The Nasty (7th of November)

1 across: Battleship names distorted (9)

In what is becoming a disturbing trend, DA has been using bits of whole words as instructions (this often happens with words like backdown or, as we will see in the next nastiness example, with desktop, but what DA is starting to do is getting crazy). In this one, battle is the anagram signifier, so that battleship names = misshapen = distorted. If this continues, and starts being a part of more difficult clues, we can pretty much forget about getting anything out.

13 down: It is crazy, perhaps, for desktop to be clean (9)

This is something I’ve never seen before in a cryptic, and I wilt at the thought of its structure being followed in future. Here, crazy = insane, so that it is is put in the word sane, giving it is crazy, perhaps, for desktop = sanitised = to be clean. But what’s mental here is that the synonym for crazy, insane, ends up being an instruction, and that instruction is only partially within the word itself!

Can you imagine how difficult these crosswords will become if DA really starts to let loose with constructions like these?

4 thoughts on “The Nasty (7th of November)

  1. I like to think of the Friday DA as the avant garde of cryptic crosswords, pushing boundaries to extreme limits and sometimes further.

    Is a dead shark in formaldehyde art? Is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence music? Is a Friday DA a cryptic crossword?

    You decide.

  2. Bleurgh – I was convinced that 1-across was the opposite way around with “distorted” as the anagram signifier, battle as the direct clue and “ship names” the anagram letters. So close, but so far.

  3. It’s fun to look back from three years in the future and realise that one of DA’s most endearing quirks was at one time considered nastiness.

  4. Yep, after a while, you grow accustomed to DA’s tricks and they become part of your solving arsenal.

    13 down, though, I still rate as impossible — definitely too hard.

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