Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,587 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on February 9th, 2011


Sound, tight clueing and an enjoyable, not overly challenging, solve: would we expect anything else on a Wednesday morning from Dac?

Some new words for me at 3, 7 and 12, but the wordplay allowed me to arrive at the correct solutions, which I then checked in Chambers.

My favourite clues were 14 for its ingenuity and 12 for misleading me with the word “tranny” for so long.

1 LOWS Hidden in “felLOW Sufferer”; “conceals” indicates hidden answer.
3 IMPRIMATUR PRIM (=formal) in [I (=one) + MATUR(e) (=adult, as an adjective; “shortly” means last letter is dropped)]; according to Chambers, an “imprimatur” is a licence or permission to print a book, etc.
10 FANCIER *(IN FARCE); “acting” is anagram indicator.
11 PUNGENT GEN (=dope, i.e. slang for information) in PUNT (=bet); definition is “high”, as in smelly (slightly tainted or decomposed meat)
12 RADICCHIO *(CHIC) in RADIO (=tranny, i.e. abbreviation of transistor radio); according to Chambers, radicchio is a purple-leaved variety of chicory from Italy, used raw in salads.
13 ARMOR R (=resistance) in [AM (=American) + OR (= Other Ranks)]; the reference “for US troops” indicates that the US spelling of “armour” is needed here.
14 FLEXIBLE FRIEND Definition: credit card; cleverly, the solution is a cryptic clue to the remaining word, i.e. *(FRIEND), with “flexible” being the anagram indicator.
17 COMING UP FOR AIR Novel by George Orwell from 1939, full of nostalgia for one’s childhood and apprehension of the impending Second World War; cryptic definition where the image is of a diver in e.g. sea, lake (=the blue) coming to the surface for air.
21 OMEGA O (=love) + MEGA (=great, as an adjective or prefix); “character in Homer’s work” means a letter of the Greek alphabet.
22 APPRAISED *(DISAPPEAR); “unexpectedly” is anagram indicator.
24 DRAWING WIN (=do well) in DRAG (=car race)
25 TAGGART TAG (=identify) + G(ang) (=Gang leader; “leader” indicates first letter only) + ART (cunning, as in artful dodger); Taggart, played by Mark McManus, was a Glasgow-based detective and the eponymous hero of a TV series that first aired in 1983.
26 GREENSWARD R (=right) in *(GARDENS WE); “designed” is anagram indicator; according to Chambers, greensward is an archaic or literary word for land covered with grass.
27 BENN BE (=live) + NN (news, i.e. 2 x N = new); the reference is doubtless to the charismatic Labour politician Tony Benn, although it could just as easily refer to his son Hilary.
1 LIFE RAFT ERAF (fare=passenger, such as in a taxi;  “up” indicates a vertical reversal) in LIFT (=hoist)
2 WINED *(EDWIN); “becomes inebriated” is anagram indicator; the definition is “given drink” as in “to be wined and dined”.
4 MARSHAL Definition is “officer”; homophone of “Marshall”, as in the Marshall Plan of US aid for the reconstruction of Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War.
5 REPROOF REP (=material, i.e. corded cloth) + ROOF (=top part of house); the definition is “carpeting” in the sense of severely criticising or slating.
6 MANDARIN ORANGE ORAN (=port) in [MAN (=chap) + DARING (=taking a risk)] + (th)E (“last of thE” indicates last letter only is used); the Algerian port of Oran was immortalised in Albert Camus’ novel “La Peste”.
7 THEOMANIA THE + OMANI (=Middle Eastern inhabitant) + A. According to Chambers, “theomania” is religious madness, belief that one is a god oneself.
8 RETIRE RE (=on, i.e. regarding) + TIRE (=weary, as a verb)
9 DISCRIMINATION Double definition: discrimination is judgement, taste AND bias, prejudice.
15 EXONERATE EX (=old mate; “mate” in the sense of partner) + ONE + RATE (=judge, as a verb); the definition is “discharge” in the sense of acquit, free from blame or responsibility.
16 CREDITON CREDIT (=distinction) + ON (=no; “the reverse” indicates reversal); Crediton is a town in the county of Devon in south-west England.
18 GLASGOW GLAS(s) (=maybe schooner; “briefly” means no last letter) + GO (=journey) + W (=western)
19 POP STAR P (=piano, i.e. abbreviation in musical notation) + OP (=works, i.e. abbreviation of opus) + STAR (=rating, as in five-star hotel)
20 HOT DOG HOT (=exciting) + DO (=party) + G (=good)
23 STAKE Double definition: a (wooden) stake is a support AND a stake in a company is an investment.

