DH 1117

(Sucking in a deep breath. Closing eyes and thinking of a sunny beach or a snowy chalet. If vodka was nearby, it wouldn't last long. Easy now, eeeaasy . . . )
Today we have DH.

ACROSS
4) CAN-CAN : can,can
7) SATURNALIA : (Ailsa,run,at)* : I'm not sure why a '?' appears here when many others clues are equally peculiar.
8) MANTRA : man,art< : DH's new annoyance of poor grammar in the surface.
9) AUTHORSHIP : author's,hip : 'written' and 'writer' displays a devious sense of disguise does it not ? Plus a stupid italicisation again.
11) see 3dn
12) MAN : m,a,n
13) STOA : ----- ---sto a-----
15) OLLA : ----ol La-- ----
16) FLAGELLOT : (tell,age,of)* : grammar, surface, shite.
17) GNAT : ----g nat---- : '?' ?
19) ORCA : ---or Ca------ : four uses of 'some' in hidden clues is deliberately amateurish. Again DH totally disrespects his privilege to be published.
21) MOA : M(O)a : more shite grammar.
22) see 10dn
25) LEDERHOSEN : (sheen,older)* : rubbish.
26) SOMALI : so,m,Ali
27) TARANTELLA : ta,RAN,Tell,a-
28) TISSUE : (its)*,Sue

DOWN
1) CALUMET : (meal,cut)*
2) BUSHCRAFT : Bush,craft
3,11ac) ANDRE AGASSI : (dress,again,a)*
4) CAMPANILE : ca,MP,a,Nile : oh gee . . .
5) NINJA : ---n in Ja--- : now five 'some's.
6) AEROSOL : a,Eros,lo<
10,22ac) HAMMER AND SICKLE : (Mick,leads,Herman)*
14) CARMELITE : c----,arm,elite
15) OTOSCOPE : (too)*,scope,s--
18) NAIROBI : (rain)*,obi : 'fall' doesn't do it.
20) CORELLA : core,all<
23) KEATS : (stake)*
24) DRONE : d(R)one

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LR 233

Mondays are in good hands for now. Maybe one of those editing glitches that Fairfax has been having recently will see LR continue on Mondays long-term . . . 

ACROSS
1) GET OFF TO A FLIER : ddef : a bit unrelated surface sense but still worth a go.
8) STEPS ON IT : (nepotists)*
9) BLADE : B,lad,e-----
11) OZONE : crypdef : nearly not cryptic. Not my fave.
12) MADE A FIST : Ma,deaf,is,t------
13) RESISTANT : -----res is tan t--------
15) WAGON : finals
16) BACON : bad corn
18) DESERT PEA : (desperate)*
20) AGITATORS : a,git,actors
23) ALARM : -al-,arm
25) DRAMA : dra-,MA : 'from' does nothing.
26) EIGHT IRON : (ignore,hit)*
27) HOLDS A CANDLE TO : ddef-ish

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DA 1043

The good news is that a score greater than 1/10 is somewhat likely. Strangely there is today nothing of the niche rubbish that weighed last week down. I couldn't see much theme among it all but I'm notorious for missing that. What we got then ? . . .

ACROSS
1) BUMBLE : bum,blue : 'can' for bum is not one we hear very often.
4) PROSECCO : prose,c,Co : well, copyright is the little c in a circle. Fair ?
10) BANDWAGON : hm(banned),wag,on
11) ENDOW : end ow!
12) STAYIN' ALIVE : -s,-t,-ay,(vain,lie)* : disco classic and CPR standard.
14) ERR : ferry : decent clue.
15) ALBANIA : al(ban-)ia
17) GNARLY : rang<,l------y : also decent.
19) BAY RUM : b(a)y,rum : never heard of it but at least the clue was clear.
21) MATADOR : --------m,a tad,-or- : also decent again. What gives ?!
23) ORC : or,c-----
24) IGNOMINIOUS : I,g---n,omin(I)ous
26) STOIC : s(to)ic : as in 'sic 'em Rex !'
27) QUADRILLE : qua,drilled : that 'qua' that I only ever see in cryptics.
29) DOTTEREL : led< <>otter
30) CYGNET : hm(signet) : a straightforward clue, well disguised.

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NS 1583

What does NS have to offer today ? Apart from long anagrams . . .
Clearly, there is no stickle-brick today, not a single stickle actually. But two 14 letter answers with 6 crossers is slack.

