DA Confusion for the 20th of November, 2020

Have your confusions sorted out for this week’s DA. Get on it.

105 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 20th of November, 2020

  1. Melanie 17D is made up of 1-2 from house, 3-5 for cleaner and 6-9 for practice.

    I did not enjoy this at all.

  2. I often find with these kinds of puzzles that the key clue is one of the last to discover, but gave it a go and it went in first. DA was being kind. Must admit he was brave for taking this on as these kinds of clues often cause controversy. Good fun.
    Was going for another possibility for 21d, much older than the correct answer, but couldn’t fully parse it. Thought it might have been because I didn’t get ‘alientating’ which I think is a typo, at least in this online version. Serves me right for not sticking to the wordplay. That helped with LOI 28a. Enjoyed the tease in 18d with 2 possibilities of 17ds and consequently multiple possible definitions. Had to get the cross letters first.

  3. Nup. Not today. After half an hour I’d only got one answer (13a), so I gave up. Looked at the solution and even my 13a was wrong. Clearly today’s is hard work, and I daresay not rewarding enough to justify it. So I’m taking my bat and ball and will get my fix today from the Guardian. See you all next week.

  4. I don’t mind the theme, having worked it out thanks to a couple of comments here. However I have an answer for 8d that is one letter longer than fits. And yes I have applied 17d to the definition.

  5. Looked at it before lights out and got 20A, anagram and knew what the theme was
    Woke up this morning and while thinking about it in bed 17D just jumped out

  6. @Clark, Is it a variant/foreign spelling you have in mind for 8d? Not sure what you might be thinking of.

    I can’t parse 7d. I googled and came up with a kind of sedan. Am I on the mark?

  7. Clark, 8D – the theme has 2 parts. It either works as:
    a) CLUE ENLISTS A 17D
    or
    b) CLUES THE ANSWERS’S 17D.

    8D is the latter. So the answer you work out is not the word that goes in.
    This was what repeatedly did my head in with this puzzle.

  8. Clark, sorry I was answering 7D. Ignore my comment.
    Maybe comment will help Gayle.

  9. Clark – if you really mean as written, then you do not have correct answer for 8D – as not an angler.

  10. @ Clark. No, that’s a red herring. Both the answer and the ‘angler’ are foreign, a different sort of game. :-)

  11. First ones 13a,15d,18d,2d,10a. Got the theme a fair bit before I got 17d. LOI 23a. Favourites 8d for ‘victim of fissure’ and 26d for ‘roughly cloned’. Enjoyable and a nice challenge.

  12. Got 17d immediately, 4 or 5 others – then a blank wall for a good 20 minutes. Finally struggled to the end in substantially longer than normal time.

    This theme needed a completely different solving technique than normal, I’d say.

    FOI 17d, 6A. LOI 8D, 13A.

  13. Well, much too difficult, too mind-bending for mine. I first put in an anagram for CHEATS, in 16A, but then decided to check the official answer, which gave me the clue for 17D. So I solved a few more, but have decided to give DA best at this time.

  14. Ah! Penny has dropped for 8d. Thanks Gayle and DAJunkie. My red herring was mallowy, as a possible alternate spelling of mullaway. I think I can say that here because it’s wrong. It fits the wordplay though.

  15. I give up…where do I find the solution? Before I go there I’d like enlightenment on 7d,8d, and 23,28,29a. What is happening to my spelling with 30a, to fit in with the 17d answer?

  16. happy chappy – this is probably too big a hint, but what if (for instance) 8D finished with “fischer” rather than “fissure”?

    Also re-read my first entry at 5:09am

  17. DAJunkie says:
    20 Nov 2020 at 10:36 am
    happy chappy – this is probably too big a hint, but what if (for instance) 8D finished with “fischer” rather than “fissure”

    Probably way too big a hint at this stage

  18. That was the most fun I’ve had solving a crossword in a long time! Lucky to get 17d as my FOI, quickly followed by 3d, 6a, and 13a (the last one confused me for a while as I searched for the 17d, before realising I needed to amend my answer). LOI 26d, 21d (Who’d have thought I’d forget one of my favourite bands?!) and 28a.

