Awesomeness, humdrumness or crappiness?
You be the judge!
(No spoilers until Monday)1
Update: I just didn’t do it:
I looked at for about ten minutes on Saturday, got nothing and never looked at it again.
I think I’m losing my DA mojo. Of my usual DA partners, RC is in Rio and TH is about to head to NYC. Their absence might have something to do with it.
11 thoughts on “Scrumptious DA on 5/6th of March, 2010”
Nice one today. Faves were 16a (very clever), 8d (amusing) and 14d (for the delayed Aha! factor when I finally figured out how it works)
*what a shocker*
6 answers in 6 hours…arrgghh!!!
Sorry di, but I thought the first half was relatively easy (I must be getting getting more attuned to DA’s style after 3-4 months of doing them); second half proved more challenging, with a few that involved quite a wrestle and a few lightning bolts of inspiration (eg 20A, 14D, 15A, 1D/2D). Enjoyed 8D and 3D. Never heard the term at 9A before (had to google to confirm). Like Ian, it took me quite a while to figure out the wordplay for 14D.
Hi JJ…have been doing DA for yonks…that is in terms of cryptics:)…sometimes he just throws up a doozy for me…probably staring me in the face this week…other weeks can ‘bust’ him…apart from what i have…also 14D,15A,3D,17A is as we say ‘pencilled” in…will soldier on at leisure…:)
Not a super-tough DA this week, but plenty of good quality clues. No errors either as best I can see. The good stuff: 1A, 9A (I’d heard of this), 10A, 15A, 20A, 25A (very good), 3D (perhaps that should be in the other thread!?), 8D, 14D.
Hi Di, understand fully how sometimes the brain doesn’t quite want to get on the right wavelength. I have been doing cryptics for over 30 years (currently in my mid-40’s), so have a bit of background to draw on. Have to limit my puzzling to one a week, otherwise it takes up too much time. Until discovering DA recently, I focused mainly on the puzzles in the English “Spectator” magazine, which are generally quite a bit harder and more obscure in terms of the words used – but certainly not as witty as DA. Before that, used to occasionally attempt the English “Listener” crosswords, most of which were extremely difficult with diabolical tricks – sometimes I couldn’t even make a start. Now enjoying the fact the DA’s puzzles give the brain a solid workout, with some nice humour, and a good degree of satisfaction in being able to puzzle it out without having to spend days at a time on it.
Thought 15A was one of the purest/cleverest clues I’ve seen for a while.
I reckon this was the best DA for some time, leaving aside the cheap thrills of some of the themed crosswords.
It had everything: a rush of early gets, leading to overconfidence; then a hardscrabble patch in the middle where I was just about to call in here for help; then a word-at-a-time slow burn towards the last few in the north-west corner; and finally a little rush at the end that included several humdinger clues. Two or three hours’ work over two days.
Best of all, I found no dodgy clues and only one please-explain, which I will log in the other thread.
I have ticked a number of gold clues, some funny, some neat, some ingenious: 1A, 12A, 15A, 20A, 25A, 27A, 8D, 22D.
What a battle! My progress was similar to AG’s. I was becalmed at the half-way mark. And becalmed again with just five to go (all in the NW corner). Some ripper clues: 10A, 15A, 20A, 25A, 27A, 3D, 8D, 14D.
One criticism I have is my usual one: some clues are difficult purely because the synonyms and definitions are tenuous. To me this is a bit like DH’s over-reliance on abstruse answers.
Similar experience to you, RB.
And I agree re. some of the definitions. E.g. “farm dresser”?! Bah, humbug.
JJ…re. your earlier post…used to know others who loved the English Sunday Times? cryptic…just too diabolical for me…only have eyes for DA these days.
I agree, love his wit, colloquial refs etc, even if he does lead me up,down and around the garden path at times.
Fave this week was 9A, once I realised what ‘Gowings’ referred to.
Most frustrating was 20A…was convinced answer was ‘definately’ an Aust. or British ex-PM…thanks to others here as well who clarified certain points of contention this week.