i Cryptic Crossword 3171 Dac

April 7, 2021

Dac’s back with a puzzle as good as they always are, though perhaps a little trickier than expected. A few unknowns such as the African language, Spanish city and sort-of-known 4ac will have held up many, plus a few knotty bits of wordplay and a sort-of-remembered designer in the wordplay in the already referenced NE corner. A little more time spent in Dac’s company is always a pleasure though, so no complaints here, with lots of ticks along the way, a few smiles, and a raised eyebrow on solving the distinctly un-Dac like 25ac. Finish time comfortably under par for the i.

COD? I’m sure you’ll have your own picks, because there were so many to choose from, with my nomination going to 4ac – “A British fashion designer clothes a posh person taking the plunge (8)”.

To March 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


19 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3171 Dac”

  1. dtw42 said

    Again I was swiftloy through most of it and then needed some electronic help for the last few – today those were in the NE corner. Dunno why.
    On the other hand, I seem to have made a right hash of the concise – DNF there!

    • jonofwales said

      The concise was a bit of a monster, it must be said.

      • dtw42 said

        It finally helped when I took out ‘privateer’ and put in ‘buccaneer’ instead. Still don’t know what the ‘guitar accessory’ is though.

      • jonofwales said

        It’s the thingy you strap across the frets to change the pitch.

      • dtw42 said

        …and having googled that description, I now have the answer. But it’s not a meaning I knew at all for a word I only know from other contexts.

      • Denzo said

        I found the concise tricky – made the wrong guess between Shift Key and Space Bar inter alia, and shall await tomorrow to see if my other answers, all correct, agree. I knew Capo – it’s not used by all guitarists and not by any classical guitarists. A small minority of solvers would know this, and such a clue suggests that solvers are expected to google for answers.

      • jonofwales said

        Capo is interesting, as it’s something I assumed everyone would know. But I do play guitar, if badly.

  2. Denzo said

    Great puzzle, not too easy, especially the NW corner, and, unusually, I needed to look nothing up. I wasn’t 100% sure about TWI, but sure enough to put it in with the T. Similarly, I have never encountered an AQUANAUT but the wordplay makes it clear. BAD EGG raised a laugh, and the surface and wordplay of 5d is brilliant and unQUESTIONABLy Dac’s. I suspect he never visited Ronda, which possibly punches above its weight on maps being a tourist attraction, but is better described as a large village.

  3. thebargee said

    I struggled far more than I should have with this (my excuse is a week away from crossword-solving), especially with the NW which remained stubbornly empty until I twigged 9ac, after which the rest fell into place.

    I’d like to think this was towards the infra-hard end of the DAC spectrum, but I’ll leave that for others to judge. Thoroughly enjoyed the solve though, there were lots of nifty clues. I particularly liked 4a, 2d and 5d.

  4. Veronica said

    Nothing to add. Agree completely with Jon, down to the eyebrow and the CoD. Also agree with Denzo about 5 down, and I had ticked 2 down as brilliant.
    Looks like I might be struggling with the concise later …😯

  5. batarde said

    Hmm – not quite as frictionless as usual, with the result that I finished in the top left, instead of the customary bottom right. No bad thing, and my knowledge of Ghanaian languages has been expanded immeasurably. It had never occurred to me that Ronda was a city (never been but I’m told it’s a ravine, a bridge and a bunch of souvenir shops), however if that’s what Dac says there’s no point checking because it’ll be right. So I did, and sure enough it’s been a city since the time of Julius Caesar. For some reason Mary Q leapt immediately to mind in one of those unaccountable intuitive flashes which save a lot of time, so 4ac fell pretty readily, leaving me squinting at it and wondering if I’d ever come across the word in real life. Sounds rather Jules Verne to me, or Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.

  6. Saboteur said

    Its a Dac. What’s not to like?

    Any hesitation over RONDA was fleeting, as Dac is so reliable, and the few minutes on Wikipedia proved diverting.

  7. Cornick said

    Oh well, I thought it was easier than average for Dac, but there you go. Maybe things were helped by having heard of the African language and by Mary Quant having been in my mother’s class at school (along with Haile Selassie’s granddaughter!).

  8. tonnelier said

    I always struggle a bit in the afternoons, and maybe having had my second jab at 1.00 didn’t help. For whatever reason, I found this more difficult and less enjoyable than usual for a Dac.

    I rather liked the BAD EGG clue, but was less keen on MORES, where the word English seems superflous and gratuitously misleading. The apostrophe in OBJET D’ART – where do you put it? – is always a bit irritating too.

    It’s a sure sign of one’s age when the first (indeed, only) British fashion designer who comes to mind is M Quant

  9. Polly Fonnick said

    The final A in 1d led me to assume for a while that the wood in question was elm, but before I could check whether SELMA was a small workroom, my old but sometimes still surprisingly reliable brain produced BALSA, whereupon BEHEST fell into place. Hard to believe it’s a hardwood: I have vivid childhood memories of my brother’s construction kits and always feel that balsa must be every bit as edible as a certain ultra light crispbread.

  10. Denzo said

    I seem to remember that hard and soft applied to wood depends on the type of tree the wood comes from and is quite irrelevant to the normal meaning of hard and soft. I too started with elm then ash and oak, and think I got BEHEST before BALSA.

  11. Grodnik said

    Whilst recovering from a somewhat painful and visually repugnant surgery to my nose, involving a skin graft from my shoulder, I have found much entertainment in solving this weeks’ puzzles, particularly the last two, and following the comments here. So, just a few of my own on those (reminiscent of Gogglebox).
    My first balsa model, the Kirby Prefect by (Kiel Craft I think ca.1955); did anyone else try to make it fly? Increasing of vocabulary; my knowledge of west African languages is now TWIce what it was. Aquanauts; TV series, still available on-line. Could not see how to fit Hardy Amies into 4ac anyway. As for the concise, try a tisane of the top-liner homophone to calm the troubled breast. NDY

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