DA Confusion for the 5th of March, 2021

Have your confusions sorted out for this week’s instalment of DA’s cryptic chronicles.

59 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 5th of March, 2021

  1. Done and dusted.
    Agree with Gayle (see other thread) about the 4,6 being 5,5 and the 9 being 4,5.
    FOI was 1D.
    LOI was 10A.
    My pick for best was 3D.
    Also liked 11D and 12A.
    My picks for worst were 20A and 25A (both clumsy IMO).

  2. That’s funny DA Junkie, I clearly was half asleep posting on the wrong thread, trying not to give things away on the thread where you can give things away. Oh well, better than blabbing early here.

    20A was a bit wordy but I liked the misdirection, and chuckled at the surface. 25A not much fun, but has its own amusing (?) story. Maybe I’m feeling generous this morning on a day off work. It’s what I call a Lego clue, fitting all the bricks together, whether by a click or a clunk. Agree with your other ticks.

  3. Yes obvious mistakes in 8D &19A are clearly not misprints. With whom does the fault lie?

  4. About normal time today. Really liked 9A and 8D, despite the editorial (I assume) error there.

    FOI: 1A, 6A; LOI 16D, 20A (which took me quite a while to parse).

  5. Seemed a good deal easier than usual today. Perhaps it was the extra Vegemite I put on my toast. Plenty of smiles, a few rather tricky ones, and a good sense of satisfaction in finishing. As some have intimated, a few unfortunate slip-ups, 8d should be (5,5); 19a should be (4,6). Favourites 12a, 1d, 16d. I can’t work out why “nowadays” is in the clue for 23d.

    Yesterday’s (Thursday’s) 27a was a doozy.

  6. I’ve had experience in checking cryptic crosswords for local publication and there’s only one way to do it properly: actually solve the crossword without having access to the answers. That way, the errors in today’s DA and the unforgivable one in yesterday’s NS just won’t make it to print.

  7. PRW, you remind me of those halcyon days when proofreading articles meant audibly reading every article letter by letter …

  8. It came reasonably quickly in the end but for some reason I struggled to start today with only 13D,21D,23D in the first pass. LOI 22D. Favourites would be 9A and 16D.
    Yes, 8D is (5,5), but it’s good to see DA getting the location correct this time, as opposed to a few months ago!!
    Gayle, I only remembered 4D because my previous neighbour was a Fiona which caused much amusement about her husband.

  9. Good morning all,
    3D and 9A are beyond me. Will one of you clever people help an oldie out?

  10. Of course, if we were to be really charitable, we could imagine in 8d that the definition is the final two words, and the first two words are the wordplay! Hmmmm ….

  11. hc, 9a involves a 9-letter word for “sexy”.

    Can’t really help with 3d this early without giving too much away.

  12. Graham M, Thanks maybe…the only 3D I can think of at this stage is the old brand of ………., so I think I’m way off the mark.
    I also think I’m way past your help with 9A.
    You gave me a chuckle with your comment at 9:17, still smiling.

  13. DAJunkie,
    Our paths crossed, is it remotely possible that what I found for 3D is right….I’m assuming you can read my mind!

  14. ooh, Graham M, and DAJunkie,
    I took a stab in the dark (very ), and have finally got them.
    The worker replacing bit finally sank in, and it all fitted with 3d…thanks to both of you.
    Have a good week.

  15. I might be misunderstanding but how does the third word in 1A relate to the first word of the solution? Such a position only exists with the suffix -er, doesn’t it?

  16. Ian F – I agree with you.
    I even checked a list of such positions and could not find without “er”.
    Either I / we have missed something – or – I guess some “poetic license” taken with the clue??
    Which can be taken as fair or unfair.

  17. DAJunkie – good to have this confirmed. And I would have to say definitely unfair as not only did it make 1A my LOI, but it also refers to something quite distinct, i.e. the shot not the save.

