Solving the Puzzling DA
Geoffrey Rush called him “the Sergeant Pepper of cryptic crosswords” but crossword maker David Astle dances with words daily. If you ever wondered how Saturday’s cryptic is created then this is the insight into the mind and madness of the country’s toughest setter better known by his initials DA. Some say it stands for “Don’t Attempt” and as a setter Astle is as reviled as he is revered.
From anagrams to homophones to unfair setting, Astle talks about the “recipes” behind his puzzles and dismantles the solving process.