Hubris and a Cryptic, 1st of August Edition

da defeated yet again sinners

Il Fornaio was this time the scene of what is becoming the weekly ritual DA slaughter.

Conveniently for me, TH rode into my side of town and there was only a short walk between my front door and the venue of choice for DA smashing. And when we found ourselves almost instantaneously putting away 1 down and 1 across, the latter coming with confirmation from the Tasmanian waitress who rather handily happened to be on hand, convenience seemed to be the order of the day.

1 down: Bludge some bread (4)

Nice and easy double meaning, with bludge = loaf = some bread.

1 across: Keep jogging in run around Tassie reservoir (4, 6)

Run = ladder (think stockings), keep jogging = kepe and keep jogging in run around = lake pedder = Tassie reservoir.

With that, we found ourselves staring at the first letters to many of the solutions for the other clues and we were beginning to think the rest would be a breeze. Nothing, however, is that simple with the DA, so although we managed to get this one out, and in quick time, we found ourselves often stuck. But as soon as the stuck became unstuck, a flurry of answers would issue forth before resolving into a state of stuck yet again.

All in all, though, not much longer than an hour was spent vanquishing this particular DA, which was much the same amount of time we needed to vanquish last week’s. Nevertheless, we definitely had the impression that this week’s was much more difficult than the previous week’s, and that maybe, just maybe, we are getting to the point where we no longer need fear DA, for we have gotten to the point where we can be DA.

Empty braggadocio? Hubris? Only time will tell if consecutive vanquishings can be parlayed into a hat-trick, and only time will tell if this new-found self-assurance is justified.

4 thoughts on “Hubris and a Cryptic, 1st of August Edition

  1. Congrats to you both!

    I also got it out, taking close to 3 hours though.

    Started over breakfast Friday and got the last clue while listening to the footy on the radio that evening.

    Like you, I started off top left…

    …and I finished up bottom right with the 2 nice 4-letter clues:

    22D: Present grant limitations to secure famous poem (4); and
    23D: Lab assistant failing to open American zip (4)

    High fives all round!

    I look forward to tomorrow’s DA with renewed confidence, but also some trepidation. Will DA strike back and get his revenge??…

  2. I’ve never completed one solo I don’t think. TH has, but me, no, so I’m quite impressed by your efforts.

    23D was one of the last ones we got as well, and a good one.

    I’m thinking DA has to strike back this week. He’s due.

  3. There was a lot to like in this edition of DA’s handiwork IMHO.

    It was probably my best ever solo effort ever… Complete solutions of DA have been rare, especially on the same day as publication (I usually set myself the arbitrary time limit of midnight).

    Still, I much prefer solving with a partner. Hopefully AJ will not be quite so snowed under with study commitments and we can resume soon. Not all his fault though, I was overseas from late April to early June.

    With a partner, I find there is added pleasure in common appreciation of DA’s cleverness; groans and guffaws often issuing forth in unison.

    Sometimes, when we seem completely stuck, one of us will throw out a vague hunch about how the clue might work, and the other will immediately see the answer as obvious!

    Then, of course, having somewhat complementary knowledge about geography, history, popular culture etc. helps, as probably does the age difference (I am in my 50s, AJ in his 30s). I might have an advantage actually, since I suspect DA to be a baby boomer like me, judging from some of the dated 60s slang he uses!

    It’s also amazing when one person signals he has got the answer, the other will also get it quickly, independently. It must be psychological.

    Anyway, only one more sleep to the next DA!

    And thanks for the blog, by the way. It’s great.

  4. The partner is always the best. The tangents you can get on are wonderful to behold. And it’s always special when you discover someone is a cryptic crossword fan — it’s like you have an instant meeting of minds and a mutual respect.

    I read in an article on DA that he has been writing cryptics for over twenty years, so I’m supposing that he’s somewhere in his middle years as well. As for us, me, RC and TH are 29, 30 and 30 respectively, but we go pretty well with the slang, thankfully.

    I generally have trouble with references to furniture, textiles, plants and food, much of which I have had little experience with because of my upbringing in a Greek family (although that does come in handy for references to mythology and the Greek alphabet.)

    And it’s always great to hear that we’ve got fans!

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