DA 1021

There wasn't much happening with today's puzzle. Some long Down answers but not related. Couldn't see a Nina. No theme. Not that that's a problem in itself.

ACROSS
1) ACRIMONY : a,cr(image)ony
6) COROWA : ---co---,row,a
9) EMMA : -e-m,AM<
10) LAUNDERING : pl(a)undering : surface is a bit weird.
11) STANCHIONS : Stan,chi(O)ns : the viewing platform/service is Stan. Doesn't DA have to declare that Stan is owned by Nine ? :)
12) UDON : u---,-d---,--o-,---n---- : progressively further back in each word.
13) STAT : ddef
14) MOTHBALLED : mot,----h,hm(bald) : not too bad.
16) TEPPANYAKI : tepid,pan,yak,I : 'to make' does nothing but pad the surface.
18) BROW : B Row : I think. But the mosh wouldn't be in rows but on the floor. Might've destroyed Row B eventually . . .
19) SEER : Seder : dismissed = 'd' is missed. Love it or hate it.
20) MARSHALLED : (dream)*<>shall
21) ACID TONGUE : (doing,acute)*
22) NOOB : boon< : stupid word choices in the clue.
23) MENSCH : mens,C,H : never seen this word before but gettable.
24) TETHERED : t--,e------,The Red : again, the surface is weak.

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NS 1560

Whew! 31 years of NS . . . must be a polished puzzle coming up . . . 

ACROSS
8) DOESNT HAVE A CLUE : (lease,a,Dutch,oven)* : leasing a Dutch oven would indeed be unusual.
9) STURGEON : s(t--)urgeon
10) SPRIGS : S(prig)S : 'on board' used as makes sense, not as DH would do it. Technically would need a '?' but is so common.
11) BERYLS : (sly,Reb)<
12) YAMMERED : may<,me,re-,d----- : wow, so much wrong with this — punctuation, again=re, 'top', STUPID SURFACE.
13) USELESS : use,le,SS : SS again unfortunately. The definition is a bit misshaped.
15) BLASTED : b(last)ed
19) SPACIOUS : caps<,IOUs : no one says 'caps back' and IOUS, as I've bleated before, should be banned from Fairfax.
22) MUSTER : must,er
24) INURED : in,r(hm(you))ed : crappy construction of the answer.
25) EVALUATE : --e,V,al-,I,hm(you),ate : consecutive homophones of 'you'. Not good setting.
26) SEPTUAGENARIANS : (gap,in,us,near,east)* : terrible anagram.

DOWN
1) FORTRESS : for,tress
2) OSPREY : OS,prey : not originial.
3) STRESSES : ddef : pretty much sdef.
4) TANNOYS : St< <>annoy
5) JETSAM : jets,AM
6) SCARPERS : scar,per,---s : 'for every final miss' makes no sense. Just how many 'final' misses were there ?
7) BUDGIE : budg(I)e
14) LACERATE : (a,treacle)* : <groan>
16) LAMBADAS : lamb(a,d,a-----)s : d can be 'died' but not 'dead'.
17) ELECTING : (I,neglect)*
18) USHERED : us(her)ed
20) PANDER : hm(panda)
21) ORDEAL : ------ -or deal--- — ----- : a signature piece of NS rubbish.
23) STUPID : St,up,I'd

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DA 1020

All-rightee . . . theme time. 5/28ac didn't seem obvious so I tried a few others in order to get a few crossers. Happened on 11ac which 'bouquets' has a limited set of synonyms. Nosegays fitted, 'states' seemed 'says' etc but no 'eg'. So missing 'eg' was the theme. How so ? I figured Hegel, so 'without' seemed likely with wit/humorist. the second word didn't seem usual, so I had to confirm the SW corner a bit more. Apart from all that, it wasn't particularly hard and was done in one sitting.

ACROSS
1) SPASMED : (---ped,mass)*
5,28) WITHOUT EXAMPLE : wi(thou)t,ex,ample : it took me a few minutes just now to see how this worked. The 'wit' is outside, not next to, a 'thou' — a slangy grand/$1000.
10) MOHAIR : Sp(hoe,mare)
11) NOSEGAYS : on<,says (+EG)
12) REGISTERED : R(1st,ere)d (+EG)
13) LIKE : li(m/----k)e
14) REGROW : worr- < (+EG) : ie worry.
16) COLLAPSE : (close)*<>lap
18) EGG SALAD : g------s,a,lad (+EG)
20) GEE-GEE : gee-e (+EG) : swishes tail is 's'.
22) LAMB : La(m)b
24) PANEGYRICS : pan(y--r)ics (+EG)
26) ELEGANCE : ----e,lance (+EG)
27) I GUESS : (guises)* : don't think 'incognito' is good enough. Could've been a thousand others.
28) see 5ac
29) EGO-SURF : (for,us)* : not sure how 'combing' anagrams . . . 

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DP 1461

And back to Fairfax's longest-serving contributor. Ddefs anyone ?

