i Cryptic Crossword 1705 Dac

July 27, 2016

I was full of praise for last week’s Dac puzzle, but if anything this is even better. So much variety, and not a single clumsy surface in sight. There are a couple of minor obscurities (the use of “r” for “take” in 5ac and the second definition in 7d) which is unusual on a Wednesday, but since both solutions are plain as a pikestaff without the need to go rummaging in Chambers this is eyebrow raising in my opinion rather than infuriating. That said, according to a comment on the original Fifteensquared blog from January 2012, the latter does not appear in the Shorter OED – a pretty respectable reference work, not to say an unwieldy one – so if you’re of the opinion that it’s a bit de trop for a daily puzzle, you’re in good company.  Thank goodness for library card access to the full OED, is what I say.

As for the COD, where to start? I liked so many, especially 12, 13 and 20ac, plus 4, 8 and the oh-so-elegant 10d. My choice, however, is a simple one which held out for rather longer than it should have:

1ac “Music for church service (3,5)”

4 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 1705 Dac”

  1. StanXYZ said

    Thanks for the Blog.

    I had to go to fifthteen squared to unravel the wordplay for 13a – POTUS just had to be in there somewhere – but No!

    ps FLOTUS is my favourite lady of all time after her appearance in the James Corden Carpool Karaoke and then her speech at the Democratic Convention. Wow!

  2. Cornick said

    I thought this was absolutely brilliant. My favourite Dac of the year so far and, if I was in a debating chamber making the case for concision, this would be the first puzzle I’d cite. 13a was a case in point and a dream of assemblage, but the same seeming serendipity was all over the grid. Loved it.

  3. allan_c said

    Interesting that neither in the original 2012 blog nor here has anyone commented on the &lit-ishness of 13ac. “Hippopotamus” comes from the Greek for “river horse”.

  4. AndyT said

    Since we’re on the subject of hippopotami, I may as well serve up the customary helping of Hilaire Belloc:

    I shoot the Hippopotamus
    With bullets made of platinum,
    Because if I use leaden ones
    His hide is sure to flatten ’em.

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