An AS Cryptic from Jakarta

I haven’t attempted a cryptic since leaving Melbourne, but I have created one.

Here it is:

AS cryptic crossword special


1. Chris Judd befuddled men in a strange trance (9)

6. Pace is discontinued contempt before a monocle (5)

9. Psycho stabber went nutty escaping Brazil (5)

10. Twisted Leopard author prefers fusionable over fissionable material as a light cover (9)

11. The nasty red who sings about honeymoons coming to an end? (3, 5, 3)

12. Numerical abbreviation in bar (3)

13. He will love your ice-breaking conversation (5)

14. Male odd retreat meets chariot racer on the waterways of an Amerindian tribe (4, 5)

16. Navel content to watch poor grades as the progenitors of fabric (4, 5)

18. I object to sitcom shoe sellers’ cereals (5)

20. Treasonous Nixon cops the first, second and third part of the end point (3)

21. Not koalas, skippy, a defunct uniform from Queensland (5, 6)

24. AA’s twelve finished as one avoids the puddle (5, 4)

25. Seventh from the front left a frightening utterance (5)

26. Third baseman donkey-like with attitude (5)

27. Scottish Johns born on the banks of a river are Africans (9)


1. 125 – 2.718 sits in the middle measure (5)

2. Sick as a waterless hole in the ground? (3, 4)

3. Take a load off solid fungi where one finds redbacks? (9)

4. “Terrible” the French said of the director (5)

5. Larry, his brother Larry and his other brother Larry identify rumps heard to be boneless (9)

6. Ramshackle stories of an inventor (5)

7. More brawn that is ensconced in tamer misgivings (7)

8. Implications of manifest singles (9)

13. Shall bits lost, when uncovered, be present as a stench? (9)

14. An Arabic sea snake, a Jewish butter and a German win an actor (3, 6)

15. A German resident to hammer out murder number around a returned pig (9)

17. Post-prandial couch dwellers shortened card players (7)

19. Singing Divinyl broke her sound lease or a tall jug (7)

21. Dolly goes broke on a fork in the road (5)

22. Young family member between September and November went without a knight (5)

23. Of fat hatless searches (5)

DA bullshit 27/3

7 down: Fit user buckled in “tacker”? Not half!
So much for the no bullshit call, then. This one definitely deserves a place in the horseshit hall of fame. I got as far as thinking it must have been an anagram of “fit user”, and that was about it – I was thinking that “not half” was the direct clue, and got nowhere. As it transpires, I wouldn’t have got the answer in a month of Sundays (or Fridays, I guess). TT’s summation that this is a “pun in search of a clue” is spot on – &lit. clues are all very well, but not if they’re, well, bullshit. Fit user = KITE SURFER? Um, no.

27/3 gold

This was a pretty good ‘un all round, but I particularly liked these:

1 across: When the cup runs over, men scramble to protect beer’s head (8)
The “to protect” bit is a bit clumsy, but I do like “When the cup runs” as a direct clue for NOVEMBER. It mighta confused the Sydneysiders, though!

25, 26 across: Alien race signals for us to walk? (6, 5, 3)
A nice double meaning clue – LITTLE GREEN MEN!

4 down: estiMAte? (8, 5)
Only DA woulda come up with this one. It did remind me a little of a clue from a few weeks back, to which the answer I think was also EDUCATED GUESS, or something very similar – does anyone remember it? But anyway, this is one of those clues that elicits bewilderment when you first look at it, and a delighted chuckle when the answer first jumps out.

No real DA bullshit this week, although that may change once I’ve seen the answers!

Back with a vengeance, sort of

After a week of apathy and then a week of server issues, I’m back on the blog, although it appears that AS has been keeping everyone happy from Indonesia in my absence. I grabbed the paper on Friday morning and made a flying start on this DA on the way to work – by the time the junkie express ground to halt at Victoria St, about half of the puzzle was done and I was feeling confident about being able to knock it off over the weekend and post triumphantly here this evening.

Unfortunately, as seems often to be the case, real life intervened, in the form of a busy Saturday afternoon, a ruinously drunken evening at the Curtin Bandroom on Saturday night and the vague blur that constituted Sunday. The lesson that the last coupla weeks has taught me is that if I don’t post on this blog by Monday, I don’t post at all, so rather than hanging on in the vague hope of being able to finish this puzzle, I’m posting the nearly finished article here for discussion. Next week, I’m hoping to stay on the straight and narrow and have a proper solution by Monday.

But then, I’ve said that before.


Oh, and does anyone have the solution?

– TH

Early Bird Commenting (for the 11th March Edition DA)

We’re not always on the ball posting something on this website (I know I’ve taken as long as Thursday to get around to posting something in the past), and we’ve been noticing that you fine people want to get busy commenting on the latest DA as soon as possible.

So, in order to get comments happening as soon as possible, here’s the start of a regular series of Early Bird posts that will simply be a space for you to comment about the latest DA without having to wait for us.

Get cracking!

P.S.  AG and RB have already started commenting on the 11th of March edition on another post.

4th March – the confusing

20 across: Cash in sport notice way short (3)

DA’s short clues are notoriously difficult, and I’m not even sure I’ve got this one right – with both cross clues and little in the way of enlightenment, I figure I had a 20% chance (it could be PAT, PIT, PET, POT or PUT). Which one? Why?

27 across: One flees weird insular habitat for the Christian sect (9)

Sure, the Lutherans are a Christian sect, but where does the rest come from? Maybe “weird” = LURID, which somehow loses its ID (“one flees”). But if “flees” is included there, where does the “RAN” come from? Ideas?

19 down: Falls for new wife (7)

The direct clue is obviously “falls” – NIAGARA – but the rest?

4th March – the bad

3 down: Place in aviary holds our egg (9)

This was the last clue I got, and no wonder – the use of “egg” as a  synonym for “encourage” as the direct clue is drawing a very, very long bow.

5 down: I can’t tell you if tanks crash into stadium (3’1, 3, 2)

Not so much  bullshit as an uncharacteristically inelegant clue. “Dome” as stadium, “I can’t tell you” as the direct clue… it’s a bit of an NS clue, really. We expect better from the master!

4th March – the good

13 down: Cattle prod where one might [up the ante] (4,5)

Not DA Gold for the ages, but the double entendre of STUD POKER for “cattle prod” and somewhere where one might up the ante at least brought a chuckle.

…and, um, that’s it, really.