DA Confusion for 22nd of January, 2016

Get your confusions sorted out for this week’s DA. Me, I’m in Oslo. I’m confused just walking across the street.

106 thoughts on “DA Confusion for 22nd of January, 2016

  1. Ray, it’s a beauty. I’ve finished, but can’t place a few of the missing clue letters in any way that makes sense.

    btw 21 down is one of DA’s cheekier efforts & 7 down another dodgy DA homophone relying on moving the word split emphasis.

    Really don’t get wordplay of 12 across though answer plain from the definition, and cross letter from mystery 3 down.

    Everyone, don’t be intimidated by this: despite the missing letters it’s mostly a breeze!

  2. Just have the intersecting 21D and 30A to go even with cross letters. And 3 unknowns to go back over. Lots of marks on paper and cross-checking tallies today. First in of the acrosses was 25A for me.
    DA must do his own head in crafting these surfaces so they work with missing letters. More of his schoolboyish humour in 12 A, and 6D more adult – good clue.

  3. Got it all now. And CF, I did not find it a breeze, so well done.

    For 12A, it is cheeky like 21D.

  4. Well, the experts are going along nicely. I looked all through the clues, couldn’t answer any till I got to 23 & 24D. So not looking hopeful.

  5. Thanks Ray, I had just worked out that 12 across was also cheeky DA, before reading your post . So my other up-in-the-air query was 15 across which when adjusted becomes an oblique definition.

    Loved the conjunction of the 19s and 23 across, and of 2 & 13 downs!

    Happy solving everyone!

  6. What fun! After a while 3D and 18D became obvious from the available letters I had and that helped me find the others.
    The only answer I’m not convinced of is 9D: only 2 possible words seem to fit with the letters I have and neither makes sense.
    I liked 7D.
    Arthur: some of the down clues are reasonably straight-forward e.g. 2, 5, 6, 13, 22, 24. Having these helped me then get some across clues.

  7. Ann @ 10:19 9 down Definition “rake” (not a garden tool). Wordplay is a reversed (“up”) charade: “Shakespearean flower” (not a bloom) letters 8-5; “a pouch” 4, 3-1.

  8. Sad! Only five in, think I have wasted the price of the paper. My worst performance for a long time.

  9. Don’t give up, Arthur C., you’ve tackled far harder DA’s than this in the recent past. Sending you something in a mo’ – check your mail!

  10. Thanks, Celia. I knew a garden tool wasn’t involved and should have twigged on to the flower. The answers are so often obvious in hindsight.

  11. Well, I found two more! Marvellous progress. Baffled by 2D. Slang term for a toupee? Must Google.

  12. I’ve gotten the bottom half done but have hit a wall on the top half. hints please for 4A & 15A please. I thought 7D was quite tough.

    Celia said “Loved the conjunction of the 19s and 23 across, and of 2 & 13 downs!” Yep I completely agree and have been looking out for similar links – are they the only two?

  13. CC – never sure how best to answer for these type of DA crosswords. Hope this is OK and helps:
    4A – key word is “pursed”.
    15A – key word is “tasted”.

  14. Cannot see how the missing letter in 19A works. It must be an O but where can it fit ???

  15. Thanks Ray. Only knew that word as a location, so dismissed it. Always a mistake with DA !

  16. Getting there, slowly. Only NW corner to go (hence no idea yet for 3D.) A hint for the allegedly cheeky 12A might help; not my area of expertise.

  17. I’m enjoying today’s crossword even though I’m struggling. Any help with 23A?

  18. Dave R, re 12 across. Definition 1 “Dimwit”. A double definition is created when you add the missing letter to “simulated it”. What clues haven’t you solved from that corner?

  19. Back from the pool table, SW corner complete as a result of lucky guesses (you’re supposed to work them out, clot!)! 13, so far. Long way to go.

  20. Thanks, Ray and Celia. I had got that far with 12A, now further helped by getting 1D. The penny will, I am sure, drop soon. Only need 1A and then 3D should make itself clear. I’ve enjoyed the challenge today and am impressed by DA’s ability to think up such fascinating variations.

  21. Phoebe, re 23 across, “scam” needs the extra letter; definition is “scamX style” where X is the unknown missing letter. “broadcast” is anagrind, the anagrist being “Almost halving” (5 letters)+sky. 19 across provides a sly hint!

  22. Aha, the almost valueless coin has finally deposited itself by means of gravity into the lower workings of my brain! Taking an educated guess at 3D before having all the letters proved to be the way in. Still unsure of some of the missing letters, though.

