Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,947 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on April 4th, 2012


It’s Wednesday today, so it’s that time of the week that more often than not sees a Dac puzzle in the Indy.

I made steady progress through this puzzle until I reached the NE quadrant, whereupon the head-scratching began in earnest. Overall, the wordplay was characteristically tight enough for me to be confident of all my solutions in this puzzle, even when the clue words were unfamiliar to me, such as the engineer at 23 and the specific derivation forming the definition at 3.

My favourite clue today simply has to be 12, for its overall construction in accommodating additional food words, and for the cryptic element to its definition. I did, however, find myself wondering when and for what particular purpose someone had thought it fitting or necessary to abbreviate a word like “chestnut”.


*(…) indicates an anagram

1   MOLDAVIA M (=motorway) +{[A in [OLD (=ancient) + VIA (=Roman road, i.e. Latin for road)]}
6   CUTEST CUT (=version of film) + EST (=is in French, i.e. form of verb être)
9   SOMERSAULTING Homophone (“we’re told”) of “summer” (=season) + “salting” (=seasoning)
10   CRUSOE Homophone (“talked of”) “crew” (=sailors) + “so” (=thus); the reference is to the eponymous castaway Robinson Crusoe in the 1719 novel by   Daniel Defoe
11   UXBRIDGE U (=university) + X (=unnamed person, as in “X gives £100 to Y) + BRIDGE (=link)
13   CONSORT CON (=criminal, as a noun) + SORT (=type)
15   AFLOAT O (=nothing) in [A + FLAT (=property)]
16   LITTLE <nove>L (“finally” means last letter only) + *(TITLE); “change of” is anagram indicator
18   HATREDS HAT (=top) + REDS (=Communists); the definition is “dislikes” as a noun
20   INTERCOM CO (=company) in [IN + TERM (=time)]
21   FLIGHT F<oreign> (“capital” means first letter only) + LIGHT (=land, as a verb)
22   CLOSE RELATIVE *(TELEVISE<d> + LORCA); “short” means last letter is dropped; “plays” is anagram indicator
23   WALLIS ALL (=everything) in WIS<e> (=well-informed; “mostly” means last letter is dropped); the reference is to British engineer Sir Barnes Wallis (1887-1979), best known for inventing the bouncing bomb
24   FATIGUES FAT (=heavy) + I + GUES<s> (=suppose; “though short” means last letter is dropped)
1   OBSTRUCTION [B (=British) in OST (=East German, i.e. the German for east)] + RUCTION (=trouble)
3   DUMPS ON MP (=politician) in *(SOUND); “broadcast” is anagram indicator
4   VERVE Hidden (“much reduced”) in “coVER VEry”
5   A LAW UNTO   HIMSELF *(A L<iberal> WHO FULMINATES); “wildly” is anagram indicator
6   CELEBRANT CE (=church) + [BR (=religious brother) in LEANT (=inclined)]
7   TRIVIAL V-1 (=bomb, i.e. WW2 German robot flying bomb) in TRIAL (=pilot, i.e. trial run)
8   SAG GAS (=petrol); “rise of” indicates vertical reversal
12   GOAT’S   CHEESE [OATS (=cereal) + CH (=chestnut)] in GEESE (=silly people); the cryptic definition is “butter product”, referring to a goat as one that butts, rams things
14   ONE-ACTERS ON (=showing willingness, e.g. to participate in a bet) + *(CREATES); “comic” is anagram indicator; one-acters are plays consisting of a single act
17   TREFOIL REF (=whistle-blower, e.g. at football match) in TOIL (=work)
19   EXITING EX<c>ITING (=hot); “not cold (=C)” means the letter “c” is dropped
21   FEAST Hidden (“consumes”) in “wiFE ASTonishingly”
22   CHA CHA<p> (=fellow); “not finishing” means last letter is dropped

12 Responses to “Independent 7,947 / Dac”

  1. MikeC says:

    Thanks RR and Dac. I had quite a struggle with this because I mistakenly entered “blood relative” for 22a. Took a while to dig myself out! A good puzzle, as usual with Dac.

  2. Allan_C says:

    Another straightforward puzzle and fairly quick to solve, though not as fast as the last two days. I do begin to wonder what’s in store for later in the week.

    Thanks, Dac and RR.

  3. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Dac for a pleasant solve and RR for the blog.

    5dn: Nothing wrong with RR’s parsing, but whenever the wording allows it, I prefer to parse keeping abbreviations out of the anagram, so I parsed this as the alternative A + L + *(WHO FULMINATES)

    12dn: Very nice clue. I think the abbreviation “ch” for “chestnut” might be used in a list of horses when space is at a premium, although I failed to find such a list in a few minutes’ web surfing.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, RR and Dac. Excellent puzzle – pleased to be able to get from clear wordplay, the answers that I was not familiar with – DUMPS ON, WALLIS and the MOLDAVIA form. Esp liked the clues for LITTLE, HATREDS, EXITING, FEAST. Agree with PB’s point at #3 ie the A L (from Liberal) is first and separate from the anagram.

  5. flashling says:

    All in all a fine DAC as ever (do you ever see complaints about a DAC?) made a bit of a mess of my DTV on 11ac seeing span and university and tried to enter cambridge without thinking and then halfway through realising it doesn’t fit…

    Last in was WALLIS I had _A_L_S and knew it was double L but took me a while to get the name in my head.

    Thanks RR for doing the blog, some of us appreciate the effort, and DAC for the entertainment.

  6. NealH says:

    I found this distinctly harder than the last couple of days and took a while to get going. A few preconceptions held me back – like assuming that 1 across had to start with MI and that 6 down must have an Eli inside some abbreviation for church. Wallis was also my last as I couldn’t think of a word for well-informed off the top of my head – not sure wise is the same thing, although you can be “wise to something”, I suppose.

  7. flashling says:

    @NealH #6 my problem with 1ac was starting with TAKE = R which held me up a bit there.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, RatkojaRiku, and to Dac. Been a bit frantic today, so late on parade, but just to say it was another excellent puzzle and that I too carelessly entered CLOSE RELATION for 22ac. SOMERSAULTING was excellent.

  9. Dormouse says:

    Certainly took me longer than the past few days, but I did complete it without either having to look through a dictionary or doing a word search, which pleased me. MOLDAVIA was first in but I got stuck thinking 5d must begin A MAN WITH…, and then not finding anything that fitted the remaining letters.

    Bottom left took me a long time to complete. Kept thinking the engineer ought to be Brunel, especially with Brunel University being in Uxbridge. 16ac was the last in, it being such an obscure word. :-)

  10. Rorschach says:

    Good fun.

    Has anyone seen CH = Chestnut anywhere else?

  11. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Yes, Rorschach, in Chambers …… :)
    But that’s most certainly not what your question was all about.
    The ODE makes clear that it refers to the chestnutty colour of a horse [so, indeed, PB].
    Knowing that CH can be justified by ‘chestnut’, it raises the question why I (and you, Rorschach) have never seen it in crosswords. An alternative to the Church? Why not?

    As to the crossword itself, I thought it was relatively easy on the Scale of Dac. Which suited me well.
    Even so, more than just one Clue of the Day: 1ac, 18ac, 21ac, 12d …

    Many thanks, RR.

  12. Graham Pellen says:

    12D In the descriptions of horses’ colouring in form guides, abbreviations are b=bay; bl=black; br=brown; ch=chestnut; g=grey.

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