The Fairfax Streak: Day 3

Day 3 and I’m not sure if DP is defeated:

There were three clues I was not certain about, two of which, SHOOT A LINE and PETERLOO, have proven to be correct (I had heard of neither). But HUM THE TUNE OVER remains, and I can’t tell if that’s definitely correct or not. I can’t think of anything else that could go there, but other than deliveries = over, nothing else in manage government deliveries and check for correctness looks like it could mean what I put down.

My streak might be over; I’m not feeling confident. If it’s all over, I’ll try again soon.

The Fairfax Streak: Day 2

Day 2 and DH is defeated:


Thankfully the wordplay was easy enough to get them out, although OSIER was the big gamble: I had to assume that very large = OS, as in oversize I suppose. Of the two-letter words beginning in O that could mean very large, OS seemed the best bet, and it proved correct.

DP tomorrow, my favourite Fairfax compiler after DA, whose crosswords sometimes trip me up because I’m not the best with phrases.


The Fairfax Streak: Day 1

RC’s solo exploits and DA’s mad challenge have inspired me: I’m gonna try completing the Fairfax cryptics for an entire week (excluding Sunday) unassisted.

DA has been attempting to do 100 consecutive Times crosswords, but I’d be happy to do one Times crossword unassisted. I have to lower my expectations, and I really can’t be bothered trying to do 100 Fairfax cryptics in a row, so a week of solo completions sounds about right and very doable.

Today is Monday and I had to tackle RM. The most difficult part was dealing with some sloppy cluing, but succeed I did. Here it is:

Although 7 down is not clued neatly (too many superfluous words), it included an excellent letter-extracting synonym that I had never seen before with immigrant, in RM’s case Horrify English immigrant at the fundraiser = APPEAL. Other than that, nothing really of note to speak of.

Tomorrow is DH, whose cryptics I haven’t deigned to do for years. I fear being tripped up by some obscure reference to a classical allusion in a hieratic stone-tablet text found in a submerged cave below the rubble of a city no one knew existed until a pearl diver came across it after having been diverted from their usual hunting ground by an unseasonal rip caused by seismic activity on the other side of the world. Lexical obscurity is inevitable, but hopefully the wordplay will be easy enough.

Maybe you too can start the challenge, although one day later than me, and wrap up next week if all goes to plan. Either way, stay tuned for more tomorrow.

DA for the 24/25th of June, 2011

NS had an indirect anagram in today’s crossword and it was still too easy.

I expect DA to be too hard — and without a single indirect anagram.

Glory be on DA.

Your comments here (although no spoilers on this particular thread until Monday).


RC and I got together old-school style: around noon at a cafe. This time it was at the Journal cafe just outside the Melbourne City Library, and we failed miserably. We only got about two thirds of it done before I had to leave to watch the Tigers get done by the Demons (as I said, it was old-school style), but it wasn’t a crossword to be too disappointed about not completing.

Further update: Jonathan is back from a trip overseas and kindly sends over these beauties:

The DA Poolroom

Ladies, gentlemen, and DA,

I am very excited to announce my first ever solo, unassisted, no-dictionaries, no-internet, no nothing, just me, DA and the pen, letter-perfect completion.  What with AS away for the past few weeks, I came close several times, but today victory is mine.  I have popped the pinada!

In celebration, I thought I would start this post, under which anyone with a DA-related achievement is welcome to boast, gloat and be lauded.  Did you get your first DA clue?  Crack your first theme?  Finish the whole thing on the Friday/Saturday morning ferry/tram?  Were you blindfolded and solved it all by smell?  Whatever the case, crow about it here!

Well done in advance,


DA for the 17/18th of June, 2011

Another week, another DA, and I’m in town fully recharged from Nordic adventures (and Estonia).

So go forth and comment on this week’s release right here.

Update: Robin kindly sent me this one:

Never really had a go at this one, but congratulations RC for a fine solo vanquishing.