Short battle for sausage (8)
February 12, 2009 4:50 PM   Subscribe

A friend and I once tried to complete a cryptic crossword. Neither of us seem to have the right sort of mind for this, so we only managed to work out a handful of answers. To this day we're haunted by one of the clues that mocked our lateral thinking abilities. It's been five years! Help us end the mystery: Short battle for sausage (8 letters).
posted by xchmp to Grab Bag (43 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Since you're in the UK, maybe it's a reference to this event than a concept? t-a-s-t-i-e-s-t?
posted by suedehead at 4:51 PM on February 12, 2009


Adultery?
posted by leotrotsky at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sausage --> link --> golf?

That's as far as I can get--cryptic crosswords make me nuts!
posted by orrnyereg at 4:53 PM on February 12, 2009


I was thinking blood sausage - blood war. But it isn't short, and it's a bit tenuous. Now I've googled and still not found anything, so I'm intrigued. Do you remember where the puzzle was (what magazine, publication, etc)?
posted by routergirl at 4:54 PM on February 12, 2009


Dogfight.
posted by peggynature at 4:56 PM on February 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Kill-basa? :P
posted by dinx2582 at 4:56 PM on February 12, 2009


It was in a UK newspaper, either the Guardian or the Independent somewhere between late 2003 and mid 2004. On preview, dogfight sounds really good.
posted by xchmp at 4:57 PM on February 12, 2009


Oh, I'm absolutely convinced that it's in fact "dogfight". Good job, peggynature.
posted by dinx2582 at 4:57 PM on February 12, 2009


Battered
Rats, now I am hungry for something really unhealthy.
posted by samj at 5:01 PM on February 12, 2009


Dogfight is a very good answer.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:01 PM on February 12, 2009


It took AskMe no more than 6 minutes to generate an absolutely plausible answer for this. Awesome. Thanks so much peggynature!
posted by xchmp at 5:03 PM on February 12, 2009


You're welcome!
posted by peggynature at 5:04 PM on February 12, 2009


Battered? Short battle = batt. Sausage = saveloy, usually sold battered in fish and chip shops.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:04 PM on February 12, 2009


For us hard of thinking, can someone explain how dogfight relates to sausages (or is it just because dogs like 'em?).
posted by samj at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2009


Stupid slow typing.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:05 PM on February 12, 2009


Need to think like a Yank, samj - dog = hotdog. I like battered better.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:06 PM on February 12, 2009


Well, in the thesaurus:

Main Entry: hot dog
Part of Speech: noun
Definition: frankfurter
Synonyms: Georgia hot, boaster, crowd-pleaser, dog, flaunter, foot long, footlong, frank, frankfurter, grandstander, hotshot, pigs in a blanket, red-hot, redhot, sausage, showboat, weenie, weenie, wiener

posted by peggynature at 5:10 PM on February 12, 2009


Explanation: For a sausage dog (dachshund), a dogfight would be a "short" battle.
posted by rocket88 at 5:13 PM on February 12, 2009


Obvious now you've told me, if only we had any other letter.
I'm sticking with the battered camp, but will concede I could well be wrong.
posted by samj at 5:14 PM on February 12, 2009


Thanks for the explanation, rocket88 - I was still trying to find the connection.
posted by fish tick at 5:28 PM on February 12, 2009


For us hard of thinking, can someone explain how dogfight relates to sausages (or is it just because dogs like 'em?).

'Dog' is short for hotdog and is another word for sausage. Fight is a word for battle. Also a dogfight is a sort of short battle, like a single incident rather than an overall war.

I don't know if I would have gotten this one myself (my hit rate is about 80% usually) but the answer is pretty obvious once pointed out.
posted by shelleycat at 5:29 PM on February 12, 2009


I acutally disagree with rocket88's answer. Cryptic clues are more generally broken up into sections of the word then put together somehow to give the overall answer. I don't think sausage dogs ahv anything to do with it.

In the end it doesn't matter too much how you get there though as long as you get the right answer.
posted by shelleycat at 5:31 PM on February 12, 2009


brat spat!
posted by sio42 at 5:36 PM on February 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


"Dogfight" almost works if you take the clue to be the "double definition" type, but I'm not accustomed to seeing the kind of overlap you'd need for that to make sense here. That is, I'd expect the clue to split in half one of the following ways: either

[short]/[battle for sausage] or
[short battle]/[for sausage]

Then both of the bracketed bits would have to clue the answer one way or another.

