The Last DA Confusion for 2012

Don’t let DA bamboozle you: have all your questions answered right here.

85 thoughts on “The Last DA Confusion for 2012

  1. To all “DA Trippers” – I hope you and your families had a safe and merry Christmas. If up and online, I could use some help with 5A and or 6D please. These are the last ones I need. Thanks.

  2. I think I have them both from their defns, but can’t see the wordplay for either. Head is definitely in first gear this morning.

  3. Ian – Thanks.
    JC – both involve dropping a letter from a word – “wasted nothing” (remove O) in 5A and “I downed” (remove I) in 6D. Hope that helps with the wordplay.

  4. 6D still took a while, even with your help. “Scotch” had me fooled. Not sure if I approve of “downed” as a removal indicator. Still, all’s fair in love, war and DA crosswords!

  5. Very difficult because of DA’s typical mo. Not that I was completely clueless.
    By neologism I mean a word or phrase that DA has invented or is not in the dictionaries I have consulted.
    Anyone know the word for a word that is in the dictionary but that is highly unlikely to have ever been used in either written or spoken English? Maybe a “nunquamolog”?
    20a is one of those.
    By “DA synonym” I mean a word that emphatically doesn’t have the same meaning as another word and/or cannot be used interchangeably in a sentence with out changing the information the sentence is trying to convey. Alternatively, means two words that are synonyms in only a tiny minority of cases. e.g. Tomb and memorial. These are ubiquitous in DA puzzles and are particularly galling because they promote woolly language and are often easily avoided by better definitions.
    Yes, I am very pedantic and have too much time on my hands but here is DA deconstructed
    1A 16D
    Answer is a neologism based on an idiomatic expression.
    5A
    Definition is slang. Definition and answer are DA synonyms.
    10A
    DA synonym between definition and answer.
    11A.
    Clever wordplay diminished by DA synonym.
    12A
    Answer is so obvious from definition. Makes wordplay redundant. Wordplay has DA synonym. Should have been carpenter not welder.
    13a
    Clever. Wordplay, definition and anagram mixed together
    15A 21A
    “in” is misleading. DA synonym for incorporated into. Clever.
    17a
    Clever
    20a
    Nunquamolog as mentioned. Wordplay completely baffling to me. A lot of effort for a non-word.
    23A
    Neologism. Answer is two words and refers to complex technical concept in mathematics that makes DA’s attempt to provide a definition laughable.
    26A 25A
    though in dictionary the phrase is a pleonasm. 25a is redundant. Clever clue, though.
    29A
    Gross DA synonym. The answer and definition are almost antonyms. Even medical sense of answer doesn’t work.
    2d
    Utterly baffling wordplay to me at least. However demonstrates the axiom that when apostrophes or hyphens are used by compilers they should be split off or apart.
    4d
    Ignore pleonastic wordplay and get from definition.
    6d
    If cup is definition then another DA synonym demonstrating ignorance of geometry. Synonyms are not two words that both have similar meanings to a third word. Otherwise shout and whisper would be synonyms, linked by the word “say”.
    8d
    Clever
    9d
    Neologism
    14D
    DA synonym
    20D
    Very clever for such a short answer

  6. ET – my reading of wordplays your mention above:
    20A – a “Spoof artist” = 8 letter word. “eschews mean” = remove 3 letter synonym for mean. Leaves 5 letter word for “poet”.
    2D – “Poet” – def’n. (And agree re apostrophe – “‘s”). “hat flopped” = 3 letter word for a type of hat with 1st letter removed. “about” = 5 letter word. “containing a page” = put AP into the previous 5 letter word. Combined gives the answer.
    Hope I have these right.

  7. ET, I must respectfully disagree with you on a umber of points.

    DA frequently puts in common expressions before they make it into the OED. You will find an entry for 16d 1a in Wikipedia. Also on YouTube — a piece by the Hilltop hoods. And are you seriously saying DA made up 9d?

    As for “Trash” being slang, so what? You will find this sense of the word in lots of dictionaries. Slang is fair game

    As for your concept of DA synonyms, you’re being unfair. Most words in English have a range of meanings. If the meanings of two words intersect even a little, it’s fair game for the compiler. Straight crossword compilers do this all the time. It’s what makes the hard ones hard. For example, the 10a’s are megalithic structures, presumably for burial, but also presumably for important people. The pyramid of Cheops is a tomb, but also a memorial. Same with the 10a’s. And are you really quibbling with 11a = idolatry? If I 6d something in my hands, I am cupping it.

    If you insist on words always having the most obvious meaning, or the one that first pops into your mind, where would you be? Thursday, that’s where!

    Oh, in 2d, read flopped as f, lopped

  8. LJ – 10A – “Choir’s lead” = 1st letter. “part” = 4 letter synonym. “engrosses maiden” = put symbol for maiden (1 letter) in the previous 4 letter word. “church” = shortened version (2 letters) for same. Defn last 3 words.

