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

It’s DA and it’s time to resolve your confusions, which you can do right here.


97 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 20th/21st of January, 2011

  1. 17A and 13A gave me the theme, after which it was quite straightforward. Still three to go for when I take my coffee break.

  2. And done. I really liked 20A, 3D/12A, 28A, 9D and 18D, with 21D and 7D close behind.

    15D: Does “linked to classic setter” clue letters 3 & 4 of the third word, and if so, how?

    I didn’t know the words in 26D and 1D, though I was able to get the latter from the wordplay and the former from your lot’s predictability in forming abbreviations ;)

  3. 24A and 6D gave me the theme, @ rupert 15D classic setter is a compiler from days of old.

  4. So “setter” which used to clue I, ME and DA can now clue anyone who has ever set a crossword in the Age or SMH? I think I dislike that even more than “notes”.

  5. DA has used this before. As you rightly point out, setter can be one of a few things but “classic setter” is a different kettle of fish. Mr. Browne first appeared in 1935 and created some 40,000 crosswords, i cut my teeth on his stuff. Knowing that he was DA’s mentor also helped.

  6. Mr Browne also produced cryptics for The Bulletin and was known by every Australian cryptic aficionado. It wasn’t that long ago he died. Soon after I started doing SMH cryptics in 1980 he produced the souvenir SMH cryptic no. 10,000, which he entitled Millie Dix. I hope that DA is able to reprise his effort with no. 20,000 due in the middle of next year.

  7. Just begun, filled NE corner, but most of those I’m unsure of. Any chemists out there? I need to know if NaNO2 is an inert compound, or have I got the wrong one? It containes a ‘blasted’ inert but the other two letters???

  8. No, I think the ‘compound’ was the clue (11A). Googling tells me the one I have is not inert at all. Still a lot of work to do. Had never heard of the Browne character, but I didn’t start doing cryptics till early 70’s.

  9. Finally, the penny has dropped. The second T in my compound should have been a letter earlier in the alphabet, and now all is clear (well …).

  10. not a clue on this one despite looking at it for 45 min. Are last two words of 24D the def?

  11. Re 27A. Is this a spelling mistake by DA? I hear sports commentators saying ‘He’s damaged an abductor muscle’, but, of course, they are adductor muscles.

  12. Keith E., I found a list of adductor muscles via Google, it didn’t contain the type which answers the clue, the first 4 of which suggest a Greek letter. Is this muscle type actually an adductor also?
    Down to maybee five, maybe seven. Have found 23 of the keys, can’t see where I can fit the remaing three in the as yet unsolved clues. Will keep looking.

  13. I’m confused by 18D. I have all the across letters and have guessed at where a D might go, but I don’t know what I’m looking for. I’ve pencilled in an answer but I am not satisfied with it. Is the def ‘barrier’, ‘flood barrier’ or ‘From the south’, or something else? Does ‘acquire’ = GET? Does ‘corroded’ indicate an anagram?

    Liked 15D. My parents taught me how to solve cryptic crosswords using Mr Browne’s puzzles way back in the day. However I think this particular puzzle is not a good one with which to teach new solvers.

  14. 27A: it’s an abductor, flexor and extensor of the joint it moves.

    18D: I’d say the def is flood barrier, though not the “too much rain” sort of flood. Acquire = GET, but you’re looking for a synonym of corroded, and not an obvious one.

  15. I had only 24d for a very long time, and fortunately got the theme from 30a. Things then fell into place fairly quickly .

    I enjoyed this immensely. Wanted to have a nitrogenous compound for 2d for a while but think I have it all out now. Heaps of great clues, 8d,7d, 27a my favourites

  16. Got the theme soon enough (oh for a mind like DA!) but what on earth does Rupert Bear have to do with anything?

  17. Arthur, re 27A, I think the def is simply “muscle” and “abductor” (as in to take away) is the containment or extraction indicator.

  18. @spijk re: Rupert Bear, as the character he has absolutely nothing to do with it! Ultimately Rupert clues the 1st letter of the 2nd word, and a dubious synonym for Bear is letter 2-5 of the second word.

  19. In my (abundant) ignorance, I thought the people talking about abductor muscles had made a mistake. Sad! I now have, I think, 25 of the keys, but totally baffled where to put the last one, as 1A is all I have left. But, in reality, I’m unsure of 1 & 2D, 10 & 12A. The rest look OK.

