DA Confusion for the 16/17th of December, 2011

When DA says it’s going to be a thematic doozie, I expect there to be plenty of confusion.

Ask your questions here and have the Trippers sort them out.

142 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 16/17th of December, 2011

  1. More do-able than a doozie this week. Decorum maintained in this household anyway – so far, still have a few to go in all corners bar NW which went in quickly and gave me the theme, confirmed by 30. Need a bit of knowledge of 5/6/30s to solve some of the other clues, though, eg 20A. Funnily enough haven’t got 5/6 yet though have a fair idea about the watchdog.
    Is the priest’s heart in the wrong place in 13A?

  2. 13A: No, the priest’s heart is in the right place. You may be thinking of the wrong kind of priest. Think Jesus.

  3. Lots of good ones this week – I liked13A, 28A, 29A, 2D, 7D, 8D, 14D, 26D and 24D.

    Can anyone explain the wordplay in 15D and 17D, please?

  4. Thanks for the priest in 13A Rupert. Can’t explain 15D yet either, and haven’t got 17D.

  5. Wow, Rupert, is that an explanation for 15D or another set of clues? I thought I could explain the last 3 letters but I see now that I had the heart of the wrong word. I’m a butcher’s daughter and don’t get the cut of meat. Save us from punching letters into a solving tool – how many letters front and back are deleted?
    Finally got 17D after looking deeper into 18A. Possibly contacts?? Did one of mine last year.
    And still don’t get 17D wordplay.

  6. 15D: It’s a cut of meat that includes the backbone (hence the name). Uses heart is the last two letters of the answer. I don’t see any deleted letters in this clue.

    17D: The letters of G-Man appear in the answer, but that would be an indirect anagram, which DA doesn’t do in the dailies. I still don’t get it.

  7. Oh, I was right about the last 2 letters. Will ponder your tip about the rest on my way to work.

  8. 12A: Foster is a rebus, though a very literate one. The answer is a cryptic clue that gives Foster as an answer. “9A reserve” is the definition. The answer is famous for its ponies.

  9. Thanks Rupe. Hold the Phone…I had a mistake for 8D. Now all done except the wordplay for 17D, which like many a fine DA clue will probably amaze me later in the day when the penny finally drops!

  10. I apologise for my lack of activity herein. I am off on holidays tomorrow and there’s work-aplenty. It was good today with no googling. Didn’t get 5/6 until almost the last answer…I’ll be away next Friday..could someone email me a pdf pretty please forme to play with? email address is rthomson@live.com.au

  11. Re 17D – the Fed in question lives on net income…… Roger that?
    I have all bar 4D. Is it as obvious as it seems? How does the clueing work????

  12. Thank you Rupert…it’s much appreciated. It could be second thing…we get up a little later where I am going!

  13. Thanks, Paul & Noel for 17D. I can usually guess the sporting ones, but my tennis knowledge does not extend to players nicknames.

  14. Noel: I’d award 4D Two and a Half stars, I think. The pill dropped is a common abbreviation clued by DA. Those who take these pills often end up with a brightness and lustre.

    I have two crosses of words to go: 17D (which I think I get, based on “net income”) and 29A; and 28A (is river bird the definition) and 26D.

  15. Rupert, not only am I not processing DA, I’m not processing your transmission either!
    Are we talking about a certain Hollywood starlet’s surname here?
    I must be having a very thick day today….

  16. 28A: No. The bird is small and best known for being a Maryland baseball team.

    29A: This was a good one. Keen is the definition.

    26D: Probably the most obscure word in the crossword. A very small amount is below the second-highest grade.

  17. Just realised I had the 3 letter word in 1A wrong. So that changes things totally for 4D.

  18. Thanks Carl, got it now – the clue wouldn’t have worked as well using his brother’s name!!!

  19. 4D: The quote I mangled should have been: “You can’t process [him] with a normal brain.”. An even better motto for Trippers than my misquoted version.

