DA Confusion for the 15th of March, 2019

Beware a DA like you would the Ides of March, by which I mean not at all. Caesar never had this thread for sorting out problems… imagine how different history would have been if he had.

67 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 15th of March, 2019

  1. No fears today, found today’s DA straightforward.
    FOI – 8d, LOI – 24a, did NE corner first followed by SW, NW and finished in SE.
    Liked 1d/1a, 4a, 9a, 5d and 10d.
    Good solving to all.

  2. Only word play I’m unsure of is 19d, def = first, but unsure of wordplay. 5-7 = laurels? 1-4 = ?

  3. All out all understood except iffy about 14A as in my answer you might request thus but not necessarily get! FOI 4A LOI
    22D/26A.

    Andy W & Fiona:
    There is no wordplay component in 19D. “garnished with laurels” is sufficient for identification!

  4. Unlike Andy I didn’t find it straightforward, and like Peter I hadn’t heard of 8D. DA’s got a thing about that sort of wizardry.
    Unsure about 16A and 24A.
    Thanks Celia for the explication of 19D. I wonder how many Trippers fell into the trap, as I did before crossers, of a 7 letter herb that has a lot to do with laurels. Brilliant clue.

  5. Gayle, 16A start with another name for word 2, and in 24A an alternative definition of “flak” is needed.

  6. The Anagrammatical sort of wizard, Melanie, gee after ××× books, ××× films and a stage play …

  7. Satisfying puzzle today. As usual a number of people I hadn’t heard of — perhaps I need to get out more? Nice to see DA resisting the trend in recent times of changing the third letter of 10d to an “o” (a pet hate of mine).

    My first one in 5d. Last one in 9a. Does 21a really mean “representing”?

  8. FOI 1 A/D, LOI 22/26. About average in time taken for me.

    Geoff M: No. Read it as ‘re-presenting’ instead … !

  9. Ah, thank you Andrew T. Clever — but still not one of DA’s better clues, methinks.

  10. Melanie, if you are still looking, you need to check a list of Harry Potter characters, I never read any of Jk Rowling, but I had heard of this bloke.

  11. I’m down to last half-dozen, three each in NW & SE corners. No idea who the character in 22,26 is. Might try Google, i suspect it is a well-known (to others) person. Likewise with 9A. Otherwise, a good puzzle.

  12. ArthurC, 9A is “known in your world by another name”.

    22D/26A a singer-actor you’d be familiar with, likes a drop!

  13. Oh, of course. Wasn’t think lion as in animal, but famous person. Thanks, Mary-Jane and Celia. Only five to go now.

  14. Tried looking for West Wing characters, more names there than in the phone directory. So, enough for today, have done well, for me.

  15. FOI 9A. Favourite 10D. I also hadn’t heard of that definition of ‘flak’ in 24A (Chambers to the rescue). Still working on the wordplay for 1D/1A, otherwise all done.
    Off for a 12D now.

  16. 1D/1A: ‘ring’ gives letter 1, ‘ladies’ (in the sense of a loo) letters 4-2, ‘from’ letters 5-7, ‘the rocks’ letters 8-10.

    Agreed that ‘flak’ in 24A should have been spelled ‘flack’.

  17. oop. How revealing. And UPPER CASE to boot. Don’t like the new ( maybe a year old) posting setup. So easy to make a mistake.

    But what I wanted to say was to Mary-Jane. LOL. And Muggles to you too. (But I had to look it up.)

  18. Gayle, I wasn’t sure whether you were shouting, or had an inflated sense of self-importance. Good to see it was neither!

  19. Could someone mention what is needed to make the flak’s work adequate?

    BTW, thanks to those who confirmed the winner of a gold medal in Rome.

  20. Jack, look up “flack”, with a “c”, and think of how it can be described in two letters.

  21. And letters 3-5 are the start of a four-letter word meaning “done”. “Inadequately” is an instruction to remove the final letter.

  22. 12d I have a fruit but apart from the last letter I don’t know why!
    16 a is just please explain . TIA

  23. Got it! Thanks Geoff M. I had the answer all along, but could not parse it, even though I knew the meaning of fla(c)k.

  24. Pommy, 12d is nothing to do with fruit, I’m afraid. It’s a hot beverage. “Limit” is 1-3, “composer dwindling” is 4-9, “third violin” is 10.

