DA Confusion for the 20th of January, 2023

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

123 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 20th of January, 2023

  1. Tougher today I thought.
    Took forever to get theme – when I finally got 20A.
    Have 2 yet to get wordplay for, but pretty sure I have answers from defns.
    FOI 14A
    Then sort of SW, NE, NW and finally SE – with LOI 18A.
    Will wait until I get last 2 wordplays before picking my “best”.

  2. FOI were 9A and 11A and then 1D – then 11A and the theme, with which I am reasonably familiar. Just 3 clues to go now although I’m still unclear on some of the wordplays e.g, 16, 19 , 29As, 21D.
    25D: I’ve not seen that type of clue before. Or if I have, haven’t solved it!

  3. Henson – I take you have wordplay of 25D. It was one of my last to understand.
    16A – quite complicated – if I have correct – “Landed” gives 1,2,3,4. “like” gives 5,6,8. “one” gives 7.
    19A – Just as a start, look at “Chiselled” as meaning cheated / conned / tricked etc.
    29A – Just as a start, “work” gives 1,2.
    21D – Defn = “Took in” – cryptic clue.
    Hope helps.

  4. First pass 14a,22a,4d,7d,8d,21d and harder than the last couple of weeks but with a similar few question marks/dodgy clues. LOI 23d.
    Favourites were 21d and 25d (which I think we’ve seen before Henson, but it’s rare).

  5. It was an hour before I got 11a, and I was within a whisker of throwing in the towel. Thereafter, Wikipedia got a good workout. An interesting twist, but quite difficult, especially as the 11a’s have changed over the years. Once I got going, there were a fair number of smiles; perhaps not as many as usual.

    I don’t like splitting a word as in 12a/26d, even when the word splits into two words. Nor this use of “openly” in 10a. I was unfamiliar with that use of “chiselled” and that’s not how I pronounce 30a (I put a quick schwa into the first syllable), but I guess plenty of people do. Never heard of the US writer nor the Japanese duo. I’m more used to 21d as a noun, and haven’t heard it as a verb, but sure enough it’s in the dictionary.

    Still to fully parse 23d & 25d, and if necessary I’ll drop back much later. Are your hints getting earlier these days, DAJunkie?

  6. Just realised I mis-parsed 9a. There is a Japanese duo with that name, though, which is what led me astray!

  7. All out now.
    DAJ, thanks – I had “solved” those four but hadn’t understood the wordplay. Some should have been obvious but 16A is certainly still obtuse.
    Graham M, I had also not heard “chiselled” in that sense.
    For 23D, I would usually use a version of that phrase with the 11A word containing an “r”.
    LOIs 5d, then finally18d which made me smile.

  8. 1A is ‘mate’ as in ship’s mate; 12A is ‘down’ eiderdown, and I don’t see how ‘draw’ equates to 26D

  9. I read it as a double definition Graham M. First literal definition “11 across mate” and second cryptic definition “getting down to draw”.

  10. I take it as the last letter of 12 across (because down is singular) and 26 down make a word for “to draw”.

  11. Done, but I can justify 2 different answers for 28A.
    One with a W the other with a P in position 2.
    Which do contributors prefer and why?

  12. I thought of that, Jennifer, but I’m not sure that the resultant 5-letter word means ‘to draw’, as the word is a noun rather than a verb.

  13. Tim C at 1:41 pm – 1A/12A/26D – can you please explain the second part ie:
    second cryptic definition “getting down to draw”.
    I still cannot make the connection you see?

  14. 1A/12A/26D: Captain Feathersword carries a feather in his scabbard, and thus draws that (rather than drawing his sword as practised by more aggro types).

  15. I just think the whole clue is a sort of cryptic definition that you can’t really break down into components DAJ. The answer is “11 across’ mate” (in the same way that 29 across is), and instead of a ‘pirate’ having/getting what he would normally draw (in a fight), this guy gets “down to draw”. Looking for more in the clue is probably overthinking it I feel. For example a “mate” is not really a 1 across (only a stand in if the 1 across is incapacitated). It’s not my favourite clue of the day, unless I’ve missed something.

