121 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 10th of January, 2014

  1. All out and pretty tough I thought.
    I liked 11A, 14A, 16A and 8D which I thought were very clever.
    Never heard of 24D/10A and still working on getting complete wordplay.
    Also not sure on wordplay for second part of 19A.

  2. I had a pretty quick run through for 3/4 of the grid, still have a few to go.
    19A last 3 letters are 4 letter synonym with deletion (fairly).
    I’d never heard of 15D but no quibbles or with the wordplay.
    Liked 2D and 6D and the disguise in 3D.

  3. Gayle – 19A – thanks that’s what I thought but didn’t quite like it as I was questioning whether there was a another spelling of the last 3 letters. Agree fully with you now.

  4. Well done, champs! Have at least eight, a few I’m uncertain about. 19A I thought faitly straightforward. Have put in what appears obvious answer to 6D, but can’t see any connection whatsoever with ‘half-naked girls into Gaga’. So I presume my answer is wrong, but it fits home-grown saviour perfectly?

  5. And so as not to confuse , should mention the other, although (now) fairly obvious indicator that operates on the last 3 letters of 19A which I quite liked, although I thought DA might have been up to his tricks and spent a while playing around with the parsing until I got some cross letters. I thought the word was Australian but on looking it up it’s not.

  6. Arthur, The half is naked. The girl is possessive. You’ve probably got the Gaga. I thought that was a good one, wordplay and definition.
    I can’t get the manipulation in 8D.

  7. All done. 22 A and 18D last in. Both good ones.
    Finally got rest of wordplay for 10A. Learned from Google that AC/DC did use one particular make of guitar, but it’s not in the wordplay. Agree Ray, very convoluted but interesting indicator.

  8. Gayle – did you get 8D? “Other half of” = defn. “PC port” = letters 2,3,4. “under control?” gives an expression “yy xxxx”, where yy is a container indicator and xxxx is a four letter word for letters 1,5,6,7.

  9. Only nine left, all on LHS. Hadn’t heard of the name in 15D, so being educated. Had only seen 3D in TV guide, not watched it. Continuing.

  10. All out here. I agree with Ray, it was a tough one. Many satisfying clues. I particularly enjoyed 1A, 9A, 14A, 16A, 22A, 4D, 17D & 18D. Ok, I liked the whole thing!!! I’m still trying to work out the wordplay for the last 3 letters of 18A.

  11. But why the snowfield in 1D? The rest of the clue seems OK, but snowfield? Can’t fathom 2D. Latin? Anyway, time to do vegies for lunch. Back later.

  12. Arthur C., 1D – I understood “snowfield” to be the definition. 2D – think “Latin country”.

  13. I’m surprised Ray thought this was tough as I got 3/4 done without too much of a struggle (highly unusual). Never heard of 15D and don’t get the wordplay for the second word. Still can’t get 18D and can make no sense of the wordplay in 1D

  14. Alan, the Latin country is in 4D, not 2D.

    Arthur, 2D is French, not Latin.

    I still have 4 to go: 1A, 1D, 3D, 14A. I don’t get the wordplay for 24D/10A, and I think the definition is dodgy, too. Not sure of the wordplay (2nd definition?) in 28A.

  15. 28A is double def. Second part means to hurl invective. Don’t know if it’s a regional expression.

  16. All out. Like Gayle 22A and 18D were the last to go in.
    Alan, the last three letters in 18A are 9A ‘repulsed’. Actually I only got 9A after first finding 18A.

  17. 28a could be Aus slang “to cop a ….”
    A word used by Roy & H.G. Quite a lot.

  18. Ann. Thanks. Silly me read 18A as a single line clue! I didn’t read “…9-across”.

  19. Not on DA’s wavelength today. Only have two so far, don’t even know where to start with the rest of them even after reading the above. At least some of you thing it is hard this week, unlike last week!

  20. Rupert, for 24/10, the first word is audio ‘raised’, then ‘snarl’ ‘in AC/DC’ with the ultimate of guitar with another word for exploits.

  21. thanks Alan G. 29A was my first, don’t have 25a yet, although I think I have 26d now so that at least gives me a cross letter for 25a. Can’t make any sense of 25a’s clue, too many possible DA tricks in that to even have a guess at which part is the definition!

  22. 1D “grey” is a verb and the ‘tower’ is of the ‘flower’ type trick. (Not an animal.)