  18. Agree with comments about 1A. The answer could easily have lent itself to a homophone wordplay.

  19. I enjoyed this week, although, like Tim C, it was a slow start.
    FOI 1D, 7D, 6A, 17A; LOI 25A and 22D which I’m still thinking about – gentle hints welcome.
    Favs 9A, 12A, 17A and 16D. I’m willing to read 8D as Graham M ( 9.57) suggested although probably not what our wonderful setter intended. Don’t understand wordplay for 24A.

  20. Re proofreading, something I did decades ago when papers were typeset and photographed before being printed. I usually did the proofreading but on this day I was ‘spotting’ the negative (getting rid of flaws with a kind of coloured paint, a bit like a precursor to white-out). It had gone through all of those stages and but I ‘spotted’ on the the back cover headline a glaring typo, even in mirror image. –it happens. I don’t believe there is a crossword editor for SMH/Age so these doozies have slipped through.

    Agree PRW, with or without an editor, there’s a need for test solvers.

  21. Yeah, me too :-) Graham M and SB, I was prepared to go that way with 8D, but probably not as you say, what was intended.
    24A SB, switching hands is changing from right to left in this case. ( Hope that’s okay at this time of day.)

  22. @ SB 22 D. Scaling is reversal indicator going up in down clue. Insect’s back =1 letter and duck =3 letters, all upwards.

  23. 24A is one of those clues where, on first sight, the third letter of the answer could be either side; certainty comes only after solving 14D.

  24. Thanks Gayle and Jack for 24A – duh!!! of course – and 22D, yep, got it.

  25. … which leaves 25A. Even though I have all the cross letters, and assume def is last 3 words of clue, I can’t find ANY word to fit. I think I must have 23D wrong

  26. Hi SB,
    Re 23D, the band is 90s not 80s. I first had an 80s one.
    I also need some help on 25a. And also 16d, 21d, and 27a.

  27. SB, re 23d, I first had an 80s band, but then realised it was a 90s band. Perhaps you may have the same error? I too need help with 25a. But also with 16d, 21d and 27a…

  28. Sorry about repeat. My browser crashed so I thought I should try again.

  29. Sandy, if you’re drawing on your knowledge of music to solve 16d, you’re wasting your time. Think of the “e” as in “email”. 21d the definition is the first word.

  30. Thanks Graham, your breakdown of 25a got me that, and then the others fell into place. All done now.

  31. 25A: def is last three words of clue. First three words give letter 1, next two words give letters 3-7, “tube” gives letters 2, 8-10.

    23D: def is “UK band”. “Oddball” gives letters 1,2; “you are” give letters 3,4

    16D: hard to hint this one … “E” means it’s computer-related, “sharp” as in smart.

    21D: def is “Mabo”. Letters 1,2 clued by words 2-5 in clue, letters 3-5 by last word of clue.

    27A: Def is last two words of clue. “Sort” clues letters 1-4, “dog” the rest.

  32. @ SB, As DA Junkie said earlier today he wasn’t all that impressed with 25A. I Imagine you have 23D correct. And the def is, as you say, last 3 words. The Tube (ignore capitalisation) is 2, 8,9,10. For the nick think more of damage to a vehicle. I have to admit I punched the cross letters in an online gadget to get this and back-parsed. The definition is a bit out there, or I admit, or attest to, or can provide proof of. :-)

  33. What do others cally the 16D type of clue? I call them cryptic definitions.

  34. I’m back again – distracted for a while – Thanks Sandy, Graham and Gayle.
    Sure enough, I had the wrong band (hadn’t heard of either btw).
    All done. Very pleasing.

  35. Re:1A, er! Letters 1-6 of the answer are indeed a rhotically-deficient homophone for a synonym of word 3 in the clue. Team then gives letters 7-10.

    Agree with Tim C: 16D was my favourite, too. I agree with those who think 20A and 25A are strained. 19A has never been one word.

    I’d say that DA got the point about his geographical blunder in 8D some time ago, and then came up with the 4,6 for the last two words of the clue.

