DA Confusion for the 8th of January, 2021

Have your confusions sorted out for this week’s DA. Make the new year great again.

64 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 8th of January, 2021

  1. Done – but did not come easy for me.
    FOI 16A. Then a bit all over the place.
    LOI 15D.
    And took me forever to get wordplay for 7D even though answer was quite obvious.

  2. Slow-going. A lot of retro parsing. First ones in 19a, a cryptic chestnut, and 16a, a common device. I think that clue’s been recycled as well.

    Agree with DAJunkie about 7d, although I was initially put off by the misdirections . The whole clue was a bit of a giggle. I often find parsing long words comes easier with good old pen and paper, so wrote it out left to right, remembering it was a down clue. Funnily enough I could see one mountain and one limb vertically, but the real ones appeared horizontally.

    My last to fully parse (not asking for hints yet ) is 15d. I mean, I know what’s supposed to be happening, but DA, I really wish you wouldn’t, not with words like that.

  3. Gayle 15D is a very dodgy homophone even by DA’s standards.

    I doubt that anyone can solve 21A from the clue itself; I believe that it can only be parsed after solving. Otherwise a rather gentle offering.

  4. Peter , yeah, DA’s got a penchant for those. :-)
    He may know a lot about language, but he’s not a linguist.

  5. Actually I liked 21a. I admit that I used an aid to come up with the possibilities and there weren’t many and having the first 3 letters the rest fell into place.

  6. Gayle, your 19A chestnut is getting to me. Please send me a directional nudge, also parsing of 8D.

  7. I found today’s quite enjoyable and average (DA) difficulty. My first one in was 19d. I get the “spoils” in 15d, but am at a loss for the “fly”. Perhaps Mr Astle pronounces the word differently? 21a is rebus lacking a definition. 7d was an ultra-convoluted construction that resulted in more a sigh of relief than a smile.

    And speaking of smiles, there were plenty today, but no big ones, and no laughs. Still working on the wordplay for 8d & 9d (the latter I suspect will be complicated), but confident they’ll hit me soon.

    Happy solving!

  8. Graham M, the answer is what I thought , but your help immediately cleared it for me. Thanks.

  9. Re 15d, I think I see where DA’s coming from, but I say it with a schwa in the first syllable. Am I wrong? Is this what you were alluding to, Peter?

  10. About average solve time for me today, I think the 14 and 15 character answers help with that as they give so many crossers.

    FOI 16A (although I wrote it into 14A first, which didn’t help matters!), 3D. LOI 1D (spelling!) 9D ( had the wrong first word there).

    Other good starters might be 18D, 19D, 18A, 13A.

  11. I can think of 4 variations of the pronunciation of the first syllable of 15d. That compounded by the rhotic versus non-rhotic pronunciation of the word that I’m guessing DA had in mind, and vowels versus diphthongs, or short versus long vowels, and other things lost in translation, makes this a real lulu of a no-no for homophones.

  12. All done
    FOI 3d
    LOI 4a.

    All understood.

    I don’t pronounce 15d the way DA has it but I’m a pleb.

  13. Average today I think. First ones 10a,14a,23a,5d,6d,18,19d in the first run through the clues. LOI 8D. Questionable clues for me were 8d (is ‘doubly’ just referring to 2 meanings?), 9d (number would be clearer than ‘figure’) and 15d where I struggled as others with the homophone and I’m still not convinced. Is ‘fly’ really a type of fly? Maybe further discussion later (in DA Reports?).
    Favourite has to be 21a.

    It was easy 5D.

  14. As in a glider sort of ‘fly’. In which case the homophone is definitely dodgy, Margaret, at least according to Chambers’ pronunciation guide. I wonder if The Macquarie is different (I must get a copy).

  15. I have placed (maybe) help for above in other Jan 08 section – BUT IS A SPOILER – SO USE ONLY IF YOU WANT!!!

  16. Interesting, DAJunkie. I’ve since consulted the Oxford online, and they concur with my schwa (so I’ll be able to sleep tonight!). One thing everyone seems to agree on is that the final letter is silent, which would suggest, perhaps, that “spoils” in the clue should really be “spoil” — although obviously the clue wouldn’t read as well.

    On a separate matter, I’ve learnt a new meaning for “gull” today.

  17. Then again, 15d as a plural probably would pronounce the final letter …

  18. I enjoyed this – infinitely more than the Christmas Day offer. FOI 23A, 19D, 14A, 6D.
    Need help with 4A and 8D. There can only be one answer for 8D, surely, but don’t understand ‘doubly’. Oh, I see – physical and metaphorical I suppose. So if I’m right about that, then only 4A to go. And don’t understand wordplay for 20A.

