i Cryptic Crossword 2953 by Dac

July 25, 2020

So JonofWales’ prediction was correct and we do indeed have Dac to keep us company today – and very pleasant company it is too. The editor continues to ring the changes at the weekend then, and I dare say a few new solvers might be hooked in by this one, which had all the trademark Dac characteristics of super-smooth surfaces that actually make sense – consider ‘Not enjoying a night out’ for example, an almost complete lack of obscurities – just Franklin and Matchup this time, neither exactly from Oddsville, and a level of difficulty which, although we must always remember these are fiendishly hard for someone who’s never done a cryptic crossword before, was surely a swift solve for anyone who does them regularly; certainly it came in well below my average solving time.

I’m going to repeat a line from Katheryn’s Dad I’ve just seen in the comments at Fifteensquared (with all the answers, just click here): ‘To quote Virgilius/ Brendan when asked what made for a good puzzle: ‘One that the solver can finish’ ‘.

Hard to pick a favourite in such a well-balanced puzzle, but I do like a good Cornish river, so here’s my COD:

22a By side of Cornish River, left winger collapsed (6,2)

9 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2953 by Dac”

  1. Denzo said

    Thanks for blog, Cornick, and I believe I read that this setter of the smoothest crosswords is sadly no longer in this world. This puzzle was excellent, and completed quicker than most, first in being 10, fav 14d, and last two 1a and 12, which I had to look up. After looking up, I realised that both terms were vaguely familiar and wondered if this was one where the answers would have emerged from my subconscious if I had put down the puzzle and returned later, as sometimes happens. Probably not!

  2. batarde said

    To what extent is it reasonable for a setter to assume knowledge of foreign sports? And where will it all end? Trobriand Island cricket? Oh, never mind me – I’m out of sorts today, but baseball does not go down very well at the best of times. A perfectly sound but not terribly memorable crossword all told, not amongst Dac’s best.

  3. saboteur said

    I think Batarde has a point. MATCHUP was my last one in, and what else could it have been, with those crossing letters? But it was a bit of a disappointing way to end an otherwise perfectly pleasant and enjoyable Dac. I needed help to get FRANKLIN, but like a couple of commenters on Fifteensquared I immediately remembered Chaucer, so that felt ok.

    I too like a good Cornish river, and have to concede that those on Cornick’s southern coast are more glorious than the north-emptying ones. 🙂

  4. thebargee said

    Agree with Denzo, 14d was my favourite today. A very enjoyable but all too brief solve to follow on from a completed Sudokarrow!
    Franklin was my LOI, but all I had to do was mumble ‘what’s another word for status?’ and the answer ‘rank’ immediately came back from my good wife, and that was that!

  5. jonofwales said

    I have my moments. 😀 A thankfully easy puzzle following a day of packing the car, driving to the wilds of West Wales and then unpacking it all again. I thought this holiday lark was supposed to be relaxing? Unusually quiet for the time of year in these parts, I predict a hard time for the tourist industry and everything.depending on it.

  6. Jarf said

    I’m just getting back into cryptics again. I’m in that awkward phase where I’m fairly familiar with the basics so most online howto’s are redundant. But I’m still stuck when trying to reverse engineer some clues. Do you guys know of any good resources where solutions are explained? It’s so demoralising looking up the answers after a few days of thinking only to discover that I still have no idea how the answer was arrived at!
    E.g. 14a I read that buttonhole = cornflower, so bloomer must be flower. How do you get to corn from “rake going round”?

    • Cornick said

      Almost Jarf. On this occasion ‘bloomer’ was defining the answer – Cornflower, and the subsidiary indication (or wordplay if you prefer) was to put a reversal of WOLF (rake) inside CORNER (buttonhole).
      Every clue is explained in the 2016 blog on Fifteensquared which can be reached by simply clicking on the blue words in the blog above – sometimes we write ‘click here’, but not always!

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