DA Confusion for the 15/16th of June, 2012

Here’s where you have your confusions sorted out.

94 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 15/16th of June, 2012

  1. I’m here, still working my way through it. I’m a bit busy at work so I had no time to look at it over coffee.

    16A seems fine to me. Def is the first bit of the first word, second part of the first word is a common instruction, second word is the fodder and anagrind is the last word.

    I’m confused by the last 6 letters of 1A. Is this an Australian term for satire?

  2. No, too easy. He’s gone soft on us. What am I going to do with the rest of my weekend? Anyone else tried the new SMH app? What do you think?

  3. I’m confused by the last 6 letters of 1A. Is this an Australian term for satire?

    Very definitely. Hyphenated as a noun but not as a verb.

  4. I notice the crossword in the new Age iPad app today is DA. Is he back on Fridays in the dead tree version as well?

  5. Thanks, Keith. I had the wrong instructions, so the only references I could find were to raising the yards on a sailing ship, and to a rap song.

    Only two to go.

  6. 12D: Astrology is a load of Taurus, but strictly speaking what DA refers to here is not a house but a sign. The two divisions of the sky do align in most modern horoscopes, apparently.

  7. All done now. 21A was the last in, with the two possible homophone indicators at the beginning causing their intended confusion.

    I don’t get the wordplay for the second word of 7D.

    Does 8D involve a less common pronunciation of the shorter value in a 19th century code (letters 5 – 7)? Otherwise I don’t get the wordplay here.

  8. Finished, but not one of DA’s most satisfactory puzzles. I thought several of the clues were a bit weak if not actually unfair.
    Re. 7D: abbreviation of “versus” embedded in synonym for “race”.
    I also don’t understand wordplay for 15D.

  9. Re 15d. My take is: “I’ll” gives letters 2-4. “Second” gives letters 5-6. Letters 1,7, 8 is a synonym of “independent” less the last letter (ie “contract”ed). Meh!

  10. After I got over initial frustration with DA’s definitions and wordplay, which quickly turned to frustration at my own shortfalls, esp in parsing this week, I enjoyed today’s. On reflection, ones I struggled with slowly revealed their craft and humour eg 21A, 20D.
    Also liked 16A, 23D, 27A.
    13 A got me, wondering what language the supposed anagram came from. After all that work, and finally getting the definition, didn’t really enjoy the clue.
    Last in were 26A and 6A which I should have got if I’d got my head out of the case of scotch.
    Never heard of 11A, don’t know why, except it wasn’t something going around our house.

  11. Got stuck for a while on 1A. I kept thinker of Kerry Packers command when Doug Mulray had his Naughtiest Home Videos show…..

  12. AJ : ) I was thinking of Kerry Packer too. Wodidesay? No, just asked husband. Something like… Bobby, ULTR?

  13. Struggling with 1a – hint? I only have 3 left but 1a is causing the main problem

  14. @ Ian – Nope, DA still on Sat in the dead wood version (happy to say the crossword section came this weekend)

  15. Help! Three to go and stuck.


    Can’t identify the def in any of them.

    Googled a list of cocktails for 13A but none fit. If Cocktail is an anagrind I can’t see where the anagram fodder is.

    Not happy with 21A at all. Not so happy with 20D either.
    Also agree with Rupert about letters 2-4 in 12D.

    Despite my negative comments above, I still enjoy the challenge so much.

    It’s possible I have 7D wrong. Is it the name of a French port? Don’t get the wordplay despite hints above.

  16. Got them now, once I ‘cheated’ to find 6A. No wonder I couldn’t find the def in 6D – the syntax is very peculiar.

  17. All done bar 13A – have all cross letters but can’t see it all. Is it an English word? Think I have 6A but don’t get the wordplay. Are the first and last letters a (rough) synonym for scotch (the verb)?

  18. @BrianB,

    13A is an English word. Cocktail is the def, but it’s not a kind of drink (which threw me). The wordplay is a reasonably complex for this one.

    For 6D the def is ‘one takes a stab’ but the def could so easily be one word. An anagram is a big part of the wordplay in this one.

