i Cryptic Crossword 3082 Dac

December 23, 2020

No Charmaine today I’m afraid, but we do have a nice puzzle from Dac that should compensate for the rather less sparkling blog. Unusually for Dac we have a few slightly obscure answers at 8d and 19ac,  but both were perfectly gettable with a little trust in the wordplay. What did cause issues were the two writers to the SE corner, both of whom are household names, but required a little teasing out to solve. I note that Allan who’s a regular contributor here had the same problem back in the day, so it will be interesting to see if he comes similarly unstuck today. Finished in a pretty nippy time nonetheless, so it would appear that a roadblock to compete with that down in Kent was not encountered today. And throughout with many fine examples of one of the best of compilers at work.

COD? I’ll go with 1ac – “I trained ref in sports (5,6)”.

To December 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3082 Dac”

  1. Denzo said

    This puzzle was a real joy. Dac’s surfaces were always peerless, and his cluing likewise, though I suspect some would wish it more challenging. I occasionally so wish, but this is more than compensated by his perfection. Jon’s CoD was typical, but they’re all good.

    This was not without challenge, however. COPARTNER was tricky to parse, I had not heard of ACIS, and had to check ANDROGEN. Then, having spent considerable time establishing that there was not an artist who is an anagram of “frames”, it was not until I had all then crossers, noted that INGRES would fit, looked again at the clue and the penny dropped! Was that clever cluing or my slowness? Please don’t answer!

    But 1D and 6D were both immediately visible and I wrongly parsed HELLENE as “Greek Ambassador embraces English girl (7)”, and did not notice until looking at 225.

  2. Veronica said

    Luckily, this fitted into my shorter lunch break than normal. It was a tad easier than I like, but given my time contraints today, I’m not grumbling. Was held up trying to work out why Mille (de Mille) and Milne were the two authors for quite a while … but fortunately gave up on that and suddenly got the correct answers!
    Rather liked GAFFER, for fitting in nicely with the whole clue – though gaff for house was new to me. My husband wants to know how I got to my age without learning gaff!

    • Denzo said

      It is interesting how language changes. Nowadays I think “the Gaffer” means “The Boss”, but, doing the crossword, I remembered “gaffer” = “electrician”, so the answer went in unparsed. Seeing 225 I then remembered there was a time when “Gaff” = “House”, probably about 50 years ago and it was “In” for about five years.

      With the writers, I did at one stage wonder if both might be Wilde ie Wild = Unrestrained = Free!

  3. Saboteur said

    My last two in were the crossing writers. I was reduced to working my way through the alphabet, and was almost on the point of giving up when I got to W. Then, of course, I wondered why I hadn’t thought of either of them earlier.

    Otherwise all pleasantly Dac-ian. I needed to check ACIS, but only for my own education, as I was confident about it from the word-play. Good fun while it lasted, which is never long enough.

  4. batarde said

    What Saboteur said in his concluding sentence. A Dac jumbo would be a fine thing, wouldn’t it? I was amused by the electrician; enjoyed the not-as-straightforward-as-it-appears business associate and admired the well-concealed artist, but was most taken with those crossing writers.

  5. dtw42 said

    What everybody said. Couldn’t parse 21. The obscurity of ACIS was given a helpfully simple clue, and ended up going through the alphabet for those twin ??L?E writers in the corner. All the rest, speedy and enjoyable.

  6. Willow said

    An almost perfect puzzle – thank you. I was confused by the fact that CARPET could have made up part of the wordplay in 21, but got it eventually with a bit of thought. Fortunately I know Handel’s Acis and Galatea reasonably well, which helped.

  7. Cornick said

    Immaculate as ever. I completed this one clue at a time at my desk in Heligan Gardens, each solve fitting neatly into the time it took my elves to usher out and bring in the next group of children into Santa’s grotto. No gaps in that sequence until the crossing writers – especially tricky for me being a less common sense of ‘flow’ being used to clue a writer WOLFE I’ve never read. Is he any good? I should probably find out.

    Meanwhile, I’ve got a puzzle in today’s Indy online if you’re interested. Alternatively you could just wait 4 years…

    • batarde said

      Thomas Wolfe is worthy of your attention (heavy emphasis on the “worthy”), but Tom Wolfe is much more fun. “The Bonfire of the Vanities” is a cracking read, rather like a comprehensively updated Dickens with loads of characters and incident to keep things buzzing along merrily.

    • jonofwales said

      An appearance by Maize is always a treat, looking forward to that later (this evening later, not 4 years!)

    • Cornick said

      Thanks both.

      • dtw42 said

        Tackled that last night – good stuff 🙂 (though I failed on 8dn).
        The def for 22dn tickled me, and that of 17dn had me scratching my head for a while until the penny dropped. The “Covid 19” thing was a v. nice device.

      • Cornick said

        Cheers dtw. I only produce one every couple of months or so, and sort of need a germ of an idea to kickstart the process. ‘Covid-19′ sort of followed on from the ’19th Nervous Breakdown’ idea earlier in the year.

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