DA Confusions for the 3rd/4th of December, 2010

Confused? Perplexed? Discombobulated?

Here’s where you have any questions sorted out, so feel free to just express your confusions below.

54 thoughts on “DA Confusions for the 3rd/4th of December, 2010

  1. We’re struggling in the cricket at 3/30 and i’m losing interest. Much the same with todays effort. Is 4D a well known novelist, do I stick limb in his/her surname to tie in with 24D. Buggered if I know. Help please

  2. Well-known, French, Nineteenth Century, serialised by the BBC along with everything else from that era. Getting 12a led me to it.

  3. Yep I’m back on true to form this week and can’t even get a start….proves last week was a flash in the pan. What are the easiest clues to get to start with please and a hint? – thanks!

  4. I think the easy ones (so far) are 8 across: Sodium is Na, 11 across: another anagram, 22 across: look at the exteriors, 3 down: think acne and 17 across: anagram (might be the indicator Ian dislikes!). That’s a start!

  5. I’ve got 4 down from Ian’s prev clue (and now having 8A, 11A and 17A) but can’t even figure out the wordplay. Struggle = me this week! Will persevere…and keep checking this site for more clues!

  6. Struggling with 24,20 across – from what I have it looks like it could be in Latin? Anyone want to swap an answer?!

  7. @Jonathan, thanks for help…@Alison, I’m with you. Hard-going. 13down? 24/20across? 23across?

  8. I thought 23A was goalkeeper but now I think it’s more like a person in the middle of a field! I have the tree but does the other part work?

  9. Anyone have 24D? That would help with my last two: 24,20 Across and 13D. Is ELBE also a city? That’s my guess…..

  10. I think you are right about 23 across, but I don’t get the wordplay. It fits with my 16, 19, 21 down and 22down, which was the first to make me laugh.

  11. kk – for 9A, think of apprentice in a sporting context, and for 6D, are you familiar with Dilbert terminalogy?
    I need a hint for 16D.

  12. 24a: first five letters are backwards, followed by a tree
    16d: It’s an economic term

  13. Thanks Ian for 23a.
    16d – Can’t find anything that fits other than USAGE BAN??

  14. When reversed it is a word for summoned and one for skill. Export deficit is the def.

  15. Thanks Ian – that means my 15a isn’t right. Doh – now I see, I was using PIOUS rather than PIETY.

  16. 14a is indeed foreign. Needs a language indicator, like “Schultz’s outlaws gun.”
    7d not misspelt. Two banks of oars.

  17. Right, a few things annoy/confuse me…
    14 Across: Is GUN an indicator? I get the REV reversed for the first part of the answer but I’m not sure how?!
    4 Down, 26Across: Can someone explain the wordplay here please? It was only 12 Across that helped me get the answer. If it’s very convoluted I’ll have a moan about it on the other thread on Monday!
    18 Down: I get the MB and the SORE outside, but how do I get the O and R which the MB splits. Are they from FROM or are they SIDES?

  18. 4d – ‘snapped tree’ must be GUM without the M, and stick is STAVE. The rest is a mystery to me.
    18d – the OR comes from ‘splitting sides’ to indicate removing the F and M from FROM.

  19. 26a: Sounds like flow bear
    14a: to gun the motor is to rev it. The rest of the clue is a bit of a dog’s breakfast

  20. 14a – I don’t mind the last bit: foremost of ‘buckled on’ = BO and figure = TEN.
    If that was the worst clue, it would be ok!

  21. Thank you so much for the novelist – driving everyone crazy – just what we need to get a grip.

  22. This DA has taken a long time to get out & difficulty with wordplay seems to be a common theme above. I accept that there will always be a few words that you guess from letters and work out wordplay afterwards but I seemed to be doing this a lot more often than usual. Even then the wordplay seemed pretty convoluted & even contrived for a number of clues.

    Re Ian, I agree that an ovary is most certainly not an egg and this is a bit sloppy of DA.

    Can someone explain where the second g comes from in 6d.

