Special Event: The DA Tripleversary Cryptic Powwow

It’s been a bit over three years since this very first post on this here blog, and we figure it’s time to celebrate.

So this Saturday, 13th August, we’re gonna claim a table at Arcadia from 10 AM and have a joyful meet-and-greet cryptic session with anyone who shows up.

At the very least two of the original DA Trippers will be in attendance (RC and me, AS) along with, holy of holies, DA himself!

Yes, DA is coming down to have a powwow with some of his biggest fans and brave watching them attempt his crossword live. DA can’t walk the streets without commotion these days: also in attendance will be some budding filmmakers who are hoping to get a documentary going about cruciverbalists and the joys of cruciverbalising.

If you think you’ll be making an appearance, please let me know in the comments so I can get the reservation numbers around about right. And if you do come, please avoid peeking at the crossword: the idea is to have us all attempting the crossword together and/or simultaneously.

Here’s DA’s take on the glorious event, and here are the details in a nutshell:

The DA Tripleversary Cryptic Powwow
At: Arcadia, 193 Gertrude Street, Collingwood (sorry about the long trek, Sydneysiders)
Time: 10AM (punctual attendance would be great)
In attendance: DA, AS, RC, filmmakers and maybe you!

48 thoughts on “Special Event: The DA Tripleversary Cryptic Powwow

  1. How wonderful! It’s a pity but I won’t be able to get there.

    …I don’t suppose there’s one in Sydney the day before…? :-)

  2. I will be there! I hope we’re all in form – the pressure of doing the crossie under the watchful gaze of DA himself!

  3. ‘Arcadia’. It would have been good to pick a coffee shop which had an apostrophe in its name.

    Do offer DA, in his CLODHOPPERs, a nice CUPPA before they start filling the FRYING PAN. If he’s not a tea drinker offer him a TUMBLER of soft drink instead. Someone needs to DEBUG the joint first, of course. Best also to check the MAID’s ID, especially if she has BANGTAILS and a MOODRING. Always suspicious.

    We in Sydney will be thinking of you, but we can picture the scene. The SOMELIER in his DUSTCOAT, wishing all bottles were DEHISCENT. He with his APRON and a striking RESEMBLANCE to BILL HUNTER.

    There on the wall, next to the GOYA, a signed photo of DIEGO MARADONA on a SKI BOB, a souvenir from the last time he was in Melbourne. On a table nearby is a copy of HARPERS BAZAAR, an ANDRE GIDE and an AGATHA Christie.

    Anyone game to DON a MANKINI?

  4. As a frequent visitor but rare poster, I’ll be there , though my preference is to grapple with the crossword in solitary torment.

  5. Since you mention it (about two years ago). Nathan Thompson (Hawks, Roos, SEN) was talking about the gulf between the top and bottom AFL sides and I was struck by how distinctively he pronounced “gulf” as “golf”. There were no ifs and bots about it, or “did I hear him right?” sense the former was sneakily morphing into the latter. This was G.O.L.F gulf. I wonder how he pronounces “golf”.

  6. Maybe DA was listening to Nathan Thompson. I certainly consider AFL footballers to be gods (that was not ironic — it’s heard to say anything truly positive about anyone anymore without seeming ironic), and if footballers have transcended the golf gulf, surely that’s the way things stand.

    (On the subject of irony: does anyone else think it ironic that it’s always those who could do with some elocution or grammar lessons that wind up modernising the language? As a kid from South Central LA would say, or at least someone lamely impersonating a vague impression of a kid from South Central LA would say: crazy dat).

    NF, solitary torment is also welcome. It’s a DA tradition.

  7. Staying on matters homophonic, on Letters and Numbers last night DA gave an example of a quadruple homophone: paw/pour/pore/poor. For me, only pour and pore are homophones. Paw has a slightly different vowel sound, and poor a different vowel sound again (a bit of a diphthong in the latter two, I think).

    The case of law/lore was discussed a while ago on this site and I realised then that I was in a small (Lancastrian) minority in considering that these two weren’t homophones. So I’m sure most DAtrippers will be happy with paw/pour/pore as homophones. But what do you think of poor? Surely you don’t think that should be in the list?

  8. I hear all four as homophones.

    Do Lancastrians hear homophones that Australians don’t?

  9. I was about to reply in the negative, and then I remembered the way I used to pronounce “look”. Just like “Luke”.

  10. Watched – and listened -to L&N too. Agree, as a hybrid Aussie, that all four are homophones. Was more concerned about another pair that DA said were nearly homophones. Can’t rememeber the example, but that’s when I realised what we’re up against… DA’s view of ‘near’ homophones like gulf and g0lf. As a Queenslander though, school and pool are, are a triphthong, not like Luke and certainly not like look.

  11. I would have said paw was the odd one out! I’m originallly Lancastrian too, and can remember when I first came here wondering why Australians couldn’t say look and book properly or why they washed their hands in a bison.

  12. It’s City to Surf weekend in Sydney so I have to be here. Otherwise I would be very tempted to travel. Can we please have a Sydney one soon?!

  13. @ Jonathan. I would turn up except it makes it hard to enjoy a relaxing java and bask in DA’s warmth on a Friday before work. Having said that, Sydney is far busier than Melbourne anyway so ‘wham bam thank you DAm’ might be in order.

  14. If we accept the Macquarie Dictionary as the arbiter then “pour”, “pore”,”paw” and “poor” have identical pronunciations, However I would argue that “poor” is not a homophone of the others and that it should be pronounced the same as “tour”.

  15. To put in my two pennies worth I think all four words sound exactly the same, at least they did where I grew up in Surrey. Clearly there are regional differences in pronunciation and surely there is no ‘right and wrong’. In Scotland you will hear ‘pooer’ for poor, elsewhere ‘pawer’.

