DA Confusion for the 31st of January, 2014

Have your confusions sorted out here. Happy times.

81 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 31st of January, 2014

  1. All out and all wordplays understood EXCEPT for 1A. If I have right (and spelt correctly), I do not get how “phoney” gives me letters 2,3,4,5,6. Help to clear this would be appreciated. Thanks.

  2. You are an early starter, Ray. I have five so far, remembered 11D from about 60 (or more) years ago, so didn’t need to check the anagram. Continuing.

  3. I don’t know either Ray and have tried a couple of variant spelllings. There’s a sort of homophone of ‘sheltered’ at 3,4,5,6 but I can’t account for letter 2.
    Quickest run ever for me today, but pulled up two short. 24 D would give me 23A. Have all the other letters.

  4. 24 down: the fundraising effort occurs in November, and rhymes with the month

  5. Ian – re 18A – I think it is Wang Lung Wei who did Kung Fu movies – but I am not sure.

  6. Thanks Ian for 1A. That really needs a double question mark I reckon.
    And for 24D. But I still don’t get the ‘ticks’.

  7. Never heard the phrase 23A, and not familiar with the source according to Urban dictionary. Gotta get out more.
    Apart from a quibble about letter 2 in 11A, today’s crossie seems pretty letters 4-7.

  8. Gayle – 24D – the answer is a short synonym for “ticks” – as in I will be there in a “tick”.
    23A – if nothing else, pretty sure a quote from a Tom Cruise movie.

  9. 18A: If it’s the Kung Fu stunt director, then how does the wordplay work to change the middle letter of seafarer?
    6D: What does musical-sounding do in this one?
    19D: How do we get the middle four letters?

    I liked 16D and 4D.

  10. Rupert – 18A – “and I leave seafarer for a”
    6D – last 4 letters sound like a 5 letter musical.
    19D – “Indian nurse” = letters 2,3,4,5.

  11. Going marvellously, I was, but finally stumped by 23A and 24D, where I had gone for OKs, Ray’s clue above (7.48) suggests another answer, but I can’t relate it to clue. Thought initially 23A an anagram of first five words of the clue, but 23D rules that out. Everything else finished in record time, hung up on those two.

  12. Easy-ish one today. Hadn’t heard of 11D but was able to infer the first word from the anagram (nice touch, that), then to Google.

    I was OK with the 1A letters 2-6 (once I saw it). Reminded me of the old joke: What’s brown and sticky?

  13. Arthur, 23 A is a complicated anagram including a word meaning “misery” in the last word. The expression has a similar meaning to “love at first sight”. Both Kenny Chesney and George Strait had hits with a song of a similar name (with the third word being different.

    24D is a bit of a Curly one!

  14. Hi everybody,
    thanks for explaining 24d, I got it, but couldn’t
    work out the “ticks” part either
    but today seems easier, am I right?
    I liked 9a… it’s always fun to look at idioms
    in a brighter light:)

    ….I was in fact hoping there’d be a theme
    today, relating to DA’s recent visit to Melbourne
    Those of you who know these things through experience
    how do you think DA chooses his themes?


  15. Going reasonably well. A quibble with 13d in that the Bank in question is not “of Israel”. Thanks Ian for the hint about word play in 1a. I had the answer but hadn’t twigged to that particular piece of DA deviousness.

  16. All out, with a little hep from above. Had 1a but needed the explanation of wordplay. Last in was 11d – had all cross letters, so guessed the anagram and googled – right first time.

  17. Finished. Yes, it was easier this week: about my standard. Had never heard the expression in 23a, nor the songs Mort mentioned. Thought 6a, 10a and 11a quite clever.

  18. Re 18a, I read stunt director as “stunt” (as in shorten, crop, abridge) director and required only local film knowledge to get the requisite letters!

  19. Trouble getting started. Had a few and some maybes, then Mort’s clue for23a set me on a roll.Loved 21a and 10a. Still not sure of 6d. I’m about to sit for my grandchildren, would that make me one?

  20. 11D is a anagram of “of anagram at” type of illusion (Italian phrase I think)
    26A think of a racecourse (one in Melbourne) and put the fringes of triad in it
    11A think ofa a type of carnival

  21. An odd day for me today – I hate it when people say it’s easy and give no references at all to most of the ones I’m stuck on! Basically I have the top half done, but am completely at a loss for 11d, 23a, (in spite of sll the hints above) and all the bottom half except 24d

  22. Mary, 11d ‘ran don’ is an anagrind referring to the three words before it. I had never heard of this illusion and it is a phrase imported into English. So a tough one.
    23a is also an expression I had never heard. An anagram of ‘brew’ is the anagrind this time, and ‘with’ is not included in the fodder. Rather a word for ‘misery’ (indeed eternal misery) makes up the other four letters.

