DA Confusion for the 13th of January, 2023

Friday the 13th need not be a day of horror! Get rid of any confusions here.

59 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 13th of January, 2023

  1. Couldn’t sleep so I had a crack with the online version.

    First: 1A with a bit of self reference!
    Last: 3D, needed the last letter from 11A to twig (first and third suggested a few possibilities)

    Some rippers: 11A, 6D & 25A, 24D my favourites. Only twigged to 7D & 17A when I had that and 3D to go. Very punny.

  2. Pretty straight forward DA (again) today.
    FOI – 1D.
    LOI – 5D.
    Was expecting that it may have been a doozy after last week – but not really.
    Liked 1A, 9A, 3D, 5D and 24D – all a bit tricky.

  3. I didn’t find this straightforward at all. So many rabbit holes to fall down, especially 7/17, 6/25 and 11A. First in 1D, 12D, 19A, 20/22 Last in 23D and 26A , couldn’t get one without the other.
    Kicked myself, then laughed when I saw 23D.
    24D a retro parse. I could hear DA chuckling as he set that. For me it was more of a gruckle (which
    sounds better than a choan). Yet to parse 13A. Favourite 26A.

  4. Gayle – 13A – “mustard regularly smeared” = 1,2,3. “amid basmati” = 4. “rice in a stew” = 5,6,7,8.
    Hope clarifies.
    And I think your reference to 26A in your comment above was meant to be 28A (at least for the first reference).

  5. Yes, DAJ that was meant to be 28A linked to 23D.
    Thanks for 13A. Amid basmati? I get it , but don’t feel so bad about that now.

  6. Yes, another fairly swift one with no real holdups, although 13A took me a LOT longer than it ought to have! And I’ve never heard 6D/25A expressed in that way.

    FOI 1A, 6A. LOI 13A, 8D. Liked 11A, 27A.

  7. All done. Reasonably straight forward.

    FOI – 1a
    LOI – 15a

    I liked 7d/17a.

  8. First pass 6a,13a,26a,1d,4d,8d,12d,16d,20d/22a.
    LOI 14d
    Is DA still in ‘holiday mode’?

  9. All done and enjoyed. No longer is newspaper delivery viable at my place, so I have to go to the shop to buy it, which is such a drag. Online subscriptions have finally killed the paper version. I refuse to submit, so my lifestyle of doing the SMH cryptic every day before breakfast has changed to a couple of puzzles a week at best. Consequently my posts on this site will come later, if at all.
    Vale the newspaper!
    Vale Jeff Beck – the greatest since Hendrix.

  10. I’m only an occasional contributor to this forum. This was my fastest DA ever, finished before the coffee in the pot was cold. I’m boasting to you people because I can’t boast to anyone else I know; they all think I’m nuts.
    BTW, I enjoy the banter here.

  11. Same here Brond. Miss that thump on the lawn. I caved in with subscriptions. Thinking of dropping that too, as the standard of the SMH is so much poorer since Nine took it over. “Celebrities”, top end of town, and click bait headlines.

  12. If we’ve got the parsing to 28A right, it’s a bit poor – weaker Guardian perhaps.

  13. Ha ha Gregory. Yes, I don’t know anyone else personally who does cryptics. When you try to explain that it’s just a set of codes and convey the fun involved they leave you alone to enjoy it ( which is how I like it). My husband’s coming on board, but he’s a natural punner and Spooneriser.

  14. Ben – 28A – “prized” = 1,2,3. “function” = 4,5,6,7. “up men” = 8,9.
    Is that how you saw it?
    (And, sorry, I do not get your “weaker Guardian perhaps” comment.)

  15. Neither 8 nor 9 in 28a is given as an abbreviation in Chambers or Collins. It was one of my 2 question marks this week.

  16. Another Friday, another DA that’s much the same as all the others. I think I’m suffering from ennui (a word which owes its place in my lexicon entirely to crosswords … but it was several years later that I learnt that it was French and I’d been pronouncing it all wrong!).

    I didn’t know that meaning of 27a. Haven’t parsed 24d yet, but don’t help me; it’s sure to hit me soon. No real grumbles today, except perhaps for the way the last two letters in 28a were clued. Entirely legit, of course, especially by those who worship Chambers, but I’m still not a fan.

    Hello Gregory. I know how you feel. I used to knock around with a few others who were into cryptics but these days I’m very much alone, apart from the faceless people in forums. Like you, I’ve learnt that if I ever mention cryptic crosswords to anyone they usually think I’m weird. C’est la vie.

  17. We had 8 in 28A recently and I didn’t get that then, but johnno explained it to me in terms of a lift. 9 maybe comes from toilets? but have never seen that. As far as I know, neither DA nor Nine/ex Fairfax crosswords have any stated references.

