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DT 27610

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27610

Hints and tips by Kath

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BD Rating — Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ****

Good morning everyone. One of the things that I like about Thursday crosswords is their unpredictability – it’s also one of the things that makes me nervous about doing the hints. I’m sure that this one is a Ray T and I found it fairly tricky – unless I’ve missed some there are only three anagrams which may have contributed to the difficulty, for me anyway.

If you want to see an answer you need to click on the bit that says ‘click here’ – if you don’t want to see it then don’t press ‘click here’.

Please let us know how you got on by leaving a comment. Good luck!


1a    Shock vote for way to trap Conservative (11)
ELECTROCUTE: — Begin with a word meaning vote for or choose an MP for example. Follow that with a five letter word for a way or something a satnav might sort out for your journey containing (to trap) the one letter abbreviation for C(onservative).

10a    Tender chest, topless (5)
OFFER: — A chest, often containing money or treasure, without its first letter (topless).

11a    Quiz show preceding ‘The Ascent of Man’? (9)
COUNTDOWN: — This is a quiz show that I’ve never seen so can’t tell you anything about it – I think it’s a day time programme. The ‘Ascent of Man’ is blasting someone into space. This one caused me some grief!

12a    Struggle on exercise about to cover cut (9)
PERSEVERE: — Start off with the usual two letters for physical training, then another two letter abbreviation meaning about or concerning containing (to cover) another word for cut or separate.

13a    Avoid a homicide around American state (5)
IDAHO: — Here we go – this was the first of these sweet little things – it’s hidden in the first three words of the clue.

14a    One periodical with endless bare pictures (6)
IMAGES: — I’m a bit stuck with this one. Begin with the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one then an abbreviation of a periodical or colour supplement. After that we need two more letters and I have to confess that I have absolutely no idea where they come from. I’m clearly missing something.  Over to you . . . [Well, do you? I think I do.  BD]

16a    Runs batter over vegetables (8)
PARSNIPS: — Begin with a word for runs – not cricket this time but short trips out in a car – then another word for batter or knock. You now need to reverse the whole lot (over) to find these root vegetables.

18a    Guts involves embracing redhead (8)
ENTRAILS: — Another word for involves or necessitates containing (embracing) the first letter of R(ed) (head).

20a    High sound quality obtained by Sabbath died (6)
STONED: — This kind of high is the result of drugs or too much alcohol. You need a one letter abbreviation for S(abbath) and another one letter for D(ied) containing (obtained) a word meaning the quality or character of a sound.

23a    Start to tour America taking in large city (5)
TULSA: — Begin with the first letter (start to) of T(our) and follow that with the three letters for the United States containing (taking in) L(arge. With a bit of luck you’ll end up with the city that Gene Pitney was so close to when he was rather side-tracked by a floozy in a motel!

24a    One touring time before composer left Queen (9)
TRAVELLER: — Start with the usual one letter for T(ime) follow that with the French composer who wrote, among other things, the Bolero, another abbreviation for L(eft) and then the usual two letters for our Queen.

26a    Top up Pilsner — he is drunk (9)
REPLENISH: — An anagram (drunk) of PILSNER HE.

27a    Hawk eating head of raw fish (5)
TROUT: — The hawk isn’t a bird. It isn’t even a noun. It’s a verb meaning sell and it contains (eating) the first letter (head of) R(aw).

28a    Mundane temporary head blunders penning English test (11)
TERRESTRIAL: — Start with the first letter of T(emporary) (head) then a four letter word meaning blunders or sins containing (penning) E(nglish) and follow that with a test or ordeal.


2d    Man with inexhaustible bird? (5)
LIFER: — This chap has committed a terrible crime – if something is inexhaustible it never runs out or finishes and bird is a slang word for a prison sentence.

3d    Acquire backing in centre for procession (7)
CORTEGE: — A four letter word meaning the centre or heart of something contains a reversal (backing in) of a short word meaning acquire or obtain.

4d    Possibly metal case of Exocet missile (6)
ROCKET: — I think, and I have to confess that I only think that the metal here is a kind of music and usually has ‘heavy’ before it – follow that with the first and last letters (case of) Exocet.

5d    Caught out catching exhaust in raised road (8)
CAUSEWAY: — This raised road is a way across marshy land or water. Begin with the one letter cricket abbreviation for C(aught) then a word meaning out or not at home containing (catching) a three letter word for exhaust.

