Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7623/Dac

Posted by John on March 23rd, 2011


Nothing special from Dac today. Normally when one says this one means that it is mediocre, with nothing remarkably good about it. In this case it simply means that the crossword is well up to Dac’s usual standard and as always on Wednesdays everything is elegant and efficient. There are as one would expect some typically excellent clues.

I found this on the easy side for Dac, except for 26ac, which defeated me and I used ‘Reveal': the European ruling body was not at the forefront of my mind.

6 PIC KAT{e} — ref Kate Winslet
9 RUM TRUFFLE — rum = odd, a pig unearths truffles, a rum truffle is a sweet
10 REAM — (ER)rev. am, definition ‘papers?’
11 H(A MM)ER
13 CASTL{e} 1’S {wes}T — although I get very tired of people calling a rook a castle; still, it is in the dictionaries, so I haven’t got a leg to stand on, and it does help the surface here
14 INCOMES POLICY — (simply economic – m)* — the sort of brilliant Dac anagram we have become used to
16 GIVEN A BIG HAND — 2 defs, referring to helping and applauding
20 CHOO-CHOO — {s}choo{l} repeated
22 NEREID — (in reed{s})*
23 FLUE — “flu”
26 CO R{a}TES — the Cortes is the legislature of Spain
27 SEMINARY — (yr a Nimes)rev.
2 EDUCATING — (guidance)* about t{eacher}
3 POTOMAC — (0 to) in (camp)rev.
4 E(M)U
5 REFOCUS — (force us)*
6 PIERS M{irror} ORGAN — piers are supports — an &lit. effect created by the fact that Piers Morgan used to be the editor of The Daily Mirror
7 C(OR{gan})ELLI{st}
8 AD(AM)S — he happens to be an American President, but there’s no need for him to be
12 REMAND HOMES — (some hard men)*, &lit. — it’s good to see ‘some’, which is usually a glaring indicator of a hidden, being used as part of the anagram fodder
15 YIDDISHER — (DIY)rev. dish E{ast} R{ussia} — an adjective here — I suppose it’s a nod to Godfrey’s sister Dolly’s upside-down cakes in Dad’s Army
17 VIOLENT — (lion vet)* — I shouldn’t have thought that violence and strength, although they often occur together, are synonymous
19 ARRAIGN — “a reign”
21 sHELL Out — and here ‘some’ is being used in the sense one always expects from it
25 T{ax} UM

11 Responses to “Independent 7623/Dac”

  1. scchua says:

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

    All quite straightforward but good. Favourites were 14A INCOMES POLICY, brilliant &lit, 24A MAASTRICHT and 18D BIOMASS.

    PS. Btw, for followers of yesterday’s blog, there are some late postings there, if you’re interested, regarding EAST INDIAN.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Nothing special indeed, John. Where do you start to choose the pick of the crop in this one? PIERS MORGAN wouldn’t be a bad place; but you could equally well begin with INCOMES POLICY. CAST LIST is another option (incidentally, why is it called a rook when it looks like a castle?)

    I think VIOLENT is okay: a very strong storm is a violent storm. ‘Papers’ for REAM just about works, doesn’t it?

    Like you, I had to press ‘reveal’ to get CORTES, but although it’s a slightly obscure definition, you couldn’t say it wasn’t clearly signposted.

    Lovely puzzle with outstanding surface readings.

  3. Richard says:

    I failed on 26 across as well, but otherwise found it to be a straightforward well-constructed crossword. I was, however, rather more than a little disappointed to find exactly the same crossword in the i newspaper, for which I had just begun a one-year subscription solely for the crosswords. I hope this is just a slip-up and not a sign of things to come! Eimi please note.

  4. walruss says:

    Short-selling, that is! But an enjoyable run-out from Dac, if not too spicy.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I too thought this was excellent and easier than usual from Dac. In a few clues I thought there was a nod to the budget. I guess Maastricht’s main claim to fame is that, like Lisbon and Nice, it has an EU treaty named after it, the treaty that established the euro as the EU’s common currency.

  6. ele says:

    agree – a nod to Budget Day. A lovely straightforward puzzle where you know when you’ve got it right as there are no ambiguities. Last one in was ARRAIGN, and I admit to using the wordfinder for it. In retrospect absolutely obvious, but not at the time. Thanks to John for the blog. I think VIOLENT is OK as a synonym for strong – think of the violent emotions beloved of Victorian novelists.

  7. flashling says:

    The usual smooth stuff from Dac, a nice pleasant solve, thought 6d a very nice clue. Thanks all.

  8. malc95 says:

    K’s Dad @2 (if you’re still around)-

    Apparently “rook” is derived from a Persian word for “chariot”, which used to be constructed with castellations for the protection of archers on board.

  9. Paul B says:

    Rukhkh, that is.

  10. Allan_C says:

    … and the move by which the king and the rook move to the opposite sides of each other is known as castling.

    But oddly enough I hadn’t spotted the rook/castle connection so although 13a could only be ‘cast list’ form the definition I couldn’t follow the clue. Thanks, John, for the explanation.

    All in all, a nice, well-constructed Dac offering. Completed in one session without recourse to outside help but enough of a challenge to be satisfying.

  11. redddevil says:

    ..and in Chinese chess – from which our version is derived – the pieces in the corners are in fact chariots and move the same as our rooks/castles (except that in Chinese chess you move along the lines not the squares).

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