December DA (for the 4/5th of December)

Whaddayareckon about this week’s? And Sydneysiders, I am envious of you for getting DA early (or more accurately put, for getting DA on time).

(no spoilers till Monday)

Update: I call this week’s the hardest in recent memory, and I call this week’s perhaps part of the DA Para-Pantheon — almost, but not quite, top-shelf:


I got almost half of it done through stabs of Saturday before RC, NF (straight from Laos) and I joined forced at Il Fornaio to fall three short of perfection. RC and I had the exquisite joy of each solving a clue whose answer we’d never heard of before, RC with 11 across and I with 25 across.

Some extremely high-quality clues, and I’m calling 27 across the best &lit clue I’ve come across.

9 thoughts on “December DA (for the 4/5th of December)

  1. Lots to like in this week’s offering from DA: some quite complex word constructions, all in all pretty challenging. My picks ( I think there will be a few “gold” candidates) were19A, 20A, 28A, and 21D. A bit concerned about 7D, which is a great clue but I fear may have an error.Hope I am wrong.

  2. 7d: No error the way I read it. Liked 17d for the Fu manchu reference, and 27a/15d as an andlit.

  3. Loved 7D, 27A/15D and 17D. 12A was kinda cute. Having problems with 1A and 28A. Got the words from the meanings and connecting letters, but haven’t been able to tease out the rest of either clue. So far 6D and 9A have me bushed.

  4. Had to sleep on this one, some good tough clues not solved until the lucidity of 5am. Some good stuff: 1A, 9A, 13A, 19A, 5D, 7D, 21D and 24D. Dave R – I have explanations for 1A and 28A which I can post in the confusions thread if required.

  5. Yes, some tough ones this week. I still haven’t got 10A and 6D. Didn’t realise 27A, 15D was an &lit till just now when I read Ian’s comment. Thanks. That’s a brilliant clue!

  6. RB, you might not have heard of 10A.

    I once worked with people who went to theosophical bookstores. Without them, I might also have been at a loss.

    Odd that I should have to thank them for solving a clue in a cryptic crossword!

  7. AS, I managed to work it out myself this morning, from the wordplay, and then googled to confirm. Still have no idea about 6D though. I’ll go to the Confusions thread.

  8. I only got half of this one (mostly the SW corner). And I agree with 27A, 15D for Gold. One of the best &lits I have ever seen.

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