6d    Scraps bird pecked on top of sill (7)
TITBITS: — These scraps are little morsels of food, or gossip. Begin with a very small bird and follow that with another word for pecked or nibbled then the first letter (top of) sill.

7d    Free permit only came about without sweetheart once (13)
COMPLIMENTARY: — An anagram (about) of PERMIT ONLY CAME but without one of the E’s (without sweetheart once). In other words missing out the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

8d    Party with people present (8)
DONATION: — The usual two letter crossword land party is followed by some people or a race.

9d    Cretins with no idea turning rude (13)
INCONSIDERATE: — An anagram (turning) of CRETINS and NO IDEA.

15d    Bound to have stake put on African runner (8)
ANTELOPE: — The stake is a bet or wager followed by another word for bound or run with a long stride.

17d    Fool the woman employing one who makes dresses? (8)
CLOTHIER: — Begin with a fool or nitwit and then a three letter word for the woman containing (employing) the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one.

19d    Seemed a campus holds back university life (7)
ACADEME: — Another one and this one really is so well hidden that I missed it for ages – probably because it’s not just hidden but it’s reversed (holds back) as well.

21d    Social networker‘s precious phrase cut short (7)
TWEETER: — This social networker is someone sending very short messages via the internet. A four letter word meaning precious in the sense of affectedly cute or pretty is followed by the first three letters (cut short) off a four letter word for a phrase or name.

22d    Way to surmount enormous sadness (6)
PATHOS: — A narrow track (way) comes before (surmounts) a two letter abbreviation for outsize.

25d    Sponge in a dessert rising (5)
LOOFA: —This isn’t a sponge that you’d eat – at least I hope it isn’t. It’s a rough scratchy one that some people use in the bath or shower. You need the A from the clue and then a dessert made from fruit which has been mushed up with cream or custard. Then you need to reverse it all (rising).

I liked 11 and 28a and 6 and 21d. My favourite was 2d.

The Quick crossword pun: wreck+wee+hem=requiem

78 comments on “DT 27610

  1. A bit more challenging for me today, but once I managed to get on the right wavelength I enjoyed the wordplay and worked out the answers. I did have to do a bit of research on 11a, as it was a very specific UK link – never heard of this show – but worked out what it must have been. 6d is spelt with a D over here not a T, but no problem!

    2*/5* for me.

  2. I agree with you, Kath, regarding 14 across. I got the answer before I saw your hints but only because nothing else would fit with ‘pictures’. I fail to see what the compiler had in mind. 4 down was of similar ilk. A bit too tenuous.

    1. 4a, is Roman one, I, followed by abbreviation, mag, followed by outside letters of endless, e&s.
      4d is another word for metal, rock, followed by the outside letters of exocet, e&t.

  3. 4*/4*. This was definitely a puzzle of two halves for me today. I completed the bottom half in half of my 1* time, but I really struggled with the top half taking me to 4*time overall. Nevertheless I found it superbly enjoyable and well worth the effort.

    I needed Kath’s hints in order to understand fully the wordplay for 5d, my last one in. But with the wonder of hindsight, I can’t see at all why I found it a problem.
    Very difficult to pick a favourite from so many superb clues, but I’ll settle for 2d as a LOL moment.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  4. 14a – the last 2 letters come from E(ndles)S. If the cupboard is ‘bare’ there is nothing inside it.

    Thanks to RayT for an excellent puzzle, and to Kath for the review.

    1. Thanks Jezza – I really had a complete mental block on the last two letters of 14a.
      When our Pet Lambs were little they got a bit muddled up with the ending of Old Mother Hubbard – instead of the cupboard being bare they thought there was a bear in the cupboard so whenever we’re running low of stocks and need to go shopping we say “There’s a bear in the cupboard”!

  5. Took me a fair while to get into this,seemed to have to really think on every clue, in the end I got there, slow but steady. For that reason I really enjoyed it , a good challenge and a sense of accomplishment when I finished it. Last in 16d and fave clue has to be 2d. Thanks to Ray T and Kath
    Have a good day one and all

  6. I never thought of 11a as a quiz show, but that didn’t spoil the delight, as I have been a fan of the show for years. Great puzzle I thought! I solved the bottom half first, slowed down on top half until I got 1a then the rest followed in the nick of time before the school run. Kids were trying to get me to hurry up. I liked the long clues, also 20a, thought 13a and 19d were well hidden

    14a I missed the end too but just now i realised its “endless” emptied.

    very much enjoyed this, thanks setter and Kath

    1. dutch – I totally agree with you – I’ve been a fan since forever – and a quiz show it certainly ain’t !!

