(the circled answers were not the product of my own mental workings)
TH was in Sydney, I have no idea where in the world RC is these days and I was having a very slow day at work. So I took on this baby mostly during working hours and found myself mostly at Degani’s in Burnley (sans Elvis impersonator, sadly) praising the good DA’s name; I think this is his best since this blog has been started.
Following what seems to be a trend over the last couple of months, this is another themed crossword, and my solving the clue to which most others referred turned out to be a two-stage process:
13 across: Islander virulent against US intervention?
With a t as the first letter and a tentative s as the third, I figured Tasmanian was the answer even though the only explanation I had for it was that Tasmanian = islander. The other clues referring to 13-across all seemed to confirm my suspicion, but I still had no watertight explanation. Only with the solving of 24-across, which put an inopportune e in the middle of Tasmanian, did I realise the answer was going to be Taswegian and the explanation virulent against = tasgian, us = we, virulent against US intervention = Taswegian = islander.
With that, only a few clues remained of the crossword by knock-off time. Between then and the witching hour, though, progress was only made on one of the few unsolved clues, and I consulted the SMH online for the answers to the rest (for some reason, the crossword software never works in my browser on The Age website).
Now Tasmania is happily associated with one of DA’s best. Excepting Launceston, my already high estimation of the place shot through the roof, and I’m expecting cryptic-crossword aficionados to mysteriously drift southward as if this DA were a siren’s call from the other side of Bass Strait.