Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8121 / Dac

Posted by Bertandjoyce on October 24th, 2012


As Duncan said a few weeks ago, Dac really does write clues that make good sense.

There were a few clues that we puzzled over for a while but all were very fair. The two long anagrams were very good for their surface reading but we think our COD was 26ac although it took us a while to sort out. We needed quite a few crossing letters before the penny finally dropped – a good ‘smiley’ moment as well when it did!

1   1940’s film released for broadcast, introduced by more than one presenter
ANCHORS AWEIGH AWEIGH (Sounds like ‘away’ or released) after ANCHORS (more than one presenter) = this 1940’s film starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson and Gene Kelly. Thanks to PB@5 for pointing out the typo!
9   At end of stage musical, start to shed tears
RENTS RENT (this musical) + S (initial letter or start of Shed) = tears
10   Killer transferred to a prison
RAT POISON Anagram of TO A PRISON (anagrind is ‘transferred’) = killer
11   Link politicians are expected to follow?
PARTY LINE Double definition – The link between phones or the policy adopted by a political party
12   For good physical condition, she briefly joined a gym
SHAPE SH(e) (without the last letter, or ‘briefly’) + A PE (gym) = good physical condition
13   Ambushed army in retreat changed course
ATTACKED TA (Territorial Army) reversed, or ‘in retreat’ + TACKED (changed course) = ambushed
15   Announced legendary conductor’s appearing in northern town
BOLTON Sounds like (‘announced’) BOULT (Sir Adrian, legendary conductor) + ON (appearing) = northern town. We wondered why Dac didn’t use the Monty Python ‘palindrome’ from the Dead Parrot sketch!! You’ll have to listen to it all the way through (5minutes) if you don’t know what we are talking about! If you would prefer to watch Sir Adrian Boult and listen to Vaughan Williams Symphony No 8 click here instead.
17   Genius producing story books
TALENT TALE (story) + NT (New Testament – ‘books’) = genius
18   Perhaps Ibizan bar keeps beer very cold for the most part
BALEARIC BAR around, or ‘keeping’ ALE (beer) + IC(y) (cold with the last letter omitted, or ‘for the most part’ = Ibiza is one of the Balearic islands
21   Angelic boy gently hit ball
PUTTO PUTT (gently hit) + O (ball) = angelic boy
22   Vehicle new driver registered in Hants town
LAND ROVER L (learner, or ‘new driver’) + R (registered) in ANDOVER (Hants town) = vehicle
24   Forks out about two rand for decorative icing?
FROSTWORK Anagram of FORKS (anagrind is ‘out’) around TWO R (rand) = decorative icing in the US is called frosting and frostwork is defined as work resembling frost tracery etc – hence the question mark perhaps!
25   Old soldiers recalled crossing lake in county of Ireland
SLIGO O (old) GIS (soldiers) reversed, or ‘recalled’ around, or ‘crossing’ L (lake) = county of Ireland
26   They’ll leave you little room for game
SPACE INVADERS INVADERS of your SPACE leave you little room = game
1   Statesman has a hold over old man
AGRIPPA A + GRIP (hold) + PA (old man) = statesman
2   I sang contralto parts in concert, receiving universal praise
CONGRATULATIONS Anagram of I SANG CONTRALTO (anagrind is ‘parts in concert’) around U (universal) = praise
3   Paris museum, for example, with gold ceiling
ORSAY SAY (for example) with OR (gold) above (as a ‘ceiling’ in a down clue) = museum in Paris
4   Overtired, having worked out after school
STRAINED TRAINED (worked out) after S (school) = overtired
5   Decline hesitatingly?
WITHER WITH ER (hesitation) = decline
6   Rock has the sound of heavy metal
IRONSTONE IRON’S (of heavy metal) TONE (sound) = rock
7   Christmas Eve, so I ordered a gramophone record perhaps?
HIS MASTER’S VOICE Anagram of CHRISTMAS EVE SO I (anagrind is ‘ordered’) = one of the original gramophone record labels
8   Put in prison during revolution, being outspoken
INTERN Sounds like (‘outspoken’) IN TURN (during revolution) = put in prison
14   Government agency recruits working class groups
CONSORTIA CIA (government agency) around or ‘recruiting’ ON (working) SORT (class) = groups
16   German writer’s family entertaining one minor fellow
MANNIKIN MANN (German writer) KIN (family) around or ‘entertaining’ I (one) = minor fellow
17   Warning officer received during spat
TIP OFF PO (Pilot Officer) in or ‘received during’ TIFF (spat) = warning
19   Questioning scoundrels about acknowledgement of debt
CURIOUS CURS (scoundrels) around IOU (acknowledgement of debt) = questioning
20   Sugar: a large measure
ALDOSE A + L (large) + DOSE (measure) = sugar
23   Member of religious movement, a star convert
RASTA Anagram of A STAR (anagrind is ‘convert’) = member of a religious movement


