DA Confusion for the 2nd/3rd of September, 2011

It might well be Spring, but I’m sure there’s still plenty of DA Confusion.

Have your questions answered here.

125 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 2nd/3rd of September, 2011

  1. Not done yet, but there a lot of annoyances in this one. Dodgy definitions and unusual anagrinds abound. And a clue where DA’s arts background is showing.

  2. An extra quarter hour over coffee finished it off. Had to go to the dictionary for 27A.

    There were unusual anagrinds in 7D and 11D. I think the one in 7D is OK. I also think there’s a link word in 11D that could have been part of the fodder with a slight change.

    19D, 18A and 23A have poor synonyms in the wordplay.

    10A: There’s actually very little of this material in the relevant bomb.

    22D was probably the best of a bad lot.

  3. So, it’s not just me then. Glad you mentioned the ones I’m having trouble with. Not having much fun this morning. Thoughts of giving it away.
    SE corner filled first after the Spoonerism at 8D. Pleased to get 27A, from wordplay and dictionary too. Think I’ve got 22D but need to confirm. I might be seeing 10A differently .. two bombs?

  4. Yeah, persistence… and more than 2 coffees. Just 5A and the second part of 17D to go. They can’t be as bad as some of the others I’ve got.
    Learnt a lot about geometry having the end, and what I thought was the beginning of 11A. I understand Rupert’s comment now. And agree 22D is good. 2D brought a teensy weensy smile.

  5. SW corner done plus a few others. Morning broken up for various reasons…I like 1A clue.

  6. 5A: One of DA’s recent idee fixes makes an appearance. Oddly, for a science-related clue, I have nothing to complain about ;)

    17D: If you have the first part you either have the second part or you don’t. There’s no in between.

    11D: I had this written in the margin as 11A, too. Possibly it curves through 90 degrees.

  7. Well I must be on the wrong track for 17D. Thought it was ‘grey’ something. Scrub that out and have another look.
    5A Wondering which idee fixe … nether regions? haircuts?

  8. 5A If I’ve got the def right, got the answer from Wiki but don’t get the wordplay yet.

  9. I dare say there are 12A suburbs in Sydney, but I always stay in Bankstown, which doesn’t really fit the description

  10. Finally finished between a few chores and the weekly shop. A few goodies and a few meh. 27A last in.

  11. Never heard of 22D. Had seen the Edwood Woodwood movie but that’s a different spelling.

  12. Struggled through today. A bit out of sorts perhaps. Friday is done and i am unable to crack 8D therefore 5A and 10A. :(

  13. That is sad RobT, waking up at 4 in the morning with DA on your mind. Did you really 10A do that? Or were you space travelling? I’m off to the sea for some fresh air … and no DA, thankfully.

  14. Yes i actually did Gayle. A bit 1D but at least it’s only the first time.

    Now i just got 10A (b4 reading your comment thankfully) so now i can attack The Times duo with a clear conscience!

  15. Just begun. May possibly have one word (25A). Can one of you smarties confirm there is a bisected horse, at letters 4 & 8, please.

  16. Mike – The sucker is one you’d find attacking your roses, ‘eats’ is an instruction, and ‘cancelled’ is a typical DAism instructing us to remove a synonym for ‘trip’ from ‘scouting’ to give the first two letters of the answer.

  17. Got a few bones to pick this week.

    1) Since when is 4D hyphenated? Dunno if it’s just me but that seems a bit odd.
    2) 2D is made me smile when I got it, but it’s not really a proper homophone….

  18. Handy living in a retirement village (17D).Have 12 now I think. But if my 18A is correct, I’m going to ask for an explanation on Monday, as I can’t really fit my answer to the clue. Seems appropriate for books, coins, stamps, even children, but can’t relate to clue, so I’m probaly wrong.

  19. I was certain I had 4D right, but that gives me an unknown quantity at p4 of 14A. i’ve looked at words on Wordfinder that have such a configuration, nothing jells. Maybe better wait till I get some of the blanks filled in.

  20. Hooray! 14A solved, along with several others. As I’m not an author, had never heard the term in 11D, but fed it into Google hopefully, and I now understand it. Only nine or ten to go.

  21. Down to 7. Tony Abbott set a bad example, which David has followed in 5A! Time for my ADN (after-dinner nap).

  22. was going well but ground to a halt now. Have most of bottom half and the NE corner, none of NW except 12A. Liked 5a (first one I got). Thanks to Arthur, I finally got 11D but don’t understand wordplay.
    Help with 14A would be useful
    Have the first word (literally I hope) of 18A but no idea on the second word.
    If I had these two I might have some hope of the NW corner.
    Also stuck on 15D but 14 and 18 may help that.