  20. Hi all, long time listener, first time caller. Happy to have got everything out this week (in a fair bit longer than 50mins- Rupert you’re a machine :), thanks guys for your help explaining 28A (tough wordplay), 17D and 4D.

    Can anyone help me clear up 27A, I’m assuming the last four letters of the answer are covered by the last two words of the clue? If so, it’s the first three letters that I can’t bed down.

    Great crossword overall I thought, fine work Señor Astle -)

  21. thanks for the hints on wordplays for 17D and 4D – I am a big fail when it comes to celebrities and sports stars.

  22. Thanks everyone for working while I’ve been working. Federer!
    Still don’t get 28A. Where’s the Enya flow? No really, don’t get the wordplay at all.
    Joel. 27A first 3 letters Cockney: drop the aitch of clue, as in Rupert’s and others’ above. Maybe john is giving such us a/n ‘int.
    I really liked this week’s, especially the ones I didn’t get.

  23. Ahh of course, was looking for rhyming slang… thanks Gayle! (and subtly John?)

    Re 28A, ha @ Enya’s flower, was thinking the same thing, maybe DA was too – steer is apparently a 3-letter sailing term =) (that is ‘viewed from behind’ in the answer).

    The bird (which I also had very little idea about, though I’d vaguely heard of the Baltimore baseball team Rupert referenced) has had its tail (the 1-down, standardly) ‘released’ (ummm tail away, tail away, tail away…? =)) and ‘circles’ the reversed nautical term.

  24. Ah, thanks Joel for releasing me from the conundrum. Am clueless on nautical terms. Now if I can only get your refrain out of my head. : )

  25. Thanks Rupert for 15D and 12A. Back to the backbone…. so is the full wordplay, back bone, ie back as the reversal and bone, or back doing double duty.

  26. Started late yesterday and almost there. Even eventually got 5/6 (very clever, especially the use of ‘discovered’). But having trouble otherwise in NE corner. Any hints on 7d, 8d, 10a or 16a?

  27. Is 7d the name of an actor. I am guessing ‘trained’ is cast with two letters for silver in the mix. But that is as far as I can work it out.

  28. 16A is theme which is carried on by the elipsis …… from 13A above it. Anagram of most of ‘assuring’.

  29. Thanks Gayle. Got the down clues now. Will need to get back to others after some work.

  30. 15D: backbone is a synonym for letters 1-5. used heart is letters 6-7. There’s no reversal.

    7D: I like Gayle’s hint.

  31. Oh, dear, I said reversal, but I meant the positioning of the backbone above the heart. (If I could try your patience a little further Rupert.)

  32. Hellup, hellup, hellup! Jauntily filled NW corner earlier, but not certain of any of them. Totally baffled by 5/6/30, except it may have European amphibian connections? 1D suggests that. But I can make no sense of it. Date related? D Day was 6/6? 3D appears OK for a clothes washer, but to interpret the clue? Beyond me. 13A I originally had CRYPTO, which didn’t really make sense, now all I have left there is a bone at 3,4,5. Sinking fast. Someone got a lifeline, please?

  33. Read a few of the entries above, they tend to confuse me more than David does. Is 18A (lifted out from clue), something one might see in a test tube? Which gives me myself as third letter of 15D, but can’t fathom clue.

  34. Glad to see you back, Arthur and hope you’ve recovered fully.
    Congrats on 18A. Took me ages to see that. Yep, you’re right about 3rd letter of 15D.
    Yes, you and I are of an age to remember the clothes washer in 3D. (We even had a mangle and a copper when I was young.)
    The theme is not a date. 1D and 9A are two examples of the theme.
    Not a bone at 3,4,5 of 13A, but 3 and 4 are correct.

  35. Arthur you are way ahead of me. I’ve worked out the theme from 1d, 9a and 16a. Am lost on that priest in 13a. Hoping that the orchard pest is one that victoria tries to stop crossing in from the northern border, but don’t get the wordplay. Would never have got 28a wordplay out without hints from above. Don’t know how you guys manage to work this out!

