DA Confusion for the 9/10th of September, 2011

It’s a theme this week, so undoubtedly there’ll be a lot of head scratching.

Scratch your head in public right here.

100 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 9/10th of September, 2011

  1. Can anyone explain 21D? I get the poetry part, I don’t see how “gets it” gives the last two (or three?) letters.

  2. Puzzles me too. Have tried substituting the second last letter with the alternative spelling, which doesn’t affect the fill, but doesn’t help either. Surely can’t be the Ukrainian for ‘it’ .. try googling that in cyrillic!
    I haven’t done enough of the crossword to confirm the answer, but I take it you have Rupert. I was hoping to confirm to get a better in to 22 A. (I’m not even going to attempt to do this one solo.)
    Have you got 27A. Could 21D end in IC = I see! I’ve got an idea for 27 A but 21 D needs to be what I think we both are talking about.

  3. I have the whole SW corner (unfortunately I spent my coffee break putting the doors on the kitchen cabinets downstairs – they’re finally done!). 27A is a polite term for the difference between what a store has sold and how much has been taken off the shelves – i.e. how much has been stolen or broken.

  4. I have them all apart from 24D. Annoying that some of the theme answers are real words, and some aren’t.

    Overall, very DA-y.

  5. I can’t help but think DA’s current idee fixe matters with the bottom half of 21D.
    I have them all bar 19A.
    I have guessed 24D but can’t find a theme addition so am not 100%. ‘McEnroe’ doesn’t fit…damn.
    Also I have guessed 3D but don’t get the wordplay. I’ll keep at it.
    A great theme today. It was a relief getting 1D…after that it kind of fell out incl 22A…

  6. For 21D, ‘It’ is an old style crossword clue – those who had sex appeal were said to have ‘it’. Compilers often used ‘it’ to provide the letters that complete 21D.

  7. Thanks Noel!
    Should 9A be clued more helpfully as ‘use a hat’. Tried lots of words starting with ‘u’ : (

  8. 1A as it reads in the second two words of the clue, is an example of the first 3 letters of 10A answer.

  9. I found the “Turn the tables” crossword from earlier this year more enjoyable – maybe because it was a novelty. I cringe at entering letters which don’t stand alone as a word. That said, 28A gave me the theme which quickly gave me 22A.

    Just 24D to go.

  10. Wordplay help for Mike H (from the other thread)

    4A: “hub” means the middle of the preceding word. Another word for a ram is a tup (tup also means what a ram does to a ewe).

  11. All done bar 19A – even Rupert’s earlier clue isn’t helping. Think I might be spending lunchtime over this one…..

  12. If I’ve got this right, have just got the wordplay for 25A. For a while I had wrong def and was trying to ‘rub s out’ of ‘narcotics’. Not this time! Then trying to find a word where the ‘ring’ rubbed out/subsituted another letter at the beginning. But while the deception’s good, I have a quibble about the syntax. The instruction should be ‘rub out’ . No? Although this will make a mess of the rest of the syntax.

  13. Thanks Rupert. Tup is new to me. Did I post my comment on the wrong thread? I’m pretty new at this.

  14. 25A: It’s a bit loose, isn’t it? “Narcotics ring: thieves without ringleader” would be tighter, though not such a smooth surface.

  15. @Mike H: What you posted in the other thread was fine, but if you’re looking for hints you’ll have to look in this one. The management always tell us when they want a thread to be spoiler free.

  16. Gayle, I assumed the ‘rubs out’ refers to lead in ‘ringleader’ from a word for ‘thieves’, which then provides the final 6 letters. Seems clunky, but does complete the clue.
    BTW, still stuck on 19 despite Rupert’s best efforts.

  17. That’s my assumption too, but grammar matters. Have to settle for clunky.
    I don’t have 19 yet either despite trying to work with Rupert’s clue. I’ve got some awkward consonants.

  18. 19A: The undiminished answer also means a Lady Gaga fan, apparently. The wordplay is quite straightforward: [way] inside [garbage]

  19. Rubert, I’ve just got 24D. The removed component is 4 letters (as you would know). “Spare” is in the sense of “lean”. So “far from spare” could be most chubby or similar.

  20. Thanks Peta. Got it. I had the answer reasoning along those lines. Blind spot about the theme. Must be crazy. Or downright stupid.

  21. @Peta, thanks – I was going the wrong way with that.

    However, I can only think of two more four letter thematic elements, and ODGI is not one of them.

  22. And of course, the “aggravation” gives the four letters that are entered in the grid.

  23. My hint doesn’t help Rupert? Or have you got it and I’ve missed your subtlety … again.

  24. I have the answer, I think, but that means the letters removed are the name of Picasso’s dog, and I don’t think that’s a thematic element.

