The Gold from the 5th of June

20 across, 23 down: Move to clothe a local vagrant (3, 4, 3, 2, 4)

It’s cheeky, it’s funny; it’s DA: move = get your bum in gear = to clothe a local vagrant.

18 across: It’s close to pitch in heart! (5)

Any half-decent &lit clue needs to be mentioned in the gold, and this one is more than half decent: it’s close = nigh, pitch in heart = t and it’s close to pitch in heart = night = it’s close to pitch in heart (It’s close to pitch black in the middle of the night).

16 down: Rake up flower patch, exposing gold and red primrose border (9)

A difficult, delightful clue with a well-hidden and well-chosen direct clue. Up flower patch = deb, exposing gold = au, red = che and primrose border = e, all of which gives up flower patch, exposing gold and red primrose border = debauchee = rake.

Interesting side note: rake meaning debauchee is an abbreviation of rakehell from olden times.

17 across: …eccentric course, heading inside (5)

Clever way to twist a word with course = route so that course, heading inside = outre = eccentric.

15 across: Cleared against the greatest old… (9)

Here, against = v, the greatest = ali (the golden moment) and old = dated so that against the greatest old = validated = cleared.

11 down: Socially smiting perhaps? Not all, but half of us! (12)

This is an outstanding almost-anagram and &lit to boot, but it’s not the neatest of clues. Here, it’s socially smiting perhaps? not all (but half of us is unaccounted for indirectly) = misogynistic + all – all = misogynistic = socially smiting perhaps? Not all, but half of us.

8 down: 1-across (Indecisive) quality of Manx dog climbing barrier I’d installed (10)

Here, there’s a nice use of Manx as a wordplay instruction so that dog = Fido and Manx dog = Fido – o = fid, which when combined with the rest of the clue gives Manx dog climbing = dif and barrier = fence so that Manx dog climbing barrier I’d installed = diffidence = indecisive quality.

2 down: Dunderhead, it’s said! (4)

Another &lit, and this one is perhaps my favourite despite others being not so happy with it. Here, we’ve got dunderhead = d and it’s said = itz giving dunderhead, it’s said = ditz = dunderhead, it’s said.

14 down: Likely fugitive pale during search (6, 4)

Another example of DA making a clue out of a sentence that makes complete sense so it’s difficult to figure out where the direct and indirect parts of the clue begin and end. Here, it’s search = frisk and pale = light, which makes during the excellent containment indicator so that pale during search = flight risk = likely fugitive.

A DA Trippers Request

Rob, a new discoverer of the DA Trippers blog, has sent me an email asking if I could remember a particular clue from some years ago. I couldn’t, but I thought I might ask the rest of you if you can remember what looks to be an hilarious clue.

In Rob’s own words:

I was wondering if you might remember the wording of a DA clue from some years ago. The answer was something pretty close to “no animals were harmed in the making of this crossword” and the clue was both anagrammatic and definitional. Very clever.

DA on the 5th of June

This week, both AL and TT sent through their sterling efforts.

TT couldn’t quite emulate his recent perfect performances, wisely leaving 13D, 18A and 24A blank instead of wasting a weekend whittling with words:

TT and DA on the 5th of June

AL, on the other hand, yet again displayed why he is generally the go-to man for any of DA’s curly clues, downing this week’s cryptic in a couple of hours (maybe the SMH version is easier) after having blanched at fugitive once more appearing in the clues:

AL does DA over again

So was this week’s easy, difficult, about right? Was it fun?

Super DA Gold (from the 29th of May)

27-across, 18-across, 27-across, 4-across, 27-across, 2-down, 27-across, 1-down Union tradition entailing 28- or 29-down; 7-down, 17- or 20-across; 30-across 8- or 28-down; possibly 3- or 13-down, plus 25- and 32-across (9, 3, 9, 3, 9, 8, 9, 4)

I’ve sat down and made myself a couple of cryptic crosswords, and I can tell you, there’s a lot of switching and substituting that goes on so that a good collection of words can come together in a grid. That DA went ahead and made this clue to fit in a grid demonstrates his maniacal devotion to cryptics and explains why this blog exists.

As for the answer, union tradition = something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and 28- (time) or 29-down (gods) = something old; 7-down (infant), 17- (cadet) or 20-across (chick) = something new; 30-across 8-down (library book) or 28-down (time) = something borrowed; and 25-across (erotica) or 32-across (sky) = something blue.

9 across: The French steer militia regulars off 18-across (old) Pope (3, 4)

Usually cryptic crossword clues feature Roman numerals interpreted as letters. This fantastic clue inverses the relationship and has letters interpreted as Roman numerals with the French = le, steer = ox and militia regulars = iii giving the French steer militia regulars = leo xiii = old Pope.

13 across: Massacre dope when head inflated by score (3, 4)

Who doesn’t love a little bit of hidden maths with their cryptic? In what is a mightily difficult clue that was neatly explained by HS, we have dope = lowdown and dope (lowdown) head inflated by score = l (50) multiplied by 20 = 1000 (m) = mow down = massacre.

15 across: Gap sealed in a bridge, riling hornets? (7)

DA yet again demonstrates how to make a simple anagram clue look much more difficult. Here, it’s riling hornets = shorten = gap sealed in a bridge.

21 down: Diner’s admission regarding diner launch? (8)

Mirroring last week’s gold-standard vampire clue, DA comes up with another beauty relating to admissions with diner’s admission regarding diner = in it i ate = initiate = launch.