The Crossword from the 9th of May

TT kindly sent me his copy of the DA, and a very fine job he did of it by very nearly completing it the same day it was released.

Now, someone help him out on 27 down because I really don’t have much to offer.


23 thoughts on “The Crossword from the 9th of May

  1. I reckon it’s mos as in the plural of mo, as in ‘half a mo’. Rather a lacklustre puzzle I thought, tho’ 21 D and 4D were nice. Is there any reason why 28A was in caps?

  2. 10A: any thoughts on why “Unmentionable sport mentioned” == Spencer Gulf?
    Are “spencers” unmentionable? Is “gulf” just a bad homonym for golf?

    13D: Cinch to steal one off fellow actor (4,7). I have Hugh Jackman as a (male?) actor, but can’t deconstruct the charade. Suggestions?

    24D Divine mum in SA city’s opening roll-up (4). Again, I have “Hera” as the divine mum, but again don’t understand the charade. Help?

    I agree, 21D “Curt reminder about Drama Award stage for theatre (7)” was neat.

    I liked 25A’s “high t(r)ea’s on” and also thought 11A “… where a lofty struggle incurs! (8)” was nice. 7D was worth a smile for matching “cru” with “crew”.

    1D would have been gold … except that the answer (macadamia) is singular and the definition (nuts) is plural.

    8D is dodgy…. “defer” does not mean block, nor vice versa.
    15A seems dubious: “Somali population” = Mogadishu?! (Mogadishi or Mogadishuites, perhaps, but plain Mogadishu?)
    And 23A: “Customs of a original type? Pass (8)” Should the “a” be “an”? And is it kosher to clue “proto” as “a original type”?

  3. I asked:
    > 24D Divine mum in SA city’s opening roll-up (4). Again, I have “Hera”
    > as the divine mum, but again don’t understand the charade. Help?

    Just look at TT’s solution: duh. “Leda”, not “Hera”. Wrong deity!

  4. 28A: the only thing I could think of for the use of capitals was to make the clue seem a bit like a Reuters headline. But initially I was thinking of Capitalism (too many letters, mind)

    In South Australia, “Gulf” is pronounced “golf”. A couple of Adelaide clues: maybe DA reads this and was responding to TT’s allegations of NSW-centrism?.

    Anyway I thought Spencer (= undergarment) Gulf was quite clever.

    13D: I wonder if there’s a typo? Clinch = Hugh; Steal = Hijack; fellow = man. Take the I off and we get HUG HJACK MAN = actor. But cinch = hug?

    [goes off to google: well, apparently a cinch is a type of belt, which could be used to hug a figure, I guess …]

    I thought 26D was quite clever, in light of the Bill Henson controversy!

  5. 27A: I thought “Time soon passes after seconds” might have something to do with MNS for minutes, which come after seconds.

    4D: “Explains Sharia Law for women” is a good one for “Flesh is out” -> FLESHES OUT but why the “on radio”?

    28A: Has DA overcooked the clue? The capitals are superfluous and the clue works fine without both them, and without the “OZ GOVT SAY”.

    10A: My better half says “unmentionables” for SPENCER is “stupid DA”. Spencers are jackets and thermals; unmentionables are knickers, bras, etc. And “golf” hommed into GULF is dodgy, with or without a Souf Austwayan accent.

    10A … 11A: Why does SPENCER GULF … into DOGFIGHT?

    With Adelaide -> LEDA and if golf is gulf in SA, then it looks like DA is getting foxy to throw us off the scent now that we’ve rumbled his game.

  6. TT, “on the radio” is the homonym indicator to convert “flesh is out” into “fleshes out.

    (And I agree with your better half re. “unmentionables” for SPENCER is “stupid DA”.)

  7. Right-o.

    I had “Explains” containing both the HI and tell.

    Could the clue then work with just “Explains Sharia Law for women?” or “Explains Sharia Law for women!”?

  8. 4D: FLESHES OUT – definitely a “chuckle clue”! I liked this clue just the way DA had it and I think it’s worthy of GOLD!

    I also (like others above) thought 21D (metonym) was pretty neat. And so was 1D (macadamia), singular/plural problem notwithstanding.

    28A: Agree that the capitals are superfluous (and therefore unfairly confusing). Since the clue reads like a newspaper headline, I think (like haiku earlier) that DA decided to use capitals to make it look even more like a headline. But, surely TT, the “OZ GOVT SAY” is absolutely required as it’s the other half of the clue – there’s an implied comma between GOVT and SAY so that it’s really “OZ GOVT, FOR INSTANCE” i.e. a democracy.

    10A…11A: I think the dots are to link Whyalla (which has an airport) with the next clue about a lofty struggle.

