The DA Confusions for the 3rd/4th of September edition

Oopsies, I forgot to start this thread on Friday (thanks for comment, RB).

Now I’m twiddling my thumbs in Sydney airport waiting for my delayed flight to Buenos Aires to begin.

Thankfully, Sydney airport has free internet access, which is a far cry from what’s on offer in Melbourne at Tullamarine.

Anyway, back to the crossword, which you can comment on freely below.

25 thoughts on “The DA Confusions for the 3rd/4th of September edition

  1. Thanks, AS. I have a couple of queries.

    26A: Is there a grass called “palum”? If not, then this clue seems a bit weak.

    16D: I have TUBULOUS. I don’t like it on two counts: firstly, to clue “ulous” as “semi-ridiculous” is, well, ridiculous! I am (almost half) incredulous! DA should have been more sedulous with this clue. Am I being too querulous? Secondly, does “tubulous” mean “like a snake”? The closest definition I can find is “shaped like a tube”, which seems a bit nebulous to me.

  2. Agree. I had tubulous, but thought it was wrong. How does the’ Clumsy 24D’ clue work? Palum is a weed I think. Can you help with 12A and 4D as well please? Ta

  3. RB: 26A is an interesting one. I don’t think there is any “p-alum” part to the wordplay; I think DA was just taken with the notion that ASP is, in this case, a snake in the grass. In a way, completing the wordplay would have weakened that point. I see your complaint, and in a strange way I kind of agree but I see why DA has left it that way. In the end I nominated it (in the other thread) as one of my top clues for the week, just for DA having noticed what ASP is in that word.

    Another brilliant but flawed clue is 8A – seems to me “job-wise” is entirely redundant – the clue would have been more elegant without it.

    I had to look up the Web for a couple of snakes, spirits and Portuguese places that were outside my ken.

    But I’m happy because for the first time in ages I have (i) laboured over what I found to be a tough crossword; (ii) had no really serious complaints about unfair clues; and (iii) not had to ask for help here on understanding any wordplay.

  4. I think a clumsy boat is a tub – three men in a tub. Re 4d – hardly agin is for or pro, to model is to pose. We are also stumped with 12a. Presumably a word meaning damn is clothing the letter d to give a word meaning obviously, but if so we cannot get it. Please suggest another approach if I have misread the clue.

  5. Looked at it one more time & (wife) got 12 a – wordplay as I stated it, the word for damn a clayton’s curse, bally.

  6. kk,

    re clumsy 24D: a TUB is a low-quality boat, and ULOUS is half of “ridiculous”.

    Re 12A and 4D, I’m assuming by “help” you mean additional clues and not the answers.

    12A: I had to have the wordplay explained to me for this too, after I had the word by cross-letters and the definition. Think of a very old-fashioned adjectival synonym for “damn”/”bloody”; and “clothing” as wordplay for enclosing.

    4D: assuming you have 10A, the first three letters of 4D are hardly 10A; the remainder is “model” as a verb, more or less.


  7. kk, re 26A, I can’t find anything on “palum”. I believe that both “grass” and “weed” in the clue refer to paspalum. (In Australia, it is considered a weed). So I think AG and I both agree on that. But we differ on whether that irrevocably ruins the clue. I say Yes, AG says No.

    I agree with AG about 8A – “job-wise” seems redundant, but obviously DA couldn’t resist having two “jobs” in the clue.

    Re 16D, does anyone think “like a snake” is a good definition for “tubulous”?

  8. I think the biggest problem with tubulous is that it implies a hollow structure, at least in my mind, and snakes are solid. Can you have a solid tube?

  9. Re 8a, surely Steve Jobs street-wise is just a rich guy. Home-wise he’s just Steve. Only job-wise is he an IT VIP. I don’t mind the redundancy: it’s pleasantly playful.

  10. Maybe its an early entry for the next book prize that we have not been informed about yet – if so a pretty good clue. What is the prize?