  36. One coffee break and a last hint from Gayle and I have finished. Thanks to all previous hints as well.
    nn, priest in 13a not really a priest at all, but another kind of religious leader (teacher actually), with ‘heart’ removed. Pest would have more to do with cricket than fishing!

  37. Thanks, Gayle. I looked for an anagram of the word (less one letter) in 16A, but wasn’t thinking along right lines. But I’m not progresssing far elsewhere, have about 11 so far, I think. I still haven’t understood the significane of the 5/6/30. I thought of French Riviera for 5A, 6D, but that clearly is wrong. Must look elsewhere. Think i am getting too old to follows DAs complexities, though I did finish last week.
    nn, re the pest, think of a pest round the Yarra Bend area, where these animals have been known to congregate in huge numbers.

  38. Thanks Sandy got the priest now but your pest clue has left me even more confuse. Was assuming orchard pest was the definition but maybe not

  39. Thanks Arthur I almost had the righ pest. Had fly as t he last word. This reveals my wild guess at 4 d was wrong and leaves me baffled regarding 2d and 3 d

  40. We progress! But slowly. Having finally solved 13A, now looking at 15D. An oriental version of the theme? If so, how does it fit clue? Need a brain transplant, I fear.

  41. Sorry I confused you, nn. It was my subtle way of trying to get you to rethink the fly. Not being a Victorian I had no idea of where these pests might be prevalent except the MCG, as it were (not the orchard pest ones but others using the same three letter word)

  42. For nn. In 2D think alternate letters, that will give you the answer. For 3D, think of a pair of baths?

  43. Nn, for 4d look at clues above regarding Two and a half men and dropping drug. The def is pallid.

  44. Arthur, you are right about the orient in 15d. First five letter a fairly obscure word relating to backbone. The last two ‘uses’ heart.

  45. Thanks Arthur. Had worked out the laundry pair, am just old enough to remember them. Your help has given me 2d, although the def seems a bit off. Just 5a 12a and 6d to go. Still puzzling a few word plays with the answers I have but lots of good ones this week (once I’d worked them out!)

  46. If I’ve picked the right girl for 10A, she has a lengthy surname starting with G? Contains most of pinata. What is pinata? My Online dictionary didn’t know it. One further (for the moment) query. I have 4D ending in a magnetic pole, following a famous tennis player. But druggie? I don’t think he was.

  47. Arthur you have the right answer for 4d. Wordplay is two words 1,4 . Second word has a letter dropped from it. In this case dropped means removed, although DA often uses dropped to mean put the letter further down in the word , but not this time(which had me fooled for a while). The letter is an abbreviation for a type of party drug, DA often uses it. It is also a compass point, but not the one at the end of the answer. It is dropped from the name of an actor who was in a show you probably never watched. His dad was also an actor . The son has been in a bit of trouble lately for drug use

  48. When I said DA often uses it I was referring to the abbreviation, not the drug, my apologies to DA!

  49. Good, nn. Now only 14 to go, so passed halfway. 10D 25A finally clicked with me, should have seen it earlier. I still haven’t understood the 5/6/30 though.

  50. Sorry, nn, they remain blank. Going to close down for a few hours, possibly till tomorrow. Been looking at this screen too long. Have fun.

  51. Nn, re 5/6. The answer is a global watchdog made up of a word for ‘pleasure’ dis-covered, follwed by ‘destination’ abroad (anagrind).

  52. Arthur if you have any of the answers that have 5/6/30 in the clue, they should help you see what 30a is. Swearing is the def for 30a. The answer is what you might say to someone who is swearing. 5a,6a has headquarters in new York, watchdog is the def

  53. Thanks Sandy, had the watchdog bit, couldn’t quite fit the rest of it, had one two many letters in the anagram. Can now see what discovered means.

