DA on the 10th of July

RC, TH and I are all back in Melbourne, and hopefully on Sunday we’ll be having a long-missed crack at the crossword over a coffee.

Between then and now, though, go forth and talk.

Update: And now here it is!

crossword da rough work

RC and I got together at the Espy on Sunday to wither in the face of this DA onslaught. We only got half of this one done before looking at the answers and figuring out that submitting early was perhaps a wise move. This was certainly one of the hardest I’d encountered in a while, and many of the answers bordered on the wantonly recondite (taffrail, ningaloo, compos menti) in a way reminiscent of DH’s triviafests-cum-crosswords.

In short, I’m glad I didn’t waste too much time cracking a DA that I would put in the too-hard basket.

32 thoughts on “DA on the 10th of July

  1. Very enjoyable and quite amusing this week. I loved the Supreme packaging in 1D. One small quibble though – shouldn’t the clue for 4D have read ‘very’ quietly to indicate double ‘p’?

  2. 4D & 6D: I think I know what they are supposed to be, but I don’t know how they work.

    14A: No I. Dear. Is it botanical?

  3. ML, thanks.

    TAX = OPPRESS, then. Fair enough. Assuming 4D = OPPRESS. If so, how does 4D work?

  4. 6D I think would be as follows:
    She-monster = OGRESS, replace top of (G)rave with quietly PP ( I agree should be very quietly) to give the answer Crush = Oppress.

  5. My confusions nearly all relate to the down clues.

    25A: Is the ‘s in “Versace’s” a customary pointer to a Christian name?

    1D: No worries that PIZZA BOX was the answer (I had a Crust Supreme last week), and that BAZ backwards was in there, but how does the rest give PIZ and OX?

    2D: Obviously NOIR from “tough genre” but what’s with “making piracy fleet?”?

    5D: At the risk of opening a titanic can of Pandoras. Hamlet as antihero is contentious.

    19D: “Compelling” = MUST SEE. Fine. But does a Spoonerism intrinsically contain a sound-a-like? I mean, literally MUST SEE comes from SUST MEE not “sussed me” as the clue implies.

    24D: Is D’OH universal enough to find its way into a crossword without a Simpsons reference?

  6. 25A I think the ‘s is a fair pointer in this clue.

    1D Luhrmann (Baz) run (zip) =bazzip; ascendant = pizzab; get carter (ox)
    I don’t know why the word ‘over’ is there. Either ‘over’ or ‘get’ is redundant if I’ve got the right explanation.

    2D I took it to be No IR -Industrial Relations- which would be absent in a piracy fleet. Best I could come up with.

    5D Not commenting on this one.

    19D Again quite fair for a Spoonerism to be a ‘sounds like’.

    24D DA often has references to pop culture and current fashion so not surprised to see d’oh in the crossword. Is it fair? I think so, as I doubt a Simpsons reference would have helped those who don’t know the expression anyway.

  7. Thanks for the hint AL:2D: ‘fleet’ = pacy, so ‘piracy’ = ‘fleet’ with no ir! Lovely!

  8. HS, thanks.

    25A: Initially I read it as a possessive ‘s. It makes more sense as a missing i apostrophe. In other words “Versace is Gianni”.

    1D: Run = Zip? Well, ok, just.

    19D: According to my book of words a Spoonerism is “A transposition of sounds of two or more words” so that look fine.

    24D: No doubt DA likes pop culture, etc, but “How stupid!” for DOH with or without a Simpsons pointer is the sort of clue that compels many a cruciverbalist I know to ignore the Friday crossword. They think DA is a/an ______ (insert insult here).

    2D: According to my big book of words above, racy is risque or vigorous, not fleet. Nor does fleet = racy in my thesaurus. Sure, with a ? fleet can be interpreted as racy. DA was obviously kneading a pun with “piracy fleet”, but I think the clue is needlessly convoluted. Speaking of pop culture: how about “Tough genre needs a fall guy” or even “Tough genre out of the past”?

  9. TT ignore anything I said about 2D. JG’s explanation makes it all clear.

    I know you are right about some solvers ignoring the DA on Fridays but then they also miss out on the discussions which make all the aggravation worthwhile.

  10. HS

    Yeah, I saw JG’s explanation. I agree that his explanation works; I just don’t like the clue.

