DA Confusion for the 21st/22nd of December, 2012

Have your confusions sorted out by asking a question below.

102 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 21st/22nd of December, 2012

  1. Tough going today. Western half completed but eastern mostly blank. Haven’t cracked the theme even with 17A!

  2. Where is everybody? 11 am and only four posts! And we Victorians are in on it today, thanks to the Age’s inexplicable and highly annoying habit of recent years to deem festive-season Fridays to be Saturdays.

    About half done here, already with three which I have but can’t parse the wordplay (5d,6d,16d – anyone?)

    I don’t have 25a, but am guessing the other five 17-acrosses are hidden diagonally – I haven’t found a confirming instance yet.

  3. @AG 5D crook = ill, the gangster is the most famous of all gangsters (first name), the bushranger was Ben.

  4. 5D Clarification: when I said gangster is, I didn’t mean to imply he’s still alive.

  5. For 16D, if you read LANDS as L AND S, does that help? That’s how I got there (if correct).

  6. If the wordplay for 26A is what I think it is, DA is using a (non-SI) unit of work, not force.

  7. for 6D you’re looking for Gifts. Trying de-facing men and mixing up women.
    I have 17A in terms of pain but can’t figure out the ter and whether I’m even on the right track.
    Real Christmas Cracker.

  8. Thanks to JC (I had all the bits except the gangster) and Ray (that’s exactly what I missed).

    @JC, re 26A, yes, 1960s Leaving Physics stirred in my brain with that one.

    Still stuck at halfway. I have two words, 18D and 22A, neither of which I am sure of and only one of which can be right because they have a different letter where they interlock. Can anyone tell me that letter with certainty?

  9. @Barb&Fran your 17A is right: line = tier, and remove the i (“one missing”).

  10. Thanks to JC for confirming my 22A – I just don’t get the wordplay. The certainty has, however, given me 18D. To Ray, who asked for help with both: they’re both names, of different kinds.

    @Barb&Fran re 6D – I’d got that far with the wordplay but still can’t nail it all down …

  11. I’m getting a remarkable number of don’t-get-the-wordplay words today. Explanation for 25A, anyone?

  12. AG, the word play for 22A – “hind” in a 3 letter word for secure I am finding it tough going today

  13. @AG 22A the “hindmost” is the US spelling/pronunciation rather than the UK or Oz.

    @Fran&Barb yes, but in 6D “de-facing men and mixing up women” gives only 7 of the 10 letters. Can’t see where the wordplay indicates the other 3.

  14. Ah, should have seen 22A.

    Now have only two words to go, and (after searching the diagonals) I still see only the one 17A, explicitly referenced in 19D. Any clues about the other five?

  15. 6D: I think it reads as “TOPLESS MEN” give 2 letters, “WOMEN NONETHELESS” gives only 4 letters – and these 4 “OCCUPY …..” which are the other 4 letters. No anagrams.

  16. Further to my comment at 10:33, I think 26A is flawed for another reason: if defn is the first two words, then surely the solution is the thing that produces the lethal beam, not the lethal beam itself. What say ye?

  17. Totally bemused by the N.B. – only found one artist in the whole grid. 2 to do, maybe only one (can someone help me with the word play for 15a?) and then 12A.

  18. Prufrock – I do not have 15A – so if you do get it, let me know. Thanks.
    12A – not sure right, but I have as “SHADOW” giving first 3 letter word and “GAME” giving second 3 letter word and it is somthing a that a Private would have round his neck.

  19. @Prufrock 15A: difficult to give hints without giving the answer away, but defn is ‘very’. Better defn might be ‘completely’, but that would give a poorer surface. Hard clue, I thought. Got it from letters I already had, then saw the wordplay.

  20. JC – thanks for 15A. Well done as I actually think that is really a top DA.

  21. Thanks Ray & JC – so I was right about 15A butI’m still struggling with the wordplay – and can you throw light on the N.B.?

  22. Quite liked 2d. 26a is a poor clue. 5 of the 17a’s have 25a the grid (nice). I don’t get 15a! I have a word for “very” but that is all.

