DA Confusion for the 6th of February, 2021

I’ll have my hands full with the twins.

But you? Have your confusions sorted out with this week’s DA.

63 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 6th of February, 2021

  1. Firstly, congrats AS.
    OK – I’m done but have several wordplays outstanding.
    FOI 1A / 1D.
    LOI 29A.

  2. I’m also finished
    1A 4,2 for second meaning
    1D stole is a B — —
    Not sure about 29A or 15A

  3. A nice, satisfying DA today. The SW quarter was last to complete. I didn’t know how to spell 18a, but I do now. It didn’t help that I’d confidently entered “greater pureness” for 3d! The only two I haven’t parsed are 9d & 29a — but they’re sure to hit me at any moment …

    Linda, FOI stands for “first one in”.

  4. All understood now. I assumed in 9d that “opening leaf” meant “l”, but no. And to work out 29a I found myself in the realm of American television, which would explain my incomprehension.

    Linda, in 15a, “noisy” is a homophone indicator. Can’t help you any more this early or I’ll be struck off!

  5. All out in rather more than the usual time today.

    FOI 1A, 7D; LOI 15A, 18A. 18A spelling new to me.

    Yet to fully parse 14A.

  6. hc – 2D/10A construction is a mix. 3 letter word, 9 letter anagram, 4 letter word.
    Hope helps.

  7. DAJunkie, I hope so too. At the moment, I’m groaning! Talk to you in a month or so, the way I’m going!

  8. First ones 13A,26A,1D,7D,9D,22D. LOI 20A which I’m still pondering the wordplay for. Favourite has to be 6D.
    For those still pondering 29A, think clothes. Not the best of clues.

  9. Tim C, 20A… first two letters are abbreviation for word meaning first word of 6D, and added to cryptic clue of second and third words of20A. I agree re 6D.

  10. hc – actually I think the first 2 letters of 20A come from the whole of 6D answer – not just the first word. Not that it really matters.

  11. Another way to arrive at 20A is to use a 12-letter for a 6D and then take the first two letters and the last two letters.

    29A is my favourite, by far

  12. Jack – think I get it and that is very clever.
    The slight hitch is that the word “the” would not be required in the clue.

  13. AndrewT, when you manage to parse 14A, please let me in on it.

    I agree, DAJunkie

  14. FAQ crossword – I still have five to get.

    But … has DA swallowed a Merriam-Webster? I count five so far where either answer or clue involves a primarily US usage. This seems to have been a trend over recent months.

  15. 14A: answer is a NEAR-homophone (IMO) for an adjective meaning “like a desert”.

  16. 14a “speaks” is a homophone indicator.

    When I googled the answer to 29a along with “mailman”, I was directed to a US sitcom. In light of comments above, was I on a wild goose chase? I can’t see what it has to do with clothes, Tim C?

  17. Graham M – 29A – “Mail”.

    AG – spot on in my view as I completely agree.

  18. Yes, AG, that covers it well.

    Your comments about Americanisms hold true for this whole country, but we shouldn’t be too critical of crossword setters; they are entitled to get their fodder from wherever it exists.

    Graham M, if you have the answer to 29A, what would such a person wear?

  19. Oh, I see, thank you, Jack. Sorry to be so slow. I thought what I found when I googled was interesting too though!

  20. I thought of the “like a desert” homophone for 14A but I couldn’t make it close, even by DA’s standards. I begin to suspect my own pronunciation is off!

  21. The more others have posted about 29A, the better it becomes. Looks like a nested complex of three meanings. Works perfectly well without the sitcom allusion, but even richer with it. I’ll give DA the benefit of the doubt and full credit for the whole deal.

  22. I have answers for 11a and 22d but can’t parse them.

    Favourites: 6d, 13a + 29a.

    Quibbles: 18a clever clue but I haven’t seen that spelling; 5d 1-3 not a true synonym for XXXX; ditto 24d 1-4 for XXXX; 16d 1-3x are not a limb (briefly), if that’s the wordplay

  23. Thanks all for 20A. I was thinking of a 9 letter word for 6D along the lines of Jack but it was and adverb not a noun. The 2+2 wordplay is the go. In a rush to finish this morning as I had to shift a tonne of sand.

