Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7408/Dac

Posted by John on July 14th, 2010


Sorry about the slight lateness of this — had a doctor’s appointment in the middle of it all. Needless to say it was half an hour late.

The usual excellence from Dac, sound clueing and all very good. He goes on doing this week after week and by tomorrow it will all be forgotten. How sad.

1 BACKWASH — 2 defs I think, although backwash = result is new to me
5 tOLD HAMlet — referring to the football team, or any team from Oldham I suppose
9 CUR A S SOW — not that I’d heard of it, but I gather it is a bird
10 ESPRIT — (priest)*
11 FOOLS’ PARADISE — (soap for ladies)*
14 CO RESTORE — had never heard this term either but it exists and is pretty obvious
15 BURGH — (h grub)rev.
16 {t}URBAN
18 POST RIDER — this according to Chambers is historical and is the rider of a posthorse, so perhaps it might have been signposted as old
20 THE TWO RONNIES — (internet how so)*
23 MOOLAH — (loom)rev. {c}a{s}h — a change for a weaver not to be Bottom
24 P(R.I. O)RATE
25 DISHED — (I’d)rev. shed
26 LAVENDER — (de Nerval)* — a French poet made even more famous by Flanders and Swann, or Swann alone really
1 BUCK — (k{ids} cub)rev. — although I didn’t know that a male goat was a cub or that a buck was a small creature — that’s if you parse it wrongly, as I did at first — it’s buck = male and parsed as above (not how I had it originally)
2 CARE FOR — 2 defs
4 SHOW STOPPER — don’t get this — OK a turn is a show stopper, but what’s the Lord Chamberlain got to do with it?
6 {c}LASS A
7 HARRIER — I think this is haler with the l replaced by rri — I can’t think of anything of the form har.ier
8 MATTERHORN — morn around (threat)*
12 ALESSANDRIA — ales sand (air)rev — town in Italy
13 ACCUS(TOM)E D{epartment}
17 BR{i}E TONS
21 W{eight) HALE
22 leavinG EARly

10 Responses to “Independent 7408/Dac”

  1. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Nice puzzle, not that hard, but very well clued [although I don’t understand some of them – just like you, John (& Thx)].

    Two weak anagrams (10ac, 26ac) were fully compensated by one (FOOL’S PARADISE, 11ac) that was magnificent.

    The only words I didn’t get [and I refuse to cheat] were three in the NE: LASSA, OLDHAM and HARRIER.
    And I am still a bit puzzled.
    LASSA is a fever, indeed, but why is ‘class’= ‘strong type of drug’?
    Though I suspected OLDHAM might be the solution [because of the construction], the (apparently) football definition is rather loose, isn’t it? Or is there more to it?
    And if your explanation of HARRIER is right, it is rather weak (as far as I see it now). See if someone else has any thoughts.

    I am not British enough to be able to help you with Lord Chamberlain & his SHOW STOPPER either.

    Apart from this, I liked the crossword very much.
    It is only my second Dac, and the first one some weeks ago [in the real paper] made me curious.
    I solved this one online this morning, but I still don’t like it.
    As I said, I refuse to use the cheat button – I rather look at the blog afterwards.
    Why can’t the Indy give a daily print-out as well?
    [it is so much nicer to see the crossword as a whole in front of you]
    And another thing that annoyed me, was the fact that you can’t save what you’ve done so far before returning to the puzzle an hour later or so. You have to type everything in again.

    Entertaining puzzle.

  2. anax says:

    7d – I took it as HARDIER with D changed to R.
    6d – Sil, in the UK “recreational” (why the hell to we permit that word?) drugs are classed. A Class B drug is e.g. marijuana – Class A are such as cocaine, LSD etc.
    4d – I kept thinking of SHOWS TOPPER (hat) but couldn’t quite tie it in with the wording.

  3. Gaufrid says:

    Hi John & Sil
    Regarding 4dn, up until fairly recently (I cannot remember the exact date, mid/late 60s probably) all theatrical productions had to be approved by the Lord Chamberlain (or one of his minions) before they could be performed live on stage. Hence, as a censor, he could be a ‘show stopper’.

    I think 7dn must be ‘hardier’ (healthier) with the middle letter changed.

    I agree that 1ac is a dd since one of the definitions for ‘backwash’ in Chambers is “a reaction, repercussion or aftermath”.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John – needed your and others’ explanations for a few.

    I like Dac because his clueing is flawless (apart from 5ac today, I have to say … but maybe Dac is an Oldham Athletic fan) and if you persevere he will help you over the finishing line eventually. There were some less common words in this one (PRIORATE and CURASSOW, for example), but they were all gettable with a bit of pencil-chewing.

    John, I know what you mean with your comment about today’s newspaper being tomorrow’s fish and chips wrapper (although of course in our current elfin safety culture that doesn’t happen any more), but Dac – and others of course – have provided lots of enjoyment over many years, so for me it’s the cumulative effect that I take away from a setter each morning.

  5. sidey says:

    How come 1a’s a dd? Backwash is what happens after a wave breaks on the shore, swell is a sea state but not breaking waves.

  6. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyed this puzzle, good as always from Dac. I found the NW corner by far the most difficult, taking about the same time to solve as all of the rest of the puzzle. The breakthrough was getting SHOW STOPPER, those of a certain age remember that role, which seems unimaginable now. Even having thought of that from the start, it took me quite a while to think of the answer. Favourite clues FOOL’S PARADISE, DASTARD. I too thought HARRIER come from HARDIER.

    Re comment #1, I think it’s been explained that the Indy has taken a commercial decision not to make the puzzles printable or have an archive, in the hope, no doubt, that people will buy the paper. Maybe there will be a collection of puzzles, John, so as they won’t be lost for ever – most papers do that (and they must sell or they would not be doing it), including the Indy though not particularly recently. Thanks for the excellent blog.

  7. Richard says:

    Like NMS (see #6 above) I found the NW corner pretty difficult in comparison with the rest. In the end the penny dropped for SHOW STOPPER (which was a hard clue, but very fair (shades of Doug and Dimsdale)). I needed the dictionary for 9 Across, because although the clue seemed to point unambiguously to CURAS-O-, I’d not heard of the bird and several animals could have been possible candidates for the three letter word at the end. But, apart from that mild niggle, I thought this was an excellent puzzle.

  8. Duggie says:

    Another almost flawless show stopper from the midweek maestro.

    Nice to see you over on this side, Sil. Hope you’ve recovered from your bruising weekend.

  9. jp says:

    I’m a great fan of Dac’s puzzles but I don’t see how a turn is necessarily a showstopper. I agree with sidey on backwash and with others that the oldhame clue was a bit weak.

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John – especially for your reference to de Nerval and Flanders and Swann.Just looked it up .Unusual pet!

    Dac’s puzzles are always a joy to solve,never too hard but always a challenge.
    Core store was new to me but easily solvable from the wordplay.
    10 across was unusual in having 2 solutions for an anagram which both fitted the definition(esprit / sprite).
    Top clues for me, 23 across and 12 and 19 down.

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