DA Bullshit for the 27/28th of July, 2012

There was a lot to like in the crossword (nonetheless to mean take the letter o out was genius), but there was one clue in particular to call bullshit on:

26A: Hands on boxes to rearrange show? (7)

DIY is a tough but fair synonym for hands on, but parsing rearrange as rear range and getting SPLA is crossing an arbitrary line into a territory that is full of indirect anagrams and other such devices of cryptic nastiness.

DA Bullshit from 6-7 July 2012

13a.  Salmon No 6? (4)


Now that I’ve posted nice things in the DA Gold post, I can get on with my chest beating!  WTF?  PARR = Salmon?  I’ve eaten it, fished for it, I know how to say it in 4 languages and I have never heard of parr.  Wikipedia lists parr as 11th of 16 alternative names for Atlantic Salmon.

As for No 6?  Come on!  In  mid 16th century England, this might have been an acceptable definition (Catherine Parr (1512-1548) was the 6th wife of Henry VIII) but in 21C Oz, it is downright BULLSHIT!!!!

Surely something like “Henry’s 6th sounds ordinary” would have been more acceptable.


1d Her outline in verse inclined characters to welcome NSW pusher, maybe (5,10)


Sometimes DA puts in a very stretched definition and it works.  Somewhere in the archives is “He manipulates triumphantly” cluing “Muralitheran”.  Stretching it, but great (because I got it!).  But here, “Her outline” for vital statistics, I’m just not going to stand for!  Even if you accept Vital statistics = bust, waist, hips measurements (whats the dial-a-feminist hotline number?) surely these are three points on a woman’s outline and not the outline itself!

v= verse      ok, I suppose

inclined characters = italics     fine

NSW pusher = statist    WTF?  Again, maybe in pre federation Australia, one pushing for NSW to become a state in a federation, maybe even a proud Territorian in our day and age, but NSW pusher…..BULLSHIT!!!!

Also worth a quick mention in bullshit, in this otherwise great crossword, was 8a leave bath = climb out.  A bit weak, but considering the other great down clues, we’ll let it slide.

What did everyone else think?  Am I just whining?

DA Bullshit for the 26/27th of August, 2011

It’s not often I pull out DA Bullshit these days, but I thought 8 across particularly poor:

8 across: Continent’s foremost Norseman stores wheeled craft in garbage (8)
First complaint: there’s wheeled as a reversal indicator, which seems very unfair to me.

Second and main complaint: There is no way a Norseman is a Lapp. A Norseman is an appellation from the past that’s often applied colourfully to the current-day Scandinavians who are their descendants. The Norsemen had their own language, their own myths, their own culture, all of which is very distinct to the language, myths and culture of the Saami, who are commonly referred to as the Lapps, which they consider a pejorative term. Sure, some Saami are Norwegian or Swedish citizens, but others are also Finnish and Russian citizens. They’re a distinct ethnicity dispersed over an area, and calling them Norsemen is a big boo boo akin to equating Ottomans and Kurds.

DA Bullshit for the 12/13th of August, 2011

In celebration of this blog’s three years, time to bring back the bullshit call:

1 down: Wine hack (3)
No one says cab for wine. Surely that’s a stretch too far.

15 across: Naval bigwig had doffed cap to one replacing lifebuoy held by puritan? (7)
Held by puritan = moral deserved more than a single question mark.

The Bullshit from the last of Jan, 2010

4 down: I crack baseball side, well trimmed for online photo (9)
Awkward and bullshit in my book: I crack baseball side, well trimmed = me gap IX well – wl = megapixel = online photo.

A pixel is a little dot that gets coloured to portray an image. Get a whole bunch of them together coloured in a certain way and you have a photo.

The problem: Humans are a collection of atoms. Arrange them in the right way and you have a human. Nevertheless, if I saw human = atoms, I’d say bullshit, just as I say online photo = megapixel is bullshit too.

6 down: Flag emission source (7)
This one is flag = exhaust = emission source.

Not sure about whether flag = exhaust is bullshit or not, though. I think yes one minute, then no. Either way, it’s debatable.

Bullshit Query from DA’s 4th of 2010

16 down: Largely tense bunch of doctors animated comedy (8)
A tough one if you’ve never heard of the show: largely tense bunch of doctors = largely future ama = Futurama = animated comedy.

My peeve: tense = future. I’ve seen that kind of thing before, for instance black = jet, and not complained, but I reckon that it’s not quite right. Future and jet are merely adjectives that can’t really be substituted for the noun they’re modifying, otherwise we’d have big = house because you often read big house, or light = blue for a similar reason.

I’m pretty sure, though, that this kind of thing is a common feature of cryptics, but, like ellipses, I think I’ll have to grin and bear it while thinking their use questionable.

The Bullshit of DA’s Third of the Year

6 down: Fund inquiries for how today’s theme translates to diehards? (5, 5)
This is very almost a great clue: how today’s theme translates to diehards = means tests = fund inquiries.

The problem: a means test isn’t really a fund inquiry as far as I can tell. I reckon funds inquiries might have been OK, but fund inquiries is not right for mine.

11 across: A virtual game with 50/50 participation? (3-7)
It’s rather inelegant: a virtual game with 50/50 participation = a virtual rounders with ll = a rounder with ll = all-rounder = cricket theme.

What’s not quite right: I don’t think the clue does enough to explain how the ll can appear between a and rounder.

22 across: Caught yours truly (6)
It’s cheeky and presumptuous and obscure: caught yours truly = c Astle (DA’s surname) = castle (the wickets apparently, but not in Chambers at least) = cricket theme.

24 across: Bond writer christened Murray (4)
I had never heard of the author, but the triple definition just breaks the rules unnecessarily: writer christened Murray = Bail = bond = cricket theme.

18 down: Cloud over (zero degrees), obscuring face of watch instrument (8)
Sometimes DA stretches things too far: cloud over (zero degrees) obscuring face of watch = duolc – o + timer – t = dulcimer = instrument.

The problem: the zero degrees. To make that mean get rid of an o is quite a stretch, especially when you consider zero degrees would be represented as two zeroes, or 0°.

4 down: Sounds mentally focus lean rider (7)
Another almost great clue: sounds mentally focus lean = sounds psych list = cyclist = rider.

My problem: even though Chambers only says “usu with up” and not always with up, to mentally focus is to psych up, not to psych.

Update: RB’s moment of divine inspiration, as described in the comments, makes 4 down no longer bullshit but gold!

New Year Bullshit from the 1st of Jan

2 down: Offload, even times in the ultimate 11-across (tanker) of ill-repute (5, 6)
It’s supposed to be offload even times in the ultimate = off loadeven xx in z = exxonvalde z = Exxon Valdez = tanker of ill-repute.

The clear problem: times is just x, not xx.

The questionable: ultimate = z seems a bit weak a connection (although I’d pass that, just).

8 across: Nothing 7-down (robs), apparently (3)
Apparently ain’t no aural indicator: robs apparently = nicks apparently = nix = nothing.