7 down: Fit user buckled in “tacker”? Not half!
So much for the no bullshit call, then. This one definitely deserves a place in the horseshit hall of fame. I got as far as thinking it must have been an anagram of “fit user”, and that was about it – I was thinking that “not half” was the direct clue, and got nowhere. As it transpires, I wouldn’t have got the answer in a month of Sundays (or Fridays, I guess). TT’s summation that this is a “pun in search of a clue” is spot on – &lit. clues are all very well, but not if they’re, well, bullshit. Fit user = KITE SURFER? Um, no.
This was a pretty good ‘un all round, but I particularly liked these:
1 across: When the cup runs over, men scramble to protect beer’s head (8)
The “to protect” bit is a bit clumsy, but I do like “When the cup runs” as a direct clue for NOVEMBER. It mighta confused the Sydneysiders, though!
25, 26 across: Alien race signals for us to walk? (6, 5, 3)
A nice double meaning clue – LITTLE GREEN MEN!
4 down: estiMAte? (8, 5)
Only DA woulda come up with this one. It did remind me a little of a clue from a few weeks back, to which the answer I think was also EDUCATED GUESS, or something very similar – does anyone remember it? But anyway, this is one of those clues that elicits bewilderment when you first look at it, and a delighted chuckle when the answer first jumps out.
No real DA bullshit this week, although that may change once I’ve seen the answers!
After a week of apathy and then a week of server issues, I’m back on the blog, although it appears that AS has been keeping everyone happy from Indonesia in my absence. I grabbed the paper on Friday morning and made a flying start on this DA on the way to work – by the time the junkie express ground to halt at Victoria St, about half of the puzzle was done and I was feeling confident about being able to knock it off over the weekend and post triumphantly here this evening.
Unfortunately, as seems often to be the case, real life intervened, in the form of a busy Saturday afternoon, a ruinously drunken evening at the Curtin Bandroom on Saturday night and the vague blur that constituted Sunday. The lesson that the last coupla weeks has taught me is that if I don’t post on this blog by Monday, I don’t post at all, so rather than hanging on in the vague hope of being able to finish this puzzle, I’m posting the nearly finished article here for discussion. Next week, I’m hoping to stay on the straight and narrow and have a proper solution by Monday.
But then, I’ve said that before.
Oh, and does anyone have the solution?
20 across: Cash in sport notice way short (3)
DA’s short clues are notoriously difficult, and I’m not even sure I’ve got this one right – with both cross clues and little in the way of enlightenment, I figure I had a 20% chance (it could be PAT, PIT, PET, POT or PUT). Which one? Why?
27 across: One flees weird insular habitat for the Christian sect (9)
Sure, the Lutherans are a Christian sect, but where does the rest come from? Maybe “weird” = LURID, which somehow loses its ID (“one flees”). But if “flees” is included there, where does the “RAN” come from? Ideas?
19 down: Falls for new wife (7)
The direct clue is obviously “falls” – NIAGARA – but the rest?
3 down: Place in aviary holds our egg (9)
This was the last clue I got, and no wonder – the use of “egg” as a synonym for “encourage” as the direct clue is drawing a very, very long bow.
5 down: I can’t tell you if tanks crash into stadium (3’1, 3, 2)
Not so much bullshit as an uncharacteristically inelegant clue. “Dome” as stadium, “I can’t tell you” as the direct clue… it’s a bit of an NS clue, really. We expect better from the master!
13 down: Cattle prod where one might [up the ante] (4,5)
Not DA Gold for the ages, but the double entendre of STUD POKER for “cattle prod” and somewhere where one might up the ante at least brought a chuckle.
…and, um, that’s it, really.
A fair-to-middling DA for this, the first of 26 AS-less weeks of tackling the cryptic. RC and I convened late on Friday night, both plenty of beers to the good, to drink chamomile tea, listen to Fela Kuti and attempt this week’s puzzle. By the time the clock had ticked over into Saturday, half the puzzle was done, the cat was urging me to go to bed and I was drifting off to sleep at the table, so we called it a night and I polished off the rest over the course of the weekend.
I managed to get this one out in the end, which is always a cause for celebration, although there was a reasonable amount of DA confusion, a smattering of DA bullshit, and disappointingly few nuggets of DA gold. Looks like the master is still working his way back into form after the career-best McCrossword from a couple of weeks back.
Here’s how it ended up looking:
PS I haven’t actually seen the solution, so do let me know if any of this lot is, like, wrong.
RC and I will be continuing to fight the good fight in AS’s absence, starting with today’s DA, which we will hopefully get a chance to attempt at some point this weekend.
A trip to Flavours Of Lakhoum in Richmond saw AS and I receive some spectacularly shambolic service, and the unfortunate AS bail early on the crossword due to illness. Not wanting to let DA get away that easily, I soldiered on alone, and here’s where I got to:
Some points of interest (I should add here that I don’t have the solution, so if anyone does, I’d be keen to see it):
10 across: Cleric frames pulpit speech minus Corinthians’ Third Letter to poet (11). The answer makes sense in the context of the indirect clue: cleric = VERGER, pulpit speech = SERMON, minus Corinthians’ Third Letter (R) = VERSEMONGER; but has anyone *ever* seen a poet referred to as a “versemonger” before??
2 down: One smart hat for reeling? (3-1-7). I have no idea about this at all. The only thing I can think of is that it’s some sort of term for a fishing reel, with which I am not familiar. Ideas?
13 down: Almost good for Sarkozy to accept classification (9, 2). Also bewildered by this. The only thing I can think of is BORDERING ON, which works for “almost” as the direct clue… But where does Sarkozy come into it? The BO could be “almost good for Sarkozy” (ie. “bon” – French for good – minus the “n”, meaning it’s “almost good)… but then where’s the direct clue?
Anyway, a decent effort – here’s hoping our spiritual leader AS will be back on deck next week.
And where is RC??