Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,779 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on September 21st, 2011


A recent blogger of a Dac puzzle defied any reader to pick fault with what he saw as a flawless set of clues, and I can only echo those sentiments in respect of Dac’s offering today.

Rattling through the puzzle for the purposes of producing a blog fairly swiftly seems almost sacrilegious in the presence of such finely crafted clues, each of which one would prefer to linger over and savour.

It is not easy for me to single out any particular favourites today, but I admired the general economy and smooth surface reading of 5A and the definition at 5D. 8 and 19 were both essentially new words for me, while the clue I struggled most to parse was 26. Overall, I found this crossword easier to solve than some recent Dac puzzles that I have blogged.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   HARRIS HARRIS<on> (=one of the Fab Four; i.e. George Harrison of The Beatles; “not appearing (=on) means letters “on” are not used); Harris is located in the Outer Hebrides, off the NW coast of Scotland.
5   TASERING *(TANGIERS); “ruins of” is anagram indicator; the definition is “stunning”, i.e. using a Taser stun gun on”
9   DRIFT APART D<emocrats> (“leader of” means first letter only) + RIFT (=split) + A + PART<y> (=group of politicians; “shortly” means last letter is dropped)
10   DENT Double definition: DENT is “a publishing house”, i.e. famous for publishing the Everyman’s Library of classics in the early 20th century AND “little impression”, indentation, i.e. on surface of metal
[ED (=journalist) + TIMES (=newspaper)] in [B (=British) + TORIES (=politicians)]; the cryptic definition is “late accounts”
12   ADVICE AD (=bill, as in billboard) + VIN<c>E (=Mr Cable, i.e. Lib Dem MP and Business Secretary in coalition government; “ignoring new (=N)” means the letter “n” is dropped)
14   LARBOARD BOAR (=pig) in LARD (=fat)
16   RASPUTIN *(PURITANS) ; “outraged” is anagram indicator; the reference is to controversial Russian monk Grigori Rasputin (1869-1916)
18   LIEDER LIED (=claimed falsely) + ER (=Queen); lieder are German songs
F (=following) + OUR + LEA (=field) + FC (=Football Club) + LOVER (=supporter)
23   RITE Alternative letters (“held regularly”) of <b>R<a>I<n>T<r>E<e> only are used
24   SAINT PETER S (=school) + A’INT (=isn’t, i.e. colloquially) + PETER (=safe, in slang)
25   SENT DOWN *(DONS WENT); “beserk” is anagram indicator
26   DEALER RELA<x>ED (=not stressed; “losing unknown amount (=X, in algebra) means the letter “x” is dropped); “about” indicates reversal
2   AIRHEAD AIR (=transport, as in by air) + HEAD (=boss)
3   REFIT REF (=judge, i.e. referee) + IT
4   SMARMIEST SM (=Sergeant Major) + ARMIES (=troops) +
<fron>T (“close to” means last letter only is used)
5   TRANSPLANTATION PLAN (=map) in TRA<i>N STATION (=railway terminal; “I’ll leave” means the letter “i” is dropped); the cryptic definition is “having a change of heart maybe”
6   SET-TO Homophone of “set two” (=towards middle of tennis match)
7   RUDDIGORE [DIG (=really like) + O (=old) + <acto>R (“final appearance” means last letter only is used)] in RUDE (=smutty); the reference is to the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera Ruddigore, first performed in 1887, hence “show”.
8   NON-USER NO (=refusal) + *(NURSE); “constituted” is anagram indicator”; in law, non-user is the failure to take advantage of a right, hence “neglect”
13   IMPRUDENT IMP (=naughty child) + *(TURNED); “nasty” is anagram indicator
15   RELOCATED OC (=officer, i.e. Officer Commanding) in RELATED (=gave report)
17   AFFAIRE A + F (=fellow) + F (=female) + A + IRE (=passion); & lit. ; French spelling of “affair”, as in affaire d’amour, listed in Chambers
19   EXEGETE E.G. (=say) in EXETE<r> (=a university; “briefly” means last letter is dropped); an exegete is a person who interprets especially Biblical texts, hence “religious scholar”
21   LASSO ASS (=animal) in LO (=see, as in lo and behold); & lit.
22   OMEGA Hidden (“in”) in “sOME GAmes”; the definition is “I literally come last”, with “literally” meaning “as a letter (of the, here Greek, alphabet)”


8 Responses to “Independent 7,779 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Fine puzzle, fine blog; thanks to both.

    The clueing in the Indy generally is good, but Dac is very easy on the eye, it’s true. When you’re solving – and as you say, particularly when you’re blogging – it’s easy to look straight past the surface in the haste of getting to the solution. But if you go back and read today’s clues, they are without exception smooth, story-telling surfaces, and that’s true every Wednesday.

    I did know EXEGETE, but only from crosswords. BEDTIME STORIES was my favourite today.

  2. NealH says:

    Lots of nice clues, as ever. I find it hard to believe no-one has done the Rasputin clue before, but I don’t recall seeing it. There was also a nice bit of unintended topicality with 26 and the recent UBS trading loss.

  3. nmsindy says:

    Another excellent puzzle and blog. Thanks, Dac and RatkojaRiku. Not too hard, but took me a while to work RUDDIGORE out – it was vaguely in memory but I did not realise it was by G&S. As a bibliophile in life outside crosswords, it was interesting to learn about Dent (thanks Wikipedia) who I’d never linked with the Everyman series.

  4. amulk says:

    nice puzzle. just a small quibble. in 1d, to my way of thinking, the use of “air” as a synonym for “transport” is inappropriate, in that i cannot think of any context in which one can be substituted for the other. yes i know we have “air transport”, but we also have “scrambled eggs”. the latter could not be used as an excuse for using “scrambled” as a synonym for “eggs”

  5. MikeC says:

    Thanks to setter and blogger: good job, both. Amulk@4, I think “air” is legitimate if you think of it as a kind (mode) of transport – land, sea or air. Hope this helps.

  6. eimi says:

    I took the view that air should be considered with head rather than separately. Many airlines use Air as part of their name, so presumably the boss of Ryanair could be considered an airhead.

  7. Bamberger says:

    You cna’t get closer to an elusive unaided Indie solve that missing out by one. I got exegete from e?e?e?e, I got dent rather than dint but I could not get ruddigore.
    I had r?d?i?o?e. Probelm was I couldn’t work out if the answer was “really” e.g for sure, definitely, “really adore” e.g idolise, smutty show e.g burlesque , striptease or show e.g demonstrate.
    Among the various efforts I know I pondered smutty =rude which gave me rud?i?o?e and even tried the final of actor to give me rud?i?o?re but I never thought of like=dig.
    To be honest if you had included ruddigore in a list of real and fake words I would definitely have said it was a fake word. Quite simply never heard of it.

    You’ve denied me again Dac.

  8. flashling says:

    unlucky Bamburger, you got closer than me on this, no complaints, just couldn’t see bits of it. Including Ruddigore. Ta RR needed this today.

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