  25. Gah! That was one of the thematic elements I was looking at. And I couldn’t see xyyyXZZZ for XyyyxZZZ.

    Thanks, everyone, for your help.

  26. It got me too Rupert. I was expecting these things to be all embedded but – sadly – no.

  27. As a rule I’m not keen on crossies with answers that aren’t proper words/phrases. But I did mostly enjoy this one, particularly 4A, 9A. Syntax in 25A was a bit clunky, as others have noted. Also, I have a query about 16D: is the note E (in which case we have an unexplained T) or TE (shouldn’t it be TI?).

  28. Have fun, kiddies. Had a quick look, thought ‘Oh no, David has had another of his fits’ and ripped up the grid. I have three AFL finals to watch this weekend, my own team (Bombers) playing tomorrow afternoon.

  29. I’m a relative newcomer to DA’s crosswords so I’m actually pretty pleased with being a ‘mere’ 8 clues from completing this one, 24 hours later (don’t laugh!). Can anyone give me a clue to 11D? Also I have 1A and 9A (I think), but don’t get the wordplay.

  30. Just one to go. Re 21D I take it that the last two letters are a raunchy abbreviation for “it.”

  31. got the theme fairly early, but it is heavy going when many of the answers aren’t actually words and you have no idea where the theme comes into each answer (or not!). Have about half of it now.
    Not overly thrilled with aggravation as a synonym in 24D, answer is more one who aggravates?
    Did like 22A. Have just worked out wordplay in 15A, very clever, had me going completely the wrong way for quite a while.
    Will press on with the rest with the help of above comments I hope (haven’t read them yet)

  32. 11D: Homonym of a synonym for force [open] followed by synonym for loathers without the a (axe head). If you put a three letter thematic element (whose leaves are proverbially modest) in between the two wordplay elements, you get a synonym for boxers.

    1A: A double definition, with the second one being a bit dodgy (hence the ?). Shriving is forgiveness, so if you undo it you … ?

    9A. Read the answer backwards as 3,1,3 and see if it looks like how you salute with a hat.

    21A: I had heard of “it”, and I even know people who have “it”, but have never seen it abbreviated like that before.

  33. Rupert, by 11D you mean 8d?
    I have the answer but not the second part of the wordplay about the loathers.
    thanks for help with 9A, this is very good.

  34. got the loathers now!
    Have an answer for 1d that fits the venus and mars bit. Presume the full thing is a fishing term but not my area. Can’t find any fishing things with the them in, help appreciated.

  35. All done except 13a….looks like I’m the only person having any trouble with it :(…Have no idea on the wordplay in 1d….and thanks Rupert for the explanations, I had no clue how clever these were until reading your post

  36. @BRD & nn nor me! Thanks Rupert for the help, I now understand 9A – still don’t get 1A so am assuming that my synonym for the first word is wrong… I’m thinking it would have to start a different letter to fit my probable answer for 1D. I also have no idea what angling gear would fit in with this answer.

  37. CDS it is a pretty fundamental piece of angling gear. Cast around and you’ll probably spot it.

  38. but I’m still nowhere with 1A even though I now have the first letter and despite Rupert’s earlier hints

  39. 26 A Marvin Gaye and Creedance heard it on …….
    28A double def. The answer is colloquial. Think old fashioned cafes and icecream with a fruit.

  40. nn, don’t know if you’re old enough to be familiar with the works of Creedence Clearwater, may help with 26a. 28a..two synonyms, one each for pre and post deduction

  41. thanks BRD and Gayle, yes I’m old enough and kicking myself I didn’t spot that one.
    28A not helping, have been wracking my brain for various double defs for the past hour but nothing coming up

  42. Cast around for the answer …. Proverbially modest leaves… The hints in this forum are as amusing and clever as the crossword itself!

  43. agree BRD, unfortunately it is much easier to make up cryptic hints than to solve them!

  44. Aha – finally worked out 1A and 1D! For 1D I was trying to fit a theme element into the wrong part of the clue – doh!

  45. 13 A def is harmony meaning when things are in good shape, AOK.
    wordplay reversal (served up, although it’s been remarked that indicator would work better in a down clue)

  46. only 13A to go (Gayle’s hint not helping). but not sure of my answer to 6D, fits the letters but doesn’t make a lot of sense with any def or part of the wordplay. (fits the dynasty but that’s about it!)

  47. Personally, I don’t think the diminished 13A stands alone, and the def really applies to the whole undiminished phrase.
    wordplay: reversed: 3 letters for ‘rosy’, 3 letters for ‘caviar’ and 2 letters for a (mathematical) constant

  48. thanks Gayle, can fill the letters in on 13A, had been messing around with similar for a while although I didn’t have the constant. Even after putting your hint in I couldn’t think of anything using these that means harmony! Put a THEME in front of these to make something, which upon googling gives a phrase meaning harmony. One I’d never heard of. Learn something every week from DA!.

