Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8049 / Dac

Posted by Bertandjoyce on August 1st, 2012


Our turn for another Dac to blog so no complaints about the surface reading of the clues! A good solid enjoyable puzzle as far as we were concerned with a touch of nostalgia in 14ac! Our only quibble is with the definition in 7d although Dac has included a ‘?’ at the end, perhaps suggesting a dubious meaning.

When we saw a few of the less common letters turning up, we did wonder whether we were in for a pangram but it isn’t!


1   US entrepreneur beginning to get worried, swamped by demands for payment
BILL GATES Initial letter or ‘beginning ‘ of G(et) + ATE (worried) inside or ‘swamped by’ BILLS (demands for payment) = US entrepreneur
6   Hits he released as singer
BASS BAS(he)S (hits with ‘he’ omitted or ‘released’) = singer
8   Comfortable, with arms folded?
SNUG GUNS (arms) reversed or ‘folded’ = comfortable
9   A space like this can accommodate a new garden plant
AGAPANTHUS A GAP (space) + THUS (like this) outside or ‘accommodating’ A + N (new) = garden plant
10   From newspaper, curiously insightful comment
APERCU Hidden in (newsp)APER CU(riously) = insightful comment
11   Ultimately enjoyed sail away to island’s capital
DJIBOUTI Last or ‘ultimate’ letter of enjoyeD + JIB (sail) + OUT (away) + I (island) = capital of Republic of Djibouti. According to an NBC commentator on the Olympics (US View Indy 30/7/12), Djibouti’s name ‘sounds funny’. Perhaps not as bad though as Australia being described as a ‘former penal colony’ or ‘joking’ about Idi Amin when the Ugandan team arrived at the Olympic ceremony. To make matters even worse (if it could get worse!) the NBC website described Australia as ‘located in central Europe, bordered to the north by Germany and the Czech Republic, [and] to the west by Switzerland. The website has been updated now but the original incorrect version can still be seen on a blog that we found when ‘googling’!
12   Stirring carol I caught during afternoon broadcast
PROCLAIM Anagram of CAROL I (anagrind is ‘stirring’) inside or ‘during’ PM (afternoon) = broadcast
14   Percussion items Herb Alpert originally introduced in top-selling recordings
HI HATS First or ‘original’ letters of Herb Alpert inside or ‘introduced’ into HITS (top-selling recordings) = percussion items. If you really want, you can listen to one of Herb Alpert’s well-known hits ‘Spanish Flea’ here!
16   No time to enter flower show
DENOTE NO + T (time) to ‘enter’ or go inside DEE (flower, as in river) = show
17   Former Tory MP’s husband a poet?
HAMILTON H (husband) + A + MILTON (poet) = Former Tory MP. If you are not sure which one, we are very sorry but we refuse to include a link and give this person any more publicity! Unless we can send him an invoice.
18   Film director keeps moving about aimlessly, having abandoned western
ANDERSON (w)ANDERS ON (‘keeps moving about aimlessly’) without, or ‘abandoning’ W (western) = Film director Lindsay Anderson
20   Former top player, a heel?
LEGEND The heel is at the ‘end of the leg’ = former top player. We seem to remember a similar clue appearing recently but it could have been in ‘Another Place’. Or maybe we are imagining it. At our age we’re not sure which!
22   Completely rejected by speaker
THROUGHOUT Sounds like ‘THREW OUT’ (rejected) when spoken = completely
23   Top primate stands near cross
APEX APE (primate) + X (cross) = top
24   Double top for a start leads to triumph
TWIN Initial letter, or ‘start’ of Top at the beginning or ‘leading’ + WIN (triumph) = double
25   Speak on behalf of traveller with grudge
REPRESENT REP (traveller) + RESENT (grudge) = speak on behalf of
1   French leader and British one keeping away from each other?
BONAPARTE B (British) ONE around or ‘keeping’ APART (‘away from’) = French Leader
2   Drink consumed in village restaurant
LAGER Hidden within or ‘consumed in’ (vil)LAGE R(estaurant) = drink
3   Old lady argues belligerently with adult – sweetener needed
GRANULATED SUGAR GRAN (old lady)  + anagram of ARGUES and ADULT (anagrind is ‘beligerently’) = sweetener
4   Trams do circulate in former Russian state
TSARDOM Anagram of TRAMS DO (anagrind is ‘circulate’) = former Russian state
5   Cooked pastie he smelt? No, an egg-based dish
SPANISH OMELETTE Anagram of PASTIE HE SMELT NO (anagrind is ‘cooked’) = egg-based dish
6   Promise of marriage between Elizabeth and Henry? Rubbish!
BETROTHAL BET (Elizabeth) + HAL (Henry) around or ‘between’ ROT (rubbish) = promise of marriage
7   Without question, a day to house-sit?
SQUAT SAT (short form of Saturday, ‘a day’) outside or ‘without’ QU (question) = house-sit. The clue ends with a ‘?’. The definition in Chambers for house-sit’ states, ‘look after a house while the owner is away or on holiday’ but squat is ‘to occupy an unoccupied building without legal right’.
13   Wrapping up songs, entertainer’s to stop broadcasting
CLOSE DOWN ODES (songs) reversed or ‘up’ inside or ‘wrapped’ by CLOWN (entertainer) = to stop broadcasting
15   Try catching wild rhino – most problematic
THORNIEST TEST (try) outside or ‘catching’ an anagram of RHINO (anagrind is ‘wild’) = most problematic
17   Bear turning up round enclosure where poultry are kept
HEN COOP POOH (bear, as in Winnie the Pooh) reversed or ‘turning up’ round ENC (enclosure) = where poultry are kept
19   Talent, say? Absolutely not in America
NOHOW Sounds like KNOW HOW (talent) = absolutely not. The clue uses ‘in America’ in the definition part. Chambers just says that it is an informal adverb although elsewhere we found that it originated from America.
21   To eat constantly gives you runs – look out!
GRAZE GAZE (look) ‘outside’ R (runs) = to eat constantly


