DA Confusion for the 20th/21st of May, 2011

The constants in life: death, taxes and DA Confusions.

Have at least the last of those constants sorted out here.

130 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 20th/21st of May, 2011

  1. Top right hand corner is left and giving me problems. Not quite an art scene/history aficionado so am guessing names…7D/1A is going to make me laugh or moan, I know not which.

  2. 13A. I know it’ an anagram. Trying to avoid getting google-eyed. It can be such a crutch.

  3. Anyone able to email me today’s DA in the next hour or so? I’m on Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and won’t have any paper until I get to Cairns later today – and only then if I am lucky. To any Fairfax spies I swear I get the paper delivered to the home in Sydney, so I do pay for it anyway!

    Thanks in advance.

  4. I’ve got all the blanks filled in but have a few question marks. (I don’t like to use google or other references). Confident with 7d/1a but can’t quite get the wordplay in the 7d part.
    I put an answer in 10a based on the wordplay but I’m unfamiliar with the answer so could be wrong.
    8d , with its “?” and “!” , is not convincing. Have an answer based on an anagram that fits but doesn’t quite hit the mark for me.
    I’m not familiar with the AUssie illustrator in 28a.

    I loved 16d – made me LOL when the penny dropped.

  5. @Peta
    10A: I imagine you are right. I have an answer (that I have googled) but have never heard before.
    8D: I think the !? exactly fits.
    16D: I liked 4D better! haha
    28A: I don’t understand it but I got it so don’t really care…

  6. With 2d it took a while to understand how the first two letters matched the clue. When the penny dropped, I groaned. But I have to admit it’s rather clever.

  7. Do you have a clue for 11A? I think it is an anagram…is it possibly an insect I have not heard of?

  8. I’m sure you will have heard of the answer – it’s not an insect. “Offending” is a common DA device for removing the end. There is an anagram inside an “offended” word for a bar (of a specific kind)

  9. Beware 11A . There’s a couple of different ways of spelling it, although technically only one is correct, and it makes a big difference to the ‘tool’ and ‘bar’ wordplay. Clever indicator.

  10. @ RobT – Not on the right track. 4 letter anagram inside a 4 letter word for a bar with the last letter dropped.

  11. @Peta – for 7d, reread ‘charged’ as synonym. For 28a, said illustrator recently did well in an awards ceremony of some repute. If you Google ‘illustrator xxx award’ you’ll get there first go, where xxx is the name (as opposed to being itself!!). Got 16d early, definitely one of the fun ones in a quite excellent offering.

    Still working on getting the groan of parsing 2d, but comfortable with everything else. 3d raises a question for me though.

  12. @ RobT: third last letter is associated with the first letter, last 2 letters are associated with last 2 words of the clue
    @Anthony Douglas: I see the charged bit but not the time bit.

  13. Peta – the (answer) is a ‘charged time’ – it’s somewhere between a cryptic defn and a teehee clue.

    But my real question is, did someone move the Baltic overnight?

  14. Peta, thanks to your hint about the funny in 16D I stopped thinking of alternatives for ‘cheers’ and got it! – I think – but as I still haven’t got 28A, despite Anthony’s hint, can you tell me if there should be an anagram indicator for the last word of 16D. Or am I missing something?

  15. The last word of 16d is one of those where “ending early” means the last letter of a word appears earlier than it should in the word. (The last word is also an anagram but I don’t think DA clued it that way)

  16. I’ve got to say I spent a long time trying to fit a Swede in with no luck at all ;-)

  17. Had a wordplay which justified nostalgic for 19A which threw out the LHS. But then that would have been wistful, not wishful …… . Hopefully I’ll now be able to get an in on these last ‘gold’ ones which the experts above cracked.

  18. Bosnian Serb Croat Macedonian Slav …..
    or Baltics which you illuminati have said it wasn’t …..
    Are the last two letters of the second word AM weapon empty?

  19. ok I give up – a clue for the definition please. Is it a hairdresser, a beheader, a sailing vessel, a fashion designer? Or is the definition empty?

