DA Confusion for the 17th of February, 2023

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

59 thoughts on “DA Confusion for the 17th of February, 2023

  1. Defeated. I gave up after a couple of hours with about half a dozen to go. The hardest DA for a while, I thought. An interesting device that I don’t think he’s used before. Hadn’t heard of 27a. Didn’t know 9d. 17a was a bit mean, but elicited a smile when I eventually twigged. Still about four I haven’t parsed.

    Good luck everyone. 1a was my first in.

  2. Wow – what a workout. And still a bit to do – although do have all the themed clues.
    And how clever eg: the “Five shorter answers” and how each is used ie: as pre and post.
    Took me ages to even understand the clue.
    And even then I could not keep it straight in my head when solving.
    FOI was 18A.
    LOI 17A.
    As with Graham M, did not know 9D and actually got from wordplay.
    And also do not fully understand wordplay of a couple.
    Liked 11A, 28A, 2D, 17D.

  3. The 5 small ones went in from the get-go, one after the other. Then slowly chipped away at the rest. Was three-quarters of the way through and almost coming to a standstill before I saw a link with the 5. I didn’t help myself by trying to cold solve the undefined clues, instead of thinking earlier as to what might match up to the 5.

    Interesting device. I really liked this challenge. Very skilful. Heaps of chuckles as well.
    Agree with DAJ about the 17s and 28A, and ticks for lots more.

  4. I agree this one presented as much harder than other recent DAs, due to use of the novel device. But somehow I got though in pretty decent time – surprised myself I have to say.

    FOI 18A, 5d. LOI 1D, 7A.

  5. First pass 14a,18a,2d,5d,13d,15d. LOI 3d. As you can see I got 5d and 13d on the first pass which sent me down a rabbit hole. I needed google for 24a. As others have said, quite tricky this week although I 7a there in the end. Only 1 question mark for a change. 21a

  6. Graham M. 21a was just meant to be a comment in my post. I knew how to parse it.

  7. A very late start and I fear an early finish in defeat. My only (possible) answer is 9D and as usual I don’t understand the theme instruction at all.

  8. GeoffD – I do have a themed clue SPOILER in the other thread ie:
    But to explain the theme:
    1. There are 5 answers, that are clued as usual, and which are short in length.
    2. EACH of these can be used “escorting” (ie: in combination with) two other answers – and these have no definition, just wordplay.

    So, in summary, 5 normally clued answers can “escort” 10 other undefined answers.

    Hope helps.

  9. Geoff, DAJ, bless her heart, has given some help in today’s other thread.

  10. Thanks DAJ and Graham. I’ll concentrate on the five short answers first and hope that will lead to some enlightenment with the escorts.

  11. Took me most of the day, on and off, but I found it ingenious and really satisfying.

    One complaint: 20D as a count noun (ie with an -S plural), in the sense used here, is not a form I’ve come across before. As a Boomer I own lots of 20D(1-5).

  12. All done. Quite tricky today. Enjoyed the challenge. 1d was a tad obscure. It was my last.

  13. As I’ve occasionally said before, I turn the paper’s pages expectantly, hoping to see that bolded ‘NB:’, so happy days!
    Took a while to decipher the ambiguity (to me) in the NB, that the ‘shorter 5’ escorted 5 DIFFERENT pairs, not the SAME pair! Accommodating 19D and 27A presented QUITE a challenge until I did. When I did, I was lucky that 24A/19A is mentioned (with required umlaut – tut, tut, DA?) in my current read). Though can someone parse 24A 1-4 for me, please?
    Some particularly clever clues today. And a couple of rabbit holes with the theme: before settling the ambiguity, there seems to be such a thing as a 5D/19A, and after settling it, there is such a thing as a 5D/16A!

  14. johnno2 – 24A – 1,2,3,4 – I read as “Horse” gives HEROIN – “lost heart” leaves HEIN.

  15. In case anyone’s missed it, DA describes last week’s stuff-up in his Wordplay column in today’s Herald/Age.

  16. Isn’t that stuff-ups plural Graham M, one in the cryptic and one in the quick. Interesting article.

  17. Can someone please explain “share a link” in the note about the 5 shorter answers? For me it was just misleading – and eventually unnecessary. Is that technically known as ‘misdirection’?
    Since I’m here I can’t resist a moan about 5D – it’s almost a rule if there is an answer I don’t recognise, apart from Australian place names, it is one of DA’s imports from the other side of the Pacific.

  18. I’m really struggling this week. I guess I’ve got almost half, but was reduced to looking up 24A and 1D and I still don’t really get them.

