Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,899 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on February 8th, 2012


After a struggle with last week’s puzzle, it was nice to be back in Dac’s safe hands again today.

This was an easier-than-average Dac solve for me this morning, with some fairly accessible double definition clues. Nonetheless, the clues were as sound and as entertaining as ever, with at least one real gem: I feel sure that 16, for its economy of language and smooth surface, will be my clue of the week as well as my clue of the day. I also appreciated the inter-related clues at 14D and 19, and the & lit. at 14A.

*(… indicates an anagram)


1   TIED UP Double definition: TIED UP is “thus prisoner may be kept”, bound AND “busy”, occupied
5   COMBOVER V (=volume) in [COMBO (=group of musicians, i.e. a small jazz- or dance band) + ER (=Queen)]; the cryptic definition is “arrangement of Hair piece”, referring not to the musical, but to a vain attempt to make the most of one’s dwindling resources of hair
9   HEAVENWARD HEAVE (=be sick) + NWARD (DRAWN=tired; “the reverse” indicates reversal)
10   DRAG Double definition: DRAG is “tow”, haul (as a verb) AND “car”, as in drag racing
11   SANDPITS AND (=with) in SPITS (=bars, i.e. rods)
13   CREATE E (=English) in CRATE (=box); the definition is “coin” as a verb, e.g. to coin a phrase
14   PREMATCH NERVES *(CHAMP ENTERS + VER<y>); “mostly” means last letter is dropped; “jumpy” is anagram indicator; & lit.
16   PRONOUNCEMENTS PRONOUN (=maybe he, i.e. in grammar) + CEMENTS (=makes firm)
18   A MINUS <ex>AM (“second part of” means latter half of word only is used) + I (=one) + NUS (=group of students)
20   MONMOUTH MON (=day, i.e. Monday) + [OUT in M<edieval> H<ouses>]; “principally” means first letters only are used
22   UNDO Hidden (“part of”) in “fairgroUND Open”
23   ENDANGERED END (=demise) + ANGERED (=incensed); & lit.
25   CADILLAC CA (=California) + [ILL (=another state, i.e. Illinois) in DAC (=yours truly, i.e. name of this puzzle’s compiler)]
26   WIDNES W (=west) + IDNES (SEND = transport + I = one; “back” indicates reversal)
2   IRENA I RENA<me> (=I recall; “not me” means the letters “me” are dropped
3   DAVID LEAN D (=dead) + [IDLE (=still) in A + VAN (=prominent position)]; the reference is to Sir David Lean (1908-91), a British film director
4   PAN Double definition: PAN is “roast”, criticise harshly, as a verb AND a receptacle to “boil vegetables in”
5   CLASSIC [LASS (=female) + I (=one)] in C<ounty> C<ouncil>;
6   MEDICINE MAN CINEMA (=place of entertainment) in MEDIN<a> (=holy city; “briefly” means last letter is dropped)
7   OLDIE Hidden (“protected by”) in “sOLDIErs”
8   EXACTNESS EX (=former partner) + A + *(SCENTS); “variety of” is anagram indicator; the definition is “that’s nice”
12   IN A NUTSHELL IN A NUTSHELL (=Brazil [nut]’s location, cryptically)
14   PYROMANIA P<art>Y (“extremists” means first and last letters only) + ROMANIA (=country)
15   RUN TO SEED *(RUDE NOTES); “scribbled” is anagram indicator; the definition is “degenerate”, decline, as a verb
17   COMEDIC CO- (=fellow) + MEDIC (=doctor)
19   NAOMI The name Naomi (=woman) appears as an anagram (“surprisingly”) in “pyrOMANIa” (=the entry at 14D)
21   THEME THEM (=those people) + <pressur>E (“ultimately” means last letter only)
24   NEW Hidden (“part”) in “GeNE Wilder””

5 Responses to “Independent 7,899 / Dac”

  1. flashling says:

    Thanks RR unlike yourself I struggled quite a bit, just an off day for me perhaps. Still couldn’t really see cadillac, bit obvious now you’ve pointed it out though.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, RatkojaRiku. Bit quiet in here today. I too found this harder than Dac’s usual Wednesday puzzle. I’m absolutely certain that he wasn’t in ‘I’ll show you who’s boss’ mode, but it certainly felt like it at times!

    It’s all fair (except maybe NAOMI, which I thought was a bit of a liberty) but having got a start, I certainly didn’t find it easy to finish off. PREMATCH NERVES was a lovely anagram and clue, and although I’ve certainly seen the PRONOUN + CEMENTS trick before, it took me a while to see it.

    I fancy 5ac should have been (4-4) COMB-OVER (my Collins says so, anyway), but since we haven’t mentioned footie on the Indy thread for at least a week, it gives me a chance to say get well soon to Sir Bobby Charlton, who was probably the most famous person to have flaunted it.

  3. sidey says:

    I thought Jack’s was longer, donkey’s years ago one paper had pictures of them heading balls to compare the lengths.

  4. Wil Ransome says:

    Unlike RR I found this extraordinarily difficult for a Dac, although no problems at all with it now that it’s done. The usual excellence. Some would cavil at the chestnutty quality of PRONOUNCEMENT, and I never understood NAOMI until reading the blog.

    Clive James used to call it a baldy cover-up, a term I use rather than combover because it implies a rather unpleasant vanity.

  5. Tokyocolin says:

    Thanks RR. I too found this a pleasant stroll.
    In Japan the combover is known as ‘barcode’.

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