Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7665 by Dac

Posted by flashling on May 11th, 2011


Dac as we’ve come to know and love.

Nothing controversial to my eye, we’d expect nothing less of course from the master of smooth stuff. Less full explanations today than I’ve tried to do of late, sorry it’s a busy work day so I won’t be round much to fix the inevitable errors

1 A chieftain won battles very close to … (6,2,3,2) WITHIN AN ACE OF (a chieftain won)* ellipsis link for smooth surface reading with 8
8 …Venetian location, taking cover at start of offensive (4) LIDO LID (cover) + O(ffensive)
9 Chicken pieces – they may have battered skins (10) DRUMSTICKS Chicken pieces and they batter drumkits
10 Court official recalled jazz legend on piano, wearing suit (8) TIPSTAFF FATS (Domino I presume) + P(iano) in FIT (suit) all reversed
11 Most attractive fashion is French (6) CUTEST CUT (fashion) + EST (Fr for is)
12 Began jabbering, inhaling pot (5) GANJA Hidden in beGAN Jabbering
14 Placing obstruction in the way is a chancy business (8) ROULETTE LET (obstruction) in ROUTE
16 Seconder unexpectedly prevented from speaking? (8) CENSORED (Seconder)*
19 Adept learners venturing out negotiated piste successfully (5) SKIED NO L(earners) in SKI(ll)ED
21 Character in Shakespeare piece (6) PISTOL Part in Henry V and a gun (piece) Double definition
23 Challenging attitude of French drunk in café (8) DEFIANCE De (of French) + (in café)*
25 Engine not sound? I’ve to fix car’s annual test (10) LOCOMOTIVE LOCO (nuts no sound) + IVE around MOT
26 Collection of tales circulated in Blackadder (4) EDDA Hidden reversed in blackadder
27 Drink tea after work at college with female tutor occasionally? (6,7) SUPPLY TEACHER Sup (drink) + ply (work) + tea + c(ollege) + her (female)
1 Fly circling round battered fish? (7) WHITING WING (fly) around HIT (battered)
2 Legion you spotted going over desert? (9) THOUSANDS With hundreds the stuff sprinkled on trifles! (OK that’s dessert but hey J). THOU (you) + SANDS (desert) or possibly SAND + S(potted)
3 Before call gets cut off, I note location of call centre? (5) INDIA Well quite a few call centres there I + N(ote) + DIA(l)
4 A brief question about whether this will hold water? (7) AQUIFER IF (whether) in A QUER(y)
5 Call by Frenchman in emergency causes our ruin (2,7) AU SECOURS French equivalent of mayday. (causes our)*
6 Former partner seen on street in which I live (5) EXIST I in EX + ST
7 Pretends a Loach film can be seen in France and Italy (5,2) FAKES IT A + KES in F(rance) + IT(aly)
13 Gents maybe flirt endlessly with secretary, upset to be a figure of fun (5,4) APRIL FOOL LOO (gents) + FLIR(t) + P.A. all reversed
15 Parts of Belize and Thailand welcoming a British monarch (9) ELIZABETH A + B(ritish) in (b)ELIZE + TH(ailand)
17 Is red top contracting untrustworthy journalists? (7) EDITORS (IS RED TO(p))*
18 Artist is beginning to tire after mounting posters (7) DADAIST 2 times AD (poster) reversed + IS + beginning to T(ire)
20 Important sporting fixture last month: equestrian forfeited first place (7) DECIDER DEC(ember) + (r)IDER
22 Army unit‘s taken over wretched town (5) TROOP POOR + T(own) all reversed
24 Father always stands up for girl (5) FREYA FR (father) + AYE (always) reversed.


19 Responses to “Independent 7665 by Dac”

  1. NealH says:

    I’m not sure I follow your explanation for 9. Where does drumkits come from? I thought it was just a sort of CD got up to look like there was some wordplay involved.

    This was generally up to the normal DAC standard, but I thought 3 down was maybe a bit controversial. You may as well say “factory location” is China, but that would be a bit unfair on all the countries that manufacture things. Also, the French expression in 5 down might have been tricky for people without much knowledge of the language.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Thanks for your explanation of ELIZABETH. I read it as simply an anagram of BELIZE+THA(iland), which it also is, so I missed the significance of “welcoming a British”. Enjoyable puzzle and a pangram to boot, unless I’ve miscounted.

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, flashling.