    Happy Chappy, for 30a: the clue as written gives you the 17d of the answer you need to write in (it’s an example of ‘part b)’ in DAJunkie’s comment at 8:30). With the exception of 8d, all of the other clues you’ve asked for help with are the same, where you need to solve the clue to get a word, then write in the 17d of that word

  19. Luke, thank you…I’m with you, however I’ve obviously messed up with a couple of answers because using the 17d directive still doesn’t clear the way for me. Can you or anyone direct me to the solution that a couple of you have alluded to?

  20. Cokes – sorry. Maybe should have put in other thread. Or said nothing.
    Just don’t like it when people can’t get a start, as even after that there is still a lot of solving to do.

  21. happy chappy, it’s tricky to think of a way of describing it without giving the whole thing away. Just to clarify, do you have 17d?

    Of the ones you’ve asked about, 29a might be the easiest (comparatively) to explain cryptically. The clue as written gives a 5-letter word that fits the given definition. However, the ultimate solution that you need to write in is a 4-letter 17d of that 5-letter word, and which otherwise bears no connection to the clue. Does that help at all??

  22. happy chappy, if you’re a hardcopy solver like me you have to wait for tomorrow’s newspaper for the solution. Otherwise, I think the on-line version has revealable answers.

  23. I think I’m with Graham and Arthur on this one. Surprisingly the only answer I have is 17D. I also have the two relevant words for 13A but with no cross letters I’ve no idea which is the actual correct answer.

  24. Laughing hysterically at these comments, as this is the first DA in years that neither of us could finish, well after 4 hours anyway. Thanks iPad for revealing a few answers, some of which we’re still at a loss to parse, eg 19 d. Good fun, Sandy needs a cold compress.

  25. DaJunkie, no worries, just thought it may give whole them.

    A good clue to get them is my FOI, 20A , solve that (without theme) and see how the first two words could parse it.

  26. What a head-scratcher, and I love it!

    FOI 17D, 24D, 5D, 6A, 7D

    7D is when I realised how to apply the theme at speed, because it’s the only one of its kind (the tougher kind) amongst the above starters.

    Still going.

  27. My favourite so far is 8D, because I thought I was getting too clever for DA only to realise after a google that I was out of line and I took DA’s bait

  28. I managed 17D at first glance; the whole thing was not too bad after that, although probably more difficult than usual. The only thing I can’t parse is 5-8 in 9d, which I presume is defined by ‘a sacrificial sort’

  29. I don’t think I have the stamina for this.

    It took me ages to figure out 17d because, in my book, letters 3-5 is also a useless house cleaner (or useless clothes cleaner, I suppose). Peter helped me see the light. I thought I had 8D too and then became a stunned 8D when I discovered I was wrong.

  30. Jack – 9d 5-8 is defined by “sacrificial sort in declaring”

    A wrestle – but a very enjoyable one.

  31. What defines a good cryptic is the use of clever misdirection and amusing combination of words in the clue. It really does not need a fancy extra application to each clue. As a result DA is forced into “a flour” (really?) in 27ac and the unnecessary “to” in 15d. Sorry, but please DA stick to the standard rules – they work wonderfully. This one is solvable but not very enjoyable. I can see I am not the only complainer.

  32. KraDen Yes “alienating” indicates what can be left out of some element of the clue. I saw the answer at the Albert Hall a few hours after the Stones.

  33. I always love something new in the cryptics rather than same old same old. Cant solve it yet though. :-) I had heard DA say once that normally with themed puzzles you can usually only make ~15 or so clues themed as the puzzle then dictates what it needs to fill out the rest. Hats off to making one though with every clue in the theme. I havent seen that before. That must not have been easy.

  34. Thaks Mike. I understand thats what alienating means but my copy of the Xword has “alienTating”. Its the extra “t” that I’m asking about.

  35. KraDen. ‘alientating’ threw me right off too. Gotta be a typo. Dodge the extra t. It’s solvable without it.

  36. I’ve joined Arthur and TimC even after hints about 17d and 20a
    I can reveal that many months ago Margaret mentioned a site where hard copy solvers can get answers and parsing. She used it as a last resort when parsing eluded her after solving the puzzle.
    zinzan_xwd.live journal. com
    I went there after throwing in the towel

  37. Well, I found (and am still finding) this a lot of fun – still a long way to go. Chill out PeterW. You either enjoy it or you don’t. No big deal. What defines a good cryptic is DA. SonOfBruze I agree – very clever to carpet the whole thing with theme. My favourites so far are 8D and 9D. Still going with 28A, 29A, 19D, 26D, and most of NW. I have a neat answer for 14A (defined by 1st word) but not sure it’s correct and can’t work out wordplay

  38. Graham M, if you’re still here, the Financial Times also has a free daily crossword. I enjoy them more than the ones from The Guardian. It’s one of four cryptics that I do daily: The Age, The Times in the Australian, The Guardian and the Financial Times.