  18. I know quite a few people who claim to do the SMH cryptic every day except Friday. They don’t seem very happy when I tell them that I do the cryptic on Friday only.

  19. A few of my ex work colleagues, and I, do a zoom meeting on Friday afternoons to knock over a few cryptic crosswords. We get through two to three per week. One of the guys won’t do DA because he thinks he is loose with the rules.

    If people are reluctant to do an electronic subscription, please don’t be. You might need a separate pen and pad for your working out, but you don’t get ink on everything, you aren’t destroying forests with newsprint and you still get your crossword when you are away from home. The iPad is ideal for this.

    The cryptic is the main reason I keep my subscription.

  20. Re letters 8 & 9 of 28a. Yes, Gayle, there can be justification for many single-letter references, but there are so many in use by cryptic setters these days that cause me to groan when I see them. Often I just regard them as lazy. I don’t usually confess to my distaste for them, as I know that someone will always pipe up with “It’s in Chambers”, and so there’s no need for any further debate. I hadn’t seen your post above, Tim C, and am quite surprised that in this case they’re not in Chambers.

    My go-to reference is Collins, for no particular reason, other than familiarity breeding trust. A few months ago, someone (pserve_p2 .. let’s give him/her their due) on one of the British crossword boards described the use of Chambers as follows.

    Chambers says that. The problem for me here is that Chambers has established itself as “the crossword dictionary” — it’s a good market niche for Chambers to have secured since Oxford and Collins clearly occupy the centre ground of reliable reference dictionaries. And so Chambers entries record not what is true about the English language, but what is evident within the closed world of cruciverbalists, setters and solvers. Oxford and Collins make considerable efforts to inform their lexicography through research, data, evidence, attested usage, and so on in order to present the lexicon: Chambers have expended efforts to distinguish their dictionary as a specialist reference work for crosswords. So, for example, you may find many, many more single letter abbreviations listed in Chambers (L=lecturer, S=society) than are generally recognised amongst writers and readers of general English — because crossword setters like to use such initialisms, so Chambers reflects that usage.

    I guess one thing I dislike even more is using “bit of” to clue a single letter. “Bit of gardening” was in a puzzle the other day to clue the letter “g”. Yuk.

  21. A couple of references over my head but managed to complete this one, which isn’t always a given for this novice.
    There’s a few I still can’t parse, including letter 5 of 7d17a.

  22. Chambers reflects language (and abbreviations) used in the UK, and has little bearing on what abbreviations are suitable to use in Australian cryptic crosswords. If you need a reference, then the Macquarie should be the go-to, but even then not all abbreviations are used in everyday settings by everyday people, so discretion is needed.
    Interestingly I don’t mind the “bit of gardening” device as long as the compiler ALWAYS means the same thing when using it. That is, a “bit of gardening” can’t mean any of the letters in gardening, it can only mean the first letter.

  23. I believe that the use of single letters has become too loose. International usage would restrict us to the 14 periodic-table elements that have one-letter symbols and letters that are used conventionally for units and quantities, in which case m would be metres (units) or mass (quantity) and U could be uranium. ‘Up men’ would then be ‘uranium mass.’

  24. Three to go! Like most others here, I found this one relatively painless.

    I too have no real-world DA friends – my one non-digital cryptic crossword buddy refuses to have anything to do with him.

  25. Graham M @1:42 pm, yes I read that guff about Chambers but I’m not sure the evidence supports it. It’s true that Chambers has become the go to dictionary for crosswords, but that doesn’t mean that the compilers don’t consider general usage and just put in a lot of crossword-ese. The obvious reason it’s preferred by the majority of crossword setter, solvers and other word games is that it’s the most comprehensive single volume dictionary and includes a lot of archaic and dialect (Scottish, Irish, US, Australia & NZ) words, all notified as such.
    As far as abbreviations go, the vast majority of the ones you get in Chambers are also found in other dictionaries like Collins. Of the 2 examples quoted in your post, ‘l’ for lecturer isn’t in Collins (or the OED as far as I can see), but ‘s’ for society is in both Collins and the OED.

  26. Whatever.
    Can anyone help with wordplay for 9A, 3D, and 14D. Also gentle hint for 6A or 6D and 25A or 21D thanks.

  27. SB – just as start to requested wordplay help:
    9A – “Shorten, very” gives 5,6,7.
    3D – “right to sign” gives 1.
    14D – “put in” gives 1,2,3,4,5.
    6A – “Nude show” gives 1,2.
    6D/25A – hard to hint. “dean’s weirdly” gives 7,8,9,10,11.
    21D – “hound the wrong way” gives 1,2,3.
    Hope these starter hints help.

