DA Confusion for the 20th of December, 2013

Have your pre-Christmas DA confusions sorted out here.

103 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 20th of December, 2013

  1. I have only four or five so far, couldn’t even finish the so-called ‘Quick’ crossword today, Ray. A question: if 14A is the normal synonym for a fuss, how is it spelled out in the clue? I have more trouble with three-letter answers than longer ones, often.

  2. Arthur C. – me too on the short ones. “pageboy” can mean a hair style.

  3. Really enjoyed the lesson – a great one for crossword enthusiasts today!

  4. Thanks Ray, seems I probably am correct there. 11A is another 3 letter puzzler. Is the answer a sound associated with Plymouth in the past? Don’t understand the clue at all.

  5. Arthur, yes re Plymouth connection for 11A. Two homonyms in the clue.

  6. Thanks, Black Pen. Yes, when I got 5D it confirmed 11A for me. Where is the beer in 5A. The bowl part is clear enough, but can’t relate first part to beer. Slow, only nine so far, but still trying.

  7. Last one in was 8d after revisiting 13a and fixing the last 2 letters. Took a while to understand 21d but all good now.

  8. You are doing better than me Arthur, I have only one in so far.
    At this point I’m hoping that it isn’t necessary to understand the instruction at the top to be able to get any answers, just something that might be interesting to note once the puzzle is completed?

  9. nn, the sentence formed by the clues isn’t really necessary for getting the answers. However once I worked out what the sentence related to, it did help with the last couple I was struggling with.

  10. Good, thanks Mort. I have for now, including two of the three letter ones, which, like others, usually give me grief.

  11. Have managed to get all but five. Working out the what December 21 had to do with it all helped with a few.
    But would like some help with 25a, 24a, 22a, 31a, 33a and 33a.

  12. Sandy – 25A – defn first 2 words. “say” synonym gives letters 2,3 (and “say” is used again like this in 33A). “to patch” = container. “divisions” synonym for letters 1,4,5,6,7

  13. 24A- another homonym that can mean “plague”.
    31A If you have 15A this should pretty easy with a bit of lateral thought.
    I too am stumped on 22A, though I have the last three letters, based on “slalom”.

  14. Sandy, 25A definition is first two words. “Say” is a two letter abbreviation. “Patch” is a containment indicator.

    24A Definition is first two words. Declared means “sounds like” a word for plague.

  15. Sandy, 31a is a period of time, more recent than the stone age which would (jokingly) be a good time to do the second word in 15a’s clue. I don’t have 15a yet so don’t know what the first word in that clue has to do with anything. I can fit a word in for 15a that fits with the only cross letter I have, but it doesn’t make sense with the dusk part of the clue, nor can I make any sense of it in terms of the instruction at the top.
    I don’t have answers to any of the others you are stuck on, not going very well today.

  16. Sandy – 24A – defn first 2 words. “declared” = homophone indicator of a synonym of “plague”.

  17. Sandy – 22A – I take as “Redhead” (being read as “Red Head”) as defn. “(variably)” I think indicating possible different spellings of answer. “to run” gives 4 letter synonym for letters 1,2,3,4. “slalom” gives synonym for letters 5,6,7.

  18. Sandy – 31A as per Black Pen and nn above.
    33A – I think quite tricky. “Retired” indicates reverse. “evil doctor” gives letters 7,6. “say” gives letters 5,4. “went for” gives synonym for letters 3,2,1. Defn = “a fish”.

  19. Ray – Referring to your conversation above, what does Plymouth have to do with 11A? I still don’t see the homophone, although I have the answer (another word for digger).

    I must say 22A is a bit rich. I have not seen his name spelled this way before.

  20. All done except 27a. Liked 22a,17a(because it was first in)&14a. Sandy22a think red ,head for def,a word meaning run and what you do in slalom give the answer.31a,seen above, others I can’t
    explain word play.

  21. Jack – 11A – the Plymouth reference was from Arthur C. and Black Pen. I think the answer happens to be a landmark there as well.
    I read clue as defn = “Digger” and “on phone” as a homophone indicator for a “call girl” (derogatory) which gives the same pronunciation though 1 letter shorter I think.

