DA Confusion for the 1st/2nd of October, 2010

Here’s where you ask your questions and work out what DA is up to.

Update: I’ve got quite a few questions:

17, 15 across: The absolved gain this spare band in church (5, 5)
Something about an altar?

18, 24 down: Travel agent in decline, suggesting Italian tourist attraction (7, 5)
Guessed the attraction, not the wordplay.

3 down: Rivkin and coterie causing mortification? (8)
Should this clue have been Coterie and Rivkin causing mortification?

13 across: Flower cut back by lair by some 5 metres (9)
Just dunno.

7 down: Eradicate qualm, say? (4, 3)
Wipe out sent me far down the wrong track.

14 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 1st/2nd of October, 2010

  1. To answer Joe’s queries:
    27A A gun is a piece, yah is ‘straw around’
    22A Banquo sounds like bank woe
    1A, -others may have different ideas, but I made out to be most of ‘bear’ swallows ‘lug’,meaning to bear.
    Can’t really help you out with 10 A or 8D. I have an answer for 8D, but only because it fits the space and matches the definition.

  2. 10A After Saturday’s grandfinal, the letters from one of the football codes should come to mind, and that should start you off.
    8D The word play comes from: a type of music (or some people think that it is music, the ‘c’ is silent!); a word meaning for; a form of sealant; and the ‘top’ of hill.
    Trust this helps.

  3. Thanks Peter,
    Now it all makes sense. I thought – “why pout?” was a dodgy clue for qualm.

  4. Thankyou for all the extra clues. I’m cutting this out and framing it now – my first completed DA with a little help from my friends.

  5. JD, I had pencilled in “wipe out” for 7D too, but didn’t like the “qualm” bit. Now that I have solved 10A, I see what the correct answer is for 7D, and I have to say that I’m still not thrilled about the “qualm” clue – it leaves the “wee” unclued.

  6. 17,15: lean slat in CE
    18, 24: (agent in)* in lower
    3d: better surface this way.
    13a: log< den rod. A rod is 16.5 ft, or about 5m
    7d: sounds like we doubt

  7. I really liked the homonym clues (22a as well as 7d, also 26A). I think a qualm is something slightly less certain than a doubt and therefore happy with wee as part of the answer.

    I usually struggle with the Spoonerisms & wife guessed the answer to 11a but we loved the wordplay when we worked it out (2 words meaning split).

    I liked the fact that “, say” clued a synonym in 10a and a homonym in 7d and yet each clue looked almost the same at first reading.

    Can someone please explain how the last 2 letter of 23a were clued ie does ‘with side” somehow give “on”?

  8. JK: Thanks for the “wee” explanation. For some reason, I was fixated on “we doubt” rather than “wee doubt”! So, in retrospect, I think this is a splendid clue. Agree with your comments about 11A, 10A, 7D, too.

    JK, re 23A, think cricket. On (or leg) side and off side.

    Ian, re 18/24D, I agree your explanation is almost certainly correct as the anagram bit surely can’t be a coincidence. But “in” is doing double duty, and I do have an alternative explanation:
    “travel agent” = TOWER (as in what a tug does, for instance)
    “in decline” = LEANING

    And, AS, I’d never heard of GOLDENROD, so even though I worked out it ended DEN ROD, I just couldn’t get the first bit.

  9. On 3D, it might be a better surface reading to go RIVKIN AND COTERIE, but there really needs to be a order reversal indicator. I thought that was pretty poor form.

    RB, I had never heard of a ROD being almost 5 metres, nor a GOLDENROD, so I completely lost. And I still don’t see why CUT = LOG, so in every respect, I drew blanks on that clue.

  10. Did anyone have trouble with 26A, Fawkes (sounds like forks) = crooks?
    According to my dictionaries crooks doed not mean forks.

  11. RB, nice work on 18,24D. I think you are spot on. I parsed the clue as Ian did but I was never happy with it. First there’s “in” doing double duty which is not really a DA thing as far as I know, then there’s “travel” as the anagrind which I guess is passable, and finally there’s decline=lower which seems a stretch to me. I love tower = travel agent. that’s brilliant. and leaning=in decline seems pretty good. Also, “suggesting” which works well in the surface of the clue, also works better with the second interpretation as the first interpretation, being precise (allowing for the double duty) doesn’t “suggest” the answer but gives it precisely but the second alludes to it. it does seem a coincidence to also have the anagram solution but I think that it is a coincidence.

    this is interesting as in one of his recent columns DA was discussing one of the attractions of the cryptic crossword as being its precision, that when the explanation to a clue was revealed, it was clear that it was correct. not always i guess.

  12. BH: I agree, a pretty thin definition. The best overlap between the two words is probably a the angle of a tree branch to the trunk.

    AS: I’m OK with CUT = LOG – think of forests. “Rivkin and coterie” was a bit off, unless you read it as Gang Rene (i.e. that’s the name of the gang – sort of like Team Rene).

  13. Thanks RB, should have thought of cricket but distracted by all the weekend’s football. I also got the gol part of goldenrod as the very last clue; I hadn’t heard of goldenrod but my son knew it straight away as a flowery place name in the world of Pokemons (he is an authority). Fascinating re the 2 explanations of 18, 24d – we certainly got it as an anagram, however unsatisfactory (ie lower = decline or in decline, a stretch either way).

  14. AS, I agree on 3D: a reversal indicator would have been nice. At the very least, it would have saved me mulling over “reneging” or “renegang”!

    As for CUT=LOG, the latter term is only ever used in relation to trees, so, whilst I’m not saying it’s unfair, coupled with the obscure GOLDENROD (and, to a lesser extent, the obscure ROD), this was a difficult clue.

    Re FORK=CROOK: I couldn’t find any dictionary or google justification. AG’s explanation is pretty good, but my basic objection is that a crook is a bend or curve in ONE limb/branch (as in elbow or knee), whereas a fork requires ONE limb/branch to split into TWO.

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