DT 27000

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27000

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *** Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja.   Looking at the puzzle number I was half expecting some sort of trickery but there’s nothing there that I can see – but that means very little!
While solving I thought it was very tricky and was well surprised when I saw my time when I clicked the submit button, so 3* it will have to be. Some great stuff from RayT as usual, including the Queen and a fair bit of innuendo. Splendid fun and very nearly worth 5* enjoyment but I’ll save that in case his next one is even better!
Definitions are underlined in the clue (but I don’t know how to do the new way to hide the answers).
The clues I like most are in blue and the answers can be seen by highlighting the space between the curly brackets. Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across

1a           Execution of play at the end with a twist (5,7)
{DEATH PENALTY} – It’s an anagram (with a twist) of PLAY AT THE END.

8a           Jacked up without one getting demolished (5)
{RASED} – A word for jacked up or lifted with the I removed (without one).

9a           Queen’s back, refined with rap (9)
{REPRIMAND} – This is nothing to do with modern music (?) but rap as in punishment . Reverse the cipher for our current Monarch (Queen’s back), follow witih a word for refined or proper and then a word meaning with or ‘as well as’.  Is Rap music actually music? – Discuss.

11a         Repelled by North American consumed about nosh (9)
{NAUSEATED} – Listen very carefully . . . You need N(orth), A(merican) followed by a word for consumed or employed into which is inserted (about) a word meaning nosh (it’s a verb in this instance).  Far easier to solve than hint – there’s a couple more later on in the downs!

12a         Tickle trout’s tail with dexterity (5)
{TEASE} – If you do something with dexterity you do it with ****.  Place that after a T (trouT’s tail).

13a         Catch terrible cheat causing anguish (9)
{HEARTACHE} – Catch in the sense of catching what someone says. After that it’s an anagram (terrible) of cheat.

16a         Time sprint for dash (5)
{TRACE} – Dash as in a little bit. It’s T(ime) followed by a word for sprint or move quickly.

18a         Loose woman, one related, going topless (5)
{UNTIE} – It’s loose as in to set free and it’s a female relative without her first letter (going topless).  I now have a rather unnerving mental image of my 84 year old one of these going topless – thanks Ray!

19a         Supple, candlelit, he sometimes embraces (9)
{LITHESOME} – The answer is hidden in (embraces) the other three words of the clue.

20a         Declare opening securing maiden (5)
{ADMIT} – An opening, into a mine, with M(aiden) inserted (securing).

22a         Leaving helpless redhead in station (9)
{STRANDING} – This is leaving helpless as in the case of Robinson Crusoe perhaps. You need to insert R (Red head) into a word for your station or position in society.

25a         Sailor at sea, some say, descending by rope (9)
{ABSEILING} – Start with the usual sailor and finish with some letters which aren’t actually a word but are pronounced the same way (some say) as what the sailor is doing when out at sea.

26a         Batsman ends suppressing naked muscularity (5)
{BRAWN} – Take a B and N (BatsmaN ends) and place them around (suppressing) another word for naked.   Also the name of the F1 team where Jenson Button became world champion – cue photo!

27a         Let bra settle perhaps giving temporary support (7,5)
{TRESTLE TABLE} – Temporary support much used in street parties. An anagram (perhaps) of LET BRA SETTLE.

Down

1d           He may argue policeman’s set on worker (9)
{DISPUTANT} – It’s a charade of a senior policeman (don’t forget the ‘S), a word for set and the usual worker.

2d           Count on the French to get confused (5)
{ADDLE} – Take a word for count or count up and then the French definite article.

3d           Wood shed contains fearsome interior (5)
{HURST} – A slightly obscure word for a wood or grove of trees.  Another word for a shed or wooden building with RS (feaRSome interior) inserted (contains).

4d           Former wife on exercise regime including new method (9)
{EXPEDIENT} – Listen very carefully again . . . The usual abbreviation for former spouse followed by some physical exercise. After that you need a regime or parliament with N(ew) inserted (including).

