The MC Confusions (from the 20th of February)

19 down: Slam a rug with 15-across (no time) for hat (6)

Hat = panama, slam = pan and I’m assuming a = a, but how does ma = rug with no time?

13 across: It crushes articles by 9-across (McCubbin) colleague, say (8)

A DA special: a skeletal subject pronoun and a verb is the direct clue in it crushes = anaconda. What makes sense is articles = ana, but that means McCubbin colleague, say = Conda, which I don’t understand and the internet has not been able to help me out on.

24 down: Acidity behind aspiring lowlife? (5)

I’m guessing acidity = oomph; the rest, though?

20 down: Overly 22-down (cling) to plane, nonetheless? (7)

Overly cling = smother, but what does that have to do with smother = to plane, nonetheless?

17 across: Cement, in part, lasts during any cheap renovations, you claim (6)

This one we only got because of the cross clues, and after cement = gypsum is worked out, what’s going on with the rest?

17 thoughts on “The MC Confusions (from the 20th of February)

  1. *ma=rug with no time. “mat” with no “t”
    *McCubbin colleague, say=conda Charles Conder (say)
    *Can’t help with 24 down.
    *Overly cling to plane nonetheless – “smoother” with one less zero
    *Gypsum comes from taking the last letters from “during any cheap renovations,you claim”.

  2. Lowlife are cows, who moo. Aspiring, I suppose, is the tell for moo going up.

    ph = acidity.

    Where “oomph” comes from, I couldn’t say.

  3. 24D: I reckon this is a DA special, where “aspiring low” = oom, and “life” = oomph.

  4. Now for my issues:
    1A: Answer must be McKern. Objection, your honour! Rumpole was never a QC, was he? Also, how does “to adjust characters” = kern?
    23A: Answer is O_O_S_. Please help me!
    14D: Answer must be Castor Oil. But “crude twin contrarily”? Huh?
    6D: I liked this clue (Cheese slice………). Worthy of GOLD?
    22D: OK, I’ll buy “plane” = smoothe. And this means that “plane nonetheless” = smothe. But where does the “r” come from?

  5. Why does lowlife or low have anything to do with cows?

    And would acidity have something to do with low ph and the reference to cows. Acidity = ph is doesn’t really make sense to me.

    I can’t believe I missed gypsum — thanks muchly!

    Never heard of Charles Conder — now the clue makes sense!

    Time = t is pretty shiteful in my opinion, but I think it’s a standard cryptic abbreviation.

    As for RB’s concerns:
    1A: kerning is the adjusting of characters in proportional fonts, and, yes, the clue will feature in DA Errors.
    23A: Absolute GOLD! Jack = hoist, in East London = oist (drop your ‘aitches guvna), anaconda cousin wanting a = boa – a = bo, musician = oboist.
    6D: Isn’t that just a simple anagram clue? I usually don’t consider anagram clues candidates for Gold. Have I missed something?
    22D: I’m with you on concerns about the r

  6. 1A: my dictionary has kern: to adjust the spacing between characters.
    14D: Castor and Pollux were the twin offspring of Leda and the Swan, and crude = crude oil.
    22D: ‘plane” = wood plane = smoother, and nonetheless = leave out “o”.
    23A: oboist. I think “…13-across cousin, wanting a” is “boa – a” = “bo”, but what’s Jack got to do with it?
    And can someone explain 12A for me?

  7. JG:

    23A: oboist. Jack in East London is “hoist – h” = “oist” then put the “bo” from boa in the middle = oboist.

    12A: Llewelyn = Welshman = well replaying “llew” + every second letter of replaying “elyn”

  8. The silken Leo is indeed a mistake, but while the character Rumpole never took silk, the author did – John Mortimer QC. Perhaps that is the source of DA’s error.

  9. Great work on a great crossword everyone! I cant believe I got but couldnt understand “gypsum”. The agony….

  10. Wow, I had no idea low = moo.

    In that case, acidity = ph, low = moo and acidity behind aspiring low = oomph = life.

    That means acidity = ph, which is just awful (a ph is neither acidic nor basic — it’s just a scale upon which something might be considered acidic, basic or neither).

    I wonder, though, if DA realises that acidity = low ph?

  11. 24D: I agree with AS. Acidity = ph is poor. But I reckon the rest of the clue nearly makes up for this inaccuracy.
    23A: Oboist. Thankyou. I have to agree this is a brilliant, albeit difficult, clue.
    22D: My concerns about the unexplained “r” have been banished by JG’s explanation that plane (noun) = smoother, whereas I’d had plane (verb) = smoothe.
    6D: Yes, AS, you’re right – it’s only a simple anagram clue. But the fact that DA saw “slice” as part of Leicester just tickled my fancy.

  12. ph = acidity is perfectly kosher. “acidity” does NOT mean “low PH”; “acidic” means “low PH”. “acidity” means “how acidic?”, and the PH of a liquid is the measure of its acidity (or alkalinity, but that wouldn’t read as well!).

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