Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7647/Dac

Posted by John on April 20th, 2011


As elegant an offering from Dac as I can remember. The surfaces are uniformly excellent and all make good sense, and there is nothing at all that I can see as being remotely contentious. I suspect very few people will post because there is nothing really to argue about: all one can say is how good it is.

1 GRA(MM)Y — the English poet is Gray and eleven years ago it was the year 2000, or MM
4 SAWBILLS — (was)rev. bills, and a sawbill is a type of bird
10 E{ire} M{ajor} AIL
11 OR TAN 1 QUE — an ortanique is a cross between an orange and a tangerine, and also incorporates the word ‘unique’ according to Chambers, but why it does this I can’t think
12 TOY SPANIEL — (one plays it)* — a typically smooth Dac &lit.
13 VOLT — 2 defs, the leap one obviously connected with volte face
15 P(REP)OSTER {h}OUS{e}
18 SOUTHWESTERN — (hours tweets)* n
21 AXIS — a (six)rev.
22 HEALTHCARE — H{arrow} (teacher)* around a L
24 PLAIN JANE — (pal)* in Jan e{xcept} — clever definition ‘not a dish’ and brilliant surface
26 THESSALY — they around (lass)rev.
27 REAGAN — a CD referring to Ronald Reagan’s previous life as an actor
2 ANALYSED — (land easy)*
3 M(A LAP R OP)O’S — for a while I couldn’t see how the final s appeared, but it comes from the genitive of doctor
5 AS THE CROW FLIES — (wife set scholar)*
6 BUNK — 2 defs
7 LIQUOR{ice}
9 GOING TO THE WALL — 2 defs, one of them referring to the Berlin Wall
16 RELATING — Latin in (Ger)rev.
19 laTE PRACticioner — hidden rev.
20 ZI(DA)NE — the French footballer is Zinedine Zidane, the hairstyle is a D.A. (which stands for duck’s arse), the supporters’ mag is a zine, slang for typically a fanzine, which is itself short for fan magazine. How much shorter can it become?
23 {B}ONUS

7 Responses to “Independent 7647/Dac”

  1. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was very good even by Dac’s exalted standards, thanks to him and to John for the blog. Favourite today ANALYSED (great misdirection), also TOY SPANIEL, GOING TO THE WALL, AS THE CROWS FLIES, LIQUOR, UNREASON, ONUS.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks John and Dac, this was lovely. North East corner held me up as I had never heard of Ortanique. But when I finally realised this was going to be a pangram (which I only noticed when solving PLAIN JANE, after already having such solutions as ZIDANE and AXIS), I started looking for the only letters I didn’t have: Q and V. This got me ORTANIQUE, LIQUOR and VOLT to help me finish. Not sure I’d have ever done so otherwise! Great stuff.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    It was a good puzzle, but I failed on a couple in the SW corner. PLAIN JANE was the one I appreciated today for its misdirection, but plenty of other goodies as well. You’re right, I think, John: I’ve said myself before that the fact that comparatively few comments come in is a reflection of the quality of Dac’s clueing and elegant surfaces.

  4. spb says:

    Excellent puzzle and a satisfying solve. My favourite was ‘guesthouse’ until John explained the parsing of 12a which was so smooth a surface it completely escaped me.

  5. Andvari says:

    I liked this one a lot, never heard of an ortanique, so learnt something too. Loved 2d and 24 – misleading and lateral definitions always make a good clue for me.

    Re: 12 – I wouldn’t describe it as an &lit. there is the definition and then after the colon the fodder and “if relaxed” as an anagram indicator.

    Re: 13 (a good clue), I didn’t think of volte face, though yes it could be related to that; to me it was as a homophone of “vault”, though whether “to make” is enough of an indicator I don’t know but I made the connection and am certainly nowhere near the top of the solving spectrum so it couldn’t have been too bad.

  6. Allan_C says:

    ORTANIQUE was one of my first ones in. It was one of those clues where you get a hunch as to what’s going on. In this case ‘or’ and ‘tan’ came quite easily then it clicked that “from france” referred to ‘que’ and
    Good point, Andvari, about VOLT being a homophone of ‘vault'; why didn’t I think of it? I was thinking of ‘la volta’, a dance popular in the time of Elizabeth I which involved some high leaps.
    I had a vague idea I’d heard of an ortanique. A quick check in Chambers and there it was.
    But I failed to spot that we had a pangram.

  7. Gaufrid says:

    Hi Andvari
    There is no need for a homophone indicator in 13ac. Chambers has – volt or volte: “a sudden movement or leap to avoid a thrust (fencing)”.

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=""> <strike> <strong>

+ two = 3