Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7594/Dac

Posted by John on February 17th, 2011


After what seems to have been a succession of highly complicated and clever crosswords recently, it’s quite nice to get back to something vanilla. But what vanilla. The very best you can get.

1 BOMB — 2 defs, although I’m not quite sure where the split is: to bomb is to fail and a bomb is a lot of money; I think the ‘to make’ is just a link
3 ENTHUSIAST — (he’s a nut it’s)*, very nice &lit.
10 AIR CHIEF MARSHAL — chi in (I fear)*, “martial”
11 DELIVERANCE — this film —(reviled)rev. ance, and I can’t for the life of me see how he gets the ance: it apparently comes from ‘cut out first bit of reel?'; the whole clue is ‘Film heavily criticised in review: cut out first bit of reel?’
13 OR C
16 ADDRESS — 2 defs
19 AN C(1)ENT
20 (f}UND ONE
22 FIR{m}
23 WHITE-VAN MEN — M in (Newhaven it)*
28 A YES
4 maNY Englishmen
6 SCREE{n} I think, although I thought (and this was confirmed by Chambers) that a scree was more a sort of slippery slope with loose stones on it
7 ASHMOLEAN — (Alan’s home)*, referring to the Ashmolean Museum — funny, for four years I had the opportunity to visit it every day and never did so once; now I’m singing its praises
8 TELECAST — (l (ace)rev.) in test — I didn’t know l for live but no doubt it’s in some dictionary
9 THE V({St}O{ke})ICE — The ___ [insert whatever placename you like here] Voice is a common title of local newspapers. although there seems to be an actual newspaper with the name The Voice
12 RIGHT-WINGER — not quite sure here: to right is to fix, and winge is a variant spelling of whinge, but why is the remaining r ‘received by personnel department’? The whole clue is ‘Team player is to fix complaint received by personnel department’. Or perhaps it’s rig then twinge in hr, and HR is human resources. Yes of course, that’s what it is, although HR = personnel department didn’t come easily.
15 INCORRECT — in co “wrecked”, although the place of ‘leader’ seems a bit odd: ‘Trendy business leader finally ruined, we hear? Wrong’
17 D ADS AR{e} M{idda}Y — I note that Dac uses D to clue ‘note’, and this is perfectly OK in my opinion, although I’ve read various discussions about this sort of thing recently and some have frowned on it as being too vague
18 HALF-TERM — (flat)* in Herm — a typically brilliant Dac clue with such a simple surface; half-term approaches for Dac
21 A (N) GEL’S
23 WHINE — “wine”
24 MOONY — “Moonie”, the def is crazy = moony
26 {I}RAN

9 Responses to “Independent 7594/Dac”

  1. Tokyo Colin says:

    Thanks John for the early blog.

    At 11ac, Reel = Dance which is ANCE with first bit cut out.
    At 15dn, I read it as IN(trendy)CO(business)R(leader finally)RECT(ruined we hear)

    For me, this wasn’t up to Dac’s usual (very high) standard. There were a few tired chestnuts (16ac, 25ac, 26dn) and several very parochial (23ac, 7dn, even 21dn). I still have no idea who White-van men are. And I share your concerns about Scree.

    But as always there were some very clever clues with smooth surfaces. I liked 28ac and 5dn.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John. Like you, I was pleased to solve an unthemed puzzle, and they generally don’t come any better than Dac, as you say.

    I did enjoy this one, but can understand Colin’s comments. Dac is so inventive with his clueing that he usually manages to avoid the chestnuts, but answers like HUMAN NATURE, DELIVERANCE and ENTHUSIAST tend to make up for that today. The ASHMOLEAN is pretty well known, I think, and I’m not sure how much of an eye the Indy setters keep on parochiality for overseas solvers.

    WHITE VAN MEN (was I the only one to slap in WHITE VAN MAN?) is a comparatively new term – last ten or so years, I’d guess? It’s a derogatory term for delivery drivers using white transit vans or similar. They’re the ones usually driving about a nanometre from your rear bumper when you’re in the middle of an overtaking manoeuvre in lane three of the motorway.

    I do think Dac has got SCREE wrong, though. I agree with you and Colin about the definition.

  3. scchua says:

    Thanks John for the blog, and Dac for an enjoyable rich vanilla puzzle.

    The last one in was 21D ANGELS, not really being a Robbie Williams fan (OK, he’s done a couple of good ones). Favourites were 11A DELIVERANCE, 15D INCORRECT and 18D HALF-TERM.

  4. rodders says:

    Thanks John and Dac if a bit easy today.
    I think scree can be a pile of loose rocks at the base of a cliff so on that basis fair enough I guess !

  5. sidey says:

    Rightwinger is RIG + TWINGE in HR. Very devious.

    White van men were around in the 80s, I was one.

  6. flashling says:

    Cor, quiet in here today. Nice DAC stuff I thought, bit tricky for me at times but done in my 30 min lunch break. Thanks J and Dac.

  7. Scarpia says:

    Thanks John.
    As usual,a very pleasing puzzle from Dac.
    I think the definition in 6 down is o.k.,the small stones usually form themselves into a slope,but could still be termed a ‘pile of small stones’.
    Agree with sidey on 12 down – very devious!
    I guess ANGELS is the one Robbie Williams song most people will have heard of.

  8. Allan_C says:

    A bit more difficult than some of Dac’s offerings. I struggled with 3a for a while thinking ‘turned’ was the anagrind and ‘out’ the definition – ‘unsheathed’ came to mind but of course the letters weren’t quite right.
    Pace Tokyo Colin, I didn’t think 25a was a ‘tired old chestnut’, in fact I don’t recall ever coming across it before. But I tend to agree about 16a and 26d, maybe even 13a.
    Favourites were MITTERRAND and WHITE VAN MEN. A colleague used to use the term “white-vannery” for typical antics of said gents, such as tailgating, cutting up on roundabouts, dangerous overtaking, etc.

  9. Jack Aubrey says:

    Don’t get me started on white van men. Several scenes in 11ac come to mind but like an old 12d, I find myself grunting “Too good for ‘em!” The source of this misanthropy being the occasion when my stepson riding his bike was taken out by WVM doing an illegal u-turn. Man in passenger seat leapt out, dragged bike and victim out from under the van before hopping back in as the van sped off. Despite a witness who got the number, no action against WVM. Bike written off, boy thankfully recovering.

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