DA Confusion for the 6th of January, 2016

Get your confusions sorted out. Go on. Right here. For the new year!

52 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 6th of January, 2016

  1. Must have been on DA’s wavelength today as it all went in pretty smoothly. Twigged to 12 A first. Liked 13D, 21A, 14A and 15A especially.

  2. Loved the mini-theme, helped demolish much of this quick smart!

    Last three out …
    15A: careful here, many different words fit the cross letters you should have;

    then 13D: Frank Muir or Dennis Norden probably first to use “Demons are a ghoul’s best fiend”, and many an actor has played the ghoul referred to here;

    then 26A: d’oh!

    Happy solving!

  3. Gnawing away…
    I do find with many of DA’s clues that the answer occurs to me early on, but then it takes me quite a while to work out WHY it’s the right answer (today’s 1A being an example). I wonder if anyone else here has that issue – or is it just me?

  4. Carol
    Most clues are DEFINITION+WORDPLAY.
    If you have an answer from the definition, the wordplay should confirm it, or vice versa.
    1A defn is “occasionally”
    “after” is a position indicator
    “hearing” is a homophone indicator
    “by” letters 5-9
    “hearing problem” letters 1-4 (homophone of a 3-letter “problem”)

  5. Yes, I did figure it out, but I was wondering if anyone else arrives at the definition early, and then takes a long time to figure out the wordplay. I’m just talking DA here. With other setters I get the wordplay first and then the definition.

  6. I have finished but there are at least six answer which I have no idea as to how or why.

  7. All out and I *think* all understood: I’m a bit iffy on 24D… am I right in assuming that ‘track’s condition’ gives a 5-letter word, which nevertheless seems only vaguely related? A few tricky ones today, but it opened up a lot once the quartet fell into place (10A was the key one for me, there). Loved 21A and 13D.

    Carol, I think I probably do come up with the answer from the definition, or need to use the cross letters, a little more often with DA cryptics than on other days, but not significantly so. It’s normally just on the few clues each week where he’s particularly devious/clever with the wordplay, so where I only see how he’s broken the clue down by reverse engineering it (1A was the big example today, with the rogue ‘gets’ throwing everyone off combined with a somewhat obtuse definition of ‘problem’).

  8. Not doing well, twelve short. Is 1D a colloquialism for accordeon? Is 11A someone’s name? Don’t watch much TV.

  9. Yes, Luke, you are right re a 5 letter word in 24D.
    Thought the “mini-theme” was useful, once you knew what to look for it gave plenty of cross letters.
    28A was probably my fave clue today.

  10. Carol. I am in the same camp as you. I tend to get the answer first and then try to work out the word play. I found it particularly true for today’s puzzle.

    I sometimes have the same problem with other compilers. They each have their own set of tricks and idiosyncrasies. I am still learning DA’s, and he has a remarkable talent for inventing new tropes. Good on him.

    Still can’t work out the play for letters 1-3 of 2D, although I did work out the full answer.

    Oh, and happy New year, everyone.

  11. Arthur, 1D is indeed a slang word for an accordion (also a song by The Who, but I’m not sure how helpful that will be). 11A isn’t a name: it belongs to the set of four clues that share the ‘mini-theme’. The ‘Friend from TV’ shows up as the final four letters of the solution.

    Thanks Black Pen, I’m still not thrilled by the clue, but there are enough gems today to make up for up. 28A is another great clue, though the pop diva might be tricky for some (she’s a lot more current than The Who, for starters).

  12. Rob, letters 1-3 of 2D are clued by ‘saw’, though using a rather obscure meaning (though one favoured by DA, yet it tricks me every. single. time). The letters themselves are French word.

  13. Melanie. Luke. I see. Saw: that’s a new one on me. Live and learn. Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

  14. Happy 2017 to all.
    Gayle (at 6.56), me too. Especially once I grasped the theme. 3D was the starter for me.
    Carol (at 10.48), me too.
    Melanie, Luke, thanks for explanation of “saw” in 2D.
    Celia, thanks for explanation of “hearing problem” in 1A.
    Still don’t get wordplay for 24D, despite the discussion above.
    And still don’t have 4D, despite all cross letters.

  15. SB, 4D is a bit confusing, the “Manx dog” is pretty clear, you drop the tail off a word for dog. It’s the “bottom off twin” that is odd, I think it should be “top off”. Defn is “common”.

  16. Thank you Luke (1312), I missed seeing your reply. I’m still hopelessly lost on this one, missing 3,4,5,6, 12, 15A. D, 6,10, 11, 15A. A clue for 11A would be helpful, possibly, as I watch very little on TV other than news and cricket.,

  17. Can’t even type correctly. That should have included 7,8D, Hopeless mess. All I really want is help with 11A. .

  18. Arthur C
    11A is one of the medley [3D, 10A, 11A, 12D, all defined “this”], but “tied” gives 3-6, “tattered lace” 1-2 7-8, and a character from “Friends” the balance 9-13.

  19. SB (13:56): If you google the 5 letter word, the second definition is:

    “the condition of the ground viewed in terms of suitability for horse racing, riding, or walking.”

    Then, IN exits, and literal A preceeds it, giving the answer.

  20. I cannot understand the ‘Saw’ in 2D even though I have the answer and have looked up the reference. My brain is beginning to throb strangely.

  21. Celia (1501), that helps. I looked at list of ‘Friends’ characters, didn’t see that one. That gives a very helpful clue indeed. Ta muchly.

  22. Sharn 27A remove chemical symbol for aluminium from a word meaning alloy – after it has turned.

  23. Yes, all finished. Would have done it hours ago, but the only ‘Friends ‘ character I found was Bing. Sad.

  24. Hi everyone. New poster here. I have the answer for Fridays 26a but can’t work out the reference to ninny. Can anyone help please. Thanks

  25. Ottivdb re 26A
    “imperfect” is a truncation indicator for a four-letter synonym for “ninny” ending in B, the other 3 letters occupy letters 2-4.

  26. Carol, I’ve been doing DA for a long time, and I still find myself working out some of the answers using letters in place and what I think may be the definition. On occasion it will be half way through the week when I finally understand the word play. It’s all good practice.

  27. All out. Was having trouble until I twigged to the theme then looked for the magic word. A nice in between level of difficulty this week.

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