  39. Now just missing 28A and 26D. I’ll keep an eye out for any subtle hints. Seems my guess for 14A was correct but still don’t get all the wordplay. A few other wordplays elude me as well. Very enjoyable.

  40. SB 14A is anagram of “estates” and the flanks of “council”. Definition is 17D of “heir”.

    28A is a measure of paper and a 17D of people who use “notes” – think music.

    26D roughly is a two letter word meaning “about”. Cloned means it is used twice so that gives letters 1-4. The fifth is the “marrow” of “row”. Answer is a 17D of “been”.

  41. “PeterW says:
    20 Nov 2020 at 2:15 pm
    As a result DA is forced into “a flour” (really?) in 27ac and the unnecessary “to” in 15d. Sorry, but please DA stick to the standard rules –”

    I think the “a flour” is necessary, in line with the theme. I agree, the “to” is superfluous/incorrect grammar.

    Got all in, enjoyed it , some clever ones…..
    …if anyone can shed light on the correct parsing of 19A and 19D as well as 28A, otherwise all makes sense to me.

    Now for the Saturday, which I enjoy every week, nice consistent difficulty, and to get to the back log on my app of last two weeks, been too busy working/travelling.

  42. Thanks, Peter, I’ll check out the Financial Times.

    I find there’s a big variety in the Guardian’s offerings. After I took my bat and ball from here today I found that today’s Guardian puzzle was by one of my least favourite compilers (Paul) so I ended up having a pleasant day of mostly outdoor pursuits. Some of their puzzles are reasonably easy, others more challenging, usually all rewarding. We down under are occasionally at a disadvantage with “Britishisms”, but mustn’t grumble!

  43. No worries IanS. I just wondered why I was in illustrious company for a while. :)

    Cokes, 19a, 5 letter word meaning angrily and quit the model giving divine. 19d, Horse (1 letter) leaves 5 letter grain followed by woman’s gives stand. 28a, 7 letter word for need with ‘note’ (think sol-fa) missing.

  44. 8D for me was one of two US TV cops from the 1970s who roared around in a muscle car – ‘Heavens’ fitted quite well but not much else!
    Assuming that 22D is a clue that enlists a 17D, it doesn’t seem to follow the pattern of others of its type ie the 17D doesn’t relate directly to the definition – or am I missing something?

  45. Luke 11.05, Tim C 11.10, thank you both from this hardcopy ‘trier’ more than solver. I messed up 19d and then other bits.
    Peter 5.46…do you pay for the other 4 papers, or do you get them through using your library card? Our state library has stopped providing The Times (London), and releases the text issue of other papers only, not the image, so no crosswords available from them. Would love to know how you have access.

  46. SlowA. 22d definition is homophone of (iffy?) synonym for delay > wait.
    I suppose you could say we had a 4 hour wait/delay before the next flight.
    I didn’t know the horror movie and had to look it up.

  47. happy chappy, With free access to online papers including the crosswords: Guardian, Independent and Financial Times, would you not be able to view them online at the library and print a hard copy? They all have a print option.

    They’re all parsed in detail and blogged on http://www.fifteensquared.net/

  48. Good morning Gayle, I think I was given that info a while ago, but the old brain didn’t fully follow through…I just looked up your site and had a smile…thank you! Whether I’m simply bone-idle, or the old legs don’t fancy the trip to the library every day, it’s great to be able to have access from home again. Enjoy your first cuppa for the day.

  49. fifteeensquared and the Guardian’s own cryptic crossword blog have grown exponentially (pardon the expression) during the pandemic. They’re an alternative community for crossword aficionados during lockdown. As the Guardian’s cryptics come online at midnight UK time, a lot of the Aussies get in first. The Guardian blog is a bit like (most of) us early birds on Trippers, trying not to give too much away, or not to parse at all. Newbies and repeat offenders are referred to 15 squared. The convention now on 15sq is to put ‘off-topic’ chat in square brackets. That often has a life of its own. Have fun!

