2, 14-across, 11-across: Hardly where to catch angelfish, stricken by 26-across (DILEMMA)? (7, 3, 5, 3, 3, 4, 4, 3)
I delight in DA’s making long phrases the centrepieces of his crosswords. This one, cryptically clever: hardly where to catch angelfish = between the devil and the deep blue sea = stricken by dilemma.
20 down: Goddess Gyllenhaal — or how to describe her unusual… (DUO) (6)
Any clue that brings to mind Maggie Gyllenhaal is OK in my book, and the wordplay in this one makes it stupendous: Gyllenhaal — or how to describe her unusual duo = a then a (the lettering in her name) = Athena = goddess.
27 across: Sham offering unbacked TV set? Vice versa (7)
Here, two consecutive words having the same synonym as the first of the two words (TV set = box and TV = box) tripped up a lot of you (and probably me if I had attempted the crossword) — a most clever DA tactic: unbacked TV set? Vice versa = (box – x) place vice versa = placebo = sham offering.
1 down: Yo, how ya goin’? Drink? (3)
I will always applaud DA’s embracing of slang: yo, how ya goin’ = ‘sup (shortened form of whassup) = sup = drink.
23 across: They offer a schooner for sailors smuggling hash? Never (9)
The punctuation was controversial, but I liked the clue too much: sailors smuggling hash never = tars smuggling verne = taverners = they offer a schooner.
Note: 18-across and 7-down also seemed to be popular, but I don’t know the answers, so let me know what they are if you want them listed as Gold.
Update: And now I have the answers thanks to NC.
18 across: Warm response to sudden headwind? (5, 3)
A clever pun: warm response to sudden headwind? = bless you (where headwind refers to a sneeze).
7 down: Paternity agonised dill facing 26-across (DILEMMA) (2, 1, 6, 6)
Cute: paternity agonised dill = in a pretty pickle = facing dilemma.