DA Retrospectively: 27th May, 2005

Glory be to DA Retrospectively!

Spoil away in the comments on this blast from the past as soon as you see fit.

17 thoughts on “DA Retrospectively: 27th May, 2005

  1. That was fun!

    Like the last DA retrospectively, this one contains an error. 17D means to refer to 21D, instead of 21A as it states.

    While this one was a lot easier than more recent DA’s, i’m fairly sure this one is bullshit free

  2. Another one I remember from its original appearance (though that didn’t seem to help me with any of the clues).

    I broadly agree with mic about its quality. I wonder if DA’s perceptible (and presumably deliberate) increase in difficulty over the years is the cause of a greater number of problematic clues these days.

    I still have a couple of complaints.
    3D: “literary” is a stretch, but that’s a minor thing.
    22A/25A: “girl” is doing double duty here, leaving 22A invalid as it reads. I always believe that each part of a run-on clue should be soluble in its own right.

    Overall, though, a pleasure to do, with a couple of nice clues – I especially liked 6D for misleading me for ages into thinking about doorsteps.

  3. AG, i must disagree:
    3D: literary can refer to literature AND to writing, which makes it a great oblique clue
    22A: for me, an ellipsis is FOR double-duty, even though double duty WITHIN a clue sucks

  4. 22A/25A: We’ve had discussions on ellipses a fair bit recently. If there is a rule, it escapes me. Sometimes there’s no link at all – the two clues just seem to fit together syntactically (eg 20A/22A) or thematically, but the clues are still quite separate. Sometimes, to solve the first clue, you need the first word (or even the answer) of the second clue (as in this case 22A/25A). And sometimes the second clue refers back to the first. So I would agree with mic that, in this case, the ellipses enable “girl” to function legitimately in both clues.

    19A: Didn’t like the reference to 20A. I suppose it just about works at a stretch – if you’re opposed to something, you’re sort of next to it. But I thought it unfairly misleading.

    27A: I liked this clue, but I still can’t quite reconcile “flaming” => “shot”.

    1D: TV 16/16 => TEN? I presume this is a reference to channel 10. Or is there a brand of TV called Ten? A minor quibble maybe.

    4D: Had to Google this one – it seems this is a reference to Stanley in NW Tassie.

    Overall, very enjoyable. And I agree that these retrospective crosswords are a bit easier. And more elegant.

  5. RB:
    19A: are you making this harder than it is? to be opposed to something is to be against it
    27A: flaming = hot. The S is from another part of the clue
    4D: It seems it’s slang for Tasmania itself but i had to google as well to find that out

  6. 19A: I may well be (making it harder)! I initially thought “opposed to” was a reversal indicator. Then when I realised it simply meant “next to”, I was miffed, and went looking for a reason to complain! My (admittedly minor) quibble is that “opposed to” would not normally be used in this way, but it probably has by someone at some stage and that’s probably enough to justify its use here. As I said, for me, it just about works.

    I’m not keen on using “opposed to” = “against” as a justification because that’s using “against” in two different senses, and would be an example of wordplay on something that is in neither clue nor answer, and thus would be regarded as unfair by some (including me).

    27A: Of course! I realised the S was one of the “Lions wingers”, but then forgot I’d accounted for it when I reached the “flaming” bit.

  7. Very nice crossword indeed.

    I reckon it’s another one for the Para Pantheon.

    14A I loved for how easy yet difficult it is: DITCH FINE ALBUM = SCRAPBOOK is brilliant.

    One clue I didn’t completely understand, though, was 15D. I liked the OUI and SI but didn’t understand how LANA worked its way around that.

    I’m also at a loss to explain FLORA — is FLORA a girl’s name?

    OFFAL very funny, too.

    By the way, in the radio interview DA did with Laurence Leung recently, he said when he first started out, which was over twenty years ago, he wrote much meaner clues. It’s only relatively recently that the clues have become easier, at least according to him.

  8. AS, flora is indeed a girl’s name, and to be obsessively clean is to be somewhat retentive

    ‘RB, sorry, i was looking at the wrong clue. i’m as confused as you are actually

    actually, i don’t quite get how “channel” works in 4A

  9. For LANA, read it backwards and have a look at the clue again (think Freud)

  10. Is there a category such as “vintage gold” for retrospective DA gems? I thought 5D was pretty clever (and devious).

  11. AS, The only Flora I can think of is Flora Robson (1902-1984) – a well-known English actress.

    20D: OFFAL was one of my favourites too.

    Re 4A: mic, I agree – I don’t quite get “Sky channel” = AEROSPACE.

  12. I like the call of vintage gold. Consider it done for next week. (Although I’ve just realised I don’t really understand 5D!)

    And I think DA is trying to say a channel in the sky is a bunch of space in the sky, or AEROSPACE.

  13. Mmmm. I think DA just couldn’t resist the juxtaposition of “Sky” and “channel”.

    5D: Magazine 16/16 = RALPH
    takes nothing from said = takes O from ORAL = RAL
    acidity = PH

  14. 5D ; RALPH = name of a magazine. Take O from ORAL P.H.(said acidity) = RALPH. Cool.

  15. I liked it. Over the passage of time I had forgotten Mrs Gorbachev’s name, so googled that one only!

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