DA Confusion for the 23rd of February, 2018

This week’s DA almost broke the tablet software mould. It should be a doozy.

Enjoy, and deconfusify yourself here.

84 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 23rd of February, 2018

  1. All done. Very clever puzzle. I got 12a early but it took a few clues to use it properly, 10a took me down the wrong path at first. I liked 8d, 16d, 29a and 12a.
    Good luck.

  2. AndyW. Agree very clever. Another cryptic in cryptic. I was not as lucky as you. Took me forever to get 12A struggled for quite a while.
    But once 12A in rest fine
    Good luck all.

  3. Good morning geniuses. I’ve looked at lots of the clues, nothing clicks at all. Hard time ahead, i think.

  4. I don’t get the theme. 27 A looks to me like the shaded squares are part of the wordplay but the theme description says they aren’t

  5. Mary-Jane, 27A shaded squares aren’t in blocks, they’re cross-letters from two down clues.

  6. SMH paper copy very blurry a/c cataract op yesterday. Have scanned and enlarged – but is there a free on-line version?

  7. Is the following the correct interpretation?
    Only the green blocks in a clue ignore the word play.
    The word play therefore gives the remaining letters when subjected to 12a
    There is a definition in the clue, it is not ALL wordplay
    Thus in 3d down the word play will at least have the letters 1 and 2 and the definition will be extracted from the clue “Oddly purer boom”
    12A is difficult to deconvolute because 7D is the only non-themed clue that provides a letter in it. If I am interpreting “copy rent arrangement” correctly there are only about 5 14-letter non-medical words in the English language that fit – and none of them make sense as the theme

  8. In 3D does anyone agree that the final letter should not be shaded for that clue; although it needs to be for 14A?

  9. Finally worked out 12A and thus the theme. For those still trying to get it,it’s got nothing to do with computer hardware. Letters 1-3 are a synonym of 5A

  10. Got it out but not sure what to do with the shaded letters. Am I looking for words related to 12ac?

  11. Hi Geoff just realised no one ever got back to you. Yes your interpretation is correct. Although as later pointed out it is letters 1,2 and 7 in 3d that can be found in the wordplay. Only letters 3-6 relate to 12a.

  12. All out, but a few wordplays still unclear, e.g. how does kicking back give 13D’s first name? Also, wordplay for 6D and 7D would be nice.

    15A is a bit out there.

  13. Jack, re wordplay component(s) of
    6D: witCH loses her humour
    7D: “axe” back to front is “eax”; X gives letters 3-5. Nifty clue!

  14. Thanks Brian at 0936. I was very uncertain about what I said about 3D, because “oddly purer” seemed to have 3 letters!
    Now that Barnaby is out of the way, I might have another go

  15. Thanks Celia. 7D is indeed neat.

    25D still has me a bit stumped. I get the something to draw part but not the second part of the clue.

  16. Jack, I read the second part as a self-referential, kinda postmodern way of solving the problem: how do I clue a section of the answer that has zero letters?

  17. 12 A – I suddenly got it!
    No wonder I couldn’t find it in the word lists
    Here I was thinking the anesthetic hadn’t fully worn off.

  18. What a slog. We didn’t realise how many there are, and although we’ve finished, we can’t check some of the shaded areas.

  19. Jack Not many people draw a 25D these days but it was common in houses for many years

  20. Other than 27ac are there any other obvious clues, Very quiet in here today other than the usual suspects so I’m guessing that I’m not the only one having issues trying to solve this weeks puzzle.

  21. Ben & Lynne. There r 12 on the grid by my count. The “real” first letter of each is a follows

    14A D, 20A E, 23A R, 2D R or L, 3D P, 4D D, 6D R, 8D Y, 9D W, 19D K, 21D D, 25D B

    Hope that helps.

  22. SandyM ` The first two words of 13D are the definition. and the first word is a slang synonym for “kicking”/well that I had never heard of, Try backing a political party instead :-)
    I think there’s stuff on 12A above, like the first 3 letters are a synonym for 5A The rest us an anagram of ‘copy rent” with a shortened word for short at 7-9.

  23. Thanks Mike, still struggling. Could 5a apply to a horror movie as well as a comedian?

  24. SandyM, 8D is a relatively easy get from the definition if you know your spy books/movies. I got 12A by inference from that.

