111 thoughts on “DA Confusion for 13/14th of January, 2012

  1. Another moderately tough one this week. Lots of good misdirection. I made a bit of a breakthrough at about the 1 hour mark, leaving me with four to get at coffee time.

    I didn’t know the costume designer, but got it from the wordplay. Likewise I didn’t know Althorp – I thought it was going to be another Australian explorer!

  2. I found today’s pretty straightforward…funny how I sometimes find it hard when you find it easy.
    I really loved 14A and 7D!
    But wracking my brains for 1/4 and ave the SE to do on the way home.

  3. 1/4 was pretty straightforward, I thought, though if you haven’t heard the expression it may be hard to get.

    I’m off to a wordfinder to solve 21D, then I’m done.

  4. SW corner fell in readily , but having to google a bit in the SE. Agree about the misdirections. Will have to leave it now’til tonight.

  5. OK, 21D was fun, although this former choirboy had never heard of the cassock.

    I also liked 20A, as well as 23A (good misdirection), 2D (good find) and 8D.

    It seems I have 1D wrong, and I have no idea what else to try.

    Can anyone help with the wordplay on 13A?

  6. 13A:
    “recall a bottom” = first 4 letters
    “such face saving” = next 3
    “ease” = last 2.
    Trying to not let the cat out of the bag. No definition in the clue other than “he”…I guess an &lit

  7. 13A: Thanks, Rob. I got that it was an &lit, but the sense of the surface reads more like it should end with ‘R’.

  8. Geez hard work in SE corner. Confess to Googling 20A and 21D….

    And gave never heard of 1A although probably should have. Got it out with the wordplay….cute clue.

  9. 25A: The answer may be the Latin form of his name, but I’m not convinced that makes him Roman, given his fathermother’s husband was king of Sparta.

  10. Toughest one for a while for me.
    SE corner doing my head in. Got 25A early on and have an answer for 14A but they aren’t helping.

    20A: Are the letters from ‘egoist’ in the answer? Rampant seems like a good anagram indicator to me, but now I’m wondering if this is an example of the misdirection that people have mentioned.

    21D: Is ‘cassock’ the def?

    15D: I don’t know where to start – I keep thinking that ‘poor’ is the def, or possibly an anagram indicator?

  11. 20A: Rampant egoist is the definition. And, yes, this is superb misdirection by DA.

    21D: Yes.

    15D: If you break the answer in the right place, you get someone who’d be bad at frisbee golf. Shower (in an unconventional sense) is the definition.

  12. 20A: Part of what makes it great is that all the cross letters appear in egoist (though not necessarily enough times).

  13. 15D: Actually the word play here is a two-parter. The first is “poor frisbee”, the second is “golfer”.

  14. I thought I was off to a good start when I got an answer for 13d staright away. But then I saw the first letter of 19d, I knew the type of humour could not be the ‘dad’ jokes my girls give me a hard time for (written by DA, with dunderhead). It has been slow and spread out between beach and cricket since then. I have the SW corner, but it is not only the SE corner that has me stumped. If I could get some help on 1/4a it might give me a first letter on a few. Any help?

  15. 1/4: Smooching is the definition, though that usually doesn’t suggest the depth the tongues must reach to satisfy the answer.

  16. Morning all. Just started, have only three or four. But, a question: is 23A a sound repeated? And ‘gains lead’ I presume is a musical note?

  17. This week’s stumped me. Liked (in hindsight, hee hee) 13A … and 8D, 20A, 12A, 7D, 17D. Lots of sophisticated misdirections, but a couple of simpler ones got me, crazy in 18A, and poor in 15D.

    10A How do people see ‘tattoo” … in the drum/beat sense, or make a mess with ink? Isn’t it a step too far ?

    1/4A eeeyyyucchhhh! Although I do remember hearing something like that when I was young.
    Are DA’s anagrinds getting sparser and/or weirder? No sense of ‘re’ with ‘ordered’?

    14A Never heard of, and don’t really like the wordplay, but suppose it helps once you get cross letters.

    21 D Another tricky two-step operation with this one? ‘cracked’ not the indicator, but its synonym is part indicator/part solution. What a whammy, if I read it right. Is that how others see it?

  18. I mean yes, it’s doubled, but ‘gains lead’ is the first letter of ‘gains’.

  19. And yes it’s a musical note. Oh boy, think I’d better go back to bed, had a tough week and a tough DA.

  20. Thanks, Gayle. I eventually realised what I had was right. I now have fourteen or fifteen, but I need to know: Is there a ‘second person’ in 13A? If I have the right word, I’m totally unable to decipher the clue.

  21. What an absolute cracker of a clue is 17D. I reckon that will cause a few headaches (or maybe others are more knowledgeable than I). Still have a dozen to do. Need an answer to my oblique question about 13A, though.

  22. Help! I am suffering severe DA withdrawal symptoms. There was no Life & Style section in my Age today, so no crossword. Moreover, the email address for feedback is inoperative. I might just have to try to experience what non-DAddicts do on weekends.

  23. The clue given above for 1-4A no help. Smooching? Is it a modern expression. Can’t bring anything to mid. Have to stop now, must get lunch organised. Look back later.

  24. No help forthcoming, so might just give this one asway, 12 short, but can’t see any of them. Cricket starts shortly, so no more DA for today.

  25. 15D: Ignore my hint above! DA got me! I had DISPLAYER as the answer – i.e. “Poor Frisbee” is a disc that’s lacking (DIS) and “golfer” is PLAYER, as in Gary Player. No wonder I couldn’t get 27A (the only other one I was stuck on), but the rest of the cross letters fit. Interestingly, my first thought for 15D was FORECAST, as a poor frisbee golfer would have to warn people after throwing the frisbee, while forecast suggests showers. Excellent subterfuge this week. Not so hard, but very clever.

  26. Nearly there, but puzzled by 8d. Can make the clue fit something I’ve never heard of, but on googling find it spelled with a ‘y’ at the end instead of the two letters I’ve got. Is this just one of those Oz spelling things?

  27. In 10A tattoo is an anagrind. An expression meaning precisely is split by the middle of the bathroom. 1st 2 words are def
    21D my favourite this time – love the cracked clue

  28. Mary – I think DA must have seen it spelt this way on a few Fish and Chip shop blackboards!

  29. OK, thanks – I’ll take it I was right, then. That means I’m finished. Only remaining quibble is the finer points of the clue for 23a – is the sculler actually meant to be sinking, or am I missing a slang meaning of sculler to do with drinking? Enjoyed 20a, when I finally got it. 17d was not so much of a problem for an expat Pom – UK setters often use the lady in question to give them the first three letters.

  30. Yep – I’m led to believe that a sculler is one who consumes a drink in a single motion – not that I would have any personal experience in doing so! Derived from Skoll, I presume.

  31. late start for me, got about half a dozen out before coming here, but despite above hints not getting much further. That Althorp one has me totally stumped. I know of an Althorp in the uk and who lives and lived there, but not helping me at all (or am I totally on the wrong track?)

  32. @nn you are on the right track for 17D, but for that definition the answer is 2’1,5.

  33. Rupert, if this was moderately hard, please warn me if you encounter a really tough one….
    I didnt know the clerical garment , the costumer or the geological feature. And every time I read ‘recalling a bottom’ I thought of pippa Middleton and got no further. Very happy to get the spooner and althorp reference.

    Not sure of the def in 9a … I am prepared to forgive 10a, I can see that the singer/rose tattoo/angry Anderson misdirection was too tempting for DA.

    Some absolute rippers ……5d,8d, 20d…and while I had to google 21d, retrofitting the wordplay is a delight… One of the best ever IMHO

  34. A few questions today:
    10A – I’m with Gayle on the question of TATTOO as an anagrind. Is it that soldiers march around in strange patterns or that tattoos are usually a mess?!
    25A – Is HEAD really a synonym for the first four letters? Now that I know the answer I still don’t get it so I must be dumb.
    5D – Is DISCOVERED a recognised way indicate no ‘Y’ (to know why)?. I like it.
    15D – I agree with the sentiment that a GOLFER is indeed the last five letters of the answer. But is that what is meant as the synonym here?

  35. Hi Jonathan,
    Discovered is an indication to remove the first letter of a word (dis-cover), which in this case happens to be a ‘Y’
    I didn’t like 15D much at all. The last 5 letters aren’t a synonym for golfer. Think about something a bad golfer might do and then transfer it to frisbee. I preferred both DISPLAYER and FORECASTS (my girlfriend’s suggestion) as possible answers to this clue.

  36. Thanks David S.
    Not having any interest in golf can they lose discs? I have no idea. Is a POOR FRISBEE the DISC without the cent (C) and the then the last six letters something else to do with a golfer?
    For a moment there I was hoping you were that argent cruciverbalist who is in town, David Sedaris, but the girlfriend reference puts paid to that!

  37. 15D is gold – only a poor Frisbee golfer would lose discs! Straight to the pool-room for mine.

  38. Also for 25A – the first 4 letters are indeed a synonym for the top of the head in the livestock industry. Hence the name given to hornless bovine and ovine breeds.

  39. Late as usual and I have really only done the bottom half, sort of.
    I am still struggling with 1+4A. Is it the same word repeated? If it is and I am correct, I can’t follow the clue at all. 8D also has me seriously foxed as well. Is 20A both a Greek character AND a rampant egoist?

  40. What a doozy!!
    I was struggling on quite a few before finally getting there. A few words I hadn’t heard of (20A, 21D), and got 15D wrong before realising there was an alternate solution (I liked displayer better).
    Conny, if you are still there – 1,4A are different words (an old euphemism); 20A is just a rampant egoist (but contains a Greek character as part of wordplay); for 8D refer to previous hint referring to fish&chips.

  41. Finally, despite my resolve to abandon this one twelve short, I’ve returned (Das are worse than heroin). I finally have a first word for 1A, but not the second. The word I have for 5D may have wrong first two letters, my word suggests a criminal. If it is roight, I need a clue for that 4A word. I’m still lacking six others. Have read through all the above, nothing helped, sadly. Need 5, 7, 8 & 15D, 4, 12 & 20A. Any help my tiny mind can understand graetly appreciated.

  42. Arthur C. – 4A think of a game using sticks and is played on grass or ice.
    I am stuck on 15D too!!
    12A ‘teen paid’ is the anagram. Think of the seashore…
    Hope this helps!! I have 8 to go and pulling my hair out because I know the answers are looking at me and I can’t see them.

  43. Google to the rescue, I found the 4A word, an expression I’d never heard before. That gave me 7D, a clever clue. But I had a wrong word in 6D, sounds like I need a geologist. Will keep looking.

  44. Thanks for your help there, Karen, but I finished it before I looked back here, makes about five or six in a row, but had considerable troubles with this one. For 15d, the key is the last word, and it has nothing to do with rain!

  45. Kathy, thanks for your comments. I had to go out just after my last post but I wqorked out 20A and 8D before I left. I’m still haggling over 1 and 4A. As a result I’m still stuck on 1, 2 and 3D

  46. One to go – 3D – would appreciate any hints for this. I suspect it’s a person/thing I’ve never heard of. That’s been the story of this one for me – hadn’t heard of 1/4A (sheltered youth, perhaps) or 6D, 21D or 25A. Consequently it’s not been all that satisfying this weekend – I’ve had to rely too much on Google!

  47. ‘Chosen players’ are the first 3 letters – as Eddie McGuire would refer to those chosen this week but not last week. ‘Outspoken’ is a homonym indicator.

  48. Thanks gb – had the first word of 1/4 wrong (I underestimated the depth possible in teenage imaginations!)

  49. @Feather – Answer is synonym for BIRD DROPPING and the wordplay is A in GUN (a PIECE is slang for a gun) with an O (OUTING’S LEADER).

  50. I don’t know if anyone is good enough to do a post mortem but I’m really puizzled about a couple of clues and solutions. I finally worked out the 1+4A after it dawned on me to look at the last letter of WONT plus I’d worked out it must be TERRACE, but jeepers, what a trick!!
    Anyway, I had the letters -D-TH for 14A and I knew it looked like EDITH but I can’t understand how it fits with the clue. In 10A I fitted in SORE THROAT OK as I could see the anagram of ROSE and I had other letters but I can’t see how the word TROAT = precisely going around [ hogging] central BATHROOM = H. Thanks for eyeryone’s comments. It’s like Arthur says, it’s worse than heroin but I can’t stop trying to complete the puzzle!!

  51. @ Rupert “Tattoo is a fairly common anagrind” Really. Show me any non-DA clue that uses it. A “tattoo” (noun) is the beating of a drum and doesn’t signify change or mixing up in any way.
    How could anyone see this as a valid “anagrind”?


  52. @ Conny 14A Edith Head is a Holywood person (costume designer I think), although I’ve never heard of her. Wordplay is EDIT (arrange film) followed by H last (trailing) letter of rush.
    Throat is RH (central letters of Bathroom) inside TO A T (to a tee, i.e. precisely)
    1/4A not sure what TERRACE has to do with it. Principal gives the last three letters, rest is T (from won’t) in an anagram of IN SCHOOL. Agree it is pretty convoluted, but once I’d got it I thought it was quite good, although I initially had Tongue as the first word.

  53. 14A: “Head of Hollywood” is the definition, as Edith Head is an award-winning costume designer. “to arrange film” = EDIT. “rush trailer” = H.

    10A: Precisely = AT. Central bathroom = THRO, which is hugged by SOREAT, not just AT.

  54. 10A: I like @nn’s explanation better – I wasn’t really happy with precisely = AT.

    1A/4A: TERRACE is the answer to 1D, which gives the first letter of 1A/4A.

  55. @Stig, I agree about Tattoo. If my memory serves me correctly it has it’s origins in the tat tat tat sound made as the skin was tattooed by hitting the bit of wood containing the sharp inked point with another bit of wood. Also used for drum beat as you say. In either case it is a REGULAR sound, whereas an anagram is anything but!
    DA appears to be using more and more rather odd anagram indicators of late. As an anagram is a rearrangement of existing letters, anagrinds should suggest this (eg shuffle, reorder, switch, swap, change etc). DA has tended to use words that are lose synonyms of words that mean break up or destroy (eg smash, explode, beat). If you destroy the letters in the word, you don’t have any left to rearrange!

  56. Thanks Rupert for explaining the Terrace bit, I wasn’t looking at the other answers!

  57. Not particularly enjoyable this week, but I got there in the end, apart from TONSIL HOCKEY. Too many obscurities spoiled it for me. However, I did like the wordplay for one of those obscurities, namely SOUTANE. And YEAR DOT was good too.

    Like others, I at first had “displayer” for the poor frisbee golfer, thinking it was a reference to Gary.

    Two criticisms that haven’t been much aired. In 3D: “chosen players” = INS (pass the vomit bucket please). In 25D: the instructions for extracting U and X from “uni” and “Oxford” are woeful (pass the bucket again).

  58. Thanks nn and Rupert for your help with EDITH [ I NEVER could have found that] and the sore throat ideas, but when looking at the replies that reminded me about my puzzle for 21D. I saw SOUTANE as just a synonym for cassock and I don’t understand what the “cracked ” does.

  59. That’s a good one. Typical DA. OUT (available) in SANE. In sane, insane (cracked). Geddit?

  60. Tattoo is an entirely appropriate anagrind in the context of the clue. Typically, DA lays a trap for the unwary sending solvers off on futile musical investigations relating to the band Rose Tattoo. If it was “Rose confused; or like” it wouldn’t be half as much fun or as entertaining. Keep it up DA, I love your work.

  61. DA knows his regular solvers are on the lookout, and he sets the bar appropriately high.

  62. @ PMc – an appropriate indicator is one that fits into the context of the clue AND signifies a changing or mixing up of letters. A word doesn’t BECOME an anagram indicator just because it’s used that way.


