Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6959/Dac

Posted by John on February 4th, 2009


Is it just me, or is Dac becoming a bit harder? No objections though: as usual everything made pretty good sense once I’d got there.

4 SQUATTER — 2 defs — but not all squatting is illegal, surely? I’d have preferred the word “unauthorised” or some such
9 INSANE — ({c}anines)*
10 MA GAZIN{g} E
12 SPARE PARTS — spar ‘e (strap)*
13 LIKE — 2 defs, one of which refers to the teenager equivalent of ‘as it were’, a usage frowned on by many older people, but one that is in my opinion perfectly OK if not overused (as it tends to be)
15 LIGHT-HEARTED — (the girl hated)*
21 A M(O)S
22 WEEK ENDING — “weak ending” — not a clue for overseas solvers, indeed many native solvers will I suspect not be very familiar with the radio show
24 dINNER MANifestly
25 ZAP A TA — this man
27 JE WELS{h}
1 PRIESTLY — p((rites)*)ly
6 AJAX — “a jack’s”
7 TRIXIE — “tricksy” — until I cheated I was trying to make “trisher” work
8 REEVES — e{ighties} in (sever)rev. — my heart sank as I tried unsuccessfully to think of some husband-and-wife act that broke up, but it’s Jim Reeves and Martha Reeves, only the former of whom I’m afraid to say was at all familiar
11 JAMES STEWART — “James Stuart”
14 RETURN FARE — is this quite right? The definition is evidently “ticket”, but a return fare is surely the amount paid, not the ticket itself
16 NAVIGATE — (van)rev. (AI get)*
19 TA(HI)TI — has a chestnutty feel to it
23 FR A U — Morph will not be pleased: on the Crossword Centre Message Board recently he suggested that this U and non-U device was out of date and should be replaced by U meaning “you”. I rather agree with him but suspect it won’t happen for a while.

4 Responses to “Independent 6959/Dac”

  1. Richard says:

    A most ingenious puzzle – every letter in the alphabet appears at least twice in the grid.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Like John, I found it harder than usual for Dac, though, as always, excellent. Richard’s comment above may explain why! I’d not noticed it – not sure if I’ve ever seen a double pangram before.

  3. Mike Laws says:

    Please forgive my blowing my own trumpet, but I wrote several “dipangrammatic” crosswords for The Times about ten years ago. The first elicited a comment on the letters page, and some, maybe all, have appeared in Times collections.

    John Green teased me for tucking awkward letters away in unchecked positions, so I did one where at least one of the pair for each letter was in a checked position, thereby making the list of answers “tripangrammatic”.

    Dac isn’t the first to do the same thing – one setter noticed one of these beasts in a Times book and contacted me about it when he did his own.

  4. Allan_C says:

    Yes, harder than usual for Dac but a satisfying puzzle nevertheless.
    I struggled with 25a till I realised about the “dipangram”.
    I agree with John about 14d; I thought it was a bit unfair (pardon the pun!)
    3d was good; references to US states usually mean their abbreviations so wordplay with a(n almost) complete name was a neat piece of misdirection.

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