DA Confusion for the 18th of December, 2020

Sort out your confusions for this week’s DA right here.

And remember, this week’s is the last before Christmas. Friday is Christmas Day this year, just like five years ago, which means no SMH or Age is published and thus no DA.

I’ll post a classic from the DA vaults for next week for people to do here. But, this week, enjoy your fresh DA.

51 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 18th of December, 2020

  1. Good morning all, a typical DA today of average difficulty IMO.
    Good starters might be 21a, 20d, 6a, 24d, 5d, 27a and 1a.
    LOI 16a.
    I liked 3d.
    Happy solving.

  2. Good morning, Trippers. I managed eight clues on my first read-through (6a, 18a, 22a, 1d, 2d, 5d, 7d, 24d) so on first indicators it shouldn’t be too taxing. We’ll see …

  3. FOI 2d and 21 a. But I wish I’d then switched to the RHS as I got hung up on the pirate and the baby’s gripe, foolishly bunging in words that fitted, without exploring the wordplay properly.
    Made the same mistake with 23a, having the third last letter and making a stab with the def at the wrong end. Don’t agree with one of the homophones, but that’s not unusual.
    12 a late to parse, followed by a giant chuckle.. Oh, and not sure about the parsing for 23 d yet.

    As AS said in his intro, last DA before Christmas. Safe and happy holidays everyone.

  4. As foreshadowed, nothing too difficult today, but still enjoyable, with plenty of smiles. I’m still working on the wordplay for four (9a, 24a, 26a & 16a). I’m pretty sure how 9a works — hunting dogs are not my specialty.

    Gayle, I can’t give too much away so early, but 23d involves a three-letter word for “important”.

  5. Only 26a left to parse, so if anyone can provide an oh-so-subtle hint at the appropriate juncture it would be appreciated.

  6. Graham M – 26A – hard to be subtle with this one (if I even have correct) but I got my thinking it an anagram of sorts.

  7. Ah, yes, thank you DAJunkie!

    Just realised my 9a was wrong — I had “crasser”. D’oh!

  8. Well that was the easiest DA for some time, for me! Well under my usual time. Is he softening us up for a toughie next week perhaps?

    I did get the first word in 6D wrong originally, misled by ‘test’ … well it started with the right letter at least :D

    FOI 6A 21A, LOI 7D 16A. Good starters might be 13A, 27A, 28A, 15D, 10A.

  9. Gayle from 6.07: Thank you, and DA of course, for 12a. Your comment worked for me and brought a smile…still have it.

  10. My starters were 13a,18a,27a,2d,3d. LOI 8d. Fairly straightforward although I did overthink a few before getting there. Smiled at 12a. If its any consolation Gayle, it took me ages to get the wordplay for 23d.
    And no, AndrewT, no tough one next week as DA doesn’t produce one on my and Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday. ;)

  11. Tim C Many happy returns…you do share esteemed company on more than one level!

  12. Thanks Graham M for 23d. I haven’t got the paper with me but I typed out the answer at work and it came to me. I was trying to evacuate another word from another word.

  13. Tim C, many happy returns. And my sympathy for having had to endure a childhood of combined Christmas/birthday presents!

  14. Happy birthday Tim C! It’s my son’s birthday on Christmas Eve. I don’t know if it’s the child or the parents who have it worse, wondering which prezzie to give when and who’s more important , Santa or Xmas Mum, or birthday Mum?

    I went to a Buddhist temple near Wollongong on Christmas Eve once, and the nun there said ‘How wonderful for your son to be born at such a special time as Jesus’ birth’. Beautiful! I thought as I learned to fold paper into lotus flowers :-)

  15. Gayle,
    I have a Christmas Eve daughter who manages to have all December about her with various birthday/Xmas events (the family, the godparents, the friends on different days) and of course any ‘combined’ presents have to be ‘bigger’.
    I’m hoping this year’s 21st will be the end of the festivals . . . :)

  16. Aww!! – the month long festival of daughter’s birthday – that brings back memories. Our only saving grace was that it was February – so ONLY 28 (or 29) days long!!

  17. Home and hosed, but can’t justify either 16A or, despite the assistance above, 23D
    Further assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    bbOZ

  18. Billyboy, in 16a, “taped” indicates a homophone.

    In 23d, “overly” gives 1,2,5.

  19. Good afternoon, all who tarry. I’m stuck on 9A, 10A, 12A and 8D, and not sure of wordplay for 3D, and 15D (last 4 letters). Gentle hins welcome.
    And btw where is Celia?

  20. Graham
    Thanks for trying. I must be unusually thick today.
    23D – I cant justify the KY. Is there an anagram for another Japanese city involved?
    16A – I had ‘taped’ as a homophone, but my vocab must be limited as I can’t see
    type of blue/nettle in the available words.
    You might not come back, but if you do have a peaceful (Trump and Covid-free!) Xmas.
    bbOZ

  21. SB – 9A – homophone.
    10A – complicated. Swap 1 letter for 2.
    12A – “refrain” is a key word to umderstand.
    8D – think graduation (and note ?).
    3D – double defn. Second defn last word.
    15D – build it in 3 parts. Defn = “Forecast”.