  19. Can anyone help with the wordplay for 14D? I got the answer from the first two words, but can’t see how the rest of the clue fits with my answer.

  20. @BrianB,
    I just realised that I gave you some help with 6B instead of 6A. Apologies.

    6A: the def is ‘gorgeous girl’.
    ‘case of’ is an instruction similar to wings/wingers/extremes/edges etc.
    Letters 2-4 are given by a word that kindv means ‘work’, and this word has been reversed.
    The answer is a word I’ve never seen before today.

  21. Help! eg, for starters, 1a, 11a, 21a.
    If I’ve got 27a right, I don’t get wordplay for last 5 letters

  22. @sb,
    Def is first two words. Nothing to do with the media empire Packers.
    ‘Bungled’ is an anagram indicator, but the anagram consists of only three letters. ‘Satire’ gives letters 4-9. Apparently this synonym for satire is an Australian one.

    11A This expression comes from The Simpsons, as I recall. Monty Burns says it. The def is revenge and the last word of the previous clue is significant.

    21A: Def is lousy risk management, but it’s not a great def IMO.
    Catch gives first word. Second word sounds like an uncommon word meaning skipping.

  23. @sb
    last five letters of 27A: I’ve only ever seen this euphemism in past tense. ‘by’ is there to make the surface smooth, so you might want to ignore it.

  24. thanks iPuzzled. That was enough to get me back on track. Had to google for 11a, armed with your clue, but would never have got it from DA’s clue. Only 6d to go now – even with above clues, and even with all cross letters.

  25. Made a reasonable start, first in was 6d, then 6a, followed by 14d and 8d(took me a while to work out the point of this one too Rupert as I also had the spelling wrong at first)
    From above comments, most of these were the ones causing trouble for others.
    For 13A I’m assuming bigot gives the first three letters, did enjoy empty threats in this one!
    Despite all above comments I’ve still no idea on 1a
    19d is around doing double duty here?

  26. If 11a is from the simpsons I’ll give up now. Wish he’d stop using that show, why not something out of Monty Python instead?

  27. Re: 11A origins, from Wikipedia:
    Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderlos de Laclos (1741–1803) is often credited with the phrase’s invention, with his 1782 book Les Liaisons Dangereuses being said to contain the line “La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid.” One of the first known English-language appearances is Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949): “Revenge is a dish which people of taste prefer to eat cold.” It most famously appeared in its exact form in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: “Ah, Kirk, my old friend. Do you know of the old Klingon proverb that revenge is a dish best served cold? It is very cold in space.”
    But I don’t know what the ABC series is referring to…

  28. @VV Bad,
    Thanks for that research. Perhaps Monty Burns is/was a Trekkie.

    ‘ABC series’ is part of the wordplay. The word Revenge is italicised as a bit of misdirection, which DA frequently uses.

  29. @VV Bad, thanks for a bit of 11a. I can fit the first three words of the answer in with the cross letters I have and the assistance of your hint. Have no idea of the last word though and I (think I) have all the cross letters.

  30. @nn
    The expression of 11A has been around for a couple of hundred years at least. Don’t be put off.

  31. scrap that about 11a, just realised I’d written one of the cross letters in wrong!
    have it now and, of course I’ve heard of it. No idea on most of the wordplay though.

  32. Started late, travellin slowly. Have just eight (or maybe nine). If someone could kindly tell me if the first letter of 14D is near the beginning or toward the end of the alphabet, I could confirm that answer (but no idea what the clue meansd).

  33. No, that is wrong, the clue points directly to either of my alternative answers.

  34. @Arthur C.
    The first letter appears roughly 3/4 of the way through the alphabet.

  35. Arthur and iPuzzled, I had to reject my first attempt at 14d too, it was a load of cobblers.
    I have almost 3/4 finished now. Can’t get anything to fit 3d and 4d, which makes me think my answer to 9a is wrong. Am assuming swell is the def here, but don’t get the sans clothing part of the wordplay.
    Almost the entire SE corner is blank on mine. If I could get the second word in 21a I might make some headway.