  50. Loved the crossword style …bit like a three step clue… Tim C still can’t get 19a…also help needed for 21d and 28 a

    Loved 1 across as clever and new info regarding the three special numbers.

  51. JP, angrily = hotly in 19a. Remove the model. Insert the 17d. Does that help?
    21d, anagram of ‘led astray’ missing ‘a bourgeois base’ (as). First name Roger. 17d is “banned”.
    28a need = require, 2 letter note (re) leaves, gives papers. Insert the 17d.

  52. Thanks Tim C

    Re 19D
    The the grain and the horse I understood, but with the horse back in the answer that threw me for a while, got it

  53. A brilliant but frequently infuriating Xword. I sympathise with PeterW I don’t mind stretching the “rules”- a lot- but this poor mathematician found it too contrived and beyond perverse. As DAJunkie said “The answer you work out is not the word that goes in. This was what repeatedly did my head in with this puzzle.”
    Several clues witty and v clever. Many a struggle. 13a how does Cannes regularly give you NES? 23a I can’t justify the backwards element- why the “A”? 1a One parapet doesn’t make a fort.

  54. richard, in 13a Cannes regularly doesn’t give NES, it gives ANS, which with the French first person at 1,2 gives “strides”. The NES is in the 17d that’s entered in the grid. For 23a, odd figure is seven, almost retired gives eves (“nights before”). The A is in the 17d which is entered.
    The definition in 1d is “fort (fought) bank” not just “fort”

  55. Brilliant and challenging Cryptic. Seems some have taken their bat and ball etc. Funny how the anger is directed at the setter when the inadequacies arise…and now the homophones are showing that some look at the answers and still cant parse…DAs fault again? As a 70s teen loved 8D and 21D and enjoyed the Quick Xword immensely too.

  56. Actually MikeJ, I think the compiler is responsible for the level of difficulty that exists in their crosswords. No point creating something that the majority of regular solvers can’t solve. I’m not sure what’s meant by inadequacies – not all solvers are at the same level, and that’s ok. A compiler should know their solving audience and compile accordingly – if people are having trouble solving, then the compiler should take some responsibility IMO. Issues with a crossword like this would come to light during any test solving done prior to publication, and adjustments made.

  57. Really enjoyed this one. A real brain twister, particularly the two different ways of using the theme. I had the wrong answer to 13A for a while and thought DA had written a straight definition, then realised I had to use the 17D of that word. Only hit me when J did not work in 9 D.

  58. Stunning crossword. The best SMH that I’ve ever done. Took me 32 hours on and off, but loved every moment. Well done, DA.

  59. I get the impression that some people have managed to shoehorn a wrong answer into 8d. Hope it’s late enough to point out that the answer has nothing to do with Starsky & Hutch.

  60. As an English-speaker who pronounces the letter ‘r’, including post-vowels, fought/fort, awed/oared are not true 17dns. Only speakers of that variety of English known as Received Pronunciation would think so. That was a challenge.

    Anyway got it all out. Thanks to all the hints and tips. Wouldn’t have made it without them.

    Have some sympathy with you, PeterW: too convoluted, some brilliant some strained.

  61. @Xmgjim, Rhotic speakers such as yourrrself would, as you say, have had an extra challenge and I was wondering when you might come out of the woodworrrk.

    I had a problem with wholly/holy/hotly because of the vowel, but there’s that other thing that what you see is not necessarily what you hear.

  62. It’s been interesting reading the comments. Lots of people I’ve not seen here before. Perhaps this week we’ll hit the ton! (I don’t think that’s happened before, although we’ve come close a few times.)

    I note that several others joined me in taking their bat and ball, but a great many more persevered and have been almost rapturous in their praise. So, with a slight sense of shame, I guess next time our Mr Astle throws us a curveball, I should be a little more patient! 32 hours though, as someone said, might be a bit extreme …

  63. Dear TimC

    Many thanks for your cogent explanations. Understood re 13a ANS; noted re fort- I forgot about “bank”. Re 23a I had worked out all of what you say, except the A. That’s fine of course for the homophone but shouldn’t it also work in the wordplay? Perhaps I’m being too literal.

