Confused by the New Year DA

Ask your questions here and start off your new year with a DA fully explained.

Update: painful:

5 down: Blue framed by important brickwork? (10)

17 across: Tough, evil leader steps down, ready for the blade (7)

23 across: Airless planet axes relations (7)
Does Neptune have anything to do with this one or not?

32 across: Stall regarding pitch (5)

19 down: Report wise to include dearest sort recently (9)

8 down: Daring film centre quashed by Ten (5)
I’m certain I’ve never heard of the answer to this clue.

30 across: Flat pace (3)
Is it pad or ped? If so, why?

21 across: I’m back-to-front describing lair riders (7)
I can’t quite explain why DA appears as it does in addenda.

13 down: Staff audited top refugee, unkindly (5, 6)
Never would have had a chance solving this one if not for the Q at the start of the first word.

A New Year DA

Be not surprised: DA’s crossword has not been published early. I am writing up this post early, though, because I’ll be without internet for the next few days, including Friday and a lot of Saturday.

I have a sneaking suspicion, or maybe just an idle hope, that DA will be published on Friday in Melbourne so that the crosswords are aligned.

Whatever day it comes out, though, talk about it here (but without spoilers until Monday).

Update: I feel brutalised:

I can’t remember the last time I started with such a flourish. I knocked over the south west in record time and few more to boot only to stall badly for a long time indeed. I resorted to looking at what people had said on the DA Confusion to help me out, and even then I was left with a few to spare.

I was thinking DA may have answered my challenge and produced a pangrammatic crossword. Alas, as others who’ve completed the crossword have pointed out, an F is missing. If GAWK had been FARK or FALK (the actor’s surname), the dream would have come true.

In my opinion, very hard indeed, although others seem to have completed it comfortably.

An Expanded Pantheon

Instead of just citing most of the noel crossword’s clues as Gold, I thought I should just induct the whole thing into the DA Pantheon where it may reside alongside its much-heralded peers.

By my reckoning, this week’s induction brings to four the number of crosswords that we have a record of which stand unsurpassed in brilliance.

They are as follows:

  1. the McCrossword;
  2. the footnote crossword;
  3. the marriage crossword; and, of course,
  4. last week’s noel crossword.

Amongst DA’s followers, many speak in hushed tones of other crosswords worthy of worship which have, regrettably, been lost to the ravages of time. They include:

  1. the Muralidaran/nong’s rumba/red-handed crossword;
  2. the taboo crossword, which featured DA breaking all known cryptic conventions;
  3. the “no animals were harmed in the making of this crossword” crossword; and
  4. the do-re-mi crossword.

And in the second echelon, acclaimed yet not worshipped, reside the following:

  1. the AC/DC crossword;
  2. the Simpsons crossword;
  3. the George Orwell crossword; and
  4. the bobbing-message-in-a-bottle crossword.

Thus stands the DA Pantheon. May we bow down in obeisance.

The Confusion Theme (18th December)

Any issues? Post here to your heart’s content.

Update: A fair bit I got confused about:

7 down: An ecclesiast over-springy? (6)
No clue.

21 down: March producer books do outside (6)

8 across: Sort of pudding twinkling in surrounding ocean (8)
From the distribution of the letters I worked out that this was semolina. What perplexed me was why does sort of pudding = semolina and why does twinkling = molin?

18 down: Creeper captured sheila’s heart with zest (8)
I’m willing to cut DA some slack on lovelily given the theme. What I need, though, is an explanation.

12 across: Girl’s classified paper (6)
I get this one, but isn’t girl = her a bit wrong?

13 down: Prominent Turk report on river menace (5, 5)
Why does prominent = boom, and why is that written out after aga? Inquiring minds wish to know.

9 across: Does it protect your online identity? (6)
Does this clue actually work? I’m assuming this means does it protect = enamel, but that should be it protects. And is e-name even a word?

6 down: Public survey mounted during opening gains zero (6, 4)
I don’t really understand how gallup poll can be made out of that.

DA on Friday in Melbourne! (the 18th)

Yes Melbournites, go grab the paper today, not tomorrow, and you’ll find DA in the A2 section of The Age, which has been published a day early.

I suppose DA is also making his customary appearance today in the SMH as well.

Come what may, the etiquette still stands: no spoilers here till Monday.

Update: Worthy of the DA Pantheon

Another piece of thematic brilliance by DA. I do think certain clues were questionable, nevertheless I can’t remember ever having felt such a thrill on discovering the theme after not quite understanding how the EL AL and SPARSELY clues worked.

A delight to be talked about for generations.

The Gold (from 11/12th of December)

6 across: Pack Quadrant? (4)
Deliciously DA: quadrant = south to west = S to W = stow = pack.

10 across: Unit 2D (4)
Excellent: 2D = two dimensional = flat = unit.

14 down: CSIRO’s set nominee partly backed radical educator (10)
Wonderfully-well hidden: CSIRO’s set nominee partly backed = CSIRO’s set nominee partly backed = Montessori = radical educator.