5d           Happen to swallow slug left for philosopher (9)
{ARISTOTLE} – Take a word meaning to happen or occur and insert a slug, of whisky perhaps, and L(eft).

6d           Elevated skill including top female accessory (5)
{TIARA} – This is a down clue so ‘elevated’ is a reversal indicator.  Take a word for skill and insert (including) the usual two letters for “top” and then reverse the lot. You’ll find an accessory worn by females on their head.  We had this in the last puzzle I blogged so I’ll use the same photo!

7d           African gnu he shot in foreign region (6,6)
{FRENCH GUIANA} – This foreign country is an anagram (shot) of AFRICAN GNU HE.

10d         Motor stops on European railway — English shortly coming aboard (6,6)
{DIESEL ENGINE} – Listen very carefully yet again . . . A motor, as in a car perhaps. Start with a word for stops or expires and follow with E(uropean) and a word for a railway track into which you have to insert (coming aboard) an abbreviation for English. Then split it all (6,6).

14d         Smash hit recast for performance (9)
{THEATRICS} – An anagram (smash) of HIT RECAST.

15d         In grace, lest I allow heart’s divine (9)
{CELESTIAL} – The answer’s hidden in (in) GRACE LEST I ALLOW.

17d         Loathe a bad smell friend holds in (9)
{ABOMINATE} – A (from the clue) followed by the bad smell even your friends won’t tell you about and then IN (from the clue) inserted into (holds) a friend –  possibly the one who won’t tell you about the smell?

21d         One embracing one’s tender? (5)
{MISER} – Tender as in money. A cryptic definition of one who keeps a tight hold on his money.

23d         Initially redacted original great English thesaurus (5)
{ROGET} – This is the guy who edited or produced the very first thesaurus in the English language.  He’s also the first letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.  Brilliant clue IMHO.

24d         Tycoon and toff pocketing a billion (5)
{NABOB} – A tycoon who made a fortune in the Far East.  Take another word for a toff, insert (pocketing) A (from the clue) and follow with B(illions).

Too many good clues to pick out favourites apart from 23d – what do you think?


The Quick crossword pun: {mars} + {help} + {roost} = {Marcel Proust}


102 Comments

  1. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Wow this was up early Pommers!! Agree that it was a great puzzle with clever clues. When we saw some multiple word answers started to doubt who was the setter, but all the other signs were there. Won’t pick favourites as it might make all the other good ones jealous.
    Thanks RayT and Pommers.

    • pommers
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      I like to look after our antipodean friends!
      It wasn’t so much the post that was up early but more like pommers that was up late :grin:

    • Kath
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kiwis,
      I could easily be wrong here but I think his trademark (or one of them) single word answers only applies to the quick crossword.

  2. Jezza
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    A lovely puzzle to keep me company with my coffee in Costa this morning. It took me a little longer than normal to finish.
    Thanks to RayT, and to Pommers. 3*/4* for me.

  3. Only fools
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Sorry only 2/3 for me ,no smiles and 2 frowns 3d and 21d .

  4. Only fools
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Sorry only 2/3 for me ,no smiles and 2 frowns namely 3d and 21d

  5. bifield
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Tricky to get started but quit straighforward after the first hurdle. 3d was a new word for me so it involved a look in my dictionary to confirm. Thanks to setter and to Pommers for the review.

  6. Up The Creek
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Oh Joy! Oh elation! RayT is back at last with another from the top shelf, or beneath the counter! So many good clues to name a favourite. Suppose we will have to wait 2 weeks for the next one. What is the editor playing at?

    • mary
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Hi UTC, I guess the editor knows we don’t all love RayT ;-)

  7. mary
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Hola pommer not quite finished this yet but just wanted to check out 23d, once again I thinka word ‘thesaurus’ is doing ‘double duty’ I really don’t understand, sometimes it’s allowed, sometimes it’s not, as this isn’t an all in one clue, we are being told to take the first letters to get… no definition?

