Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7288/Dac

Posted by John on February 24th, 2010


Typically mellifluous surfaces. I found one or two of the clues unusually hard for Dac.

1 I would never have got this, because I never knew that a bertha was a woman’s deep collar, and the connection with ‘bust’ (= arrest, sl (Chambers)) was also too difficult
10 SET UP — set = group of people, up = before the judge 
11 TAIWANESE — {pl}a{in} in (a new site)*
14 NE WAR K — but is a battle a war?
19 BORSTAL — (Bristol but a instead of i)*
21 MINISTER OF STATE — mini ((forest)*) state — how does Dac always get his surfaces to work out so perfectly?
24 VI DE{m}O
25 MIT C(H{ad})ELL — referring to Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With The Wind
1 CASE MATE — a casemate is, as I had to confirm in Chambers, ‘any bombproof vaulted chamber or an armoured compartment…’
2 LET IT ALL HANG OUT — (a little)* L{SD} hangout (= joint)
3 A S PERS(1)ON — not everyone would be all that happy with ‘suffers’ as a containment indicator. Don Manley recently criticised Raich for using ‘takes’ as one; I wonder what he thinks about this.
5 RAILMAN — r (animal)*
6 olD RAWAlpindi — hidden rev.
7 THE SECRET GARDEN — 2 defs, including a little pun on ‘plot’
8 A GE(1’S)M — nice to see Dac using ‘wears’ in what seems to me to be the better way: The Times is often (IMHO) rather loose on this and uses it the other way round, as a containment indicator
9 S{econdary} TRAIN — I can’t quite see how ‘subject to’ fits in here [head of secondary school subject to stress] — merely (unusually for Dac) a rather clunky juxtaposition indicator?
16 BLUENOSE — “blew nose”
18 ETERNAL — no, I hadn’t heard of them either, but apparently I should have done. They seem to have been big in the 90s, but they disbanded and so weren’t eternal
19 BROKER — 2 defs
20 AM DR AM — simple and beautifully constructed
22 SYRAH — yr in (has)rev. — this wine

15 Responses to “Independent 7288/Dac”

  1. Richard Heald says:

    9 Dn: I think STRAIN is a verb here, with “(to) subject to stress” the defn.

    Very nice puzzle, with 12 Ac slightly outrageous but fun.

  2. Simon G says:

    Many thanks John, for explaining a number of solutions that I did get, and a few that I didn’t…

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John. Very enjoyable as always from Dac with many excellent surfaces. Couldn’t for the life of me see why MOTORWAY MADNESS was the solution to 12ac, but now you’ve explained it I have elevated it above 7dn as my favourite clue.

  4. Mick H says:

    Agree about M1 rage – I’ll remember that clue the next time the red mist descends around Luton! Good stuff.

  5. Simon Harris says:

    Thanks, John. Made life difficult for myself by plonking in PORES OVER at 15dn and didn’t quite recover enough to get NEWARK. I wonder if perhaps “Battle joined by king near north-eastern town” is &lit – my GCSE history doesn’t serve, I’m afraid!

  6. IanN14 says:

    I don’t think so Simon.
    I don’t think you could say Newark is north-east (It’s near Nottingham).
    Perhaps it’s GCSE geography you should have concentrated on?…

  7. eimi says:

    I’m just glad Dac avoided the obvious anagram!

  8. Derrick Knight says:

    I, too, enjoyed this puzzle. I thought it particularly impressive to have four fifteen letter answers without resorting to anagrams.

    On the subject of the avoided anagram, having lived in Newark for 19 years I think 14 across is a pretty good near &lit. As a natural Londoner I thought everywhere north of Watford was ‘north’. The castle, built by the bishop of Lincoln, in whose County it was then, was destroyed by the Royalists when they realised that they were losing the battle and didn’t want the Roundheads to have the benefit of it. The wall around my house was built of some of the recycled stone.

  9. NealH says:

    I had to have a second go at it after a four hour break to get 12, 22 and 25. I could see the second word of 12 was madness but the only words I could think of for the first part were material and maternal, neither of which made a lot of sense. Also, jumping to the natural conclusion that driving must refer to golf put the idea of it actually being something to do with cars quite low on my list of possibilities. Good puzzle and it’s nice to have the occasional slightly unusual one like 12 to keep things interesting.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Eimi at no 7: your comment reminded me of why players at one of the clubs that NEIL WARNOCK used to manage called him ‘Colin’ when he was getting on their nerves. And they say that football players have straw for brains and can’t do anagrams.

    Perhaps said manager was born in Newark. And since he writes for The Independent, perhaps this is an inappropriate place to leave this contribution …

  11. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable puzzle from Dac, which I did not find too difficult, favourite clues THE SECRET GARDEN, and SYRAH. Was also pleased to work out from the clear wordplay AM-DRAM which was new to me.

  12. Richard says:

    Great fun. Glad to see that I wasn’t the only one held up by 1A (although I did think of “collar” in the context of its being fingered by the long arm of the law). I was also thinking of Gladys Mitchell at 25A. Perhaps I’ve had a rather extended misspent youth/middle age reading detective fiction?

  13. eimi says:

    KD at 10, obviously some footballers can do anagrams:

  14. Moose says:

    As an Evertonian bluenose was spotted quickly! Works over to me is being violent to someone not particularly examine carefully.Had to look up 22 down.Super early guess at 7 down really helped and 1a which I later looked up.Luck and inspiration helped me finish this.

  15. Moose says:

    P.s IanN14 Wark is a town in Northumberland.Put NE in front and Newark! Maybe?

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