DA Debate on 29/30th November, 2010

There’s a lot to talk about this week. Here are the bones of contention:

  1. Ian reports what might make 11 across more sensible: a spear carrier is a film extra.
  2. Aren’t pagans the opposite of atheists?
  3. Am I right in think CAST SUP is a little tenuous for a wrap party? And isn’t throw forward not quite in the same direction as casts up?
  4. Surely RED HAND = queen of hearts is a bit much Oopsies — that should be RED CARD, which makes more sense.
  5. I’m OK with cosmopolitan = COCKTAIL even though it goes from particular to general, much like I would be OK if it was dog = PET — although something like dog = ANIMAL would be abominable.
  6. Can anyone save promising = PALMIER?

Agree? Disagree? Did I forget something?

16 thoughts on “DA Debate on 29/30th November, 2010

  1. Pagans aren’t literally godless in the sense that atheists are, but they were commonly called so by Christians, so I think that one’s fine.

    Agree that CASTS UP and PALMIER are problematic. The former is particularly puzzling given that both the surface sense and the first definition could have been improved by getting rid of the ‘forward’. A question mark would also have been nice.

  2. Pagans have lots of gods, but know not God. Godless in the specific capitalised, Judeao-Christian sense.
    I found palmy in dictionaries on the web, as “glorious, prosperous, or flourishing.” Not a big step from that to “promising” and therefore palmier = more promising.
    CAST SUP a total dog.

  3. It seems there’s no concensus on the meaning of “pagan”. That makes it perfect for DA!

    I thought everything about CASTS UP was woeful. Agree with JL it would have been better without the “forward”.

    Agree with Ian that PALMIER can be justified, but I don’t like the word. Has anyone come across it before? It’s the sort of word that you’d be very wary of using in Scrabble, or the “Letters and Numbers” TV show, in case it was rejected.

    I think “shpitsh” was worth a mention in this thread too. As I said in the Confusions thread, I reckon DA overdid the “sh” affectation to the point where it was no longer entirely accurate. IMO, the final “sh” in “shpitsh” is unnecessary and misleading.

  4. I also reckon that the clue for Lohengrin was awful (I thought ‘fix deeply’ would be ‘ingrain’ not ‘engrain’) and agree about palmier. I also don’t really understand 28A even though I guessed it from the letters I had. Still, pleased about lots of refs to Germany because that at least meant I had some reference point from which to start guessing! I’ll be back on Friday with my usual effort of 2 solved, prolly….

  5. “I’m OK with cosmopolitan = COCKTAIL even though it goes from particular to general, much like I would be OK if it was dog = PET…”.

    I don’t like either, but at least it’s a short hop from DOG to PET, but a million miles from COSMOPOLITAN to COCKTAIL, especially as the only cosmopolitan cocktail reference I can find in a dictionary insists Cosmopolitan should be capitalised.

  6. According to wikipedia, the cosmopolitan is a popular cocktail, “on the television program Sex and the City, where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character, Carrie Bradshaw, commonly ordered the drink when out with her girlfriends. The film adaptation made a reference to its popularity when Miranda asks why they stopped drinking them, Carrie replies ‘because everyone else started.'”
    I need to watch more TV.

  7. Ask 1000 people for a 3-letter word that they associate with DOG, and PET would be high on the list. Do the same sort of thing with COSMOPOLITAN, and only a few would nominate COCKTAIL. You have to ask yourself whether such a ploy is fair without “for example” or “say”, as COSMOPOLITAN doesn’t define COCKTAIL.

  8. @ Stig: I’d have to say that a Cosmopolitan is the first cocktail I’d think of after a martini. It’s hugely popular because of Sex and the City (as you say JG). As for capitalising, etc. isn’t the point of NOT doing such things ‘correctly’ (as with punctuation) to deliberately misguide us? Capitalisation would have made it too obvious – the last thing you want in a DA!

  9. Let’s not be too pedantic here folks. My first post to this forum was about punctuation. RB gave me a great answer, starting with “The first rule of cryptics is that there are no rules”. If DA tried to please all of us he’d go completely insane (not that I don’t think his mind’s a little twisted anyway). Jonathan makes a good point – perhaps DA is being cryptic within a cryptic – twisting the clue just a little more to add difficulty. Isn’t that why we love DA so much?

  10. Of course cryptics are meant to be tricky, but using the particular to indicate the general, is just not fair, IMO. Imagine trying to solve every clue where any noun could indicate something it has an association with. It’s the thin edge of the wedge.
    Of course “there are no rules” is a furphy: without rules of some kind they’d be no way for a compiler to convey his/her intentions and for solvers to find the answers.

  11. Mmmmm. Have I shot myself in the foot? Or has Sandy quoted me slightly out of context? My comment about there being no rules was meant particularly in relation to punctuation. As regards other aspects of cryptics, I would agree that it’s best not to get too hung up on “rules”, especially where DA is concerned. Nevertheless, there are certain rules/conventions that should be followed – but we obviously can’t agree what these are!

    On this cosmopolitan/cocktail issue, I’m on Stig’s side. As I said in the Confusions thread, using the particular to indicate the general requires “for example” or “eg” or “say”. Otherwise, I reckon it’s unfair, especailly as I never watched Sex and the City!

  12. Point taken, RB and Stig – maybe DA is messing with our heads just a little too much! I never watched Sex and the City either but my misspent youth helped me with that answer :-)

  13. I’m glad RB mentioned shpitsh – I also thought it should have been shpits – but that was the only meh of the crossword for me, athough “casts up” was a bit of a stretch – palmier, cosmopolitan I thought were fine

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