Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,091 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on September 19th, 2012


It is Wednesday, and since it is not the last one of the month, it must be Dac.

I made rather swift and even progress through this puzzle, which seemed easier than the average Dac to me. This does not mean to say that there was not much to admire here: on the contrary, a set of perfectly sound clues with some silky smooth surfaces, e.g. at 14 and 9, which were my favourite clues, together with 7 for its construction.

The last ones in were the geographical references at 11 and 7 (which I realised I had been misspelling all my life!)

(…) indicates an anagram

1   BENEFACTOR N (=new) in [BEEF (=complaint) + ACTOR (=player)]
6   CHOP CH (=companion, i.e. Companion of Honour) + OP (=work, i.e. opus)
10   UNCERTAIN *(ANCIENT UR); “to be rebuilt” is anagram indicator
11   TIREE <re>TIREE (=OAP); “about (=re) to leave” means the letters “re” are dropped”; Tiree is the most westerly island in the Inner Hebrides
12   CROUTON ROUT (=defeat) in CON (=Tory)
13   BAILEYS B<uilder> (“at the front” means first letter only) + *(EASILY); “repaired” is anagram indicator; a bailey is the outer wall of a feudal castle
14   ACHILLES’ TENDON A + CHILL (=cold) + [TEND (=take care of) in *(NOSE)]; “suffering” is anagram indicator
17   AN IDEAL HUSBAND A + *(DANIEL) + H (=hot) + US (=American) + BAND (=group); An Ideal Husband is an 1895 stage play by Oscar Wilde
21   DRACULA CAR (=estate, say) in [A + LUD (=lord)]; “proceeding in wrong direction” indicates reversal
22   THROWER T<oug>H (“extremely” means first and last letters only) + ROWER (=sportsman)
24   GRACE G (=good) + RACE (=people); & lit.
25   D’ARTAGNAN DART (=weapon) + AG (=silver, i.e. chemical formula) + N (=point, i.e. of compass) + A + N (=knight, i.e. in chess); the reference is to Charles Ogier de Batz de Castelmore (1611-73), Comte d’Artagnan, who served Louis XIV as captain of the Musketeers of the Guard and was immortalised by Alexandre Dumas in The Three Musketeers
26   DREW Double definition: DREW is American actress Drew “Barrymore” (1975-) AND “depicted”, portrayed
27   PRESENT-DAY [RESENT (=feel peeved about) + D (=dollar)] in PAY (=salary)
1   BOUNCE B (=black) + OUNCE (=cat)
2   NACHO Hidden (“portion of”) in “spiNACH Omelette”
3   FIRST-TIME BUYER [IM in *(FITTERS)] + BUYER (homophone – “sound” – of “byre” – building); “working” is anagram indicator
4   CHANNEL [ANNE (=girl) in CH (=church)] + <social>L (“at last” means last letter only)
5   OMNIBUS OM (=order, i.e. Order of Merit) + [U (=university) in NIB’S (=writer’s)]
7   HARPENDEN PEN (=a pound, i.e. enclosure) in HARDEN (=cake, as verb)
8   PLEASANT [A + SA<le> (“50% off” means half of letters dropped)] in PLENT<y> (=large store; “almost finished” means last letter dropped)
9   STRIKE A BARGAIN STRIKE (=industrial action) + [BAR (=lawyers) in AGAIN (=once more)]
15   CHINAWARE CHIN (=a facial feature) + AWARE (=conscious of); the cryptic definition is “potty, i.e. of pottery, group”
16   BANDAGED *(DAD BEGAN); “stirring” is anagram indicator; the definition is “dressed”, i.e. of a wound
18   LEANDER N (=name) in LEADER (=newspaper article)
19   UPTURNS P<arty> (“leader” means first letter only) in U-TURNS (=policy changes)
20   CRANKY RANK (=sergeant, say) in CY (=Cyprus, i.e. IVR)
23   WINED IN (=at home) in WED (=day, i.e. Wednesday)

10 Responses to “Independent 8,091 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    A bit less of a swift solve in chilly Derbyshire this morning, but as always a delight from Dac. NW corner, where I habitually start, went in quickly enough, but the last few took a bit of working out. ACHILLES TENDON is a great clue, as was BAILEYS once I’d twigged the definition. Couldn’t parse HARPENDEN, so thanks for that. CHINAWARE was a bit cheeky …

  2. MikeC says:

    Nice one! Thanks RR and Dac.

  3. rowland says:

    Hi RR

    Great blog, and as you say a puzzle full of goodness, smoothness, and perhaps a good example of ‘non-bittiness’ with reference to my unpopular comments about yesterday’s Guardian. I apologise for upsetting those concerned, but Dac makes my poiunt far better than I ever could!

    Well done all,

  4. yvains says:

    Thanks for the blog (and before that, the puzzle).

    I’d have loved to find a way to make CONSOMME fit at 12 (always find it very distracting, when a clearly-impossible answer keeps pushing itself forward, yelling, “Me, Miss!”). The stand-out clue, for me, was 15; though 14 and 17 were also great fun.

    I’m pretty sure the Musketeer would have insisted on being called a Gascon, rather than a Frenchman :)

  5. nmsindy says:

    I’m still glad, yvains at #4, that Dac did define him as a Frenchman…

    Also I guess, ‘French hero’ could also be seen as ‘hero of the French’

    I agree with the comments – excellent puzzle just a shade on the easy side of how I find Dac normally. Favourite clues GRACE, CHINAWARE and WINED.

  6. yvains says:

    @nmsindy – just to be clear, I certainly wasn’t suggesting that ‘French’ was wrong, or that there was anything remotely wrong with the clue – just that D’Artagnan is described as being very proud of being Gascon, and so would probably have self-identified as such, more than as French. In France, national (as opposed to regional) identity is a surprisingly recent invention, and even now doesn’t hold total sway…

  7. nmsindy says:

    Was not doubting you at all – yvains at #6 – and interesting to learn that. It was just that, in the context of the crossword, I’d have been thrown by seeing ‘Gascon’ in the clue and was just making a light-hearted point to illustrate that.

    Going back to the serious point, yes, I think the word ‘nationalism’ and, I guess therefore to some extent the idea, was not known before C19.

  8. Dormouse says:

    As others have said, not a difficult puzzle, but not an easy one either. I completed it without any external help, not even an atlas for the two place names. 13ac was the last in. I could see what it was an anagram of, but I just couldn’t see the word until I had all the cross letters.

  9. Bertandjoyce says:

    Much to enjoy here from Dac. Last one in was 14 ac after having some electronic help (well it is late again!) with 15d but an excellent clue!

    Thanks RR for the blog and many thanks to Dac!

  10. ginoinaus says:

    Hello all. I’m smiling because after 3 months of trying to solve an Inde Crossword when being an australian and not understanding many of your UK references I finally, FINALLY solved one. Either DAC should try harder or I’m getting better at this. Thanks for the blog tho, because it has, over time, helped me to recognise clue indicators done the pommy way. Cheerio cobbers.

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