Confusions about DA’s Third in 2010

Any confusions?

Ask for help in the comments here and you’ll get an answer.

Update: I had many confusions:

2 down: She fell sick after Juliet (4)
I loved the definition, but since when did Juliet = J?

24 across: Bond writer christened Murray (4)
I had never heard of Murray Bail, but the three-way definition is hardcore bullshit, no?

18 down: Cloud over (zero degrees), obscuring face of watch instrument (8)

11 across: A virtual game with 50/50 participation? (3-7)
The wordplay is beyond me.

4 down: Sounds mentally focus lean rider (7)
How’s this cyclist?

22 across: Caught yours truly (6)
Certainly, the reference to DA’s surname is harsh, but what does castle have to do with cricket?

38 thoughts on “Confusions about DA’s Third in 2010

  1. Finally done. The theme’s not my cup of tea.

    Can anyone explain 12A:
    swap sides =AP, does “in front” mean peal?

    Also 26A is “he’s” two HE’s or is it HES and how does the facial hairs part work?

    24A Why is the answer in the clue twice? bond=BAIL, writer christened Murray = BAIL

    Any explanations much appreciated.

  2. Oster:
    12A: You got the answer right, but in front does not mean peal, and swap sides is not indicating AP. I didn’t get an explanation until i realised the latter
    26A: neither
    24A: don’t see the problem

  3. Still struggling to explain 12A myself, although the eureka moment can’t be too far away.

    26A: “He’s” = HE, facial hairs = TASHES
    24A: Looks good to me too

  4. Thanks for the explanation, I didn’t know the word tashes.

    The thing about 24A is that the literal part of the clue is supposed to “go otherwise undefined” leaving just the cryptic definition, however there are two definitions in 24A, just wanted to know whether others agree that it is effectively triply defined?, i.e.

    1. cricket related word, 2. bond, 3. writer christened murray.

    I’m not particularly enthusiastic about solving 12A for myself so some more blatant hints would be great.

  5. 24A: it is indeed a triple definition. if i have a problem with it, its that once you divide the clue into its two parts, the two clues seem more literal than cryptic

    12A: “front” is the key word in the clue, and “swap sides” is a modifier

    Also, i guess i can ask this here in the confusions section rather than the main one, how does DA expect the solver to have the knowledge to solve the crpytic part of the clue? And as for the literal part, the clue seems to have two possible references, which is it? both possible references have the same “size”

  6. I see what you mean Oster regarding 24A. All of the other across clues have only a cryptic definition. As 24A doesn’t have a cryptic definition (being more of the synonym type of clue), both halves of the clue have to be included for the solver to know that they have got the right answer.

  7. 24A: yes, it’s a triple. No objection from me.

    12A: thanks mic, finally got it. Oster, a verb form of “front” is required (and then modified).

    Mic, are you discussing 12A in your last para? I don’t have a problem with it, although I did find it hard.

    However I’m a bit confused about 26A. If my earlier structure is correct, how does tashes = facial hairs. Taches I could accept (although even that’s not in my Macquarie dictionary).
    How common does the misspelling have to be for it to be acceptable misspelling?

  8. Sorry, my last paragraph above was about 22A

    For what it’s worth, tash is in my Oxford dictionary, with no reference to misspelling

  9. Thanks for the 12A hints, had some friends point me in the right direction too. The ‘swap sides’ modifier is a favourite of mine so I don’t know why I was stuck for so long.

  10. Nebraska,

    A food store is a deli. So attached is very resulting in delivery



  11. 18D is DULCIMER: cloud over = duolc, (zero degrees) means no “O”, so DULC, then “obscuring face of watch” = timer minus t = IMER. Horrible!, like DH at his worst.
    11A is ALL-ROUNDER. I read it as ‘virtual game’ = ’rounders’ without ‘s’ (reading ‘virtual’ as ‘almost’), and 50/50 is LL, which with ‘a’ gives you ‘all-rounder’. Yuck!
    4D is nice though: ‘mentally’ is ‘psych’, so ‘sounds mentally’ is ‘cyc’ and ‘lean’ = ‘list’, as inclined.
    I agree about 2D, 24A and 22A.
    I don’t understand 24D BUSY. and I reckon 5D is suss.

  12. 4D I had ‘focus’=LISTEN. so ‘focus lean’ = LIST
    2D Juliet is J in the phonetic Alphabet thing (alpha victor bravo charlie etc)

    I agree on 5D being dodgy. I was really looking forward to cracking that one and then when only MONOTONE fit… ‘tedious’ equals MONOTONE, and ‘second zip’=”no second thing”=”only a first tone”=MONOTONE? forget DH, that is a Karl Pilkington level cryptic clue.

