DA Confusion on the 5/6th of November, 2010

Don’t let confusion reign — chances are someone on the interwebs knows how to resolve a tricky bit of DA cleverness.

Just ask below.

Update: My confusion:

21 down: Vacuous rookie — muscled or slight? (6)

47 thoughts on “DA Confusion on the 5/6th of November, 2010

  1. 22a: no definition. I mean I liked the clue, but exactly what kind of clue would you call it?
    27a: why “second” girl?
    8d: The clue seems almost straight.
    14d: can P denote a student?
    23d: perilously close to an indirect anagram
    24d: Should “alternative” be plural? Better construction might be “Current and alternative band”

  2. Too many word-finds for my liking.

    11a: Is that really cryptic?
    20d: Don’t agree with definition for ‘pluck’.
    22a: Nice lateral thinking puzzle
    27a: ‘Second’ girl because Rachel is the first one
    14d: Agree, P not really a student anymore
    Favourite clue is 21d

  3. 8D: “reduced” here means “lost weight”.
    22A makes sense if you read it as having a colon after the first word.
    I liked 5D

  4. Apologies Ian re 22A, I see your point, it’s not cryptic, just a puzzle with an answer.

  5. Got it out except for 5A and 8D
    5A Never heard, but I guess that’s because I no longer have teenagers in the house. Solution led me to the Urban Dictionary on line though. Bookmarked for the future.
    8D Is there something missing? Seems like only half a clue… but then I was looking for a double definition.
    28A Got the answer but still don’t get the F and N at beginning and end, or the ‘in sun’ bit. Can someone help me out?

  6. Gayle, with28A head west from the f in finesse (pirouetted in is the indicator)

    I found this weeks rather difficult, still got a few to get but the weekend is young

  7. 28a: suN YET NO Finesse; reverse hidden clue. Pirouetted here just meaning turned round.
    11a: this is what’s called a cryptic definition. The top of one’s bottom could be said to be the small of the back.
    8d: JG, not sure what you mean by lost weight.

  8. 22a: It’s a rebus, much like GEGS (9,4) and HIJKLMNO (5). There’s a whole chapter of them in his new book.
    11a, 8d: puns aka riddles. we don’t see many of these in Aus either.
    14d: P=P-plater =student, I guess. OK with me.
    20d: pluck = spirit (=courage) is ok with me.
    23d: looks like an indirect anagram to me too, not to mention clunky. might need this one spelling out to me, if someone’s got the patience.
    24d: agreed, Ian, but it’s doing my head in.

    1d: marks the spot =patch? Am I right? seems tenuous.
    5d: rand raised = nya? huh?

    favourites: 21d, 1a, 17a, 26a

  9. 5d: Ayn Rand wrote “Atlas Shrugged”, which Lisa Simpson was once seen reading, so lowbrow types can have heard of it too. Recently saw this quote about it:

    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

    23d: it’s an anagram of the last five letters in science.

  10. 28 A Thanks JJ for the ‘west’ :)
    23 D Is the ‘in closing’ redundant or am I missing something? Threw me off starting with the final ‘n’ from ‘in’ until I saw the anagram.

  11. Shouldn’t there be a “sounds like” indicator after “reduced” in 8D?

  12. 5d: Ian, thanks for the nya explanation. Looks like another book for my xmas list;)

    11a, 8d: agreed, puns aka riddles, probably better known as cryptic definitions.

    23d: So, “block troubled” is the anagram indicator?

    21d: I’m still perplexed, thinking marks the spot = covers the spot = patch? and “according to” is just a link for surface meaning?

  13. JG Are you thinking about cut down/cut out weight? Could be. That would account for what appears to be missing, unless Ian’s right about the straight clue – abbreviated holiday. Tend to think JG has it.

    Still think ‘in closing’ is redundant in 23 D. Surely ‘block’ is enough for part of the word to be anagrammed.

  14. Nice observation JG, but without the homophone indicator I still believe the Xmas clue is a cryptic definition/pun/riddle. In DA’s new book he references an American clue “Holiday cut short?” with the same answer. Simple as that!

  15. Could someone explain where the ‘chi’ comes from in 5a; and how lands becomes ‘ls’ at the end of 26a… still 2 to go…

  16. Sam, for 5a “put your feet up” = definition, “kid, largely” = chil (child – d), “lazy” = lax.

  17. I just thought in 8d “reduced” meant “abbreviated” and that it was hardly cryptic. Can someone explain the role of “pluck” in 20d? Is it to do with aspiring? If so I struggle to make a connection. In 14d I thought the student (L) was in a pen (=enswathed), but it does seem a longish bow to draw.

  18. Thanks SK – I’d confused the largley for an ‘l’ hence llax… doh.
    Dave R – I think Gymbunnies has it above, where pluck = spirit, as in showing plenty of pluck. My favourite was 13a I think.

  19. Dave R, pluck = spirit…bit off = spiri, in “an”.
    14d, I think it’s students P & L, and EN-swathed (inside crime).

  20. Hi Sam, “lands” = “l and s” = “ls”. Similarly “candy” = “cy” etc.

  21. I have enjoyed today’s challenge and I’ve got one to go – 27A. I’m pretty sure I have the word (having 4 of the 7 letters) but cannot see the wordplay. Can someone fill me in please. I’d like to end on a bang, rather than a whimpery “well it must be that because it’s the only word that fits”!