  23. There is an anagram of calibre in 14A, so rifle means change, in this case. I have just four missing, in NW corner, can’t figure 1D, 2D, uncertain of 3D, no idea of 9A. Otherwise it all worked out OK, but certainly don’t understand 18A, if my answer is correct.

  24. thanks Arthur, but still can’t see 14A. I’m assuming fixed is the def, but can only find a couple of words that fit, neither of which have an “a” in them so messes up the calibre anagram.
    I have an answer for 18a which fits the first two words of the clue as def but doesn’t make sense with the rest of it. Like you I have no idea of 1d, 2d, 3d or 9a (or 1a)

  25. thanks GB
    Have 14A now, although not that thrilled with fixed as a def for this. This gave me 4d, groan, had been close to this a while ago.
    Only word I can fit into second part of 3D is SNOT. Doesn’t look right somehow.
    Have all the cross letters in 15D now and can find a phrase that fits these but can’t see how it would apply to anything in the clue.

  26. figured it was tennis, but maybe I have one of the other clues wrong.
    cross letters that I have are C_O_I_G _P
    Presume second word is up
    Or do I have 14A wrong (must say I didn’t think fixed was a great def for the word I have)

  27. 3d – not sure if the wordplay for the second word uses ‘utter’ as a homophone indicator for YOU NIT (as in nitwit), or if it’s just a synonym for ‘idiot’.

  28. All your cross letters are right for 15D.
    ‘tournament’ = CUP. With tennis ‘loves’ and the tennis heroine inserted.

  29. Can probably guess everything except the second letter of 15D, but still don’t get it!

  30. GB typing while you were. As I said, can guess how all the other letters except the second one fit. See the heroine, see the cup, see the love, but one letter to go.
    As I typed this I just saw the plural! now I have it!
    thanks

  31. 14A: Fixed is a reasonable definition here, as a description of a thing that can not be moved, whether once or twice.

  32. @nn, your letters are correct. Look at the back end of the clue for the def. And think of “loves” as 2 letters.

    Some good and not so good this week. Dodgy homophone in 2D. But I liked 4D and a few others. And strangely enough I had heard of 27A, having ruptured the adjoining ligament in recent times…I’ve learned more about the anatomy of that part of the body than I care to….

  33. GB 1D is one that I’m not entirely happy about. First 5 letters mean cut, there is most of a big mountain in it, but missing the ST (= way). Have no idea what the windy route is. Guessing that cutting is the def, but in the sense of a cutting comment.

  34. Thanks – yes it’s a bit dodgy. Happy for the answer to be a synonym for ‘cutting’, and I guess ‘windy’ (as in curly) gives the first S.

  35. As others have said, some good some bad this week.
    Am not thrilled with 25A. Am presuming it is a double def, but can’t see how the answer = way ahead. Some odd anagrinds this week. PAW??? Don’t mind supply in 11A as the words supply the letters you need (I think he as used that before) and didn’t mind rifle.
    16d why is it GREATER illegality?
    Did enjoy 5a (first one I got) and 4D (one of the last)
    18D was almost clever, but I think he was trying a bit to hard here, the synonym is just too dodgy.

  36. thanks Mike and GB I had windy as in twisting, hadn’t connected it to the bend, that makes a bit more sense now, quite a good clue when you understand it.

  37. I’ve never really seen 2d as a synonym for ‘good’.
    I’ve always taken it as meaning neutral or doing nothing, but the dictionary tells me I’ve been wrong all this time!

  38. Finally tweaked homophone in 2D. We used to play ” battleships and cruisers” as kids.

  39. nn – I agree with your assessment, although 4d deserves a special mention.
    I think ‘way ahead’ is a dodgy synonym for the slang for doing well. In answer to a question about how you did at the races, you might say you were 25a. Still a bit of a stretch, but funny in retrospect.
    16d is ok – it needs ‘greater’ to add the R on the end, I think.

  40. Mike – they’re all easy after the event! Can’t believe i couldn’t see that mountain in 1d.

  41. Thanks GB again. I now understand 18A. At last I can rest my mind for another week.

  42. re 16d still don’t see the point of GREATER. I don’t see it is needed for the R. Partner tells us that it is a person and they are in a position of illegality hence they are an (answer). I don’t see the position being the answer. Perhaps a better clue would have been Partner is one in a position of illegality.

  43. Thanks again DA!
    Loved 24A – and there’s nothing wrong with 18A; haven’t you heard of a print run??

  44. nn – I think DA means 16d as an adjective for the second meaning. I think he means that if you are in a position of illegality, then you are 16d without the R, so being in a position of greater illegality makes you 16d. Whereas the partner synonym is a noun – a partner is an 16d.
    As a science guy, apologies in advance if I’ve got the parts of speech wrong.

