DA Confusion for the 15/16th of July, 2011

Confusion, bewilderment, discombobulation.

All sorted out here.

85 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 15/16th of July, 2011

  1. Where is everybody!?

    I have all except for 27A which I need to google, I think.

    A bit ‘meh’ today…

  2. I don’t have 10A, possibly because I have 8D wrong.

    I don’t get the wordplay in &, 28, 4D or 27.

    I did like 15, and I like 14 (had me trying to fit in Mahdi for a long time).

  3. Is 27A an indirect definition? Skill + UFO pilot = a synonym for the answer

  4. 27A: I have “in the night sky?” as the definition, referring to the constellation Chamaeleon. Wordplay is as I described above, which is very libertarian.

  5. Made a late start but got about 3/4 done so far.
    @Rupert, 4D wordplay I saw as ‘film’ doing double duty. 4 letter synonym, followed by the icon with ‘to’ inserted.
    Not sure about 27A yet, got the nebulous definition, or is it the skill?

  6. Finally get the wordplay for 28A.
    Rupert, in 10A the (former) tennis star is Australian (now a pretty good coach) & I agree with Gayle re 4D.

  7. Stuck on 14D and 16 D. Would be glad of a hint.
    10A Peta’s hint rhymes.
    6D don’t agree with the spelling if I have it right. Or is that what the ‘perhaps’ is about?

  8. I googled 10A, so now I know who he is, but I don’t have the wordplay. I also had 8D wrong, so I need to fix that.

  9. @ Gayle 14D is a brand name ( I had not heard of) as is the first word of the clue (hence rivals). 6D’s spelling seems fine to me.

  10. 14D: Sorry – I gave you a clue to 16D, which you didn’t need. Peta gave you a better one. I prefer the one named after a city in India (old name) and a precious gem.

    6D is how the Germans spell it.

  11. 10A: Thanks Peta. I think of moons being broken into rings when they get this close, rather than Pharmcos.

  12. 14D Thanks Peta and Rupert. I thought it might be an alternative to Gordons as I knew of and I saw the ‘buff’. Turns out I was on the right track from the beginning. Should have googled it.

  13. 4D: I see it now. TO is entering the dragon, whereas I was looking for something involving LET.

    Still don’t get wordplay for second word of 7D, or 28A.

  14. 7D with gun think engine
    28A “lace discount” means discount lace from cut

  15. Anyone like to help a newcomer? Go easy on me – I’m half way there. Can you confirm that 2D is a compass point on a ruler – reference to some wise guy “just getting by”? If so give me some hints for 1A.

  16. 14D. Is buff a colour? ….and following this a question with an article inside?

  17. Welcome, Emil. Yes and yes!
    1A – Reverse the clue – This pursuit (pasttime?) is concluded by mates (or resignations)

  18. 3D. I don’t think so. [dress rehearsal] performance run-through and [judicial travesty] a hearing for the cameras perhaps – answer is an expression for both

  19. 1A – I see. End of the game. Still lost on 3D. I think I have 25A but only because I’ve got a couple of letters (a protective kitchen garment?). Any clues on how the wordplay works…

  20. “spin” as in the work of a spin doctor – gives letters 2 & 3.
    excellent is A1…spell that out and then take into account we only want most of it (mainly excellent)

  21. Falling into place now. 20D I’m trying to fit a danish backward into a food court to give me some rubbish – leftovers from the grain. Just can’t find the right danish.

  22. 20D “Danish, back” provides just 1 letter – the eatery has an unusual spelling

  23. Aha – shortened eatery. A few more have fallen out now. Only two left. 26A and 24D.
    24D Does “salaries essentially” mean the middle letter in a synonym for salaries? Does discuss signal a homophone? Is “as” the normal part of the clue?
    Any starters for 26A?

  24. Ah got 24D. Have an answer for 26D which is not convincing enough. Should I be cutting the sides of words? Paunch, another word, cut the sides off, put a numb feeling around it. Ah that’s it! All done.
    Thanks Peta

  25. 24D You’re on the right track with “salaries essentially” but no need to find a synonym.
    “as theives discuss” is the defn. – the special language of thieves
    26A. First word of clue is the defn. “trimming laterals on paunch” – take away the sides of a 5 letter word for paunch. Surround (surface) that bit of the answer with how you might feel on the onset of numbness (especially in the hands or arms)

  26. 27A got it now. As Rupert said: indirect definition ……. indirect everything it seems.

  27. All done, apart from 8d. Help please.

    I have a 5 letter synonym for lookers, but can’t fit measurements in without losing the sense.