  54. Make that one TOO many letters. And now I see the extra letter wasn’t part of an anagrammed word.

  55. Just worked out word play for 30a. Had answer from the theme. But realize that sometimes people use it to refer to swearing. Word play is a word for scheme missing first letter, followed by a thing you might measure with,with two of the letters reversed.

  56. Not a good week for me as I found it hard going. Huge help already from everyone here but I found it to be the worst week for understanding the wordplays for a long time! Still puzzling me are:
    12A How do we get letters 1-3?
    18A A hidden but what is the definition?
    27A I get the Cockney clue + gripe but what is ‘quaintly snarl’?
    28A An utter mystery so far in spite of all the help above!
    3D ‘secure in rear lift’?

    That’ll do for now! Sorry about that but I feel as thick as bricks this week. Having said that I thought 17D was quite straightforward. I also liked DA’s cluing of letters 2-5 in 20A by using an English word which is a mis-pronounced French word for an English word which is translated into French.

  57. Robin 3d the rear lift sees a return to DA’s idea fixee from a while ago. Read upwards. Letters 2,3,4 are secure in this rear
    28a is a river in south America. Also one of the wobbles. Wordplay has been described above and is a bit convoluted.
    27a snarl as in tangled. Quaintly because it is an archaic term. More modern usage has e as the first letter
    18a possibly contacts is the def. contacts as in lenses.
    12a the first three letters are an instruction for what to do to the rest of it to get the result described in the clue. All a bit back to front!

  58. nn, re 12a, I think you mean the first three WORDS (not letters) are an instruction. This is called a rebus. It is when you are given an ‘answer’ to work back to the clue. So, Robin, letters 1-3 are actually an anagram indicator for letters 4-9, the answer of which is the first word of the clue. Does that make sense?

  59. Re 12a I meant the first three letters in the answer were an instruction about what to do with the rest of the answer to produce the clue (i.e. to produce the first three words of the clue) and yes it is a rebus. We are saying the same thing here, I just said it back to front.

  60. Thanks Sandy and nn. I think I’ve finally got 28A after looking again at the tips above. ‘A bit convoluted’ you say, nn? I’d hate to see one that you think is ‘convoluted’! Maybe next week? By the way, whenever I hear the bird’s name I think of a Paul Simon song from 1983, ‘Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog, After the War’, in which a number of R & B groups are mentioned. ‘The Orioles’ are one of these. Funny what you remember.
    The three letter word for steer is only known to me as the adjective for where you steer from.

    18A Until today I thought these were in the kneecap!

    27A I see the meaning here of ‘snarl’ now. Very good.

    12A All good but I’ll have to think a bit more about the rebus concept. Rupert pointed one out a few months ago but they don’t seem to be used a lot.

    3D I get it all except the letters 2-3-4. Not quite there yet.

  61. A couple more if I may – I’m very impressed that everyone has got all these by the way!

    19D Letters 1 and 7 are ‘quiet’, right. How are letters 2-6 ‘hammer is’ please?

    22D Is ‘a flame’ letters 1, 2, 4-6 as in ‘old flame’? What has 13A got to do with it?

    24D Got the juice but doesn’t the song have four letters? It’s lost the first one?

  62. Robin, I reckon the wordplay was particularly tough this week as well, although together with RC, we got most of it out.

    19D: think hammer as in to criticise.
    22D: Yes, as in old flame. And the word comes from 13A (as do most words that begin with the first two letters in 22D)
    24D: Not sure what song you’re thinking of. There’s a particular word for song that fits exactly but which isn’t generally used to to mean a song these days, unless you’re doing a cryptic crossword.