  20. Gayle, the def is “cutter” (but it is obscure). The citizen you need is mentioned in your second last post. Stick him (with an article in front) between the French, and add your AM at the end. And you will see the light ;)

  21. Thanks guys, thought so and have the answer but don’t understand the wordplay??? Also still struggling with 28a

  22. LJ, wordplay for 26…take Maligned leader (=M) out of a word for flexible, and you’re 5/7ths of the way there!

  23. 3 D Thanks SK and Peta. I see I’ve made another error which has also affected my LHS. Had salamat for 10A which doesn’t work in any of the Balkans with regrets – alas back etc. but it was there all along!
    In 3D I was working on ‘de’ for ‘of the French’ until SK’s hint.
    Is ‘of’ ‘ there only for surface reading? Confusing.

  24. And 12 A. Looks like it may be a half visual half oral Spoonerism.
    Has DA taken a whole lot of licence here?
    Or is it just me, too many eggs in this linguistic basketcase?

  25. I thought 12A was OK. Depends on of you pronounce the third letter of the answer or not.

    I appear to be the only one not confused by the wordplay in 22A. Is there an instruction somewhere to remove the P from a word of which 18A is a type?

  26. Hi Rupert. Do you mean 22D and 18D?
    22 D No, although I can see the magic.
    I was confused about what I thought was a minus sign, it seems superfluous or a DAstraction. Can get the def without it: (editing) sign for inclusion.
    Wordplay homophone of stimulus (audit).

  27. Baffled by 28A today. Can the illustrator award be revealed which might shed some light, Anthony? Expectation was that the answer would be a person!
    Also what is the ‘thawing underground’ bit in 5D. I have the answers btw.

  28. Only started a while ago (Victorian), can someone confirm 8D is an anagram of defeat bailing. If so, is the shaking relevant? I’ve only got about eight so far, not progressing very well.

  29. Robin, I never got the gong for the illustrator.
    5D ground is the first word. thawing is the next two words under it ( a bit cryptic/funny).

  30. Arthur, I’m victorian too. Been at it for 15 min and have 8 less than you do despite all the above hints. Not a good omen. Sunny day at last might try to finish the painting i started a month ago and come back to da later

  31. made a cup of coffee and a bit of a start. Had 11A right from the start but have only just got the word play so had rejected it earlier. Got 26A without google, at least my geographical knowledge is a lot better than my knowledge of film directors (Last week!)
    Had to Google the Barcelonian, never heard of that one, although my art knowledge isn’t bad.
    Got 8D, clever. That should give me a bit of a start on the left side, painting may have to wait until after lunch!

  32. @nn: letters 4-6 are an Aussie illustrator (he’s won a Logie, I think), and letter 7 is the first to Draw

  33. Peter, it was Ben after letters 4 – 7 in 28a. I am somewhat behind in that I only have the second letter! Despite above clues and much googling of illustrator awards, I haven’t a clue what this one is on about

  34. Gayle – it’s OK. The “not” shouldn’t have been there, anyway! And I’m still confused, but will give it some more thought. I’ve had no time for crosswords this week, which is unfair since AS and DC (over at DA’s place) have chosen it to show off their skills.

  35. I’m up to ten? Not quite au faix with the protocol, but I assume I can’t ask if, for example, 46A is dogsbody? But could someone please confirm if 5D starts with H? Or if 23A starts with A? Tnx!

  36. Have worked out 28a from the definition. Wordplay is overly convoluted IMHO. “first to draw” would have been better written as “first drew” for a start! DA’s book says a cryptic clue should have 3 parts. 1. the definition 2. the wordplay 3. nothing else! I just spent far too long on this one trying to even work out what 1. was. The illustrator threw me for quite some time as I thought it was the definition. Never heard of him anyway and it is such a small part of the wordplay. Could have come up with something a bit more straightforward for these three letters.

  37. No. Now have the real 5D. I found the 7D 1A thing, which has given me 6D also. I suppose its cheating, but when I have a few letters of a long word, I use the A2Z Wordfinder to bring up all the words with those letters. I still have to sort out which one fits the clue, and with DA, that’s not always easy.

