DA on the 8/9th of April, 2011

Right here, write up your general impressions, your highlights and lowlights, your joys and your pains.

No spoilers, though, until Monday.

Update: A brilliant one:

RC, A? and I got together at Green on Sydney Road to tackle this one, and regrettably, shamefully, ever so begallingly, we had to cheat to get the key TURN THE TABLES. An easy clue in retrospect, one that should not have given us any hint of trouble, yet hamstring us it did before we came to appreciate the brilliance of this crossword.

A Para-Pantheon for mine — another brilliant theme exceptionally well executed even if we were left slapping our heads in horror.

17 thoughts on “DA on the 8/9th of April, 2011

  1. Agreed (even though I didn’t finish it!). The gimmick required that the starred clues be relatively easy, and the gimmick wasn’t that hard to crack.

  2. Took a while to get going on this one, but it ended up being the first DA I’ve completed with only the help of a dictionary. The theme certainly made things easier than usual.

  3. Can’t believe I missed the whole instruction in the beginning. DA couldn’t have been more helpful – and with both sets of clues. It must have been fun for the ones who cottoned on fast.

  4. Easy? You havin’ a larf? OK, the unstarred clues were mostly not too hard, but I took longer to get 15A than I should have, and until then found the starred clues impossible. Even when I got 15A, and fully understood its significance, the last few starred clues were slow to come out. I finally fell three short – all in the SE corner.

    My final verdict: I enjoyed 18D and 5D was pretty good too. I finally came to enjoy the theme. But, as usual, there were some annoyances, most already mentioned in Confusions thread e.g. 7A (the word “for” should have been “by”); 24A (CALORIE as a kind of table? Smacks of desperation to me); 25A (snook), 15D (pez), and 16D (foosball) too obscure.

  5. Enjoyed the theme, and favourite clue was 18D – I love when we have to look at a word in a new way. When I hear a cough from now on, I shall always look for who is the coughee.

  6. Hmmm… I got a lot of the starred clues first and spotted the theme which then helped me get 15A. Might have changed my perception of the whole thing? Maybe I was just so pleased to have one with a twist that I was more forgiving of dodgy clues than usual.

    ‘Calorie chart’ to ‘calorie table’ didn’t bother me – especially since it was so clearly the intended answer from the clue. DA has stretched a lot further in the past!

    Also didn’t find snook, pez or foosball too obscure. Too much Seinfeld, Friends and John West commercials?

    I was more bothered by 22A – isn’t this one a complete clue on it’s own? Thought it could have just been either ‘hit’ or ‘smorgasbord’?

  7. 22A: You can’t really leave out the definition part of a double definition!

    I agree it was odd that it seemed a complete clue, but I think having just a single definition would break more of the spirit of the puzzle than including both.

    I think DA had a cool clue for 22A, and he was going to use it, rather than come up with a new one!

  8. I had no problem with 22A. The definition fit OK for me. I just have a problem with putting “nonsense” words into crossword puzzles. To my mind a crossword answers when entered into the grid should be a real actual words or phrases, if words are changed in such a way before being entered etc. etc. it looks ridiculous. It annoys me a bit when DA does this, i.e. his “Little Creatures” effort in January. I still cringe at the expression “PUP EAT PUP”.

  9. I am with the estimable GB – a very likeable crossword, and with RB – not at all easy (perhaps Ian & Rupert work on a different plane to the rest of us!) We were in Hobart & bits of DA to ponder over before and after MONA helped to make for a wonderful weekend (ps to all datrippers -see MONA before they start to charge for it in July). I got 15a pretty readily but my first asterisked clues were calorie & buffet and hence I assumed the theme was food (ie “the table”) rather than tables. I agree that sometimes the end result of these crosswords can look inelegant (words spelt backwards) but I think that rather than complain we should be celebrating the incredible ingenuity that comes up with these crosswords in the first place. When it all fell into place there was real delight. “Coffee” & “roulette” are very funny coinings.

  10. Yes, I really liked it too, in spite of some difficulty with
    SE corner, and a quibble with the defintions of ‘learnt’ and ‘lent’. One of my all time favourites otherwise.
    Was on wrong track initially, trying to find synonyms for 15A, but once I had ’12X’ I was up and running!
    Funny how I objected to the ‘little creatures’ solutions, but didn’t mind ‘ratla’ etc at all!

  11. PS Thanks Jonathan for posting Archibald link. I like it (but I LOVE Shaun the Sheep too)

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