  63. Robin 3d letters 2,3,4 are a synonym of secure at a bit of a stretch.
    19d letters 2,3,4 are hammer as in to criticise leters 5 and 6 are given in the clue following hammers
    22d you are correct. The answer is a word that originally was from 13a language
    24d the song has 3 letters as in a Londonderry …
    18a you will also see them at the surface of most liquids when placed in a glass

  64. Confusion in the ranks here guys!
    Two conflicting answers proposed for 28a A bird (pl) and a river
    I haven’t the word play for either but am leaning toward the SA river as the bird come baseball team has to be plural ie birds to fit the 7 letters and DA offers river as the first word and more likely def. Anyway will continue to seek the wordplay for both

  65. I reckon Robin was thinking of ARIA, which is the wrong “song” and doesn’t take proper account of the reversal indicator “uplifting”.

  66. Worry not, there is no confusion I hope, K/BW, as the bird I mentioned is in the wordplay and not in the answer. The answer is a river. The bird has 6 letters and the final two are dropped (‘the 1 down released’) and the remaining 4 letters are letters 1-3 and 7 of the answer!

  67. Aha the baseball bird has the translated 1d released
    Looks better Now to sort the circling steer bit!

  68. You are on the money, RB. I did think it was ARIA and missed DA’s meaning of ‘uplifting’, got it, thanks, now. Aswan that man!

  69. Arthur, a piñata is a decorated cardboard box full of sweets. Children take it in turns to hit the suspended piñata with a baseball bat while blindfolded until it spills the sweets on the floor, at which point chaos ensues. I have always assumed from the name that it’s a Mexican invention – it’s very popular in the USA.

  70. Students of Arabic will know that AL is ‘the’. So is EL. So when you fly El Al …?

  71. … and my wife, Rupert, has sometimes been so zealous in her making of a piñata, particularly in the mixing of the papier-mâché, that the thing wouldn’t break, however hard you hit it! First we try ‘take the blindfold off’ and it gets worse from there…

  72. All done except 23A. Have searched all 90 comments so far and can’t see any discussion about it. Is it a made-up word ending in EER?
    Really liked 29A,

  73. iPuzzled, it does end in EER. Hard work is colloquial, first 4 letters. The rest is a homophone (on air) of a listener/ an ear.

  74. It is never too late, iPuzzled. Saturday night is early!
    23A is an ad-writer who specializes in writing the main message. Letters 1-4 are hard work; letters 5-6 are an article; letters 7-9 are a homophone (on air) for a listener. Listener in crossword-speak, just as Thames is a flower and ether is a number.

  75. Congrats iPuzzled. I didn’t get this week’s out. Got stuck on 5 and 6! But enjoyed the wordplay after the event.

  76. Robin, you weren’t alone there with some of the clues. This one should have been right up my allée, but some of it was 26A to me.
    I’m intrigued about your 20A explanation at 1:39. An Edith Piaf song comes to mind, Je ne regrette rien.

  77. Well, all filled in. Must confess I got a bit of help with last two or three from up there^. I thought I had asked, in a previous post, for some sort of explanation of the 5/6/30 theme. I found them all, but no idea what the numbers mean. Overall, a very good puzzle. A lady writing in The Age letters today says she can never ever do DA crosswords. Might write in and suggest she visit this site.

  78. Arthur, the letter to The Age sounds like a cry for help to me! Send her this site!

    Gayle, a great song, a great lady and a great philosophy of life – one to which DA would surely subscribe! ‘Regret nothing’ indeed!

  79. Did this crossword all the wrong way round. The last clue I got was 5A and 6D – and it’s very clever. Enjoyed this weeks and understood most of the wordplays. Still struggling to sort out 28A and don’t understand the first 3 letters of 12A. But hey, it is DA. Will probably be too busy next Saturday so I’d like to say Merry Christmas to those who celebrate and I look forward to catching up with you all in 2012.

  80. Me too, RAD about 5A/6D. See Rupert’s explanation for the rebus in 12A. Seasons greetings!

    Arthur, the numbers only mean to string those 3 solutions together for the theme. It could have been written 5A/6D/30A or 5A 6D 30A. I bet DA was having a chuckle wondering how many of us googled 5 June 1930 before we twigged.

