i Cryptic Crossword 1549 Dac

January 27, 2016

You know, or rather you probably don’t which is why I’m telling you, the Batarde family has long been noted for a certain durability of cranium. Hugh de Batarde was used as a battering ram at the Siege of Constantinople, and went on to sire a whole line of little Batardes who have bumped along nicely, falling off battlements, horses and motorcycles (or in my case tripping over a devil-cat and taking a dive down the stairs only to collide headlong with a large Chinese vase) with no ill effects. Therefore, if my physician Dr Schreck was surprised to find me pretty chipper after the Asmodeus incident, he shouldn’t have been. I can’t say I’ll miss the animal or the vase, but it’s a shame to lose Charmaine. I do hope she’s all right back inย Mogwash

My thanks to the estimable Onions for volunteering to provide last week’s blog. I was perfectly happy to write it, but he seemed keen for some reason. Almost as if he’d been awaiting an opportunity for a long time, and was determined to seize the day. I have no idea why he referred to me as Jeffrey.

To business. Perhaps this wasn’t Dac’s finest hour, by which I simply mean that there were a few chestnuts amongst the usual selection of gems. 21d annoyed me a good deal, and it is with head hung low that I confess that I knew the answer. On the plus side 10, 11, 25, 27, 7 and 17 all struck me as jolly good, and I wonder if the puzzle was selected on account of the last mentioned to coincide with a topical item today. Clue of the day is 23ac:

“Drivers wanting motorway to go through Newhaven? It’s preposterous (5-3,3)

A certain amount of carping atย Fifteensquared back in February 2011. Seems I’m not the only curmudgeon to take a dim view of Robbie Williams.


11 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1549 Dac”

  1. jonofwales said

    This took a little more perseverance than usual on a Wednesday to complete. Is it coincidence that 17d appears the same day that the film is reviewed? Probably…

  2. sprouthater said

    It may have had a few chestnuts in it and been a tad vanilla but I enjoyed it. Pleased that I didn’t know 21d, got that from the gels part.

  3. dtw42 said

    Personally, I’m more into the musical offerings of John Williams than Robbie, but luckily I am familiar the titles of the latter’s best-known couple of recordings and therefore got this okay. 1ac was my last one in, having spent a long time trying to think of a word that could mean “fail to make”. O.o

  4. Lozzie said

    23A my favourite also.
    Spent a long time on 25A: put the division in the wrong place ! (D’oh!)
    I am pleased to record that an anagram of “Angels by Robbie Williams” is: SILLY, WEARISOME BABBLING” (I do not take credit for this discovery)
    which just about sums up my opinion of him.

  5. Cornick said

    Glad your cranium kept the jolly old brains in place – necessary organ for crosswords, don’t you know.
    Also glad to see white-van men getting the nod for COD. We would do well to remember that we’d be lost without ’em.

  6. I enjoyed this one. I’m not a fan of Robbie Williams, but if setters had to take all the musical preferences of their solvers into account they would be seriously limited in their options! I was a bit thrown by 13a, as I’d never come across it without the final ‘a’ apart from the monsters in Lord of the Rings, but Collins put me right.

    • jonofwales said

      That threw me as well, but I just went with the cryptic and hoped for the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • AndyT said

      My alter ego, Mr Batarde, takes an old fashioned view of that sort of thing and yearns for the good old days when the Times wouldn’t allow references to living people in the crossword. (He also has a liking for the kind of antiquated slang which some setters still employ, but which fell out of use amongst the general populace sometime before the war). My particular bugbear is footballers.

      However, I’ve decided that the fairest way to decide whether I can reasonably be expected to recognise a reference is to apply the Brain of Britain test: is this something I can imagine being asked on the world’s best general knowledge quiz? And, although it irks me to admit it, the name of Robbie Williams’ best known song is exactly the sort of thing which they throw in occasionally to trip up Mr Forbes, retired classical scholar of Barnstaple. So it’s fair. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Cornick said

        Mr Batarde might say one should try to imagine what the man (or woman) on the Clapham omnibus would think was fair. But perhaps that should now also include white-van man. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • AndyT said

        Mr B’s knowledge of omnibuses is scanty, and he’d be at a loss if he ever needed to hail one. He also harbours a vague suspicion that the correct plural is omnibi.

  7. Lozzie said

    A case of “all things to all people”

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