11 Responses to “Independent 8121 / Dac”

  1. Conrad Cork says:

    For me 14 down is the perfect example of a Dac clue, and shows why he is always such a pleasure to encounter. A surface that reads like a newspaper headline, it makes so much sense, yet which is almost 100% misdirection.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for blogging. You can always be assured of a good puzzle from Dac on a Wednesday. I found this a bit harder than usual, but there were some very pleasing clues, of which – like Conrad – CONSORTIA was my favourite. The picture of the dog and the phonograph for HIS MASTER’S VOICE is just ingrained in my brain for some reason – and we didn’t even have a gramophone when we were little (cue another MP sketch …)

    Thanks to Dac too.

  3. crypticsue says:

    Very enjoyable, thank you Dac. The one that held me up the longest, even with all the anagram letters was the ‘decorative icing’. Thanks to B&J too.

  4. allan_c says:

    Another day, another new word – I’d never heard of PUTTO before. For anyone else who hasn’t, you can find out more at

    Thanks, Dac and B&J

  5. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Dac for an enjoyable puzzle and B&J for the blog. I was held up on 21ac because I was trying to use “gently” on its own for the checked letter P and naturally cound not find a three-letter word for “hit” with a T in the middle.

    1ac: I think the apostrophe in your answer is a typing error.

    17dn: When solving, I took PO as Petty Officer, defined by Chambers 2008 as “a naval officer ranking with a non-commissioned officer in the army”. I think that definition would be enough to justify “officer” for PO. Taking PO as Pilot Officer – “(in the Royal Air Force) an officer ranking with an army second lieutenant” is much better as it fits the definition of officer as “a person holding a commission in an army, navy or air force”.

  6. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Allan at no 4 – PUTTO I had heard of (through crosswords I’m sure), but it was one of those ‘I know what that is, the chubby youth sitting on the cloud thing, but while it’s in your passive vocabulary you can’t for the life of you think what it is until you’ve got a crossing – or better still the first – letter. Why is that?

  7. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks to P B @5 for pointing out the typo. Joyce used to save examples of signs where the apostrophe had been used incorrectly to use with her students. She was also the one to type up this part of the blog!!

    The blog is now correct until someone points out another one!

  8. Ross says:

    What utter brilliance the clue to CONSORTIA is!

  9. Dormouse says:

    Just about my level. The one I’ve had least trouble with this week. Completed it without even looking at a dictionary.

    Sir Adrian Boult is one of my conducting gods. I have all the Vaughan Williams symphonies and Elgar symphonies in his recordings plus The Planets. I saw him conduct The Planets many years ago, and he conducted the first performance. I think he recorded on His Master’s Voice.

  10. flashling says:

    A little late on parade, sorry folks real life again. Have to hail Consortia which may well be in the top 3 clues of the year, Dac strikes again.

    Cheers J&B and his DACness

  11. Wil Ransome says:

    Agreed with everyone on the magnificence of CONSORTIA. A bit harder than usual from Dac today, I thought. I had slight wonderings about the word ‘legendary’ applied to Sir Adrian Boult. Great, one of the greatest perhaps, but the word ‘legendary’ suggests something is going on of which I am unaware.

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