Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,444 by Dac

Posted by Simon Harris on August 25th, 2010

Simon Harris.

Pretty tough today, I thought, especially the lower half of the grid. There were several references to things that I had never heard of, but after a bit of light research, everything adds up of course.

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

Across
1 BIANCA – [ara]BIAN CA[mel].
4 TAKE PART – TAKE [a]PART.
10 OUNCE – [p]OUNCE.
11 HATE CRIME – (A TEC + RIM) in HE.
12 CALLING – dd. I guess “disparage” in the sense of “She called him on his vulgar language”.
13 MEMENTO – ME + MENTO[n]. I guess the resort must be Menton, though I can’t claim to have heard of the place before.
14 MISDEMEANOUR – (MAN + OUR DEMISE)*.
18 EASTER ISLAND – (ASTER IS) in ELAND.
21 ANANIAS – ANA + (A in SIN<). This seems to be this chap here.
22 HAND-OUT – HAND + OUT.
24 PRENATALS – PARENTAL* + S[uch].
25 RUDGE – [t]RUDGE.
26 SCREENED – EN in SCREED.
27 SAVERS – AVER in (S + S).
Down
1 BOOT CAMP – BOO + (PM ACT)<.
2 ANNALIST – A + N + N + A LIST.
3 CHERI – HER in CI.
5 ANTIMONARCHIST – TIMON in ANARCHIST. Reference to Shakespeare’s The Life of Timon of Athens.
6 ENCOMIUMSE + NCO + (I in MUM’S).
7 AMIENS – (A NAME IS)*.
8 TREMOR – (ROME + RT)<.
9 THE GREAT ESCAPE – (GET CHEAPER SEAT)*.
15 ERADICATE – ACID< in (E + RATE).
16 CANOODLE – (0 + 0) in CANDLE.
17 EDITRESS – RESISTED*.
19 CAMPUS – (M in CAP) + US.
20 CAREER – REE[l] in CAR.
23 NORMA – dd. A constellation and a Bellini Opera.

13 Responses to “Independent 7,444 by Dac”

  1. bamberger says:

    Well blogged. I venture into the Indie about 4 times a year and always seem to pick a hard one.

    6a Not a word I’d ever heard of
    18a Presumably this would be impossible without checking letters in that you have to get daisy=aster and wild beast =eland
    21a Where does “ana” conme from please?
    23a I really don’t like clues like this. If you know that Norma is a Bellini opera (and I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of Bellini anyway) and there is constellation called Norma (I didn’t) then trival -otherwise Google or guess
    2d Not a word I’ve heard of. I got Bianca followed by Cheri first and decided the crossword must have a name theme so 2d was obviously arch + ivor, a person who keeps records. Unfortunately for me the word is spelled archiver.
    8d How do you hit on Rome rather than any other capital, please?

  2. bamberger says:

    Aaarg 6d not 6a Encomiums

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon.
    Couldn’t get 21A, and as in 1. above, where does the “ANA” come in?

    Re 12A: CALLING: I think the sense is as in “to call someone (disparaging) names”.

    Quite a satisfying puzzle. Thanks DAC.

  4. Simon Harris says:

    Re ANA, it’s simply a case of that’s what the word means: gossip, anecdotes, that kind of thing.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, Simon. Excellent puzzle, maybe I was lucky but I found it quite easy, favourites CANOODLE and SAVERS. Re bamberger’s point on capitals, I think saying eg the Italian capital would give too much away. I worked ANANIAS out from the wordplay with a vague recollection of having heard it before (probably in another puzzle)

  6. scchua says:

    Thanks Simon

  7. NealH says:

    I got through this fairly easily with the exception of 6 down, which I spent ages puzzling over. Even after working out that it must be encom?u?s, I was still struggling. Something as blindingly obvious as mum for mother just didn’t occur to me. I think it was a combination of being too used to having ma for mother and expecting the answer to be a verb rather than a noun.

