Christmas DA Confusion, 2011

It’s a themed one this week, and I’m sure any of your confusions will be answered here by the DA Trippers faithful.

138 thoughts on “Christmas DA Confusion, 2011

  1. Got the theme pretty easily from 8D, and I thought it would be easy from there. But no, DA has an extra trick up his sleeve. [8] could be one of two, and [1] could be one of up to three.

    Didn’t know 10A was associated with NY. The only person I’ve ever heard say it was Stan Lee.

    I was thinking that 24A was going to be some Australian tree I’d never heard of, but it’s really, really good.

    I hadn’t heard of the explorer in 1A, but I’m sure the rest of you have.

    Still 6 to go when I get to a coffee break.

  2. Enjoyable theme – with some lovely DA quirkiness in taking the extra leap.
    On the home run, 5 to go.
    Yes, liked 24A. Thought it might have been a country at first. Then went down the other end to taps, meters, fence, gate and cricket.

  3. Finished. A good one to set us up for the festivities.

    I don’t get the wordplay in 21A or 26A.

    Calling 11A a [1] is hopefully using the colloquial, rather than dictionary definition.

    Liked 21D, 13D, 14D, 6D, 13A. Really liked 24A and 4D.

    I would have preferred it if DA had numbered the thematic elements in their canonical order, but I suppose it would have made things too easy (or too hard, since I’d mis-remembered the order!). Oh, and 20A only works if you’re going from the song. The poem has a different fourth letter.

  4. 26A is Ozzie mall magnate, to the east of a shortened synonym for ‘bay’ as in howl.

    I was going to ask about 21A too. So far I’ve got: [3] is def. ‘Party’ might be clued by letters 1,2,5,6 which would make ‘snorting’ a container, but can’t explain letters 3,4.
    And 7-11 is homophone for synonym for ‘get lost’ (or worse).

    I only have 13D to go. Stuck. Any hints?

  5. 21A: I had the wrong letter in position 4. I was trying to work out how lines = a Japanese unit of length.

    20A: The answer is processed grass.

  6. Ah, 13D’s good! That pot. When I only had the beginning and end I thought it was ‘beer belly’.

  7. The silly season is here, for a few weeks The Age prints the puzzle section on Friday and also on Saturday.
    Started out with16A, then added 17D, and guessed at 26A. But how do the first three letters fit the clue? 18A was aq gift. But after that, nowhere. 14D is annoying me, can’t fit a horse in there at all.

  8. Yeay, Arthur. Good that all players can get together for the Chrissy cheer.
    The horse is letters 1,5, 6, 7.

  9. I love this theme. Thanks to Rupert I have been on this for an hour and just got it despite getting 9A early. I can’t help thinking 11A and 3D should swap numbers.

  10. How stupid of me. Yes Gayle, I eventually got that, I had been trying to fit a horse in after the start of 18A, using nag, or gg. Perfectly OK now. Still only have 5 or maybe 6, but three days to go.

  11. I was thinking 11A could have been [1], [3] or [9], but [4] works, too. Probably [6], come to that.
    15D could have been [8] or [3]

  12. Well…that was a lot of fun and obviously took a lot of doing. Didn’t help I got 26A wrong with sal####. And the set was obviously mixed to become numerically ordered down the list.

    I have been good.

  13. Tempted to give it away till tomorrow, but it keeps pulling me back. Asked Google for a list of tradesmen, but the one I thought likely didn’t appear. It was my parent’s desire that I be one, but I ended up as a radio technician teacher. How many different tradespeople are there that could fit in 8D? Or isn’t it a tradie at all?

  14. Arthur C. It’s a very normal trade that includes an anagram of one of the set.

  15. Thanks, Rupert, I had written that in, but couldn’t understand the clue. It is the key to this word-swapping bit I’m lacking, which seems to relate to 9A, which I lack. I have 13D (good clue), but colleagues? Louis Jordan was all I could find, doesn’t seem to mean anything. Time for my midday nap now, will check later in day. DA may be a force for good, but he’s also tiring!

  16. Arthur you continue to amaze me.
    I have done 7 of them so far. Only understand 3 of them, the rest are guesses based on hints from above. Have no idea of the theme, so I take my hat off to Arthur and others who have answers to themed clues without having found 9A. How do you guys do it?

