DA Confusion for the 11th of November, 2016

Confused? Here you’ll only get cryptic crossword clues explained. But that’s still something.

91 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 11th of November, 2016

  1. Morning all.

    Pretty sure typo in clue of 4D (at least in printed version).

    Rest of puzzle pretty straight forward.

  2. I don’t think it’s a typo. I think DA might have made a booboo, because to fix the error would spoil the surface.

  3. I don’t know about straightforward. The general knowledge is pretty diverse in space and time, some unmarked. Also there are some very broad definitions, and dodgy grammar, eg 26A and 7D. And one iffy homophone. But DA does take risks which adds to the fun of the solve.

    I didn’t know 29A, was working on a variant of another possibility from the wordplay,
    If I remember rightly, I think DA mentioned the device in 9D in one of his recent Wordplay columns.
    One still to parse, the “James’s” bit, or letters 3-7 in 22A.
    Groaned at yet another 14A type clue, I always have to google them.
    Liked 15A, 28A, and 6D (now that I’ve looked it up).

  4. “Morning, Enid.” “Morning, Mr Paslow.”
    Morning, fellow Trippers, nice to have a sleep-in for a change! Happy solving!

  5. Oops, mixed up two Monty Python creations. Correction is : “Morning Mr Mellish.” Mr Paslow was the headless man in the record shop!

  6. Good morning, folks. Yes
    , 4D was great to watch, as I recall. Haven’t got far as yet, just started.

  7. Yep, 4d is a boo-boo. Also letter count for 26a should be (1, 4). And 1a should read “principals.” Does DA have an editor?

  8. Flying along this morning, thanks to good memory and being good guesser. But 26A? 1,4 rather than 5??? Or am I pathogenically wrong? Only nine to get, but must go shopping.

  9. Oh, following Celia’s comment, my post should now read I also thought the principles were announced.

  10. Gayle: the “Jame’s” reference comes from a book title.
    Liked 22A and 28A when I finally got them. 21D was a new word for me.

  11. I agree 4D has an error and that 26A should be 1-4. I’d also suggest 21D should be 3-3.
    Liked 23A today.

  12. Stuck on the top RHS.
    Cant find a nymph for 6D for starters and cant see another way to attack the clue.
    Help please, anyone who’s still around.
    regards bbOZ

  13. I agree about 4D and 26A, but I’ll give DA the benefit of the doubt over 1A. All out and understood except for 21D.

  14. Dave
    21D: E/gotism first followed by celebrity lacking last letter.
    Now please help me!
    cheers bbOZ

  15. All out and pretty straight forward but not sure exactly what is the word play on 6d. Know the nymph don’t know the construction. I know a number of Greek words for hell but refusing to come into focus. With 4d it is either a typo or the last 3 letters might be the Hamas clique, although couldn’t see any definition as such. 21d is one word in the dictionaries. I agree about 26a technically but it is often shown the other way. Easier than the last few weeks.

  16. Dave R
    21D E is the first of egotism, renown is celebrity take off the n (lessened), erenow is before – though I thought it was two words …

  17. “to hell and back” is a colloquial expression.

    There is an English synonym for “hell” – a compound noun – which is where 6D’s nymph went after being bitten by a viper.

    There is no wordplay,as such, just a colloquial version of where she went, and came back from, briefly.

  18. Erica: the custom here is not to give full answers, just minimal hints as needed.

    Margaret: I believe the Greek word for hell in use here, is also a common three-letter prefix used to negate a word. Pretty commonly used in cryptics in that context.

  19. Down to last two. I presume 6D is a fictional character, nobody I am aware of. Someone might be kind enough to point me in right direction, please.

  20. AHA! Memory comes to the rescue, so all finished. Really lucky for me to solve it unaided. RAH!

  21. Greek mythology Arthur C.! See my earliet posts for hints. Her boyfriend was a musician!!!

    AndrewT There is no Greek word for hell you need to know to solve this clue!

  22. 6D: Erato’s underworld, initially, chased down by two-thirds of U.S. whiskey and a cube: the recipe for a nymph who …

    @Celia: I haven’t thought of Ralph Mellish in decades. Made me laugh. Thank you. Now where are those paperclips.

    28A: I liked that one very much today.

  23. Rob B: Mr Paslow (or Parslow?) has John Cleese uttering what I consider the funniest two lines in the whole of the Pythonverse, “Ah, yes, his head’s been ripped off. I’ll get you another.”

    (pardon the unrelated intrusion here, fellow Trippers)

  24. Sorry, I had only just found site and hadn’t really focussed on the form. I apologise. 😞

  25. 26a: 1-4 but (Pedant Alert!!!)
    it is not a killer; high levels of it in water will indicate other nasties.

  26. 6D appears to be a straight clue in a cryptic crossword. I spent ages trying to work Audie Murphy into the wordplay.

    I’m still no wiser as to who James is with his unlikely home.

    Is there a dodgy homophone in 13A?

  27. Jack – 22A – see:

    Ann says: 11 Nov 2016 at 8:11 am
    Gayle: the “Jame’s” reference comes from a book title.

    A difficult / obscure clue but as Ann describes, a book by RD (1961).

  28. Jack: James’ home is part of the name of a Roald Dahl book

    13A’s answer’s second word is certainly a homophone for one meaning of ‘couple’; a less common one but I’m not sure I’d say dodgy – DA’s done worse!

  29. Jack, I may be wrong, but I think 6D is &lit. or something close to one. “to hell and back” is a colloquial expression, the clue is ultimately qualified by “briefly”, which may refer to everything preceding (a synopsis) or that her return “back” was brief. Number of trippers tripping up on this seem to indicate its cryptic nature!

  30. Thanks Ray and AndrewT. I’ve now discovered the book.

    Still not too happy with 13A.

  31. Celia – 6D – I completely agree. To quote others more knowledgeable than I:
    “In an &lit clue, the entire clue is the definition as well as the wordplay”.
    OK – normally this takes the shape of some form of anagram or other devise, but think 6D works well because of the colloquialism you note.
    Or just call it as a “cryptic clue”.

  32. 6D: I’m one of those who was able to derive the answer from my general knowledge. What I don’t understand is how one is to derive the answer without that knowledge?

    I contrast this with 28A, where the answer can be built from the elements of the clue, even if one has never heard of the answer.

    If 6D is an &lit clue, shouldn’t it have question or exclamation mark? I ask because I am a bit of a novice and am still learning the ropes but would like to know more.

  33. 6d I got the hell and back reference, just thought there might be more to the clue. It is pretty straight for a cryptic. Thanks for the discussion, it stopped me trying to turn it upside down or contort it. Sometimes the clues are like those 3D pictures you have to step back and relax your vision to see the answers and sometimes a picture is just a picture.

  34. I think I maybe all done, or completely off track with my 1, 10, and across. I can’t figure out 5 down…. From the intersecting letters can only find one fit and have never heard of it and can only find one mentions of it on the internet. Anyone thoughts/subtle hints?

  35. FHF re 1A see comments from 6:59 to 7:28, “announcing” may be relate to “principles” as well! Either that, or DA has made another mistake!

  36. Celia re 2:57: How does announcing as a homphone indicator relate to principles when the answer is a not a homophone of ‘principals’? No mistake by DA, as the answer to principles can mean ‘general rules’ etc.

  37. FHF re 1A
    The first word is a homophone of a synonym of “robust”
    The second word is a synonym of a homophone of “principles”
    Therefore “announcing” – a homophone indicator – can refer to both words.
    I’m not saying that’s what DA intended but it’s one possible explanation. The other is that he made a mistake.
    Neither explanation can be dismissed out of hand! Both work!
    As Bugs Bunny often said, “unlax, Doc”!

