A Themed AS Special

Yes, it’s my first attempt at a themed crossword, a theme which should be of interest to pretty much all of you. So don’t waste a Wednesday on another DP when you can have yourself the rarest of beasts: a themed AS special.

Feel free to regale, criticise or just plain ignore the crossword.

All starred clues are a 15-across and do not feature a definition.

All hashed clues feature within their respective answers a particular 15-across that has silently and nonchalantly infiltrated many other 15-acrosses. As such, the sneaky 15-across within the hashed clues’ answers is left unclued.

ACROSS
1. 15-acrosssorca-51 (9) *
6. Weightless spirit quietly energetic for canine 23-across (2, 3)
9. Stentorian donut stunned first conjunction (7)
10. Capture last triumph, bauble of high birth (7)
11. Singular command from the same book (4)
12. Blared cryptically: holding Yellow Pages range or clean shaver (5, 5)
15. Make out crap rhyme (6)
16, 24. Undermine catch? (8, 4)
18. Offering endless wind instrument (8) #
20. ‘Luckless bastard’ said loudly (6)
23. Expecting Chéri’s essential part encapsulated by saying “Arthur — cut!“ (6-2-2)
24. See 16-across
27. Abbreviated approval to fish activated (7) *
29. Spirits everywhere thought to shorten cartoon style with belief system marker (7)
30. Destruction engulfs November scrape (3-2)
31. Precisely! The person turned her tone on (4, 5)

DOWN
1. Red chief state (5) *
2. Not completely dead on arrival (7) *#
3. Sly affirmative to old city in addressee’s possession (4)
4. Point out daily is back to front (6) *
5. Transport 10-6 (clear dishes) (8)
6. Second-rate interferes with perfection (3) *
7. Irrational encompasses a 21-down hit (7) *
8. Organised talk near Flanders (9)
13. Sunbathe soundly (6) *
14. Loud porn-star glow (6)
15. Idiot generator produced exemplar Vulcan (9)
17. Figure out trigonometric function on time: about noon (6, 2)
19. 5-across (7) *#
21. Cover round-about (7) *
22. Get vomit to a bin (6)
25. Hack edges off American three-piece (5) *
26. Regularly lit as yellow in opening section (4)
28. Pop is one such expert (3)

Update: The clue for 11-across has changed since I first posted this crossword. As Rupert points out in the comments, the original clue for 11-across, which I had clued as Capture last triumph, bauble of high birth, is inaccurate.

Further update: The clue for 12-across has also changed since I first posted this crossword. RB pointed out that the original clue, Readable jumble holds ultimate love for clean shaver, had a mistaken anagram.

DA for the 21st/22nd of October, 2011

Time for another DA, and I’m thinking Stephen Fry is on to something: cocaine is apparently the cruciverbalising accompaniment par excellence.

Why waste good cocaine hanging out with no-hope hoodlums when you could be snuggling right up to one of DA’s finest?

Does anyone else have curious accompaniments to their cruciverbalising?

Update: A fun one, although a tough one:

I was the NW corner away from completion, HASSOCK (I thought a HASSOCK was an item of dress), KRAMER (and I’m a huge Seinfeld fan), PORT SALUT and TURNKEYS the blockers.

I was also sidetracked by prematurely putting in WELLES (i.e. Orson, the War of the Worlds hoaxer) instead of ORWELL and justifiably although erroneously locking in HUSKY instead of HORSE (HUSKY is rough-sounding, pushes a sleigh (and across the tundra, unlike HORSE), is five-letters long and starts with H — a very unfortunate set of coincidences).

Interestingly, SLEIGH could just as well have been SLEDGE.

A surprisingly fecund set of clues.