So Confused on the 31st of July

12 across: Frequent flyer strikes trouble with online trade (5)

I know the answer is e-tail = online trade; I just don’t know why (although trouble has an e as its tail).

7 down: Top crawler disrupts bent magic (8)

Here, the answer is wizardry = magic. The rest?

4 down: In desert, left for love, make love to actor (6, 6)

Actor = Marlon Brando,  but what goes on with the rest of it?

17 down: Damned thug gives no end of trouble (8)

I was never gonna get this one, and now that I’ve consulted to make sure, I’m still none the wiser on how to begin explaining why ballyhoo is the answer.

8 thoughts on “So Confused on the 31st of July

  1. 12A: to strike trouble is to ail. i’ve never seen ET, but did the titular character fly much?

    7D: to top crawler is to behead ‘lizard’, hence ‘izard’, in ‘wry’ as in a wry facial expression is a twisted one

    4D to maroon is to desert, ‘l’ for ‘o’ gives marlon. to make is to brand? plus o for love

    17D: bally is british term for damned. thug with no end is hood without d. which gives ballyhoo = trouble

  2. my three confusions were 3D, 13A & 16D

    also, two questions:

    9A: what indicates that the ‘v’ is in the anagram? if it’s the “Gives … to”, doesn’t that make it an &lit clue kinda?

    10A: why does cherishes mean ‘put inside’, is it because to cherish is to ‘hold in one’s heart’? or is there a simpler reason?

  3. whoops,

    12A: i’m sure that can’t be right. i retract the suggestion

    4D: a brand is a make, as in a brandname

  4. Thanks for that MF.

    Here’s the favour returned:

    3D: Seville is in the south of Spain, and I suppose people from Seville are Sevillians, which when outspoken becomes civilians.

    13A: to stop = bar, devil = nick (as in Old Nick), and all that reversed and next to nothing gives olive drab, the military uniform colour.


    period = stop (as in full stop)
    curtailed cover-up = curtailed drapes-up = drap-up = pard

    With your questions:

    9A: I reckon the “to” alone is what means move v into the anagram, as in “Ron Barassi to Carlton for big bucks”

    10A: I’m happy with cherishes meaning “put inside”, or embrace.

  5. AS,

    thanks for ending my confusions!

    however, i’m not quite satisfied by your answers to my two questions

    hopefully someone will provide a satisfactory answer to etail

  6. 12A: to ail, according to Chambers is to trouble or afflict; to strike trouble is to run into trouble, so ET (the frequent flyer) runs into ail = etail.

  7. re 9A: I thought this was a very elegant DA clue. I like the way he overlaps elements of the clue to create confusion.”Gives”indicates the definition as well as supplying the bridge to the construction of the anagram. To “harry” seidler is a clever smokescreen…isn’t that what cryptic crosswords is all about?

  8. Agreed on 9A; thought this was a candidate for gold. Likewise 1D. And 4D now that it’s been explained. 1A and 19D also amusing in DA’s inimitable way …

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