    13D: Google yields “cinch” = “firm grip”, which is pretty close to hug.

    16D: I have a problem here – answer must be BY GUM. I see the connection to COR. But “swaggie’s post”? Can anyone help?

    8D defer, 15A Mogadishu, 23A protocol (the “a” in the clue should be “an”, surely?) – like MF above, I thought all of these were dodgy.

  9. 16D: “Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong, under the shade of a coolibah tree”. A coolibah is a eucalypt – a gum tree …

  10. What about the “post” bit? Does “post” just mean “station”? i.e. that’s where the swaggie was? I think I get it now. Thanks.

  11. RB

    28A: Yeah, I jumped the gun with the query about “OZ GOVT SAY”, it’s obviously the tell.

    10A…11A: That’s a stretch. Next week DA might as well have the dots linking Richmond (which has a Church Street) with the next clue about a cathedral. Or, more likely, Richmond (which has the Tigers) with the next clue about cruel and unusual punishment.

  12. I reckon that Haiku’s explanation of 16D elevates it to gold!
    I’d say in defense of 10A’s ‘unmentionables’, that, at the time spencers were used, they were ‘unmentionable’.

  13. Except it’s actually 16A, not 16D … was typing from memory (not actually necessary given the embedded picture!)

    Would concur with 4D as gold, and thought 6D well-constructed. 10A as well, but perhaps that’s my South Australian roots!

  14. Actually, the 16D/16A confusion was my mistake initially…..I insist! As for the quality of the clue, now that I understand it, it does seem to improve with time and contemplation.

  15. Haiku, I think you’ll find the reference is not to Bill Henson but to Jim Henson (Of Muppets fame). Jim reported = Gym.

  16. I think haiku was aware of that. If haiku thought the reference was to Bill, then the clue wouldn’t be clever. Nor would it make much sense. The clue was clever because most people would think of Bill, forgetting about Jim. But only haiku can clear that one up.

  17. Thanks RB, I’m sure Haiku could have spoken on their own behalf. It’s a sad world if ‘most’ people would think of Bill Henson before Jim henson when working out the answer.
    How Bill Henson could be related to PE class in the first place is beyond my comprehension. Wasn’t he the photographer who created controversy by including a photo of a naked 13yo in his exhibition. My mind doesn’t seem to be as warped as ‘most’ people to think that was clever.

  18. I did better than average on this (when solo), completing it just before mid-day Saturday. Except that I also had 24D = HERA, and I still don’t understand 22A, except that awning = shade (or wide shade?), so what about discover (or discover wide?). Also 9A. I presumed that clothing = corset, but then why does twenty=set?

    Re 14D, I was happy to get this even before I got the cross-clue 15A=MOGADISHU. I presume it works by considering stout = gross, with promoted the backwards indicator. I think this is a bit of a stretch. An extra word like excessive or repellent is necessary IMHO.

    I am so old that any type of underwear is an “unmentionable”, so 10A is fine on this count. I too was puzzled by the golf=gulf “sounds like” pairing, but if it’s true that in SA they are pronounced the same, then OK (what about the pronunciation elsewhere?).

    21D is clever and a DA Teaching for me. I got METONYM without knowing the meaning until I looked it up & realised that “stage for theatre” is an apt example of one.

  19. 22A: “Discover” means remove the cover i.e. remove first letter of “yawning” (wide, as in yawning chasm, for instance).

    9A: Twenty = score. “Remove clothing” means remove outer letters, leaving COR.

  20. I can speak for myself: outside of work hours anyway! Yes, I was fully aware that it was Jim Henson being referenced – I grew up with the Muppet Show!*

    Perhaps “clever” is the wrong word in relation to a suspected Bill Henson reference. “Cheeky” might be better, or “mischievous”. I don’t want to re-run a Bill Henson argument here: it’s been debated ad infinitum in the media and on blogs.

    Suffice to say I think DA might have come up with GYM – sounds like JIM – make a sounds like reference to Jim Henson. Then what to do for the direct clue? Drawing on the Greek antecedents for gymnasium: wasn’t “gymnopaedia” a training place for youths, he came up with a PE class; and the use of “reported” for the sounds like element of the indirect clue gives us “Henson reported at PE class”: a mischievous reference to the controversy that raged for what must have been all of two full weeks last year.

    I apologise if, in the process of trying to work out what’s going on in DA’s head, I’ve offended people by bringing up the Bill Henson controversy again. Likewise I apologise to DA if I’ve accorded him a level of unmeant mischief, when the warpedness is in my own mind!

    (I do have a warped sense of humour: it’s not unrelated to why I do cryptic crosswords!)

    * I’d like to see DA put together a “M’nah m’nah, doot-doo, doot-doo doo” clue, but I suspect spelling might be an issue …

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