    • gazza
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      It is an all-in-one, Mary. The whole clue is the definition, not just the word ‘thesaurus’.

      • mary
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        I just don’t understand that gazza, we are being told to take the initial letters thus using thesaurus twice?

        • pommers
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Hi Mary
          Read the whole clue as a description of the first (initially) person to edit (redact) the first (original) and greatest (great) English thesaurus.

          • Qix
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

            It’s slightly naughty, because the def is an adjectival phrase but the answer is a noun.

            If the clue had “He” at the start, it might be simpler to understand.

            • Qix
              Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

              It’s slightly naughty, because the def seems to be an adjectival phrase but the answer is a noun. OTOH, if the whole phrase is intended to refer to the book rather than the person, it could be nounal, but then the first two words wouldn’t really contribute to the def.

              If the clue had “He” at the start, it might be simpler to understand.

              • Qix
                Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

                This ^^ refers to 23d, of course.

              • eXternal
                Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

                Agreed. I think ‘he’ at the start would make more sense and be fine as a semi-all-in-one

                • mary
                  Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

                  Yes I agree with you both on this one

              • mary
                Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

                Exactly, I couldn’t have put it better myself ;-)

          • mary
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

            Hi pommers yes I did that and I know what ot’s telling us to do but as we are using the first letter of thesaurus too, I don’t see that it works, it’s just something that I was told when learning

  8. mary
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Not too bad for a RayT, we are spoiled for inclusive clues this week, another two today, no real favourites, just a slight query with 23d, see above 3star for difficulty for me today, thanks for hints pommers needed one or two :-)

    • mary
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Not heard of 3d before

      • Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        It appears in the names of countless towns and villages.

        • Steve_the_beard
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          … and of an English footballer in 1966 :-)

  9. Wozza
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I thought this was easier than a normal Ray T, probably my best ever time for him but it also gave me fewer laughs than normal. Still my favourite of the week by some way.

    Thanks to both.

    W

  10. Prolixic
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Spot on a two stopper for me but agree with **** enjoyment. Thansk to Ray T for the fun and to Pommers for the review.

    Giovanni’s Toughie is a crossword that goes above and beyond its name but with some wonderful penny drop moments.

    • Jezza
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I’m glad you said that about the toughie! I’ve managed about half and put it to one side for the mo.

      • 2Kiwis
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        We are one word away from finishing the Toughie and it is driving us crazy. Will sleep on it and hope for inspiration by morning. Night all.

        • Jezza
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          I’ve progressed to 3 remaining.. I so hope Bufo gives it at least 4* !

          • Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

            Bufo is on his way to London, so I’m doing the review!

            I’ve got it as ***** and ***. It took a lot of CS’s investigoogling.

            • crypticsue
              Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

              Gazza discovered this lovely portmanteau word. I have just adopted it for use with tricky crosswords.

          • andy
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            5 remaining, all in NW.

            • Jezza
              Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

              I’ve just finished it; and the NW was where I ended up too.

              • pommers
                Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

                So have I :grin: Twigged 1d and then it sort of fell together of it’s own accord! Fortunately I had heard of the rock and the Hindu festival.

              • andy
                Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

                Bit rude when meetings interrupt a crossword, am there now but unsure on one, fits but not sure why!

            • gnomethang
              Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

              Precisely where i am having picked it back up after work!!

        • 2Kiwis
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Inspiration happened at 5.29 am (pm your time) after a night’s sleep. WHEEEEEE! Yes it was NW corner.

      • pommers
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I have the long clue down the centre and everything to its right but zilch to the left – grid looks a bit odd!

    • Kath
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      All this sounds as if it might be a good day for me to give the Toughie a miss!

    • spindrift
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      No disrespect to anybody but to save confusion for those of us with sub optimal cerebral capacity please could we reserve comments on the Toughie until the review is available to all? That way we will all see as to what you are referring to.