  7. I was enjoying a slow wrestle with this one when my ipad ran of charge. Bugger! Well done Kath on getting the blog out. I am looking forward to reading it when I have completed the puzzle. Ta so far to Ray T for it is he.

  8. Looked difficult on first perusal and turned out indeed to be challenging and enjoyable-thought It was a Ray T, and overall a ***/**** for me .Thanks Kath for the explanation of 11,this eluded me, lots of clever clues as usual from Mr T.28A clue was a logical charade but I didn’t realise it was a synonym for mundane- but my Collins disagreed.

  9. Stumped by a lot of this, so very grateful for Kath’s hints – thanks Kath, and I think you’re vewy bwave…. Just discovered I’ve got a bear in my cupboard so have to rectify that. Greetings to all.

  10. Very enjoyable crossword today and a little tricky in places, many thanks to RayT and to Kath for a terrific review. The ProXima toughie is equally entertaining.

  11. I haven’t looked at this, but wanted to pop in and say hello anyway, and thank Kath for what I’m sure will be a very enjoyable review waiting for me when I’m ready for it. I think I’m going to have to start doing the crosswords in the evening for a while, which means I’ll be commenting late most days and missing out on much of the fun on here when it happens :(. Oh well, c’est la vie. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  12. Hello everybody. Very enjoyable solve. Just like rabbit dabe I managed the bottom half without any problems and things started to become difficult. I pencilled in corniche for the raised road but suddenly I got 11a which is, as you all know, a French game called “des chiffres et des letters”. Blowing my own trumpet again. Where would your little island be without France?. Joking apart, I found today’s crossword very entertaining. Thanks to RayT and Kath for the review.

      1. I love it. Even the blog is cryptic. Every sentence with a double meaning. I’ll have to be more careful next time.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  13. At last – a challenge that has been missing all week. Very enjoyable puzzle from Ray T which caused a bit of head scratching here. 16A had me stumped for ages despite having all the checking letters, I blame it on the fact that I’ve not had one for months as I’ve been living on salads, things could change this weekend though by all accounts. I was a bit disappointed with 7D as it appears in the quickie too (although quite cleverly with different checkers). I quite blithely started writing in ‘electrocution’ in for 1A and was somewhat surprised when I ran out of spaces and had to do a quick check on the downs to make sure I was on the right wavelength.

    Favourite today has to be 6D as its proper English (I believe that America changed it to a D to stop it sounding rude – reminds me of the Californian women who have managed to ban kids from using dictionaries in school in case they look up rude words)

  14. Excellent puzzle just into *** Time for me. Kath you are right about 4d – Rock/Metal are reasonably synonymous (although some purists might argue!) and the latter can appear with or without ‘Heavy’.
    Thanks to you and to RayT for the entertainment.

    1. Tricky but good. Fairly light on innuendo for a Ray T, but 2d made me smile. Very readable review too.

  15. I’m sure this is an excellent puzzle, but for us very hard, so we had to look at the review to start with just to get us going. Thank goodness for Kath, and thank you, and thank you to the setter too, even if he is too clever for us.

  16. A good challenge today with some nice clues. I too completed the bottom half relatively easily only to slow up once up top. I liked 11a, basically cos I thought it was silly, but that’s just me!
    Thanks to RayT and Kath for her impeccable hints.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  17. I needed a couple of hints in the top half to get going and a bit of electronic help so definitely found it tricky. Thanks to Kath for the much needed hints and RayT for an enjoyable crossword 3.5*/4*

  18. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. A super puzzle from Ray T, very enjoyable and very tricky. Well done to Kath for blogging it. I analysed the clues as I went along, and thought “Thank heavens I’m not blogging this”. Yes, I only counted 3 anagrams. Just needed the hints to parse 16a, which was last in. Favorite was 11a by miles, I’ve been a fan of the show for years. Was 3*/4* for me.

