DA Confusion for the 24th of October, 2014

Have your confusions sorted out right here.

92 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 24th of October, 2014

  1. Half done, all over the grid. Liked 1D, 11A and 25A and 6D.
    5/2 would help but will keep trying for more cross letters

  2. Def at the end. The constructor is the setter, possessive, rising. Mobile is anagrind. Don’t want to kill the fun of the discovery but does that help?

  3. Could anyone assist with the word play for 28 across?
    Interesting use of “constructor” a couple of times in this particular crossword.

  4. 6d
    first two words give 2-6
    fourth gives 7,1
    Too early in the day to spill more beans than that!

  5. think i h ave 5/2 now, but can’t account for all of the letters yet.
    @ CV letter is “3,4-5,6”

  6. Gayle my apologies I missed your explication of 6 down
    5/2 is a direct anagram i.e. no substitution of words that are in the clue; it’s a common expression that’s more offstage than on!

  7. @ Crucial Verbalist My apologies, I didn’t reference the clue in my comments.
    Also 28A. ‘ letter is’ 3 to 6 but read as though with a hyphen in the middle.
    5/2 Yes, think I have the expression but must be checking the wrong fodder. Is ‘need’ a link word? I don’t have a ‘d’ in my solution.

  8. Don’t understand your explication of “letter” Gayle but maybe I have wrong answer: is 28 something you do in the kitchen?

  9. Thought I was doing well, with ten in, but I have an M in 6D, yet comments above suggest it shouldn’t be there. As usual, have written answers in without understanding the clue.

  10. 28A. Def is first 2 words. ‘letter’ in the sense of allower or approver.

  11. Arthur C. – 6D does have an “M”.
    CV – if a person is a “letter” then they are an “xxxx” and as Gayle says reads a bit easier as “xx-xx” or “xx’xx”.

  12. Ray, that’s exactly what I thought. 1,3,5,6 I’ll have to count again. Got double-crosses all over my scribble sheet. I run short when I get to the last word in the answer.
    @Arthur, I’ve got an M too, but that’s okay, according to Ray.

  13. Gayle – 1st word is ALIEN not ALLEN – does that helps as I always have trouble distinguishing the “i” from “l” in the printed text.

  14. I’m going nuts here. 5/2
    How many times does the letter ‘i’ appear in the fodder?
    How many times does “i” appear in the answer?
    I’ve got an ‘i’ at letter position #3 in 1A and 14A.
    Where am I going wrong?

    OHHHHHH, have just found it! I thought the first word was ALLEN. Need new glasses or bigger print. These sans serif fonts are not helpful.

  15. Just got back to it…6d…thanks for help..can’t wait until the sun gets above it!

  16. Funny how the simplest answers take longer to parse: I had 7D quite easily but couldn’t work out how to remove “ye” or “thee” from a word meaning “titanic”. Then the penny dropped!

    I, and my dictionary, spell 23D without the second vowel – and Billy Ray Cyrus agree with me!

  17. Mort – ditto 7D. Guess it all comes down to how you pronounce the first 2 letters.

  18. 3D was a classic. I liked 29A, but that may be because I had cross letters that matched “sack” but the sack actually goes elsewhere.
    I have a lot of confusion this week:
    24A: “vintage constructor” appears to give 3, 4, but I’ve never heard of it.
    21D: Who’s the slacker? Someone who loses a wheel to give 1, 2, 3, 7.
    I don’t get 18A at all.
    19D: I see a black 7D in 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, but I don’t get the rest of it.

  19. Gayle – it is hard not to give away. I guess you have the right answer (4 letter word less third letter). That third letter is often a symbol for a number (think money). Now see how that letter relates to the first word of the clue.

  20. 19D. B for black in insignia 1,2,3, 5. Letters 6,7 is 7D with first letter deletion (not 14A)

  21. Rupert – 21D – “wheel” is reverse indicator. “slacker” is 5 letter word with “kcking one” to gives letters 7,3,2,1.

  22. Rupert – 18A – DA has done similar before. Defn = first 2 words. “cocktails” = 5 letter answer.
    The “essential” letter of this is increased “fivefold” to give answer.

  23. Thanks, Ray and Gayle. All sorted now. I was looking for something beginning with CC to multiply up to the first letter.

  24. Rupert, the “vintage constructor” is not an it, it’s a person, a very prolific one too! Sadly no longer with us but was published in newspapers of both stripes! Died with pencil in hand on 2 June 2003, obituary published in SMH the following day!

  25. Thanks Ray for 21D. That chopper! I thought it might have been Chopper Read. ‘Spose the def’s okay.Very tricky but good ‘story’ in the surface though.
    All out, but still stuck on 7D wordplay. Have to go to work now. .. it’ll probably hit me on the way.

  26. Well, I’ve a letter in every square, will find out tomorrow how many (if any) are wrong. With 29 across, I’m with the ‘side-by-side’ model proposed by several scientists back in the seventies. I believe the accepted picture proposed by Crick, Watson et al is bunkum.

