The Last DA of 2011

Here we go with the last DA of the year.


Update: And here it is:

If DA ever had a coat of arms, surely the coypu would be on there.

Only got halfway through this one – more through laziness than anything else.


Christmas DA, 2011

DA has already stated this week’s features a theme — which usually means something special is in store.

Merry Christmas, and I bet DA will make things especially fun.

Update: A great one:

A joy to behold — and I was only a silly mistake away from a Poolroom moment (I had VENUS for VENUE, which bamboozled me with PROMOTE, and I cheated rather than work through the impasse).

Not quite Noel standard from two years ago for me, but an absolute cracker nonetheless.

The Not-DA Compilers in the Fairfax Network

Every so often, the question of ranking the other Fairfax cryptic crossword compilers crops up. It’s been discussed twice before, here and here, and prompted by an email be frequent contributor Robin, I ask the question again: how do you rate the other Fairfax compilers?

Robin’s ratings seem to concur with the general impression:

1. DA – say no more…

<  Insert daylight here >

2. DS (Saturday) but agree about the lack of DA’s wicked sense of humour
3 and 4. DP (Wednesday) and NS (Thursday) – comments from previous posts still apply. DP is all puns usually!
5. DH (Tuesday) comments from previous posts still apply. Only ranked 5 as many odd topics are thrown up but it’s all research I find.
6. RM or EP (Monday) Only on a Monday can I match Rupert’s PBs for DA.

Is there some heretofore unnoticed genius in other setters? Or does the general impression still stand?

Your DA Poolroom Moment

The DA Poolroom was inaugurated not too long ago when RC completed his first unassisted DA, just he, the pen, the paper and DA.

I’ve noticed that a few of you have clocked in personal bests for this week’s DA, so I figure RC shouldn’t be the only one to have his efforts recorded for posterity: if you’ve got a PB, share the thrill among people who know the feeling.

You can comment about your exploits here; or, better yet, you can email me a photo or scan of your hard-fought efforts with DA and I’ll post it on the blog for the DA faithful to marvel at.

The address to email me at is in the sidebar to your right. If it’s a personal best, whatever it is — the time you got past halfway; the time you completed the DA and only cheated twice; the time you vanquished DA tag team with a friend; the time you completed the DA solo; the time you finished the DA in under thirty minutes —  just send it through to the DA Poolroom and your efforts shall be immortalised.

Update: I’ve just got to post my crossword of victory:

It’s been a long while since I’ve completed a solo vanquishing, and I needed to immortalise it here. Although RC didn’t help me directly with clues, I couldn’t have done it without his moral support on the Sunday when I was just about willing to throw in the towel.

Also on the sheet is the scorecard of my victory against my dad in πινάκ, which is a Greek version of Rummy. It was a big weekend.