  38. Celia, are you saying ‘principles’ = ‘principals’ (homophone)= synonym of ‘principal’? It doesn’t have to be that devious . As I state above ‘principals’ can mean general rules which equals the synonym. Otherwise we get a homophonic equivalent of an indirect anagram.

  39. FHF I’m not saying that!
    The 2nd word is a synonym [a word of same meaning or close to it] of “principals” which is itself a homophone [a word that sounds the same as] of “principles” which is itself not a synonym of the 2nd word.
    Principles are your general rules!

  40. Is it not double duty for one word to indicate both the homophone of a synonym and a synonym of a homophone?

    And I agree I don’t think I’ve ever seen the synonym of a homophone before anyway – probably because that’s indirect.

  41. I’m with Jack on the dodgy homophone in 13A. Risky attempting homophones on foreign or borrowed words. There are very few languages, English and Arabic being two, and German with an umlaut, which have the vowel in mad, rather than the one in mud, But I suppose it’s authentic in that’s the way I hear most people (mis)pronounce it.

    Re 6 D, I think it’s just a cryptic definition, on reading the story.

  42. DA Confusion – I love it :)
    FWIW I think all the clues are fine and are exactly as DA intended.
    If you want cryptics that slavishly obey all the rules you think you know, then DA ain’t the one for you !!

  43. Dom: ‘All the clues are fine and are exactly as DA intended.’ Tell me then why the hidden letters in 4 don’t make the same letters in the answer? Is that what DA intended? And the answer to 18 has little to do with hips and more with legs. I have suffered from it. Dodgy definitions are OK?

  44. Sciatica:
    noun, Pathology.
    1.pain and tenderness at some points of the sciatic nerve, usually caused by a prolapsed intervertebral disk; sciatic neuralgia.
    2.any painful disorder extending from the hip down the back of the thigh and surrounding area.

  45. Quick Saturday morning finish. Agree about the dodgy container in 4d, and 26a s/be 1.4

  46. + Despite all the discussion I STILL don’t get the wordplay for 6D! Notwithstanding the correct advice to Erica, when does the statute of limitations allow someone to spell it out for me, please?
    + Also, I’d appreciate the wordplay for 3D second word (4,5,6) please.
    + I learn every week here: What does “&lit” mean, please?
    + And (another pedant alert) I thought it was a bit naughty of DA to hide his direction in the nonword (non word? non-word?) he used as the last word in the 12A clue [accordingly, too, of course, I agree with the 26A 1-4 or 1,4 requirement! :-) ].
    + And regarding 4D, is “polly” acceptable in clueing terms without some internal homophone indicator? I thought “pollie” is correct and necessary without ruining the cryptosity [and, by the way, being a pollie DA could have said that said pollie would disclaim rank Hansard entry :-) ]
    + Clarifying what a couple of others have already touched on in another well-discussed clueing difficulty (1A), a “9,10,11,12,13 of Agreement” is a precursor of a contract containing principles that will apply in the ensuing contract.
    Phew! I hope I didn’t lose the 27A of anyone that can help me!

  47. johnno2 re 6D
    If you know Greek Mythology, this is possibly the easiest clue in this puzzle.
    If you don’t, unless you’ve heard the name somewhere, you would never get it.
    Treat the clue as a “pitch”, a shory plot summary hence the “briefly”.
    I see the colloquial “to hell and back” as a red herring (by virtue of its familiarity), but if you convert “hell” to “Hades”, or “the Underworld “, it loses that colloquial quality, but makes more sense.
    This particular nymph was bitten by a viper and died, but her superstar musician boyfriend pursued her into the Underworld, played a few magic riffs, and she was released. But unfortunately he did something on their journey back that consigned the poor girl to the Underworld for eternity.
    Superstar musician’s name was Orpheus, btw.
    Hope there’s enough there to get you started. But without knowing the myth there is no way you can extract the answer from anything in the clue!

