DA Confusion for 25/26th of March, 2011

Asking yourself what’s the what this week?

Have your questions answered below.

103 thoughts on “DA Confusion for 25/26th of March, 2011

  1. Good fun one this week, but fairly easy to crack the myriad themed clues once you nail the central clue. Loved 9A. Good luck to the non-Aussies with that one, though!

  2. I got 9A (and groaned when I got it). It’s a good job my occasional trips to Oz generally include the sort of activities that involve seeing the answer to this one!

    Still a few to go, so see you after lunch!

  3. Ha! I’m glad – it’s the sort of clue that you’ll find the answer for easily, but could do your head in over trying to figure out how the wordplay fits.

    I think I’ve gone as far as I can on my own, and I’m two short.

    Any ideas on 8D and?or 18A? With half the letters filled in, I’d have thought 18A would be a gimme, but my brain’s not giving it to me.

    Also, I have 15A, but I don’t understand how the “small flower” part of the clue equates to the letters I haven’t already accounted for.

  4. 15A – the part you’re looking for is another word for stream – a small flower/river.

    8D is an old photographic technology. Colour (e.g. hair) + sport (at school) around end of day.

    I don’t have 18A, yet.

  5. A general question around 25D: how much French is acceptable?

    Could I use “French propeller thawed with quiet assistance (4)” = HELP

  6. Thanks Rupert! I got 8D, and I’d somehow missed the flower/flower trick that Astle’s so fond of in 14A. Was flicking through the dictionaries, wondering why I could only find rivers and not blooms. Duh!

    Still no luck on 18A. It’s way past my bedtime, but it’s too hard to put the crossword down when I’m this close!

  7. Among people like my sister, who travel there once a year to watch tennis and do some shopping, Melbourne is considered quite fashionable. However, if 18A is what they wear to meetings, I think that reputation is not deserved!

  8. 21D was the last to come out, because I’d misspelled 24A!

    Not very happy about 26A – I think the definition is inadequate.

    I liked 9A the most. 1D, 10A and 27A were good, too. 17D was my favourite of the themed clues.

  9. 20D, 24A 13D and 27A are the only ones left but it’s early yet. I have buggered up 20D. Once I have 13D the rest should fall out. I am not well-versed in this theme.

    And I agree 26A is not ideal. I laughed out loud at 3D…small things for small minds I guess.

  10. 13D is one of those words my wife and I argue over when playing scrabble. It’s a perfectly reasonable form of a common root, but it’s not in anyone’s vocabulary.

  11. RobT@10:17 – I think Fuddy is having problems because he can’t think of a meet at which 18A would be acceptable duds. Neither can I. There’s a sort of meet where you could wear 18A, but people usually wear something else. 18A are more commonly worn when practicing.

  12. mmm. Thanks. I had ‘moccasin’ cos it fit. Hopefully it is a well known name…I do not own many pairs.

  13. RobT@12:14 – I think that’s correct. I originally had the numbers of Cs and Ss reversed.

  14. ohhhh now I get 9A. It’s a whole phrase rather than two separate thoughts. Thanks.

  15. 20D: Opportunists [theme] this, e.g. a very aggressive salesman not letting you shut him out; under cane (as in beat); = a type of oven used in India.

  16. Rupert, I got it but don’t like it. I don’t see where [theme] comes or need come into it.

  17. The theme isn’t about shoes, it’s more generally about things you put your feet into. Now think of a pushy salesman and your front door.

  18. Got it! – thanks. At least I hope I have. 2nd word could be one or another…

  19. Ohhh. Thank you Rupert and Ian. I am finding it hard to reconcile an opportunist as a hawker.

    Last one in the centre for the way home.

  20. Rob, you’re right, 18A was a piece of cake. Just woke up, took another look at it, and there it was. All done.

    I have to agree that 26A is a touch dodgy, but it’s made up for by 10A, which I think is sublime in its density and interweaving of clue and surface meaning.

  21. RobT: I think the expression “foot in the door” has the suggestion of grabbing an opportunity, even forcing one.

  22. What’s all the fuss about 18A? DA is surely referring to the sporting ‘meet’, as adopted from the yanks, where these duds are definitely in fashion.