  28. Tom @ 2:13 pm, further to my reply @ 2:19 pm re 7D/17A, I can see your construction and where
    your question comes from – and to help, “to” is NOT part of the fodder.
    Does that clarify the wordplay for you?

  29. I enjoyed today’s DA and managed to get it out without cheating, and with a few chuckles! I only have an online subscription to the Age, but prefer to do the crossword on paper with pencil and eraser, so I download the daily paper and take a virtual “clipping” then print it. It comes out beautifully on A4 with the clues very readable. Happy to walk anyone who’s interested through how to do this!

  30. 7, 17 DA is somewhat behind the times. There have been no ‘red jumpers’ for over 30 years

  31. I download the facsimile version to read as well as print the crossword. It doesn’t have the silly clickbait and rubbish of the online version, still not the old Age though.

  32. Re 28a, the last two letters are just a reversal of a Greek letter used in statistics to denote ‘mean’.

  33. Being old-fashioned , I used to get the dead tree Herald delivered daily, and I enjoyed the thunk on the lawn around 7 am. But about a year ago, the thunk became rather tardy, usually around 10 or 11 am, due to a change of contractor somewhere along the line, so I went fully digital. Besides, the thunk was becoming ever more pianissimo as the paper has grown ever thinner. These days it’s nearly all Harvey Norman and Domayne ads along with real estate. Is it worth still subscribing just for the puzzles? Hmmm …

  34. Re 28a, the last two letters are just a reversal of a Greek letter used in statistics to denote ‘mean’. Men looks like a typo.

  35. Hi Brond & Gayle,
    Following a tip from a Tripper a while back, I discovered I could access electronic copy of Age via a local library subscription.
    Can then print out Fridays DA, or do in Notes if you have a touch screen PC.
    This allowed me to cancel my (decades long) subscription to the Age as I could no longer cope with the deteriorating standards since Nine News took it over.

  36. DrBill – 28A – very good / clever.
    I do enjoy how different people can get different interpretations of cryptic clues.
    And yours is a very good one.
    The only drawback I see is how the sentence would be affected.
    “23-down offering up MEN with prized function” is a little awkward,
    the alternative you recommend ie:
    “23-down offering up MEAN with prized function” really doesn’t work I do not think.
    But of course I could be wrong.

  37. Yes, thanks for the reminder LJ. I’m pretty sure it was Happy Chappy. Haven’t heard from him for a while now. Hope he’s okay. Am recently retired, will check out the library.

  38. DAJ and Dr Bill, both good suggestions. I have no idea. It could just be a major…. um …. fail.

  39. Graham M @9.19. I loved the thunk thunk thunk at 3 am. But, as you say, it just got thinner and thinner, down to one little whisper I couldn’t hear any more.
    I used to love the paperboys (usually, never saw a girl) blowing their whistles, but they’d have to walk 10 kilometres these days between deliveries, hardly worth it

  40. Wow, paper boys on foot with whistles? Mine were always thrown from a car. In another few decades people will laugh when they read about newspaper deliveries. Likewise bread and milk. And doctors who did house calls same day.

  41. Couple of ‘repeat-come-back-to-it’ days for me (as you can tell!) and a couple of cheats even then.
    If there’s anyone still there,
    * 6,7,8 of 14D?
    * How does 18D connect to 16D?

  42. Johnno2
    In 14D 6,7,8 are the first three letters of a four letter word meaning split (noun).
    Put an ‘f’ (small fellers) in front of 16D and you have people who might 14D? (I’m a bit dubious about this one).

  43. GeoffD
    I was thinking along the same lines, except with an ‘s’ instead of an ‘f’.

  44. Sorry, that might have been confusing. I was assuming you meant 18D. You might not have.

  45. GeoffD – re 18D I agree with Yet another Geoff – “fellers” is the defn. And you are “ignoring small” such that SLOGGERS becomes LOGGERS.
    (and for completeness to Johnno2 question – “sloggers” are those who “bust a gut”.)

  46. I like to promote the crossword page from the communal newspaper at a cafe – I checked with my priest and he said this was fine provided you buy something from the cafe.

  47. Thanks for 14D, G1. That’s in ‘D’oh!’ territory.
    Thanks for 18/16D, DAJ/G1/G2 team. I won’t ‘D’oh!’ myself for that one. It’s a ‘good’ (I want to say ‘dodgy’) misdirection: the way the clue is written the ignoring is from 16D.

  48. All out expect for 3d which I can’t parse despite the hints. Any pointers?

  49. Victor, the definition is “Hollywood star once”, “right to sign is N, lover’s heart is V which is in OAK (tree), hence NOVAK (as in Kim Novak)

  50. Thanks. I’m too young to have heard of her, was thinking of the tennis player, but couldn’t work out the Hollywood link

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