Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8037 / Dac

Posted by duncanshiell on July 18th, 2012


Another pleasant diversion from Dac with clues that read very well and solutions that are virtually all words in everyday use.




There were just a couple of entries that were not in my day to day vocabulary – SHELTA (at 4 across) and EPODE (at 21 down) – but both were clearly signalled by the word play.  I learnt about GAME THEORY at University and understood it then, but doubt very much if I would now.  STEREOGRAM is not a common word these days, but I suspect there are still many lurking about in solver’s attics and sheds.  With a resurgence in vinyl records, perhaps some of these STEREOGRAMS will see the light of day again.

The clues painted very good word pictures.  I particularly liked 1 across ‘Unassuming kid’s first to leave desk during test‘ and 7 across ‘Biting off edges of chocolate bar stuck on top of "99"

As far as double definition clues go you can’t get more succinct than a two word clue such as 23 across ‘Authorise penalty‘  No doubt that comment will generate examples of some one word cryptic clues!

Dac doesn’t seem to do many Ninas, themes, pangrams etc – he just sets good daily crosswords.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Unassuming kid’s first to leave desk during test (6)


(DESK excluding [to leave] K [first letter of [first] KIDS) contained in (during) MOT (a compulsory annual check made by order of the MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT [now the Department of Transport] on vehicles over three years old)


MODEST (unassuming)



Gaelic language heard in refuge (6)


SHELTA (sounds like [heard] SHELTER [refuge])


SHELTA (a language used by travelling people in Britain and Ireland.  Linguistically SHELTA is today seen as a creole language that stems from a community of travelling people who were originally predominantly Irish Gaelic speaking)



Drinking pub beer regularly, father’s getting plastered (6)


DAD (father) containing (drinking) (letters 2, 4 and 6 [regularly] of PUB BEER)


DAUBED (smeared; plastered)



Write article about a miserable place in California (8)


(PEN [write] + A [indefinite article]) containing (about) (A + SAD [miserable])


PASADENA (city in Los Angeles County, California)



Reimburse committee with some coppers – eight, you say? (10)


COM (committee) + PENS ATE (sounds like [you say] PENCE [coppers] EIGHT)  It took me a while here to realise that the homophone qualifier referred to both coppers AND eight, as I was thinking originally that PENS was being confused with PENC a shortened form [some] of PENCE


COMPENSATE (reimburse)



Help given to Elizabethans (4)


Hidden word in (given to) ELIZABETHANS


ABET (to incite by encouragement or aid; help)



Bird mistaken for green pelican (9,6)


Anagram of (mistaken) FOR GREEN PELICAN





Song released by me old-fashioned with catchy end (9,6)


UNCHAINED (released) + ME + an anagram of (fashioned) OLD + Y (final letter of [end of] CATCHY)


UNCHAINED MELODY (one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century: written in 1955)



Nobleman always chasing power (4)


P (power) + E’ER (ever; always)


PEER (nobleman)



Rock parliament?  His disappearance did (10)


STONE (rock) + HOUSE (reference HOUSE of Parliament)


STONEHOUSE (reference John STONEHOUSE [1925 – 1988], a British Labour Party politician and junior minister under Harold Wilson.  STONEHOUSE is perhaps best remembered for his unsuccessful attempt at faking his own death in 1974)



Authorise penalty (8)


SANCTION (ratify; authorise)


SANCTION (penalty)  double definition



Very rainy round part of South Africa (6)


SO (very) + WET (rainy) + O (a round shape)


SOWETO (urban area of the Johannesburg, South Africa, most frequently in the public eye in the 1970s, but still highlighted in South African news today)



In time gone by, devout supporter of Catholicism (6)


PI (pious person; devout) contained in (in) PAST (time gone by)


PAPIST (supporter of Catholicism)



Entering wood, go about finding shrub (6)


TRY ([have a] go) contained in (entering) ELM (tree; wood) all reversed (about)

(M (YRT) LE)<

MYRTLE  (shrub)


No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Word for ‘doctor’ found in some dictionaries (5)


Hidden word in (in) SOME DICTIONARIES


MEDIC (doctor [rare usage nowadays, so only found in some dictionaries])



Musician finally recognised stranger (7)


D (last letter of [finally] RECOGNISED) + RUMMER (stranger)


DRUMMER (musician)



Dicky Rogers, team player of old (10)


Anagram of (dicky) ROGERS TEAM


STEREOGRAM (an old fashioned record player [and radio], or as Chambers puts it  ‘a radiogram for reproducing stereophonic records’)



The way things go during court case is pitiful (5-7)