  20. Freddy, re 3D/12A, I agree the “bear” synonym was poor.

    Another whinge (or misunderstanding) concerns 9D: the 2nd and 3rd letters of the answer seem to be clued by “reminder” or “reminder printed”; either way it doesn’t work for me.

  21. No paper yesterday. Got back copy today. Enjoyed this one. About 30 minutes over lunch. Instructions were daunting initally, but got the operation pretty quickly from 14A and SE corner. 1A and 1D last in and 12A third last. If I could count to 26 I may have got them a lot earlier.

    1D Spent a long time thinking the def was botannical and trying to find the patrons in ‘imagines bistro’ for a deletion. Wasn’t looking for a synonym of ‘bistro patrons’, and major tip, which tip?

    15D Husband gave me the solution from my guess at the def. I did know about DA’s mentor
    and was able to work out the wordplay.

    Never heard of 16D, and struggled over that one .. can’t count to 2, let alone 26.

    Particularly liked the surface in almost all of today’s clues. 7D, 8D, 19D, 21D brought a smile.
    23A was good, 3 adjectives each of which could have been the def or the indicator.

  22. RB, I see the second and third letters as ‘reminder printed’. But I’m also unclear about the rest. …. stuck on needing to read the surface with the two words of 7D reversed.

  23. Gayle, the rest of 9D apart from this week’s theme is: letters 1,4,7,8 of the answer are clued by 7D (with its first word being an anagrind).

  24. only got one:
    19A …about trip
    which i think is “walk”
    but this means 15D starts with a 3 letter word ending in L

  25. Jono – it’s not WALK. Hard to help you with that until you have worked out the theme. Although you might get the theme from this one: ‘about’ is the definition for letters 1 and 4 of the answer, and ‘trip’ is the definition of the whole word.

  26. thanks Rupert. Have been out all afternoon. Just got back to it have three answers from what i hope is the defs. no idea on the wordplay of any of them. no idea of the theme

  27. Hi there
    Stumped big time. I don’t get these out most of the time but I normally get a fair crack. 7D I am thinking is a maths “rule” but cannot for the life of me figure out how to get it. Would 24D be stereotyped in white? 14A is the metronome bit the def, if so I can only figure out the drunk reflected being the middle word and the first letter of the last??

  28. Saturday arvo spoiler alert.

    Yes, get that RB, but I thought the anagrind should come last if it is an imperative grammatically: NB in RULE, instruction: Anagram ‘rule’ (before insertion)!

    The surface as is:
    NB in anagrammed ‘rule’ (shouldn’t that be SLID or SLIDING?)

    Either way it’s liberal which is okay, and there is the question mark. Got me, especially as ‘reminder’ has 8 letters and each cross letter can be found in ‘reminder’. I liked ‘free’ as an anagrind, and had no idea what the def was. Nice misdirection. Only found the answer from a wordfinder with the filled letters (one of 3 possibilities fortunately) and worked back to the wordplay.

  29. SM – you’re on the right track with 14A and 24D. They share a common feature which is the theme. I think you may also be right with 7D. The ‘theme’ is missing from the wordplay, but present in the definition. – if that makes any sense.

  30. Yes SM. You’re right about the drunk. And if you have the right ‘rule’ used in maths, you’re nearly there, if you ponder on the difference between the wordplay and your solution.

  31. got the theme at last but still lots of trouble with wordplays. 3d/12a was an awful clue!

  32. 3/12 apart from synonym i don’t get what ‘being above’ has to do with it. am making some progress with the rest

  33. Light comes on! Got it! So they 3D, in some form, has not been put in the wordplay but is in the def!

  34. nn, re 3A/12D, I think you’ve probably got the first 3 words of the clue giving the 2nd word of the answer, but then I think you may have interpreted “being above” wrongly (as I did) – and it doesn’t make sense. “Being” actually clues the last 7 letters of the 1st word of the answer and “above” signifies (rather poorly IMO) that it comes before the 2nd word. Hope that helps.

  35. thanks RB that makes more sense than anything else I’ve come up with. pretty clumsy clue and as it is the vital one, should have been better

  36. Was I the only one to shoot myself in the foot by taking the ‘plus two clues’ in the theme definition as meaning there were 28 altogether instead of 26? The punctuation is sort of ambiguous, so I didn’t see what the ‘included’ included! Got there in the end, but still not sure about 26d – is it a slang abbreviation? (I’m being an ignorant Pom again – thanks to people on here for leading me to the classic setter, who of course I’d never come across.)

