DA for the 24th of March, 2023

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

58 thoughts on “DA for the 24th of March, 2023

  1. All done. A tad easier than last week. Still mulling over the word play for 18d.
    Liked 22 across.

    FOI 23d, 6d
    LOI 15d

  2. Margaret – completely agree wrt being easier.
    Maybe even a bit of a disappointment. But I am probably just being picky after last week’s beauty,
    FOI 4D.
    Then simply worked around from NW to NE to SE to SW.
    With LOI 21D.
    And ditto 22A – very clever in my opinion.

  3. Margaret – missed your query – 18D – “elevating foot” gives 1,2,3. And “guru” 4,5,6,7.
    Hope helps.

  4. DAJunkie,
    Not really a query just an observation :)

    Yeah I was working with that wordplay but it seemed a bit hmmm to me.

  5. All out, no dramas, even without looking at DAJ’s rather early hint. A good, wholesome DA, with no niggles (although I’m sure Tim will find a few!). There are two that I haven’t yet parsed, but it’ll happen. Nothing obscure, and nothing to challenge my meagre general knowledge. 13a was the only one I’d not heard of.

    Now for the Pommy puzzles …

  6. Completed it in a good time (for me) and, like others, loved 22A.
    Re early hints: this may have been raised before, but could there be an agreed time (say Fri midday) before which there should be no hints? It doesn’t matter to me personally, as I prefer to battle it out with no hints, and don’t dare visit the Trippers until I’ve finished. But I know I’m at one end of a spectrum here.

  7. DA#2, I’d vote for subtle hints Friday late afternoon, stronger hints Saturday and spoilers Sunday. Did I say “vote”? Mustn’t forget tomorrow.

    22a was one of the two I hadn’t parsed, but when the penny dropped it elicited a tiny chuckle.

  8. I wasn’t really looking for an answer; just stating I was still thinking about it. I do agree with the timeframes on hints. Also I think people should explicitly ask for help to avoid others jumping the gun a tad. It can be hard to resist sometimes.

  9. Out shopping all morning so only just finished. First pass 13a,19a,28a/1d,4d. LOI 18d. Back to a typical DA.
    Niggles Graham M? Me? Oh OK. Same as Zinzan. :)

  10. Timing of hints doesn’t affect me really as far as spoilers for me goes, as I don’t come on here or zinzan until I’m done or have really given up (in which case it’ll be late Friday). However, the timing suggested by DA#2 sounds reasonable to me. I hope in the past that I’ve been circumspect on a Friday (and even Saturday to a lesser extent).

  11. In hindsight, it was inappropriate of me replying to Margaret this morning, not because of the time, but because, as she correctly states, she was not enquiring, just commenting.
    And I am completely in Tim’s basket – I only come here when complete or when looking for assistance.
    As for arbitrary timing of replies, I think that is not right – anybody should be able to ask for help at any time and the response supplied in a timely manner. Having to wait just seems petty.
    Afterall, normally you only have to wait to about noon or a bit later and then you can find ALL the answers on Zinzan.
    And it often surprises me how many people suddenly have epiphanies not long after Zinzan posts.
    In fact, on the odd week that Zinzan (or Pussycat) occasionally miss, the DA Trippers site is way more interesting.

  12. I like to come here early, sometimes before I even begin, to see the reactions of the early birds, perhaps to gauge how much I need to steel myself! So I prefer not to see hints too early. I don’t generally ask for nor give help till quite late on Fridays.

    I got into big trouble once for revealing too much on the Guardian website. It was a long time ago, when I was young and innocent, and hadn’t quite understood the difference between their site and Fifteen Squared. I apologised profusely and as far as I know forgiven.

  13. DAJ, you can also get any answer any time by googling, which often sends you to Danword, or whatever it’s called. But needless to say, there’d be no point in doing crosswords if you’re going to do that too often. I’ve only ever done it once or twice when thoroughly stuck. And this way you get no help with parsing.

  14. When I got 1a and 6a straight away, I thought DA was lulling me into a false sense of security. But not so. This all twigged fairly quickly for me. Enjoyable, but not stretching like most weeks.

  15. As for the hint thing, I rarely get to look at the puzzle as early as most. Life happens. So when the hints come won’t really make much difference to me.

  16. Graham M – thanks for the info. Was not aware of the site. And completely agree – if you are going to use such sites it does sort of undermine the whole crossword premise.
    That’s why this site is so good – it can give you a prompt and allow YOU to get on the right “brain wave” so you can still solve, without just being given the answer.
    This site is much better than Zinzan in that respect – at Zinzan you get the answer and complete wordplay.
    If you look at my replies, I very often try to only give just a hint or a piece, so the satisfaction can still come from solving by yourself – the best way to learn.

