14th of August and the DA

Looks like this one is a themed crossword, although I’ve yet to have a proper crack.

But here discuss, digress, complain, laud, extol and grumble.

Update: And here it is:

Orwell and DA

RC and I at Il Fornaio on Sunday were looking the worse for wear after a long time with a very blank crossword in front of us. The breakthrough happened when RC mentioned Peter Weir and Weter Pier, and everything then fell into place (I’m a big fan of Orwell’s).

Happy times all round (except for 19-down, the Paris wall clue, which remains stubbornly unsolved — is the answer mersey?).

29 thoughts on “14th of August and the DA

  1. I’d say semithemed but still good fun. My standouts were 14A(maybe a new category …it’s so packed with cross-references), 24D (clever stuff) and 21D
    a good smokescreen and I had to google to sort it out. In the end though a great clue.

  2. The risk with a theme is that it can make things easier once the theme is cracked. Todays crossy suffered from this, for me. 2 down the Macquarie has this hyphenated between letter 2 and 3 but to be frank I’ve never known how to spell it. Couldn’t remember 19 down from 20 across but the cryptic part of the clue made the answer clear.

  3. Very enjoyable crossword. Yes, it’s true that cracking the theme made it a bit easier, but I needed a boost. Google got a bit of a work-out too. Lots of good clues. My favourites: 14A, 15D, 21D.

    I need help with one explanation. I’m halfway there, but just can’t slide in the final piece of the jigsaw. I’ll be a bit oblique in case anyone unwisely strays in here not wanting to know the main theme.
    9D&30A: My answer is you-know-who and the explanation seems to go like this:
    Literary prophet = you-know-who
    twice = the signal to duplicate the next bit
    turned quitter’s heart = geor. Huh?
    superbly = well

    I was going to ask for help in explaining 24D, but as I was typing my query in, the explanation suddenly hit me!

  4. RB

    9D, 30A: “Jaw jaw” (as they say) is a “goer” (quitter) with the “heart turned”.

    14A: I solved it as soon as I got the “classic kidnapper” and the “Jack of literature”, but I don’t know how the clue works.

  5. Agree with the above – once you have the theme, there’s plenty that can be done quickly. Took me back to the days of Year 12 at school! (including 11A and her sister, as it so happens).

    14A: I think there’s three things happening here: As you’ve noted, one of 30A’s book titles, although that “or” might be better as an “and”. Filling the letters in produces DISCONSOLATE. And the missing letters are DNA – which is AND in a “down”ward direction, and also “out” of _ISCO_SOL_TE …

    Definitely gold. Agree also on 21D and 24D, and I’ll throw 1A and 7A in there as well.

    Just spotted another grouping: 29A, 16D, 5D, 19D (all explicit) – but also 25A, 3D and 22D.

    Quibble: 6D is missing an L

  6. Ah, of course! Thanks TT. I was looking for something more complicated. I just didn’t see quitter=goer.

    Re 14A: I agree this is a brilliant clue, but I don’t really go along with haiku’s ‘AND in a “down”ward direction’ theory, since this is an ACROSS clue. For the record, because of my ignorance of this Orwell work, I originally solved this clue as “over and out”, until Google came to the rescue!

    Re 6D: Agree with haiku about the missing L. Is this a DA error? Once again, Google compensated (for my ignorance of Shrek).

  7. haiku: where is 6D missing an ‘L’? I don’t see it

    can someone given me 2D and 21D (netball???) with explanations, they’re the two that got me

    quick queries:

    28A: how does show-off = lair?

    31A: how does serve = do? is it because to ‘do time’ is to ‘serve time’ or something simpler?

    9D: how does quitter = goer?

  8. MF, I’ve been working on this today – I’m still a relative newbie to the DA, but for some reason I got the netball one straightaway, maybe because i played wing defence in high school.
    So two players, GA (goal attack) and WD (wing defence) would potentially collide during a game of netball. The abbreviations GA, GD, WA, WD et al are printed on the bibs that the players wear during the game.

    i still haven’t got 2D and a few others are stumping me too.

