DA Confusion for the 25/26th of November, 2011

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81 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 25/26th of November, 2011

  1. 4D is my favourite, 22A, 22D, 7D and 9A are also good.

    20A was the first 24A to go in, then 23A confirmed the theme.

    I’m not convinced that 14A is a 24A.

    What is “ape” doing in 24D?

  2. Late start today, and too little sleep for a theme I thought, but 2D pointed the way, confirmed by 24A and the SW corner.
    Haven’t got 24D yet. Saw ‘ape’ in a recent clue but can’t remember the direction, if it is a direction.
    16D’s wordplay is pretty straightforward, but don’t know if the definition’s quite right.

  3. Did know 15A, one of the ones DA said might be unfamiliar, but wordplay more than fair. Fascinating word ety/entomo-logically.

  4. 24D: I think I’ve got it. “ape chicken” means act like a chicken. I had been assuming chicken was a verb, as in chicken out.

  5. 12A: “=” is redundant. Clue could be “100+=” which would confuse anyone who has ever programmed in a C-derived language, or “100 + 16 – 9”, which would have been fiendish.

  6. Don’t get the wordplay in 19D, but can’t play anymore, gotta go to work now, or as they say, ….. … Look forward to knockoff time.

  7. Thanks for the riddle of 12A. Rupert, will write that down and ponder over the teabreak.

  8. 19D: “on the radio” is a homophone indicator. The fodder is how you approve a contract and programs that run on your mobile.

  9. DA’s in excellent form today, methinks! All done, esp liked 22D – very timely given the nature of this month’s mens charity!

  10. 9A: Numberplate isn’t really wordplay – more a cryptic definition. The answer is a member of an order of 24As.

    7D: This is why robots don’t listen to music.

    22A: I think this one is fine. A 24A inside MIS = another 24A.

    4D: I don’t particularly like grades, notes, or, in this case, blood groups unless otherwise qualified as part of the wordplay, but their use seems to be widespread. Otherwise this clue seems fine, and is better than most that use this ruse.

  11. 4D: The arab nation is a sultanate on the eastern end of the Arabian peninsula. Its capital shares a name with a dessert wine.

  12. 4D: Not sure if he’s exchanging the letters of the single blood group AO or the two blood groups A and O. Either way, A is replaced by O and O is replaced by A.

    Damn. I really liked this clue before I tried to explain it ;)

  13. Slow day. Only had an hour to look at it. Finally worked out theme so am getting ahead. Have about half out but don’t fancy my chances of finishing by this evening!

    Nice and tricky-dicky today.

  14. There’s some very good wordplay this week as always. I think 24D is excellent, very clever. You were right first time, weren’t you, Rupert, re the chicken?

    Also 22D is DA all over, very funny. I thought 9A was tough but so obvious when you see it.

    Some confusions: In 17A do I take it that ‘expression’ is the first 4 letters and then ‘power’ is for letters 4-7, and so letter 4 is used twice? 3-down being the homophone indicator?

    In 4D we’ve got the Arab nation and its A for O swap, but the clue says the above is exchanged ‘for tax’, but the tax just follows it? Shouldn’t it be ‘In Arab nation, exchanging blood before tax’?

    Otherwise there is a lot to like. I love the synonym for ‘lift’ in 23A and ‘row’ in 26A.

  15. Finally got it out at 11pm. Some very nice clues here. Thought the theme was eyot after getting 15A but finally broke through with 10A. Did google a few to check.

  16. 17A: That’s how I read it, Robin. I don’t know if that’s quite legit, but with the homophone involved, doubling the middle letter doesn’t change the sound.

  17. “Eyot” RobT? New word for me, but an old word I see, like 15A.
    Quite liked the theme and wordplay pretty straightforward overall.

    I don’t know if it’s lack of sleep, but I thought this week’s cluing lacked DA’s sparkle. I can’t find a surface that really grabs me and some of the wordplay I don’t quite get .. maybe there’s something I’m missing:
    8A ‘fixing’ as anagrind?
    11A ‘required’ as link word? (Good deception in ‘to block out …’)
    19D ‘needed to contract’ for (the homophone of) first 3 letters?? I don’t get the grammar at all.

    Agree with Robin there’s a problem with the homophones in 17A .. double m.
    Loved the deception in 4D ‘s definition and the wordplay, but agree with Robin about the ‘for’. Although that would diminish the trick.
    Agree also about the synonyms in 23A and 26A. And ‘feller’ in 10A, after switching it from the quibble list to a goodie.
    Liked the surface and indicator in 18A. Very much liked 16D wordplay and surface (except for the first word). 22D was a nice classic DA. 25A and 9A were good too.

  18. Gayle, I think you’re right about ‘fixing’ as anagrind in 8A. To me also “required’ doesn’t seem required in 11A.
    In 16D the one vital thing ‘needed to contract’ sounds like the first tree letters, as Rupert says, ‘how you approve a contract’. Hoping I’ve understood your query here.

    Rupert, I liked your “100 + =” in 12A because that’s all you need. I don’t understand all the other numbers at all! What does it all mean?

    In 7D I can’t see anything deep and meaningful in the wordplay so I’m thinking I’ve missed it altogether. I’m seeing the first five words as the def or am I way off? The whole of the answer sounds like a foot problem but that’s nothing to do with it at all?

  19. Robin, Yes, get the meaning of 19D, but the grammar .. something’s missing: eg ‘action’ .
    If I understand your question about 12A, that was the bit that did my head in, mixing letters (which are not also numerals), and Arabic and Roman numerals, to clue ONE letter, ie S.
    6-9 = SIX minus IX = S.

  20. 7D Rupert said : “This is why robots don’t listen to music” … which is a lot funnier than the clue .. or the answer, on looking up the syndrome.
    Definition as I see it, is the last 5 words, or read differently , a problem with notes. The first 2 words of the clue are the wordplay.

  21. Gayle, Ok, I thought the gist of 19D wouldn’t have escaped you.

    Thanks for 12A. I had not seen the SIX minus IX at all needless to say. I took the ‘=’ to give us ‘IS’ which I think is what Rupert was getting at with his “100 + =” (if I’m honest I’ll tell you that for a time I had the final ‘(6)’ included which caused even greater confusion…!)

  22. Actually there’s two homophone problems this week. I disagree with Rupert about 17A. The one word answer does not sound the same as the two words, although, someone has said, maybe Rupert? that homophones don’t have to be 100% in crosswords. So can let that one pass.
    Don’t think that the one in 16D makes the grade though. Perhaps could have clued it with ‘furs’.

  23. have 3 across answers which I hope have given me the theme, but don’t have 24A yet!!
    13d was first in, surface reading of that is providing some bizarre mental images!!

  24. 7d and 22d the faves for me. Had 21 and 13d so finally getting 22d gave me 23a and a clue to the theme. I suppose if you’re growing mulberries then 14a is OK…

  25. Although DA said all across answers lack a definition, 24A does contain a definition, ie ‘our theme’. Once I realised that the clue was straightforward.

  26. Finally finished…. Had to google 9a, quite like the clue now I know the answer. I was a very long time with 21d as my only answer, but 20a gave an idea of the theme which helped greatly.
    I was determined to have Bahrain and adelline at 4/5d but logic eventually prevailed.
    As usual, have only a minimal grasp of much of the wordplay, but I thought this was a terrific puzzle today. A few gripes with marginal definitions and dodgy anagrinds but that’s part of the DA package.
    Agree there’s a few creatures that could feel aggrieved at being considered 24acrosses ; 2d and 22a are a bit stiff as well as 14a.
    Thought 22d, 1d, 11a and 12a were exceptionally good. Very enjoyable overall.

  27. I have 6 of the across clues now but still can’t fit anything sensible into 24A. This is really bugging me!

  28. BRD I was trying to fit Adelline into 5d too, but I can only find it with one L in an list of names. It doesn’t fit the (few) cross letters I have either. Unlike you, I have no idea what the answer is.

  29. nn, quite amusing that 24a is bugging you!

    Sport , when taught in schools many years ago, was referred to as a short acronym. Extreme sports should give you the rest of it.

  30. Gayle, the maiden in 16d is not a girl but something that hasn’t been done before. When I realized that, the homophone made sense.
    I am having trouble in NE corner. 5d, 9a and 11a still being a bit of a 24a. Any help?

  31. The girls name also has a masculine form. It’s also a combination of two Oz celebrities famous primarily for their attractive shapes.

  32. now I have 24a I would quibble on a number of them. Of the 6 across answers that I have, I’d only consider two of them really fit the definition.
    BRD girls name, do you mean for 5d? Am presuming anagram here

  33. Sandy, 9a is a terrific clue IMHO, but as DA warned its not a familiar term. I think most non-entomologists would need to resort to electronic references – I certainly did.
    With 11a, block is the key word; find a synonym and the wordplay falls out.

  34. have top left corner done now, 9a is very good, a mighty fine clue ‘ere!
    Don’t get the wordplay for 7d, assuming I have the right answer (Rupert’s hint supporting this).

  35. don’t think much of wordplay in 10a. Formerly quiet might have been better.

  36. BRD, I finally see what you mean about 9a. Needed the help but turns out a clever clue.
    Methinks DA must have a bit of a creepy-crawly phobia to label all these things 24as!
    nn, for 7d think do re mi, and then a synonym for the second word to come up with the problem described by the last 5 words.

  37. thanks Sandy, got it now. Was messing around with A, B, C etc and getting nowhere

  38. Sandy, I got the maiden. But I’d argue the toss with DA that /s/ is not /z/. Find it hard to forgive him his homophonic boo boos, but then I’m a phonetician by training and he’s a very good cryptocruciverbalist who I usually enjoy immensely.
    ( grumble, grumble. .. even after a nap, bit fatigued today .. back at work after months recovering from surgery. DA and Trippers kept me going all that time .. thanks to everyone.)

  39. The thing is, the whole thing is not a homophone. So it doesn’t have to sound the same when put between the rose tips and the ring as it does when you first write it down. I am quite prepared to flex a little with homophones.

  40. Ah, that inspires a whole other discussion … but probably best if I go for some more zzzs.

  41. but the bit between the rose tips and the ring isn’t even a word, so even clumsier as a homophone.

  42. I’m with Gayle on the /s/ /z/ problem in 16D. I also agree with those comments above about whether some, such as 22A and the first part of 2D, really qualify as 24As. I’ve been at a meeting most of the day so consider I’ve done fairly well (by my lowly standards) to finish all but the NE corner by now. Might have to tackle that tomorrow.

  43. Me too, Dave, I’m with Gayle, nn and others on the homophone issue in 16D. I like your comment, nn, that letters 3-7 in the answer isn’t even a word!

    Two weeks ago we had OMERTA which sounds like “OMER – TER” but DA had it “OMER – TAR”. Aired earlier here, 17A still isn’t quite right either, is it?

    7D is the only one still bugging me. Thanks for your comments Gayle and others, but I still think I’m missing something, or maybe I’m not. It can wait until tomorrow though as some people are still finishing.

  44. Of course it’s not a word. It’s a homophone of a word. That’s the point. Yes the pronunciation is a bit slippery, but nowhere near as problematic as that entomophobic 24a slur,

  45. Can agree with you there Sandy. Feel compelled myself to jump to the defence of these critters in light of the stinging attack. :)
    Robin, 7D, so we can all put this to bed before Saturday night’s out . .. Note is TI (doh, re, mi or however they’re spelt). Maybe it’s time for one of your lovely song links? (But please no Sound of Music.) By is NEAR. Still chuckling about Rupert’s joke about robots.
    ‘Night everyone.

  46. Gayle, you’re marvelous. I feel I’m as blind as a bat sometimes. I knew something was there. I’ll sleep better now! I am trying you know! I loved Rupert’s robots too! He is always such a great help. Thanks Rupert!

  47. Robin, that’s amazing, to find tracks called 9a and 15a. I think they must use software to find obscure but real English words for the titles. Doesn’t appear to be any other relevance. They might be scrabble players.

  48. As usual I’m coming in late but I wondered about 23A.
    If I’ve the correct solution [ starting with a dog action..] shouldn’t the last word be associated with a hearing clue eg joint we hear? It’s not exactly the same sound [ if I have the correct word, associated with Sundays?] I can’t do 9A at all

  49. Connie, I’m not sure what you have for the last part of 23a, but perhaps, like me, you’re not au fait with cannabis slang. Apparently “roach” is a term for the butt of a marijuana cigarette.

  50. Connie 9a what is the purpose of a numberplate. Wordplay is three words 1,3,2. If you can work this out you will have to google to get the answer, it is a type of mite.

  51. Thanks RB. I was thinking of the Sunday roast but it led me to the same end.
    Thanks also nn . I think I can see where to go.

  52. Conny, like me, you must have led a sheltered life. ‘Roast’ was also my first thought when looking for a 5 letter joint (having dismissed cock-elbow and cock-ankle).

