “Turner way” — a terrible pun!
26 MUSTERED — “mustard” — mustard is a brassica, a member of the cabbage family.
1 HALFBACK — double definition — a halfback is a football (soccer) position, to back is to put money on (bet).
2 MALLARME — “mal arme” — the first of my problem clues. The poet is certainly not known to me and the French is a struggle after the “mal”, in fact I’ve probably misquoted it. If Mallarme was the only reasonable entry then a simpler charade clue would have been much more satisfactory.
5 OLIVER STONE — OLIVER’S TONE — with the O already in this fell into place straight away.
7 ALISON — (m)ALISON — the second of my problem clues. I had A-I-O- and just stared at the grid for ages. When I finally plumped for Alison = woman as the only reasonable fit it then dawned on me that unmarried implied no M. I then found malison, an archaic and poetic word for a curse. I’d never heard of malison (the opposite of benison) and felt that it was a little unfair to use it as part of a less than straighforward charade.
15 RELAY RACE — RELAY+RACE — fairly clear once I’d stopped forcing RALLY RACE to become the answer!
16 MINORCAN — MINOR+CAN — young offender’s institution got me for a while.
23 ESHER — ES(c)HER — Esher is an English Town, though I didn’t realise Escher was a Dutch artist. Escher drew topologically interesting worlds and amazing tessellations.

3 Responses to “Independent 6307/Dac”

  1. says:

    I was lucky that I knew MALLARME as I would never have got it from the wordplay. For 7D I also had all of the checking letters so filled in ALISON without really bothering to work why – thanks for explaining it.

  2. says:

    I found about average for Dac – 16 mins, but was also lucky in having heard of Mallarme and also being familiar with French – because the wordplay here was essentially in French! ALISON was the last I understood also. I found CRANNY quite tricky too before getting it right – the wordplay didn’t follow the natural order of words which misled me. Totally fair, though.

  3. says:

    I took nearly twice as long as I’d expect for Dac. But did know Mallarme, malison, and Escher’s nationality. I promise you’ll see brassie again!

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