The First Bout of DA Confusion for 2013

Discombobulate yourselves and ask what the hell DA is on about here.

101 thoughts on “The First Bout of DA Confusion for 2013

  1. Happy New Year all. I am nearly there but am stuck on 16D, 18A and 20D. Any help with these would be met with 11D.

  2. 16D defn = last word. Bloodsucker is letters 3,4,5 but most species of this kind of animal are not blood-suckers.

  3. Yes, sorry. Too eager to be in with first hint of the day! 18A: defn = first word. Mythical. 20D: think of irony as though it were an adjective.

  4. JC and Ian – thanks. 18A I would not have got. 20D – well guess I was just slow on that one.

  5. Late again today – wife insisted on going out for coffee *without* the crossword! Top half went in pretty easily, a bit of a struggle in the bottom half.

    If I’m reading 15D correctly, there should be an extra homophone indicator, since letters 6-9 sound like a synonym of a word that sounds like the antepenultimate word in the clue. Or possibly a deletion indicator for the duplicate of letter 7.

    23A and 20D both confuse me with their wordplay.

    Happy New Year to all.

  6. 20D: think of another word for the verb tender, and another word for loaded as in wealthy.
    23A: can’t really explain wordplay in a ‘non-spoiler’ way.
    15D: debatable. The single homophone indicator worked for me.

  7. Only two to go. Thanks for above help.
    Rupert, I can’t see a need for another homophone indicator in 15d. Letters 1-5 are a straight synonym interrupted by ‘turn’. 6-9 the homophone you suggest.
    Can anyone help me with 12a and 18a. I have all the cross letters, but, I suspect, not enough knowledge of mythological beings.

  8. Anyone found success with 2/12/10D of the December 31 Omega Crossword? All others are completed but DA’s got me stumped – desperate for help!

  9. 15D: Do Aussies spell the levels of a house differently? There’s always been an extra “e” in floor, as opposed to tale.

  10. 15D: Ian, yes, there is. There’s also the middle letter missing from the answer, which doesn’t change the sound. I don’t think it’s kosher to use a single homophone indicator to change both the clue and the answer.

    CLUE => CLEW => BALL => BAWL

    With only a single homophone indicator, this clue makes me cry!

    This is going to be so much easier when we can actually use the words we’re talking about!

  11. On further investigation, Chambers lists “storey or (esp N American) story”. Collins says much the same. Looks like there are alternative spellings.

  12. @Ian: now I think about it, that’s why it worked for me. I have, as a result of my work, become used to the American, non-e, spelling.

  13. Desperado, it is a question and can provide all the letters for the question (I think) but am unsure of the answer to the question! The question relates to the Holiday Quiz on p 14 of same paper.

  14. 20d has to be among the best ever.

    Don’t get wordplay for 8d or 19d – for 19d def is words 1-3 but how does the answer fit with postantepenultimate (sorry @Rupert!) & ultimate word?

  15. Now worked out wordplay for 8d – was confused by “held up”. Nice misdirection

  16. Hi, any help for 1d, 4d, 12a, 14a and the contentious 15d. Many thanks and happy new year!

  17. 4D: Ropes used to do something to a particular type of passenger boat.
    12A: Not sure in what sense he saved the Titanic, but he invented a device that alerted other ships to the disaster. Three letter word for wreck followed by the sound of an island in New York.
    14A: First two words are the definition. The three months are the colder ones, with the first letter removed. Before is a common three letter prefix. Fogbound means enclosed in a four letter word for fog.
    15D: Letters 1, 2, 3 and 5 are a form of transport, once widespread but now found in places like Adelaide. Letter 4 is the turn. Letters 6 – 9 sound like the top storey of a house. Painful is the definition.

  18. Happy New Year DA Trippers!
    Fran knows Jabberwocky by heart – useful today!

  19. Found five easy ones to start, then reference to frumious above gave me two more. Not expecting to progess far today, enervated by yesterday’s heat. Appearing this afternoon in stage show with Steele Saunders, of whom Age TV guide readers will possibly be aware.

  20. Am in need of a holiday, methinks. Grumbles and not much fun this week.

    18A plain unfair if you don’t know it, which I didn’t. Wordplay and def both unhelpful and no indicator that ‘obviously’ is colloquial.

    19D If it’s Aussie slang as Rupert said, I’ve never heard it.

    22D One of the defs is Pommie, not Aussie or Kiwi, which I believe is ‘jandal’. But the other def is totally wrong, unless ‘revealing’ is doing double duty, and even then I’d disagree. The answer is not, and not even part of, a bikini.