    And I have the same question as Mike above.

  19. I got through most of this one quicker than usual… Still have a couple to finish off, but have mostly enjoyed.

    Mike & Carol – I see the link as being purely around the letters used in those answers.

    As for 5D; it’s as much a style of playing it as it is the thing itself – I’ve heard this usage plenty in Australia, but I guess it depends what type of music you’re familiar with.

  20. Mike / Carol, to expand upon Victor’s comment re the link between the 5 short answers:
    1. They all have 4 letters.
    2. They all have the same first, third and fourth letters.
    3. And as for their 5 different second letters, they use ALL the 5 vowels.
    Pretty good link(s) between the 5 I would have thought.

  21. Carol – both 1D and 24A are 2 of the 10 undefined clues. So that is probably why they are not clicking.
    Tim C above (yesterday at 6:29pm) gives the wordplay for 1D.
    Use that and find the “associated short clue” and see in the penny drops.

  22. It is 8a DAJ. Carol, you may be using one of 8a/1d’s products to access this site. :)

  23. Thanks DAJ; big big help. That’s got me going; but still have a long way to go! FOI 26A, 20D, 14A, 27A, then 16A

  24. If anyone is still there, I’d be grateful for pointers for 12A, 3D, 6D, and 22D. I know (from DAJ’s thread) that 3 of these are themed but still none the wiser. For 22D I can see enmesh wheels, but still stuck.

  25. SB, 3d goes with 18a. It’s in the clue backwards (“switched”).

    For 6d, the muscle is 4,3,2,1. Then think of an eight-letter word for rottenly and remove “ran”.

    22d goes with 4d. Read the answer backwards.

    12a goes with 4d. An eight-letter word for “throwers” loses “her clothing”.

  26. SB, 12a is themed take the ‘clothing’ of ‘her’ from a word for pitchers.

  27. Thanks Graham. You got in before me. Any hints on 9d, 11a, 13d and 17a?

  28. Thanks Graham (and Sandy). Now just 12A and 22D to go. Even with the spoiler. And I’m still at a loss for the last 3 of 22D (clued by ‘newly’, I assume). What field(s) are we in for 12A and 22D?

  29. That’s very helpful. Thanks Graham (and Sandy). Now just 12A and 22D to go. Even with the spoiler. And I’m still at a loss for the last 3 of 22D (clued by ‘newly’, I assume). What field(s) are we in for 12A and 22D?

  30. SB 22d is not, as I think you are assuming a word for ‘newly’ and a word for ‘enmeshed’ reversed. But one word for ‘newly enmeshed’ or perhaps ‘enmeshed again’ reversed.

  31. Now have 13d and 17a. But lost on 11a and 9d, if anyone is out there. I will have to leave it until tomorrow and perhaps revert to the answers in today’s paper.

  32. Sandy, 9d is a fictional character from the pen of John le Carré. The “measure” is letters 2-5.

    11a, the second word of the answer is clued by “nothing” and the first word is a material, rather obscure. The first two words of the clue are the definition.

  33. Ah thanks Sandy. I was stuck on a different word for enmesh. All out.
    And apologies for not responding to your question, I was offline for a while.
    Till next week …

  34. Nonithepony: I did not know that!

    Thanks to all who helped me out. Finally completed but it was a bit of a slog, and not helped by misreading the instructions. 17a my favourite.

  35. About that stuff-up. One: in the context of years of astonishingly Byzantine and satisfying puzzles, totes forgiven. Two: wouldn’t happen if Fairfax had enough respect for both setters and solvers to employ a professional editor. English papers do. Which might also spare readers a lot of the flaky parsing and gibberish some of the other setters regularly serve up. There, I’ve said it.

  36. Gizmopenhauer – agreed. It doesn’t happen often, but often enough to be irritating.

  37. About the abyss between DA and his fellow setters. Boarded a plane yesterday with the Herald and went straight to RM. Admittedly there was quite a delay before take-off but got it all in just as the wheels left the ground. But still working on DA’s Omega. Most of even his straight clues are more interestingly worded and challenging than any of RM’s cryptics. Talk about value for money.

  38. Maybe a valid comment for those who can solve DA, not so much for the majority of solvers who can’t. I agree though that the overall standard should be much higher.

  39. With you on both counts. DA ‘s a fiend to solve, and most of the others aren’t worth the little effort needed.

  40. Agree with Donald G and Gizmopenhauer. DA can be an absolute bugger and I usually struggle to complete his by Sunday night, but he is streets ahead of the other setters and is much more satisfying to solve.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *