DA Confusion for the 14th of August, 2020

Have your confusions sorted out for this week’s lockdown DA. DA himself has mentioned on his Twitter feed that this one is going to be strange.

79 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 14th of August, 2020

  1. 11 across 4 down first in, and thought we might be in for a bit of grim reality, but what a tonic!
    A ‘topical theme’, and one of DA’s favourite party tricks.
    ROFL, especially my last ones in, 14 a, 15 d and 23 a. Lots to enjoy along the way.
    Have fun everyone!

  2. Just after midnight I quickly got 11/4 and the theme plus a few easy ones then lights off to do paper version today
    Haven’t found any of the 9 themed and how it relates yet

  3. FOI 11A/4D which gave the theme, but I’d solved a few of the themed clues without realising they were themed. I just thought DA was being clever. Other easier starters 27A,2D,3D. LOI 18D and it took me a while to convince myself of the wordplay. All the themed clues were favourites plus 15D for the ‘king or queen’.
    Very clever and most enjoyable.

  4. Very entertaining today, and a refreshing contrast to some of the tripe that passes for cryptics in the Herald during the week. I actually worked out what was going on regarding the theme before I got 11a/4d, but had a chuckle when I did. (I chuckled several times today!) The more usual term during 2020 is actually different to 11a/4d, but I’ve often pondered that DA’s version makes more sense.

    So many great clues this week I’m not even going to try to select favourites.

    15d, while clever, only barely provides a definition.

    The definition in 6d isn’t really correct, though it’s a common misuse.

    I hadn’t heard of that UK band.

    I hope everyone enjoys today’s as much as I did!

  5. About average solving time for a DA special theme like this … not too bad considering!

    FOI 20A, 3D. LOI 15D 19A.

    Good starters might include 1D, 5D, 5A, 27A, 21D, 16A.

  6. Hmmm
    I have 2,3 and 27 but ground to a halt
    Any helpful hints will be gratefully received
    Btw is 11,4 an anagram?

  7. Melanie, if it’s any help, two of my first in were 5a & 12a, from which I was able to deduce the theme.

  8. I take back what I said earlier about 15d. The penny has dropped! Brilliant clue! But by my reckoning, that makes ten themed clues, yes?

  9. After a quick start at midnight, then carrying on today, I had 11/4 plus others even including apparent themed 12A, but I cannot see the connection between 11/4 and 12A

  10. I seem to have a mental block every time I see an instruction above the clues and today is no exception. I tried to make something of ‘lockdown’ and ‘social distance’ for 11A/4D but I appear to be on the wrong track.

  11. GeoffD you’re mighty close to getting it. think of a slightly different phrasing

  12. Three quarters done including the themed clue but still don’t understand how it’s applied.

  13. (Palm slap to face!!) Thanks Mary-Jane. I’ve finally caught on. Obviously thinking too narrowly. Can now proceed.

  14. Graham M @ 11:55. I only count 9 themed clues. I thought 20A may have been one for a while, but I’d say it’s not. Glad the penny dropped on 15D. I chuckled long on that one.

  15. All out, finally.

    Quite liked the theme. Particularly liked 15d once I’d parsed it.

    FOI 2d
    LOI 1d and I had to build it.

  16. It is very hard for many people I guess. So few contributors today as if ashamed by the early solvers?
    After nearly 5 hours I have filled in the grid (we Age digital subscribers can do that at the touch of a button) and still don’t understand all. 3 times as long as usual!

  17. mike,
    This one was tough, today. There were a couple of answers I had to build because I’d never heard of them. I did like the theme though, very clever. I got the idea from 12a but it took me a while to get the anagram correct for the theme. As per usual I got most of it out and had a few stubborn ones that held me up.

  18. Surely 9A is NOT a word. Unless they have split a defence pact into North East and North West sectors of a certain ocean.

  19. Hi all.
    I usually don’t get to this crossword till the evening (favourite part of the week). This one was fun but I had to work hard on some.
    Can anyone give a hint about why 14a is what it is?

