Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8013 / Dac

Posted by duncanshiell on June 20th, 2012


Dac is a regular contributor of Independent crosswords on a Wednesday.  He doesn’t seem to use obscure words in the grid and his clues always read very well.

I think his puzzles will appeal to many solvers as they are neither too difficult nor too easy.

I made fairly steady progress through this puzzle.  I like to do a pass through all the clues first to see how many I can cold solve before beginning to use the crossing letters.  That is probably not the best way to do it if solving against the clock.

Favourite clues today were those for PICCADILLY (4 across), DARLINGTON (26 across), CREATURE OF HABIT (5 down) and PERPIGNAN

Most of the clues parsed unambiguously, although it took a while to understand the wordplay in ANADIN (24 across) and even now I reckon there are two possibilities (see below).  BOOKLET (2 down) seems to have two possible uses for the word ‘minor’)

The most obscure word today was probably ASPARTAME (6 down) but the word play was very clear.

Current location: Grenaa, 50 Km NE of Aarhus, Denmark.  (Last blog to be posted from foreign climes for a while; back to Scotland at the weekend.  Of course, some solvers may consider Scotland to be foreign climes)

Clue Wordplay Entry

Lying, a crook won’t reveal name (4)


A + BEND (crook; crook is defined in Chambers as ‘a bend or something bent’) excluding (won’t reveal) N (name)

ABED (in bed; most of the time one is in bed, one is lying)



Policeman nabs one scoundrel causing trouble close to railway line in London (10)


(PC [policeman] containing (nabs) I [one]) + CAD (scoundrel) + ILL (producing evil; causing trouble) + Y (last letter of [close to] RAILWAY)


PICCADILLY (one of the London Underground tube lines)



Men aboard a liner at sea making woman cross? (8)


OR (other ranks; men) contained in (aboard) an anagram of (at sea) A LINER


LORRAINE (ladies’ name; woman. Also reference the Cross of LORRAINE [a heraldic cross])



Walking about, one’s gripped by sharp pain (6)


(C [circa; about] + I [one]) contained in (gripped by) PANG (violent but usually brief pain; sharp pain)


PACING (walking)



Hallway at the front is black with splashes of colour (6)


B (black) + LOBBY (hallway)


BLOBBY (with splashes of colour; Chambers, which is all I have with me on tour in Scandinavia, simply defines BLOBBY as something with round spots without mentioning colour, but perhaps other dictionaries refer to splashes of colour)



Empties containers carried by solicitor (5,3)


URNS (containers) contained in (carried by) TOUT (solicitor)


TURNS OUT (empties)



Big fellow rejected regional theatre roles? (8)


(REP [repertory; regional theatre] + PARTS [roles]) reversed (rejected)


STRAPPER (a tall robust person; big fellow.  I suppose a STRAPPER could be a big lady, hence the ‘?’



A female, perhaps, mentioned items for discussion (6)


AGENDA (sounds like [mentioned] A GENDER)   ‘Perhaps’ is used because a gender can be male or female.


AGENDA (items for discussion at a meeting)



Bird in garden – cuckoo (6)


Anagram of (cuckoo) GARDEN

GANDER ( a male goose; bird)



After six balls at Lord’s players become gloomy (8)


OVER (there are six balls in an over in cricket.  Lord’s cricket ground is the home of cricket.  Australia used to have 8 balls in an over, but world cricket has now standardised on 6 balls) + CAST (players in the theatre)


OVERCAST (gloomy)



Rather fat politician, one accommodated in sumptuous surroundings (8)


(MP [Member of Parliament; politician] + I [one]) contained in (accommodated in) PLUSH (sumptuous)


PLUMPISH (rather fat)



Jog, wearing jacket (6)


JERK (jog; Chambers thesaurus) + IN (wearing, as in ‘he was in a shirt’)


JERKIN (jacket)



Lots of gossip and noise?  You might need this (6)


I can think of two ways to parse this:

1.  ANA (a collection of someone’s table talk or of gossip, literary anecdotes or possessions)  excluding the final letter (lots of)  A + A  DIN (noise) or

2 ANA (gossip) + DIN (noise) where ‘lots of’ refers to the fact that we have both gossip and noise together.

I prefer option 1 but won’t be surprised to learn that it should be 2.

ANADIN (a brand of pain relievers, headache pills, which might be useful after enduring lots of gossip and noise)



Former prison rebuilt as billet (8)


Anagram of (rebuilt) AS BILLET


BASTILLE (an old fortress and state prison in Paris, demolished in the Revolution [July 1789]; nowadays a colloquial term for prison)



Cherie Blair briefly spotted in northern town (10)


DARLING (cherie [French for my love; darling]) + TONY (reference TONY Blair) excluding the final letter (briefly) Y


DARLINGTON (town in northern England)



Food served in here at suppertime (4)


Hidden word in (served in) HERE AT SUPPERTIME


EATS (food)


Clue Wordplay Entry

No right to burn minor publication (7)


BROOKLET (a little [minor] stream; burn [mainly a Scottish usage]) excluding (no) R (right)