  37. Yes Mary, re 26D. Not even slang in some circles where it’s the more commonly used word.

  38. Mary, I agree the “plus two clues” in the theme instructions was badly worded. I didn’t know whether these two clues were already counted in the 26, or were additional to the 26.

    nn, I agree 3D/12A was a poor clue. I didn’t solve it until I’d done 75% of the puzzle, so for me it wasn’t vital at all!

  39. I thought 3D/12A was fine. The two synonyms for carry seem close enough for me. “Above” would have been better if the answer were in a single down clue, but the being is in the down part, and therefore above what follows.

  40. No, I must have wrong words in 1 &2D, 10 & 12A. I have 1D beginning with the key, the whole being a word that fits with imagines. But 10A? No idea what that is, had a word meaning sincere? For 12A had a synonym for larceny? For 2D originally went for ester, which is commonly used as a compound in crosswords. But changed that for another anagram of steer that means short? So, which, if any of those, have I got right? Because the only word that seems possible for 1A means something like twisted together, and doesn’t contain the key. HELPPPP!!

  41. 10A: Clear is the definition, function is the wordplay, theme goes at letters 3 & 4.
    12A: Sounds right.
    2D: You need a four letter synonym of cattle, minus the last letter, with the theme at letters 3 & 4.
    1A: The answer is one who worships e.g. Baalam. And I would usually use a different word with the same first four letters, but if you have 3D and 4D you won’t go far wrong.

  42. Regarding the clue for 3d/12a, did anyone manage to work out the answer from the clue? Or, like me, did you get the answer from working out the other clues and then sit their scratching your head trying to figure out the wordplay for 3d/12a? If nobody managed to get it from the clue, then I would suggest that it isn’t much of a clue!

    Arthur, for 2D it is similar to 11a in that they are both compounds (although strictly speaking, each needs another element to make a compound).

  43. @nn: Yeah, I solved 3/12 before I got the others, but I figured the crime was going to be theft of some sort, as there would be something missing from the 26 clues, and then worked backwards from there. I quite like the clue. The surface is amusing and the wordplay’s sneaky.

  44. Rupert, I feel ashamed to have gone so badly wrong. I haven’t counted all the keys again, but haven’t I got morethan 26 now? Will check again later. All complete now, anyway. Thank you.

  45. Ok, down to one to go and would like to stop it bouncing around in my head. It’s 20A. Have got all the letters I can from the others and now have ‘ideas’, ‘river’, ‘tides’ and countless other possible answers popping in and out of my mind. Nothing really clicks. It’s late enough for a spoiler, isn’t it?

  46. @SM) Inspires is the def. Slack as in able to move a bit, i.e has a bit of _ _ _ _. This Gives first four letters
    The waters are rather large waters, traditionally there are seven of them to sail upon. These surround the two letters missing from most of the other clues to form the rest of it.

  47. Counting will do one’s head in, I reckon. (Hence I was two short.)
    Puzzle: There are 56 clues all up. DA says subtract 26. That leaves 30 unthemed! A breeze I thought, or maybe 28 and 28, with the extra 2 that DA said were suffering.
    What’s the remainder? (My count, well, uncircled ones in my futile attempt to keep a record, is the same as Rupert’s, but it just doesn’t add up!)

  48. @Gayle I make it 32 clues all up. (am guessing you looked at the highest across number, 30 and added it to the highest down number, 26 to get 56, but not every number is used in both directions)
    When I did it, I didn’t bother trying to find the 26 as I wasn’t clear about the phrase “plus two clues twice” and I had enough trouble working out some of the wordplay.
    But looking at it now the following don’t appear to be missing the two letters in question
    5A, 12A, 29A, 4D, 8D, 23D (6 in all, leaving 26 others). The ones with it twice are 14A and 16d.

  49. Yes, your clue count is seriously flawed, Gayle. I agree with nn’s numbers except I’d say there were 31 clues in total, of which 5 are unthemed. And I think nn’s 23D should read 22D.