  28. Monica, agree with your wordplay for 24D.
    27 A wordplay: SKILL + 2 letters for UFO pilot (in the generic sense .. I don’t think the well-known 2 letters was a pilot) = a synonym for the answer

  29. @Monica. Yes. I should have said “no need to find a synonymfor salaries” as that was what Emil was asking.

  30. Thanks Gayle. Got there eventually. I was trying to read too much into pilot.

  31. Done it all now, but would never have got 27A without the above hints. Had worked out it was something to do with Astronomy and thought I’d be ok as I studied that at uni many years ago, but so many possible constellations and other objects! As such I think the wordplay was rather unfair, don’t know how you managed to work this one out Rupert!
    Got into a right mess with the tennis player at first as had gone for Stone which ruined a few down clues.
    Can’t list any that I would call favourites, a few too many where the wordplay was bits and pieces of words cobbled together.
    But did learn a new word and also a new brand of grog, so I guess not all bad.

  32. for those struggling with 8d, I had trouble with this until I put my glasses on and read it again!

  33. I actually missed the paper yesterday. Is the puzzle published anywhere online?
    Cant see it on the smh site.

  34. 18A was a nice hidden (hate that term).
    Got 4A immediately and 11,12A seconds later. Was feeling good about myself. Got 15D straight away (was a big fan of Daley Thomson) but then moved more slowly.
    Needed online encyclopaedia for 14D. I was thinking ‘Beefeater’ the second I saw it, but of course it didn’t fit.
    2D: Thought ‘magus’ the second I saw Melchior, but that didn’t do me any good. I still don’t get the ‘E’ at the front.
    Still have no idea about 27A. I keep thinking ‘flying pin’, which shows skill, but is not a ‘skill shown’. All the hints about the UFO pilot are driving me crazy. ET keeps coming to mind.
    1A: I keep thinking chums (mates) or chase (pursuit) but can’t mash them.
    Liked 24D.
    Don’t like 8D at all. How can an inanimate object do something? The ‘-ers’ at the end of the word ‘lookers’ implies an animate object.

  35. @Ipuzzled
    2D I think the E refers to east, but not sure.
    27A you almost have it, it isn’t a pin but something you cook in, also a constellation. Another name for it is SKILL + ET. I don’t think this is a very fair clue.
    1A is a game, the cryptic hint is that Mates conclude it.
    I had a lot of trouble with 14D too, trying to come up with rival Scottish clans or enemies in battle, then went on to chefs all to no avail. Hints above helped me get what it was about, but had never heard of the brand until I googled.

  36. Thanks nn. 27A makes sense now. Wasn’t aware of that name of that constellation. I know it by other names.
    Regarding 1A: ‘mates’ conclude instances of the pursuit (or hobby) rather than concluding the hobby itself. Maybe I need to be a little looser with my thinking? I like the fact that DA doesn’t conform to all the conventions, and to a certain extent is a law unto himself. But sometimes it drives me insane.

  37. Belated welcome to Emil. Hope we can continue to help, and that you’ll help us on a few.

    27A is definitely breaking the rules. Ximenes would be spinning in his grave if he hadn’t long since given up on DA.

  38. Came over to this thread searching for several explanations, all of which I’m happy with, except for 27A, which is an out-and-out shocker. I allow DA a lot of latitude in exchange for the pleasure he brings, but he really should regret this clue.

  39. Not a bad DA this week – I needed a little help from this thread for 4D and managed to get the answer to 27A by inference, but didn’t understand why until I read through the comments here (thanks nn). I agree with others that it is a terrible clue.

    I’m possibly alone in this, but for me 1A is gold. It’s quite elegant and, in stark contrast to 27A and many of DA’s clues, perfectly ximinean.

  40. iPuzzled you’re right about ET. SKILL ‘shown by’ = SKILL + ET.
    I got the constellation from ‘in the night sky’ from cross letters and spent some time trying to justify ‘flying’ ‘pan’ from pilot and skill and the outofthisworldish familiar character which was supposed to be a modern Peter Pan allegory. Although 0n looking it up, it was more autobiographical. DA took a lot of liberties as others have said. On the other hand, clever DAception?

  41. 16A and 21D were good confidence-boosters. Much easier than so many DA clues. That no-one on this forum has needed to ask for help regarding them is an indication of their simplicity. Perhaps DA has pity on his audience/victims from time to time?

