DA and the Confusions for the 16/17th of July, 2010

Perplexed? Confused?

Get your DA issues sorted here.

24 thoughts on “DA and the Confusions for the 16/17th of July, 2010

  1. Liked the crossword. Two complaints, one question.

    C1: 10A – to go to ground is to lie low, and its past tense is “lay low”. “Laid low” is the past tense of the present “lay low” (transitive, meaning to knock over). It’s a common enough misusage, but I’m surprised to see it from DA.

    C2: 24D – Don’t like “gourmet” for “rich”.

    Q: 27D – how is “aspired” a reversal indicator? (And how many solvers had heard of “wop it” for wagging school? Sounds like a NSW localism to me.)

  2. Wop it was new to me too. I found a reference online to truancy officers being Wop Cops? DA has used aspired before for reversal indicator for down clues and i’ve never liked it. Some online dictionaries give a definition of aspire as being to soar or ascend. seems pretty obscure to me.

  3. Been overseas (have six week’s worth of DAs to catch up on!). Struggled with a few in the bottom half.

    10A: Agree wholeheartedly with AG. “Laid low” is an awful grammatical error. DA should hang his head in shame.

    Even though I’ve avoided all TV quiz shows, most names in this crossword were familiar to me, but not 24D/12A or 13D (both of which I had to google). Agree with AG that “gourmet” is not a good clue for “rich”.

    27D: Not only was this meaning of “wop” unfamiliar, I hadn’t heard of “hooky” either. And, having avoided most films over the last four decades, I’d only vaguely heard of “Hanoi Hilton”! I will have to get out more!

    Need help with 18D (C_A_R_T), 20D (O_I_L_S).

  4. RB – Assuming my answer’s correct, you have an incorrect letter in 18D: that third letter isn’t an A.

    I also need help on 20D and don’t have 22A either.

  5. 18a: Cabaret; bare inside Cat(s) (lose the S because it’s singular)
    22c: Orioles: O then I in roles
    22a: Debt; T the last letter of whatever word it was (I don’t have the puzzle in front of me) and bed for garden, all reversed.

    Now can anyone explain the wordplay in 1d?

  6. Ian: Yup. It took me about five minutes, and it’s a bit obscure, but fair, I think.

    Runners-up = seconds. sPort cUss aBout.

  7. Five minutes not long for that! As to fairness, it seems to me to be on a par with the indirect anagram; one too many operations needed.

  8. I was OK with that clue (eventually) – “runner-up” for the second letter in a word is kind of cute. And I should have been alerted earlier, by the many words in the wordplay for a relatively small number of letters, that it was some kind of letter-selection trick.

    On the principle of indirect anagrams, though, or (in general) other second-degree clues where wordplay is required on a word not physically present in the clue, we’d probably find ourselves in agreement: I believe DA occasionally takes those constructions too far. I wouldn’t rule them out altogether, but it’s difficult to define where to draw the line, and obviously we would probably all draw it somewhere different.

  9. Yes, I thought 1D was fair, but it took me considerably more than 5 mins! I take Ian’s point about one too many operations, but when that extra operation is a reference to another answer then I reckon it’s OK.

    22A and 18D: Thanks LK and Ian. For 22A I had DRAG, which I thought was a pretty good answer. If something is a drag, it is surely “due to finish”! And it appears backwards in covent GARDen! This meant that 18D was C_A_R_T, which I thought might be CHAIRAT: HAIR (naked musical) inside CAT (singular musical), but what did “chairat” mean and where was the definition? So now I know it’s DEBT and CABARET! No complaints.

    20D: I did think fleetingly of ORIOLES! But I didn’t persevere long enough to work out the cryptic definition. I think I was misled by the first word of the clue, namely “where”. Its only purpose seems to be to provide a (gratuitous) link to the previous clue. (AS, you usually have something to say about ellipses).

  10. I certainly do — ellipses are a confusing mess that bring no joy to anybody.

    I dream of being a cryptic crossword editor and forbidding them.

    Good to see you back, RB.

  11. And I quite like that runners-up clue, by the way. And that seems to me to be just a single operation, i.e. take the second letter from the words.

    The trick was that DA used a word that means “second” which we’re not on the look out for, which is completely fair play in my book and the reason cryptics can be so much fun.

