Late Early Bird for the DA of the 27th of March

Sorry, I was away from a computer for a long while.

Comment away here, though, if you’re still keen.

6 thoughts on “Late Early Bird for the DA of the 27th of March

  1. I liked 1A “When the Cup runs”, 19A (I reckon there are only three sculptors in crosswords, and Rodin is one), and 23A and 25,26A – gold, gold, gold, gold as they say in the classics. I reckon ‘hawker’ for ‘one about to eject’ in 5A is a bit suss, and 7D, to my simple mind, is ridiculous!

  2. 7D confuses me, also: “Fit user buckled in ‘tacker’? Not half!”

    While I eventually worked out ‘kite surfer’ from the charade part
    (an angram of ‘fit user ker’, where ‘ker’ is half of ‘tacker’ and the
    checked lights, can anyone explain how the definition is supposed to work?

    If 7D is intended to be an &lit (as suggested by the “!”),
    I am truly mystified. Help?!

    Oh, and does 4D estiMAte? = “educated guess” work for others?
    Or is it a bit weak/contrived?

    6D,21D Tree that he carved before being in charge = “at the helm” had me
    stumped for ages, but was nice once I got it, and that lead into
    23A Uttered bizarre line to one 6-21-down = “rhumb”; a good pair.

  3. 5A “One about to eject” is a hawker, as in a spitter, as in what you do if you catch tuberculosis. If you don’t like that, how about “One about to eject” as a pilot of a Hawker Harrier jump-jet who is about to eject? No? Thought not.

    4D “estiMAte” read as “estimate with an MA” becoming “guess with an MA” becoming “educated guess” goes alright.

    7D No idea where the “kite surfer” definition comes from, either.

  4. 5A: I agree with TT’s first explanation; I’m glad you shared your second explanation with us, but I think on reflection it’s an indication of what DA can do with your mind.

    7D: And did DA play some tricks with my mind on this one! For a long time I was convinced that “tacker” = kid. But then I’d never heard of kite-surfing till a few hours ago. Anyway, I think I can explain it. Like MF, I reckon it’s an &lit clue type. As DA said a few months ago in his Age article: “The Grange Hermitage of clues, where wordplay also serves literally as definition. Reliably clued by an exclamation mark”. Basically the whole clue serves two purposes: one is the wordplay (anagram of “fituser” inside “ker”); and the second is the literal definition for “kite surfer”. My feeling is that as a literal definition for “kite surfer” it stinks, but here it is anyway. I suppose you need to be fit (so a kite-surfer is a fit user), you’re probably buckled into a harness of some sort, tacking is a turning manoeuvre (as in sailing), and the “not half” here serves to accentuate i.e. you have to be VERY fit.

  5. > My feeling is that as a literal definition for “kite surfer” it stinks

    Worth saying a second time. :-)

  6. Sounds to me like the proper definition of an &lit clue is “Pun desperately in search of a clue”.

    Ditto stinks.

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