DA’s Teachings (from the 24th of October)

22 down: Worker with practically nothing? That smells! (6)

I was pretty sure this was making reference to a nose, but I had no idea that a slang term for nose is beezer, so that worker = bee and practically nothing = zer, giving worker with practically nothing? = beezer = that smells!.

25 across: Brief spy issue (6)

I had never heard of Molson as a beer, and here we have spy = mole, brief spy = mol and issue = son (which I’m not completely sure about), giving brief spy issue = Molson = beer (the crossword’s theme).

DA’s Confounding Exploits (from the 24th of October)

1 down: Family collected one semi-tropic herb for Americans (8)

Herb for Americans = cilantro, but exactly how everything else fits together is beyond me.

2 down: Feature a themed salute, doubled? (4)

I’m guessing feature = chin, but the rest I’m completely at a loss to explain.

21 down: Putting off shaking bub’s toy? (8)

I’m supposing shaking bub’s toy = rattling, but I can’t explain the other half of the clue.

24 across: Outright authority (4)

The answer, Bass, is a beer, but how outright authority = bass remains a mystery.

DA’s Amber-Coloured Gold (from the 24th of October)

3 down: The rest of Barcelona change top for party (6)

This took a while, but the semantic switch makes for a nice clue indeed. Party = fiesta so that change top for party = siesta = the rest of Barcelona.

6 down: Within a schedule, skipper shows respect, perhaps, is in reach (10)

Ridiculously clever clue. Here, skipper = captain, skipper shows respect = tain (one doffs one’s cap to show respect) and schedule = table so that within a schedule, skipper shows respect, perhaps = attainable = is in reach.

7 down: Residents liable to be punished by thematic overindulgence? (6)

As mentioned in the report, RC conjured up livers as a synonym for residents so that residents = livers = liable to be punished by thematic overindulgence to reveal the theme.

22 across: How this themed group is made in group-speak (6)

Nice sounds-like clue, with group = brood so that group-speak = brewed = how this themed group is made.

Ale Induced Splendour (24th of October edition)


(The red clues were from the Saturday Age)

RC is back in town after many months of absence, and Friday night we caught up over wine and a DA.

Themed crosswords have been a feature of DA’s efforts of late, but we had never before been greeted with the peculiar instruction:

Please note: all across clues are 22-across, and go otherwise undefined.

We weren’t sure how to correctly interpret the instruction. My guess was that the answers to the across clues in sequence would constitute a poem or the lyrics to a song. The absence of short clues for English’s prepositions, pronouns and articles put paid to such a notion, so we plunged headlong into the down clues, hoping something would come of our efforts over time.

We did manage to get a few answers out, but it was RC who made the important breakthrough on the humorous 7-down:

7 down: Residents liable to be punished by thematic overindulgence? (6)

Somehow, from somewhere in the dark recesses of his prodigious mind, RC managed to drag out livers as a synonym for residents so that residents = livers = liable to be punished by thematic overindulgence. And, with that, we had ourselves the theme locked up.

Clearly, alcohol had something to do with the theme, and when RC in a flash turned to 12-across and proclaimed it to be Stella Artois, we knew we had for ourselves an amber-ale-themed crossword.

Notwithstanding the theme being revealed, further progress was arduous; DA had still managed to make the crossword quite difficult even for boys well-versed in beer. We called it a night having done about half the crossword some time after midnight, and we were both impressed by the amount of mental strain involved in getting as far as we did, which wasn’t all that far at all.

I answered a few more clues on Saturday before admitting defeat and consulting the answers on Sunday. How a few of the clues work still baffles me; how my favourite of all beers, Tsingtao, went unsolved baffles me still more.

The Golden (from 17th of October)

Thanks to the commenters, we’ve got the following pieces of highly exquisite gold:

1 down: Safe cushy job in shed (6)

Here, cushy job = sinecure giving cushy job in shed = secure = safe (very nice use of shed as a verb rather than a noun).

5 across: She’s hot to trot — yet inert after big apple? (6)

This clue is one part nasty to two parts gold. The brilliant piece of nastiness comes from inert = mpho, which is an inspired shorthand for zero miles per hour. With that we then get big apple = ny, giving yet inert after big apple? = nympho = she’s hot to trot.

9 across: Princess stops old Israel national siding with America (8)

Again, another inventive use of a word, in this case siding. What we’ve got here is princess = di and old Israel = canaan, which gives princess stops old Israel = canadian = national siding with America (where siding takes on the meaning of bordering in this instance).

13 across: Old redhead composer in cuckoo grove (9)

Wonderful reference to a political leader with composer = bach and cuckoo grove = gorev giving composer in cuckoo grove = gorbachev = old redhead.

7 down: Fledgling detainee singularly supported infinite truce (8)

This is perhaps one of the most difficult and brilliant clues DA has ever created. Detainee = hicks, detainee singularly = hick, truce = peace and infinite peace = peac (something infinite is endless), all of which means detainee singularly supported infinite truce = peachick = fledgling.

8 down: Sick of what you see in summary (8)

Yet again, DA invents. Sick of = over (think slang) and what you see = view, so that sick of what you see = overview = summary.

Nothing (17th of October)

I was caught up with the preparations and celebrations that came of my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday party over the weekend. I did manage to sneak peeks at the DA, but they were to no avail; my fleeting glances met with no solutions, and now I ask for absolution.

I’ve got no crossword to upload and I’ve got nothing to say, really, about Friday’s DA. If any of you have something to offer, please do, and I will have to live vicariously through your accounts. 

So DA will have to wait until the coming of this week’s end, when Friday’s crossword will surely make a more enduring mark on my doings, and RC might just be back in the cryptic circle after many months of absence.

The Good Stuff (from the 10th of October)

1 across: She cleaned standpipe, wasting seconds

Not a particularly memorable clue, but I like the reference to Sadie, the Cleaning Lady (standpipe wasting seconds = sadie = she cleaned.)

1 down: Nemo’s dog, perhaps, heard with less frequency?

This one’s funny if not completely neat. Nemo’s dog, perhaps = subwoofer = dog, perhaps, heard with less frequency?.

18 down: Stock-taker fond of crackling?

Nice double meaning clue, with fond of crackling? = rustler = stock-taker.