  11. TT – pacy , not racy. Funnily enough, I decided that “no industrial relations” was how workplace regulation might work under the Jolly Roger, so had settled on the “no IR” explanation.

    I was going to quibble with Macbeth as an antihero as well …

  12. Well, I’ll be stuffed. You’re pight, I mean, right. That’s a daft mis-read if ever there was one.

  13. Phew! This week’s was tough, I thought.

    2D: I completely stuffed this one up as follows. I already had 5D as ANTIHERO, which I explained like this: hate=ANTI (I was going to have a whinge about this) and 2-down adaptation=HERO. So, working backwards, it looks like 2D is an anagram of HERO, hence HOER, which I couldn’t properly explain, except the clue mentions “tough”, which I thought might be a reference to the saying “a tough row to hoe”. How wrong I was! Now I see, from the comments above, that the answer is NOIR. And an ingenious clue it was, too. Surely a candidate for gold! And of course it yielded a much better explanation for 5D too! (Anagram of “hate noir”).

    Other candidates for gold: 3,22D (COMPOS MENTIS) and 19D (MUST SEE). 1D (PIZZA BOX) would have made my golden list but, like others above, I wasn’t keen on run=zip and the redundancy of ‘over’ or ‘get’.

  14. Re the quibble about either ‘over’ or ‘get’ being redundant: you can see why DA crafted the clue as he did. But I wish he’d resist these temptations, and recast the clue! He must have wished that the film had been named “Carter” but the fact is that it was named “Get Carter” and that ruined an otherwise pretty good clue.

    I agree with the earlier “wantonly recondite” comment re taffrail and ningaloo.

    And I agree 4D clue should have read ‘very quietly’ (for pp).

    Also, I wasn’t keen on the direct clue for 17A (PORCINE): “linked to …” (swine flu).

    Nor was I keen on “Sci-fi premise” = WHAT IF. But then I’m not a scifi buff so I’m not really qualified to judge this. (Couldn’t find anything by googling).

    But apart from these quibbles, there were many ingenious and well worked clues.

  15. I agree with the ‘wantonly recondite’ criticism.
    What’s the significance of Palmerston in Darwin once (23A)? My atlas shows Palmerston a long way from Darwin.

  16. I had RC to thank for solving both Ningaloo and Palmerston with his superior knowledge of Australiana.

    Palmerston was the former name of Darwin.

  17. 2D this is one of those where the solution cryptically gives the clue eg “loves suffering gives earth” ans “heart break” but the problem with this one is the answer had to be then fed back into the clue ‘noir’ means subtract letters ‘i’ and ‘r’ from ‘piracy’ The only one i didn’t get so perhaps I just dislike it but it was got by some so is a gettable cryptic. Contrived.

  18. Recondite? Had to look that up. It’s meaning was abstruse.

    Boom. Tish.

    Question: How long before DA works “recondite” into his crossword?

    “Red notice was abstruse”

  19. I grew up in the Pilbara, and as such Ningaloo was a nice reminder of my lettuce days. I once got run out in a cricket match at Exmouth. First ball of the innings, without facing a ball. I was at the non-strikers end and the other opener (Keith Thompson, if you reading this I still hate you) called me for a suicidal run.

  20. Recondite, abstruse, sesquipedalian and mellifluous are amongst my favourite words because the words themselves fit their respective definitions.

    Then there’s auto-autonyms, like cleave, casuistry, sanction, aloha and, as I would argue, ineffable (a word for something which is indescribable is a bit odd).

    And then there’s the situations when people are labelled secretive, which means they’re not really secretive, because if they were secretive, you wouldn’t know they were secretive.

    And is “lettuce days” a common expression?

  21. I like this DA a lot, despite only getting half of it out. Many very, very clever and delightful clues.

    Thanks to all for the explanations. I’m still not sure about 3,22D though. I understand the wordplay but where’s the def?

  22. Straying off subject for a minute, did anyone do the DH crossword in Tuesday’s Age? “Wantonly recondite” doesn’t even come close! The answers included AFFLATUS, COPAL, MILFOIL, and CALOMEL. The more reasonable answers included LASCAR, EVANGEL, ACHROMATISM, HOYLE (of 18th century card-rules fame), and ADUMBRATION. Phew!

  23. Yes – like reading James Joyce and thinking, “you’ve just made that word up …”

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