DA Confusion for the 20th of December, 2019

Have your confusions sorted out for this year’s Christmas season.

59 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 20th of December, 2019

  1. Merry Christmas all.
    The NE corner is a good start, 5d, 6d, 8d, 14a, this lead to 10a and the theme.
    Good luck solving and rock on.

  2. @ AndyW. You too :-)
    On first pass with so many non starred clues linking to the starred ones I thought this was going to be a toughie. 5a first starred clue in, which led me up the garden path for the theme, but then got it from 16d. Fortunately between me and my son’s generation they were familiar, but may not be for some.
    Safe holidays, and special thoughts for everyone affected by the fires.

  3. Struggled today. Not my favourite theme, and not enough smiles were had. Haven’t yet worked out the wordplay for 1d, 12a, 14a. Can’t explain 4d after the second letter.

    My first one in today was 15d, and other easy ones were 5d, 5a and 8d.

    This is the time when many television and radio programs like to look back, so I hereby record my favourite DA clue for 2019 …

    Check out exercise for one in platforms (4, 2, 7)

    … and my favourite from elsewhere …

    Do parts of us smell? (5)

    This was from Arachne at the Guardian. It was in a 2018 puzzle but I only encountered it this year after I’d printed a wad to take on an overseas trip.

    All the best for Christmas, fellow trippers!

  4. Funny, I could only get a firm toehold in the SE corner, then worked my way up.

    I fear the venerable ArthurC may struggle with the theme today!

    FOI 9A, LOI 14A. Good starters 23D, 5D, 30A, 1D.

  5. ArthurC has a list to work from,
    AndrewT.

    GeoffM not 100% on 1D, but the donut is misspelt (miss pelt???), and debriefed possibly doing double duty.

    12A think of blood types
    14A linear charade boxer+spooks (3 letters each)

    Can anyone explain to me how 7D answer relates to “Anthill”? There’s a famous photographer with a similar name, but I doubt connection there.

    btw first three 9A 2D 1A
    last three 21D 22D 30A think 23D there somewhere late on, but only because I hadn’t looked at it!

  6. Thank you, Celia, I’ll think a little harder. Nice to see you — it’s been a while. If you have the answer to 7d, google it with “anthill”. It’s the only way I could get it … is this cheating?!

  7. Hello and seasons greetings, we’re back after malfunction with DA Tripper. All out but can’t parse 1d. Help please… Dirty Apron Duo

  8. Arthur has a list? My problem too … one leg shorter than the other.

    Anyway … Tim Fischer would have liked 10A. In fact, he DID like 10A

  9. Geoff M, again

    4D check dictionary for your letters 3-8, a historical reference.

    btw I subscribed but no notifications have come!

  10. Helen re 1D: Definition is last two words of the clue. 12A should be read thus: ?-??-??, then applied to the letters of the first word to solve the anagram.
    Happy Xmas!

  11. All done.
    FOI 5d
    LOI 7d

    I did like 4d and 1d, 7d, once I worked them out.
    Once I got 5a I had two streams for the theme and I got it with 16d.

    Helen,
    Id
    Answer = debriefed one
    “Donut” – misspelt after “o”as”is”.

  12. Geoff M,
    if I google 7dn as instructed, I only get some novel. But that’s not how it works.
    I think this clue has a slight error and another connection to the theme, albeit a tad earlier.

  13. Margaret, that’s a better interpretation for 7d, thank you. And thank you Celia, I wasn’t aware of that meaning.

    Geoff Lambert, I have the opposite problem — one leg longer than the other …

  14. Margaret,
    you mean the first word of the clue as two words ?
    If so, the first half is clear (‘connection’) but the second half is not. What might that be ?

  15. For 7d I think that “anthill” should, also, be a plural to fit the clue; if I’m correct.

  16. Having got the theme I have made progress. One themed clue still to go 29a. Any hints? Also others in that corner 19d, 25d, 24a. I think I have 22d but not sure of that either.

  17. SandyMc,
    19d – Think of the last word as truncated. It helps if you are a bit of a geek and know Aldrin’s actual first name.

  18. Margaret,
    you (and I) might be correct but DA most likely isn’t. If we’re thinking a comedian, the extra S is definitely needed.
    Faulty clue, yes ?

  19. I don’t like the definition for 30a – they’re not angled, they’re usually straight.

  20. Neanderthal,
    I would agree it is most likely a faulty clue, but he might have something fiendishly clever I missed.

    For a while there I was wondering if some of the answer might be a mountain in the NT, as in “NT hill”. In the words of my other half “think our brains must be too highly trained”.

  21. Re 7d I don’t agree that the clue is wrong. Anthill doesn’t need an s. I am adamant about that.

  22. Darryl,
    I see what you did there. Unfortunately, it is the “hills” that are alive with the sound of music.

    People should Google “spicks and specks 80s special”.

  23. Apart from 9A, 19D and (possibly) 1D I have nothing. I almost always have trouble with themed puzzles and the comments that Arthur might struggle and Gayle needed her son’s assistance suggest I should give this one away.
    A merry and safe Christmas to all.

