DA Confusion for the 30th of December, 2016

Don’t go into the new year confused. See the light — answer your DA conundrum right here.

118 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 30th of December, 2016

  1. HNY to Ray and Trippers All.
    Late start for me. No Puzzles listed in the contents section of the replica online version. Thought DA was having a holiday. But on turning the pages I’ve found him, and a message!
    Back later.

  2. This is fun! What a clever trick and great discovery. Never seen this done before.

  3. Late start, 3 days of getting up early to go to the cricket, got about half but slow going. Will plow on. HNY all.

  4. A common trick used in UK cryptics. It really messes up the surface readings of the clues though.

  5. Agree about the surfaces Stig, was just about to say …
    The fun for me was in the multi-word defs and possible variations.

  6. I think I’ll just wish a Happy New Year to all, and retire from this one. I can’t even work out what the extra instruction means, can’t solve any clues. Bad way to end the year.

  7. OK Celia. Is the penultimate letter of 14A answer one of the 28? If not, then I still haven’t the vaguest idea what this is about.

  8. Can’t finish top left hand corner. Only have 9a, 12a and 14a..need a hint for 1, 2 or 3

  9. Can anyone please help. We live in a tourist town where I look after my ill partner. DA is one of our few pleasures – but the last Herald was sold before I could get to the shops. I’ve tried printing it out, but it’s too small. Is there any thing else I can do?

  10. Arthur C.
    Each clue has a definition that’s corrupted by having an extra letter. Need to remove the extra letter, but reserve it for the final message. Have emailed you examples, so you get the idea. I’m tearing my hair out, too, Arthur!

  11. Oh sorry Andyw, didn’t refresh.
    I’m still working on the message. Believe I have the 9 letter word, but if I’m right, I haven’t got the rest out.

  12. Gayle 8A has two possible interpretations. The word that fits the theme can have two different surplus letters, either of which could work as the definition.

  13. Andrew 8:21 my copy reads “Give offensive spray to ceremonial road”
    And it works for me.

  14. Oh, I’ve found it!!! Silly me, it was in 1D, I’d written down the wrong deleted letter. Brain addled from too much Christmas fare.

  15. Andyw: yes, the clue reads that too, but the answer given on my iPad when i finished doesn’t fit AFAICS – my alternate answer does!

  16. What fun! Haven’t yet worked out the message.
    Adroit raises an interesting query re 8D.
    I can’t see how the wordplay gives what I’m sure are the correct answers to 4A and 2D.

  17. Andrew 8:21, yes, I agree with you. The ANSWER for 17A on the iPad edition has a two letter difference from what I’m sure is the answer. It really MUCKed me about! The wordplay and definition in the clue is the same as the print edition though.

  18. Ann L:

    4A – definition is first 3 words of clue (middle one modified by the theme). ‘reduce rounds’ gives us letters 3-5, filling (inside) reel giving us letters 1,2,6,7. Last word of clue gives us letter 8.

    2D – definition is last word of clue, modified by the theme of course. A word for account with one letter omitted gives us letters 4-6. A word for crazy gives us letters 1,2,3,7.

  19. I’ve done relatively well so far I think, but I’m stuck at the end.

    Need 1D, 3D, 6D, 13D, 21D (I have answers for 13 and 21 but can’t get the wordplay); 10A, 24A.

    Any hints?

  20. Frances, if you are on a computer you can use snipping tool to copy crossword into a word doc and enlarge it

  21. Indigo, for 1D think bread as in breadwinner. First 3 words are the homophone clue. Last 3 words are the definition (need to delete one letter of course)

  22. Can someone give me a hint as to the message? I have all the letters but can’t work it out, except for the one-letter word, and I’m not too sure about that now.

  23. Indigo: 3D has the last three words as definition (deleting one letter).
    6D has first three words as definition (deleting one letter).
    Loved 10A: definition is first two words (ditto). Don’t be fooled by ‘composer’!

  24. Farewell to 2016, farewell to DA for this year. Solved one for certain, 14A, possibly 1D also, leave the rest, back to the (somewhat boring) cricket.

  25. long time reader, first time poster. We’re on holidays in WA, does anyone know where we can get a copy of DA’s crossword over here? Thanks!

  26. What a great puzzle to end the year! That said, I’m still puzzled about the wordplay for 22A and 18D, so would appreciate any guidance there. I was confused by 3D for a while too, before I realised I was using the wrong speed and had been googling ‘naphthalene’ in vain.

  27. Ahh, 18D just clicked. I’d gotten the particularly tricky bit early on, but just couldn’t think of the correct volume.

  28. Also wordplay on 1d still eludes me despite Beth’s explanation. As well as wordplay for 22a, 18d and 15a. Any help so I can go on with my day without obesssing about these clues?

  29. @Kashbot
    13D was an obscure word for me, so I had to resort to a thesaurus even with the cross letters. Definition is the first word. A 3-letter word for ‘call’ (nothing to do with phones) going around a cinematic/literary ‘spy boss’ gives letters 2-5. ‘Classified’ gives 6-10.

    18D: ‘limited volume’ gives letters 3-5. Think of a two word (2,4) synonym for doing something ‘as a precaution’, which tells you what to do with the voluminous letters.
    15A: double definition.
    22A still eludes me too!

  30. Oh, and 1D: ‘Report’ is a homophone indicator, for ‘you’ and ‘file’ (as in ‘rank and’, rather than the bureaucratic connotations of the clue’s surface sense)

  31. Ohhhh 22A just clicked too. ‘Heard’ is a homophone indicator for ‘badly need’, which gives a phrase synonymous with the answer.