  20. Peter,
    9a – Just slang.

    14a – It helps If you think of the theme and reverse the order of the words.

  21. mike, maybe today was one of the days that the penny just dropped for me. It’s not always so. I did happen to wake earlier than usual today which maybe explains my earlier finish.

    Peter, 9A is not in Chambers but is in a lot of online dictionaries. I seem to remember using it as a lad which is many years ago. :)

    Margaret, I started with extracting ‘sanitising’ ;) from 11A/4D but couldn’t make sense of the other letters until the penny dropped.

  22. No it’s not themed Bendy. It was my last one in because of the wordplay.

  23. Maybe because it’s a difficult time for me I found this one a real slog, and I confess I still don’t understand the theme even though I got 11A/4D right away. Probably missing the blinding obvious.

  24. Belated face palm. It has finally hit me. Missing the blinding obvious indeed!

  25. Re 11A, Australia officially adopted the 8-letter word (as in the answer) in June. The US still seem to use the 6-letter word, although I heard Dr Fauci say on the TV the other day that he preferred the 8-letter word .
    Loved 15D. Missed 18D – thanks Graham M @9.00pm, hadn’t seen that reversal indicator used before.
    I can’t make the word play in 24D work unless ‘no’ is placed between the second and third words of the clue – can someone please tell what I’m missing?

  26. Anyone else think the defn in 21A is dodgy?
    I’m pretty sure it’s one of the themed clues, but as far as I’m aware, the answer is a different part of the larger structure but not = defn.

  27. Re my earlier comment about 24D wordplay…the penny has dropped about how the word play works as written, although I think the clue would still also work if a ‘no’ was inserted.
    Brian @12:52am re 21A – no expert but Wikipedia indicates the answer is indeed the larger structure.

  28. Brian Fingerton, do you mean 21d? If so, no, it’s not a themed clue.

  29. Not my favourite DA. A nice idea, but a little tortuous in execution, I thought.
    Was it all designed just to be able to use 15D?

  30. Re 18d – please help with the first two letters of the answer. I’ve got the rest of the word thanks to Geoff – sorry Graham-‘s hint at 9.00pm.

  31. Geoff at 9.50am – if it was all designed to use 15d, that makes it all worth it in my book.

  32. First 2 letters are given by ‘depends’ Julie.
    Agree that it was all worth it for 15D. I’m still smiling at ‘Domain’ a day later.

  33. Those who’ve pointed out the noun/verb conflict in 15d, that’s true. To get around it, perhaps “Deed to …” could be put at the start. But that makes the clue rather less tidy and more cumbersome. I’m prepared to forgive a tiny imperfection when the clue is such a good one.

  34. Can someone please post the list of 9 clues in the other thread?? I’m totally stumped but still want to give it a good crack…

  35. To conspiracy theorist Geoff @ 9.50am – maybe DA circulated the virus , just so he could use 11a / 4d , just so he could use 15d. Just saying.

  36. Graham M @11:19,
    for a ‘word guy’ that DA undoubtedly is, defining a noun with a verb is not a ‘tiny imperfection’ but a clear error. A setter of his experience should be able to identify and correct it.
    Don’t accept sloppy clues just because ‘it’s a DA thing’.

  37. “Neanderthal says:
    15 Aug 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Don’t accept sloppy clues just because ‘it’s a DA thing’.”

    Don’t you know that every connivance DA uses to appear cute or vague is given a pass with “it’s a DA thing’” ?

  38. Cokes, in answer to your request in the other thread …

    23a …
    Drink 1-3
    Tea essentially 4
    A must for driving 5-8

    18d …
    Aspiring is a reversal indicator
    Goer 8,7,6,5,4,3
    Provided 2,1

    5d …
    A simple double definition.

  39. Back again….help needed with 27a….the rest of you say it was an easy one…the only one I can’t get. How do I get into “”the other thread”…Graham M. I will have a quick peek!

  40. Happy, take every second letter from trattorias and mix.

    To get to the other thread, click on “Home” at the top of this page.

