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.

17 thoughts on “A New Year DA

  1. Good to have you back DA, very good indeed! A high class crossie to start the new decade. 1A was my pick (just made me laugh, but clever too). Quite a few tricky ones 10A, 2D,28A were all good. I think 25A was pushing things a bit. All in all a very entertaining puzzle.

  2. I managed to get it out, but am looking forward to finding out the wordplay for some on Monday (11A, some of 1D, 18D) And (if I have it right) I think 4D was a bit obscure.

  3. A good crossword overall, and I’m so close to finishing it. Has anyone else noticed that this uses every letter of the alphabet.

  4. AL: I thought 25A was gold. Pun, clue, laugh out loud when solved. Probably favourite from the whole crossword.

  5. So close! I’m still 3 words short and I thought there would probably be an F in one of them. Still, it’s pretty close. I wonder then if it’s deliberate or accidental. Surely if you were planning to use every letter, an F is pretty easy to slip in.

  6. I’m only one short (1A). Can’t see any Fs. Strange. But maybe the intention was just to get all the difficult ones in. Using X as a crossing letter twice, Q twice, and Z once is pretty good. Lots to like this week: 12A, 23A, 25A, 1D, and many more.

  7. Too tough for me this week, although I made a reasonable fist of it. 15A definitely not quite right, likewise 2D as discussed in the other thread.

  8. ML, did you sort out those wordplays? 11A: T = close to inleT, berth = anchor = ANKER, say. 18D: Cockney’s “hearty” = ‘ALE (hale). 1D: dope = GEN as in knowledge; Florentine shrink = ITALIAn.

  9. Also … is there still some concern out there about 2D? I think it’s OK: anagram of LOAD and EVEN, plus XX = “times”, plus the ultimate (letter) = Z, giving the tanker of ill-repute. At least, that’s my take on it.

  10. I don’t think the explanation, itself, for 2D was ever questioned. But the soundness of that explanation most certainly was, first by mic and me (in the Confusion thread), and also above by haiku.

    The main objection is that “times” should yield one x, not two. “Times” is a preposition meaning “multiplied by” and in this sense is not a plural. I think that to signify xx, the clue should have read “two times”. I reckon this is worthy of the DA bullshit category.

    I also had two other quibbles, but these are minor and probably just my personal dislikes. I don’t like “in the ultimate” = Z for two reasons: the preposition “in” seems inappropriate (I think “to” would have made more sense) and “ultimate” = Z seems a bit tenuous to me.

  11. Enjoyed this one although I have eight incomplete: 1A, 15A, 17A, 26A, 6D, 8D, 17D, 27D. Checking the comments now.

    Last DA on the other hand was a horror. I never got the theme (Noël – no ‘L’)…

    I would be interested to know how everybody else got that first critical clue. I could understand how you could get it just from guessing that the theme might be Christmas related (and after all it’s only a four letter word), but to get it any other way would be mind boggling to me.

    Or did most try to start with noe (eon backwards) and then see the L needed to complete the answer?

  12. The New Year’s DA was definitely a killer. Very difficult indeed.

    I got the theme because I figured the Israeli plane had to be EL AL somehow, and then when I was missing an L for the SPARSELY clue after it looked so solid, somehow I put it all together to notice that there were no els.

  13. I got Noel as one of the last clues, although I had worked out that the clues were missing els. Wallaby was the first clue I got that confirmed the theory.

  14. Saliva (22A: Drool about a visa) was my first. Followed by El Al. Then the ‘theme’ became clear. Noel itself (2D) was one of the last ones I got.

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