DA Confusion for the 24/25th of June, 2011


It gets sorted out here.

Ask away.

79 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 24/25th of June, 2011

  1. I still had 3 to go by the time I had to start work, so no crowing in the Poolroom for me, but still a bit easier than usual.

    I hadn’t heard of 1A except as a source for R&H (*O AH & RH). And while 1D is a well-formed word, it’s not one my wife would let me use in Scrabble!

  2. Off to an early start before a DA free weekend. Rupert, you may feel connected this week!
    29 A and 18A typical DA quirky instructions.
    Still have 6 to go, mostly in the NE. 2 coffees so far. Will probably need help with the rest.

  3. Hi Rupert .. missed your first post. 1A GBS and L & L?
    Could I have a hint for 6D or 12A please? Gotta get on the road… wanna leave DA behind.

  4. 1A was indeed a source for L&L, not R&H. My bad.

    6D: You should get someone else to solve this clue for you.

    12A: This clue is murder.

    Back in a bit with less obscure hints (if necessary).

  5. 1A: Particularly since AH needed the assistance of MN. Interested to find out that R&H attempted this but gave up.

  6. I’m done apart from 11A, but I can’t think of a word that matches the cross letters. Any hints, please?

  7. 11A: Thanks, Ian. Is it an Australian term? I don’t think I’ve heard it before.

  8. 11A: I had not heard of it. But I guess it makes logical sense…I am reminded of Mr Harman of Are You Being Served.

  9. Finished-ish. 6A and 8D last two to go in. See the wordplay in 6A but am uneasy with the clue. Have a word to match (what I think is) the defn in 8D but can’t see the wordplay.

  10. 8D: Well, I think the “me” is an obvious reference to the setter. I don’t quite get the 26D ref, but see that a synonym of blaster but truncated. Then it’s all upside down.

  11. I don’t know if I’d use the definition in 6A, but I often 6A stuff at work, so I’m probably more used to it as a term of art than the general usage. I didn’t know there was a general usage.

  12. 6A: Why bullshit? The wordplay is fair and the surface is clean. The only iffy part I see is the definition, which seems valid in the espionage sense of the answer.

  13. not sure I’d call 9A a resort!
    Just started have half a dozen.
    Read the above. Have heard of 11A, but not much in recent years. Might be a more common term in UK perhaps (where I lived when I was young)?

  14. @Stephen, when you have the answer to 1A, it should be obvious. *O is a cryptic clue which describes the participation of RH, JA and AH in the work of L&L based on 1A.

  15. @Rupert, I have 1A and understand who RH, JA and AH are, but can you explain *O to me?

  16. Just starting, confused as usual. Does 26D suggest DA is back in the UK? Could I liken 25A to a peculiar span? I have 14D, but don’t understand the reference to game? And, of course, I’m old enough to remember Adolf’s bedmate. I’ve no idea what the 1A business is about, all those letters above took me nowhere.

  17. All done now
    Liked 1A (that was the first one I got, almost a pool room moment by my standards!), 18A (actually had this early on but rejected it as was trying to get dog into an anagram), 29A(another one I got early but rejected as I couldn’t understand the wordplay, but finally twigged to DA’s cleverness), 2D, 13D.
    Not too thrilled with 6A, don’t get the wordplay in 6D or 17A (or if I do get this then not keen on the apparent synonym of “on”) , 21D (a backroad would be more of a capillary surely!)

  18. @nn: What does ‘*’ look like? How is ‘O’ often clued by DA? Put them together to get what RH, JA and AH were doing.

    25A: It’s not the Sydney landmark one immediately thinks of, but it’s there, spanning bits of the harbour and named after a biscuit.

    14D: The game is played with three cards, and involves one player and one mark.

  19. @Arthur 25A is a particular span in Sydney (not the one built in the 1930s), 26D is a double definition, I don’t think it has anything to do with the UK. First five letters of 14D are a card game. If you are old enough to remember Adolf’s bedmate, you will almost certainly have seen the film based on 1A or maybe have heard of the play by GBS. (the letters in the above comments are mainly initials of actors and actresses) .

