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.

9 thoughts on “The Fairfax Streak: Day 1

  1. Go, you good thing.
    I thought this looked hard but then realised i do it week-in week-out. Good on me.

  2. I was very amused by your comments about Tuesdays’ crosswords set by DH. A friend of mine who has an alternate name for DH) reckons that he trawls through numerous dictionaries and encyclopedias each week seeking the most obscure of references.

  3. I am not turned on or off by any of the other Fairfax setters. If there are differences between the setters I haven’t bothered to perceive them…

  4. There were two clues I liked in this RM:
    23A Puts together a new social contract without a trial (8)
    26A Singled out demasculinising works by this sort of artist (8)

    Well constructed and tight; RM is improving!

  5. I happened upon this thread and noticed that the same reasons to avoid DH in 2011 still exist in 2022 . . . eleven years later.

    That’s over 500 puzzles that someone more competent could have been doing.

  6. Agree Neanderthal. The other SMH/Age/Nine setters aren’t much better. Nice if you can get it, I suppose. Wonder how much they get per puzzle? Years and years of same old, same old.
    Just shows to go you that the masthead doesn’t think that having good cryptics attracts buyers/subscriptions. Sigh. We’re relics, Neanderthal.

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