  23. I think the Australian for 12A was more likely ‘dead-meat ticket, and every member wore them. Someone had the task of walking among the dead after a battle, ripping them off, for recording purposes.
    Going slowly, as usual. Only thirteen, plus four possibles, thus far. I thought the stuff in 14A was ancient, but gather China makes lots of it, even used it in milk with disastrous results.

  24. Re 15a, to add to MH hint, as well as b off, should also be student (abbr) in

  25. Thanks MH & Peta – I would never have figured out the N.B. without you – how smart is DA!

  26. That’s me done. Excellent puzzle, though I wish DA had done a couple of things differently, including the phrasing of the NB with respect to 25A. But that puzzle-within-a-puzzle was brilliantly executed, and I doubt I would have found it were it not for Peta above.

  27. tough going. Only got one in the first time through (and that was the dodgy 26A).
    Worked out what 17a was soon after, but didn’t get the wordplay until I’d read the above. Have five answers now. No idea of 15a even with all the above hints. Just as well we have an extra day to do it this week.

  28. Thanks all, have managed most with above help. Any advice on 16d,19d or 25a?

  29. @megse can’t help you with 16d or 19d. 25A, def is set up as in getting you convicted for something you didn’t do. Answer is also a connection to the theme. Wordplay is a word for a cultivated setting with a couple of letters swapped.
    I have the top half except for 15a and 9a, any hints anyone?
    Bottom half is rather bare at the moment except for 25a and 26a so hints for any others would be most welcome.
    Don’t get the wordplay in 14a

  30. nn, I’m with you, on 15A. Have eight still to go, just read 13D for first time! Need 1, 2, 13, 15, 16D, 15, 23, 25A. Clues above haven’t helped, still looking.

  31. @Arthur 1d def is old bath. Letters 1, 6,7 and 8 are Geezer surrounding an anagram of flaw.
    2d is clever, I thought he was using one of his devices where the B is added at the start but that’s not the case. Really should be B.B. I think as it is a person . The def is a type of bed and also the surname of the person
    25a if someone plants evidence to convict you. Also what you do with paintings before you hang them.
    I have no idea on any of the others you mentioned, that part of my grid is completely blank.

  32. All done except 24a and 24d a hint would be appreciated. Not sure why I cannot get the (apparently) easy ones!

  33. @Kat what’s easy about those two? I don’t even have a cross letter for 24A and only one (letter 3) for 24d.

  34. @nn I figured as it was not mentioned at all I was just missing something obvious. Thanks for the reassurance. I do have a cross letter for 24a as well as the 3rd letter for 24d but that’s it. All my theories on an answer seem to lead nowhere for both of them.

  35. spotted some bits of a couple of the theme elements and now have most of the SW. SE still mainly blank.
    @Arthur 16d I think is what a bookie does. Don’t get the wordplay for the first word (assuming I have it correct). Second word, first three letters mean strange. LAND S gives the last letter.
    13D when you are in the major league you have made it to this. Could also describe big ben. I don’t get the wordplay although I can see a game’s opening in there.
    15a def is very (although someone above pointed out that completely is closer). Despite all above hints I don’t get the wordplay at all, can’t see what the rich word is to take the b off and can’t see the abbreviation of the student that is in. The word is also a colourful flying insect that is missing two letters
    23a is anagram, rig is the indicator. Def is the first two words

    Any help with 19d, 22a, 22d, 24a, 24d, 18d and 9a would be appreciated.

  36. @nn rich = something you spread on toast with a y on the end with the “b” off. The abbrev for student is put “in” being the last part of boffin.

  37. thanks for the first bit of 15 Kat. Don’t think much of rich as indicating this. Still can’t see an abbreviation for student, presume this is somehow the second last letter???

  38. nn – 15A – word for rich as per Kat. Then B OFF and IN STUDENT where student is a Learner.
    16D – Read LANDS as L AND S and see if that helps.
    13D – look at letters 1, 2, 3, 9, 10 and see if that starts to help understand word play. You already noticed GAME.

  39. 23a first two letters are def clue is an anagram. 24dthink about how you spit hairs. 24a sound suggests homophone for the double def. Thanks Barb and Fran your clue helps make sense of most of my last words

  40. @nn 22a the clue is a place where you find the devil but this place is well and truly on earth. Then it is a synonym for secure around a US slang word for behind.