  22. Jack the 11a Plymouth reference was nautical I think. Said several times before a bottle of rum?

  23. Jack, now that I know 22a is a person, thanks to your comment, I’ve finally worked it out. I hadn’t seen it spelt like that before either, but google confirms it is an alternative.

  24. megse – 27A – defn last word. “Novelist Paul” gives letter 1,2,3,4,5,6. “close to marble” gives letter 7.

  25. Thanks Ray and nn. I thought of the Treasure Island link, but could not make it sound like a call girl; also the other call girl has five letters (beginning with w) and it also does not sound right.

  26. OK, all done thanks to the tip that 22A is an unusual spelling.
    Still think 18D is incorrect, though. Those who look up details of the sentence formed may agree.

  27. Down to my last four: 1A, 9A, 20A, 3D.

    What’s the word play on 21D and 22D? I got them by instinct but can’t put the pieces together.

  28. Black pen, while it was called in reverse back then, it is still recognized as the first of what we call it now.

  29. Black Pen, if and when I work out 18d I’ll give you my opinion!
    Not even sure what the definition of this one is, no idea where to start except I’m guessing report is a homophone indicator?

  30. Yes Sandy but my point is that on the date in question it was a 4,5 not a 5,4.

  31. Thanks everyone for help as I got called away to family duties. Still can’t get 24a. I have first letter but can’t see either a word for “choice word” or a homonym of “plague”

  32. Indy – 22D – I think the cleverest of the day. You can get from the theme. The wordplay I think goes as follows:
    Defn = last word. Synonym for “copying” gives 7 letter word”. The centre letter of this (“hub”) is changed for another “enlarged fivefold” to give the answer.

  33. Thanks Ray
    I had the synonym for copying as my answer, but couldn’t understand the rest of it. Now I have some hope of 24a and 29A!

  34. Indy – 21D – Defn = 1st word. Think of reindeer names and the common sound(s) after the start of 2 of them

  35. Correct Ray!
    22d hasn’t helped me get 24a or 29A but did give me 27A, although I’ve never heard of that Paul.

  36. Thanks for 21D hint Ray. This has enabled me to get 29a and put in an answer for 24a which is a sort of homophone of plague, but doesn’t equate to “choice word” for me. Can’t see what else the middle letter could be though.

  37. Indy – 1A – defn = 1st word. “inside” = container. “Tod” = letters 1,2,7. Synonym for “lived” = letters 3,4,5,6.
    9A – Synonym for “straying” with “front to back” gives answer meaning “Dig” (think sport).
    20A – “retired” indicates reverse. Defn = 1st word.
    3D – defn = last word. “Buzz” gives 4 letter synonym for letters 1,2,3,4. “hounds” gives 5 letter synonym for letters 5,6,7,8,9.

  38. nn – if you have 24A, re-read my 1:29pm entry closely. And think of the homophone and what it could mean.

  39. Thanks Ray, that confirms my answer and I understand the homophone, but I don’t understand how it fits the definition of choice word.
    Have all the bottom right out now, although don’t understand the Ford report reference to 18D
    Top half looks pretty bleak at the moment, but have a few on the bottom left which I’m going to come back to after a rest.

  40. Thanks all. Didn’t really think of that homonym in 24a as meaning ‘plague’ more something that effects plaque :). And ‘choice word’ was typically DA oblique! All done now. I liked 22d after Ray explained it above. I also liked 6d and laughed out loud at 5d.

  41. If I’m getting the choice word bit correctly, it would seem to be the opposite of a choice word. A choice word would be the last two letters of the answer, the addition of the first letter surely negates any choice????

  42. nn – sound like you have the right answer – but it still is a “choice” word I think.