    How about the fruit? The paw paw?

  16. Like Bernie, for me, “poor” and “tour” rhyme perfectly.

    Interesting that nn reckons “paw” is the odd one out, Bernie has “poor” as the odd one out, and I would have both of them as different from each other and from pour/pore!

    The regional differences Robin refers to make this homophone thing tricky. And when you throw into the mix DA’s not very rigorous homophone standards (I winced too, Gayle, when DA pronounced two very different sounds on L&N as “near homophones”) it can become quite contentious.

  17. As the third original DA Tripper, I can confirm that I will be there in spirit, and will be giving this week’s puzzle an extra hard bash on the subway. Ooh-er.

  18. Can’t wait to see to see the film RMIT is making of the Southerners tackling DA!
    TH, what price for a specially freighted advance copy, or an emailed one, from up north? : )
    Look forward to when we have one in Sydney and the original Trippers can help us out.

  19. When I told a friend about tomorrow’s fun (after all the “get a life”) comments,he floated the intriguing prospect that maybe “Arcadia, Gertrude St at 10am ” was itself a cryptic clue for, say, “Narre Warren North Maccas at 11.15” . Just a thought!

  20. Sorry not to be a fly on the wall in Arcadia, only descending to table level if luck of the day were to be with me. “Poor” is the odd one out for me rhyming with tour, the others sound the same. What is the difference between paw and pore?

  21. Cheers AS – really, really appreciated the organisation today – would love to be involved again (and stay until the end !) You have my e-mail.

  22. Is it too cute to point out that the ARCADIANS who stubbornly persisted today and co-operatively finished the crossword at the event were AS, RC and IAN? “Bloggers and man of the day mingle among excellent cafe’s clientele”.

  23. I can’t have poor rhyming with tour without it sounding like someone depositing in a sewer…As in poor Winnie… Pooh(er) Winnie is a little hard to bear!
    Hope the arcadians had a good morn, would have loved to get there , maybe next time

  24. AS + RC + IAN + DA = ARCADIANS [That’s cryptic gold.]

    A superb brunch – great to meet some prime trippers, and hear about the elephants and pawpaws in the room.

    The morning’s highlight had to be seeing Ian and his daughter high-five on cracking a clue together. As a compiler, that’s the reason I make crosswords: to imagine that joy and triumph in the solver. Both feelings pervaded the courtyard. Cheers –

  25. Gold! nn’s anagram on other thread worth a mention too:
    DA’s CRANIA seized the day!

  26. Many thanks to the powers that be for bringing about yesterday’s meet and greet session. I feel justified in not staying until stumps so as not to have spoilt Ian’s excellent anagram. (Jarcaddians doesn’t have the same elegance!)

  27. This week’s crossie took a while before I finally completed it. How did you Arcadians fare?

    Revisiting the earlier homophonic theme: I see a mistake in my comment above on Aug 10 at 2:11pm. I have identified the wrong word (paw) as having a diphthong. My pronunciation (Bolton/Manchester, plus a few years in Nottingham and London, plus many decades in Melbourne) is that paw/pour/pore/poor have three different sounds, like this:
    1) paw: monophthong (single pure vowel sound); rhymes with “awe”
    2) pour/pore: homophones; diphthong
    3) poor: diphthong; rhymes with “tour” (yes K/BW a bit like Pooh(er)! But the last “syllable” is very subtle and unstressed)

    I’ve learnt two new words: triphthong (from Gayle), and monophthong (from Google). Trouble is that, not being a phonetics whiz, I’m not sure I can properly distinguish between diphthongs and triphthongs.

  28. RB: In answer to your question, as noted above, three die-hards stuck at it long enough to outstay our welcome and finish the crossword; it seemed the right way to honour the day. But the nature of the event means that assessment of difficulty is problematic. I first worked on it with my daughter Kate, and hence made more progress than I would have on my own (two heads …). When it was down to the last three solvers, we pooled answers with some relevant hinting, and then had about 11 to go, in the north. It didn’t take too long to workshop these (three heads …). However, I think it was a difficult DA. If I had had to do it entirely on my own, working on it in short sessions (the usual situation) I might not have finished it yet …

  29. I would agree with IG, a difficult DA. I did it all on a flight from Hamilton Island (business, sort of, not holiday) to Melbourne with a stopover in Sydney. I had several hours of uninterrupted concentration (without much access to Google) and only got the last 2 clues at the baggage carousel. Even then I had to look here to understand a few of the wordplays (eg “cry wolf”). I was proud to have got” mary celeste” & “ruddigore” without reference, not so proud to have struggled with” lilac” &” in a blur” until very late in the piece.

    Re DA Gold, I thought “ungodly” was also gold.

    Re Gayle, I thought the definition for 1A, “cluer”, was at the beginning of the clue, not the middle.

  30. JK 1A yes , def was clearly meant to be at the beginning, but believe that “My job becomes monstrous when changing hands” is a clue where the def would be ‘monstrous’ due to the syntax. Should be “My job was monstrous before changing hands” if def is to be at beginning. No?

  31. I always take indicators to be bi-directional, i.e. rearranges file is the same as file rearranges, and the answer would be LIFE.

  32. Will have to bow to the weight of expert opinion against my ‘monstrous’ assertion re 1A.

    Maybe we can have an annual meetup, alternating between Melbourne and Sydney? or somewhere in between?

  33. Gayle,
    Regarding 1A, I agree with you that it isn’t right because of the word ‘becomes’.
    As you say this word points to the def being monstrous/CRUEL even though ‘becomes monstrous’ is in the middle of the clue.
    Something ‘becomes’ something later than what it was beforehand.
    “Should be “My job was monstrous before changing hands” if def is to be at beginning” sounds good to me.

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