DA Confusion for the 27th of March, 2020

Get your confusions sorted out for this week’s coronavirus DA. Stay safe with a crossie in lockdown!

39 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 27th of March, 2020

  1. Morning Trippers. Hope you’re all well.
    FOI 15a. Some beauties on the RHS. 22a, 25a, and 14, 16 and 20 down.
    But slowed on the LHS. Time for a cuppa.

  2. Enjoyed today’s. First one in 14d. 23a another easy starter. 6d is clever. Still to work out the wordplay in 13a and 1d.

    Might go and print off a few Guardian ones now. I have lots of hours to fill, being in self-isolation. Almost got stuck in Chile a week ago — just got out in time.

    Hope all are well. Go wash your hands …

  3. Again started and ended with a rush, very slow in the middle; ended up at average finishing time though.

    FOI 22D and 23A, LOI 7A and 2D. Oter good starters might include 24/12A, 5D,6D. 15D. Didn’t know 7A in that context.

    Peter: any references to small birds are very welcome in these times, I would have thought.

  4. Needed a couple of word-filler-inners to finish. Love DA’s disguised definitions.
    Just 21a still to parse. Alternative spellings but only one can be right depending on the wordplay.
    Agree Geoff M. 6 d is clever. Trade you 13 a and 1d (if still needed) for 21a?

  5. FOI 2A 25A 11A. LOI 22A (still not sure about the wordplay. Favourites 15A (great clue), 8D, and 25A for the ornithological language ;)

  6. Peter,
    I also thought 25ac was a bit OTT. I know it has pretence of being about birds but the ‘alternate meaning’ is not just cheeky, it’s pornographic.
    I don’t think it’s an appropriate clue, avian possibility or not.

  7. Tim C,
    I’m aware that ‘tit’, like most words, has multiple meanings.
    Let’s assume ‘tit’ was not a bird, would you accept the clue ? For those who don’t know, and only see a reminder on a winged creature, can you explain what the ‘other’ meaning might be ?
    As I said, ‘cheeky’ is one level but this is OTT.

  8. I wasn’t so fussed about 25A – don’t read it as avian, but an expression (not so common now maybe) meaning ‘annoy’.
    FOI 5D,25A, 24/12A; LOI 17A. Wordplay unsure for 13A, 21A, 15D, 20D and 22D.

  9. I can’t agree it is pornographic. A tad saucy maybe, but you get more extreme language used elsewhere in the paper and on the TV news.

    TimC: If you mean 22D, it’s a container clue, read backwards.

  10. I don’t think “Vice versa” is an indication to read backwards; I think it means that the second item clasps the first, rather than the other way around.

  11. There’s an abbreviation and 5 definitions for ‘tit’ in Chambers. Take your pick.
    I get that 22D is a container clue, just not the backwards bit, unless vice versa just means the opposite of clasp.

  12. Don’t think we should get our ‘tits in a tangle’* over it.

    *common vernacular when I grew up….like “sentimentality …a major response to a minor provocation”…but the former says it better.
    Have a great weekend all.

  13. @Tim C It’s “take your pick” if you are happy for the clue to be nonsense, but really only one meaning works from a surface point of view (and not that well IMO). That one meaning does paint a risque picture that some may not be happy with, and that’s understandable.

  14. All out, all understood, at a steady but plodding pace. Thought there were some great clues today, especially 15a, 6d, and the cryptic definition of 1d.

    As for 25a, I enjoyed the clue, and maybe it’s a generational thing but to me it seems a fairly innocuous phrase for “to be annoying”, just a slightly more vulgar version of “to get on sb’s nerves”.

    Happy solving all, glad to have cryptics to keep me sane in isolation!

  15. I didn’t really care for 25a language myself. (And as someone said above, it doesn’t make much sense using the small bird meaning.) Anyway. Shall not get mine in a tangle over it.
    Speaking as one who usually fills in the last one on Sunday night, I think this one is rather plain sailing. Perhaps DA is mindful of more people with time on their hands than usual, and is going easy on potential newbies.

  16. This site used to be a great source of solving tips and explanations of wordplay. Lately it seems to be populated almost exclusively by those solely wishing to share that they finished it all. I’m guessing that strugglers, like myself often, have started feeling discouraged about admitting ignorance. I’d be interested in thoughts on how to reverse this trend.

  17. Tony, I guess a lot of us feel there’s no reason to post until we’ve finished, unless asking for help. I (and others) try to give suggestions as to some easier clues to start off. And people are usually obliging if you need some hints. These hints are usually small early in the day, and become more helpful later (and next days). This, I guess, is to avoid “spoilers”.

    I’m sure if there are specific clues you’re struggling with, people will be happy to assist.

  18. Hi Tony:

    I think pointers can and should be given for old and new alike, without ruining it. And there were plenty of requests for parsing today, but none were taken up.

    SB, Gayle and Geoff M all were unsure about the parsing of 13A, 1D, 21A, 15D, 20D and 22D.

    Perhaps solvers could address those points. I’m all out and am still unsure of the final parsing of 21A. All the rest I think I have.

