The DA Poolroom

Ladies, gentlemen, and DA,

I am very excited to announce my first ever solo, unassisted, no-dictionaries, no-internet, no nothing, just me, DA and the pen, letter-perfect completion.  What with AS away for the past few weeks, I came close several times, but today victory is mine.  I have popped the pinada!

In celebration, I thought I would start this post, under which anyone with a DA-related achievement is welcome to boast, gloat and be lauded.  Did you get your first DA clue?  Crack your first theme?  Finish the whole thing on the Friday/Saturday morning ferry/tram?  Were you blindfolded and solved it all by smell?  Whatever the case, crow about it here!

Well done in advance,


47 thoughts on “The DA Poolroom

  1. I’ve already documented my first completion as the first post of this blog from over three years ago now:

    The gloss is worn off because the completion was with slight Google help and I did have a partner aiding and abetting me (although in my defense she was very new to cryptics, but to her credit she did a damn good job helping me out with a few clues and did end up framing the thing for me).

  2. Cant resist continuing here as a comment. I began with TOJO and finished with MOTTO. It took me a few sessions, through which I made steady progress. I didn’t really feel that history was about to be made until EDDIE Mc and IMPRESARIO fell into place. RICKETS was worrying me for a while, as I’m relatively free of disease, but finally got it from the wordplay. I laughed out loud at 23d Where all the trouble started for cypber-lair (EDEN) and 14d Sneakily dual? So true! (ADULTERERS)….oh and also 7d Boxers step and run amok (UNDERPANTS).

    Thanks to DA for a perfect level of difficulty and a well crafted puzzle. Lots of great & lit.
    I’d like to thank AMM for her moral support and of course AS for being busy this weekend and giving me the chance to shine!
    Thanks to all readers and the commentariate, I love you all.

  3. Actually, now I find my first official solo destruction of a DA. It’s here:

    I remember this one because I did it over coffee breaks at work (there was a time when I took very long coffee breaks at work, which was at around about the same time that this website was born). It was underwhelming because I thought it was too easy. I thought I’d only get a few out before the weekend came round, but, before I knew it, the whole thing was done.

  4. RC, you’re a legend, and you’ve achieved what many have dreamed of.

    Well done, and here’s to many more vanquishings in the near future.

  5. I really can’t recall my first DA ‘experience’. It was way back when one only had one’s wits, vocabulary and lazy university mornings to one’s advantage.
    But here’s an opportunity to finally put the pen down, pat myself on the back and get back to paid work.
    Well done you, Robbittybob!

    Kinds regards,

  6. Well done, RobT! Although by the drift of your usual comments, I think you’re more in the “solved on the morning ferry” category!

  7. I got it all out — not my first time, but it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I was only one short last week.

  8. Are girls allowed in the poolroom?
    I liked this week’s because it was the kind you could take outside in the sun with a pencil and cuppa and solve solo, or a cosy chair by the fire. Not earth-shattering, hats and pants on, but comfortable. Somone on one of AS’ links said that the joy is a little clouded when it’s considered an easy one. But with DA back again on Friday and the cold set in ….. the sunshine and google free zone was nice while it lasted. Blackout here most of today.
    Warm wishes to the southerners.

  9. I think I might begin to regret the aluminium saucepans of my youth if I ever take my pants off after finishing a crossword.

  10. I can remember trying to do a DA crossword on the Bogong High Plains after a bushwalk waiting for a lift back to Falls Creek in about 2006 or 2007. I was amazed that I managed to solve even a couple of clues as it had always seemed impenetrable until then (I had only just started doing mid week Age cryptics after a hiatus of 20 years). The breakthrough crossword for me was the Mark Twain themed one. I had been reading Huck Finn to the children & that probably helped. It was the first I solved completely and the joy lasted a couple of weeks. It is still one of my favourites.

    A big step along the DA way last year was discovering that GB & JC were DA fans – I had only known them as elite sportsmen before that.

    Now, with some help from my wife (we photocopy DA and do it seperately) I get DA out every weekend although it always takes a lot longer than the single cups of coffee and glasses of wine alluded to elsewhere.

    Given that much of the weekend is given over to DA, at the expense of other things like reading books, watching TV or drinking to excess, the questions arise – am I wasting my life? How long can I keep it up? I am sure other DAtrippers ask themselves the same things. Meanwhile many thanks to RC etc for keeping this site going.

