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  1. Gayle Gayle

    Spelling error in the instruction ‘effected’ !?

  2. Ray Ray

    All done. But with 2 questions:
    1A – how are last 3 letters clued from last 5 words?
    10A – watch is the relationship of the answer to “canine handlers?”.

  3. Gayle Gayle

    1A, Ray you’ll have probably got it by the time I’ve posted …
    lettters 3,4 the usual two letters for sport, letter 5 the last letter of Holland
    10A I’m still pondering but I have an idea it’s a bad homophone

  4. 10A: They handle canines!

  5. Ray Ray

    Gayle – thanks and yes.
    Rupert – not so much as still do not get it.

  6. Gayle Gayle

    Oh! I get it. Apologies to DA, not a bad homophone, just a childish joke : )

  7. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    Yesterday morning, paper here 0530. With this message, in Green Guide, headed ‘Alphabet soup’.

    This morning, now 0650, still no paper. Perhaps I should reiterate my message about the kilo-meetrs?

  8. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    ‘Alphabet soup’.

    I’m really angry, berserk, cross, displeased, enraged, furious, galled, horrified, irritated, jarred, kayoed, lachrymose, miserable, nauseated, offended, piqued, querulous, ratty, sickened, testy, unhappy, vengeful, wrathful, ‘xcoriative, yelling and zingless at the proliferation of killometers on TV and radio. Perhaps, just perhaps, they really mean kilometres (kilo-meetrs)?

  9. 10A: They leave money behind.

  10. Gayle Gayle

    Arthur, be careful when you do get the paper, there’s a theme, and there’s a spelling error in the instruction. But it’s pretty straightforward. If you don’t mind posting your email address I could send you a link or a copy of the online ‘replica’ of the printed version.

  11. Ray Ray

    Thanks – geez I was slow on that one.

  12. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    Thanks, Gayle, paper finally arrived, at 0715! I’m, if you ever want to communicate. The Alphabet soup above is a close replica of one I had in The Age, back in 1990.

  13. Ian Ian

    Gayle, if you are referring to the word “effected”, I took it in the sense of “implemented”, which makes more sense than “affected”.

  14. Ian Ian

    7 down is a phrase most commonly encountered in Folstein’s Mini-Mental State Examination. Surely DA hasn’t been screened for dementia lately?

  15. Mort Mort

    Very clever and a bit more of a workout than the past few weeks. Finally got 7D from 17D which I knew had to be the correct answer but couldn’t see where the last three letters came from.

    Arthur, loved your letter in the Age yesterday as it addressed one of my pet peeves. It’s not too hard: people just have too say millimetre, centimetre, metre and the rest falls out naturally.

  16. Sandy Sandy

    You guys seemed to have worked things out, but it is definitely back to the old DA for me after a few easier weeks. Any help with 17a and 7d would be a good start. I just read throug Folstein’s Mini-Mental State Examination and didn’t get a clue from that!

  17. Mort Mort

    Sandy 17A is a double definition: “slyly inspects” and “suits”. For the first think of something illegal; for the latter, something legal.

    7D sloppy indicates and anagram. Definition is last two words of clue.

  18. Sandy Sandy

    Thanks Mort. I’d worked out that it was an anagram with a removal and the last two words wee the definition. But I still have no idea. Too many small words.

  19. Small victories, I have 1A and 7D. The rest is going to be uncomfortable.

  20. Mort Mort

    Okay, Sandy, 7D is something that you may say to an argumentative child. When I grew up, the expression was more commonly just the first two and last two words of the answer, although the full five words is more correct, if rarer (in my experience)

  21. I have 10A but “fire sign” is misleading…if I have it correct.

  22. Keith E. Keith E.

    I thought it was great puzzle today.

    No… Crypticrochet…10A clue is not misleading at all.

  23. GP GP

    @ Gayle
    It’s not a spelling error. It’s one of the rarer uses of the verb “effect”

  24. Keith E. Keith E.

    Yes. Gayle…it should have read “affected”.

  25. Keith E. Keith E.

    I am sure it is meant to be “affected” because 7D is the only clue not given ‘the treatment’.

    Moreover, “which isn’t effected” the solution is effected everywhere so use of ‘effected’ would be a nonsense in that sense.

  26. I agree with Gayle and Keith. 7D is not changed. It is not true to say that 7D is not brought about.

  27. GP GP

    Looks like I’m the amateur grammar nazi here :)

  28. Oh, I get the theme now! It’s making sense again. Now the NB is clear, Whew! NE corner done.

  29. Keith E. Keith E.

    Pleased to be able to contribute for the first time in a long time, Rupert!

