DA Confusion for the 16th of May, 2014

Have your confusions sorted out here.

134 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 16th of May, 2014

  1. Have all out but do not have all wordplays yet eg: 27A.
    Of those that I do thought 9D very good and liked 13A

  2. Just started, only two easies (anagram and lift-out) so far. WAs up at 0400 sending out prayer request for Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, to about 90 people.

  3. Oh, that’s terrible Arthur C. Hardly feel like playing crosswords after reading about her.
    Off to work now with 8D and the intersecting 10A and 23 A to go. Slow start but came together in the last 15 minutes.
    Tickled by 11A.

  4. There appears to be only one word that will fit in 1A? But where is the backhand? Or maybe there is another word somewhere. I’ve hesitated at the end of 17D, couldn’t find the salt?

  5. I think, davo and pippin, I may had the wrong herb. The one I had was oregano, but couldn’t justify the ‘um’. So, look for a different one. Yes, just remembered it. Thanks.

  6. Defeated by 2D and 10A.

    Confused by wordplay for first 2 letters of 19D, and last 4 of 23A.

    Kicked myself when I got 26A.

  7. Rupert, 10A think of a word for a punter losing its boundaries. Kenny Rogers may be able to help you. Definition is first two words.

  8. Are we talking of basketballers in 28A, or reptiles? I have only letters 10 & 12, have hit the wall. Can’t find letters 9-13 of 8D, so may have top part wrong. Floundering.

  9. I had wondered why “Punter” was capitalised. Thanks Mort. I wondered about proper nouns.

  10. Having never read nor seen Harry Potter, I’m just guessing at 23A. Does it sound like an alternative source of cooling?

  11. Arthur 28A in an anagram of the first word plus a synonym for royal. Definition is last three words.

  12. Rupert, 2D definition is “morning poems”. Chisel is an anagrind – a very obscure one!

  13. Arthur, 8D Definition is last two words. Treat “lean-to” and “dunny” as two separate words. The latter gives the first three letters of last word.

  14. Thanks, Mort, will pursue that idea. Was about to quit, too many clues I can’t fathom.

  15. 23A: Mort, you’re on the right track.

    10A: Thanks. I’d considered that word, but couldn’t get the wordplay.
    2D: Thanks again. I knew there was a word for them, but couldn’t remember it. Serenades for early risers!

  16. Most enjoyable puzzle for weeks. Clue of the day has to be 9D. Clue for 8D could only be parsed after the answer was found: a very obscure three-letter synonym for “nurse” that I couldn’t guess until the answer was written in and then deconstructed.

  17. All out, I think, except 1A. I can’t find any 13 letter word that fits with the 6 letters I know.
    Am I looking for someone who tends?
    Liked 11A and 26A.

  18. 1A: Ann, it’s someone who tends, specifically to the young. The Americans have a slightly shorter spelling.

    8D: DA has used “nurse” this way a couple of times before.

  19. Rupert, most Australians now spell 1A the US way. ‘Tis only old pedants like me that insert A as the second letter.

  20. Thanks, Rupert and Kenneth. I’d spell it like other old pedants if I’d thought of it.

  21. Still nine short and running out of ideas. 7 & 9D would help, also help to decide fial leter of 24A (three choices, if my first 7 are correct). Also still missing last word of 8D, so not sure first part is right.

  22. All out, and word plays fine except for 23a. Mort/Rupert, can you throw me a bone here? Is any actual knowledge of Harry Potter lore required?

  23. 23A: Only the very vaguest knowledge of Harry Potter is required. It’s something he shares with many fictional heroes, including Luke Skywalker, Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist.

  24. Hooray! Just saw 9D, clever clue. Easy one for Pakis! Only four to get now.

  25. 23A: You need some more Potter info to get the wordplay (which I only just worked out). Moaning Myrtle is a ghost, and Voldemort’s real name is Tom Riddle.

