DA Confusion for the 11th of December, 2020

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

98 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 11th of December, 2020

  1. Morning Trippers. Found this a bit tricky to start off. A couple of ‘out there’ indicators, definitions and grammatical manoeuvres. LHS went in first. LOI 6a, which I had to reveal (gotta get some work done before Chrissy do today). No idea of the parsing, and hadn’t heard of the answer.

  2. Gayle – yeah – 6A really tricky – (cryptically criptic).
    “King’s monster you escaped” gives 2,3,4.

  3. Thanks DAJunkie, I would never have got that, even though some of it is familiar. But will say no more for now. See how others fare.

  4. All done.
    Might be a touch early for such explicit clues.

    FOI 3D
    LOI 6A which I did like

    Took me a couple of “thinking” breaks to get this out.
    Enjoy.

  5. This one kinda clicked with me, got it done in a bit under my usual time.

    FOI 1A, 4D. LOI 6A, 8D.

    Good starters might be 1D, 3D, 29A, 14D, 28A, 20D.

    Happy solving!

  6. First ones 1a,1d,2d,9a,3d,24d. LOI 16a. Favourite 13d. I struggled a bit with the right hand side, especially the NE corner.
    The order seems wrong for 16a, and I wonder about 5d. Also, are the ellipses in 6d/7d there just for the surface?
    Spelling in 27a is a valid definition, although I see what you’re thinking of Cokes and DAJunkie.
    A bit trickier this week, but 2d and persevere.

  7. Cokes says:
    11 Dec 2020 at 10:03 am
    27A has a mis-spelling, surely?

    Last word needs an ‘e’ instead of ‘o’ to make sense

  8. Tim C says:
    11 Dec 2020 at 10:46 am
    Spelling in 27a is a valid definition, although I see what you’re thinking of Cokes and DAJunkie.

    Can’t say that I have heard of that as a synonym to be honest

  9. Tim C – I think 16A is fine. One is replaced by three.
    I agree re 6D / 7D.

  10. Had to take a few breaks today to reset my grey matter, but got there in the end. Fewer smiles than normal. 8d was probably my favourite. I’d have spelt 9a with a different vowel. I was frustrated in one particular clue as I had the anagram, anagrind and definition all swapped around for quite some time, due no doubt to some cunning misdirection. At this stage my three “Huh?”s are 11a, 18a & 21a, but it’s probably a bit early to ask for help — I’ll do so later if they haven’t hit me by then.

  11. No-one has mentioned 28a. I would have thought that should read: Barely make waves.

  12. I agree that there’s an extraneous ‘s’ in 28A. I also agree that the ellipses are extraneous in 6/7. Otherwise, a very good and challenging puzzle.

  13. Yes, ellipses can be critical to the clues or just red herrings, in this case the latter. All part of life’s rich tapestry …

    Agreed, “makes” in 28a should really be “make”.

    I’ve figured out 11a, so my “Huh?” list has shrunk to two.

  14. Graham M, re your ‘huh’ list. I really liked 18a with the whole clue and the solution kind of related. I was imagining DA having a chuckle with his ‘uncovering obligatory…… ‘ which could equally be an old library task. The way his mind works is amazing.

  15. 18a has clicked, but no joy with 21a. Is it just a double definition? I’ve never heard it as a synonym for “revolver”.

  16. Graham,
    ‘revolver’ is an example of the second definition, which DA should really have indicated.
    It’s more associated with gangster films etc.

  17. Carol,
    It took me a few goes as well. Let it percolate in the background.

  18. Is the anagrind in 1A acceptable? Surely not. (Trying not to give too much away)
    Extreme difficulty with 6A. Can’t even identify the definition.
    Very slow progress everywhere.

  19. Belated Happy Birthday Mr Astle !!!!
    Slow going this week but enjoying it. Still missing 4d, 5d, 15d, 14a, 18a (there’s an obvious word but don’t get the wordplay), and 21A, and word play for 22a and 13d.

