The Spanking Revealed (from the 26th of September)

Devilish DA

(the answers written in pen were solved the hard way, the answers written in fineliner were solved by the Saturday Age)

I doubt TH and I solved even a handful on Sunday, while I managed to eke out about that yesterday before giving up and deciding I might as well post about the pain.

This was hellish. And now that we’ve got the answers, I still don’t have the explanations.

Stay tuned for a fair bit of DA Confusion.

DA Pain (26th September)

Sicilian Orange on Sunday was the scene of the spanking. Never before has DA so roundly defeated us. Truth be told, I’m a little ashamed of posting the barely-completed cryptic, so I’m giving myself a few more days to stare at it blankly in the hope of at least filling in a few more of the vacant spaces.

Nasty, nasty DA work this week.

The Confusion (19th September)

15 across: Spooner’s body art forged by 18-down (Simpsons) villain (3, 4)

I’m almost certain that when I get an explanation for this it will end up in the DA Gold section. Alas, all I’ve got is Simpsons villain = Fat Tony.

18 down: The likes of 2-down (Bart) captured by the likes of 2-down (Bart), by 10 & 26-across (Matt Groening) (8)

The answer here is Simpsons, but that could just as easily be because the likes of Bart = Simpsons as much as it could be because by Matt Groening = Simpsons.

14 across: Mostly tense drama, eclipsed medic show of 26-across (Matt Groening) (8)

Here, show of Matt Groening = Futurama, but other than the rama being a sizeable portion of drama, I can’t work the rest out.

3 down: (Bart) …m-marble one below 24-across (Lisa)? (6)

Thanks to the theme, one below Lisa = Maggie. No explanation for the rest of it, though.

23 across: Wires hack lads without notice, holding back carer of… (Lisa) (10)

Carer of Lisa = Marge and back carer of lisa = egram giving a significant portion of cablegrams = wires, but the cabls I can’t explain.

4 down: Remove 18-down (Simpsons), frequently (4, 6)

Remove = take off, but I can’t see how that has anything to do with Simpsons, frequently.

DA Simpsons Gold (19th September)

20 across: Pub’s Maria, perhaps, clutches dashing bloke off Darwin (5, 3)

This one made me chuckle. I got this from the direct clue, off Darwin, which I figured must have referred to the Timor Sea. The explanation, though, is clever: pub’s maria, perhaps = tia (as in Tia Maria, the liqueur), dashing bloke = Morse (as in the guy who invented Morse code), giving pub’s maria, perhaps, clutches dashing bloke = timor sea = off Darwin.

21 down: Where to find raspberries stuck? (2, 1, 3)

Nice double-meaning clue which I failed to solve. Where to find raspberries = in a jam = stuck.

Update: Now that I’ve worked out how 15-across works, it too deserves to be here.

15 across: Spooner’s body art forged by 18-down (Simpsons) villain (3, 4)

Everyone loves a Spoonerism and this is yet another one to love. Here, body art = tat, forged = phony so that Spooner’s body art forged = Fat Tony = Simpsons villain.

DA and the Simpsons (19th September)

the simpsons DA

(the circled answers were not answered)

TH had Bukowskied himself the night before and I was in Richmond minding my sister’s house, so I walked on down to Bridge Road and found myself by myself having a run-of-the-mill breakfast over a DA at the Short Black Cafe.

With so many clues referring to so many others, it was clear this one had to have a theme. And it was with the following clue that the theme was revealed:

10, 26 across: He animates tiger’s 17-across (oddness), wild one in coupling (4, 8)

I know from bitter experience that something like he animates is often all DA uses as the direct clue, so I figured the answer referred to someone who was an animator. I had G_O_____ of the surname and that was enough for The Simpsons creator, Matt Groening, to come to mind and provide me both with the answer and the theme to the crossword! (coupling = mating, wild one = oen, tiger’s oddness = tgr, giving tiger’s oddness, wild one in coupling = matt groening = he animates.)

From there, the crossword proved to be thoroughly amusing albeit reasonably easy for a DA because of the theme, which meant that despite my not having decent explanations for quite a number of the clues, I was able to answer them in good time. I pulled up stumps and consulted the answers reasonably quickly, though, which I now regret, because what remained of the crossword wasn’t all that difficult. Alas, I had things to do and I was in no position to justify at least another hour of DA play, even if the beloved Simpsons family were the theme of the day.

Another DA Teaching from the 12th of September

8 across: Grape grower escorts tawdry tart (10)

This was a contender for DA Confusion until I looked up the meaning for tart. Unbeknownst to me, tart not only refers to one of those lovely pastry sweets or a loose woman, but also to something sour or acidic. Hence, grape grower = vine and tawdry = garish, which gives grape grower escorts tawdry = vinegarish = tart.

The Confusion from the 12th of September

12 across: Bestial one covering uni garbage to follow 16-down (cockylora) (7, 7)

Even though the answer to 16-down, cockylora, is a playground game I had never heard of, it is not a word I particularly care to know, so I’ve not bothered to put it into the DA Teachings category. What I do want to know, though, is how the answer to this clue could be british bulldog.

17 across: Sort of market subterfuge? Beg off graft (7)

I can understand why sort of market subterfuge = futures. How beg off graft = futures is beyond me, though.

19 down: Shortly back-ordered links to simple songs (7)

Links = ties and simple songs = ditties, but how does shortly back-ordered = dit?

What DA Taught Me (and it’s Gold!) from the 12th of September

13 down: Feel fool fill ham freshly cured (4-6)

The answer here is half-rhymes, and I had to scratch my head in bemusement. It was clear that ham freshly is an anagram of half-rhymes, but that meant feel fool fill = half-rhymes, which seemed preposterous. What I didn’t know because I don’t know anything about poetry is that a half-rhyme is one in which the sound of the final consonants of two words are similar, but not the vowels. Feel, fool and fill have similar-sounding consonants but their vowels differ, hence feel fool fill = half-rhymes = ham freshly cured.

DA AU (12th of September)

10 across: Kind of book detailing marital aid (5)

TH and I erred on this one, going for sexpo more in hope than anything else rather than dredging up from the boondocks of my ephemera-retaining memory the sexto that is the answer. And this baby gets a golden guernsey basically because of my prurience: marital aid = sextoy so that detailing marital aid = sexto = kind of book.

DA should be thankful I am prurient, though, otherwise the other clue I have esteemed worthy of golden status (it’s a teaching to boot!) would have been the only.

Do we expect too much of DA?