  36. @nn,
    9A: I see ‘sans clothing’ as a two-step thing. If you think of another, more common, way of saying this (with no French [no grumbles from me about French this week, for a change]), that might help.

    3d: def is ages.

    4d: Def is knucklehead. There is no K in the answer. I went down the wrong path with this one. If you know much about sci-fi, the work referred to might be one of the first titles you might think of.

  37. Have two possible answers for the second word in 21a now. Both mean skipping, but why audit, spelling is the same as for skipping?

  38. Thanks iPuzzled, I had the second word in 1a wrong (and now I understand the wordplay in 1a)
    This instantly revealed 4d (and I’d been trying to fit a K into it all afternoon too!)
    3d came soon after.
    Still don’t get 9a wordplay
    Just 25a, 27a, 20d, 22d and 23d to go.

  39. Thanks, i Puzzled, I had found a word for 13A, so no longer a problem.

    Peta, I manged to pluck from the memory bank a President who fits in, though haven’t understood all of clue.

  40. @nn,
    I liked this one because ‘feral’ is the def rather than an anagrind. Subtle misdirection?
    ‘finest’ gives letters 1-4. A four-letter word meaning face, which needs to be decapitated, gives letters 5-7.

  41. nn, thanks for 6d. If you’re looking for hints –
    defs – 25a feral 27a solving 20d slammed 22d the book 23d the prison

  42. thanks iPuzzled I was getting nowhere with 25a. Quite good once you understand it.

  43. thanks sb. Have a prison for 23d, can see climbing and abseiling tips, but rest of it is a mystery.
    22d reveals that neither of the answers I had for the second word of 21a was correct.
    21a still a mystery as are 20d and 27a. I had been working on the defs you supplied, but not getting anywhere.

  44. and finally the last two.
    Don’t get wordplay in 11a, 20d, 23d, 7d and 9a, first three letters of 24A presumably have something to do with “finishes on plant”

  45. Hi AS, I’m a uni student at UTS in Sydney and have made a short doco on DA, we filmed before Christmas and the culmination of our meanderings resulted in his crossword which appeared in SMH on 17 Feb, 2012. I contacted the Herald and got permission to use the crossword in my doco but also used your answers from this site. Just wanted to let you know and make sure that you’re ok with it. The doco will go online on Monday so I will send through the link. Please let me know if there is a problem.

  46. Aha, now I’ve used the second option for 14d, 13a falls neatly into place, so all done. I’d never seen 6across either but now I see where the centre comes from, thank you iPuzzled. Think 3d is my favourite clue, had to say it a few times before I caught on.

  47. nn – 11a me neither; 20d ‘zeds’ to do with seelp; 23d think of carry climbing; 7d think of a fable (aesop I think) about a race; v = against; 9a gala is 1st 3 letters; sans clothing is last 3; 24a 1st 3 letters are “finishes on plant you sometimes”

  48. Agree, BrianB, 3D is clue of the week for me.

    Quick rundown on wordplays for nn above:
    11a anagram (marked by last word of previous clue), with one word not included
    20d You and me, in a four-letter word (where zeds are grabbed). To me, this one is clever but technically NQR: if you were to remove the first letter of the answer, the wordplay would be correct: you and me, in —.
    23d: 1-3 reversed = carry, 4-5 two letters selected from “abseiling” in a way seen elsewhere i the crossword
    7d: 1-2 = two trailing letters; 3-7 = 4-letter word meaning “race” (seen last week too IIRC) with sporting-fixture abbreviation for “against” inserted
    9a: explained above, hard to amplify that without spoiling the joke; divide the letters 4-1-3.
    24a: “plant you sometimes” letter selection. That kind of thing overdone a bit in this crossword.

  49. Boo hiss! I looked at alpha list of sci-fi, found only Konga, made in ’61. At least, I didn’t write it in.
    Still 16 short, so going very slow. If I could get a clue to 1A or 11A, that would be really helpful.

  50. Despite all the above struggling with 6d and 13a. If 13a is a cocktail is it along the lines of intrigue? Although late in the day help appreciated.

