Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8133 / Dac

Posted by duncanshiell on November 7th, 2012


After a week off, Dac returns to the Wednesday Independent slot with another high quality set of clues which read very smoothly.




It’s always difficult to pick out a favourite Dac clue, but the ones I enjoyed most this week were those for OAFISH, GLOSS PAINT, PILAFF, GRIMINESS and NATIONAL THEATRE.

The wordplay this week didn’t seem to be too complex, but it was all very fair.

As is often the case, my knowledge of literature was tested. I have only come across MEURSAULT before as a wine, not a  a character in a book.

TOLEDO I rmainly remember as a car – a Triumph I think.  I have though come across TOLEDO before as a sword, but only in crosswords.


No. Clue Wordplay Entry



It’s still a race for men only (10)


STAG (male) + NATION (race [Chambers Thesaurus]) A STAG NATION is therefore a race of males (men only)  Is a NATION really equivalent to a race these days?


STAGNATION (describing stillness; still)




Rebel these days admitted to Anglican church (4)


AD (anno Domini; these days) contained in (admitted to) CE ([Church of] England; Anglican church)

C (AD) E

CADE (Jack CADE was the leader of a popular revolt in 1450 during the reign of King Henry VI of England; rebel)




Maybe one’s taking part in principally repulsive behaviour (6)


(I [one] + S [‘s]) contained in (taking part in) (R [first letter of {principally} REPULSIVE] + ACT [behaviour])

R AC (I S) T

RACIST (one who indulges in RACISM [belief in the inherent superiority of some races over others, usually with the implication of a right to be dominant]; maybe one who takes part in repulsive behaviour)




One praises former bell ringer (8)


EX (previous) + TOLLER (bell ringer)


EXTOLLER (one who praises)




Character such as Meursault, alternatively another one (8)


Anagram of (alternatively) ANOTHER and I (one)


ANTI-HERO (a principal character [in a novel, play, etc] who lacks noble qualities and whose experiences are without tragic dignity.  Reference MEURSAULT, the ANTI-HERO of The Stranger by Albert Camus.  I have little classical literature knowledge, but I note that there is a debate on the web analysing whether MEURSAULT was a HERO or an ANTI-HERO)




Start to obstruct a swimmer – exhibiting such behaviour (6)


O (first letter of [start to] OBSTRUCT) + A + FISH (example of a swimmer)


OAFISH (clumsy; loutish; OAFISH behaviour could be characterised by loutishness)




Monty Python team member out of work (4)


IDLE (unemployed; out of work)


IDLE (reference Eric IDLE, a member of the team of actors in Monty Python’s Flying Cicus)



Withdrawal of soldiers retreating right in the face of battle (10)


RE (Royal Engineers; soldiers) + (RT [right] reversed [retreating]) + ACTION (battle)


RETRACTION (withdrawal)




What might give very big health centre all-round sparkle? (5,5)


GLINT (sparkle) containing (all-round) (OS [outsize; very big]) + SPA [an establishment offering steam baths and other health treatments; health centre])


GLOSS PAINT (a coat of GLOSS PAINT may give sparkle to whatever is being painted, in this case ‘a very big health centre’)




Heads of such topers often spin round (4)


SOTS (first letters of [heads of] [SUCH TOPERS OFTEN SPIN] reversed [round])


SOTS (people stupified by alcohol; habitual drunkards; topers are also drunkards whose heads may spin with excessive alcohol)




Rice dish a couple of fellows accompanied with endless beer (6)


PILS (lager; beer) excluding the final letter [endless] S + A + (F [fellow] + F [fellow], to give a couple of fellows)


PILAFF (a highly spiced Asian dish of rice with a fowl or other meat, or fish, boiled together or separately)




Least expensive copy packed in box (8)


APE (copy) contained in (packed in) CHEST (box)


CHEAPEST (least expensive)




Picture showing son has developed posh tan (8)


S (son) + an anagram of (developed) POSH TAN


SNAPSHOT (picture)




Sword excssively light for carrying (6)


TOO (excessively) containing ([for] carrying) LED (Light-Emitting Diode; light)


TOLEDO (a tapering sword or sword-blade made in Toledo, Spain)




Actor/writer’s name (4)


PEN (writer) + N (name)


