Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7276/Dac

Posted by John on February 10th, 2010


As usual, what can one say, apart from perfect smooth surfaces and hardly anything to whine about? Dac’s crosswords never have those rough edges where words like ‘of’,  ‘with’ and ‘by’ are used questionably.

1 HA(B{r}I{m})TS
11 F(RANT) 1)C — is a rant the same thing as a shout? I suppose all soccer teams are football clubs, even if they don’t have FC in their name.
12 fooTREST LEft
13 VALENTINE’S DAY — (even a lady isn’t)*
19 HOGWASH — hog (saw)rev. {bus}h
21 WARLIKE — R in (law)rev Ike
22 TONY BLAIR — (notably)* Ir
23 IDIOT — 1 (ID)rev. OT, &lit. — I can’t remember who it was that used OT for book in an Indy crossword I blogged not long ago, but when I pointed out that not everyone is happy with ‘book’ for OT (should be ‘books’) I was pleased to be supported by an eminent crossword man, who was stronger in his condemnation of this than I was
24 S(HEAT)HED — not sh(eath)ed, as I initially thought, all prepared to look up an Azed-type word; much simpler and better
25 TENNIS — (sin net)rev.
1 HIGH FIVE — “Hi” and ref. Enid Blyton’s Famous Five
6 AL(KI{d})E — an alkie is a colloquial name for an alcoholic, who could be addicted to beer
7 INEPTLY — 1 (plenty)*
8 GADGET — 2 defs — had never heard of him, but I suspect I should have done
10 TO COIN A PHRASE — (operation cash)*
14 D(E{aster} TERM)INE
16 IN GENU{s} E
18 P(HOT)O’S
20 A(M{o}B)IT

12 Responses to “Independent 7276/Dac”

  1. NealH says:

    For 6 down, I think the definition is “one could be addicted to it”, which would imply the substance you are addicted to rather than the person addicted. Alkie can also refer to alcohol as well as an alcoholic, so I think that is the meaning intended here.

    I’m not religious, so have no objection to calling the OT a book. I’ve never really understood why what are basically just chapters (some of them no longer than a couple of pages) are called books. Since the bible is often called “holy book” and it consists of both the OT and NT, then logically the OT should be “part of a book” or “half a book” !

    I loved the Tony Blair clue – brilliantly topical.

  2. Eileen says:

    Hi NealH

    I didn’t do this puzzle but, in view of your last comment here and your comment yesterday: ‘How much longer can Virgilius keep coming up with these themed puzzles ? His imagination seems inexhaustible.’ may I commend to you today’s Guardian Brendan puzzle?

  3. NealH says:

    I haven’t looked at that one yet. I’m not keen on some of the Guardian setters but I normally do the puzzle if it’s someone I like such as Brendan or Paul (who are also Indy setters, of course).

  4. eahm says:


    thanks a lot for the help with this. I’m not sure how the anagram for tennis works? I can see (innet)* but not sure where you get the s from. Also in opinion, why is PI very good?

    Thanks a lot

  5. nmsindy says:

    Agreed, John, an excellent puzzle. I found it unusually easy until the NE corner held be up a bit. Minor point on TONY BLAIR. Think it’s IR after (notably)* and, as well, an extremely topical &lit, with the Iraq inquiry evidence! Have heard that OT controversy before, it’s unquestionably a collection of Books (of the Bible), but there’s must be many an Old Testament book to be found on shelves.

  6. nmsindy says:

    TENNIS is sin net (reversed), I think.

  7. nmsindy says:

    Re comment 4, PI = pious, sanctimonious, a crossword staple from way back.

  8. Ali says:

    Stupidly good. Again!

    Probably my quickest solve ever for a Dac, but well worth re-visting afterwards to admire the clues. The anagrams in this one were just outstanding.

  9. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Very little to add, except that it was an enjoyable solve with a lot of cleverly constructed clues with some excellent surfaces.

    I’m with NealH and nms on OT – it may not be technically or religiously accurate but it’s so well established in Crosswordese that I don’t think anyone could reasonably object to it.

    Off now on Eileen’s recommendation to try Brendan in the Grauniad.

  10. John says:

    Thanks nms, have amended.

    NealH, I think that 6dn can be seen as either ‘an alkie could be addicted to ale’ or ‘one could be addicted to alcohol’. I thought that the word alkie meant an alcoholic so that the first one was the correct one, but you are equally right if alkie can indeed refer to alcohol, something of which I was unaware.

  11. eimi says:

    I see that the three clues starting at 19 Across made it to the Indy letters page today:

    I’d have included 23 Across too

    It was, of course, a complete coincidence that this appeared on the same day as Brian Greer’s controversial crossword in the Guardian in a similar vein

  12. Moose says:

    Struggled with bottom left and 23a.Getting better!

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