  22. Hi SM ), I’m assuming it’s Chelsea, a second girl’s name (in addition to Rachel), and a hidden word.

  23. Plenty to discuss this week, and most of it’s been well discussed already!

    Ian, I loved your Ayn Rand quote above!

    23D has elicited much comment. I thought it was an absolute shocker! My interpretation is that “block” is the instruction to take a CHUNK of the word “science”; “in closing” tells you this chunk is at the END of “science”; and the anagram indicator is simply “troubled”. It gets my vote for clunkiest clue of the year! I think DA felt he had to give both “in closing” and “block” since, as Ian says, it’s almost an indirect anagram.

    1D: GymBunnies, I think “X” = CROSS, “spot” = PATCH. And “marks the” and “according to” are just filler words to help the surface reading. I grant you that “marks the” is a bit unusual in this regard but it really helps the surface and that’s the only reason it’s there IMO.

    Never heard of “chillax” or “scarfs” (gobbles). Must get out more. Also new to me were “carious” and the author Lovecraft.

    My favourite was 13A (grave perhaps = accent).

  24. Much appreciate your analysis RB – seems very plausible. I hadn’t heard of scarfs in that context either, but Mrs Gym is Australian and says it’s quite common here.

  25. As someone who spent a lot of time reading about orcs (no time reading Ayn Rand) and therefore hearing about other “adult fantasy” writers (Eddison, Dunsany) I had also heard of Lovecraft, but I think 7d, while certainly amusing, is a poor clue because it requires specialist knowledge. I think the attraction of cryptic crosswords is in the complexity of the wordplay with a good general knowledge of literature, history & words, but this might be just a shade too obscure.

    For the record, I thought 1d was crosshatch rather than crosspatch – I couldn’t really explain the former but I have never heard of the latter.

  26. Cross patch, draw the latch,
    Sit by the fire and spin;
    Take a cup and drink it up,
    Then call your neighbors in.

    Old nursery rhyme I remember from a Little Golden Book

    Re Lovecraft: very well-known old horror author.

  27. JK,

    I’d never head of CROSSPATCH either, but when I asked the handbrake if she’d heard of “cross something”, she reeled off the following nursery rhyme:

    Cross Patch, draw the latch,
    Sit by the fire and spin;
    Take a cup, and drink it up,
    Then call your neighbours in.

  28. I favour crosshatch for 1d. I worked out chillax and assumed it’s a modern word like ‘to chill out’! I liked 22a. I have all but one word – My dilemma is 7d. ‘l_v_c_a_t’

  29. I have just read JK’s comment above and checked up the author on the net. Thanks jk

  30. Your assumption about chillax is correct Lance. The Urban Dictionary gives it as a mixture or chill out and relax.

  31. Thankyou gymbunnies for the L AND S insight – I definitely need to store that one away for future use.

    On the topic of 24d – I’d say plural is not necessary, only imagining commas. Read as:
    Current (AC), Alternative (DC), Band (AC/DC)

    But on that note, perhaps it’s time to revisit an old classic radio competition where the question was on how to spell ACDC….

  32. i liked this one, no where’s wally but good fun. although one of my first answers was to the rebus and i had:

    FI_TH WH__L=serve no purpose

    as in you don’t need a fifth wheel, and the missing letters are redundant in that you don’t really need them to see what the words are. but i think the ‘correct’ answer is better

    cheers for the help on Mr. Lovecraft!

  33. How’s this for coincidence? I’d never heard of “chillax” till Saturday’s crossword. Then, on Sunday, on SBS’s Dateline, I see two characters at the recent Restore Sanity rally in Washington, wearing costumes emblazoned with “CHILLAX”!

  34. Hello everyone,

    Feeling very slow. Can someone please explain 22a? I can’t understand how it works.

    Thanks so much.

  35. Hi Annie.
    It’s more of a rebus/wordplay than your traditional double-definition cryptic.
    When you fill in the gaps, it spells “Fifth Wheel”. In a car the fifth wheel is the “spare”, so that gives you the first word.
    If you then look at the letters that were missing, they are F, E and E, which spells “Fee”.
    So…. “Fifth wheel with no fee” becomes, “Spare, no expense”

    …and if you’re desperate to find a cryptic clue in there, then perhaps we could say that when you’re replacing the tyres on your car you’ll often replace only four of them, but not the spare, so, when you do replace the spare, you’re sparing no expense?!

  36. Thank you CL. Your explanation has freed my brain up to get on with the rest of the day. Much appreciated.

  37. Hi all, back from some months overseas! Wish I’d investigated that tip about getting the crossword online posted about a week or two ago.

    Ayn Rand is surely at least as well known as H.P. Lovecraft…

    Can’t get 18D to work.

  38. PS, Re: 21 down:

    Vacuous rookie — muscled or slight? (6)

    vacuous rookie = re
    muscled = buff
    slight = rebuff

  39. Hi, Not sure if the query about 21D was answered. Vacuous rookie – muscled or slight? Vacuous (empty) rookie RE + muscled BUFF = slight REBUFF.

  40. Sorry, Oster. Your answer was not there when I read through this week’s comments.

  41. Oster, 18D is:
    “Rotten” = CARIOUS
    “deer” = CARIBOUS
    “stub-tail” = B

  42. Scarf (=gobble) is North American slang and has no place in an Australian cryptic crossword.

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