The Confusion (13th of February)

Here’s a first: no confusions!

Post a comment, though, if you’ve got something bugging you.

Having just read through the crossword again to work out what were the golden clues, I’ve realised that there is in fact the following confusion:

14 across: Sleeping bouncer relinquishes nothing for candy (8)

Here, we had bouncer relinquishes nothing = doorman, which means that candy = ce or candy = cy so that bouncer relinquishes nothing for candy = dormance or dormancy = sleeping. But how does the last step, candy = ce or candy = cy, work?

Also, is sleeping a grammatically-correct synonym for dormancy or dormance? I’m thinking not but am willing to be convinced otherwise.

An SMH DA

DA cryptic crossword SMH edition with TC starring

After two hours last week, I had the DA complete. This week, though, after about the same amount of time, I only had a few done and realised I had a challenge on my hands. A Sunday session with TH and RC in the latter’s backyward, however, proved that this crossword was not as intimidating as it appeared to me to be. TH was especially in fine form, and I doubt that a further two hours elapsed before this baby was well and truly put to the sword.

A sidenote: I was in Canberra on Friday so the DA I ripped out of the paper was from the SMH. Annoyingly, the SMH-printed copy of the crossword leaves far less white space to scribble on that I’m accustomed to, and for the first time ever, a pad of paper was pulled out on Sunday for scribbling purposes.

6th February Gold

14 across: Music clip stopping bitter period in Arab network (2, 7)

It’s not a difficult clue: music = jazz, music clip = jaz, bitter = ale and period = ale, which gives music clip stopping bitter period = Al Jazeera = Arab network. The impressive bit: DA managed to get the j and the z to fall on cross squares and get words out for them. The obscure letters in this crossword generally were a delight to behold.

Unfortunately, after that, there’s not much else I would proffer as worthy of gold status, which makes this particular crossword a particularly barren one.

What I Couldn’t Quite Understand (6th February)

15 down: Lobsters can almost eat reddish one in pontoon (9)

I now realise I made a mistake on this one, putting in crustacia instead of crustacea. Either way, though, I’ve got no explanation for why can almost eat reddish one in pontoon = crustacea = lobsters.

16 across: European contrarily secure about a medium (7)

Here, European = latvian and via = medium. I don’t have much else, though.

7, 27 across: Philosopher cooked gourmet schnitzel, cut and prepared with cream core (9, 9)

Was this a mistake on DA’s part or have I just got something wrong? I had cooked = fried, gourmet = rich, schnitzel cut and prepared = nietzsch and cream core = e so that cooked gourmet schnitzel, cut and prepared with cream core = friedrich nietzsche = philosopher.

My issue: cream core should be ea, not e.

18 across: Lament route, oddly or French-ly! (3)

I just can’t make this one out cleanly. I can see route oddly = rue = lament, but what is the or French-ly there for?

Almost Movie-Themed, Almost Islamic-Themed (6th February)

Happyu movie-themed DA cryptic crossword

Today was my last day at work before heading to Indonesia and I needed amusement because I certainly didn’t have many work-related matters to attend to. Thankfully, DA lent a helping, and I managed to get a fair whack of it done before heading home. And when I got home, JC was soon after lending her assistance and DA was conquered, vanquished, taken out.

I don’t think this particular cryptic was too difficult. What, however, was most impressive were the number of obscure letters that peppered the crossword. I don’t think I’ve ever completed a crossword that has had two z‘s, two j‘s and a v as cross clues, and I must commend DA for his effort in pulling off a crossword with such extreme letters.

The semi-movie and semi-Islamic nature of the crossword was also much appreciated.

And I wonder: were 1 down, 11 across, 30 across and 21 down the last four clues that you completed before vanquishing this beast too?

Update: Oops, I’ve just realised I made a mistake: 15 down should read crustacea not crustacia. My mistake was borne of my not having an explanation for the clue. Please help me.

The Bullshit (30th January)

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

And another hat-tip to Michael Fuller for explaining this one as well, which is exceptionally well-deserved considered this just isn’t a very tidy clue. What we’ve got here is: tip = list (a nautical term I had no idea about), which gives tip for audience (for audience is the aural indicator) = Liszt = Hungarian scorer’s.

What I just can’t abide is Hungarian scorer’s = Liszt. The unaccounted for possessive just makes the whole thing messy.

DA Gold (30th January)

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

This is super nasty but brilliant, and a thank you to AL once more for deciphering the clue.  And it goes: legal = licit, gist of legal = c, increase tenfold the gist of legal = limit (10 x 100 (c) = 1000 (m)) = restriction.

17 across: Nerd censored shot (6, 3)

Quality: nerd = square and censored = cut so that nerd censored = square cut = shot.

13 down: Weighlifter fights pirate? (4, 7)

Very nice: weightlifter = jack and fights = spar + row so that weightlifter fights = jack sparrow = pirate.

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

Awesome clue, whose explanation I must thank JD for, and it’s even got a q in it that is used in a cross clue. Pontoon, perhaps = qa (pontoon is a variation of blackjack or 21, and a queen and ace (qa) give pontoon, blackjack or 21) and sailor = tar, which gives pontoon, perhaps, reaches sailor = qatar = on Persian Gulf.

16 down: Expedient milk drink peeved Spooner (9)

Are Spooner clues a DA original? Do they exist anywhere else? Anyway, I love them, and I loved this one: milk drink = shake and peeved = miffed so that milk drink peeved Spooner = makeshift = expedient.

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

Hat-tip to Michael Fuller for the explanation of this cute clue: causing endless = causin and … = dots so that causing endless ruckus about … revolt = custodians = guards.