Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7264/Dac

Posted by John on January 27th, 2010


The usual lovely thing from Dac. There’s really very little to say because everything fits so well and the clues are almost all clearly-constructed and faultless.

6 PEER — “pier”
10 INSTRUMENTATION — (Notts team in ruin)* — are scoring and instrumentation quite the same thing? I’m not sure
11 FORTUNE — John Fortune and fortune=lot
12 WALPOLE — (law)rev. Pole
13 PIL{e} LAGER — nothing to do with Pils, which threw me while I was trying to make this work
14 BODEGA — bod (age)rev.
16 C{L}OBBER — think Australian English
18 CARESSED — (ace dress)*
21 MANK{y} IN 1 — Borat’s invention (?), or possibly Sasha Baron Cohen’s
22 C(A BARE)T — I couldn’t see how a cabaret was a picture until I thought of the film
24 KING OF THE CASTLE — (takes flight once)* — a typically smooth Dac anagram with a lovely vivid surface
25 {c}RASH
1 CL 1 FF
2 MIST {u}RAL{s}
3 CORRUGATED IRON — I think this is (r rug) in (decoration)*, where r=rare, an abbreviation with which I’m not familiar and which isn’t in Chambers or the COD. It’s probably in Collins, a dictionary that I won’t buy on principle.
4 PA({bedroo}M)PERED — I’m not absolutely comfortable with ‘bedroom’s ultimately’ for m, rather than ‘bedroom’s ultimate’, or ‘bedroom ultimately’, neither of which would fit in the surface
5 RE(NOW)N{t}
13 PACEMAKER — 2 defs — strangely, the first of its type in this crossword — Dac usually has quite a few of them
17 BANANAS — 2 defs, and a very good one that I’ve never seen before
19 STRETCH — as if to make up for it, Dac now has a 3 defs clue
20 toP INTERviewer — Dac also sets for the Times and I think he observes the Times rule of having no more than one hidden in any crossword
23 T(I.E.)UP

14 Responses to “Independent 7264/Dac”

  1. anax says:

    Awesome puzzle – clues as smooth as a jazz bassist covered in oil and bursting with clever definitions.

    On seeing r=rare in 3dn I just made the assumption it was an abbreviation I didn’t know but, now you mention it, I can’t find it in the dictionaries I have; didn’t hold up the solve though.

    Really loved 17dn. Looks so obvious a double def doesn’t it? But I can’t remember seeing it before. And I thought 23dn was exceptional.

    Been a good week, hasn’t it?

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John. Yes, up to Dac’s usual high standard with some seemingly effortless and elegant clues. I only failed on MANKINI, and am still not convinced by the definition; but overall a pleasure to solve. Loved 16ac and 1ac. I think we’ve had a very good couple of weeks in the Indy recently.

    And to allow you to remain true to your principles, John, I can confirm to the world that r=rare is indeed in Collins. If it’s not too personal a question, what do you have against it?

  3. sidey says:

    Definitely a good week. Failed with 21a too, not something I really wanted to be reminded of.

    I suspect r = rare is only ever used in Collins. The OED has it in REE = rare earth elements.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Excellent puzzle, favourites MANKINI and FALLS OVERBOARD. Re MANKINI, I think the ? covers the point re definition made at comment 2 – a joke really.

  5. NealH says:

    Excellent stuff, as ever. I covered most of this in the morning but had a bit of a pause when it came the top right corner. I was held up a bit by convincing myself without looking at the clue too well that 6 across must be “laud”. That and a few unfamiliar words (bodega, rangeland and the unusual meaning of epitome) make that section a little harder. I was pleased to get mankini – cringing my way through Borat wasn’t entirely in vain.

  6. Derrick Knight says:

    I am in awe of Dac’s elegant clue writing with such beautiful surface reading. Not having cringed through Borat, MANKINI was the last clue I solved. An excellent &lit with wordplay which provided the answer. This, to me, is one of the delights of cryptic crosswords – often introducing us to something new.

  7. jp says:

    Why “on both sides” in 4 down?Isn’t “having wall covering” enough for”papered”?
    Brilliant crossword though, such smooth surface readings.

  8. sidey says:

    jp, the ‘on both sides’ refers the the ‘m’ not the wall.

  9. John says:

    K’s D — my grumble with Collins is that I once thought I’d made a nice buy in WH Smith when I bought a great big Collins Dictionary for I think £6.25, 75% off the usual price. It looked exactly as if it should be the real thing (which I’m sure it was touted as), but I found that it differs from it despite having a cover that is almost identical, so it is virtually useless. I regard this as very shady dealing on the part of Collins.

    I was relieved that people seem to agree with me about 17dn. After posting the blog it occurred to me that it might be an old chestnut of which I was unaware. Evidently not.

  10. IanN14 says:

    I seem to remember “mankini” being an answer fairly recently (or was that “monokini” – I’m sure there was some confusion at the time).
    I also remember anax was trying to get rid of one; how did that go?

  11. nmsindy says:

    Re comment 9, John, it’s always ‘caveat emptor’, I guess, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Whether it is the publisher or the retailer who takes decisions, or a bit of both, may be a factor. Might be a choice between selling unwanted stock off cheap or pulping them. Have to say the Collins 2009 dict is v good.

  12. Kieron says:

    Excellent stuff. It seems I, alone among you, am unconvinced by how 21 parses (the IN 1 bit seems a little bit clunky?). Hmm. And not having heard of an ANGEL financier knocked me out a little bit. Otherwise fab stuff. I love 23d. Simple and brilliant.

    I read 20 as a kind of &lit, incidentally:

    “Playwright introduced” (P) “by” (=’next to’) “top interviewer” (INTER) = PINTER

    But that’s because I totally failed to see it hidden in the clue.


  13. Allan_C says:

    Another great puzzle with some good misdirections. Took me a while to see 1ac then I remembered the late Tommy Cooper and got it “just like that”.
    22ac had me on the wrong track for a bit thinking of “cartoon” [nude picture = art with nothing (= 0) on] but then “court” didn’t fit. There’s an idea, though, for one of your setters to develop.

  14. Colin Blackburn says:

    Excellent puzzle though I had to run through the possibilities for C-B-E- a few times in my head until the Australian connection hit me.

    RANGELAND was new for me but knowing ANGEL made it straightforward. BODEGA is the name of a very nice pub up in Newcastle. Nice for its beer rather than its wine though.

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