DA Confusion for the 19th of February, 2021

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

And if you’re wondering, the twins are fattening up and getting on strong!

54 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 19th of February, 2021

  1. Didn’t enjoy today’s much. Took me ages to get started. First one in 27a. Only one smile, 3d. Lots of awkward contrivances, and my longest ever “Huh?” list — eight. I don’t agree with the definition in 1a, and elsewhere there are an anagrind and an inclusion indicator that I find a bit 27a.

    Perhaps I need some sleep. Will have another look at my “Huh?” list in the morning.

  2. All out and understood.
    Largely agree with Graham M observations. Although 1A was / is OK to me.
    Lots of “back solving” as wordplay convoluted eg: 5D.
    Do agree 3D as pick.
    FOI was 22A.
    LOI was 6A.

  3. I’ve been enjoying the crossword so far, mainly for the surfaces. 15 down, and 20, 25 and 27 across. 25A What a find! I think that’s worth framing. Then you can either laugh or chuck it at the wall on
    Agree, 3D was fun. Still got a few in the top third to go.

  4. Struggled in the top third a bit. Liked the bar courtesan and the snow on tv. Didn’t know a part of 6D. Agree 5D is awkward. Haven’t yet parsed 1D or 2D.

    When I finally got it I really liked 6A for the surface (&lit?) and the ‘monkey around’. I wonder if this was DA’s tribute to one of the great cryptic setters whose 100th birthday anniversary was this week on the 16th of February? Did anyone attempt the Guardian cryptic on Tuesday? This one wasn’t on the list, and equally obscure.

  5. First ones 1A,25A,3D,4D,12D,21D,24D/18A. Found this week fairly easy. Took a while to get the wordplay for 15D and LOI was 11A (I was misled into thinking Melbourne sports arenas). Nothing really 27A in my book although the anagrind in 17D was a concern, and I’m waiting for the complaints about using the rude word “behind” in 24D/18A ;). 3D and 4D brought a smile, but my favourite has to be 21A… who’d have thought!
    Certainly no 25A this week.

  6. 1A went in immediately … and that was it for 5 or 10 minutes until the 1D 1-6 kicked in. Got there in the end in a bit over my usual time, the NE was that last to fall. Not 100% comfy with def of 23D.

    FOI 1A, 14A; LOI 6A, 6D. Other good starters might be 27A, 21A, 13D, 12D.

  7. Back from the Land of Nod, I’ve shrunk my “Huh?” list to four — 6a, 11a, 20a & 21a. Yes, Tim C, that was the anagrind I found a bit iffy. Along with the inclusion indicator in 28a.

  8. Agree with Graham M, 1A is for precision, not accuracy… but these are synonymous in the layperson’s dictionary

  9. I haven’t consulted a dictionary, and perhaps I’m wrong, but my understanding of 1a is the act of adjusting or tweaking to ensure accuracy, nothing to do with determining, although clearly this would be required before and during.

  10. 1A – Chambers – “to determine true values by comparison with an accurate standard” from the Latin for “of what weight”.

  11. …as someone who ‘calibrates’ a lot in line of scientific equipt. work, you do not tweak, nor adjust after calibration. Even a ruler, doesn’t matter how much it is out by, once your know the deviation, you can measure against it without any adjustments because you know its accuracy or more correctly its inaccuracy

  12. DA#2 and Tim C. You both liked 4D. Could you hint a little please? I know the answer, but mixed up a bit about why.

  13. I have a tipping bucket pluviometer. Every now and then I check it for accuracy by dripping a measured amount into each bucket from a syringe. If it’s not registering correctly, I am able to change the buckets’ resting angle by turning a screw. I regarded this turning of the screw as the calibration. But I’m happy to accept that my usage might not have been accurate. Probably not worth losing sleep over …

  14. Kay,
    There are bars that courtesans might lob in, but what other sorts of bar are there?

    Ah yes, the great Araucaria. RIP.
    Early in 2013 The Age ran a piece on him, telling of how he had recently told his fans of his illness – in a crossword. A note above it said ‘Araucaria has 18-down of the 19, which is being treated with 13 15.’
    A few months later I was doing a Guardian one (which I did very occasionally), when I realised that this was the one – among the answers were ‘cancer’, ‘oesophagus’, ‘palliative’, and ‘care’. This got me wondering how he was getting on, so I Googled him, and learned that he had died that very day.

  15. Kay, lobbing is a (not the best) reversal indicator. I guess lob = send over. Then look at “courtesan” ‘occasionally’.

  16. Am I missing something? My answer to 11A (if correct???) is an adjective whereas I believe the definition to be a noun. Shouldn’t the definition be xxxx-shaped?
    Also I have an answer to 6A but no idea of the wordplay. Any hints please? Later if it’s too early.

