DA Confusion for Friday, 13th of December, 2013

Get your bad-luck DA confusions on.

91 thoughts on “DA Confusion for Friday, 13th of December, 2013

  1. I’ve got a copy of the crossword, thanks to Ray. Seems a tough one. Only 7 in by the end of breakfast.

  2. Why does Friday’s paper arrive much later than other days? Conspiracy? Have ten in, but may have guessed wrong on 13D. For 1D, the only couple I could remember were Starsky and Hutch. What era are we looking for?

  3. All out. First in 20D and last in 1A.
    I agree – think it was tough today – a lot of complex wordplays.
    I still don’t get wordplay for 19A and 24D. Any help here appreciated.

    Arthur C – 1D – defn is 1st word. To answer your question, “old cop show” ran from 1984 to 2010 I think.

  4. Thanks, Ray, I saw the correct anser after I got 2D and 14a. Have most of top half finished now.

  5. Down to just two. But don’t understand 19A, still trying to sort 15A and 26A.

  6. Yahoo! A record finishing time today, but don’t get the wordplay for 6D. I liked 1A and won’t call the apos cops this time.

  7. There was only one word possible for 26A, but can’t relate it to clue. So just need letters 2 & 4 for 15A, not many possibles, can’t see which at present. At least cricket won’t be disruptive today.

  8. Greg – 6D – As I learnt last week, “Dwarf” taken as to shorten a word. So 4 letter word for “shot up” with last letter “dwarfed” gives letters 1,2,3. “reptile” gives a 6 letter word and when “loses life” removes first 2 letters to leave letters 4,5,6,7.
    That’s how I got there.

  9. Arthur C. – 26A defn = 1st word. “shot” is anagrind. Fodder is “ephedrine” with “male eschewed”.
    15A is I think very clever. Defn = last 4 words. “Dread” gives 5 letter synonym with second letter removed (“Open finalist quits”) to give letters 1,2,4,5. And then “eating one” for letter 3.

  10. 15A: this is unusual. I don’t get the definition. The answer I have is someone who wouldn’t give Arthur a job. What’s that got to do with feed?

  11. Thanks, Greg, I see now I had 20D wrong, so 26A now OK. Still trying to sort through Ray’s explanation of 15A. Have to leave now, shopping to attend to. Will look again later.

  12. Rupert – 15A – same word has 2 meanings – one as you describe re Arthur C. and one as “feed for a price”.
    Latter normally applicable to cattle for example.

  13. hello wordsmiths :)
    ok, I’m stumped, I’ll have a look again…
    last week was a tease only… but every week is
    different.. it’s fascinating
    this is my fifth week …,
    you lucky ones who are already in DA’s “zone”
    I’ll perservere:)


  14. thankyou Ray
    I think I have something from what you said
    about old cop show
    I wasn’t in Australia at the time so it doesn’t
    but I looked up the dates


  15. Having problems with the bottom half this week. Hints for 16d, 18d or 27a would be greatly appreciated. I get the word play for 26a (thanks, Ray) but it doesn’t seem to produce a word to match the def.

  16. Dave R – just guessing but 26A is not “repined”.
    16D will be a key. It to me is a convoluted DA. Defn = 1st word. “rig” = anagrind. “lemon” = fodder to give letters 3,4,5,6,7. “in” = container. “cycle” indicates reverse. “shop” gives a 4 letter synonym (abbreviated) for letters 9,8,2,1.

  17. 27A – defn = “Career crim”. “curtailed jabber” gives 4 letter word with last letter removes for letter 2,3,4. “a” gives letter 5. “fop” gives a 4 letter synonym for letters 6,7,8,9. “disrupting” = container. “supply” gives 6 letter synonym for letters 1,10,11,12,13,14.

  18. Dave R – 19A is mentioned above (and I agree).
    24D – Defn = “Tennis star”. “belting back” gives letter 1. “Nadal in first half” gives letters 2,3,4.

  19. 19A: Last three words are probably to avoid confusion with the English tendency to add an S on the end of the name.

  20. I’ve got a few so far. I like how the clue for 20d uses a sort of 20d, in the sense that it’s more toward the specific end of the spectrum rather than the general, what with talking about someone named Blake and all.

  21. The penny dropped a bit past the yard arm and I’ve got the RHS done, most of the LHS still open.

  22. All out, but I still don’t get the explanations given for 19A. Not sure about 11A either.

  23. 14 Should not exremists be letters 1 and 5 and not 4 and 5?

