DA Confusions for the 11/12th of March, 2011

Here’s where you sort out your confusions.

Pose the question and your question will be answered.

70 thoughts on “DA Confusions for the 11/12th of March, 2011

  1. So I’ll be first. haven’t attempted a DA for a few weeks as haven’t had time. Out of practice! Hints for 22A and 2D would be appreciated, as for 9A. Thought it was ‘broken’ something but have 3D so can’t be…thanks! – alison

  2. Pay attention to the typography in 9A. What would the slashes indicate if you saw them in a dictionary? And what do they do to the clue? Combine those to get a type of injury.

    2D: I have no idea if the MDC exists, but if they did, what sort of organisation would they be, and how might that be something used in psychoanalysis?

    22A: Anagram. This idiom for failure involves fruit.

  3. Is there a missing anagram indicator in 10A? I have Route = R and halved amount = AMO, but can’t get to travel = ROAM without more manipulation.
    Or is it supposed to be Route halved = RO and amount = AM? I haven’t seen that abbreviation for amount before, and that’s less than half of Route.

  4. Thanks Rupert! – as soon as I posted that comment I got 9A. And now have 2D and 22A with your help. I assume you’ve solved it..?

  5. Alison, I think so. It’s always hard to tell until the solution comes out. I thought I had 7D at lunch, but a bit of Googling (I wasn’t familiar with the idiom) showed me I had one of the uncrossed letters wrong (I’d used a different synonym for pruned).

  6. I’m stuck now. I always get stuck on the little clues too: 20A can’t figure out but is 21D the obvious and start with P?

  7. Rupert, re 10a: There’s a word for travel, and if you perform a typical DA operation on it you get a word for route.

    Alison, for 20a, think of the Bill, where if a felon has previous offenses they say he’s got ____

  8. Thanks Ian. Got it now. Never seen an episode of the Bill but got it! Does 6 down start with the opposite of ‘pro’?

  9. @Alison, 6D: No. It’s a type of candle.

    @Ian: Thanks. That’s twice he used that letter that way in this puzzle.

  10. 4a: Not Boris – that would be heading in the wrong direction.
    23a: Verbal is not an indicator for a homophone (even a mispronounced one).

    13a: Could I have some help please? I know it’s not myrrh – can’t get the definition, and only half the wordplay.

  11. And 5d: got it from filling in the letters and the definition. Still trying for the wordplay. I take it the Communist Party is in the wordplay and not (I hope) in the definition?

  12. Gayle The Communist army is RED , surrounding ARGUER (rower) with E (paddle finally) swapped for A

  13. urgghhh – thanks David for 5d. I was on the right track with RED and thoughts of rower of that meaning but was distracted by the two AR in the solution, and sidetracked on oar= paddle. Doesn’t matter now. It’s a good clue. Thanks for putting me right – got a lot to do this weekend.
    13 a – another (smallish) hint? I’m stuck.

  14. 13 a – got ‘one of rare gifts’ = punned/ironic definition. What’s the just detail – mere?

  15. am plodding away at this one, have quite a few from definitions but word play is lost on me in the following 15a, 15d, 12d, 21D (am assuming it is the chap’s first name?)
    don’t fully understand 10A despite comments above (is it Roam or Road?)
    stuck on quite a few on the right hand side, but finally got 22A (thanks Rupert) so at least have a few more cross letters to play with, so will persevere with it.

  16. quite like 20A, 23A and especially 9A (although this took me a while with many false starts, I too had Broken for the first word until I managed a few of the down clues in this corner)

  17. @Ian , could be – I tend to think the answer is wider than the army sense, but I can easily be wrong about these sort of things!

  18. got the wordplay in 12D now, was messing around with the wrong type of bug (trying to work scarab into it!)

    Hint for 7D would be good, suspect it is an idiom that I haven’t heard of too.

  19. 15 a. The definition I believe is from basketball – it helps you shoot – the goal (on the rebound). Second directors is the two part wordplay.
    15 d I had that as definition is bore – past tense of verb meaning to bring, changing first letter of word meaning long time without rain.
    12 d definition is an alliance of ME and African nations/people. Wordplay is two words, no manipulation, fertile (6) + disease (4)

  20. nn 7 d is an idiomatic phrase also known as water cooler something in the US, only here in Oz it’s got a local flavour – a current and popular topic of conversation.
    For trimmer think men who trim, 5 letters …….. and the 6th one at the very end.
    Embedded (accepted) are synonyms for signs and pruned ( nearly – minus its last letter).

  21. thanks Gayle
    15A I had duckblind (something that helps you shoot ducks!) 15D I had the period without rain as the definition and was trying to get Bore into the wordplay. Best I could manage was Bore = Dug but couldn’t explain the other letters.
    Now I have the correct 15A I might have some hope with 14D!
    I will ponder your 7D hints

  22. 7 d the kind of conversation that might interrupt, take everyone’s attention at an outdoor meat grill.