  81. Arthur 5/6/30 refer to the clue numbers 5a 6d and 30a. Read them in this order and then look at all the clues with 5/6/30 in and you should understand . Hope this makes sense and we are speaking the same language

  82. Whoops! DA, a rabbi is not, absolutely NOT, any kind of priest. A rabbi is a scholar of the Talmud (the Jewish law), a teacher. The Jewish priests are the Levites, the sons of Levi. (With that B, I was trying ABOT – heartless Abbot – till it clicked that you’d made that very common mistake…)

  83. Arthur, the theme is 5A 6D 30As. Nothing to do with Peter Landin and Gordon Rose.

    Of course, the theme is also 30As. I don’t know why DA obscured it so (although to ask the question is to answer it).

  84. Didn’t get to start till late, and now (thanks in part to some of the above comments) have almost finished. My penultimate was 8D, and I was delighted with it when the penny dropped. Also loved 29A. We had a 3D machine until only a few years ago. I got the river in 28A quickly and the bird with the missing two letters, but I would have thought that “circling … from behind” meant the encircling word was written backwards. This one clearly isn’t. So that leaves “steer from behind” as cluing letters 4-6, which leaves me a tad bewildered. Now I only have 26D to get, and I’m stumped.

  85. I knew it would happen again. As soon as I’d posted the above comment it hit me. I’d been thinking of the wrong kind of “touch”.

  86. Dave R, re letters 4-6 of 28A, thefreedictionary.com says that one meaning of con (verb) is “to direct the steering or course of (a vessel)”.

    I’m puzzled by the “quaintly” in the clue for 27A. Why is it there?

  87. RB, nn put me right on this earlier. The spelling of 27A beginning with an ‘I’ is archaic. It would now be spelt with an ‘E’, hence the ‘quaintly’.

    3D By the way, I have seen a Thesaurus linking ‘win’ with ‘secure’ so I’m happy now, nn.

  88. 10D, 25A has rather vague cluing, but I expect if you had the cross letters T – W – R, – F, B – B – L you probably get it whatever the clue was. I notice nobody today said they got 10A, 25B first and the rest just followed…

  89. The weakest one for me today is 14D. I agree that the answer means ‘deserts’ but hardly ‘dismisses cricket side’.

  90. Ah! 28a con! As in conning tower as well.. From which an officers directions can be given to the helmsman who actually steers..mm! According to Wikki The verb “conn” probably stems from the word”conduct” rather from another plausible precedent, the verb “control” and notes that the conning tower allows for efficient “reconnaissance”
    Think we’ve all been conned today al la DA! Cheers maties!

  91. @Robin: Re 14d, the first two words mean ‘dismisses’ and the third word is ‘cricket side’.

  92. Ah, thankyou for a bit of belated delight, RK. I hadn’t really looked at the cluing for the last 2 letters in 14D. DA’s pulled my leg again.

  93. Seconded, RK! You put it well, Gayle, with your ‘belated delight’.

    I do not like to rest on clues that don’t look to me entirely right and I had missed the point (no pun intended). I see that the cricket field has an ‘on’ and an ‘off’ side (or half) and a sector of the ‘on’ side is also described as ‘leg’.

    RK you have elevated 14D from weak to very good, thank you!

  94. Phil, a bit of a break with the usual cross-referencing in that the As & Ds have been omitted (in the manner of English cryptics such as the Grauniad) so that the reference looks like a date. Both answers (i.e. 5A 6D, and 30A) have decapitated words at the beginning.

  95. I will not look at this page until the crossword is completed. I will not look at this page until the crossword is completed. Write 100 times. And even then, I won’t look at this page even if the crossword is not completed – where’s the fun in that?!!

  96. Robin, re “quaintly”, I thought it might refer to an archaic spelling, especially as I wasn’t familiar with that spelling anyway, but none of the online definitions I found mentioned archaic spelling. And neither does my copy of the Shorter Oxford.

