DA on the 10/11th of December, 2010

DA’s worried about this one: it’s meant to be a doozie.

Be warned, be patient, enjoy.

(No spoilers on this particular thread until Monday)

Update: One for the ages — an absolute rip-snorter and, I would say, an undisputed Pantheon member.

For posterity (and for those who mucked up their grid early), here’s DA’s peculiar, blank grid as printed in the SMH thanks to David H:

And here, thanks to Jonathan, is the filled-in grid:

I worked out the theme pretty quickly and had very nearly locked in LOOPY for what turned out to be RINGS. And that was pretty much typical of my efforts on this beauty over the weekend: while the penny dropped early on, I still stuggled with the answers to the clues themselves.

I did manage to pull it off, though, but I did cheat on one clue: I was having trouble working out that cutter and is an anagram of TRUNCATED so I resorted to (horror of horrors) an anagram solver to get me going early in the piece.

And a note: Cristóbal Colón is how Christopher Columbus is known in the Spanish-speaking world. DA has spent a fair whack of time in Spain and speaks at least some Spanish, so I’m betting he would have known this. And just as Matthew Flinders circumnavigated the island of Australia, Christopher Columbus circumnavigated the island of Hispaniola, and COLON I reckon DA inserted into his cryptic as a cross-language circumnavigation reference.

Crossword Genius

I might have published the DA Pantheon post one week too early: DA has already forewarned us that this week’s cryptic will be a mind-bending doozie.

When DA himself is worried about its impact, then we have every right to be intimidated.

One person who perhaps wouldn’t be intimidated (if indeed he does do cryptics rather than NY Times crosswords) is Dan Feyer. Dan is the fastest crossword solver in the business and does about ten a day.

I’d love to see him tackle a cryptic and see him knock one over in a few minutes, although I have a sneaking suspicion that a carefully crafted cryptic is very unlikely to be solved in five minutes flat.

The DA Pantheon: Nominations for Induction

After last week’s ordinary DA, now’s the time to relive his moments of absolute glory by going over which crosswords should be new inductees into the DA Pantheon.

On the 24th of December, 2009, the DA Pantheon stood as follows:

  1. the McCrossword;
  2. the footnote crossword;
  3. the marriage crossword; and
  4. the noel crossword.

In the second echelon, the Para-Pantheon, there stood the following triumphs:

  1. the AC/DC crossword;
  2. the Simpsons crossword;
  3. the George Orwell crossword; and
  4. the bobbing-message-in-a-bottle crossword.

Undeservedly unrecognised, I nominate the following crosswords into the Pantheon and Para-Pantheon respectively:

  1. the money crossword for the Pantheon;
  2. the Zimmerman crossword from the 24th of September, 2004, for the Pantheon;
  3. the Where’s Wally crossword for the Para-Pantheon;
  4. the indigenous crossword for the Para-Pantheon;
  5. the two-letter crossword for the Para-Pantheon;
  6. the portmanteau crossword for the Para-Pantheon;
  7. the product placement crossword from the 27th May, 2005, for the Para-Pantheon;
  8. the no-animals crossword from the 11th March, 2005, for the Para-Pantheon.

Other crosswords to have been nominated for the Pantheon or Para-Pantheon in the past but I haven’t done myself or haven’t seen since the first time I did them include the following:

  1. the taboo crossword on the 19th August, 2005, which featured DA breaking all known cryptic conventions, and can be found in the motherlode;
  2. the Muralidaran/nong’s rumba/red-handed crossword, which dates from 2007 or so I’d guess, and is more than likely somewhere in the motherlode;
  3. the everything-is-an-island crossword, which is dated to around 2000/2001;
  4. the six kings crossword, which goes undated;
  5. the do-re-mi crossword, which is also undated.

I’ll follow this up with another post officially inducting the hallowed crosswords into the Pantheon and Para-Pantheon.

So now I ask you: are my nominations deserving? Are there others I’ve missed?

DA on the 3rd/4th of December, 2010

A DA for the ages?

Your impressions right here.

(No spoilers on this thread until Monday)

Update: Some poor reviews of this week’s and my own frantic Saturday hosting a long lunch at home meant DA fell by the wayside. This week I’ll be in Sydney so I might get in early on Friday, or meeting and greeting might take over (hopefully I’ll meet and greet people partial to cryptics).

A further update: Jonathan has very kindly sent me his completed copy of the DA for posterity — and what incredibly neat handwriting he has:

That would have to be the neatest cryptic crossword sheet I’ve seen. Very impressed.