  16. Too soon AG?
    KraDen, I like your take on 28A. Who knows.
    Thanks DAJ for 16A wordplay
    I’m still at a loss in SW. A gentle hint for any would be welcome. Also, don’t quite understand wordplay for 18D.

  17. KraDen, I’d say that DA meant the second letter of 28a to be P, but I see your point.

  18. SB, you need to know the cast of a famous British sitcom from the seventies to understand 18d.

  19. KraDen re 28a, I think the hyphens work better with the P version (and that is the intended answer)

  20. AG / Tim C – thanks.
    KraDen – Agree with Graham M – “P”.
    SB – 18D – Fawlty Towers.
    And as for SW corner, as a start, try thinking about what “number” means in 27A.

  21. Yes DAJ, I can still remember 27a from when my children were little (quite a while ago).

  22. Nice to see “Scales” at the start of the clue and not “scales” midway through — something a few of us had a bit of a beef about a few weeks ago.

  23. SB, like Henson, above, I believe the clue for 23d is improved if you stick an R between the first and second letters of 11a.

  24. Hey, isn’t the clue for 25d in the quick just a little bit cryptic? Naughty DA.

  25. I can’t find any definition of “down” that would make “feather” correct. It’s a covering of feathers, not a single feather.

  26. Many years ago I bought my little son a new doona. He was most excited. When his father arrived home from work he announced proudly: Dad, I’ve got a new doona. It’s 75% feather-down… and 25% feather… up!

  27. Ah yes of course! – thanks all for 18D – I just didn’t connect the person to the series. And thanks DAJ for 27A.

  28. Re SB at 3:16: yes, it was too much too soon, and my post should have been more oblique. My apologies to anyone spoilt, my mind was not on the clock.

  29. Re 22A: I majored in pure maths about fifty years ago and have a vague recollection of what partial groups are in that specialist sense, and a slightly better recollection regarding the phrase that constitutes the solution. I don’t recall that they had much to do with one another.

    Mind you, connections may have been made (or forgotten by me) in the interim. Can anyone else shed light? I don’t see much value in the household senses, if any, of those phrases, either.

  30. Very few answers. Much harder than last week and with no children, the theme is a closed book to me. I think it’s the round filing cabinet for this one.

  31. GeoffD, can I assume from your saying “with no children” that you have 11a? If so, look them up in Wikipedia and you’ll find everything you need to know.

  32. KraDen – exactly, an eiderdown is a cover made of feathers, not a feather.

  33. I don’t have kids so I had to look up a few of the colours, especially for confirmation I had names correct.

    Some tough ones today.

  34. AG, I’m guessing that an open set (one where the boundaries of the set are not included in the set) can be thought of as a partial group as it only partially includes the full range. In a household sense, when I’m asked if I’ve mowed the lawns, I always reply “I’ve done the open set of lawns (a partial group), but I didn’t bother doing the edges this week”. Then again, I’m no expert. I did Engineering not Maths many years ago. I’m struggling with a book my son lent me called “Quantum Computing Since Democritus” at the moment.

  35. Thanks Graham M. I have a few more answers now. Quite a lot still elude me such as 10A which apparently is themed.

  36. I’m with Carol on this. Even though I have an old friend who was connected to an 11, I have no interest in googling lists. Even the non thematic clues don’t make much sense. Not my idea of Friday fun I’m afraid.

  37. “Group” and “partial group” have a specific technical sense in maths that involves operations. TMI for here!

  38. Even though I don’t see much of the 11As, I think they are a great institution and I thus think this was a great DA effort. The jewel in the crown for me was 18D, as it references what I consider the best comedy ever shown.

  39. Tim C, “Group” and “partial group” have a specific technical sense in maths that involves operations. TMI for here!

  40. I love every DA cryptic crossword and look forward to it every week – don’t care whether it’s easier or harder – don’t care if I have to resort to google, which I do often – and this one was a treat for me – horses for courses I guess.