  24. Richard, for 22d, start with a six-letter word for “swear”. Exchange its “model” for “b”.

    For 11a, what’s another way to say “entirely” (2,3).

  25. richard – 24D – you have the wrong wordplay.
    11A – hard to describe without giving away. Letters 1,4,5 are related to “entirely”. Or maybe in total.
    29A – it has enough hints above, which sort of link like a chain mail.

  26. richard – 24D – you have the wrong wordplay.
    11A – hard to describe without giving away. Letters 1,4,5 are related to “entirely”. Or maybe in total.
    29A – it has enough hints above – maybe revisit them – which sort of link like a chain mail.

  27. richard, for 16D limb is part of the definition, not the wordplay. For 5D, 3-1 is defined as a “person (derogatory)” hence codger.

  28. For 24D, one of the meanings of 1-4 is to neaten, but then shouldn’t it be “make orderly”.

  29. I thought the first four letters of 24d form what is usually an adjective, which very loosely means “orderly”. I agree it’s a rather approximate synonym.

  30. many thanks to all.
    11a and 22d understood.

    24d My 1-4 were correct– I was objecting as Graham M said
    TimC thanks- I expressed myself badly. My quibble was that 1-3 are not, anatomically, a limb. Codger and 1-3 in 5d are not synonymous, as the latter can apply to a much wider age range.

  31. Richard, my understanding of 16d is that “damages a limb” is the definition, and that letters 1-3 are the first three letters of a four-letter word that (again, fairly loosely) means “grasped”.

  32. Understood richard about 16d, but although the damage is not done explicitly to a limb, 16d effectively “damages a limb” as a whole. I assume you understand that 1-3 come from the wordplay “briefly grasped” and not “limb briefly”.
    Also agree about 5D being a loose synonym but I’ve found DA not to be strict about synonyms, whereas others limit synonyms to an entry in a dictionary’s definition.

  33. Any hints for 6d please
    I’m finding today’s puzzle v difficult 😣

  34. It’s a double definition melanie, “Firm” as in company is the whole thing and the first word is a very polite word for poo (which also means company as a stand alone word), the second is a synonym for trouble. Hope that’s not too much of a hint for a Friday.

  35. As usual I get to this in the arvo. Melanie: 6d first word is def. Second word: well if you’re doing the first word and have trouble then it may be you’ll have the second issue.

    I liked 29a – not just of mail but on a board too. 14a: don’t get. Written as a rhoticist trying to learn DA pronunciation, I don’t hear let alone c it

    Gayle: where are you?

    To AS: beautiful beautiful twins. Mum looks lovely and you a proud dad. Health and long life to you all

  36. A topic for discussion – zinzan has taken exception to ‘wanker’ and ‘poo’: https://zinzan-xwd.livejournal.com/113322.html .

    I take the opposite view. I see DA’s remit at the SMH as being to push boundaries, whether those boundaries be the accepted rules of setting, our mental boundaries, or in this case boundaries of crassness. That’s why he is my favourite of all the SMH and non-SMH setters I do. I smiled when I saw “wanker”. It was funny. Each to their own, I guess.


  37. Xmgjim, I also wondered where Gayle was. Also haven’t seen Celia for ages.
    I must be the only one not to have had trouble with 14A until I read the comments here (or should that be he-er).

    Wally, I’m still chuckling about humpback a few weeks ago. 6D was my favourite, a 14 letter clue for a 15 letter answer. 13A was my FOI.

  38. Congrats AS, from another twin. My poor Mum and Dad had to cope with 3 under 2s!
    DAJunkie, I can’t parse 11A – I can see where all the letters come from but not how the wordplay puts them together.
    And Graham M, in 22D, I can’t work out what the dashes are doing that follow ‘b’.

  39. Late to the party today. I struggled a bit with this , and it just didn’t ‘feel right’ (to me anyway) as a whole. Odd anagram indicators, even for DA. I don’t have a problem with DA’s schoolboy humour. I just don’t often find it funny, although I think 6D was clever. I was trying to find a 2 word synonym for constipation :-)

    Xmgjim, unless i’m not hearing something in 14A, I thought the homophone might have been okay for both rhoticists and non rhoticists alike this time.