    26A is really annoying me. Am stuck on shopping mall magnate with first name of Frank. Assuming jaundiced is the def. Can find a word that has this Frank in to the east of an abbreviation for bay, but my word has one too many letters.
    Might have to have an afternoon nap too.

  17. 8D-I need some help with “note” in the clue please. I think I have the answer (the clues in earlier postings here have been a tad too helpful on this one!) but I don’t get the “note” bit.

  18. AARGH! had 26A all along, just didn’t know how to spell the magnate’s name, thought it had an E on the end. Google to the rescue

  19. 26A: @nn – you are almost there. Just remember that dock is something you can do to a tail.

    8D: The note is one below doh. The rest of the answer is an anagram of one of the []’s

  20. thanks Rupert
    8d would then suggest to me that letters 1,2 3 and 9 form a member of the theme???

  21. @Rupert, he is pretty well known over here, but as the clue was jaundicED, I’d originally tried to end my answer with ED. Couldn’t explain where the D came from and couldn’t fit it in the grid. Much time wasted on this one!

  22. Thanks Rupert. It took me a while to understand what you meant by ‘doh’ – I immediately thought Homer Simpson. A more musical person has now educated me.

  23. Thanks Rupert, this gives me an idea of the theme and a possible answer for 9A, but it didn’t fit my 1D (which I’m now guessing is wrong, was going for one Reverend C Dodson but maybe not). My 9a ends in nick but can’t connect with hospital trauma

  24. 8D: “pens” is the container indicator, and the fact it matches some of the answer is DA Devilry. You’re looking for an anagram of letters 1-6 and 9.

  25. 1D: No, it’s the other one. Friend of Tolkein’s.

    9A: The hospital is a three letter abbreviation for an old word for infirmary.

  26. 8d nasty DA devilry!
    1d, thought it might be him too, but can’t make sense of that either!

  27. Ok got 9a now (had it wrong, my word usually ends in nick, this one usually ends in something sharp sounding. DA trickery again, ends in referred to something else!)

  28. I’m new to this site today. So far I’ve done 10A, 16A, 24A, 26A, 4D, 17D and 22D. At a loss now and I’m envious of those of you who have got the theme and nearly finished. I’ll keep at it. I suppose we’ll get another copy tomorrow, as happened last year.

  29. You are doing well Victor, that’s a couple more than I managed without the theme.
    It is rather odd that The Age puts it out today. In keeping with the theme, it would have been far more appropriate to hold the SMH one back a day and publish both tomorrow.

  30. I guess I’m just too ignorant of this world, but certainly looking forward to next one. Looked up bondage attire (2D), found things like leathers, leashes, collars, but nothing that seemed usable. Just have to keep trying, but at a dead end at the moment. Had a short letter in The Age earlier in week, recommending this site to a baffled lady. But one needs to be very clever (cleverer than I) to interpret some of the hints above.

  31. Welcome, Victor. Everyone solves at their own pace, and some of us have unfair head starts. My Dad could make a crossword last all weekend, but I generally give up in frustration somewhere in the second hour.

    7D and 8D are probably the easiest clues to the theme.

  32. thanks iPuzzled, was trying to fit his first name into it (without any luck). All clear now. Hopefully this will give me a bit of a go at the NW corner, but time for some lunch.

  33. 2D: @Arthur, I can match your lack of knowledge about bondage gear*, but fortunately I know that crossword setters use bondage = sado-masochism = S&M. Usually this means SM, but DA has managed to make it clue the first 5 letters.

    * although you might want to think of a better excuse than trying to solve the crossword if your wife sees the sites you’ve been browsing!

  34. Trying to find word to fit 21A. Only thing looking possible combines a rural shed with a South African (I think) Rugby player? If its right, I can’t see any connection at all with the clue, but I couldn’t find another word that made any sense.

  35. Concerning 1A: I kept thinking ‘annoy’ or ‘pester’ and it turns out I wasn’t too far off. I needed to perform some online research to extend my list of synonyms.

  36. @Rupert. I am more in your camp than your Dad’s. Midnight is the final hour for me on any day – then it’s fish and chip (or present) wrapping.

    Well done Victor. Hopefully you will be back.

  37. 21A: It’s a person’s name. His profession (in which he was pre-eminent) is a thematic element. I didn’t get it until I got 21D, and by that point the list of unused []s was getting quite short.