  45. GR I agree about what he probably means about the position in 16D, but I don’t see how greater adds the R. I think one who is in that position is the answer with the R (noun) Just think there was a neater way of adding the R, just imply that the second bit was a noun

  46. nn – Without the R the word is an adverb (sorry GB). Adding the R makes it a comparative adverb after the style of curiouser, hence ‘greater’.

  47. Stuck on wordplay for 22D & 11D. I seem to have an extra letter for 11D in addition to an anagram of 3 words. Not sure if I’m on the right track.

  48. Feather, 11D as I see it is an anagram of two words plus a synonym for traitor.
    22D is a homphone of a cult, and a dodgy description of a candle maker.

  49. nn, re 16D, it’s “greater” as in “more” i.e. as Monica says, you need the comparative form of the word. This usually entails adding ER, but since the word already ends in E, you only need to add an R.

  50. … and now I thinks GB was correct. Adjective or adverb, depends on the context :)

  51. RB re 16d I get that greater meaning more MIGHT result in adding ER or R to SOME words, I just don’t think it is valid in this case. Perhaps the following examples will illustrate without giving the answer to 16D away.
    1. If something is more high then it is higher so it works here
    2. If someone has a whine about something, when they have a greater whine we don’t say they are having a whiner. In both cases (small or greater whine) they ARE a whiner. In a similar way someone who is in a 16d position IS a 16der whether they are a little bit 16d or a lot. Adding R to the word doesn’t make them more 16D.
    3. If you want a positional example where it doesn’t work, someone can be East of you, but if they are more East it doesn’t make them Easter!

  52. but theres definitely a tradition in australian slang to simply add -R [pronounced ER] to make things more/greater…

    without using the answer,but some of the clue

    kid 1: you’re illegal!
    kid 2: you’re illegalER!

  53. bonus: i had a word with form V–G—D for “way ahead” for the longest time! had to redo the bottom right corner once my flatmate got the correct word!

  54. Cato this may be true, but illegalER doesn’t produce another word that means something entirely different from more illegal (in fact it doesn’t produce a word!). cf my East/Easter example. As I said it works in some cases, but not in others. Would have been fairly easy for the clue to be reworded to avoid the problem.

  55. nn – 16d: Two forms os the word are included. One is a noun and is defined in the first word of the clue. The other can be an adverb or and adjective. It does not include the final R. This is added to create a word that means being ‘in position of greater illegality’. It is the kind of addition that cato describes two posts back.

    If you were standing in the centre of the house and I had just come through the front door, you would be insider than me ;)

  56. The questionable nature of the word formed is signposted by the question mark, isn’t it?

  57. But in the game you never hear it referred to as “insider” in the sense of being more “inside” and I’ve never heard of that word (with the R) on the end meaning more of it. Adding the R changes it into a noun for a person who is in that position, it doesn’t make it an adjective meaning greater than the original adjective. Not entirely happy with your example of me being in the centre of the house being described as insider than someone near the door either. Maybe it is slang from further north (norther?) than Melbourne?? :-)

  58. I thought the question mark was to indicate possible double definitions, perhaps with a pun, not that the clue was dodgy, but then I’m fairly new to cryptics.

  59. Can anyone help with 23A? I take it that ‘home’ gives you the last 4 letters (one of Rupert’s ‘poor’ synonyms and I agree) but what is the ‘dwindled ski resort’?

  60. I’m lost too on 26A.
    It must be obvious as I don’t think there have been any comments on this one!
    I’ve got the President but how does the word play work?

  61. I have two more this week.
    6D Disturb is the definition? How does ‘a navel base outfit’ work?

    19D GP abridged manifesto in a second. Any hints as to wordplay. I have both answers.

  62. Robin the manifesto is edict abridged (cut short) in a two letter abbreviation for a short period of time.
    Naval base gives the letter L, to outfit something in a military sense gives the last three letters.
    The first letter is in the clue before the word naval.
    The wordplay for the president is first to letters = on as in on a topic, next three are the turkish official last letter is the head of nods.

  63. nn, re 16D: as has been observed before, DA uses question marks a lot – this week he has 9, which is about his average. Because he uses so many, it’s difficult to definitively categorise every one, but here’s my off-the-cuff summary: sometimes (as you say) it’s for a pun (eg 4D, 17D), sometimes (as Monica says in 16D, the clue you queried) it’s for a dodgy def or an invented word or meaning, and sometimes (it seems) just because he feels like it.

    I enjoyed 27A, 4D, 17D. But, as others have commented, there was much to whinge about too. All the usual DA habits were on display: dodgy homophone, dodgy defs and synonyms, dodgy anagram indicators. And even dodgy hyphens, as Harry has noted, in 4D.

