Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8,234 / Dac

Posted by RatkojaRiku on March 6th, 2013


We had Crosophile in the Wednesday slot last week, so it was odds-on that Dac would occupy the same slot this week, and indeed he does.

I had less time this morning to solve and to blog than normal, so I was quite pleased not to have to rack my brain too much. Having said that, the puzzle provided entertainment and enough of a challenge, and with Dac’s customary watertight wordplay, I am confident of having parsed this one satisfactorily.

There was quite a bit of new vocabulary in this for me: 5, one of the definitions at 11, and 17, while the proper nouns at 3 and 26 were both unfamiliar. Thanks to the wordplay, I was able to arrive at the solutions unaided and then confirm them in the dictionary or via Google – isn’t this always the case with Dac’s clues, i.e. no need to resort to guesswork? Incidentally, 18 was the last one in, since I was convinced that the definition was “a place in church” and thus spent ages trying to make “recess” fit the clue.

My favourite clues today are 15, for its smooth surface despite it being easy to solve, and 16, for the clever way of cluing the French word therein.

*(…) indicates an anagram

1   ELIZABETH   <f>E<l>L <d>I<z>Z<y> (“every now and then” means alternate letters only) + ABET (=help) + H (=hospital)
6   CANDY   Homophone (“say”) of “canned” (=put in tin) + <da>Y (“end of” means last letter only)
9   SEVENTY   EVEN (=still) in STY (=filthy accommodation)
10   FLORIDA   F<oreign> L<egion> (“leaders” means first letters only) + *(RADIO); “unexpectedly” is anagram indicator
11   CUT UP   Double definition
13   TRENDIES   REND (=tear, i.e. rip) in TIES (=ribbons)
15   AMERICAN   A + *(CRIME) + AN; “solved” is anagram indicator; definition is “inhabitant of Florida (=entry at 10)”
16   ANNEXE   X (=for adults only, i.e. X-rated films) in ANN?E (=A year in Provence, i.e. the French word for year)
18   RECITE   RE (=religious teaching, i.e. Religious Education) + [IT in CE (=church)]
20   SEA TROUT   SEAT (=base, e.g. of organisation) + ROUT (=decisive defeat)
23   WINDFALL   WIN (=get) + <mature>D (“last of” means last letter only) + FALL (=autumn)
24   REFER   “one way or another” indicates a palindrome; to refer is to resit an examination, hence “to fail at university”
26   WALLACE   “WALL ACE” (=a mason, presumably, i.e. a stonemason whimsically); the definition is “American (=entry at 15) vice-president”; the reference is to Henry A. Wallace, Vice-President under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1941-1945
27   RESERVE   Double definition
29   PARTY   PART (TRAP=gin; “passed round” indicates reversal) + <birthda>Y (“end of” means last letter only)
30   ASTOUNDED   A + ST (=good person, i.e. saint) + <h>’ounded (=(h)’arassed)
1   EASY CHAIRS   *(Y<ou> + RAISE CASH); “initially” means first letter only; “desperate” is anagram indicator
2   INVITEE   IN (=home) + VI (=six, i.e. in Roman numerals) + homophone (“say”) of “tea” (=drink)
3   AIN   A (=area) + IN; Ain is a department in eastern France, close to Switzerland
4   EGYPTIAN   *(TYPE AGIN); “fighting” is anagram indicator
5   HEFTED   <t>HE (=article; “two thirds of” means 2 of 3 letters only are used) + FT (=Financial Times) + ED (=journalist, i.e. Editor)
6   COORDINATOR   *(A RODIN COROT); “collection” is anagram indicator
7   NAIVETE   [A1 (=top) + VET (=surgeon)] in NE (=Newcastle area)
8   YEAH   YE (=the old, i.e. old word for the) + AH (=expression of surprise)
12   PAINTED LADY   Whimsically, Madonna, i.e. the Virgin Mary, is the subject of many paintings, i.e. a painted lady
14   BEST FRIEND   *(FINDS BERET); “unconventional” is anagram indicator
17   CELLARET   EL (=the Spanish, i.e; the Spanish for the) in CLARET (=wine); a cellaret is a case or cupboard for storing wine
19   CHILLER   C (=about) + [ILL (=harm, as noun) in HER (=woman)]; a chiller is a spine-chilling book
21   OFFERED   OFF (=substandard) + E (=English) + RED (=wine)
22   VALETA   VAL (LAV=perhaps ladies, i.e. toilet: “turned up” indicates vertical reversal) + ETA (=expected time of arrival)
25   SWAP   PAWS (=hands); “hands over” indicates reversal
28   SOU   Hidden (“pocketing”) in “deviouS OUtlaw”

8 Responses to “Independent 8,234 / Dac”

  1. crypticsue says:

    I always enjoy a Dac crossword as you know exactly what to expect and always enjoy yourself. Unlike our blogger, I did know the not-so-well-known words which helped. Thanks to setter and blogger too.

  2. Simon Harris says:

    One hates to pop in just to complain, but I’d raise the possibility that 3dn wasn’t quite watertight. If you hadn’t heard of the place – which I hadn’t – it could have been A + IN or A + EN from the wordplay.

    I wrote in AIN simply because it’d be easier to surreptitiously change to an E if it proved wrong!

  3. NealH says:

    I think you’re being a little harsh, Simon. You could make the same argument about any anagram clue – if you’ve never heard of the word, then any arrangement of the letters is a possibility (in fact, that’s one of my bugbears with anagram clues). Bu it’s impossible for the setter to know which words the solver knows so, providing the answer doesn’t lead to two possible valid words, it’s a reasonable clue. There is no such place as Aen as far as I can tell, so Ain is the only answer which works.

  4. Raich says:

    I wondered if ELIZABETH and SEVENTY were there for a reason.

  5. RatkojaRiku says:

    My apologies to one and all for the large font – I just couldn’t make it any smaller.

    @Raich: I too wondered if there might be someone whose birthday might be being marked here – perhaps Dac will reveal all?

    @Simon Harris: had French been part of the wordplay, “department” alone would have been a bit nasty by way of definition, unless you argue that the reference to French in the wordplay had already set the tone of the clue and pointed the solver in the direction of a French department?

  6. Flashling says:

    Don’t worry about the font RR helps me! 3d in the paper has an accent in department, I wonder if french was added because it doesn’t show on line.Tt

  7. dac says:

    Yes, Raich and RatkojaRiku, my sister-in-law Elizabeth, née Candy, now resident in Florida is indeed 70 today. Her married surname is spelt out in the tenth row of letters.

  8. Raich says:

    Good of her parents way back to arrange that the 70th would be on a Wednesday and not the last Wed of a month…

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