DA Confusion for the 12th of February, 2021

Have your confusions sorted out for this week’s DA.

Who knows? I might even have a chance this week to have a gander at the DA — two weeks in as a father and I’m feeling confident both as a dad and a DA decipherer, otherwise known as a DAD.

58 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 12th of February, 2021

  1. Morning Trippers. AS has announced his twins’ names cryptically on the DA Reports thread. Tim C has already solved them! I had enough trouble solving this week’s DA.
    Touché AS, a DA decipherer, aka DAD, after DA’s welcome to your bubs on last week’s Reports thread. A whole new generation of DAD jokes. The poor kids. :-)

    All in good fun, makes me feel curmudgeonly about my little grumbles this week, but not about the homophone, which I thought was a goodie, as was the Spoonerism.
    Chuckles and favourites were 15 and 11 across.
    Learned 2 new words today, and 2 clues from south of the border held me up.
    Had a fair idea of 24 A, but couldn’t have got it without the crossers.
    Haven’t parsed the 19s yet.
    2/13 D unfair!! I mean, it’s clever in hindsight and multiply cryptic, but I had no chance until I got some crossers in 2D and googled the guess.

  2. Gayle, I think that 2/13D is a brilliant clue, although, like you, I needed most of the cross letters to solve it. It didn’t even need the word “notably”.

    6A is a new word to me; I know of a similar word that has an OF in places 3 and 4.

    I assume that I have the correct answer to 26A but I cannot parse it. Same with 15A.

    The blemish in 28A was also unknown to me and 21A was too complicated a definition, in my opinion: “bus cargo ditched”? Really?

  3. Peter – 26A – first 2 words are first 2 letters.
    15A – double defn. Helps to understand if you play the game.

  4. Gayle – 19A – “Retired 25-down” gives 4,3,2,1.
    19D – yeah new word for me for first 4 letters.

  5. Those were my two newies as well Peter.
    I do think the ‘notably’ needs to be there in 2/13D as a nudge. Otherwise this very broad definition would be even broader.
    Re 26A. Where does the last letter come from? And then what have you got for the first 2 letters?
    15A. Punctuation is a distractor I reckon. And the second def I can hear reverbing from the 60s, especially from the TV Show The Mod Squad as I remember.
    Re my 19s. I’ve got 19A , but pilot??
    Still stuck on 19D.

  6. Gayle, for 26A I have an answer meaning “goal”. I have first and third letter from the down answers but have no idea of the definition.

    DAJ, still no wiser on 15A – I assume that the game is pool/billiards from your hint.

  7. First few came in a rush but then I hit the wall, so somewhat over normal time today.

    FOI 1A, 5D; LOI 2D/13D, 11A.

    Gayle, last letter of 26A is clued by “from end”. In 19A I think pilot is used to point to the first letter of the preceding word, referring to the pilot being up the front. Or something!

    Peter, def of 26A is indeed ‘goal’. For 15A yes, the answer is a term used in pub pool, the converse being ‘stripe’.

  8. People are up early today! Or am I late?

    Nice one today, rating well on the smile-ometer.

    I couldn’t work out why 4d is “Mornington”, convinced that the dunce was a moron. After much angst I then tried removing “ass” from “classroom”. Then I realised I’d wasted half an hour barking up the wrong tree. Ah, the joy of cryptics …

    2d/13d took me a while. The only one I haven’t fully parsed is 17a.

  9. Andrew T. Got 26A. My questions were an attempt to help Peter. Maybe your comment will.
    Yes that was my take on 19A, re ‘pilot’. Not sure I’m happy with it.

    Graham M LOL. I don’t know much about either of those M’s down south.
    re 17A. From the beginning, when you’re being dogged, you have to replace ten with a buck (an Aussie one).

  10. First ones 9A,12A,27A,18D,22D,25D. LOI 17A. Favourite has to be 2D/13D if only for “converse”. Close runner up would be 15A for the misdirection of ‘sound’.
    Like Peter I was thinking of a different word for 6A for a while. It’s a new meaning for me, as is letters 1-3 in 28A. Am I right in thinking that 20A is a less common spelling?
    A pretty 15A puzzle this week.

