Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8085 / Dac

Posted by duncanshiell on September 12th, 2012


A pleasant crossword from Dac where the solution built up gradually with each further pass through the acrosses and downs.  I found the crossing letters particularlly helpful when solving this puzzle.




With President, Prime Minister, revolutionary leader, war, China, frontiers, soldiers, weapon, Conservative government, deployment,dispute, king, and ‘enter city”, there seemed to be a theme of politics and war throughout the clues, but I may well be reading too much into it.  There didn’t seem to be any theme running through the solutions.

I was thrown a bit in the parsing of 1a for a time as I tried to make HOLLAND fit the ‘country’ bit of the clue.

As ever, Dac’s clues make sense and are often related to the entry, beyond the wordplay and the definition.  I particularly liked the clues for CARRY-OUT and PROBLEMS.

I don’t think this was a particularly difficult puzzle.  It was one that typified the offerings that Dac has given us for quite a long time.

No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Recently-elected president found country in mess (8)


LAND (country) contained in (found … in) HOLE (mess)


HOLLANDE (reference François HOLLANDE, recently-elected President of France [elected 6 May 2012])



Prime minister conceals corruption close to home, for now (3,3


PM (Prime Minister) containing (conceals) (ROT [corruption] + E [last letter of [finally] HOME)


PRO TEM (pro tempore;  the time being; for now)



Author’s works about origin of the revolutionary leader (8)


MILL (building or factory; works) containing (about) (T [first letter of {origin of} THE + CHE (reference CHE GUEVARA, Argentine Marxist revolutionary)


MITCHELL (type ‘MITCHELL author’ into Google and you get seven different authors on page 1.  Probably David MITCHELL [1969 – ] English author who has had two novels short listed for the Booker Prize)



The case for war? (6)


ACTION (lawsuit, or proceedings in a court; case)


ACTION (fighting; battle; war)  double definition



China gives backing to northeastern land (5)


NE (north-eastern) + PAL (friend; mate; china)  PAL comes after (gives backing to) NE


NEPAL (Country; land)



A robber of sorts around western frontiers? (5,4)


Anagram of (of sorts) A ROBBER containing (around) WN (first and last letters of [frontiers] WESTERN)


BROWN BEAR (the common bear of Europe, Asia and North America.  BROWN BEARs seem to be scavengers.  Does this make them robbers of a sort?.  Is there a cartoon or book where a BROWN BEAR is the central characer as a robber?)



Radio programme celebrity takes time with frail people during broadcast (5,3,4)


STAR (celebrity) + T (time) + THE WEEK (sounds like [broadcast] THE WEAK [frail people])


START THE WEEK (programme presented by Andrew Marr, broadcast on Mondays at 9am on BBC Radio 4 UK)



Soldiers’ dazed state after battle causing protest (12)


RE (Royal Engineers; soldiers) + MONS (reference 1914 First World War battle of MONS in Belgium near the border with France) + TRANCE (dazed state)


REMONSTRANCE (strong or formal protest)



Trifle dish in which a weapon is concealed (9)


BELLE (a beautiful woman or girl) containing (in which is concealed) (A + GAT [gatling gun; weapon])


BAGATELLE (trifle)



Particular cutback, Conservative government’s last (5)


AXE (cut) reversed (back) + C (conservative) + T (last letter of  [‘s last] GOVERNMENT)


EXACT (scrupulous; particular)



Film studios closing – capital’s run out (6)


SEALING (closing) excluding the first letter (capital [letter’s] run out) S


EALING (reference EALING film studios in southern England, near London))



Details one unit for deployment in West


(I [one]+ anagram of [for deployment]  UNIT) contained in (in) MAE (reference MAE West [1893 -1980], actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol)


MINUTIAE (details)



Great effort made by son at school (6)


S (son) + TRAIN (instruct; school)


STRAIN (great effort)



Takeaway you consumed in vehicle, right (5-3)


YOU contained in (consumed in) (CAR [vehicle] + RT [right])


CARRY-OUT (takeaway meal)


No. Clue Wordplay Entry

Kind fellow wearing red or blue? (8)


MAN (fellow) contained in (wearing) HUE (colour, e.g. red or blue)


HUMANE (kind)



Periods of respite during mounting dispute likely? (3-3)


Reversed (mounting; down clue) hidden word in (during) DISPUTE LIKELY


LET-UPS (periods of respite)



Last thane to become king (9)


Anagram of (to become) LAST THANE ATHELSTAN (King of England [924 – 939])

Daughter free to enter city as intended (12)


D (daughter) + (LIBERATE (free) contained in (to enter) ELY (cathedral city in Cambridgeshire)


DELIBERATELY (as intended)



Toxic substance makes geriatric indisposed to some extent (5)


Hidden word in (makes to some extent) GERIATRIC INDISPOSED





Galleys mentioned in test papers (8)


TRI (sounds like [mentioned in] TRY [test]) + REMES (sounds like [mentioned in] REAMS [{a large quantity of} papers])