  20. 17A: Yes, this is a synonym of “on”, as in “On the Origin of Species”.

    6D: Bags is a container indicator, support is what you (or a table) stand on.

    21D: Backroad is just DA being tricky. A perfectly legitimate ruse.

  21. Rupert thanks again
    17A fair enough
    6D, hadn’t seen bags that way before. Spent ages trying to fit old bags into an anagram!
    21D had misinterpreted the back part of that. DA has outsmarted me again. (At least he didn’t get me with mistaken in 29A, almost a pool room for me!)

  22. 1A: It seems I have been too cryptic. If you’ve got this far into the thread, you’ve already seen the spoilers.
    *O = starring
    RH = Rex Harrison
    JA = Julie Andrews
    AH = Audrey Hepburn
    L&L = Lerner and Loewe
    R&H: In my first post on the subject this was intended to mean Rogers and Hart, who I thought had written MFL. In the second, it means Rogers and Hammerstein, who had had a go at adapting 1A and given up.
    GBS = George Bernard Shaw

    According to Wikipedia, MFL is based on the 1938 film titled 1A, not the GBS play. So the chain of adaptation goes:
    1A (play, 1912) => 1A (film, 1938) => MFL (musical, 1956) => MFL (film, 1964)

  23. Seems I was on the right track, seeking an anagram without the ‘art’, in 1A, but my stupid wordfinder doesn’t know about the arts! I have a question for you erudite northeners: I presume you get Tess Brady’s ‘General Knowledge’ crossword alongside the cryptic puzzles? Or is it on Saturdaty there also? 1A today, Umbeto Boccioni. But Tess is into arty stuff, I’ve challenged her twice to get some sciency stuff into it, doesn’t register. But ‘General knowledge’? Far too esoteric, generally.

  24. All but done . I’m missing middle letter of 7D and I have an answer for 6A, but I’m not happy with it – the “liked to live” part of the clue I just can’t see. Similarly, 6D I have an answer, but I can’t see the “old bags” reference in it. Any clarification would be appreciated, nothing ‘clicks’ for me in that corner at the moment.

  25. nn, I assumed 26D to be May, which is a type of fly, also spring (in europe). Is that wrong? And I looked at a list of Sydney bridges, but saw nothing that seemed to fit. Confused, as usual!

  26. Stephen, I think the liked to live means “be” which is backwards in the rest of the answer, but that’s about the only bit of the wordplay I even come close to understanding. I don’t get how the other three letters have anything to do with the rest of the clue. I’m assuming the last word of the clue is meant to be the definition, but if so it is a pretty poor one. I’m with RobT about where we should put this! Rupert apparently sees more in it, I’d be interested to read his explanation of the wordplay.

  27. Arthur, 26D isn’t May. I was also looking for a type of fly, but fly is a verb in this one.
    When you get the other Sydney bridge, you will have the first letter of 26D and might get it quickly, in fact it could spring to mind. The name of the bridge is also an Australian biscuit, but both were named after a group of chaps who were rather busy in and after April 1915.

  28. Hot-dog as an anagram indicator (18A)? Is this some skiing terminology?
    Just started, so deliberately have not looked at comments above. Will be in SMH-land for next two weeks, so will have one less day between puzzle and published answer. Shall have to sharpen up.

  29. 6A: Liked = DUG
    to live = BE
    BE in retirement = EB
    DUG, EB snug (i.e. nestled) = DEBUG
    DEBUG = Secured (as a spy might secure a room by checking it for microphones).

  30. 7D: Skip as in the large metal thing that fills up with old mattresses the minute it’s dropped off outside your house. Quandary as in pickle or fix. Detail is a truncation instruction.

  31. 18A: I thought hot-dog was an aviation term, but I think I’ve seen it used to describe skiing, too.

  32. 26D: It’s also a term in haberdashery, particularly associated with mens trousers.

  33. thanks for the 6a explanation Rupert. Still don’t like the clue, just a bit too contrived for me.

  34. Thank you nn and Rupert. Sometimes the answers to DA’s clues just click into place like the door of a Mercedes. Today it was more like the door of an old Skoda, but maybe that’s just me..