    The reason for the disparity between my 31 and nn’s 32 is that I’ve counted 3D/12A as one clue, not two. Doesn’t really matter whether you view it as 31 0r 32; the main thing is that knowing the number of unthemed clues was quite a useful bit of knowledge.

  50. We Give up. Can’t get 1A, or 1D. We’ve got _ _ O _ I _ E _ (we presume the “I _ ” is the key), and for 1D we have _ _ E _ T _ S. Any help please?.

  51. 1A: First two letters are the theme. The rest is “about underground tube where a missile is kept” reversed. The definition is one who worships.

    1D: This is an unusual word, meaning imagines. Starts with the theme, then people at a restaurant, without the last letter of major.

  52. @Doug & Gwyn
    1A no, I _ just before the E isn’t one of the missings, it is at the start of the word.
    See Rupert’s hint at 8.01 am today for a bit more of an idea.
    1D is a word I’ve never heard of, sounds Latin, but I’m not sure. Again the missing bit is at the start

  53. Thanks gb, I got it

    19A …about trip

    Answer = “Rome”

    about = RE; trip = ROME; and there is a Karma thief on the loose, which explains where the OM went

  54. Well, I spent all weekend looking at it. Couldn’t work out the theme. Ruined.
    On the upside, I did do a lot of thinking.

  55. So that’s where I went wrong in the word count! : )
    Ideates and ideation are fairly common words psychologically-speaking (not that that helped me.)I was with Doug&Gwyn, 1A and 1D last in for me, and with nn .. didn’t get 12A til very late.

  56. Hi,
    I couldn’t get “Uni campus official retired by herself”. I thought it might be “unaided” but can’t get the wordplay.
    Could I get some help please.
    Thanks & regards, Grant

  57. Re “Uni campus official retired by herself”, where does the “by herself come into it? Seems redundant to me.

  58. Could someone please help with wordplay for Celtic priest. I can’t get “ru” from “game” (or “game for”). Regards, Grant

  59. Just back in Sydney after a time away from DA and internet. Three DAs to catch up on. Last week’s was extraordinary for a beginner. I like iPuzzled’s understatement “not a good one with which to teach new solvers”. Interesting to see some folk have been doing these since the 1970s and 1980s. This gives me the encouragement to keep going.

    I think 17A is gold, loved the hub of bub, and 15D was a classic. I liked your snarl about ‘setter’, Rupert! As for ‘notes’ I thought the DIDGE was very weak as it’s all notes except for the ID!

    I came here with four queries about 28A, 3A/12D and 18D but all were brilliantly explained as usual, and thanks to RB for pointing to the anagrind, ‘slide’, in 9D. I was baffled there for a while.

    This was a classic DA; I had made such little progress and so was enjoying working backwards from the answers. As I progressed I thought the time away had set me backwards as I kept having the two letters that I couldn’t explain. A great “DOH!” moment followed and all was revealed. Great fun.

  60. I do have one query after all.
    22D The definition is ‘squire’ and ‘ORT’ sounds like ‘ought’ = ‘should’, but what is the ‘key first’ bit? I had earlier read it as ESC = Esq. but that isn’t right, is it?

  61. Thanks RB.

    I’m struggling somewhat with initialisation. Seems like you could reverse engineer any number of things to make them fit (Russian Uno anyone?) Takes away some of that “aha” quality for me that cryptic clues are supposed to possess. Probably just personal taste (and sour grapes that I didn’t think of it!)

  62. 22D: Look at the top left (at a guess) of your keyboard.

    Any number of organisations have RU as an abbreviation for Rugby Union – ARU and NZRU to name but two.

  63. grant, I sympathise. My particular dislike is single-letter initialisations. I’m OK with the common ones like t for time and c for cold, etc. But some seem quite arbitrary (especially in British crosswords).

  64. I’m with RB and grant on that sort of abbreviation.
    If I hadn’t seen it before (it is quite common in DA’s cryptics as I think he used to play it) I’d never have associated RU with game. Those of us in the southern states don’t regard it as much of a game anyway!

  65. Thanks Rupert. I believe I’ve seen the ‘key’ = ESC or ALT or TAB before but of course didn’t remember it.

  66. Just wondering if anyone can explain wordplay for one of Wednesday Herald Sun’s answers. Clue is Second measurement by this chimney-cleaner’s assistant. Answer is Sweep-hand. I can see second = S, but don’t get the measurement bit.

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