Another Error (30th January)

6 across: 8, 27 and 64 die (5)

I’m calling it as DA’s second error in a calendar month! Here, 8, 27 and 64 = cubes = die, which is incorrect because die is the singular form of dice, meaning that the clue should have been 8, 27 and 64 dice.

It’s too bad, because it would have been a candidate for DA Gold otherwise (I like maths, and I have a sneaking suspicion that mathematically-minded people are the best at cryptics).

Update: This is not actually an error. AL set me on the right course.

As AL pointed out, I am in error here, not DA.

I read the clue as suggested above, 8, 27 and 64 = cubes = die, which would have been a DA error.

The alternative is to read it as 8, 27 = cubes = 64 die, which is not a DA error.

The Great Confusion (30th January)

1 across: Is radio carried by explorer in halter? (4, 5)

Halter = disc brake. The rest?

5 down: Cosmic cutie came to end before start (4)

RC called it early as ewok = cosmic cutie. What we never managed to work out is an explanation.

6 down: Bloke getting there when four escape tangled scrub (9)

I kind of cheated on this one by looking up the dictionary to get scrub = chaparral. Bloke = chap is obvious, the rest not so.

11 across: NZ author fixed habit with heroin reserve (4, 4)

NZ author = Ruth Park and reserve = park, but how can fixed habit with heroin = ruth?

19 across: Hungarian scorer’s tip for audience? (5)

Liszt = Hungarian, but how does the rest work?

21 across: RAF shell wounds wet Sendero Luminoso fighter (5)

Sendero Luminoso fighter = Maoist, but that’s all I’ve got.

28 across: Increase tenfold the gist of legal restriction (5)

We figured that restriction = limit, just that we had no explanation for it.

14 down: Guards causing endless ruckus about … revolt (10)

I got guards = custodians from the cross clues. I had no explanation for it, though.

23 down: Pontoon, perhaps, reaches sailor on the Persian Gulf (5)

RC again called it early with on the Persian Gulf = Qatar. While sailor = tar is easy enough, how does pontoon, perhaps = qa?

2 down: A long way for A-listers to go? (7, 4)

The Saturday Age says stretch limo, just that I don’t even know what the direct clue is.

Difficult, Yet Quality All the Way

rough but good da

(in blue are the clues that required an answer sheet)

RC and I got together on the Friday at the Albert Park Hotel (warning: the website is a travesty of online decency) to beat the heat and take down DA. What we found, though, was that DA had defeated us, and we ended up spending a long while staring at the crossword with nothing to offer after a promising start.

We parted ways in frustration, although I did manage to get a few more out in a flurry of activity the following day over breakfast at Dweezil after a humorous SMS exchange with RC that went pretty much as follows:

AS to RC: Is there some kind of shot that is a herman cut?

RC to AS: Maybe. As in Pee Wee Herman, right?

AS to RC: Actually, a french cut is a shot in cricket.

RC to AS: The answer is square cut! Gold!

Come Saturday afternoon, though, I just wanted to get the answers to the rest, and what I discovered was a fine crossword, even if I’ve got a helluva lot of confusion that I need resolving.

The Golden DA Beaches (23rd of January)

28 across: Mutt lost head, beside itself (4, 4)

Here, mutt = cur, lost head = l and mutt lost head, beside itself = curl curl = beach. That beside itself is nice.

4 down: My tips for young: usurp right in beach shelter (2, 5)

I like this one because DA hid the direct clue so well. It’s tips for young = yg, beach shelter = brolly, usurp right in beach shelter = bolly and tips for yound: usurp right in beach shelter = by golly = my.

Update: Thanks to David, I can include the following clue in the Gold:

17 down: Tidied desperate ax? (8)

It’s exceptionally difficult, but exceptionally good. Here, desperate = in need and ax = aten (x as Roman numeral), and the synonym for desperate is then interpreted cryptically, meaning that desperate ax = in need aten = neatened = tidied.

The Bullshit (from the 23rd of January)

19 down: They take seconds to fight? (8)

Although I liked this clue, to my mind, it’s not quite right.  The answer is duellers, but although duellers = they take seconds is fine, duellers = to fight ain’t. Expressed alternatively, it could be that duellers = they take seconds to fight, but then that’s not much of a cryptic clue.

Either way, me say bullshit.

Update: OK, so I don’t think it’s bullshit anymore.

The Confoundings (from the 23rd of January)

17 down: Tidied desperate ax? (8)

Neatened? Huh?

14, 26 across: Vile enmity, damming river (6, 4)

We got ninety mile from this, and whilst it looks like an anagram clue, we couldn’t quite work it out.

27 across: Bell her front, literally (5)

Even though bronte, the answer, has the be of bell in it and the ront of front in it, no explanation could be found for why.

9 across: Revoke description of extinct volcano? (6)

The answer here is avalon, which has many of the letters of volcano in it, but why or how avalon comes of it was beyond us.

25 across: Ducks by dam reflected inward (10)

Ducks I’m assuming refers to the oo of warriewood, but everything else is a mystery.

I Had No Idea I Knew Of So Few Beaches (from the 23rd of January)

DA cryptic crossword the age beaches theme 23rd january 2009 smh

(circled are the many clues no answers were found for)

RC and ?? had a quick look at it on Friday before RC and I got together on Saturday at Spuntino’s to have a crack at it over sangria.

And as can be seen, we were absolutely destroyed; although we deciphered the theme early on, we knew of few beaches and didn’t get very far with the other clues.

Sadness, sadness and destruction, but that was to be expected given last week’s victory.

The Happy AU DA (from the 16th of January)

17 across: Love each fly (6)

So elegant, so succinct: love = zip, each = per and love each = zipper = fly.

24 across: Milk product includes largely stale milk product (7)

DA finds a milk product in a milk product: milk product = curd, largely stale = sta and milk product includes largely stale = custard = milk product.

2 down: Nervous about wellbeing status (8, 7)

Very amusing anagram: about wellbeing status = sweating bullets = nervous.