i Cryptic Crossword 2597 Dac

June 5, 2019

A couple of unknowns in the grid today, for me at least, meant this felt a little trickier than Wednesdays sometimes do. A definite oddity at 17ac that I sort of knew with a tricky bit of wordplay round “top grade” was a sticking point, as was sorting out the order of letters for 23ac. PORTAIL was a little too tempting in the NW corner causing no end of difficulties, no matter how hard I tried to shoehorn something other than the obvious, correct answer into 2d. The rebel at 16d is someone I’m going to read up on later as it’s one bit of history I was blissfully unaware of. Elsewhere 6d could be nothing else but let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t have to sort the parsing.

Lots to like as ever from Dac, with the quality as good as always, and I did think 15d was quite neat, but I especially liked the way 14d slotted together – “Priest and faculty head go round University College concerned with ancient Greek? (9)”.

To February 2015 for the answers and parsing of the clues:



10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2597 Dac”

  1. Michaelatcobblerscottage said

    A nice easy solve for me today, another one that was all over far too quickly. Enjoyable while it lasted. No queries, but one quibble, which is that I don’t think that OBSCURED is correctly defined by “unenlightened”, although it was perfectly clear from the word-play what the answer should be even before the confirmatory crossing B and C. Last one in was GUERNSEY, which had me puzzled for a few moments. Lots to enjoy, as ever with this setter: I especially liked CHINOISERIE.

  2. batarde said

    Writing in “pintado” whilst my brain was on walkabout didn’t help much; soon corrected though. Otherwise all jolly. I felt that “unenlightened” was in the way of a play on words referring to the old sense of obscure meaning to darken. Especially liked the Greek and Chinese ones.

    • Michaelatcobblerscottage said

      I see what you mean but I am not convinced. “Unenlightened” descibes a state before the act of enlightenment, and is used pejoratively to describe for example a mediaeval, unscientific or illiberal mindset. It sort of means “pre-enlightened”. I can’t think of an actual grammatical construction ehich describes the opposite; “”de-enlightened” or “disenlightened” perhaps. We are I suppose likely to say “darkened” or perhaps “degenerate”. But neither are any more synonyms for “unenlighted” than is “obscured”. Sorry. Rant over! ☺

      • batarde said

        I was put in mind of the old chestnut “I’m delighted, as in put out”. Now where does that come from, does anyone know? Has a whiff of the Milligan about it, if you ask me.

  3. sprouthater said

    Frequent visits to RSPB reserves near me have increased my knowledge of ducks and having both the P and A in place Pochard sprang immediately to mind, wrongly of course. I’ve worn a lot of Jerseys over the years but never a Guernsey. Once all that was sorted out it just left the unknown at 17ac where the clue for such an obscurity wasn’t exactly user friendly unlike the other unknown at 23ac which was fine 17ac needed electronic help.

  4. Solojo said

    All very straightforward & zippy, I thought. COLONISTS went in without fully parsing, and HEREWARD was fully parsed but unknown; only really found EXPONENTS unaccountably sticky. It was so close to the ‘opponents’ in the clue that I suffered several minutes of ‘it can’t be’ before having a word with myself & bunging it in. Agree that enlightenment doesn’t sit well. All in all a cheerful romp though.

  5. Cornick said

    Yup, agreed with the consensus. I was okay with the duck and loved the 17a wordplay; 5d also.
    My only quibbles were the use of ‘opponents’ in the clue for 25a – most unlike Dac – and the worrying feeling that 3D might have been intended as a decidedly non-PC &Lit description of the mighty subcontinent.

  6. PJ said

    A solid puzzle; yielded steadily but the tussle was enjoyable and though successfully parsed, there were a few moments of puzzlement while I waited for the penny to drop.

    I didn’t have a problem with OBSCURED referring to a state of relative darkness and “unenlightened” seemed entirely fair in clueing it, I thought. Not everyone agreed when it was first published either, though, I see.

  7. dtw42 said

    The duck was fine here; at 17ac I spent too long trying to fit words beginning with PHI-.
    A busy day at work meant I only got ¾ of it done in the morning and have just had to come back to the rest (mostly the SE corner) this evening, which had been holding me up a little. Got there in the end though with little trouble; LOI was 16dn.
    I’d never heard of LAWN as a linen though, so 12ac had a big question mark next to it.

  8. allan_c said

    Unusually for a Dac this proved to be a two-session puzzle but it all went in eventually without too much difficulty apart from GUERNSEY – I was thinking ‘squeezed’ meant some letters had to be dropped from ‘Rene’ and eventually resorted to a wordfinder for it – Doh! (And I had a Guernsey sweater once; the front and back were identical so it didn’t matter if one put it on back-to-front.)

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