  38. Arthur, I have twelve now but am stuck on 5D and 23A, so can’t answer your questions.
    I have an answer for 15A, presuming the definition is the first word, but can’t understand the wordplay

  39. 21A is the definition the last couple of words in the clue and does the answer start with Italian/latin for water? Have a couple of possible answers for this but can’t assign the wordplay to either of them.

  40. You’re on the right path nn. Think of a common crossword synonym for rogue and then the ending. The wharf is docked.

  41. Gayle, thanks for the 5D reply.
    I forget down answers have parts of them ‘above’ and ‘below’ or ‘under’ (as in this case!)

    Finally got 28A sorted out, thanks everyone. I think there is a bit of a pixel in there too?

    Agree 4D and 16D are great, quite above ‘ordinary’ as usual for DA.

  42. Oi Gayle. Just worked out a golden clue in the Weekend Oz.

    “He writes stuff about Australians? (6)”

    I had xAxCxS.

    Top clue!

  43. Time to quit this one, sadly. My mind is gone to mush. I have 13 answers, can’t see anything else. The more I look, the more confused I get. Maybe tomorrow will bring new inspiration.

  44. break in the painting, back to da.
    Gayle thanks for the hint for 21a but hasn’t helped. I’d assumed the wharf was docked in it but the word I’m thinking of for wharf has a y in it and none of my possible answers do
    Arthur 13 is still 3 more than I’ve managed!

  45. nn You said you had an Latin word for water. The second letter is the first of a 4 letter word for wharf or dock reduced to 3 letters.
    A + 3 letter word for rogue cloaks (around) the shortened word for wharf + the last letter of parade. Def: watery procession

  46. thanks Gayle got it now. That was one of the two words (meaning almost the same thing) that I had as fits, but couldn’t get the wharf bit as I was using all for letters. The “key” is apparently to drop the last one but where is the indicator telling us to drop it??? I have spent half the morning trying to work out where that letter fitted!

  47. Oi RobT . Were you right with the letters you’ve given? Or have you posed a double puzzle? My mind’s gone to mush too this week!

  48. nn I reckon docked is ok eg docking the tail of animals (which I don’t think is ok)

  49. Thanks Gayle, I read docked as in berthed (inserted), but we already have cloaked to tell us that! Doh!
    Have just worked out 14D from the definition but completely lost on the wordplay.

  50. I’ve never been happy with ellipses in cryptics and even after reading DA’s book I’m none the wiser. Can anyone explain their use in 18D and 22D? From what DA says there should be some sort of connection between the two such as a word or phrase in one serving some purpose in the other, but I can’t see it.

  51. nn – from what I believe the ellipses are just a clever way of connecting two clues, most of the time at least. With these two the clever connection is that a tax could be cut in an audit (but of course the audit here is to to do with hearing) so it’s helping with the deception. There was an instance recently where an ellipse was used to link clues so that the definition was only in one clue. I’ll check my files…..

  52. I think in the case of 18D and 22D it’s the economics.
    Reckless miners’ cut tax pile in audit. (and why the apostrophe?)
    I have a problem with the – after audit. Unless DA was just carrying on the economics thing and bamboozling us with figures and funny little symbols.
    There does need to be a pause of some kind after audit. He could have written: in audit …. or in audit,
    Maybe this is DA thumbing his nose at the digs he gets for being un-mathematical.

  53. thanks Jonathan, that is how I understood their use but couldn’t see any connection. Tax and audit makes sense, but as I didn’t see that, it didn’t help in deception and there was certainly no help in working out the clue. I’d thought their use indicated something that would help rather than hinder in, as you say, having one definition somehow in one (or spread between two) clue(s).
    Have finally got it all out now, with what I think is a reasonable attempt at explaining the wordplays. Quite liked 9D, 20A was a bit of a laugh, as was 16D. Thought 8D was brilliant. Could have done without 10A, never would have got that out without plenty of online help. Had worked out it was an Asian greeting, but there are many Asian languages and presumably even more forms of greeting, so if you hadn’t heard of it you didn’t have much hope. Perhaps a bit unfair to use foreign words like this. If the actual language or country had been mentioned might have given some hope, but could only get it in the end by labouriously trawling through 7 letter sequences of the first few words and hoping that I had picked the right definition. (Am awaiting replies from everyone telling me they had all heard of this word plenty of times before!)

