YATRA - a sacred journey or pilgirmage performed by Hindus and other Indian faiths. [From Sanskrit yatra ‘journey’, from ya ‘go’] Typically a yatra wends to a mountain peak, or junction of rivers, the ardour of the journey as vital as the destination.
RAUDIVE VOICES [raw-DEEV] - the disembodied sounds of supposed spirits, as heard on tape recorders or via static. [Named after Latvian parapsychologist Konstantīns Raudive.] Typically labelled EVP, or Electronic Voice Phenomena, Raudive voices enliven the realm of white noise, albeit debatably.
Cluesmith of many chatrooms, Sam has stepped forward with a classy puzzle of his own this week, with a double Nina to discover, and a strict restraint to admire.
From Sam: "I've been a fan of Dorothy Sayers since I was a teenager. Re-reading one of her short stories - Uncle Meleager's Will - I was inspired to create this grid..."
There are some beautiful clues here, several neat innovations and a few less common words too. Feel free to download and get solving, sharing your insights, hints and feedback in the Comments below.
LOVAT - yellowish-green tone popular in Scottish tweed and woollen fabrics [Named after T. A. Fraser, Lord Lovat from 1875, Scottish nobleman who popularised muted tweeds.]
HYPERTHYMESIA [HIY-pur-thiy-MEE-zha] - the condition of possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory, akin to a photographic recall of all life experiences. [From Greek hyper (excessive) + thymesis (remembering).] Ireneo Funes, the Uruguayan man known in a Borges story as Funes The Memorious, can recall every crack in a family's porcelain vase.
FANTOOSH [fan-TOOSH] - flamboyant, flashy, stylish or possibly exotic [Origin unknown. Possibly from French fantoche - or Italian fantoccino - meaning puppet.] The change in seasons guarantees a blossoming of fantoosh outfits.
POUJADIST [por-JAR-dist] - a conservative reactionary determined to protect the business interests of small traders. [After Pierre Poujade (1920–2003), French publisher and bookseller who founded such a movement in 1954.] Latterday poujadists include sole traders hellbent on seeing multinationals bear their fair share of the tax burden.
CHAIN-CEREALLING - to persist in renewing your breakfast bowl in order to finish the last of the bowl's milk, possibly adding a little more milk in the process, ad infinitum [Web slang possibly first cited by Twitter's Nick Norlen, April 2019] There's a Zen art in judging your bowl's milk intake to avoid chain-cerealling.
SKOSH - small amount. [From Japanese sukoshi - a smidgin - as corrupted by American service personnel during WW2.] Married At First Sight may sit among the top-rating shows, but I don't give a skosh. In fact, I'm a skosh jaded of reality TV.
SASTRUGA [SASS-truh-gah] - pronounced ridge of snow formed on a snowfield by the action of the wind; also zastruga - plural z/sastrugi. [German via Russian, zastrogat - to shave or plane (wood) down.] Experienced skiers have the nous and nimbleness-of-knee to navigate sastrugi.
NEANIMORPHIC [NEE-an-ee-MOR-fick] - seeming younger than one's actual years; age-defying in appearance. [From Latin, neaniac, young man + morphic] A kidult mindset, in tandem with cosmetic care, can contribute to neanimorphic powers.
WILHELM SCREAM - stock audio of a strangled yell, as used in films and TV series. [Named after Private Wilhelm - a character in 1953 western, The Charge at Feather River. Though first captured in 'alligator scene' of Distant Drums, 1951.] The next time you hear gurgled cries on screen, that may be a Wilhelm scream in perpetuity.
CARINDERIA [kar-in-DAIR-ee-uh] - a Filipino food stall with small seating area, typically found in markets or on roadsides. [Tagalog] The bain marie of any carinderia emits irradiance, aptly the venue's anagram.
METUTIALS [mair-TYU-shuls] – small, irksome chores which must be done before other work can commence. [Possibly a corruption of Latin's matutinal - of the morning; early] Even before embarking on drafting his Moonlight Sonata, Ludwig needed to observe his daily metutials.
Gremlins in the Nine-Fairfax machine have made DA's puzzle even harder than usual. The crossword should be escorted by instructions and shaded squares - both of which are AWOL in the printed version.
As a royal commission is being mobilised, investigating Proof-Gate, sending gremlins to prison farms, please download the correct grid as PDF below, with both directions and shaded squares. (The clues of course are found in today's Age or SMH.) And please, enjoy a far kinder brain-bend, as first planned.
BALLYBRACK - to fake the death of an obscure relative or acquaintance so as to avoid an engagement. [Irish slang coined after Ballybrack FC falsely claimed one of their players had died to avoid a match.] Malingerers would be wise not to ballybrack too often, as there are only so many obscure ancestors available.
IPSEDIXITISM [eep-SAY-dix-it-iz-um] - a dogmatic assertion of a 'fact' without giving any supporting evidence. [Via Latin for 'he said it', translated from a Greek expression used by disciples of Pythagoras to justify any argument they chose.] Climate change deniers often resort to ipsedixitism, citing their charlatans of choice.
PIAFFE [pee-AHF] - a horse's serene, elevated trot-on-the-spot, as demanded in dressage [French] The piaffe evokes the image of a horse tip-hoofing over hot sand.
SCHNAPSIDEE [shnaps-EE-day-uh] - outlandish or impractical plan which seems brilliant when one is drunk. [German: schnap[p]s + idee] The more audacious among your new year's reolutions may well prove to be a schnapsidee.
VOLTINISM - the number of generations produced by an organism per year. [From Italian volt, turn or time + Latin suffix -ine (of or pertaining to)] This Wiki entry describes univoltines (of organisms that have one brood per year), bivoltines, and more, in the voltinism matrix.