DA Confusion for the 3rd/4th of June, 2011

Here’s where you have your confusions sorted out.

Ask questions, have them answered and add to the cryptic bonhomie.

112 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 3rd/4th of June, 2011

  1. I have done it. I love a good Spoonerism and 1D was no exception. This week’s DA broadened my vocabulary so it’s a tick for me.

    I had never heard of 2D so sat on it until it I had everything else.

    Had to Google 18D…I don’t like it when such a critically-positioned answer requires such specific knowledge.

  2. I have to confess to googling 19/27 to get the answer to 6D. It looks like RobT is correct, and 6D is a DA Error.

    I still have a few to go (my wife refused me permission to start the crossword on the bus this morning), but I need help explaining the wordplay in 9A, 2D and 12D (all part of the 9A mini-theme).

  3. 25D simple yet fab.

    I can’t explain 2.5 of your 3, but the first word of 12D comes from the first two words (including the hyphenation) of the clue.

  4. @Rupert: I suspect the second word of 12D is a synonym for one of the provided words but it’s a tad ambiguous (trying to not be a spoiler here).

  5. @jj: Old-timers here make a point of not spoling the clue. Can I suggest you make your points enigmatically rather than directly…?

  6. I think I get 12D. Very subtle. I recall the usage from a Billy the Fish episode featuring Mick Hucknall.

  7. Hi Folks,
    Just finished my second ever DA. Feeling very pleased with myself! How do you rate the difficulty of this one?
    Isn’t the second part of 12D a cricket reference?

  8. Finished. Had to resort to google for 18d. Haven’t heard of 24a but the wordplay looks straightforward. Liked 16d, 1d 25d, 23d (tossers indeed!)
    Can’t explain wordplay in 9a, 8d and am a bit iffy with 6a (is there a homophone in that one)

  9. Peta : 8D I can’t fully explain either. Believ I’ve got the def and the 4 letter synonym for ‘dweeb’ up which are letters 7,6 and 2 and 1 but I don’t get 3 letters in the middle. But then I haven’t got 6A yet and after your hint I’m wondering if I will – esp if it’s a DAmophone.

  10. 8D Could the mad bosses possibly be an anagram of a kind of boss-es, maybe DA’s kind of bosses (abbreviated)?

  11. Gayle,
    I too was thinking of the bosses of a certain magazine. Not an anagram though if the dweeb fits in letters 7 3 2 1 instead oh 7 6 2 1.

  12. Peta , I see your point, but I saw ‘mad’ as an anagram indicator and ‘bosses possibly’ as a kind of bosses.
    I’m still stuck on the critical 19, 27 and googling hasn’t helped. Got most else that I think I can without it. Could I have a hint please?

  13. Gayle,
    No-one seems to be helping you. So I’ll make my first contribution after ‘stalking’ for a few weeks. Jockey is what happens to the words before it. Clothing means they are wrapped around a word for horse.

  14. Hello Sandy. Another Friday Tripper? Welcome! … and thankyou for your hints. Should have seen those indicators … have something to work with now.

  15. @gayle

    5D: last two words will give it to you. It’s all vernacular.

    19A: shakespearian expression, I believe. Starts with a number.

  16. Robt T and Sandy: Thankyou for 19A. What a relief! I had the number and the phrase was just hanging around in my brain like a catchy tune but couldn’t quite get it.

  17. Got 18D with a bit of google help. Also 18A, but have no idea of word play for that one. Any ideas?

  18. Sandy,
    in 18a, I believe the “domestic” is a servant of some sort but briefly. Then think of a word for “in favour of” without its first letter (forfeiting lead). “During” means you put the brief domestic around the leaderless “in favour of” and you get the answer

  19. Hi there,
    A so-so week for me this week. I fell three short and I am pushed for time this weekend, so I succumbed to looking in Saturday’s Herald (part of which I get on Friday night).
    I think I would have got the clever Spoonerism with a little more time, likewise 15A, though I’d never heard of 13A. And the wordplay doesn’t help me much.
    A whole heap of uncertainty, then, for this week:
    -6A (assuming I got the answer)
    -9A
    -13A (as before) *
    *[As this is stream-of-consciousness, 13A now makes perfect sense to me. Darn…A bit more time, maybe I could have nutted the entirety out!]
    -26A (I’m guessing ‘novel’ and its component parts are a signpost, but unsure how)

    I feel like I’m outsourcing my thinking this week, but just pushed for time.

    Many thanks.

  20. @CarlH:
    6A & 9A: I don’t get the wordplay, either.
    26A: Novel is a pretty standard anagrind.