TRIREMES (ancient Greek galleys with three banks of rowers)



Plant from island discovered by English navigator (8)


MAN (reference Isle [island] of MAN) + DRAKE (reference Sir Francis DRAKE [1540 – 1596], English navigator)


MANDRAKE (a poisonous plant of the potato family)



A rustic home built overlooking a large area of land (5,7)


Anagram of (built) A RUSTIC HOME + A  As this is a down clue the first 11 letters forming the anagram are above, or overlooking the final A


SOUTH AMERICA (large area of land)



Former auditor reported finance department (9)


EX (former) + CHEQUER (sounds like [reported] CHECKER [auditor])


EXCHEQUER (a department of state having charge of revenue, finance department)



Scrutinise document containing fifty brain teasers (8)


(PROBE [examine searchingly; scrutinise] + MS [manuscript]) containing (containing) L (Roman numeral for 50)


PROBLEMS (brain teasers)



Runner relatively complacent, crossing line (8)


SMUGGER (more [relatively] complacent) containing (crossing) L (line)


SMUGGLER (one who imports or exports illegally without paying duty; runner, as in drug runner, gun runner etc)



Policeman nabs a popular old actor (6)


(PC [police constable; policeman] containing [nabs] A) + IN (popular) + O (old)

P (A) C IN O

PACINO (reference Al PACINO, American film and stage actor)



Witness accident after vacation near river (6)


AT (the first and last letters of [after vacation of the middle letters]) ACCIDENT + TEST (reference River TEST – there’s one in Hampshire, but I suspect there are others)


ATTEST ([bear] witness [to])



I hadn’t put up paintings (5)


I’D NOT (I had not; I hadn’t) reversed (put up; down clue)


TONDI (circular paintings)


10 Responses to “Independent 8085 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, Duncan.

    Yes, you can usually rely on Dac to be theme-free, but this was entertaining in the usual style. A couple of less familiar words (TONDI was a new one for me). I liked HOLLANDE especially for its witty surface.

    For the author, I just immediately thought of Margaret MITCHELL, but there are no doubt others. She was a bit of a one-trick pony, but Gone with the Wind was certainly a good trick.

    Thanks to Dac as always.

  2. Cumbrian says:

    As yer average solver, I enjoyed this a lot, and in football parlance it was for me a puzzle of three halves with the east side coming together nicely, followed after a regroup by the SW corner, leaving me head scratching with the NW corner which needed the eureka moment. 1d was my last one in as I got hung up on trying to make blue=sad and incorporate red into the answer. Not come across Tondi before, but it had to be that from the clear clue.

    Thanks Duncan and Dac.

  3. rowland says:

    “The solution built up gradually with each further pass through the acrosses and downs”. I guess others have a similar experience, Duncan! Sorry, I’m only pulling your leg, and I think this was up to the usual good standard of Dac puzzles. The FT today was quite similar in that respect, nicely-weighted, you might say.

    Thanks for blog and puzzle both,

  4. Dormouse says:

    Couldn’t get an Indie today so did this online. Had to cheat to get “tondi” which I’d also never heard of. Certainly David Mitchell was the first author I thought of, but that could be because there was a review of a film of Cloud Atlas in the paper the other day.

  5. nmsindy says:

    Yes, excellent, a shade on the easy side of average but nothing wrong with that – yes, the &lit touch in 1A was amusing, I guess that how Hollande would like to have people see it anyway. I’d never heard of TONDI either but it just had to be that from the wordplay and I did not mind learning a new word. Many thanks, Dac and Duncan.

  6. MikeC says:

    Thanks d and D. Enjoyable. TONDI very much my last one in. Had some vague recollection of the word tondo, somewhere in the “attic”, which helped.

  7. Rorschach says:

    Never really got going with this one – seemed a slog – but that’s more a criticism of me than anything else!

    Tight as always from Dac – no surprises there!

    Thanks both.

  8. Bertandjoyce says:

    Hi Duncan

    We checked in late as per usual and first of all we couldn’t find the blog. It seems to have been filed under ‘uncategorised’ so took a bit of finding!

    Still others have found it OK. We’d never come across 3d or 22d but the clueing was fair as we expected from Dac.

    Thanks to you and Dac.

  9. flashling says:

    Perhaps it was the late night G blog doing me in but I really struggled to complete this, no complaints (at least all the clues worked ;-)) – just took a lot of effort. Cheers Duncan and DAC.

  10. allan_c says:

    A bit harder than usual for Dac, I thought, but maybe that was because I came to it late after a busy day. TONDI was new to me, too, and MITCHELL I only got because it couldn’t be anything else – shows my lack of knowledge in some areas of literature

    A CARRY-OUT can also mean “off-sales” in a pub, especially in Scotland. It used to be (maybe still is, I’ve not been north of the border for some years) not unusual to be asked shortly before closing time if one wanted a carry-out. Unwary visitors sometimes mistook it for an offer of assistance leaving the premises if one had consumed too much!

    Thanks to setter and blogger.

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