  17. DAJ, you’re normally fine with site etiquette, but just once or twice in recent weeks I thought you may have jumped the gun. I made a point of not reading your hint this morning as I always want to start out “cold”. I guess we all need to judge where we draw the line regarding spoilers: how much help to give and when’s appropriate. We might not all agree.

    But I do value your contributions, including your impressions of puzzles — especially as you’re often first cab off the rank.

    I also should have mentioned that answers can be revealed online any time if you’re a subscriber to the Herald/Age. Again, this doesn’t help with parsing.

  18. I really like the assistance, especially the foi s.
    I don’t mind a few hints either, early or late, all good.
    DA is such a wonderful setter, especially when you compare him with the nameless compilations from The Times. He’s so amusing.

  19. I can honestly say that I’ve never visited Zinzan and probably never will. As for Danword and its ilk, I sometimes go there when I have discovered my answer but can’t parse it. I know that Danword won’t give me the parsing, but it will show whether my answer is correct. Once this is confirmed, I can persevere until the parsing comes to me.

    Unlike other Trippers, I found today’s effort reasonably difficult, but I did enjoy it.

    It occurred to me that I’ve seen the word 13A somewhere in the Bible, but never actually seen the plant.

  20. Melanie, I don’t know how much time you have on your hands, but both the Guardian and Financial Times have daily cryptics that you might enjoy. Each has a big “family” of setters, ranging from very easy to mind-blowingly hard. You soon get to work out who’s who, and which ones to avoid. You need to build up a knowledge of certain Britishisms, but that’s not usually a problem. Then there’s a big community of solvers on the Fifteensquared website, where you can let it all out!

    (I’m receiving no kickbacks for my endorsement!)

  21. The online check/reveal buttons present in the online crosswords (both SMH/Age and Guardian) is where I think sites like Danword get all the answers from Graham M. A similar site is wordplays.com which I’ve used in the past to get some ideas when setting rather than solving. In fact, typing the clue (in quotes) in Google will get you a number of sites with the answer, but where’s the fun in that?

  22. Exactly, Tim. Which is why, as DAJ says, it’s better to ask here for a nudge so that you still need to engage the brain, and still enjoy the feeling of achievement when you crack it.

  23. Agree with Sandy re false sense of security – I’m still struggling but will soldier on for a while longer.
    Re Jack’s comment on 13A, interesting that we have also had bible-based Wordwit puzzles yesterday and today.

  24. We are just your regular slow and steady solvers who try not to visit this site until we have finished and then mainly to check our answers and see how others have done. It is always interesting to read of the trials and tribulations that are usually very similar to our own. Sometimes we need more and then the help offered is usually at just the right level to guide but not push us to the correct answer. We understand that DA is not always like other setters and that is what makes him so enjoyable for us.

  25. As someone who very frequently needs hints I think I like Graham’s “hint timetable”.
    I usually have an early look at the site before I start to gauge the mood. Try to avoid looking at Zinzan until at least Saturday afternoon.
    Making steady progress today but not finding as easy as some have.
    Pleased to see 8D in the plural rather than the American singular. Wouldn’t 6A work just as well without ‘eBay’?

  26. Sandy Mc, like you, I got 1A and 6A very quickly and feared that the rest would be too hard, but (most of) the rest yielded very sweetly.

    Still struggling with 5D and 11D, but not looking for help yet. (I too value this site for its gentle pushes in the right direction.)

    I do occasionally use DanWord to check I’ve got the right answer, but it backfires sometimes when I’m wrong, because there’s the correct answer staring at you and you’ve robbed yourself of the pleasure of solving.

  27. Spoiler alert! I assume it is late enough in the day :-)
    DA, I hate to be pedantic, but a Willie Wagtail is a fantail rather than a flycatcher.

  28. Of course!
    Thanks for the hints folks.
    I must look up fifteensquared. I find some of the English one word abbreviations hard.

  29. Hi, legends.
    Longtime lurker, and very grateful for your thoughts which often help me parse tricky answers I have but can’t ‘get’.
    Today, I couldn’t get 22A (though had the answer, by filling in every 2nd letter) and wondered why you were giggling.
    Sat on the balcony with a shiraz while looking at the night sky, and within seconds, whammy! Must be a good red. (William Light, South Australia.)

  30. Andrew C @ 3:28… That must be why I found the Wordwits easy the last couple of days. :)
    GeoffD @ 3:58… The time that DA starts using the singular is the time I stop doing his crossword.

  31. Back to Margaret’s early morning comments about 18D – the way I read the clue, it needs something added to the wordplay to give 2 of the letters. Am I off beam?

