Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7953 / Dac

Posted by Bertandjoyce on April 11th, 2012


An enjoyable but not spectacular puzzle from Dac. As usual the clues were well composed with some clever use of adjectives, nouns and verbs changing usage which some people may not like…. but we do! We really liked 21a.

Being really picky, we have some quibbles with 5d and 13d but otherwise a fair puzzle with no really unusual words and a good spread of types of clue.

1 PESACH PEACH (fruit) around S (start of ‘solemn’) = Passover festival
4 OPTICIAN OP (work) + homonym (‘say’) of Titian (Italian artist) = expert consulted for viewing (!)
9 SATINY S (last letter or ‘at the rear’ of trousers) + A + TINY (small) = shiny
10 REDACTOR RED (embarrassed) ACTOR (one involved in drama) = editor
12 CHOCOLATE COINS Anagram of AT SCHOOL I ONCE + C (a hundred)  (anagrind is ‘chewed’) = foil-wrapped treats
14 AGREEMENT Anagram of ENTER GAME (anagrind is ‘playing’) = match
16 ABASE AB (sailor) + anagram of SEA (anagrind is ‘in a storm’) = humble (as a verb)
17 SADIE S (final letter of ‘reads’) + even letters (‘ignoring odd extracts’) of hArD tImEs = woman
19 DUMBARTON DUM(b) (almost the opposite to clever) + BARTON (as in Dick Barton, special agent, from the 1940s / 50s radio programmes) = Scottish town. Do you remember this iconic theme tune?
21 UNCONVENTIONAL CONVENT (group of nuns) in UNION (marriage)  + A(bnorma)L (‘extremely’ abnormal) = unorthodox
24 ORATIONS Hidden in (corp)ORATION S(treet) = addresses (speeches)
25 MARCIA A1 (top class) + CRAM (stuff) all reversed (‘returning’) = woman
26 OUTSMART OUT (abroad, as in ‘out and about’) + TRAMS (public transport) reversed (‘on way back’) = fool (as a verb)
27 SECOND Double definition – a) back, as in support & b) a tick, as in a very short period of time
1 POST CHAISE POST (after) + CHA (tea) + I + SE(t) (set ‘off finally’, or with last letter omitted) = old carriage
2 SET-TO Double definition – a) begin, as in ‘set to work’ & b) argument
3 CONDONE CON (Tory) + DONE (carried out) = sanction
5 PRESENTIMENT PRESENT (now) + (‘looming over’ in a down clue) MEN (people) in IT (Italy) = feeling of apprehension. If we were to be really pedantic, It. is the abbreviation for ‘Italian’ – the abbreviation for Italy is just ‘I’. The clue could read equally well with ‘information technology’ as the IT – possibly more deserving of apprehension?
6 ISADORA I’S (one’s) + homonym (‘uttered’) of adorer (‘lover’) = woman’s name
7 INTENDANT INTEND (plan) + A + NT (National Trust) = administrator
8 NARK N (first letter of ‘Noah) + ARK (Noah’s vessel) = bug (as in  ‘irritate’)
11 WATER DIVINER Anagram of RIVER I WANTED (anagrind is ‘what comes out of’) = cryptic definition – a water diviner would want to find what comes out of a river!
13 KENNELMAID Cryptic definition – a KENNELMAID is a female working in Kennels, or doghouses – the singular form doesn’t quite work, but it makes for a short sharp clue.
15 REDUNDANT RED (Old Russian) ANT (worker) around (‘keeps’) UND (German for ‘and’ – a ‘joiner’) = out of a job
18 EROTISM I TORE (I rushed) reversed (‘about’) in front of (‘anticipating’) S and M = excitement such as that induced (for some!!) by S & M
20 AGITATE TA (soldiers) in (‘given shelter in’) A GITE (a cottage abroad) = campaign (as a verb)
22 NACHO N (noon) + A + CO (military commander) around (‘consumes’) H (hot) = snack
23 BONO First letters (‘initially’) of B(elted) O(ut) + NO (short number) = singer (in U2)

6 Responses to “Independent 7953 / Dac”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Dac for an enjoyable puzzle and BandJ for the blog.

    5dn: IT is the internet domain code for Italy

    13dn: Chambers 2011 gives kennelmaid a female attendant who looks after dogs, so she only needs one doghouse to work in.

    12ac: My turn to be picky. This is C (a hundred) contained in (AT SCHOOL I ONCE)* – “chewed” is the anagram indicator and “about” the inclusion indicator.

    19ac: Dick Barton was revived at about the time I started as a school teacher. I would often hear the tune coming from inside classrooms as I walked past during lunch breaks.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Thanks, B&J for the blog esp for explaining the Barton part of DUMBARTON and Dac for another fine puzzle. Collins gives It = Italy as well as It = Italian so I think that’s all OK. I agree with PB’s point re KENNELMAID in what I thought was an excellent clue. Also esp liked OPTICIAN and OUTSMART. ORATIONS too was cleverly hidden – it took me ages to spot it anyway.

  3. NealH says:

    Isadora Duncan aside, 6 down is a fairly uncommon name, so I can imagine some people struggled with that. I thought the &lit in 11 down was a bit strained – water diviners look for hidden sources of water, which tend to be underground springs rather than rivers – but I’m probably being a bit picky. Other than that, it was very much up to Dac’s normal standard.

  4. Bannsider says:

    Having, to my shame, missed Anax’s puzzle yesterday, I made a point of doing this one. I made life difficult for myself by confidently but wrongly ptting EASTER in for 1ac and compounded this, furthermore, by sticking in SATEEN for SATINY! Which made 3 down in particular rather puzzling!
    Maybe with my setter’s hat on, but I…O.A I think only has one reasonable possibility, so ISADORA went in very readily. I liked the “Clever Dick” idea for DUMBARTON!
    I think water could be divined in an underground river, so no problem that I can see with 11dn.

    I’m interested in the comment that people might not like the clever use of nouns and adjectives etc. Surely that’s the lifeblood of the crossworder, either through employment or enjoyment?

  5. Kathryn's Dad says:

    With SADIE, MARCIA and ISADORA all making an appearance, I was looking for a girl band theme, but apparently not. Good puzzle, though – I’m not sure Dac does ‘spectacular’, but he’ll always give you a sound crossword with some lovely surfaces, as was the case today. I thought DUMBARTON and OPTICIAN were specially good.

    Indeed, Bannsider, the capacity of the English language to have words that can be nouns or verbs is one of its delights (and frustrations to learners of English); and an important element of the setter’s armoury, too. Love can tear you apart and leave a tear in your eye …

    Thanks to Dac and to B&J for the blog.

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks for all of the comments. We’ve been out all day walking part of the Robin Hood Way so have only just checked in again.

    Thanks for the comments about It for Italy – we knew there must be something out there and were pretty sure that we had come across it before but couldn’t find it in Chambers.

    We can’t remember where we read it but we have seen comments about the ‘devious’ use of the parts of speech being ‘unfair’. We wholeheartedly disagree and believe that it is one of the delights of cryptic puzzles.

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