The Gold from the 17th of July

12 down: Freeman loses head — it opens round manic middle — and she gives her all at the death (5, 5)

Black humour at its finest: Freeman loses head — it opens round manic middle = Morgan – m + do(n)or = organ donor = she gives her all at the death.

4 down: Improperly saw tournament VIP?

Another reason cryptics are wonderful: solecisms are welcome. Here, improperly saw = seed (see in the past tense as a weak verb) = tournament VIP.

5 down: 1-down (heard) exile admits Labor leader easily beaten (10)

Nice aural clue with heard exile admits Labor leader = (sounds like) outcast + admits L = outc(l)assed = outclassed = easily beaten.

15 across: Theatrically condemned lilo containing holes (5)

A nice direct clue, and a nice image of a holey lilo: lilo containing holes = bed + 00 = booed = theatrically condemned.

20 across: Jerks — getting rocks off — spice in text (6)

Is this officially the first reference made to text messages in a DA? Here, getting rocks off — spice in text = spice – ice + sms = spasms = jerks.

2 down: Anyhow, may soured wrangle invite such belligerent rhetoric? (3, 3, 5, 4)

Again, another entertaining direct clue: anyhow, may soured wrangle = you and whose army = invite such belligerent rhetoric.

4 thoughts on “The Gold from the 17th of July

  1. Yes, all the above clues were good in one way or another.

    But I’m here to lobby for a Bullshit contender!
    18D: I thought at first the answer was TYPICAL but I now believe it’s TOPICAL. My objection to this clue is that the direct clue is atrocious. It seems to be “regarding…issue”. There is surely a hideous grammatical mismatch here. “Regarding” is a present participle or a gerund (noun), whereas “topical” is an adjective. Can anyone out there defend this clue?

  2. I think this one is alright.

    Regarding (a current) issue means topical, so I think it’s OK.

    You could say, for instance, “His lecture was topical” or “His talk was regarding a current issue” without a problem.

  3. OK, I suppose that overcomes my grammatical mismatch argument. I tried to devise a sentence where “topical” and “regarding … issue” were interchangeable and obviously I didn’t try hard enough!

    However, by inserting the word “current” you have highlighted the other shortcoming of this clue. Since when are we solvers expected to insert extra words into DA’s clues to make them work?

  4. I’ll come to my own (and DA’s) rescue here. You could say “topical” means “relating to a topic” (not necessarily a current one). Hence “regarding … issue”.

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