i Cryptic Crossword 1448 Dac

September 30, 2015

What a simply splendid morning!  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and even the morose fellow at the newsagent was uncharacteristically affable.  Furthermore, Dac was on the top of his form today, I thought, delivering a fine and varied selection of clues with nary a clumsy surface reading in sight, as is his wont.  Too many good ones to list, in fact, but it would be a shame to let 1ac and 6d pass without mention.

Nonetheless, the COD was such an utter delight that it selected itself: 16/18 – “70s hit featuring Roy from York, Eric from Cirencester and the lad from Rochdale (3,4,3,4,2,4)”

How about that then?  As an added bonus, I had the pleasure of explaining the thing to the ordinarily omniscient Onions, whose tastes run more to 24d.

We’re nearly up to Christmas now in 2010; here’s the Fifteensquared blog:



A tough one today, themed around 13ac’s. Until I solved that clue I felt that I had little chance, but bit by bit it all fell into place, though it felt more like a chore than entertainment. I don’t generally like crosswords where you need to get the gateway clue to have any chance of making headway, and coupled with some pretty tough clues, and obscurities like Mack for Sennett, it was all a bit much.

COD? 22ac – ‘Championship seed’s access code? (4,6)’.

Back to 2010:


A fairly straightforward offering from Quixote today as can be seen from the lack of comments in the original blog which incidentally is from 2011.

Both 4dn and 9ac were new to me but as they were both anagrams easily got.

A gentle start to the week.

COD 16ac   Ding-dong – thus we play in difficult match (7.7)

2011 blog is here


Saturday 19th September 2015

Dac again last Saturday, completed without too much trouble from the crossword itself, just lots of interruptions from my wife bursting into tears as we dropped our first-born off at Uni for the first time.

I really must try to extend my lexicon beyond the word ‘smooth’ when discussing Mr Dac, but he is just so, well, smooth.  Several fine examples of said last week; think I’ll pick out 26a for my COD:

Clever, like pupil getting only one low grade? (6)

I also did the Guardian’s Latin themed offering from Paul that day (including an emperor seemingly named Gluteus Maximus, arf) in which my LOI was as follows: Hero going after rebel in uprising?(4)  L?O?.  Given that my university-bound son is called Leo, I rather liked that!

The 2010 blog and comments are here.

Tough one today I thought but not nearly as impenetrable as yesterdays, although I will be honest and admit I couldn’t complete it. 17dn Moravia If asked I would probably guess that it was a fictitious place with a child catcher and 13ac even with all the crossing letters I just couldn’t see it. However  there are some excellent clues in this puzzle 1dn and 2dn 11ac and 23ac particularly stood out but my COD 4dn At first police protection restricts American making a bit on the side. (8)

2010 Blog is here


Vikings, eh? Fortunately, I knew more about them than I thought I did, including the correct name for Canute, though I must admit that was only gleaned from past appearances in cryptic crosswords. I found this reasonably challenging, but for the most part fair and robustly clued, as you expect from Nestor. The exception to this was 26ac, where the actress referenced was obscure to say the least. I’ll admit to cheating on that one, and 23ac. 🙂

COD? 6d, if only because it came after 5d – ‘Verity, taking the top off another woman (4)’.

Here’s the 2010 blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1442 Dac

September 23, 2015

“Dash it all, Onions, that Dac is a splendid fellow and what have you, but sometimes I can’t make head nor tail of what he’s getting at.  Don’t you think”?  “Indeed, the gentleman can sometimes be a little cryptic in his mode of expression, sir”, replied my valet, with one eyebrow raised in a manner which I didn’t entirely care for.  Satirical, I’d call it, if I didn’t know better.

So, rather a slow-witted Batarde today, but I got there in the end.  Who knows, maybe it’s just me, but this seemed more in line with the Dac puzzles we’ve seen lately on a Saturday than the gentler Wednesday offerings: good value in other words.  I’m ever so slightly dubious about “picnic” for 26ac although the sense was clear enough in the end, but otherwise all good, and of course the surface readings were impeccable as ever.  My previous comments apply about the difficulty of choosing a clue of the day from such an appetising smörgåsbord, but let’s go with 5d, which was fun:

Film showing how snooker coach gives practical demonstration (13)

Lots of appreciative comments on the 2010 Fifteensquared blog:


i Cryptic Crossword 1441 Math

September 22, 2015

Did I spot the theme? Yes I did, and very quickly, after 1ac and 9ac fell into place. It’s 10ac and 24d, of course, and in particular this classic sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7GeKLE0x3s. From the comments on Fifteensquared it appears there’s loads of thematic material that I missed, which is a pity, as I found this a lot easier to start than finish. Some obscure definitions at 11ac and 21ac, though the former at least was an easy clue, whereas the latter wasn’t (to me at least).

COD? A write-in, but still a good one: 10ac – ‘Reinforcements arrived to capture British town (9)’.

Almost 2011!


After a few weeks of having to report that the Monday puzzle was more difficult than usual, this week we’re back to our usual, gentle introduction to the working week. 14ac and down held me up for a few minutes at the end, despite the fact that I was sitting at a laptop while solving… The grass in 12ac was new, but the answer given TEN and a B at the start was plain enough.

COD? The reference in 18d might be a little dated now, but it’s still fresh enough in my mind to elicit a chuckle – ‘Lembit looks silly cuddling a dish (7)’.

Back to November 2010:


Saturday 12th September 2015

All pretty straightforward before I ground to a halt on the last two, so I’d better temporarily re-name this blog idontdothei… The troublesome clues which sent me scuttling off to the fifteensquared here for the answers, were 18d and 19ac.

Ah, I hear you sigh, but you should have left them alone and come back a couple of hours later – like we did in the old days. Yes, I know, I know.

COD: The Daccian 22a. Gracious duchess boards cab close to theatre (8)