Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6714/Dac

Posted by neildubya on April 23rd, 2008

1 PET,RA – an archeological site in Jordan and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Would “old city” been a fairer definition?
4 (GERMAN IS T)* – great clue, smoothly worded.
10 A in CHIC,NO
11 T,READ,MILL – that’s John Stuart MILL (“of his own free will, on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill”). I think I might have got this a bit quicker had I not thought the definition was “becomes routine”.
14 IN,NY in (TALKS)*,TE – nothing wrong with the clue but I bet there are a few complaints about this phrase. For the non-coffee drinkers, something is SKINNY if it has skimmed milk in it instead of the full-fat version.
17 SAX (“sacks”),OP,(NO THIS)* – SAXOPHONIST. Another top-drawer clue.
19 “mullED WIN”
21 (WHOSE PAST)* – SWEATSHOP. I thought this was great too, especially as “whose past” doesn’t sound like anagram fodder at first.
26 WAKE,FIELD – a novel by Oliver Goldsmith.
4 PIT (“raised”) in MULL,EXES – another fine clue although at the time of solving I couldn’t see where EXES came from. Looking it up, I see that it’s a colloquialism for “expenses”. Not sure why this is “further costs” though rather than just “costs”.
5 SIC – “sick”. “So” is the definition.
8 OD in GOSPORT – I filled this in without really getting the wordplay and it was only later that I saw GOSPORT, which for some reason I thought was up North.
14 CORED in WARS (going up)
15 RIGHT in BEST – some very subtle &lit wording here which makes the clue sound like a straight definition.
20 H in WACK – I didn’t know that “wack” was a scouse word but with W?A?K filled in this wasn’t a problem.
24 SHE – a novel by Rider Haggard.

4 Responses to “Independent 6714/Dac”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle from Dac. The first word of SKINNY LATTE was new to me, but the answer was pretty unambiguous from the wordplay. Re EXES, I think in practice these would normally be extra e.g. on top of wage or salary so I was quite happy with ‘further costs’. My favourite clue was 22 dn “Where toddler might go mad” POTTY

  2. Testy says:

    I thought 22d was great too along with a good few others. One of those “easy but brilliant and enjoyable” puzzles.

    I’m not a coffee drinker but I’m sufficiently familiar with American TV & films that I have heard far too much about skinny lattes, which meant that the clue had a perfect surface for me.

    My only question marks were over EXES and WACK so thanks for clarifying these.

  3. Wil Ransome says:


    This is a very minor town and 8dn must have been tricky for many people. Fortunately I used to live near there, so I had no problem.

  4. Paul B says:

    I did a gig there once, got a bit too free with the local grog and fell off my drum stool. I was then punched by a girl. Another more serious fight ensued, and when the polis arrived someone released the handbrake of their unlocked van, which crashed tail-first into a shopfront.

    For years I laboured under the delusion that this had somehow been an unusual night around Portsmouth.

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