DA Confusion for the 18th of December, 2015

Have your DA confusions sorted out right here.

Note: due to popular demand, I’ve disabled threaded comments, which is the ability to reply to specific comments. If you prefer threaded comments to be enabled, make your voice heard.

72 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 18th of December, 2015

  1. Classical DA I thought today. I got a lot by wordplay (looking for DA “tricks”) rather than by definition.
    First in was 5D. Last in 11A.

  2. Only a few so far, but 5d was first in and 11a second though…could be a good clue for Arthur.

  3. Good beginning to what may be my fourth last DA. Decided not to renew Age subscription, so unless there is some allternative way of getting the puzzle, that will be it.
    As to today, NW corner full already, amazingly easy (or lucky guesses).

  4. 8 am Eastern Summer Time

    Times of posting have disappeared again – makes life hard! And replies to individual posts!

    All done, but Ray, how is the 7th letter of 17 down clued?

    Lover the relationship between 18 across and 2 down!!!

  5. 17D – “expert” = letters 1,2,3. “control” = letters 4,5,7,8. “getting closer” = letter 6.

  6. Andy, I have looked at 11A several times, no glimmer of light. Have nine in, come to a halt at this stage. Have to go and do some early shopping, these hot days a real threat to my life.

  7. Thanks Ray, I’d misinterpreted “getting” as letters 4-6 and “closer in control” as letter 8. Tense was wrong for 4-6 but ????

  8. Arthur C. re 11 across There was a family of those sharks and you’d find them in the Pool knocking off the Canons.

  9. Now I’m really embarrassed, Andy w and Herb S trying to help me with 11A, I only have first letter, can’t derive anything from those clues as yet. Maybe the penny will drop later. At 86 I view the next few days with a great deal of trepidation.

  10. I was about to go, but welcome back Arthur C. right on CUE mentioning 11 across. CHALK up a few more TIPs here. I’ve never FELT this way before, I need to get a CUSHION and lie down.

  11. Would love some help on 14a and 18a. We have a number of letters and it should be easy but…..

  12. 18A – yeah – hard to hint without giving away. “ZOOM” gives a 3 letter word for 1,2,3.

  13. Well, added three in SW corner, but bothered now by 26A. couples/predator? Thinks ‘lion’ for predator, but no connection to couples. More searching called for. And yes, Herb S., I think I finally have seen 11A. Thank you.

  14. Flying now, down to last five. Might have after dinner nap and then chase those.

  15. 11A. My Dad (I’m 72-so it was a long time ago) told me that said ‘shark’ could only be curbed by changing the rules!

  16. Yes, Norm (1138), I recall that happening. I’d never thought of applying the pejorative name ‘shark’ to such a great man. I just need the painter now, that will help with the remaining answers.

  17. Or 7D. Tried to fit a Scandinavian in there, using some of the letters of lowering, but can’t see how that fits the clue. May leave it there till this evening.

  18. Arthur, for 7d, try starting with a 2-letter term for British, then think European

  19. For the painter, think of something you’d sit on in a church – this is the second word.

  20. Arthur C. I had fun with all those terms that could be associated with 11 across. But as I said, there was a family of them: check them out on Wikipedia!.

    And try this for 7 down:
    “British” letters 1-2
    “national lowering head”: the unadjusted (non-European!) national occupies letters 5, 3-4, 6-9.
    “European” definition!.

  21. Thanks, Dom, I missed that because I had a wrong letter in one of the downs. Yes, I’m familiar with the name, and it certtainly makes 7D easy, I had tried to fit Norwegian in there.

  22. All filled in now, but can’t see how the island I have at 13A fits clue. But can’t think of another one, so will await tomorrow. Only three DAs to go!

  23. Arthur C. –
    13A – “Asian” gives 4 letter word for letters 4,1,2,3 (as “model demoted” ie: goes from 1 to 4). “mid-Pacific” gives letter 5. Defn = “island”.

  24. Only 3 to go, 2 of which a are not helping me find the painter. Any help with 8D and 22D, seem like I maybe missing something obvious.