  30. I’m with you GP, “effect” is correct.

  31. AG AG

    I side with Rupert, Gayle and Keith on the effect/affect question. I am surprised at DA. The verb sense of ‘effect’ could have been used, but the sentence would need to be restricted. Either of the following would have been acceptable:

    … 7-down, which isn’t affected.
    … 7-down, which isn’t effected in the case of itself. (Or something similar.)

  32. Mort Mort

    The effect of 7D is not felt by 7D. On the other hand 7D is not affected by 7D. I’d be happy with either word being used but think that DA’s usage is correct.

    All of which must be very confusing for those who haven’t cracked it yet!

  33. Indy Indy

    Its “effected”. The ‘which’ in the instruction doesn’t refer to the clue 7D itself, but to the fact that the relevant segment of the fourteen is still in the grid. That is, although the wordplay of those fourteen deems the change to have been made or brought about, in the answer it hasn’t.

    Slow going for me, though I have 8 out and two of the fourteen.

  34. PhilS PhilS

    Arthur, I’m with you wholeheartedly on the kilometre pronunciation. My recent pet-hate is the proliferation of important being pronounced as though it is spelt impordan(t).

  35. I have plans for the afternoon in wet n’wild Melbourne. I have most of right side finished, but only two on left side – could have slapped myself for 1D taking so long. 2D, 9A 14A are driving me bonkers – any hints before I need to quit would be very appreciated.

  36. Indy Indy

    I’m down to the last three, two of which are of the fourteen.

    21A, 13D, 22D.

  37. Indy Indy

    2D, defn first two words. Could have also used Samoan, etc. One of the 14.

  38. Ann Ann

    Have just worked out the theme, but lunchtime isn’t long enough to do any more.
    Arthur: I enjoyed your letter in The Green Guide. It must be a generational thing (my father was equally peeved by people who mispronounced kilometers and those who said “different to”).
    Julian, Ray and Mike (from last week): I must take more care not to ‘bomb’ out on my answers this week.

  39. Crypticrochet, I hope your plans involve a little 14A.

  40. AG AG

    I hadn’t thought of Indy’s alternative reading of the 7D explanatory note. It is persuasive, although that reading pretty much just reiterates the implication of the word ‘deems’ . But it’s probably what DA meant, as that reading would make his usage correct, which is only what we would expect.

  41. PhilS PhilS

    Thanks for the 14A tip Rupert.

  42. Indy Indy

    All out! Not sure on the last part of 1A re wordplay but the rest all fits.

    Not happy with 8D – a witness does this, but its not the same as witnessing itself. 6D my favourite clue of the day.

  43. 8D: I think it works in a church setting.
    1A: Gayle explained it at 6:30am.

  44. megse megse

    Thanks Ian, for Folstein clue. It got me started.(My late father loved to tell all how easy the counting backwards from 100 by sevens part was for him) I loved 6d,10a and 17a. Stuck in SE corner,13d or 21a would be a big help.

  45. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    Just back from luncheon. Nice meal, fun games afterward. Still have somewhere between eleven and sixteen to go, uncertain about some of my answers. Not sure exactly how to apply the NB definition. For example, 12A is clearly a definite thing. But what of 11A? Still have too many blanks. On the kilometre thing above, I point out to people that there are around 25 SI units, with 20 possible prefixes, so literallyhundreds of combinations possible, so clear enunciation of both prefix and unit are imperative. Try combinations like microsiemens, nanoampere, picofarad, or hundreds of others. I’ve been fighting this battle since 1972, when I was teaching at RMIT.

  46. Stuart Stuart

    21A is one of the 14x7D, specifically the 3rd word. It’s contained by another word for “sailor” with the last letter removed

  47. Stuart Stuart

    Oops make that the last few letters removed

  48. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    Now seven (or perhaps 9, 10, 11) to go. Pool time. CU later.

  49. PhilS PhilS

    Arthur, 11A def = last two words, wordplay lacks “if”.

  50. Thanks Rupert and Indy, I have 2D and 14A. I had 17A wrong.

    I’m out to a movie preview so it definitely counts! I also agree with 8D being good in a church situation, which is how I’d understood the answer.

  51. Dave R Dave R

    I’ m with Arthur on kilometres and Indy on effected. This week’s hasn’t taken me too long so far, but I’m stuck in SW corner. Any hints for 20, 23 or 26 would be appreciated. Megse, 13D is the name of a reality show and ‘listener’ is the usual three-letter word. 21A is one of the fourteen.

