Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 8270/Dac

Posted by John on April 17th, 2013


Yesterday ‘the Thatcher tribute puzzle’ was referred to but K’s D said that we could rest easy (and he was quite right). I have to be out later, so got up well in time for the devilish concoction that had been prepared for the day of the Thatcher funeral, but simply found the usual Dac. Lovely it was, too, but not devilish. Several of these clues have the smoothest most elegant surfaces. But that’s just par for the course with Dac.

1 FAR-SIGHTED — (head first)* around g
7 BURY — 2 defs
9 SIDEWALK — the US word for pavement — ‘by the way’ is always rather a giveaway
10 ORGANS — [Piers] {M}organ’s — tabloid editor no longer, but I suppose that once a t.e., always a t.e.
11 arCHANGEl — the hidden indicated, rather unusually, by the words ‘acceptable to’
12 CAPITALS — It. in Ca pals
16 COTES DU RHONE — (c{ru} not house red}* — very nice surface, but how does ‘premier cru’ for c differ from ‘first cru’ for c, which is surely wrong?
18 A CHIL({meda}L)E’S
20 E(UCL)ID — an eid is a Muslim festival
22 BEHEST — (Thebes)*
23 ABERRANT — (bear)* r ant
24 TEXT — (ex t) after t
25 OVERT H ROW {statesma}N
2 A LIGHT — 2 defs
3 SHE E N — Polish has a short o and does not refer to Poland
5 TAKE CENTRE STAGE — take [= one scene of film] (secret agent)*
6 DROOP — (poor D)rev.
7 BA(GATE)LL {ar}E{na} — enthralled by = contained in, overlooking = sitting above
13 PRES(ID{i})ENT — present = offering, something that is not immediately obvious, offering being so often a link-word
14 A TO(NE MEN)T — ref this novel
17 verMIN NO Way
19 LE({sandpi}T)GO
21 CARER — this would need an extra e[nergy] to become career

15 Responses to “Independent 8270/Dac”

  1. NealH says:

    This was one of my quicker solves of recent weeks. I’m not quite sure I follow your criticism of “premier cru” – obviously, premier is used rather than first for the surface reading, but other than that the two words seem fairly interchangeable. I like 13, which was very neat and elegnant but tend to agree that the “acceptable to” was maybe a bit questionable as a hidden word indicator. Piers Morgan didn’t jump straight into my mind as a tabloid editor, so maybe 10 across could have done with an “ex” or “old” at the start.

  2. NealH says:

    Elegant, that is – no matter how hard I try, a typo always creeps in somewhere.

  3. Rowland says:

    Well, he is right of course that ‘rpemier cru’ cannot eqal C. A simple grammatical erroe, but in an excellent puzzle, with egnerally correct info in nice sufrfaces.


  4. flashling says:

    I’m not sure of John’s quibble about Premier either, unless I’m missing some precise meaning difference.

    Lovely stuff, no controversial theme, just right for a strangely quiet morning commute – I was expecting larger numbers of folks on the train heading in to London for some reason.

    Thanks Dac and John.

  5. Querulous says:

    I think John’s point is that neither “premier cru” nor “first cru” is a valid indicator for the letter c.

  6. JollySwagman says:

    Nice – thanks both.

    Premier cru for C seems fine to me. Wasn’t aware that Indy setters had to subscribe to the sillier extremes of ximeneanism. Radian certainly doesn’t. If they do maybe the QM is supposed to excuse the solecism.

    Collins gives “earliest” – that should work anyway without an “of”.

  7. michelle says:

    There was a lot to enjoy in this puzzle by Dac. My favourites were ATONEMENT, TEXT, PLAIN SAILING, EUCLID & OVERTHROWN. I also liked ACHILLES, PRESIDENT & TAKE CENTRE STAGE.

    Thanks for the blog, John.

  8. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thanks, John. Apart from BURY I couldn’t see a funeral reference (and she’s been cremated anyway).

    Fine puzzle as always from Dac. I liked TEXT, and EUCLID once I’d persuaded myself that there wasn’t a mathematician called ELSEID.

    I’m fine with C for premier cru. Worse things happen in crosswordland. If we can have G clued by ‘midnight’ or by ‘Gateshead’ then I don’t see the problem.

  9. Paul B says:

    ‘Earliest cru’ doesn’t work either, I’m afraid, from the strict grammarian’s POV you seem to be pointing your gun at, Swaggy. Reason: whoever says it, isn’t saying what they mean from a cryptic perspective, and is thus breaking Afrit’s Injunction. Plus the fact, as you yourself know, that quite a lot of people get confused about where surfaces end and cryptic instructions begin. Personally, if there’s a way to avoid controversy, these days I tend to go for it, but as ever it’s horsies for cryptic courses, as dazzling Dac shows.

    There’s a mildly interesting discussion about nounal anagram indicators over at CC at the moment, if that’s your sort of place. You’ll find supporters there on both sides of the housie.

  10. Flashling says:

    I know I can be type rotten at times but Rowland needs a new keyboard or glasses recently. Still think premier cru = c and makes a damn fine clue fit for the now defunct clue of the month.

  11. allan_c says:

    I’m not going to quibble about ‘Premier Cru’ but I AM going to quibble about ‘Unsightly building material’ as the definition for CONCRETE. As a former concrete technologist I take exception to such sweeping condemnation. OK, concrete CAN be unsightly but it doesn’t have to be – it’s all down to design and workmanship, as I spent a lot of my time explaining to civil engineers and architects. So why not simply ‘building material’?

    But thanks, Dac and John.

  12. Paul B says:

    It’s great to meet a former concrete technologist at last. And yes, you wouldn’t necessarily call the South Bank complex unsightly, would you?!

    Bricks though, also very good.

  13. pennes says:

    Not hard, in contrast to how I got on with Dac last week, but I think it was all really elegant and immaculately tidy. No complaint about premier cru for me and “acceptable ” was fine too; I reckon I’ve seen more stretching elsewhere.

  14. Bertandjoyce says:

    Once again we are here rather late and what we wanted to say has already been said by others. However, we loved 16ac and had no quibbles about premier cru. We thought it was an excellent device.

    Bert in particular would also like to question the use of unsightly to describe concrete and as he is an architect he would like to add his support to allan_c although he would agree that it can be pretty unsightly at times!

    The last answer in was EUCLID which we solved just by seing the word Mathematician in the clue. It was only then that we read the rest of it!

    We haven’t watched or listened to any news today. Will it all be over and done with tomorrow?

    Thanks Dac and John.

  15. JollySwagman says:

    Hi RCW – if you’re reading this. Good to see you back the other day and sorry to hear of your illness.

    You’re probably worrying who will feed the troll in your absence. Don’t worry. I’ll see to that.

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