  64. I wasn’t 32 hours Graham M, but more than my usual time, if there is such a thing. As I said in my OP, I sort of got the theme before I got 17d and then got hung up on trying to make 17d equal homonym. I’ve since educated myself on the difference between homonym and 17d (yes there is one). I guess I enjoyed this week so much because I love a challenge. I’m an engineer by trade so “dog with a bone” is apt. I cut my teeth on the Listener Crossword many years ago and there were a few times me and a work colleague spent a week of lunchtimes and evenings and still not manage the complete solution.

  65. Hi all,
    Not related to let Friday’s DA but is there an archive of DA crosswords somewhere?
    Would appreciate a point in the right direction!
    Thanks

  66. Hi Richard,
    “That’s fine of course for the homophone but shouldn’t it also work in the wordplay?”. Not really. There are 2 types of clue in this crossword as mentioned in the instructions. The first type of clue ‘enlists’ a homophone and the second type of clue gives a word whose homophone has to be entered. It did my head in a bit working out which was which, but I think 23a is the second sort where what is entered is a homophone of the answer to the (normal) clue. The definition and wordplay for 23a gives a four letter word “eves”, but the homophone is what is entered (5 letters) in the grid. Hence the ‘A’ is not included in the wordplay. Clues of the first sort have a homophone of the answer as a definition. An example of the first sort would be 20a where the definition in the clue is a homophone of the ‘real’ definition.
    I struggled working out which clues were of which type, as the number of letter indications and the crossed letters were not as useful as in a ‘normal’ crossword.

  67. If anyone is still monitoring this, can someone help with the parsing of 19D? We’ve got the answer, but don’t follow the word play, despite some attempts above (so probably need detailed help,).
    Thanks

  68. 19d, Horse leaves grain. H (horse as in the drug heroin) leaves wheat, woman’s is her, giving “weather” (definition is stand as in endure). The homophone “whether” is inserted in the grid.

  69. Hi Debbi, I have a similar problem re 19 D. Pre homophone definition = Stand, as in how you might handle a storm. Then apply the 17D. Woman’s = 5-7. All good. Grain = 1-4 minus one letter. But how does that letter equate to horse?

  70. Great cryptic, thank you DA

    In between birth of new grandson and looking after a 4 yo this was a haven of me-time.
    I love feeling the impossibility of the task then slowly getting the hang of it.

    I remember feeling angry years ago when I first attempted DA, to the point of ringing the SMH to complain! The woman on the other end of the phone very kindly said”some people like the difficult crosswords”. Thanks to sites like this one I’m able to complete DA now!

    (I initially thought 1d was rampart (school girl latin remembered).)

  71. I must be getting this very wrong, Tim C, but surely you have a to take an ‘a’ out of wheat to get ‘whet’, not an ‘h’?

  72. My understanding, Ian, is that the clue is cluing the homopohone, ie “weather”, not the answer (“whether”), in which case it’s the “h” that disappears (“leaves”).

  73. Since this preamble applied to every clue, I’m looking forward to a Trip-Kick crossword one day, where every answer would be a spooner.

  74. Congratulations Graham M. Is that a good enough prize? I’m also glad that you could explain about weather/whether in 3 lines when I failed in 21 lines. :)

  75. Thank you, DA. I went from an unproductive hour, to completing one of the most memorable of your crosswords. To those who want DA to “stick to the rules”, I say Don’t Attempt. For you there is an eternity of straightforward and yes, clever, cryptics out there.
    As an educator, I love the way DA extends our somewhat channelled brains; not only laterally, but into a myriad of other dimensions!
    All strength to your arm, David, and thanks again.

  76. SB; quite late to the game but for 14a, flanks in council gives you two letters, estate gives you 6, then 4D the lot.

    Still working on it myself, finally making progress after a few hints from here, but all in good fun. Maybe it’s my masochistic streak, but I like the themed ones the best even if they take all week.

  77. Gah, somehow only half the comments loaded; I was wondering why the comments stopped on the 20th. Thought perhaps that everyone had given up and gone home

  78. I told my friend I thought it was the best DA ever. He replied “I think he needs 2 sets of clues. DA and DA light”

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