Running around Melbourne, a new stereo and the thrill of crackling vinyl records meant I completely forgot to set up the discussion for this week’s DA.
Sorry for the delay!
And the early word is that this week’s a cracker, so I apologise doubly.
(No spoilers on this particular thread until Monday)
Update: Jonathan supplies the extra-special goods:
I worked out what I consider a great idea for a theme only tentatively: 1D looked like it should be LITTLE CREATURES, but the explanation wasn’t quite right. That turned out to be indicative: I thought this excellent theme was marred by some clues that made me hesitate in areas that cryptic crosswords shouldn’t make me hesitate.
Early on, I penned in ONE FOAL. Soon after I worked out FISH but not what its young could be (the only feasible option, fry, didn’t fit!) and didn’t put it in. So when I figured 8 down had to be KITTEN WHISKERS and ONE COLT and FISH had to be the answers, I threw a tanty and refused to continue: I don’t do conventional crosswords specifically because I hate coming up with potential answers that prove not to be the final answer!
Unlike some others, I thought the need for Google to lend a helping hand was fine considering the theme (did anyone write in CRIA without electronic aid?), and I wasn’t too concerned about the cross letters not being as helpful as they otherwise would be because the theme itself was an extra clue. For me, it was the ambiguity that marred this one, although the theme I nevertheless consider genius and the crossword worthy of the Para Pantheon.
Further update: DA issues a mea culpa with regard to 1D and the unaccounted for H in MAN-HOUR on his own blog. And I get the impression some words of support with regard to his more experimental cryptic efforts wouldn’t go astray.