  97. In spite of everyone’s great help I am still stuck with 13A, 18A and 15D. Does 18A begin with M?
    I have a RIB in the middle of 13A and I thjought that the catacomb hub would be its middle and I can’t think of any archaic word for “backbone”. Anyone else still looking at this??

  98. OOps! As soon as I make a post, like others, I seem to get it. One thing led to another. . .

  99. RB, I think ‘quaintly snarl’ is fine. ‘Intwine’ is a less commonly used spelling of ‘entwine’ and ‘quaint’ can mean strange, peculiar or unusual which appears to be the case.

    I think it was nn who referred to it as ‘archaic’ which I think is also fine. According to Dictionary.com, ‘archaic’, “of a linguistic form”, means “commonly used in an earlier time but rare in modern day usage”.

    Monday is my DS Confusions day. Did anyone tackle Saturday’s? It was only moderate in difficulty this week and most clues were solved fairly easily, but this one had me puzzled.

    4D Roll up inside laboratory (4) Cross letters give me R – T –
    I’m thinking RATS as they turn up in laboratories but I haven’t twigged the ‘roll up’ bit. Has anyone any thoughts on this one?!

  100. Robin, You might find the ROTA upside down, in the same place as the menisci (which I didn’t get till quite late, I must admit).

  101. Robin how about ROTA hidden word reversed. Re intwine by archaic I just meant that you didn’t see it that spelling these days

  102. I wonder how many people knew that chine meant spine & con meant steer without the resource of a dictionary or the internet. More than most DAs it seemed an easy crossword to solve without necessarily understanding the clues until afterwards. In particular, it made no difference whether or not you understood 5/6/30.

  103. I knew chine, from my days at catering college. Interestingly, I had 30 Ac early, and 5/6 was about the second last entry. I missed the con/ steer connection. I figured it was a river with lots of Os, and it fitted in the cross letters. I thought it may have had an X in it for a while (ox).

  104. @JD: I thought 28A might have had an X in it for a while, too. But when I stopped trying to think of river birds and started thinking of rivers it fell into place quite quickly (Oxiana didn’t fit).

  105. I knew chine from sailing meaning a sharp angle in a hull. Typically a sailing dinghy will be called ‘of hard chine construction’.
    Also, as a boy I remember we went on holidays to the Isle of Wight where there is a place called Blackgang Chine. Rupert mentioned this use of chine earlier I think. It is a coastal ravine, a deep sided river valley.
    I had not heard of it used as a backbone or a cut of meat though which is the one we wanted on Friday.

  106. Rats! Rota, Roster, Roll-call … of course!
    You know I saw that yesterday looking for exactly that, i.e. a reversed hidden word, but the brain didn’t connect ROTA with anything! Don’t you hate it when that happens? I was looking for a bread roll.
    I had just done ‘printed slips for deserter in time (6) and so the rats stuck in my mind.
    Thanks nn and Gayle!

  107. Not sure I would have got far without 5/6/30. Just a few too many words I’d not heard of – should have paid more attention to Star Trek!
    Tried to explain what a rebus is to some family members over an early Xmas dinner – I think all I’ve done is scare them off from ever trying another cryptic.

  108. Hi, could someone please help with the word play in 5A, 6D. Thanks & regards, Grant

  109. Watchdog is the def.
    discovered pleasure = (F)UN i.e. FUN without its “cover”
    destination abroad = anagram of destination = ITED NATIONS

  110. Thanks RB.
    You also couldn’t help me with “catacomb hub” could you please.
    Grant

  111. 13A: “catacomb hub” is the middle two letters of catacomb, which are the first and last letters of the answer.

  112. Yes. Heartless can be the removal of any number of letters, so long as it’s symmetrical. So a 7 letter word could have 1, 3 or 5 letters removed, while an 8 letter word could have 2, 4 or 6 letters removed.

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