  25. 8D – “Height” = letter 1. “mass” = letter 3. “dotty retro” gives a 6 letter word for letters 8,7,6,5,4,2.

  26. Billy at 1:59.
    Height and mass give letters 1 and 3.
    “Dotty retro” gives 8 ,7 ,6, 5, 4, 2
    “fashion variables” is definition.

  27. 22D – “Holy” gives letters 1,2. “man” gives letters 3,4. “Amahl” gives letters 5,6. “covers” makes the previous description work. Defn = “sacred book”.

  28. Thank-you Ray and Brian. All out for the day. Looking forward to next week already!

  29. A chore rather than a pleasure this week, I found. Too many places where I had to resort to Google, or painstakingly build up words letter by letter.
    18a is clever, but as a clue, doesn’t it lack a definition? i thought that was one of the rules – however obscure or hidden the definition, it has to be in there somewhere. And while we’re on the subject of definitions, I don’t agree with the definition of 3d (assuming it’s the first word of the clue) or 19d, which is not necessarily sacred.
    On the positive side, I liked 9d and 21a, so it isn’t all gloom and doom!

  30. Ray, (1337), I see it now. It had to be right, I hadn’t sorted it properly.

  31. Couldn’t get the painter which made NE corner and 22D difficult, so came here in desperation. Dom put me straight – many thanks.

  32. Thanks, Arthur and Billy Browne for asking about 13A and 8D. I had both answers but wasn’t sure why.
    Mary: surely the first 4 letters of 19D refer to something sacred?
    I retired today so on future Fridays I won’t have to go off to work before I finish Friday’s crossword!!!!

  33. Mary – if you are still there – and I don’t want to sound “technical” – and can see your issues with 18A, 3D and 19D.

    Re 18A – a helper of mine thinks that this is described as an acrostic – and I quote – “An acrostic is a poem or other form of writing in which the first letter, syllable or word of each line, paragraph or other recurring feature in the text spells out a word or a message.”
    Re 3D – this is an &lit – and again I quote “It refers to a special type of cryptic clue – one which consists of a cryptic indication of the solution but which contains no definition part. Instead, the clue as a whole functions as the definition.”
    Re 19D – I agree with Ann (plus it leads into […] 22A) – neatly??

  34. I’ve finished it but don’t get why the constructor of 18A in 2D is who she appears to be.

  35. Pat Mc – 2D – If u (18A) ie: r.. r…. a….. DA (the “constructor”), in the objective, that gives you “Lover”.

  36. I have battled through this. Tough parsing and not as many “Aha!” moments but 8D was my favourite – I feel like a star solving that one!

    Stuck on 25A/6A and I’ve not googled yet. Also 22D, and 11A which makes me feel I’m missing something juicy as so many claimed 11A early in the puzzle.

    Arthur, your cancelling your subscription doesn’t mean you’ll give up Friday’s DA, does it? I’ll miss you, so I hope it’s not goodbye,

    Also, to the Admin; I liked the threaded comments, it made it easier to speak to individuals without zipping up and down the whole thread for conversation replies.

  37. Hi Cryptorochet 22D is “roughly” with an anagram of “him”. I got that but cheated with Google to find the painter. Note a suggestion earlier on about a church bench for the surname. That would have been less of a problem if I hadn’t got 7D wrong (see above for guidance).

    11A is someone who was never a shark as far as I know. A better description would be a world-beater with a maximum score of 21,285!

  38. Mike, I agree, the term Shark applies to the 15 ball game, I’ve never heard it used in relation to the three ball game.

  39. Crypticrochet at 5:41 pm & moderator(s)

    No threads mean if you’ve read to a specific point, you don’t need to check back before that point for additional posts.
    Threads means it’s so easy yo miss threaded posts.

  40. Despite all the discussion I am completely in the dark about 11A. Can’t even work out the definition!! Could someone at least tell me what the definition is?