BOOKLET (publication)  The word ‘minor’ could apply to the definition in that a BOOKLET is a little [minor] book



Round the clock activity here (9)


DARTBOARD (Around the Clock is a training activity in darts where the players must hit every number in order from 1 to 20)


DARTBOARD (the focus of the game ‘Around the Clock, i.e. where the activity takes place)  cryptic definition



I see ferret’s skirting bog (5)


PRY (ferret) containing (skirting) (I + V [‘vide’ {see} in Latin)]

PR (I V) Y

PRIVY (colloquial term for toilet, as is ‘bog’)



Newly-trained teacher, initially old-fashioned, but fair, one who’s predictable? (8,2,5)


Anagram of (newly-trained) TEACHER and O [first letter of [initially] OLD-FASHIONED) and BUT FAIR


CREATURE OF HABIT (a person of unchanging routines; one who’s predictable)



Sugar substitute comes in a box thanks to me (9)


A + SPAR (box) + TA (thanks) + ME


ASPARTAME (an artificial sweetener, 200 times sweeter than sucrose, derived from aspartic acid and phenylalamine; sugar substitute)



South Americans in Caracas principally like … (5)


IN + C (first letter of [principally] CARACAS) + AS (like)


INCAS (South American people of Peru before the Spanish conquest in the 16 century)



… flagging contents of Venezuelan guidebook (7)


Hidden word in (contents of) VENEZUELAN GUIDEBOOK  This clue is linked with the previous one because Caracas is the capital of Venezuela, a South American country.


LANGUID (flagging)



French town, a source of ham and bread (9)


PER (for each or a) + PIG (source of ham) + NAN (a type of slightly leavened bread, as baked in Indian and Pakistani cookery, similar to pitta bread)


PERPIGNAN (French town) You can certainly get excellent ham and bread in PERPIGNAN so this clue is almost an &Lit where the whole clue defines the answer in addition to the wordplay.  I recognise there are many other French towns that are sources of excellent ham and bread.



Old Testament book’s writing style tending to digress (9)


EX (Exodus; Old Testament book) + CURSIVE ([of handwriting] written with a running hand)


EXCURSIVE (rambling; deviating from the main point; tending to digress)



Fellow leads soldiers round entrance to this state capital (7)


(ALAN [man’s name; fellow) containing (round) T (first letter of [entrance to] THIS) + TA (territorial army; soldiers)


ATLANTA (Capital of the American state of Georgia)



Pan art film made by Spielberg (7)


SKILL (art) + ET (film [co-produced and directed by Stephen Spielberg])


SKILLET(a small, long-handled pan; a frying-pan in North America)



Award finally presented during banquet perhaps (5)


D (last letter of [finally] PRESENTED) contained in (during) MEAL (a banquet is an example of a MEAL)



MEDAL (award)



Jack, a young male hero (5)


J (jack, in cards) + A + SON (male child or offspring; young male.  I don ‘t think a son can be described as young all his life.)


JASON (reference JASON and the Argonauts where JASON is portrayed as a hero in Greek mythology)


7 Responses to “Independent 8013 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan. Taking Chambers with you on tour is beyond the call of duty …

    I swear on my life that Dac has been getting harder recently. It’s all fair, but I think he must have saved up all the tricky clues for the NW quadrant today. I thought DARLINGTON and PERPIGNAN were excellent, and PRIVY was also good once I’d worked it out. Not so keen on BLOBBY.

    I went with your option 2 for ANADIN. More product placement in the Indy …

    Another good Wednesday puzzle from Dac, thank you.

  2. flashling says:

    I don’t think you intended to put POLICEMAN in your preamble, but the usual good stuff, I got Anadin via version2 as well.

  3. duncanshiell says:

    flashling @ 2

    Thanks – you’re right – corrected now.

  4. nmsindy says:

    A fine crossword from Dac, which I too found harder than usual for Dac esp (as someone mentioned) the NW corner. Round the Clock was unknown to me, so thanks for explaining that – my first thought was DASHBOARD when I’d some crossing letters. Funnily I’d a third interpretation of ANADIN taking ana = lots of gossip and din = noise. Favourite clue, DARLINGTON. Thanks Duncan and Dac.

  5. Dormouse says:

    Got the right hand side without too much trouble, struggled a bit with the bottom left, and needed a lot of help to finish. Seeing how I spent a lot of my childhood not too far from Darlington, I’m surprised that took me a while.

    Having worked out that 9ac was an anagram, I had to do an anagram search to get that, but even then it was still hard work.

    I’m for option 2 on 24ac.

  6. Allan_C says:

    A similar experience to Dormouse – RHS fairly straightforward then slow in the SW corner, partly because (having found J, K, V and X) I thought it might be a pangram.

  7. pennes says:

    I thought 26 ac, Darlington goes down as my clue of the year so far. I might have finished this had I not been on holiday without references: I thought the “woman cross” was something to do with the Eleanor crosses I presumed that she must be spelt Elianore which then made the nort hwest cprner unfinishable

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