  11. Hrothgar
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Excellent fare from RayT
    I do so enjoy Thursdays.
    Many thanks, and to pommers.

  12. Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I suspect one or two might complain but I really enjoyed this one. Took a little longer than normal but I agree with *** and ****+. 3d was last in. Many thanks.

  13. Beaver
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Excellent fare today***1/2 ****, for me, Wanted to put ‘death departs’ for 1a as it fitted the letters in the second word -until i saw the light and Damascus loomed.Like others ‘hurst’ was new or i’d forgotten it-there was a wood near me called Brockhurst Wood come to think of it.The solution to some clues seemed obvious,just the wordplay was difficult-thanks to setter for a proper Thursday puzzle.

  14. Sweet William
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Thank you Ray T – really enjoyed that; so many clever clues. Thanks to Pommers as well for your review. Had a few answers 5d and 6d come to mind where I needed to sort out the wordplay after filling in the answer.

  15. Kath
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed it but don’t think that anyone would expect me to say anything different. For me it was a bit more than 3* for difficulty and a bit more than 4* for enjoyment.
    10d took me ages to untangle. I’d never heard of 3d – sounds as if most others hadn’t either. The other one that caused some trouble was 21d – it had to be what it was but I was trying to make the ‘is’ in the middle the ’embracing one’s’ from the clue which left me in a muddle – stupid, really!
    No real favourites – just most of them!
    With thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

    • Wozza
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      If you lived near me it wouldn’t have been a problem. We have wadhurst, ticehurst, hawkhurst and lamberhurst all within a 5 mile radius!

      • Kath
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        There are none around here that I can think of although there are a lot of roads in Sheffield, where my sister lives, that are called a variety of things followed by hurst Road. Most of them seem to be tree lined.

  16. crypticsue
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Particuarly straightforward for a Ray T but great fun 2/4 for me. Not sure which to pick as a favourite so I will say thank you to Ray T and Pommers too.

    The Toughie is, as has been said, at the extreme level of toughness but I staggered to the end eventually. It did appear to have worn out quite a lot of the available cryptic grey matter too which didn’t help me sort out the nice Paul in the Graun.

  17. Big Boab
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Jay for a very enjoyable crossword and to Pommers for a very entertaining review.

  18. MikeT
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Untangling the wordplay in 11A, 4D & 10D took me longer than getting the right answers in the first place, but having got there in the end, it was good to see Pommers’ confirmation. I’m not sure I fully understand all the discussion about 23D, which seems to be very technical about clue structure, as ‘initially’ said it all for me, making the answer obvious, and Roget did redact the orginal original English thesaurus – sorry, if this is controversial.

  19. Peter
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    What a strange day! I completed a RayT without BD blog help. And its stopped raining and the sun is shining.
    So, because I finished the puzzle it must be a 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    Thanks to RayT and Gazza.

    • Peter
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Oops, so excited about finishing I credited Gazza rather than Pommers with the blog. Sorry, Pommers

      • pommers
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        No pasa nada – happens all the time :smile:

  20. Digby
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    It’s normally 4-letter clues with which I struggle, but today 3 or 4 of the fivers were the last to go in.
    A splendid crossword, with something for everyone. Thanks pommers & Ray T.
    Does the Quickie pun appear OK for everyone – it looks a bit strange today (Firefox)

  21. Steve_the_beard
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    That was fun!

    Given that one’s relatives may be a lot younger than oneself, if siblings are born many years apart (a second marriage, maybe?), then there is considerable scope for a nice picture to go with 18D. Is it too late?

    I can’t say that I’m very happy with the synonym for “refined” in 9A, and Chambers’ seems to agree with me. What does everyone else think?

    Many favourites, particularly 18A and 21D.

    My thanks to RayT and Pommers.

