123 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 10th of October, 2014

  1. I thought a good puzzle today. First in was 1D. Last in 19A.
    Still have to get wordplay for 13A and 24D.
    Particularly liked 12A, 16A, 28A, 2D, 9D, 14D.

  2. Is there a term like mondegreen for a solver who mixes up the lettering in a 2-, 3- multiple word answer? In LAST week’s puzzle for 19A, I had the word lengths as 4, 5 and not 5, 4 as they should have been.
    Quelle Horreur!
    I note the SMH paper version of the puzzles is in 9 or 10 point. Surely they could make it bigger?
    Mungo McCallum’s puzzle in The Saturday Paper is much easier to read and none of us are getting any younger.

  3. 24D is double defn. 13A I have what I think is the answer but do not get wordplay so may be wrong.

  4. Bright start this morning, brightened more by my first ‘Letter’ in The Age for some time. Used to have scads, 20 years back. Only a dozen or so solved so far, but it looks promising. Put in what seemed the obvious answer to 12A, but can’t see the ‘to decrease at first’? Baffling!

  5. Yes I think so. I can find a reference to such “deserts” but still do not get the wordplay.

  6. Arthur C – 12A – read “decrease” in different context for first word. “at first” gives second word when to think of ‘first time something occurs’ – like test century.

  7. Ta Ray! Yes, clear now. Next problem, 3D. With the cross letters I have, my Wordfinder says ‘No words found’. So, perhaps my 15A needs revisiting. Will look further.

  8. Andy, re 2D, the first letter of the clue gives the first word, spelled normally. The “ICES” bit gives second word.

  9. Thanks Mort. I get it now. It was my last in on the LHS. I knew it was right but couldn’t get the wordplay…very clever clue.

  10. Enjoyed 20D, 9d, 10A, 12A, 16A, 7D, 26A …. actually a lot to like in today’s.
    One small quibble, haven’t heard of 28A as a verb.

  11. Oh, had 1A wrong, which wasn’t helping 2D. Don’t like 2D first word. How would anyone get that unless they knew the answer? It’s okay in hindsight , but ..

  12. Thanks Mort, I had entered that one, finally. But I clearly have wrong word first in 2D (I had mediocre). So some rethinking required there.

  13. Arthur, the first word of 2D is not a real word, so you won’t find it in any dictionaries; maybe in a TV guide?

  14. Oh dear! Mort, it’s one of Margaret’s favourite programs!!! I see now what a clever clue it was (or how unclever I am!).

  15. 13 across:
    This is one of those clues where every word in the clue seems to serve two functions; also it has a question mark at the end, suggesting that the whole clue is the definition!
    Then I see the first word as an anagrind, and the second and third words define the anagrist.
    And the answer has nothing to do with DNA.

  16. 23 down: could someone please proffer an explanation of the wordplay? I have presumed the first word provides the definition!

  17. 23 Yes, Prodigal Son. Think SMS/text abbreviation for giggle … although it’s really a lot more than a giggle. The short Himalayan is a vegetarian .

  18. Thanks Gayle, I suspected twitterspeak but wasn’t sure as didn’t see giggle as equating to the abbreviation. The word llama had passed through my mind but I hadn’t thought of the fat beer quadriped. All done: oh the joy of lying in bed with a plunger coffee and da’s crossword after my very first newspaper delivery for some decades!

  19. Eight to get. Is 19A a name? I tried Petrie, most of which fits clue, but can’t find a reference with IT attached? Can’t locate second word of 7D either.

  20. If I have 1D correct could someone explain the last letter. I get Def= “Prickly types” and get 1-4 from word play

  21. Stuart, re 1D – a play starts with letters 2-5 of the answer. Think Shakespeare…

    First letter is given by “catcalling lead”.

  22. re. 23D – I originally thought the definition was “giggle” and I had GROAN as the answer (i.e. a groan is a giggle, sort of). I constructed this wrong answer as follows: “Faithful Himalayan almost” = NORGA(Y), “burst” = anagrind, result = GROAN!!! I now have the correct answer.

  23. Have just unblocked my brain after being stuck in the SE corner. I’ve been a victim of one of those cases where a word fits the clue equally as well as another. In this case it’s even more unusual in that two components of the clue have alternate answers. I speak of DAPPLE for 20D. (For those younger than I am, pp is a now-rare abbreviation used by someone signing a document in someone else’s stead.)

  24. … and now that I’ve finished, it seems to me that the third word in the clue for 14D should be something quite different.

  25. Mort (9.24) you’ve given me 19A, and a suggestion for 7D. But my 26A puts an R at letter 6? That rules out the obvious answer. I had a word meaning ‘dark-skinned’ that seemed to fit at least part of the clue (swarthy). As it is. I still have three to go.

  26. Now finished (I think), though 20D is a mystery to me, I entered what seemed the only possible word. Time for ADN (after-dinner nap).