  19. SB, for 4a, think of a five-letter word for motive and remove a letter for 3-6.

  20. Oops, so I am. I’ll try again. The colonist is a very small one, at 4-6.

  21. For 20A SB, ‘one’ is 1, ‘broken’ is 2,7,8,9 and framework is 3-6.

  22. Ah, yes. My 8D was wrong – I had it starting with R, which worked perfectly. Just wrong.
    Still need wordplay for 21A.

  23. SB – I too had 8d starting with”r”, which of course, didn’t help me with 4a at all.
    21 a is, I think, very clever. Trying not to give too much away, find a word that fits the pattern and then look at which letters are absent.

  24. Thanks Julienne. Yes, I see it now. Very clever indeed. I agree with Peter that it would have been difficult to get from the clue itself – only parsable after solving.
    Till next week.

  25. I thought 21A was clever and my pronunciation of 15D must be the same as DA’s. Sadly these are two of a very small number of correct answers I have. Baffled by 7D though I don’t think anyone’s mentioned it.

  26. I’m 99% sure I have 13a from the crosses but I can’t parse it at all…

  27. 7D is a bit of an effort. The mountain climbing is 14-10 and child is 1-3.
    Carol, dazed is an anagrind for the occasional letters in Bengali guy.

  28. At some suitable time, could someone please parse 2D for me?
    Re 8D, I presume the doubly needed break-up is 1. post (drinking?) session and 2. post long unused?
    Re 13A, does anyone think it’s a ‘bridge too far’ to double-indicate this way i.e. ‘odds/evens’ letters THEN anagram them?
    DA does occasionally synonym then further indicate (difficult enough) but this is a new level?
    Re 15D, Tim, my ‘Letters and Numbers’ Macquarie (thus indisputably DA endorsed!) says “sow”, not DA’s clued “soar” (though 1st Google entry for “Pronounce (answer)” is “saw”) so DA has mis-stepped methinks!

  29. And discussion about a silent ‘S’ in 15D? It’s just a straightforward plural, isn’t it?

  30. Johnno2, 2d is an anagram of “PC can” and “ninety long”. “Reels” is the anagrind.

    I won’t comment on 8d as I’m not 100% confident I’ve understood it.

    13a is complicated, but I guess all’s fair in love and war.

  31. Johnno , I’m with you on 13a. I don’t mind difficult clues (or why do DA) but I found that one fiendish – and ugly, into the bargain.

  32. Thanks Graham! How did I miss that?!
    8D: 1. Colloquially, the understated Aussie admission of hangover (usually accompanied by “a bit”), and (more literally) 2. a state needing a sweep.
    13A: More love, less war was my plea, then! :-)

  33. You share my plea, Carol! :-)
    [Right on about why we do DA, though! ;-) ]

  34. Late I know but thought I’d add my two centimes…Gayle at 8.26am summed up many of the issues with 15d.

    In its own language there is no singular and even if it there was the final letter wouldn’t be pronounced. Similarly the first 3 letters are pronounced like the note that follows fa. In English rhymes with law.

    As a rhoticist (tks Gayle), so and saw are not homophones of soar. Nor are the last 6 letters a homophone of a synonym for spoils.

    Keep it there. Won’t be stauming any linguistic Capitols over it

  35. johnno2, I wasn’t aware of the hangover connotation. so thank you for clarifying. As I’ve said before, I must lead a sheltered life. Anyway, hangovers are pretty well impossible any more since they recently further reduced safe drinking guidelines. Pretty soon it will be a thimbleful a year …

  36. And thank you for your contribution to the 15d debate, Xmgjim! DA has certainly opened a can of worms.

  37. Thanks for all the helpful hints everyone
    I had muscleman for 16a until the crossers showed me it was wrong
    Tried to fit to Roman numes 🤨
    I didn’t know the hangover side of 8d

  38. Aha
    Just got 15d
    DA I love you. But you are not a linguist. Nothing worst than speaking another language with an Ozzie accent

  39. This pronunciation of 15D is an alternative in the US, e.g. as shown in dictionary.com

  40. Xmgjim (centimes, staum – jolie!) and Gayle, I can’t help myself!
    Thanks for leading me to “rhotic/ism” and what it means. Education never ceases!
    The question arises, when is a foreign word completely appropriated and accepted as ‘English’ and thus fair homophonic game? If the Macquarie dictionary’s application of the International Phonetic Alphabet to 15D as an appropriated accepted English word is one yardstick (metrestick?!) 1,2,3 and soar (and saw) are homophones and 4,5,6,7,8 and turn are homophones.
    The French would have a boeuf with our grammatical appropriation, as they CERTAINLY would with our more egregious ACTUAL appropriation – for what DA can cling to, for now, for his 9 – “2. (in unofficial use) any similar sweet white wine produced elsewhere”!

