DT 27311

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27311

Hints and tips by Big Dave

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

It’s Ray T again – love him or hate him!

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.


1a    Horse has to strike, losing lead (7)
{MUSTANG} – a verb meaning “has to” followed by a strike without (losing) its initial letter (lead)

5a    Soaps following end of Scrubs including Hospital (7)
{LATHERS] – a word meaning following and the final letter (end) of ScrubS around H(ospital)

9a    More insignificant rubbish about Latin… (7)
{LITTLER} – some rubbish around L(atin)

10a    …more relevant subsequent to Church Synod perhaps (7)
{CHAPTER} – an adjective meaning more relevant after (subsequent to) CH(urch)

11a    Plant seeds while ignoring hard ground (9)
{EDELWEISS} – an anagram (ground) of SEEDS W(H)ILE without (ignoring) H(ard)

12a    Accordingly American embraces American composer (5)
{SOUSA} – a two-letter word meaning accordingly and A(merican) around (embraces) a two-letter abbreviation for American

13a    Stand in position for painter? (5)
{EASEL} – a cryptic definition of a stand used by a painter

15a    Understanding unusually seen as comprising conflict (9)
{AWARENESS} – an anagram (unusually) of SEEN AS around (comprising) a conflict

17a    Clean scent if I’d showered? (9)
{DISINFECT} – an anagram (showered) of SCENT IF I’D

19a    Small crucifix over more than one entrance (5)
{DOORS} – S(mall) and a crucifix, all reversed (over)

22a    Fondles female in front of slippery customers (5)
{FEELS} – F(emale) followed by some slippery customers

23a    Fan is ‘matchless’ without Liverpool, say… (9)
{SUPPORTER} – an adjective meaning matchless around the type of coastal conurbation of which Liverpool is an example

25a    …Villa‘s excessive in enclosure (7)
{COTTAGE} – a three-letter abbreviation for excessive inside an enclosure

26a    Force to continue slowly round job centre (7)
{DRAGOON} – a phrasal verb meaning to continue slowly (4,2) around the middle letter (centre) of jOb

27a    In discomfort or mental anguish (7)
{TORMENT} – hidden (in) inside the clue

28a    State drawn into secretive work in captivity (7)
{SLAVERY} – a verb meaning to state or say inside an adjective meaning secretive


1d French writer is longer penning story (7)
{MOLIÈRE} – an word meaning longer or further around (penning) a story or untruth

2d Hounds me and others like me! (7)
{SETTERS} – two definitions – the second one referring to today’s compiler (and others like him)

3d Let everybody almost get into debt (5)
{ALLOW} – a word meaning everybody followed by most of (almost) a verb meaning to get into debt

4d Sprout fur around a time after midnight (9)
{GERMINATE} – some expensive fur around the A from the clue and T(ime) all following the middle letter (mid) of niGht

5d Misses reportedly loose (5)
{LACKS} – sounds like a three-letter adjective meaning loose

6d Excel scan modified in course (9)
{TRANSCEND} – an anagram (modified) of SCAN inside a course or drift

7d Ecstasy consequently found in endless modern rave (7)
{ENTHUSE} – E(cstasy) followed by a word meaning consequently inside most of (endless) an adjective meaning modern

8d Better drink, consuming last of lager before idiot (7)
{SURPASS} – a verb meaning to drink around (consuming) the final letter (last) of lageR followed by an idiot

14d View Loch Ness catching also head of serpent (9)
{LANDSCAPE} – L(och) and a ness or headland around (catching) a word meaning also which is followed by the initial letter (head) of Serpent

16d Range enclosing peak over in Australia perhaps (9)
{ANTIPODES] – a mountain range around (enclosing) a peak or pinnacle and O(ver)

17d Cryptic, if edited, shows up deficiency (7)
{DEFICIT} – hidden (shows) and reversed (up in a down clue) inside the clue

18d Lust ends in transparent cover (7)
{SHELTER} – the outer letters (ends) of LusT inside an adjective meaning transparent

20d Beaten due to no pants! (7)
{OUTDONE} – an anagram (pants) of DUE TO NO

21d Not spending money to catch Queen? Tough! (7)
{STRINGY} – an adjective meaning not spending money around (to catch) the Latin abbreviation for Queen

23d Stickiness with exercise and training initially (5)
{SWEAT} – the initial letters of five words in the clue

24d State of the old lady in a house turned upside-down (5)
{OMAHA} – a two-letter word for the old lady inside the reversal (turned upside-down in a down clue) of A HO(use) – not so much a state, more a city in Nebraska

A bit of a faux pas in that last clue!  I wonder who checked it?

