DA Confusion for the 15th of December, 2017

DA himself reckons you’ll be bending your mind this week.

Unbend here.

108 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 15th of December, 2017

  1. OK. Done and dusted. Clever but I found a bit cumbersome and not overly enjoyable for me. It was a cryptic inside a cryptic for the applicable clues.
    Having said that, 22D was my pick as the cleverest.
    Hope others enjoy it.

  2. Finding it hard going, but just worked out 10a 6d, but only have 3 of the 6 letters or less words, but have all the longer lettered clues. 1d and 3a are good starters.

  3. Ray, you’re finished at 4 am? Don’t you need sleep?!

    ‘Twould appear that getting 10a/6d is pretty critical. 10a no problems but 6a is proving elusive. I thought the 14 letters before “played” might be an anagram … am I on the right track?

  4. No, I wasn’t (on the right track). Assistance for 6d no longer required!

  5. Can anyone enlighten me re 8D, does it use its own solution as part of the wordplay in order to satisfy 10A 6D?

  6. Celia, when 10a 6d, 8d has a ship for letters 3 & 4, and a synonym for “trim” as letters 1, 2, 5.

  7. Geoff M, I saw “trim” as a verb applied to a synonym of search …
    need parse of 11A now!

  8. Celia, 11a is one of a few clues that I’m fairly certain I have right, but I don’t understand the wordplay. 22a and 15d are the others.

  9. 11A: def is first word of clue. ‘exercise sequence’ gives letters 1-3, ‘top’ gives letters 4-7, those two parts being swapped to get them in the right order in the answer.

  10. GeoffM, 22A “quite optimistic” occupies 1,2,9, balance “wheels’ “in storage” at 8-3.

  11. Thanks Celia. Using “quite” to signal a letter missing is a bit of a stretch, methinks.

    And thanks AndrewT, I must say I’m not familiar with letters 1-3 meaning an exercise sequence.

    All done. 1a was a challenge. Wikipedia helped.

    Off for a constitutional on the beach!

  12. > And thanks AndrewT, I must say I’m not familiar with letters 1-3 meaning an exercise sequence.

    It’s gym slang, an abbreviation. I’m really down with the fit kids of today!

    Actually my brother was a bodybuilder so I heard this stuff all the time.

  13. I am totally lost. Can someone point out a simple anagram or hidden or something (of more than 6 letters) to get me started.

  14. Ok one down. An awful lot to go. Anyone want to help with Barb and CNXU1’s inquiry about the key clues?

  15. 3a got me going on NE corner (4d, 5d, 7d, 8d, 11a all done, though 5&8 not totally understood). But can’t see what you mean about 25a.

  16. Yes, without 10a/6d you’re up the creek without a paddle.

    10a definition is first two words of clue. And of course a guillotine removes heads.

    For 6d, closely examine the first three words of the clue, and look for what they have in common.

  17. 21D is an easy themed clue that might help towards working out the theme. I was able to solve it before working out 6D.

  18. More confused than ever. I am pretty sure I have 10a and 6d now. But I can’t see how the two theme clues I have are 10a/6ded.

  19. Please help me finish. Don’t have 1A, 12A, 16A, 2D, 17D.
    Also cannot parse 24D.

  20. Sandy, 10A 6D your solutions then you should be able to relate what that gives you to the clue words. e.g 10A 6D applied to 5D gives a three component pattern 1+3+2.

  21. Just got 2D and 12A also.
    Still don’t have 1A and don’t understand 24D parsing.

  22. Jack, 8D Defn is “bubbly”, wordplay components a linear charade 5 letters+1 letter+2 letters.

  23. Thanks for trying Celia, but I still don’t get it. What I have in 5d is a synonym of the last word of the clue. It is the only such word my word finder gives for the cross letters. But the second letter would come second last in the 6d complete list. I just don’t get it.

  24. Thanks Celia, I’ve not tasted that one. Now I’d be finished if I could figure out 1A and work out how 3-8 in 22A make wheels in storage.

  25. I worked out 10A 6 D early – 6D first which was a wild guess. But I cannot work out relevance of 10A 6 D to the clues. I think I now 5D but how that relates to 10A 6D I have no idea.

  26. My starter for the theme was 28A (I had the last letter) , guessing 10A from its first and last letters, and trying to think like DA.

