DA Confusion for the 13th of November, 2020

It’s a Friday the 13th DA: don’t let it be a horror show.

Sort out your confusions here.

76 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 13th of November, 2020

  1. Morning Trippers. Found this one a mixed bag of gimmies, convolutions, smiles, and groans. The long’uns helped. Bottom half went it first. Liked Twitter and Zoom, the weightlifter spat, and the creep. No idea about the modern cards. Will go back to bed and it’ll either keep me awake, or hit me later on.

  2. I found this quite easy and straightforward for a DA.
    NW corner first, then NE.
    Good starters were 1a, 5d, 3d, 9a and 4d.
    Hapoy solving.

  3. Gayle, 13D (“modern cards”) – reckon typo – should be “modern cars”.

    AndyW – agree, pretty straightforward today.

  4. Ah, that makes sense! Gotta be a typo. I wouldn’t call it an accessory though. But there is a ?

  5. Began quickly, with the NW quarter happening first. Progress slowed after a while, but was able to 20d the rest in a not-too-1d 25a. I wasted time trying to find an anagram of “woeful” for 4d!

    Plenty of smiles today, such as 15d (now there’s a new meaning for “eavesdropping”!), 17d, and 18a. The only one I haven’t parsed yet is 6a — assuming it’s not the musical instrument that’s the only other thing that fits!

    Easy starters 12a, 9a, 3d.

  6. I’m always lulled into a (usually) false sense of security when my FOIs are 1A and/or 1D. Moving along steadily for now but a quick solve might be a 1A and the puzzle more 1D than it looks.

  7. For iPad users: SMH (and I assume The Age) will withdraw puzzles from their iPad app at the end of November, and the whole app will be gone at the end of the year.

    There is a new app for both iPad and iPhone that includes the puzzles already, so I guess best to transfer to that platform. The new app is less of a digital version of the paper and more of a scrollfest.

    Also I could not bring up the DA cryptic in the old app today, a glitch that has happened in the past (although not recently).

  8. … and of course as soon as I say that the cryptic starts working in the old app! Anyway I completed DA in the new app today; it’s a bit different but not uncomfortably so.

    FOI 6D 4D, LOI 15D, 14A. Other good starters might include 9A, 10A, 25A, 20D, 17D, 11A.

  9. Well, I’m much slower than the experts, only eight so far, across the top. 2D bothers me, as there appears to be only one word that fits the acrosses (1, 9,10), but I can’t relate it to the clue at the moment.

  10. An enjoyable one today. Agree with Graham on faves, very clever.
    Stumped for a while too with the iPad, thanks for the heads up.

  11. Fairly straightforward today. First ones 23a,27a,3d,24d,1a. LOI 13d and I also wonder if it’s a misprint although the “?” bothers me. I initially thought “creep” in 2d should have been “crept” until the other meaning dawned. Favourite has to be 15d for ‘eavesdropping’.

  12. From Twitter….

    David Astle @dontattempt
    Surplus alert. 13-down in today’s DA crossword should refer to cars – not cards. Apologies @smh @theage

  13. Graham M – 6A – not that I know of.
    Defn is “Academy head”. “students” DA has used before. (and gives 1,2).
    “degree” is a new one I think.

  14. Graham M – sorry – cars – yes of course – my mistake. I did not get your connection – cars –> drivers. How ironic given we are discussing cryptics.

  15. All sorted but 6A. Only a Greek philosopher or musical instrument fit? But neither seem to parse. Help!
    BTW: When I lived in the Pilbara I used to spend weekends at 15D, despite its closure. So far my lungs haven’t noticed.

  16. BillyboyOZ, with DAJunkie’s assistance, I believe students are 1, 2 (think plates on cars), “at” gives 3,4 and a degree sign is 5. Most peculiar.

  17. Again re 6a, if I were to nitpick, I’d say letter 2 is a student, but not letter 1. Just a thought …

  18. Thanks Graham
    Yes, it seems to me too, that letter 1 is after having been a letter 2.

  19. Regarding 13-down: how can that happen? Surely when the crossword was tested and checked by the crossword editor, the mistake would be picked up? You can’t solve the clue without noticing the error.

  20. 6A, so degree is the last letter and is pictographic?

    I don’t get 16D whatsoever—how much of the 15D clue is involved, in what I’m assuming must be the definition?

  21. In 6A, the degree refers to a measurement in the making of one my favourite beverages, and of course “Head of Academy” is the definition, but I can’t unravel the rest of the clue.

  22. AC, you need to solve 15d & 16d together — those ellipses aren’t just a garnish!

  23. Henson, I thought I’d conquered 6a (above), but your post has confused me all over again!

  24. Re 6A again, I think Graham M and DAJunkie are right on students and letters 1 and 2, and 5 is pictographic as others have said.
    The brewing specific gravity measurement unit could be coincidental or a particularly fiendish misdirection in the parsing.
    17A and 8d I have but can’t parse. 6 clues in the SW corner to go and I’m done, I hope.

  25. Henson, in 17a the first four words of the clue relate to letters 3-6.

  26. I am still puzzling over 16d. Surely it is not the tip off mediocre, but (to use another clues idea) a degree out of mediocre?

  27. Sandy, so you have 16d but are struggling to parse it? “Choice” related to 3-6. Think of a four-letter word for “mediocre”. Remove its last letter (“tip”) for 2, 7, 8. So “a mediocre” gives 1, 2 7 8.