  26. I’m sure that I shall agree with comments above about how good 9D is when I finally work it out. Not having all cross letters doesn’t help, so hints for 13A and 20A would be appreciated.

  27. Dave, 13A letters 1-3 are a “twisted pig”. Angling without a fish gives balance of answer. The whole means “get lost”

  28. Dave 20A is anagram of 21D and “got”. Definition is “suit” – not one you wear or play cards with.

  29. Rupert, thanks for the clue about Americans having shorter spelling for 1A – got it now!

  30. All out – enjoyed it as others seem to have done. My fave was actually 1 A – but it’s very rare I get 1 A out first go, so maybe that’s the reason.

    Dave – No real definition for 9D – I think it’s what is categorised as a rebus – look at the configuration of letters – the middle word is a signal.

  31. Dave R, the clue to 9D is an Asian language in an Americamn term for impertinence.
    I still can’t relate any of the possible words for 20A to the clue. Still don’t have 8D or 23A, never touched Harry Potter. Leave it for tomorrow, I guess.

  32. Arthur – 8 D letters 1, 7 & 8 word for “nurse” (think in your hand) letters 2 – 6 an outhouse, letters 9 – 11 – word for dunny, last two letters is a two letter word in the clue, Definition last two words.
    I can’t go past Rupert’s excellent signposts for 23 A (Harry Potter is actually very good fun – lots of puns and wordplays),
    20 A – think of those “bats” often to be seen around Macquarie St in Sydney or Lincolns Fields in London

  33. Been a while since i’ve benn able to attack one. Top half done and a few chortles.

  34. Well, at least I had the first part right, Julienne, I just hadn’t analysed (pun?) the clue correctly. Looked again at Rupert’s clue, but it means nothing to me. Sorry, but can’t make any sense of your reference to ‘bats’. I’m in Victoria, but I think Macquarie St is medical specialist area? The cross letters I have include N, I, I, I, A. I’ve assumed they are all correct, but none of the words my wordfinder throws up appear to be related to the clue. Put it down to senile dementia, and leave till tomorrow.

  35. Stumped by 5d and 16a – should be easy as only 4 letters but can’t work out wordplay.

  36. Thanks Lyvvie but still don’t get word play for answer. Any ideas re 16a? I have two letters but still can’t get it!

  37. Stuart, 6d def 1st word using an abbrev enclosing an action. 11a def is last 5 words – think sports.

  38. Arthur – I used to get the last word of 8 D confused with an australian migratory moth (to the merriment of anyone who heard me);20 A – not only medical specialists in Macquarie St Sydney – these ones wear wigs as well as gowns.
    Stuart – 6D 1st word is definition; letters 1,5 &6 is (affectionate) name for a sydney music school and letters 2-4 is what fellers do (think wood). 11 A I was surprised that the answer for treasurer was so straightforward.
    Susan – 16 A is I thought v clever – – “composer” relates to DA himself. Wordplay for 5 D is taking off the first letter (dis-cover) of a type of drug.

  39. Although I fully understand 23A, I believe that the Harry Potter knowledge required to work it out is a bit too detailed for us DA Trippers. For instance, I had no idea who Riddle was without looking it up.

    9D is a thing of beauty!

  40. Jack – Yes, 9 D is great – I was too literal when I wrote that there was no real definition.

  41. Thanks for your help, Trippers. I did the first half without any aids on a plane trip. By the time I read through the above, I worked out everything else. Loved the well timed humour of 11a.

  42. Great puzzle today, but I can’t finish a few on the RHS, including 9D. I’ve done everything I can think of with SURDUASS for the past seven hours! Tell me please: are they initials?

  43. Kate re 9D, there is an Asian language (four letters) hidden within a word meaning insolence. The answer is defined by the two words found.

