78 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 22nd of February, 2019

  1. What an effort. No wonder there are no comments yet. I have never spent more than an hour on a crossword before.

  2. Hi Peter,
    New job makes it very hard to for me in the mirnings now, but found bottom half okay, top half a bit more of a slog.
    A lot of inspired guesswork today.

  3. I’m using the smh app and the shaded squares referenced in the instruction aren’t shown. Can anyone assist?

  4. Geography to the fore, so 16D no trouble, gave me several more, SW corner filled. Not much elsewhere. Not sure exactly how 2D relates to 25A though., if I have the correct 2D, but it fits, vaguely, last word of clue. The battle continues.

  5. Now have NW corner, except for 10A, which seems an impossible word. Yet I’m sure I have 3, 4, and 6D correct. So is 10A a regular word? Or slang?

  6. First in was 18D, but I suspect that DA lacks familiarity so the wordplay is slightly up.

    As someone who grew up with the answer, I think “spotter” or “spyer” would be more correct than “selector”.

  7. I only have the SMH paper. There are no instructions nor shaded squares. But I believe there are several answers missing letters in the wordplay. And from what I can see / guess, those missing have something to do with flowers.

    So Joe, can you enlighten us as to what the instructions say please.

    I am obviously missing something as I have all out but definitely not all understood.

  8. The instructions included are:
    “Some 14-11A will fill each block of shaded squares, an element ignored by each clue’s wordplay. Eight examples are used – two twice.”

    The iPad version AND the facsimile version lack the shaded squares.

    FOI 26D which gave me the whole SW corner, then struggled through the SE corner, but only have two answers in the entire top half of the grid after 30 minutes.

  9. Like Ray I also only have the SMH. I have all out but not all understood. DA has informed us on Twitter that instructions are missing, something I came to suspect. I haven’t analysed what the missing instructions are, hats off to Ray, he’s probably on the right track. Good luck paper solvers.

  10. No wonder I’m struggling. If anyone manages to discover which squares are meant to be shaded, do tell.

    First one in today 26d, but so far not much else!

  11. DA has commented on Twitter that shaded squares and instructions have been omitted from the version printed in the newspaper (SMH/Age).

    This probably explains why I couldn’t work out the wordplay for 25A and 28A.

  12. Well, that’s a balls-up.
    Suspected something was wrong and checked the iPad.
    Any fun now sucked completely away.

  13. Whew, now it all makes sense, was worried that I’d suddenly lost my ability to parse clues as I had to write in many answers without fully understanding the clue.

  14. An added complication: the square in the very top right of the puzzle is shaded for 4a but not for 8d!

  15. All done, not too difficult once we knew what was going on. Favourite this week 17d. Easy starters 12a, 23a, 22d, 26d.

    No doubt heads will roll at the SMH/Age. (Actually I can’t imagine DA in a rage. Too mild-mannered …)

  16. Agree with Neanderthal. Made even harder because we don’t have an iPad. Lets hope next weeks DA is not a debacle!!!!!

  17. stared at this for hours attributing lack of results to a late beery night with Bex Marshall at the Vanguard. Damn. Have the wizard & the necessitate, and the four 3-letters if the Lee is a Chinese director of many of my favourite films. Slice of pi, anyone? Now with the shades drawn – or cokoured in – I’ll see how I go between now and noon.

  18. All out. It was tricky today, especially without the shading. I liked 10a and should’ve got it earlier as we had a cat named that. I’m stumped by the clueing of 19a. I think I have the how for the first three letters but I’m really not sure.

    FOI 12a, LOI 19a – by a wide margin and some guessing.

  19. Margaret, it’s a very old definition of “dug”. Had me stumped too. The rest of the clue relates to the first letter only, the floral connection is the same one as in 21d.

  20. Geoff M – Thanks for the answer – I get it now. I had no shading and I already had 8 clues that related to the theme. I found the theme wording DA provided a tad ambiguous to me.

  21. This was very disappointing in terms of time wasted before realizing that some instruction was missing (and shading as well, as I see now). With something as convoluted as a DA crossword, more care is needed in the printing.

    27A still escapes me.

