Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7504/Dac

Posted by John on November 3rd, 2010


As usual a beautifully elegant construction from Dac. All the clues lead to their solutions with crystalline ease, and they can nearly all be explained in simple logical ways without resort to references, and with so far as I can see hardly anything that is at all controversial.

1 C({ca}R)ABBY
9 M1 CRA{p} — so far as I can see, although perhaps I’m assuming too much
10 PELMANISM — man in (simple)* — I remember this game from my childhood years ago, but haven’t heard of it since; the modern version (pairing cards from an array) played on a computer goes by some other name that I forget; I wonder how many people will know this — and I can also remember twenty-odd years ago playing the game in the back of a minibus with a group of children who were far better at it than I was
12 THIN{g}
17 {popula}R {tun}E ORGAN I SING
20 LonDON Eye
21 ACTIVE LIST — (etc is vital)*
26 FR(I’D)AY
2 cameramAN CHORtle
3 BY AND LARGE — (anger badly)*
5 RELATIONSHIPS — (Paris Hilton)* around {lov}e — a marvellous find
6 mAiLbAgS
10 PENSION SCHEME — pens (income he’s)*
13 COUNSELLOR — “councillor”
16 COR(N{ovels})WELL
18 RIGGED — (egg)rev. in rid{e}
22 MIEN — “mean”

15 Responses to “Independent 7504/Dac”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog, and Dac for another crisp puzzle.

    I think you’re right about 9A MICRA (no offence meant to Micra fans/owners of course).

    Favourites were 23 ONE-LINERS, very neat, though I think I might have come across it before, 7A SKINHEAD, a beautiful surface reading, and 10D PENSION SCHEME, a nice misdirection with “pounds” meaning “enclosures/pens” rather than the usual “money”.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John. Beautifully elegant is exactly right. Dac’s always a pleasure to tackle, and while this was on the easy side, it was, for me, a string of ‘that’s clever’ moments.

    I’ve only come across PELMANISM in crosswords. The Paris Hilton clue was excellent, and I also enjoyed PENSION SCHEME and MICRA.

    Bravo, Dac.

  3. walruss says:

    Yes, the one drawback is that it’s rather easy. No bad thing, especially when you consider the general knowledge levels sometimes required in Guardian puzzles! But it is that traditional crossword style that kind of ‘leads you by the hand’.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this too, marvelling at the Paris Hilton find. I thought REORGANISING was nicely deceptive too. Others esp admired, CORNWELL and RIGGED. Thanks, Dac, for the puzzle and John for the blog.

  5. Stella says:

    Simple and elegant.

    Thanks, John and Dac

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Since it’s been the regular fellow obsessives commenting today so far, I’ll just pop back to say that sometimes it seems that we get so few, brief, comments on the Indy puzzle that it looks like nobody’s interested, which if you’re a setter having a quick lurk might be discouraging.

    I just think it’s that because we’ve had such a consistent run of crosswords of late that there’s nothing really much to discuss other than which clues we all enjoyed and to thank the setter for the entertainment.

    In Another Place, however, there is usually plenty of commenting going on. Perhaps because folk have more to complain about over there, who can say?

    And if we don’t have a guest appearance from Virgilius in the Indy soon, I’m just going to have to thcream and thcream till I’m thick.

  7. flashling says:

    Very nice as ever from Dac. The Paris Hilton clue was a smile moment and pension scheme with the misleading pounds. Got stuck for a while on 1d as I’d convinced myself it was CIA around something.

    Anyway thanks Dac/John from another regular obsessive.

  8. pennes says:

    Have to say that I really enjoy Dac’s puzzles: clues always work well and little known words are usually not too hard to work out . I have been doing the crossword for about 2 years and find with Dac’s offerings that I don’t need access to research material: actually I make life hard for myself as I feel that if I have looked someting up, then I have been cheating.

  9. Richard says:

    I agree with KD (at No 6 above), that, brilliant though the Indy crosswords nearly always are (and today’s is no exception), the absence of Virgilius is causing us no little distress. So please, Eimi, put us out of our misery and offer him an incentive he might find hard to refuse – how about a special 19 by 19 Saturday Prize Crossword, for example?

  10. RobWatts says:

    Just for clarification, in 14 across, is OR = Other Ranks = MEN, as I don’t think I’ve seen this one before?

  11. nmsindy says:

    That’s it, RobWatts, not beyond the bounds of possibility you’ll see it again. And why not?

  12. flashling says:

    @10 Rob it’s Ordinary Ratings, naval term for lesser than Able Seamen

  13. flashling says:

    @walruss I’ve seen other setters who admire the “easy” compilers as they consider it to be rather harder than making a tough one. Personally I feel that a mix is good and tough all the time tends to discourage new entrants.

    I prefer to be able to solve it and be a challenge too. At least the Indy setters don’t generally go in for cliched clues.

  14. scarpia says:

    Thanks John.
    Another top quality puzzle from Dac.
    5 down is a brilliant anagram – best I’ve seen for a while.

  15. Paul B says:

    Hopefully there will soon be a Horizon programme that tells us how we might identify a good puzzle. Is ‘easy clued well’ the benchmark? Some other touchstone?

    Um, er, well, maybe, but we’ve had Ximenean puzzles at both ends of the Difficulty Spectrum this week, and only one has deserved vilification.

    Of course I am a ‘Libertarian’ and so a person who cannot know.

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