  41. GeoffD, me too. 11A is all that’s left.
    Ray and Dan thanks for pointers for 13A, 8D and 25,6A.
    ArthurC, I don’t post often, but I do look in every week, and I’ll miss you awfully if/when you stop. I don’t subscribe – I just buy the paper on Mondays (for the tv guide) and Fridays (for DA and the diminishing Shortlist)
    Ann, enjoy your retirement! I’m retiring too at the end of the year – 4 working days to go. Interesting times.

  42. Ray, if you’re around today – I wasn’t complaining about the parsing – which may or may not be an acrostic. I was complaining because there’s nothing BUT parsing. Where’s the definition of the whole answer? – unless it’s just what DA does to us every week!
    My other points were niggling quibbles, I admit. But I still think 3d isn’t obscure, just irrelevant. And 19d itself isn’t sacred, any more than a lectern or a 6a is!

  43. Geoff D @ 10:24 pm & SB @ 11:50 pm re 11 across
    Definition: “Australian shark once?
    “Laid-back duck”: letters 3,2,1 (duck is as in “out for a …)
    “beat”: letters 4-7
    answer is a famous Australian proficient in an indoor competitive activity signposted (some would say misleadingly) by “shark”. There was actually a whole family of these chappies!
    Tons of hints above as to the activity: see posts by Herb S @ 7:17 am & 8:55 am

  44. Thanks for all the assistance everyone, I love all the comments and can’t do it alone. Found this X word really hard to get started.
    Only 1d, 10 & 12 to go.
    Too much excitement! Xmas then my son’s getting married in January so lots of wedding cake baking??
    I too like the threaded comments- the more the better for me
    Happy Xmas everyone xxxx

  45. If anyone looks in today, could you explain how 20a and 24a work. I have answers but have no idea why. For 24a I get that Woody is the def. But after that I am lost. With 20a the whole thing is a puzzle

  46. Sandy @ 7:20 and 7:55

    20A: Definition is “cow”. [Not a bovine ruminant.]

    “I” = letters 1, 2. [Not the objective case!]

    Letters 3,4,5 = synonym for “kick” with first letter removed. (The “penny off”.)

  47. Sandy re 20A: definition is “cow”, as a verb. “I” letters 1, 2 (common self-referential clue for this setter!), “kick penny off” read as 4 letter word for kick, with a letter meaning “penny” discarded, giving letters 3,4,5.

  48. Thanks Brian and Nikopiko, not sure of that definition, but I now get the wordplay.

  49. Mr Bus, thanks for clarifying the definition for 11A. Unfortunately I still can’t relate it to the answer which I’ve now looked up. But this was a bad puzzle for me with a paltry eleven correct answers. Even now, having looked up the answers there are many which baffle me, including the relationship between 2D and 18A.
    I’ll hope for a better outcome next week.
    Merry Christmas to all and thanks for your help over the year.

  50. 0. I prefer threaded comments.
    1. Lots of good clues today; no obscure answers; most definitions reasonable.
    2. 18A is a perfectly fine example of a rebus, which is an accepted, standard (albeit rarer) clue type. A classic example: HIJKLMNO (5) Or another classic rebus: GEGS (9,4)
    3. 2D turns into a perfectly normal definition + charade once you replace “18-across” with its answer.
    4. 3D – an attempted &lit; with a lovely anagram and (sadly) an absurdly tenuous definition. (DA’s one regular, disappointing weakness.)
    5. 17D …”lavish” as the definition??? Really? No…. sigh.

  51. Sandy – I am sure you have 20a by now – say if you haven’t and I will give you a hint . And happy retirement , Ann. And Mary – I can’t find a def for 18a either.

  52. Somehow ‘don’t’ jumped out of that comment.
    BTW Happy Christmas everyone!

  53. John 8D definition is “fashion variables” – think ladies wear. Retro dotty gives an upside down word for “dotty” – think old age.
    Height and Mass give additional two letters.

    22d Note the ellipsis to and from the previous clue. Defintion is last two words of 19D. “loosely” gives two letter abbreviation. mixed with “HIM”. It’s in the Hebrew bible.

  54. Much prefer non threaded posts … more inclusive and you don’t have to go back to find responses.
    Wishing all Trippers joyful and healthy end of year festivities.

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