DA in the Glossy Age Mag

K/BW kindly posted the Q and A that appeared in glossy mag that comes with The Age on Friday once a month, which I repost here if you missed it:

Best things about Melbourne?
Giddy mix of quaint and Avant-garde, with a conversation around the corner.

Worst Thing?
Remote surf, fractured cycleways.

Best takeaway?
Bala’s in Fitzroy.

Best Coffee?
Proud Mary, Collingwood.

Best Restaurant?
Miss Chu, Exhibition St

Where do you get your hair cut?
Lestat in Kew — and some people reckon I should go there more often.

Where do you live and why?
Kew — it sounds like a letter!

Tram or train?
Bus is nearest to home, tram to the heart.

What do you do for fun?
Galumph in a Sunday park, playing touch rugby with other tragics.

Who do you barrack for?
Roos, Rebels, Storm.

Where did you go to school?
Barker (College) in Sydney, which ditched boaters and imported girls the year I arrived.

Labor or Liberal?
My Labor vote’s a protest squeak round these parts.

Neil Mitchell or Jon Faine?
If Radio National isn’t firing I’ll give Jon a go.

Portsea or Lorne?
PROTEAS or LONER?

I’ll pick the flowers.

Drop punt or torpedo?
I envy a deadeye wormburner.

Top three apps?
Appetite, Appenines, apparel.

Describe Melbourne in three words?
Zaftig, loquacious, sanguine.

DA Platinum for the 25/26th of August, 2011

This might have to be my favourite DA clue of all time, a clue so good it surpasses Gold and deserves to be considered Platinum.

4 down: Notable bird-watcher (as he put it) an intimate bedfellow (7)
I got to thinking of Peeping Tom watching Godiva-like birds and spent a lot of time thinking SNOOPER must be the answer. Somehow, and fittingly reminiscent of a spoonerism, I flipped some letters and stumbled on SPOONER and squealed with delight.

Genius.

DA Bullshit for the 26/27th of August, 2011

It’s not often I pull out DA Bullshit these days, but I thought 8 across particularly poor:

8 across: Continent’s foremost Norseman stores wheeled craft in garbage (8)
First complaint: there’s wheeled as a reversal indicator, which seems very unfair to me.

Second and main complaint: There is no way a Norseman is a Lapp. A Norseman is an appellation from the past that’s often applied colourfully to the current-day Scandinavians who are their descendants. The Norsemen had their own language, their own myths, their own culture, all of which is very distinct to the language, myths and culture of the Saami, who are commonly referred to as the Lapps, which they consider a pejorative term. Sure, some Saami are Norwegian or Swedish citizens, but others are also Finnish and Russian citizens. They’re a distinct ethnicity dispersed over an area, and calling them Norsemen is a big boo boo akin to equating Ottomans and Kurds.

DA Confusion for the 26/27th of August, 2011

Here’s where you have your confusions sorted out.

Ask questions and you’ll have them answered right here, which means there will be spoilers in the comments.

The general etiquette that’s evolved over time is to provide hints to conundrums rather than straight-out answers, but you do read any comments on this thread at the risk of reading an answer or hint that you might wish you hadn’t.

DA for the 26/27th of August, 2011

Last week’s was a debacle for me: I positively shudder at anything to do with Harry Potter (and Lord (Bored?) of the Rings for that matter).

It’s not often themed crosswords appear in consecutive weeks, so this week’s should be good, wholesome fun (although I bet there’s a reference to Lord of the Rings that has me wanting to throw away the crossword in disgust).

No spoilers on this particular thread until Monday, the idea being anyone can come along here and have a chat without fear of ruining a good crossword-solving escapade over the weekend.

Update: Very tough, very good:

Definitely one of the hardest DAs in a while — and also a couple of absolute pearlers (along with a couple of lowlights).

On the clue I consider platinum, I spent a long time thinking SNOOPER was the answer somehow before the real answer dawned on me. A ridiculously good clue.

English is Germanic

I’ve only started reading what is proving to be a very good book called Reading in the Brain, and I thought I’d include one of the jokes it references that I thought hilarious:

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy.

Also, the hard “c” will be replaced with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by ” v”.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou”, and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst place….

A Cryptic Chat

Only a few hours ago I had a chat with Alice Crockett, a Media and Communications student at Melbourne University, who is writing a feature article on cruciverbalists and cruciverbalising as part of her school work.

She’s gonna be chatting to DA on Friday and would love to chat with other cruciverbalists too, so if you’d like to have a chinwag with her as well, send me an email and I can get you in contact with her.

DA for the 19/20th of August, 2011

The early word is that there’s a theme involved this week.

Happy times!

Update: ho hum…

On Sunday, RC and I met on hallowed ground at St Ali, which is where we first put a crossword to the sword together (a Saturday DS, back when DS was on Saturdays in Melbourne) and where RC first came up with the idea of this blog. We hadn’t been there for a while, and I strongly doubt we’ll ever go there again: the place has gone to the hipster dogs.

We cracked a number of the non-themed clues before RC worked out HOGWARTS and the crossword was immediately committed to the flames. Neither of us have any interest in Harry Potter, and it was especially disappointing that it wasn’t the first time he was the crossword’s theme.