Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8222/Dac

Posted by John on February 20th, 2013


Sorry this is a bit late, at any rate later than it would have been. The online crossword when I switched on around 9.00 was yesterday’s Tees, so I had to go out and buy a paper. I hope this isn’t to become the norm, for I see that the Indy has risen in price since I last bought it. (The right crossword’s there now, so I hope potential posters won’t be deterred.)

This was at first very easy, but as always happens in due course one or two clues presented problems, for example the northern bird, which for a long time seemed to be something involving a tern and inter. But eventually all was well.

How does Dac go on week after week producing such perfect surfaces?

1 SLOW COOKER — (wok’s cooler)*
7 SlIM PIckings — the word ‘some’ is always a giveaway
9 AMEN — 2 defs, one of them the meaning of ‘amen’ and the other fanciful, referring to ‘A-men’
11 F(AT H{om}E R)LY — discontented is used in the sense dis-contented, something I’ve never seen before
13 GA(TEA)U{l} — nice &lit., with the sense of ‘gateau’ as the French for ‘cake’ rather than some English version of cake [thanks NeilW]
15 UNTAUGHT — (a thug NUT)*
16 BRICKIES — (B ice risk)*
18 TISANE — I [= 1 = one] sane, all this on t [= tea, say], def ‘such as this?’
20 INJURY — in July with the l[eft] becoming r[ight]
21 ICE SHOWS — (Coe’s wish)*
25 ShEbEeN
26 ONE R{adio} — a convention that the Indy follows, fine so long as one knows, that words like Radiohead (and not Radio head or Radio’s head) can indicate R
27 MONOTHEIST — mono (hit set)*
3 WEN{t} CH
4 OP PORT UNIT {unhapp}Y
6 RY E — Rye is an East Sussex town, but the def is ‘Sussex town’
7 INTRIGUES — (gin it sure)*
8 PENRITH — PE [= gym] nr [= near] h just south of ‘it’
14 ENCOUNTER — {h}en counter, although I can’t quite see why Dac has signposted the dropping of the h both by mentioning Hackney and also by dropping the H from Hackney
17 RUN DOWN — 2 defs
19 NEWNESS — the range of points is an assortment of letters N, E, W and S — when The Times has a clue like this, where it is just a random collection of points or notes (A to G), there is much vitriol directed against the clue on Times for the Times — but I wouldn’t go so far: not all that imaginative perhaps but harmless enough
22 quiET SAHara — hidden rev.
24 A1 M

15 Responses to “Independent 8222/Dac”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, John. Very strange that you had the problem online – I solved this around 1am your time here in Indonesia, obviously not from the paper edition!

    My parsing of GATEAU: TEA consumed by GAU.

  2. NeilW says:

    Sorry, I should add that then the clue becomes &lit.

  3. John says:

    Thanks Neil, yes of course you’re right about 13ac. Very good clue. I’ve amended the blog.

  4. Frank says:


  5. Rowland says:

    Agree re 14dn, but more great clues here, with no real fat. Delightful!!


  6. michelle says:

    can you let me know the link for Independent Cryptic crossword online version?

  7. NealH says:

    I guess, given today’s headlines about the native population of London boroughs disappearing, it’s getting harder to justify using Hackney to indicate a traditional Cockney accent. Maybe that was why Dac used ‘ackney.

    I found this easy apart from 1 down where I got confused about whether it was an AM MA or A MBA – I eventually settled on LA (MBA) D A, but that implied that all MBAs are American, which isn’t true. Gateau was tricky but a nice clue.

  8. Gaufrid says:

    Hi michelle @6
    The Indy cryptic can be found here:

    If you would prefer being able to print a copy rather than solve on-line, download and install Crossword Solver from here:

  9. michelle says:

    thanks , I will try the online version

  10. Boris says:

    For 1d, I grouped AMBA as AM (American) BA (Bachelor).

    Then I thought of LAD and quickly got to the answer.

    But it left me unsatisfied.

    Thanks to DAC for an enjoyable puzzle, as always.

  11. NeilW says:

    michelle, kind man that he is, Gaufrid has already provided what you needed but I wouldn’t like you to think that I wouldn’t have been ready to assist – just been busy on Skype with my daughter.

  12. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Dac’s usual high quality puzzle. ENCOUNTER tickled me today. Thanks to S&B.

  13. hounddog says:

    I don’t have a problem with the clue for ‘newness’. How is having to decide which compass points to choose any different from deciding whether a clue that uses ‘pet’ in the wordplay needs ‘cat’ or ‘dog’ in the solution?

  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    We enjoyed ENCOUNTER as well and saw no problem with 19d.

    Thanks Dac – good puzzle as always. Thanks also to John.

  15. Simon Harris says:

    Enjoyed this one, plenty to smile about.

    I fear we’re overlooking a subtlety in 19d. A “ness” is a promontory or headland, and is thus a “point” in its own right.

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