DA for the 15th of May

TT again kindly sent over to me his very-quickly-completed DA.

TT finishes his DA

A fortnight of ease usually means next week’s will be nuts. Hopefully DA lives up to form.

20 thoughts on “DA for the 15th of May

  1. Pretty straightforward really, by DA’s standards (important qualifier, that). I particularly liked 7D (a very clever clue for just a 3-letter word), and 3D. But several clues I thought were a bit dodgy, including:
    24A: “Law” as a homophone for “lore”. I have heard law pronounce this way, but I’ve always mentally filed that under the mispronunciation category that includes gems like Dubya’s “nucular”.
    6D: Cool = faddish. I can’t see this. Not yet, anyway. The closest I can get is that what one person thinks is cool, another might see as faddish. But that’s like saying meat is a synonym for poison.

  2. Overall I liked it a lot. I agree with RB that 3D is good, I reckon it’s gold, but then I reckon “Sunset Boulevard” is one of the great movies. 5A and 25A are both very good.OTH I reckon 12A is very suss, 28A is rubbish and I’m not keen on 4D.

  3. JG, I wasn’t keen on 28A either, mainly because I’d never heard of an area rug (till I googled it), so I’m OK with 28A now.

    As for 4D, I thought that was quite a clever clue!

    And so too was 12A, but &LIT clues often cop criticism for not containing a more direct clue to the actual answer. In this case, I thought the fact that “graciousness” was an anagram of “Narcissus” plus “ego” was very clever.

  4. I have given up, with 5 incomplete: 5D, 12A, 24D, 27A and 28A.

    I am so puzzled by 24D I suspect I must have made an error with 25A. I will now look at the completed grid and the above comments in search of enlightenment.

  5. I meant 21D not 24D.

    Explanations requested for 4D, 12A, 21D, 28A.

    I now get 27A (ABC= Channel 2 = TWO). Re 4D, I had the leggy nit quit = ly almost immediately, but I still don’t understand the rest of it. Can an anagram of arrant produce a word meaning licence?

    RB, where are you from? I am interested in Australian regional English pronunciation differences. I am from Melbourne and I have always pronounced lore the same as law. The Collins Concise Dictionary (Australian Edition) also says they are pronounced the same. I know that Americans generally pronounce the r in words where I don’t, including hard, car and water (so-called rhotic accent). I am curious if you also pronounce the r in core, fore, gore, more, pore, sore, tore, wore or only some of them?

  6. To me here in Melb “lore” is “law”, as in the popular fruit “pore paw”, which is not to be confused with the lesser favoured “poor paw”.

  7. NC, see RB for 12A. For 28A, ‘bum’ = rear, ‘late winter = Aug(ust) to give ‘area rug’ which in some parts of the world (not Sydney) is a ‘broad covering’. Pshaw!

  8. NC: for 4D, “Arrant” comes from “Warrant” – defaced.

    For 21D: Spells essentially = EL. Forecast = BODE, report = BOWED, gives ELBOWED = hit with joint

  9. Well, JG, it seems all your requested explanations have been supplied. Except one. I am from Bolton near Manchester, but I’ve also had a few years in Nottingham and London, and over 30 years in Melbourne. I don’t pronounce the “r” in any of those words you mentioned. The difference between my “lore” and my “law” is in the vowel sound, or so I used to think until just now (I asked my wife, who reckons she can hardly hear any difference!). And to rub salt into the wound, she claims she pronounces pore, poor, and paw exactly the same (she’s from Melbourne). And I’ve never noticed! Looks like I’m in a minority of one here, so I’ll withdraw my objection.

  10. RB, thanks for the explanation for 12A. I must try to remember that a closing ! is often the hint that the clue is an &lit. Now you have pointed it out, I agree that Narcissus+ego=graciousness is nice, and the word play is now clear. However, I can’t quite get my head around the direct clue (presumably the whole clue) and what the phrase “was struck in graciousness” is supposed to mean. But never mind, a cystal clear and succint &lit is a rare bird indeed.