  20. (There’s an obvious word, too, for 14A but again I don’t get the wordplay)

  21. Getting a few more after a break and with Twinings stimulant but still very hard-going. Perhaps tomorrow.

  22. Aha – you must mean 14A . I wasn’t aware of that meaning of ‘struck’. Thanks again.

  23. Whoops, crossed posts!

    By the by, I dimly remember reading of an experiment which involved people solving cryptic crosswords. As I recall, they had a group of people locked up all doing the crossword of the day, and another group locked up all doing the crossword of the day before. The aim was to find out if the second group could somehow ‘access’ the answers that would be out there in the ether, so to speak, because of all the people who had already done it.

    Does anyone else know of this?

  24. I wasted a lot of time with 1a, thinking that “the sly” was an anagrind, “origami on” was the anagram, and “continued” was the definition. So I fell into Mr Astle’s trap. That I’d entered “model” for 3d led me to think I was on the right track.

  25. Carol, I wasn’t aware of that experiment. Interesting. I’d be mightily surprised if it threw up anything.

  26. Carol, that sounds like a test of Sheldrake’s morphic resonance theory. Complete tosh, of course!

  27. SB, 21a is a double definition and for 15d ignore the single quotes (there to mislead) and read abuse as a verb

  28. Thanks Tim C.
    Ah. So I had the wrong answer for 14A – no wonder I wasn’t aware of that meaning of ‘struck’! It all makes sense now.
    Graham M, I too had ‘model’ for 3D. Quite a distraction for quite a while.
    Till next week.

  29. Hi all, can anybody explain 7D? Me n the brains trust are all stumped

    Assuming a homophone but can’t pick the word for wangle

  30. It’s not a homophone but a double definition for 7d Danny. The first definition is ‘to remarkably wangle’ and is a slang word that’s not in Chambers.

  31. SB: I can’t remember now if any conclusions were drawn. And no, it doesn’t seem likely that it would have worked.
    AndrewT: I’m claiming the name “Sheldrake’s Morphic Resonance” for when I start my throw-back 60s psychedelic band.

  32. despite the early hint I can’t understand 2/3/4/ in 6a “King’s monster you escaped” gives 2,3,4.

    nor the wordplay in 18A

  33. 6a – Think of a Stephen King character minus the “u”.
    18a – uncovering “obligatory” boxes “old” (answer equals) “library task”.

  34. @richard, I hope it’s late enough in the day. I didn’t have a clue about 6a without DA Junkie’s hint so would love to help. If you have the answer from online version (or tomorrow’s paper), insert a ‘u’ (you escaped) between letters 2 and 3, then google 2, U, 3, 4 and you’ll find ‘King’s monster’ .
    Frankly I think that clue is unfair. If the definition is difficult the wordplay shouldn’t be, and vice versa.

  35. And 18a:
    Take the first letter off (uncovering) a synonym for obligatory in the sense of a clause in a contract, or promise, and this contains (boxes) a 2 letter prefix or abbreviation for ‘old’.
    The answer is a ‘library task’.

  36. Missed your post Margaret while looking at the crossie. The (Stephen) King clue was no help to me at all. My brother had an animal similar to that, which he jokingly called 2 U 3 4. Had no idea why.

  37. At some stage, could somebody parse 16A for me? I’m assuming 1 is direct from the clue and 2,3 is “super-soft” but how “Gangleader falls for” then provides 4-8 escapes me.

    I often want to add my two-penn’orth on ‘Matters Arising’ – and there are several today! – particularly as a constructor. But I question my motives, so “Discretion is…”!

  38. johnno2, think of a 6-letter word for ‘gang’ and then remove its first letter (gangleader falls); you then have 4-8.

  39. Thanks, Jack, of COURSE! I was trying to drop a ‘G’!
    Though I AM still looking for what in the clue places the short gang at 4-8 rather than 1-4. Unless “falls” is double-action (but if so, naughty, naughty, I think?- “falling” is ‘down-clue’ terminology…)

  40. Help with parsing 5D appreciated – I can’t get the answer to fit the definition/wordplay formula.
    Is the indicator in 11A regarded as fair game or not? Agree with GeoffD about anagrind in 1A.
    I can’t even find the first definition of 7D on the internet (in cricket the word describes a ball that moves severely and unexpectedly after pitching, but not quite the same as ‘to remarkably wrangle’).