  27. Arthur, I was recently called a Crick-in-the-neck because of my ignorance in such matters. However, I hope your comments at 8:15 refer to 25 across, rather than 29 across. Otherwise my trouble with 29 across is compounded.

  28. All done! Almost on my own. Thanks to Andy W for 6d and Ray for the fodder info on5a,2d and Crucial Verbalist for the extra clue for same.Liked 20a,25a and 1d. Brian, 29, def is last 2 words.

  29. Brian, Arthur’s endorsement of an opinion that has lacked support since the discovery of topoisomerases relates to 25A.

  30. I’ve gotten quite a few today but struggling with 20A if someone could give us a boost, please. I’m pretty confident I have 13D & 17D correct

  31. Like Arthur, I have a letter in every square.
    I’m not sure of 18A, however, in spite of Ray’s comments earlier.
    I liked 1D.

  32. Ann, re 18A as Ray said, take a word describing “cocktail” and look at its “essential” letter which is a Roman numeral. Apply fivefold to it and you have another Roman numeral. Definition is (sort of) Far-off.
    IMO not one of DA’s better clues.

  33. I have answers for 1A and 3D but I don’t get the wordplay.

    I assume the def for 1A is the first word of the clue, and the answer for 3D is the last three words of that clue?

    Reference to a certain former constructor in 24A brought back memories.

  34. I’ve got all but four done which is a brilliant result for me. 10A, 18A and 5D, 19D. I’ll have to go for a while and met my brain get away from it. I’m worried about 18A as it sounds like math with letters which will give me instant brain lock. Also I have two possible answers for 29A but not sure which one yet because I can’t quite get the parsing. I think the first two words are the definition but my other answer kind of works with last two.

  35. Crypticrochet. Re 29A. Letters 3,2,1 = expert, 6,5,4 = sack (both recalled). Letter 7 = outfit'(s) final. Defn is last two words.

  36. Cryptocrochet, re 18A:
    It is a bit of basic math. Only one letter – the middle one. If you know your 5-times tables and Roman numerals you’ll be fine.

    Coincidentally (?) the answer is the last word in a novel written by DA.

  37. iPuzzled, 1A is a monster. Olympus is a brand of six letters, Remove “one” (i.e. singular) and substitute with a two-letter greeting.

    3D “swipe” the ring from “fond” and sound out the result.

  38. A bit of a struggle this week, but finished except for an understanding of the word play in 1A and 3D.

  39. Only to find that Mort’s comments appeared while I was typing. Thanks, Mort.

  40. CC 10A – first word = backing; second word = track officials. You may have oysters 10A.

    5D read answer aloud as 1, 2-3, 4-5 (this last is an abbreviation). Definition is “closer” – as in door, not nearer.

    19D Definition is azure. Insignia is 1,2,3,5, Black gives letter 4. 6,7 are 7D but not 14A…

  41. Now I’m not happy with the wordplay for 5D.
    I’ve parsed it like so:
    Def is ‘closer’ as in something that it used to close/secure a container.
    ‘student’ gives the first letter.
    a preposition roughly akin to ‘in’ gives letters 2 and 3.
    ‘pew, possibly’ gives letters 4,5. This is the bit which seems very weak to me. Or the bit where I’ve gone off track.
    My answer matches all the cross letters, so I’m reasonably confident that I have it right.

  42. All done, but stumped by the wordplay for 11A and 4D… (Thanks to Mort for explaining 1A and 3D, which were equally opaque to me)

  43. iPuzzled, re 5D, if you are “2,3” “4,5”, you might be in a pew (where 4,5 is a common abbreviation).

  44. iPuzzled – I read 5d as “in pew, possibly” as giving 2,3,4,5.

    Luke 11A – double defn. Defn 1 = words 1,2. Defn 2 = words 3,4,5,6.
    4D – “remove” = letters 2,3,4,5. “nothing” = letter 6. “in” = container”. “the greatest” = letters 1,7,8. “southern” = letter 9. Defn = “temple”

  45. Thanks Ray! I’d never heard of the first two words of 11A, and it didn’t even occur to me to google the phrase.

  46. Got about half a dozen so far, much better than last week’s disaster. Am going out tonight, so don’t think I’ll get much further today.

  47. Is anyone still there?
    I have come back to try for final five…
    Any hints for 20 a pls?

  48. MJH, see Rupert at 9.58. Also,think about a sixties word for a fuddy duddy for first word and second will follow.

  49. Quite a few things I liked this week, like 20A, 3D, the “ouch – not PC” over 29A, and the link between 13D and 25A (and getting two new words in his Quick crossword).

    But, despite Crucial Verbalist. Mort and Ray, I haven’t a clue about the wordplay for 7D unless it involves something non-PC about religion. Help please!!

  50. Mike: the last word is the definition. Think of a 4-letter synonym for ‘titanic’ and remove a letter that can stand for an amount (of money) we might call a ‘thou’. I hope I’m not giving too many hints here.

  51. John: thanks for 29A, that’s what I had in first but later I thought “what of outfits means dressed” so I’m glad my first instinct was right.

    iPuzzled: Oh I’ll be getting my kindle out ASAP!