"Dogfight" could conceivably be clued by "battle for sausage" or by "short battle," but I don't see how "short" or "for sausage" gets you there. So you'd have to parse the clue as something like [short battle][battle for sausage]. Is that overlap effect common in British crosswords? It would be pretty strange in an American cryptic.
posted by redfoxtail at 6:02 PM on February 12, 2009




Explanation: For a sausage dog (dachshund), a dogfight would be a "short" battle.

I think it's more that a hot dog is itself a kind of sausage.
posted by LionIndex at 6:30 PM on February 12, 2009


Right, there's a point at which the clue can be divided into two parts -- which in my experience means actually divided, not overlapping. (I didn't mean that the "halves" had to be equal in size or something, just that they didn't overlap.)
posted by redfoxtail at 6:31 PM on February 12, 2009


Whjereas the cryptics I'm used to doing often do overlap unevenly like this. I think it's generally a matter of style based on who wrote the crossword. I know I do much better in the two I do regularly just because I'm used to how they write their clues (and the terrible puns one uses).

So it would be
[battle] / [sausage] // [short battle] (with 'for' thrown in as a meaningless extra word)

I prefer when it divides evenly or doesn't overlap but these certainly happen. So do a few other types, not all the clues I see follow the exact geocities definition given above.
posted by shelleycat at 6:39 PM on February 12, 2009


Sausage could be an anagram for Assuage.

Therefore the clue maybe something to do with calming something/someone/situation down quickly.
posted by Man_in_staysis at 6:42 PM on February 12, 2009


BratWars?
posted by Orb2069 at 6:45 PM on February 12, 2009


Wow. I was thinking "catfight" but for the other definition of sausage.
posted by chairface at 7:00 PM on February 12, 2009


I think the original clue probably had a question mark at the end as in "Short battle for sausage? (8)". "dogfight" would then most certainly be the answer.
posted by Neiltupper at 7:33 PM on February 12, 2009


I thought "bay of pigs" but that is 9.
posted by TimeDoctor at 8:38 PM on February 12, 2009


Seconding bratspat
posted by rigby51 at 8:43 PM on February 12, 2009


American and Canadian cryptics adhere to stricter standards than British cryptics. North American cryptics almost always eschew the overlap that redfoxtail is complaining about, but British cryptics tend to be more impressionistic and overlap is more likely. Was this a British cryptic?
posted by painquale at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2009


Toulouse - a type of French sausage. The battle of Toulouse lasted two days, and was one of the final conflicts in the Napoleonic wars.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:10 PM on February 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Battered" seems reasonable, but "dogfight" just seems to fit better to me. It was a UK cryptic so what painquale says would apply. There may well have been a question mark at the end of the sentence in the original.
posted by xchmp at 11:20 PM on February 12, 2009


I'm curious — why would the question mark matter? (I've always found the cryptics totally incomprehensible, so I'm enjoying this little window into the process of solving one.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:52 PM on February 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


dogfight sounds good. If it's from the Guardian or Independent, it might not have the ? or ! after the clue - this normally indicates a "true" cryptic - the whole clue is cryptic instead of having two sections - the straight part and the cryptic part. With this type of clue, if you have the answer, the clue is obvious, if you know what I mean. For example, the fiendish

1. ! (4,3,3,1,4)

(answer is 'have not got a clue')
posted by BigCalm at 12:39 AM on February 13, 2009


I'm curious — why would the question mark matter?

The example Wikipedia gives is "The flower of London?" being "Thames", with the question mark denoting a double meaning or word interpretation other than the immediately obvious one. In this case, "the flow-er of London", as the Thames flows through London.

The Guardian gives the example "Frequently decimal? (5)" being "OFTEN". So there it's "Of Ten", because "decimal" is a number system of tens, being from the Latin decem (ten). And obviously "frequently" gives you "often".
posted by Mike1024 at 12:45 AM on February 13, 2009


If "brat spat" isn't the right answer, it should be. Good work, sio42!
posted by dinger at 10:41 AM on February 13, 2009


Is "hot dog" used much in the UK to mean sausage?
posted by rocket88 at 10:56 AM on February 13, 2009


Is "hot dog" used much in the UK to mean sausage?

In my experience it's more often used to refer to both the sausage and the bun, but I've certainly heard it also used for just the sausage.
posted by greycap at 3:15 PM on February 13, 2009


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