  63. Granted Stig. It is the challenging of extant paradigms in crossword compilation that so attracts me to DA’s work. I had guessed that the definition was “singers curse”, laryngitis didn’t fit but “sore throat” did: retrospectively fitting the word play. My point is that a conventional anagrind would have made the clue less fun and the chicanery more accessible (atypical of DA).

  64. RB- re: 21D Why is “out” Available? This clue completely stumped me……

  65. Re “out” = “available”. It’s the second time in recent weeks from DA. A few weeks ago, we had “noticed available sauce bottle” = OUT HP inside SAW for SOUTHPAW.

  66. I’m with you on the anagrinds Stig. While I can understand DA’s temptation to work Rose Tattoo into it, it doesn’t quite work. As such he’d be better off trying something else, my humble suggestion:
    singer’s curse, the orator’s also.

  67. Lovely anagram nn, but where’s the anagrind? Or is it a sort of &lit with “curse” as the anagrind?

  68. Thanks Rupert and RB for the explanation (soutane)- have been out of the country so was unaware of the previous clue ;)

  69. By way of explanation I was thinking of it as also = another which suggested some sort of alternative or rearrangement to me, but maybe not to others?
    How about
    singer’s curse (or the orator’s!)
    with the word OR suggesting an alternative?

    But back to DA’s clue. While the addition of Tattoo may improve surface reading I’m not sure that the central bathroom bit did anything for the surface, although the To A T was good. Maybe there was a better way of getting the HR in there that would have better fitted the surface? It seems to me that (along with poor anagrinds and dodgy homophones) this was another example of one of my beefs with some of DA’s clues. They sometimes just get too convoluted in the wordplay and look as if they are a bunch of unconnected ideas cobbled together. If the rest of his clues weren’t so brilliant I probably wouldn’t notice quite so much!

  70. nn, I agree with your comments on “central bathroom”, poor anagrinds, dodgy homophones, and convolutedness; and I’d add dodgy synonyms too. But it’s those occasional gems (and the challenge) that keep me coming back for more.

  71. Arthur, are you responsible for prompting the bunch of letters in this week’s green guide regarding the pronunciation of kilometre? For the record I’m with you on this. Once solved we may be able to get the tennis commentators and newsreaders to stop pronouncing Wimbledon with a “t” in place of the “d”, then on to the newsreaders who think Essendon has an “r” in it.

    RB, agree, nobody matches DA for the gems!

  72. Hey all,

    I think 26A is a horrid clue, and DA should be suitably punished for it. I suggest flagellation by myself.

  73. I like this from Wikipedia and, having had to watch too many Troopings of the Colour as a child, I think ‘tattoo’ makes a great anagrind!

    “The original meaning of military tattoo was a military drum performance, but subsequently it came to mean army displays more generally.”

  74. Loose ends.
    I finally got to this one again and have three wordplay worries for Australia Day.

    17D I twigged that the answer is Di’s patch, right? How does the ‘expedition’ work though?

    5D I have OU from YOU ‘discovered’, but the TLAW …. stop there. Got it!

    13A DEBAUCHEE I have the ‘face losing such’ = UCH and the EE sounds like ‘ease’, but can someone run me past the DEBA again please? RobT had “recall a bottom” = DEBA but I need more help. The only definition is ‘he’ and what was the ‘look up Rupert’ hint meaning?

    – Puzzled of Lindfield

  75. 17D: In the sense of expedite, to cause something to be done quickly. Also with expedition and with dispatch.

    13A: A bed (e.g. of a river) recalled = DEBA

  76. Thanks Rupert, all good. I thought of ‘a bed’ but didn’t see how it could be a bottom but of course you’re right with the river connection.

    No public holiday for you today I take it?

  77. I’m working today (as you can tell!) even though all my co-workers are in Perth and presumably planning to do something typically Western Australian. I’ll be working on Monday, too, though it’s Anniversary Day here in Auckland, since they’ll be back and I have a deadline.
    In general I have a rule against working at the weekends, but that just means I get to do house, car or boat maintenance instead.

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