DA Confusion for the 12th of June, 2020

Have your confusions sorted for this week’s DA.

92 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 12th of June, 2020

  1. Morning Trippers. FriDAy insomnia cure worked a treat.
    1A first in by guess but last to parse. Led up the garden path by the misdirections. Same with 3D. Not knowing much about breweries held up 12A.
    Love the phrases that DA chooses to set. Looking forward to comments on 5D.

  2. Hi all,
    A good puzzle today. I started with 4d, 12a (Gayle I have acquired extensive knowledge of breweries over the years :) ) and 17d. In general I had plenty of down clues before many acrosses.
    Only one I can’t parse is 7d/25a.
    Overall, a good puzzle.
    Happy solving.

  3. AndyW 7/25. Yes, the misdirections got me there too. Is it a reversal? Is it a container? No, it’s a homophone.

  4. Morning all! About the usual time today; first 2 or 3 were write-ins but ran into a wall for a while after that, last 2 took quite a while.

    FOI 4A, 4D, 6D, LOI 3D 1A. Good starters might be 17D, 8D, 14D, 16D, 23A, 18A/2D.

  5. Well, I’ve been poring over this for quite a while, but have only 17D and 19A, so brain not working well as yet. Will keep looking.

  6. Done in 2 hours. Bit of a slog. Some a bit curly, still unable to parse 8d

  7. Dirty Apron Duo, in 8d, Bill’s partner gives 2-4. The rest should fall into place.

  8. All done. FOI 16d LOI 1a. (Which I’m embarrassed about).

    Had a couple of roadblocks myself. Happy solving.

  9. First ones 21A/9A, 18A/2D, 24A, 22D. Last ones 3D, 6D (still not convinced on the wordplay). Unless I’m missing something, I find the ‘nurse’ part of the Spoonerism in 6D a bit iffy, and the ‘reserve’ in 3D also.
    I found the NE corner the trickiest and 15A was a dickens of a clue!

  10. Nearly there after an hour, a few to get in the north. Just had to salute Jason above – now I can’t unsee it either. Must be a DA blooper.

    Arthur: If still looking, give 15A some thought, now that you have the last letter of the second word.

  11. Frankly, Brian W, after half a lifetime of DA I conclude that for him, as for most compilers, the use of ‘?’ is pretty capricious. I’ve sometimes thought there‘s a pattern, then there isn’t one.

  12. Tim C, I tend to agree on ‘nurse’ in 6D. Sometimes with DA’s ‘synonyms only in a given context’ trick, the context is ridiculously narrow. On 3D, on my reading, the role of ‘reserve’ is fine – have you tried reassigning the function of ‘sides in’ in your reading?

  13. Ah, thank you AG. 3D Makes sense now.

    Even in the sense I think nurse is being used in 6D, it belongs to the person doing it, not to the recipient, hence my disquiet.

    Thanks for the ? question Brian. I’ve not really thought about it much, and must have just ignored them in the past. Does the same capriciousness apply to the ! AG?

  14. All done but with a few question marks on parsing:
    1A, 3D (the ‘reserve’ bit), 6D, 8D, probably 20D too

  15. Hi Cokes, as AG above, think about ‘reserve sides in’ rather than just ‘reserve’

  16. 1A think in terms of an Aussie garden party.
    20D transport gives 1-4
    3D sides in reserve give 9,10
    6D See above comments

  17. Hi Gayle 4:45 am
    Re 5D – seems to be two separate anagrams with an injection of the ‘elected leader’.
    I quite liked the clue. Seems that one of the anagram indicators is in fact an anagram in itself.

  18. I have to get on to other things for a while. But I would love some help with 24a.
    Also, I can’t work out Bill’s partner in 8d. I can see Bill’s opponent with a change of one letter. But who is Bill’s partner?

  19. SandyMc, think of a pair of doves for 8D.
    I started off incorrectly trying Bill and Ben… that shows my age. It’s not Bill and Ted either.

  20. For Bill’s partner, think of two little birdies.

    20D has an alternative word-play in that there is a transport terminal in Amsterdam called 20D.

    I think the ‘nurse’ is a verb, as in nursing a drink.

