DA Confusion on the 25/26th of June, 2010

Have your confusions sorted right here.


Update: My confusions:

15 across: Hindu destroyer fairly vital to twin (9)
I think I worked out the answer, just not the explanation for the last two letters of what I thought was the answer.

21 down: Porter of Australian letters suggested call to hunters (6)

5 down: Guide outspoken German author and his literary output? (9)

12 across: Mulched seaport grass (7)
I don’t know my grasses.

6 down: They mark the old gurus heading last (3, 5)
Again, huh?

24 thoughts on “DA Confusion on the 25/26th of June, 2010

  1. 15A: on the last two letters – vital = KEY, fairly vital means that it’s ‘most of’ KEY.

  2. 6D: not sure how much I should be giving away! the quick clue is “marks the old”, there’s a theme word three letters in there, and you’re loking for a word meaning “gurus” which has been manipulated according to the direction “heading last”.

  3. > 21 down: Porter of Australian letters suggested call to hunters (6)

    Hal [Porter] gives half the answer; add in one of the theme words
    for the other half. “call to hunters” is the definition.

    > 5 down: Guide outspoken German author and his literary output? (9)
    “Guide” is the slightly-dodgy definition, but that’s more than
    compensated for by the overall neatness of the clue.
    WRT the wordplay … how many famous German authors can you think of?
    (Well, it’s probably more then I can, but the one was enough for me).
    And “literary output” is something the French have a word for that
    English has stolen (for use in an Australian crossword.)

    Re 12A:
    > I don’t know my grasses.

    Nor did I, but I can both spot an angaram and use wikipedia!

  4. My Confusions:

    14A: is “carry” being “half-hearted” (albeit more like “two-thirds-hearted”)? or is there a better answer?

    9A: “for the head”? don’t get it..

  5. I thought 6D was great; “old gurus”=”sages”, heading last gives “agess” then insert one of the three letter theme words “pot” gives “agespots” they mark the old.And by the way I hope we don’t start criticizing DA because his crosswords are too challenging….I thought this one of his best and highly entertaining structurally.

  6. I agree great crossword but I have one point of confusion: I found only five repeated 3-letter words. The sixth (‘LAV’ I think) appears only once as far as I can see. Am I missing something?

  7. JG, re CAN: Yes, but in 27A it doesn’t appear under the conditions set out at the top of the clues – it’s just a broken bit of the solution and clued as normal. Still, I agree it would have been neater to avoid the additional reference.

    mic and JG, re 11A: I agree. And it’s so unnecessary when “heartless” instead of “half-hearted” would have been just fine.

  8. Grrr, although I had all correct answers except for 21D & 28A (which I had nothing) I thought this was just too hard. Ha! Just as well the social calendar was empty on Saturday.

  9. 27A was one of my favourites. DA used “convenience” in two ways. caesarean as a “delivery option for convenience” and “convenience (ie can) holding back years by ocean”.

    I thought I had 23 across right with dire fog, fire dog. that slowed me down for a while.

  10. Interesting crossword, despite a few too many obscure words.

    After the recent discussion about the use of “mulch” as an anagram indicator in the July 23/24 crossie, I see DA uses it here in 12A, a few weeks earlier.

    11A: I agree with comments above about the use of “half-hearted” to transform “carry” into “cary”. It just doesn’t work! Looks like DA bullshit to me. Or a misprint. It should surely have been “heartless”, but maybe the preceding words in the clue (“half-kissed”) led someone astray.

    1D: Thought the connection between “recap” and a tomato sauce bottle was a tad far-fetched.

    20D: It looks like “regarding the veldt” ==> “African”. Once again, this is too tenuous for a definition. Or am I missing something?

  11. I spent a long time thinking “regarding the veldt” surely can’t be AFRICAN until I realised it had to be and I cracked the shits.

    I also thought CAESAREAN = Delivery option for convenience was a stretch, and I thought It’s easy = CONVENIENCE grammatically incorrect.

  12. AS, I think the CAESAREAN clue was OK. But it depends how you deconstruct it. The clue was: “Delivery option for 9-across, holding back years by ocean”. And 9-across was CONVENIENCE.

    My interpretation is:
    “Delivery option” = CAESAREAN
    “9-across, holding back years by ocean” = CAN holding back ERA SEA

    Another interpretation is:
    “Delivery option for 9-across” = Delivery option for convenience = CAESAREAN
    “holding back years by ocean” = holding back ERA SEA
    Here CAN is one of those three-letter words not appearing in the wordplay.
    I rejected this interpretation on the grounds that we’ve already got two occurrences of CAN, the letters C A N are not contiguous, and it leaves “holding” rather inelegantly high and dry. Also, as well as being controversial (which DA probably relishes), it could also be insulting (which I don’t think is DA’s style).

    A third interpretation is:
    “Delivery option for 9-across” = Delivery option for convenience = CAESAREAN
    “9-across, holding back years by ocean” = CAN holding back ERA SEA
    I rejected this interpretation on the grounds that “convenience” would be doing double duty.

    So, if you accept my first interpretation, do you still have concerns?

    As for 9A: my main concern with this clue was that I didn’t know the “head” on a ship was the toilet. So I wasn’t really bothered about your concern. You do have a point, but I suppose DA would point to the “it’s”, which suggests we’re looking for a noun.

  13. Right, the first interpretation does make more sense.

    I took CAN to be one of the unclued three-letter words.


  14. A mind-twisting theme, amazing, but take pity on me – stuck in the middle of the Amazon, miles from wikipedia and anyone who knew anything about olearias, trepanning, Hal Porter, pellagra, Thomas Mann, William Gosse (I thought it was Ernest Giles, with some sort of travel = miles minus the ‘m’ trickery). Tragically I was probably very close to some peccaries, without knowing what the hell they were.

    I know its months later, but can anyone help with….

    15d Hindu destroyer fairly vital to twin (9)
    L _ O _ A _ I _ I

    5d Guide outspoken German Author and his literary output? (9)
    M A N N _ _ V _ E


  15. 15D is LOOKALIKE. (It seems you have spelt Caesarean incorrectly!). Kali is a Hindu goddess, sometimes referred to as the Destroyer. Not sure about the LOO bit. The KE on the end is explained by LK in the first comment above.

    5D is MANOEUVRE. And MF above has more to say on this clue.

  16. Thanks, RB. Oh, and I forgot to whine about “ESPARTO”. Damn, an amazing theme, ruined by the obscurity of the answers.

  17. Ah, of course! I did this crossword in July so I’d forgotten that it was the bog/pot/pan/can/loo/lav crossword; hence my inability to account for LOO in 15D.

    Like you, I was a bit late getting round to this crossword because of overseas travels, although in my case I was only one month late. And I see from comments in the other thread that you and I weren’t the only ones to think there were a few too many obscurities.

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