Confusions from DA on 26/27th of Feb

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17 thoughts on “Confusions from DA on 26/27th of Feb

  1. I seem to have more “huh?” responses than normal. Anyone explicate for me the following? –

    22A wordplay
    16D – why “drugged”?
    20D wordplay
    27: no idea why this is right, other than the “little” definition, which isn’t at either end of the clue.


    10A: the “watch”, if it’s the acronym I googled, seems obscure to me
    1D: ropey definition

  2. 22a GO = “ZING”. nearly GO = “ZIN”. close to atomic = c. gives zinc.
    16D ONE = on E.
    20D Bro = homeboy. in = home, boy = buoy (float) in canal (auditory).
    27A bullfighter = matador which has tad (little) at heart.

    10A watch = Lo as in Lo and behold.

  3. Thanks, RV, for answering a couple of my queries too, namely the wordplay for 22A and 20D. The latter I should’ve spotted because in=home and canal meaning auditory are both favourite ploys of DA’s. Now I see why 20D received critical acclaim over in the other thread. (And for the record my other favourites were 16D in accolade

    I agree with AG about ropey def for 1D, but I found support for DA in (prismatic = brilliantly coloured, iridescent). I thought there were a few more ropey defs or synonyms but I found support for most of them by googling.

    My outstanding queries:
    26A: I’ve got most of the wordplay (area repelled = TLEB, only sides = OY). But I can’t figure out why Tight = LIT. Is this tight as in a squeeze, stingy, or drunk or …?

    21D: admire=EYE? Didn’t like this synonym, since you are just as likely to eye someone with disfavour as with admiration. I couldn’t find support with a quick google either. I’d accept “eye up” and maybe that’s what DA had in mind – i.e. it’s another palindromic example like a few weeks ago. What I’m suggesting is that admire = EYE up = EYE.

    23D: Seems to be CLOWNS. But the wordplay escapes me.

    27D: As AG says, the def is not at the beginning or the end. Traditionally this means complaints will surely follow. It seems just about OK to me.

  4. Finished it and enjoyed it, but the last two I ‘got’ don’t really ‘click’. 24A and 24D – any clues as to the DA cleverness that I’ve missed?

  5. 24A: (element)… = BORON
    idiot = MORON

    24D: It’s helpful for model = BALSA
    a couple a dozen = A SLAB
    (Is that a misprint? Should it be “a couple of dozen”? Or “a coupla dozen”?)

  6. RV, thanks for your notes.

    22A is OK but seems strained.

    16D is nice, although maybe obscure to people even older than I am.

    20D is clever in the use of “in” as a bona fide component, but I don’t really like that “in canal” thing – I must have missed it if it’s been used before.

    27D is the one I really don’t like. Not the departure from the convention that the definition must be at one end or the other – to me that’s a convention, but if you can construct a fair clue without it, good luck. What I don’t like is the wordplay selecting a middle letter-set from a word that is itself indirectly referenced. There are other less obscure examples in this crossword, such as 7D, LAM, and 24A, BORON. They seem OK, but they’re at the easy end of the scale. How about this clue (constructed by me just now along exactly the same lines as TAD) “Together made a noise in the middle (3)”? Answer is DIN. ………………….. Huh? Isn’t it obvious? CoorDINated. It seems to me that DA occasionally (as in the case of TAD) stretches this second-order referencing too far.

  7. 27D: Re, AG, i think your DIN example plays unfairly in a sense that 27D isn’t. I thought a borderline example was 15A, where you have to go from a word to a synonym (reason) and THEN operate on it TWICE. But again, I think that the fact that it is still reasonably getable (though this is clearly subjective), and that the clue was otherwise pretty cute, made it allowable.
    My problem with it was that the clue seems to suggest the answer MATADOR. The first word being the literal clue, then the rest being the wordplay element, The clue certainly references the word TAD, but i see no way in which the clue suggests it to be the actual answer.

    7A: All of us here seem to love clues that reference each other, but this one seemed to be a completely redundant cross-reference, especially since ‘innocent’ is already able to be read as a noun

    4D: My one confusion: What is the word ‘brace’ doing here?

  8. mic, i agree with your comments on 27D and 7A. re 4D brace is used in the sense of a pair. from noun: a set of two similar things considered as a unit

  9. This discussion about wordplay on indirectly referenced words is interesting. DA does it all the time. Another eg this week was in 5A: “of a bone pitted” = “ulnar pitted” = “ular”. And 13D: “flipping mafia” = “flipping mob” = “bom”.

    I think DA might be pushing things a bit too far sometimes. I agree he was on thin ice with 27D for all the reasons stated above, but I think the clue was just about saved by the easy synonym: bullfighter = matador.

  10. 10A: agreed with the criticism of this one. A shame about “Lo”, as the rest of the clue was really good. In spite of the dictionary definitions “Lo” to me can never equal “watch”.Lo implies a momentary action , whereas watch implies viewing over a period of time.

  11. May I join RB in asking for an explanation of 26A? I reckon ‘area’ = ‘belt’ is really crummy, a ‘green belt’ is never a ‘green area’.
    As for 24D I think you read ‘a couple a dozen’ as “2 dozen”.

  12. RB, re earlier post, for 26A, tight and lit both mean drunk.
    Re 21D, Aust Oxford gives 1st verb definition of eye to be “watch or observe closely, esp admiringly, or with curiosity or suspicion. so for me, eye is sufficient to mean admire without having to resort to eye up which while clever i think is unlikely to have been da’s intention.
    23D Clowns becomes crowns (hits on head) as L becomes R (change of hand?, wrong hand?)
    24D I’m with you on couple a dozen. that seems wrong to me. couple o’ dozen would be ok or coupla dozen as you have suggested but not a couple a dozen.

  13. Thanks RV for your help on the following:
    26A: I just found confirmation for tight=lit in
    21D: Your Aust Oxford definition has partly satisfied me. But would suspect=eye be acceptable?
    23D: Of course! DA has used that LR ruse before.
    24D: Glad you agree. “A couple a dozen”! The more I see it, the more I want to throw up! To say it that way in everyday speech is one thing; to write it that way is another thing entirely.

    AL: Re 10A, the distinction you make between “watch” and “lo” is a good one. But I justified watch=lo on the grounds that both can be used as a command, followed by a “!”, to mean much the same thing.

  14. mic, you are right about belt, but given the ‘tight = drunk = lit’ part of the clue, I reckon ‘belt’ = ‘spirituous liquor’ (as in the Wizard of Id) would have made a better clue.
    But overall a very good DA.

  15. Hi everyone, I´m in bed with my lover in Rio and for some crazy reason I thought Id show her the blog. Despite my lack of DA cryptics lately, my life is oddly fullfilled. Dont worry, in a few weeks/months I´ll be back in the fold and hanging for Fridays…or is it still Saturdays…..

  16. Yes, RC, but are you really happy?

    And to think you wasted all that time in your life not being in Rio.

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