G Q has written to me the following:
In the dark ages one could freely download crosswords from The Age for consumption at a later date.
2007 wasn’t a bad year, but we recently uncorked one from 21 December which left a little residue after we’d finished our meal:
14D Mate with answer (5)
I’ve looked it up but can’t see how it works – SERVE.
Can anyone help?
I can’t help — the answer makes little sense to me.
Can anyone lend G Q a hand?
17 down: Yes, one may blow this dough! (4, 5)
A very neat partial &lit: yes, one may blow = easy money = yes, one may blow this dough.
28, 24 across: Contrary source described old admirer’s locale? (5, 4)
Very much enjoyed the definition: contrary source described old = contrary roots described aged = stoor described aged = stage door = admirer’s locale.
3 down: Rings assistant for battery chicken’s second marvel (3, 3, 3)
Very much enjoyed the answer even if, as I’ve just come to realise, I don’t have a complete explanation for the aah part of marvel = ooh and aah.
Can anyone help me on this one?
4 down: Weaving couple opening 3-down? (4)
While there have already been attempts made, I think each of those explanations bears a faint whiff of bullshit.
Couple = hug just doesn’t cut it for me, nor does what jnrj proposes, which I don’t really understand.
Feel free to defend this clue in the comments or help me see the light.
16 across: Horror film keeping man in reserve before rotten finale (3, 4)
The explanation goes: keeping man in reserve before rotten finale = keeping he in tome before n = the omen = horror film.
In that, you probably noticed something questionable: reserve = tome.
No need to question it, though, it’s an error, and a very understandable one that DA himself described making in his own words:
Meanwhile 16A, the clue for THE OMEN, holds a blunder. At first draft, I’d used the word ‘book’ in the clue, which hampered surface sense. As proof phase, I thought ‘reserve’ read far better, however ‘reserve’ may signal BOOK, but never TOME. A sloppy conflation. My apologies. Feel free to file under Bullshit.
If I had my time over, my salvaged clue would read: Horror film keeping bloke in work until production’s end (3,4). But that raven has flown.
Here’s where you ask the questions that need answering.
Update: A couple of my queries have already been answered; not these few, though:
28, 24 down: Contrary source described old admirer’s locale? (5, 4)
So, what’s the answer?
14 down: Do Mem Fox panto with fake curtains? (4, 6)
I think there’s a joke here I’m missing.
It’s not usually two thematic crosswords in a row, but I’m betting this one’s a goodie.
Am I right?
(No spoilers in the comments of this post till Monday)
Update: Yep, an easy one, although I still managed to miss a couple:
Yes, it’s back:
23 across: Pennant regulars keeping fit? Vice versa (9)
Clever: pennant regulars keeping fit? Vice versa = enn keeping belong vice versa = belong keeping enn = bennelong = theme.
25 across: Likely leader to come second (6)
A delight to the clue’s words all snug in the same semantic range: likely leader to come second = odds on leader to come second = Dodson = theme.
4 down: Mouth, say, true to form (7)
Wonderfully-well-hidden anagram: say, true to form = estuary = mouth.
7 down: Some pang in atrium! (6)
I’ll nearly always include &lits in DA Gold: some pang in atrium! = some pang in atrium! = angina = some pang in atrium!.
22 down: Ringmaster makes bet about no ring vanishing? (6)
Excellent reference to the composer: makes bet about no ring vanishing? = wager about no o vanishing = wagnoer – o = Wagner = ringmaster.
21 down: A crossword legend in love, cherished Old England (6)
I loved the reference to a legend of the trade: a crossword legend in love cherished = a LB in o cherished = Albion = Old England.
26 across: 20-across’s (Mark Ella) sister Pat? (8)
Freakin’ brilliant, the pick of the bunch: Mark Ella’s sister Pat? = Pat Ella = Kneebone = theme.