72 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 12th of February, 2016

  1. Hooray, a themed crossword. But what can the mystery C-word be?

    Some easy non-themed clues bottom right: try 29A, 16D, 17D, 21D, 22D.

    Happy solving!

  2. I believe I have found a themed clue the wordplay of which easily reveals the mystery Component. Many themed clues have fallen thus. My favourite so far is 25D/1AC, a famous person’s name!!!

  3. Flew through the first three quarters. Then stalled.
    Found SW corner really difficult and still not sure of 17D and 23D.

  4. Ray, 17 down wrote a famous autobiography.
    23 down letters 2-5 an example of C; defn is “Cools it”

  5. Thanks Celia. Confirms my 17D as now understand defn.
    And for 23D I was taking the “NB” to literally, trying to understand “C” twice. Overthought it.

  6. 5A – defn “American links”.
    10A – homophone.
    12A/7D – yeah pick of them today I think, and as it happens my fist in which got me the theme early. Anagrind = “secretions? Yes” – with “cryptically” given letters 1,2,3,4.

  7. Thanks Ray, was trying to fit “law” or “tax” into 18 across: all clear now though.

    My first C clue solved was 23 across, so I thought that was it. It wasn’t until second-last out 12A/7D I twigged it was something more Sweet!

    Happy solving everybody.

  8. 5A hard to give a clue without giving it away, one of the easier ones, you might be overthinking Celia. noble as adjective

  9. AAAAARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH! Three, possibly four answers in. Much work to do. Good morning to tte early birds.

  10. Morning Arthur and all. I’m not done yet but have to fly. Will check in later for hints for 29/1, and a few in the SW.

  11. Thanks Gayle, I don’t follow that sport but got it now.

    I’m sure my answer is correct but parsing of 6D eludes me; I can get bits (e.g. letters 1-3+10; letters 8-9) but not the whole. Any hints please?

  12. 6D – “class” gives 5 letter word, with 4th letter removed (“Outright”) for letters 1,2,3,4. “it” gives letters 8,9. “optimistic” gives letters 5,6,7,10.

  13. Now have nine. Baffled by the word in 27A. Have only two options, given my cross letters: a continent or sensitivity? Or is there a third option?

  14. 27A – continent. Is an anagram, with fodder “Curtails a”, please a 4 letter word for “field” for letters 2,3,4,5.

  15. Thanks, Ray, I had more or less decided on that. The word at 24A I must now r=try to sort out. Twelve in, many to go.

  16. Good start in the cricket. NZ 5/80 after 24 overs. OOPS! This is the DA trippers site. Still looking for 24A. Did we get a Golfer in 1A? Would go with 5A? I’m not making much progress.

  17. Arthur C. – 1A – no golfer.

    re 24A – as above, a 4 letter word for “field” gives letters 2,3,4,5 of 24A / 27A. You should have 5 (ie: first letter of 27A as sounds like you have 27A), and by difference from the anagram fodder mentioned above, you should be able to get letter 1. Plus if u have any cross letters for 24A, answer should be even more evident.

    And once you have that, maybe the “C” will become clear if you have not figured out already.

  18. I don’t like the first part of the clue for 28A. “Dwarf tender” might be slightly more acceptable. Otherwise, enjoyable and having just worked out the theme I’m looking forward to completing it.

  19. Quite a challenge but finally all done. I found the NE corner the most difficult with 12A/7D the last to go in. 25D/1A got me started on the theme. Thank goodness for clues like 22D and 29A to begin with!

  20. Finished, but not sure of word play for 1D. Stuck on 13D for a long time, thinking that “has been” gave the first two letters. Another excellent example of DA at his most cunning.

  21. Thanks Ray, over lunch I had found those. Have all but nine now. And yes, 6D led me to C (see)., Must go and do some shopping.

  22. Dave R – 1D – Defn = “Early help”. “spots” gives letters 3,4,5. “Tory leader” = letter 6. “23-across” gives letters 1,2,7,8,9.

  23. Stuck in NW corner. Unsure about what I’ve filled in for 11a, which doesn’t help. (I may be thinking of a UK C)

  24. OK, did some googling to find the Victoria C, changed my 11a, and all was well. But can some kind soul please explain the wordplay for 3d.

  25. Mary – 3D – Defn = “Like a slick”. “fox in essence” gives letter 1. Four letter word for “Sneaky” with first letter removed (“to mask face”) gives letters 2,3,4.

  26. Only four 11, 26A; 14A; 18a – is French painter’s name rearranged?; and 23D.

  27. OK – Arthur C. – 18A – “French artist” – just last letter removed (“short”) for letters 4,5,6,7.
    11A – “Lead” as in a movie. (And BTW I used to volunteer for this organisation – a great one in my view).
    26A – “flimsy” – think of synonyms.
    14A – reverse – and means “Fit”.

  28. Hello Arthur. Everyone seems to have gone. Don’t forget 11 and 26A is one word. That might help. I’m also stuck on 14A and 18A.

  29. SB – more on 18A – see Ray @ 12 Feb 16, 6:03 am if that helps. Defn = “Commercial imbalance”.

  30. Beginning to wonder if somehow I have 1D wrong. It could have been a C item, but is not signed as such. there is certainly a UK one. I saw the 11, 126A as soon as I returned from pool, haven’t yet sorted Ray’s (1359) help for 14A, 16A, so maybe my 1D is wrong. Apart from those, only 23D.

  31. And 14A, through not what I would have considered as a synonym for fit. I certainly don’t have a naval rank there, so its probably still wrong. Enough for today, I think, back to the cricket.