  32. Thanks Jack and Margaret re 18D – because you have to say the first letter out loud, I would have thought an indicator is also needed to clue letters 2 & 3.

  33. The time is right?
    Parsing, please: 3D, 7D (does any of 8D contribute?) 15D, 18D. Be as Saturday-suitably direct as you like!
    Also, is ‘lace’ an anagrind in 1A? Ditto, ‘becoming’ in 23D? Hmmm… to both.
    p.s. re 11A: can’t remember the last time I got one of them in one of them!

  34. 7d …

    Like 2-4
    Medic 5,6
    Second 1,7
    Object 8,9

    7d, nothing to do with 8d …

    Swamp 1-3
    Roster 4-7

    15d, first word is definition. Club is 1,2,9. Royal is 3-6. Couple in show is 7,8.

    Yes, lace is an angrind in 1a, and becoming in 23d/6d,

  35. Tim C, I’ve occasionally wondered where those crossword solution sites get their fodder. You’re probably right, but there remains a mystery in that solutions for “prize” crosswords at the Guardian are on there too, and they’re not revealable on the Guardian site. And as far as I know FT crosswords don’t have an interactive site. Curiouser and curiouser.

  36. Maybe they just have people solving all the crosswords Graham M. Not sure.

  37. I think Dan Word might be a bot. If AI can be used to set crosswords as it does in some papers, reportedly the Daily Telegraph for one, it can also solve them. There are other solving sites, but DanWord must be very good with its algorithms to get such prominence.

    I asked google a question about DanWord and found:
    Internet Service Providers, Website Hosting & Internet-related Services · United Kingdom · <25 Employees. Dan Word is a company that operates in the Internet industry. It employs 6-10 people and has $1M-$5M of revenue. The company is headquartered in Manchester, England, United Kingdom.

    However, I totally agree with Carol. It's very disappointing when you look up a word for confirmation or a bit of information and the first hit is Dan Word giving the answer away.

    Great discussion here about hints and timing and helpfulness. What a wonderful community Trippers is with such polite and interesting communication. It seems to be something shared, on the whole, amongst cryptocruciverbalist bloggers and contributors, both here and on the Guardian and fifteensquared sites, as others have mentioned. And people from all walks of life and places on the planet! I feel so fortunate to have found this delight some years ago when I was laid up for months recovering from surgery. A relatively inexpensive boon to mental health through laughs and connectedness, as well as maybe even fending off cognitive decline. You can even solve while jogging. :-)

  38. Came to Trippers with 7D and 11A to solve
    FOI 24d local lad.
    I liked 20d and22a where wordplay had eluded me until I read GrahamM’s comment. I recall 13a stick was used by Roman soldier to offer Christ a sponge soaked in vinegar at the crucifixion.
    I enjoy the interplay on Trippers and usually visit when I’m almost finished or really stuck and need inspiration I think the hints are pitched at the right level and sometimes as cryptic as the clues !
    This weeks puzzle on the easier side I generally start late Friday pm and usually have a few clues solved . Go to bed and find that Saturday morning reveals more answers (subconscious processing)
    In fact I’m going to have pre dinner nap to see if I can crack 11a
    As I type I’ve just had an aha moment and I’m finished. A good weekend everyone and looking forward to next Friday.

  39. A belated welcome to Clare@7.01 yesterday evening. What a beautiful picture you paint, half your luck. And thanks to you I now know a bit about William Light. Please come again and share some of your shiraz and the view from your balcony.

  40. I’ve never heard of 5D, and I don’t understand what a bugle has to do with it.

    I knew 13A because it’s mentioned in practically the first minute of the Sunday Catholic Mass (the traditional Latin one anyway).

  41. Carol bugle was slang for nose
    I knew it from a phrase to describe a smelly item as “ on the bugle”
    Hope that helps

  42. Thank you Ian S. I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about slang but that’s a new one for me.

  43. Thanks, Graham M – though disappointed it was banter free! :-(
    D’oh! to 3D.
    7D, though; how does the definition work?
    15D, I had to go to the afore-much-discussed ‘D’ place to see the answer was not, in fact, ‘Tropical club’ / BIKINI HUT!
    And, finally, you missed 18D?

  44. johnno2 –
    7D – defn = “bumf” – look it up.
    18D – “elevating foot” is “g” = GEE. “guru” = WHIZ. Defn = “Wow”.

  45. Thanks, DAJ.
    I’ve never twigged that a letter could clue its spelling. I was looking for a homophone indicator.
    I looked bumf up, as you suggested. I see it’s a ‘dated’ definition. Time to bring it back!

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