  40. SlowA, in 11a, I thought of “entirely” as “in sum”. And those dashes in 22d seem to serve no purpose other than to enhance the “swear word” theme, as far as I can see.

  41. Hi Gayle

    Still unconvinced by 14a. BTW: 26a is not on, but off.

    TimC: like you have wondered about Celia.

  42. Celia is still active elsewhere on the web. Perhaps she’s just giving cryptocruciverbalism a rest?

  43. Thanks Graham M @6:18 – DA wins 2-0, but one of those losses I don’t feel too bad about.

  44. Agree DA #2. I took Xmgjim’s comment as a joke and replied in kind. The definition was disguised and the hyphenation was a distractor. And the @RealDA ‘s question mark at the end was a definite nudge nudge wink wink.

  45. I agree with zinzn_xwd. The scatological is everywhere these days, and I like knowing there’s at least one place where it doesn’t make an appearance. I guess I’m just old.

    Apart from that, a very enjoyable crossword.

  46. A mixed bag from me:
    * Wordplays for 12A and 9D, please?
    * What were the five ‘US-ies’ AG? 9D was at least owned up to.
    * Did anyone else think 1,2,3 ASS for 1A? I thought 1,2,3 might be a past construction of 1,I,3, as (the correct) 1,2,3,4 is!
    * 18A appears to be the proprietory spelling of the game.
    * Quibbles seem to be tolerable here, so may I? It’s like A ‘desert’ but it’s like THE ‘Gobi’. (Btw, did DA not use this homophone (with ‘Sahara’, I think?) in another fairly recent puzzle? Someone did…)
    *What’s the general opinion on definitions doubling as indicators? I’m presuming ‘became’ was not the whole indicator in 17D (there’s a 13A-singular to above quibble if it was!!)
    Re scatology(?): this ‘grown-up’ (?)(66) finds it fun in a lively clue (6D), not so much when it’s (only) letter fodder (13A)
    * I’m in the happy-with-26A camp – the double definition divider is at the hyphen.

  47. Hello, johnno2.

    12a, Sadden DA, then opener’s dismissed.

    9d, “caught” gives 1, “opening” gives 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, “leaf oddly” gives 3, 4.

    Oh and thank you, Carol, for introducing a new word to my lexicon, although I don’t expect there’ll be many opportunities to use it!

  48. 12A – 1-5 given by a 6 letter word for depress, with the opener dismissed. Me gives 6,7
    9D – 1 is “caught” (think cricket), opening is 2,5,6,7,8 and leaf oddly is 3,4 which is ‘sheathed’ by opening.
    17D I took deceitful as the definition and became as the anagrind, so I’m unsure what you are saying.

  49. Haha Graham. I must have taken some time on my reply. :)

    Oh, and I’m glad that no one has mentioned coprophilia yet, although AS with new bubs will soon be getting his fair share of the 2nd word in 6D’s clue.

  50. Hadn’t heard that one either, Tim! I’m blessed to have added not one, but two words to my lexicon this week. I hope I’m not going potty …

    (And there was me thinking that scatology might have been something Ella Fitzgerald studied at uni.)

  51. Thanks, Team GMTC :-)
    Trippers’ responses are usually ‘D’oh!’ time for me, and it’s pretty much that for 9D (tick for the misdirect of ‘opening’!)
    I’m more content with my 12A inability, though; I always have difficulty when DA requires a synonym for the indicator to be applied to, without any (apparent) clue he’s doing it (contrast the otherwise-identical situation of 1,2,3 in 18A).
    Re 17D, Graham, I was just saying I’d have a quibble if ‘became’ by itself was the anagrind. I don’t think it’s grindy enough ;-) – ‘became deceitful’ was better, but that then meant the definition doing double time, and I was wondering what other Trippers thought about that?
    As to my other points, I sort of feel I should apologise to Trippers for my going on and on. Ummm … like I am now :-o

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