  11. RB, it’s just a compliment to David, and his ability to get us thinking outside the square. My 90 year old mother’s favourite activity on a weekend is sitting down with DA’s crossword in The Age. I’m sure it contributes to her ongoing mental acuity, and I’ve bought her a copy of his book as a present. If I’ve breached etiquette somehow by drifting off-topic I apologize, I’m new to this type of discussion. It won’t happen again.

  12. No apology is necessary, Mike. Thanks for explaining the sudden appearance of the Hendrix clue. Looks like your mum has just usurped Peter’s mum (who is 86, if I remember correctly) as the “oldest known DA solver”.

  13. Mike, as I commented, a very good clue & no reference to Hendrix is ever unwelcome.

  14. Finished! A bit demoralised though. Does anyone ever think these things are just too hard? I think of myself as having a fairly good vocabulary, but so many of these require sitting at a computer with an internet connection (Fer De Lance?! Paspalum? Ringhals? or for the geographically challenged, Ashanti and Granada – all were new words for me) Which raises the question: aren’t all those types of words better placed in the “General Knowledge” crossword next door, and keep the cryptic more as a pure word puzzle?
    These days I can no longer sit down on the couch with my Saturday cryptic, a good coffee, and this brain of mine that enjoys being clever with words, but which is equally UN-inspired by trivia. Is it going too far to suggest that perhaps this type of cryptic puzzle needs to be shifted to the working week, when we’re more likely to not mind using the computer, and the Saturday cryptic instead returns to its roots, where wordplays and anagrams, etc. are king, not “general knowledge”?
    Sorry for the rant. Hope it made sense. Interested to see any comments. :)

  15. …or to ask it a slightly different way….. How many of you made use of an internet connection to solve this week’s cryptic?

  16. Ah CL, I’ve had a few rants on this theme recently, so yours is music to my ears! I don’t mind the occasional general knowledge requirement, the occasional obscure word, the occasional informal/slang word, the occasional modern/technospeak word, but sometimes half the crossword seems to fit into these categories! IMO it’s a pity because DA, as a master of word trickery and deception, does not need to rely on these other devices.

    As for your particular gripes this week, I needed google/dictionary for Fer De Lance, Ringhals (this required knowledge of an obscure snake and an obscure painter). I’d (just) heard of Ashanti, Algarve, Paspalum but it was nice to confirm with google. I would add Agin to your list. OK, I am familiar with this slang word but not Bombay Sapphire gin.

    One query: Granada? Where does this feature in this crossword?

  17. Whoops! Good question RB. Note the midnight time-stamp. When I make mistakes my crossword gets messy, so “Granada” was a late night mis-read of “Grandpa” when I was looking for examples to rail against!! So.. um.. I have no issues with 19D. In fact it represents a good example of the sort of clue I AM looking for in my Saturday cryptic.

  18. Sorry for late posting, I’ve been away again and obtained a copy of this DA yesterday but wouldn’t access this site until I got it out. Mom had to help me with the ‘foreign’ snakes (and, along the way, the Dutch painter). By the way, she recently turned 87. She liked BUMF, and we both had a good laugh at Birth centre = UTERUS.

  19. Typical, November 5th 2011, 15 out of 25 clues cross-referenced. I look forward to the day when you compile another puzzle with stand-alone clues. Until then you are wrapping for fish and chips.

  20. What puzzles me is why Mike’s comment about this weekend’s DA is posted here in a thread over a year old! Anyway, in the interests of accuracy, the correct figures are: 26 clues and 13 of them are cross-referenced.

  21. Hmm I got 28 clues (or 30 if you count the 15A/14d and 11a/2d as separate) and 13 referring to others.
    Anyway, Mike did the right thing if he doesn’t like themes. Just don’t bother to do the crossword and wait for one that satisfies your requirements for a bit of fun, after all that’s why we do them isn’t it?
    Until next week…

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