  24. All done, but the wordplay for 1D and 7D eluded me so I came on here for some hints. Thanks all. The pennies have finally dropped.

    Favourite was 19D. Yes SandyMc and Margaret, I spent a while trying to use Buzz to find a word for taxi. :)

  25. All done now, although the wordplay for 17d eludes me. Had to Google the sedan chair thing, too. I chuckled at 25d.
    Season’s greetings to all :)

  26. Ah Christas! Be as kind as poss, but I thoroughly agree with Darryl on 7D.

    Lovely answer to 17D but what is the wordplay. It’s the only part of this puzzle from kind DA I don’t get.

  27. Thaks Tim but 1-4 is an adjective (Old English) with no necessary connection to the Sahara. And 1-4 as a people refers to a sub-Saharan community.

    If we are to interpret “Saharan” to include sub-Saharan then, as an Xmas message, we could have “Saharan cape wishes (4,4)” ..

  28. Yes Mike but this adjective can be used to describe the Sahara. It’s not the best clue IMO, but I can’t see a different explanation.

  29. Thanks Margaret & Darryl, the idea is to split anthill (which should be anthills) to give you a pair that matches the president! Yippee, Merry Christmas!

  30. Tim C,
    I agree with your interpretation There were a few today I found a tad “questionable”, but DA does tend to fly close to the wind, on occasions.

  31. Late start as usual FOI 8d
    Same progress as AndyW & AndrewT Opened with NE and SE
    7d in early thought president and comic character
    Back to drawing board
    Thanks for some insights
    Best wishes for Christmas and New Year

  32. FOI 6D yesterday. Still working the SW.
    Had to weigh in on 7D. It had me perplexed too. Until I followed the comment by Geoff M at 8:41 yesterday.
    There’s a book title that fits the clue exactly.

  33. No, ret, the book “7D (with apostrophe)+Anthill” is not what DA intended. I have confirmed with him via Twitter that his clue should have read “Anthills president?” Start by splitting anthills into Ant & Hills …

  34. Margaret, I could not work out the wordplay for 1D until seeing your o as is explanation. Spent ages wondering what it had to do with it!

  35. Viv,
    Yeah I spent a bit of time going “what the?” but DA has been doing a few of those types of clues lately. I suspected the answer, and that it was an anagram, so it was just a matter of thinking “what is extra and what is missing” then the penny dropped.

    7d was my bug bear. In my case it probably wasn’t helped by the fact I thought the spelling for the President had two “d”s. Thanks Celia for chasing up 7d with DA.

  36. Margaret, the one with two D’s is the cartoonist who created a very weird but much loved family!

  37. Good to see my all-time favourite example of the theme make finally make it into a crossword clue at 27A (though I’m bound to add that they only existed for 4 and a half months of the two decades from which the remainder of the themed clues have been taken). Happy Christmas.

  38. Happy Christmas all – I am still being driven to 29a by the parsing of 1a . If the country is a fictional one , as I assume , why do we need the sea’s edge??
    And with 4d , if ag is the first part , how do the second parts relate ?? Cheers !

  39. Whoops – just saw 4d. So only the 1a prob. More Xmas cheers while I’m here again so soon.

  40. I came on today for 7A. Thanks, all, for the resolutionary process!
    DA likes his cricket, at least cryptically. So I was curious, like Mary, about his angle on 30A!
    Julie, the country is a real one (2,3,5,6). Actually it’s not new but cryptically it is (1). And it houses ‘against’ (4) and ‘sea’s edge’ (5)
    Thank you, everyone, for your 2019 help and associated chat. To 2020!

  41. Thanks johnno2 – I had ‘new’ as anangrind , and “narnia’ as the angrist. Perfect, if not for the sea’s edge :(

  42. Hi Julie w – great idea, but that would count as indirect. Also, ‘country’ would probably need fictional as well, to be fair.

  43. No worries, Julie. And I must correct myself ( you and others probably already have but are being polite!) – the country only houses ‘against’; the ‘sea’s edge’ is at the edge (7)! Got my As a-about!

  44. Sorry, I’m a novice to your site, but what are FOI and DOI? (Thought FOI was what the government doesn’t provide when you ask what it’s been up to).

  45. FOI First One In (I prefer FOO First One Out)
    DOI someone hitting D instead of F in above I suspect
    LOI is Last One In (I prefer LOI as above)

  46. askvictor,
    21d
    Answer = apprentice.
    “Lyricist” auditioned is a homonym indicator. The lyricist is Alan Jay Lerner best known from the team Lerner and Lowe.

    15d
    Answer “doorman”
    “Clubs” = 1
    “Formerly” = 2-4,9
    Gained “one bit of work” = 5-8.

    If no one is around it is worthwhile checking out zinzan blog.

    Happy holiday.

  47. Margaret, “auditioned” is a homophone indicator. A homophone is a word that sounds the same as another but their spelling differs.

    Homonyms are words that have the same spelling and usually sound alike, but have different meanings (e.g. dog bark, tree bark).

  48. You are correct, got the wrong word. Thanks. Knew I should just say “sounds like” :)

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