Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,420 by Dac

Posted by Simon Harris on July 28th, 2010

Simon Harris.

This was quite an interesting one, with the left side feeling far tougher than the right, which fell into place pretty quickly. Many of the surface readings here seem remarkably smooth, though maybe that’s always the case with Dac puzzles, and I haven’t stopped to appreciate them enough in the past!

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

1 MOTOWN – MO[dern] + (W in TON).
4 FLAGSHIP – F + LAGS + HIP (hip hooray).
9 DREAM – D + REA[l]M. This took a bit of working out, but the L to be removed is as in L/S/D, or “pounds, shillings and pence”. A sovereign coin was worth £1.
11 CLEANS UP – dd.
14 MILLIONAIRESS – MILL + I + ON + hom. of “heiress”.
19 IBERIA – [legionn]AIRE BI[zarrely]<.
22 DO YOU MIND – dd.
25 BYROAD – [lorr]Y in BROAD.
2 THE BELL – (HE + B) in TELL.
5 LOLA – hom. of “low” + LA.
8 PEDDLE – hom. of “pedal”.
10 TRUNNIONTR + (N in UNION). A new word for me.
13 PINEWOOD – dd.
15 WELL-READ – LL (“learners”) in (WERE + A + D).
17 INFERNO – IN + F[iddle] + NERO*. A rather spendid clue, I’d say, referring to Nero allegedly playing the fiddle while Rome burned.
18 WILDER – WILDE + R[enowned]. Film director Billy Wilder.
21 RICE – [f]R[u]I[t] C[h]E[f].

16 Responses to “Independent 7,420 by Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Simon.

    There were some very smooth surfaces here – I’ve just had a chunter in Another Place about the lack of them in the puzzle there today, but you seldom see any problems on that front with Dac.

    A good variety of clueing devices here, I thought: I especially liked MILLIONAIRESS and DO YOU MIND.

    Dac might incur the wrath of some of the WI members in our village, who take exception to being pigeon-holed with ‘Jam and Jerusalem’. As our esteemed ex-PM found out, they have sharp teeth … but it was a great surface.

    I wondered whether there was a typo in the online version, which had ‘base note’ in the Kinks clue at 5dn. ‘Base’ as a synonym for ‘low’ works, of course, but surely so would ‘bass’, which makes for a much better surface.

    Could someone help me with 1ac, please? I don’t see how ‘ton’ = ‘fashion’, if that’s the way the clue works.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle from Dac, thanks for the blog, Simon. TRUNNION was new to me too and my last answer which I was pleased to work out from the wordplay. Favourite clue, laugh out loud PIE-EYED.

  3. nmsindy says:

    TON, K’s D, = fashionable style or distinction. Can’t say I’ve ever heard it in real life, but it’s in the dicts.

  4. Myrvin says:

    It was like this your Honour. I ‘ad only 3 clues to do and the page froze and when I got it back all my answers ‘ad gorn. So I pressed ‘reveal’ a lot and accidentally did it for IBERIA. I missed the reverse hidden even when I was given it. Not heard of TRUNNION either.
    Do we think Paul Weller is a MOD? Wikipedia says he’s a mod revival mod. Didn’t know about them. He wouldn’t have got away with saying he was a mod in my day.
    For 17d, where does IN come from? I understand F + ERNO.
    Some others that I didn’t understand, so thanks for the blog SH.

  5. Conrad Cork says:

    Hi Myrvin

    The ‘in’ in 17d is for ‘burning’. You keep a fire in all night and it stays burning, otherwise it goes out.

    Dac cleverly makes burning look like a superfluous word when it is actually necessary to the word play.

  6. Myrvin says:

    Thanks CC. Not heard that one before. I used to have solid fuel CH, where, in the winter, you did keep the fire going all night. I don’t remember keeping the fire IN all night.
    Is it from somewhere – can’t see it in Chambers?

  7. Conrad Cork says:


    It’s there in Chambers (11th edition) – on the 14th line it says ‘alight’.

    It’s a term I associate more with my old grannie than my own ultra cool hip persona.

  8. Stella Heath says:

    The only explanation I can think of for ‘ton’ meaning ‘fashionable’ – which I’d never heard before – would be French ‘bon ton’, being what is socially acceptable. I think it works in German, too, without the ‘bon’, but I’m not sure.

    I’m afraid I still don’t understand 2d, despite the parsing, but for the rest, many thanks, Simon, you’ve cleared up a few doubts.

  9. Myrvin says:

    Ta again CC. There it is.
    It’s in the OED too. “Of fire or light: Burning, lighted.”

  10. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Stella
    In 2dn the answer is the title of an Iris Murdock novel. The wordplay is HE ([high] explosive) B (book) in TELL (brief).

    Ton = fashion etc appears regularly in crosswords. Collins defines it as “style, fashion, or distinction [C18: from French, from Latin tonus tone]”.

  11. Stella Heath says:

    OIC, thanks, Gaufrid – though ‘ton’ or ‘tonus’ still sound to me more like what is acceptable than fashionable. Still, I suppose they could be construed as being basically tha same thing: when I was young, no girl would dream of letting her bra straps show; nowadays they make different colours to match or contrast with your outer garment!

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Now I’ve read others’ comments, 17dn is in fact perfectly clued; previously I was struggling to exactly understand it. ‘Keep the fire in’ was certainly an exhortation from my mother when I was younger and we had an open fire.

  13. walruss says:

    Yes, very good stuff, burning with wit!

  14. sidey says:

    An excellent puzzle. Not particularly difficult [no ridiculous references to obscure quotations] but beautifully clued.

  15. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon.
    I found this a bit tougher than some of Dac’s puzzles,with some quite devious clueing e.g. 9 across.
    TRUNNION was new to me as well,don’t imagine I’ll be using it in everyday coversation but it’s always nice to learn new words.
    Paul Weller is known as “The Modfather”.
    Stella@8 – I don’t doubt your translation of “bon ton”(I’m not a French speaker) but there was a French fashion magazine called La Gazette du Bon Ton.

  16. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon, I’m new at this. “Trunnion” was the only one I didn’t get, though I had doubts about 1D…can’t find any reference to a plural for “modicum” (is there one?). Still, an enjoyable one – not too tough and not too obscure

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