    Mort – Yes I have those now. Once you said “not nearer” I figured it out and then got it the same way iPuzzled described I’m pretty sure. Thanks also for explaining 1A because I got that and letters 2,3 but couldn’t understand the rest. I thought at first it was an indirect anagram but I see not it’s much cleverer and fair. I also agree with your earlier comment about 23D and checked 5 dictionaries (American, UK and Oz) to be sure. DA owns hundreds so it’s likely he can show one exception.

    I now have letters in all the squares, too. I’m still sure I have 18A wrong.

  52. Got 18 answers so far, pretty good for me. Have to go out soon so might have to come back and read all your hints tomorrow as I think I’m running out of steam

  53. CC, re18A see my earlier comment | October 24, 2014 at 11:53 am |
    I cannot express it more clearly without giving it away.

  54. Had another quick look before going out and put quite a few in (although don’t get some wordplays).
    Stuck on 10a, 12a, 29a, 5d and 8d. Will try again when I get home.

  55. nn, most of the ones you’re stuck on have been covered so I won’t repeat them.
    8D and 12A roughly mean the same thing. 8D definition is first two words. The space station is the three-letter Russian one around the “edges of space”.
    12A is “touch base” = letter 1; balance of word sounds like some monks

  56. I’m really happy to find in 24A a tribute to the man whose crosswords led me into cryptic puzzles. But for him, probably DA would not be the setter he is today.

  57. As said above (0850), have filled in grid. But analysing answers, I find eight of the Across, and six of the Down clues I either partially, or not at all, understand. If I post the numbers some time tomorrow, anyone brave enough to explain them to me?

  58. Hi Arthur, yes, just post your queries and I’ll come online and try to help. Of course, there will probably be many others willing to do the same, so you won’t be disappointed.

  59. Thanks Mort, was trying to get this one out without hints. Have cone home and managed all except 29a. Not sure of last letter in 21d as I can think of three possibilities and can’t make sense of the wordplay with any of them so am reluctantly going to look back through the hints

  60. Thanks to above hints I have 29a, but still pondering a few wordplays. Time for bed though

  61. Mort, many thanks. I filled in the grid, had only two wrong letters, foolish. But the clues I haven’t fully understood were:
    Across: 1, 12, 18, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29
    Down: 3, 7, 15, 19, 21, 23.
    If you have the time and patience, an explanation of some (or all) of those would be greatly appreciated.

  62. http://www.crosswordclub.org
    I find Ian’s explanations on Australian Crossword Club a really good way of working backwards (only when I’ve finished of course!)

    Go to the site and look for latest news and then non ACC puzzles and there they are.

    nn always used to mention the site but I’ve only been using it almost every week of late.

    I was stuck on a few today but all understood now.
    Good luck!

  63. Arthur

    1A an Olympus is a CAMERA. Remove one (single A) and replace with greeting HI.
    12A Touch base is H – balance sounds like a group of monks.
    24A Stock is HERB. An old crossword setter is LB.
    25A Stiff drink is a double. Chap is HE. Almost 60 is LIX = 59.
    27A Writer is Susan Sontag. Remove the limits and you’re left with a country.
    28A – this is not my favourite clue: Modest is COY, which is around OK-ER, as in a person who gives the okay.
    29A Sack is BED; Expert is DAB (and in dab hand), both reversed plus final of outfit.

  64. Arthur
    3D Remove the ring (O) from fond then sound it out – F N D.
    7D Titanic – HUGE, remove the G – as in it costs $10 G.
    15D Anagram of BLOTCHY plus two turns (U)
    19D Insignia is SEAL plus B for black plus 7D without first letter.
    21D Slacker is IDLER – less one (I) plus chopper = AXE.
    23D Account is AC, over here is HEY (as in hey you). I don’t spell this word with an E but as a four-letter word.

    Hope this helps.

  65. Mort, that is marvellous, I appreciate it. One of the letters I had wrong, was to put S after cooker, instead of Y. And I vacillated about bar debt or bad debt. All the rest I had correct, which, to me, is pleasing. Will keep trying, have been doing Age Cryptics since ’73, when, if I remember correctly, there was only one a week?b

  66. Yes, Mort, on the achy, the way I would spell it. We’ll have another go next Friday, DV.

  67. Hi Arthur
    I was tossing up between S, R and D as the last letter of 21d and as I couldn’t make sense of the wordplay I had no idea which one to go for. Finally settled for the R thinking that slacker was the def and that relaxer = slacker. This, being wrong, didn’t help my 29a, which was the only one that completely defeated me this week.
    As Robyn said, Ian’s explanations on crossword club are usually pretty good once you’ve done all you can.
    As Robyn said, you can find them (and often solutions/explanations to other Age crosswords from other days of the week) under “latest news” or also under “DEEF” (feedback)
    but direct link to non ACC puzzles is


  68. Loved 3d once I’d been here to fathom the wordplay. 28A not my favourite; more of a groan than an aha moment!

    And has nobody niggled that 4d is the site of several temples without actually being a temple in itself?

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