  41. johnno2, ‘falls’ just means the first letter of the gang word drops and is replaced by (for) A + two letters meaning super soft (double soft in music terminology), then the other 4 letters of the word 4-8 a synonym for gang, minus its first letter which you’ve already twigged to.
    At this time of night, and after a day’s work and Chrissy do for me, that’s probably as clear as mud.

  42. SlowA My take on 5d: Avoided sound> homophone of avoided 1-4, recording > 5-8, studio roll is (I think) film studio roll (think gaffer) , which could also be in any electrician’s or home repair kit.
    11a indicator I could only get as ‘holds to heart’ or something like that.
    First definition of 7d I know in the sense of to get lucky. Might have something to do with fishing? Don’t know.

  43. PS SlowA, the first def ( in the online version anyway) of 7 d is ‘wangle’ , not ‘wrangle’ as you’ve written. Regardless, I don’t think it’s a very good def IMHO.

  44. Brond 23d, ‘in the air’ is a homophone indicator. A word for clear that sounds like a tree often seen in streetscapes and parks.

  45. Hi Gayle and Margaret Thanks for your help,

    I had already got indexing and even thought of binding- but I was obsessed with O for old rather than EX. OK now.

    Horror. I have never read S King or H Potter which seems to be a big disadvantage for DA. I hadn’t heard of McJob either. I don’t really want to buy yet another Chambers or OED to accommodate all this slang e.g. jag and hoist, but I greatly enjoy the DA confusion website for its help and good humour.

  46. Richard, nice to see you here with the Trippers. Can I ask you, in the nicest way possible, not to give too much away so early on a Saturday? It’s usually Sunday evenings before we start revealing answers!

  47. I have now looked at the answers and am still baffled by 6A , both how it was derived and what it means. I’ve not read Stephen King so those hints didn’t help. Perhaps someone could explain, later if necessary.

  48. It’s said that 6a is what Arts graduates end up doing Geoff, hence “low post” defines. 1 and 5 come from the ‘guts’ of zombie, and 2-4 come from the 4 letter name of a rabid dog in a Stephen King novel with ‘you’ (think SMS) ‘escaped’.

  49. Thanks Gayle for your help re parsing 5D. I wondered if ‘roll’ was doing double duty, both as the definition, and as part of the word play with ‘recording studio’ for 5-8. And incidentally, I’d always thought the 4th letter of the first word was a ‘k’ (although wouldn’t work in this context).

  50. Yep, agree SlowA about the double duty sense of ‘roll’. I had trouble parsing that originally. Or the whole phrase ‘sound recording studio roll’ ? Good clue.
    ‘Avoided copy of sound recording studio roll’ is how a spectogram would probably record the homophone in rapid speech. :-)

  51. Still no comment on 26D! I assume the def is “tub” , equating to SPA.
    But what is the “fix”, please? Spam, spat, spade…. do not work for me.

  52. Thanks belatedly Gayle – the “for”, as in “replacement of”, slipped through in its misdirectional innocence!
    My take on 5D is that roll ISN’T doing double duty: “Avoided sound” > 1-4; “recording” > 5-8; “studio roll” > definition.
    Re 6A, “1,2,MANSION” preceded it, reflecting a ‘contribution’ to society in another sphere by that organisation!

  53. Thank you Gayle re26D. I MUST discipline myself to go through every letter of the alphabet – it’s amazing how often the one I need is one I skip.
    But then I have found a few that way :-)

  54. I concur with Gayle, Mike re 26d. Chambers has “fix vt …; to castrate or spay; …”. I’d originally thought of “spar” as well, one of its meanings being to fasten, but I think spay is better.

    On 5d, my problem is that if you use letter 5 for the homophone for “avoided’ then it also has to do double duty for “sound recording” (5-8). It just seemed a bit forced for me.