  42. iPuzzled, I find there’s a trap in doing DA .. overthinking, when the answer’s much simpler. I laboured over 16A, but in the end it was a really weak clue, I thought, without a good surface. Hence the ? 21 D I agree was a classic gettable cryptic. Also agree with you about 1A .. problem with singular and plural.
    The last few weeks have been fairly do-able, but there’s always next week when DA’s recharged his batteries. Therein probably lies the attraction .. you never know.

  43. @John As 1 across is just a cryptic definition, I don’t think you can classify it as Ximinean or otherwise. It’s simply a single definition clue. Either it works or it doesn’t.


  44. I have to disagree with @AG in the other thread. 20/23 is a very good &lit.

  45. Have to agree that 27A is a terrible clue. And isn’t it about time that ET was laid to rest? The movie is nearly 30 years old – surely this UFO pilot/alien/visitor from space must cease to be a setter’s clueing device.

  46. HS, DA gave us ‘skill’ but even then some of us didn’t get it. But how old are the books of the Old Testament? They’re part of the code and give some of us a chance.

  47. iPuzzled, in 2d I took the E to be for east.

    I had trouble with 27a, too. It has been explained upthread. Forget the pilot and go with what comes to mind.

    Peta has explained 1a above.

  48. @HS – Nonsense – why ban ET? Is there a use by date on crossword clue content?

  49. Rupert thanks. I felt very welcome esp. will all the help from Peta. Was very satisfying to complete a DA.

  50. yes, Drums, there is a use by date for some crossword elements. For example, the Guardian setters have stopped using ‘princess’ as a clue for ‘di’. And ‘old actor’ for ‘tree’ has long had its day. Pop culture elements come, and hopefully go, in time.

  51. Resolved yesterday not to attempt this one, too much pressure from other quarters at the moment. But last night I sat down and wrote in a few answers, now have 15 or 16. But a question: Who on earth is Gordon? General Gordon? Some TV chef? A character from Neighbours? Don’t watch that rubbish. Have to section filled, little in bottom half. Gordon’s rival would help.

  52. Arthur C. You’ll be pleased to know that Gordon or Gordon’s is not a TV character but something which comes in a green bottle and is flavoured with juniper berries .. and may help to ease some of the pressures. The rival begins with a 3 letter synonym for buff (colour).

  53. Haven’t had a drop .. but may need to clean my 8D. Correction to previous comment: Gordon’s does not come in a green bottle, in Australia. Wiki tells me that Godon’s took over its rival in the late 19th C .

  54. Well, from somewhere in the memory bank, came a word that seems to fit, but a different drink rather than a different brand. Again, as a strict teetotaller, not familiar with alcohol varieties. Thanks, Gayle. Now I need to know if the fourth letter of 13A is an F or a W, or neither?

  55. 13A ‘s fourth letter is neither F or W.
    Def is ‘honest’. Need to delete the first 2 letters of the following three words.

  56. Marvellous, Gayle. Ta muchly. I resort to an online wordfinder, but when I entered – – T – I -T- – it didn’t throw up that word,and I couldn’t make sense of outfitted or outwitted, or even untwisted.

  57. @Arthur, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to think of General Gordon. Put in Khartoum at one point but couldn’t see how it fitted the rest of the clue. Did you go through Gordon Ramsey, Gordon Bennett, various Scottish clans etc too?
    I’d never heard of the eventual answer and wouldn’t have got it without help.

  58. 27A. I agree with most that this clue stretched things too far.

    8D. I was happy with my answer which matched what most people here seem to have had. But debriefing with a friend today I found I had it wrong. iPuzzled gave an alert July 16 2:47pm that we might have the answer wrong. For those that didn’t check note that the answer is a very specific Indian measurement, not an abbreviation for measurements in general.

  59. 8D: The answer printed in the SMH yesterday is an abbreviation for measurements

  60. 1D No Biblical evidence that Melchior et al were kings. Probably astronomers or astrologers. They possibly could have had fun with 27A

  61. You are correct, Bernie. Nothing is really known of the ‘wise men from the east, who brought gifts to the infant Jesus, neither who theywere, or even how many they were. Magi is, I think, the word used. As to the rest, I didn’t quite finish yesterday, the pool table beckoned, and I went, five words short. Thought a few clues were fairly rotten, but good overall.

  62. Melchior would have been very well travelled to see 27A. At a declination of -80°, it’s not visible from anywhere in Europe or the Middle East.

  63. 8D: Thanks Rupert. It appears there are two possible answers. I feel a bit better about my answer now hearing that it matched the SMH solution.

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