Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6565/Dac — a river runs through it.

Posted by Colin Blackburn on October 31st, 2007

Colin Blackburn.

Usual high quality fare from Dac: excellent surfaces, good clear wordplay, and at least one I have failed to get.

1 FLIGHT CREW — F+LIGHT+CREW(e) — “Those serving in air” is an excellent definition here. It naturally runs into the next word, “force”, and led me to think of (the) FEW once I had the initial F.
11 GREENGAGE — GAG in GREENE — a plum.
13 TRIDENT — I’D in TRENT — river one.
15 EMETIC — ITEM< in EC — an EMETIC is a drug causing vomiting. EC = European Community.
16 FORSOOTH — S+O+O in FORTH — river two and an excellent old word.
24 LASAGNE — SAG(e) in LANE — “country way” is LANE rather than RUSTICA as the surface might suggest.
28 STUMBLING — (MUST)* + BLING — BLING is showy jewellery. I saw the ING ending and pencilled in RING having ruled out EARRING. It took me a while to see BLING and then the obvious initial
30 ? — ST+?? or ?? in ST — “Though guided by saint, one may go downhill fast(4)” Any ideas? STEP springs to mind but I can’t justify the EP to myself. It looks like this is SLED from S+LED.
31 SAINT PETER — (TAPE ISN’T)* + ER — he was described as a rock.
2 IMAGINE — G in I+MAINE — fancy = IMAGINE
3 HIGHSMITH — HIGHS + “myth” — I think this refers to Patricia Highsmith though I don’t know her work. “story-telling” leads to the homophone of myth.
7 PLACEBO — PLACE+BO(y) — The definition here sort of needs the whole clue but the clue itself isn’t &lit…
8 SWEATSHIRT — (T+WEARS THIS)* &lit —…but this one is and is elegantly simple.
14 VERBALISES — BALI in VERSES — my favourite clue, just for Dac spotting Bali in there.
18 ANGELICA — ANGEL+I+CA(ke) — the definition here can only be “decoration” though it’s hard not to read “cake” as doing double duty.
27 WEAR — double def. — the third river and the one I can’t quite see from my window though I can see the tree-lined valley.

5 Responses to “Independent 6565/Dac — a river runs through it.”

  1. Nealh says:

    I thought 30ac might be SLED.

  2. Colin Blackburn says:

    Thanks, that’s sounds spot on. I always forget that S can mean saint. Thus it is S+LED = “guided by saint”

  3. neildubya says:

    1A – I first filled in GROUND CREW, which seems to work fine with the clue if you take the definition as “Those serving in air force”.

  4. Wil Ransome says:


    It seems that Dac is using “large number” to clue N. Why the “large”? The surface is marginally better, I suppose, but it looks to me as if we are being unnecessarily misled.

  5. nmsindy says:

    n = large number A point that did occur to me too when solving. In maths n is generally an unspecified number (integer) but the concept of largeness is there in say “to the nth degree”. In support of the setter, Chambers does say “implicitly a large number (informal)”.

    Excellent puzzle, as always from Dac, which I found a bit harder than normal.

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