  41. Thanks for so clearly clarifying the hangover meaning in 8d, johnno2.
    Can anyone please give some help with the wordplay of 10A? I had the answer pretty quickly, but totally lost with the wordplay after 1-3,4.
    Same problem with 18D. Easy answer but no idea with the word play. I’m obviously missing something!

  42. Kay, in 10a think golf for the supporter. The clique takes the form of a plural noun at 11-15. “It” in recess is 10,9.

    In 18d think of “present” as a verb.

  43. :-)
    See if I can be quickest, Kay:
    Both are ‘constructions’; 10A – defn is 1st 2 words, 1,2,3 almost a 4-letter synonym for despatched, (followed by) “a” (4), (followed by) golfing ‘supporter’ (of ball) (5,6,7) (bit dodgy, and Mungo used it last month in Saturday Paper, too!) (followed by) “s” from “supporter’s” (8), then “it” in recess (10,9) being ‘kept by 8 (or 5,6,7,8) and synonym for clique (a tight group of 11,12,13,14,15)

  44. I KNEW I wouldn’t be, Kay!
    Graham (et al), was I too specific for a Saturday? :-0
    I’ll certainly leave your 18D response as sufficient, pro tem! ;-)

  45. Enjoyed the challenge, visited late yesterday thanks to GrahamM for 4A and TimC for wordplay for 7D
    FOI 21A LOI 11A in fact NW corner took some cracking Liked 16A 21A and 11A once I solved it.
    My thoughts on 15D pronunciation of opening depends on how broad is one’s accent which varies around this content.
    Comments by Johnno2 @ 8:59am are apt

  46. Thank you Graham M and johnno2!
    I was playing around with most of that in 10a, but golf didn’t enter my mind!
    And yes, it was treating ‘present’ as a verb that I didn’t think of for 18d!

  47. Struggled with, but eventually got, 10a, 7d and 9d. Hated 15d for reasons well discussed.

    Hadn’t heard of hangover meaning for 8d, nor dummy meaning for 22d.

    Help needed please: 21a got the answer quickly but still can’t parse it; 20a don’t understand the letters 3-6 for framework; 12d got answer but can’t parse it. Tried Quaker sweet makers to no avail! Thanks

  48. There’s now another reason for the Australian trait of shortening words apart from saving breath. Cab Sav avoids long discussions about how to pronounce Cabernet Sauvignon. ;)

  49. Richard,
    Think of one word for 21a with 6 missing letters which is a synonym of the second word in the answer. The last word of the answer is an anagram of the missing letters. ,
    3-6 in 20a is a sliding framework for windows.
    12a swap the first letter of the answer (definition is girl) with “Jack” (think pack of cards) and you will get a “sweet quaker” (dessert).

  50. Dear TimC
    Many thanks, all understood. My problem with 20a was that I had written the wrong letter for 4!!
    21a is elegant and devious.

  51. From the Sunday solvers: thanks everyone above for help with wordplays. The only one we struggled with this week as 20A. And we got 15D quickly, so obviously have been pronouncing this wrong all the time!

  52. I still don’t get parsing for 8D. I am familiar with the hangover meaning of the word, but I’ve never associated that with needing a ‘brush-up’. It’s not an expression I’ve heard. Can anyone clarify please.

  53. I just thought that the two meanings were 1. In need of some housework and 2. In need of mental revision. The hangover meaning didn’t figure for me.

  54. Viv,
    I see ‘dusty’ as the obvious ‘dirty’ meaning, which’d need a brush. That’s the first.
    The second ‘dusty’ I see as ‘rusty’ or ‘out of practice’. You need a brush-up to remind or update your knowledge.

    It’s sort of the same concept but one’s physical and one’s mental.

  55. Belated thanks Tim and Neanderthal. Now I see, but I’ve never heard of being dusty on a topic, always rusty. DA sometimes does this and I’m not sure he’s right. I recall him having ‘left handed compliment’ as an answer once. I think it’s said ‘backanded’.

  56. Guess Im a bit late, still got smh jan 8 lying around and only still stuck with 1d!
    Ive got A_S_H_L _S, every second letter. Buggered if I can see it, …anyone?

  57. Franko, first word of clue is the definition. You may have to check your ancient Greek history. ‘lifting the drink’ gives 1,2,3. 4-9 is an anagram of ‘such’ and the two letters you get when you drain ‘lazily’. Hijinks is the indication to rearrange.

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