DA Confusion for the 27th of September, 2013

Confused? The grand final is no help?

Ask away here.

105 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 27th of September, 2013

  1. Boy – DA is in a mood today. I have the “theme” (if you can call it that) and most of the way through, but I have found some of the constructs really out there.

  2. Looked through the clues (twice), could see nothing. Still debating whether to just tear it up and put it in the bin. Probably will, unless inspiration comes.

  3. i’m missing it today.

    Can’t quite crack it. HAve “pencilled” in 1A, 4D, 13A. See a recurring change, but not enough to get 9D

  4. I think I have 1D. But looking at queen of Portugal? Monarchy finished in 1910. Translator says rainha is Port equivalent of queen, can’t see any connection with clue. Perplexed.

  5. I levered into it via a couple of the non-themed clues, as usual once you have the theme it is still not simple. 4D & 13A were the first themed clues I got.

  6. Am struggling as well Telford. I have. Only 3 so far. Try 26 across, fairly easy one

  7. I’ve got the theme, the top left and most of bottom right. Don’t get wordplay for 26A. have answer that fits 29A (non-themed) but no justification for it. So far my list of themed answers is 1A, 10A, 13A, 16A, 21A (but I think it does not need to be themed to work) 28A, 3D, 4D and 17D.

  8. ML – 26A – “Circle” = letter 1. “back, following short” gives 4 letter word for “following”, with last letter removed (“short”) and then reversed (“back”) to give letters 2,3,4. Defn = last 2 words.

  9. About 2/3 done and the manipulation but still don’t have 9D either. Often the way that the key clue comes later. Am stuck in the SW corner.
    Brendan, sounds like you’re on the right track.
    Telford, as Brendan says….

  10. ML 26A is hidden in two senses. You can also find it in the 28A wordplay.
    29A, circle, reversal (back) of a synonym for ‘following’, with its final letter deleted (short)

  11. I think we’ve got spam filter problems again today with comments awaiting moderation.

  12. I can see what is happening with the theme and have half a dozen answers, but this hasn’t helped me get 9d. Going to be quite a battle today I think.

  13. ML – sorry – meant 29A above. 26A is one of the easier ones as mentioned by Chamollie. Simply a hidden word.

  14. Aha! Thanks Ray. I was over thinking 26A. I can now add 5A,19A, 30A, 25D, 8D and 7D to the themed list. 24A I have a word that means the first two words of the clue, which is an anagram of a word that *might* mean the last word of the clue… is this right?

  15. BROND – 24A – I get there by – defn = 1st word. “principal” gives synonym for letters 1,2,3,4. “smashing” = letters 5,6. “fetishism” = letters 7,8.

    Also, I am still not clear on 5A and 14A. Could you help as I might have one / both wrong? Thanks.

  16. The best DA for some time. Had to solve most of the clues before I worked out how 9D was supposed to help – a very subtle theme.

  17. About half done, still no idea what 9d is, suspect this will be the last one I get!

  18. Nn first word of 9D is two-letter word for ‘try’ covering one-letter meaning student, then an abbreviation for ‘book’. That’s the first four letters. Can’t say more without giving it away totally.

  19. Re 5A:Famous Aussie racketeer
    Re14A: 1st letter- a colour (in chess for example); remainder = dirt as in gossip.
    Hope this helps!

  20. Almost there but can only think of one word that fits 23D but it makes no sense and 20D has me beat – any extra clues?

  21. Ray Re24A: Altering state as per the theme, letters 1-4 no longer spell a synonym for “principal”? Still confused.

  22. Brond – I did not put 24A into my theme list. The wordplay does not force the change. Prufrock – I agree that the final entry into 23D does not appear to be a word, but it complies with the word play of the clue (as per the instruction)

  23. Can make no sense of Barry’s hint for 9d apart from the book. Have all the cross letters will have to try word search software, am completely stumped.

  24. Re 24A – I’m thinking that this answer is not one of the 20 affected answers, but if so, is the only answer that contains this letter unaltered. Lacks the elegance we’ve come to expect from DA. Still a good puzzle.

  25. Word search gave me the first word of 9d which allowed me to see the rest and how the theme works, very clever. Still have no idea on the wordplay for 9d though, despite above hint.

  26. Gave up and went to crossword club for the explanation of 9d. (For once I think I understood all of the other wordplays). Haven’t seen that letter meaning student before, perhaps someone can explain the origin if that. 9d would have to be one of the most convoluted clues in quite some time. Wordplay is very messy and the definition is very vague. Given that this one was the clue behind the theme it made it pretty tough going at the start, although I managed to work out what was going on (without having any idea why) without knowing the answer to 9d. Did enjoy the rest of it though and thought the whole thing was very clever. Must have been quite hard getting things to fit where two themed answers intersected.

  27. Hi all, esp nn/Barry et al,

    Still stuck on 9D…

    From what Barry said, “try” (common 2-letter synonym) to “cover” “student” (Learner, as per ML) gives letters 1-3. I can’t seem to get a word using the regular acronym substitutes for book (Old/New Testament or Manuscript)….

    … any hints, or indication of the definition words?

    Stumped. Only got unthemed 24A/29A; and 26A (“Theme in today’s The Age, ‘nd all other clues seem confusing…”)

  28. Eh, wait a second… parsing from just the pattern of the word, I’m hazarding a guess with the answer.

    nn/Barry: Does the definition part makes more sense with the words “on Q&A recently” appended to the clue?

  29. Barry said ‘subtle’ … I have it out, but don’t get the instruction in 9D as the change doesn’t always go in the same direction. Or is that the point?

  30. Marc , try the first letter of books … if you get the first four letters, the whole answer becomes obvious, if not actually happening!

  31. Gayle, I found most of the substitutions went the “wrong” way if 9D is correct: 13A and 25D. To my mind, 27A and 30A could go either way depending on which half of the clue is the definition. It will be interesting to see DA’s preferred answer to these two.

  32. marc, many of us didn’t get 9D until the end. And I don’t think it helps even now. The book is just B.

    The intersecting 13A, 3D and 1 A gave me an idea as to what mental gymnastics DA had in mind today.

  33. 9D – Convoluted.
    “Try” gives 2 letter acronym for letters 1,3. “to cover” = container. “student” = letter 2. “book” = letter 4. “white” = letter 7. “fulfilling” = container. “frightful” = 8 letter acronym for letters 5,6,8,9,10,11,12,13. Defn is “26-across item”.

  34. Wonder why my comments at 1:51 and 1:56 are still “awaiting moderation” yet Gayle’s at 1:58 is published …

  35. Worked out the theme long before realising what 9D had to be.
    I am totally stuck on the SW corner, however.
    It doesn’t help that I’m still unsure of the second letter of 19A and the fourth letter of 23D.
    Hints for 24A, above, were too subtle.

  36. Ann, re 24A: first four letters meaning “principal” – think of bishop. Next two mean “smashing” and the last two are an abbreviation of a sexual fetish. Definition is first word.

  37. [This was still awaiting moderation…]

    (I guessed this from the letter configuration…..)
    Does the 9D definition part makes more sense with the words “on Q&A recently” appended to the clue?

  38. ML if you are still stuck on 31A it is one of the themed ones where the first word is the definition. The AWOL leader was an ex prime minister.

  39. Gayle – so far all the themed items I have got DO go in the correct direction to be consistent with 9D. (Sometimes the clues can be ambiguous as to which is the definition and which is the wordplay… by assuming 9D it defines which is which.)

  40. Barry, it took almost 2 hours this morning for some of my posts to clear.

  41. Ann, I was stuck on the SW as well, and I found those the most unsatisfying in the end.
    24A Letters 1-4 think of a prefix that goes before bishop or diocese, followed by 2 letters common abbreviation in crosswords for first class, followed by a 2 letter word often used to refer to a sexual fetish.
    Problem with 24 A, as has been said, is that the 4th letter doesn’t undergo the change it should in 24A, but it does in 25D.

  42. And 20D I can’t explain the last letter in the clues. Working girl as in prostitute or derogatory term for a woman of passion. Former Queen of Portugal is the answer with the change on the first letter.
    19A def is stabs. The Brits undergo the change.

  43. Gayle, I justified the last letter in 20D as a reference to the (otherwise) redundant word “first”. As in Exhibit A is the first piece of evidence… a bit weak but maybe someone else has a better idea.

  44. I have finally come up with answers in the SW corner (before reading hints). Thanks, Gayle, I agree wth your comments re 20D.
    However I’m not sure which way the changes go in 27A and 30A.

  45. I am still not sure on 12A. Anyone able to help me confirm me answer? Thanks.

  46. Anne re second letter of 19a and fourth of 23d, they are both themed letters and therefore have had the second half of 9d applied.
    19a, the Brits are from the north
    23d, the pool isn’t wet, nor does it have anything to do with betting.

  47. 12A double meaning. Tricky without a spoiler but one is where you go to play, the other where you usually pay.

  48. 27A is very clever. It is ones of those to undergo 9 down but the change brings on a hyphen.