12 Responses to “Independent 8049 / Dac”

  1. Ian SW3 says:

    Thanks, Bert and Joyce for the timely blog, and Dac.

    I have no problem with squat = sit without recourse to the secondary senses of occupying a house. I don’t know what Chambers or Collins say, though, as I don’t use post-war dictionaries. They all seem riddled with errors.

  2. Al Dente says:

    Thanks Bertandjoyce also Dac. As a gran (Al is short for Alice and I’m 73 years young) I really liked the long answer GRANulated sugar and the other longer answers that were in there. A really great link in there also to Herb Alpert’s Spanish Flea (nostalgic for me too}. What with Spanish Omelette and Spanish Flea I’m itching for something to eat now! Thanks again to all.

  3. Bertandjoyce says:

    Ian SW3 @ 1 it’s the inclusion of ‘house’ within the definition that we were worried about.

    Al Dente @2 we were slightly concerned about how the ‘younger gran’ may feel about being called ‘old’ until we checked with Chambers. As to eating Spanish fleas – we’re not sure what nationality the ants are at Nomu that are being eaten at the moment in London but we think we’d prefer to stick to a vegetarian option!

  4. Ian SW3 says:

    I took “house” to indicate inclusion (i.e., rendering the rather poetic word order more normally, “day to house question a = sit”)

  5. allan_c says:

    It’s Wednesday and Dac, so I expected some lovely smooth surfaces and wasn’t disappointed – for example 8a, 6d, 15d and 21d.
    14a reminded me of a comment by Frank Muir or Denis Norden (I can’t recall which) to the effect that a hi-hat is like the poetry of Mallarmé – one cymbal piled on top of another (think homophone).
    Thanks, Dac and B&J.

  6. Al Dente says:

    Hi allan_c. It was Denis Norden. Reference BIKWIL: quintessential quirky quotes,issue 18 March 2000; schwa puns. Other good ones in there too.

  7. allan_c says:

    Thanks, Al Dente. As you say, other good ones in there too. For anyone else interested, go to – and there are links to more.

  8. rowland says:

    I would imagine the question-mark is there to allow some width in the meaning of house-sit. I really felt it was okay. Also, it’s got to be QU with A in SAT, for the simplest parsing I can see! ‘House’ would definitely not be an containing indicator for me.

    Many thanks to smoothy Dac, and to Bert & Joyce for their great blog. The nostalgic stuff was…. interesting?


  9. nmsindy says:

    Many thanks, B&J, for the blog – thoroughly enjoyable puzzle from Dac. Favourite clues, Bonaparte and bethrothal. No problem here with SQUAT with the definition a little cryptic (as indicated by the “?”, I thought) tho a wordplay element is provided also to help the solver.

  10. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, both.

    Lovely midweek puzzle from Dac. Plenty of elegant clueing as always; I too liked BETROTHAL and thought SQUAT was fine with the question mark at the end of the clue.

    Thanks to the setter too.

  11. Rorschach says:

    Does ‘know-how’ = talent? I’m not sure I would assimilate the two?

    Apart from that – the standard Dac smoothness and fairness.

    Thanks both!

  12. Dormouse says:

    In the end, 6ac and 7dn defeated me.

    I wonder if 18ac refers to Lindsay Anderson or Wes Anderson, director of The Royal Tenenbaums among others, and probably better known today.

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