  41. Slow start Foi 22D 25d thanks to engineering background then 27a gave me the key to 11a although haven’t got its complete parsing same for 19a.and 5-7 of 30a.
    Liked 14a & 16a

  42. IanS – 11A – “going on vacation” gives 3,4. “flim-flam” the rest.
    19A – as per my entry above at 10:35 – “Chiselled” gives word 1 and “wood” word 2.
    30A – is just a “pronunciation” clue (if you say the answer that way) ie: dial emma.

  43. Thanks DAJ understand 11a and 30a
    but struggling to associate “wood” with second word of 19a unless you are referring to a 5 letter generic word for wood minus its first letter and then treat remainder as an anagram ?

  44. IanS, I often wonder why that’s wood, too, as I’ve never used it in that sense. But in Collins dictionary …

    1. a plank of softwood timber, such as fir or pine, or such planks collectively
    2. the sawn wood of various coniferous trees, such as that from the Scots pine (red deal) or from the Norway Spruce (white deal)

  45. I have been a DA zealot/admirer/defender from his first. Read his books… This puzzle was a shocker. First to be thrown in the bin. Totally dependent on a narrow band of knowledge. Progress shouldn’t depend on accessing Google, Wikipedia… When my dear father “taught” me how to do these puzzles some 55 years ago, he said the only external resource should be a dictionary, and that only to check the meaning of a particular word. These days Google means one can also check answers that are proper nouns. This is not virtue signalling – we all do things differently. However I think DA has overstepped the mark regarding the usual requirement of a broad general knowledge.
    Salt in the wound was 22D being incorrectly based on ‘getting a wiggle on’. And a final gripe with 11A. Jerk = Wiggle? They’re out by 90 degrees! Or maybe I’m turning into a pernickety old man!

  46. Finished on Saturday but only able to get to you all now for my semi-regular ‘D’oh!’ tasting.
    A broad church of reactions this week. I feel like I share all of them, the bad and the (lesser amount of?!) good! A personal addition: DA is generous with ‘singer’ in 9A (Graham, you could justifiably claim this as reason for your rabbitholing!)
    On the theme, I wrote all the colours out. Should then have been staring me in the face but, nup, it took me constructing 29A to finally twig (via several OTHER 29As!)
    * 1A etc – How is the 1A part clued?
    * 23D parsing?
    Thanks in advance late browser/s…

  47. Interesting to read the reactions. I don’t like having to spend hours on Wikipedia or Google to solve obscurities in puzzles, and this occasionally leads me to throw in the towel, but I admit that it’s often because my general knowledge might not be as broad as others’. But I didn’t mind this one too much, because once I’d twigged to 11a and psycho-analysed DA, I only needed to refer to one Wikipedia page, and it wasn’t too difficult, no less fun than usual.

  48. In response to your questions, johnno2, the first word isn’t really parsed on its own, the “getting down to draw” is just a (comical?) reference to the whole clue. Don’t bother looking for anything deeper.

    23d should really be “get a wriggle on”. If the first letter of the answer is put at the end, you get paddlers, ie a type of water bird. “Finishing first’ indicates that the last letter goes to the front.

  49. Thanks Graham. 23D a BIT D’oh!y then.
    But 1A etc is just naughty! He’s specifically clued the 12A and 26D parts, so he MUST clue the 1A part!
    I agree with you on the one page (wink) but I had to go through a deep field (wink, wink) to find it! i.e. one with all the names by colour.

  50. For what it is worth – and from what I can research – 23D is completely legit even if you are more used to a different form of the saying (like I was).

    Both “wiggle” and “wriggle” seem to be acceptable.

    As for the discussion about having to “google” etc, to solve a crossword / cryptic crossword, I guess each to their own. In my case, I could not do most without resorting to such references.