  11. Tim C: agreed on 20a, I put in a different first letter originally. And on 28A, new to me too.

    6a is a pretty well recognised synonym for ‘wolf’ IME, parallel to another word that shares letters 1,2,5 with it.

  12. Chambers lists 6a as N American slang which might explain my ignorance. It also gives the origin as possibly a variant of the alternative (with 1,2,5 shared). I’m familiar with the other 2 meanings of 6a but wasn’t aware of that one.

  13. Got off to a pretty good start – FOI 1D, 1A, 9A, 10A 5D, 3D – have come to a standstill.
    For starters, is 2/13 English? And def for 23D would help. And 17A wordplay after 1-3 eludes me.

  14. Yes 2D/13D is English. Definition for 23D is “State”. If you have the first 3 letters for 17A think of a word for Daring. In 8D “Related” is a homophone indicator…. say it out loud while watching the tennis. :)

  15. SB, 2d/3d is English, albeit with an Irish connection. 23d, “state” is the definition. 17a involved exchanging the first three letters of one word for another. If you have the answer for 8d, try saying it aloud a few times.

  16. I don’t consider this to be one of DA’s better efforts. 2/13 is way too broad and 24A is a poor clue. Others leave a bit to be desired, e.g. 15A.

  17. 4 down was a good misdirection. Wasted a lot of time trying to parse the wrong answer.

  18. You beat me this time though, Tim! I think a bit of overlapping’s unavoidable.

    Melanie, start with a four-letter light.

  19. I wondered why nobody complained about Graham M’s early giveaway for 4D. Now I know.
    Back to the drawing board … ah … patient google mapping found it.
    Just 24A and 19D to go

  20. SB It’s probably okay to give a potential spoiler here for 19D. ” Make fast” gives the last three letters of the answer. “Wine cocktails” gives first four (as entree). Definition is “girl” as in the name of a girl.

    The wine cocktail is French. I hope that helps.

    Belated thanks to DAJ for 26A. As an IT specialist, I should have been able to work it out for myself.

  21. OMG – my niece’s name. Face palm moment.
    Done and dusted
    Thanks Peter.
    and happy new year :)

  22. Like others, I’m a bit puzzled by ‘notably’ in the otherwise very clever 2/13D. Am I missing something?

  23. Apologies, Graham M. I don’t know how I missed that. I’m sure Melanie didn’t!

  24. DA #2, I think ‘notably’ is just there to make the clue more specific and in this case the ‘converse’ is pretty notable or famous. It’s hard to think of other ‘converses’ let alone notable ones, and not one that fits the letter pattern.
    Interested in other views in case (not unusually) I’ve missed something.

  25. I thought that “notably” may have been a clue that it was something that had been set to music. The second word of the title has a musical connotation. Apparently there are various musical connections, as I discovered through Wikipedia.

  26. You’re all being very clever about 2D/13D; I have the answer (a title sitting in my trivia lobe for no known reason) but I have NO IDEA what you’re talking about / alluding to. A straightforward reveal, please, when the time is right! :-)
    Thanks btw for the trip back 45+ years provided by the 15A explanation, to university union building diversions (that one HADN’T lodged in the trivia lobe!)
    And I’m thinking a carrier of 2D would hardly call themselves (a) pedestrian! ;-)

  27. johnno2, break the word ‘converse’ into two parts, one word of 3 letters, followed by a word of 5 letters. This gives the answer, but why ‘notably’ is there no one seems to be able to explain well. I think the whole thing is a poor clue; a better clue could be “Sounds like a wild converse?”

  28. Is it the wordplay for 2D/13D johnno2? if so, the answer is a notable poem written by Oscar Wilde after his release from prison, hence it’s a ‘notable’ “Con-Verse” (verse by a (ex)convict). Graham’s suggestion is that ‘notably’ hints at a musical connection. My take on ‘notably’ is that it is a famous poem. DA#2 asked earlier about why ‘notably’ was in the clue.

  29. Jack and Tim, thank you, thank you!
    And – therefore and of course – D’OH!!
    An ode mightily constructed; ‘not ably’ certainly doesn’t apply! :-)

  30. Seriously, though, on ‘notably’, I think there is a convention (not that DA always follows convention?!) that if an answer is a particular example of the more general definition provided in the clue a suitable qualifier accompanies the general definition.