The Quick crossword pun: (hut} + {haste} + {err} + {funny} = {A Taste of Honey}



  1. Trevor Davies
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Finally getting on Ray T’s wavelength, although his puzzles take me twice as long as others. Thanks for blog!

    • Collywobbles
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Me too but if it is 3* as the standard it is 4* for me. However, I do enjoy his puzzles when I can do them

      PS. Have I lost the downs?

      • Michael
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Yes – it takes quite a while to get going and then it gets completed in a stuttering fashion.

        I can’t say I enjoyed it much, but it definitely made me work.

        I’m apparently awaiting moderation again!

        • Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Anyone who left a comment during yesterday’s technical problems was automatically allocated a default email address. Please re-enter your email address and try again.

  2. outnumbered
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    This was **/*** for me, although I’m more on RayT’s wavelength now, I’m sure this was one of his easier puzzles.

    I see the Down hints are soon to come, but one that puzzled me was the last 5 letter clue (don’t remember the number – 24d??). I parsed the clue that the answer was a US State, but the US-related answer I ended up with from the wordplay was not actually a State. Is the clue wrong, or did I mis-read it ?

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      The clue is wrong.

      • Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        I’ve added it to the Pedant’s Guide.

        • Kath
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

          . . . but you still haven’t added my favourite . . . :sad: Should I give in gracefully, or otherwise?

  3. Jezza
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    I thought this was very good today. It just crept into my 3* time to finish, but at least 4* for enjoyment.
    Many thanks to RayT, and to BD.

  4. spindrift
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    You’ve got to love a Ray T! Just the right number of anagrams – for me anyway.

    By’eck BD you’re putting in some overtime this week – it’s much appreciated in this purlieu.

  5. Ann
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I’m loving the help I get on Big Dave – I have just started doing cryptic crosswords.

    However, the person who helped yesterday is shockingly and old-fashionably sexist in his choice of photos. I’m trying to laugh but may have to give up this help!

    • gazza
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ann.

  6. Ann
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Does scchua not realise women do crosswords? See yesterday’s hint for 22d.

    • spindrift
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Usually the bloggers find a balance between the photos they use & it’s very rare that anyone takes umbrage. You should have seen some of the shots from earlier years before they started putting bromide in certain bloggers’ teas. It’s meant not to be taken seriously & hardly constitutes hard or even soft porn.

      Stay with the blog Ann & you’ll find we’re a very friendly lot, always willing to help each other out..

    • BigBoab
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Ann, scchua was merely describing what actually happens to these poor creatures at so called rodeos and wild west shows and I seriously doubt that he was trying to be offensive, as for his pictorial hints, these are meant to be taken lightly and are definitely not aimed at shocking the fairer sex ( no sexism intended)

    • Expat Chris
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Ann, we ladies might rib scchua once in a while about his fondness for bikin-clad buxom blondes, but no-one is seriously offended. As for 22D, I don’t see anything wrong there. I’d much rather the proper word than a euphanism! Stick around, as spindrift says. We’re not a bad bunch.

      • Bluebird
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        I pretty much agree and I’m a feminist!

        • pommette
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          The bloggers try to illustrate the clues with something appropriate but try to be light hearted about it. They do get carried away sometimes though and I have to say that there were an awful lot of photos of the fairer sex yesteray that could equally have been illustrated by something else.

      • Merusa
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Well said, I totally agree

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Welcome Ann, as said above we are all friendly and helpful and very rarely do we take offence at any of our’ helpful hinters’ where would we be without them :-) , all but one are male but I’m sure Big Dave would be more than happy if one us ladies volunteered to do a blog, there are more of us these days than when I joined four years ago :-)

  7. upthecreek
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Tut Tut – Omaha a state?? I always thought it was a beach! i wonder what the Crossword Editor actually does, apart from apologise. Apart from that, it was a good puzzle with some interesting clues. Liked 1a 1d 5a 5d 10 15 17 23a 23d etc etc but favourite was 11. Thanks to RayT for an enjoyable morning.

    • gazza
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      I wondered whether there had been some last minute changes to the 24d clue, since, as well as the faux pas, it breaks Ray T’s normally strictly-enforced rule of restricting his clues to eight words.