  22. Jack, 27A is easy, a “faction” of the two preceding words! Defn first two words.

  23. I’m here because I figured there was a missing special instruction as the cryptics only gave part of e.g. 25A and 13D. Thanks for the link guys.

  24. First time posting here, but I often check here for some tips to try and get these DA cryptics out! Am amazed at all your prowess in completing them!

    Any tips for 14A-11A would be most welcome… I’m guessing the last two words of the clue are the definition?

  25. Sonia, “inferior” refers to letters 2-6, “widespread” is 1 & 7-15.

  26. As ever baffled by a themed puzzle. I have a few of those described as ‘easy’ and I think I know 10A and 13D, but only because of the definitions; no idea of wordplay. Also no idea what the instruction means.

  27. GeoffD – If you go back and look at Geoff M’s comments you get some good hints as to what the answer is for 14A -11A – look at answers at 1:42 and 12:11. Also look at the link at 8:44 which shows where the theme needs to be applied – the shaded areas.

    The instruction indicates that the themed answers are missing parts of them, which haven’t been included in the clue; you need to apply 14A and 11A to fill in the gap.

  28. Thanks Margaret. I think I now have 14A/11A though still not sure of the application. Will push on. Just got the answer to 7D which proves my 10A wrong!!

  29. GeoffD.
    Missing letters are filled by 11a types of 14a.

    10a – think of famous theorem in physics.

  30. Hints please re 17A I’m not certain about 18D but know the other cross letters.

    Looking forward to Proof-Gate in view of the devastating impact on Gross Domestic Product and Gross Domestic Happiness. Go Nepal!

  31. Does anyone know how many proofreaders were made redundant after the “merger” with Nine?

  32. Mike, the definition for 17a is the final word of the clue — as a verb.

  33. KevinM, I don’t think there have been proofreaders for decades. Spell checkers now. It took me a while when reading the article at the bottom of page 23 of today’s Herald to work out that all the columns were in the wrong order!

  34. To be honest, when it starts to become impossibly difficult rather than normally so, I tend to come on here to confirm that the special instruction has been left off. It might seem a small oversight to Nine, but it’s absurd that an impossible puzzle is allowed to go to print fairly regularly, especially when the setter has obviously invested so much time in it.

  35. Thanks GeoffM . I think the clue should say ‘hiker’ rather than ‘hikers’ ?

  36. Shading squares? Why? Surely a better way is the standard reference to the clue(s) that add to the wordplay. For example 21d – Betrayal taking place after 14,11. Can’t go wrong like this.

  37. I just had the hard copy SMH, without the instructions. Very hard to solve, but I eventually figured out something was up – presumably missing instructions. I suspected DA had done it on purpose! I didn’t see the link with 11A,14A until I looked at the comments above.

    In 16D, I was lured for some time by PRETORIA which matches well to “SA capital”.

  38. I finished the last few this morning and all are understood except these:
    10A how do we get the 1, 8-11? (DA has had this guy before a few years ago)

    3D I have 1-2 possibly and 6-7, but the rest?

    4D first two words = definition but wordplay please?

    8D Not a clue on this one! Help please!

  39. Robin, I can help with 4d & 8d, the rest I couldn’t figure out either.

    4d, take the “essence”, or central letters of the words.

    8d, the flower is “rose” (and doesn’t include first letter of 8d — see my comment from yesterday). Letters 7, 6, 1 are “loaf” (idle) “almost”.

  40. 3d probably has to do with the bombing of Essen? Letters 6&7 are the clandestine shell. But I’m not satisfied with this — am I missing something?

  41. Robin H & Geoff M

    3D where do the Bombers football team come from?

    10A chemical symbol for tin? Letters 1,8
    And an assailant with the MUG ignored to get 9-11

  42. Robin H –

    10A: “Tin” gives the first two of the 5 letters. Then ‘assailant’ minus ‘mug’.

    3D: This is not one of the special solutions. The key is an AFL reference.

    8D: The first two words are the definition. It is a special solution, with 4 letters coming from 14,11A, so the wordplay provides only 3 letters.

    4D: The wordplay takes two letters from each of ‘veto’, ‘richness’ and ‘cliche’.

