(the circled answers were either wrong or not attempted)
Friday was a day of sickness for me. Bored as I was at home without many options for amusement, I turned to DA to get me through the day even though I knew there would not be much point to a DA breakfast with TH over the weekend if I were to proceed. And so it was that I attempted last Friday’s DA solo, although I must admit that Wikipedia did come to the aid of a feverish mind for the answer to the clue that all others referred to.
Getting the answer early on to the pick of the clues was the key to the crossword’s unravelling:
11 down: 7-down 10-across’s own cat feller (3, 6)
Although I hadn’t solved it yet, it looked as though 7-down 10-across was referring to a novelist. With that in mind, I was thinking of literary cats, and eventually I mentally stumbled upon cat = tom and got myself thinking of tom sawyer before realising that tom sawyer is quite a funny clue for cat feller, and although it might seem that DA doesn’t account for the y, it turns out a sawyer is indeed a person who saws wood.
This then made it obvious what the answer to the pivotal clue was:
7, 10 across: Novelist wryly changes men, all our so-called flops (9, 7)
I knew Mark Twain was a pseudonym, and, although I knew his birth name was in my brain somewhere, it didn’t come to mind. I was too sick to bother working out the answer, especially when the dear computer was so near, so I got onto Wikipedia and discovered that the clue works out to be wryly changes men, all our = Samuel Langhorne C, flops = lemons, so-called flops = lemens giving wryly changes men, all our so-called flops = Samuel Langhorne Clemens = novelist.
With that, much of the rest of the crossword was worked out reasonably quickly, although 3-down remained a mystery because the character it refers to I had never heard of. Unfortunately, though, the Twain-themed crossword turned out to be one of DA’s lesser marvels. There was another reference to Lana Turner like there was a few weeks ago, there was not much quality to be found and, once the clue to which all others referred was worked out, there was not all that much to it.
It did, however, make my day of sickness pass by that much faster.