  19. This was the most pleasurable puzzle I’ve encountered for ages. Lots of head scratching and plenty of ‘light bulb’ moments. He’s a bit good that Ray T. Well done to Kath – 16a was my last in but I needed Kath’s hint to explain why I was right.

  20. ***/**** best this week. Completed the quadrants SW, SE, NW, NE in that order and pleased to get the long clues on each border which helped open up the puzzle. Thanks to Kath for the hints which I didn’t need but enjoyed the review, and to the setter for a rewarding challenge.

  21. Enjoyably tricky.I have finally learned how to spell electrocute.Hard to pick a favourite , perhaps 2d.Thanks for explaining why 25 is the the correct answer, Kath and all the hard work it must have been. Thanks also to Ray T.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  22. Another lovely RayT puzzle full of great clues as usual and not too many anagrams. Got stuck with 1 2 and 6 for a while but they all fell into place with a great guffaw. I agree with Kath re favourites but 2 did stand out and was last in. Thanks to RayT and to Kath for waving the flag for us old hands.

  23. ***/*****. Absolute joy of a puzzle. I certainly didn’t find it straightforward with lots of ‘head scratching and light bulb’, moments. 2d and 14a caused me the most difficulty as like a few, I could not work out the last bit of 14a, (thanks to Jezza for that). 11 and 23a were my pick of the day. Huge thank you to RayT and Kath for blogging this and also for the rather fab bear/bare in the cupboard story. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

  24. Thank you Ray T, I agree with previous comments, one of your trickier puzzles. Solved most of it sitting in the sunshine on the beach at Cley. We needed to get back to the hotel to get some help from the electronic gadget to finish it. Thank you Kath for your review of a very tricky puzzle.

  25. I spent as long on this as on Monday to Wednesday’s offerings combined, so definitely on the tricky side. It always takes me a while to tune in to Ray T’s spartan style. It feels odd to me, but then I used to be paid by the word and will therefore waffle on happily for England…
    Apologies Kath for jinxing you yesterday but well done for untangling it.

  26. I found this reely, reely, reely HARD! I had to use my electronic gizmo to finish it. I also needed Kath to explain the “why” of 16a and 11a; never heard of the quiz show but felt it couldn’t be anything else. I liked 2d and 21d, but fave is 5d. Thanks to RayT, hard but enjoyable, and very well done Kath, that was a difficult one.

  27. Thanks Kath for hints but especially to 5d. Last one in and still not sure about use for exhaust. If we’re being really pedantic, is Countdown not a gameshow rather than a quiz show? Favourite 22d and poss 16a and 24a…

  28. I love Thursdays.
    RayT never disappoints.
    Brilliant puzzle, very tough in parts I found.
    **** difficulty for me as I much exceeded my ‘time’.
    Many thanks, RayT and Kath for the review.

  29. Just had time to pick up the paper off the doormat before whizzing out this morning – took one look at the Quickie and thought, (as I’ve been taught by this blog!) ah – all single word clues, it’s a Ray T day, Kath will be fine.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    A few minutes after I ‘made a start’ this evening, I started to think – poor Kath! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif
    Really enjoyed the challenge, but so glad I didn’t have a clock ticking to get out a review. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif
    All my comments would be so similar to Kath’s that they don’t bear/bare repeating but 2d was definitely the fav. for the day.
    Very well done -Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif I have to wonder whether Mr. T realised you were in the chair today and thought he’d give you something to really work at! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    1. Thanks – I don’t think it’s anything to do with Mr T knowing who was in the firing line today. I blame Rick – he put a jinx on it yesterday! Only joking Rick . . .
      On a non-crossword topic, Jane – having made a massive batch today could we add bread making to my list of what I’m good at? I’ll carry on working on anything else I can think of. I felt a bit bad about having asked last week and then disappearing – life (in the form of younger Pet Lamb) overtook me.

  30. We only got around to this one rather late. Parsing the end of 14a stumped me for a while but otherwise we didn’t find it too tricky. We’d give it ***/****. Think I’d agree with 2d as favourite.

    That’s two Thurs in a row we’ve had a really enjoyable, but slightly harder than average, puzzle – wonder what I’ll be faced with next week?

    Well done again Kath and thanks to RayT for the entertainment.

  31. Many thanks to Kath for your decryption and to everyone else for your comments. All very much appreciated as ever.


    1. Thank you. I really like it when a setter can be bothered to “call in” and leave a comment. Very few do – that makes the ones who make the effort all the more special.

