A Standard DA (7th November Edition)

friday da again

(highlighted clues were unsolved until Saturday’s Age was consulted)

RC and I met Saturday morning at Il Fornaio on the benches that make for a comfortable solving of a crossword. And comfortable it indeed proved to be, although perhaps too comfortable; slapping our heads in astonishment is all we could do for not having solved the following:

19 across: Hardest crank gear (7)

Because we were both thinking it was a double-meaning clue, we missed the easiest of anagrams: hardest crank = threads = gear.

Despite that, we managed to get through the crossword pretty well. Nothing was particularly worthy of note about it, although it was great to hear from RC that N?, a DA neophyte, had managed to solve a few clues on her own the previous night before boarding a plane and heading to Laos.

May we all one day excite ourselves with a DA before boarding a plane to places far away.

The Gold (31st October)

9 across: Article on ovine look, plus model beef on journey, perhaps (3, 2, 5, 3)

The reference to ovine and beef in the same clue, which leads one to think of both terms within the same semantic range, is a particularly clever way DA has of creating clues. Here, article = a, on = re, ovine = wether, look = eye and model = t, all of which gives article on ovine look, plus model = are we there yet = beef on journey, perhaps (in the sense of a complaint).

12 down: Rampant socialite a donkey, according to Obama’s mob (5, 6)

Funny and topical! Rampant socialite = party animal = a donkey, according to Obama’s mob (a donkey is the Democratic party’s emblem).

6 down: Escapes seabird, fusty in sound (5, 4)

Nice sounds-like clue. Seabird = tern and fusty = stale so that seabird, fusty in sound = turns tail = escapes.

5 down: Bleats swamp under-performer in the Atlantic? (7)

I love the containment indicator here, swamp, so that we get bleats = baas, under-performer = ham and bleats swamp under-performer = bahamas = in the Atlantic.

DA Nastiness (31st October)

5 across: Yet beaming cute carnage (8)

RC again came up with the goods and had this nasty one making sense when he calmly proffered cute = cut ‘e’. Then we had ourselves the answer: yet = but, beaming = cheery, cute = cut ‘e’, which gave yet beaming cute = butchery = carnage.

Even though we got this one out, it’s still mighty nasty.

DA Confusion (31st of October)

14 across: 5-across (butchery) rubbing out $1000 for credit (10)

The answer is massacring, which should account for either butchery or more likely butchery rubbing out. The rest remains unexplained.

21 across: Savage dog returns about mating period (6)

This one is so confusing that I even came up with brutal = savage, but I couldn’t bring myself to write it in because I didn’t the faintest clue as to why.

The Teachings (from the 31st of October)

2 down: Dug light drink carrier (3, 4)

I figured this was tea tray, but I had no idea why dug = teat. A dictionary told me, though, that dug is exactly a teat as well as being related to a shovel.

7 down: Barge equestrian champ (3)

Here, barge = hoy = equestrian champ (as in Andrew Hoy, the Olympic gold medallist). Until I looked it up, I had no idea barge = hoy.

13 across: …stars in carbon-free cycle wear (4)

This one was guessable with cycle wear = lycra so that carbon-free cycle wear = lyra = stars. And with that, I learnt a new constellation.

16 across: Woeful line with PC-adapted tool for editing (4, 6)

We’ve got woeful = blue and line with PC-adapted = pencil so that woeful line with PC-adapted = blue pencil = tool for editing. What I had no idea of was that a blue pencil is customarily used for editing.

19 across: How rappers welcome politico slog? (4)

How rappers welcome = yo and politico = mp, but who knew before doing this crossword that yomp is slang for slog?

17 down: Leaner dog breed?! (7)

Leaner = lurcher = dog breed. What I didn’t know is that a lurcher is a crossbred dog.

26 across: Headlined feature: High Water Repelled Vermin (5, 3)

RC, in his guise as a well-travelled geographer, came out with tarn as a small mountain lake, which I had never heard of. With that, we had ourselves the following explanation: headlined feature = brow and high water = tarn gave headlined feature: High Water Repelled = brown rat = vermin.

Update: Now that I know how the following clue works, thanks to AL, I’ve got another teaching to list:

21 across: Savage dog returns about mating period (6)

Dog = lab and mating period = rut (which was news to me), which gives dog returns about mating period = brutal = savage.

The Long Friday (from 31st October)

The long Friday

(the circled answers are either incorrect or benefited from the Saturday Age)

This one took a long time to get done. I didn’t have all that much time to devote to the crossword, and, quite frankly, I didn’t get very far early on when I tried. Thankfully, RC, N? (she’s new!) and I got together at a Melbourne Cup Day barbecue to hammer out most of it and leave ourselves mightily perplexed by three clues we could not answer.

As usual, this crossword features some DA Gold and DA Confusion. What is unprecedented is the amount of DA Teachings on offer: I learnt seven new words from this one crossword alone!

A Delayed Report and A Substitute

I haven’t yet had a good go at last Friday’s cryptic, and tomorrow’s public holiday for Melbourne Cup Day, at least in Melbourne, is shaping up as a good time to devote myself to DA.

But, in the meantime, here’s a little cryptic crossword I prepared earlier. It was my first attempt at creating a 15 x 15 cryptic, and, well, it was fun.

Here it is:

cryptic crossword by AS