  44. Thank you! Got it! I actually had those two words earlier and dismissed them. Arrrgh!

  45. Got a few out after help from above, although i don’t understand the wordplay in 1a and 23a assuming i have the right answers. Sydney references are going to cause problems, d wish he’d stop doing things that require local knowledge.
    Will press on

  46. nn, 1A wordplay – a word meaning “noble” surrounds a four-letter word for “hand” (as in assistant) which is backwards. The answer is defined by first five words of the clue and is spelled in the traditional way.

  47. Got 12a now, although not heard of the writer and the answer in London is much better known.

  48. I agree nn! Local knowledge clues stink! I’m struggling with the lot – like I always do! Managed 7 clues on my own which is a record for me, though. Always improving. :)

  49. @ Lyvvie, that’s 5 more than I got before coming here. Still got less than half the answers. Wish I could say I was improving, but I’m finding it harder every week.

  50. Lyvvie and nn, don’t despair. Although one cannot really be taught how to get better at quick crosswords, one can learn how to do cryptics. It’s all a matter of working out where the definition is: it’s always at the start or the end of the clue, never in the middle. Then learning what words can be anagrinds, although today’s “chisel” certainly stretches the boundaries!

  51. Sales meeting today. No paper. Will see if the newsagent has a copy tomorrow!

  52. Mort, I just seem to be having a lot more trouble with him lately than I used to do. I’m usually ok with anagrams but when only part of the answer is an anagram and the rest of it is part of a word that, at a long stretch, means some other part of the clue, leading to an answer that, at an even longer stretch, means either the first or last word in the clue I have trouble. He seems to be doing more of this lately. When the entire answer is an anagram I don’t have that problem as at least I know how many letters are in the anagram, but when it is only part of the answer it gets rather difficult. Even worse when it requires specialised local knowledge. Although I’m familiar with Potter and all the characters in the clue I would never have got that answer without the above hints
    I have finally understood the wordplay for that one about two hours after getting the answer. The wordplay is very clever, but getting the answer from the def was rather hard.
    Am stuck on much of the lower left and also 14d, 15a and 2d. I can only find one word that fits the cross letters I have in 2d but it doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the def or wordplay.

  53. Chisel is a long way from being the worst of his anagrinds, at least it involves taking one object and changing it into another, although I’m not sure how it improves the surface reading. Maybe it will be clearer when I work out the answer to that clue!

  54. nn you might be overthinking 15D as I found I was doing today and it got easier when not always looking for DAstardly tricks.
    Def is admission in the sense of confession, or revealing thoughts or information. Synonym for nightclub with the Line inside, and synonym for certain.

  55. nn 14 D (if you haven’t got it by the time I’ve typed)
    Spoonerism; dominate as in what rulers, particularly royalty do; expedition as in what one might do in the Himalayas, a long walk. Homophones

  56. Of course it’s homophones, was going to say something else, about the spelling

  57. 2DFrench word for dawn might help.
    2D anagram of USEA , contains (pens) synonym for ‘crummy’ , (no good) .

  58. Thanks Gayle, never heard of that word and none of the online word finders were bringing it up. Only got it by putting the remaining unused letters of the anagram into the second spot in the word and typing typing them into a dictionary one at a time until the answer came up. I don’t speak Ftench, so that didn’t help, but art least I’ve learnt a new word! Just a few in the bottom left to go

  59. Can anyone explain 3D wordplay please?
    11A was the first I got but struggled with most of the rest of the top half until I got help here. 9D was the last I got. Clever but I don’t think Rebuses are really legitimate cryptic crossword clues.

  60. Julian 3d exploit is letters 1 to 4
    I think letters 7,6,5 are contrarily cut. Don’t get how the last letter works.
    Can you help with the following? 18 and 26 across 19 22 and 25 down. I’m getting nowhere with them and as they all intersect I don’t have enough cross letters to get going in this section

  61. Contrarily means put the clues in the other order. It’s a common indicator.

  62. Finally got 25d to finish. I shouldn’t have been fixated on mint as a punch ingredient!

  63. nn 26A double def. I think you’re more technically savvy than me. Which side of a triangle is the hypotenuse? And what means next to?