  32. Lovely stuff again from RayT . We also had to do some thinking about the ES in 14a. Think this is probably caused by the two slightly different uses of the word ‘bare’. it can mean missing the outside bits as in ‘naked’ or ‘nude’, or, missing the inside bits as seen in the cupboard example. The latter is what applies here. That’s how we saw it anyway. We thought of you as we were solving Kath and pictured you going through the same stress patterns as we had the day before. We’ll let you in to a secret on doing pictures. A Skype call in the middle of the night (for them) to our mutual blogging friends in Spain gave us the skills and confidence to give it a go.
    Loved the puzzle from start to finish and we did of course check the clue word count. It was perfect.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

    1. Time to try again – failed last time but I don’t know why.
      Thanks Kiwis – our mutual blogging friends in Spain are real stars. Going to sort out Skype – yes, we can do it but not on my computer and it’s all far too clever for me – once that’s done it’s all onwards and upwards – I hope! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
      My challenge to myself (and probably everyone else around me!) is to be able to put in my own piccies in three weeks time i.e. the next time I do the hints.
      I have to say that the pesky ES in 14a nearly made me cry . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

      1. Hi Kath, all you need to get Skype in order is to have one of the pet lambs move to far distant shores for a while – you learn very quickly! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif
        Quite happy to put bread-making on your ‘things I’m good at’ list but only if I get a sample. You may remember that I missed out on a slice of tart. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

        1. Oh heck – just realised that if you’re not on duty until three weeks from now, it won’t be a Ray T! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

  33. Just to cap it all I’ve written a reply to Kiwis and got something I’ve never seen in my life, guv. Honestly, I haven’t done or said anything awful and now it’s all disappeared.

  34. 2* for me in terms of difficulty but enjoyable nevertheless. 5d left me stumped for a while but otherwise all okay. Thanks to Kath and to the compiler.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  35. I’m with those who sailed through the bottom half and then stumbled. In fact I needed Kath’s hint for 1a in order to accomplish the top half so thanks for that. Overall I have had more enjoyable exercises however thanks to Mr. Ron for taxing us. ***/**. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  36. Little bit of eletronic help but thanks to Kath and BD I am beginning to get more confident. In the past I used to hide in the cupboard under the stairs on a Thursday (not easy when you live in a bungalow) but now I pluck up courage to have a go.

  37. All those who could complete this must regard the rest of the week as a quick crossword! I’m bringing a book to read on the train on Thursday’s from now on.

      1. What did I say that wasn’t nice? The fact that I’m not clever enough to do a Ray T crossword maybe?

    1. No – you just have to get used to Ray T. He is, I think, a law to himself – once you realise that you will love his crosswords – he is a brilliant setter. He makes me laugh – my enjoyment level goes up every time a clue/answer does that. 12a to you.

      1. I agree Kath, but Jerome (who) maketh a comment which belies reason, which clues did he not like and why? Did he read your hints and learn anything? Doubtful. *slaps palm on face*

        1. Hi Andy,

          I didn’t like the clues I couldn’t get, which was most of them unfortunately!

          I know Ray T is well respected here and would be foolish to criticise his crosswords. To me though, there is a massive gulf between the rest of the week and Ray’s crosswords. Maybe I need to 12a a bit. After all I did get 6 clues all by myself?

  38. After 3 easy days, this one was the reality check.
    Like many other commenters, the bottom half went in ok, but the top half was really quite tricky. It took me three sittings but I finished it eventually, with a good sense of achievement that only comes from a fair challenge.
    Thanks RayT. 4*/4* for me today.
    And thanks to Kath for the review although I managed to resist the temptation to use any hints.

  39. An enjoyable puzzle ( thanks, Ray T) but no more than 2* difficulty – maybe I’m just on the right wavelength today! 28a was my favourite clue, but I’ve always spelt 25d with a final “h”. Still, what do l know? Thanks to Kath for the hints too.

    1. I’ve been caught out by the umpteen spellings of 25d so many times that I know them all – all the possibilities are in the BRB which is where I head for when completely sunk . . . then I find yet another one . . . Oh dear. . .