  31. Makes sense to me johnno2. Converse by itself wouldn’t be enough. There must be a lot of poems written by ‘Cons’ but it’s the only one that I can recall that’s notable.

  32. Agree jonno2, and with Graham M.
    My take was that ‘notably’ narrows down the definition to a ‘musical’ con verse, rather than well known (not that unfamiliar to me is any guide).
    But I still feel the clue is unfair, as the wordplay had several tricks, and the definition is way too wide. As Tim C says there must be lots of them. The ‘convention’ is difficult wordplay, less obscure definition, or vice versa. How could anyone get this without multiple crossers, fortunate very specific knowledge , or guessing and googling?

  33. Thanks Gayle. I did get the solution once I had the 2 crossing letters for the last word and went through what could fit it. “Jail” (the incorrect spelling for the answer) made the connection with “con” and led to the answer for me. Maybe I was lucky and the right synapses fired (for once).
    I spent about 4 hours this week coming up with a clue for 6D in Azed’s 2539 “Printer’s Devilry” in The Guardian last week and I’m still not totally satisfied. Admittedly it’s not the usual cryptic style, but it made me appreciate how difficult it can be to write a good cryptic clue. I did come up with an effort at clueing 2D/13D but it’s unprintable, especially if the much milder “poo” last week raised eyebrows. :)

  34. @Tim C. now I have another puzzle to solve! I’m not put off by the unprintable, just intrigued.
    Have you tried your hand on David Astle’s own site? Just quietly, you can let us know your pseudonym :-)

  35. And I didn’t twig that with the crossers, that jail and gaol could be interchangeable. Even more grounds for crying ‘unfair!’. Grrrrr! (But then I didn’t know the answer.)

  36. No Gayle, I’ve not tried DA’s site, so no pseudonym I’m afraid. I’m too busy with DA in the SMH, The Speccie and The Grauniad (as Private Eye used to call it). I miss the variety of The Listener crossword from my younger days.
    The clue I came up with was ‘Verse perplexed “……”‘ where “……” was an anagram of the answer. It’s a pity there isn’t a PM system on here. ;)

  37. I agree that by ‘notably’ he probably did just mean ‘famously’. An alternative clue might have been ‘Converse of Oscar’, to distract us into thinking about e.g. awards and grouches, but then I’m only DA #2, not the original and best.
    Ah yes, Tim C, the good old Grauniad, famed for its typos as they rushed the early editions from Manchester to London and other parts. I remember an article about a garbage collection official who got a Churchill (or similar) award to study practices overseas. He reported (said the Grauniad) that the worst country he saw was Egypt: ‘People there just throw their rubbish into the dessert.’

  38. re: 2/13d I think notably does mean famous. I’m pretty hopeless at these, it takes me the whole week to do them but I see some pretty competent DAers complain that one was unfair! For the record, I thought it was great – I got the answer before I could work out the significance of converse and loved the wordplay in it.
    Now – I’ve got 4 left. 24a is driving me nuts and haven’t seen any clues above (apologies if I’ve missed them). What am I missing?

  39. Lachlan: I only just got 24A myself. A real smack-the-forehead one. Think of the negotiations that take place after a ‘split’.

  40. Carol, DA2 thanks I was thinking along those lines (issues being children?) but I’m still scratching my head about the second word – I’ve only got the S in the middle, and think the first word is access. Cases? Can’t be right. Will have to get the cross words for the lightbulb to go off methinks.

  41. Goodness, there’s still life here Wednesday evening!

    Lachlan, I’m not surprised that those two are eluding you. I’d never heard of the wine cocktails nor the blemish. For 28a, think Christmas carols.

  42. I read your post before posting this Graham M. :)
    Revamped(anagrind) scales gives 4-9 Lachlan, and blemish is 1-3 which is a word I hadn’t heard of. As Graham says “think Carols” for a musical king.
    19D has “make fast” for 5-7 and 1-4 is “wine cocktails”… again I was unfamiliar with it but 1-4 +”ch” gives a cherry liqueur/spirit. Definition is a girl’s name.

  43. Thanks Tim C and Graham I got them in the end….that is, if you count getting them as putting “French wine cocktail” into google and then checking Dan Words for the Christmas carol king one ….. Thanks again and see you again here in a couple of days.

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