  9. Reecie, thanks, that’s brilliant. i know about the netball abbreviations, but i thought that if it WAS netball, then two players was the ‘ne’ (as in bridge), and just tried to make sense of the rest. i didn’t notice GAWD = GA + WD
    nice work!

  10. My take on 2D is that arenas are represented by ‘O’s. – they kind of look like football fields, surrounding ‘R’ for Radio head.

    Netball players wear bibs with their positions. GA is Goal Attack, WD is Wing Defence. The opposition players would be playing in the same position on the court, so possibly could collide.

    An enjoyable crossword, and educational (thanks to Google), having somehow avoided the subject and his works in high school.

    Can someone please explain 1A?

  11. MF: Re 6D, According to Google, it’s Lillian, not Lilian. Re 28A, a slang meaning of lair is show-off. Re 31A, serve (time) =do (time) was what I came up with too. Re 9D, this was where I needed an explanation too, but I’m satisfied with it now. One meaning of quit is to leave or go. Hence quitter=goer (Note to Monty Python aficionados: not a “goer” in the “nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean sense”!)

  12. MF

    1A: Agree with your explanation, which explains why I didn’t get it. DA’s usage is dodgy. A URL is a uniform resource locator, or in simple terms, a page address. EVERY page has a URL, not just the homepage.

    Pending further debate, I call DA bulltish.

    2D: Didn’t get this one, either. Is an OOROO a toast? You’d sound like a bit of a goose saying that before you chucked your glass into the fireplace.

  13. TT, 2D: i’m happy for ooroo = cheers (if that is indeed how you spell it), as aussie colloquialisms for goodbye. Not sure sure why arena = o though

    1A: I’m happy with it. what you are saying is true, but a homepage IS a url (even though a URL isn’t necessarily a homepage), so it works for me

  14. MF

    1A: Sorry, I can’t agree.

    A URL is “An Internet address (http://anagrammatically.com/cryptic/), usually consisting of the access protocol (http), the domain name (anagrammatically.com), and optionally the path to a file or resource residing on that server (cryptic).”

    A homepage is “The opening or main page of a website, intended chiefly to greet visitors and provide information about the site or its owner.”

    A book has an ISBN, but it is not an ISBN. Similarly, a homepage has a URL, but it is not a URL.

  15. TT:

    rather than the ISBN analogy i’d go for the house address one. i’d accept address as a clue for house, but not vice versa

  16. I’m not at all knowledgeable on Web technology and terms, but I do feel TT makes a very good point. I had the same misgivings, myself, about this clue. MF argues a good case for the defence but as TT points out, “EVERY page has a URL, not just the home page”. So URL=webpage would have been more acceptable than URL=homepage. It’s a pity, because, apart from that, this was an excellent clue.

  17. RB, can you explain 24D? I haven’t got the foggiest on it! And 10A, 17A, and 5D?
    I reckon 15D is a beauty.

  18. 24D: This caused me some angst, too, before I nailed it.
    Kernel=HUB
    (nut kernel)=U
    23-down(morose)=BLUE
    U taken from BLUE= BLE
    astronomer=HUBBLE

  19. 10A:
    Tip out half=half of DUMP=DU
    unnatural=RUM
    wheat=DURUM

    17A: The bit you’re probably missing is “style”=MANNER.

    5D: Two students=PL (probationary, learner)
    at=AT
    29-across water=EAU
    feature in highlands=PLATEAU

  20. Stupidly, I thought wall = mer in French.

    Of course, mer = sea in French, and I sillily had them mixed up.

  21. Thanks for the explanation for 1A. I still don’t quite understand 17A and 23D though.

  22. Hi NC, 17A: Bronte=ANNE
    pared style=pared manner=anne

    23D: Partially 14-across=partially down and out=morose
    second=mo (as in moment)
    lifted=rose

  23. I was stuck for a long time on 12, 5 Across. I got the police bit, but thought the whole phrase must mean Burmese Police, having read his Burmese Days years ago and remembered he was in that “force”. The 1984 connection never occurred to me but it should have. It’s probably his most widely read book (along with Animal Farm).

    I also remember reading a book of his essays, including “Politics and the English language”, including the six rules for writers:

    * Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    * Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    * If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    * Never use the passive voice where you can use the active.
    * Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    * Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

    I like those, especially the last one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *