DA Confusion for the 6/7th of January, 2012

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65 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 6/7th of January, 2012

  1. Moderately hard today – an hour in and still three to go (10A, 26A, 5D), though 1A went in straight away giving me false hope. I am quite proud of myself for remembering the artist, and for getting 27A with no idea who he’s talking about.

    NW corner is a gold mine – I really like 9A, 13A, 1D and 11D.

    We seem to be back to dodgy definitions: 23A and 3D in particular.

  2. We’re having delayed ‘Xmas’ today. Silly me for making it a Friday. I must make the dessert, must not look at DA. Oh, couldn’t help myself. It looks difficult. Got only 28A on first run. Got 27A on the second pass, the double-edged samurai sword didn’t fit the definition. Came here to see what Rupert said. Mmm, who needs dessert?

    Rupert, you may have got it by now, but I just got 26A. It’s a chuckle! The constructor is doubled, followed by ‘rush to’ conclusions.

  3. OK, with the help of Google* I’m done. Only confused on one wordplay this week:

    16D: What does “split” do here? Is it telling us to take half the preceding word, or is it removing the other two letters in some way? I’m assuming “plastic” is the anagrind.

    On the dodgy defs, 3D (“sweet”) seems to be OK according to the dictionary, and 23A showed up in a thesaurus, so I guess I have to withdraw the complaint.

    * I’ve emailed the Malvern, Iowa school district, who have a study paper on their website with 10A’s name wrong.

  4. 26A: Thanks, Gayle. I found a construction company in Canberra which when doubled back fits the answer, but of course it’s not that.

  5. I am about 2/3’s through after maybe 45mins. Moderatley tricky with a few noice clues. Had to Google-check an artist and don’t get their connection s to the wordplay elsewhere. That’s it for me until the end of the day.

  6. @RobT: I assume you’re referring to the apparent reference to the artist’s first name in 8D? It’s not – it’s a rugby term.

  7. 16D don’t have any further illumination to add to what you’ve said Rupert, but doesn’t seem to be sufficient, does it? DA sticks by the rule to indicate which letters are to be deleted. Also trying on the first and last letters of ‘split’ but I think that may be coincidence.

  8. Done. Turkey’s on. Better get the dessert finished before husband gets home with the veggies.
    It wasn’t too hard after all. A fairly straightforward crossword with gettable wordplay.
    Fortunately I knew the painter. And Nick ain’t Santa, not this week anyway.
    Thanks for the explanation about the 22 in 8D, Rupert. Although not necessary for the solution, eh.
    Well done for getting 10A. And you probably remember that particular Chappell brother.
    13A, I was on the lookout for that as soon as I saw it, don’t know if it’s fair though.
    14A was trying to work out which Mel, B,C? Gibson? Kind of a half and half.

    10A my favourite this week. Liked the fodder-indicator combination in 11A. Also liked 15D, 24D, 17D, 6D and several others.

  9. I was still in England in 1981. It was kind of a shock to get to NZ and find people still upset about it thirty years later. Maybe the recent result in Hobart will put that one to rest? Knowing Kiwis, probably not.

  10. 8D: My knowledge of 22/12 is limited to having seen the movie* a couple of times, but I believe the accident caused the artist to become a 8D**? So possibly it works both ways.

    * Highly recommended, in case you haven’t seen it.
    ** Wikipedia confirms this, though it’s a harsh term for someone who spent three months in a full body cast.

  11. Hey, yeah Rupert. I really enjoyed that movie. True. DA was very clever with that clue. (In the beginning I had been trying to come up with a Federico or Fernando, deleting Ford.)
    And the theme continues with 24A too.

  12. 16d Plastic is anagram indicator.
    19d Probe is definition; wordplay is straightforward charade.

  13. Got it out I think but some o f the wordplay confuses. I’ll look thru the fred later.

  14. A question about Spoonerisms. Is there any general pattern as to whether the words to be spoonerised are a) words/homophones or b)homophones of synonyms/references? And in a pair, is the other usually of the same type? I’m never sure where to start and have come to expect two synonyms… don’t know why.. a common feature of cryptics? Laboured over 14A. Mel was relatively untouched, but the second word is a synonym. Is it just something to be on the lookout for? Could be one or the other or mixed?

  15. 14A: I was looking for a synonym for Mel, too (Smith, Brooks, Blanc?). In the end I got it from the other direction.

    I think the essence of a Spoonerism is the swapping of the first consonants, and additional wordplay is allowed but not required.

  16. Too tired really, to put much effort into this one. Wrote in five answers, at least two of those I’m certain of. Humbling to see that others seemingly finished it in a very short time. Not sure I’ll bother proceeding. Old age catching up. Very lethargic. May look again later.

  17. Finally got it out. Confusion in bottom RH corner arose from treating “transport” in 28a as an anagram indicator, in which case one can (with a bit of stretching) get an alternative second component of 28.

  18. Not such a short time Arthur. And it’s not an exceptionally sparkly DA. A spot of sunshine or a nap might be more appealing today.

  19. 4 to go in SE corner….some terrific clues today..26a,28a,17d, 6d.

    Can’t make any sense of the Spooner…

  20. If 23a is the only word that fits the cross letters then I’m finished. Unfortunately I can see absolutely no connection between it and any part of the clue. It sounds vaguely like the oath taken by Doctors but that seems a long bow to draw.

  21. Finished. Mainly a late night session when I couldn’t get to sleep. And not too much help needed from here either.
    As for 23a, BRD, quack as in fake not as in doctor. ‘bizarrely their’ is wrapped around ‘parrot’ turned around.

  22. One word play I don’t get. 26a. I don’t understand how ‘constructor doubled’ gets he first three letters. any ideas?

  23. I did come back and look again, oddly, picked out a few while watching a Sherlock Holmes video. So, I still only have ten answers, SW corner filled, most of NE corner, and probably 1A. But arvo tea-time, then probably pool. I shouldn’t let this one go, after completing four in a row.

  24. Well, suddenly, a rush. All of NW corner filled in about three minutes. But must go now, still haven’t had arvo tea. CU later.

  25. Thanks RB. Oh duh what a dope! I wasn’t thinking of crossword construction!

  26. I had 26A but without understanding the ‘constructor doubled’ bit. Thanks RB. I now have all but the NW corner (though I do have 1A) and I think I have 17D, without understanding how it fits the last three words of the clue. I am assuming the first letter is the bottom letter of ‘going’. I loved 10A and 22/12. Only started after lunch today, so it hasn’t been too arduous. Might get some gardening in before coming back.

  27. I originally struggled with 26A too, having INIGO (Jones, 17th cent British architect) at first. In fact, I struggled with the whole of the RH corner. I was convinced the second word of 28A was SOIL, even though I couldn’t figure out the word play.

    Dave R, if I correctly understand your assumption re 17D, it’s wrong. “Eccentric, going bottom-first” gives the first 3 letters of the answer.

  28. Sandy, thanks, I see it now. I was obsessed with using the 6a letters, now I see it indicates ‘wrap’. And I completely ignored ‘their’, assuming it was part of the surface. Still think the definition is marginal but I must concede that one to DA.

  29. Thanks again RB. Got it now, so should have a better chance with 17A.

  30. Gimmes: 1A and 4D. Also thought 15D was close to a gimme. Liked the geographic spread. Always did well in geography.

    Got 18A but don’t understand it very well. I think the definition is the first word, and file serves a similar function to ‘dock’ (as not infrequently used by DA)?

    Got 11A but also having trouble understanding it. Is ‘final term’ the def?

    Can’t find the def for 10A but liked the wordplay (which appeared to be the entire clue).

    Got 13A from across letters but don’t get it unless the comma has been misplaced. (If it is a deliberate misplacement I would consider it an unfair clue.)

    Got an answer for 17D but don’t get the wordplay. Is the word ‘fair’ superfluous?

    Got a Middle-Eastener for 9A from the down clues but don’t get the wordplay.

    Took a while to see the double def in 17A.

    5D – Got a wallaby but don’t see how Nick = Fred Spofforth.

    Any help appreciated.

  31. 11A-final term is to do with headless fact
    5D-Nick is old with a spanish “the”

  32. Can’t figure out 18 cross – might have 19 down wrong. Any help out there?

  33. @Ben, regarding 18A: My take on this clue is that you need to drop (‘file’) the last letter from a four-letter word meaning ‘secure’, then insert (‘kept in’) two letters from the clue into that word. The first word of the clue is the definition. This was the last clue that I got out.

  34. Down to last 4, I think, in SE corner. 16D has me baffled, I presume it is a person’s name, since my wordfinder can’t come up with an ordinary word. Thought I was going to finish without crying ‘Help’ but stuck on these last few. But have I the right second word for 28A? The term I have is what the contractor used to collect when I was a kid (1930s). One of my dictionaries has this as a hyphenated word, the other as two words.

  35. Well, thanks to iPuzzled just above, I now have, I think, 18A. If 26A is a US state, I have that too. But that leaves me with a 19D that seems impossibly unlikely. Must await further enlightenment. Enough for tonight. Big Bash at MCG just starting.

  36. iPuzzled, 9a university indicates its first letter, which ‘breaks’ a synonym of ‘down’ followed by ‘one’.
    As for comma in 13a, punctuation should always be ignored in cryptics.
    And 10a is an ‘&lit’ clue, which means wordplay and definition are combined.

  37. Arthur C, 19d means probe. It is a ‘charge lodged’ against a ‘hooligan’. The synonyms are 3,4 while the definition is 4,3.

  38. Arthur C: re 28A, see my previous comment – I think you might have gone down the same wrong path as I did. The definition is not simply the first word of the clue; it’s the first TWO words.

    iPuzzled: re 11A, I believe you’re correct – the def is “final term”, which I think is a bit dodgy, as this meaning of “term” is usually used in the plural: “terms”.

    Re 10A: This seems to be an &lit clue, and the def is “he” implied by the clue. A bit like the def for 15D “he’s happily struck”.

    Re 13A: I think the comma placement is deliberately misleading. As has been noted here before, deliberately misleading punctuation in the clue is quite common and deemed to be a fair practice. In this case, as Peter says, the solver must mentally shift the comma to after “on”.

    Re 9A: It took me a while to see the wordplay in this one – it’s “university” (one letter) inside “down” (three letters), followed by “one” (the usual one letter).

  39. Thanks Peter, Sandy and RB. I’m across it now. I think the advice about ignoring punctuation is generally okay, but I have come across some cryptic clues where the punctuation has been the definition or a vital part of the word play. How does one say ‘&lit’? Is it “and lit” or “ampersand lit” or something else? I don’t do very well with this type of clue.
    @Arthur C. – glad my hint helped.

  40. 16D: It’s not a persons name. Hollywood souvenirs is one example of this type of kitsch.

    iPuzzled: I usually say “and lit”. A good &lit; is the very best kind of clue. I usually signpost mine with an interrobang, but it’s not a universally agreed rule that this must be done.

  41. A limerick to cheer up Arthur C (via Boatman, setter for the Guardian):

    There is an old man (48)
    Whose faculties, sad to relate
    Are starting to taper
    I read in the paper
    (The crossword – before it’s too late!)

  42. RB (and others), as indicated in my earlier post, I also tried SOIL for 28a. The incorrect reasoning is “near”>”is nigh” transport (anagram indicator) with “lot” back gives “waste”.

  43. Geoff, your incorrect reasoning is quite impressive I’m glad I didn’t get as far down that path as you did!

    iPuzzled, DA nearly always signposts his &lits with a “!”

  44. Got it all out, but I guessed for 16D. The fact that there is a real cinema star in there, just missing one letter, had me confused.

  45. Who’s the cinema star DC? I’m still a bit unsure of the deletion in 16D. I’m wondering if your guess might illuminate.

  46. Hello to everyone. I’ve completed the whole grid and I found most of it good to do.
    However, I am puzzled by what the 22 means in 8D. Someone referred to it as a rugby term and others referred to a movie, but it seems to me to be just another term for the “campus truant”. Can anyone help on this?

  47. ERIC BANA looked significant to me, but I couldn’t make it work (probably for good reason).

  48. Hello Conny.
    8D is a double definition, campus truant and the 22 in rugby which uses the same term. As you suggest, you don’t really need the 22 to get the answer.
    On seeing the 22 in 8D, one would usually look for a corresponding clue to see if there is a cross reference. In this case it’s not clearly indicated, but there could be a connection.
    The comments were about the movie on the life of 22D/12A who did have an accident which led to being a 8D. Could be a connection in DA’s mind in setting the clues, or could be just chat on this blog.

  49. Oh, DC, that was certainly worth looking at. Well-spotted. Trying to explain one half of a doctor is just as good in my view as finding which half of star was to be deleted. I suppose I’ll have to settle for the question mark at the end.

  50. Thanks Gayle. That clears it up. It’s like the 10A which is double definiting like anything isn’t it?

  51. Well, I’m still baffled about these last two. Rupert’s poem:
    There is an old man (48)
    Whose faculties, sad to relate
    Are starting to taper
    I read in the paper
    (The crossword – before it’s too late!)
    reminded me that this old man is 82, but I still enjoy crypics. I still have no idea what the Hollywood thing is, my wordfinder yesterday couldn’t give me a word that fitted the across clues. So that one has to wait till solution comes tomorrow. But, suddenly, the thought comes that the second word of 28A might not be soil, in which case I can find two words for 19D that fit ‘probe’. That’s better, I now have the right second word in 18A, so finally, I am 0nly missing 16D.

  52. 16D: It’s a collective term for things from the country in which Hollywood is located. The wordplay is an anagram of “a cinema ar”, and I’m still not sure where the ST goes.

  53. Thanks, Rupert. I no sooner posted my last comment than I saw the word and its ana gram as you described. My real delay had been caused by concentrating on the ‘waste’ in 28A instead of seeing it as ‘waste transport’. Once that was sorted out all was eventually resolved. Thanks. CU all next week, DV.

  54. My take on 16D is anagram of “a cinema” plus split of “star” i.e. just “ar”. The Eric Bana connection is so good (reminding me of Tom Malvolo Riddle) that I’ve decided to believe it’s deliberate. 10A was also great. Had to come here to get what the 22 means in 8D; the connection to 22/12 also escaped me until I came here. Thanks all!

  55. Hi,
    I’m still struggling with the wordplay in 18A.
    Could someone help please.

  56. Grant, ‘he’ is kept (enclosed) in a synonym of ‘secure’ which has been ‘filed’ (ie has had a bit taken off it — in this case the final bit). The definition is a collective noun for ‘papers’.

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