The Gold on the 19/20th of March, 2010

3 down: Pet mules seen on beach (6, 9)
Classic: pet mules = budgie smugglers = seen on beach.

19 down: Southern nation I left quietly in drag (7)
The more Yiddish the better I say: Southern nation I left quietly = s Chile – i pp = schlepp = drag.

20 down: Professional hits upbeat times? Not first of all (7)
Exceptionally well-hidden direct clue: upbeat times not first of all = up drum eras not a = murd eras – a = murders = professional hits.

11 across: A case of ‘That’s it, Ernesto!?’ (7)
How much of Che Guevara’s fame can be put down to his name’s use in cryptics? Great clue: that’s it, Ernesto! = atta (think ‘atta boy’) Che = attache = a case.

22 down: Mercury in rock shelf finally prepared in report (7)
A fundamentally fair clue that is so cleverly constructed that it’s rather difficult to decipher: shelf finally prepared in report = f ready in report = Freddie = Mercury in rock.

DA Gold from the 12/13th of March

14 across: Career shift nearly converted to chase rainbows? (3-4)
Excellent direct clue: career shift nearly converted = fly fisht nearly = fly fish = to chase rainbows.

19 across: Rose dominating? Ring 501-150 (6)
Excellent placement of the question mark: Ring 501-150 = L I one L = Lionel = Rose dominating ring.

20 across: Tiny blonde bombshell whose quintet was celebrated (4, 6)
Another brilliant direct clue: tiny blonde bombshell = Enid Blyton = whose quintet was celebrated.

5 down: Feller for Spooner’s rational task (8)
Spooner’s are always fun. This one is no exception: Spooner’s rational task = Spooner’s sane chore = chainsaw = feller.

23 across: Sharply returned rose-wreathed cake (8)
Fantastic: rose-wreathed cake = red wreathed torte = retorted = sharply returned.

15 down: _ETTLE T__ BI__? (5, 3)
Just genius: the missing letters are shell, so shell out = settle the bill = _ettle t__ bi__.

16 across: Flashier subhead by show-off? (7)
A risque piece of DA magic: subhead by show-off = s by wanker = swanker = flashier.

DA for the 12/13th of March

What’s the story this week?

(No spoilers until Monday)

Update: A good one, although one I didn’t do so well completing…

A lot to love in this one, just I didn’t have the joy of solving a lot of it. I’m still shocked I missed CHAINSAW — I had already figured out TASK = CHORE, but I never made the leap to RATIONAL = SANE.