  23. Sorry I hadn’t noticed that ‘random’ had been changed to ‘ran don’. Don’t you hate auto-correct!

  24. An odd day for me today – I hate it when people say it’s easy and give no references at all to most of the ones I’m stuck on! Basically I have the top half done, but am completely at a loss for 11d, 23a, (in spite of all the hints above) and all the bottom half except 24d

  25. Sorry – my computer had a funny five minutes and refused to go on until I re-posted the comment – so I took the opportunity to correct the spelling mistake!

  26. 20a a little easier. A plural of ‘copper’ (chemically) containing a word for seafarer twisted. More a sword than a knife I think.

  27. 25a ‘couple’ is a verb. ‘The back of windmill’ is the last letter.

  28. Making progress with some of the rest, but 11d is frustrating. I know what it is, I know what the letters are, I have all the crossers except 23a – but that still leaves too many possible combinations to slog through and google them all until I get the right one. (Is it actually googleable, does anyone know?)

  29. If I told you that the cross letter from 23a was the most popular one in the clue, would that cut down the possibilities?

  30. It is googleable. That’s how I checked it. As I had said earlier my first guess (with all cross letters) was right.

  31. OK, got it now – and all the rest. Thanks for contributions, Sandy. It took me a lot more attempts than you to find 11d, and then I cursed because I’d sort of thought of the right second word already but rejected it because I couldn’t see what King Arthur could have to do with the clue! Does anyone else think the spoonerism in 15d had the two halves the wrong way round, which didn’t exactly help – thanks, DA!

  32. Mary, I agree with you re the spoonerism in 15D being the wrong way around.

  33. Got there with a fair bit of help from here. Made a much better start than usual with most of the top half then ground to a halt totally.
    Still not sure of wordplay for 20D though?
    Also in 8D is “Thrust” just cluing one letter?
    I struggled with 11A mainly because I had 6D wrong for a while – I had put GRAMPS (getting amps from “musical sounding”) as a slang answer for relative. To me that sort of works (although I guess then it should be music not musical) but the actual answer is clearly better.
    Thought 1A was brilliant – like the early posters here I got the word but couldn’t understand how letters 2-6 were clued initially.
    I don’t mind the Spoonerism in 15D being that way round, I think it’s still eminently gettable. Besides, saying “Oldest fell apart toady” wouldn’t make sense!

  34. Ta to Mort (1103). Had never heard of those vocalists, never heard of this number. Makes 24D obvious, though I can’t decipher either clue. But, all filled in. If I survive the comning heat, will try again next week.

  35. Julian – 8D – “thrust onset” clues just the 1 letter (letter 3). “space climb” the other 4.
    20D – defn = 1st word. “Like a spiral” gives a word which sounds the same as the answer as indicated by the homophone indicator “on air”.

  36. Very doable today although I didn’t get 24D until I came on here. Liked 15D even if it was sort of back to front.

  37. Geoff
    re 18A, you and I are correct, unlike some who think they can squeeze 11 letters into a 10 letter word.
    Which would also mean they have other words wrong too.

  38. 20a Sandy (2:24) Agree, definitely not a knife. Can one have a plural for a chemical abbreviation? A question mark would have been in order.

  39. I managed to do most of the bottom half before coming here, so a good day for me. One clue to go now. I’m completely stuck on 3d. I have all the cross letters but can’t get any further.

  40. Pat – 3D was my last in as well. Defn = last word. Take the “essentials” from the 4 other words ie: “slow nits were feds” to get the 8 letter answer.

  41. Thanks, Ray. I had used a synonym in 12a instead of an antonym which gave me an answer that seemed reasonable but gave me an incorrect cross letter.

  42. Happily finished by 9:00am, a record for me, but have enjoyed reading all the posts above. Especially interested to see the emergence of. “Googleable ” as a word. An organic language indeed!

  43. Need a Like button here …but then again I’d have to like most posts.

  44. hmm drank half a bottle of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
    and got all of this out except for misspelling a couple of words
    and the middle lettter of the clue about the ticks.
    Never did know how to spell that dog’s name correctly!
    Tend to agree the first 3 letters of 18 across come from a stunted Australian director rather than some obscure Asian one!
    leaving you to it, bye!

  45. I got all but two without coming here- first time in months.
    I thought many were easy because they weren’t as smooth as DA’s usual fare.
    20a could have been “blade” ?
    I must be getting used to DA misdirection – I saw the double use of Bond in 6a relatively quickly.
    I’m into astronomy and physics and the wonders of the world, so 11d was immediately – there are people here who get film references quicker than me. So that’s fair.
    A nitpick on 22d – according to Stephen Fry, the houses are not mostly white, but common usage has them white.