    I like a wide array of anagram indicators and general instruction words (infinite meaning “endless”, i.e. infinite wisdom = isdo was a particular favorite DA trick)

  12. Comment: I don’t understand “WOP” as playing hooky. “WAG”, perhaps.

    Question: Could someone please explain “CATCH” for 28 across?

  13. The “catch” is in the small print ie the fine print – you have to read it.

    I loved beanpole & its relation to runners up.

    Guessed “quiz” but don’t understand the wordplay – would like some help.

    The point about DA is that there is almost always a cryptic element in the definition as well as the wordplay eg singers referring to birds. It eliminates guessing as a strategy (not withstanding what I say about quiz above).

  14. Tony: WOP is slang, though obviously very obscure (has ANYONE here heard it before?), for truancy. I found a reference (and only one!) using Google, at
    near bottom of page. Extract:

    Posted on: Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:46 am

    .. in Aus we used to “wop it” and of course we had the “wop cops” who were the truancy police out looking for us .. we also have used “wagging it” and in reference to just truanting for one period kids say “cutting class” (American I think) .. and the current term amongst Aussie kids is “jigging it” ..
    WoZ of Aus 31/10/04

  15. Yes, I guessed wop from the wordplay and had to confirm it, using exactly the same reference.
    6d: Almost left = QUI(t), last = z. The use of last = z is seen in the guardian, especially Araucaria
    On the perceived fairness of clues: if I worked it out by myself, it was fair, if I had to have it explained, it wasn’t.

  16. Yes, we used to ‘wop’ school back in the 60’s, Tony. Very common word then. Perhaps DA is showing his age? :)

  17. P.S. – someone who was wagging school back then would be considered ‘on the wop’ – a lovely phrase, don’t you think?

  18. Can someone explain 7 down?
    I get the green reference (LIME) but no idea on the rest of it.

    Also 28A how does saying trouble sold inside fit? I get the sold bit, but this is in SAW. Is this trouble = sore ? Also not happy about this one as Sods law should have an apostrophe in it. (Sod’s law). clue should have said (3’1,3) not (4,3)

    Finally 28A, I get the catch = pick up = fine print, but what has often got to do with it.

    Please excuse if some answers are obvious, this is the closest I’ve every got to getting a DA out, normally can’t get more than a word or two, especially if there is a theme. Finally worked out the theme on this one and then I really started to enjoy it. 19A my favourite too, although I didn’t get it!

    P.S. Never heard of Wop either!

  19. Re 7d: Classic is all time. Vacant lot is lt, put inside a lime ie a green setting.

    Trouble sold is an anagram of sold inside saw. Agree re apostrophe.

    The catch is often in the fine print, not always in it I suppose – this clue misled us for a while as we thought the often referred to a recurring fine print which made us think of check for the answer, as in the pattern on fabric.

  20. RE 26A: As JK says, it’s an anagram of “sold” inside “saw”. The anagram indicator is “trouble” and “saying” is not a homophone indicator (as I, and it would seem nn, originally thought), but “saying” => “saw” (as in maxim, proverb). On the matter of the missing apostrophe, I remember complaining about this a few months ago, and someone explained then that DA (and other setters?) indicates the apostrophe when it relates to a missing letter (eg IT’S in 11D), but not when it refers to the possessive case. I’m happy with this convention, now that I’m aware of it.

  21. Thanks RB and JK, yes I had thought “saying” indicated a homophone. Saw meaning proverb was a new one to me.

    Must relate the round about way I solved the Catch one. Was messing around with the phrase “print often”, which made me think of computers sending lots of documents to a printer, which involves spooling or cacheing the documents in order to print. Then realised that it was really catch, not cache!

    regards nn

  22. I am a very novice cryptic crossworder and find DA’s puzzles infuriatingly difficult. Can anyone explain the use of Cockney (eg 9ac)? I have seen it quite a few times and am wondering if its usage is related to the following word (eg rhyming slang for something) or is it a clue in its own right?

  23. Generally Cockney means to drop the ‘H’ at the start of a word. 9A translates to :
    Seabird(def), brown wings,= b and n (first and last letters of brown ie. wings,) Cockney assailant = hitter less H. Gives you bittern.
    Keep at them. Go back through the clues once you have the solution, and follow the discussions here and one day you’ll complete one . Feels good.

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