TREND (prevailing direction; the way things go) contained in (during) HEARING (court case)


HEART-RENDING (agonising; pitiful)



See a female making bloomer, perhaps (4)


LO (look; behold; see) + A + F (female)


LOAF (a bloomer is a longish crusty LOAF of white bread)



Biting off edges of chocolate bar stuck on top of "99" (7)


Anagram of (off) (CE [first and last letters of {edges of} CHOCOLATE and BAR) + IC (99 in roman numerals)


ACERBIC (bitter and sour; biting)



Desire, but in an immoral way (8)


WANT (desire) + ONLY (but)


WANTONLY (in an immoral way)



Animal carrying soldiers up to race meetings (12)


ASS (animal) containing (carrying)  (GIS [American soldiers] reversed (up; down clue) + NATION [race])





Hetero? Gay? Male could get confused: this might help with decision making (4,6)


Anagram of (could get confused) HETERO GAY and M (male)


GAME THEORY (the theory concerned with analysing the choices and strategies available in a game or business conflict in order to choose the optimum course of action)


Fruit fly, perhaps, better fed than the rest? (8)


PLUM (fruit) + PEST (a fly is an example of a pest [troublesome person or thing])


PLUMPEST (most fat and rounded, possibly as a result of over feeding; perhaps better fed than the rest)



In important competition, be inclined to win everything (5,2)


LEAN (be inclined) contained in (in) CUP (important competition)


CLEAN UP (make large profits; win everything)



Work no end over a 40-day period to get rich (7)


OPUS (work) excluding (no) S (final letter [end]) + LENT (the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed as a time of fasting in Western churches)


OPULENT (wealthy; rich)



Information about English verse form (5)


DOPE (confidential or fraudulent information) reversed (about) + E (English)


EPODE ( kind of lyric poem invented by the Greek poet Archilochus, in which a longer verse is followed by a shorter one; the last part of a lyric ode, sung after the strophe and antistrophe; verse form)



Prevent post being tampered with? (4)


Anagram of (being tampered with) POST

STOP (prevent)


9 Responses to “Independent 8037 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, Duncan, for your blog. For once, I didn’t need you today; this all went in very steadily, with – like you – only SHELTA and EPODE holding me up. SHELTA I had never heard of but I spent an interesting ten minutes reading about it online.

    Fine puzzle from Dac with the usual smooth surface readings. Thanks to him.

  2. allan_c says:

    Thanks, Dac, for a satisfying puzzle, and Duncan for the comprehensive blog. I had heard of SHELTA and EPODE but with both it took a while for the penny to drop. As it did with PASADENA (memo to self – dig out that old record of the Temperance Seven). Some very neat clues; I particularly liked LOAF.

  3. Dormouse says:

    Not as much trouble as yesterday, but I did struggle with this. Finally got stuck on 10 & 26ac and 8 & 21dn. Electronic searches got me three of them – don’t know why I didn’t do that for 21, as I entered “evoke”, for no obvious reason.

    Does anyone remember John Stonehouse these days? I thought that was so obscure I said so out loud. Just as well I was sitting on my own at home and not on a train.

    Unchained Melody is one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century? I knew the name but I’ve no idea if I’ve ever heard it.

    But I did know “Shelta”.

  4. nmsindy says:

    I’d say you’ve heard Unchained Melody all right, Dormouse, maybe without realizing it. Unusually the words of the title do not appear in the lyrics at any point, I think. Jimmy Young, Righteous Brothers etc etc. Internet search will reveal all.

  5. allan_c says:

    Well, I can remember John Stonehouse, but then if I can remember the Temperance Seven I would, wouldn’t I?

    And re 1dn, MEDIC may be a rare usage these days, but survives in the word ‘Paramedic’.

  6. Bertandjoyce says:

    A straightforward puzzle from Dac but very enjoyable. You need the variety from day to day and the Indy delivers!

    We hadn’t heard of Shelta and epode either but both were solvable from the wordplay and were our last ones in.

    Thanks Dac and Duncan.

  7. Paul B says:

    Stonehouse can hardly be described as obscure, at least not in UK, and in 2010 the whole story got a kick when it was revealed that he had been a spy for the Czechs, of all things. I imagine that story was quite a buzz around Europe too, Dormouse old bean.

  8. Dormouse says:

    Curious. I don’t recall the Czech spy story at all, and I consider myself a bit of a news junkie. I wonder what else was going on at the time that meant I never noticed it.

  9. Rorschach says:

    Dac is so good at what he does he rarely gets the praise he deserves. Some of the surfaces in this puzzle were so smooth they took the breath away. Thanks both!

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

× 5 = ten