  8. 2 Chrises
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Good to join your blog – Omaha is the largest town in Nebraska!! A good crossword though

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog 2 Chrises

  9. Beaver
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Took longer than normal, particularly the NW corner, clues somewhat convoluted but I suppose that’s Ray T ! At least a *** difficulty-maybe **** with a** enjoyment as nothing in it made me smile, a bit of a grind.

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Please re-enter your email address before leaving another comment – see my reply to Michael above.

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m in the “Love him” category!. I struggled a bit with a few of the clues, and 10A was the last one in. As usual for Ray T., I had ticks and double ticks all over the place. Favorites were 26A, 28A and 23D. But my favorite favorite was 26A (that should give Kath apoplexy! Wicked me.) Many thanks to Ray, and to the very hard working BD.

    P.S. Re 24D, after trying briefly to make Maine fit, I just figured out the correct answer and didn’t pause to consider that it was a city not a State. And I live here!

  11. BigBoab
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to RayT for a quite tricky crossword and to BD for the review, shame about 24d.

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink


      Because you left a comment during yesterday’s technical problems, please could you re-enter your email address next time.

      • Beaver
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink


        • Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

          That’s better!

          • Michael
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            The error in 24d completely passed me by – oops!

            Just re-entering my email address to get over this glitch.

  12. Sheila P
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    We thought it was very difficult today, so we needed a lot of help. Thank you setter & hinter.

  13. Steve_the_beard
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    The much-overworked BD must have got excited by the footlball references – the “refereeing” typo in the hint for 2D is the giveaway :-)

    Never mind, BD, keep up the good work, you are much appreciated by the folks here.

    • Michael
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      I think we all know what he was refereeing to!

      • Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        I think I was probably the victim of Word’s autocorrect!

        • Steve_the_beard
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

          Fair enough… but your efforts are still much appreciated :-)

          • Michael
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            Just to say that I would have put in a smiley in my comment above but my Ipad won’t seem to let me – it’s probably some setting I haven’t found yet!

            To re-iterate BD’s efforts are much appreciated *smiley face*

            • Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

              There are a variety of codes that you can use – see here:



            • Paulinus
              Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

              Go to Settings > General > Keyboard. Tap on Add New Keyboard. You will be presented with a list. Tap on Emoji. Now, open an app, any app that uses a keyboard. You will be presented with a reminder and a new icon will be next to the spacebar. It looks like a globe. Tap on the globe and you will be presented with all kinds of symbols and choices. Tap on the various icons at the bottom to choose a set and scroll through the set from right to left to see how many pages of icons you have. Tap an icon and tap the globe symbol to get back to the regular keyboard.

              • gazza
                Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

                Welcome to the blog Paulinus.

              • Kath
                Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

                Blimey – if I had to do all that I would lose the will to live, give up and you would all be spared from my interminable ‘faces’! :sad: :smile: :grin: :oops: and, my favourite, (just the one) :roll: I love them all, even thought daughters say that they should be used sparingly, if ever!

                • Expat Chris
                  Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

                  Kath, just as you bang on about favorites (plural), I bang on about those little faces! Never use ’em. I reckon if folks on any blog I comment on misinterpret my tone or intent, it’s their fault!

                  • Kath
                    Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

                    OK – sorry about banging on about only having one favourite (the correct spelling in the UK) but I love the little faces. My daughters would agree with you. How anyone could misinterpret them is a mystery to me! And, just to be difficult because it seems to be what I do best, – :smile: to you! Night night . . . .

              • Caroline
                Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for this hint – I’ve given up with the crossword and am now concentrating on peppering my written work with these!!

              • Michael
                Posted October 18, 2013 at 8:36 am | Permalink

                Emoji – of course!

            • Toni
              Posted October 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

              If you just do a colon and a bracket it turns it into a smiley face :) or a sad one :(

  14. Sweet William
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Ray T – harder than your usual Thursday puzzle. Managed the bottom half in reasonable time, but really struggled with the top half. Got there in the end, but it becomes a bit of a slog when I am struggling ! – and knowing that I should be getting on with other things ! Thanks BD for your review and hints.

  15. Bluebird
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I only got about half the answers in and thought I was never going to finish. Took a couple of hours break, then looked up other words for Ness and hurrah, the rest went in without recourse to BD’s help.

    It was cognitively aerobic!

    thanks anyway BD – you are busy this week…

    • Bluebird
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      To be fair, I should add that I got the answers to at least three without actually knowing how the clue worked…….

