Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7551/Dac

Posted by John on December 29th, 2010


Dac goes on and on, week after week producing crosswords full of clues with smooth surfaces and apart from one or two very small niggles below, a high standard throughout.

I found this easy enough once afloat, but to get started took longer than usual. Also there are one or two clues which are rather long: this is sometimes forced on you by the length of the word, but in the best places you seldom see anything over ten words long.

1 HAMMAM — (mamma h)rev. — didn’t know this and couldn’t think of the answer; hymnal or Hammas seemed to be the only words that would fit. Chambers calls a hammam a Turkish bath, which is singular, but a Turkish bath consists of a number of baths so Dac is fine here. Anyway other dictionaries probably give the plural.
10 RANCOUR — “ranker”
11 PAR(F{ruit} A1)T
13 TIPSY — (spit)rev. {da}y
17 SATIRISTS — is in (straits)* — one could complain that a satirist is not necessarily a writer
19 CO (R) GI — the definition is ‘dog’, not, as it seems to be at first glance, ‘queen’s dog’
20 GONE WITH THE WIND — (on Wed night)* around ‘the WI’ — who produced the famous calendar that inspired Calendar Girls
22 OP {m}INION
23 V IT (R) IN E{xhibition}
1 HERODOTUS — (out)* in (Rhodes)*
2 MINUS— m in US
3 A POLO G{u}Y
5 HYPERSENSITIVE — (even Irish types)*
6 MARXIST — I don’t quite see this: it’s either xis in (tram)rev. or (six in tram)rev. and in neither of these cases can I see a group: six is more likely perhaps, but it seems a bit thin
7 STAGGERER — (egg)rev. in starer
8 SAT AY — the day is Saturday
9 PRECIOUS STONES — (P O cruises)* to NES(W)
14 POTENTIAL — (polenta it)*
16 WEIR D NESS — the two dams are weir and d (new to me), then the Loch is Loch Ness
19 CHEETAH — “cheater” h
21 INIGO — “in I go”

8 Responses to “Independent 7551/Dac”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog. Agreed that Dac has given us another enjoyable puzzle (thanks, Dac), and yes, a small niggle.

    Re 6D MARXIST I think the “group” does refer to SIX.
    23D VITRINE: Can’t see where the V comes from, unless it’s for “case” (as in so-and-so v. so-and-so in court), in which case, “case” is doubling up as part of the definition also? Or is V for “view”?, which I couldn’t find in the references. Or is there a bug in the online version?

    Favourite was 20A GONE WITH THE WIND, a nice anagram fodder, with WI being indirectly given instead of the usual “Women’s Institute”.

  2. sidey says:

    Six; six Cubs or Brownies, six musicians, six horses, the six original members of the common market, the six Parisian composers etc.

    Take your pick, seems fair enough to me. Ta for the blog.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, John.

    A Dac puzzle and retention of the Ashes in the same 24 hours. Life is good. But don’t mention football.

    Like you, I was slow to get going, but everything came together in the end apart from HAMMAM, which I didn’t know and couldn’t see. I was pleased to get MALAGASY from the wordplay but had to have a butcher’s online to find HERODOTUS. Quality crossword as always from Dac, although I share your reservations about MARXIST. Dac’s consistently precise with his clueing, so maybe we’re missing something.

  4. sidey says:

    scchua, v is vide = see.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks, sidey. As you can see, my Latin is a little(?) weak. With apologies to Dac and John.

  6. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks John.

    Coming here helped me fully understand this. Although not specifically explained, just being in this forum reminded me that “ay” can mean always. And thanks scchua@1 for explaining 20A. I couldn’t understand what the West Indies had to do with Calendar Girls…

    But let’s not talk about cricket, OK?

  7. nmsindy says:

    Thanks for the blog, John, and Dac for another excellent puzzle, not too difficult. Favourite clues, OPINION, WHOOPS, PRECIOUS STONES, INIGO. HAMMAM was my last answer, finally vaguely recalling it, but it was the wordplay that confirmed it really.

  8. flashling says:

    Another struggler here to get going, 1ac/1dn being words not in my regular vocabulary didn’t help and worked from the bottom up, but got there – give or take the guess I put in for 1ac (which turned out to be correct when I got back here – perhaps doing dead tree without references I am hampering myself). Thought 19d was hom of Cheat + A H but that’s just being picky. Agree with sidey@2 re Marxist, it’s wot I wrote (see yesterday!) Anyway thanks John for the blog at least you’re done for this year and I appreciate the work needed to do this, and to DAC – keep it up for next year.

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