DA on the 24/25th of September, 2010

In Montevideo and am hoping for a Mercosur theme to the crossword this week.


(No spoilers on this thread until Monday)

8 thoughts on “DA on the 24/25th of September, 2010

  1. First themed crossie for a while, 29A & 24D were good leg ups and the rest fell into place. Not a Mercosur theme but 24D comes close.

  2. Quite good fun. The format seems like a bit of a steal from the Guardian Genius crosswords but nowhere near as difficult.My pick was 17A.

  3. Yep, 13D set me going as it did Peter. This one was about as easy as it gets. Lots of really good clues for me: 5A, 8A, 22A, 28A (once I worked out the wordplay – thought it was a dud at first!), 3D, 6D, 8D.

    A couple of queries in the other thread.

  4. First time at trying a DA for 10 years. Took a while but finally cracked it! By the way, can someone tell me the significance of exclamation marks and question marks, or a combination of both in his clues please?
    19A has a ?, 3D has !? and 24D has ?!. What do they mean alone, and what do they mean together but in a different order?

  5. My experience matches JJ’s: I started with 29A and 24D. And, unlike Peter and AG, I finished with 13D – I agree it would have been an easy clue if I’d heard of the word! Lots of good clues.

    Sandy, regarding punctuation, I reckon the most important rule is that there are no rules! Punctuation is used by the setter to confuse the solver. But a few guidelines may be useful. e.g. “?” sometimes denotes a cryptic/oblique definition or pun clue (eg 19A). Or it could mean a slightly dodgy clue (DA does tend to use “?” a lot, and many of them seem unnecessary to me). “!” sometimes denotes an &lit clue and sometimes it doesn’t. As for 3D and 24D, I don’t think either of them is &lit, and the !? or ?! seems to be there just to help the surface reading. Maybe the juxtaposition of “Princess” and “Maradona” merited ! or ? but to have both seems a bit excessive.

  6. Peter, I think you did very well to get 13d as the key to the theme. I think 3d is my favourite clue because the definition is as cryptic as the wordplay (although doing DA each week you do get used to this style of oblique definition). Similarly the second syllable of 21d is wonderfully oblique although I got this clue first, without understanding the wordplay, simply by asking 11 year old daughter.

  7. I trust this is not a spoiler, or it is nearly Monday. I think 13D is an obvious Aussie answer, and it was 87 y.o. mom’s first word too, but maybe a mis-spent youth snorkling made it too easy for me. Then, when you take away the word play you are left with the key or theme, and the rest fell out in just over one cup of coffee (though I did have to look up my Greek mythology book to check 26A).

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