  46. My favourite word finder “crossword dictionary” no longer works on the phone… What sites do others use ?
    One across is OK, but I preferred the simple one…

  47. And now for the quick crossword … Where police radars are often stationed (5,4)
    I get speed trap. There’s no speed trap if there’s no radar, is there ?
    But if there’s a police radar, it’s always a speed trap , so the “often” is inaccurate and should be “always” but the clue should be something like Police Radar station (colloq.) ?
    Am I misunderstanding ?

  48. One to go! I’m completely stumped on 19D, have tried every interpretation of “Indian nurse” (a pretty common four letter word for that) in the middle, along with “Kabul outskirts” for letters 1&6. Can’t find any word that fits the pattern, never mind one that seems to answer the clue! Any help?

  49. All done – not so difficult today though I had to google 18a and 23a – don’t get wordplay for 4-7 of 10a, or spoonerism in 15d, or wordplay for 2-4 of 13d. Thanks to AG for help with 11a and Ian for help with 24a.

  50. Even with all the previous hints I still cant fathom 24a.Get the Ticks part,but no clue as to the rest.

  51. John it’s about a fund-raising event held in late spring – see Ian’s 6.58 post.

  52. sb – 10A – “present” has 2 meanings – letters 1,2,3 is one meaning and 4,5,6,7 is another – so a “pair” of “presents”.
    15D – “toady fell apart” = burst fawn.
    13D – its 2,3,4,5. “a” = letter 1 and “scuffle” gives synonym for letters 6,7,8,9. “Bank of Israel” is letters 2,3,4,5.

  53. Late start for me this week. After a couple of hours and some help from above I have all of the left side and almost none of the right. I always seem to have the most trouble with
    the ones everyone says are easy. I have no idea how I am going to get 11d even though I understand how the clue works as I only have 2 cross letters and online anagram finders only work in English. This leaves 362880 possible arrangements of the remaining letters…

  54. Got a few more now. Bit of a quibble with 15d. I would think exploded would be more accurate than fell apart. Have one more cross letter for 11d, but it isn’t helping

  55. Thanks Ray – all very obvious now. Especially bank of Israel! I fell into the misdirection
    nn how are you going with 11d? It’s a new word(s) for me – def is first 2 words – I found it googling; with very few possibilities for first word (once you have 11a and 12a) it was pretty quick

  56. Unfortunately I don’t have 11 a, 11d, 21a or 16d. Online word finders haven’t helped and as they intersect, I’m missing lots of cross Letters. Am about to chuck it in.

  57. Put in a couple of guesses for 16d and 21a without understanding the wordplay and gave up on the two 11s, have checked the answers on crossword club and had all correct sooty from the 11s. As both involved knowledge of foreign language I don’t feel too bad. 11a was fair enough but I think 11d was pushing it. Had anyone here ever heard of it? It wasn’t gettable from the wordplay as there were fat too many possibilities and there was no hint that it was from a foreign language. Otherwise a pretty good puzzle although I didn’t find it as easy as some of you did.

  58. Argh hit by auto correct again
    Sooty from the 11s should be apart from.
    Fat too many should be far too many

  59. Yes thanks. I had the correct answer but I think I had the wrong director. I think Geoff | January 31, 2014 at 1:33 pm | makes a lot more sense than my obscure Kung Fu director (Wang Lung Wei).

  60. Nn as I wrote earlier, reading about mirages and au dogs and spectra meant 11d was known to me….
    There’s all types In This world

  61. Jupiter I did physics and astronomy in my degree too but I’d never heard of 11d. The problem with it is that you have little chance of getting it from the wordplay too. Usually when DA comes up with something as obscure as that the wordplay, such as a play on Arthur’s large sister, or something like 3d’s construction.
    I’ve heard of a Sun dog but what is an au dog?

  62. That’s a fat fingered sun dog on these annoying little devices. I agree that you had no chance but a search. I usually learn a new word or person from DA

  63. Happy to learn new words, just need half a chance at finding them! Have had fun googling fata morganas and learning more about them. As for big fingers On little devices that insist On changing it to fat Morgan’s or worse, I share your frustration. Deteriorating eyesight doesn’t help!

  64. I don’t understand the level of whinging about 11 down.
    Would it be so if the clue had had an answer like “aurora borealis”?
    It’s the name of a specific meteorological phenomenon.
    It’s a type of mirage … good god there’s another foreign word oh dear!
    Some level of general knowledge is required when completing crosswords
    and 11 down isn’t that obscure a term!

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