  9. Can’t really understand why ET bothers if he finds DA so annoying. What he seems to hate is why some of us love him. He sets us a challenge.
    Myself, I need a few clues for 5a, 21/15a and 19d. Any offers.

  10. ET – Regarding 29a – The online dictionary has “plant firmly” as its second definition.

  11. DA defeated me yesterday. I’d blame the lack of time due to an end-of-year work rush, but in fact, despite many childhood trips to Wales, and the ability to pronounce (and type from memory) Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantisiliogogogoch, I’d never heard of 10A.

  12. A belated thankyou to Rupert for solving conundra from last week.
    5A and 6D stopped me not only because of the numerous parsing possibilities. I’d guessed correctly the deletion indicators but couldn’t get the synonyms they operated on. Think they’re fair though.
    26,25A: not a highlight I thought, not a double definition, but a tautologous single.
    23 A: never heard of it/them. DA verging into (his, and my) unfamiliar territory again?
    10 A: Didn’t know, but had fun googling Wales .. to no avail. Loved the cluing, the surface and the solution.

  13. At last – a complete solution!Tricky 6D and 11 across this morning – It did take a lot of time, but I got there! Thanks to DA trippers.

  14. All finished bar 5A and 6D – the hints given so far haven’t helped us. Baffled by 2D – the answer we have is the name of an American poet, contemporary of T S Eliot. If that’s correct, how does it work, please?

  15. @JC, if the heading of your link for 23A is the answer, then surely it is two words not one of 10 letters. It fits the only two cross letters I have, but I’ve no idea how the clue works to give this.
    @ET I’m with you on DA synonyms (although I haven’t worked out any of the answers that you say have them). Most frustrating, although I have to disagree with your thoughts on slang words and those that are rarely used. The latter are difficult, but learning new words is part of the fun, as long as the wordplay is sensible enough to give you some sort of way in.

  16. Victor – as per my entry yesterday ie:
    2D – “Poet” – def’n. (And agree re apostrophe – “‘s”). “hat flopped” = 3 letter word for a type of hat with 1st letter removed. “about” = 5 letter word. “containing a page” = put AP into the previous 5 letter word. Combined gives the answer. Which I think you have.
    And as Ian expanded – “Oh, in 2d, read ‘flopped’ as ‘f, lopped’ ”
    5A and 6D – thanks again to Ian for helping me with those. And repeat:
    both involve dropping a letter from a 4 letter word –
    5A: Defn is 1st word. Then “wasted nothing” (remove O) from a 4 letter word for “services” and then 4 letter “old city” (Greek history).
    6D: Defn 1st word. Then “I downed” (remove I) from a 4 letter word for “scotch” (as in to put a stop to) and put the remaining 3 letters in a 3 letter word for “close”.
    Hope this helps.

  17. Done at last – 23A was last. As a maths teacher I can verify that it is two words and “figures” is not a synonym for it. However it is not a neologism and hardly a complex technical concept as Et suggests (tho some of its more profound implication are tricky)

  18. About ten to go. Have written in words I’m sure are wrong, can’t fathom most tips given above. Had section for 1A, can’t see how it fits clue. Had destroy for 5A, only remote connection to clue. That left me with enfold for 6D, clue means nothing to me. Is 22D palindrome? couldn’t find one that fitted. What is poets hat in 2D? If I could get those sorted out, twould be very helpful.

  19. @nn 23A: I agree, two words it is. My online dictionary doesn’t have the 10-letter word, and when I google it as as a 10-letter word Mr G. says “Did you mean [the 2 words]?”. Clueing it as (6,4) rather than (10) works just as well. I should apologise for my accidental spoiler; I forgot that when the mouse goes over the link word the href appears, and that href contains the answer.

  20. thanks Brian B. I’m assuming I have the right answer for 23A (I’m a maths teacher too!). I’m reading the def as “figures amassed”, but I have no idea of the wordplay. Would never have got this answer from the clue without the above hints.
    @Arthur your 5a was correct. Add an “O” after the first letter to give a four letter word for services (a verb). Last four letters in the answer are the old city.
    2d the def is the name of an American poet. Ignore the ‘s. The hat is popular in northern Africa, three letters but the f is removed f-lopped.
    Can’t help you with 6d, your answer seems to fit the def, but I can’t see how the word play works even with all the explanations above

  21. @BrianB 23A: I think defn = “figures amassed”, not just “figures”.
    @Arthur C: sometimes you think you’re wrong when you’re right!

  22. Thanks JC, no need to apologise, I’d never have got it without your hint, at least not without the rest of the cross letters.

  23. thanks JC, I see it now.
    Am lost on that Welsh memorial, Googled lots of pages but no luck.