  35. Does 15A need both the words ‘this’ and ‘nurse’ or am I reading it wrong?

  36. Isn’t 1A an anagram. I can’t understand any of your other clues. And can someone help me with 17A the only one I have left this weekend. Much better than I go normally.

  37. RAD 1A is an anagram of morality pang without the letters art. Name of a play by G.B.Shaw. 17A the definition is the first word in the clue, think army command.

  38. Thanks, Rupert, for 6A. Would never have got it otherwise. Finished the rest reasonably quickly. RAD, in 17A the card is the highest value (or the lowest, depending on the game). Start with a synonym for ‘on’, then the ‘top’ of face.

  39. 15A: I was reading nurse as a synonym for the first three letters, but I don’t think I like that explanation any more. It works as an &lit without nurse.

  40. Looking for help with the word play in 28A, 29A and 4D. Is “hot dog” an anagram indicator in 18A?

  41. Why didn’t anyone mention that 1A is an anagram without “art” in it?
    Can’t help with the wordplay in 28A – don’t get it ourselves – apart from “returning to”
    29A, same, except that “mistral is a wind – take “mis” from “mis – (take) – leaves “tral” – CL was obvious – at a stretch degrees could be “o” – don’t know where the “is” came from.
    4D” inst” was obvious, “a” – reduced light? for “matic”- no idea – we just knew it was an old camera.. 18A – never seen “hot-dog” as an anagram indicator – bit rough we think.

  42. And we flatly refuse to put in 6A, “Liked” could be “Dug”, To live” is “be” – backwards, but “Snug and Secure”???? – where’s the definition?

  43. @Bernie and Doug & Gwyn
    The wordplay in 28A is – just look up the answer spelt backwards (or should I say “tleps”?)
    In 29A “mistaken” should be read as “m” is taken so the “is” from “mistral” stays.
    I didn’t think it was a stretch for “degrees” to be “o”, the symbol for degrees is a circle, like “zero” or “ring”.
    In 4D as you say, “inst” plus “a” is obvious. The “reduced light” is “matc” – match reduced by taking the “h” off. This then adopts one to become “matic”.
    6A was explained earlier by Ruper. Look at the entry at 3:04pm yesterday. I agree it is a clumsy clue and takes a bit of a stretch to work.
    Also agree that “hot-dog” is a bit rough as an anagind.

  44. I’m a bit surprised that there has only been one brief mention of 2D (by nn yesterday). I thought this was a great clue and could easily be put into DA Gold. A very clever &lit with a wonderful anagram that took me a while to find.

    Anyone agree?

  45. Finished thanks to help above. Still confused on wordplay for 15A, 18A & 19A. Is there a consensus that nurse = cup and hot-dog is an anagram indicator? No-one has mentioned 19A so it must be obvious …

  46. 19 A – a loser -as in someone on the Biggest Loser, less one = discourage.

  47. feather 19A Loser is a dieter. lose one from this to get the answer.
    15A Drink is the definition. Wordplay is a two letter synonym for dad after the thing you drink out of (which is also a synonym for nurse (nurse being a verb), which is why the above comments talk about nurse being unnecessary).
    18A there is a consensus that hot dog is the anagram indicator, although it appears to be a new one to everyone. Answer is a word of German origin, but reasonably common in English now. It is an anagram of size get it.

  48. Thinking about 15A and the redundant nurse, if it wasn’t there, then the clue would be guilty of ‘hookworm syndrome’, whereby the definition is doubled up in the wordplay.

  49. Thanks JD & nn. Even after reading your hint, JD, my first thought was there must be a Biggest Loser contestant named Dieter! DA must have addled my brain. Now I can relax for the evening …

  50. Hookworm, is when a double definition is used, but it’s really only the same definition reworded. A bad example may be : Crop= Shorten a hairstyle. The hairstyle is named for having been cropped in the first place. An &lit is a far more delicate affair!
    With 15A, a cuppa (drink) is short for ‘cup of tea’ ,so by using cup in the definition, it is being doubled up. Does that make sense?