    17 I don’t know what dictionary DA used but mine (Chambers 2011) does not define by formal, or even informal, wear. The elevated kind might sometimes be considered formal.

    8 Another wayward clue. 8 is not informative in 18 but is very useful if there is a precipitate change from 18 to terra firma.

  24. Ann – the English spell it with an s at the end. The last three words are to indicate that it is the French spelling. Really don’t think it was necessary.

  25. FHF – 14A – I have “extremists” as 2,3. with “fab” giving 1,4,5 and tour 6,7,8,9.

  26. FHF – I think we can let DA off on both of those stretches – no harm done.

  27. 14A: Extremists are not the extremities of Hamas, but the extremities of the alphabet.

    17A: If you said you were wearing these, elevated would be implied.

    8D: Second word in 18D is an Australianism for mistake. Even a Pom living in New Zealand knows that.

    11A: Think of the shapes volcanoes come in.

    19A: dirty is a verb, giving the first three letters. The rest of the word sounds like a synonym of “express”.

  28. Indy – 2d – definition is last 2 words.
    11a – definition is first word.

  29. I’ve finished mine and am here for 5 minutes or so to give assistance to anyone still scratching their head about anything.

    btw The “old cop show” of 1 down is British & occupies the last 7 letters! Definition is first word!

  30. Indy – 2D – “Get drunk” is letters1,5,6,7,8,9. “guard” =container. “taps” letters 2,3. “by session’s end” letter 4. Defn “That smells”.

  31. I knew I had 19a right, but I was pronouncing it as the locals do, as well as spelling it that way. Therefore the homophonic element eluded me. I think there is a considerable difference in meaning between the first three letters and ‘dirty’.

  32. Dave R Googling for synonyms of the three letter word in question delivers such as “taint,” “tarnish,” “sully,” & “stain,” all of which “dirty.”

  33. Hello trippers. Started late today (and slowly). Have west side. Any clues for 8d and 27a could help me complete.I agree that for most, 17a are not only for formal occasions, but at my height(175cm) and age(undisclosed) I’m with DA .
    Keep trying Ella. I’ve been doing so for about a year and still finding most weeks tough but fun.

  34. Hi everyone
    I just got 21d,
    (all by myself)
    and remember the feel from last
    week, how DA “plays by the rules”
    so I’m starting to trust my instinct more

    and isn’t it weird… to know the word without
    really knowing what it means?
    I looked it up
    now I know exactly what it means
    I love this game:)


  35. 14 Thanks for the clarification

    19 What is the purpose of the word “caught”? The clue works just as well without it. See Rupert @ 2:12 above.

  36. Have two answers and only got these with the above help. Rest of all your hints don’t make any more sense than DA’s convoluted clues. I’m not on the right wavelength this week.

  37. Dave R ‘Dirty’ as Rupert @ 2:12 says is a straight definition for the first three letters. It is not a homophone indicator.

  38. 19A: It would be pushing it, even for DA, to write a clue in the form
    [homophone indicator] [straight def] [homophone def]
    Fortunately, any straight definition also works as a homophone definition, since any word sounds like itself. So in the case of 19A, we’re looking for a homophone of two words that mean “dirty express”, even though the first word is not changed.

  39. Took 2 days but finished again! This was a good typical DA – totally stumped at first but answers appear one by one out of the ether. Such a sense of achievement!

  40. Good morning. Nearly there, but stuck on 3d, 22d, 17a (despite above ), 21a (2-4), and 27a (first word) (despite above).

  41. sb – 27A – “jabber” is a 4 letter synonym for sword with last letter “curtailed” to give letters 2,3,4.
    22D – “became” I anagrind. Fodder is “older”. Defn is first 2 words (and this answer is a New Zealander).
    17A – double defn “Formal wear” and “swine”. For former, males may wear suit and tie and females may wear “xxxxx”.
    21A – “Great time” gives 4 letter synonym for letters 1,2,3,4. “Search engine” gives 5 letter answer, with “a” removed (second letter) to give letters 5,6,7,8. Defn = “fuss”.
    3D – defn = 1st word. And “each regularly” gives letters 1,2.

  42. sb, 3d first word is def, first two letters in each ,regularly, last 5 a word for show-offs.17a accessories not clothes.