  40. Ho hum. I was looking forward to today’s after a few fairly soft days. However, the biggest challenge has been fitting the answers to all of the clues. Which explains why I got 22d wrong. I had laches, a neat legal way of a getting round an otherwise valid claim (ie a way to surmount) which fits well with L for enormous and aches for sadness. I agree with Kath about 14. I don’t see how “bare” can make endless into ES. That’s taking the inside, out, whereas to bare something, you’d strip off the outside, wouldn’t you? And I don’t like “use” for “exhaust”. “Use up” yes, but not just use. Thanks to Ray T for introducing me to a new meaning for mundane! Live and learn…..

  41. I found this hard all the way through, but got there in the end, often without knowing exactly why, so thanks to brave Kath for the elucidation and to RayT for keeping me up long past my bedtime. 2d my fave. 4*/4*

  42. Reasonably tough but still enjoyable on reflection. 2.5*/3* for me.

    To state the obvious, what might be unsolvable clues become easier with a number of checking letters. BD, is that how some compilers approach their puzzles? A couple of easy ones to”give” one some letters and then a bit of a bu**er to make one think?

    Now, to try Fridays, if I can stay awake – it’s 11.30 pm here

    And, by the way, Kath,your review/hints get better and better each time. You must be ready to try a few pics?!!

  43. I made the mistake of attempting the toughie first yesterday, which took up all my available free time, and them some, so I didn’t get around to this until yesterday evening. I came to a halt in the NE corner and didn’t finish it up until this morning. Well, almost finish. I needed the hint for 5D. The whole corner, except for 13A and 6D was tricky for me. No stand-outs, but enjoyable, as usual for a Ray T.

    By the way, I’ve noticed that the last couple of times that there’s been a quickie and cryptic Ray T. on the same day, the same word appears in both. At least, I think the last time I noticed that, it was also a Ray T. Yesterday’s was ‘complimentary.’

    Thanks to himself for another fine puzzle, and to Kath for a great review.

  44. Not sure anyone’s interested now that it’s tomorrow, so to speak, but will comment anyway just because I feel like it :).

    I found this tricky, so was very satisfied when I got there in the end – although I did need to come here for a couple of bits of illumination. Thanks Kath for a fine review – you’re really settling into your own style, and what a clear, readable and fun style it is too!

    Amazed to find someone who has never seen countdown! Although it was one of my earlier answers, I was pondering for a while over the reasoning why. Also right with you on 14a – so will add my thanks to Jezza for the right sense of bare. I could only think of the unclothed meaning for some reason.

    Thanks to RayT for a very enjoyable challenge. I particularly liked 18a, and also 6d and the simple and effective 8d.

  45. About this time last year my work dropped off a bit. My personal challenge was to learn to do cryptic crosswords. My father had always done the DT crossword daily and my husband dashes them off easily but to me they have always been a complete mystery. I have spent hours and hours staring at empty grids trying to unravel this mysterious world. I still find them hard. Anagrams do not unfurl themselves easily and sometimes when people say it was a ‘write-in’ I hang my head with despair as I have been struggling for hours to complete it. So where am I now? I sometimes complete the easiest ones and can usually do a few clues of even the hardest, albeit slowly. Today I have managed about half.
    This hard fought journey has been immensely satisfying. I am at least partly addicted to my daily crossword and they take up far too much of my time. None of it would have been possible without Big Dave and this blog and all the contributors. Thank you everyone!

    1. If you hang around here for long enough and keep reading the hints you’ll carry on learning – if you don’t understand something all you need to do is ask and someone will explain. It sounds as if you’re doing pretty well to me. Good luck. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. That’s lots of progress – well done! Do ask about anything on here, and never be put off by those that have been doing it for years. You’ll be calling some of them “write-ins” before you know it :).

  46. Thank you Kath and Kitty. Now realise that I wrote this in a day late but glad someone read it!
    It is hard to remember life before crosswords!
    Perhaps the garden looked better then

  47. First DT I’ve attempted in ages and what an entertainment it has been, even if I’m finishing it a day late.

    Thank you Ray T and Kath

    1. Welcome back Carrie! I did wonder where you’d got to, and hoped that you were ok. It’s good to see you :).

  48. Hi Kath. Well done getting this solved and blogged. I am glad it wasn’t my turn. I have struggled a bit with this one and a busy pub and the sad events of yesterday have kept me away from the puzzles. I have just finished as the pub is quiet tonight. Now for Fridays Saturdays and Sundays. This is the first time I have seen the blog get to Page three.

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