  23. 9A I rejected what looked like – and turned out to be – the solution (without understanding the wordplay at that stage) when I was trying to do the non themed clues to get at the themed ones and I had letters from 1A and and 3A.
    That material is not sheer.

  24. Despite all the help above I still don’t get 20D. I’ve got a problem with the singular/plural in clue and answer. Can’t get the surface reading.

  25. Loved 10A. First one I got out. Enjoyed Fuddy Ickers ‘sublime’ comment – for all the same reasons.

  26. Gayle – 20D – ‘oven’ is the definition (and it’s an Indian one). Fist part of the wordplay is a dodgy synonym for ‘cane’. What ‘opportunists’ metaphorically put their feet into is the second part of the wordplay.

  27. Thanks GB. I’ve got the answer and the two words but I’m still puzzled by the comma after opportunists and how to read the plural opportunists, the singular verb and singular thing that they put their feet into. I can’t imagine getting this out if I didn’t have the definition and some of the letters.

    Could I have some help with 5D too please?

  28. I was the same Gayle. Guessed the answer given a few letters, but never quite got on board.

  29. 13D Is that _ _ + anagram of routines? If so, what’s the wordplay for the two letters up front?

    Don’t know if it’s the weather and the prospect of the gloomy queues to go out and vote here in NSW but am finding some of the clues a bit slippery.
    Will ponder some more while waiting in-line.

    9A ‘s a bit like Darwin stubbie which I think we had a while back.

  30. 20D: You could read it as an instruction to the opportunitsts.

    13D: A word for roughly in the sense of approximately is abbreviated to give you the first two letters.

    5D is something that goes in a loop, particularly on a sailboat, whose plural is the last name of an extremely famous American actor.

  31. 20 D Thanks Rupert, I’ve tried that too – it just doesn’t work for me whatever I do. Will have to let that one pass. (And thanks Rob T – I don’t feel so alone.)

    13 D I thought it was the abbreviation of the Latin . But why ‘sometimes’?

  32. 20 D Thanks Rupert, I’ve tried that too – it just doesn’t work for me whatever I do. Will have to let that one pass. (And thanks Rob T – I don’t feel so alone.)

    13 D I thought the first two letters was the usual abbreviation of the Latin. But why ‘sometimes’?

    5D Thankyou, I never get these sailing ones – have looked it up and it’s an interesting word – also a coil and a length of yarn etc. A smile for that clue – the double meaning of singular and in the loop.

  33. I wonder if someone can help me with 5A? I’ve got the main clue and some of the others that are involved with it, but I can’t always see whether, when it’s referred to, it means the goof up past or the foot part? I’m the same with 29A

  34. Boy I’m having trouble with bottom left corner. Would love any hints re: 18D please.

  35. NT, for 18D, try putting a synonym for ‘ruffle’ outside R to get something that fits the theme.

  36. I’ve put in a solution to 5A but I’ve never heard of these as footgear?I am not blear how 27A works. I have put in the solution which seems correct but I can’t see how the clue does its job.

  37. others I don’t get the wordplay
    10A where does the Z come from, what does stone have to do with it? Presume that somehow stone = z???
    26A why is ro spotless road?
    21D don’t understand the Josh
    23D DA showing his arts background again! Real graduates have a BSc!

  38. Conny…5A neither had I.
    27A: check the centres.

    nn: ‘rum’ also means queer.

  39. connie 27A is centres (middle letters) of all of the other words. Bit nasty and just about impossible to get without all the cross letters to give you a clue.
    9A pretty nasty too especially if you’ve never been to Adelaide. I was also fooled by equating sheer with transparent, but it also (an obsolete) word for shiny

  40. nn:

    10A: z from ‘ultimate’; stonework refers to the required answer.
    26A: I think a ‘spot’ can also be an advertisement.
    21D: josh can also mean to take the p$%s out of someone
    23D: I agree. I do (too).

  41. nn: I didn’t like 9A but not many real possibilities when you have 3 of the 5 letters.

  42. I didn’t get 13D so went “d’oh” when seeing the answer this morning…

  43. Thanks Rob
    I got 9A from the definition but would never have worked out the wordplay without the above hints. (The wordplay was the nasty bit, although the sheer was a bit tricky as we no longer use it to mean shiny)

    Can’t say I enjoyed this one all that much. A couple of groans, didn’t think much of 26A, although 24A gave me a laugh and I was pleased with myself for getting the key clue out in a themed one pretty early on. Normally the key clue is the one that really stuffs me up in these.
    Good to have a theme again.