    Still stuck on the wordplay for 15D – slang? and am wondering if I have 8D and 11A wrong because I can’t make sense of the advice above. My reading of 11A is 1-3 is physical exercise but the rest is a synonym for “on” with the back letter moved to the front. However that makes “top” redundant.

    Also I dn’t agree with wonderful Celia’s parsing above of 22A: yes letters 1,2 and 9 are “quite optimistic” but the rest wheels “on bloody” .

  27. Mike, 11A is the noun, not the verb; hence letters 4-7 are a synonym for top.

  28. Sandy M, the cryptic clue components should be 10A 6D, an anagram of the answer you need.
    So 10A 6D your answer letters (got a Scrabble set somewhere?), then split what you have for 5D thus into 3 components, the first letter, the second to fourth letters, the fifth & sixth letters. These should either match or be synonyms of “A/stupid/train system”.

  29. Thanks Jack. Now I understand. How to do that with the rest will be a challenge though.

  30. In 21D, Bambi is what type of animal? Add an abbreviation for street (boulevard) and 10A, 6D works

  31. Mike, re my parsing of 22A, it was an early gloss, a non-spoiler hint parse only, so “balance” referred to “about bloody” (not “on bloody”) then “wheels” (reversal indicator), then “in storage” a container. If I misled anyone, it wasn’t intentional. I was merely dropping hopefully non-spoiler hints.

  32. still lost on 25A, the homophone of 15D, and the 2nd word of 9D. Any gentle hints, please?

  33. Yes I had the answer for 21d Jack. But the clue was already 10a/6ded as it was. So it is basically an indirect anagram.

  34. Have two alternative answers for 15D, but can’t relate either to “wasted in reception” homophone.

  35. Sandy M, all themed clue intermediate components are 10A 6D providing anagram grist for the solution.

  36. Celia, my reading of 15D is that “funds: serves two purposes. Firstly, the definition is words 1-6. Secondly, the word play is words 6-9.

  37. Still none the wiser, Jack. Is there a homophone involved? Can’t hear it!

  38. I think the homophone is “wasted” to give the second word.

    Re 9D, this is merely an anagram with a two-letter word for good placed within the second word of the answer.

    I still don’t have 1A.

  39. Does 15D’s 2nd word start with B or V? Can’t see a “wasted” homophone there, Jack.

    1A definition is “lift on mountain”. You’d swab the deck with the “cleaner”!

  40. Jack, 1a first two words are anagrind. Fodder is word three plus ‘water essentially’.

  41. I am not sure about 19a. I have a word that sort of means open. It also has the opening for ‘vessels’ in it. But I can’t make sense if the rest, even when I apply 10a/6d.

  42. The answer to 19A is open vessels. Great = 2,1,5. Numbers = 3,4,6.

    I know the cleaner, but not the lift in 1A.

    I think wasted in 15D means drunk

  43. 15d is the only clue I don’t understand. I have the answer, but can’t see any wordplay. I’ll be interested to see if anyone cracks it. The hints I’ve read on here so far haven’t helped.

    1a was the hardest for me, as I’m not an avid skier. Wikipedia helped.

  44. Thanks Jack. I had the wrong answer. I think this is the most convoluted theme clue. To be honest for most I got the def and worked backwards.

  45. SandM, that is what I do for ALL DA crosswords. It gets a bit difficult where the answer is an unknown word, such as 1A, which I finally found in Wikipedia.

  46. I have all except 17d, 23a, 24d, 28a.
    26a I have ending with E. Should it be R ?
    My best guess for 17d is something which NBN users would run regularly to check if they are getting what they are paying for ???

  47. Dave 26A ends in E (English spelling – not US). 17D – reckon you have the wrong WC. 23A (definition 1st word) and 24D (def. last 4 words) are themed

  48. Dom. Your 26A E ending is correct. In 17D WC is an old film comedian who made a very famous film with Mae West!

  49. Dom, if you think of WC not as a loo but as an actor, 17D becomes quite clear. 26A ends with re in English, but with er in American. Fortunately, DA uses English.

  50. Jack, in 15d I took the homophone to be ‘wasted’ itself, not a word meaning ‘wasted’. Think of the definition as words 1-7, not just 1-6.
    I’m also stuck on 17d, Dom, and I don’t have 16a.

