More Confusion from the 12th of September

15 across: In brief we each present occasion (6, 3)

Umm, what’s the answer?

14 down: Rod Martin’s Fox channel anticipating 15- or 19-across (?? or rainmaker) (5, 5)

As above.

29 across: Familiar playboy cuts unbelievable Camus novel (3, 4)

I know The Fall is a Camus novel, but I’m lost otherwise.

The Gold from the 13th of September

15 down: Increases cocaine? What nerve (9)

A fine piece of DA humour: cocaine? what nerve = snow balls = snowballs = increases.

8 down: Major influence for performer under Mick’s band mate, say (3, 6)

I confused myself thinking that this was key figure and the performer referred to Midge Ure somehow. The clue wasn’t quite as difficult as that, and the reference to Keith Richards’ more popularly pronounced name makes this Gold: performer under Mick’s band mate, say = actor under keef, say = keyf actor = key factor = major influence.

24 down: Small 30cm screen (4)

How does DA come up with such misleading sentence meanings? Awesome: small 30cm = s + 1 foot = sift = screen.

1 down: Medieval barmaid switched beer taps? (5)

Another masterly-constructed and misleading sentence meaning: switched beer taps = switched new ch = wench = medieval barmaid.

6 down: Such a turnout rubbish ratbag (7)

Another inventive DA wordplay: such a turnout rubbish = such u out rubbish = sch muck = schmuck = ratbag.

A DA for the 12th of September

Are we used to the Saturday DA yet?

I know I completely forgot and bought the paper yesterday thinking I’d get my DA.

Anyway, feel free to discuss.

Update: A busy week full of other things meant I couldn’t devote as much time as I would like to DA, and so I cheated to expedite the process of getting the answers out.

DA wench

Some clues seemed divine, others a little dodgy indeed, but, overall, quite a devilish, delightful example of a crossword.

The Dodgy Bullshit from the 5th of September

1 across: Small fortune with strings attached? (4, 5)

I wouldn’t flinch at anyone claiming $5 “is a fortune” to pay for a potato cake, but that doesn’t mean that fortune should mean grand in a cryptic crossword.

9 across: Mark in Vietnam — or Romania — rejected drug action (5)

This could have been Gold if not for the incorrect action = verb. Instead, it’s clearly Bullshit.

20 down: Pulse climbed with old exercise regime (3, 2)

If I remember correctly, I’ve heard DA himself complain about the tendency British cruciverbalists have of using initials for words that do not ordinarily go by their initials (for instance, having cold = c is fine, but trampoline = t is pulling the other one).

But regardless of whether or not it was DA who expressed that opinion, one with which I wholeheartedly agree, old = o is just not on.

The Gold from the 5th of September

16 across: XXSX needing XXXX?

Genius: XXSX = thir(s)ty = thirsty = needing XXXX (the brand of beer).

24 across: Cash Poles exchanged for western stroll (5)

Compass points abound: cash Poles exchanged = money poles exchanged = mo (substitute s for n) ey = mosey = western stroll.

17 across: Westfield Central Sale: KNITTED JUMPERS (5)

Just a well-constructed clue: westfield central sale knitted = f sale knitted = f leas = fleas = jumpers.

21 down: Surveyed deodorised bandstand by yard’s edge (5)

Inspired: deodorised bandstand by yard’s edge = deodorised gazebo d = gazebo – bo + d = gazed = surveyed.

23 across: Outrun English directory in the Andes (2, 3)

Some people haven’t been happy about it, but I like it: outrun English directory = lap A-Z = La Paz = in the Andes.

22 across: Small drink accompanies nut griddle cake (4, 5)

A nice piece of homely slang: small drink accompanies nut = drop scone = griddle cake.

6 across: Cars handle speed? (7)

Well-concealed polysemy: handle speed (of the narcotic variety) = traffic = cars.