    Thanks also for sharing your language background. My great-grandfather was from Bolton, but I’ve never visited the UK (yet). I love hearing the different pronunciations of English in Australia and throughout the world, and try to take the attitude the no pronunciations are wrong, just alternatives (“non-standard” is the most judgmental I am prepared to get). I even manage to suppress a shudder when I hear “nucular”. Let a thousand flowers bloom! (although Wikipedia tells me that is a misquotation)…

  11. NC, I don’t have an answer for how the phrase “was struck in graciousness” impinges on the direct clue. The only part of the clue that I would classify as the direct clue is the first two words, “his ego”, from which we presumably are meant to infer that the answer is a male with an ego. So perhaps not the the best &lit we’ll ever see, but the neatness of the wordplay elevates it far above stinkers like “kite-surfer” (fit user ……) from a few weeks ago!

  12. NC, having just somewhat belatedly consulted my copy of The Shorter Oxford (published 1992) I have found support for my contention that “law” and “lore” are (can be? should be?) pronounced differently. I can’t reproduce those funny symbols used in the phonetic system, but the Shorter Oxford shows that the vowel sound is different (“law” has a single vowel sound as in “walk”; “lore” has a diphthong vowel sound) and also the ending is different (there is an extra phonetic symbol on the end of “lore” – it’s an upside-down r – although the r is not pronounced as such). This pretty much coincides with the way I pronounce “law” and “lore” (regardless of what my wife thinks!)

  13. That’s very interesting, RB. I am intrigued by the fact that the Shorter Oxford shows different pronunciation symbols for the vowels in”lore” and “law”. The Oxford Dictionary website has a description of these symbols (International Phonetic Alphabet, I think) at http://www.askoxford.com/contactus/wotd/pron/?view=uk
    I can see the symbols clearly on my computer, but I don’t know if you have to have a special font installed or not. It lists the short and long vowels, diphthongs and two triphthongs. The long vowels are distinguished from the short by an extra symbol that looks something like a colon. The British pronunciation represents “the standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England (sometimes called Received Pronunciation or RP)” which could obviously be very different in other regions.

    However, if you type “lore” and “lore” into the online Cambridge Dictionary site http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ it shows the pronunciation for Britain and USA, using what seems to be IPA symbols. And this shows the vowel sound to be identical for the two words (different though between Brit. & US). There is however an extra superscript r (right way up) for the Brit. pronunciation of “lore” which seems to me to indicate a very faint echo of the r is pronounced (unlike the US where the r is there to be pronounced as a normal r). I will try to track down a copy of the Shorter Oxford Dictionary to see what I make of it.

  14. NC, you’d think there would be standardisation of phonetic symbols between my Shorter Oxford and your Oxford Dictionary website, wouldn’t you? If so, you’d be wrong! They’re completely different!

    My Shorter Oxford makes the claim that “The pronunciations given are those in use in the educated speech of southern England (the so-called ‘Received Standard’)”, which seems to be making a value judgment of the sort you don’t like to make!

    I tried your Cambridge Dictionary link. Agree it shows same lore/law vowel sound for Brit, but not for US. Not that I want to use US pronunciation to bolster my case! I’d have to be very desperate to do that!

  15. Fascinating stuff, RB. This sort of discussion is meat and drink over at the Language Hat blog. I have been lurking there for about a year ever since I discovered the link from here. The erudition on display there is awesome, so I haven’t had enough courage to post there yet. If anybody can shed light on this matter, someone there can I’m sure.

  16. I checked my trusty Daniel Jones English Pronouncing Dictionary, and he gives identical pronunciations /lɔ:/, but for lore he also gives (in square brackets, meaning “less frequent”) the pronunciation /lɔǝ/. It would seem most speakers of non-rhotic English (i.e., not pronouncing /r/) say them identically, but some preserve a distinction, as we can see from the comments here.

  17. Thanks for dropping by Mr. Hat! The love of linguistics and love for humanity on display on your wonderful blog is truly infectious.

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