Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,067 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on August 22nd, 2012

RatkojaRiku.

Dac is appearing today in his regular Wednesday slot, although it has not fallen to me to blog one of his puzzles for quite a while.

As is customary for me when solving Dac crosswords, I never zip through them, but tend to solve clues at a fairly regular pace and be held up by two or three at the end. This particular puzzle was no exception. Overall, the NW quadrant proved to be the hardest to crack, especially 1, 3 and 4, although 8 was the last solution to be entered in the grid. 17 was unfamiliar to me but could just about be figured out from the wordplay and subsequently confirmed. SHINDIG was more familiar to me as a party than SHINDY at 28.

My favourite clues were 1 and 10 for their smooth surfaces and 9 for its topicality.

*(…) indicates an anagram

Across    
     
1   RABBIT Double definition: RABBIT is “(to) waffle (on)”, chatter AND a “bun(ny rabbit)”
     
5   WARRANTY ANT (=soldier) in [WAR (=battle) + RY (=lines, i.e. railway)]
     
9   DISGRACE [S<timulants> (“principally” means first letter only) in DIG (=like)] + RACE (=Olympic   event)
     
10   SUPERB REP (=traveller, i.e. sales rep) in BUS (=coach); “on return journey” indicates all here is to be reversed;
     
11   COITUS CO (=business, i.e. company) + IT (=Italian) + US (=American); the definition is “congress”, i.e. sexual intercourse
     
12   IN SPADES IN (=trendy) + SPADES (=suit, i.e. in cards); the definition is “how (trendy)!”, used emphatically
     
13/15   HEADMISTRESSES HE (=man) + ADMI<n> (=management; “mostly” means last letter dropped) + STRESSES (=puts strain on)
     
17/19   MASON-DIXON LINE MA (=mother)   + SON (=boy) + DI (=girl) + X (=cross) + ONLINE (=connected to internet); the definition is “boundary”, referring to a line surveyed in 1763-7 to resolve a border dispute between British colonies in Colonial America
     
21   GALLOWAY ALLOW (=sanction) in GAY (=happy); the reference is to George Galloway, MP for the Respect Party.
     
23   GROTTO GR (=King, i.e. George Rex) + OTTO (=Bismarck, i.e. first Chancellor of the German Empire)
     
25   GAMBLE G (=government) + [M (=medium) in ABLE (=expert)]
     
26   ORDNANCE OR (=soldiers, i.e. Other Ranks) + [N (=new) in DANCE (=steps)]
     
27   GANGSTER <causin>G (“finally” means last letter only) + ANGST (=great worry) + ER (=monarch, i.e. Edward Rex)
     
28   SHINDY S<cottis>H (“extremists” means first and last letters only) + INDY (=this newspaper)
     
Down    
     
2   ADIPOSE [DIP (=swim) + O (=round)] in *(SEA); “choppy” is anagram indicator
     
3   BEGET E.G. (=say) in BET (=GAMBLE, i.e. entry at 25)
     
4   TRANSOMED T<ime> (“very little” means first letter only) + RANSOMED (=rescued, i.e. redeemed); the definition is “beamed”, i.e. bearing crossbeams
     
5   WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR *(REMIX OF   SU<n>NY WITH); “only one note   (=N)” means that one letter “n” is dropped from anagram; “fluffed” is anagram indicator; “When I’m Sixty-Four” was released by The Beatles in 1967
     
6   RASPS Double definition: RASPS means “jars”, grates, jangles AND “fruit”, i.e. raspberries
     
7   APPRAISAL *(PARIS) in [A + PAL (=friend)]
     
8   TERRENE Homophone (“you   claimed”) of “terrine” (“pâté out of this); the definition is “out of this   world? The opposite”, i.e. earthly
     