14 Responses to “Independent 7,587 / Dac”

  1. scchua says:

    Thanks RatkojaRiku for the blog and Dac for an easier than usual, but quality nevertheless, puzzle.

    Favourites were 14A FLEXIBLE FRIEND, a clue-in-an-answer (reference also to a credit card advertising slogan:

    and 3A IMPRIMATUR, and 6D MANDARIN ORANGE. Last one in was 27 BENN – I seem to recall a previous discussion as to the viability of NN = news, but I can’t remember what the consensus was.

  2. NealH says:

    I don’t Taggart was ever played by anyone else apart from Mark McManus since the actor who replaced him as the lead detective plays a different character.

    I found this fairly easily but struggled a bit to work out imprimatur – rather a strange word that I can’t say I’ve ever come across much. I also spent ages thinking that 21 must be opera with Pera being some character from Homeric fiction. Fortunately, I held back from writing it in and eventually the correct answer dawned on me. I liked 12 across, although it took me a while to see it because it’s not an expression you hear as much as you did at one time.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    RatkojaRiku, thank you for your blog.

    Excellent from Dac as usual. I struggled with a few, but got there in the end. Couldn’t understand FLEXIBLE FRIEND, but it’s good; THEOMANIA I got from the wordplay; CREDITON was also a favourite.

    I fancy the BENN is Hilary, since his Dad’s no longer an MP; but whatever, good to see two socialists (Mr Blair being the other one, of course) in one crossword.

    If 12ac was new to you, RatkojaRiku, you’re obviously not getting your five-a-day …

  4. NealH says:

    I couldn’t understand what you meant there for a second, K’s D. Tony Blair a socialist ! But of course you meant George Orwell.

  5. walruss says:

    Another great puzzle from the Independent. Loved GREENSWARD. Now I don’t know, but what’s the betting that the next two for this week are as good as the first three?!

  6. flashling says:

    I remember the Access Flexible Fiend slogan, although Access seems to have been subsumed into Mastercard these days. Another fine puzzle from Dac and a nice little blog too.

  7. rodders says:

    Generally good but not so happy with nn meaning news.
    Imprimatur fair enough but need a reference unless you are the UK scrabble champion !

  8. RatkojaRiku says:

    Thanks, scchua and flashling, for reminding me of the advert: I was replaying it in my mind this morning but just couldn’t remember which credit card it referred to, having forgotten that Access ever existed.

    @ NealH: I too had OPERA first at 21, having read the clue in the same way as you, and had it been a competition puzzle to be attempted under timed conditions, I would doubtless have stuck with that and got the solution wrong.

  9. jmac says:

    What a great blog. Thank you for taking so much time to explain everything. Just got off a ‘plane and don’t suppose many people will see this now but IMPRIMATUR would be familiar to many with a Roman Catholic education as religious texts always carried an imprimatur to the verso of the title page to indicate their suitability for Catholics. I too put opera for omega, and was obviously feeling quite collegiate as I put share for stake. Probably serves me right for saying that the Saturday puzzle wasn’t too difficult Do Nimrod, fail Dac. And thanks to Dac for a lovely puzzle.

  10. flashling says:

    Well pride and falls come to mind jmac. :-) Off to blog Anax for the morning, no doubt scchua has already done it and is sitting waiting to comment…

  11. TokyoColin says:

    I had not heard of the slogan at 14ac but I got there by realising that FRIEND would fit the crossing letters for the second word and was an anagram of “finder”. So I went looking for a first word which could be interpreted as an anagrind. It was a real sense of satisfaction when revealed the Flexible / Credit card connection. I enjoyed the clue more than if I had known the slogan.

    And yes, great blog. Thank you.

  12. Allan_C says:

    N is common enough (in crosswordland at least) for ‘new’ so I suppose two ‘new’s – or ‘new’ twice – can be NN.

  13. Allan_C says:

    …. and two ‘new’s make ‘news’

  14. nmsindy says:

    I think the query raised about news = NN is whether it’s precise enough, but since (happy to be corrected) there are no words with more than two Ns in succession, that makes it fairly unambiguous tho I’ll admit it’s not a personal favourite.

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