    I fell three short this week, taking unsuccessful punts on 1A, 4D and 18D. In my defence, I usually spell 4D differently in the former meaning.

    I can’t believe how long it took me to get 18A!

    I’ve never heard of 13A, 18D, 22A or 24A.

    1D and 23D were my favourites.

  21. Rupert, think I might have 9A. First 3 letters synonym for ‘do’ meaning a fashion/style eg of hair. Letters 4-7, ‘dishearten cunning’ : 5 letter word for cunning, often used by Americans to mean something like wary, with the middle letter removed.

  22. I think the ‘possibly’ and the ‘?’ might have a lot to do with the ‘iffiness’ Peta alluded to. The clue kind of works without them. I went down the wrong path for a while thinking ‘bug’ was an anagram indicator. (Learnt a lot about stick-insects too!)

  23. More bad news from NZ and this time not far from you Rupert. Hope everything’s okay with you and yours.

  24. I start my da by having a quick skim through over breakfast and put in the easy ones before coming back to it later. Then have a good look, then read the Sydney trippers comments to look for any traps. Today, couldn’t see any easy ones over breakfast. Good look hasn’t produced anything either. Am rather worried by above comments regarding lots of words people have never heard of. Does not bode well.
    Will make a cup of coffee and have another go perhaps with the aid of google…

  25. 45 minutes later I have 21A and also an answer for 19A,27A although I haven’t a clue about the wordplay. Will go through all your hints in detail and see if that enlightens me, otherwise I’m chucking this one out!

  26. @jj thanks for the letters in 2D, they haven’t helped me work out what 2D is, but at least they gave me 14D. Three down 29 to go…

  27. Had the wrong number at the start of 19A, was thinking of the riddle of the sphinx. Picked up someone’s Shakespeare hint and am on track with that now, revealing 6D (but woulnd’t have got it unless someone had pointed out that DA had it wrong. Have an answer for 2D from the wordplay (and thanks to JJ), but never heard of the expression. Don’t have 9A yet so can’t make sense of it.

  28. Thanks, Gayle, those explanations make sense. I haven’t seen that homophone indicator before.

    I didn’t know about the recent disaster until you mentioned it. We’re on the other side of Auckland from Onehunga. We do know a young man who’s been working on a tunnel somewhere in Auckland. I’ve texted him to see if he’s all right.

  29. too many too hard this week. gave up and went over to crossword club for the answers. Still don’t understand lots of them, but good to learn a few new words (although in this case, maybe that should be a few too many new words!)
    Other things to do today!

  30. Explosion update – our friend was scheduled to work in that tunnel this weekend, but couldn’t get to work because someone blocked his car in.

  31. I’m sure I have 6A but, despite the hints above, I don’t get the word play. Nor, in 20D, do I get the ‘firmer one’ which I am assuming surrounds the two letters (reversed) given at the beginning of the clue. And I still don’t have 18A, 18D or 24A. I think I have 16D, but, again, haven’t sorted out the word play. All in all, not one of my better attempts. I’ll blame the cold weather.

  32. Dave,
    for 6A, say your answer over and over – it should sound like a verb synonym for stick. Bug must be the homophone indicator – a new one on me.
    For 20D, if you reverse the ID in your answer, you’ll have a word that means “firmer”.
    For 18A, see Peta’s entry at 10:11 pm.
    Not sure how to explain 16D, and I haven’t got the others yet.

  33. Thanks drums. In 18A I had the wrong 3-letter word for ‘in favour of’, hence the two inserted letters were reversed. Now having 18A means that what I’d thought was the answer to 16D is wrong. As for ‘bug’ as a homophone indicator, it’s new to me. Something to do with hidden microphones picking up sounds?? I’m sure I would never have worked out 20D with the word play alone. My reading of the clue had the two letters reversed and inserted into the word meaning ‘firmer’ rather than just reversed within the word. Thought I knew a bit about Spanish painters and their muses, but I’m still stumped for 18D.

  34. I seem to have the right hand side OK but I am stumped with the left side.
    12D In spite of comments, I am puzzled. Is this referring to a form of rock?
    18D I can’t find at all even with the help of Mr Google
    1A and 1D have me puzzled as well.
    What a long way to go!

  35. @Dave R
    18D: Muse, in the sense of cogitate, is part of the wordplay. You’re looking for a 17th Century Spanish painter, who was unknown to many of us.

  36. @Conny
    1A: 4-letter word for grouse, followed by 5 letter word for sets, as in adheres to. The whole is muscular men.
    1D: A spoonerism (as mentioned earlier) . Digger (mechanical) is the definition.
    12D: is a term for a low grade cafe, noted for its unclean 9A.

