Confusions for the 28/29th of May

Here’s where you’re shown how to get your head around the clues that seem so unhead-aroundable.

14 thoughts on “Confusions for the 28/29th of May

  1. Time for a bit of chat here, then. I still have two clues to get and would appreciate hints – I really have no more time to spare on this one today – 19D/26A and 14A (something COBBLER?)

    Meanwhile, AL over on the other thread says:

    “While I solved 16D I still haven’t worked out the cryptic for it but I have a quibble over the clue which should have an apostrophe either before or after the ’s’ in cowboys – much the same as 3D.”

    I agree on the apostrophe and I still haven’t fully worked out the wordplay there either – anyone? I assume you’re not seeing a problem in 3D, AL, just saying that “woman’s” correctly has one.

  2. I am just too old to have watched the show referred to in 19D/26A. Wife got it through having sat around with the children when young. Cobbler is right for 14 A – key to first part is “harmony”.

  3. Augh! Can’t believe I didn’t get 19D/26A! Thanks, JK. And with the aid of a dictionary I got 14A too – I’d never heard of that sense of “cobbler”. Don’t really like “disrupted” for substitution in that clue.

  4. Re 14A: I wasn’t keen on the use of “disrupted” either, but I think it’s better than your comment would imply, AG. I think “disrupted” simply means broken i.e. the last letter falls off. Then “by” means next to. (I’d never heard “cobbler” as a dish either).

    Re 16D, my interpretation is:
    arouse = STIR
    maiden free from 27-acrosses = m free from RUMPS = RUPS

    Now for a whinge: not all Arabs are Muslims. And the reverse is even more true.

    Now for a query: For 1A, I have WATCHDOG, but I don’t get the “rife with ticks” bit.

  5. Thanks RB, as I couldn’t work out “rups”and thought that maiden was probably o rather than m (though m in cricket shorthand makes sense) . Arab and Muslim should never be confused in real life but maybe acceptable in a crossword?

  6. Does anyone else think that the words “and last” are redundant in 14A? I spent a fair while trying to do something with H & I (“Haiti’s first and last”), and I can’t really see the point of the “and last” part.

    Thanks RB for the cryptic solution to 16A. That one had me well and truly stumped.

    I did have one major peeve though – I wasn’t at all happy with “line” as a synonym for “synopsis” (11D) – I didn’t fill it in till right at the end because it just didn’t seem good enough.

  7. jnrj, I think I can help with both your queries.

    14A: I was toying with “Haiti’s first and last” (H & I) for far too long too! But then I realised that the clue to COBBLER isn’t just “repairman”; it’s “last repairman” (“last” as in the block shaped like a human foot that a cobbler uses).

    11D: Control = CHECK
    synopsis = OUTLINE

  8. Aaargh! Bum steer on 27 A! To my eyes the key word appeared as “burn” and I was completely distracted to the extent that the answer eluded me. Did anyone else have this difficulty? My mother has given up on DA as she finds the type too small for her aging eyes.

  9. A couple of further comments – I add my thanks to others’ for the explanation of STIRRUPS – that clue now goes up in my estimation.

    Also to RB for the “last repairman” – that one goes up as well. Two golden clues there.

    On the other hand, I support the disdain for 8D. Sloppy work, roughly equivalent to clueing “European” with “Christian”. I must confess I’d moved on from that clue when I got it, without bothering to decode the wordplay fully. The word ARAB didn’t even enter my mind.

  10. Yes, PMc. For a while, I had the same problem with burn and bum in 27A. And I remember this rn m similarity happened a few months back too. Luckily, I don’t think there are many words that can be misconstrued like this (yarn/yam, darn/dam, modern/modem spring to mind). And I have a solution for those of us who are less visually avcute these days. Use a magnifying glass! There’s a slight gap between the r and the n.

Leave a Reply

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