  43. Thanks Ray, pommy al, & megse
    Pommy al – yes, it has a German connection. I know it as a lovely song.

  44. Just the top left to go but no idea on 9a. Google gave me an obscure Indian tribe……any clues and thanks for prev help megse and sb

  45. pommy al – def is well-known tragedy, also known as 4d
    I’m still stuck on 17a and 2nd word of 18d. Oh dear.

  46. 9a,def is tragedy(think tragic plays).4d will help, think tie up as in boats.

  47. sb the accessory is very popular with young women especially,for swine think cads.

  48. Ah so! My 18d is wrong – and quite possibly 21a as well – back to the drawing board.
    Thanks megse for that extra help

  49. ps all very obvious with above hints – if only I hadn’t misled myself with ‘air’ for 18d!

  50. Aha …fitting xxx xxxx for 1d made that corner difficult . Thank you …all done. Now I can drive my new toy in peace !

  51. 19 Homophone: ” a word that is pronounced the same as another but is different in spelling and meaning”, so no self-referential homophones. Given dirty as a straight definition, the clue would be better written as ” Dirty express caught in French city …” bringing homophone indicator and def together.

  52. 19A: And “mar say” is indeed different in spelling and meaning from “Marseille”. Why are you so desperate to catch DA in a mistake that you overlook the obvious?

  53. Rupert – My sentiments too. I’m just interested in working it out rather than tripping up our compiler.

  54. 19 As I read it clue the definition is “French city according to the locals” ie the French pronunciation “mar say”. The word play is definition for dirty “mar’ and a homophone for express = say. To me caught (see Dave R above) is the homophone indicator for express and should be placed next to it not away from it. There are two homophone indicators at work. My comment has to do with poor wording for the word play homophone. I have not overlooked the obvious. In fact, I have always pronounced it the French way.

  55. Well 1.5 days after starting I finally have the grid full.
    But, unusually at this stage, I am still lost on some explanations.

    4D. Probably showing my ignorance of literature here but what is the connection to 9A?
    14A. Fab = Gas (assuming the explanations above are right)? Never heard of it.
    17A. Don’t get the swine definition.
    20D. How does the Blake bit come into it?

    I reckon that was the hardest in a while. For hours I only had 3 clues.

  56. Julian 1:46
    4 and 9 Shakespearean tragedy
    14 Fab = Gaz
    17 Swine(s) = one meaning for the answer
    20 Take last letter of Blake

  57. Julian – 9A / 4D – Othello was known as the Moor of Venice.
    17A – If you are swine, you not good people – ergo a heel (or heels).
    20D – “Blake’s ultimate” supplies the “e”.
    14A – eg: a “gas” time – a “fab” time”.

  58. 19A: The definition is the French *spelling* of Marseille (as opposed to the English spelling, Marseilles). The wordplay involves converting “dirty express” to “mar say”, which is a homophone for either spelling.

  59. Thanks folks.
    Hadn’t heard that usage of Heel or Gas. And, as I suspected, my knowledge of Shakespeare is embarrassingly bad!
    I had missed a bit of 20D. I had EXAM relating to Test students. So I was trying to make PLE link to Blake. But of course the tense is wrong with that construction. The students are P and L. Then Blake’s ultimate for E makes far more sense!

  60. 19 But mar as mentioned earlier is not a homophone but a synonym for dirty (v). See your comment at 2:12 and my earlier comment (10:19) that caught should be next to express = say= seille. One replaces say with seille.

  61. First time I’ve ever finished without any clues from this site.Only took two days too.EASY.Cmon DA you need to pick your game up!!

  62. At 2:12 I was giving hints, not explaining the clue for the third time to the terminally dense.

    marsay sounds like Marseille

    Why is that so hard to understand?

  63. The fact that mar sounds like mar does not make it a homophone. Say sounds like seille is a homophone. Check the definition I gave above (from Chambers (2011) (Dec 14 12:57).

  64. Show me where the clue says it’s a homophone? “caught” is called a homophone indicator because a “sounds like indicator” sounds silly.

    mar say
    sounds like

    You seem to have an overly literal mind, which is probably why you obsess over the rules you think should apply to cryptic crosswords. They don’t. There are no rules. Your insistence that there are is just making you dissatisfied and the rest of us annoyed.

    P.S. say and seille are not homophones, because seille is not a word. If you’re going to play the dictionary definition game, at least play it competently.

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