  11. Success! All answers in (unaided) and no unresolved questions about the wordplay.

    Hadn’t heard of 27A, but Google confirms that my answer from the wordplay matches the definition, so I’m calling it a win.

  12. Rupert wins hands down from the other side of the dutch.
    It’s the only win youse’ll get all weekend.

  13. I’m joining you Rupert, my first complete without having to look up any answers. Did get a bit of help from DA confusions hints and a couple of Googles, but way better than I’ve ever managed before.

  14. Another pool room moment – finishing the crossword in under an hour. Even with Fairfax not getting the SMH Digital Edition online until after 7:30, I got the whole thing out before there was a thread hear to discuss it.
    I had to thank my wife afterwards. She was unusually quiet at the breakfast table!

  15. Yeay Rupert!! And bouquets to your wife. Am half done .. you’ve inspired me to keep at it.

  16. Thanks, Gayle. 14D was the key for me – gives you the first letters of 14A and 23A and that should give you the theme.

  17. Astonishing, Rupert! I’ll bring it to the attention of the poolroom if I ever bring it in in under 4 hours!

  18. Another personal best – grid all filled out in 35 minutes. My wife says DA is losing his touch!

    Afterwards I had to Google a couple of answers (one’s a very, very Australian term) and to explain the wordplay in one other, but everything was gettable from the either the wordplay or the definition.

  19. @rupert: well done boy. Hope the All Blacks lose and pull you back to reality. ;)

  20. Gayle, fortunately DA has used Aussie runners (or something similar) quite recently, and I remembered what he means by it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have got it.

    @RobT: Go USA! :P

  21. True, Rupert, but wasn’t going to diminish your poolroom glow .. and the Aussie festival can’t be all that familiar. Speaking of Aussie runners and reminds me of another Aussie ‘festival’ which has the runner in it. Are you familiar with the term for a group of people picking up litter, eg in the schoolground? 3,6 Aussie runner display. Can you picture it or them, heads down picking at the ground? I love the expression, but I think I’m showing my age. It might have come from the army originally. A bit like kitchen patrol, only in the yard.

    PS I see you’ve got a Rah Rah crossie on your site .. don’t know much about rugby, but it looks like fun for those who do.

  22. Personal best for me this morning too… is there room up there on the podium, Rupert? As you said, very gettable either way. I think today’s might have been more of a challenge for DA .. cluing words with unusual letters and some in unusual places.
    I thought the melodramatic illness could have been male-o-dramatic illness, for a chuckle.

  23. No, Gayle, I haven’t heard that term, but I can see how it would get that name.

    You don’t need to know anything about rugby to do the crossword, though a list of the countries involved may make it easier.

  24. Congratulations, Gayle, and there’s room up here for everyone.

    Don’t mock the serious medical condition in 19A. The website [19A].info has lots of helpful advice.

  25. You’re right, it is no laughing matter. My son suffers badly with a compromised immune system. DA might be in trouble!.. should have left it at dramatic or serious.

  26. I also finished early today but I’m knot so sure about some of the wordplay. Is there a Confusion thread today?

  27. Also a PB for me today – a one cup of coffee crossword. I suspect that means there’s a real tough one imminent! [@Gayle ….. I remember the schoolyard litter parade but have just asked the offspring and received blank looks! I guess that expression has been lost.]

  28. This was my first Melbourne-style DA. 4 days/nights in Melbourne and a Sat morning on the job. Where is my skinny capp (jokes)?

  29. Unassisted and done before lunch! Fortunately knew the diamond, author and singer so no Googling required. Serious sense of achievement. Feeling rather chuffed until I saw Rupert’s 35 minutes! Must be the month for milestones – ran 10km last weekend and now a clean sheet with DA.

  30. @BRD – much more than 35 minutes for me this week, and had to resort to a wordfinder to get 6D. I was done before lunch but a missed bus and a late train gave me a lot of time to get the rest.

  31. Best result for me this weekend with crossword done by mid Saturday afternoon and only needing help from the DA Trippers for one clue. Still a long way to go to catch up with Rupert and his 35 minutes but I really enjoy the challenge every weekend and am slowly improving.

  32. Under 3 hours – celebrating!! Limited help from Google and DAtrippers. Found the clues good and fun. DA is the only crossword I attempt (I must be mad!!)… Perhaps need to attempt others through the week to ‘exercise’ my mind for Saturday’s Age. Frustrating The Age and SMH cannot agree on what day to print DA. Cheers!

  33. Poolroom for me. evening PB on a train from airport after hard day in Melbourne.

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