Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7575/Dac

Posted by John on January 26th, 2011


As usual a lovely crossword from Dac, who week after week shows that it is not necessary to have difficult clues, simply ones that are perfectly formed. In fact the clues are so smooth and require so little comment, apart from  a comment on their excellence perhaps , that  I don’t expect there to be many people posting today.

Unusually for Dac there is a slight Nina, as indicated by 7dn.

8 CREAM SLICE — c (mile races)*
9 CROC — c{law} (cor)rev.
10 CIRCLE — (cleric)*
11 CADENCES — (dance)* c{h}e{e}s{y}
12 C ACT(USE)S — I was a bit unsure about c = compliance, but it’s something in physics and is sanctioned by Chambers
13 SOCCER — (rec Cos)rev. — rec short for recreation ground
14 COCAINE — c o Caine — ref. Sir Michael Caine — in my innocence I thought that crack was cocaine mixed with heroin, but according to Chambers it’s a highly addictive form of cocaine mixed with other substances, which makes this just about OK
17 AC(CURS)T — according to Chambers this is a poetic form of accursed so perhaps we should have been told
20 H(ECT)I/C — when I was at school my teachers (or one of them at any rate) told me that hectic meant florid, filled with blood, flushed; but Chambers now says that this is old and poetic, so either my teacher was being poetic or the early 60s now count as old
22 RUCK SACK — and the def is just ‘carrier’, so my initial misgivings about carrying a rifle in a rucksack are rubbish
25 A C{hurch} CURACY
27 BA(t)CH
1 TR(OIK)A{in}
2 CALCUTTA — cal{l} “cutter”
4 DISC US S{enate}
5 GEODESIC — (eg)rev. ode sic — a geodesic is, amongst other things, a geodesic line, which is the shortest distance between two points on a surface
6 1 CON 1 C
7 FORESEES — this is “four Cs” and every row in the puzzle has 4 Cs in it
18 UNSTATED — (a student)*
19 B(RAY)ING — this is Ray Charles in Bing Crosby
21 TAUGHT — “taut”
23 COPECK — a fanciful way of interpreting co-peck is sharing a kiss — ready is a common word in crosswords for money, as is bread

19 Responses to “Independent 7575/Dac”

  1. beermagnet says:

    Slight Nina?
    Great big helpful hint-type Nina – so blatant that it can’t be classed as such.
    Surely one of the main features of a Nina is that it’s hidden?
    Maybe we should find another term for these more overt grid features.

    I was doing OK but found the bottom half harder than usual for Dac, till I came to 7D. Then the added knowledge that there were lots of letter Cs helped greatly. The setting constraint doesn’t seem to have made for tricky word choices, except for ACCURST, which I didn’t get (along with GEODESIC, annoyingly).

    Had to laugh at CACTUSES – does that “show compliance with the laws” of plurals?

  2. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog, and Dac for, as you say, a puzzle that was simply enjoyable.

    Favourites were 5D GEODESIC, 19D BRAYING, nice to see the oldies being remembered, and 23D COPECK. Smooth start straightaway with 8A which led to each of the remaining answers in turn via crossing letters, helped a bit after getting 7D and the Nina.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John, for your blog.

    Beermagnet, it certainly wasn’t blatant for me! This is the first Dac I haven’t managed for a good while; I had to give up with six or seven clues to go.

    Probably just me. I liked CONSCIENCE.

  4. Mordred says:

    I, too, liked this one. I’d call 7d a pointer – it was very useful in letting me know the partial letter content of the across clues. A very clever grid-fill

  5. walruss says:

    19 down amused me greatly in this, my first challenge of the day, after Mrs Walruss swiped The Guardian. Well good luck to her with Gordius — I had a bit of a game with him onlne oday. Well done Dac and The Indy!

  6. eimi says:

    Well done indeed, Dac. The lesser-spotted Dac Nina might have something to do with the fact that this is Dac’s 400th crossword in the Indy and they’ve all been of the same mindbogglingly high standard.

  7. sidey says:

    Good fun, and congratulations to Dac.

  8. NealH says:

    I thought this was excellent and the 4 Cs stuff really helped me to finish it (is there a hint of the Two Ronnies’ “Four Candles” joke there?) What mostly held me up was being convinced that 12 across must be crocuses because I couldn’t think of any other word for plants ending with uses and having two Cs. I was also undone by the deceptive “crack about” in 14 which had me convinced that the definition must be actor.

  9. Richard says:

    Congratulations Dac! This certainly wasn’t easy, and had it not been for the four C’s hint I doubt that I should have completed it without recource to my handy stack of crossword aids. A very good puzzle indeed.

  10. nmsindy says:

    Congratulations, Dac, and thanks for the excellent blog, John. Tho getting the four Cs idea straightaway, I found it a little trickier than usual for Dac. Favourites CACTUSES (dicts give this as an acceptable alternative plural to CACTI), and BRAYING, but it was all very good as always.

  11. Mordred says:

    May I add my congrats, Dac?

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, congrats from me too now it’s all been explained. Dac’s still in number one spot for my Desert Island Crossword choice.

  13. scchua says:

    Dac, congrats on achieving your CCCCth and I (and I’m sure others too) look forward to more Cs to come from you.

  14. Duggie says:

    Congratulations to the maestro on rivalling the King James Bible for clarity and longevity. For me, he is the most elegant setter of the lot.

  15. flashling says:

    Very nice but tough for a Dac. Many thanks for your 400 puzzles – foresees was a lovely touch.

  16. 4across says:

    add my congrats… only just spotted the nina, which saved the day and helped finish., nice one.

  17. dac says:

    Thanks, bloggers, for your far-too-generous comments. Thanks too to Eimi for his support, and his suggestions and tweaks which are always spot on!

  18. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John and congratulations to Dac.
    I found this a bit trickier than usual but as always,scrupulously fair and beautifully clued.
    The FORESEES helped me with a couple of the more difficult ones.
    CACTUSES is fine,although I think CACTI is probably the more common plural.
    Last in was COCAINE,a nicely misleading clue.
    BRAYING made me laugh,lovely surface.

  19. Uncle Yap says:

    Bravo, Dac, must have taken a long time to devise that grid with 4 C’s on each row. Really enjoyed this puzzle

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

nine × = 45