  23. I think I’ve got it all now,but I’m still stumped on how 1a fits together – any hints?

  24. Here’s a hint for all: 3 down is NOT a precious metal.

    Dave R. I really didn’t like 1 across. Its missing letter is “O”. Best way to approach 1 across is with what letters you have (1 & 3 presumably)) and fit a word meaning “fights” into it!

  25. Mary – 1A – key word is “Pinter’s”. Defn 1 = “Pinter’s food”. Defn 2 = “fights”. Hope helps.

  26. I’m like you, Mary. It’s now the only one where I can’t see how the missing letter fits in.

  27. Thanks again, Celia and Ray. Some cross-postings, I guess. I had the answer to 1A, but I still can’t se how adding the O helps. Can you, Mary?

  28. More cross-posting. If that’s the best explanation then DA is way below his best form. Does anyone have a better idea?

  29. Thanks, Ray, that’s sort of what I’d assumed, since there was only one extra letter left and only one obvious place to put it, but your Def 1seems a bit weird to me – are we talking canines here?

  30. Yes, Celia, but I think if I had one I wouldn’t feed it 1a – they deserve better than that, and probably get it.

  31. Mary, got a Twitter account? Take that up with the SETTER @dontaattempt. Still, I think it would be eating well on lovely fresh meat and offal!

  32. DA simply amazes me in the way he constructs such wonderful puzzles as this. That said, I’m still a little unsure of 17A. Does the answer I have really mean Word 1 + the missing “a”?

  33. Jack – 17A – I think it can be used that way as I found the answer in my Thesaurus for the key word (plus letter).
    And I agree with you re DA.

  34. Thank you Ray! that was exactly what I needed. All finished now. Still trying to parse a few but very satisfied Friday feeling getting this done. Have a nice weekend everybody. My trees are so happy with all this rain today!

  35. Celia – don’t get me started on social media! I’m not on Twitter – I’m only on Facebook because it’s the only way I can keep in touch with some friends, and I’m on Linkdin but wish I wasn’t, and it’s impossible to get off it! But I’m grateful to the internet for this site, which is brilliant.

  36. Added a few more, some probably wrong but finished for today, cricket in ten minutes. Try again next week. Had about 15, maybe 17. Sayonara.

  37. Celia cannot help herself from proving her superiority – see her comments about 10am. Celia, dear, O is not a word.

  38. Re 27a – as far as I’m aware the required solution affects your biorhythms rather than your sin (+ the missing letter). What I think affects your sin* is a 7-letter word, requiring the removal of letters 5 and 6, etymologically associated with a type of skin cancer.

  39. Could someone explain the wordplay for 13D please? I have an answer (mxxxx cxxxxx?) but can’t relate it to the wordplay. I have a few other ‘down’ answers but not a single ‘across’ answer.

  40. All done. Got the two words before I got all the clues and worked backwards. I see Peacemaker is back being obnoxious again.

  41. The ironically- monickered Peacemaker only visits this site to slag off contributors – if it wasn’t Celia, it’d be someone else – but is not known to have ever made any positive or helpful contribution towards assisting others in solving the current DA. Go away Peacemaker, trolls aren’t welcome here!

  42. Boy oh boy, I’m struggling on this one without live help from a solving partner (my preferred way of attacking DA). Great hints here, and copious dictionary and thesaurus usage… Like others, There are some of the missing letters I don’t yet understand, but first there are some remaining clues to get out.

    Regarding Peacemaker, the best approach is probably to ignore completely, with no comments directed to or about him or her. Internet maxim from way back: don’t feed the trolls.

    Major props to DA for this novelty. I hope you all saw LR’s brilliant invention a couple of weeks ago (4 Jan, first five clues) too.

  43. First attempt at don’t attempt and needed this resource and online thesaurus to get 14. Have SW corner and a few others but still need help if willing

  44. Enjoyed this week’s crossword. Not too bad once you can get some starting letters on the unclued entries, and then fill in the gaps from there. I also had no idea where the missing letter belonged in 19a, a card game I’m not familiar with.

  45. Learner, you’ll need to specify which clues you need help with, then I’m sure someone will answer.

  46. Also, can someone please help with 11a from last week. I think it might be ocean-bound, but cannot figure out why. Thanks!

  47. David, it was Ocean-going. Anagram of “ICE GANG ON ” and “phone essentially’ = O.

  48. Finally completed at just over four hours…

    Fire away with your questions, Learner. Happy to help.