  43. Surely 22A has never been spelt like that!
    Dont get wordplay for 7D, among others, but battling on.
    Btw, 11A is a big park in Plymouth

  44. Had all but 27A, so thanks Ray. Like nn I’ve not heard of that novelist, however.

  45. In the end, still exhausted from yesterday’s heat, not feeling energetic, I tore the grid into little strips and filed it. Regretted immediately, the answers will be in tomorrow’s paper, I no longer have the clues. Sad. Perhaps some knowledgeable kindly soul could post the clues here? Would be appreciated. Thanks.

  46. I’m not far behind you Arthur, have been at it half the day and still less than half done. Brain still addled from the heat I think. Google and wordsearch not much help at all

  47. I have answers to everything, but some of them seem to me to bear little relation to their clues! No idea where the first three letters of 8d come from, or what the soldier has to do with 7d – any hints, anyone?

  48. Mary, apply the answer to 7d to the word soldier and he becomes a veteran.
    I’ve given up on the rest and resorted to crossword club for the answers. This revealed that I had a wrong word for 25a (I had v and e for letters 5 and 6, which still made perfect sense in terms of the clue and wordplay, grrr…) and this made a mighty mess of the bottom left corner.

  49. Yay !!! another one done,though thanks as ever to the good folks above.

  50. Just tracked down the reference at the top and immediately got five more answer. Very clever DA! And a nice bit of history.

  51. Could someone please explain their Plymouth reference for 11 across? I took the answer as a homophone [indicated by “on phone”] for a “call girl” (think rap music lyrics/ghetto argot)
    Also 26 down is not strictly true: should be prefaced by “among the”;
    Loved the self referential nature of 19 down though
    I bet Google tomorrow has a very special illustration for us!

  52. To all the people whinging about 22 across,
    Google the variant spelling, and choose the override “show results for … instead”
    and you’ll get a list of other variants!

    Besides DA did qualify his clue with “(variably)”!

  53. Whoops cancel that last comment!
    Google the usual spelling, & select the Wikipedia entry.
    Take note of the variant spellings in the redirection note!

  54. Thanks, Ray and nn, for 8d and 7d.
    Gil, the Plymouth reference is to the name of the place where Drake is said to have been playing bowls when waiting for the Armada – it’s a high flat space with good views out to sea. I don’t know the derivation of the name, but it’s the same spelling as the answer to 11 across, and I think Arthur was just using the reference to avoid spelling it out. (Perhaps without the final ‘e’ the reference would have been Westward!)

  55. All done except 12a. Have no idea what the first two words of the clue for 23d have to do with what seems the obvious answer from the word play. Re the spelling of 22a: certainly it is not the usual spelling encountered in English, but it is a perfectly acceptable alternative transliteration. Help with 12a would be appreciated.

  56. Gil I agree re 22a, alternatives seem ok, even though I’d not seen it that way before, I think DA’s qualifier makes it fine. Perhaps those who don’t like it are just being too picky, which is a little disrespectful to the great man, especially considering the manner of his demise.

  57. Dave R – 23D – remake of the movie had Mr Brand.
    12A – Double defn – 1. “Bit of a speaker”. 2. “writer on line”. More recent communication phenomena.

  58. Thanks, Ray and Gil, for help with 12a. All out now. As for 23d, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of either the movie or the gentleman.

  59. 10 Is there such a version as spray-guns? I can only find spray guns. The answer is a mess grammatically. Guns being plural must take a plural verb which the answer is not. A gun fires, guns fire. I’m assuming grammar is still important in clue writing.

    I liked the wording for 32

  60. @FHF. Spray is the anagrind for the previous word, “guns (verb, dubious) from above” the definition.

  61. Thanks BrianB , it’s a pity the words spray and gun were wrongly joined together. Perhaps
    “twirling” or “revolving” would be better anag indicators.

  62. Fair point, but I guess that’s the nature of DA’s crosswords. I still don’t get 7D!

  63. Very enjoyable. I certainly needed google for the theme – yes Brian B, a nice bit of history AND it gave us a few answers, or at least confirmation. Thanks nn for 7d – neat. Am now left with 13a and 8d.
    Christmas greetings to all!