  25. Despite the hints still baffled by 8D (never read Harry Potter) and 19D (think I know the answer but no idea why).

  26. GeoffD 19D is a famous Olympian, hence the laurel garlands!
    8D is an anagram, if you play with the letters you may generate the name you want. Given the cross letters, the 3-letter first name can’t be hard. Phonetically the second name could describe someone who was a bit sly, crafty, and underhand. (Wasn’t there a similar character in Wind In the Willows?) Exactly the opposite of this character, a bit on the thick side. Ginger hair, one of the frontline trio.
    Played by Rupert Grint in HP, you could look him up, or a list of HP characters.

  27. Thanks Witzend. I had worked out the Olympian for 19D but I don’t understand what ‘laurel’ has to do with the answer.

  28. How does the clue for 2D work? The definition is the last word and an anagram of part of ‘librettist’ gives 2-7 plus a ‘revised opening’ of course. No deletion indicator?

    15D wordplay please?!

  29. Geoff D
    “laurel” is a red herring to make you think plants (herbs), but haven’t you ever heard the expression “rest on his laurels”. Or of laurel wreaths? They are awards of distinction!

  30. Robin H, the opening of the librettist’s name is “revised”. You need to work out the revision yourself to give a word meaning “nut”.

    15D “leave” letters 1-5
    “asparagus stalk” is a 5-letter word, “peel” it for 6-9.

  31. Robin H

    2d another word for opening, numerically, gives the first 2 letters. The rest is as you say.

    15d first word of clue and first word of answer are synonyms. Second part must come from letters 1&2 of peeled and letter 1 of 3rd word. But don’t know why.

    Both a stretch IMO

  32. Xmgjim

    in 2D the librettist’s first initial is changed only, from G to F

    15D 2nd word is from
    Asparagus sPEAr

    If wordplay eludes you, it’s wiser to ask for advice than to try to deliver it!

  33. Thank you Witzend and Xmgjim. 15D is all good.
    I had 1-5 (grew up in the 60s) but hadn’t seen the 5 letter word which is peeled for 6-8.

    2D is not one of DA’s best!

  34. All done except 22D/26A.
    The only hint above is that it is indeed a familiar singer, ‘like a drop’?
    Can anyone else shed some light?

  35. 22D is a synonym for administrator. 26A is a flier (think bird). First 2 words of the clue give the definition (think crooners of the Frank Sinatra era)

  36. Thank you Witzend for your 9:17am help. The penny only dropped during the day and I see that 2D is a simple, substitution clue and not an anagram/deletion clue at all!
    Apologies also to DA!

  37. If anyone is still around, as usual I am struggling with ones that apparently bothered nobody else. I am pretty sure I have 6D (I can’t see what else it could be) but cannot parse it at all. Same with 17D.

  38. Carol, is still around …
    6D defn 1st 2. (Not the greatest defn IMO), rest 2nds of following (as per last 2)
    17D defn last, COMPLETE, is synonym for 2nd last, adjusted by first 3 words of the clue

  39. David S re 16A start with a more formal word for a chemist shop, and remove the verb meaning to wound.

  40. Celia, I am wondering if you had the same alternative 14A answer to me. I think there’s a reasonable case for it, based on a meaning of ‘reserves’ as something that holds the run-off, related, for example, to a sump. If the clue had been ‘Mocks and PREserves’, the answer could have been CANS!

    Anyway, no matter. It was a good – and, in my view, hard – puzzle. FOI was 4A, LOI was 22D/26A, which tested me to the limit, I must admit. A number of my parsings were slightly off/incomplete, so the discussion, as usual, was very helpful.

  41. DarrenLH by the principal of Ocam’s Razor, I endeavor to never read anything into a clue that is patently absent from it.

    I scratched my head over 14A, tentatively put in “BAGS” (which I saw as a “reserve” that would not necessarily be fulfilled), and checked the answer next day to see if I was right!

    Another option was PANS, of course, but no match for “reserve” there at all as there was no reference to their possible contents. Cheers!

  42. Yes, I did indeed have PANS. It would not have been that hard to check for other options, but I guess the relief of getting the harder ones had expended my energy to do a final check. I’m not sure I quite get the lack of reference to contents, but BAGS is a more idiomatic and natural solution. I wasn’t that fussed in the end, except to note to check my answers a bit more thoroughly in future!

  43. Entry for DA of March 22 entered here as new blog not yet set up.

    Done and dusted. Pretty clever by DA.
    First in 9D.
    My pick was 3D.

  44. Celia: The “principle” of “Occam’s” Razor … And, as you imply, BAG is definitely “reserve”, colloquially. “She always bags the prime viewing spot …”

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