  54. Gayle thanks for comments on ellipses above, agree it is quite clever, but too clever for me, so didn’t achieve its purpose of adding to the confusion! BTW the clue was miners’ tax cut not miners’ cut tax, hence the possessive apostrophe to help with the surface reading.

  55. nn Yes, mistake in transcription. By definition, anything that deceives and bamboozles me has to be brilliant! : )

  56. Agree on your definition of brilliant Gayle. One of the reasons I though 8D was so good was that it was a fair bet that it was an anagram, it had to contain the middle word, but both the first and the third words had the same number of letters and both could have been anagram indicators (at a stretch). On top of this the definition read both ways, either first or last word could have been paired with defeat to get the answer! DA’s ability to see such clever anagrams never ceases to amaze me.

  57. The rule for most punctuation within a clue (and some capital letters within clues for that matter) seems to be to ignore it – it’s usually some deception going on!

  58. nn 8D got me but I missed the ?! Gotta be on the lookout for those.
    BTW, did you get the wordplay for 14 D in the end? That was before we went elliptic.

  59. Yes Gayle. I had the right letters. I can tell you the answer if you don’t want to work that head before Doctor Who starts.

  60. RobT Glad you came back! Funny, have just been looking at the four planets alignment on Sydney Observatory site to see what I saw this morning. Live in an unlit area. And being an early bird helps.
    About your word. I tried a couple of things and looked up to check and ended up in porn sites! And a Scottish poet. Can you give me a clue? Maybe a big clue it’s really obscure?

  61. Googled Australian naturalist and get another TAN, as in the illustrator. And nudism! More porn?

  62. Regarding 18D and 22D
    I like DA’s pun on the ‘cut pile’ i.e. both the financial meaning and also the product description (of the famous flooring material)

  63. Good on you Robin for bringing us back to earth and the basis of modern life. Really, good clue.

  64. club – a kind of colloquial word to hit someone over the head and do them a lot of damage
    sap – erode one’s energy

  65. Hi Gayle, yes I did work out 14D wordplay (and I think I have all the others now). Have just come back inside after spending a few hours painting the house, so only just read all of the above. Time for tea soon, then Dr Who followed by last episode in this series of Spooks.

  66. I’ve just come in to this after cutting assorted limbs off trees and I am somewhat baffled! After reading everyone’s comments, I am no wiser about 7D/1A although I have in 1A a ride from a place like Luna Park but I can’t work out 7D and how it might mean “charged”
    28A has me really bamboozled. Why is the word “ordinary” used twice? Is it that the last two words are the definition?
    16D I still can’t get. It looks like exercise equipment but I can’t see how the clue leads to this.
    Oh dear….

  67. Conny,
    28A has ‘ordinary’ twice because the answer has what ‘ordinary’ represents twice.
    The definition is the last two or three words, yes.

    A clue to 16D might be that ‘exercise’ is a very common and well known floor exercise which will leave you only the last three letters to fill in!

  68. Thanks Robin and Jonathan. I’ve sorted it out now, for all of them, except for 22D. I have a word for the space but it doesn’t make sense of the clue for me.
    I also wondered how the last three letters for 28A come from the clue?
    I am also a bit puzzled bout how the first 2 letters in 2D come from Licence to ice?

  69. Connie. 2D Ice as in kill,
    28A the last three letters are what they call one picture in an animation Sometimes it has an extra letter, in which case I think the hardly is telling us to drop the fourth letter, but I’ve also seen it spelled with just the first three areas.
    22D the space is as in proofreading a piece of text, it is a homophone of something meaning a stimulus as in the sense of a reward.
    Guess you had a day in the garden enjoying our glorious Melbourne autumn weather?