  16. Chris T Heswall
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this immensely and thought it was easier than yesterday’s although I did need the explanation for 1d – thanks to the setter and BD,

  17. mary
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I thought Omaha wasn’t a state but I’m often wrong about being right if you see what I mean, so I kept quiet ;-)
    I don’t hate RayT puzzles but they are certainly not my favourite, I found most of this OK but needed your help to finish Dave, thanks
    Kath I can’t quite get it right can I, I have no favourites today, sorry :-)

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Shouldn’t that be “I don’t have a favourite”. :smile:

      • mary
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        If I don’t have one I don’t have any??? :-D

        • spindrift
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          Most logical conclusion, Mary. I think that’s one to the ladies BD.

          • mary
            Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


          • Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            This pedant disagrees.

            • mary
              Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

              No surprise there then ;-)

            • Kath
              Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

              This one does too.

    • Kath
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Tut tut! :roll:

  18. pommers
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    I think the “King of the Hidden Word” jersey seems to have passed from Virgilius to RayT recently :grin:

  19. pommette
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I always struggle with a RayT and find it hard to get on his wavelength – but Mr Pom seems to “get it”!
    Like Sweet_William I had lots of gaps in the top half that took a long time to parse.
    Thanks though to RayT and the overworked BigDave for his hard work this week.
    PS I too just wrote in the answer to 24d and then doubted myself as I knew it wasn’t a state but couldn’t find any other answer.

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Me too with 24d pommette and I’m with you on RayT’s wavelength too, nice to see you two back :-D

  20. Toni
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear it’s Thursday again.
    Only 5 answers in before I needed help.
    3 I couldn’t do even with help.
    All pennies dropped eventually.
    Thank goodness it’s over. A real chore today.
    Now to sort out the mess I’ve made of the quick by having speed instead of haste.
    Had to get that from here too. :(

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry Toni, it takes a while to get into RayT’s way of thinking, I am still struggling

    • Maggie
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Take heart I only got 2 before I need help today but did really well yesterday (for me). Stick with it, it’s fun anyway.

  21. Brian
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Usual tough Ray T but did like 25a although that was about it for me.
    One thing though, a Setter is a gun dog not a hound!

    • Brian
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Now had chance to go through the excellent hints and I think this is well beyond me. Never heard of the French writer and what on earth is a rood or a synod?
      Thx to BD for the hints.

      • spindrift
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Think yourself lucky in not knowing the French writer. I had to study him at A level back in the 70s when all I wanted to learn were the best chat up lines for les mademoiselles before I went grape picking over the summer.

        • Toni
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Me too. Was it Tartuffe?

          • Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            I saw the Ranjit Bolt / Peter Hall production at the Playhouse Theatre, London. Rather scarily it was 22 years ago, but seems a lot less. John Sessions played the lead role.

            • Poppy
              Posted October 17, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

              And the most recent production I saw was at the Rose Theatre at Kingston – brilliant

        • Catnap
          Posted October 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          1d brought back memories of student days for me, too. Much more amusing to watch on stage than to have to swot!

      • crypticsue
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        rood is often in CROSS words :) You must also not read the paper or ever listen to the news throughout the year if you haven’t heard of synod either.

        As for never having heard of the writer, I despair! or should that be je désespère!

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Another for the Pedant’s corner?

  22. Kath
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    As everyone knows I’m in the love him camp and I loved this although I did find it quite tricky. A bit more than 3* for difficulty and a bit more than 4* for enjoyment. It really has done a good job of cheering me up having had yet another tricky Mum morning.
    I know that Omaha isn’t a state (only because I knew someone who lived there – my US geography is generally pretty awful) so I spent a very long time trying to make 24d Idaho – an old lady (someone called Ida would have to be quite old!) and a house, but then it wouldn’t go upside down so abandoned that.
    I was very slow to get 19a and 21d which were my last ones.
    I’m not sure that I’d say a villa is the same as a cottage but haven’t BRB’d it – I’m probably wrong.
    I liked 11a, once I’d checked how to spell it, 17 and 22a and 2 and 23d. My favourite was 20d.
    With thanks to Ray T and the overworked BD.

    • mary
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kath, agree re. villa/cottage…glad RayT cheered you up we all need something :-)

      • Kath
        Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Mary.
        We’re both wrong about villa and cottage – I’ve just looked in BRB – something I should have done before opening big trap again! Oh dear!!

