Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,725/Dac

Posted by Ali on July 20th, 2011

Ali.

Maybe I was a bit out of sorts today, but this seemed pretty tough for Dac. The first answer I entered was 18A, and even then I didn’t know quite why (still not sure now as it goes).

I got there in the end, but needed a couple of runs at it, and a tiny bit of help with AGOUTI.

As ever, I’ve nothing but praise for the elegance of the clueing.

Across
1 DAMAGE – AGE on DAM
4 HAGGLING – G(ood) in HAG + LING
9 CALLER – ALL in C(of)E + R(ector)
10 SPILLAGE – S(mall) + PILLAGE
12 ARGENTINE – GENT + IN in ARE[-a]
13 GOT IT – GO TIT
14 MARRIAGE VOWS – (IOM + WAR GRAVES)*
18 ALICE SPRINGS – I’m guessing this is SPRINGS for coils, but not sure where the snake and rats come in!
21 BUILD – GUILD with new leader
23 EYES RIGHT – R(egistered) in EYESIGHT
24 DETAILED – D + E (lower classes) + TAILED
25 LACUNA – U (turn) in (CANAL)*
26 SERENITY – SERE (dry) + IT (vermouth) in NY
27 ADRIFT – AD (commercial) RIFT (break)
Down
1 DECLAN – DE (from French) + CL(ass) + A +[-distinction]N
2 MALAGA – [-nor]MAL AGA[in]
3 GREENGAGE – GAG in GREENE
5 AMPHETAMINES – A (top grade) + MPH (speed) + E(cstasy) + (INMATES)*
6 GULAG – Odd letters of GrUb + LAG
7 INACTION – IN (during) + ACTION (court case)
8 GREATEST – (RAGE)* + TEST
11 MISREPRESENT – M I S[-ix] RE: PRESENT
15 ENGARLAND – Middle part of fARm in ENGLAND
16 BARBADOS – BAR BAD on O.S
17 SINISTER – SISTER dressing IN (sort of patient)
19 AGOUTI – A GI carries OUT
20 AT LAST – ATLAS + T(ons)
22 DEIGN – “Dane”

8 Responses to “Independent 7,725/Dac”

  1. Wanderer says:

    I think in 18 RINGS=coils, and before that it’s LICE in ASP.

    Thanks Ali and Dac, good fun.

  2. flashling says:

    However I found it one of the easiest Dac’s for a while – horses for courses I suppose. Saw 18 as Wanderer @ #1

    2d was my last one in, don’t you hate it when you miss a hidden answer…

  3. Lenny says:

    Thanks Ali. This was a fairly gentle offering although there were rather too many one-letter abbreviations in the wordplay for my taste.

    I see I got one wrong, going for canula rather than lacuna. In a competition I might argue (unsuccessfully no doubt) that this is an alternative answer.

    I too had trouble parsing Alice Springs because I read Springs rather than rings as the wordplay for coils. I was inclined to suggest that rats are not lice but after my problems yesterday I don’t think I’ll bother. I think rat and louse are both synonyms for unpleasant people although I have never heard of a group of unpleasant people being referred to as lice.

  4. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Ali. I am in the ‘harder than usual for a Dac’ camp too – but none the worse for that, a most enjoyable and as always immaculately constructed puzzle. Couldn’t see ALICE SPRINGS till I came here. AGOUTI and MARRIAGE VOWS were favourites today; having got ?A?R as the starting letters for the latter and ‘couple’ in the clue, I was fixated on it starting with PAIR. When in a hole, stop digging and all that.

  5. nmsindy says:

    I enjoyed this, which I thought was not too difficult. Favourites, GOT IT and AMPHETAMINES. Thanks, Dac and Ali for the blog.

  6. Bamberger says:

    Hit the bar yet again in my quest for an unaided Indy solve. While I couldn’t have explained the wordplay for alice springs to save my life, I really found it straightforward until I hit 19d, 25a & 27a.

    19d Faced with ?g???? , all I could think of was iguana. Wasn’t sure if a reptile is an animal and couldn’t see word play but worth a go. Don’t recall coming across agouti before.
    For 25a I now had ?a?A?a (A from iguana) and all I could think of was canada -well it has wide open spaces. I had tried anagrams of canal but never ever thought of adding a u. Still hadn’t heard of lacuna so even then might not have got it.

    That left 27a as ?d?A?t and couldn’t think of anything. Sure I had ad for commercial.Even with ad???t I could not dredge up adrift.

    So once again undone by a couple of obscure words.

    Now Dac I don’t have access to next Wednesday’s but can the one on the 3 August please have no obscure words?

  7. Wil Ransome says:

    Agree with nms that 5dn was something special. Couldn’t see why rats = lice in 18ac, but I suppose a rat is a louse in a sense so perhaps OK. Also was unsure that r = registered (23ac). No doubt in some dictionary. But otherwise the usual Dac excellence.

  8. ele says:

    I thought this was a bit harder than usual – but finished it with the exception of 15d, where I could only think of MINISTER – and tried to persuade myself that this was the ‘somewhat intimidating nurse’ and that dresses were minis. Gave up at that point and looked at the blog, so thanks Ali (also for explaining where the U came from in lacuna – puzzled me no end) and Dac for the puzzle. Liked 26ac.

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