  43. Many thanks Celia, Geoff M and Mike B. As a Sydneysider and not an AFL supporter I would not have thought of that. I liked the deleted ‘capo’ though. Very good.
    I was thinking ‘bombers’ gave us ES, currently the subject of much debate.

    I should have got 4D. Disappointed with that one!

  44. Thank you, Celia. No wonder I didn’t understand 3d. I’m not into AFL, and my only encounters with a capo have been on the neck of a guitar …

  45. Thanks to this site for explaining the missing instructions!

    In 10A, one of the letters should have an umlaut, or be followed by “E”. Tut tut!

  46. If anyone still there, a couple of wordplays are still eluding me. Letters 1-3 of 16D equals ‘sands from alloy’? If so, how? I know it’ll be entirely obvious but I always get a blind spot. And where does letter 5 of 24A fit in?

    Help welcome, thank you.

  47. Ian F

    16D read first “sands” as “s and s”!

    Don’t fully understand the clairvoyant’s tail I’m afraid.

  48. Ian & Celia,

    24a letters 4-7 are the floral anagram. “Is taken aback” refers to letters 1 & 2. “Regular bender” is letters 3, 8, 9.

  49. Wow – I knew 10A because who else owns a cat with potential? but could not parse the wordplay. Trying ignored* but what else.
    The shading gave it to me- thanks Trippers.
    After that two hours wasted, it flowered easily !
    Ian F – Brass is the alloy – take s and s off. Often DA misleads us with five letter words holding ”and”.
    Letters 4-7 of 24a are and arranged flower. The answer has two “l”s

  50. Is this DA’s revenge for the posts on here with comments about the crossword being easy in previous weeks? ;)

  51. Thanks, everyone! Don’t feel quite so dim, as they are tricksy clueing.

  52. Nice to see that I wasn’t being thick, trying to do it without the instructions. Still got all but two out on guesswork. I couldn’t see the parsing for my 19 A …”orgasm”!

  53. Phil,
    Yeah I tried to make 19a that, but my last letter wouldn’t fit. The interesting thing is I hadn’t heard of that usage of “dug” before but I was reading a book last night where they actually used the term in that context. Small world.

  54. I first encountered the word in Gulliver’s Travels among the giant Brobdingnagians!

  55. Yes that was a problem for me Margaret as well. While I am on this, how does “capo” give DON?

  56. The solution’s been published, spijk, so spoilers at this late stage aren’t considered a great sin worthy of capital punishment. If it was still daylight on Friday, a definite no-go zone!

  57. Thank you for coming to my defence, Celia! I couldn’t have put it better myself.

  58. Phil, one definition of “capo” from the Oxford Dictionary …

    The head of a crime syndicate, especially the Mafia, or a branch of one.

    A learning experience for me too!

  59. Well that was a mind bender indeed. I hadn’t tried much of the puzzle on Friday anyway and I saw the note from DA in Saturday’s paper. Set myself the challenge to solve and find the theme without looking at his hint. Getting 13D and 25A from the definitions, I could see there were letters there that were not in the word play, and in both cases rearranging to make a type of thing. Actually enjoyed the added difficulty. Only just saw the connection with 14A/11A!!!

  60. Firstly thanks for your help. Also I need more help. I am writing a novel which is set a year ago in Melbourne. One of the characters is addicted to the Astle and it ingorms quite a lot of conversation. I need to know the theme of the puzzle from Feb 23rd 2018. I found the posts using the search option but I can’t work out the theme from the posts. We did the puzzle so hopefully if you can tell me the theme then I will be able to write something sensible. Can anyone help me?
    Thanks! Helen.

  61. Geoff M, 2018, she wants, not 2019.

    Helen Conomy, why not just ask DA himself, he has Twitter @dontattempt and a website

  62. Bloody hell, Narelle … I’m someone who does DA in dribs and drabs, patiently. I’m feeling very pleased with myself now because I’ve nearly finished this one, and now that I look here for the first time I discover – as I came to suspect – that there were missing instructions. Jeez Louise, as if a DA isn’t difficult enough already!

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