DA Confusion for the 8th of August, 2014

Have your confusions sorted out here, and even more importantly, get DA’s Wordplay column back in The Age.

Over at the Sydney Morning Herald, DA’s weekly Wordplay column has been published for the last five years or so. We had it in The Age for a few weeks, and now it’s no longer published. Let’s bring it back!

Don’t know what I’m talking about or never read one of DA’s weekly Wordplay columns? Here’s one: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/wordplay-20140729-zwfya.html

Send The Age a letter and ask for DA’s Wordplay to make a return here: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/letters/submit.

99 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 8th of August, 2014

  1. That’s sad AS. I like the Wordplay column. And DA’s been a local lad down there for some time. Another blow for lovers of words and phrases longer than 140 characters. My SMH is so thin now it doesn’t wake me when it hits the ground. Us next?

  2. I enjoyed today’s DA. (Paper came early.) 1A was first in because I have it or I wouldn’t have known. 24D last in and not sure of. Liked 20D, 18A, 8D, 22A, and the novel cluing of 6D.

  3. Gayle – I suspect we have same for 24D and if right I agree not sure (as why just Nintendo?).
    Also can you help me understand wordplay for 28A? Id defn 1st word?

  4. Mine’s late too
    Annoying that Gayle has finished half an hour before my paper has arrived. Probably won’t even get chance to look at DA until I get home from work now.

  5. Ray, 28A. Yes, that’s a fun one. Don’t want to give it away too soon, but think of another meaning of mate in a kind of 4-7.

  6. @ Ian, yes, more of DA’s trickery? But the denomination is there, so not really valid, eh?

  7. Gotta go to work now … hopefully everyone’s paper will arrive soon … but just wanna say that ‘bogan’s request’ in 2D is stigmatising, and not only for Bogans.. Chaucer used it. It’s a linguistic phenomenon called, amongst other things, ‘adjacent metathesis’. So there ….. Bogans rule!

  8. Thanks, Gayle. Lookedoutside immediately after my previous post, and Lo! paper was there.
    Making some progress, some distraction, flying visit by our marvellous midwife daughter from Brisbane. Had picked right answer to 25A from first word of clue, but Ian’s help above sorted out my confusion as to why it was right. Roughly halfway at this stage.

  9. Took a while, because I had the wrong answers for 5A and 5D (is it my fault you’ve never had a leader of the opposition called Whittle?).
    With that sorted, the rest of the NE corner fell into place pretty quickly. Then a bit of googling to confirm my guesses in 1D, 19D and 10A, and to find out what a spruiker is.

    I remain confused on 2D (is this a similar thing to African-Americans wanting to axe me a question?) and 14A, letters 8 to 11.

  10. Rupert: in 14A letter 8 I took to be ‘in closing’ but I can’t explain why letters 9-11 are presumably clued by ‘batman’.
    I think you are correct in your interpretation in 2D. It is a matter of pronunciation.
    I’m not sure of my answers to either 24D or 20D.

  11. Nice enjoyable puzzle. Particularly liked 20D. Ann, for 20D the ellipsis is part of the answer, as is “say” – both “rejected”. The definition is first two words.

    24D “announced” is homophone indicator for important, followed by a Nintendo game. I think that Rupert is this sort of neighbour.

  12. Only eight or nine to go, but puzzled (which I am supposed to be!) by several of them. First word of 10A? What does Pl mean? If I have 9a correct, how do I justify letters 4 & 5? Still struggling with 14A. Never looked at any Batman stuff, would that have helped? Is there a canine in 4D? Too many questions, but sticking with it.

  13. Arthur, first word of 10A is defined by “card”. PI is short for private investigator which is the answer. It was on TV about a year ago.

  14. Arthur re 9A, letters 1,4,5 are defined by “backstory”. Letters 2,3 are defined by “thematic essence”. The whole word used as a verb has a similar meaning to 17D,

  15. Lo, enlightenment comes! Saw 14A, which gave me 3D, then 2D (clever clue!). Also 11A, so now only four to go!

  16. My take on letters 8-11 in 14A are letter 8 is from “batman in closing” and 9-11 are another word for “piece” – think Al Capone.

  17. Thanks, Mort. In 24D I was looking at the definition at the wrong end of the clue.
    I don’t think I’d have worked out that word-play for 20D.
    Your explanation for 14A is also quite convincing.

  18. Going fairly well this week, but stuck on SW corner (though I had 17D early and finally got 25A :). Know zilch about Nintendo and not much more about musicals.

  19. 24D: The Nintendo console is the two most recent.
    21A: The musical is also recent, and has won many, many awards.

  20. Dave R, the nintendo game is a more recent interactive game, huge about 7 years ago.See also Mort at 9.45 AM.15d first word def and clue is word for supporter(not fan) backwards inside a word for grouch with first letter missing. 18a is a clever reference to a saying for a committed member of a group. I can’t see 21a either. Also need help with 16d please.

  21. Thanks Rupert,all done now. Had 27a incorrect(looking for military rank) Really liked 16d.

  22. Thanks for the hints. I had 16D but wasn’t sure of the word play. For 21A I have a word that fits the word play and the cross letters, but I’ve never heard of it as a musical. Is it something to do with accommodation? I’ve googled Nintendo to no avail, but I think I have 27A, which appears to give me an unusual combination of letters if 24D is a real word.

  23. Thanks for help so far, Trippers. I am still puzzling over NW corner though. Any more hints on 9a, 2d, and 3d would be appreciated.

  24. DaveR, re 24d it is a real worD, referring to a ‘neighbour’ like Rupert

  25. Thank you, PhilS and Sandy. DA certainly helps expand one’s knowledge across a variety of fields. I suppose 24D has avian connections as well.

  26. Sandy, for 9A, see my post above: Mort | August 8, 2014 at 9:50 am

    2D definition is last two words. Letters 1-2 are “a local”. The other four are a mispronunciation of a three-letter word for “request”.

  27. Sandy 3D is very clever. Definition is whole clue but is also made up of “spruikers initial” as well as “chat” and “spiel” – perhaps!

  28. This puzzle is not being easy for me. I have four in the grid and three of those are guesses. 10A is proper noun from the 30’s right? 5A is as easy as it looks – double definition? 12A I only know one musical with four letters. If I can get 8D, I’ll feel more confident its cross letters are right.

  29. Crypticrochet, the first two letters of 8D are ‘retro-trendy’, the next two are a ‘greeting’ and the last four are a synonym for ‘heel’ that is not part of the foot. I, too, only knew of one four-letter musical, but this one is not feline.

  30. I had a bit of trouble getting into this one, but it all suddenly clicked and came out rather quickly. I’m still a somewhat puzzled by 5D although I have the answer. Does “however expressed” mean that “healer” could be “heeler?”

  31. Thanks Mort. I had read your 9.50 post wrongly. Now sorted 9a and 3d. I think I have last four letters of 2d (could be big boats?). But I know neither a two letter word for a local starting with that letter, nor an American chain that fits the whole.

  32. Mort (9.50) I finally got back here, lunching with Q’landers (D, S-in-l, G’d) but now finished, thanks to your clue. Took me some time to locate the TV character, had never heard of him, but then, I watch little TV.

  33. All done except 19d – am I just being geographically challenged, as usual?

  34. Got it all out today (I think) but it’s taken me most of the day. If I have them correct I still don’t understand the wordplay for 14A, 28A and 20D, even with the hints above. Any further insight would be greatly appreciated…

  35. June, 14a: 1-3 Joker, 4,5,6,7,12 wishes, 8 Batman in closing, 9,10,11 piece (think US gangsters)
    28a: end (noun) daring (adjective) mating in game
    20d: def first two words. say, … inverted

  36. Mary – thank you. I now understand 14A – no wonder I couldn’t see it but I got the right answer.
    I THINK I understand 28A.
    I still don’t understand 20D so perhaps I have it wrong. I’ll just have to wait for tomorrow’s paper for the answers.
    Thanks again.

  37. top half done except for 12a. Does this refer to the film (which I haven’t seen)?
    Lots of gaps in the bottom half, but will press on.