14   DOODLEBUG Cryptic definition: “cartoonist’s obsession”, i.e. a doodle bug, i.e. an obsession with doodling
     
16   RENEGADES *(SEE DANGER); “differently” is anagram indicator
     
18   ALABAMA [A + B (=book)] in [A + LAMA (=priest)]
     
20   NOTICED NOT ICED (=unlikely description of a celebration cake, which would normally be iced)
     
22   WREST Homophone (“it’s said”) of “what remains” (=rest)
     
24   OMANI <r>OMANI<a> (=European country); “off limits” means the first and last letters are dropped
     
     
     

10 Responses to “Independent 8,067 / Dac”

  1. Quixote says:

    I reckon it’s Dac’s 64th round about now! If so, happy birthday dear colleague — and for what it’s worth I clued the same phrase in 2009 thus: As Quixote’s square it’s time to question loveableness.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, RatkojaRiku.

    Yes, a Dac puzzle usually falls out steadily, and this one did this morning. I only hesitated on TERRENE, not having come across the word before; but it could hardly mean anything else.

    I liked COITUS (COITUS IN SPADES sounds quite fun), and my other favourite was RABBIT.

    If it is the 64th, then Many Happy Returns!

  3. Wanderer says:

    As enjoyable as ever from Dac, for which many thanks, and congratulations if it is indeed your birthday.

    Worth noting that the Mason-Dixon Line’s chief claim to fame is as the informal divide between North and South in the American Civil War. (Slave states to the south, non-slave states to the north.) So it’s nice to see ALABAMA running south from the MASON-DIXON LINE.

    Thanks RatkojaRiku for the blog.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Enjoyable puzzle as always from Dac, with the NE corner proving much more difficult than the rest for me.

    Yes, I thought of that birthday possibility when I saw the Beatles song and I also remembered the Quixote puzzle (which I think I blogged at the time). The Azed book on setters confirms the year tho not the actual birthday of course. Favourite clue RABBIT. Apart from its historical significance the MASON-DIXON LINE is known to setters as a phrase containing both a hyphen and two separate words so it can be used to illustrate all the possibilities for letter-count, (5-5,4) here, which vary with type of puzzle and editorial preferences to such as (14, two words) (14, 2 words, hyphenated) (14) etc etc.

    Best wishes from me too – I was at a celebration a week or two back for a 50th wedding anniversary and that song was played. One of couple said to us afterwards – “If only we were 64….”.

  5. dac says:

    As Don divined, and Niall confirmed, it is indeed my 64th later this week. Thanks for your good wishes, and for the kind comments on the puzzle as usual.

  6. Dormouse says:

    Yes, a nice puzzle, although I didn’t think it was going to be so at first. Looked at it after breakfast and at lunchtime and couldn’t get a single answer. Looked at it again just now and it all fell out, which again confirms my suspicions that my solving ability changes from moment to moment.

    Lots of fun clues, but I, too, got stuck in the top right corner. 6dn was the last one in, not being familiar with “rasps” for raspberries. 8dn, however, I knew from the term “contra-terrene matter” an old term for anti-matter that turns up occasionally in old science fiction stories.

    21ac is topical, although he never seems to be long out of the news.

    Didn’t we have “transomed” in a puzzle just recently?

  7. flashling says:

    Rasps held me up at the end but fine as ever – suspected the 64 bit was a semi nina about Dac, happy returns sir.

  8. RatkojaRiku says:

    Many Happy Returns, Dac! I wondered whether or not there was an autobiographical dimension to that choice of entry, and came close to speculating about it in the blog this morning. Thankfully, other readers picked up on it so that occasion did not go unmarked.

  9. allan_c says:

    Very busy all yesterday so only got round to this puzzle today. Yes, I thought we’d seen TRANSOMED only recently, though whether in the Indy or Another Newspaper I’m not sure.

    But congratulations to Dac on the upcoming celebration. I had the said tune as a ringtone at one time but it’s not been appropriate for a few years now.

  10. Graham Pellen says:

    Surely the definition in 12A is “and how!”.

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