  64. Finally all complete. Gave it away yesterday, with four to go. Just got last two from reading some of the clues above that I had missed before. So, the ancient brain still functions. Amazing!

  65. Having opened the paper and got CHOP SUEY in about 5 seconds I thought it was going to be a good week for DA! 4D and 25A came quite easily too but then it got much harder. I didn’t get too many more without help from everyone here – thanks all.

    I had not heard of a PARSEC or the story’s shape; learnt that 18A could be called a ‘maiden run’ and like most had to Google the bone.

    I agree with the comments above on the shockers; ‘way ahead’, ‘paw’, ‘windy’, ‘candle maker’, all tough going. Happy with ‘greater’ though but we’ve been there, done that!

    When we played ‘Battleships’ years ago the largest vessel was only 4 squares. I wasn’t sure if DA’s answer to 2D had a few more than that in his version but perhaps its just one of the squares?

  66. Apologies if this is the wrong thread for this, but I like to do the DS in the SMH on Saturdays. It is much more achievable for me than a typical DA and I can usually not only finish it but also understand all of the word plays. However, from last weekend, can someone help with this one from No. 19,457?
    27A A suitcase left behind a bag counter = AGAINST.

  67. Thanks RB! I’d got the ST and the definition but I just could not see the GAIN.

  68. This week’s puzzle actually made a lot of sense to me. Almost got the whole thing, except 10A. I was feeling pretty fine about all the clues, even the “greater illegality’. I just thought i’d mention that, because a lot of people seemed dissatisfied with this week’s puzzle – but it’s funny how different things make sense to different people. I liked it.

  69. Hear, hear, Matt! With bells on. RIGHT ON, in fact. Having finished this week’s DA and now come to the thread to see what people have said, I find myself – yet again – wanting to stick up for the source of all this debate. DA is a creative setter with flair. If you want stoic pedantry, doggedly sticking to Pharisaic rules, always using words and phrases that are formally correct, look elsewhere. From a base of fundamental fairness and soundness, DA produces witty and flamboyant variations. If you’re not going to be amused and enthralled by the idea of “S” as a windy route, or [answer to 16d] as an funny, fictitious but plausible-sounding comparative (cf. higher etc.), then you will find many reasons to be unhappy with DA. Some of us, however, are delighted.

  70. IG, I think overall difficulty increases irritability.

    I thought this was a very difficult DA, and when you have a number of creative clues in a single, difficult crossword, those creative clues tend to be considered dodgy in one’s mind.

    I’d say in isolation, a lot of these clues wouldn’t have caused much concern. All of them in a single crossword, though, can become a pain.

  71. IG and Matt. I loved S as a windy route, I just didn’t pick it up so came here for help (that’s what the confusions thread is for). Ditto my original query about greater. I am now wiser that greater is apparently slang for adding er to a word even if it doesn’t make sense. I’d never heard of this until someone pointed it out many posts into the topic. I am also now alerted to the use of the question mark indicating that even DA thinks the clue is a bit dodgy. That ski resort name was beyond me too although I presumed that this was what was meant by that part of the clue. Thanks to all those who helped sort out my confusions. I personally found this crossword a lot easier to get started on than many of DA’s more recent ones, although there were a few tough ones, most of my problems were interpreting the wordplay.

  72. Actually nn, we solvers can get too smart for own good: I started with the idea that “ski resort” was telling me to re-sort SKI, that being a classic type of DA subterfuge.

  73. nice one IG, I hadn’t thought of that for ski resort. I was busy trying to fit the few Australian resorts that I’d heard of into the clue, but gave up eventually

  74. I like DA. I like his crosswords. I like his flair, wit, and flamboyant variations. But that does not mean I have to love every single clue. The analysis and criticism of clues is a healthy sign. Of course, not everyone will have the same complaints, and some may well not have any complaints. That’s OK too.

  75. I just thought i’d add to my comment that part of the reason I liked this one was because I actually did ok on it. Often I completely flop, when everyone else seems to get the puzzle out! :)

  76. I’m with you Matt. I got all bar 2 before asking for help, and probably should have got these if I’d googled one word and not mispelt another. A good result for me too. Funny how you get into a groove some days… or whatever the groove was when DA set it. Scary thought!

  77. Pls what is the answer to 22D? Not a clue pls………….the actual answer.

  78. I am thinking I made the wrong move in subscribing to SMH Mon-Fri and Weekend Oz for 6 months. I should have limited SMH to Fridays and gone with The Oz for the other days…Times are much more satisfying.
    Oh well..at least it’s not a 12-month subscription!

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