Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,139 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on November 14th, 2012


It’s Wednesday today and Dac is occupying his usual slot.

Part of the joy of a Dac puzzle, for me at least, is that I know I can concentrate on simply solving the high-quality clues without the additional distraction of a theme or cleverly hidden Nina. An occasional break from such extra challenges is surely no bad thing, even for those of us who enjoy them.

Overall, I found that I made relatively quick progress through this one, having got off to a flying start thanks to straightforward clues at 1A, 1D, 12, 22A, etc. However, two clues foxed me at the end: 9 I found by searching the dictionary for an 8-letter word for “prize”, which I then halved and verified on Google; and 3, where the entry is a new word for me and where I haven’t parsed punch/paste in the wordplay to my satisfaction – any suggestions?

My clues of the day are 2 for its smoothest of surfaces and 14 for its overall construction and misleading use of “stray”.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   SOHO Homophone (“we’re told”) of “sow” + “hoe” (=two things for gardener)
3   PASTEBOARD PASTE (=punch??) + BOARD (=embark); pasteboard is slang for visiting card, playing-card or ticket
10   RECLUSIVE *(ULCERS) + I’VE (=I have); “developed” is anagram indicator
11   SICKO SIC (=thus) + KO (OK=sanction, i.e. approve; “rejected” indicates reversal)
12   RUNNING Double definition
13   FOOTAGE FOOT (=former Labour leader, i.e. Michael Foot) + AGE (=time)
14   SKYE TERRIER [YET (=still) + ERR (=stray)] in SKIER (=Klosters holidaymaker)
16   COS C<o>O<k>S; “regularly discarded” means alternate letters only are used
18   DAB Reversal (“quite the reverse”) of BAD (=off)
20   ON NO ACCOUNT N (=new) in ONO ACCOUNT (=memoir by Yoko, whimsically)
22   SWEDISH ED (=journalist) in SWISH (=smart)
23   QUIDS IN QUID (=tobacco) + SIN (=wrong)
25   ARTIC AR<c>TIC (=northern area); “about (=C) to leave” means the letter “c” is dropped
26   PREDICANT RED (=cardinal, perhaps, i.e. colour) in [PI (=sanctimonious) + CANT (=platitudes)]
27   PARISIENNE *(<f>REE IN SPAIN); “after jilting fellow (=F) means the letter “f” is dropped from anagram; “fancy” is anagram indicator
28   GERE GER (=German) + E (=English); the reference is to American actor Richard Gere (1949-)
1   SURPRISED SUR (homophone (“said”) of “sir” (=teacher)) + [RISE (=wage increase) in PD (=paid)]
2   HOCKNEY H-O for A -CKNEY (=London borough); “area (=A) for old (=O)” means the letter “a” is replaced by “o”; the reference is to contemporary British artist David Hockney (1937-)
4   A FINGER IN THE PIE Straight definition is “share”; the (rather macabre!) whimsical definition “portion of Mrs Lovett’s cooking” refers to the Sweeney Todd’s story, in which Mrs Lovett bakes parts of his victims in pies
5   THE AFRICAN QUEEN E<pisod>E (“vacuous” means first and last letters only remain) in *(A QUAINT FRENCH); “novel” is anagram indicator; the reference is to the 1951 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, based on a book of the same name
6   BISHOPRIC [I (=one) + SHOP (=store)] in BRIC<k> (block; “not quite finished” means last letter is dropped); the definition is quite simply “see”
7   ARCHAIC ARCH (=structure) + A1 (=main road) + C<rumble> (“beginning to” means first letter only is used)
8   DROVE <fiel>D (“edge of” means last letter only here) + ROVE (=wander)
9   PULI PULI<tzer> (=prize; “not half” means half the letters only are used); the Puli is a short-medium breed of Hungarian herding dog
15   TWO-PIECES *(POSE TWICE); “modelling” is anagram indicator
17   SATINETTE *(STAIN) + <b>ETTE<r> (=improved; “with ends cut off” means first and last letters are dropped); “nasty” is anagram indicator
19   BLEATER B<ma>L (L<am>B: “without stuffing” means all but first and last letters are used; “up” indicates vertical reversal) + EATER (=restaurant customer); the definition is “lamb”, i.e. an animal that bleats
21   UPSTATE UP (=at university) + STATE (=say)
22   SCAMP CAM (=river) in S<teer> P<unt> (“starts to” means first letters only)
24   IBIS [B (=black) + I (=one)] in IS (=island)

4 Responses to “Independent 8,139 / Dac”

  1. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks for blogging, RatkojaRiku.

    This was a delight as always, but there were a few clues where Dac put his foot on the cryptic gas, I thought. BLEATER was clever, but tricky; and well done for parsing PARISIENNE, because I couldn’t. I got PULI with the crossing letters – knew the prize but guessed at the dog.

    PASTEBOARD was new to me, but I reckon ‘punch’ is okay: ‘he took a good pasting’. It’s Dac, so it won’t be wrong.

    And SOHO is just a classic illustration of the chaos that is English spelling. But said chaos is very good for cryptic puzzle solvers: how else would setters do that clue with violinists using a BOW but taking a BOW afterwards?

    Super crossword; thank you to Dac.

  2. flashling says:

    Beaten by PULI, never came to mind at all, still thanks RR and DAC for something a little easier than the Nimrodding yesterday.

  3. allan_c says:

    To expand on PASTEBOARD, Chambers defines it as ‘a stiff card made by pasting sheets of paper together’. The original railway tickets (remember those little things? – they were 1 7/32″ by 2 1/4″) were made of pasteboard – hence the slang for ‘ticket’.

    PULI only came by trial and error. I might have heard of it before but if so I’d forgotten.

    Thanks, Dac and RR.

  4. Wil Ransome says:

    I’d never heard of a puli. The Chambers Crossword Dictionary didn’t mention it, but it did mention kuri, so I stuck it in without understanding, expecting rather feebly that a kurihmmm was some sort of a prize.

    As always lovely. Particularly the Yoko Ono one.

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