  44. Perhaps I’m being a little unfair on arts graduates. I suppose we should be pleased that DA can find a use for a BA (in his clues)

  45. nn:

    9A. Agreed. I thought they gave 10c per bottle not per metal container. That threw me.

    26A. I figured it was an anagram of the last word but the “a” I had threw me.

    On the plus side, I loved 16D, 18A and 11A. Not big on feet, myself.

    See you next week!

  46. I did like 11A when I got it, but as I’d messed up the spelling of 4D (which was the first answer I got) I had an A for the second last letter of 11A and therefore spelt the second word of this as break, which made the clue seem a bit weak at first. Realised my error fairly quickly and corrected it, but by then it had taken the fun out of 11A

    Wasn’t that thrilled with 18A as we don’t really call them that here (in Melbourne), more of an Americanism?

  47. Hello nn, Spotless road in 26A refers to absence of advertising “spots”.
    The “Josh” in 21D is an Americanism meaning here RIB, but also kid, tease, etc.
    Maybe you can help me with 17D…I know the answer has to be STILETTO but
    I can’t find a way to relate “farmer” to the answer. Any ideas?

  48. DN:
    17D is quite clever. A farmer step is a stile, and the rest is “over the top”.

  49. Thanks Rob T….this is only the third DA crossword I’ve done, having concentrated
    on the Sat & Sun ones in the past. This bloke DA will take a bit of getting used to.
    What a pity that dictionaries rarely include colloquial expressions like “over the top” in defining a word like “extravagant”.

  50. Thanks for the help Rob T and nn with’centres’ in 27A. I should have seen it!

  51. DA is a special breed. Lots of colloquialisms for which I am sure he does not fee the need to apologise.

  52. 23D: Real Universities (by which I mean the one David H and I went to ;-p) award BAs to graduands in the sciences (he Engineering, me Maths).

  53. But then again, those who do the proper undergraduate science degrees there probably do a Masters instead of a bachelors?? But even DA would struggle to work MMathPhyl or MPhysPhil into a clue!

  54. Well, this week the bottom left hand corner has proved hard work for me this week. It took a long time to realise that it was YOUR and one ONES for the second word of the theme. Given there was no word play to allow the phrase to be worked out, is it ‘fair’ to use phrases like this where there is some variation in the ” well known phrase or saying” ?

  55. Once you got 25D, which I thought was fairly easy, which version of 28,19,14 to use was unambiguous. So I thought it was OK.

  56. Rupert, David H: I didn’t think 25d was that clear given the overlap between definition and wordplay. It wasn’t until I got 17d that I knew which variant of 28,19,14 to use.

  57. I think we’ve had the apostrophe discussion before, but if 28,19,14 was ONE’S shouldn’t it have been (3,3’1,4,2,2). As it wasn’t that I felt it was fairly straight forward (although I think DA has been known to ignore apostrophes in the past)

    Having said that, I didn’t find 25D all that easy but I got 17D not too long after 28, so confirmed my answer (although it took me a little longer to get the wordplay in 17D)

  58. As I’d got something that looked good for 28 ( give or take an apostrophe) 25d and 17D just failed to appear.

  59. 25D was a genuine &lit clue IMO. (The whole clue was both wordplay and definition). And it was one of my favourites this week, along with 17D.

    nn: re the apostrophe discussion, I’m pretty sure DA follows the convention of indicating an apostrophe for missing letter(s), but not for the possessive case. So for example, CAN’T would be (3’1), ONE’S (meaning ONE IS) would be (3’1), ONE’S (meaning belonging to ONE) would be (4).

    Re the discussion on satin/sheer, I think I must be “obsolete” too, because, until now, I thought “sheer” meant “shiny”. I suddenly feel very old! And I thought the SA returnable containers deposit scheme applied to tins as well as bottles, so, for me, 9A was a beauty!

    I didn’t like 18A, 13D. Not just because I hadn’t heard the terms, but because they seemed ugly words to me.

    I see a few have nominated 16D as a favourite. I get the wordplay (anagram of “sip on” inside “lark”), but the answer doesn’t mean anything to me. I’ve heard of Lions Clubs but not Lions (or Lion’s) Park. What is it?