ACROSS
1) WELL-TO-DO : well,to,do
5) CORPS : corps- : ie corpse.
9) RUM-RUNNER : rum,runner
10) NEVER : -ne ver--
11) ROOK : ddef
12) BACK-TO-BACK : ddef-ish
14) BANGERS AND MASH : bangers,and,M*A*S*H : what stupid surface.
17) MAKING ENDS MEET : ddef-ish
21) CONDESCEND : con,descend
23) WREN : ddef
25) ASSET : -asset : Fred Basset was a largely unfunny comic strip.
26) THE STICKS : ddef : boring.
27) SHADY : ddef : and barely so . . . if so.
28) DEBRIEFS : ddef

DOWN
1) WARDROBE : (boar,drew)*
2) LAMPOON : lamp,O,on
3) TAUT : hm(taught)
4) DONNA : ---d on na---
5) CONFORMIST : con,for,mist
6) REVEALS : (lever,as)*
7) STRIKE : ddef : no effort to create meaningful surface in a clue done a thousand times before.
8) BROKEN IN : ddef
13) RETICENTLY : re(it<)cently : whoa, a bit of construction necessary . . .
15) SAGACITY : saga,city
16) STENOSES : waste,noses : someone explain the surface meaning to me  . . . ?!
18) AMNESIA : (is,a,name)*
19) EARACHE : crypdef : and so barely so.
20) SCRAPS : ddef : boooooorrring.
22) NIECE : ni(e----)ce
24) STIR : ddef

A lot of tired double definitions that even DP has probably done many times before, let alone every other setter. If DP is going to take the easy road nearly every time, he could at least spend a minute making it fresh. But no.



LR 220

Hmm, again, not much operating outside the puzzle. A set of 28 clues to 28 answers. I guess it's not the first time that's happened . . . 

ACROSS
7) BLYTON : (not-bly)*
8) SOY LATTE : (yes,total)*
9) INCREASE : hm(ink,Reese)
10) CATSIT : ---tist ac------ <
11) ASIA : inits
12) ASTONISHES : a,s,ton,-ishes
13) UPROAR : U,pro,a-----r
15) AKIN TO : A(kin)TO
17) POSTSCRIPT : post,script
18) NODS : Don<,S-------
20) PERMIT : p----e,RMIT : I assume maybe Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology ?
21) CO-WRITE : cow,rite : amusing.
23) HAMSTERS : ham's,te-rs : would've thought t---s was the logical result.
24) RATED G : ------r at Edg------

DOWN
1) FLINGS : fling's : mmm, bit dodgy.
2) ETERNAL OPTIMIST : (a,trite,simpleton)*
3) WNBA : w-n — b-a-
4) EYE CONTACT : hm(icon),tact
5) EARTH SCIENTISTS : (tin,assets,thrice)*
6) STRIDENT : stride,NT
8) SHEETS : she,-ets
12) ATROCITIES : -atro-,cities : 'left' could be better.
14) PHONE TAG : pho,---n,gate<
16) DISCUS : discus-
19) DREADS : -------d,reads
22) WART : inits

Good enough Monday fare.



DA 1019

Did this one mostly in the local cafe. Had to make sure I finished before leaving of course. Coffee done, I took a bit more time as the SW corner wasn't budging. Finally realised what was near Prahran and out it came. I could then leave.

ACROSS
1,23) THOUSAND ISLAND DRESSING : => M,Is,treating : not too bad I guess. Bit Fairfaxy but nice idea.
5) JABIRU : jab,I,---ru--- : also good.
10) FEMUR : F-----,e---,mur : so 'over there' refers to France, and 'boneheads' is divided. 'etch' seems an odd choice of words starting with E. Excavate, erect ?
11) REPRIEVED : re(t/p)rieved : shout out to DH.
12) BREAD AND BUTTER : B(read)andB,utter : also good.
14) ON THE FENCE : crypddef-ish : meh.
16,21dn) FORT DENISON : for,t----d,-enison : ie venison. The little fortified island in Sydney Harbour.
18) SOME : hm(sum) : 'it's some distance' etc
20) ANWAR SADAT : an,war,sad,?? : 'that's essentially done'='at' how ?
23) see 1ac
26) FREMANTLE : fre(man,t------l)e : okay. Bit AFLy.
27) ESSEX : esse,X
28) LANDAU : ddef : Martin.
29) INSTINCT : in,s---t,i--n,c-t : 'to' intereferes. Better to have clued "Bent in sides of sheet iron, cut out centres". Works for me !

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DH 1091

DH presents the best grids to Fairfax — thin lines that are easier on the eye. There — said something nice.
He also ignores cross-letter conventions — not so good. And the clues . . . weeell . . . 

ACROSS
1) DORIC : ------do Ric---- -------
4) TAIWANESE : (ease,I,want)* : are they officially ?
8) GUMBOILS : (B,mug)<,oils : a really unsatisfying surface reading.
9) BUMBAG : bum,b---,Ag : why the '?' ?
11) BLUE ENSIGN : blue,en,sign
12) PLOT : p(L)ot : geez I hate this 'in' after the target word habit.
14) DIPLODOCUSES : dip,(cloud)*,O,SE,s : I assume an error.
18) CARICATURIST : ca,RI,ca,t-urist
21) LUFF : ------lu,f,f
22) SNAILS PACE : (in,pass,Alec)*
25) IRITIS : i(RI)t,is : umm, didn't we see Rhode Island barely three clues before ?
26) ALTER EGO : (Gere,a,lot)*
27) NEOLOGIST : (Logies,not)*
28) SITAR : as< <>it,r-------- : really ugly clue.