  38. Some help for 3D please: I have the strangest set of letters to work with from the across answers. Is this some foreign location where an escape occurred some time in history?

  39. 3D: Foreign, yes (West Indies). Location, no (it’s a person). History, sort of (he does what he does better than anyone else in history, so yes, but he’s still doing it, so also no).

  40. Slowly getting one or two more. Thanks to Rupert, identified the WI guy. Suddenly, 5A leapt out of the fuzz. Is 7 down the sort of thing Adolf started? That would give me a girl’s name, which I think is Greek for love, at 12A. Also just saw 6D. So the spaces are filling, slowly. Don’t listen to any Melbourne FM, don’t know about hoaxes, but there is one station that could be the second word of 11A.

  41. Thanks, Rupert. Bad memory. For a time I was producing a church newsletter xxx News. Later changed it to something in English. Time for me to have arvo tea and seek the solace of the pool table. At least the balls (generally) obey Newton’s laws of motion.

  42. ground to a halt with 4 to go,
    No idea of 15d although by elimination I should have the right theme member and can see an association with wine.
    Have a guess for 27A, but doesn’t make sense
    15A and 25A still baffle

  43. 15D: Thematic element is the most famous of all. Bottling is a container indicator.

    27A: Formal as in dance. Books as in part of the bible.

    15A: Stop is definition. Giving heart is two letters.

    25A: Playwright is definition. Wordplay is a reverse container.

  44. thanks Rupert got them all now.
    15D kicking myself. Had the right theme member. Had also spent a long time trying to fit another one of these into 21A, but his name was too short. Not clear on wordplay for letters 2-6
    Had the second word of 19d wrong which messed up my 27A..

    A few I don’t get the wordplay for.
    5d, 13d pot? 21d “though model dumped in a standup”?
    13A can see the detailed promise and the period, presumably spare gives letters 4-6?
    21A no idea of wordplay at all.

    But lots of good ones this week and some fantastic misdirections.

  45. I’m a relative novice who for some months has been struggling through DA with a little help from y’all. This week’s theme has finally dawned – cue chuckling. Very DA – it has made my Friday!

  46. 5D: letters of “fancier hood” with spectacles (OO) removed.
    13D: The sort of pot a swagman uses. Please don’t make me recite Waltzing Matilda at you ;)
    21D: Though = BUT; model = T; a = ONE => a standup = ENO
    13A: Spare = BONY; promise = VOW
    21A: As Gayle explained above, party = BASH; lines = RY; git = “nick off”

  47. Good to see you SteveK.

    13D…that would be most galling for Rupert to recite it.

  48. thanks Rupert, hadn’t associated pot with that!
    21A another spelling mistake on my part left me unable to see the lines. Git had another connotation for me as in “silly old … “, so missed that completely
    13A had promise as BON(D) so very mixed up with the rest.

    Just seen the news about more earthquakes in Christchurch, hope you aren’t near there.

  49. Still puzzling over 15D (and several others. But Rupert said above ‘thematic element is most famous of all???? Can’t find a word or name starting with …- that in any way connects with what I take the theme to be. Was his name Rudolf? YES! That looks good. The thematic connection is two steps, seems to me.

  50. But, finally I found Mikhail. Had heard of him, hadn’t thought enough of the theme. Only seven to go, I think.

  51. What a battle today has been. Somehow or other I have filled in all but 7 clues – same as Arthur. Looking at your comments some of the guesses are correct. I have no idea what the theme is though. I think sometimes I worry too much about that – instead of trying to solve the clues. Will perservere and check back later tonight- I’m still stuck on 1A, 16A and 20A as well as 3D, 7D. It would make Christmas Eve much more productive if someone could help me finish before then. I know my family would appreciate it :)

  52. @RAD: It’s a bummer not having 1A…I like to nail that one.

    Some clues to assuage:
    1A: badger = definition = verb.
    16A: French word is the middle 3 letters
    20A: grass = definition = noun
    3D: think the only remaining superpower and you have an opening
    7D: the theme really helps here, but attacks = definition


  53. Thanks RobT. I removed myself to the ironing board and Lo and Behold it struck me what the theme was. Managed to get all except 1A and 3D out so will now ponder your clues. Thanks.