  28. Tip in 16d can mean either end or extremity. Chambers has… “n. a small piece forming an end; the furthest part”.

  29. Re 16D, I’d be grateful if someone could explain why the indicator ends in ‘ing’ rather than ‘ed’. Thanks.

  30. Desperate! 17a and 21a…everyone else seems to have slotted them in easily…help.

  31. Pretty easy apart from 15D, of which I had not heard.

    Happy Chappy 17A definition is “city”. Bankrupt gives 1,2,78. “Hanging” with Rebel (one letter) eliminated) gives the middle bit. For hanging, thing of something that you may have hanging in your house; it’s more of an American term.

    21A: 1,2,6,7 is a media network. The middle three is an abbreviation for a senior executive. The definition is “cool” – not in a cold sense, but a colloquial expression meaning “good”.

  32. 21a… exec is 3-5 and media network is 1,2,6,7
    17a… hanging eliminated rebel leader is 3-6 and bankrupt is 1,2,7,8

  33. Having sat on “bankrupt city”and taking the middle out of it, then doing something just as feeble with 21a, you two have given me the feeling of a three year old at Christmas…ta!

  34. It’s a bit like magic tricks happy chappy. It’s obvious when someone shows you how it’s done.

  35. Wordplay for 16d, please? (I know the answer, as a secondary student of the ’60s, when 16d contributed to national pride and wealth!)

    Also, while I well understand the ellipsis, completing the definition for 15d in 16d, I’m not much taken by the definition for 16d – did 15d have any OTHER opportunity to come into being?

  36. 17d help please – eg is musician a name or an instrumental position? (eg oboist etc)

  37. Got 17d now! But can’t get anywhere with 15/16d if someone can help pull them together please?!

  38. johnno2, re your comment “did 15d have any OTHER opportunity to come into being?”, if I’ve understood you correctly, “choice” in 16d is not part of the definition, but part of the wordplay giving 3-6. 1 is ‘a’ and 2,7,8 is a 4lw for mediocre with the tip (tail) removed.

  39. Is 16d a very out-of-favour building material (I can get that from clue but no definition!)?

  40. Yes David. The definition for 16d is (15d condemned by…)this. You’ll understand if you have 15d. Equally, the definition for 15d is “site condemned by…16d).

  41. Thanks Graham, I had parsed 16d with your help, and Tim C – but had no idea of this town / historical even (until Googling)
    Ps: I am aka DAH but Autofill put my name in the last post ;’)

  42. Thanks Tim!
    I subsequently googled to confirm my ’60s ‘wisdom’, that 15d existed only because of 16d, still missing the fact that “choice” was wordplay not definition! And obviously so in hindsight – pretty d’oh!

  43. No worries johnno2, my first stab at the definition was “this choice”.

  44. Thanks Graham M, 15D and 16D are definitely multilayered in both clue and answer

  45. Gawd / Grrr – 14ac: how is aisleway a word?! An aisle is a passage-way…
    Anyone there still to help: 18ac clues – what is the cockney reference please?

  46. Cockneys are known to drop their aitches DAH.
    Aisleway isn’t in Chambers btw. Why use a longer word when its shorter equivalent will do? It also showed up as a spelling error when I typed it here.

  47. Coming late to the show but wanted to add my query, which seems noted by others, about the likely typo in 13d. I also wanted to ask others about the structuring of 1a – I have it out including the anagram, but am perplexed at the “shade” element. I’m working with Chambers and can’t really find a connection for the 3 letter which fits the solution. Appreciate any late advice. Cheers all

  48. Lochnagar re 1A think of a photo finish at the races ‘————— at the post, where the 5 letter word in past past tense loses last 2 letters

  49. I was perplexed about the ‘shade’ too. My take for letters 1-3 was like ‘pip’ someone at the post, or put them in the shade.
    Maybe someone else can offer a better solution?

  50. I was a bit puzzled about this too. One definition of “shade” in the Oxford is “narrowly win or gain an advantage in (a contest)”, which ties in with “???ped at the post”. This is the only connection I could make, and seems to fit with Ian’s explanation.

  51. Agree about the comments about aisleway. Made me look it up and sure enough it’s there.
    Who am I to second guess DA, except when it’s a typo!! Grrr.

    The weightlifter spat was my favourite clue, along with Twitter and Zoom.
    I’d forgotten that meaning of spat. If it’s still unclear, the homophone (minus the initial h) is someone operates a device for lifting weights, as in a mechanic’s workshop.

  52. Hi Gayle we all agree on 1A
    My Loi was 18A and a favourite made think of an old saying ‘a spat amongst the mackerel’

  53. @IanS I love these etymological journeys. We’re not called Trippers for nothing.
    Couldn’t find ‘a spat amongst the mackerel’ but found a ‘sprat to catch a mackerel’ which is also interesting. Trying to think of an Aussie equivalent.

  54. Agree with all about 1a. I didn’t check at the time but Chambers has “pip (sl) vt to defeat narrowly” and “shade vt to win narrowly (inf)”.
    Lochnager, the typo in 13d was confirmed by DA. See my post @ 11:07 yesterday.
    If I were to be pedantic about 18a, I would say that a spat is not an 18a, but the spawn of an 18a.

  55. Tim C, agree, there’s gotta be a way of cluing ‘s-pat’ and s-pawn’.

  56. Thanks Gayle and Tim C – appreciate your walking me through. I did wonder about shade as “slight difference” and “pip” as a “speck” (Chambers def #3) – but the “narrow win” explanation works. Agree too about the “oyster”/ “spat” pedantry and likewise thought it a wee bit of a stretch. Cheers and best to all. See you next week!

  57. I solved 13d not realising the mistake; I thought the modern cards (cups) was a tarot reference. Although not modern, tarot (like astrology) is enjoying a resurgence, especially in the lesbian meme community.

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