        • mary
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          Well my great grandparents had a lovely cottage called Liskeard Villa, but although it was a lovely big cottage it was no where near a villa

        • Expat Chris
          Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

          Reminds me of all those early 20th century tycoons who built mansions up on Martha’s Vineyard and such places and called them holiday cottages.

    • Brian
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      You are quite right, it’s in Nebraska! Just realised that BD has already picked this up. Quick as ever!
      As you know I am in the hate him camp but I am beginning to understand some of his less devious puzzles but this one is quite beyond the pale for me.

  23. Miffypops
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    10ac and 7d to be solved yet. As usual lots of wonderful clues and masterful wordplay. I have had two bashes at this puzzle. Early morning and late afternoon. Thank you RayT and thanks to all the rest of you.

  24. Poppy
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Had to pick up, drop, and pick up again today as we’ve had a hectic time travelling (just over 1,000 miles in 4 days), so my head is still revolving. But usual very grateful thanks to BD as well as to Ray T. I’m still learning to love him, but am getting there…

  25. Merusa
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    I did fine with this, knowing that I’m never on Ray T wavelength, until I got to the top right-hand corner. I needed hints galore to finish that corner. All in all, it was a tough slog but enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to Ray T and DB for hints, much needed today.

  26. Una
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a fan , yet, of Ray T, but some of the solutions, were so obvious that I doubted my answers, such as 19a and 22a.
    It seems to me that Sschua would have had tremendous scope if he had been blogging today,(5a, 22a,28a etc).
    Apart from the easier ones it was quite a struggle and I was glad it was awarded a *** star. Thanks to Ray T and BD for some much needed hints.
    Favourite 25a.

  27. Hrothgar
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable and satisying although, perhaps, Ray T was being ever so slightly gentler with us.
    Some gems eg 23a, 5d, 20d
    Last in 28a across which took me over my normal target time.
    Certainly a Duh moment!
    Many thanks Ray T and BD for the review,

  28. neveracrossword
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Liked 28a but needed a pointer for 2d.

  29. Miffypops
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    All done at last. Apter? Ah well.

  30. pommers
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Love him or hate him? A bit of a moveable feast mehinks!

    I remember when I first volunteered to do blogs on here I was relieved that BD suggested I do the Weds Jay – at least that meant I would avoid the impenetrable RayT. Now it’s about 3 years on and, as pommette said earlier, i’ve got tuned in to Ray and I love his puzzles :grin:

  31. RayT
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. Many thanks to BD for the analysis, and to all who commented. ‘Omaha’ was of course an oversight…


  32. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    We loved it, as we always do with this setter. We had put in the correct answer for 24d without the city/state thingy even crossing our minds. As Gazza pointed out, this clue also breaks RayT’s self imposed word limit rule. Wonder what is going on here. Lots of clever clues with the occasional innuendo to induce a chuckle or two.
    Thanks RayT and BD.

  33. Heno
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Big Dave for the review and hints. Found this really difficult, but most enjoyable. Managed the left hand side ok, but struggled with the right. I looked at the hints when I was 7 short, got 5a & 19a from the hints, and all the rest went straight in. Favourite was 2d, was 3*/4* for me. Off to Cheltenham races tomorrow.

  34. stanXYZ
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Well! I listened to all the music clips today! Am I the only one?

    Presumably, ” Edelweiss” is BD’s Favourite?

    • Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Au contraire – it’s Mrs BD’s favourite. Of today’s clips, Wilson Pickett is mine.

  35. angel
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Ugh! Not my scene at all and not even a touch of humour! Northeast corner beat me so badly needed you Big Dave for that and more – thanks for that. ****/*.

    • Kath
      Posted October 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – how could you NOT laugh at 20d? I agree that top right corner was trickiest.

  36. angel
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Moderately rib-tickling one could say I suppose,Kath! Guess overall I was just not amused today!

  37. Only fools
    Posted October 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Spent too long trying to justify Idaho for 24 d but eventually fell into place quite nicely

    Thanks Ray T for the enjoyment and to BD for the review .

  38. Catnap
    Posted October 18, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Super puzzle! Super clues! **** for enjoyment. :smile:
    I did not need the hints at the time. After completing a crossword, however, I always find them invaluable for checking the word play. :smile: My only problem was 23a where I arrived at the right answer but not in the right way. :oops:
    Many thanks to both RayT and Big Dave.