    22d is an anagram of “sethim”.

    Any help with 24a and 24d would be appreciated

  41. I would apreciate others views of wordplay for 18D. I am sure I do not have full understanding. Thanks.

  42. thanks everyone, Understand 15a, 16d now. Have 9a but don’t get the wordplay
    will ponder the other hints for the words I don’t have.

  43. And 13d now makes sense.
    Have 22d, and although I understand the wordplay for 24A, I can’t come up with any word that fits.
    Thanks for 22a, not quite sure what “most” in hindmost is supposed to signify.
    No idea how you split hairs in 24d and presume 19d is an artist but can’t think of one that fits

  44. 18d still escapes me, even though I have 3 cross letters, wordfinder hasn’t helped either

  45. gave up on the last few. Never heard of 19d, not surprised I didn’t get it.

  46. nn 18d not sure of all the word play, however start with a 4 letter word for colossal. The def is pleasure(s)

  47. 18D – Yep – thanks – with America and game = Rubgy Union gives Greek philosopher who goal was to achieve happiness.

  48. I got down to three or four clues remaining before I realised the 17s weren’t going to be in the clues, then checking the 25 corrected my 5d (I’d gone with MATHILDA as bushman’s heaven, which matches all the cross letters!) and gave me the rest.

    I’m confused on the wordplay for 25A and 6D, and don’t see any complete explanations above.

  49. American poet George Starbuck has a line, “You knee them in the chin / to drive the 12a in.” Presumably before the collector comes by. Good to have an extra day this week, although I found it (mostly) easier than last week’s, which really stumped me. Yet to get 8a, 2d and the 24s. Rupert, you need to look at more than the words in the clue for 6d.

  50. Finished now. Always happens; soon as I post a problem it solves itself. Got all four answers from the letters at the edge once I’d worked out how the theme applied.

  51. Rupert – as per 11:40 entry:
    6D: I think it reads as “TOPLESS MEN” give 2 letters, “WOMEN NONETHELESS” gives only 4 letters – and these 4 “OCCUPIED …..” which are the other 4 letters. No anagrams. And as above look at more than the words in the clue.
    25A: defn first 2 words. Swap letters 2 and 3 of a “CULIVATED” setting.

  52. Ta, nn, have sorted out majority of problems. Still puzzled by 18D, but will leave it for now. Got more clues from here than I normally need.
    This trick of The Age, to publish the puzzles on consecutive days, is difficult to understand, but presumably it makes sense to someone.
    Have a truly blessed, accident free Christ-mass, all. Arthur.

  53. Being a pedant I could not bring Saturday forward. I have enjoyed the banter above and used it to full effect. However, I still cannot get 7D, 24A, 24D. Help, please?

  54. As per megse 16:17 yesterday:
    “24d think about how you spit hairs. 24a sound suggests homophone for the double def.”

  55. 18D Rupert identified the game, but it’s not reversed. It’s in the middle of the American. As others above have said colossal gives letters 1-4, and the def is the last 4 words. I spent ages trying to get a connection between Plato and US.
    Enjoyed 22A, when I realised the devil wasn’t in the detail.
    Don’t get 7D. and still haven’t got 13D and 19D.

  56. Ray, forgive me for spLitting hairs… DeRiddeller as you would hairs on your head, with a comb.

  57. 7D: The answer needs to be split into three words to mean “filial”
    13D: Major league is the definition. Subject as of a crossword. Scrap as in morsel or piece.
    19D: Uni gets abbreviated further, tweet like a canary, last letter of woo, giving the surname of Marcel, a 17A.

  58. Finished all bar three – 9A, 2D and 21D. Am I right in thinking that these are 17As with the first and last letters missing? Like DeRiddeller, we saved the puzzle until today.

