DA for the 27/28th of May, 2011

Hopefully this week’s crossword won’t have anything to do with Henrik Ibsen plays (Ibsen’s plays are constructed to prove moral points and offer little in the way of actual drama, tension or tragedy. Discuss.)

Hopefully too no Norwegian reads this.

But now to DA. Feel free to discuss this week’s crossword rather than Ibsen’s plays, although no spoilers on this particular thread until Monday.

Update: No mention of Ibsen plays, which I would argue is a positive:

Lordy, had anyone heard of DECREE NISI before doing the crossword? I’ve had a look on an anagram solver a crossword solver and DECREE NISI is the only word that would fit with the cross clues, so I assume DA hadn’t heard of the word before either.

15 thoughts on “DA for the 27/28th of May, 2011

  1. I’ve never read Ibsen, but I would say that it was a fairly drama and tension-less crossword. I was excited by what I thought might have been DA’s first reference to me in a crossword, “Rod shortly turned to doughnut – and look at the result!”, but disappointed to get the answer as “FATSO” (staff backwards and shortened and the “o” of the doughnut). I’m not in peak fitness, true, but I think “fatso” is overstating it.

    Actually it was a good puzzle, but for the 3rd or 4th time recently I was denied a solo, unassisted victory by 23a”raita”, 25a “decree nisi” and 16d”idee fixe”.

    I liked your lead into this post, AS, and sorry neither me, nor anyone else, seems to have read enough Ibsen to further your musings. Hope you’re enjoying the strudel and look forward to seeing you when you’re back.

  2. Do they eat strudel in Oslo? It is probably as loikely as me getting “idee fixe” off my own bat.

    At least there were some Ockerisms, but(t).

  3. I had heard of a decree nisi (a few friends have had them) and thought this was a great clue, but like RC raita and idee fixe were beyond me. At least the decree nisi was a fairly obvious anagram, so you could get it using an anagram solver. The other two you had no hope from the wordplay if you hadn’t heard of them before.

  4. To my horror, idee fixe is used regularly on the John Quiggin blog, he marks his sandpit posts as:

    Here’s a new sandpit for lengthy side discussion, rants on idees fixes and so on.

    I must have read this the day I did the crossie!

    A great blog if you’re into Oz politics and economics. http://johnquiggin.com/

  5. I thought an anagram solver was a ragman’s lover.
    This is sad news – crossword/anagram solvers! It’s like trivia nights where people turn up with Iphones and hide behind columns and partitions and things so as not to let the trivia master (and prize giver) see… and 19 year old “Ockers” get something like Ibsen!!
    If I understand your introduction above AS, does it pose a challenge to DA to come up with anagrams that these online cheat sheets don’t recognize? Maybe that’s why we’re getting obscure film directors and artists and Indian dishes as anagram fodder!?

  6. Decree nisi seemed very well known to me but this must be because it is always in British newspapers when famous divorce cases are being gossiped about. Footballers, rock stars and/or models are usually involved somehow. Curiosity made me find …

    http://www.terry.co.uk/decree_nisi.html
    In UK divorce law decree nisi is granted when a court is satisfied that the petitioner is entitled to a divorce. Decree nisi does not end the marriage. It is in the nature of a provisional decree. It means that the court is satisfied that the person who issued the divorce petition has proved the contents of the petition and is entitled to a divorce. The decree nisi is a statement by the court to the effect that if there is no reason to the contrary the petitioner will in due course be entitled to apply for decree absolute and thereby dissolve the marriage.

    ‘Nisi’ is the Latin word for ‘if’ and so it makes clear the provisional nature of the decree. It is decree absolute which dissolves a marriage. In practical terms what decree nisi does is to commence the period of six weeks and one day running after which time the petitioner will normally be able to apply for the decree to be made absolute.

    Sorry about that – it looks a lot longer in this window!

  7. And maybe that’s why the anagrams sometimes seem so contrived. I’ve misjudged DA … now I see what he’s up against. But no prizes for DA. Unlike the Saturday SMH cryptic – never did send it in for a chance to get the dictionary and don’t do it any more .. more fun to do DA.

  8. There is a great iPhone App called Wordsmasher. It has a Search function , where you type in–say– **p*o**, and it will respond with all possible fits. It also has an anagram function. However you can’t specify that the answer is two separate words, nor does it have the foreign words or proper names beloved of DA. But, when you’re desperate, it’s a great little helper.

  9. Given how many people knew what DECREE NISI is, I take back what I said earlier: I’m betting DA did know what DECREE NISI is, and it’s only a coincidence that it was the only possible word for 28 across.

    And I use the Chambers dictionary app on the iPhone that has a crossword and anagram solver.

  10. @TT: I am in Sydney so get to do DA and then Weekend Australian Sunday Times dictionary crossword!!! Love me, DA!

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