  23. 1D: Thanks, Gayle. Arthur, if you don’t know what the snowfield is doing there, you probably have the wrong answer – it’s the definition!
    I now have 1A, and 14A fell to a wordfinder. I always think the base of a word is at the start – that’s where you start constructing it from.
    3D still eludes me. Any hints? If mraha were a nest of vice, I’d have sussed it from the wordplay, but it appears not to be.

  24. nn, the first word of 25A is what matters.
    Rupert, only the first and third letters of your answer to 3D are correct. The clue refers to a TV crime show.

  25. Prufrock, the definition for 18D is the first two words. Letters 1 and 7 are ‘vacant’ buildings. Letters 3, 4, 5, 6 are the reverse (north) of another word for meander.

  26. Rupert – following nn on 3D, think of another 4 letter synonym word rather than “mrah”.

  27. 18D Vacant buildings (gutted) gives B and S for letters 1 and 7. Inside goes A and a four letter synonym for ‘meander’ as a verb, reversed (north).

  28. Thanks Anne, I’d never heard of the stocking stuff, had to look that up once I had the answer, now it makes sense

  29. nn – 1D – try to get from word play. And a help here may be to read “tower” slightly differently ie: not as a building but as a vehicle.

  30. 3D: Thanks, folks. I had the last two vowels of 11A transposed (it sounds better in my head, that way, but the dictionary insists on the less euphonious spelling). I never watched the show in question, and without a TV qualifier, I would think residents of that city would object to this characterisation.

  31. Baffled! I had ginnery as 1D, so was confused about snowfield. But as 14A appears to start with a vowel, ginnery is out. Eventually saw 2D, so now only seven to go, but baffled by 1D. There is a dam and possibly snowfield that would fit, letter-wise, but cannot connect to clue at all. So, sorry, Rupert, your help hasn’t, as yet.

  32. Thanks Ray, I’d been looking at tower as puller thanks to Gayle’s hint but it hasn’t helped. Not being familiar with any snowfields is making it hard too. I have one cross letter, but can’t fit any snowfield in my googled list with it.

  33. Arthur C – 1D – Defn = 1st word. “hotel” = letter 4. “in” = container. “soaring” = reverse. “grey” (as a verb) = letters 7,6,5. “tower” (as a vehicle) = letters 3,2,1.

  34. Rupert, I had the same problem with the last two vowels of 11a too. I already had 3d at this point, which made 11a rather difficult until I checked the spelling in a dictionary

  35. Thanks, Ann – I had the answer but just couldn’t figure it – I feel better now.

  36. Thanks Ray, 1d wasn’t on any of the lists I found. Managed to work it out from the wordplay and then google to confirm. Never heard of the place and am getting increasingly frustrated with DA’s tendency to use small NSW towns as answers.

  37. Where is the “Like” button? I would like to express my agreement with many comments in this forum.

  38. Thanks, Ray and nn, I would never have worked that 1D clue out. Now only six left, I guess the explanation of 9A is just as complex as 1D. This man is far too clever for me, with some of his clues. My Wordfinder is handy at times, but when one has only two of eight letters (as in 18A), it throws up 476 possibles! Too many. May retire now for after-dinner nap. More later.

  39. Arthur 18a def is first two words, but think of it as travels fast rather than fast traveller.
    If it makes you feel any better I’d never have got 1d if it wasn’t for Ray’s help and if you only have 6 left you are doing way better than me, I only have 10 answers so far after having been on it for nearly an hour and a half.

  40. 18A: An obscure hint would be to look at UK Prime Ministers of the early 1830s. I think nn’s hint above refers to 18D.

  41. Finally worked out 18a after messing around with blood oranges for ages. This gave me 9A but I don’t understand it (either definition or wordplay)

  42. Think I get it now, assuming Waits is the def and coda is giving me the last letter. Far too clever for me!

  43. Finally finished the left side, but don’t get the wordplay for the second word of 15d.
    Right side depressingly mostly blank at the moment apart from 6A, 7D, 8d and 29a

  44. Finally got 24d/10a out. Have read all of the above but don’t get some of the wordplay. Audio raised gives the first word, am fine with that. Can see the exploits at the end of the last word. Can see a guitar ultimately stuck somewhere in the rest of it, but no idea of the snarl or the AC/DC bit

  45. nn: I took ‘snarl’ to indicate an anagram of the letters inacdc which give the 3-letter word in 10A together with the letters 1, 2 and 4 of the 8-letter word.