    24D Engaged too many visual details=BUSY. ‘engaged’=BUSY, and I’ve heard the useage busy used about powerpoint presentations when a speaker puts too many things on one slide people say “that slide was a bit busy.”

  13. 2D: Juliet = J in the NATO phonetic alphabet, yeah?
    22A: there are two cricket grounds with the word castle in their names, one even has a “castle end”, still seems way too obscure to me
    5D: second = MO, zip = NOT ONE.
    24A: storm, teacup.

    My only problem with the puzzle was 22A, don’t quite get the cricket reference, and how the f**k does DA expect people other than us on this site to knowhis surname???

  14. Mic that’s a much better explanation for 5D!

    24A on the other hand is just laziness. Is it really too hard to think of a cryptic definition for “bail”, or making it too easy or ambiguous to just leave it as “writer christened murray”? When you’ve already pulled the straight clues out as a theme
    and the other clue you want to use is a literal one, I say keep it and don’t supplement it with a second literal clue.

  15. re 22A, Wikipedia defines “Castled – out bowled often by a full length ball or a Yorker.
    Mic, when DA’s column first appeared in the Spectrum, there was a note near the Friday crossword saying that David Astle writes a column on Saturdays.

  16. 6D is MEANS TESTS = fund inquiries and is what cricket is to diehards.
    25A is COVERS = ‘coves’ (= blokes) and ‘er’ from ‘mother’

  17. There was lots not to like this week. I shared most of AS’s concerns:
    2D: J=Juliet? Not keen on uncommon single-letter abbrevs, but I suppose its appearance in the NATO phonetic alphabet is a pretty good defence.
    24A: Not keen on triple defs. I think I agree with Oster above. (Has anyone ever seen a quadruple def?)
    18D: DULCIMER. Tough clue. I was lucky to get this (“cloud over” made me think of “dull” and then “dulcimer” popped into my head). I’ve not seen “degrees” used in this way before.
    11A: I didn’t get this one. Thanks for the explanation, JG.
    4D: I think JG’s explanation is right, except that I think “cyc” is derived from the first three words of the clue (“sounds mentally focus”), not just the first two.
    22A: Agree it’s unfair to expect knowledge of the setter’s last name. And “castle” used to describe the stumps is rare.

    Also 26A: “Taches” would have been bad enough, but “tashes”? Yuck!
    25A: There’s a typo in JG’s explanation just above (read “r”, not “er”).

  18. The triple definition really deserves an exclamation mark, as a sign that something’s up.

    As for the rest, some sloppy, some extremely obscure. I really was excited when I saw it was a themed crossword, but that excitement has well and truly worn off :-|

  19. Oster, I hope your explanation of 24D is not the correct one, it’s awful. Surely it’s not too hard to come up with a cryptic for BUSY, something involving BUSTY and T-SHIRTS, say.
    On 22A I agree with RB, ‘yours truly’ should mean either DA or ‘me’; I think ‘yours truly, Astle’ only works for Lord Astle.
    Thanks for the correction in 26A, RB.

  20. I’m afreaid my explanation for 24D was same as Oster’s. It’s not inspired, is it? I think I would have preferred a clue along your lines, JG.

  21. On a related note can anyone answer
    “Yours truly driving with a shooter?(6)” _A_E_ _
    If it helps the last letter is the second letter of “Plant – a nasty clump!(7)” _ _ _ T_N_

    Both from DA May 28, 2004.

  22. Oster:
    LANTANA is contained in Plant – a nasty, and is a nasty clump of a plant
    which makes the first answer CAMERA: ME “in CAR” + A

    where can i get DA’s of that vintage? i’ve only been a DA’er for a year or so

  23. Thanks mic.

    Don’t you have all your old newspapers piled up at home? Alternatively, they have been freely available on the Age/SMH websites over the years and the guy at has saved them.
    (It says you are allowed to save the .puz file for offline use on the newspaper’s website)

  24. Oster, sweet jesus! thanks!

    Ash, “not depressed” is the shapely literal clue

  25. OK, I’m almost ready to put this one to bed. Can someone please put me out of my misery and explain 20A in very simple terms?

  26. Gymbunnies,

    The answer is the name of a film that had a character called Harry Lime.

    Hope this helps.



  27. D’oh! (now there’s an expression worth looking up in the Macquarie Dictionary). Thanks Ash.

    Incidentally, what dictionary do you guys consider definitive for the smh cryptic?

    Disappointed to see tashes and even tache don’t make it into the Macquarie (5th Ed).

  28. You’re welcome. Now for the life of me I can’t figure out why 12 across is appeal. I got the answer but don’t understand the clue :(


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