  24. 6D letters 1,2,6 are a word that can mean “close”. Letters 3,4,5 are a 4-letter word, with its I removed (“I downed”) which can mean “scotch” as in “to scotch a rumour”.

    I don’t think much of “downed” as a deletion indicator, but as I noted yesterday, all’s fair in love, war and DA.

  25. Got 10a at last from wordplay hints above. Was looking for a specific site in my original googling.

  26. thanks JC, I understand 6d now. As for downed as an indicator, I’m getting used to it now, he has used it a lot lately. My take on it is in the sense of shooting a plane down, you’ve taken it out.
    Michelle, 8d is my favourite so far (and not just because it was the first one I got!)

  27. @nn yeah, if you google Wales + memorial you get 35 million references to Princess Di! Defn = last 3 words.”lead” indicates first letter, and for “part” think of acting in a play.

  28. @Arthur C 6D: Ray, above, explains it quite well.
    22D is not a palindrome. The first word is the definition and it is contained written backwards (whichever way you look) within the clue.

  29. Well that’s me all blogged out for 2012. Happy New Year (or “blwyddyn newydd dda” as my mum would say) to you all.

  30. I think I have 2d by having 1 of 1st word and 1 of 2nd word. Cannot work out wordplay even with hints above. Maybe I’m wrong. Is the surname also money?

  31. Thans to Ray, nn and JC. Mention of a hat popular in Africa has me scratching my head. Poet may be someone I don’t know. But at least a bit closer. Need 1 & 22D, 20, 26 & 28A.

  32. @Michelle, 2d the surname is money. F (lopped) plus first two letters of the answer is the hat, letters 3, 6,7, 8 and 9 are “about”, letters 4 and 5 are A P (a page).
    Do you have 16d/1a? If so a hint would be appreciated. I’m finding lots of this tough going.
    13a I have an answer from the wordplay (an anagram), but my understanding of the word doesn’t fit anything in the clue as a definition.
    Lots of other gaps, but 21a/15a and 9d hints would be most welcome and may go some way to helping me with the rest.

  33. @Arthur, can’t help you with any of those, they are all frustratingly blank on mine too.

  34. @nn, yes 16d/1a is an anagram. I checked it by googling what I had and found it is an actual expression.
    13a is an expression for what you would do to something which is “awfully lewd”: an anagram of “lewd sober” with one.
    9d: second word is where you find senior ministers and gives a place where spray is found.
    21a/15a think of a phrase for an invisible person.

  35. Thanks JC for the link for 23A. After ET mentioned it was two words I didn’t look it up .. and it is. I was doing my head in with the two parts of the word both meaning figures and that’s how you get the plural out of a singular?? !!

    Liked 16D/1A which was new to me although my more sporty husband knew it. Only got it by punching 16D’s cross letters into Crossword Solver. Don’t know about the anagram indicator, maybe ‘frenetic’ would be better. I got conned by what I thought was a DA trick with ‘worst’ which I quite liked as an indicator .. but alas it wasn’t.

  36. thanks Ann, that gave me 21a/15a and also 9d.
    I think I have the second word of 16d/1a but can’t make out the other one from an anagram. (not exactly sure what the fodder is)
    Thanks for explanation of 13a, although I’d probably laugh at something awfully lewd rather than expurgate it. There’s a horrible mix of def and wordplay here, but not quite tight enough for an &lit. Appear to be a few others like this today too, but it might be me not understanding them.

  37. Thanks Gayle and d b for 16d/1a. Never heard of it. Had been messing around with the wrong fodder. Agree that fanatic is a pretty poor anagrind.

  38. 9D ET and Ian have differed above. I’ll take the middle ground .. the second word is not one I’ve heard used in combination with the first. There are two other more common ones, but it’s there on google. Pictures are amazing .. you can get ones that look like telephone boxes. We don’t even have one in this old house.
    I think the whole clue has to be taken with a bit of indulgence … and the question mark. Hardly the target.
    But I really liked this clue, because the surface is so topical .. with the release of Keating-esque one-line putdown apps in the news.

  39. Help with 4d would be very much appreciated. I cannot for the life of me get it.

  40. Michelle. 4d… 3 letter abbrev for cleric 4,3,2. 4 letter abbrev for death notice 1,5,6,7. Last letter middle of nauseated. Last two words def

  41. Totally bewildered! People above suggesting 6, 1 is an anagram. Of what? I’ve tried every combination of words contained in clue, plus letter o (second worst), but nothing comes up. I had nailbiter section in, but cannot reconcile that with letters in clue at all. No wonder i can’t progress. HEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Michelle: 4D :Letters 1,5,6,7 give the abbreviation for “death notice” while 4,3,2 is an abbreviation for “cleric”. “Essentially” gives the eighth letter. Definition is “dental flaw”.

