TT yet again takes down DA within 24 hours, making it four consecutive weeks of success.
Here’s the joy:
Despite the fully-completed grid, TT was troubled by 3-down (BIRO), 7-down (INFANT) and 26-across (RAJAH).
Look: a new category!
Inspired by NC’s and RB’s surmisings, here comes Ask DA, where we theorise as to what is the correct explanation for a clue in the hope that DA might shine a light on the cogitations of his own prestidigitatious mind.
Now, the clue:
25 across: Fairly serious fugitive touched by a small formality (8)
The clue seems to work as follows: fairly serious = grave – e, fugitive touched = it and a small = as giving fairly serious fugitive touched by a small = gravitas = formality.
The problem: how to account for fugitive touched = it.
NC’s proposed explanation, in his own words:
We just have to explain how fugitive touched = IT, just as if DA is using “touched” as some sort of “use the central bit of” indicator.
What if DA thinks that to be “touched” (i.e. emotionally) is the same as “to have your heart stolen”…if so, then QED.
Now, I quite like that as a solution, but I also thought of something a little bit more humdrum in fairly serious = gravity (as in the gravity of a situation, which is fairly serious), fairly serious fugitive = gravity – y (as in a runaway or fugitive letter) and a small = as, so that touched by is there to make the clue flow better and to confound.
Anyway, that’s two possible explanations for the same clue, although I hope NC more correctly read DA’s mind because it’s cleverer.
16 across: Comedian suffered friendly jeers (5,8)
This anagram should go down in the unwritten annals of cryptic crossword genius (although I still consider Tony Blair MP as an anagram of I’m Tory Plan B to be the height of genius). Here, we’ve got friendly jeers as an anagram of Jerry Seinfeld, so that suffered friendly jeers = jerry seinfeld = comedian.
21 across: Dispose of vampire Dracula’s admission? (6)
Fantastic, awesome, hilarious, and all within the same semantic range. How would you kill a vampire? Via an impaling. And Dracula doesn’t get to see much light, so dispose of vampire = impale = I’m pale = Dracula’s admission.
5 down: Hearse, perhaps, switched jobs, creating greenhouse gases (6, 9)
This example of DA Bullshit is most egregious when one considers how much fun emissions should have entailed. Instead, we get the ridiculous hearse = bone car, so that hearse, perhaps, switched = carbone and jobs = missions, which gives hearse, perhaps, switched jobs = carbon emissions = greenhouse gases.
Update: As the comments say, that should be hearse, perhaps = bone car so that hearse, perhaps, switched = carbone is not so egregious a piece of bullshit. I’m still leaving the clue in DA Bullshit, though, mostly because I don’t want to delete this entry and I don’t know where else to put it.
TT’s had a blinder of a last three weeks. Yet again, he’s finished off the DA with so much spare time left that one would start considering, maybe, just maybe, bothering to do the ordinary synonym-based crossword.
Anyway, here’s his magic:
And according to TT, today’s was the third in a consecutive series of easy crosswords, which means one should never believe the prognostications of some dude on a blog.
Sure, I might love cryptics and work in IT, but Star Trek I’ve never been into.
Nevertheless, the article in Slate about the history of the Klingon language is all shades of awesome.
[Okrand, the language designer] He knew the language was supposed to be tough-sounding, befitting a warrior race. Klingons are rough, crude, loyal, violent, and honorable—a sort of Viking-Spartan-samurai motorcycle gang. They eat live worms, sleep on hard surfaces, and desire nothing more than to die in battle. So Okrand filled the language with back-of-the-throat sounds and made up a rich war vocabulary but left out social pleasantries like “Hello.” (The closest translation for hello in Klingon is nuqneH —”What do you want?”).
I’m in Jakarta, RC’s in Vientiane, Laos, and TH is about to go to New York.
I don’t think any of us are planning on working on the DA while we’re a long way from a Melbourne cafe, so it’s pretty much over to you fine people to continue with the cryptic chit chat.
And should one be sent to me, I’d be more than happy to post a scanned copy of the DA for the purposes of easy reference and posterity.
4 down: By the way, selling republic tripe
Due to popular demand, 4 down is this week’s Gold. Here we have by the way = ps, selling = hawking and, the golden bit, republic = no king, all of which gives by the way, selling republic = pshaw = tripe.