  37. @Conny and Dave – 18D the answer is a Spanish painter – a synonym of muse is letters 1,2,5,6 while letters 3,4 are derived from “right one”. Last letter – google nada.
    16D take a synonym for wreckage, and then anagramatise (is that a word?) the first 4 letters. Answer is colloq. word for tinkling.
    @Conny – 1A – look up grouse and sets in theaurus. Answer is colloq. for type of men you see in body building comps.
    1D – Nice one this – answer is a digging machine – made up of 2 words which when Spoonerised mean journo and squeeze (noun)

  38. Have read all the above, but need help with last few clues, all in SW corner. Maybe hints for 16D and 24A would be enough?
    No trouble at all with 12D, maybe UK heritage helps? It’s a very common term there.
    Enjoyed all the rest though, and (until now) no resorting to google, or even using thesaurus or dictionary!

  39. Thanks, drums, your post appeared after I posted my question. Should be OK for 16D now.

  40. Thanks Rupert. 26A was straightforward, as you pointed out.
    And thanks Gayle, the trickery of 6A and 9A seems also to have been overcome.

  41. Conny: To elaborate on drums’ comment re 16D: “you heard drifting up” refers to the repositioning of the “U” in the more discreet or medical word for ‘tinkling’. Noticed that because I initially thought “heard” was a homophone indicator for more than just one letter and got caught by a similar clue recently.
    24A: “I travel” is the last 3 letters. “Fast before” is the Christian season when one fasts, brought to the front of the word. def is a skin pigmentation which I’d never heard of.

    (But you’ve probably got these now .. went to bed too early and awake in the middle of the night .. do Western Australians get DA?)

  42. 18D I’m still puzzled by the apostrophe s. Is that only there for surface reading? I get the rest of the wordplay but the ‘s seems superfluous. Confusing, esp as there are couple of famous muses of famous Spanish painters and 18D is not one of them. I like the “nada” though in keeping with the Spanish and the “framed” indicator.

  43. Overall, this week’s was good. However, 6D was a stupid, stupid error and the 6A homophone was a huge stretch drawing on a very weak synonym.

  44. … though I must say 24A was a nicely turned clue – definitely challenging, and I had to check a dictionary to confirm there was such a word, but you can work forward from the word-play to the answer without the kind of guesswork that many DA clues require.

  45. 24A is (apparently) a benign hyperplasia of melanocytes, or, as DA would have it, a brown spot on the skin. Wordplay is I travel (1, 2) following a (Christian) fast (4)

  46. I got 6A from the 3rd & 5th letters. I thought measured was a good definition, noot requiring the “possibly”. I didn’t see the homophone indicator until it was pointed out to me, though.

    18D: “is” is a pretty common link word. And I think it’s this sense that has been apostrophised here, adding to the confusion because the surface implies the other sense. I think DA prefers not to use link words – they break rule 3 (nothing else!)

  47. @GB said, in the other thread:

    “I didn’t find the ‘squeeze’ reference in 1d quite right. Perhaps it’s just me?”

    Squeeze is being used as a synonym for an even-older-fashioned term for boyfriend. Spoonerisms are also homophones.

  48. Regarding 12D, as for decree nisi last week, those from England will know the derogatory term for a dodgy diner well.
    I agree with Steve that the second word in the answer could be a cricket reference to what a batsman might do to a fast ball, especially if the delivery is a bouncer. It means the same as loft.

  49. 18A might refer to the sort of heated exchange in a ‘domestic’ dispute where rash things are said like “It’s your mother or me, which is it to be?” Any thoughts?

  50. Early in the piece, I had “scale”for 6A. Fitted the word play, albeit a bit too literally for “stick bug”.

  51. Hi All,
    Been reading DA’s “Puzzled”. There he describes his pain back in 2007 of an error in using the word WEIR. Here, the error in 6d is of Shakespearean proportions. Worse than the one of putting the LIMPOPO river in South America of several years ago. Love him and cannot do without him; but this does show he is human after all.

  52. @Robin, I think 18A is referring to the sort of domestic who cleans your house. Also a word for a young woman.

  53. Thanks for your comments Drums & Rupert.
    re 16D I can see the anagramatisation for wreckage and, although I appear to have the sp;otion, I can’t see where the lower half of the word comes from!
    I am interested in folks’ comments on the use of the apostrophe in 18D. I also thought it was a bit unfair, but I guess that the rule is that any grammar can be used/suspect!
    re 1D: I have never heard of that word for “squeeze” either.
    17 still eludes me. I have the 1st, 3rd and 5th letters but I can make no sense of what the solution is.
    also in 1A I haven’t heard of that word to mean “sets”
    Still DA’s idea is that we all learn something from each puzzle, isn’t it?