  38. June, I think I’ve finally figured out 20d. Def is first two words, although looking up the definition of the answer, I think “filling food” would be more accurate. The wordplay is as follows letters 5, 6 are “say” read up (rejected), letters 1-4 are a description of the part of the clue that comes after say, again read up.

  39. Got 12a now, couldn’t read my own writing with one of the cross letters, thought it was a U, which made it rather difficult.

  40. Finally got 25a, never heard of that definition of Lulu before! That has been a big help with the bottom half, only five to go now

  41. Have an answer for 15d that fits the first word of the clue being the definition, but the wordplay escapes me completely.
    Just 22a, 23d and 28a to go

  42. @nn, I bet you’ve got this already, we usually end up with cross posts.
    15D letters 2,3,4, DA’s favourite supporter, but a supporter of women only, reversed, contained within (climbs into) a word for grouch, with the first letter deleted.

  43. Have been to crossword club for explanations, all makes sense now except for 28a, presume “object to” indicates the first word of the answer. If so, that’s pretty weak, just because you object to something it doesn’t mean you will necessarily have that effect on it.
    Apart from that and the $15.01 (although maybe it is his little joke in that we have to make “cents/sense” of his clue???), it was a pretty good puzzle today, nice mix of easy and hard.

  44. Yes, Gayle, cross posts, but have the explanation from crossword club. Saw the supporter eventually(I’m wondering if DA was bottle fed as a baby, he does seem rather obsessed with this), but couldn’t fathom the grouch bit.

  45. Thanks PhilS, saw 23d soon after I posted. Am wondering if I should compile a list of terms DA uses to indicate reversals, getting almost as many as his anagrinds. Re 28a, I got the chess bit, I just don’t equate “object to” with the first word in the answer.

  46. Very successful (for me) this week. Thanks for the help. However despite all the hints, have no idea of 2D,24D and 27A. Also as they are not mentioned 1A and 1D must be easy but they’ve baffled me! Regards

  47. GeoffD – 2D – Defn = “American chain” (as in mountain range). “Local” = letters 1,2 (short hand for Australian). “bogan’s request” = letters, 3,4,5,6 and is a mispronunciation of the real word.
    24D – defn = “Neighbour” (as in neighbour to Australia). “announced” = homophone indicator (for next 2 words). Letters 1,2 = homophone or a word meaning “important”. Letters 3,4 = homophone of a type of Nintendo game console.
    27A – Defn = “further rank”. “Inform” = 3 letter synonym for letters 1,2,3. “on” just positions the next bit. “rank” = 4 letter synonym for letters 4,5,6,7.
    1A – Defn = “Chrome, for one” (think Google). “Top” = 4 letter synonym for letters 1,2,3,4. “user discovered” = means remove first letter for letters 5,6,7.
    1D – Defn 1 = “Winton novel” (as in author Tim). Defn 2 = “Liable to be taken”.

    Hope helps.

  48. I’m with Geoff, this was just my speed. Challenging but not impossibly difficult. I think it is the first DA I have finished on my own without coming here to find numerous regulars saying how easy it was! (Please don’t spoil it now…!)

    I should add that I did not get quite all the wordplay without everyone’s help. Thanks Rupert for 1-5 in 16D – I knew what I had to do but I couldn’t think of the flower to do it to. The DA moment, though, came in unscrambling 20D. Letters 1-4 … classic!

    Ray, in 27A I see ‘inform on’ as the verb for 1-3….?

    By the way, poor clue for 5A, not often I get an answer in 4 seconds, I thought I was on the Quick for a moment…

  49. Thanks Ray, that helped me get 2D. I’m good with American, Scottish and English slang but still not fluent in Bogan.

    I had the wrong PI for 10A. Don’t know the one in the puzzle. I though Dick Tracy; thinking PI is a private “Dick” and it kind of had “race” in the surname. I’m not sure how the real answer is parsed. I had wrong musical for 21A that turned out to be correct but because of my mild dycalculia I had the answer in 12A (It gets me sometimes) so that’s why the NE corner was not working for me. Was just unfortunate both clues had four letters.

