The 29th of May DA

TT yet again takes down DA within 24 hours, making it four consecutive weeks of success.

Here’s the joy:

TT powers on home

Despite the fully-completed grid, TT was troubled by  3-down (BIRO), 7-down (INFANT) and 26-across (RAJAH).

23 thoughts on “The 29th of May DA

  1. And I can explain 7D: Crawler might know of canteen unwrapping state seconds (6)

    INFANT is the collection of every second letter of every word starting from might.

    That still leaves 3D: Writer 14-down (on the cheap) way off pub? = BIRO.

    and 26A: Easter 26-downer (RULER) close to death? A shock in retrospect = RAJAH

    And can someone also explain the second half of the brilliant “Something old, something new…” etc. clue after entailing.


  2. 26A: the closing letter of death = H. A shock = A JAR in retrospect = RAJA, which combines to give the direct clue: Eastern 26-downer = Eastern RULEr.

    Not 100% comfortable with that. After all, 26-downer here could be RULEer …

    3D: An on-the cheap pub is clearly (!) meant to be a BISTRO. Take off a way = ST and we have the direct clue, a writer = BIRO.

    Of course, the word bistro allegedly comes from the Russian for “hurry up” or something like that, which the Russians used to shout at the French when the wanted their food and drink quickly. So the word bistro has come to mean a small wine bar or restaurant where service is quick (and usually cheap – but I think the speed is meant to be the defining character rather than cheapness). So not really sure that (on the cheap) pub = BISTRO

  3. Entailing 28D (time) or (gods): both can be something old
    7D (infant), 17A (cadet), 20A (chick): something new
    30A-8 (library book) or 28D (time): something borrowed
    possibly 3D (biro) or 13D (macaw), plus 25A (erotica) and 32A (sky): something blue!

    Union tradition made me think of marriage, so I actually got this clue before all bar 7D. I think the elaborate construction alone makes it a nominee for DA Gold … (and liked 9A as well)

  4. Thanks Haiku. A lot to like, but I am mystified by 13A, 5D and 6D.
    On the NSW/Vic dispute, as a Sydney person, I have never heard of Wimmera (22A). Good thing it was easy.
    I reckon 27A… was put in to terrorise beginners.

  5. I agree with Haiku – DA Gold nomination for that clue which initially sounded so complex but turned out to be easy once you thought of marriage!

    Have a laugh at my expense – for 3D I had “Buzo”(LOL think about it for a while – “pub”/”booze”), then wondered why I couldn’t get 9A!

  6. Thanks, all.

    3D: “cheap pub” = BISTRO is not DA Bullshit, but it is DA Sailing Close To The Wind On Thin Ice.

    7D: Neat. In our emails AS wrote “you’re gonna be slapping your head”. Consider it slapped. The “ant” in “canteen” threw me.

    26A: Good one. Sometimes words in clues refuse to click. Thus is was with “close” which stuck in my noggin as “near to” not “end”.

    7D and 26A: Both clues sell excellent dummies. Good crossword compilers will construct clues that look as if they should be solved one way, but because you focus on that one aspect, you miss the real solution.

    My fave is 15A: “Gap sealed in a bridge, riling hornets?” Tick. V.G. Pope Leo 13 goes alright, too.

    27A, et al, etc, and the rest: Not as fond of it as the rest of you. Solved it quick stix courtesy of “Union tradition”, but I’ve always had an aversion to DA’s major project clues.

  7. A nice return to DA form in this crossword, although I can’t get why “walrus’?
    I like 21 D ‘initiate’ after I finally abandoned an ‘im’ beginning for the word. (A carry over from last week’s ‘impale’)
    Likewise I struggled with Biro, and stuck in Wino because it fitted and it seemed relevent to drinking on the cheap.

  8. 6D: “Boss” is the direct clue. Man = HE. Had shift = ADH. By = ON. Choice, once thawing means take away the ICE from CHOICE. Thus we have HE ADH ON CHO …

    5D: We need to work out how “hardly showing staunch” = SUR, I reckon. Faculty = LAW. So if we can get SUR LAW to rise, we get a flabby layabout = WALRUS. Could “showing staunch” be SURE or something like that?

    13A: no idea!

  9. I enjoyed this crossword and finished it but not sure how cadet (17A), mow down (13A) and mcjobs (23D) work. Got the answers from the definitions but didn’t get the clueing. Can any one help?

  10. I think some of you may have missed the point of 3D. Its not cryptically referring to a ‘cheap pub’ , but a ‘cheap writer’ (writer on the cheap) as the direct clue.

  11. 23D, ‘host’ = MC, ‘old book’s’ = Job’s, as in The Book of Job, and so ‘mcjobs’ = ‘subservient posts’. If you want to be critical, the characteristic of ‘mcjobs’ is that they are low-paying and low-prestige jobs that requires few skills, not that they are subservient.
    17A: ‘roughly’ = about = ca, ‘audited liability’ = sounds like liability = sounds like debt = det.