  49. 30A A type of flying machine and a hawkish sort, after undergoing the change.

  50. Ray 12A can be a jaguar (animal) or a (after 9D) be a bearskin – think of English soldiers

  51. Barb&Fran – thanks – that’s what I thought / had. The trouble is I think that only leaves me with 19 themed answers I think – what am I missing?? ie:
    Across – 1,5,10,13,16,19,21,27,28,30,31
    Down – 3,4,7,8,17,20,23,25

  52. After much frustration I went to the sink to make a cuppa, and the penny dropped. Clever “theme”.

    On on!

  53. Rather frustrating posting here today. My comments from just before 2pm are still being moderated. Both suggestions have subsequently been “duplicated” by others so not sure why my comments are considered suspect; also another comment of mine at 3:50 is floating around somewhere awaiting approval. Did I say something to offend anyone?

    Of course, this comment is also likely headed for limbo-land so my grievances won’t be heard for some time yet…

  54. Ray, we count 6D. It’s a bit weak, but we think it works as a song, love.

  55. total failure this (busy) day, have entered three answers only, unsure of all three. Will try next week if I’m still here.

  56. I know the “moderation” is knocking around the threading, but can any body tell me what I am missing from the 20 themed clues as I can only see 19 in the completed grid ie:
    Across – 1,5,10,13,16,19,21,27,28,30,31
    Down – 3,4,7,8,17,20,23,25

  57. I’m sure there is a plane which is called 30A, same as the bird (a jump jet, as I recall), so strictly speaking no thematic change is required.

    10,15,31A, 2,17,22D remain.

  58. Ray, I agree – I have the same 19 and am wondering how I’ve missed a 20th. (Except that I can’t actually do 23d, I just assume it’s one of the themed ones. It’s my last one, but I can’t see it, even with the hints from nn about what it isn’t!)

  59. Ah, ML, … must have some of my defs back to front. I get it now … after finally getting 9D I should’ve gone back and changed the ones I got wrong instead of trying to change 9D! Then there are even more nonsense words than I thought. DA has a questionnaire on his site asking how people feel about nonsense words. I would have been happy to do a substitution if the answer made sense.

    Barry, your explanation of the last letter in 20 D and the ‘first’ word of the clue sounds reasonable.

    See you next week Arthur. Too much brain strain today for me as well.

  60. All done: Had much fun thinking of the two alternatives in themed clues.
    If you’ve come in late the themed entries are:
    ACROSS: 1 5 10 13 16 19 21 27 28 30 31 [11 entries]
    DOWN: 3 4 6 7 8 17 20 23 25 [9 entries]
    24 across is not themed!
    Re 16 and 19 across Two-word clues: which is the definition, which is the wordplay?

    Think of them as DDs with a one-letter substitution!

  61. All done: Had much fun thinking of the two alternatives in themed clues. If you’ve come in late the themed entries are: ACROSS: 1 5 10 13 16 19 21 27 28 30 31 [11 entries] DOWN: 3 4 6 7 8 17 20 23 25 [9 entries] 24 across is not themed! Re 16 and 19 across Two-word clues: which is the definition, which is the wordplay?

    Think of them as DDs with a one-letter substitution!

  62. Had much fun thinking of the two alternatives in themed clues. If you’ve come in late the themed entries are: ACROSS: 1 5 10 13 16 19 21 27 28 30 31 [11 entries] DOWN: 3 4 6 7 8 17 20 23 25 [9 entries] 24 across is not themed! Re 16 and 19 across Two-word clues: which is the definition, which is the wordplay?

    Think of them as DDs with a one-letter substitution!

  63. Themed entries are: ACROSS: 1 5 10 13 16 19 21 27 28 30 31 [11 entries] DOWN: 3 4 6 7 8 17 20 23 25 [9 entries] 24 across is not themed!

  64. Several attempts at posting a comment here have resulted in all of em awaiting moderation

  65. Mary – thanks for 6D. Though I still do not get the wordplay.
    23D – is one of the themed clues. “Pool goof” = defn (and “Pool” as in the game / billiards). “reduced film” = 4 letter synonym for “film” with last letter removed to give letters 1,2,3. “colour” = 3 letter synonym for “colour” to give letters 4,5,6.

  66. @Indy, re 30a I think the bird and the plane apply to both types of answer
    On the one hand we have the jump jet and a type of hawke, on the other we have a pigeon and I guess a plane is a xxxxxxx of people and cargo. Clever clue this one.
    To those delayed by the moderator, I’m having similar problems, it happened a few weeks ago too, I think AS said it was some sort of glitch, not anything we wrote.

