53 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 31st of January, 2020

  1. Morning Melanie. You need to get 21d as well for the instruction which I got late in the piece as I only got around to 17d and 26a later on. My ‘in’ was the SW corner. But in hindsight, the SE might have been better with the crossing 17d and 20a which would have given some handy crossers. Favourites for the fun factor were 14d, 13a and 18a (which I didn’t know).

  2. All done. Still working on some of the wordplay.

    You need 21d as well.
    I got the application from 14d.

  3. All done. Easy today, though someone should tell DA the sun is not a planet!

  4. Good fun today. I worked out what was going on long before I got 1d/21d. Easy starters are 19d and 20a. My favourite today 8a.

  5. Oh, I can’t work out the word play for 9d. Any hints at the appropriate juncture would be gratefully received.

  6. Well, after putting in a few answers, a theme seems apparent, I have about six that fit the idea thus far. No, make that seven! And yes, 4D should have read star, not planet.

  7. Yep. Thanks Geoff M. And now I also have 1, 21, which is a big help – solves quite a few mysterious wordplays.

  8. Geoff M 9A wordplay a charade with nesting. “mainly loaded” at 7-9 should see you on your way.

    I’m fuzzy on 7A wordplay, any hints, don’t understand what’s “in retreat”.

    FOO 4D LOO 10A/24A or 9D I forget

    Fave clue 12A brilliant!!!

  9. Geoff M I meant 9D, but you probably guessed. Got any hints on 7A wordplay?

  10. re 7A, I don’t understand your comment, Darryl. I can see the letters at 1-4 in the clue and possibly implied by parts of the clue but don’t understand how the clue works to put them there.

  11. Celia,
    If you look up 4-1, it does fit with part of the clue. Not sure if that is what DA was thinking?

  12. Margaret, I see now that 4-1 fits part of the clue. I was thinking of a more common word fitting part of the clue, truncated.

  13. All done, but managed to waste quite a bit of time twisting, massaging, shuffling, trimming and eventually lubricating Venus to enable me to wedge it into 4D.

  14. SB – yeah, I’m not very happy with 7a, but if I squint hard enough that sort of works for me. I think the “blows cover” is for the dog. I’m happy if someone to come up with a better idea.

  15. Thanks Margaret. Yes, I did get 2D just after posting (as happens!).
    I’ll keep thinking about 7A.

  16. Thanks, Celia, for your help with 9d. I’d forgotten that I too was baffled by 7a, so I don’t think I can shine any light, sorry.

  17. Need help with wordplay for 15A and 9D.
    Have the theme.
    15A: understand 1-5 from “my boast” and application of theme to 12-14, but ? rest.
    9D: seen Celia’s comment but still in a fog. Understand the definition and use of theme but ???

  18. Alaric re 9D …
    Loaded : a 4 letter synonym of this
    Mainly: is a deletion or truncation
    Mainly loaded is at 7-9
    wrapped by a 4-letter synonym of “objective”
    “online” is one letter prefacing that string

  19. alaric re 15A …
    “hot” is at 6, 9-11, 15, think you can work out the rest from there …

  20. FOI 6D, 1D/21D which helped a lot. ;) LOI 15A.

    My take on 7A is “gun-dog” gives a very common 5 letter dog name (gun might be a bit superfluous but this is DA – see comments about planet above). ‘Cover in retreat’ gives you 1 letter which you ‘blow’ to give 1-4. No reversal needed.

  21. Yes, the “in retreat” is a great bit of misdirection by DA. It had me disappearing down the rabbit hole for a while.

  22. While working on today’s puzzle, I was reminded of a time I saw in a shop “Everything on this rack $10”. I handed over $10 and proceeded to walk off with everything on the rack. It was explained to me that that wasn’t quite what they meant …

  23. Clearly the older I get the more stupid. It sounds as though today’s theme must be fairly easy, but not for me. No idea. Any help would be appreciated. Sorry to have to keep asking.

  24. GeofD: have you solved the source of the theme , 1d/21d ?

    If so there is a small synonym of 1d that 21d from other answers before the clues point to them.


    For those still bewildered by 7ac:

    General [def] gun [think ‘verb’] dog blows cover [dOg] in retreat [reverse both elements] – then add the thematic component.

    And apologies for thinking a certain solar body was planetary. Not too bright!

    I don’t usually intrude on this splendid assembly, but I thought both clarifiers worth sharing. Best of luck with everything else.

  26. Melanie,
    To get the theme you need to apply 21d to another word for 1d. As indicated above I got this from 14d where it appears twice. The word is needed for the overall answer but not for the word play.; hence the instructions.

  27. Thanks DA for 7A. That makes a lot of sense. My only disappointment is that retreat wasn’t a misdirection!

  28. Thanks DA! Retreat wasn’t a misdirection, but gun-dog certainly was! Nice.

  29. Thanks DA. I did have the separation of “gun” and “dog” but I overcomplicated it.

  30. Thanks DA. Still scratching my head a bit. That’s a use of “gun” with which I’m unfamiliar. But then, I lead a sheltered life. A quick google search would seem to indicate it’s an American usage?

  31. Thanks for the pointers but sadly I’m none the wiser. Could someone tell me the definition for 1/21D?

  32. Geoff D “fire sale 6D”, and “dire” is an anagrind for first three words anagrist!

  33. Thanks Anagram Alice. I have 1/21D now. Will set about trying to apply it.

  34. Anyone willing to explain 18A? I know the answer and definition, but the cryptic description of unyielding… I keep coming back to “gives no quarter”, but doesn’t seem to work.

  35. Tristan re 18A. “Unyielding” could be “gives nothing”, and the Gothic arches provide a cryptic description thus!

  36. I was in Melbourne for the tennis and got The Age for the DA
    FOI 6d. LOI 26a
    Got 6 clues on Friday wo 1d/21d
    Thought I had 1d but then had to rethink along with 15a and 22a to get it out.
    Got the remaining clues finished on the midday flight to Sydney.
    Have only just had time to visit trippers.
    It had to be on the easier side for me to solve before visiting trippers!
    Tristan the answer to18a describes the steep shape of a Gothic arch, if you google u will see it also relates to a mathematical curve. I was interested to read DA’s explanation for 7a , I’d thought dog name without start + theme
    Liked 12a and 17d

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