Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7905 by Dac

Posted by Bertandjoyce on February 15th, 2012


A well constructed puzzle as we have come to expect from Dac.

There are good surface readings, something that we really appreciate in crosswords and all the clues are very fair. No ninas or theme as far as we can see but we don’t remember seeing either of these in a Dac before.

Chambers doesn’t give 14a as an obsolete term but we have found it elsewhere. We have one quibble with 11d where one word seems to be serving two purposes but maybe we are missing something.


1 PACKS IN Anagram of PANIC (anagrind is spreading) around KS (borders of Kansas) = stops. Thank you UncleAda for spotting this!
5 BEMUSED M (male) + USED (given employment) in BED (if you are in bed you are presumably retiring!) = puzzled
9 HERBAL TEA BALT(i) (almost all of curry) in HERE + A = healthy drink
10 STEWS Anagram of S WEST (anagrind is cooked) = dishes
11 MASTER OF SCIENCE Anagram of FORENSIC TEAMS (anagrind is struggle) + CE (French for this) = qualification
12 SUSHI US in SHI(p) (boat mostly) = exotic food
14 CORE STORE CO–RESTORE (work with others to repair as in co-operate)  = an obsolete type of computer memory
16 PERSECUTE Anagram of PET RESCUE (anagrind is broadcast) = dog as in to worry or plague
17 MOTEL Hidden within reMOTE Lancashire = accommodation
18 THIN ON THE GROUND ‘Lanky (thin) cricketers in action’ could be found on a cricket ground = rare
22 MAINE MAIN (Major) + E (European) = state
23 CONSTABLE CONS (reads) + TABLE (display of figures) = PC (Police Constable)
25 AUGUSTA AUGUSTA sounds like auguster (more imposing) = Capital of Maine (22a)
26 TONE ARM TOM (prostitute) around NEAR (close) = pick-up (as in the old record players!)
1 PAH PA(t)H (last letter of student removed from path, a course) = expression of disgust
2 CORPS COPS (law enforcers ) around R (resistance) = military group
3 SNAKE BITE S(son) + anagram of A BIT KEEN (anagrind is ‘a bit drunk’) = drink. Thanks to PaulA for spotting the typo!
4 NETTO NET (bag) +T(esc)O (Tesco ‘emptied) = foreign supermarket
5 BRASSERIE ASSER(t) (say without time) inside BRIE (cheese) = restaurant
6 MASAI MAI(d) (shortened girl) around SA (South Africa) = Kenyan
7 STERNPOST STERN (demanding) + POST (job) = support on a ship
8 DISHEVELLED DISH (attractive woman) + EVE (first woman) + LLED (dell or depression over/backwards)  = having a bad hair day
11 MESOPOTAMIA Anagram of SOME (anagrind is suspicious) + POT (drug) + AMI (foreign friend) + A (heading for ancient) = land. It looks as if ‘ancient’ is serving two purposes here.
13 STRAINING S (school) + TRAINING (teaching) = strenuous
14 CRUSTACEA CRUST (some bread) + ACEA (sounds like Asia) = shellfish
15 SAMARITAN RITA (woman) in SA (South American) MAN (fellow) = a helpful sort
19 OPENS OPENS (establishes) = sports competitions as in the golf championships
20 ERNST ‘Captivated’ by MidwestERN STates = painter
21 UMBRA UMBR(i)A (region of Italy without I) = shady region
24 ELM wE cLiMb (regular/alternative letters) = tree

12 Responses to “Independent 7905 by Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, B&J, for a fine blog. If you hold Dac’s hand, he’ll generally lead you over the finishing line, but I had to hold it pretty tightly today. The last few in took quite a while.

    Never heard of TOM for ‘prostitute’ (sheltered life) and CORE STORE was also a new one. I thought NETTO was clever though.

    I think MESOPOTAMIA just works as a definition of ‘land’ or ‘country’, but I can’t see BEMUSED. You’ve got one too many Ds in your parsing, and I want to put M and USE in BED, but I can’t see any insertion indicator. Dac’s always precise with his clueing, so I’m just missing something.

    Thank you to him for the puzzle.

  2. MikeC says:

    Thanks B&J and Dac. I missed CORE STORE – couldn’t parse it but thought it must be “card store”.

    I read 5a like this: “after retiring presumably” = in BED. This therefore containing M(ale) + USE (employment).

  3. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Of course, Mike, thank you.

  4. flashling says:

    @K’SD seems MikeC beat me to 5a as I was going to say the same, a nice Dac all round, not knowing the US state capitals I thought Augusta was in Georgia, oh well. Thanks B&J for doing a better job than I ever did.

    Does anyone still use tone arms?

  5. Paul B says:

    I need one, AAMOF, for my currently redundant Rega Planar, which is still quite nice to look at nonetheless. Or at least a new cartridge. (Such nice things, decks: I always dreamed of a Linn Sondek.)

    MESOPOTAMIA is still current as a region, according to Collins, so while it was arguably at its greatest in the time of Uruk, Tell Brak etc, ‘ancient’ doesn’t actually need to help the definition.

  6. UncleAda says:

    Thank you Bert&Joyce for the blog. For 1 ac. I read it as KS for ‘bor
    ders of Kansas’, rather than KA.?

  7. Paul A says:

    Also 3d should be S(on) + anagram of A BIT KEEN, I think

  8. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Dac for your usual enjoyable puzzle and Bertandjoyce for the blog.

    1ac: I took this the same way as UncleAda @6.

    14ac: I took this as “work with others” = “company” = CO “to” = “joined to” and “repair” = RESTORE, but I think your parsing is better.

    3dn: This could be anagram of S A BIT KEEN, but I prefer the parsing given by Paul B@7, keeping the abbreviation apart from the anagram wherever possible.

    11dn: As well as the ancient land between the Tigris and the Euphrates, Mesopotamia also refers to an island in Oxford between the two branches of the River Cherwell. See,_Oxford

  9. Pelham Barton says:

    Sorry I meant Paul A@7 not Paul B.

    While I am back in, I should comment on 5ac. I took this as “after retiring” = “in bed”, with the “presumably” telling us that we then have to reinterpret the “in” as an insertion indicator.

  10. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks to all of you for finding the errors in the blog! I’ve made the changes.
    Pelham Barton@9 We tried to imply what you have indicated for 5ac but I think you have parsed it better! Thanks

  11. NealH says:

    I found this fairly easy with just crustacea and core store holding me up a little. I’d always thought shellfish were a subset of crustacea, but looking at the dictionary it doesn’t appear so, since all crabs and lobsters can be categorised as shellfish. The bread bit also held me up because I was convinced it was going to be some word for money such as a currency. I vaguely remember core store from somewhere – even though it’s a bit obscure, it’s justified because it was quite a neat, deceptive clue.

  12. Paul B says:

    Sometimes you get a ‘presumably?’, sometimes you just get a question- or exclamation-mark. In a much-talked-about Times Crossword Chamionships puzzle, some clue or other for PIMENTO used the cryptic build-up of ‘miners’ for the PI(MEN)T bit, raising some eyebrows apparently. But that just had a ? at the end of it, IIRC.

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