    Can someone please explain precisely the wordplay in 24a, 20a and whether having ‘s after diva is fair.

  23. To take the last question first, the ‘s is often used in UK crossword; in these cases you may or may notneed the is in, say, an anagram. As forthe wordplay: Kir ( a cocktail) it, then naked reversed without the D, then away without the Y.
    6d: leg end first, i.e. move the G

  24. Thanks Ian. Your understanding of these clues is very acute. I totally missed the leg end, thought legend first was just the letters le. I learn new tricks every week.

  25. Yes, JK, convoluted and contrived were just two of the words which sprang to my mind too! I managed to figure out the wordplay for 24/20A a long time after guessing the correct answer. And even then I couldn’t explain the first three letters (kir = cocktail, thanks Ian). I’m really looking forward to a cocktail-free DA crossword!

    18D was typical: tenuous definition, tortured wordplay.

    2D: Can anyone explain how “apparently” signifies a homophone?

  26. 14A it’s impossible to know that the “figure” is 10 until you have guessed the word. This means that you solve it from the inside out, not the outside in. DA often does this, so encourages guessing rather than reasoning!

  27. I thought this week’s was hideous. The ‘ovary’ thing is definitely suspect. I cheated on a couple (looked today in SMH) but still found it difficult to decipher clues until I read these posts. 18D just rude. Still haven’t got 1D, 2D, 7D, 13D and 10A and 15A. Can someone decipher 21D please? Assume the ‘g’ is gang leader. And don’t understand 24D. I will kee persevering but this is VERY demoralising….

  28. If you’re still looking for help on 21D, Alison, you’re missing this bit:
    “about a weapon” = about A MINE = ENIMA

  29. Need help with 2D. Can only think it is SALT (a treaty) but have no idea why!
    Was having no luck explaining 14A but see it now, thanks Ian and GB. Ugly clue!

  30. Re: apparently, it doesn’t. I guess the reasoning is supposed to be ‘apparently’ = ‘seemingly’, and ‘packed’ seems like ‘pact’ when spoken, but given that the word is associated with appearance and not at all with sound or hearing, I’d call it an unfair signpost.

  31. And I guess that answers your question too, mrigeoy. Sorry about giving the answer explicitly, but I didn’t see your post until after I posted mine.

  32. Thanks JL. I was way off target with SALT. I agree that the signpost is poor.

  33. Hi all. Have just cheated. Can anyone decipher 7 down? This entire crossword was a shocker. Thanks everyone!

  34. Alison – ‘titanic’ = BIG, so abridged gives BI. Report is the homophone indicator for ‘paper’ = REAM, giving REME.

  35. Alson:
    “Historic ship” = BIREME
    “Titanic abridged” = BIG abridged = BI
    “report papers” = homophone of ream = REME

  36. Agree with everyone that it was a difficult crossword, but how do we expect DA to give us challenging clues if he is required to be too precise about everything?

  37. I don’t mind it when he uses obscure definitions, that’s par for the course. The problem I had was making egg = ovary; that’s just wrong. I also didn’t like scar and certified as anagram indicators, and a lot of the charades were just laboured and clumsy, with overuse of the drop-the-last-letter trick. And while I’m at it, “buckled on foremost” in 14a to denote the letters BO didn’t seem right to me.

  38. BH,

    Try any of the top English crosswords – they somehow manage to present a challenge AND be precise. Amazing!

  39. Hi Stig, I have tried a couple of crosswords in the Aus edition of the English Express , eg the’Crusader Knight and his Squire” and the Skeleton crossword, where I found that you have to allow a lot more poetic licence than we do with DA.However must agree that ovary = egg is weak

  40. Can anyone explain to me how 23A works, please? I can’t make it out at all. Also 1D has me bewildered. i can see how RIG is GEAR and A DO = a party. but where’s the other ON and is rigadoon A DANCE?

  41. 23a: provided = if, shadowy = dim, both reversed. The tree is an elder..
    1d: a rigadoon is a type of dance

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