  59. Victor, they are not as you suspect.
    2D see nn at 3:56pm
    9A see Geoff at 4:11pm
    21D I Googled a list of German cities

  60. Thanks, DeRiddeller – all done now but I’m still in the dark about five 17-acrosses who are 25 across!

  61. Saved my copy for today and found most of it fairly easy for a D.A. crossword. However spent the last couple of hours trying to do 19d, 24a and 24d even with the above clues. Also can’t decide if the first letter in 26a is ‘t’ or ‘l’ Perhaps Rupert’s last clue will help.Hope so.

  62. Clever theme today. Victor, look clockwise around the edges of the puzzle to find the 17-acrosses who are 25-across therein.

  63. Thanks, Chris – I feel a bit silly for not noticing! He’s a clever b—-r, that DA.

  64. What a toughie. Spent about five hours on this thing and still struggling. Gonna do a bit more thinking before I look closely at the hints above. Are the 17As the megafamous ones that are household names or are they obscure ones that I will little hope of knowing, or are they somewhere in between?

  65. It appears I have come too late to the party. Having read all the comments above, I am still puzzled by 24A and 24D. I have an answer for 24D which is a way of splitting hairs but means ‘separate’ rather than ‘go’. So not sure about that one. I found the clues above for 24A quite cryptic.
    15A and 7D were beastly. Will have to get in earlier next week.

  66. The 24s are verbs ipuzzled. 24 a defn first word. 24 d also but double defn

  67. IPuzzled, I too am not convinced with my 24’s but I have justified them as such:
    24D sounds like you have the same as me. A dictionary check might convince?
    24A a word for stream (as from a jug) which sounds like an opening on the skin

  68. Thanks Macca and DeRiddeller. I have answers for 24A and 24D that I am happy with now. Two verbs.

  69. Crikey that was tough. I had to read every clue above,and use google and word finders. I don’t think I would have seen the framing artists without help from here.
    Even though my kids use the “colossal” word all of the time, I couldn’t see 18d without the help here.
    24d go as in sweet sorrow…
    I really find DAs use of … To be hard.sometimes it’s a pointer sometimes literal and sometimes not relevant.

  70. Merry Xmas everyone. Hope you all have a great one.
    Today’s DA is very hard for me. Usually I get a few before checking hints on here. Not so today.

  71. Got it all except 2 D. May have 10A wrong? Have ” _ I _ G?” Any help please?
    Also don’t understand the word play for 25A.. Seems like the first two words are the definition, but ………….

  72. Doug & Gwyn:
    2D: Singer BB ….. – and a type bed – not single, not queen, but ….
    25A: defn first 2 words. Swap letters 2 and 3 of a “CULTIVATED” setting to get answer. Once done, look at perimeter letters starting at say 10A (clockwise) and see what you can determine. The perimeter letters relates to 25 A / the N.B. at the top.

  73. Thanx Ray. Should have got 2D – Didn’t pick up on the B B. We were trying to swap a couple of letters in “Cultivated” – not in the word for cultivated in 25A – we had the answer, and found the 17A’s. Thanx for explaining it.

  74. Happy Xmas all – glad to find you. As is my wont, I picked up today’s Age to check what I had done and move on to the real puzzle: why were the answers correct? Googled “boffin” and “utterly” for 14A to come up with something very different that have crossed a mind as wired as DA’s :-)

  75. Solved this DA pretty easily, except for 15A, the wordplay of which I still don’t understand even after looking at the answer. Also, I don’t see the framed painters

  76. @Jack, read the letters around the edge, start with first letter of 10a and go clockwise. there are 5 of them around the edge.
    15a letters 1,2,3,4,5 and 7 are a word for rich (as in cakes or shortbread) with the first letter missing, this is the b off part of boffin. (I don’t think rich is a great def BTW). Letter 6 is an abbreviation for Learner (as you would see on a car) and this is in the rest of it, hence the in part of boffin. Clue should be read as Very (the def), then “rich b off”, “in student”.

  77. Thanks, nn. I should have worked out 15A. I think it’s quite a good clue and answer.
    As for the painters, I doubt that I’d ever have found them.

  78. A belated thankyou to Rupert for solving my conundra and a happy New Year to Trippers. Back at work for me tomorrow and no puta but best wishes for fun for all.

  79. Is “puta” meant to be short for “computer”? It means something else in Spanish – something I have called my computer on occasion!

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