    Still, I preferred this to last week’s Dac. I felt it was a lot fairer – most of the obscurer words could be worked out from the wordplay rather than having any knowledge. The exception was 23down but I’d vaguely heard of the opera there, if not the constellation.

    bamberger,

    I think your criticisms are a bit unfair and could be applied to almost any crossword. Of course, there are going to be some answers that will be difficult to get without checking letters. Part of the pleasure of solving the crossword is to get progressively more letters in the difficult answers until you can eventually solve them. If they were all so easy you could get them at first pass, you wouldn’t need to present it as a grid and could just put a series of questions. In 8 down, I suppose Dac could have said Italian Capital, but that would have made it just a bit too easy for most people.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Simon. Didn’t get many on the first pass across, but then some of the downs seemed easier and it all came together eventually apart from ANANIAS, which I couldn’t get, or parse even when I saw your explanation. I see it now, but if I’m going have a little grumble I’d say that the biblical character is pretty obscure and ANA for ‘reminiscences’ I have seen before, but ‘gossip’ as the definition? Don’t mind obscurities in a daily if they’re generously clued, but I don’t think this one was, unlike ENCOMIUMS, which I got then checked. (Some of our classicist contributors are probably going to tell us that the plural is ENCOMIA, but if Sunderland had two grounds I wouldn’t immediately plump for STADIA OF LIGHT.)

    Actually, I do agree with bamberger about NORMA. It is of course a double definition, but it’s more of a general knowledge clue imho.

    But a good puzzle overall which I enjoyed before setting off to watch some county cricket in temperatures more suited to the Winter Olympics. Thank you Dac.

  9. flashling says:

    6d and 21a stumped me too, got the rest fairly easily although Norma as a constellation was unknown to me, the opera bit appears here fairly frequently.

    Didn’t have the lower half difficulty (21a excepted) but horses for courses I suppose. I stayed in a camp site in Menton when I was at Uni, one of the most expensive towns I’ve ever known.

    Easter Island for me was an instant put in, saw how it worked immediately, too much time wasted doing crosswords I suppose. :-)

    Thanks Dac & Simon

  10. Scarpia says:

    Thanks Simon.
    Another very fine puzzle from Dac,which I found easier than some of his more recent ones.
    I’m surprised so many here hadn’t heard of Ananias,the phrase ‘he’s a bigger liar than Ananias’ is quite common(I thought).
    As usual with Dac a good knowledge of geography is helpful,or in my case,reference to a gazetteer!
    I don’t suppose 17 down would have been allowed in the Guardian where even actresses are actors.
    The opera Norma has one of the loveliest soprano arias ever written(Casta Diva) and with her wonderfully pure,controlled voice and exquisite pianissimo, Montserrat Caballe is my favourite for this aria
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIQQv39dcNE&feature=search

    Favourite clues for me, 6 and 16 down.

  11. Wil Ransome says:

    Odd, I thought this was one of the easiest Dacs I’ve ever done. Did it online and didn’t time myself, but at no point was I stuck, as is usual with Dac at some point.

    Scarpia I think a problem with the Montserrat Caballe recording is that it’s evidently recorded from a live performance, so the sound isn’t very good. I prefer the Maria Callas performance (also there on YouTube) not just because the sound is better (evidently done in a studio) but anyway. Having said that I’d never heard of the constellation, so guessed.

  12. Scarpia says:

    Hi Wil,
    Callas is a wonderful singer in dramatic roles but maybe a bit too forte for this aria.I think Caballe’s version is more in keeping with Bellini’s original score, which is marked pianissimo and even sotto voce in parts.
    Better sound quality in this one
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwwcXssv4FE&feature=search

  13. Allan_C says:

    Re 21a ANA is in Chambers under the entry for the suffix -ANA, and is presumably an instance of a suffix taking on a life of its own. Chambers also has ANANIAS as ‘a liar’, with the biblical reference. That being said, it took me ages to get it. And btw shouldn’t it be ‘A in (SIN + ANA)<' in the blog?

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