DA Gold (from 16/17th of November)

14 down: K-kinky assumption lessened (9)
You just don’t expect one letter is gonna be the direct definition: kinky assumption lessened = potassiumn lessened = potassium = K.

15, 16 across: Daughter suggests London custom (8, 2, 3, 5)
The pick of the bunch, and another excellent example of the answer being the wordplay: daughter = changing of the guard (the guard is an anagram of daughter) = London custom.

11 across: – cryptic clue? (9)
Very nice indeed, and almost &lit: – cryptic clue = minus cule = minuscule = – cryptic clue.

12 down: Timeless African people climbing of mountains intact? (10)
Nice: timeless African people climbing of mountains = timeless Bantu climbing ridged = timeless utnab ridged = unabridged = intact.

8 down, 13 across: Briefly make 2-down (saga) droop? (3, 1, 4, 5, 5)
Nice double definition: make saga droop = cut a long story short = briefly.

Update: NC set me straight in the comments: this is a much cleverer clue than I was giving it credit for, and is another brilliant example of the answer being the wordplay: make saga droop = make saga sag = cut a long story short = briefly.

21 across, 1 down: Hollywood creep to defect, seizing Israeli plane abroad to central China (4, 6)
I loved the direct clue: defect, seizing Israeli plane abroad to central China = bug seizing el al os i = Bela Lugosi = Hollywood creep.

4 down: Romcom’s Richard accepts new romcom, for one (5)
Brilliant: DA got a star of romantic comedy into the answer concerning romantic comedies: romcom’s Richard accepts new = Gere accepts n = genre = romcom, for one.

5 thoughts on “DA Gold (from 16/17th of November)

  1. I have found the last two DAs really tough and haven’t been able to get anywhere near getting them out. Fantastic crosswords though, and I am enjoying reading the explanations.

    8 down, 13 across: Briefly make 2-down (saga) droop? (3, 1, 4, 5, 5), answer = cut a long story short, is great but seems like a really unusual (unprecedented?) clue type to me. It has a whiff of that new clue type DA has been using occasionally lately, where the answer is a wordplay instruction. I don’t think that calling it a ‘double definition’ does it justice.

    AS’s explanation is very succinct. This is my (painfully explicit) version:
    Make 2-down (saga) droop = make saga sag = turn saga into sag = take the last letter off saga = cut saga short = cut a long story short.


  2. NC, some weeks you seem to fly through the crossword, other weeks you seem to struggle, but the pattern doesn’t seem to coincide with the general consensus. I wonder if there’s a particular type of clue that you have trouble with.

    As for the succinctness, again, I just didn’t see the cleverer and more robust explanation. I really did think it was a double definition in that MAKE SAGA DROOP is to cut it short, like it was a piece of material, and make it droop. I didn’t think wordplay was involved at all!

    Will emend shortly.

  3. Ah yes. This “make saga sag” clue was quite brilliant. As mentioned a few weeks ago, we need a name for this type of clue. DA had two this week. And he would have had three if he’d clued 12D as “U”!

  4. Thanks for the compliment AS, but I have never been able to fly through a DA. Even my rare successes have involved long stretches of utter bemusement punctuated with delightful flashes of sudden insight. But I quite like it that way!

  5. NC, I agree. I find a period of protracted bemusement is necessary for maximum enjoyment and satisfaction.

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