  49. Thanks Mort; 1st time. Left half now ok but struggling on the right side.

    4A 14A and 27A would be enough for me to possibly Crack this with lots of assistance as not a super quick learner

  50. Learner, 4A definition is “pursed” after adding a letter to it. A four-letter world for “crease” (think clothing) surrounds a three-letter word for “inferior”.

    14A definition is “insect”. Illustration gives letters 1-3 “having relied on leads” gives letters 4-6. School (think fish) gives last three letters.

    27A definition is “this influences your sin” where “sin had a letter messing. The answer is hidden in reverse in “martini not a lemonade”

    Hope this helps

  51. Thanks for rapid response Mort. Got 4A straight away and will try the others now…

    DA is indeed a real animal to start with first time!

    Tough for a beginner and thanks to all the cryptic legends on this site.

  52. Chris, “having regrets” = RUING” “hiding in” means remove IN. Answer is a toupee.

  53. Chris – as in ‘I am ***** the day that DA decided to leave letters out of the across clues.’

  54. Thanks to all the brains and I was lucky and relied upon this site to help wade my way through this.

    Still trying to attach all the missing letters (think I have 11/16) and trying to understand the “logic” of the writer for 10A 11A and 21D though the answers seem apparent and possibly a bit cheeky?

    I too used this site to solve several; thanks to Mort especially.

    Well done everyone

  55. Help with 23a ??? I have all the anagrist and letters 1 , 3 ,5 , & 7. Is this an English word??

  56. 12A Is it possible that the exTra letTer could go into either word 2 or word 3?

    now 13/16 letters from the across; still 10A 11A and 20A (one possibility) to go…any clues?

  57. Learner,

    I don’t think word 2 is a possibility for 12a, but feel free to enlighten me. I can see the word you could make, but I don’t see how it would match the answer.

    For 10,11,20a, are you seeking a hint to solve ithe clues or to specifically to understand the mission letters?

    Regarding the difficulty, do you do other SMH cryptics? I think LR and DP are quite suitable, and DS is a challenge but fair.

  58. Julie, 23a is a word in Chambers, but not one I’d ever use. But then, I very rarely use the root of the word either. The answer to 19a is a big hint for 23a.

    I got it by cheating: putting the letters I had into a word finder.

    The answer is an adverb.

  59. Gavin-I agree that word 3 is more likely but I thought it a bit slang/rude or common vernacular. (So for word 2-think from the perspective of a baby or as a doctor of the answer)

    It is the missing letters I seek to complete the 16; not the words. Sorry if unclear.

  60. Hello all. First time poster.

    I am stumped by 21D. I looked at the answer this morning but still cannot, for the life of me, work it out.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  61. Harrison, re 21D “As” in the periodic table is the answer. That is, it’s the chemical symbol for it. “Behind” gives (rather naughtily) letters 1-4. Then prune a word meaning “dainty” for the last three letters.

  62. Learner, missing letters:

    10A S is missing from Peter.

    11A L is missing from Curers.

    20A A is missing from Riders. They are, apparently, a Californian sporting team, previously unknown to me.

  63. Thank you Mort.
    As someone who almost never completely solves a DA puzzle (and considers 75% a very good result) the most exasperating part of the whole exercise is looking at the answers and still not understanding some. Today with less than 40% success there were numerous answers not understood. But your 4.55 and 5.00 pm posts have clarified four (before I could even ask), including the most bewildering of all….20A

  64. I have the answers for 10A and 11A but don’t understand the word play for either. Anyone?

    Mort, re your hint for 4A @11:47, the middle part is a 4-letter word not 3 letters, so I’d suggest a 5-letter word for lower that is cut (i.e cut the last letter). Would you agree?

  65. Atticus –

    10A – “Peter” is the key word – missing “S”. “adjusting clothing” gives letters 1,2 ie: AG. “bath” gives letters 6,7,8 ie: VAT. “swimming” = anagrind for fodder “gear” for letters 3,4,5,9.

    11A – “curers” is the key word – missing “L”. “fish” gives a 6 letter word, with 4th letter removed (“Startng to Mouth off”) to give the 5 letter answer.

    And agree re 4A – “inferior” gives a 5 letter word, with last letter removed (“cut”) for letters 3,4,5,6.

  66. Atticus and Ray, yep I agree with your comments re 4A. I can spell; I just cannot count!

  67. Thank you both. Brilliant. I only just started doing cryptics recently. My grandfather, who once taught me how, passed away a few years ago so when I do (albeit rarely) find the time to do a DA on a Saturday morning, have squirreled away the Friday paper, it is like pa is sitting there beside me.