  27. Arthur, my 26A has no “R” in it. The definition is “dark” and the answer is made up of a five-letter word for “flash”, around a two-letter abbreviation for a “spot” – think PR.

  28. @AG 14D, I find these rules inconsistent, or deliberately misleading. I think today it’s the latter … the odd ones are lacking.
    @Arthur, 26D Not dark-skinned, more like sinister or the moon last night.

  29. @Gayle and @AG, I interpreted “oddly wanting” as an indicator to remove the odd letters. The clue was consistent for me.

  30. Catherine – 4D – Defn = 1st 3 words. “vaguely” = anagrind. Fodder = “upstairs” with “quetly” and “time” “wasting” (removed).

  31. 20D – Defn = “Spot”. “cruciverbalist” = letters 1,2 (think from DA’s perspective). “impersonating” = synonym for letters 3,4. “the French” letters 5,6.

  32. 28A – Defn = first 2 words. Now think of a sport that has 18 involved with it and that should get you there.

  33. Brilliant! Thanks Ray. Was feeling a bit pouty with 3 to go. Should have seen them really. Have a good day

  34. Alan G, thanks for your obs re 14D. Your explanation hadn’t occurred to me – fits nicely.

  35. Alan G, that was my interpretation too. No problems. I meant ‘deliberately misleading’ positively.

  36. OK – seen it. What is it about posting on here that makes the obscure become instantly obvious?

  37. Only five to go, all in SW corner. Thought 2D and 28A were clever, but 9D was a bit too much like monkey business. Any hints for 15D and 27A would be appreciated.

  38. All out and now, thanks to Ray and Mort, I understand the wordplay for 12A and 2D respectively. Very clever. I’m still not sure about 13A, however.

  39. Dave R: 15D is an anagram where the first two words are the definition.
    The definition of 27A is the last word if that helps.

  40. Ann, re 13A, I am not totally sure but I think that the answer could be used to “convey the condition of a desert’s interior” – word meaning “dry”. If you take “conveying” as an anagrind and the interior of desert as fodder …

    That’s the best that I can come up with.

  41. Ann, I took 13a to be an anagram of the interior of the second word, first word serving a double purpose as anagrind and indicating the whole clue as the definition. It’s a bit dodgy tho’, even with the question mark.

  42. AHA! Reading some of the above for the first time, I now have corrected my 20D, where I had entered ‘lessee’ but now have the correct answer. Still don’t understand letters 1,2,6,7 of 17D. All upside down to me!

  43. Arthur re 17D, a building (reversed) is letters 6,5,4,3. Surrounding this is a word meaning “all” as in “total”. I assume that you have the Islamic scholars …

  44. made a good start but still lots of gaps
    4d I can find one anagram that fits my existing cross letter and it is a place, but can’t see what it has to do with archangels.

  45. Thanks Ann, had never heard of it, but wikipedia confirms. Looks like an interesting place.
    That might give me some hope of the top left now. I have 3d, it gave me a laugh and also 1d, but completely lost on 2d, despite reading all the above. At the moment can’t be bothered scanning the tv guide to find the names of shows that might fit and the MICES bit probably has no hope of making sense until you get the answer.

  46. 4d gave me 1a and 10a and I already had 12a, 21a, 25a and 27a. Only missing 18a from the cross letters of 2d, but no tv show comes to mind.

  47. I’ve only just picked this up after a quick look this morning. Left side filling in well with 12A, and most across clues off 15D. 27A looks like it should be easy but I can’t get the other two letters I need. Must try harder. Or simpler.

  48. nn, 18A is “mud” smearing with “paper” and means “intensified”.

    2D is the most dangerous (fictitional) county in England.

  49. Thanks Mort should have seen 2d, have watched it many times (and many repeats).
    Don’t like MICES as a clue, no hope of getting the answer from that, although I suppose it is clever.
    18a Have been messing around with anagram of mud paper for the last two hours, but can’t come up with anything that fits, or am I misreading this?

  50. And as soon as I posted, I saw 18a. Having the 3rd letter of the first word now certainly helped.

  51. have all the cross letters for 5a, but no idea on this one. Does it require some knowledge of netball?

  52. 11a is the def railing? The only word I can find that fits and sort of makes sense is a bit more substantial than a railing. It has something favoured at the end but can’t make sense of the text sample.

  53. nn, 5A – netball positions are wing defence; wing attack; goal defence; goal attack; goal keeper; goal shooter – all abbreviated on their shirts to two letters.

  54. Thanks Mort, that was a big help. Only 9d and 11a to go, although I may have 11a, but doesn’t really make sense

  55. Going with my 11a, I have a word for 9d that means soothe, so I guess my 11a is correct. Not happy with either of these as I think there should be a containment indicator in 9d and as I’ve said above it takes something more substantial than a railing to make 11a.