  51. To be honest, JD, it doesn’t! My brain hurts! But that’s DA’s fault, not yours. In 15A, I agree with those who think “nurse” = CUP and “this” is superfluous.

    I thought that while there were some good clues this week, the crossword showcased too many of DA’s faults: tenuous definitions and synonyms, obscurities, and laboured and convoluted wordplay. There’s a fine line between making definitions and synonyms too obvious and making them too tenuous. IMO, DA often strays too much into the latter category.

    Specific whinges: 18A “hot-dog” as anagram indicator. 21A syntax (position of “passengers”). 25A never heard of this bridge. Function of “endorsing”? 28A could have been “toped” or “depot”. 11A isn’t “dust coat” two words?

  52. I’m with you RB, JD’s explanation didn’t really clear it up for me. I think I can see what (s)he is getting at with the difference between hookworm and &lit, but there appears to be a fine line between the two. I’m not really clear on why we need both “nurse” and “this”, although if we accept JD’s hookworm, then it is probably “this” rather than “nurse” that is superfluous, as is “endorses” in 25A. As far as this bridge goes, I’m a Melbournian, but I’d heard of it before I ever saw it on a recent visit to Sydney. Only two big bridges cross the harbour (that I know of) and this is one of them.
    My dictionary defines dust coat as two words, although if you’d asked me I would have thought it was one in the same sense that raincoat and overcoat are each one word, but online dictionaries say otherwise.

  53. RB I wasn’t too fussed with position of passengers in 21A, presuming it indicated the letters being carried by slowly retrace. “Passengers in” or “passengers of” might have been better grammatically, but then the surface reading would have been messy. I’m guessing what you mean by position is that it would have read better if the clue was “slowly retrace passengers backroads” but that doesn’t appear to read correctly either. I also have an issue with backroads. Roads is plural, the answer isn’t. Perhaps “Passengers in disarray retrace backroad” might have been better?

  54. 1A I was curious about the clue “Classic art lover…” which did not seem to apply to any of the story line in the play by George Bernard Shaw, which, as we all know, concerns how a commoner is trained to pass for a duchess (that wouldn’t happen nowadays, would it?)
    After some research, I now think that the clue must refer to a work by the Roman poet, Ovid, who created a Pygmalion in his book of stories about doomed love.
    Pygmalion was a sculptor who, having carved a statue of a woman out of ivory, fell in love with it. Apparently, later in the story, the statue became a real woman.
    Surely this is DA’s Classic art lover?

  55. 21A: The clue says “backroad”.

    1A: I didn’t know the classical origin of the title of Shaw’s play, though many here did. @Robin, you are correct in thinking that “Classic art lover” refers to the character in Ovid.

  56. thanks Rupert 21A is backroad with my glasses on!
    Robin, from memory Shaw named the play Pygmalion after Ovid’s sculptor as in the play Higgins attempts to “sculpt” her from common to refined.

  57. nn: yes, your guess about position of “passengers” in 21A is correct. “Slowly retrace passengers backroad” would have been OK by me. But, as you say, the surface is ruined. And for me, this sacrificing of clue integrity for the sake of a good surface sometimes happens a bit too often with DA.

  58. RB agree DA is pretty sloppy with that one when it would have been so easy to have used “passengers in” . All he needed was another word ending in y instead of slowly and it could have been grammatically correct and had good surface reading.

  59. Hi Guys,
    Sorry – coming late to this one.

    Wondering if someone might help me with the following:
    1. How is “hot dog” an anagrind?
    2. What is the wordplay for “An attempt by rodent about to swallow fur ball”

    Thank & regards,

  60. @Grant An = AN, attempt = GO. Then about= CA (swallowed by) rodent = RAT to give RACAT.
    None of us are too thrilled with hot dog as an anagrind either!

  61. Thanks nn.

    I couldn’t get there with this one. Is CA an abbreviation for circa here?


  62. P.S. this is the sort of contrived clue I hate. Too many little bits and pieces to get to the answer and you spend forever trying to work out which bit is the definition.

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