  67. Even if you subscribe to the Multiple Universe theory, in none of them are non-words acceptable as answers to a crossword puzzle. Shame on the setter!

  68. Very frustrating this week. Took us 3 hours even though we got 9 down after about an hour. Only thanks to this site that the penny finally dropped about how to implement the change. Even then can’t see which way to go on many answers, so we opted for real words.

  69. Sad to not see Rupert. :(

    @ Ben & Lynne: I suspect it is not the real words…I think the input words need to reflect the 9D operation but I haven’t looked at the answer in today’s SMH so not 100% – it’s just something DA would do.

  70. Ben & Lynne – in all 20 cases it is replacing “cold” (C) with “hot” (H) as hinted by 9D.
    And I now get 6D. Thanks all.

  71. Jeff, you don’t need multiple universes – the Ximenes crosswords in the UK often used to have crosswords where what was actually entered in the diagram looked like complete gobbledegook. (I don’t even know whether Ximenes still exists – the only UK crosswords I keep up with now are the Guardian online ones.) For puzzles like this, it’s a combination of finding words that do make sense, and then working out what to fill in so that the grid works. DA’s done his best to make the altered versions make sense too, but it doesn’t really work in eg 5a, 21a and 20d. What’s important is keeping strictly to the rule of replacement.

  72. Re this week’s Global Meltdown:
    DA’s addictive quality has to a large extent come from his brilliant manipulation of common words. The introduction of made-up words/phrases surely has to be unacceptable. What’s next…Lithuanian irregular verbs? Do I have to start buying ‘The Australian’ for my Friday fix?

  73. Ray. Yes, 6D. Once the change happens, think of the word as an abbreviation of a term of affection drawn from the nectar of bees. (Posted yesterday but didn’t appear).

  74. Just started. 5.5 out but not looking here yet……. Love 26a never noticed that before.

  75. DA – there are uvular fricatives or uvular trills, but uvular fricative trills? Don’t exist. (Fricatives and trills are two different types of articulation so are identified as one or ‘tother rather than a combination of both).

    You might however be interested to know that the common term for a GLOTTAL trill is a BURP!!!

  76. nn with 30a the lower temperature prefix also gives the common term which actually denotes the specific airline When you fly who was your …….?

  77. Gayle, Barry, Ann – for 20d, another option (apart from ‘exhibit A’) that uses the otherwise redundant ‘first’ is first letter of the alphabet (with ‘made’ justifying the reversal).
    I now have all but 11a, 21a, 27a and 25d – with reliance on above hints for more than half. This one was a bit of a killer for me. But I liked the theme, even though it goes backwards for a lot of the answers

  78. Finished with lots of help from the site. Knowing it was always cold to hot helped particularly when you ended up with semi-nonsense words.
    I appreciate the effort that went into making it but wasn’t happy with some of the resulting words.
    Sb: 25 if you aren’t a seeker you are a ….. does altering that word make you think of an alcoholic drink?

  79. Hi, Keith ;)

    Gayle & David H both kindly sent me copies of the crossword, and after bragging to Gayle after about 15 minutes in that I’d cracked the theme and it didn’t seem that hard, I totally ran aground with almost half the clues unfinished. I’d put it down to a bit of rust from my enforced break, but it seems I was not alone in struggling this week.

    If my DA angels visit again this Friday, I hope to be more engaged in the discussion.

  80. I had no hope this week. Now that the dust has settled, what was the theme?

  81. grant – 9D answer was “GLOBAL WARMING” – and that set the theme to swap “cold” (C) for “hot” (H) in the 20 themed clues – where the clue gave the answer with C and the wordplay gave the answer with H.
    eg: 1A – “Budget” = “LOW COST” and “depressed MC” = “LOW HOST”.
    The latter the answer.

  82. john – 10A – “Pen” = “COOP”.
    “love” = “O”. “dance” = “HOP”. and with “HOP” “for the Fringe” of “O” –> “HOOP” = answer.

  83. thanks Ray but I still dont quite get the Fringe part,especially with capital F

  84. Also if the answer is hoop shouldnt the h be changed for c as in the other clues?

  85. @John re 10A, as I understand it, this is how it works.
    All the answers you write in the grid had H in them, this being the wordplay. The C version was the definition.
    For 10A the definition was Pen, answer COOP, but warming it means you have to change the C to H and then write HOOP in the grid. The wordplay gives the answer you write. Love = O and dance = HOP. Fringe is the containment indicator. I’m doing this from memory as I don’t have the crossword with me at the moment.

  86. Thanks nn.Very dubious clue by my reckoning,especially when the capital F indicates the type of festival

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