    For instance, on Saturday, I would not have got 11A. And Sunday, 14A or 21A. And moreover, I actually enjoy the “hunt” as inevitably I learn more and hopefully increase my knowledge.

    A classic to me was ONOFF the other day – which as Graham M (and I) discovered was Japanese male duet. Not the right wordplay in that case, but a learning none the less.

    Only once in my decades of doing crosswords have I completed both the daily SMH Quick and Cryptic without any references – and that was within the last 2 weeks!!

  51. ROB. Not sure if your JOSHING as that word is too long, but taking your question at face value No. The correct answer was NOSHED = NO SHED .

  52. DA Confusion for the 27th of January, 2023:
    Let’s start here – AS has not yet set up this week’s pages.
    I thought a pretty clever (maybe tough) one today with quite a few tricky clues.
    Took me quite a while to get going.
    FOI 13A.
    LOI 25A.
    I did like 12A.
    Other clever ones IMO were 14A, 20A, 23A, 16D, 19D.
    And “DA special” in 24D.

  53. Started strong but ran out of puff in the bottom half. Would like to know how 17D is parsed.

  54. Clark – 17D – fairly early on to give a lot of detail.
    How about just the construction, which is 1+1+3+3.
    Does that help?

  55. DA Junkie, yes thanks. It must be obvious but I’m still struggling get the first three letter word in your parsing.

  56. Clark – 17D – first 3LW has a meaning of “saying”.
    And its last letter is NOT “D” (in case you have a wrong word in your answer).

  57. DA Junkie, I was not aware of that meaning of the word, although others here have. I’ve been told that I should watch more period dramas.

  58. First pass 20a,28a,21d so less than recent weeks and I think harder as DAJ says. LOI 14a. Nothing I really 24d this week. Favourites were 23a,26a and 5d.

  59. That 3 letter word Clark is one that appears a fair bit in crosswords so it’s worth filing away in your brain for future use.

  60. In first pass, quickly got 1,2,3D and 1,9,11,13,18A, so was lulled into a false sense of security about the ease of today’s puzzle. I now have most of the SW corner also, but the whole RHS is quite blank. Will revisit this evening after work. Happy solving all.

  61. FOI 1D, 13A, 3A, 5D, 28A, 23D and 17D. Liked 5D. Probably have 1A, 11A, 2D but don’t understand wordplays. Gentle hints?

  62. And SB – 1A – a 7LW minus 1 and a 5LW minus 2.
    11A – “going places” = 1,2,3,4. “barely leaving hotel?” = 5,6,7.

  63. Very likeable today (January 27), with smiles greatly outnumbering groans. In fact, no groans, and even one or two chuckles, including 5d & 11a. Some very clever surfaces. I’ve never heard the expression 17d, and when I googled it, I got a second-hand store in Burbank, California. I hope it’s right.

    Not entirely sure of the parsing of 14a & 25a.

  64. Graham M – 14A – “detected” is a homophone indicator.
    25A – yeah – hard not to give away – and I think trickiest clue there – let’s just say last bit is a 6LW minus 2.

  65. Ah, I thought 14a might have been an anagram and couldn’t account for one letter. You’ve put me on the right track, DAJ. I’ll keep mulling over 25a.

  66. I just popped over to Zinzan and found your explanation for 25a, DAJ. Well done. I wouldn’t have got it in a fit!

  67. SB – SW or SE?
    From above, you have 17D – and you implied earlier RHS was blank (NE and SE)?
    Anyway, for SW as a start:
    26A construction is 3 plus 6.

  68. SB, I don’t know whether you have 24d, but if not, think how DA’s twisted mind might use the word “lout”.

  69. Hm. Well, for starters, I’m assuming def is last word.
    And a signpost for some of the others would be welcome too: 27A, 29A; 16, 21 and 22D

  70. In 29a, you need to increase the volume of the first letter, musically speaking.

  71. Thanks Graham. Of course. Yes, I was thinking of Ps and Fs, but got nowhere.

  72. 16D – “Can cut back” – 6,5,4,3,2,1. “or try last” = 7,8,9.