  43. Enjoyed today’s – made much quicker progress on my own than usual.
    DA’s not for everyone, @ET!

  44. I have all except 28a. Some stinkers today. Only got 16d/1a after remembering being informed by a local that that was where I was sitting to watch a match at the MCG (a rare Tigers victory). Then worked back to see which parts of the clue belonged to the anagram. Still unsure of word play for 6d, despite hints above. Happy New Year to all DAers.

  45. Arthur, you’re nearly there. Got the section right. It’s to do with the height of the cheapest seats. In the theatre the term was ‘in the gods’. This term isn’t so ethereal, a lot more corporeal. Not necessarily the worst seats from my experience .. went to a concert in Sydney in the highest seats, paid very little, saw the whole spectacle, while the people in the $400 seats down below were on level ground, couldn’t see much and got rained on.

  46. Arthur even when 16 1 hits you right between the eyes you may not get it. I’d never heard of the expression but it could refer to the top of the old northern stand at the MCG

  47. @DaveR – for 6d: letters 3, 4 and 5 are a 4-letter word for the verb ‘scotch’ with the I removed. Letters 1,2 and 6 are given by ‘close’.

  48. slow typing on tiny phone keyboard. Hope that between us we have helped you get your nose into this one Arthur although the answer wasn’t bleeding obvious!

  49. Hmm, I’m a graduate of pure maths and agree with BrianB that 23A is hardly a complex technical concept, but I also agree that it probably should be two words (6,4). I thought “figures amassed” was a cute definition.

    Technically, ET, figure adequately describes every point along that construct. But even if you were to associate it with just rational numbers like a lay person may have a tendency to do, well to me the word amassed evokes an adequate sense of continuity or closure of the rationals to satisfy your pedantry. Having said that, I’m certain this is not what DA was getting at, but that’s the beauty of art, you can create something that others find new meaning in.

  50. Well, thanks, folks, for hints above. I don’t know how those upper seats got that name, I’d cettainly never heard it before, no wonder I couldn’t find the answer. Apart from now, I assume, 16D correct, it hasn’t advanced me one iota toward completion, but will look at it again later. Just not geting the grey cells operating properly.

  51. Hello all and happy new year! – slow going for me and wouldn’t have made it without above hints, but I enjoyed it, as always, and as always, looking forward to Friday.
    Arthur C – Wikipedia explains origin of 16d/1a – it’s to do with altitude

  52. Once again I had to puzzle for two days and get four words before consulting the DA Trippers.
    Most disappointing was 12a – too obvious especially seeing as I don’t grok the wordplay yet.
    I had the French relative in 24d until learning from here that 23a should be two words.
    My sister bought a particularly ugly 9d – with blue LED lights and a radio. How horrible, but I guess quick to install.
    See you in the New Year !!

  53. Finished two short: 2D, 20A. Near enough, has been a busy weekend. If aging body holds together, will tryagain next week.

  54. Ok, I think I was a bit quick in dismissing the definition part of 23A, overlooking ‘amassing’. As AC says, it’s a neat definition

  55. Well, I had heard of Ezra Pound, perhaps someone could explain the clue to me. Also, ‘odist’, don’t understand clue. DA is just too clever for me, with some of his clues.

  56. @Arthur C.:
    2D: Fez with f-lopped, followed by round enclosing a p.
    20A: parodist excluding par. The OED dates the word to 1711, but its recent citations are all U.S.

  57. Well, we wouldn’t have got most of it without help from here. Still haven’t got 26 / 25A. we have _ C _ E _ T / M _ R _.
    Accent mark??? Dunno – give up – Doesn’t seem to relate to the clue at all!

  58. re 25A Doug and Gwynn – note the way DA has written resume carefully – He has made sure we must pronounce it the French way.

  59. re 25a . In French, resume should have an accent on each letter e. DA has only put it on the second one. Is this what he is on about with the optional detail bit? Although I got the answer, I’m not quite sure what DA is driving at here.

  60. Can someone, anyone tell me the answer to the solution from Decemeber 31st omega in the SMH. The solution to the clue, ‘A geographical puzzle for you to solve’ was ‘ Starting with B what victorian gold town shows omega lying inside omega’. This is frustrating the hell out of me. Is the answer ‘Bangholme’? Please put me out of my misery!

  61. Mary, the answer is BENDIGO (END inside BIG-O, the literal meaning of omega). I’m surprised the Herald didn’t run that extra solution I provided to accompany the answer grid. Hope that alleviates the pain.

  62. Thanks DA, I can sleep easy now. The sight of your initials at the top of the crossword makes me cringe with pain as I contemplate how many hours will be spent pulling my hair out by the roots, biting my nails and downing copious amounts of alcohol to numb the pain of my incompetence. Now to need answers to solutions?! You are a sadist. Having said that I will be back for more.

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