  64. Sorry I’m late. Had to give up eventually on Saturday afternoon (because it’s time to do the Guardian prize crossword) with 22A still unanswered (until I checked in here). Learned new people in 5D, 28A and 27A. I actually had to solve a fair chunk of the 19D 1D 18D to find 22D, partly because I got stuck with a 50-fold multiplication instead of 5-fold.

  65. John 22d think of a seven letter word for copying, then multiply the middle letter (hub) by 5 (think Roman numerals) to get the answer. Business is the def.

  66. A very appropriate theme. However I believe DA is in error by saying 22D and 28 were the 26 18 21. I have a copy of the original before me and the 26 18 21 were (starting at the top left hand corner) Sales and Receipt. Perhaps the word “among” was accidently omitted between “were” and “the”. Interestingly, clue 28 is 28 in the original, but 22D is 5.

  67. Friday 20th quick: oblique angled parallelogram? Rhombus! What Mathematical world is this?

  68. I may be missing something but is “nor” a homonym for “gnaw” which is meant to mean “plague”? To me both gnaw & plague can be used metaphorically to mean annoy or bother, but they are different metaphors (biting teeth, disease) and therfore it is a v big stretch to equate them. I loved the crossword overall but this clue didn’t satisfy. Merry Christmas to all DAtrippers.

  69. JK – 24A – “nor / gnaw” – yes my interpretation as well. My dictionary does list “plague” as a synonym for “gnaw” ie:
    “gnaw … 5. to trouble or torment by constant annoyance, worry, etc.; vex; plague …”
    And yes – to all – have a great Christmas and safe New Year.

  70. JK I was ok with nor/ gnaw being a synonym for plague, although it is a bit of a stretch DA has done far worse. My problem with this one is that I don’t see how nor is a choice word. Or is a choice word as in you can have a choice of A or B, but having A nor B doesn’t present you with any sort of choice.

  71. Please help with 7d, 33a and especially 27a. Please.


  72. Hi Michelle, 33a is all reversed, evil doctor from James Bond, two letter abbreviation meaning say, 3 letter word for went for , as in really liked or was into, gives you a reasonably obscure name of a fish. 27a is the name of an author called Paul (has a book out at the moment, starts with a), followed by letter e which is the close to marble (ie last letter of marble) to give a word meaning grave as in serious. 7d I don’t entirely understand wordplay despite explanation given by nn above.

  73. Re 7d if you apply the answer, OFF LIMITS, to the word soldier i.e. remove first and last letter, you get oldie, (a veteran). Not sure how i feel about this sort of clue, although very clever, you have no hope of understanding it until you get the answer, which can be rather difficult to do when you don’t understand the clue, but I do like the ah ha moment if and when the penny finally drops.

  74. DA Confusion for the 27th of December, 2013:
    All out – 8D / 18D my favourite.
    But I do not get wordplay for 9D or 21D.

  75. I have finally cracked the theme, which I know next to nothing about so googling involved. About 3/4 done so far. Our host must be having a well-deserved sleep-in.
    9D The trick is that ‘new’ is plural, and covers an overseas currency.
    Haven’t got 21D yet although I have the cross letters. Which end is the def?

  76. Just 21 D and the second part of 22A to get. Don’t know any playground game starting with first 5 letters and word solvers don’t help. Would be glad of a hint for the homophone of ‘rule’ which I take is the wordplay for letters 6-9.
    21D Is the def ‘puts 18-across in’ ?

  77. Gayle – 22A – homophone of “rule” = letters 6,7,8. “a” gives letter 9. Think DA used same answer on Sept 12,2008!!.
    21D – I am getting more confused the more I read. I am just not sure now. I thought was just “puts” but as say am making less sense the more I ponder.

  78. Thanks Ray for 22 A. I’d thought of that possibility with the wordplay. Should have looked it up. Never heard of the game. I like the play on concatenation there.
    I’m impressed. Do you have the ability to do searches on DA archives? Or a brilliant memory? Or both?!
    Looks like we’re going to have to wait for Trippers to recover from the festivities for help with 21D. Ian on ACC hasn’t posted yet either.

  79. Hi all – first post here. All out but the same clue – 21d. Now my wife has the paper….

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