  54. RAD, glad to see you got the theme, although after reading your earlier post about wanting to finish before Christmas Eve, I was about to suggest that the theme is much more likely to come to you on The Night Before Christmas rather than two days before.

    3D is the quick one.
    1A you should be able to shake this out from the cross letters and above hintss

  55. Done and dusted now and I am feeling pretty happy with myself. That has got to be one of the best themed crosswords I’ve ever managed – I had expected a theme of the seasonal variety but nothing like that. Double Trouble from DA.

  56. It took an embarrassing amount of time, but it’s done. 23D was last clue I figured out and I thought the word “eating” in the clue was superfluous. It totally threw me. I actually warmed up for today with some old DA puzzles published in a Herald crossword book that was sitting on the shelf. I was in the zone yesterday, finishing three puzzles and feeling very confident. But the theme today made it tough. Or maybe DA is getting tougher as time goes on?

  57. Despite getting 9a, followed quickly by the theme, very early, it has taken me some time, and some help from the discussion above, but I have done it. I did enjoyb24a when I got it. Also 13d,16a and 15d.
    Still don’t get the word play for 23d. I worked out the theme element’s mother, but can’t see how the rest works.
    Re nn’s comments earlier about SMH delaying DA for a day, the SMH is as the Age, an early weekend edition. We will have no new crossword tomorrow either.
    Happy Christmas everybody.

  58. Job finally done, in good time by my standards! Loved 4D and 13D. Thanks for the hints. Happy Christmas to all.

  59. How absolutely galling! I had thought the fast one’s given name ended in M, which stalled my efforts for a long time. Had never heard of the person in 11A, so having a wrong letter at 5 didn’t help. Have only 23D to fill in letters 2 & 4. Apart from E & U, what others are possible? And if those two are correct, how dothey fit the clue? There are quite a few answers I havewritten in without any clear understanding of the clue, but I think I have it all right now, bar 23D. I wish you all a truly lovely Christmas, and for those who follow the star, a special blessing.

  60. 23D: [9]’s mother is the Roman goddess of love. Nearly indicates that you should remove the last letter of her name. Add heading to eating and you get a word for place.

  61. Of course Rupert. That one makes sense now and all is done. Peace (and the Prince of Peace) now reigns. Time for after-dinner nap (we have ‘midday’ meal at 1100). Probably no pool, the Community Centre almost deserted of late.

  62. As usual I’m a late starter. I feel bad that I can never give any help to anyone but only seek help.
    I think I have the theme . Is nick the saintly sort? If so, is the list in any special order? eg When DA puts [6] is there saome way we can know for sure which one is [6]?

  63. @Conny, no, DA has imposed his own order on the theme. This can be confusing with 11A and 15D, who match multiple members of the set.

  64. Only got this in today’s Age. They do some strange things with interstate editions at this time of year (and, occasionally, at other times, too). Took me a while to get the theme, after which things flowed smoothly. Stuck now only on 15A and 15D. I’ve used all the traditional members of the set, and know of (actually, namedropping, once met) the famous [] who shares a name with the less traditional []. But none of this seems to help. Anyway, Happy Late December Celebration to all.

  65. Would you believe it? Happened yet again. A matter of seconds after posting, 15D hit me. No, I don’t think I’m old enough to have met this []. And the first letter gave me 15A.

  66. Dave R, if I follow you, the famous person you’ve met has the same first name as 15D and the same occupation as 21A?

  67. Finished. What are we going to do for the rest of the weekend? DA has been worth a few days slog lately

  68. Pretty happy, got this one out without any assistance in pretty good time. I couldn’t figure out the wordplay for 21a though, and after reading above I still don’t understand the “lines” part of the wordplay. Can anyone elaborate further please?

  69. 21A: “lines” is a particular type of line used in transport, abbreviated to its first and last letter.

  70. I Suppose everyone’s gone now to enjoy the festivities of Christmas. Have a jolly one everyone.
    However, in case anyone’s still looking. . .I have them all nutted out [ thanks to help from all of you] but I am still puzzled by 11A. I have the name of a female person connected to VIXEN but it doesn’t make any sense to me. Was she involved in a hoax of some sort?

  71. @Conny: yes, she was the innocent and rather naive of one Peter Foster who used her vulpine allure to his own ends.