  41. Thanks Graham….my geriatric brain got me to click on home at top of page, but nothing changed…can you explain s-l-o-w-l-y what I am doing wrong. Ta Happy.

  42. I correct my comment @10:26. It is of course ‘provided’ as Graham says. No idea where ‘depends’ came from.

  43. Graham, you have stopped this geriatric turning any more grey today.
    My ignorance was showing by not realising I should have clicked on reports to get the other thread, and not solely on confusion.
    Grateful for your help…..stay healthy.

  44. To JulieW,
    You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment! :) :)

  45. Hard but fun as well. As my daughter worked for Damon Albarn and toured Europe with him in 2019 I should have got 22D far less slowly.
    Wish I could share the enjoyment re 15d. I get the definition (and the verb/noun issue), and I get “I’d heard” , but how letters 1-6 relate to a king or queen is beyond me. NSW or USA cultural reference?? Help please.

  46. When you get the king or queen reference Mike, you’ll be able to rest easy.

  47. Margaret @6.58pm – thanks! And of course, it was one of the 9…

    That noise you hear is that of the primordial swamp of my brain evolving with a gloopy sound.

  48. Thanks Graham M

    Only knew the spicy message definition, and haven’t heard of that word for ‘goer’ either.

    Tim C says:
    15 Aug 2020 at 2:55 pm
    When you get the king or queen reference Mike, you’ll be able to rest easy.

    …and then his mood may depend on where he gets up from?

  49. Difficult but fun. I thought 20a was one of the theme clues, so I thought I had them all out which led to problems later. Haven’t got wordplay for 5d, and not quite sure where letter 3 in 10a comes from. 19a relates to airplanes if I’m not mistaken?

  50. Askvictor …

    5d is a simple double definition. One definition is from the 21st century, the other much older.

    For letter 3 in 10a, think maths.

    And no, 19a has nothing to do with planes. The definition is the last word.

  51. Thanks Graham; I’ve got the defn for 19a, but my parsing required an obscure person, known for barnstorming, for the first two letters, followed by the foremost of the following two words. Though now I can see a different way to parse (which, given I’m a computer person, am embarrassed I didn’t get before).

    Separately, who is the next best cryptic setter after DA?

  52. If anyone is still monitoring this – we’re still stuck on the wordplay for 15D. As stated by Mike, we’ve got the answer fine, understand the theme, and can get the ‘ide’ at the end. Can anyone please spell out how to get letters 1-6?

  53. I’m glad it worked for you Debbi. I was thinking perhaps my reply had been a little curt!

  54. Loved this week’s theme. Took longer than usual to complete, but got there in the end without any help. Favourites were 14a and 15d.

  55. Like ClareMcG started Fri pm FOI 5A 10A 2D 6D &7D
    Got theme Sat am and after 2sleeps have 5 to solve. Have identified 8 themed clues, 9 if 14A is one of them, if so can’t figure if theme applies to first or last word of clue.
    18 D have letters 1 2 6 8 & possibly 4 if I follow Graham’s 12:23pm 15/8 post but goer hasn’t hit me yet same for 23A
    Does 13D have an AFL flavour ? and is outcry a homophone or operator for a synonym for horrid ?
    Last but not least 15D I think I get splitting first word and K and Q size but can’t decide if we’re dealing with a culinary reference,
    DA has certainly dazzled me so far
    For BrianF and SlowA 22A is used by Army engineers because it can quickly erected and launched as cantilever across obstacles
    I’ll take another break and wait for inspiration any cryptic help from trippers is welcome

  56. Ian, the first two words of 13d are the definition. “Dispirited” gives the first word; the second word is the collective noun for the birds.

  57. Did anyone comment that the usual first word of the themed clue is “Social” – not the one that DA uses?

  58. Finally finished thanks to Graham M giving me a second wind ? A marathon
    Hi Peter SlowA raised social in their 12:39am post yesterday

  59. @Peter, DA wrote a Wordplay column re physical vs social back in April. The idea for this week’s crossie might have come to him then.

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