  23. got the right 14A now (and makes a bit more sense than my original statement)
    this lead me to 24A, although I’ve only just managed to work out he wordplay.
    I have a word for 17D that fits the other letters, but doesn’t seem to fit any part of the clue. Someday will I work it out?
    stuck on 6a and 8D. have words that fit the letters, but not the clues

  24. got em all now. had a few wrong ones which didn’t help
    Favourites 9a, 23A
    Don’t think much of 21D.

  25. @DavidH, I was going down the communist army = red guard path for quite a while, but I eventually got to the same place @Ian did.

  26. I’ve done most of it except for the bottom right corner, and I still can’t get the second part of 7D. I think 24A must start with SCH and maybe has something to do with schools but I can’t get the word. Is 21D Collins really a name I should know?
    nn: for 6A think of the tossing that goes on at Highland Games and for 8D think of a shortened word for a chest muscle in a word for recess.

  27. thanks Conny, I have them now. 6a messed me up as I decided $1000 = k and took this off bank, giving me C_BAN or possibly a rearrangement of this. Therefore wrong letter for start of 8D. All ok now though
    21d Collins is the drummer, answer is his first name which sounds (Audio) like a word for stuff (as in stuff things in to something) 24A does start with SCH and does have something to do with what happens in schools (= trained)
    second part of 7d is what happens at the barbecue when something important comes up for discussion. A heavy shower of rain would have the same effect.

  28. I’ve put in solutions now that seem OK but I am not sure how the clues work.
    24A I can’t see where the AR comes from
    17D is the minute = tiny but na N instead of a D?
    16A Is this a musician? I can’t see how the clue works?
    7D hot potato in the sense of shock! horror! everyone struck dumb?

  29. Conny –
    24A – 3 letter synonym for fighting with the first letter dropped.
    16A – He’s a composer. The even letters from ‘fluids’ gives LIS and a 3 letter word for the sort of spot teenagers get, without an I.
    7D – Not a great definition – ‘hot potato’ doesn’t = ‘hot topic’ to me.
    17D wordplay still has me confused.

  30. Thanks nn . I was working my way towards 21D and 7D but the ones above still baffle me a bit.

  31. Connie
    24A fighting = WAR, remove first.
    17D Tiddly = minute (as in tiny, not 60 seconds), dump the d to give tidly
    16A classical musician, often associated with Brahms in cockney rhyming slang for drunk. All the even letters of fluids and Zit (spot). I thought this one was a bit too nasty!
    7D yes, so something that if you were around a barbecue, all other conversation would cease while you talk about this.

  32. AAH, thanks GB, that AR had me foxed, and thanks for the 16A clues. I had the name but just couldn’t figure out how it could be reached. I should know ahout “the spot” being an avid reader of the comic in the daily strip of the Age!

  33. Gayle
    17D Tiddly = minute (as in tiny, not 60 seconds), dump the d to give tidly and then immerse an abbreviation of I am.
    7D Agree hot potato doesn’t equal hot topic. You’d quickly drop the first but presumably do the opposite with the second. Not one of his better clues.

  34. I had even more trouble with 17D at the start, I was trying to dump a d into minute (at that point I only had a D and an M in the crossletters from 20 and 22A). Trying to get one of the other letters in minute to be the last letter of 16A really threw me

  35. Helpful comments folks. Thanks. The only one I have left that I just can’t do is 11A. I have every second letter but I just don’t know that name of the grape. I know it’s an anagram but I ma just guessing the “in betweens”

  36. Enjoyed this puzzle, laughing out loud a couple of times at answers like 13A and 14A. All is complete, except for 10A. Despite the earlier discussion, it doesn’t quite ‘click’ for me. Does the word end in M or D and why? I’m missing something.

  37. Conny, like many Italian names 11A starts with a word meaning “saint”. Italian uses the letter “i” directly after a “g” and before an “a”. “o” or “u” to soften the sound. Or you could just google Italian grape varieties.

    I think I have 10A, but still can’t get the word play, despite Ian’s hint above.

  38. Thanks, nn, for 17D. I had the answer, but abandoned it when I couldn’t make it fit the clue. Was stuck on the wrong reading of a homograph.

    Also, on the hot potato question, “hot topic” was one of the first synonyms I explored. Here the topic is “hot”, not in that it is popular or broadly fascinating, but in that is is too hot to handle, or a “hot-button issue”.

  39. Thanks Dave R for the grape news!
    I agree about 10A : it’s either ROAD for route or ROAM for travel? which is it? RO and AM begin the two words. Is that it??

  40. I’m still no clearer on the Road or roam in 10A. Have read Ian’s earlier post but doesn’t help. Ian says “There’s a word for travel, and if you perform a typical DA operation on it you get a word for route”. Apart from “totally confusing most of us”, what is the typical DA operation and which is the answer Roam or Road (and why?) I’m lost!