  64. Three sides of a triangle are hypotenuse, opposite and adjacent, but that doesn’t fit

  65. Yeah, but which side in an unequilateral triangle is the hypotenuse? God, I don’t believe I’m saying this. I failed maths but I did like geometry 101. Forget the wordplay, go for the def: next to.

  66. nn
    Yes I read 3 down the same as you – I don’t see how the extra letter is clued.
    Doesn’t look like anyone’s responded to your queries so I’ll try & help:
    18a – last word is definition. What’s a common (albeit now very dated) abbreviation for a recording? Turn that over.
    26a – for someone like me who did a maths degree I loved this clue, it’s beautiful. On a right-angle triangle, the hypotenuse is the diagonal side. How might you also describe this compared to the other two sides? Although the answer is one word, it could also be read as 1,4,4.
    19d – your question has made me realise I never quite worked the wordplay out for this one. It finishes with a homophone of “in favour of one” though.
    22d – definition is 1st word (don’t think sport) Letters 1-3 are destroy (I thought this was a bit of a stretch), letters 4-6 are spirit
    25d – a 5 letter word with the same meaning as 21 down without its middle letter (“heartlessly”) If you are thinking alcoholic punch, you are on the wrong track.

  67. Completely lost on 26a that is. Thanks for your hint for 18a, i only had the first letter and couldn’t get plot out of my mind. Might have a chance at 19d now, which, if I get it, should cut down the possibilities for 26a

  68. Oh, I have to make a 15A that I didn’t get these answers without a bit of googling, esp for hypotenuse.

  69. Thanks for the reply Julian. Will have a think about them. I have a maths degree too and that is what is so frustrating about 26a!

  70. I did OK for the bottom half but didn’t make a very good 25d of the top half.

    26a – if you aren’t mathematically inclined this probably won’t help but there’s a famous theorem about right angle triangles by Pythagoras…..

  71. Thanks Julian, that hint gave me 19d. I thought of that hours ago but rejected it as I didn’t get the wordplay. Your hint about the last part confirmed I was right all along. The first two letters are the aspiring parent. Aspiring = going up.
    Only 26a and 22d to go.

  72. Ah OK, thanks. Not sure I’ve seen aspiring used in that context before.
    I actually think the 1st 2 words of the clue aren’t really necessary. The whole answer is a valid homophone anyway!

  73. With 4 cross letters word Search was able to narrow 26a down to about 10 possibilities instead of the previous 200 or so. Have it at last, yes it is probably the best of them all this week. My maths degree didn’t help here as I couldn’t get adjacent out of my head. That was enough to give me 22d and I agree destroy is a bit off.
    Feeling very thick this week as I’ve actually been teaching Pythagoras recently. I’m wondering if I’m finding it harder since they switched DA to Friday’s and I’m too tired to think straight after teaching all week.
    All out now, thanks everyone for your help

  74. nn 5:15
    Her 1st name is same as an old testament woman usually associated with another named Naomi

  75. It’s been Fridays here in Sydney for as long as I’ve been doing it – but I know it used to be Sat in Melbourne. When they made it the same day, I was surprised they didn’t settle on Sat instead of Fri given it’s clearly the most challenging and having the weekend available for it would be great. But maybe they have commitments to the existing prize crossword on Sat?
    Agree it’s harder to concentrate on it adequately when working – but I never have the willpower to wait!

  76. nn 8:16 pm re 3 d
    Def is words 1-2 3
    Word 5 and word 6 are synonyms of answer words 2 & 1 respectively (4 letters long each)
    Word 4 is a direction to reverse the order of those synonyms to give you that 2-1 order.
    It’s just a coincidence that the 4 letter word meaning cut contains a reversed 3 letter word for cut.