  17. GeoffD, the OED has it as an adjective too.

    6a is one of the two on my greatly diminished “Huh?” list, so can’t help you there. I look forward to someone else’s response.

  18. Got it. Thanks. I’m obviously eating the wrong chocolate! Thought we were talking about a sci-fi character!

  19. Graham M, 6A, definition is first 2 words, punctuation is distractor, 5432 is from South America

  20. Okay, thanks . Clearly I was missing something! Still can’t work out 6A.

  21. I’m not sure that I’ve parsed 8D correctly, especially how ‘poor’ works – any help appreciated.

  22. SlowA, re 8D: Don’t look for too much trickiness here. ‘Poor’ could be an anagrind!

  23. Thanks DA#2 – hadn’t seen ‘poor’ used that way before. Along with the indicator in 17D, a bit 27A as far as I’m concerned.

  24. @GeoffD. if you still need 6a wordplay,
    Helen AT 6:40pm yesterday said : definition is first 2 words, punctuation is distractor, 5432 is from South America.

    First letter of havoc, (starting) and a reversal (around) of a monkey which Wiki says is from Bolivia and Brazil.

  25. Melanie,
    1D: There’s a block of 3, followed by another one, with a third one around them both.
    3D: You need a phrase meaning ‘trial software’. I didn’t know it myself!

  26. Melanie, it’s Sunday, so a little more help …

    In 3d, the first part of the clue relates to (3,8).

    Look at 1d as 2,3,4, then 7,6,5, then 1,8,9.

  27. Thanks DA#2 and Graham M for 1D. That was still holding out on me as well.

  28. Hi from the Sunday solvers. We’ve got the answer for 6D but don’t understand the wordplay. Anyone able to explain this please?

  29. Debbi, apparently a less common use of 3d is “the sharp edge of a roof from the ridge to the eaves where the two sides meet” (Oxford dictionary). I didn’t know either!

  30. Thanks Gayle. Not familiar with the species of monkey.
    Debbie, 6D generally describes the shape of one type of pitched roof. Google ‘xxx or gable roof’ and there are diagrams showing the difference.

  31. Yes, “hip” is a roof angle, but what is the wordplay for 6D given that the clue is cryptic and not just a definition. I think that’s what Debbie asked @8:45am today.
    My possible explanation in which the ellipses are necessary (as they should be IMO) is that the clue reads “lease as housing…in roof angle”. “Lease” gives HP (Hire Purchase, close enough) ‘housing’ i for “in” , but I’m interested to hear other possible explanations.

    Btw there are no less than 5 separate definitions of “hip” in Chambers.

  32. I take it that 6D is a double definition (in = hip, for beatniks etc). I think the ellipses indicate that the clues in 5D and 6D are connected (housing, roof), though the answers aren’t.

  33. Tim, the clue for 6d did strike me as decidedly non-cryptic. Yours is an interesting hypothesis, but it is a bit of a stretch. Hire purchase and leasing aren’t the same thing, and “i” for “in” would be very sloppy. Of course, the “put with lease as housing” is all accounted for in the previous clue, so it may be that the ellipses are purely cosmetic.

    Sorry to rain on your parade, because, as I said, that little 6d clue looks decidedly lightweight and non-cryptic.

    Maybe someone else might have an idea?

  34. Of course, DA#2, “hip” also means “in”. So obvious I missed it!

  35. A worrying admission, Graham. DA himself might read this, and we don’t want to give the rotter more satisfaction than necessary!

  36. Why are some people obsessed with timing their efforts at solving ? Just be happy finishing the damn thing !

  37. I must prepare myself for a ‘D’OH!’, as evidently no-one else had a problem: In 7D, where do 3, 6 and 8 come from?
    Re 6D, I think double def is the go; however, in(!) the lease/HP option 2 is clued by ‘in roof’ (particularly in a down clue) – ‘roof’ isn’t necessary for the definition. Clever DA?
    [ Curiously, Mungo, RIP, in The Saturday Paper, had 20A and 21A in two very recent puzzles, with similar clueing for 21A, at least, iirc. These coincidences DO happen, as I’ve found with my and DA’s puzzles (which I’ve shared a ‘What’re-the-odds!’ email or two about with him :-) ]

  38. Johnno2, in 7d, I presume you mean 3, 7 & 9? All the letters come from “throat”, “l” (for “larynx”) and “in”. Not DA’s best work, methinks.

  39. 3,7,9 indeed, Graham. Thanks!
    Not a ‘D’OH!’, then; more a ‘derr!’ – ‘top of larynx’, perhaps, though too obvious for DA? ;-)

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