  25. Mike: “the first word is a slang synonym for “kicking”/well that I had never heard of”. Me neither, and I still can’t find it! Source, please?

  26. Glad to see some people here tried to solve my issue with 13D’s first name (although Barnaby would probably love seeing his beloved party reversed in there), but the explanation still makes no sense to me. Nor am I fully convinced by the explanation given for the wordplay of 25D.

  27. Jack and Mary
    I think kicking back is an instruction to remove the last letter from a word meaning “take”

  28. Ian F. 26A. Def is last word. Answer is another word for hidden with one letter changed (poles transposed, magnetically speaking).

  29. All out. I found it very challenging this week. Took ages to get 12A and then decipher it. Hats off to DA for adding a new twist to crosswords. Never heard of the first element of 13D. Have a good weekend, everyone.

  30. Ian F. Let’s try that again. 26A. Def is first word. 1-4 is a memento cut short (not quite). 5-7 is the night before.

  31. Celia. 29A. Def is first word. 1-3 is Cockney detained. 4-8 is rolling in. Reception is homophone indicator.

  32. 29A was a new word for me. Not convinced with the first part of 13D and the second part of the clue for 25D.

  33. Celia. Re 29a
    I had not heard of the answer . The defn is the first word. Cockney for ‘detained’ gives 1-3. 4-8 sounds like “rolling’ colloquially.

  34. Re 13D. ‘Kicking back to’ is a deletion indicator. Think of ‘take’ in the sense of ‘to endure’

  35. 25D: Older people (like me) who took one of these a week could either draw one or have one. BUT what did you have it in? That’s what missing.

    13D: struggled with first part. Agree with Peta. What can you take? Kick the end off.

    29A: yes, new to me too.

    Struggling with 4D though

  36. Peta. Thanks for the explanation of 13D. It had me scratching my head for a long time.

    29A. I learned this arcane word by reading, of all things, Superman comics back in the 70s. He had an enemy called Mordru, who was a master of “… forces”. Superman had two vulnerabilities: krytonite and magic. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will be familiar with the word, too.

  37. xmgjim. Re 4D
    First word is defn. Adrift is anagrind. Note that letter 7 is not part of the shaded block for 4D.

  38. I had solved all clues bar 25D before joining this forum. Thanks to your hints about 25D I’ve now worked it out but I still don’t understand the last half of the clue.

  39. AJ, there are 13 themed clues, the ones with two to six shaded squares. The wordplay for each of those refers only to their unshaded squares, except 3D includes the last square also as it belongs to 14A block. Combined with the definition they will give green-blocked letters that are anagrams of DA’s cryptic version of 12A (one nearby unthemed clue is an example of 12A in its non-cryptic definition).

    The unthemed clues are relatively straightforward.

    Happy solving.

  40. Thanks Peta for 13D that makes sense. Thanks xmgjim for 25D. I guess writing a clue to end up with nothing to write in the white lights, as there are none, is difficult. :)

  41. Struggled for a long time getting anywhere but it all fell into place! Very fun crossword. Came here for some explanations as to the cryptic workings of 28A, 29A and 13D so thank you for posting. Still confused about the second half of 26D however – does the missing half maybe refer to the wordplay? I.e there’s a def. but nothing else?

  42. Patrick, 25D is possibly the meanest clue DA has ever written, but having just googled the Chaucer connection indicated elsewhere above, I think it’s also one of his most amusing. Consider a word (one of two possibles) that encapsulates “other half”, for starters!

  43. All out in under an hour. Thankfully 5a and 12a were friendly enough to get the ball rolling and pretty smooth sailing from there. A bit confusing that the first letter in 21d was involved in both 12-acrosses but the last letter in 3d was not. Great themed puzzle though, best DA for a while.

  44. Hi all, thanks for great forum – been looking in here when I need clarification, and usually get it. So many thanks. Yesterday’s 13d – still can’t see kicking back in answer – can anyone clarify for me?
    Got it all out without seeing the green spaces – but now the NB makes sense!

  45. SMMS the grid for 25D is all block green so the clue totally lacks wordplay. It is like two riddles functioning as a double definition, you draw a bath, and the “other half” in this case is Chaucer’s Wife of Bath. Sounds stupid to me, too, but a few trippers picked up the Chaucer allusion.

  46. SMMS Perhaps The Wife is missing from The Wife of Bath, leaving just the Bath, perhaps?

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