    14A Which three months? I wrestled with three months with their first letters missing. Then all the letters for trimester in some other arrangement. Clearly I got it wrong.

    2D That’s clear by evening? Don’t get it.

    15D The homophone of ‘story’ is not a synonym for the homophone of letters 6 – 9.

    8D The ‘policeman’ is around Cross, not ‘held up’.

    4D Spoonerism is wrong. Letter 5 is the weak vowel ‘schwa’ represented by upside down e phonetically.

    @$#! :(

    Best wishes for a happy 2013 to all Trippers ( … and DA as well.)

  21. Happy New Year to all. Gayle, I can assure you that down here it lasts for more than three months. Doing fairly well, but, like Rupert, finding the bottom half harder than the top.

  22. And break a leg to ArthurC (not literally) today! Hope the stage is airconditioned.
    Dave R, I’ve only been ‘down there’ in heatwaves. The southwest corner was a breeze I thought. Got monstered in the middle.

  23. Still struggling with first and third letters of 20d. Can’t think of a word for ‘tender’ that fits. Nor can I understand the word play for 21a. Otherwise done. I’ve heard (occasionally) 19d, but think it is more common in Britain than here. Gayle, you are probably right about the pronunciation of the 5th letter of 4d, but only with an Aussie accent. Most of the anglophone world would not have a problem.

  24. Finished before lunch – and the first time for ages that we’ve got there without consulting DA Trippers.

  25. Just worked out 20d. Obvious in hindsight, as so much is. It helps if one reads the clue carefully.

  26. 19d the slang here is usually prefixed by the word “little”.
    Thanks to above hints I have the answer for 18a, but no idea how the wordplay works. Although I’ve heard of it, I would never have got this without the hints.
    20d don’t get the hint above about irony being an adjective. Ian’s hint about it being elementary suggests a word of three letters to me, but I’m no nearer getting the answer
    All the hints about 14a haven’t helped at all.
    Have most of the southwest corner so far and a few of the south east, but apart from 12a the top is blank. Don’t think much of Titanic saviour as a definition for this one, there was much scope for misdirection using the homophone indicator radio in this one if DA had been so inclined!

  27. 21A I read as: first word is synonym of ‘air’ . Second word is synonym of ‘tough’ as noun with deletion of the middle letter of ‘cooling’. Quite liked that clue.

  28. @Dave R. My take on 21a is first word is air (as in air a bed or maybe it is to air an opinion???) Add the middle letter of cooling to the start of the second word to get the tough.
    This of course assumes I have the correct answer!

  29. 22d I took bikini to mean bikini brief, a type of underwear, rather than the swimming costume

  30. nn,
    22D oh, maybe, don’t like it though
    20D Tips from above: Iron compounds have a couple of adjective ending possibilities, one of which is a shortened synonym for ‘loaded’ meaning wealthy. It’s a DA-y type joke.

  31. and 14A. There are 2 operations on the synonym for ‘grizzlies’, as indicated by ‘boring’ and ‘gutted’.

  32. @Gayle, re 22d, I don’t particularly like it either, it is what someone last week described as a DA synonym. They are both types of underwear, but it doesn’t mean they are the same as each other.
    Re 18a (not 14a) I can see bits of the grizzlies but the rest of it is lost on me.
    Re 20d have messed around with the iron compounds, but still none the wiser. Not even sure which word is the definition in this one.
    Any hints for 14a would be appreciated.

  33. All done bar 7a.
    For wordplay – thanks to Ian & Barb&Fran with 18a (without which I would never have got it!), to Gayle with 21a, to Rupert with 19d, and to JC with 20d (nice). Still don’t get wordplay for 27a.
    Ok – now have 7a. All done!

  34. As soon as you post!
    Have an answer for 20d now, can see the brief loaded, but not the tender drop. Was working on tender as the def originally, which didn’t get me very far.

  35. Got 11d which gave me just enough cross letters to work out 14a. Had bits of it from the wordplay but couldn’t quite work out where the letters fitted until I had put in 11d.
    Have all the bottom half now apart from 17d and 23a. Word finders no help for either of these even though I have all the cross letters.
    Top half still depressingly blank, even more so when I look above and find hardly anyone has apparently had any trouble with it!

  36. nn – are you asking for help? 17d def is last word (or maybe last 2 word); 23a def is first 3 words, last 4 words gives letters 4-7 and I don’t think 3rd letter is clued at all but I’m not complaining

  37. Thanks, Gayle. I had the central cooling letter but hadn’t thought of ‘tough’ as noun. nn, def for 17d is last word of clue. a = 1 (i) twice.