  72. Conny, there is an anagram in 11A, combination of 9a, + FM Hoax. Related to one of the themed creatures, the female of the species. Not sure if Rob T’s answer made it clear to you.

  73. 11A: I read it as VIXEN in two ways (her last name and also in the colloquial sense of a gorgeous woman), and the rest of the clue giving us an anagram of Santa FM hoax.

  74. Thanks for that help RobT, ArthurC and Rupert.
    I get it now. I should have seen the use of “involved”.
    it was really smart wasn’t it, to use the team’s names to give the clues to other words entirely.
    But I would have had no hope of getting it without the help of everyone on this Trip!
    I hope everyone’s Christmas feasts were very festive.

  75. I still haven’t comprehended the number business, despite having (I think) completed the puzzzle. For example, in 11A, we were given: ‘Former [1] – in two ways – involved 9-across in FM hoax’. Now in the list of creatures I have, the first is one who goes fast. So, 3D? Are they just swapped around, willy-nilly? Or is there a pattern I haven’t discerned? I’ll still not be surprised if a couple of my answers turn out to be wrong, simply because I’m not clever enough to fully understand David’s clues. But, all good clean fun, stops me from going out robbing banks, or running off with gorgeous blondes (not sure how Mrs c. would react to that!).

  76. I’ve looked up the correct order for these flyers wherever I can, but none seem go match DA’s numbering. In fact the bright conked one always seems to be number 1. Anyone got the numbering sorted yet?

  77. DA’s order to the left, Clement Clarke Moore’s (or Henry Livingston’s) order on the right

    [1] VIXEN (4)
    [2] DONNER / DONDER (7)
    [3] DANCER (2)
    [4] DASHER (1)
    [5] BLITZEN (8)
    [6] PRANCER (3)
    [7] COMET (5)
    [8] RUDOLPH (-)
    [9] CUPID (6)

  78. @Arthur, one thing I’ve learned this week is that we can cross 11A off the list of gorgeous blondes to run away with.

  79. Yes, Gayle. It was in London in 1979, and through his co-star in the Festival Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty.

  80. At least you people checked them off. I never thought that DA would put them in order, or even use each one, despite the instructions. But when all I had left was 13D, if I had a list, of some sort, any sort, I would have got it a lot sooner. Hope Santa came to your house.
    And hey, Samantha hasn’t always been good. But who has?
    He came bearing gifts but Samantha came without ham.

  81. Sorry DaveR, missed your post while I was off being smarty pants about Samantha Fox in response to earlier posts. Now, I’m going to have to go to London 79. I was only there 75 – 77. Saw some amazing theatre while I was there. I was quite poor and therefore very sick very often, but still went out in the fog and the cold to catch what I could.

  82. Ho, ho, ho, that was a fantastic puzzle. Definitely one for the pantheon with plenty of gold, particularly 2d and 3d. An even better xmas puzzle than the Noel crossword of 2009, which was itself one of the all-time greats.
    Turning now to one of the serious issues raised by DA and the commentariate. I sold newspapers in the local shopping centre in the late 80s, including that lost bastion of Australian journalism, The Truth. Samantha Fox’s appearance on p3 of that publication was one of the highlights of my career in the news game. However, I’ve since discovered sophisticated latin girls like AMM, so I’m with Rupert. She’s no longer on the running away list.
    I had some great assistance from AMM and HC, and F(N)G popped his DA cherry with 6a. Well done and welcome to the house, F(N)G.
    Happy xmas to all and thanks for an entertaining year! Well done DA.

  83. Well, well, well (or Ho, Ho, Ho). All correct. Now for a word from the experts. My table goes:
    Dasher: Usain Bolt (3D);
    Dancer: Barishnikov (21A);
    Prancer: ? Carpenter?? (8D);
    Vixen: Samantha Fox (11A);
    Comet: Bill Haley (13D);
    Cupid: Venus (23D);
    Donner: ? Hay?? (20A)
    Blitzen: Blitzes (7D);
    Rudolph: Valentino (15D)
    While most of those seem obvious, I don’t comprehend the two I’ve questioned. Explanation or corrections welcomed.

  84. Prancer is just used as part of the anagram (with the note TE) to make CARPENTER. Donner sounds like DONNA (HAY) the cook.

  85. 21A: The favoured transliteration is apparently BARYSHNIKOV. And it has to be that, because lines = RI doesn’t make sense, while lines = RY sort of does.