  60. RB Lions Parks can be found in many country towns where (I presume) the local Lion’s (Lions, Lions’ ??) club has raised funds to set up a small park or picnic ground. You will find them set up by other organisations too (eg Apex, Rotary)

    re 13D I presumed that the refs were the cautioners, I didn’t think it meant the refs issued cautioners which would be a very ugly word indeed, they’d issue cautions, they would caution players and as they were the ones issuing the cautions they would be the cautioners.

    Thanks for the clarification on DA’s use of the apostrophe . I remember discussion about this a few months ago, it is good to know what rules he follows (even if we don’t agree with his rule)

  61. What the heck was 5D? I put Hung as you are in the “loop” but have no idea why.

  62. nn, thanks for info on Lions Parks. I’ve probably seen heaps of them without ever being properly aware of them!

    As for cautioner, I figured the definition was “ref sometimes”, the “sometimes” signifying that referees have other functions besides merely issuing cautions. The definition of “cautioner” seems to be “one who cautions or advises” so it seems to be a bona fide word. But has anyone ever seen/heard it used? Is the word used as an official job title? Or does it describe someone who is always giving gratuitous advice, or…?

    Chris, 5D was HANK (as in Tom Hanks).

  63. I’d just read it as the refs are sometimes cautioners of the players as sometimes in some games the refs issue cautions (eg yellow cards in soccer). Certainly not a title and I suspect we could come up with a better definition. Police cautioning a suspect springs to mind.

  64. Chris, if you were in the loop in that sense you’d be HANGED, not HUNG.

  65. nn: I didn’t like it but not much I can do about it. I suppose with such a wordy clue he was looking for some ways to abbreviate…

  66. Enjoyed this one at first. Getting 28/19/14A, quickly followed by 15A and 23D was off to a flying start, and completed most without ‘cheating’. Rather too many this week that I don’t like and/or don’t get. Cannot work out how 24A works, and not sure about the working of 1D either. (Unless principal = basic?)
    Liked 10A very much, also 18A and particularly 17D(and 27A)
    Haven’t heard of 26A answer. Should I have?

  67. Jill, I have forgotten which is which.

    What were the answers to 24A and 1D…?

  68. Jill,

    24A refers to the Native American leather footwear (moccasin) and a type of snake (water moccasin). Snakes are cold-blooded.

    1D Principal can indeed be a synonym for basic, in the sense of core, or underlying.

    26A seems to be something DA made up. Like 13D, it’s a valid construction, but it’s not a word (or pair of words) that any English-speaker would ever use.

  69. I had a good laugh at 24A
    A moccasin of the footwear type is something that you’d put your foot in, but you certainly wouldn’t want to put it in the cold blooded (snake) type!

  70. …I’d never heard of a moccasin snake. That WAS on instance where a dictionary came in handy. I do like checking words I have “created”.

    My bad David Neale.

  71. Thanks, Rupert….found ‘moccasin’ on google, had the answer, but never heard of the snake before. Still always good to learn something new. No problem with that, but robot ride??
    And sorry RobT, should have said moccasin, robot ride and basmati were the ones I wanted clarifying.

  72. Jill,

    – ditto re the snake.
    – I thought it was robot-like but I didn’t check the solution.
    – sorry, forget the clue but remember the ‘mat’ in basmati was a shortened friend (“mate”) or similar. OK?

  73. Yes, thanks RobT. I got the mate minus e bit, it was the bas—i I wasn’t sure about. You may be right on the robot one, I’ve not seen today’s paper to check.

  74. solution in today’s paper has robot like. This is road without the ad (advert apparently = spot) and an anagram of lot in bike.
    online dictionary lists robot-like as an adjectival form of robot which makes sense (and DA didn’t make it up). Used to describe someone who’s behaviour is very mechanical.

    Jill BASMATI is mat(e) in basi(c)

  75. nn, I’d be quite happy with robot-like == mechanical.
    But “motorized” == robot-like? I don’t think so.

  76. MF I agree, was doing this from memory didn’t have the clue in front of me. Motorized to mechanical is a bit of a stretch.

  77. doh! robot like! Of course…..but still think that clue, and a couple of others, were a bit dodgy this week. NOT a favourite, in spite of a good theme.

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