i Cryptic Crossword 3369 by Dac

November 24, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of 5): 🌟

“One of Dac’s typically smoothly-constructed crosswords” was John’s comment on fifteensquared – and who am I to disagree? This was all completed fairly quickly, although there a few head-scratching moments, for instance until I realised ‘dork’ was the definition and not part of the wordplay in 16dn. The two long answers at 4dn and 5dn were easily got and provided handy pegs to hang others on, although there was little need for such pegs. It is rare to find anything to quibble about in a Dac puzzle but one might possibly note the absence of an indication that 12ac is a definition by example.

I marked up several clues as candidates for CoD, including 9ac, 1dn, 2dn and 21dn, but my final choice is 18dn: ‘Successfully handling piece of masonry (6)’

The original review generated very few comments, which is probably a reflection of Dac’s excellence as a setter. You can find it at


9 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3369 by Dac”

  1. jonofwales said

    What’s to say? Great to see Dac back again, enjoyable as always, with a lack of quibbles just because he was so consistently excellent. Just into 2* for difficulty here, mostly because I lobbed in SKY rather than AIR at the end of the long down and got myself a little stuck for a while.

  2. thebargee said

    1ac DAC, beautifully crafted as ever. Needed to check the existence of 22ac and couldn’t parse 3dn, never having heard of that particular game, but everything else went in without trouble.

    LOI was 19dn, favourite was 16dn.

  3. tonnelier said

    I’d say this just strays into 2* territory because of sombreros ( I wasn’t expecting a card game, but suppose the clue is just ok) violone and raintight (neither of which I’d come across before). Typical Dac – 1a, 16 and 17 stood out for me amongst lots of elegantly crafted clues

    • Borodin said

      I did wonder about giving it two stars, but decided there wasn’t really anything to warrant the extra star.
      Incidentally, I’ve just revisited the 15^2 review and see that on its original appearance the clue for 16dn had ‘screwball’ not ‘dork’ as the definition. Was it originally ‘dork’ and changed to ‘screwball’ or vice-versa I wonder?

  4. Cornick said

    Viol, violoncello, viola da gamba, and now violone. Live and learn, live and learn.
    Another lovely Dac puzzle. As soon as I saw 1a this morning I knew it could only be him – the setter’s name being somewhat hidden on the app.

  5. Willow said

    A lovely crossword – thank you. Like some others I was confused by the parsing of SOMBREROS for a while, until I realised that SISTER was SR, and that VERY BIG referred just to OS and not to SO … OS. A quick check in Chambers then revealed OMBRE as being a card game.

    A BARYTON is another stringed instrument similar to the viol and violone. Haydn’s patron Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy owned one, and so Haydn composed quite a lot of music for him to play. Maybe it will appear in a future puzzle.

  6. Saboteur said

    The blogger’s nightmare – a great puzzle, leaving one little to say.

    Good to have a Dac again. Enjoyed, and all over a little too quickly. No quibbles or queries, and a trip to the dictionary only for a totally unnecessary check on the musical instrument.

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