2 down: Blatant blouse, divine design, conceals trap (8, 7)

The first of the two long, more involved clues that aren’t usually a feature of DA crosswords: blouse, divine design, conceals trap = bleedin vious conceals gob = bleeding obvious = blatant.

7 down: In hamper, loathe eating crackers over cake (9, 6)

The second of the two long, more involved clues: in hamper, loathe eating crackers over = in cripple (a cryptic synonym I’m willing to accept) hate eating loco over = in cripple hate eating ocol = in cripple hocolate = chocolate ripple = cake.

The Confusion (5th of September)

I’m so very perplexed: I had many answers solved, but without the slightest of explanations that would justify my writing in the answer.

Anyway, the confusion:

6 down: Cars handle speed? (7)

Here, I figured cars = traffic, but I could figure out nothing more.

22 across: Small drink accompanies nut griddle cake (4, 5)

I had never heard of a drop scone, so I thought it was a figment of my crossword-solving imagination that drop scone was the answer before Monday’s Age was published.

12 across: A need for Rolls roof ending glare? (5)

As possible answers, I had traffic and chocolate as cross clues giving me f_o_r to work with. In that, I thought only flour was possible, which seemed exceedingly unlikely given the clue and provided further proof that I knew nothing in this crossword. Then I got The Age on Monday.

19 across: Flying, don’t neglect initial logging (2, 3, 4)

Does flying = on the wing? I really don’t know.

7 down: In hamper, loathe eating crackers over cake (9, 6)

I figured chocolate was involved, but I never got out chocolate ripple as the answer, and I don’t completely understand why.

13 down: Mother of Cockney pet shows where to find Ajax? (9)

I happily figured this one out: Mother of Cockney pet = dam + hamster – h = amsterdam = where to find Ajax.

Did you notice what I did in the explanation? I put the dam after the amster without good reason. Is there a good reason for doing so that I’ve missed, or was this just a mistake?

DA: The Mug Shot

Ever wondered what DA looks like?

I certainly haven’t, but when I came across the DA column that runs in the Sydney Morning Herald and the accompanying mug shot, I was nonetheless unsurprised by his appearance, thinking he looked much like a crazy cruciverbalist would look like.

Here he is, and his column:


And is the quick crossword a new DA extravaganza, or has he always been doing one and I never noticed before?

DA on the 5th of September

It’s the first week of Spring, and I write this from Sydney the night before DA’s appearance. Not sure if I’ll get a chance to have a crack at DA’s Spring special, but that shouldn’t stop you all from commenting.

Update: Wow — I got spanked. Granted, I was in Sydney and busy and didn’t devote so much time to the crossword as I normally would, but there’s no doubt I withered in the face of Spring’s first DA.

This was all I got (and I cheated a little on a couple):

DA Mosey

Nasty. So nasty, I even resorted to destroying the Sudoku puzzle on the flight back to Melbourne rather than continue staring blankly at the crossword.

A lot of help would be most welcome.

DAfending the faith

As a few people noted in the previous posts, the crossword proletariat don’t seem to share our love of DA.  Monday to Wednesday’s Age letters were full of whining about DA puzzles. I think these people need to be shouted down and shown to be the dog turd on the shoe of the cryptic world that they are.  I particularly dislike their smarmy calls about “DA stands for ‘Dont Attempt'”.  Haha….ha….h…h…..

Imagine if these people had other hobbies, perhaps they would still write to The Age/SMH (and would probably still be published) …..

People shouldn’t be allowed to surf Bell’s Beach, the waves are far too big for me.  Barry Smith, Flemmington

Why do we keep funding the Australian Ballet?  All they do is stand on their toes and move more gracefully than I can.  Mary Jones, Camberwell

Last week’s Epicure section featured recipes that required separating egg whites.  Please publish easier dishes, as I always get shell in the whites.   Mohamed Al Abasi, Croydon

I’m sick of the constant reporting on the AFL and other high standard sports events – when will the media pay attention to the SE Asian Australian Football Championships?  RC, Kualur Lumpur (on the eve of his international sporting debut!)