DA Confusion for the 29th of January, 2016

Sort out your DA confusions right here.

Me, right now in Tbilisi, Georgia, I’ve got a lot of confusions to sort out. Like what the hell does this mean?

მე ვერ წავიკითხე არაფერი

59 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 29th of January, 2016

  1. Didn’t really enjoy todays DA. 1A sort of sets the tone for a lot of the constructs.

    Having said that, I thought 2D/24D was clever.

  2. Have to agree. It’s a bit like the old DA .. convoluted constructions and dodgy surfaces. I try to get these out unaided but today resorted to tools for a few solutions after getting crossers and confirming the wordplay backwards.
    Liked 17D, for the surface, definition and wordplay. 14D not bad either.
    Not sure of 18A. There’s a word that would fit the cafe – philosopher connection but that might be false reasoning as I can’t figure out what the serving is.

  3. Gayle – 18A was my last in. My answer is a gentlemen / philosopher with first name starting with “F” – and whose surname would be a serving at a café.

  4. Yep, I’d go with your 18A Ray. Cafe serving … could be anything! Greasy spoon more like it.

  5. Happy Birthday, Gil O. Drama here as Margaret toppled backward onto kitchen tiles, ha to call ambo, too heavy for me to lift. No damage done. One on many she has had in last twelve years, takes more out of me than her, I think. Anyway, finding a few easy answers, which is encouraging. Nine or ten in so far. Mixed feelings about 2, 24D.

  6. LOL Bill. Wrong way go back?! Or as non German speakers caught in the one way road systems told me they were trying to find this place called ‘Ausfahrt’ as all signs pointed to it.

    So 17D is not original? :( Still good though.

  7. I am flummoxed as to wordplay for 21 down; I have the obvious answer that fits the cross letters. Is it a double definition? Do the two final letters signify “small”? Aargh!?

    Also disliked 5 across. Didn’t mind the homophone, but aggravated by the “speed” component.

    Never heard of 25 across, took ages to deconstruct the wordplay. Enjoyable though!

    Favourite clue 28 across! Easy, but amusing, definition-wise!

  8. CF – 21D – the last 2 letters (can) indicate “small” – and the first 4 “wheel”.

  9. Thanks Ray; I couldn’t find 21D meaning “small wheel” anywhere; only as 1st defn or cf.

    Arthur C., happy to see that you’re conquering toDAy’s.

    btw also liked 27A/5D combo!

  10. Ta, Celia, will have a look. If you enter philosopher in Google, you get mountains of them.

  11. I, too, had wondered which particular philosopher was involved, but am encouraged by comments above that I have selected the correct one.
    I’m sure I have 19A correct but can’t work out how ‘chiselled’ fits in. The definition is ‘pillar’ isn’t it?
    Atthur: I hope Margaret is okay. It can take some time to recover completely from a fall.

  12. All done but 18A and 14D.
    Saw Ray’s clue for 18A, can find only 1 name – an afro-caribbean guy named Frantz Fa…
    But if correct, this does not help me with 14D.

  13. Happy Birthday Gil!

    I Raced through this one. Finished before lunch which is rare for me. I must prefer the more convoluted clues? Still trying to parse a few.

    5A – not getting the “on speed” part if the first part works with my Boston accent.
    11A – Not getting the 5 letter word.
    15A – I think I get most of this but not sure what happens with letter five from 13A. Or if I needed 13A and I just made trouble for myself.
    16D – my last one in and I got this from definition and cross letters.

  14. I found it a bit of a slog today, 5 minutes over my hour’s allowance and not much fun.

    Hi Dom. Re 18A, the French answer will give you the correct letter for 14D – but I’ve never seen that in a cafe, so keep looking. By the way the philosopher’s family coat of arms has, unusually, a boar on top. I had never heard 14D incidentally.

    Hi Cryptirochet. 5A – think animal. 11A – apart from proper names I can’t think of another that fits the cross letters. Crooked = deceiving. 15A is another part of the skeleton (13A).

  15. 6d The answer is obvious (I have all the cross letters) but ? parsing. Need this to complete puzzle

  16. alaric – 6d – “A” gives letter 1. “boofhead” gives letter 2. “will” gives a 8 letter word, with first letter removed {“dump lover #3”) for letters 3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Defn = “annulment”.

  17. Thanks, Ray. Knowing the answer & yet not being able to work out a relatively straightforward clue – one feels such an idiot!