ACROSS
1) WHEELER DEALERS : (we,see,red,all,her)*
8) SATIN : sat,in
9) TIN-OPENER : tin,op,Rene<
11) PATERNITY SUIT : paternity,suit : what a terrible clue. Paternity is not disguised at all and 'clubs' is an example only. I think NS just gave up on this one.
13) RECYCLED : re(cycle)d : plus a tortuous definition.
14) OH DEAR : (oar,hed)*
16) INTERN : hm(in turn) : interns can be male.
18) BASTILLE : b(a,still)e
20) TRAINSPOTTERS : trains,potters
23) ESOTERICA : (soiree,act)*
24) ALGAE : al(ga-)e
25) SELF-EMPLOYMENT : (men,left,me,ploys)*

DOWN
1) WISE : hm(YY)
2) ECTOPIC : --ec--,topic
3) LUNATIC FRINGE : (cleaning,fruit)*
4) RETORTED : re,tort,e-----d : in that guff of a clue there is an answer.
5) ENNUI : ----en nui------
6) RONDURE : (rounder)*
7) ORATORIES : orator,ie,s--------- : I imagine 'oratory' and 'orator' are from the same base word.
10) PSYCHOTHERAPY : (hasty,prophecy)*
12) FRUIT TREE : (refute,it)* : 'maybe' is not good enough.
15) FAST BALL : (bats,fall)*
17) TEA ROSE : tear,OS,e---
19) LASAGNE : L,a,sag,N,E
21) PRISM : pri(s----)m
22) BEAT : hm(beet)

Yep, another Thursday, another dollar for NS.
The solver might dispute the value of that dollar.


LR 232

At 5pm I don't expect many reads of this but I'll whack it up anyway — primarily explanations. Not as necessary as other days but I do usually try to get LR on the record.

ACROSS
7) LIFELINE : L,I,feline
8) OBOIST : inits
10) HOT TUB : host,butt< : again, saints can be women too . . .
11) BLADDERS : b-----,L,adders
12) BEER : bee,R : R-rated.
13) NEUROTOXIN : (run,into,ex)*<>O
14) BROWN RATS : b-----,R,own,star<
18) MULLED OVER : mulle-,Dover
20) TUFT : Tu(F)t
21) BORDEAUX : hm(board,owe)
22) VETTED : ---vet ted--
23) FRUGAL : f,rug,-al-
24) NOMINEES : on<,mine,e-------s

DOWN
1) BIGOTED : big,O,Ted
2) WESTERN BULLDOGS : (best,grounds,well)*
3) LISBON : li(s,b-----)on
4) MELBOURNE VIXENS : (nimble,nervous,ex)* : netball champs 2020. Go Swifts 2021 !
5) BORA BORA : hm(borer) x2
6) GOLD COAST TITANS : (lost,costing,data)*
9) SPRAIN : Sp(---r)ain
15) ODDBALLS : odd,balls
16) HUMOUR : -hum-,-our-
17) OFFERED : off,e--,red
19) REVAMP : r(EV)amp

Easter weekend nearly done. Good luck doing DH tomorrow.



DA 1042

Gee, there are so many answers today that would be considered niche to a large degree. SAMSA, DURER, ENOCH, GODOLPHIN, HEIMLICH, IDEOGRAPH, GILGAMESH, SANHEDRIN . . . possible a couple more. I think many newer DA solvers will be a little put off by this one.

ACROSS
1) VOYAGE : (ove-,gay)* : 'abandon' doesn't do it for me.
4) LENS CAPS : (places)*<>n--s : tenuous.
10) MATILDA : a,d(lit)am < : surface is bland.
11) KREMLIN : ---k,re,muslin
12) SAMSA : a,SM(-a--)S < : admittedly I had to search for this one. I didn't know it. And how many would ?! Even if you figured Metamorphosis, or 'that Kafka book thing', would you know the character's name ? Join the 1% who would.
13) see 26ac
14) IN THE MAIL : ddef : cheques set for battle . . . ?
16) DURER : nup, don't get it.
17) ENOCH : (once)*,H
18) GODOLPHIN : go,dolphin
19) GOES TO BED : (stooge)*,bed
22) EXPEL : last letters
24) ALGERIA : Al,(--ni--)geria
25) PIQUANT : PI,Quant : add Quant to the list. Personal Investigator.
26,13) HEIMLICH MANOEUVRE : he,I,m---,hm(lick),man,oeuvre : no nounal definition. Overwrought wordplay.
27) VENEER : (-everen-)*

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DP 1484

Can DP resist the allure of the ddef ? Or will he set a PB ? 

ACROSS
1) SHELLAC : shell,AC : surface already weird.
5) CADAVER : c(AD)aver
9) CRACKSMAN : cracks,man : not very imaginative.
10) SACKS : ddef1
11) RACE : braces
13) PROPRIETOR : (trooper,rip)* : 'thus might' adds absolutely zero to the surface or the construction. All it does is avoid the dodgy grammar of 'trooper rip'.
15) CONVERSE : ddef2
16) MASON : Ma,son
19) GENTS : agents
20) STALLION : (last)*,lion
23) ESTIMATING : (ties)*,mating
24) AGAR : a,gar
26) STERN : ddef3
27) EMANATION : me<,a,nation
29) DETESTS : dead,tests
30) DEPLETE : (let,deep)*