  70. first three areas?? I mean first three letters! not sure what my eyes or my fingers were doing when I typed that one!

  71. Thanks nn. All is made clear.
    Yes, a glorious day in Ballarat, with spectacular trees in colour everywhere.

  72. Returning to the fray. Suddenly, down to four to go. 2 & 3D, 10 & 12A. The Asian greeting? A parrticular Asian language? Have N…..E so, is my N wrong? For 12A I have E….. but can’t make sense of clue.

  73. Hello Arthur. 10 A N…. E is correct. It’s a reversal of the letters starting with N in ‘manly’.
    12A I have a quibble about the pronunciation but the Spoonerism works visually.
    2D and 3 D have been addressed well by others further back in this thread.

  74. Can someone explain 22D? – can’t find any definition, anywhere, where the answer means “a sign for inclusion” – got the “audit” and “stimulus” straight up!

  75. @ Arthur C. 12 A Think of “curse” as something a witch would do, and another word for “should” – then Spooner it.

  76. Well, for 22D, think of something a donkey likes, or maybe an automobile for an alien! Despite Gayle’s attempt to help, I’m too stupid to see any of my missing four. Will just leave till tomorrow, I think. DA has to win some of the time. I finished last week all correct.

  77. @ Arthur C 2D – think of James Bond and old measurement of “speed” – Definition is a DA for “life”.
    3D – French for “the”, a 3 letter word for weapon (empty it) and put a nationality in the middle. Definition is a “cutter” ( sort of)

  78. Thanx Gayle. We figured it was, but can’t find it anywhere – unless we have something wrong in the across answers. We have C _ R _ T.

  79. Arthur, sorry for the confusion.
    re 10 A. It may have been how the text came out in my comment.
    You’re right, it starts with N and ends with E. The answer is in the clue, a reversal. From memory, I think it’s a greeting on the Indian subcontinent.
    Doug and Gwyn have given a more helpful explanation for 12A.

  80. Yes folks, I came back, and I think its finished. My Hindi speaking daughter says what I have for 10A is correct and is certainly the reversal of letters in the clue. So BBBOOOO to DA, with the help of multiple friends (DA Trippers), victory is complete!

  81. Well done Arthur!! – DA’s a devious mongrel isn’t he? Enjoyable though!
    We look forward to it every week.
    Pity we get it so much later than our compatriots – the Sydney – ites.
    It was much better when it was in Fridays “Age”.

  82. 22D – I give up. I’m still stuck on “thing 18D is a kind of” – “P”, which I don’t get from the wordplay, even with Gayle’s hint. Could someone please be a shade less subtle?

  83. @ Rupert 22 D – Arthur gave the best hint “Automobile for an alien”. – nothing to do with “pile” in audit. It’s stimulus in audit. Try something you would dangle in front of a donkey. Means “a sign for inclusion”
    18 D, – anagram for a type of carpet i.e. “cut pile”

  84. Rupert, 22D sounds like the stimulus (or reward) as in “the ****** or the stick”. It’s the term used for the ^ sign, meaning where text is to be included.

  85. Thanks everyone. I had the right answer for 22D all along. I must be a lot less friendly than DA, as the synonyms for stimulus I was thinking of were along the lines of “kick” and “prod”.

  86. Those who weep in Melbourne for being later than the SMH should try Hobart where we never know when the paper will arrive and newsagent won’t deliver! Still it is almost as hard getting the clues from you people as from DA himself! Thanks for fun and help.

  87. @Ruth: Maybe you would have better luck and less frustration getting The Age on Sat? So there is a downside to living in paradise!?

  88. Thanks, RobT. Courtesy of a neighbour who drives ( I am too old and arthritic)I do get it most Saturdays late. It all depends on the weather! But Paradise is worth it.

  89. I pay around AU$1/week for an online-only subscription to the SMH. A dollar seems like a reasonable price to pay for a DA, even with the current crushing exchange rate (AU$1 = NZ$1.32!)

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