  18. No way an idiot. That type of wording is a DA skill. The word “will”, as used, is very well disguised.

  19. Houseful of guests this morning, so late start. Almost there. Have an answer for 14D which fits most of the clue, but can’t see the connection with ‘poisoner’. Happy Birthday Gil O.

  20. Dave R – 14D – if you have the correct answer, then I suggest you Google it and you will see it is a “poisoner”.

    I did not know the word, so that’s how I had to confirm it.

  21. All done and understood, but it was not very easy.

    I think DA has used that particular poisoner before.

    We could do with a 25A in our current side.

  22. Thanks, Ray. Hadn’t heard of that poisoner, nor was it in any dictionary I used. Good old Dr Google.

  23. Nearly all completed but stuck on 9A, 4D and 8D. Any help would be appreciated.

  24. Billy Browne, for 4D think of two different ways of writing 1. The last three words of the clue tell you what kind of clue it is and the first four supply the definition.

    With 8D think of a disparaging word for a newspaper. Fourth word of clue is a container indicator.

    The only one I’m stuck on now is 15A, although I’m not sure of the word play for19A.

    Thought 17A was very clever, even if it was not an original DAer.

  25. I don’t think I’ve ever used a pencil so much in a DA, or done so much rubbing out. Didn’t like the top right-hand corner at all – last word of 5a was a struggle, and surely 7d is not grammatical? Too many answers fitted in without any idea of the parsing, and then laboriously justified afterwards, so not as much fun as usual – though I did very much like 2,24d.

  26. Dave 19A is an anagrind indicated by “chiselled” contained by the (puzzle) “constructor’s”. Def pillar.

  27. Thanks so much Dave. Am still quite stumped on 4D and 8D, your subtle hints may to gentle for my cryptic brain today. Will keep trying to nut them out.

  28. BB – 4D – “6s and 7s” = anagrind. Fodder = “turn” + “1” + “1” (one). Defn = “It’s free of charge”.

    8D – “Twerp shown up” = 3 letter synonym for twerp, reversed, for letters 5,4,3. “Newspaper” = 3 letter synonym for letters 1,2,6. Defn = “score”.

  29. Thanks Mike. with 19A I was trying a different pair of letters for ‘constructor’s’ and of course it didn’t work with the obvious answer.

    Your comment on 15A has assured me that I’m on the right track. All I have to do now is find the right word(s).

  30. re 14 “poisoner” too imprecise a definition. Better is “African poisoner” along the lines of “Brazilian stripper” in 28.
    12 has a poor surface.
    23 Good succinct clue

  31. Think I’ve finished but several I would appreciate some help on the wordplay?
    1A – I get the 1st two letters but not the rest
    11A – 1st word
    13A
    25A – sure it’s mainly anagrams plus “affection” for the last letter but can’t quite see it

  32. Julian, if you’re still around –
    1a, 3,5,6,7 is shortly, 4 is bow of tanker.
    11a, crooked as in untruthful.
    13a, fluid anagrind, sealing containment indicator, one letter 3.
    25a, anagram is of hat for old timer without the i (one flung). affection is the last two letters, not just the last one.

  33. @ Julian
    1A the front of tanker , ie T in SOON (shortly)
    11 A deceitful
    13 A anagram of notable and with insertion (sealing) of I (one) … ie capital letter I looks like the number 1
    25A anagram (wildly) hatforoldtimer with deletion of I (one flung) + ox (with affection) … last two letters

  34. Thanks both. Several blind spots! Didn’t realise O was a 2nd symbol for affection in 25A.

  35. Re 14D: the animal involved is not poisonous; it is venomous. I would expect DA to know the difference.

  36. I agree with your concern about the grammar of 7D, Mary.
    Could someone also explain what role “failing” plays in the clue? It seems redundant. Should it have been “falling”?

  37. Johnno2 re 7D, it just means that every other letter fails (drops off). I agree that it could work equally well without that word.

  38. Johnno2 I think it means the letters are failing (disappearing) intermittently.

    Re: 15A how are we to know the definition is in the previous clue ? Often DA uses the ellipsis to improve the surface of the clue !

  39. Thanks, Mort and Jupiter. Re my other concern, I withdraw it: As far as DA is concerned, one can’t argue with the powers that BE!

  40. Hogwarts fans would be quite familiar with 14d. It’s skin was used by Harry Potter to make Polyjuice Potion, but don’t try that one at home!

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