  36. Letters 1-6 are indeed a homophone for word 3 in 1A which is what I went with at first reading xmgjim. Then I read the comments on here and realised that the problem is there’s no indicator for the homophone in the clue.

    I do like the cryptic definition type of clue. Who knows, but they may end up being a source of neologisms, e.g. He’s an “e-sharp” as a synonym for “code monkey” or “IT whiz”.
    I read this week that DA was involved in the coining of the neologism “Phubbing” meaning snubbing someone in favour of a mobile phone.

  37. As usual, good commentary in today’s DA Confusion.

    I agree with stated objections re 1a, 8d and especially 19a.

    In 25a, I think that Tube is rather a weak substitute for 2, 8-10 and nick for 4-7.

    My favourite was 9a.

  38. Yes, Tim C: wonderful neologism and I hope it catches on. Deserves to.

    Do we accept 8D as a 4,6 or/and a 5,5?

    19A is a no-no. Is it the fault of 27A across or letters 5-10 of the same?

  39. 8D is definitely a (5,5) for me, although (4,6) may be another neologism. :)
    Agree about 19A. I can’t see it being a 27A problem.

  40. Tim C: agree about 19A. Think 8D could be having the best of both worlds.

  41. I agree with some criticisms of 1a and the letters/word breakdowns of 19a, 8d although I don’t like to complain about our setter. Am I the only person who hasn’t got 7d? It’s my only unsolved one.

  42. Phil, I hope you haven’t done what I did, and spent time trying to work out an anagram of “venial prof”? That was a classic misdirection. “Venial” is the definition. The prof resides at 4-6.

  43. Graham M: I did exactly the same. Classic misdirection as you say.

    And the allegory is 1-3, 7-9

  44. Glad to know that I wasn’t the only one fooled by 7D – but at least I learnt a new word. Agree with richard’s comments about the dubious nick and tube in 25A. And I’m not convinced that 18A is a good fit for the definition either, even after looking it up.

  45. I too was led well down the garden path by the venial prof.
    I agree with most of the complaints re 1A etc. Yes, they should have a test solver! I’d do it, though maybe not 10A.
    Favourites include 9A, 16D, 17A.

  46. @ DA#2, LOL There’s no money in it, as we know. That’s why there is no editor. It just doesn’t pay.
    I’d do it for love, but I’m not married to a setter. He’s coming around to tackle some though, as is my son. So many setters have a family history, maybe we can start a movement? I wonder how AS’s twins are going?

    I’ll put my hand up for the venial prof too, and ticks for your three.

  47. For anyone who hasn’t seen today’s DA Wordplay. Oojamaflip and juzelbrass?! Sounds like just what we go through every Friday. DA never ceases to amaze me.

  48. Enjoyed the puzzle and chat this week
    Helped me get the last few in the bottom section of the grid.
    Re 8d 4,6 works for me if you treat as a humorous definition of clue’s last 2 words including the?
    re 19A I find you can’t get too proscriptive these days I can imagine one word nowadays. COVID has had some downsides.
    Agree with all the comments re lack of proof reading. In my senior schooldays the SMH editorial and lead articles were recommended by our English teachers as standards to follow, sadly not any more.
    Till next week

  49. I don’t imagine cryptic crosswords are proof read anyway, even in the old days. There’s too much cryptically attached to what might appear to be a mistake but isn’t. Especially with DA…

    So I’m saying DA has had a lapse. Or two. Definitely not surprising with his extraordinary puzzle output and wider workload! I do one a month for publication and submit as a pdf, AND I’m retired, and despite anal (can I say that?) checking, I still stuff up!

  50. The English papers have crossword editor as an official position. From the interviews I’ve read, they normally are compilers themselves, and will actually rewrite clues they aren’t happy with. Most crosswords are test-solved by at least one person other than the editor. English papers at least have in-house standards and rules that the editor must check have been adhered to.
    Everyone makes mistakes. However the recent ones like NS’s TEAM last Thursday highlight that there’s not even one person giving the crosswords the once-over. Surely no other part of the paper would go to print without someone other than the author reading it?

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