  54. Conny
    17A the definition is Welles, the famous actor. DA’s having a bit of a joke about Wells Fargo – the stagecoach company, and it’s a typical DAstraction. The wordplay is to use the final letters of every word after Welles.

  55. Conny, 17 A is the first name of an author – try using the last letters of all the words except the 1st one. Re 16 D, Its an anagram of another word for “wreckage” – you only need to move the “U” – up. Regarding apostrophes – we think 25 D should have been ” (‘3)”
    No-one seems to have mentioned 9A – the answer is obvious if you had 2, 5 and 12 D – but without them, what is the worplay? “do dishearten cunning”. We agree, the last half of 1A is a bit of a stretch for “sets” Thought 28A was an easy clue – or a “…………..” – clever wordplay.
    Why is everybody going crook about 6D? – we can say that because we have no idea of the “List” referred to in 19 / 27A. We couldn’t equate it with 20D either! It seems that anyone who is anybody has their own “take” on it – including Phyllis Diller!!

  56. Doug and Gwyn – ‘do’ is as in hairdo, and ‘cunning’ is LEERY, which is ‘disheartened’ by removing it’s heart.

  57. Thanks GB. Can’t sleep ’til we’ve worked out the Wordplays – and that was the last one!!

  58. Doug and Gwyn
    For 9A see earlier post.
    If I understand your comment as saying that you can get 6D and 20D from the wordplay alone, I agree. It ‘s pretty fair.
    25 D, see your point, although the Viet Vets use the word in that form.

    19, 27 A (and 6D, 20D) ….. it’s Sunday afternoon and I reckon it’s time Will Shakespeare, and DA, and earlier Trippers get their dues…

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players,
    They have their exits and entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
    Then, the whining schoolboy with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice
    In fair round belly, with good capon lin’d,
    With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws, and modern instances,
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose well sav’d, a world too wide,
    For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
    Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

  59. 18A: Rupert, thanks for that. I’d not heard a domestic (or a young woman come to that) called that, at least not where I have been. You learn something new every day I guess.

    24 had me wondering as ‘fast’ can be ALLEGRO whereas LENT or LENTO is ‘slowly’. Fast might have got us to IMPETIGO I suppose (except its too long!). It turns out DA’s ‘fast’ is “slowly’ if your reading music.

  60. I think 1D is clever now that I’ve got it thanks to the hints above. I was spending time trying to find a word for ‘digger’ that gave me ‘boe’ or similar!
    ‘Squeeze’, of course. Only DA could come up with that. I had heard of it, probably from seeing BBC dramas or comedies like ‘Jeeves and Wooster’

  61. I’ve just thought – ‘Swell’ in 28A might have come from the same TV series as ‘squeeze’!

  62. Well done, Gayle, posting the Shakespeare! Great to see it again after a very long time. Thanks.

  63. I think you’re right Robin – DA might have been forced to watch the new Downton Abbey series, as I have been.

  64. Any hints for 22A please …I’m a bit embarrassed as no-one else has mentioned it. I have s*s* for the first word?

  65. Yes Robin .. … it’s a bit male-oriented but the sans everything pretty well says it for me and doesn’t discriminate. The childishness and oblivion is a bonus, more fun. I wonder if that’s why DA got 6d wrong?

  66. Feather,
    It’s an old fashioned word – when I checked it referred to a couple of things including, from memory, a device on ships to prevent cargo from falling into the water.
    Wordplay is the outside letters of small (extremely) containing A + four letter word for the word for meat from young cattle.

  67. Feather, 22A’s meaning is the last two words of the clue. The word is hyphenated (but you knew that!) and the clue ignores the hyphen of course. (You have 23D wrong I think btw)
    You will know the meat very well. It is often cooked here in an Austrian dish and this should give you letters 3-6. I hope that helps.

  68. Thanks too, Robin. With the letters I had, I thought the meat must be spam! – tho that would have been a bit weak.

  69. Gayle re 19A – 27A, I am not surprised DA was confused as I am too. I have both a ‘beard of formal cut’ and ‘spectacles on nose’; the latter might be because text is printed so small compared to Shakespeare’s days. Have you tried reading a recipe on a curry paste bottle WITH spectacles? You need a very good light!