  48. Thanks, Celia. I had the answer, filled from 1A, 11A, 13A and 15A, and knew the name (though not the story, so thanks for that, too).
    So, I understand, then, that this answer doesn’t get ‘constructed’ from clued bits; it’s wholly a pitch or plot, as you say. This is a fairly unusual form of clue? I’ll be on the lookout now, though! I don’t mind it actually…
    Looking forward to help/comment on the other matters in my tome…

  49. … sorry, johnno2, have no time now until tomorrow! btw homophones are words that share the same pronunciation though spelled differently! The inclusion indicator in 4D is “clique” though DA has erred on the answer’s final letter N, not M.

  50. For a tomorrow-read, then, Celia? :-)…
    I’ve well and truly got it on homophones; my reference for 4D was that there should have been an ‘internal’ indicator that “polly” (the bird, girl, etc) meant “pollie” (wot 4D is). On reflection, “disclaim” might do this, thus having two functions in the clue?…
    And ditto for inclusion indicators; my ‘change’ from “clique” to “entry” was just part of my smartarsing – that while Hamas would also ‘really’ have cliques, an inclusion indicator “entry” would also be ‘real’ for Hansard (which corrects DA’s error) while “cliques” wouldn’t.
    Meanwhile, can anyone else help me on 3D 4,5,6 and “&lit” (my 9:36am)?

  51. Johnno2
    3D. Rent doubled means that both words of the answer are two different ways of using the word ‘rent ‘. Hope that helps

  52. Johnno2
    4D. I think that the incorrect ending on ‘polly’ may indicate that the last letter of the answer is incorrect as expressed in the clue.

  53. Erica – 3D; of course! It thus becomes another (not uncommon) “D’oh!” moment for me, then! Thanks! 4D; an interesting take… Wouldn’t put it past him (DA, not IK, that is)!
    Now just waiting for “&lit” from someone.

  54. About &lit
    .. it surely has to be a proper cryptic clue ie def plus cryptic (2:elements) but additionally, the whole surface is itself another (ie a third element) hence “and literally”
    The clue discussed above is only imho a feeble jokey single definition. DA in a hurry as suggested by other glitches?

  55. Thanks for clarifying what “&lit” stands for, John. I now better understand the earlier arguments about the worthiness and correctness of the 6D clueing.
    Fwiw [ :-) ], armed with your clarification, I now come down on the side of it being ‘OK’ – it has 2 elements as you say; the required ‘normal clue’ (Nymph) and a second element (in this case an &lit). 6D’s second element does actually seem to have some degree of crypticness, as argued above, in its use of a common colloquial, that describes only a very hard time that doesn’t involve actually going to Hell, to clue an ‘actual’ trip to Hell.
    In support, consider another apparently acceptable 2-element clue form, which has similar or even less crypticness: the ‘double normal’, whose halves are both (albeit cleverly connected) ‘normal’ definitions of an answer word that has two meanings.

  56. I think to couple two things together is to tie them – verb, not noun. Does that make 13A OK?
    (BTW, one of the few things I’ve finished a DA – I think that, and the Pakistani Polly clue mean he may have been off his game today. But he is always so very much ON his game that I think I can cut him some slack!) (Lovely man too – go on his Melbourne guided walks! – see today’s Age)

  57. (I fully endorse both your bracketed comments Damian!) (with a slight variation that day of finishing – often well into next week – is my test)
    (Stickler, your additional ‘&lit’ material much appreciated)

  58. Re. 6D, as much as I love a classical allusion, the nymph in question never actually made *back* from hell; her *lover* made it there and back in his efforts to retrieve, but to no success. So, like 4D, a lovely but broken clue.

  59. If anyone’s still around – on 4D I don’t think DA made a mistake. I think the answer involves a letter in the clue cut in half.
    And now I’m just left with 19A

  60. @Celia – I quite agree. And the regular Friday DA would be even more fun if The Age employed an effective crossword editor.

  61. sb Nov14 1208

    Re: 4 Where in the clue’s wording is there an instruction to cut a letter in half?

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