Day 3 and I’m not sure if DP is defeated:
There were three clues I was not certain about, two of which, SHOOT A LINE and PETERLOO, have proven to be correct (I had heard of neither). But HUM THE TUNE OVER remains, and I can’t tell if that’s definitely correct or not. I can’t think of anything else that could go there, but other than deliveries = over, nothing else in manage government deliveries and check for correctness looks like it could mean what I put down.
My streak might be over; I’m not feeling confident. If it’s all over, I’ll try again soon.
Day 2 and DH is defeated:
Today’s mix of obscurities include DEISTIC, CAPRICCIO, OSIER, JOYCE (Kilmer), ISTLE in EPISTLE, HYOID, HARICOT, MAESTRI, CATALEPSY and SPONDEE.
Thankfully the wordplay was easy enough to get them out, although OSIER was the big gamble: I had to assume that very large = OS, as in oversize I suppose. Of the two-letter words beginning in O that could mean very large, OS seemed the best bet, and it proved correct.
DP tomorrow, my favourite Fairfax compiler after DA, whose crosswords sometimes trip me up because I’m not the best with phrases.
RC’s solo exploits and DA’s mad challenge have inspired me: I’m gonna try completing the Fairfax cryptics for an entire week (excluding Sunday) unassisted.
DA has been attempting to do 100 consecutive Times crosswords, but I’d be happy to do one Times crossword unassisted. I have to lower my expectations, and I really can’t be bothered trying to do 100 Fairfax cryptics in a row, so a week of solo completions sounds about right and very doable.
Today is Monday and I had to tackle RM. The most difficult part was dealing with some sloppy cluing, but succeed I did. Here it is:
Although 7 down is not clued neatly (too many superfluous words), it included an excellent letter-extracting synonym that I had never seen before with immigrant, in RM’s case Horrify English immigrant at the fundraiser = APPEAL. Other than that, nothing really of note to speak of.
Tomorrow is DH, whose cryptics I haven’t deigned to do for years. I fear being tripped up by some obscure reference to a classical allusion in a hieratic stone-tablet text found in a submerged cave below the rubble of a city no one knew existed until a pearl diver came across it after having been diverted from their usual hunting ground by an unseasonal rip caused by seismic activity on the other side of the world. Lexical obscurity is inevitable, but hopefully the wordplay will be easy enough.
Maybe you too can start the challenge, although one day later than me, and wrap up next week if all goes to plan. Either way, stay tuned for more tomorrow.