  46. nn and Ann – agree, though I think the letters for the anagram are “in ACDC” + “guitar ultimately”

  47. Just 5d and 12a to go. Still confused with the wordplay for 23a assuming I have the right answer.

  48. nn – 23a – “warmish” synonym = letters 1, 2, 6 & 7; “bearing” = container indicator; 4-letter colloquialism for “hot air”, “reduced” to 3 letters = letters 3, 4 & 5

  49. All out now, some clever stuff although I could have done without the obscurity of 1d. As DA says in his book, all answers should be gettable, that one wasn’t, even with the help of google. Snowfield is just too broad a definition for this, we could be looking anywhere in the world for the answer. NSW snowfield would have been a little fairer, although it didn’t come up when I searched for a list of Australian snowfields. Reminds me of one from a couple of months ago where the definition was something like south of Byron Bay and the answer was some little town a very long way south of Byron Bay.

  50. OK all done. A good one today with some interesting wordplay- 14A & 24D/10A especially.
    4D bugged me for ages.

  51. 15 works better as a Down clue. Base = bottom. Top – Bottom for down Front -Back for across
    19 What dictionary does DA use? Mine (Chambers) does not give “well-recycled”. Any suggestions?
    Liked 4 and 23

  52. FHF the wordplay is fairly well (as in almost a word meaning well, but missing the last letter). Recycled is a (not very good IMHO) reversal indicator.

  53. Got it all out quickly but was completely stumped as to word play for 23A until I read Alan G’s comment (12.18). Thanks Alan.

  54. All out, but never heard of 24D, 10A before. Also, can’t see word play for 7D although answer is “salts”

  55. Had my after-dinner nap, watched replay of last night’s Big Bash (Go Stars!), finally sorted 18A (was using 22A clue to try to fill 18A), now need only 22A, 17D.

  56. And now finished. Amazing! Encouraged, found some of clues difficult to understand. More next week, if I survive the coming heatwave.

  57. Got this one all out (surreptitiously) in my lunch hour at work, but spent way too much time struggling with wordplay for 19a. Otherwise a good one today – liked the clever “PC port” in 8d. nn, with respect to 1d being “gettable” or not, my view is that cryptic x-words are easier than quick ones as you have two ways of getting to the answer. If you’re struggling with the definition, you can get there via the wordplay and vice-versa. No need to search the whole world for a particular snowfield! What I really object to is when the clue has just wordplay and no definition, as with today’s 17d. Other offending examples this week included “XX XX” (double-cross). There’s also the infamous “HIJKLMNO” (water), though I actually quite like that one.

  58. Jack, 7D, and the other is a term referring to part of the anatomy, abbreviated.

    Martin I got stuck on XX XX until I got cross letters. ( I think the answer was plural). But I liked it. Rhebus clue types always get me being visually challenged.

  59. Martin, while what you say is true about cryptics (and one of the reasons why I prefer them), if the wordplay is one of those convoluted ones where you have several bits to it which may be going forwards or backwards and you aren’t even sure which word is the definition, it makes it pretty difficult when, even if you happen to hit on the right wordplay, it is pretty hard to check if the answer is correct when it is something that doesn’t appear in a dictionary and is one of many small dots on a very large map. As I said above, if he’d clued it as NSW Snowfield I’d be a lot happier as not only does it narrow down the search, but also gives a bit more of a hint as to what the definition is. On the other hand there were a few answers, such as 14a, where I’d never heard of the word but was able to make some guesses as to the wordplay, and then check if such a word existed in the dictionary. This last step is missing from 1d, making it ungettable for me.
    As it turns out I quite liked 17d and got it fairly quickly once I had a couple of cross letters, but to each his own!

  60. Thanks nn and Gayle, but my problem is not knowing how “washboard” fits in. Is it another name for the abbreviated body parts?

  61. Jack I think washboard is a description a bit like six pack, referring to well toned muscles.

  62. Just Finished: what an effort!! I really liked : Las Vegas Roller; took while, very clever clue.

  63. Roger that nn, 1d was pretty obscure as these things go. It’s not that 17d or any other definition-less clue are necessarily harder, or that they don’t seem clever when you get them, it’s just that they seem to offend against some unwritten rule of cryptic crosswords (that perhaps exists only in my mind, I concede).

  64. Martin, you could view 17d as a simple double definition too, the answer is a type of dress and also is a circle. So I don’t put it in quite the same category as XX XX, although in DA’s book he discusses the latter type of clue so I guess they are fair game and when you see one like that it is obvious that it isn’t one of the usual types of clues. The one that I found a bit tricky today was 8d, as it requires you to see that letters 2, 3 and 4 are IN the remaining word to actually make sense of the wordplay in the clue, although I guess the definition made it very gettable, it just took me a while to see the wordplay.

