Confusions about DA’s Third in 2010

Any confusions?

Ask for help in the comments here and you’ll get an answer.

Update: I had many confusions:

2 down: She fell sick after Juliet (4)
I loved the definition, but since when did Juliet = J?

24 across: Bond writer christened Murray (4)
I had never heard of Murray Bail, but the three-way definition is hardcore bullshit, no?

18 down: Cloud over (zero degrees), obscuring face of watch instrument (8)
WTF?

11 across: A virtual game with 50/50 participation? (3-7)
The wordplay is beyond me.

4 down: Sounds mentally focus lean rider (7)
How’s this cyclist?

22 across: Caught yours truly (6)
Certainly, the reference to DA’s surname is harsh, but what does castle have to do with cricket?

DA’s Third for 2010

This week’s a goodie?

Make your verdict here.

(No spoilers on this post till Monday)

Update: Has this been the poorest month of DAs on record?

I really wanted to love this crossword. I love cricket and I especially love cricket terminology — silly mid off, short leg, fine leg, french cut, left-arm chinaman, googly, slips, leg cutter, yorker, flipper, bumper, bouncer, cherry, full toss are all colourful and fun.

Alas, I struggled. Maybe I whinge too much, maybe my skills are waning, but right now I’m thinking I was unjustifiably made to struggle on a few occasions.

Am I just a trundling grumbler, or was this cryptic as lacking in joy as I found it?

2010’s 2nd DA

Sydneysiders still get in first with the DA goodstuff. At least for a few minutes, my impatience is diverted by the kenken puzzles that The Age has only recently started to publish, but not on Saturdays.

DA, Friday still misses you.

(No spoilers till Monday)

Update: I didn’t do it.

For the first time in a long time, I didn’t do the DA while in Melbourne. I had a quick look in a cafe, worked out LOST CAUSE and SIGNED UP and never went back to it.

By the sounds of things, though, this week’s was rather a frustrating one. I harbour the suspicion that working out LOST CAUSE was what stopped me bothering with the rest of it: COST LAWS as a slow movement towards anarchy was a DA-ism that I thought pretty poor and which put me off the rest of the damn thing.

I’ll be back, but I think I needed a break, and I get the impression that I chose a good week to take that break.

DA Gold from the 1st of Jan

1 down: Privates dope Florentine shrink (9)
Playful DA: dope Florentine shrink = gen Italian shrink = genitalia = privates.

25 across: Little looks at newspapers? (8)
Me and a few more liked it lots, others not so much: little looks = gazettes = newspapers.

19 down: Report wise to include dearest sort recently (9)
I loved the aural part of this clue: report wise to include dearest sort = YY to include esterda = yesterday = recently.

21 across: I’m back-to-front describing lair riders (7)
It’s DA everywhere: I’m back-to-front describing lair = AD DA describing den = addenda = riders.

New Year Bullshit from the 1st of Jan

2 down: Offload, even times in the ultimate 11-across (tanker) of ill-repute (5, 6)
It’s supposed to be offload even times in the ultimate = off loadeven xx in z = exxonvalde z = Exxon Valdez = tanker of ill-repute.

The clear problem: times is just x, not xx.

The questionable: ultimate = z seems a bit weak a connection (although I’d pass that, just).

8 across: Nothing 7-down (robs), apparently (3)
Apparently ain’t no aural indicator: robs apparently = nicks apparently = nix = nothing.

New Year Errors (1st of Jan)

Are editorial cutbacks the cause?:

15 across: Argentine plainsman fully backing emperor (7)
Both Wikipedia and the Spanish Royal Academy confirm it: a llanero is from Colombia or Venezuela, not Argentina.

10 across: Cruise line largely ill-advised to strike malign… container (8, 3)
A pandora’s box is 7’1, 3 in length, and not 8, 3.

28 across: Engrossed in computer, private nerd makes Sudoku (5, 6)
I was considering granting this to DA on metaphorical grounds, but then I thought against it: a magic square is something that a Sudoku puzzle most definitely is not.