  32. I found this one very tough but also very good.

    Am I right in thinking that the puddle-jumper bears the name of a famous car battery of old?

  33. Unlike Celia I loathe themed puzzles. I have some (but not all) of the so-called easy answers and a couple of others. But nothing that gives me any clue as to the theme. Can anyone suggest a starting point where I might get a hint as to the theme?

  34. GeoffD – see my comments earlier (mainly with Arthur C.) re 24A / 27A. Probably the easiest to solve of the themed and hopefully that triggers the thinking.

  35. Thanks Ray. I’ve re-read all the above posts that you mentioned but they haven’t rung any bells. I’ll ponder some more over dinner.

  36. GeoffD – I spotted theme mulling over possibilities for13D when I had 18A and 28A. “Cools it” for 23D also gave me a similar idea and was there in my head.

    BTW the way 25D,1A was my favourite – brilliant C. On 5D DA must have run out of time – the simplest clue ever? from him.

  37. Try 23A GeoffD. I solved most of the crossword thinking this was the theme-word.
    But the themed answers are generally examples of the C-theme (a 7-letter word commencing with C).
    If you have 23D, the themed component is letters 2-5.

  38. OK – GeoffD and June – let’s try 12A / 7D – my first in and gave me the clue as to what “C” was.

    I have described above – repeated here:

    12 Feb 16, 6:01 am

    12A/7D – yeah pick of them today I think, and as it happens my first in, which got me the theme early. Fodder = “secretions? Yes” – (for letters 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17) with “cryptically” given letters 1,2,3,4.

    In other words a 4 letter word for letters 1,2,3,4 which mean “anagrind”?

  39. And maybe 23A – 9 letter word for “friend” – which losses letter 6 (“dumps Pole”) – and replaces it with it with “two opposites” for letters 6 and 7 – which gives a 10 letter synonym for the word “C”.

    I understand, tough until it drops.

  40. And finally from me – several ARE “C”‘s (eg: 12/7, 20/9, 24/27, 25/1) – whilst rest mean “C” (except 23D which uses a meaning of “C” for last 4 letters).

  41. I didn’t get 23D before coming here as I had read the hint to mean every capital “C” in a clue should be replaced with the theme word. But that isn’t true for 23D the first C is just the first letter of the answer!

    Overall very clever, especially 25D/1A although technically the tense for it isn’t quite right. Would have worked if the person in question had been the FD (Finance Director) but I don’t think he was!

  42. Thanks very much everyone. The penny has finally dropped and I have the theme! And a worthy theme it is. I also thought 25D/1A very clever (dare I say insightful?)

  43. Finally! Even after working out 12A/7D and 23A (thank you Ray) it still took me forever to get the theme, even having got several of the other C clues. At last the penny has dropped, but hats off to those of you who cottoned on quickly. I just wasn’t on the wavelength this week!


  44. Julian and Ray I think you were quite right to read DA’s NB to mean that every stand alone C was meant to stand for the same word, therefore making the use of C-C in 23 down break the rule. This was the only answer I didn’t get out for that reason. I should know better than to ever take DA too literally!

  45. Julian and Viv – I think DA was actually right (goddammit). We know he is very literal and the NB does say “… THE mystery C … ” – so it does imply only 1.

    Reading more than that in 23D was my fault – and he got me!

  46. Finally got our internet working again and could print the puzzle out. It’s impossible for me do this on an ipad. I still only have 25% of the puzzle done. It’s a whopper. I figured out the C this morning but don’t know of most of them. I managed the 9-letter word in 20/9A (2D was very confusing for me as an American) but I’m relying on clues heavily. I might be done with this by next Friday.

  47. Yes you’re right Ray. I did not read him literally enough. Crypticrochet, I usually give myself til the following Friday to work it all out too, but must admit in a moment of weakness, gave up on this as couldn’t get 23 down, and felt I’d spent enough of the weekend on it.

  48. Thanks trippers for your help !
    I got the RHS by myself, but I needed aid.
    I was trying for Mayan as the Americans and i thought 23d was good!

  49. Sunday morning, all but three done. I’ve pored over the comments here, but would love a clue or two if anyone is still there?
    13 d Surname of a man of C?
    28 a Surname of famous sisters?

    I have 25 d /1 a, but do not understand the word play FD.

  50. Kate – 13D – not surname – just a synonym. “been changing” gives letters 1,2,3,4. “agent” (as in an instrument for achievement) gives a 6 letter synonym for letters 5,6,7,8,9,10.

  51. 28A – again not a surname. “tender” gives a 4 letter word, with last letter removed (“Dwarfs”) for letters 1,2,3. “exam” gives a 4 letter word for letters 4,5,6,7.

    And the cross letter between 13D and 28A is “R”

  52. All out. Liked the theme for this week. I had the wrong C for a while after I got 12 across / 7 down.

  53. Thank you Ray!
    It is funny how getting 95% of a DA solved is way more frustrating than getting half of one done. I had to go for a swim at the beach, see The Kites at The Red Lion in Rozelle and have friends over for a BBQ before I could read your reply and finally complete the puzzle. Now we can all get some sleep!

  54. John (12 Feb 16, 9:47 pm) –
    Must be something in the name – I had the same nit-pick (tempting me to a nib-lick?)
    But then I thought; “Hmmm, just maybe…”. So off to Mr Google.
    It turns out, in reporting of it’s construction in 1929/30 at least, it WAS referred to as a links!

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