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LR 219

Can't see a theme or a pattern or a Nina or a trick, so I guess we have just the clues to look over.

ACROSS
8) ID CARD : ----id car d-----
9) ABUNDANT : ------a-,bun,Dant- : hmm, seventh birthday . . .
10) SEABOARD : hm(C),board
11) PAINTS : pa(I)nts
12) STAR : -s -t -a-r : really to exclude oddS
13) LABORATORY : labor,a,Tory
15) ARRANGE : a,-------r,rang,E : another borrowed letter, presumably E as in a fuel gauge. A bit of an annoying habit LR is starting.
16) CATWALK : CA,t(w)alk
19) GREEN OLIVE : g--------,re,Eno,live : yep, green onion was not working for me.
21) RICE : R,ice
22) PENCIL : inits
24) MARXISTS : mar(Xi)sts
26) PANDEMIC : Pa,(Ned)*,mic
27) CLEANS : c,leans

DOWN
1) ADVENTURER : (rude,tavern)*
2) CANBERRA : can,b---e,R,R,A
3) IDEA : I'd,-ea-
4) BAD DEBT : Sp(Dad,bet) : not too foul.
5) TUPPERWARE : (rep,put)*,W,are-
6) ADDICT : (cat,did)* : a simple anagram that I didn't see at first. D'oh.
7) UNIT : un,IT
13) LEGS OF LAMB : (blames,golf)*
14) RELOCATING : re,lo,cat,in,g---
17) WARTIMES : wart,i(me)s
18) GIMMICK : g---,I'm,M1,c-----k
20) ENCODE : E,N,(cod)E
23) EXAM : inits : pretty decent.
25) RACE : ddef

Mostly good, balanced by some eye-rolls and some nice clues.
I hope I didn't miss something though . . .





DA 1018

Can DA back up last week's very good puzzle with something similar ? God, it's just so exciting to find out, yes ?! Imagine if it became a pattern, then a habit, then an expectation !! Shut up and blog it . . .

ACROSS
1) SCARED WITLESS : S,cared,wit(n/l)ess : not bad but troubled/cared is hard to see. One seems outward and the other inward.
10) HIJINKS : hm(high),hm(jinx)
11) PIZARRO : zip<,arrow : though Pizzaro makes 7dn tricky, let me tell you . . .
12) SELL UP : pullets< minus ----t---- : I see DA really wanted to use 'chicken roll' but he's asking us to read it not as 'chickens roll' but as 'chicken rolls' meaning a bunch of 'chicken roll'. It's hard to explain, so let's say it's not a very good clue.
13) GETS DOWN : ddef : easy to explain.
15) LUDICROUS : (US,crud-,oil)*
16) WASTE : hm(waist)
17) BIPED : bi(pp)ed
19) CROISSANT : (thirteen,across)* : all misdirection. Happy with that.
21) OK CORRAL : o(rock<)ral
23) MIRROR : Mi(r)ro,R
25) EVOLVED : -evo-,lived : oh, we know devon is of different names nearly everywhere. Okay for me but many will be annoyed.
26) OOH LA LA : OO,h,al(a)l< : surface struggles.
27) MORETON BAY FIG : more,(on,gift)*<>bay

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NS 1557

Pussy Cat says :

Only 26 clues, and very little imagination. NS has slipped back into her old ways with too many "start", "first", "final" etc -type clues used in the Fairfax/Nine style.


As a side note, I use the online app on my PC to solve the crossword most days. Strangely, they aren't always identical as the paper version, and some technical issues persist. Yesterday one clue didn't have a word format for a multi-word answer and clues that were linked by text weren't linked in the software, even though I've seen it done right before.


Across

1 /ANCIENT HISTORY: (tiny,chain,store)* - a sound clue but only 6 crossers in 14 letters 

8 /ACHILLES TENDON: a,chillest,end,no< - "chillest"???; surely there's a better definition out there, one that doesn't have half the answer in it 

10 /GELATINOUS: (nougats,lie)* 

11 /ELMS: thE,l,m,Spindly - "spindly" doesn't have a top 

12 /OBELI: obe,List,i 

13 /YULETIDE: you(hm),let,IDEas - partial homophones don't generally work - horrible clue 

15 /STRESSOR: st,re,ross< - oh dear. I don't know where NS got the idea the "re" = again, once more, repeat etc. It's a prefix and has no meaning on its own 

18 /MAGIC: magi,Condemning - guess where MAGIC comes from in the first place 

20 /DISC: DiametriC<>is 

21 /TOURNAMENT: TeNeT<>(our,name) 

23 /HURRICANE LAMPS: (a,nice,ruhr)*,l,amps - clumsy, nonsensical construction 

24 /LITTLE BY LITTLE: (ill,tell,betty,itll)* 


Down

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