  55. I thought letters 1-4 homophonically are “avoided”, coded by sound. 5-8 are recording. And all equals the last 2 words. I can see how the doubling can seem a bit forced.

    Anyone think that 14A is not in fact a dessert?

  56. 1-4+ed would be “avoided”. 1-4 by themselves would be “avoid”. Hence letter 5 is needed to get to the homophone “avoided”.

    I hadn’t given any thought to 14a xmgjim. I guess it depends how much sugar you put in it. :)

  57. I’d thought about a flaming at table – “lam” as on strike, but couldn’t make it work either

  58. Tim C – see my comment re 5D today at 9:47am. Use a different 4th letter for the first word and 1-4 becomes a homophone for ‘avoided’.

  59. Yes, agreed, SlowA. Confusion reigns in my brain on this one because I originally had the other letter at 4 and hadn’t corrected it in the grid after getting the correct answer when I was commenting. I should change my name to SlowT. :) Cheers.

  60. Can’t fully parse 17 down. Assuming “meddles” is letters 4-7, what am I missing?

  61. Meddles is the definition Ken. 3-8 is given by a 6 letter word for foulest with ‘tango’ (NATO phonetic alphabet) ‘appearing too soon’.

  62. Didn’t finish honestly as could not get 6A without my husband checking the solutions and giving me hints about the definition. I had never heard of the term even though I’ve heard and used the 1,2 prefix to many other concepts before. Also, spent a lot of time thinking of King’s monster in terms of legends or mythology. SlowV. :)

  63. Hi Graham M

    Noted re revelation etiquette. Sorry- I am new to this site. I thought that I had been slow enough by not finishing on Friday. And I was unfair to DA- two of the answers were in my Chambers 2011

  64. Thnx Tim,
    Had the right answer but thought “appearing too soon” was the definition.

  65. You’re forgiven, Richard! Good to have you aboard. I believe a good many who use this site and who work on Fridays don’t always get started till Saturday. (Apparently DA’s puzzles used to appear on Saturdays — but that’s another story.) In my early days here before I was familiar with the “etiquette”, I think I may have sinned once or twice too!

  66. Carol, while you’re still there?…any help with 9down today…I’m bordering on giggly…the only thing I can get from toilet work is the obvious word and then remove the t, which fits but makes no sense!

  67. hc, after perusing the crossword for a few minutes, real life intervened (and when I say real life I mean the need for a nap), so I haven’t had a proper look at 9D yet.

    I just had a look at it now, but nothing is springing to mind… if I get it, I’ll post!

    But this raises a question that I’ve wondered about before; is there a forum for the crosswords which come out on the other days of the week? I seem to recall someone mentioning one, along with a warning that some of their posters are rather anti-DA.

  68. Graham M thank you. The ET fixed it for me, and I saw that the def. is work. It stopped me behaving like a giggly teenager, removing the t from stool (toilet work geddit? ) At my senior age, I feel I’m entitled to regress a little occasionally.
    Carol, to my knowledge, there is no specific forum to discuss other cryptics, but I remember reading on this site that people are welcome to ask for help on DA trippers about other crosswords because there is usually someone around who will gladly help. It might take a little longer to get a response, that’s all.

  69. Will SMH publish DA on another day next week…Friday is Christmas, and no paper. I have rung them and no-one there knows what will happen? I’m hoping one of the regular trippers can tell me.

  70. Happy,
    if there is a Saturday paper, as a long weekend thing, they may publish both in different sections.
    Or they may just accept that these days happen to other setters as well, and so be it, no DA.
    It may well be online regardless.

  71. Neanderthal, ta. That was more info than I received from SMH, after being introduced to most of their staff, and hearing umpteen rounds of their version of entertaining music. Have a good one.

  72. First time poster – a big thank you to everyone who adds hints and explanations here… I finished my first DA earlier this week after about a dozen previous vain attempts, and this site has been hugely helpful in my post-match “forensic analysis” of each week’s answers.

  73. Arrgh! I just got it. Was thinking about a different meaning for spruce.

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