  73. I really enjoyed this week’s crossie. Found the SE tricky. Had to reveal the Spoonerism, didn’t know the answer. Didn’t even mind the retroparsing of a few as they brought chuckles in the afterglow. Very clever and misdirecting constructions. Favs 4d, 23a and 29a .

  74. Like others, I’m struggling with RHS but enjoying this one far more than last week‘s.

  75. Oops, just saw it. Don’t really like the expression involving “11-across ignoring” though.

  76. All out. Couple of interesting constructions.

    AG, yeah the construction of 25a was a bit hmmmm.

  77. I believe that the offending phrase in 25A could be replaced by ‘decalcified’

  78. All out. Very entertaining. LOI 16d, which came to me this morning.
    But for the life of me I can’t parse 9a or 24d.

  79. Carol – 9A – second letters of “aS qUick aS tHe wInd”.
    24D – read “lout” as “L” “out”.

  80. Thank you DAJunkie.
    9A is definitely a d’oh! but not 24D. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kind of wordplay before. Nice.

  81. I don’t get parsing of 6A. I imagine that it is a homophone of the name of a commentator, but who?
    Help anyone?

  82. Thanks DA J for starting the thread in last week’s space. Picked up The Age as I was visiting Melbourne for AO.
    Found you get comics in Spectrum there.
    Got SW corner except for 17D. In SE have
    20A. 21D 27A and 29A which raised a smile DA has an irreverent sense of humour.
    I need to get back to upper half of grid now I have picked up a few leads from postings and have come home to Sydney.
    Thank you and cheers

  83. Viv, 6a… Commentator’s (sounds like) name = choose (you name something, you choose it) = chews (definition champs). A pretty contrived clue which wasn’t very satisfying for me.

  84. Just checked in. 113 comments – a record, surely?!
    Too much for me, so apologies if any/all of this has already been ‘done’:
    * 11A parse?
    * 25A parse?
    * 22D – ‘Steer’ = 1-3? In what sense?
    ‘Xmas’ = 26A 1-3? Hmmm…
    ‘Produce’ in 9A. Purpose?…
    1D – (1’3,2,3)?

  85. johnno2 –
    the 113 (114 and now 115) comments cover two weeks as AS did not put up new pages for January 27, 2023.
    11A – see above – 27 Jan 2023 at 11:05 am.
    25A – see above – 27 Jan 2023 at 11:20 am.
    22D – to direct the steering of (a ship):
    26A – yes, shortened CHRISTMAS to indicate shortened DECEMBER.
    9A – probably just so it reads better.
    1D – OK.

  86. Thanks, DAJ.
    11A – When AM I going(!) to be on the lookout for DAs john(no!!!!) fixation?! ‘D’oh!’-worthy.
    25A – Nup, the 6LW escapes me…
    22D – I’ve learnt something. Thanks DA/J.
    26A – My ‘Hmmm…’ was for the dodginess ;-) May as well say ‘Spring’ if we were retailers!
    9A – I guess so. An advertising copy writer would have been happy without the verb!

  87. Luckily my GF has two small kids, so she was able to supply the theme.

    Loved 28A and 21D when I finally twigged. Still don’t understand 11A, ironically enough though. Or 25D. Pure Maths grad here so 22A not a problem.

    Complaints about needing to Google info? Heck, DA uses heaps of cultural references in his puzzles, so why single this one out for criticism? Especially when we’re talking about a huge Australian institution for decades now. Bah humbug to your bah humbug!

  88. Sorry to butt in, but need help with 28 across in today’s DP: Disturbed diggers and I must vomit (8)


  89. Peter W. I believe it a mistake / wrongly clued as answer is “DISGORGE”

  90. Thanks, that’s very disappointing. It’s a pity no-one checks these crosswords before they go to print. Explains the poor quality of many clues.

  91. Muntz, for me it wasn’t the issue of using google, or cultural references.
    It was that I was going to need google for the solve, not just confirmation.

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