  52. Mort Mort

    Dave, 20A “phone” means sounds like. Definition is “honour”.
    23D definition is “modify”. Overhaul means upend a word for “current”.
    26A is a Latin term for part of the brain. Anagram of “the German” around (screening) “trauma suffered”. Has to be either der, die or das for the German.

  53. I was thinking the other day about fuel economy, and how we measure it in decinanoares, though picohectares is probably easier to pronounce.

  54. megse megse

    Thanks Dave R. Hadn’t heard of show but was suddenly obvious.Still working on 21a.
    Arthur 11a, last 2 words def, word for broadcast plus the spanish and a 7d word.

  55. Ha! I’m going to call my daughter a 9A from now on! Brilliant.

  56. Sandy Sandy

    Finally got 7d!! And so the theme. Thanks to getting 22d and working backwards. Now to the rest.

  57. megse megse

    21a now in.18a and19d to go.

  58. Dave R Dave R

    Thanks, Mort. It seems I’ve been taking the right approach in all three, so I’ll keep plugging away. I had the German bit figured out, but have scant knowledge of cerebral anatomy.

  59. Stuart Stuart

    I think I have 19d (def strays) but cannot for the life of me figure out the word play. Any help?

  60. Mort Mort

    megse, 18A is a cutter – I’d never heard of it, but then I’m not much of a handyman. Limo is a fancy car, often seen in crosswords by its initials.

    19D definition is last word. Pitchers is the usual one in crosswords “uncovered” and needs the theme to complete.

  61. Dave R Dave R

    Finished, although I’ve guessed at 26A from the cross letters and the word play. Is it the part of the brain that helps solve crossword puzzles? In defence of my slowness with 20A, I’ll plead that the homophone of the answer has a fairly tenuous connection with ‘wishes’. There is no defence for my slowness with 23D, except my slowness in general.

  62. Stuart Stuart

    Just gor the wordplay. I have not heard that word for many years

  63. Stuart Stuart

    Thanks Mort, I did figure it out between refreshing the page.

  64. Mort Mort

    Dave, not sure what homophone you have for 20A but I don’t think that it’s all that tenuous a connection with the one that I have. I may wish for rain but a bush farmer may **** for it.

  65. Dave R Dave R

    Mort, it is the equation of that other verb with ‘wish’ that I object to. Back in the days when I went in for such things, I was taught that it was an act of offering rather than of requesting. Perhaps I am being too pedantic. DA is not positing them as synonyms, merely suggesting that, as in your example, they can in some circumstances be interchanged.

  66. Stuart Stuart

    Finished, had to google 26A. DA in much better form compared to previous weeks. Enjoyed today’s offering and some of the debates on here!

  67. Mary Mary

    I thought I was getting naturalised, but I clearly haven’t been in Australia for long enough yet – I’ve never heard the third word of 7d included, and I’ve never met this spelling of 4d (which I gather from Google is on the list of words not accepted in Scrabble!) This may help to explain why I’ve struggled on the right hand side, but I’m working on it.

  68. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    decinanoares?? Where did you find that, Rupert? Don’t know anything like that, not an SI unit, can’t find any reference. Anyway, finishing up, have to save my energy for the BIG game tonight. Go Bombers!

  69. Mort Mort

    Dave, re your very interesting comments re p***ing. Although I’ve never gone in for it myself, my oldest dictionary (Concise Oxford 1971) defines it as “beseech earnestly, make entreaty, summon to one’s support”; and the noun associated with it as “a solemn request”. So I was unaware of the offering aspect of it which is probably why the answer came to me more easily than to you.

  70. nn nn

    Got 7d fairly quickly, then eventually 2d which showed me how the theme worked. I was originally trying to apply it to the answers rather than the wordplay, so took me a while to understand it. Still don’t have 17a, so probably don’t understand the theme completely. Only have 7d, 17a, 1a and 12a so far, fining it heavy going, will read all your hints now.

  71. nn nn

    Should say, 17d would have been a lot quicker if I’d taken the right two letters out of the fodder at the start. Messed around with removing the glasses first.

  72. Mary Mary

    All done now, though I had to google the game show. Heartily agree with all the comments about km.

  73. Ann Ann

    Very interesting reading all the posts today. I enjoyed the theme which, once worked out, made life easier. My favourite clue was 10A.

  74. Sandy Sandy

    Just finished. Getting 7d made all the difference.