  68. So the almighty Mort (recently retired from this forum) made a mistake. Will wonders ever cease?

  69. Thank you, Trippers, for your help in explaining 11A (I was looking for “startLing”, not “curLers”) and 1A, for which the answer, and the required ‘O’, were evident but the clueing was – as the above has seemed to agree – a bit dodgy.
    HOWEVER, in 19A, how does “lift” function? The “definition” for the “across clue”, which “has a letter missing”, must be “far lift” and, from the above, the missing letter is attached to “far” (not a game I’ve ever heard of btw). So, “lift” seems redundant and meaningless, other than to create a grammatic correctness to the overall clue, which is dodgy regarding the ‘NB’ rules.
    I look forward to being shown for the ignoramus I am!

  70. Johnno,

    Re 19a, I agree that clue seems a bit off, but knowing nothing of the alleged card game perhaps doesn’t help. How is a Jack *one* in 52? Aren’t there four of them? And you point out superfluous “lift”; well, I don’t even see how it helps the surface reading. It’s one of those clues I’m just happy (relieved) to put the answer in and keep going.

    Rather than just complain, I guess we should try to write a better clue for JACK where the definition is missing an O ;)

    Re 1a, I don’t really see the problem. OK, so a pointer may be fed something other than scraps. But if a clue contained “car” and we needed to write FORD, nobody would complain, even though a car could be something else.

    Maybe the complaint is because it’s a double definition clue and so the definition needs to be tighter, but that doesn’t really wash because many double-def clues employ oddball definitions, as do many clues in general. But I remain quite willing to be persuaded.

    I don’t really know… We all agree that DA has some dodgy clues at times, but where the “line” is is anyone’s guess. I think most of his “dodgy” clues are only really dodgy-ish. How’s that for a compliment? ;)

  71. News just in! Here is the clue DA meant to include for 19 across ;)

    Cat just ate Connie’s kiwi, for starters (4)

  72. You’re probably right re the 4 Jacks in a pack of 52. (‘One of four of 52’ sounds clumsy. ‘One of 13’ sounds misleading)

    A better clue would have been “One of Sade’s in lift?”

    (P removed from SPADES)

  73. …..which would mean the ‘kudos’ clue would need to be changed too. (Something like “Some pints and some sudoku puzzles” perhaps. (O removed from POINTS)

  74. And MELATONIN could be something like “Forty wins help nation rebuild after short battle.” (K removed from WINKS)

  75. Yes I think DA got mixed up with melanin.
    Was fun and I did need some assistance from this useful site – thanks Trippers !

  76. Johnno and Gavin,
    19ac is a DD. ‘lift’ is the second definition. Think of the last time you fixed a flat tyre.

  77. I enjoyed this week’s DA, and it also provides a great illustration of what I love about this site. I generally don’t post here because a) I like to finish it before checking here and b) I’m always late. I like to use this site to help with parsing any wordplays that I haven’t quite worked out, plus any other subtleties. This week had a good example of an ‘unknown unknown’ – a clue where I had found the answer and was satisfied with the wordplay, but overlooked a key part of the definition. In 21d I missed the fact that the first word is the chemical symbol for the answer (in spite of having done a double major in chemistry many years ago). So thanks for helping me dot all the ‘i’s.

  78. I’m glad it wasn’t quite just me [ the Ignoramus! :-) ] with 19A. And I realised how it worked not long after I posted, as I tried to go to sleep last night (often a ‘productive’ time, sadly, for the last DA word or two!) I was thinking “One of 52” and “in far*” were the sufficient two parts of the clue but, of course, they both define the SAME meaning of the answer and that clue structure is used when the word has ALTERNATIVE meanings. Thus “lift” IS needed. It didn’t help (curse you DA!) that it was a ‘left clue’ consisting of 5 of the 6 words and the missing letter was the last letter of the 5th word, making it seem like it was a ‘right clue’ (so I thought the clue was “in far*”, and “lift” became my problem). I think “in far*” has a bit of the same problem as “P*inter’s”, in not really adding anything ‘necessary’ (#) to the clue, only providing the word that can have the required missing letter i.e. “One of 52” would be a sufficient clue in normal circumstances. (# It does provide a misdirection, by changing “lift” from verb – the more likely sense of the answer – to noun)
    p.s. I did love this DA, as I always do!

  79. Goodness me, 19a finally makes sense. Thanks Vincenzo.

    And dg, I particularly like your MELATONIN clue.

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