  12. Thanks JG.
    Just had a thought for 13A.
    Lowdown = dope. Head is L (or 50) inflated by score (20) so 50×20=1000 or M. Maybe?

  13. ML: perhaps, although writer = biro works just as efficiently as writer (on the cheap) for mine. And pub = BISTRO doesn’t quite work for me.

  14. 3D: Agree that “on the cheap” works whether applied to writer or pub. I took it, like ML, to refer to writer. And I agree that pub (whether cheap or not) = BISTRO is not quite right. But it’s close enough.

    6D: HEAD HONCHO – I thought this was an excellent clue except for by=ON, which still doesn’t seem quite right to me.

    5D: WALRUS – my explanation is same as haiku above, except I’d argue that staunch=SURE, and showing is just a “filler” word. Really the clue would be more accurately worded “showing hardly staunch…” rather than “hardly showing staunch…”. But then the clue wouldn’t flow as well.

    13A: MOW DOWN – I just couldn’t explain this one. I thought one of the “w’s” must be clued by “when head”. But now I’m absolutely bowled over by HS’s explanation. That’s brilliant crossword solving!!! There’s no maybe about it. You’re spot on, I reckon. And I realise whilst pondering your explanation that dope doesn’t refer to drugs or idiot but to information, thus leading to lowdown. This ruse (where some arithmetic is performed on the first letter to transform one Roman numeral to a different one) has been used before by DA (a few months ago, I believe).

    My favourites:
    13A MOW DOWN (thanks to HS’s explanation)
    15A SHORTEN – Took me ages to explain this one. My take on it is that the gap referred to is the space between “a” and “bridge”.
    21D INITIATE – like JD I was at first convinced it started IM, like last week’s IMPALE

  15. I pulled up half a dozen short this week: 8D, 12A, 26A, 30A, 23D, 26D. Checking the solution & trawling through the comments now…

  16. My favourite is 13A now that I see HS’s brilliant explanation!

    I’m a bit uncomfortable with 26D. Is the direct clue decree = rule? I thought that a decree meant a law, or an order. And you can rule BY decree. So I suppose a decree can be a type of rule, or it can be a ruling. Close enough I guess. Objection withdrawn.

    JG, as I guess you realise by now, the Victorian Wimmera is a wheat BELT district…

  17. An interesting mixture.

    I thought 9A LEO XIII, 13A MOW DOWN, and 15A SHORTEN were all just brilliant. And I liked 7F INFANT: it should have been blindingly obvious but somehow wasn’t; nice.

    3B BIRO was, I agree, weak: a bistro simply ain’t a pub!
    8D BOOK was also weak, IMO: “fine” is not a good definition for “book”. A fine is what results from being booked; equating “book” and “fine” is like, oh, equating “lecture” with “degree”.)

    Personally, I hated 23D MCJOBS, and was appalled to learn that even the OED (reportedly) defines it. But I suspect that revulsion says more about me than anything else.

    And 5D WALRUS … are we agreed that “hardly showing staunch” = SUR?
    If so, that particular charade doesn’t work for me.

    Lastly, I was a little put out on Saturday when I was still trying to finish SA to glance at blog front page only to see three of the answers. (The DA Tripper is one of the pages I routinely open when catching up on the web as there are often new comments on past crosswords to read.) Would it be too much to ask that spoilers are limited to the comments, and not out in the open? I would have liked to have had a chance to solve BIRO, RAJAH, and INFANT by myself…

  18. I agree wholeheartedly with that last point. Please no spoilers on the front page!!

    MF, re 5D, my only quibble is the position of the word “showing”. It separates “hardly” from “staunch”. Or do you object to “staunch” = “sure”? And re 8D, my feeling is that “book” and “fine” as verbs can be pretty much the same thing.

  19. I think to fine someone and to book someone for, say, a traffic offence, are the same (or a similar) thing …

  20. MF, a thousand apologies. That was really quite silly of me. I assure you it won’t happen again.

  21. Think nothing of it, AS. It’s a privilege to be able to wander by and comment at all!, so thank you for doing the hard work on the blog that makes it possible.

  22. 8 down: [indecisive] quality of Manx dog climbing barrier i’d installed
    dog = Fido, manx dog = Fido without its tail = FID, climbing is reversal indicator, hence DIF; barrier = FENCE; I’d installed means put ID in the middle of FENCE; thusly,
    answer = DIFFIDENCE
    Let’s see if I can figure out the Hindu Crossword Corner notation I just posted on. Except for the left angle bracket or less than symbol which I will represent as &LT, it looks like:
    (-o){DIF&LT-}F{ID}ENCE = indecisive quality

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.