    As for 25A: yes, it struck me as risque at first, but now I just see it as part of the “held back” (container and reversal) of words 4-7, to give the answer, the first two words being the definition.

  19. Re 21A, Xmgjim , ‘male’ is 1-4 and 5-8 are a word for ‘dressing’ with a word for ‘clique’ removed.

  20. 13A, 1D, 21A, 15D, 20D and 22D that Xmigjim said are outstanding queries.

    Some quick hints while onions clarifying.

    13Adef “outstanding (sic!) reality star” Short retiring libertine is 1-3, pinch 4-7…
    1D DA obsession? CS Lewis…
    21A see mine above
    15D def”threat to game” but not “sports”
    20D “frames” refer to the frames of words
    22D see previous discussion. I’m comfortable with “vice-versa” here meaning “unclasp”.

  21. Tony, my intention of posting First Ones In (FOI) is that I found them easier and assume that others may do so as well.

    As far as the requests go…
    13A, Short retiring libertine gives 1-3. I struggled with pinch for 4-7 for a while before thinking of cookery
    1D, Think lions
    21A, Male is 1-4. Think of another word for dressing and remove the clique.
    15D, Words for strengths with we replaced by ‘long’. Great clue
    20D, Unusual word for cactus. Concentrate on ‘frames’
    22D, See above. Still not completely happy with the wordplay.

    How else can I reverse the trend?

  22. Mike,
    Please don’t open previous controversies again with your reference to ‘outstanding’ ;)
    I like your explanation for 22D. I’m happy now.

  23. Tks Mike

    Got the first 4 letters for 21A. Probably having a dense moment re letters 5-9. Understand it’s dressing minus clique. I’m sure it will come to me after sleep!

    Tony: may I suggest DA’s book Rewording the Brain. First part explores the different parts of the brain/mind triggered by cryptics and other puzzles;

    Second part goes step-by-step into the cryptic compilers’ devices, explaining the different stratagems they employ;

    Third part: cryptics from easier to harder (solutions provided, without explicit explanations).

    I looked at DA for years and didn’t have a clue. Decided I wanted to and after some time can generally solve, even if slowly. He recommends “reverse engineering” in the learning phase: ie, see the answers next day and work backwards.

    Heard a new expression recently (very Aussie): “I’m going into ISO”.

  24. @ Xmgjim, have you had any enlightenment over 21a? I’ve woken up none the wiser for letters 5-9, even with the spelling confirmed this morning. It’s one of those clues if you’re lucky to hit on either the dressing or the clique you’ll get it, but if neither occur to you , you’re stumped. Well I am, anyway.

    DA’s earlier book Puzzled was good too. ‘Reverse engineering’ worked for me. I started out by idling away with the Tele’s 2 way crosswords, easy cryptics with the ‘quick’ answers side by side, then gradually moved on to doing cryptics and checking back the next day for the answers. Those were the days when I loved to hear the thud of the newspaper on the grass. Sigh.
    A couple of extended periods of recuperation from surgery and online cryptic sites and blogs helped as well, especially the Guardian which Geoff M mentioned.

    But ‘reverse engineering’ hasn’t helped me with 21a 5-9. Anyone?

  25. Hi Gayle, 21a letters 5-9 are the first four letters of an 8-letter word for “dressing” (in the sense of clothes rather than salads), while the dropped last four letters are also a word for clique (think band or circle of friends). Hope that helps!

  26. Ah, thank you Luke. I was thinking of “dressing” along the same lines but as the six-letter noun, and assumed that “RE” was a clique with which I was unfamiliar. Your explanation makes a lot more sense.

  27. Welcome to Yet Another Geoff – and my thoughts exactly. While here, I can’t find the def for 7a in the dictionary – it’s all about gambling maths. Stable strap ??

  28. A tough one l thought.
    Can’t get 7a. Fully.
    I presume first word is definition, and l don’t know the stable. Can’t get letters 1 and 3 to make this work.
    Hold the press, looking at some posts above, is the answer a small bird? That could work but I don’t see how stable strap fits.

  29. Phil, the Oxford definition of 7a is “a strap or set of straps running from the noseband or reins to the girth of a horse, used to prevent the horse from raising its head too high.” Letters 1-7 are a synonym for “hurting” with its first letter removed (“head stricken”). Hope this isn’t too much of a spoiler only twenty-four hours in …

  30. Usual Fri pm start FOI 14D, LOI 2D enjoyed 15A & 17A Struggled with top NW corner came to Trippers and thanks to GeoffM for clue for 7A, Like Phil I thought the definition was stable
    and TimC for 1D finished at last.
    Cheers everybody DA certainly helps with stay at home policy
    GeoffM I’m glad you got home from Chilie no complications I trust.

  31. As usual, I am having trouble with one that no one else did. 6D is not surrendering to me.

    It’s Sunday so there is probably no one here, but if there is, can you give me a vague push in the right direction?

  32. Carol, you’ll like 6d once you get it. Think of stakes in a fence. When spoken the word sounds like a two-word description of a courtier.

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