i Cryptic Crossword 1537 Dac

January 13, 2016

For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. You’ll think that silly old Batarde has gone batty, but the truth of the matter is that Asmodeus (Charmaine’s cat) is a fiend in feline form and he’s out to get me – I swear it. When he’s not crouching just out of reach and giving me the gimlet eye, he’s lurking on the stairs ready to trip me up, or sitting on my windowsill caterwauling in the small hours. He also has the disconcerting habit of posing just in front of lamps so as to cast a huge menacing shadow. And this morning I found foot-long scratches in the doors of my bedroom and study – nowhere else, of course – as if I’ve been marked out for some frightful doom. It would not be overstepping the mark to say that I am filled with a sense of dread.

Therefore, it was a rather distracted and careworn blogger who tackled the crossword today. Still, one takes one’s duties seriously, so with door bolted and curtains drawn I set to, and was distracted for a little while from all that Grand Guignol business by a typically entertaining puzzle from the ever reliable Dac. As I’m sure everyone noticed it’s a pangram, which is something of a novelty as this setter doesn’t usually go in for tricksy stuff like that. Plenty of nice clues to choose from, of which my favourite was the one which sparked a good deal of discussion at the other place:

10ac “Court official recalled jazz legend on piano, wearing suit (8)”

There was also a spot of controversy about 3d, and 5d caused a few raised eyebrows, but I was happy with both. For the solutions and discussion, please see theΒ Fifteensquared blog from May 2011 (and not January, as 20d might have led the unwary solver to expect).

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10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1537 Dac”

  1. jonofwales said

    This whiled away a little of the 3 hours I spent today waiting round an ophthalmology department with my daughter. Luckily I had a Times Cryptic Crossword collection and a barred grid printed off over the weekend to aid with the rest. πŸ˜‰ Pleased to get the French one without help, all good as ever from Dac.

  2. sprouthater said

    Not really enthused by clues that use Loach film or jazz legend as integral parts and as for french phrases, lucky it was an anagram or I wouldn’t have had a hope. The rest of it was pretty good though. Just finished today’s Independent puzzle which is also by Dac that used the clue – Hooligan jailed, inhaling cannabis (5) That’s familiar I thought!

  3. dtw42 said

    Took me far longer than it should have (struggled with the anagram at 1ac) but I got there in the end. 3dn was fine with the question mark IMHO and I was happy to get the French at 5 (though admittedly I did double-check it online after writing it in). My CoD would be 9ac, which prompted an appreciative nod and smile.

  4. AndyT said

    What I meant to say (but which slipped my mind on account of the scrabbling of demonic claws at the study door) is that 21ac is the flipside of all those youthful computer games clues yesterday, containing as it does a rather minor character and some antique slang. Both of which are probably better remembered in the crossword community than elsewhere. I can see that one baffling inexperienced solvers. Once again, you get plenty of variety with the i.

  5. Cornick said

    1ac popped out at me which made it a pretty quick solve by my own, ponderously low standards.
    21a is right on the limits of acceptability, I would say, but should be admitted into Crosswordland because he appears in fully 4 of the bard’s plays, which is (along with his mates Falstaff and Nym) more than pretty much anyone else, I should think.

    • Cornick said

      Okay trivia lovers, I see Pistol is only in HIV Pt 2, not Pt 1, so that’s just 3 plays for him, Falstaff and Pym, sorry. However, Mistress Quickly and Bardolph both make 4 plays. I wonder if there are any others?

  6. Lozzie said

    Just finished off the 3 remaining clues left for me by my OH, including 10A which I like a lot.

  7. dtw42 said

    Just considering alternative clues …
    Does this work?
    “Maybe thirty-eight auction items returned by detective (6)”

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