  51. Done! Phew!
    I always fell off a 1A

    Question – where is Arthur? – just watching the cricket, I hope.

  52. Mary, 16a …

    First two words are definition. When the answer has been 10a/6d, you have “cow” referring to letters 1-4 and “milk” skimmed for letters 5, 6.

  53. Thanks Mike, Celia & Jack. I definitely had the wrong WC. Was trying to work ‘pee’ into it somehow !!

    Alas 23, 24, 28 continue to elude me.

  54. Help with 10ac and 6d in plain English please lol, Still trying to work out Geoff M’s help at 11:12am with 6d, I’ve gone cross-eyed at looking at the first 3 words to see what they have in common lol (no offence intended Geoff),DA definitely takes the fun out of Cryptic’s with these types of crosswords.

  55. Dom, for 24d, think of an organisation affectionately referred to as “aunty”. Use this (3 letters) with “or” and you’ll have your answer 10a/6d.

  56. Dom, 28a means “big”. 10a/6d “like” refers to letters 1 & 2, “box” to 3 & 4.

  57. Terry, I hate to see you suffering. If I turn the word “cryptic” into “cciprty”, what have I done with it?

  58. Terry, here’s a hint to 10A 6D
    The third word of 6D is

    The first and second are thus also!

  59. GeoffM, can you believe I already had the letters ? Clearly not at my best today :(

  60. oldmatetimbo … re 1A, all the above I think, also a company name, and a generic name in some places. Refer to its Wikipedia entry!

  61. All i can do is wait for tomorrows paper. Spent probably a couple of hours or more looking, have only ten answers, and gt some of those from reading above. This one was stratospheric, way over my head.

  62. Thanks Celia and Geoff, I get what the wordplay is now but still haven’t got the answers for 10ac-6d,Ray’s first comment of the day sums it up really very cumbersome.22ac is a frustrating clue , I can see the answer and understand the bloody wheels part but can’t for the life of me work out the rest of the wordplay, oh well til next Friday’s edition .

  63. Like you Arthur. I’ll have to wait for the answers tomorrow. I have six answers including 10A but not 6D. Haven’t understood any of the hints for 6D. I think I have one themed clue (21D) but no idea how it relates to the theme.
    By the way Arthur, did I see a letter from you in this month’s “Royalauto”?

  64. Today’s theme just about did my head in. Anyway all done now. Re 22A,Defn is first word and the wordplay relates to “about bloody”.

  65. RE 22ac, I saw Celia’s comment from earlier on “Quite” optimistic had me confused , things are starting to look rosy at last.

  66. One facetious comment I have to make about 9D: The “good” item sure got corralled.

    As for 22A, there must have been a “trigger” to help people solve it and then move along some “happy trails”

  67. Ah Celia your help with 6d finally sank in after 6hrs…….amazing what a couple of beers can do, have a great weekend .

  68. Geoff D, if you get back to viewing this, yes, my letter indeed. I hope you picked up a few answrers after your 1928 post. I didn’t get any more.

  69. Managed to find three more answers, but having looked at the solution this morning I am still utterly baffled by the 10A/6D instruction and would appreciate an explanation. For example I understand that 21D is made up of ‘deer’ and ‘st’ but the answer is not 10A/6D because there is an ‘e’ after the ‘s’. Likewise 24D (abc and or). What am I missing?

  70. GeoffD, reread the instructions … the clue gives you the SOLUTION 10A 6D e.g. DEERST, a 10A 6D anagram of the solution DESERT. All interim anagrams 10A 6D for you to reorder for the final answer.

  71. GeoffD. The cryptic part of the clue gives you the letters needed for the answer in alphabetical order eg;
    D E E R S T
    So it is an anagram of the answer
    That’s why I said in opening comment it is a cryptic inside a cryptic.
    Hope clear and helps.

  72. Thank you (again!) Celia and Ray. I have obviously misunderstood the original instruction.

  73. Well, after several weeks of completing, or very nearly completing the DA, this week I was totally baffled and bamboozled. I got 3A – worked out the anagram – and I guessed 22A but cannot see anything that relates to the rest of the clue. That gave me 22D, and when I finally cheated and looked up 10A/6D I understood what was going on there, but it didn’t help me with anything else. What a horrible experience – looking forward to next week!