    • Peter
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Steve, I struggled with the synomyn in 9a and only got the answer by guesswork. I can’t find a reputable source that equates refined and prim

    • pommers
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Re the synonym, it didn’t really occur to me but I can’t find it in 23d!

  22. Steve_the_beard
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    That’s odd – my comment has gone in as number 20, even though the next three comments existed already…

    • Kath
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I’ve been noticing that too.

  23. CB
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Having needed to use this wonderful site for help with the cryptic every Thursday and Friday, plus some Wednesdays, I am feeling very proud.

    For the first time, I have completed the cryptic from Monday to Thursday this week without needing any help but definitely not in record time. I know there is still Friday to go but 4 out of 5 is enough for me to celebrate.

    This is my first “comment”, although I feel I know so many of you having read and enjoyed your comments, even when I’ve not needed help.

    The DT crossword is fast becoming a necessity for my mental well-being as I’ve had to give up work to become a full time carer for my hubbie (Parkinson’s with dementia, plus other problems still being diagnosed). When I have completed any paperwork, the medication checks, given the cat her morning brush and the usual housework, I allow myself to sit down with a cuppa and a printout of the crossword. Luxury!

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Welcome CB. Congratulations on completing the cryptics this week. I do hope you will comment more often now, when time permits.

    • mary
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome CB and really well done this week :-)

    • Kath
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Welcome and well done from me too. Sitting down with coffee and the crossword when all immediately necessary ‘stuff’ has been done feels like a reward, doesn’t it?

  24. mary
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    For some reason last comments aren’t ‘nesting’

    • gazza
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      We get this problem when comments which have underlying ‘children’ get deleted. I’ve restored two comments which had been deleted and I hope it’s ok now.

      • Qix
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        I’m afraid that that was all my fault. I asked for my earlier reply to be deleted, after having already replied to it.

        When that happens, the second comment is “orphaned” and ends up as a new reply, as do any replies to it, and they then seem to stay at the bottom of the list. I guess that it’s a feature of the WordPress software.

      • mary
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks gazza :-)

  25. Brian
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Well that’s a first, I’ve finished a Ray T. Mind you I disliked almost every clue esp 3d and 1d. For me a three Star for difficulty and 1 star for enjoyment. What a slog!

    • mary
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Well done Brian, I suppose it’s just ‘horses for courses’ as I said before, so many people do like him that I wonder what’s wrong with me! It’s just the readings I don’t like very much, nevertheless, wish I could do it!

    • crypticsue
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I seem to hink it might be your second or third time actually. If you want a real slog, try the Toughie.

  26. Roger
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    My God but this was a tough little devil. 6D was my first to drop but it wasn’t until way way down towards the bottom that any others fell into place. Really thought that this one was going to have to be set aside. But no…gradually they all fell into place although I admit to a little electronic help fir a couple of them. Favourite 1 and 4. Thanks for the explanation for 5d !

    And no rap is not a known form of music. Don’t forget that when pronouncing ‘rap’ that the ‘c’ is silent.

    • pommers
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      :lol: My thought exactly! Bit like the P in swimming?

  27. RayT
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Setter here…

    Many thanks to pommers for the review, and to all who took time to comment.

    RayT

  28. mary
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Now what I really like about RayT is that he often finds time to pop in and thank everyone :-)

    • Kath
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Yes – I do too. :smile:

    • pommers
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      He also remembers to use a lower case P – thanks Ray, although the topless aunt still causes problems!

      • Kath
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

        I’ll remember that from now on – think that gazza is a lower case too but, somehow, it feels as if I’m not giving someone a capital letter for their name.

        • pommers
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

          Only a capital when cleverly disguised at the start of the sentence in my (and pommette’s) case :grin:

          • crypticsue
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

            and me, gnomey and bufo too.

          • pommers
            Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            “case” – that’s a bit like a joke but not quite so funny :lol:

        • mary
          Posted October 19, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          gazza isn’t always lower case at the top of the blog he is Gazza :-)

          • gazza
            Posted October 19, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

            I’m happy either way (as the actress said to the bishop).