  38. Sorry, nn, for adding to difficulties with 20D, I should have said iron when in a compound. (Ian’s elemental tip.)
    20D try parsing as tender, drop of.
    23A is a common simile. Two- word combination, 4, 3 in the solution. Double homophone, 3,4 in the cluing (and helpful to read letters 3 and 7 as silent. Liked that clue.

  39. thanks sb and Dave R. I had 21a wrong, which didn’t help with 17d, have them both now.
    Still can’t get 23a, is it slang?
    Have made some progress in the top half now, hints for 1a, 1d, 9a, 5d, 2d, 8d and 10a?

  40. no worries Dave R, but I have to say that I find your comment about the pronunciation of Letter 5 of 4D as ‘outlandish’ !! : ) I venture to say that most of the world’s anglophones, even amongst those in the Commonwealth let alone the rest of the world, do not pronounce Letter 5 of 4D as ‘ee’ or /i/.
    It’s DA I’m picking the bone with. Can’t let him off the hook when he’s an Aussie and it’s an Aussie crossword.

  41. Five to go. 9a, 2d, 10a, 8d and despite all the hints, can’t come up with any word that fits 23a. Pretty sure I have all the cross letters right.

  42. That should have said thanks Gayle, understand 2od (not 23d, which doesn’t exist)now. Will ponder your hints for 23a

  43. Got 8d now (not a fan of horse racing!) and that gave me 10a
    Just 9a, 2d and 23a to go

  44. nn, have just looked up 23A. It’s an antipodean expression, maybe not familiar to you.

  45. Thanks Gayle. Can’t find 23a in any word finders. I’m in Melbourne, but born in England, so am reasonably familiar with terms from both ends of the earth, but can’t come up with anything for this one. Am going to have some lunch.

  46. 23A In the world of 18 A the expression would have been : as mad as a March hare .. or a hatter

  47. BIG HINT: I couldn’t give it away before. Maybe I’m familiar with this expression because my father was a butcher, and I find it funny.

  48. Ok, have finally found something that fits 23a. It also fits the wordplay, but the only definition I’ve found so far (in the urban dictionary) defines it as ” someone who is obsessed with or lives and breathes extreme heavy metal music”. Had never heard of it, and if it is correct, the definition is a bit off, but maybe it has some slightly different meaning?

  49. Thanks Gayle, found it while you were posting, your Big hint confirms it, but as I said, I’d never heard of it (at either end of the earth). Had tried to fit mad hatter in at one point!!.
    All done now

  50. Re 23d, still haven’t found a definition of it online anywhere that quite matches DA’s. To make matters worse, most places list this as two words (4,3) not one of 7. No wonder I had trouble with it. At least the wordplay was reasonable in this one, unlike 18a in which it is far from obvious (to me at least) that the last 4 letters mean obviously. I get it now, but I think this one was unfair in the sense that the wordplay was obscure/convoluted and the definition could have referred to many, many others. If you hadn’t read Charles Dodgson’s work you wouldn’t have much chance of getting this.

  51. nn, totally agree with your comments on 18A, except last 5 (not 4) letters for obviously.

    23A to me, as an Aussie, means the same as mad as a hatter, March hare, etc .. just means very mad, but I couldn’t find a reliable etymology for it, only a guess that it was simply alliteration. Could there be an analogy with ‘- – – – – letters 5,6,7’? which refers to an angry woman? Why only a woman? Mad as a cut snake, though, is very graphic, if you’ve ever seen one.

  52. All the same, I thought 18a was rather brilliant. And hats off to those who ‘got it’ all by themselves! Naturally, I don’t expect or want DA to be easy. Also liked 15d and 20d among others.

  53. Got them all except 18A. Never heard of that critter.
    Would like an explanation of the wordplay, I can see the bears.

  54. JimmyDArat, for 18a – first word is def(with help from above!); 2nd and 3rd words give 2-4, grizzlies gutted give 1, 5, 6, 7; and last word gives last 5 letters. At least, that’s how I saw it.

  55. Replacement for ‘with’ stuffing the bear who’s lost his middle. Of course!
    (says she who didn’t have a clue)

  56. Thanks sb & Gayle,
    I cant see how : with boring = and.
    natch = naturally = obviously
    Excuse my ignorance, but more explanation is needed.