  74. June, this week’s DA was harder than usual, but the idea of this forum is to provide mutual help, assistance and advice. This week’s DA was still easier than most of the Times and Sunday Times crosswords you’ll find republished in The Australian. I note your absence from any of the exchanges above, and don’t understand if you’re asking for assistance or just chucking a tantrum to spoil everybody else’s fun, gathering your sweat-stained toys, and going home. I for one am puzzled why so many DATrippers have had trouble with comprehending what is really a very simple theme. The few clues you mentioned weren’t themed, there were many such others that were relatively easy (14A , 25A, 26A, 1D, 4D, 7D, 18D). You give no indication how much time you spent getting worked up over this DA but usually DA solutions solutions don’t come instantaneously. Ask questions here, help is at hand!

  75. June, as for 22A …
    You know the answer so …
    “quite optimistic” letters 1,2,9 (“quite” signals truncation)
    “wheels” reversal indicator of “about bloody” contained “in storage” at 8,7 (“about”)+ 6,5,4,3 (“bloody”). Easy peasy!

  76. It doesn’t help that the “NB” is not very clearly expressed. It’s not easy to work out what “Their clues wordplay treats the solutions as if 10-across 6-down” means exactly. I certainly did not understand for a long time that I was expected to make an anagram out of the elements of the wordplay, which is what is in fact needed.

    The fact that the wordplay is alphabetically ordered is, in fact, largely irrelevant to solving the problem, but feels as if it should be. I have some sympathy with June, in that, although very clever as always, and clearly streets ahead of a standard Fairfax crossword, there was something unsatisfactory and unsatisfying about the extra cryptic element. As others have said, really it was a cryptic on a cryptic, which generally is regarded as indirect.

  77. IanF, I felt the interim alphabetical elements were important to solving the wordplay, for two reasons:
    1. if when solving the wordplay your interim result was not alphabetical, then you must have erred somewhere;
    2. if you had thought of an answer without working the wordplay, you could reverse-engineer your possible answer to try to align the resultant alphabetical sequence with the wordplay components. I know that many trippers appeared to do this for some clues.

    I must admit – and it filled me with dread – that my initial thought was this was another DA horror we were meant to transcribe the solutions for into alphabetical strings, and that was what we entered into the grid. Thankfully I was wrong.

    I derived great fun from this cryptic, was able to boot myself for struggling with the “wasted” homophone, enjoyed the alphabetical challenge, and wish DA produced more puzzles of this 26A. What detracted from my enjoyment were pedestrian comments from some quarters here shoveling unfair bile on DA because he’d made a puzzle that was to them beyond comprehension

    And it’s not the first time I’ve seen clues where first you need generate an intermediate answer, such as an anagram, before making one more step for the ultimate solution.

  78. Celia – you make two valid points there, though personally the alphabetical element didn’t help me much. I totally get your defence of DA; especially speaking as a dog lover his plea for forbearance was most touching the other week.

    I do feel though that sometimes you’re unnecessarily harsh on people who are probably not levelling any complaint against DA personally, but rather the difficulty (for them) of the task. It’s probably not helped by the fact that Friday, let’s face it, is quite the highlight of many people’s weeks, and to struggle to get going probably accounts for the way they express themselves. Perhaps easiest to ignore those remarks if you find them upsetting?

    You’re unstintingly helpful and I’ve certainly benefited from your insights many times, including this week. So thank you for that, and a very merry Christmas.

  79. Gosh Celia – I’ve just read your response to my post. I didn’t mean to upset anybody, and I certainly wasn’t throwing a tantrum, and as for trying to spoil anyone’s fun – please! I love the DA crosswords, and spend most of my Fridays trying to do them. I was just commenting that I found this one totally confusing and even when I knew the answers I still couldn’t understand the word play for most of them. Thank you for explaining a few of them for me. I often do ask questions here as I’m sure you’ll remember, but when I have managed to work out so few of the clues myself I prefer to just give it away. Anyway, I was just making a passing comment – sorry if I offended anyone.

  80. June, I think it was your absence from any discussion, request for help, etc. that I found disturbing in the context of your post.

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