  21. Brian,
    about the ? used in clues, like most aspects of a cryptic puzzle, it may have different purposes. Most setters use it to signify that some part of their wordplay is not as a word actually means, e.g. ‘outbreak’ might be a clue for ‘baker’ which has nothing to do with ‘outbreak’. As Fairfax puzzles are full of that stuff, they only sometimes bother to ? it.
    Quite often the ? is used to cover up a nonsensical surface reading in a clue. The setter is saying ‘this doesn’t make sense and I hope you’ll forgive me’. This is not a good use of ?.
    There are some other subtle reasons but it’d take much explanation.

  22. Tim C, I believe DA is pretty consistent in applying ‘!’ Only to &lit clues (to the uninitiated, where the entire clue is also a definition). Most but not all compilers seem to adhere to that, more or less.

    Gayle (early post) seemed to be hinting at reservations about the anagram structuring in 5D. I share them – it seems to be NQR. But it’s almost forgivable for the cleverness of the clue.

    Some really good clues this week, let down by a couple of doubtfuls canvassed above.

  23. I also spent a long time trying to make an answer to 8D using Bill and Ben! And to me the actual answer is hardly a famous dog. Probably showing my age on both counts.
    As frequently happens I’m having difficulty determining the definitions in some clues, notably 5D and 13A. Can anyone help?

  24. GeoffD:
    5D def is last two words of clue.
    13A: def is first two words of clue.

    AG: the anagram in 5D seems perfect by my count, not sure what issue you see with it? Anagrist is words 1,2 and 5 of the clue, plus ‘elected leader’.

  25. Back now. Is still don’t get it. How are those letters a pair of doves? And what have the doves got to do with Bill?
    And still no help with 24a?

  26. 24a: definition is in the first four words. The wordplay is a bit tortuous.

  27. GeoffD, I too was thinking for some time of the Flowerpot Men. Sandy, 24a is complicated. “devious” is an anagrind, use the letters of “robber” but remove every second letter from “crook”. These form letters 2-5, and are surrounded by a synonym for “wet blanket”. Hope I haven’t given too much away for a Friday …

  28. Yes, I can see the logic in that use for nurse Jack. Still think it’s a bit of a stretch.

  29. Geoff D,
    GeoffD, I also tried for Bill and Ben, to start with. But I’m of an age when the answer was much watched. The word play, on this one, was difficult; even when I had the answer.

    Sandy, the partner is, generally, based around bird behaviour. Google the expression of “bill and (2-4] and you will find it.

    24a answer is based on words 1-4 and 5-9 should be read together then 10-12.

  30. AndrewT,
    the anagram is faulty because ‘thrown’ applies to the words before it, then you have ‘into’ which is sort of ‘amongst’, then another word for the anagrist. No clue ever has had the angrind in between the anagrist, alongside a word that isn’t used at all. And ‘turmoil’ can’t be anagrist and anagrind.

    What about “Voter turmoil is exploited, admitting . . . ” ? No issues there.

  31. Juilian at 1:50 re 5 D. Yes, that’s how I saw it – double duty going on in there.

  32. Love your rewrite of 5D Neanderthal, but I also lean towards AG’s comment about forgiveness for the cleverness of the clue.

  33. @Gayle Sorry, how can a clue be clever if it doesn’t work? The idea is only as good as the execution.

  34. Margaret at 11:52. Same about 1A. I guess you either see it or you don’t first off, or maybe we both got distracted by the distractors.

  35. This is showing my age, but as a kid I recall going to see the movie ‘Bill and xxx’

  36. Given the discussion about 5D, maybe that clue was a candidate for a ? at the end.

  37. Thanks for the tips on 8d folks. I had never heard of ‘Bill & …’.

  38. I am not sure where the first two letters of the second word in 10a are clued either.

  39. Jack. Is supect your thinking of Bil and Ted’s excellent adventure which while a great movie has nothing to do with 8D.

  40. Can anyone help me understand 13-15 in 15a? I think I understand “blemish stops” but that gives an ‘a’ instead of ‘ol’.

  41. SandyMc: The first three letters of 10a are clued by ‘upset’. I have to admit I now don’t see what clues letters 6,7 though … ‘before’ in some way?