    Good stuff as always from Dac. With his puzzles it’s always worthwhile going back when you’ve finished just to read the surfaces for what they are, which is smooth and story-telling. The fact you’ve included the clues will give everyone a chance to do that today if they haven’t already.

    Favourites were ROULETTE, INDIA, and because Kes is one of my all-time best films, FAKES IT (but the surface wasn’t half bad either). My favourite bit from the film is the Man Utd v Tottenham ‘match’ featuring the bombastic PE teacher. If you know it, you’ll smile; if you don’t, catch up with the film one day.

  4. flashling says:

    @NealH sorry was trying to get at the surface of drum being called its skin.

  5. scchua says:

    Thanks flashling for the blog, and Dac for his usual high quality, enjoyable puzzle.

    Re 9A DRUMSTICKS, I think that “skins” is the slang (among musicians and others) for “drums”, as in “I play skins”. (And to show how versatile English is, the word also stands for “condoms”.)

    Re 10A TIPSTAFF, I think Dac is referring to Fats Waller, the jazz legend. I like Fats Domino, but I think he’d be the first to acknowledge that the former is the legend.

    Favourites were: 23A DEFIANCE, 2D THOUSANDS and 13D APRIL FOOL, all with great surfaces.

  6. John H says:

    Flashing blogging Wednesday??!

    Darn it. You second-guessed me…

  7. John H says:

    Sorry, flashLing.

  8. nmsindy says:

    Yes, this was great as always. I thought INDIA was particularly good and amusing when the penny dropped, definitely associated by me with call centres.

  9. smiffy says:

    Re 5D: “French equivalent of mayday”. Umm, by backward induction, wouldn’t that be M’aider!?
    I catch your drift, though.

  10. Mustyx says:

    10ac Scchua is right – it’s Fats Waller who is the jazzman and probably the most famous ‘Fats’. Domino played R&B and rock n roll. There’s also Fats Navarro, another jazz legend. He played the trumpet, of course, but the ‘piano’ part of the clue merely refers to the ‘p’ so it could be him!

  11. walruss says:

    Good analysis Mustyx! Another smooth perfoprmance from Dac, who keeps the Indy’s feet on the ground with his ‘plains’. Good stuff.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Hi smiffy at no 9 and NealH at no 1. I commented a while ago about the (comparatively) large number of French expressions we get in the Indy, either in the solutions or the clues. There have been few other comments since, so I guess folk are okay with it.

    flashling’s explanation is near the mark. ‘Au secours!’ is what you’d shout if you were being mugged in a back street of Paris, so it’s a call for help. But if a French pilot wanted to declare an emergency, then (because English is the language of air traffic control) he’d use ‘Mayday, Mayday’, which is the anglicisation and shortening of ‘Venez m’aider’, ‘Come and help me’.

  13. flashling says:

    OK thanks for clearing the Fats identity up, I’m no great jazz fan.

    As for John H’s somewhat enigmatic comment… all will become clear.

  14. Paul B says:

    Well, my drumsticks have battered skins, I can tell you.

    Drum skins, which used to be made from calf-skin, are now called drum-heads (or just heads), and are made from mylar film. But the top head on any of the drums is still called the batter head. Got that?

    Q: How many drummers does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: 100: 1 to hold the light bulb and 99 to drink until the room spins.

    Boom boom.


  15. bamberger says:

    I got a good 2/3 of this out but hadn’t heard of edda, freya or dadist.
    Only clue I wasn’t happy with was 21a -I would have hoped that the days of having to know Shakesperian characters had long gone. Without 22d ?i???l is hard given that piece =pistol is not the first thing that springs to mind .

  16. flashling says:

    At my previous job I worked with a very pretty girl called Freya (sigh!). Thanks PB for the explanation and the drummer joke – most I’ve heard are much ruder to drummers!

  17. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Wow, flashling, in Norse mythology FREYA is the goddess of love …. :)

  18. Allan_C says:

    Nice one, Dac.

    Some of the clues took a little thinking about, but nothing too obscure. ‘Piece’ in 21 put me on the wrong track initially, thinking of chess, and I thought of (the fat) knight, i.e. Falstaff, but crossing letters soon put me right.

    Anyway, I came 1 finishing in under 30 minutes.

  19. Graham Pellen says:

    In 15D the definition of the answer is “British monarch”. The solution is anagram of Belize and Th(ail and) welcoming “a”.

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