  65. Out bar 2d. Absolutely no idea. I’m assuming the letters are there but can’t guess any thing out of them unless I’ve made a mistake. 26d seems obvious but without 2d I’m not sure. Help?

  66. Warren – this probably won’t help as I guess you know this, but as Mort says defn = last 2 words, “Fractures” = anagrind, fodder = “emerge round” (and if you have 26D correct, these are letters 8,9,10 of 2D).

  67. nn 12:34 I was asking whether anyone knew of a dictionary which gives “well-recycled” as a hyphened entry.

    Martin 2:39 A fair cryptic clue should have both a definition and wordplay.

  68. FHF
    From an online dictionary “cryptic = having a meaning that is mysterious or obscure.”

    In my mind (or what’s left of it), that seems to describe both 17D and 19A – the clues to which I think you were referring.

  69. Thanks Ray and Mort . Got it. Well I think that it’s the only way the other letters will go! See tomorrow.

  70. P.s. the first word you read in the xword is insiders. I immediately thought of what insiders are! After all said and done, that clue was simpler than the bottom rhs grid. Good to all.

  71. Flummoxed by 1 down and 14 across
    Any assistance please, before I resort to electronic aids?

  72. Warren, if you’re still there, it’s an anagram. See Rupert above – it’s French. I still need help for 14, 22A and 15D, if Antoine’s there….

  73. Getting too late resorted to electronica
    I’ll help you in a few mo’s JS then i’m outta here

  74. JS
    14 ac: 7 letter noun for worry With fanbase removed to make a 6 letter word a very obscure 1 at that

  75. 22 ac Definition is last 2 words ignoring the capitalisation (red herring)!
    First 3 letters are an item you might find a plural version of rolling around on a table Or in a pit in las vegas Or in any casino anywhere
    That’s not the whole clue but should be enough for you to get
    Ignore my capitals from voice input in spurts!

  76. 15 down I’d never heard this term before.
    Definition is the last 2 words
    First word signifies a homophone
    In fact it’s all homophone:
    “Look for” 1-4
    “Open” 7-9
    There’s no need for me to tell you what 5-6 is it’s part of the clue, But you’ll need to adjust the spellings

  77. I’d not heard of 15d either but I googled beluga and got the answer ok, although I hadn’t heard of the homophone expression which is the cryptic part. Still don’t know what it is supposed to mean!

  78. nn

    Sound out separately letters 1-4 then 5-6, then 7-9

    1-4 Should sound like a 4 letter verb for “look for”
    The three letters 7-9 Should sound like a 4 letter adjective for “open”
    (think ventilation)
    Makes sense now?

  79. Gil, please don’t banish me! Thank you very much, I often leave the hard bits for the next day

  80. Help, the age is getting hard to get in my area…can anyone send a copy of yesterday’s xword?

  81. Gil re 15d I get the 4,2,4 reading of it, it just seemed like a rather odd expression. Upon reflection, it would make a bit more sense if followed by a noun.

  82. nn It’s not meant to make sense by itself
    it’s simply to 2 nonsense homophones connected by 2 letters given to you in the clue!
    Best word to follow with tho is “space.”

    I had important work to do last night and if I’d known you’d gone away I wouldn’t have helped you at all. Sleeping on a problem sometimes brings the answer first thing in the morning! Please don’t ask for help if you’re not going to co!ntinue at that point.
    Just as a common courtesy check back within 15 minutes
    or so to s
    ee if any help has been proffered & acknowledge.

  83. Gil re 15d, I agree it isn’t meant to make sense, I guess I was looking into it a bit too deeply. I was assuming it was some sort of colloquial expression and that airy was a noun. Went googling in Search of it but to no avail

  84. 9a -I just don’t get the wordplay despite all the hints above. Any further help would be really appreciated.

  85. Greg re 9d coda in music means to finish off or something like that so he is using that as an indicator to use the last letter of the previous word in the clue. This gives the last letter I’m the answer. The first two letters are given by the third last word in the clue. The answer is the first name of the piano player who’s surname is given at the start of the clue. As a non musician I wouldn’t have understood it either without the help of someone yesterday! Although I had heard of the pianist

  86. Sorry, Gil, I was distracted. You’re right, it was rude of me. Won’t do it again – and thanks, it helped

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