  75. nn nn

    Done pretty well so far, only a few to go.
    15d, 17a, 17d, 22d, 23d, 24a and 27a.
    Suspect 17d and 22d are people and probably ones I’ve never heard of.
    Any hints for the above would be greatly appreciated.

  76. Ann Ann

    17D came up when I googled ‘US composer’ (only knowing the first letter) but is one of the 17A/7Ds.
    22D is not a person: definition is ‘tenor’ but not in the musical sense. It is also a 17A/7D.
    24A has ‘robot’ as definition. It is also 17A/7D.
    27A definition is ‘jobs’.
    17A is both ‘slyly inspects’ and a word that can be added on to suit.

  77. nn nn

    just saw 24a, kicking myself over that one.

  78. nn nn

    Which gave me 15d and 24d.

  79. nn nn

    make that 23d not 24d

  80. nn nn

    thanks Anne, cross posts.
    Unfortunately as I don’t have 17a, I don’t have the first letter of 17d, so don’t know where to start with google on the composer.
    I’d seen the hint above about 17a, but I can’t think of anything that fits that.
    Thanks for 27a, I was messing around with newspaper jobs as the def, couldn’t get my mind away from that, but can see it now.
    I have a word for 22d that fits my cross letters and would be one of the 17d, but can’t make any sense of it in terms of a definition or possible wordplay.
    Still stuck on 17a and 17d

  81. nn nn

    Re 17a, I always have trouble with his double definitions, as they are almost always very obscure usages of the word, or somewhat off in the defs.

  82. nn nn

    Gave up and went to crossword club for the 17s.
    Never heard of the composer in 17d
    No idea how the answer for 17a means suits.
    I was correct with my answer to 22d, but even after reading Ian’s explanation, I still don’t get either the def or the wordplay for this.

  83. A decinanoare = 10^-1 * 10^-9 * 10^2 m^2 = 10^-8 m^2 = 1l/100km

  84. 17D: Fanfare for the common man?
    17A: As in law.
    22D: First word is the definition (as in the tenor of the conversation); quack = letters 1, 2; trill at first = 5; 3, 4 are removed by 7D.

  85. nn nn

    AAARGHHH!! that sort of suit!

  86. nn nn

    cross posts again, but thanks Rupert. The suits hit me as I was putting the dishes away.
    I thought of several other types of suit, but not that one.
    I know who the composer is now, after looking him up on google, but never having heard of him beforehand, it made the answer impossible to get, especially without the first letter.

  87. GeoffD GeoffD

    Help! After two hours I have two answers: 1A and 15D. I have an idea of the phrase for 7D, but the version I’m familiar with is different as in ‘nx ixx,bxxx ox maybes’ which clearly won’t fit.
    I also don’t understand the NB. (perhaps because I don’t have 7D)

  88. Ann Ann

    GeoffD: the version you want is an anagram of ‘blood transfusions’ with ‘look’ removed. It goes ‘nx ixx, xxxx ox bxxx’.

  89. GeoffD GeoffD

    Thanks Ann. Not heard this version, but I think I now have 24A also.

  90. Felicity Felicity

    Not too impressed by today’s puzzle. It favoured those hasty solvers who don’t account for every letter, but are happy to justify most of the word and leave it at that. They could finish it by this method and still not understand the clever theme. All DA’s artistry down the drain, in fact.

  91. Julian Julian

    Clever puzzle today. I failed on two – 18a and 13d (have now looked them up so no need for any hints). Never watch any reality shows so 13d hardly surprising! Kept wanting to put MASTER for the 2nd word which was wrong. Hadn’t heard of 18a either.
    Interestingly I only worked out the full wording of 7D pretty late on even though I had got the theme much earlier (2D gave me two of the words in question).

  92. Gayle Gayle

    @ Felicity, leaving aside the manipulations with 7D, I actually thought that this puzzle did require accounting for every letter, more of a traditional working from the wordplay. I wouldn’t have otherwise got 18A, 17D, 26A which I hadn’t heard of, but looked up to confirm, or 4D, 11 A, 14 A for example from the definitions. Quite liked today’s for that reason.

    affected/effected (which could work as a double negative I suppose). It didn’t need either, could have stopped after ‘7-down’. My only peeve is that often the instructions are unnecessarily obscure. So as usual, just have to jump in without it and the key clue comes later. But that’s okay, adds to the mystery and fun.

  93. Arthur C. Arthur C.

    Finally, only missed three. Had saddle saw instead of scroll saw (had never heard of it, didn’t find by Googling), but I want to lodge an FF (very loud) objection to ff being used to mean very strong!