  57. Finished last 4 DAs with MUCH less reference to all you Eggheads, of whom I’m lost in admiration still! However stumped with one clue 9A and would appreciate a hint. Have an obscure (to me) word for second word but only A-A- for first. Something wrong elsewhere perhaps. (This answer didnt seem to bother anyone else – oh dear!)

  58. susan – the A-A- is correct. Defn is first 2 words. Try to get a word that fits A-A- and then google “Egyptian Revolution a-a-” and see what comes up.

  59. Re: 22d I was a bit puzzled but memories of swimsuits worn on Ipanema beaches (e.g. 10) and occasionally in Newacstle in the 90s weakly support the answer.
    I thought 12a clue was weak without the radio misdirection suggested above.
    18a and 20 d I only found because no others words were obvious.
    16d – most of the mammals are not blood suckers , but good enough for wordplay.
    Still – happy I understood enough DA to solve this one without even using the combined wisdom of the Trippers !

  60. 19d – my son has being doing sailing and guess what they call the introductory group for the younger kids in some programmes. Made it obvious to me.

  61. The gig at Ballarat’s Portico Restaurant yesterday went well. Pictures are on Facebook: ‘I Love Green Guide Letters’. Podcast will be on line around next Wednesday, Steele Saunders tells me.
    With all the excitement, have only solved half the clues (less, I got help with 18A from here), so much still to do. Tried ‘Misinterpret’ for 14A, but can see no connection to clue, so I assume must be wrong?

  62. Thank you Ray and Jupiter for your fast responses. Ive corrected the second word of 9A (having learnt a horrible fact about show jumping!) but am SHAMEFULLY still stuck on first! Have all the rest done except for a-a!!!

  63. Authur C – 14 A correct – [W] INTER (3 months, first off), PRE (before), MIST (fog) and (bound) gives the insertion indicator.

  64. susan – A-A- = a type of horse. Also a “nation” of people which includes Saufi Arabia.

  65. Correction – not “show-jumping” but more correctly “dressage” I think. Illegal now but still used it seems. What a lot I learn from struggles to finish a DA.

  66. Having entered 7 & 8D, with 10A, my 14A guess is loking slightly better. But can see no connection except first word of clue. I’m sure I have 11, 15, 19D correct, but with the three letters that gives for 25 & 27A, my word finder is no help for the acrosses. Strange! Must go, time for morning tea, shower, church. Back this arvo, perhaps.

  67. Ray – Thank you again! Feel so stupid – but tomorrow’s another DA, as Scarlett said – well next Saturday anyway.

  68. Thank you all for your help……. I did it! Two days,trippers/wiki/google and one across, thank god its only one a week

  69. Still absolutely baffled by 25A. Had ferric for 20D, because of irony, can’t see connection with remainder of clue. The other downs crossing 25A refer to hearing, but I can’t find a word with those letters in. clue needed badly, please.

  70. Arthur C: 25A – defn 1st word. A word for “to dismiss” gives first 4 letters. A homophone ( as indicated by “invoice”) for a word for booze gives the last 6 letters.

    As for 20D you are correct – built like this “of-FER RIC-h”

  71. Well, Ray, I knew they had raskols in PNG, but never dreamed of putting a K in there. I thought the seaman was always spelled lascar??? I simply transposed the directions. Sad.

  72. And, finally, all squares filled in. I thought putting my old friend Gugli in 12A a bit rough, 1D a synonym for 4d? Where is the city? Explanation needed.

  73. Arthur, sounds like you have a wrong word for 19d. The definition is the last word of the clue.

  74. Thanks guys for not spoiling 15D despite the debate being difficult without the actual words. Now that I have it, I see that the only explanation is that story is an acceptable alternative to storey – personally I wouldn’t have flinched at this. And the answer there is fine as a specific type of story.

  75. Re 18A: I think Mr Astle is a serious fan of Mr Dodgson. I seem to recall a significant number of clues over the years about his works or his characters (or his pseudonym). Once I cracked this clue the whole puzzle opened up. I still don’t get the wordplay, but I have only scanned the above comments ever so briefly.
    Jubjub bird next week?

  76. Susan,
    Do tell, what is the horrible fact you have learned about show jumping ?

  77. JimmyDArat– if you google “soring” you’ll find out all about it. It concerns how they used to make horses high-step in pain by treating their hooves in cruel ways. (not show-jumping – rather exhibitions and showmanship of horses)

  78. Missed the ‘tacker’ otherwise, all well. my lascar (sailor), and rascal (child) seemed perfect, until bootlicker turned up. Ah well, one miss is not too bad.

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