A Saturday DA (from the 29th of August)

RC and I got together at Il Fornaio on Saturday and we squinted — Saturday crosswords are smaller. Nevertheless, even with the smaller space available, we managed to get through it well enough after having spent a reasonable amount of time staring at a blank crossword trying to work out the theme.

Solving 12 across revealed to us the theme (gold from French gave the answer away) and RC immediately licked his lips with excitement. We had to cheat a little and do some research despite our fondness, especially RC’s, for the theme, nevertheless 9 across and 6 down remain unsolved:

DA Media Watch week

Overall, though, we agreed that this was a more run-of-the-mill DA, one which we certainly appreciated but did not relish.

15 thoughts on “A Saturday DA (from the 29th of August)

  1. I’m new to this blog – what a great find. I do at least one cryptic a week, usually DA (maybe because it takes that long?) I don’t mind the shift to Saturday but dislike the smaller format. The only email I’ve ever written to the Age expressed my disappointment when the Saturday puzzle grid was downsized. I remember including exact measurements and even a percentage …. no reply or acknowledgment was forthcoming however.

    I’ve been working this weekend and haven’t started yet …. now where did I put my glasses?

  2. You’re lucky! I was naive enough to try six emails (over a three-month period) in an attempt to get a response from The Age on a particular issue. They ignored every one.

  3. I thought this was an entertaining DA. Quite a few nice clues. But I also have a whinge or two (of course).

    28A: No problem with the direct definition: 5- 25-down=HOLMES
    But the wordplay IMO is too tenuous. It seems to go something like this:
    “diamonds, sportingly”=>baseball fields
    “parts of diamonds, sportingly”=>home plates (or home runs)
    home plates or home runs=>homes
    homes sounds like (“mentioned”) HOLMES
    The 2nd and 3rd logical leap above are the ones I think are dodgy. But maybe my ignorance of baseball has caused me to overlook something?

    2D Did anyone else think the direct definition (“on set, like Media Watch”) was too weak/tenuous?

  4. My wife and I do this puzzle together on Sunday, so the day it is published doesn’t make any difference, but it was good to be able to go to the solution if one or two clues had us stymied, and to check that we had not leapt to any wrong conclusions.

    For August 29th, we don’t quite understand the reasoning of 22D and 27A – can anyone help?

    And we agree with RB that 2D was a bit weak unless there’s something we’re not seeing.

  5. Actually, not all.

    SGBandSPB

    22D

    “close of brawl” = L, from the last letter of “brawl”.
    “what 5D linked to 27A” = CASH, as in the MEDIA WATCH expose of Sydney radio’s cash for COMMENT brouhaha.
    L “disrupting” CASH = CLASH, which is another word for “Conflict”.

  6. SGBandSPB

    27A

    “M-males” = M MEN
    “M-males asleep” = MMEN in COT
    “say” = COMMENT

    Pretty tidy.

  7. I reckon the short answer is that it’s NOT necessary for us solvers. But the ‘?’ and the preceding ‘,’ are serving DA’s purpose of misleading us. He wants us to think that ‘say’ is being used to mean ‘for example’. The other common use of ‘say’ in cryptic crosswords is as a homophone indicator. But in this particular clue, of course, ‘say’ is not used in either of these two senses.

  8. Thanks TT – very tidy indeed! The clever use of “say” in 27A and the multi-purpose “close” (close the door/too close for comfort) in 22D really had us stumped.

  9. In the Herald the crossword grid is the same size on Saturdays, but the clues are on a nice yellow background.
    I liked 27A, just so ridiculous, and 11A was nice.
    The theme made a lot of the answers obvious but I still had to work hard to unravel some of them.

  10. RB, I was just about to put the “on set” clue into Bullshit when it hit me: the “set” is a television set, so the clue could be read as “on TV, like Media Watch” and televised passes.

    For the diamonds clue, I’m willing to accept that one because 4th base is commonly referred to simply as “home”, ie “He’s home!”

  11. AS

    I was about to mention the HOLMES clue when I read your comment.

    No problem that HOLMES is the answer because it rhymes with “homes”.

    But “homes” as “parts of diamonds”?

    There’s only one “home” plate per diamond.

    Granted, if you have “diamonds” you have multiple “homes”.

    But no one ever uses the term in the plural.

    Ok, technically it probably legit, but it’s an ugly piece of work.

  12. Re 2D: AS, I think you’re right. I was thinking of the set used in a TV or film production – i.e. a stage. But the actual TV set itself (i.e. the idiot box) makes it a better clue.

    Re 28A: AS and TT, the only references I could find in Wikipedia were to home runs and home plates, not homes as a term in its own right. But if you can use home as a stand-alone term to describe part of a baseball field then I guess it’s OK.

  13. TT, as a longtime baseball player, I agree. “homes” for “home plates” is very ugly. Stretching for an analogy, it is like referring to “steering wheels” as “steerings” … patently ridiculous.

    AS, I like your “set” equals “TV” interpretation. Makes the clue quite nice.

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