DOWN
1) SACK RACE : sack,race : not much disguise in this one.
2) ERA : --era----
3) LUKE : ddef-ish : does the '?' allow 'luke' as 'hottish' ?
4) COMPRESS : com,press : I suppose a com could be other than Russian.
5) CANAPE : can,ape
6) DESPICABLE : (bald,pieces)* : 'worthless arrangement of bald pieces' could equally lead to (2,6) . . . DP PUZZLE.
7) VACATIONING : (avionic,tang)* : see, what did I tell you ? (see above) Avionic tang ?!
8) RESORT : re/sort
12) CONTENTMENT : con,tent men,T : see 6dn.
14) TESTAMENTS : test,amen,St< : 'prayerful ends' should be 'amens'. And a Saint might be female as well . . .
17) STANDARD : ddef4
18) ENTRANCE : ddef5
21) CEASED : deceased
22) STEERS : ddef6
25) CARP : ddef7
28) ICE : ---ice---

The setter got away slowly but didn't panic. Came home well with 4 ddefs in the last six answers. Not a PB methinks but a solid effort.



LR 231

Another LR week is a good thing because it means it's not another RM week. There were quite a few nice ideas running in this one. Probably the 15-letter answers were somewhat underwhelming but not too bad.

ACROSS
1) PAW PRINTS : hm(poor,prince) : 'was left by dirty mongrel' is not a proper definition as it's not a noun.
6) LAMBS : la(M)bs : simple but very nice.
9) ARCHAIC : -ar-,chai,C
10) ABANDON : a,ban,Don
11) KIA : K(I)a : not sure if I=line apart from the 'straight line' aspect. If that's it, I'm not a fan. Many letters are a line of some sort.
12) PERSEVERANT : ---pers ever ant--------- : wasn't familiar with this form of the word.
13) ARDENT : -ard,-ent
16) ROOSTER : ro(O)ster
18) I GIVE UP : -----ig I've up---
19) MEAGRE : me,Ag,re : also not a fan of re=again. Usually in dictionaries as re-.
21) ACE OF HEARTS : (of,cheats,are)*
23) SLY : s-l-y
24) FLAVOUR : f(L)avour
25) HANDIER : Han,die,R---- : a bit of everything in this one.
26) SLEEK : s,leek
27) TABLE-TOPS : tablet,ops

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DA 1041

There was a theme today. The theme took on three forms based on 21dn FAR OUT.
1) four answers referred to place names in idioms concerning a long distance away,
2) four answers referred to synonyms . . . exuberant exclamations,
3) four answers had FAR removed from the wordplay.
So a bit to think about but really it wasn't that taxing. I had 6dn early and that gave a hint to 1, 4dn soon after hinted 2 and 20dn hinted 3.

ACROSS
1) BOONDOCKS (1) : Boon,docks : nice to see Boonie in cryptics instead of bloody poets and composers. Oxford says from Tagalog bundok ‘mountain’.
6) TOFFS : t--s<>off : surface is a tad odd.
9) UCCELLO : -uc-,-c-,-ello- : not many other options for those crossers.
10) REMORSE : r-----e,Morse : '?' indeed . . .
11) see 24ac
12) FABULOUS (2) : Fa(-oubl-)*ust : tougher clue.
14) NOIR : no IR : piracy.
15) BIPARTISAN : Bip,artisan : never heard of Bip but attainable and learnt something.
18) PHENOMENAL (2) : (help,a)*<>'no men'
19) BOOS : hm(booze)
22) GODSPEED : deeps,dog <
24,11) BACK OF BOURKE (1) : back,often,hm(berk)
26) AWESOME (2) : hm(ore,sum)
27) ADORNER : ------ador ner------
28) MET UP : me,tup
29) TREATISES : treat,-i-s-e-s

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NS 1581

NS day. Is that good or bad ? It can be hard to predict.

ACROSS
1) RECOMMENDATIONS : (once,more,its,damn)* : might've thought 'damned' was the correct word but spoken, it often sounds like 'damn'.
9) VISITORS : vis(it)ors
10) IMPUGN : I,MP,u-g-n-
11) STRESS TEST : s---------(tress),test : surface works okay but 'assessment' and 'monitoring' are pretty much the same.
12) ARTS : --stra-- < : I'll give benefit of the doubt here as 'works' may be the inner process of an entity. But I reckon that wasn't deliberate.
13) CLOSE SET : (so,select)*
16) REHEAR : re(he)ar
17) ABROAD : AB,road
19) BANISTER : (re,bins.at)* : at least 'railing' was used differently but 'doctor's' as an anagrind was not good.
21) TROT : t--,rot
22) ECCENTRICS : (centre)*<>C,i(C------------)s : yeah but . . . nah.
25) COHERE : Co,here
26) UNENDING : un,ending : a dumb clue as 'conclusion' and 'interminable' are the same sense.
27) AS A MATTER OF FACT : (a,mat,off,car,seat)*,t--- : surface okay.

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