  86. @RC: I’m a few months younger than Sam Fox, and the start of her modelling career coincided with the start of my newspaper delivery career. I did my round on foot, because you can’t ogle the papers you’re delivering on a bike.

  87. Thank you, Jonathan and Rupert. Yes, I had sorted out the anagram in Carpenter, but had never heard of Donna Hay. Well, a few days of cricket before next bout with DA. Relax and enjoy.

  88. Thank you, Gayle, for the link. A great photo, and just as I remember her from that time. I believe she now lives in Spain, but we haven’t been in touch for decades.

  89. Deciding to make a special effort this long weekend I denied myself the fun of following this thread until I’d finished yesterday. I’ve since had lots of fun catching up on all the wonderful comments above.
    It really is great that so many here are happy to help out time and time again; you know who you are! Thank you all.

    I had a brief look at DA before going to Christmas lunch but, while I was there, I overheard a friend saying ‘Donner and Blitzen’ and my wife saying ‘don’t tell Robin, he hasn’t started’ …. very sad! However, that was all I had but that lead to 9A pretty quickly of course.
    And so it was a happy Boxing Day, watching the cricket and the sailing and working my way through DA. I did Google the nine names and gradually placed them where they should go. By the end I had all the wordplays too with a few exceptions. One still missing is 12A.

    12A ZOE. Last = Z but the OE? I can’t get it.

    26A Thanks Gayle/Rupert for the ‘bay dock’ hint. I had the rest but didn’t spot ‘dock’ which we have had before. Rupert, Frank Lowy is very well known in Australia but probably not so much lately as the the founder of Westfields shopping malls but as the Chairman of the Football Federation Australia.

    13D Thanks Rupert for your ‘BILLY’. I was thinking of a range of pots but didn’t get that one. I liked the clever ‘well’ deception meaning HALE. Great DA. The other classic was ‘gift’ = TALENT in 15D.

    27A Thanks (again) Rupert for ‘formal = PROM and the OT. When I first looked at DA and found this site there was a clue with ‘books’ meaning OT and I nearly gave up there and then I seem to recall! Even now I didn’t remember it, maybe next time…

    11A RobT if you’re thinking what I’m thinking (DASHER) you’ll be remembering Sam’s sudden rise to fame after running onto a football pitch in London. That’s when I first heard of her. She took off after that (as DA says ‘in two ways’).
    I can’t find it on Google but, Gayle, you might be pleased to know that your ‘smarty pants’ comment makes page 2 of Google worldwide when you search ‘samantha fox streaking’! Incidentally I enjoyed you ‘ham’ joke, very good!
    Oh, and Rupert, if you get into domestic trouble getting caught googling S&M gear, picture me after the wife caught me looking at Samantha Fox Images… need a new frying pan.

    23D Yes, I was in the ‘heading = E’ camp until RobT put us right. Had rolled ‘eating’ into the definition.

    1D I liked this one. ‘DIS’ is quite new word for isn’t it? “Don’t Dis My Ability’ campaign and all that.

    9A We have a local hospital known as ‘The San’. It’s the Sydney Adventist Hospital and I thought that DA was being far too local until Rupert explained the ‘sanitarium’ connection.

    10A This week’s “DOH” moment (Simpsons not Julie Andrews) must surely be ‘XLC or’! A close second was the ‘letter’ in 24A! Excellent.

    Happy Christmas everyone!

  90. Oh, I never knew Sam was a pitch invader! Nor did I get DA’s clue fully or hints. Thankyou for enlightening me, Robin.

    12A, the last is N, from the last to ‘learn’ , deleted from area = zone.

  91. Oh, of course! Thanks, Gayle, for putting me out of my misery and for all your help this year – I have thoroughly enjoyed it all.

  92. I don’t recall 11A ever streaking (for one thing, why give away for free what she could charge millions for?).

    There was a similarly proportioned young lady called Erica Roe who gained fame that way at about the same time.