  22. … and I think I’m ok with 8D,. and if I’m right with 10A I don’t get the wordplay

  23. billyboyOZ – 23D – “important” is the key.
    16A – yep – OK – you may be stuck. Just try to think of types of blue as Graham M said. Then see if it sounds like a word that means “nettle”.

  24. BillyboyOz, thank you for your Christmas wishes. You have a cool Yule too!

    For 16a, “nettle” (verb) is the definition. Go through your types of blue … sky blue, electric blue … keep going …

  25. Graham M says:
    18 Dec 2020 at 12:38 pm
    SB, in 10a, think of “styled” as “swapped”.

    I think you mean “for”?

    Quickest DA in long time

  26. Thanks Graham
    Your leading me gently through it means that the penny has finally dropped.
    bbOZ

  27. I’m wondering why everyone found 17D so unremarkable! I just don’t get it. Do we need to find answers and then make an anagram with those answers? Any tips would be gratefully recived.

  28. Deconut, short sort of fish is 1,2,7,8. Bug is 3,4,5,6. Fish is the definition.

    I felt that some of today’s clues were a little weak.

  29. 17d – bug is 3-6 and short sort of fish is 1,2,7,8. and no anagrams was my take on it.

  30. Excellent, thanks Jack and Tim. That makes for my first, satisfactorily completed DA, hooray!

  31. “academic” is part of the definition in 8d NW. Think of academic dress.

  32. How many people who have not worn an academic gown and thing on your head would get this? I have to say DA is being a bit, unlike for him, a bit exclusive here. Try cushions or curtains.

  33. And the wordplay is difficult as well. Again breaking the rules of fair play.

  34. I didn’t wear headgear with a 8d as I didn’t go to my graduation ceremony. I did go to the ceremony for my higher degree, but that had a hood not a separate hat.

  35. I think I was entitled to don a mortarboard thrice at various graduation ceremonies sometime last century, but like you, Tim, I didn’t attend. Too much pomp and ceremony for this little black duck.

    My primary memory of 8 downs is Romania, where most, if not all, of the cart-hauling horses have them, usually bright red in colour. Romania is a fascinating country to visit, and you can spend a month there for less than the cost of a fortnight in most European countries (or even a week in some of the pricier ones — Iceland springs to mind).

    I’ll sign off now, and wish everyone a happy Christmas. Internet fora or “chat rooms” are strange places — we “regulars” all know each other, but we don’t know each other at all. We might all have two heads. (Although I vouch that, last time I checked, I didn’t.) Nevertheless my season’s greetings are no less sincere. Let’s hope 2021 is not as eventful as 2020 …

  36. I just entered an extended Christmas greeting to all, to be told my comment is “awaiting” moderation”. Last time this happened, a few weeks ago, my comment was never seen again. I did try …

  37. Thanks Tim.

    Well, I did graduate from Uni, but that word certainly doesn’t make me think of it. ‘Academic’ still seems a distracting redundancy to the clue.

  38. “”Gayle says:
    18 Dec 2020 at 5:49 pm
    How many people who have not worn an academic gown and thing on your head would get this? I have to say DA is being a bit, unlike for him, a bit exclusive here.””

    Very far from the most exclusive items or definitions DA has used, but the more obscure and unused it is, the more his fans support his use of it

  39. Late entrant as usual finished after a few sessions. Came to Trippers with 9a & 16a to finish. Like Gayle got caught up in NW corner trying to fit the first word of 3D with 1a . Also had crasser for 9a, and learnt a new word for a category of hunting dog whereas I imagined the category belonged on the track.
    Agree with Gayle 8d could have been clued more appropriately.
    FOI 24a liked 5D 12a and 6d, I’m a tragic follower of the sport aka John Howard and a few other PMs.
    Overall enjoyed this weeks DA.
    I would like to add my best wishes to fellow DA Trippers for the festive season and thank you for your insights this past year. Let us hope 2021 is a better year for all.

  40. Just got it out unassisted, making two weeks in a row. Feel like I have at last conquered crossword Everest, having worked my way up to the summit via the Observer and Times puzzles. The last to yield for me were 1D, 9A and, finally, what seemed the impossible 16A. Most enjoyed was 15A – big grin when I saw it. Great site, this is my first post.

  41. Hi ultra…yes isn’t it a great site. I discovered it only a few months ago, and wish I had found it years ago. The regular trippers will become apparent to you, as will their genuine delight in being able to help. It does feel like conquering crossword Everest to finish a DA, particularly when unassisted. Good on you.

  42. Thanks happy chappy. Typo in my last post – most enjoyed was not “15A” but 12A – a lot of fum!

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