  41. Hello nn, I had similar confusion over 10a but Ian’s comment leads me
    to conclude that the word for travel is ROAM…if you halve the “amount”
    in that word M (=1000), you get D (=500), so the answer (for a word
    meaning route) is ROAD.

  42. Have got 6a but not the wordplay; could someone explain it for me?

    9a: the slashes divide ‘injuries’ into separate syllables, but where does stress come into it? Am I missing something, or is this a mistake?

  43. JL, re 9A, I had the same concern as you. Maybe it’s the italics: one way to stress a word is to italicise it.

    2D: I have a concern about the use of the word “Macquarie” – it seems superfluous to me. Is it just a shameless plug for the dictionary used in the admirable TV show “Letters and Numbers”? Or am I missing something?

  44. I’ve done it all-day of miracles still here- except for being very slow on 12d and 23a. What am I missing? I was grateful for the hint about 7d not being a regular at such affairs!

  45. I got a chuckle out of 19D and thought 14A was also nicely thought out. Do you think DA watched GB, JK and me in our basketball fiasco last Thursday and that he was giving us advice in 15A? Also, I’m a bit worried about how DA is filling in his spare time… a couple of weeks ago we had Rorshach appearing (however you want to pronounce it! :) and now we have 2D! Anyone who wants to see the Get Smart episode that shows the definitive 2D, just let me know!

  46. JL and RB – Aren’t syllables the things we stress when pronouncing words? When you see a clue that is so succinct and clearly outside the ‘usual’ cryptic conventions, I think that’s an indicator that you are going to need to apply a bit more lateral thinking than normal.

    With 2D, it’s common for a specific instance (MDC) to be used as part of the clue for a generic class (word association), so I don’t see ‘Macquarie’ as superfluous. DA’s choice of that particular dictionary is just typical of his mischevious sense of humour – and didn’t he didn’t mention Webster a couple of weeks ago?

    I thought they were both great clues and very typically DA.

  47. JC – I’m more suspicious that DA has been watching too much of The Bill, when I see 20A and 22A!

  48. re 9a it’s obviously causing a bit of stress for some. (an even better clue than I first thought!)

  49. GB, re 9A, I disagree: syllable and stress are quite different things. For instance, the word “develop” has three syllables but only the middle syllable is stressed. I agree it’s not your normal cryptic clue; more of a rebus. So far, until/unless I see a better explanation, I think “stress” is meant to be inferred from the italics.

  50. Fair enough RB, they’re not the same thing, but DA is seldom constrained by strict definitions! Ohm vs Power, Champ vs Mark Webber, etc.

    My main measure of a good clue is that, once you have the answer, you should be in no doubt that it is the one that the setter meant – whether it gives you a smile or a groan. And, for me, this one worked.

  51. GB, re 2D, when the clue uses the specific to indicate the generic, it is usually signposted by the use of “for instance” or “eg”, whereas going from the generic to the specific requires no such signpost. In fact, your Webster example was a good example of this latter case (lexicographer–>Webster). So IMO the use of Macquarie in this week’s 2D may well be mischievous, but, without “for instance” or “eg”, it’s also superfluous.

  52. Oh, yes GB, re 9A, I agree with your last comment: despite my quibble, I did enjoy the clue.

  53. It is old news now, and I got it, but I don’t understand the answer “road”.

    Sorry…I can’t remeber the clue or the number!

  54. @RobT: Travel = ROAM. M = 1000 (roman numerals). Half of 1000 = 500. 500 = D (roman numerals again). Route = ROAD.

  55. 9A: I’m not convinced that the stress is meant to be indicated by the italics, as there’s no intrinsic link between the italics and the slashes/fractures. Seems to me the most obvious explanation is that, as GB suggested, DA is playing fast and loose with definitions and using ‘stress’ to mean ‘syllable’. It’s annoying, since they do have quite distinct meanings, which, unlike physics terms, I would expect DA to be perfectly familiar with, and it would be an excellent clue otherwise.

  56. /funetiks/ You have to break the word down into syllables before you can mark the stressed one, so stress fractures is perfectly reasonable, and a better clue, I reckon, than if the stressed syllable had been marked in some way.

    The italics – one of several conventions in typescript for a stressed word, particularly if ironic. Stress is stress, wherever it comes, syllable, word, sentence. A bit of extra help – or a joke – or both?

    Better than [/b – ou – nz] or IN – jur – ies or similar. I think it was brilliant – without using superscript and special characters. Made me chuckle – and it was the first one I got out!

  57. Hi All; I always seem to be stuck on the one that no-one else has trouble with.
    6A is ‘caber’ but why? Is the bank an anagram of CBA ? Then what has $1000. got to do with it?

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