PENN (reference Sean PENN [born 1960], American actor)




Revolutionary joining country dance (6,4)


TURKEY (country) + TROT (TROTkyist, a follower of the form of Communism associated with Leon TROTsky (pseudonym of Lev Davidovich Bronstein, [1879-1940], who advocated worldwide revolution.; revolutionary)


TURKEY TROT (a form of ragtime dance)





Railway transport guide (5)


TRAIN (an example of railway transport)


TRAIN (instruct and discipline; guide) double definition




Quality of coal pits in grey, French surroundings (9)


MINES (pits) contained in (in surroundings) GRIS (French for grey)


GRIMINESS (quality of coal; GRIME is defined as sooty or coaly dirt)




Derby’s relegation signalled thus, in no time at all (2,3,4,2,1,3)

AT THE DROP OF A HAT (A derby is a bowler hat, so DROPping a HAT could be interpreted as Derby’s relegation)


AT THE DROP OF A HAT (immediately; in no time at all)




Engineer stole into Italian vessel (7)


(CE [Civil Engineer] + BOA ([fur stole]) contained in (into) IT (Italian)


ICEBOAT (a boat for forcing a way through ice, an icebreaker; a craft mounted on runners for moving over ice; vessel)




Completely lost athlete ran into a playground maybe (8,7)


Anagram of (completely lost) ATHLETE RAN INTO A


NATIONAL THEATRE (a venue [ground] for plays; playground)


7 State ruler (5)

CALIF (California; American State)


CALIF (formerly [the title given to] a spiritual leader of Islam regarded as a successor of Mohammed, variant spelling of CALIPH)




Man’s garment dear – costs pounds (5,4)


Anagram of (pounds) DEAR COSTS


DRESS COAT (a man’s fine black coat with narrow or cutaway skirts,; man’s garment)




Marriage follows daughter’s —? (9)


D (daughter) + ALLIANCE (marriage)


DALLIANCE (an amorous relationship, something that may lead to marriage)




High flier beginning to translate page in T S Eliot collection (4,5)


T (first letter of [beginning to] TRANSLATE) + an anagram of (collection) (P [page] and T S ELIOT)


TEST PILOT (a PILOT  whose work is TESTing new aircraft by flying them; high flier)  I suspect TEST PILOTs fly fairly low as well.




Who’s said to be visible at onset of riot? (7)


INCITE (sounds like [said] IN SIGHT [be visible]) + R (first letter of [onset of] RIOT)


INCITER (instigator; someone who’s said to be visible at the onset of action, which may be a riot)




Tree snake seen at top, then bottom, of evergreen (5)


ASP (snake) + EN (last two letters of [bottom of; down clue] EVERGREEN)


ASPEN (the trembling poplar; tree)




Who ultimately escapes notice at party (5)


S (last letter of [ultimately] ESCAPES) + AD (advert; notice) + DO (party)


SADDO (a dull or unsociable person; one who escapes notice at a party)



6 Responses to “Independent 8133 / Dac”

  1. Pelham Barton says:

    Thanks Dac for a really enjoyable and satisfying crossword, with plenty of examples of how clues can be both accurate and witty, especially the complete “& lit” clues at 17/19ac and 18dn. Thanks also to Duncan for your usual excellent blog.

  2. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Yes, excellent blog Duncan. The fact that I found this really hard I will put down to staying up till half five watching the election rather than any inelegance in the clueing. The &lits were very good, I agree.

  3. rowland says:

    Yes, very accurate and good, showing how it’s possible to get around the thorny grammar issues we all chatted about yesterday.

    I think I like 18 best of a very good lot.


  4. Bertandjoyce says:

    Thanks Duncan, we had 9ac as RAPIST as an anagram of PART and IS although the rest of the parsing didn’t seem to work. We were also somewhat concerned about it being described as ‘repulsive behaviour’. We now see the error of our ways! We can’t even use K’s D’s excuse as we waited until this morning to hear the welcome news.

    Thanks Dac for the enjoyment.

  5. Wil Ransome says:

    There seemed to be rather more than the usual number of &lits, no problem as they are very good. The ones at 9ac and 23dn are both worth mentioning for their excellence.

    Does Dac ever have a bad day?

  6. Paul B says:

    Don’t think so!

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