  51. Julia 13a isn’t a cocktail in the sense of a drink, although cocktail is the def. Think more in terms of mixture as in a bag of sweets.
    Arthur, 1a Packer’s command is the def, but it is a command a packer would issue to someone else once the box had been packed, particularly if the contents were delicate. You will often see it printed on boxes or cases. 1d is part of your lower leg.
    AG thanks for the explanations, I think I get them all now.

  52. @julia,
    Re: 13A: Cocktail in the sense of an (eclectic?) mixture of things.

    @Arthur C.
    Re the sci-fi book [then movie], it has four letters. The fifth letter in the answer comes from elsewhere in the clue.

    @Elena: Fine with me, as far as that goes (not far methinks). Interesting to see what the site’s owners think. Yes, please post the link when the doco is on the net.

  53. @julia
    From memory 6D is also a kind of shoe. ‘TS Eliot’ is 87.5% of the anagram fodder.

  54. 4D: Letters 1 – 3 and 5 are a series of classic scifi novels by Frank Herbert, featuring deserts, drugs and giant worms. Made into a rather bad movie in the 80s.

  55. @Elena: in case you haven’t already, an email to anagrammatically AT gmail DOT com would get you to the person who can give you authoritive permission.

  56. Thanks to all , got the puzzle out. In 14d got boots mixed up which threw me off the scent for 13a. In this clue interesting take on bigot.

  57. STK, 12D, def is the queen.
    elements are a house (astrological), the cow dropping, the chamber wings and ‘a’.

    20D, wordplay is the std definition for American , ‘grabbed’ by a (somewhat rough) synonym for ‘catching zeds’…

  58. Got the def for 26a – not the wordplay. Same for the end of 9a.
    Agree that its a sign in 12d.
    16a – I’m not in the position to buy French furniture … So had to use the clues above to dredge
    my francais.
    11a is also in modern usage through Big Bang Theory – via Wil Wheaton from Star Trek.
    Once I had ages letters 14d had two options, but the wordplay was ambiguous to me.
    a challenge as always.

  59. Thanks everyone – it is great to read all the comments – my favourite this week was 9A – “sans clothing” so exactly the last three letters!

  60. Thanks, nn, I finally saw the 1A answer. And that gave me 1D. Only about eight to go now. Can’t make it to church this morning, nasty cold, so Mrs c. will have to drive,

  61. Actually, I’m only six short now, 2, 3, 4, 5D, 9, 11A. 11A would be most valuable,haven’t a clue at present.

  62. 11A: Last word is the definition, from a saying that “Revenge is [1, 4, 6, 4]”.

    2D: Definition is the first word

    3D: Definition is the last word, though the answers are actually longer than ages (though shorter than periods). Currently we’re in the Holocene.

    4D: Think conical hat in the corner of a classroom.

    5D: Central Otago’s most notable tipple (we have guests from Wanaka at the moment).

    9A: DA is full of hot air on this one!

  63. @Jupiter, I never knew Adam Spencer tweeted about DA’s puzzles on a regular basis. I went over to twitter and had a brief look.

    @Arthur, I’m sick too, and missing church. I hope Rupert’s hints get you across the line with the puzzle. Rupert’s hint should read “Revenge is [1, 4, 4, 6,4].” (That is, there’s a four-letter word missing.) This sentiment of this sentence is totally unbiblical IMO (Romans 12:19). The sentiment in the answer to 11A/12A suggests that people should wait for a while before acting out of vengeance.

  64. @Bernie,
    26A: My take is that the first and last letters need to be taken (stripped) from a 7-letter word that is a kind of printed fabric. I’ve always thought that the 7-letter word describes the pattern on the fabric rather than the fabric itself. This 7-letter word is also the surname of a famous person from Northern Ireland.

    @22D: ‘essentially’ means the middle letters of ‘stalls’. This is similar to instructions like ‘hub’ or ‘centre’. A synonym for ‘booty’ (the body part) gives the last three letters. I’ve only heard booty used this way in American popular culture.

    Hope this helps.