  56. Thanks Mort! I was thinking Swedish Rock. Have it now. This is a very American friendly puzzle! 21A, 3D – Winning! 10A I’m thinking fish…

  57. nn, I think that your 9D and 11A are correct. A vegetarian gorilla is an 1,2,7 that ate 3,4,5,6.
    11A is a sort of railing – a short section of text letters 1-4 plus a favourite letters 5-7

  58. CC, 10 is not a fish – it’s a walloper. “drawing extremes” in an anagram of “clues”.

    “Beat me” said the masochist; “No” said the sadist.

  59. Thanks Mort, I confirmed them on crossword club. To me a railing is a horizontal bar, usually iron or wood. The answer is somewhat more substantial than this.

  60. Evening all -today I thank Prodigal Son , at 8.04 am , for use of ‘anagrist’ . MUCH better than fodder.!! Def of grist is ‘batch of grain for the grinder’ . Perfect, thanks P.S.

  61. That was a hard one. I only just got it out before midnight! I enjoyed it thoroughly, but I do hope there’s a special themed one again soon. I love those!

  62. argh had BERM HOUSE for 15 down which stuffed me right up haha. Too tough for me, this one…

  63. Thanks trippers !
    I’ve had five or six weeks where I got nowhere. Finished last weeks Thurs with your help and actually got the western side of this one before resorting to crossword dictionary and the trippers.

  64. What puzzles me is that everyone e seems to know 22a. Never heard of it in my 48years….
    2d is clever, but it totally relies on cross letters and knowing the answer….to be expected with DA

  65. I got the left side out, except 24D, before giving in to sleep. Will try the right side again with hints before getting the paper out on the driveway.

  66. @cc 22A anagrind = fumbling
    fodder/anagrist = pubintellect minus (wasting) the 2 t’s
    def is something editors used to use to mark up text

  67. Just finished before coming here and only about 31 hours after Ray (!), I thought it was a good crossword too this week. Last one in was 5A as I couldn’t find the ‘ban’ but there is was at 3-6.

    My wife got 2D when I only had letters 1, 5, 11 and 13 written in so that helped greatly! I don’t think I watch as much TV as she does but that show seems to be on all the time.

    I like a DA when there are a few fairly easy ones to get you started. This week there were a few of these thankfully.

    DAism of the week must be the ‘at 18 usually’. Just when you’re thinking about liquor laws….

  68. To those who had DAPPLE for 20d – note that MEDOLE works well there too! – it is a spot in Mantua / Lombardy. So there are 3 possibilities .

  69. On a roll…two weeks running! Yay!! Thanks as ever to the above,though I did manage about three quarters before resorting to help.

  70. Missed the paper this week!! Feeling deprived.
    Can anyone assist by posting the blank crossword?

  71. Re 20D for those who might be puzzling about some of the hints above: neither DAPPLE nor MEDOLE fit the cross letters. The solution is a spot usually used in the plural. Go to the English Dialect Dictionary, and perhaps some others, for the singular.

  72. Still don’t get 14D or the wordplay for 16A. Could someone please explain? Thought it was a tough one this week. Thanks for all the help above!

  73. LH
    14A Definition = minor. Letters 1-4 are the even letters of libraries (“oddly wanting”). Rest is a term for those countries as a block. It only rang a very vague bell with me when I got it – so I don’t think it’s a really common term.

    16A Definition = coffee. Crowd = letters 3-7 which are breaking (i.e. in the middle of) Tension now and then (i.e. the alternate letters) as letters 1,2,8.

    I struggled with the top left corner this week but otherwise made reasonable progress (by my fairly low standards!)

  74. Thanks, Julian! Never heard of the second half of 14D – learn something new every day! 16A – I kept thinking “crowd” was the instruction rather than the clue – all makes sense now! Some very clever clues this week!

  75. Just got the last two niggly ones’ meanings- 28A is a golf reference (last 2 words) and 20D is a medical symptom, usually in the plural- does one ever suffer from one chicken pock?
    Can only see a hall, in 17D, but I feel Sal’s answer is the correct one.

  76. 17D – Islamic scholars overall (SUM) building (HALL) up (MU….S); (LLAH) (7)
    Where is the container indicator? Does ‘overall’ serve two purposes?!

  77. Just got to this today. Too late to join the trippers nut out this one.

    We might see SHIRTFRONT appear in the next month or two. I still don’t know what it means.

  78. Robin, Re 17D “overall” indicates that “all” is “over” – that is, upside down, which gives you “MU……S”. “building up”, as you say is HALL upwards. “Keep” is the container indicator, as in ALL OVER keeps the “building up”.

  79. Thanks, Mort, of course it is. For my last post I’d copied the clue from a source other than the newspaper and the word ‘keep’ had been left out!

  80. iPuzzled: Wiktionary gives one of the meanings as:
    (Australian rules football) A head-on charge aimed at bumping an opponent to the ground.

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