i Cryptic Crossword 2723 Dac

October 30, 2019

A welcome return from Dac with a puzzle that was on the easy side, though with a couple of oddities dotted round the grid that may have caused solvers a few moments of doubt. 9ac, 10ac, 13ac and 16ac were all unknowns in these parts, the second in particular an answer that looked like it must surely be wrong. But as Dac’s a setter I trust to be fair and clear, in they went unchecked and lo and behold were correct. The TV interviewer for some reason I couldn’t parse, but thankfully he’s still on the box every week so didn’t cause any issues. Enjoyable throughout, which goes without saying really, and finished in a time well under par for the i.

COD? Just because it’s such a good example of cluing a complete unknown leaving no doubt in the solver’s mind, 10ac – “Sort of bar worker is bringing in little money: tough for such as ‘garçon’! (4,3)”.

To August 2015:


10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2723 Dac”

  1. batarde said

    Yes, that went down nicely. I did think that the dog was a bit recondite – well clued though – and therefore conducted a little experiment to see how my little collection of crossword dictionaries would perform. Bloomsbury: no; Newnes; no; the recently acquired Bradford’s – yes. Well done, Ms B. Can’t help thinking that “marimba” would’ve been more in keeping with the general tone of the puzzle though, but it’s not a very promising word in clue writing terms.

  2. Cornick said

    The French expression does get used hereabouts, but the others were unknowns – that dog in particular bunged in more in hope than expectation.
    That’s an enviable bookshelf you’re building up there, Batarde. 🙂

    • batarde said

      Using that sort of reference feels a lot like cheating usually, but I cheerfully admit that they’re great when one of my blind spots comes up – like antelopes or Dickens characters. Actually the Bradford’s was a surprise arrival: I won it. 🙂

      • jonofwales said

        A prize puzzle I presume? Well done! 🙂

      • Cornick said

        Do tell how…

        On the subject of cheating’ I have a hierarchy of cheats which goes: ask a friend; use a dictionary; use Chambers Crossword Dictionary; consult Google; consult a wordfinder; give up.

      • batarde said

        It was The Times jumbo, which as we’ve discussed before is much like entering a raffle. I consider myself very lucky, and also rather chuffed to share a little accolade with a certain M Goodliffe, who got the prize a few weeks earlier.

        Your list of cheats sounds about right to me, Cornick. Even with the IQ I’m reluctant to go beyond the dictionary stage until the grid is filled.

      • jonofwales said

        Without Google I’d be doomed as far as the IQ goes, though to be fair that’s usually with a full grid and the end game left to crack, though the dictionary is to hand throughout. For a daily cryptic I try to solve without help, though when the going gets tough I’ll start checking answers. When the going gets really tough I’ll whip out an anagram solver and start feeling dissatisfied with the whole thing.

  3. dtw42 said

    Huh. I tried to post a comment earlier but the page crashed. 9ac was my LOI (I had to check a wordfinder – and as per batarde I thought ‘marimba’ would have been a simpler option all round) – aside from that I was all done in the staff car park by 8.50.

    I thought 26ac was a clunky word (and I’m not convinced about the def used for it), and the French requirement for 10ac garnered a “cripes!” in the margin (thankfully I could/did recall it though).

    the rest of it was all fine – as evidenced by the relatively swift solve. 16ac is a familiar word on Countdown: I’ve lost count of the number of times Susie Dent’s told the viewers what it means.

  4. michaelatcobblerscottage said

    Jon says that Dac is a setter to trust, and I agree. I think this does make a real difference to how I approach a crossword. When it’s Dac I do tend to presume that the wordplay will confirm the definition, or vice versa, and so tend to proceed more confidently to the answer than I might otherwise.

    This enjoyable and satisfying offering was a case in point. There were a few words I had never heard of before or were dubious about – RADOME, MAREMMA, ALEATORY – but I felt able to enter the derived answers in the firm belief that Google would reward my trust.

    Is MONITRESS really a word, rather than some hypothetical construction? I’m away from the cobbler’s cottage today so I cannot check my Shorter Oxford (Batarde, I am so jealous! ☺) to see if it has actually been used…

    • michaelatcobblerscottage said

      I forgot to say that the one that caused me the most trouble was the four-letter (of course) ROSS, which had me scouring a list of judges.

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