  70. Really don’t know what 18 down is, any help appreciated I have all the across letters but I am still lost

  71. Well, having started late yesterday, getting onlyntwo initialy, adding a few more around 0130 this mornin when I came out for a cuppa, snatching a few moments during the day, between church this morning, visiting wife in rehab (broke hip fortnight ago), and an hour or so of pool this afternoon, still not quite there. Is 1A an alternative name for grouse? Is 1D a digging machine? Those two, plus 9A is all I have left. Is there anyone out there? I don’t have time to read through all the comments above. TNX.

  72. Chris, 18D is the name of a Spanish artist made up with letters from a synonym for muse (4), right (1), one (1) and nada (1). You have the cross clues so you have nothing for letter 7 already?
    For ‘muse’ think of a 1977 Paul McCartney hit, or an island in Scotland; hoping you get the right one in the middle.

  73. Chris, if I have it right, the 18D is a Spanish painter whose name I last heard about 40-50 years ago, but still in memory. Cow sound, followed by small stream and O.

  74. Have you had your dinner, Arthur? You’ll need 9A for that. And to save you reading the 87 odd comments above, 1A has a word meaning ‘grouse’ as the first half of it. You could say if the meat in 22A gets too old you’d have it.
    1D is a digging machine. It’s a 7 letter word made up from two words so it’s really (4,3) but usage has rolled the two together.

  75. Thanks, Robin, I was fairly sure about the digging machine. But that gives me C x T x E x S for 9A. I still am too dumb to see a connection with the eating implements in the other two answers. Is it something a fast bowler might send down? Nor can I see what letters 2 & 4 of 1A should be. My online dictionary says no such word, so maybe one of my answers is wrong.

  76. Or should I be thinking of a meat dish in 9A.? That could possibly relate to 5D?

  77. Arthur, I loved your ‘cow sound’ clue!
    For 9A you have C . T . E . S so you need to have a rethink about 4D. I find the key is to never assume your word is right until it is corroborated by another answer! You need to mull over what 9A could be after setting out your 2D on the table…
    No, not a meat dish but it does relate to 5D

  78. Arthur C, no meat dish in 9A, but something you would use to eat one (and not what a fast bowler might send down). Your last letter is incorrect…

  79. What an extraordinary journey of discovery DA Trippers is! I have just found a TV show playing in my own lounge tonight that I’d never heard of until today. Thanks GB! Downton Abbey.

  80. @Robin | June 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    I just noticed your comment about the domestic in 18A. Have you really never heard of Robin Hood’s girlfriend? Or the recent movie xxxx in Manhattan? It’s a four letter word, the first three of which are letters 1, 2 and 5 of 18A.

  81. Oh what an ass I was. Ended with three wrong, because I was looking for an island name, settled on Cos (Chief of Staff). So had cutlets instead of cutlery, and beefcocks for beefcakes. Ah well, an honourable defeat, not a rout!

  82. Rupert, I was thinking you were meaning the whole 5 letter answer was a domestic or a young woman and I now realise you were not!
    I don’t know the recent movie.

  83. Bernie
    The definition is scooter.
    Wordplay is VEERS minus the ERS. (tossers is a DA tricky instruction to toss the ‘ers’ from veers) + SPA (retreat) . VE +SPA a kind of motorised scooter.

  84. @Arthur C., welcome to our noble ranks. I had BLEACHERS as sets for he men, and the island as ELY, though the rest of the clues (obviously) eluded me.

  85. 3D: The Cree is a nation of native American people, now mostly living in Western Canada. “Would shortly” is ‘D, as in I’d or you’d.

  86. On Sat 4th June.
    12 down. Like ash-covered loft in bargain cafe? (6,5)

    Would you whizzes mind explaining why the answer is ‘GREASY SPOON’?

    Many thanks in advance.

  87. Gayle, thanks for replying to the Orson Welles puzzle. I feel a bit foolish not having worked it out, It really was quite a direct clue!! Sorry this is a late reply, but other forms of life intervened!

  88. Robin I think the “ESD” is actually EDS, short for editors who are the bosses of magazines.
    Mad magazine being one such type. I’m thinking that the possibly refers to the fact that Mad Magazine bosses are one type of editor . The way I read it we have EDS up in NERD (which is also up) to get dreSDEn. Not sure how we are supposed to know that both are up, so maybe it is just nerd that is up and it is SDE (an anagram of EDS) that cuts into nerds. In which case the anagram indicator could be “Mad” or it could be “possibly”. If either of these is correct it appears to be doing double duty. I’m not entirely convinced by my explanation, so if anyone has any other ideas…

  89. Thanks nn, sounds good to me!
    By the way, I might also think of Mad magazine if the letters ‘AEN’ appear one day.
    Don Martin was my favourite, closely followed by Mort Drucker. Google either under ‘Images’ and it all comes flooding back!

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