  77. Someone made a comment earlier about overthinking.
    I sometimes find myself stuck in an unproductive line of reasoning, but coughing once or twice seems to jar the thought pattern onto a different track.
    Works a treat too when a word is on the tip of your tongue!

  78. Will try coughing, who knows what that will bring up. Coolo
    Could be productive…

  79. I did not know that word was a synonym for “Dunny” That clue was not easy for the resident Yank.

  80. And I had the answer for 11A in my notes but thought “That’s not a word, I’ve messed up somewhere” and I feel even worse because I don’t get the joke. I also don’t get the joke for 9D apart for the last words. Spent too much time looking for a person in 12A. I don’t see how “daughter” fits in 24A.

    Still, I managed just under half the clues, and for me that’s a new record.

  81. Lyvvie, 24A daughter is simply D + war (fighting) + fish (dart).

    11A Hockeyroos is the nickname of Australian hockey team. Hockey players wield sticks.

    9D The language (tongue) is URDU, hidden within SASS (a US term for cheek, insolence), hence the answer tongue-in-cheek. It could probably have had another definition to help work it out but, maybe, the question mark at the end was meant to do that.

  82. Hey Mort! No spoilers please. Some of us don’t get on to it until later and we don’t want full answers as in your last post.
    BTW I can’t understand why the clue for 9D is in capitals. It was hard enough without them. Or is it a Rebus indicator?

  83. Last questions – #1 What does ‘ime’ have to do with “coat” in 27a?
    #2 Why has no-one commented on the French porn sites which google has for ‘surduass’ ? I didn’t open them , but the tongue in the cheek doesn’t look likely . Hence D A’s question mark??

  84. It’s a coat of ice. How easy. I learn lots on a Friday (and well into Sat as well). Cheers!

  85. @julie. I wouldn’t say “easy”! But yes doing these certainly stimulate the thought process. Try the Sunday Herald cryptic for a variance. That one keeps me going all morning.

  86. Wow, just finished it – with a bit of help from you lot.
    My DA Confusion is lessening weekly. Is he getting easier or is my brain finally aligning itself to his Devious Abstractions?
    John @1.28pm, ‘she’ is often used instead of ‘he’- and why not! My personal theory is that it throws us off because we always assume professionals are male…

  87. IMHO DA is getting easier , but in a good way, fewer convoluted wordplays which were a lot of effort for very little fun.
    I go along with what nn said though. It may come down to the time of day or week you attempt it. For me , it’s first thing in the morning or it just doesn’t happen.

    @Warren , re today’s SMH. I nearly sang out for help, but finally got it done with last one in 22D . Who’d a thought it?

  88. @Gayle. Surprisingly that was youf last. A lot of today’s were similar in definition too last week. I enjoyed it.

  89. Hi to anyone still there. Just wanted to say that 9d is a true gem. (Thanks to Mort for pointer)
    Thanks to Gayle for 2d, and Julienne & Susan for 6d.
    Still not sure of 5d or wordplay for 27a.

  90. 5D: The drug is a form of cocaine. Remove its first letter. The answer means “torment”, either in the sense of being an instrument of torture, or in the phrase “5D and ruin”.

    27A: 1st word is the definition. Close to ruining = 1st letter. winter coat (a covering of ice caused by water vapour condensing and then freezing onto a solid surface) = letters 2 – 5.

  91. Rupert, your tip “8D: DA has used “nurse” this way a couple of times before” was not lost on me.. ‘cupple?’ Or maybe not? I recall the debate about 2-3 years ago!

  92. Ah, yes, of course! duh. Thanks Rupert. I sometimes forget the obvious.
    Till next time. Cheers.

  93. Well i finally finished. 9d was my favourite. I just knew the form of “feller” and “punch” that Mr Astle wanted, so it came together. Having said that, I needed pointers from here to get enough purchase on the puzzle.
    Thanks as always to the site owners and to my fellow trippers !

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