  65. Twice! I wrote a screed here, thanking iPuzzled and Rupert for their assistance, than clicked on my Wordfinder. coming back, message gone. I recognised what 5D was because I put in three letters I had for 5D, and, even though a non-drinker, new what the other word must be.
    6D now the problem. I had put in ‘epithets’ equating gist to pith in the clue. But putting an E where the H was leaves only two words in my Wordfinder, neither of which I can reconcile with the clue. More consideration needed.

  66. If I assume that my 6A is wrong, which I suspected anyway, I have the following list of possibles for 6D:
    One of those is a stabbing weapon: but the reference to T.S. Eliot means nothing to me at present. Is the missing word in that list?

  67. Sorry, when I poster that, the list of a dozen or so words got deleted. C’est la vie!

  68. @Arthur C.
    The answer is a sharp, nasty knife designed specifically for stabbing. A bit like a misericorde.

  69. Oh, just found this a Dictionary.com: Idiom
    19. buy it, Slang . to get killed: He bought it at Dunkirk.
    No worries. New to me.

  70. All OK once again, thanks to help from folk here. I hadn’t thought of the letters of T. S. Eliot being related to stiletto. This bloke rests on an IQ ledge significantly higherthan mine, but I keep fighting him.Mata raishu. (CU next week-Saturday)

  71. Re 18ac. If I have the correct answer, then the ‘cockney takes’ part of the clue is spelled incorrectly .Does anyone agree?

  72. Does anyone know who compiles the cryptic in the Sun Herald. This week’s is particularly difficult with clues that bear no relationship to the seeming answers (13d) or require knowledge of a foreign language (19a). Am I being unfair in thinking DAs fingerprints are all over this one?

  73. @Geraldine: I understand Cockney to indicate a homophone without the leading aspirant (an omophone?!). So the spelling doesn’t matter.

    @Big Frank: Don’t know, sorry. The newspaper’s puzzle editor will probably respond if you write to him or her.

  74. @Big Frank: I wondered if we have the same puzzle (mine is in the NZ Herald), since 19A is also foreign: Mother can in the morning (5). But I don’t have a 27A (we only get a 13×13 grid), so I guess not.

  75. @Big Frank This puzzle used to be compiled by one of Australia’s most prolific setters, Noel Jessop, until his death a couple of years ago. I believe his son now does it but the style is very much Noel Jessop – I didn’t really notice a change in the clues but the crossword’s overall feel changed dramatically.

    The current crossword unfortunately is rather clumsily assembled, with many obscure words, odd spellings (based on the Chambers dictionary), little-known places, and repetition in the answers and the clues within the same puzzle. This week’s, for example, as “APART” and “TAKE APART” as answers and “KYNETON” indicated by just “town”.

    I used to solve this all the time (as we get the paper every week), but now do it rarely just to see if things have changed. The grid, grid numbers and clues are microscopic and very hard to read which is also offputting.

    Let me know if you want me to explain 13d – it has 5 components!


  76. Thanks, Stig.

    Spoiler alert x 1

    An explanation of 13D, which I got as “affiliated” (don’t have crossword in front of me at the moment, so might be a different ending), based purely on the straight clue, would be much appreciated. I did get Kyneton, it being the only town I could think of that fitted (and having passed through Daylesford recently on holidays, otherwise no chance) and saw subsequently that “eton” was at the end. 1D, I still only have “blanket” as word one but no idea of the second word. (it’s hardly likely to be “coalface”).

    27A straight clue is “stabs”

    The double curves are “esses” (but spelled “ses”) as in “went for a fang through the esses on Seacliff bridge” at least that’s want I think is meant.

    To add insult to injury, so to speak, “stabs” has been conflated to “kills” which isn’t the same thing at all. The answer then being a slang term for kills. Compilers can be as tricky as they like but I object to them implying that two words are synonyms when they have distinct and separate meanings. Being new to cryptics, maybe I am missing the point but I think it debases the language.

  77. @bigfrank and @Stig

    do you know if there is an online version of this crossword? somebody took my paper version …..
    am intrigued by your comments.
    Sorry to go off topic on the DA thread, now that we know he doesn’t compile the Sunday one.
    Are there other blogs about other crosswords/compilers?

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