  53. Mmmm. I agree with some of the quibbles already aired. Here are some more.
    12A: I didn’t like the “=”. Its use as a link for the surface didn’t make sense as the two sides of the equation are clearly unequal; and both the “=” and the resultant inequality played no part in the wordplay. Maybe a comma would have been better?
    26A: eavesdrop=bug? Are they really the same thing? Surely you bug a room so that you can eavesdrop later.
    3D: talks=voices? Doesn’t quite work for me.
    16D: applies=refers to? Ditto. I would have accepted “applies to”.

  54. Can’t leave the house at the moment to get today’s Age so I really need Tripper help. I can’t get 12A. The clue is giving me a word that doesn’t seem to exist . I’m missing something aren’t I? Assume spoilers are okay at this late stage.

  55. Yes, it’s Monday, so I’ll just come straight out with it. It’s C ADD I S as follows:
    + = ADD
    1 = I
    6 – 9 = SIX – IX = S

  56. Thanks RB. Found caddisfly by Google. Still no caddis though. I was using “and” not “add”. Maybe time for a new dictionary?

  57. Rupert, re 3D, I’m not sure what you’re getting at there. But then maybe you didn’t understand what I was getting at either! My quibble is that I can’t devise a sentence in which voice and talk are interchangeable. Voice is a transitive verb (as in the way you’ve used it). Talk is usually intransitive, but can be transitive as in “to talk shop” or “I talked him into playing” but you can’t successfully substitute voice for talk in those examples. Conversely, whilst I can voice my opinion or my concern, I can’t really talk either of them.

  58. 3D: Definitions and answers don’t need to be interchangeable, the clue just needs to suggest the answer. I can’t think of a sentence in which you could replace 6D with “She’s determined to close”, either.

    You can’t voice your opinion without talking. I agree it’s not a great clue, but it’s good enough.

  59. Can I just point out that 14a could just as easily have been tapeworm as silk worm (slim is taper, work shortened to wo instead of wor). In fact, can anyone explain how “slim” gives silk – tapeworm seems a better answer to me than silkworm & certainly more of a 24a.

    Similarly, there is a condition called fan ear which would have fitted 7d (middle ear infection, affecting note discrimination, fa another note).

    My other quibble is that a synapse is not a “bit of nerve” at all but the junction of two nerves. This is as big a problem from my biological perspective as the DA physics mistakes have been in the past for many others.

  60. JK, I too wanted to fit tapeworm into 14A, but how do you explain the M at the end? And the presence of “model” in the clue? And “ending early” to denote TWO letters missing is a bit dodgy. The wordplay for silkworm is: anagram of “slim” SILM containg KWOR which is the whole four letters of “work” but with the K at the start (the “ending” is “early”).

  61. Thanks RB, missed the anagram completely. Thought model might just mean m (instead of the usual t); agree that shortening by 2 letters is too much even for DA, but still found myself reluctant to give up tapeworm until the “l” from danielle made it untenable.

  62. Rupert, I cannot agree that the def only needs to “suggest” the answer. As with wordplay (e.g. faults = vices, in the same clue), you should be able to think of a context where the two are interchangeable i.e. they are synonyms. I’d say that most clues follow this convention.

    But I do concede that some clues do as you say: the pun clue or cryptic/oblique definition. However, even here, I’d say the def can sometimes be interchangeable with the answer in the right context. For instance in 6D (she=saleswoman), 7D (this=tin ear), and 22D (this fabric=mohair). In the first two examples, we are given additional information (“she” is someone who is determined to close; and “this” causes a problem).

  63. I hadn’t ‘signed up’ before, because I don’t see DA until Monday. I scan for ‘easy’ answers, then return a day or so later, always amazed that others now seem easy (and many remain tough!). Though I had some of these ‘pests’ in my head somewhere, most defied the ‘third R’ of memory (Reception, Retention, Recollection).
    Back to DA’s original question, how did ‘pit’ as in most stone fruit – become ‘pitted’ to denote the pit has been removed? And isn’t ‘pit’, as in sandpit, an antonym of (say mine) pit? 12A topped my list.

  64. Hello Tony. Welcome aboard! We have all sorts of time variations. Rupert in NZ gets DA online and beats us all to it when the sun hasn’t even come up in Oz on Friday. Then there’s the Victorians on Saturday. I’m intrigued .. do you get yours by pigeon post on a Monday?

  65. Unit 1 discards Friday’s newspaper on Monday, with DA unsullied. I can’t bring myself to buy an entire paper, only for, even for, DA. My timezone is their oblivious digestive rate. Sometimes, inexplicably, it’s not there at all…

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