20 across: … deadly weapon, said to be a lone toy (7, 5)
DA makes the best aural clue (and the most questionable): said to be a lone toy = said a sole trifle = assault rifle = deadly weapon.

3 down: Misguided nature seizing Central Australia, poorly reflecting on us! (5, 7)
Career-best &lit that is even better than last week’s career-best &lit: misguided nature seizing Central Australia, poorly reflecting on us = misguided nature seizing r, ill reflecting on us = terra nu lli us = terra nullius = misguided nature seizing Central Australia, poorly reflecting on us.

25 across: Curtailed accord if a felon joins our neighbourhood (7, 3)
Nice: curtailed accord if a felon = curtailed pact if 1 crim = pacific rim = our neighbourhood.

1 down: Vietnamese detained celeb (4)
Exceptionally easy once you know the answer: Vietnamese detained = Vietnamese = name = celeb.

16 down: Vile, outré, unthinking Pom or Dane?! (9)
Is it &lit or not? I’m giving it the points for reasons I explained earlier, reasons which I freely admit are iffy: vile, outré, unthinking Pom or Dane = eurot rash = eurotrash = vile, outré, unthinking Pom or Dane.

The Bullshit (from 11/12th of December)

2 down: Sport broadcast causing rift (4)
Here, the clue is meant to work: sport broadcast = golf broadcast = gulf = rift. The problem: gulf is not homophonous enough with golf.

It’s a situation we’ve encountered before with DA, one that we’ve complained about before, and I just don’t reckon it’s good enough. Haiku’s suggestion that South Australians pronounce them homophonously has some weight, but even then it’s a very marginal bunch of people who would call those two words homophonous.

I also conducted a little experiment: I asked SSG, my sister’s partner who’s from South Australia, to say there’s a gulf in our golf game and the two words were clearly distinguishable. Granted, one flawed experiment on a South Australian that’s lived in Melbourne for a long time proves little, but I’m still claiming that it’s a shitty homophone that not even many South Australians would say identically.

22 down: Picked up dull 26-across (TRIO) in Düsseldorf (4)
The clue works as follows: picked up dull = picked up dry = drei = trio in Düsseldorf. The contentious point: Is picked up a decent-enough homophone signifier?

AL mentions that it’s probably a reference to radio station broadcasts that you pick up, and that seems to have some support as a decent way to interpret it as a homophone indicator, but for me, it’s not good enough. You pick up radio stations, not words, so for mine pick up doesn’t cut it as a homophone indicator.

Update: RB’s my seconder on this one:

15 across: Stage VIPs curse about prompt ushering (9)
Here it’s curse about prompt ushering = ucers prod ushering (put into position) = producers = stage VIPs. I quite like the use of ushering, but that definition is highly dodgy

Cruciverbalising: Another Attempt

Another spate of hubristic madness has seen me attempt another crossword. I’ve even stolen one of RC’s ideas and included a new type of clue for the modern age.

Mine can’t be too much worse than a DH, so if you’ve a cryptic urge tomorrow…


1. Its they’re only mistaken musiic title (9)
6. Ostentatious style a core trait of Dublin Guinness drinkers (5)
9. Pardon the blind Cartesian sum at home asking why (7)
10. Extraordinary nitrogen reduction scheme (3-4)
11. Supplementary energy target diminished public transport (5)
12. Man to make model tennis player (3, 6)
13. Alternative vow on the phone to He-man figure (3)
14. Prize capsicums are cooked to perfection without salt (7’1, 3)
16. Sis doubled lacerating first lashes (4-7)
18. First person to needle long-gone writer (3)
19. LA folks at museum point to low-grade Cola (3, 3, 3)
21. 000 (5)
23. Sauce a form of relief inside meal container south of the border (9)
24. Wizard’s home reversed acid’s distorting the celestial bands (7)
25. Concise (5)
26. Forward-looking fans issue profanity on short notice at visitors short of breath (9)

1. Speak clearly of what was once spoken (5)
2. Weakened spirit dwells within stolen hymns thinned of over 1000 pages (7)
3. Gilligan and the Skipper mended limbs (9)
4. Heavens: Saints kick twenty behinds! (3)
5. Full moon cooked eggs in style (9, 2)
6. Poet forbid Simpson rerun (5)
7. Nonsense positive in rap on first private ton (7)
8. Hereditary nihilistic generation usually friendless (9)
12. Travolta aversion immune to buttering up? (11)
13. A hot run around waiting on Tim to overdo things (2, 3, 2, 2)
15. Statistical knavery by the German Biggs (9)
17. Timbale beat signals ho-hum section (4, 3)
18. Delayed Sam’s tumultuous life story concerning organic material (7)
20. Brutish: no laidback shack (5)
22. Cleans up abridged Springfield sitcom in the first instance (5)
24. Spot Zidane a couple before time (3)

You’ll find the solutions here.