  42. Gayle,
    My way of doing the crossword is, if I get stuck, I go off and do something else. I usually get a couple of them jump out when I get back. I’m not sure if my subconscious is working in the background or I just stop overthinking the clues and approach with fresh eyes. So many “D’oh, why did that take so long” moments.

    Xman, with all due respect I think something can be quite clever, in intent, but a tad off in execution. I agree the clue is not entirely correct but it is not difficult to glean the answer and the intent of the wordplay. DA does, tend, to have a certain “looseness” in his clues; something we have discussed in the past. My own view is, normally, to just look at the intent and let the flaws go through to the keeper with a “tut”.

  43. No, kraDen, I am thinking of the real McCoy. Look it up on IMDB and you will find that it was released in 1948. I don’t think I saw it that early, but certainly in the 1950s.

  44. Jarrah: 15A: Letters 10-13 are clued by ‘blemish’. Letters 15,14,9,8 are clued by ‘dirt circulating’.

  45. Hey people 5d is a great clue. Lighten up! But I agree with SandyMc about 10a, my answer and 1-3, 6-8 seem basically to be creep. Then end of page for 8 seems redundant. ?

  46. Geoff M,
    With 10a I looked up the thesaurus for the first two letters of the second word and one of the synonyms is “before”. As a “position”. This leaves the “end of page” as needed.

  47. There are some confusions re 10a. My take …
    “Creep” is definition.
    “Upset” 1-3.
    “Paywalls” 4,5.
    “Before” 6,7. As I said above think of clocks.
    “End of page” 8.

  48. Margaret, we crossed over. Think of “five minutes before six”. That’s how I thought of it anyway.

  49. Margaret, I guess we will have to agree to disagree. To me a clever clue is one that works despite being bound by the constraints of cryptic cluing. Clearly, it’s much easier to write cryptic clues if you include “looseness” as part of the equation.

  50. Thanks for the explanations.

    To me having to ‘google’ Bill and xxx is not good cryptic at all, as it requires knowledge of, to most, an inconsequential movie…yes, it was a forerunner of use of movie technology (aren’t most movies each year?) , but it is hardly remembered.

    On 5D , I agree with Neanderthal, an anagrind is not also an anagrist, especially if another anagrind is easy to do. DA either again trying to be ‘too clever’, or dare I say it ‘not enough’.

  51. Xman,
    I can live with disagreement :). I would, prefer, that clues are within the constraints of accuracy but, I have a degree of forgiveness for a clue that reaches and, perhaps, falls short compared to the technically correct that is dull. The nirvana is a clue that is both inventive and technically correct. I forgive DA the occasional lapse because he stretches my thinking. I prefer a more nuanced approach, even if it fails occasionally. Actually, it is probably easier to write clues that strictly abide by the rules, but they would probably be more dull.

  52. GeoffM, I agree with your analysis of 10A. 6,7 is listed in the definition for ‘before’ in Chambers. Your explanation of clocks was good.

    I don’t really understand the fuss about 5D, and didn’t give it a thought until I got on here. Which rule book is everyone referring to?

  53. Bill and xxx is not a movie, but an expression (I thought a common one) for human behaviour based on bird behaviour Cokes

  54. Thanks Geoff M that explains 10a
    1-8 and 1-3,6-8 being essentially the same thing obscured the right parsing for me.

  55. Correction to my post @ 6:20… Bill and xxx apparently is a 1948 movie. I hadn’t heard of it either, but I think the expression is a lot more common.

  56. Tim C,
    Yup, and one I had actually heard of too. I could find examples that went back to the 1800s and, I suspect, it goes back much further than that. I hadn’t even heard of the movie.

    As a side issue, brought back by the misdirection to Bill and Ben, looking back the drug culture seems to have been an influence on the shows of my youth. “Little weed”, in a high pitched screech, “H.R. Puffenstuff”, Roger Ramjet, Batman, the Banana Splits, etc.

  57. Tim C,
    I was always a bit suspect about the munchies associated with 8d, as well.

  58. Update: I’ve now got 1ac & 13ac (need help parsing that one)
    11 & 12ac

  59. Still here, DAH.
    13a parse: first word = bind (noun). Rest follows.
    21/9: old fashioned phrase. Defn furiously.
    3D: defn troubled. Dormant means in bed.
    11a is a science associated with mining.
    12a is an island. Brewery is in Melbourne.