    End of the day I only had three clues in that were right (1D, 5A, 19D) (out of six) and the rest sad and empty. I’ll have to work this puzzle in reverse with the key. Still, looking forward to LR being back soon (Monday I think)

  50. @Crypticrochet for 10a. I’m presuming you have the answer now, wordplay is as follows
    First word is a type of card, second word is the lucky race, as in “the luck of the …..”

  51. To the charming gentleman on the train….I have one to go after giving up on it until wine o’clock!
    I seem to be the only person stuck on 19D! I’m confident of my cross letters, just can’t see it! Am I missing something obvious?

  52. Yep, Tricia. It’s right there in the middle. See Rupert | August 8, 2014 at 3:05 pm |

  53. Oh, should have refreshed. Who’s the gentleman on the train? It’s strange where you meet DA-doers. Went to the country to see a friend and stumbled in on the Goulburn Club, run by volunteers mainly, and the staff were doing DA. Never thought it would be a conversation opener.

  54. Ray, thanks for the explanations. Some I should have got but others like the ‘American chain’ I may never have woken up to! Cheers

  55. Sunday SMH. Can anyone help with 7A and 7D please?
    7A: One in North Dakota nest (3) _ _ D
    7 D: No good chasing sloth round a tree (5) _ _ A _ O

  56. Gayle – 7A – exactly as you would think. You have to search hard to find the answer meaning “nest” as think the answer is French.
    7D – I cannot make the last 3 letters work, but belief answer is a NZ tree. First letters should be as you think (even though unusual).
    I am also struggling with 22D and 25A. Have answers but cannot fully reconcile.

  57. OK – found reference / wordplay for 22D / 25A. Tough crossword today (SMH Sunday).

  58. Ah I should have popped those letters into Mr google, thank you! My knowledge of Australian places is gleaned mostly from crosswords, I seem to recall one DA where most of the clues were towns in Tasmania!
    Thanks for the help! And Gayle I sat next to a chap who was also staring at an empty crossword- we didn’t get any clues in but commiserated and had a lovely chat! He mentioned this site so I thought I would say hello!

  59. Joh, 20D – definition is Junk food. Rejected means reverse “say …”. The ellipsis are DOTS; “say” is e.g. in crosswordland; so reverse these together and you get STODGE.

  60. @Ray, Thanks for SMH Sunday solutions. Won’t go on about those 4, except to say grrrrrrr! Lots of googling. As Stig has said, or words to the effect, it’s unfair if both the wordplay and the answer are obscure!!

  61. Hello Tricia. Welcome. Trippers is like a chat on a train with a stranger, staring blankly at first, then sharing the highs and the lows with a bit of wry humour. See you again soon.

  62. Thanks Gayle- now you have me wondering where I can get my paws on SMH….I like the Guardian online but it doesn’t help expand my knowledge of Aussie towns and Aussie slang! That Lulu clue had me fixated on the singer for ages!

  63. You can get a digital version of Sydney Morning Herald. I don’t know what the cost is. I get a ‘replica’ (printed) online version with my subscription for delivery of the paper, which comes in handy when it arrives late. The Macquarie dictionary is good for Aussie slang, but that’s subscription too.

  64. Digital subscription to the SMH is $25/month. It seems a fair price if you’re reading the paper, but it’s a bit steep for one crossword a week.

  65. @Tricia You could possibly try The Stickler Weekly which is available online for free and written by an Australian, so includes Australian content.


    @Gayle The Sun-Herald cryptic crossword seems to be assembled using a crossword program and a database of old clues, so the results are random. Hence the hotchpotch nature and inconsistency of it.


  66. Stig and Gayle thanks….I did have a subscription to the age purely to get the crossword….somehow there is something more satisfying about finishing a proper newspaper crossword- even though Monday to Wednesday especially are done in 10 minutes). similar thing to my woefully underused kindle as I jut love the feel of a book!
    But the paper is so unsubstantial- seems frivolous to buy it. BBC news app and my addiction to radio 4 means I don’t need them for the news! I shall look at the stickler and soon be very wise about obscure Australian towns and a master of Aussie idiom!

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