Confused by DA on the 12/13th of Feb, 2010

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29 thoughts on “Confused by DA on the 12/13th of Feb, 2010

  1. Thought this was a really clean and entertaining crossword, top-notch.

    Just one query: can someone explain “tree” = three letters in 13D?

  2. Two queries:

    16A: does great = HIP somehow?

    25A: where does the REV come from? i can think of three possibilities
    a) it is an abbreviation of revelations, and thus one of the “books”, and DA is faceciously flattering himself as a “gun compiter
    b) it is short for revolver, a gun
    c) if DA is such a “gun” compiler, then he deserves the title “Reverend DA”, ie rev.

    b) seems the cleanest solution to me, but it is the one of the three abbreviations that my dictionary doesn’t support

  3. Wow, three credible explanations for an answer, and NONE of them were right. Thanks, Oster

  4. oh, i got that Po was a river, but i figured that the whole clue had to be used twice to justify the &lit status, hence the “!”. If it’s just hip = in, then that seems to violate that

    Anyway, this was one of my favourite non-themed DA’s, albeit somewhat easier than most

  5. Done, but for 27a. I have either ‘a’ or ‘e’ as the middle letter, neither very satisfactory for me. What am I missing with “gull”? Or with the whole clue?

  6. mic, I agree with MF in the other thread – 16A is a semi-&lit (if there is such a thing). So it probably warrants only half or two thirds of a “!”. But also note that “!” does not always signify “&lit”.

    I found this week’s DA to be a mixture: some clues easier than usual, and some very tough ones.

  7. I thought a “semi-&lit” was marked with a question mark, not an exclamation mark

    Anyway, while I know the other fairfax setters will end any clue with an exclamation mark as long as it improves the surface reading, I though that DA saved the exclamation mark for “true” &lit’s

  8. What does ‘&lit’ mean (sorry for my ignorance, I am just a poor, simple country bumpkin) ?

  9. It’s a clue where there is the normal definition and wordplay, and the surface reaking is literally true s well. In this case, if we allow “giant” as a definition for hippo, in = hip, river = Po, and “giant in river” describes the animal as well.

  10. “Jacka” and “Barsac”!. I derived the latter from the clue but the meaning was only illuminated by googling. I had never heard of Jacka (forgive me). Logic not google should be the primary tool for a DA crossword. Please leave the bizarre words to the Tuesday compiler.

  11. I think my understanding of &lit differs slightly from Ian’s. My understanding of &lit is simply that the whole clue serves both as wordplay and as definition. So there is only one definition: the literal surface reading.

    My analysis of 16A is:
    Giant in river = HIPPO (the definition)
    in river = HIP PO (the wordplay)
    As the first word of the clue does not participate in the wordplay, it’s not a true &lit.

  12. I get the ‘books by gun compiler’ part’ of 25A (OT-REV-DA), but I’m a bit mystified by how ‘show-off’ leads to “LAIR” (I’m assuming ‘spurned’ indicates the reversal of all the wordplay elements)

  13. Why do you guys give a picture of the completed crossword some weeks and not others. I need more than “liked 25A” and this constant “&lit” stuff. I do get to a point where I want to stuff the paper down DA’s throat – then I need really obvious hints for all the clues. Even the ones you guys found easy!

  14. JJ: Lair is good old Australian slang for a show-off, a dandy, “a man who dresses garishly and is crude or vulgar.” The sort of work my grandparents, or CJ Dennis would have used.
    Hissy: for an explanation of the answers, try this link:
    Someone will usually have the answers posted by mid-Friday, with a guide to the wordplay. Any specific questions you have, post them here.

  15. JJ, a “lair” is Aussie slang for a show-off.

    hissy, the completed (or sometimes part-completed) crossword (together with any queries he has) is the creation of AS, one of the aficionados who created this blog – click on “About Us” at top of page for more detail. He also creates the Bullshit and Gold categories etc. He is exceptionally late with his “report” this week – maybe he found the crossword very tough – or maybe he’s had something better to do this weekend! As for obvious hints, just ask away – you’ll find answers flooding in from everywhere!

  16. 7D is another semi-&lit in my opinion. Although the fact that the definition is couched as a question will no doubt upset some. This is my take on it:
    “Was fleet” = RAN (think “fleet” as in “quick”)……..this is the cryptic part
    “Was fleet ours?” or maybe just “fleet ours?” = RAN (Royal Aus Navy)…this is the definition

  17. Ian, you beat me to it …. again!
    Is it a semi-&lit or double def? I’m ambivalent. I suppose “was fleet” = RAN is not very cryptic, which supports the double def view. But then the two defs overlap, which had me thinking in terms of semi-&lit. I’ll sit on the fence on this one. After reading MF’s link on semi-&lits (see above), I’m more confused than I was before!

  18. I looked up the Don Manley book (the Chambers Crossword Manual) and a true &lit is one where the clue is entirely made up of wordplay, with the surface reading supplying the definition. The two clues in this DA have wordplay, definition and apt surface reading. It’s hard to know what to call these. I don’t think it really matters; both clues were perfectly orthodox in their structure and just happened to have appropriate surface reading.

  19. Thanks, Ian. That matches what I’ve read about the true &lit. But it’s the &lit variations that are sometimes hard to pin down (e.g. for 16A, is the definition “giant” or “giant in river”?). As you say, it doesn’t really matter what you call them.

  20. hissy, the less than consistent posting regimen is because I mostly do the posting and I’m not always available.

    Thankfully there’s an army of others who are around that can help you for whatever problems you might have.

    And if you’re stuck, just ask for some help and it will come.

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