  94. I’m surprised by how many have not heard the full phrase of 7D. This was an everyday thing from my mother, along with “Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda!” It’s really interesting.

    Thanks for the super-hints, Rupert. I was stuck on the 17s, too. I’d had 17A lightly pencilled but didn’t have confidence in that. Having one last crack before succumbing to the answer key.

  95. Throwing in the towel. Beaten by 11A, 26A, 21A and 4D. Not a bad result for me. Thanks everyone. I enjoy the Friday camaraderie.

  96. Lauren Lauren

    Oh dear and oh yay! This is the first time I have come so close to finishing a DA by myself. BUT! I didn’t pay any attention to the theme and thought I wasn’t clever enough to understand how some of the answers came about. So I guess Felicity was right with DA’s cleverness being wasted on me, but I’m still learning!


    26A Germans have a few ways of saying ‘the’. Mix that up with a scrambled word from the rest of the clue.

    21A remove a letter from ‘related to the sea’ and apply today’s theme to come up with a slightly obscure word for the definition, which is the last word

    11A def is the last two words. The spanish have a few ways of saying ‘the’ , there is a synonym for broadcast and you add today’s theme. Notice it says ‘backed’

    All this is provided in return for your promise not to call your daughter a 9A!!!

  97. Oh but I must call her a 9a! It’s her instrument…oh fine if you insist. Thank you for explaining the clues, especially 26A since I’d never learned German. Looks like I’ll need some remedial lessons for solving clues.

    Earlier yesterday I’d mentioned about 10A being misleading. I can see F + “word sounding like a fire sign” gives word for “canine handlers” but the homophone used is a water sign. Not that I care for astrology in any way, but it lead me to look in the wrong months. Did I read the clue differently from others?

  98. Oh. please ignore me. I must have googled a wrong site. Wiki says it is a fire sign. Internet fail! Sorry!

  99. Julian Julian

    Arthur C – I did exactly the same as you and put Saddle Saw for 18a even though I couldn’t make the wordplay work. My google list of saws didn’t include the actual one either. And I agree with you about FF.

    I see a lot of people had trouble with 17a/17d. I must confess I got 17a purely from reading the NB phrase and working out a word that would make sense. Then I checked the clue. Not sure I’d have got it with just the clue to go on!

  100. Katie Katie

    Hi guys. Got all out, but wondering what 25a has to do with burying diamonds?

  101. nn nn

    Katie I think burying diamonds indicates we should drop a letter from the end of a word meaning attempted.

  102. Amanda Amanda

    Loved the puzzle this week but couldn’t have finished it without your help. Thanks everyone! Didn’t get the theme until three quarters of the way through but when I did I enjoyed going back and seeing where it all fit in. Some I got without the theme with wordplay and cross letters but wasn’t quite sure if they were right. Lots of fun! I never finish until at least Sunday so you probably won’t receive my thanks but thought I’d post anyway.

  103. SPB and SGB SPB and SGB

    Not really happy with 4D . . . I get the “is”, “menu” and “snack” references but according to the Oxford an “ise” or “ize” ending is optional but not the use of “e” rather than “i” after the “m”. Is it optional in the Macquarie or an error on DA’s part?

  104. AS AS

    Loved the puzzle, although I really don’t understand fairies as canine handlers.

    No one seems to complaining about clue, so it seems I just don’t understand the connection. Can someone spell it out for me?

  105. Robin Robin

    I had the same blindness, AS. Canine teeth, 4 of the 20 primary teeth … Rupert left very good clues but I still didn’t get it until a friend told me. Personally I think DA left out a “perhaps” as they’re not all canines….!

  106. AS AS

    Oh, a tooth fairy. Canine handlers. Although I generally like DA’s more oblique direct clues, like skinny for epidermal, can’t say I like fairies for canine handlers much.

  107. I thought “canine handlers” was rather good, but I didn’t have to spend all weekend thinking about it ;)

  108. AS AS

    Too true.

  109. nn nn

    Quite liked canine handlers and for once I was on DA’s wavelength, but when I only had the 5th letter (as a cross letter), I put dentists in instead of fairies and spent ages trying to work out how it fitted the wordplay. Messed up a few other down clues for me too until I finally twigged.

  110. Keith E. Keith E.

    Canine handlers clue was tops.

  111. Jupiter Jupiter

    I was trying to fit dentist, and I kind of agree that “perhaps” or ” maybe” would fit …
    I’ve still got a few to go , even with the help of the Trippers. Too much to do …

  112. Arthur C. Arthur C.


  113. Arthur: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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