i Cryptic Crossword 3381 by Dac

December 8, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of 5): 🌟🌟

Another Wednesday, another Dac. I found this a little chewier than some from this setter, with one or two clues not quite up to scratch. For instance ‘group’ was used for ‘set’ twice (in 1dn and 16dn) and the Manhattan thoroughfare in 11dn didn’t spring to mind as easily as, say, its neighbour three blocks away; we also had two separate anagram indicators in 20ac, although there’s nothing really wrong with that. And, as contributors to the fifteensquared blog commented, the answer to 3dn is not in either Chambers or Collins although it is in the OED.

Overall, though, this proved a satisfying solve although I did have to google to confirm that the fairly obvious answer to 6dn was indeed a 50s hit. Another easy one (for me, anyway) was 8dn which raised a smile as I remembered the character of Lady Constance in many a sketch from I’m sorry, I’ll read that again.

I liked 12ac; even when I decided that the definition was ‘transport’ it was a lovely ‘aha’ moment when I realised what mode of transport was required. 14ac held out almost to the end but brought another ‘aha’ moment as well as allowing me to get my last one, 15dn.

Was there a touch of &lit-ishness in 17ac with its reference to ‘unusual for the time of year’? It’s certainly not that time of year now, nor was it when the puzzle made its debut in September 2017. Something a bit closer to the present season, though, gets my vote for CoD – 4dn: ‘Trees felled initially in part of S London, an annual tradition (5-7)’

Everything, including a slightly tricky parsing of 9ac, can be found at www.fifteensquared.net/2017/09/27/independent-9659-by-dac/

7 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3381 by Dac”

  1. thebargee said

    This was over in a flash, but enjoyable nonetheless. 3dn was indeed an oddity, but fairly obvious from the clue. The only problem I had was due to a complete mental block about 26ac – for some reason I wanted the answer to be BEANHEAD. It took a while for the completely obvious answer to dawn. Indeed I must be one myself!

    Agree about COD and thought we were in for a festive theme, but alas no.

    • Cornick said

      Agreed on CoD, among some other typically pleasing clues from the master.
      As I commented in 2017, 3d has been common parlance in theatre circles for decades, even if some of the dictionaries haven’t quite caught up yet!

  2. jonofwales said

    It’s always good to see a puzzle by Dac, especially now we’re aware that the supply of new ones is probably running low. Enjoyable and pretty straightforward, my only minor pause for thought being the lake. 3d is surely pretty regular fare now?

  3. Grodnik said

    A gentle one star outing with Dac today resulting in a personal best finish for me. I must be getting better at this after about 3 years of practice. 6dn needed no checking in this house as it was FOI followed by a spirited rendering over the breakfast toast.
    One slight quibble, I’m not sure that statins should be regarded as “heart” drugs; I believe that, like warfarin, they actually alter the colligative properties of the blood without any direct effect on the heart. However, since I have been taking both for several years now I can bear witness to their effectiveness (touch wood). NDY

  4. Saboteur said

    Im glad I’m not the only one who found this just a little chewier than Dac usually is, and that it was just very slightly sub-par, for the reasons already mentioned.

    Enjoyed it still. Had I not known it were a Dac, I dare say nothing adverse would have occurred to me.

  5. Willow said

    Yes – a little more demanding than usual, but nevertheless all good stuff. Many thanks!

  6. dtw42 said

    ** feels about right to me – after all, I had it finished by 7.29am. My last ones in were 9ac and then … yes, you guessed it – 3dn.

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