  60. DAH, 12A. First word definition. (Also a nation) Letters 1-3 a Victorian brewery’s initials, followed by “can” with “packaging” removed.

  61. Thought this was the easiest DA in my experience, even though I’d never heard of Bill’s partner (I’m 39). 5d is fine: I don’t worry about the so-called rules; my only yardstick is whether the clue is solvable, and it clearly is, even without conches.

    I read ? on Friday as meaning there is something a little bit extra going on besides the usual definition + wordplay. This might mean a punny or outre definition (like in 23a) or a the presence of a kooky extra step (like the use of dormant in 3d). I generally find these clues a bit harder but much more rewarding. Problem is every other day of the week, except maybe Saturday, the ? means nothing, so it’s hard to pick up this nuance.

  62. Thanks AG! (and GeoffD)
    21/9 is the the one that I’m (still) really blank on (an expression ending with one letter hyphenated🤔)
    I think I can get 3-down, if I have 13a 1st word correct – not sure how it means “bind” unless the recent / US use as we have a “…” (=problem) is stretched to “bind” . NB: The two word answer I have is often shortened to two 3-letter syllables joined, in TV talk…

  63. DAH, AG and GeoffD.. I struggled with 12A. Knew the brewery at 1,2,3 but couldn’t deal with the ‘can cut packaging’. Shouldn’t the grammar for the wordplay suggested using 1,2,3 as the brewery be ‘can, packaging cut’? Google showed me India’s largest brewery, about half owned by Heineken, at 2,3 which made me happier with the packaging indicator, ie shortened (cut) can as envelope for the 2,3 brewery.

  64. DAH Agree with your interpretation of ‘bind’ in the first word of 13A..

    21/9 depends on your age and other things if it may be familiar to you. An expression of my father’s era for sure. Tickled me to see it in print. Will go away and have a look at the breakdown, if someone hasn’t joined in the meantime.

  65. DAH 21/9.
    Definition first word.
    21 Warm to
    9 pot ( the kind you’d see over an outback camping fire) – the last letter (back) of honcho.

    Just had a look at online etymology – fascinating theories – but apparently none conclusive.

  66. Gayle,
    For 12a,
    1-3 is an Australian Brewer,
    4, “can” cut packaging. (Remove both ends)

    For 12/9
    First word “warm to”
    Second word “pot”
    Last letter “honcho’s” back.

  67. Margaret, I do have a quibble with the grammar of the wordplay in your version of 12A, but , hey, this week’s DA has had a few of those. So I’ll just leave it in the ‘clever but a tad off in execution’ basket, and hedge my bets thinking I might have some up with something equally plausible.

    DAH Good stuff! Solving 21/9 :-)

  68. Honcho’s back gives you the last single letter for 21A/9A DAH, and from what you say you have 13A correct.

    Chambers lists it as [Origin obscure]. Like Gale says it was a more common expression in times past.

  69. I’m over 60 and seriously cannot find anyone who ever heard of Bill and XXX

  70. Cokes,
    I’m 58 and certainly had. If you do a bit of Googling you will find is appears in quite a few poems. It is one of those things that I heard in the past and dredged up. However, I do think, given the obscurity of the term, that the wordplay could’ve been a bit more in context with the meaning.

    I do agree with you; the beauty of cryptics is in the interpretation. People can put up their view and then you pick what your consider most appropriate. Happy solving.

  71. Bill’s partner or other half has come up before in cryptics which is the only place I’d heard of it.

  72. Well, I’m mid 70s and the first (indeed only) thing that came to mind for “Bill’s partner” is what DA had in mind.
    As for all the quibbles – have we been in lock-down too long?
    Anyway, I enjoyed it. FOI 14D, 18/2; 16D. Can never remember LOI. My favs 15A, 5D, and 3D (once AG & SandyMc explained the wordplay).

  73. Looked at that link – gosh he is hard!
    (Don’t see anything wrong with ‘splitting’ myself. )

  74. Zinzan is usually a pretty good judge. A long time blogger on Australian Crossword Club. I noticed though that he fell into the trap too regarding the ‘sides in reserve’ that took me ages to see in 3D.
    Agree Carol , ‘splitting’ seems okay, not that I got it until the very last.

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