  32. For 22A “Heard” is homophone indicator applying to “to badly need”.
    Defn??= “rifle”

  33. Luke you’re amazing! Thank you.

    Although I still don’t get 22a :-|

    When I say it out loud, it doesn’t sound like anything other than what it is. I’ll keep mouthing it like a madwoman all day till it clicks.

  34. Don’t understand wordplay for 1A letters 3-6, and no idea what 3D is: I have the cross letters but can’t make sense of anything that fits.

    What needs do masseurs and bakers share?

  35. Celia. 3D. Needling is anagram indicator for 1-4. Mounting is reversal indicator for 8-4.

  36. Very enjoyable today with wonderful device of dropping a letter from every definition. Yet to solve message. Have a good weekend and a happy New Year.

  37. Thanks RLY, I’d sorted it, Missed your early hint. Thanks for assist anyway. Now for the message!

  38. Done and done! DA for (p)resident!
    Totally agree with the message too!

  39. Any help with the following would be appreciated; 16D – I have an answer but cannot parse), 23D, 25A & 27A

  40. Hi Celia, I think my answer is correct but can’t work out how those letters = Hollywood veteran???

  41. Scott
    23D lose very last letter, hidden answer “entombed”
    25A definition 1st 2 words, lose letter from second; shorten journey gives 1-3, pole gives 6

  42. All sorted, with help from above, except for 4A and 6D. I have an answer for 4A but don’t understand wordplay for 3-5. What kind of ’rounds’ are we reducing?

  43. Thanks Adroit! Done and dusted.
    And wishing everyone a happy new year, and, dare I say, a better year ahead …

  44. Celia: the 9-letter word is probably the best place to start, and keep in mind that it’s a message relating to the new year…

  45. Oops sorry, I’ve already tossed out the paper and was just relying on memory. Won’t do that again. ..

  46. Happy New Year everyone and thanks for your help during the year.


  47. Happy new year everyone. Won’t attempt this one as I don’t understand the instruction.
    Arthur, at least the cricket turned out rather less boring than you thought!!

  48. Thanks to DA for all the challenging and entertaining Friday puzzles in 2016, and for rounding out the year with such an innovative puzzle and new year’s message.

    Also, thanks to all the people on this forum who have helped me directly and indirectly throughout the year. Your wit, insight and instruction have made my world a better place. Such a nice e-community.

    All the best for 2017. See you then.

  49. You’re welcome, Frances (my mother’s middle name!) … but can you or anyone else put me out of my misery by emailing DA’s message to not.email.using.person @gmail.com ? Many thanks! Happy New Year!

  50. Got top half complete on the first run through, so relatively easy, but I absolutely love the surplus letter concept. Great end to the year.

  51. Only here for 17A – Today’s paper shows muck – how can this be correct? Where did you get the corrected grid Celia? Cheers

  52. Johnno42
    Cut & paste of published grid using Paint. Have tweeted to DA and he has “liked” the amended version. Follow my link to see (click on blue Celia above).

  53. Finally finished. I too had the spelling of 16D incorrect so couldn’t understand Hollywood veteran part until now. I still can’t understand the word play for 18D.
    Gee there are some fast solvers on this site!

  54. Viv very clever clue!
    18D “volume” is from the library, but it’s “limited”
    “as a precaution to” can be rephrased as “in case”.
    Defn prior to amendment is “vend car”.

  55. Celia, agree 18D is very clever, but does it not teeter on the verge of being indirect?

  56. IanF
    It’s a cryptic crossword, isn’t it.

    If you’re finding them too hard, or just too damn cryptic, what are you doing here?

    Address all complaints to the compiler, David Astle! He’s easy to find on the internet!

  57. Hi Celia

    So you reckon the answer should be mace not muck? That’s what I thought but want to make sure I’m not missing something re muck.

  58. Well, I didn’t have a chance to start on this till today (Saturday), but with the help of some of the comments here, I’m done and dusted.

    Thanks to everyone, and I wish all a happy new year.

  59. Yes, not a personal attack, Celia, and I’d worked it out, thanks. Just an observation I was interested to see whether you agreed with. Happy new year to you, and thanks for running such an excellent site.

  60. Ian F
    I don’t run the site, just an interested participant. See the About Us section either below or to the right!

    Happy New Year everybody!

  61. Thanks Celia. Would you believe I figured out the word play for 18 D about 10 minutes into the new year? A brilliant clue.

  62. (I see I’ve been joined by a ‘johnno42’! No relation, as far as I know?!)
    Loved this one, with, as usual, last few answers trickling into my brain a few days down the track.
    I’m left with:
    * Wordplay for 6D, please?
    * The message, please? (11D through to 23D are very suggestive of the final word!)

  63. johnno2
    6D def is first three words (deletion is from 1st word)
    “way” gives letters 1-4
    “evacuate squat” letters 5-6

    Find the message at end of either link in my post at 31/12/2016, 5:47 am

    You’re right about the suggested word, I suspect.

    Happy New Year!

  64. Re 6D, thank you, Celia. When, oh when, will I realise EVERY DA clue is likely to have a misdirection (or two, or three)!? Valuable minutes of my life wasted trying to remove ‘ST’ or ‘AVE’ or ‘RD’, etc, or N, S, E or W, from a word for ‘squat’!

  65. …and I was going to be picky and say DA had ‘missed’ the “surplus” apostrophe in 24A’s definition but, wouldn’t you know it, there it is in the message! He’s a one, isn’t he?

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