  93. There’s always a sense of guilt reading this forum while the crossie is incomplete, as it means you’ve given up on a pure unassisted completion and in all likelihood encounter a vital hint that gets you going once again. How pleasant then after some fairly frantic days to browse through the trippers with a completed DA on ones lap and follow the clues and wordplay explanations relative guilt free, if somewhat late!
    Still smiling at the thought of Arthur explaining to Mrs C that he was googling S&M and Samantha Fox in the name of crossword research :).
    Enjoyed this puzzle immensely, I think this is some of DAs finest work. Getti g the theme and then the set were both OH moments that had the family convinced my grasp of reality was quite tenuous. Many great and witty clues, a huge sense of achievement with each one as they slowly rolled in. Loved the whole [] concept, thought 4d, 14d, 15d and 16a were best of an excellent set. Pot = belly had me for a while, and spare/bony , hospital/San and lines/ry were only revealed through the posts here.
    Compliments of the season to all the DA trippers, your humour, insight and erudition has been a source of great pleasure, and thanks to DA for continuing to grind out puzzles of the highest calibre week after week!

  94. 11A went on to charge for it certainly, Rupert, but I remember the fuss and outrage as it was soon recognised as a blatant publicity stunt. It was on the front pages of the Daily Mirror and other tabloids (all with carefully placed words or stars of course). It launched her as a celebrity and everyone in England suddenly knew who she was.

    I tried to find a better reference this morning but the closest I got was a site called “Best Pitch Invasions Ever” where her name was in the search results but when I clicked the link the page was not found.

  95. … but Rupert you have certainly jogged a memory mentioning Erica Roe … am I getting the two (or four?) mixed up…? I might be getting more geriatric than I had thought …!

  96. Arthur C : Before you become too engrossed in the cricket you should have a regard for Moir’s cartoon in Tuesday’s Herald.

  97. I’m fed up with waiting for this weekend’s thread. Anyone want to help me with wordplay on 20D, 19A, 13A, 11A and 17A?

    Also confirmation that 11A is where Kiwi blokes spend their weekends and 17A is one letter short of “making holy” would be appreciated, as I’m not sure of those answers.

  98. Add 16A to the list of wordplay confusion. I thought I would find some link between squab and horseshoe, but I haven’t.

  99. All done bar 11A and 2D.
    20D Exotic as in overseas. Usual alias for alias.
    19A don’t have 2D, and the third letter of 19A is the only cross letter of 2D I’m not sure of. musical term is def?
    13A yeah, I think that’s a bit iffy, or I don’t get it.
    11A don’t have it
    17A I read as cryptic definition, a kind of double negative: breaking the solution up as 1-3, 4-8
    16A delete the horseshow from ‘blue’

  100. I mean, the horseshoe.
    Yep, that’s what I have for 17A.
    If I get your 11A, I don’t get it.

  101. 2D is a sort of accomodation with a combined sleeping/living area.
    19A: I have “once more cool” as the definition. If “tin” = TT I can see the wordplay.

    20D: Haven’t seen that before. I was wondering what the notoriously buff DA was trying to tell us with exotic = over sized!
    17A: That makes sense
    16A: Ditto.

  102. 11A: I have an answer for this which can mean drops hair or skin (dangerously shifts?) and is a colloquialism for lots (truckloads). It also means outbuildings.

  103. Thanks for 2D, well I’ve got the second word now but not the first. At least I can stop thinking about horticulturalists. A further hint for first word?
    OS is common in Oz. And good on you for getting yet another Australian explorer. I didn’t know 23A and had to google it for confirmation. It probably had quite a following here.
    11A I’m thinking is double definition, a kind of oldish word in both senses, although more common nowadays in the first part than the second: dangerously shifts, and lots/heaps/droves/masses.

  104. As per usual…still in development mode. Last day of hols so not much time! Got much of the north but no south yet. Must be the weather.

  105. 11A surface is very good. 100% confident of my answer now on looking it up.
    Australian tennis player on board? Sorry Rupert, don’t know any other famous person who has that abbreviated first name, although I believe it’s very common in the US.

  106. Late start for me too this morning, and did it the other way round, SE first, NW last.

  107. It took me about half an hour for the first three quadrants, then another 20 minutes for the SE. Never having heard of 23A didn’t help.

    11A: Wimbledon champion in 56 and 57? Almost obscene?

    Saving my favourite clues for when AS favours us with a thread.

  108. Before I installed Akismet on my blog I got a lot of spam that, like Irene above, pointed to Bing. I never understood what was in it for the spammer.

  109. How peculiar.

    I actually have Akismet running, so I don’t know how that one got through.

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