  49. 6D 3 letter Chinese dynasty, 3 letter colloq for ‘yak’, 3 letters for ‘gone’
    5D defaced dump – remove first letter from a 3 letter word which humans use to criticise the bedroom of untidy or unclean people. Pigs are actually very clean animals.

  50. Thanks Gayle, had all the elements, hadn’t reversed ‘rosy’. I see it now , not DA’s best work IMHO

  51. thanks again Gayle. had the 4th letter wrong in 6D so it didn’t make sense. ok now
    5d got it now.
    I think all makes sense, quite enjoyed this one, some clever clues and deceptions.
    Quite liked 27A although it could also have been downturn in cold water swim.

  52. Agree BRD. I think DA might have slipped up with that one. What a brain strain it must be concocting these clues.

  53. Gail, absolutely. If we complain about the odd dodgy clue, it’s only because he sets the bar so high. The wit and creativity DA brings to the table is without parallel, and I know myself I have very little interest in the crossword on the other six days of the week. Yes, it must be a burden on mind and nerves cranking out a crossword of such constantly high quality week after week.
    It is without doubt the best source of entertainment and amusement for $2.70 going around!

  54. Great fun this week. A work of art really. Very cleverly done. As with the STOP crossword a few weeks ago the theme was the great challenge but the actual individual word plays were a touch easier than usual I thought. Not that I got very far before being greatly helped by all the comments above.
    I thought 1D was great, once I found the missing link between the planets and the fishing gear!
    1A I am still not 100% on the word play. Is it just letters 1-2 doing something again plus 3-5 doing something wrong or is there more to it? Just like to get everything in 13A.
    4A Thanks Rupert for the TUP as I would not have got that at all. Nice deception after the PC last week putting the RAM in caps.
    25A was a very good clue I thought. Adding a ring and losing a ring leader but meaning different letters. Nice work, DA!

  55. Robin, for 1A look up the definition of the last word in the clue in a dictionary. This has something to do with the last 3 letters in the answer. Then to undo the shrift is a description of the answer.

  56. Had great fun with this puzzle :)

    Still unable to see wordplay in 1d. I know it’s been discussed above, but I’m just not getting it :(

  57. I see nothing exceptionable about 13a. Also, liked the challenge of the various removals.

  58. @Monica, nothing exceptional about 13A. I think it was all fair enough, my only difficulty with it was that I’d never heard of the expression so needed a bit of help from Gayle. I’m guessing the others who had trouble with it were in the same boat. As I said above you often learn something new from DA, which is a good thing.

  59. Just read Gayle’s earlier comment about 13A “the diminished doesn’t stand alone”. DA’s instruction states that the wordplay refers to the diminished answer but the def to the entire answer. Lots of the others don’t make sense in the diminished forms with respect to the defs either.

  60. You’re right Monica, nn, Rob. My comment wasn’t. I’m sorry. My slip up. My brain strain. Temporary confusion focussing on the answer instead of the def and Friday morning forgotten already! DA’s instructions were clear.

  61. Can we agree that this week’s was rather clever, if a little difficult in places? Also I hope that we all enjoyed it! Well done DA.

  62. Agree nn, it was clever. I enjoyed it. Am constantly amazed at the work that DA puts in for our delight. And all of the other things he does. Makes me want to cook him up a big pot of soup each week and wrap him up in cotton wool so he doesn’t burn out. As BRD said, the other crossies just aren’t as interesting or as much fun. And very grateful to the hosts of this site for extra fun… and making it possible to ‘get’ DA which I wouldn’t do without other Trippers.

  63. Thanks, nn, for your help yesterday on 1A.

    Regarding 13A, if I had to guess I would say that ‘apple pie order’ was American but I might be thinking of ‘as American as apple pie’. Wiktionary indicates, however, that it might come from the French phrase ‘nappe plié’ which translates as ‘folded linen’.
    This seems to make sense and once again it sounds as though a foreign word has been incorrectly interpreted by the English!
    All very intriguing.

  64. I read somewhere that English doesn’t borrow words from other languages, but rather chases other languages down dark alleys, hits them over the head, and absconds with whole phrases.

  65. 1D, – What else are Venus and Mars, if not planets? There’s a fruit lurking in the answer.

  66. 19A A term used to describe brats. The first word refers to their size. There is a fruit hidden between the two words.

  67. @ Bernie. 19A. Is the type of rubbish people drop, with the usual “way” Then put a 5 letter fruit in it – gives you the 6 and 7 answer that is a brat. Backwards to the other clues we think.

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