            • mary
              Posted October 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

              :-)

  29. gnomethang
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff as usual . finished quite quickly and was surprised the same as pommers . thanks to him and to RayT

    • pommers
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I did so much head scratching and jumping around the grid i thought I must be well into 4* time but was amazed when the timer said only just into 3*. Strange are the ways of crosswords :grin: I think if I’d clicked submit before bothering to look up HURST it would have been only a 2*

      • Sweet William
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Pommers, do you not find it stressful working against the clock ?! I think it would detract from my enjoyment and my brain would seize up with the pressure !

        • pommers
          Posted October 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

          Hi William
          It’s not so much working against the clock. On days when I’m doing the blog it’s the only time I ever get to do the back pager on my own, and uninterrupted (pommette has the sense to make herself scarce!). I make sure I’ve been to the loo, am supplied with tea or wine (depending on time of day) and then open the puzzle on-line and solve at my normal pace. No real rush or anything, I just do the puzzle as normal. One day you’ll get a 5* rating from me when I get stuck !
          When completed I click “submit” and then base the star rating for difficulty on the time showing on the DT clock – this morning was ** mins.

          • Sweet William
            Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Good morning Pommers. Thank you for all that ! You are very organized. I have to fit the puzzle in between activities such as tea, bath, breakfast, shopping etc ! I have started to photocopy the puzzle so that The Paper Crumpler ( Mrs SW ) can get on with Sodoku etc – that helps !

            • pommers
              Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

              Normally look at the puzzle over lunch with pommette and let her do most of the work!

          • Heno
            Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

            Could that mean a stay in Naughty Corner for mentioning your solving time :-)

            • pommers
              Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

              Probably! I’ve edited it.

  30. Tmdess
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi everyone! Can someone help — isn’t 8A spelled with a “z”? Thanks!

    • Qix
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Both spellings are OK, although the Z-version is more common.

  31. pommers
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    What was all the angst about 23d? As far as I’m concerned it works brill and was the best clue of the puzzle. There again, I don’t have a PhD in crossword setting and just rate them as I find them! You’ll just have to learn to live with my rather basic view that if I can solve it, it must work!
    as a clue!

    • Posted October 18, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      It satisfies my definition of a good clue – “Did it make me smile?”.

      • pommers
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        Made me smile too! I sometimes think too many people get too picky about too many clues – they should try the Grauniad where setters get away with murder!
        How about this from today’s Paul puzzle?
        8a. Fugitives wary as unprepared? (8)

        I thought it was great, but the def is FUGITIVES, the anagram fodder is WARY AS UN and the indicator is PREPARED. Would that be allowed in the DT? I think not!

        BTW, I take it you weren’t in Barcelona on Monday playing the guitar in Placa de Catalunya?

  32. Little Dave
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I was expecting something better for 27,000. Overall 2* at most.

  33. una
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    apart from 23d (which i though was utterly straightforward) initially scored the same as Norway in the old eurovision.(for young bloggers this was usually “nul point”).Before next thursdays I think I will revise this one.Its like doing calculas, after the hints.
    difficulty *****, enjoyment norway .

  34. una
    Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    thanks to pommers without whom it would have been a total mystery, and to the setter of course.

    • pommers
      Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Da nada! Keep trying and all will become clear in the fullness of time. It’s a bit of a learning curve i guess but we all have to start somewhere. At least you have this blog to help now – it was a bit different when I was a lad (long time ago)!

      • una
        Posted October 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        you’re so right ! trying is the thing and it has to be said RayT is trying.

  35. Heno
    Posted October 19, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review & hints. Usual great stuff from Ray T, agree with star ratings. Started with 2d, finished with 9a, 2,14d favourites were 25a & 5d,& 24d. Was stuck in the NE corner yesterday, but all fell into place this morning :-)