Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7743/Dac

Posted by John on August 10th, 2011


As always a silky-smooth production from Dac. Some of the surfaces are, even by his high standards, quite excellent.

1 CHAP EL{i}
5 APPOSITE — (op(rev). sit) in a PE — breathtakingly good
10 ODOURS — “Oder’s” — the river (= flower) Oder
11 FREE STANDING free = independent, standing = seeking election
15 NOOK — no OK is a possible way of reading this word; not likely, hence the question mark
16 customeR IN Diner
18 PLAYGROUND — p{ark} (young lad)* with r inside — another absolutely brilliant clue
21 C ROSS MY HEART — C Ross (the army)* — Ross was the real name of TE Lawrence (of Arabia)
23 GEMINI — (eg)rev. Mini
24 MANITOBA — (aim to ban)*
2 HIS TRIO NIC{k} — def ‘dramatic’ — yet another
4 littLE Interest
5 A “SHAN’T” 1
7 S(HOT {thu}G)UN
8 TERN — r in (net)rev.
12 TELEPHONIST — t (tone help is)* — and another
13 ROUND ROBIN — 2 defs
19 ASSUMED — (medusas)*
22 SELF — (files)rev. with i missing, referring to Will Self
25 NOD — (don)rev.

19 Responses to “Independent 7743/Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John. I share your enthusiasm for this puzzle – I found it hard, but there were some wonderful surfaces and constructions. ROUND ROBIN was smile-inducing; the anagrams were really clever; and PLAYGROUND and PROMISINGLY were great clues.

    The boy done good. Again.

  2. superkiwigirl says:

    Thanks John for the usual fine blog and Dac for a really entertaining puzzle – what was there not to like here?

    I was going to say next that I found this pretty tough and had to struggle for a while, and then list my favorite clues, but as usual I find that KD has got in before me, and said pretty well exactly what I intended to say myself. Perhaps I’ll have to think about doing a “midnight solve” like you, John, if this is to be avoided? (PROMISINGLY and PLAYGROUND were my last ones in, and both are indeed brilliant – I particularly liked the use of “high spirited” as an anagrind.

    Otherwise, thanks for explaining, John, the significance of ROSS (something which I’d forgotten).

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Didn’t mean to hog the blog, superkiwigirl (I prefer that to superwikigirl, btw), it’s just that by nature I’m a lark rather than an owl like John and getting brain in gear with the Indy crossword and a mug of tea is my first activity of the day.

    You’ve reminded me to thank John too for the parsing of CROSS MY HEART, because I’d never in a month of Sundays have understood the ROSS bit.

  4. hounddog says:

    I thought TE Lawrence was his real name but that he enlisted under the pseudonym of Ross. Have I got it the wrong way round?

  5. sidey says:

    Hmm, Lawrence really was Lawrence, well, mainly. [John Hume] Ross was a name he briefly assumed in order to join the RAF. In my not so humble opinion this is a bit of esoteric knowledge too far.

    Apart from that, it’s Dac, it’s good.

  6. Conrad Cork says:

    He was in the RAF as Aircraftsman Ross.

  7. Cumbrian says:

    Thanks to DAC and John.
    I didn’t see where ROSS had come from, so thanks for the explanation. Our local MP is apparently an authority on TE Lawrence, so maybe I should write to him for clarification – always good to give our elected representatives something to make them feel useful. Other than that I found the puzzle a nice mix of easy and relatively tough (by my standards) so it was satisfying to complete it without cheating. My last one in was 22d SELF, which had me scratching my head for a while. When I arrived at the answer, I thought SELF referred to “writer” as in “myself”, but I guess that would’ve been “setter”. Don’t know why I didn’t think of Will Self; one day I’ll read this blog without going Duh!, but not today……

  8. superkiwigirl says:

    Sorry, KD – I didn’t mean to imply that you are a “hog” (it’s just that I almost invariably find when coming to 15/2 that you’ve already picked up on the key points).

    And Cumbrian, I also mistook SELF for the Setter, being sadly ignorant of the name of the Indy columnists. It’s one of the disadvantages of living abroad, I’m afraid, that one risks losing the habit of reading a daily newspaper (and where would I get the time to read anyway with all these marvellous puzzles to tackle …)

  9. NealH says:

    I was going to complain that the US historical writer Lawrence Ross was a bit too obscure and couldn’t really be clued by his first name alone, but I can see there is a better explanation than that. I got through this fairly easily – just held up a little of Self and the clues in the top left corner. I didn’t know a round robin was a petition – I only know the phrase from sporting events.

  10. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks John, especially for explaining Ross. I had assumed Lawrence Ross was a soccer player or perhaps a TV host.

    Apart from that I got through this very quickly, all done on an interrupted 20 min train commute (did the other daily on the bus.). Not too easy, things just fell into place and popped into mind. It isn’t always so. But it is a good feeling when it happens so I enjoyed this immensely.

  11. scchua says:

    Thanks John, and Dac for the usual.

    Favourites were 11A FREESTANDING, 9A ASTONISH, by coincidence, the same definition appeared in yesterday’s FT, and 5D ASHANTI.

    BTW, you’ve inadvertently missed out 26A and 27A.

    I was with Cumbrian and superkiwigirl on 22D SELF. My little doubt is whether Dac intended to double up “Independent”, which would be required to parse it as Will Self, rather than “meself, the setter”

  12. Radian says:

    Re Lawrence/Aircraftsman Ross: could someone remind me of the clue of all clues? Something along the lines of “Lawrence’s cryptic clue?” but much more elegant.

  13. sidey says:

    “It’s true about Lawrence leading the army out”

  14. nmsindy says:

    This was great as always from Dac and thanks for the blog, John. I must say though that I read SELF as having nothing to do with Will ie that it was writer = self = setter = Dac with Independent referring just to the i being removed but that maybe was not what was intended.

  15. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Another fine puzzle by Dac, with indeed, John (and others), PLAYGROUND (16ac) as one of the many highlights.

    In the blog 26ac (AFFECTED) and 27ac (DOPING) are missing, at least on my screen.
    And I think in 11ac it is: FREE (liberal)+ STANDING (seeking election) giving ‘independent’ as the definition.

  16. flashling says:

    Great stuff as usual from Dac, have to agree with Sil about 11ac. Cheers John the blog and Dac as ever for the puzzle.

  17. John says:

    Yes of course TE Lawrence was his real name and he enlisted under the name Ross. Had forgotten.

    Sorry about 26 and 27ac. I’ve just recently had a change in my computer and everything is rather big on the screen (probably very simple to alter but I haven’t found out how to yet) and these two were inadvertently omitted because they were off the screen. No excuse. 26ac is AFFECTED — 2 defs and 27ac is DO(PIN)G.

  18. redddevil says:

    Can someone explain why 4 D has the “(very little)” bit in the clue which seems superfluous to me (and incidentally had me inserting IVY to begin with which fitted the whole clue quite well I thought).

  19. nmsindy says:

    Re #18, reddevil, I think ‘very little’ means you take only ‘very little’ of ‘little interest’ ie just the 3 letters indicated by John in his blog to get the (hidden) answer.

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