DT 27622

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27622

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Ottawa where we are back to more seasonable weather following the gift of a July-like day earlier in the week.

Today’s puzzle bears RayT’s trademarks — although in a somewhat restrained manner. The Queen is present but does not make a grand entrance and the innuendo is rather tame. There is certainly not much on the menu for anagram lovers — only four and one of those is merely a partial anagram. On the other hand, charade aficionados should be in their glory.


7a   Sacred Hearts authorised (8)
HALLOWED — a charade of H(earts) and a verb meaning authorised or permitted

9a   Some learn education’s merited (6)
EARNED — hidden in (some) of the middle two words of the clue

10a   Study accommodating a faculty head (4)
DEAN — a room used for studying and similar purposes containing the A from the clue

11a   Title and group’s sound endlessly reviewed (10)
POSSESSION — a group formed to deal with outlaws in the old west is trailed by a reversal (reviewed) of most of (endlessly) a name for discordant sound

12a   Beats English in defeats (6)
ROUTES — E(nglish) involved in overwhelming defeats lead to the paths walked by police patrols

14a   Lead or backing say covering Eminem’s music smash (8)
GRAPHITE — a reversal (backing) of the Latin abbreviation denoting for example (say) is wrapped around a charade of the type of music produced by Eminem and a smash (musical or otherwise); some may consider this music genre to be better described by the later part of 11a (mostly regressive noise)

15a   Beaten and stumped, confining runs (6)
STRUCK — stumped (as I was for a while on some clues) containing R(uns)

17a   Puzzle tester’s ends should include enjoyment (6)
TEASER — the initial and final letters (ends) of T(este)R containing a word meaning leisure or relaxation

20a   Over in toilet are lots holding stomach? (8)
TOLERATE — reversed (over) and hidden in (in/holding) toilET ARE LOTs; the containment indicator might be “in” and/or “holding”

22a   Leave Scotland’s leader in government (6)
RESIGN — the initial letter (leader) of S(cotland) in the period of time for which a monarch governs; the setter would appear to have used a bit of cryptic licence in stretching the meaning of “government”

23a   Criminal with bird in empty time break (10)
CONTRAVENE — a criminal (appropriately found on the list of usual suspects) followed by a black bird caged by the first and last letters of T(im)E (empty time).

24a   Old man about to get trim (4)
PARE — a slangy way to refer to one’s father and the Latin preposition denoting with regard to or concerning

25a   Concealed curve — advanced, taking two directions (6)
ARCANE — a charade of a section of a circle or other curve , A(dvanced) and two cardinal directions

26a   Retired with time sure to be wasted (8)
EMERITUS — the first anagram of the day finally makes an appearance; an anagram (to be wasted) of TIME SURE


1d   Starving artist’s love consumed by fabulous woman (8)
RAVENOUS — the usual artist is followed by an abysmal tennis score inside a fabulous — in other words, mythical — woman

2d   Addict eats large tart (4)
FLAN — a sports enthusiast containing L(arge)

3d   Whips swab on board ship (6)
SWIPES — a disposable pad or cloth for cleaning is placed between the two letters representing a steamship to produce a verb meaning steals

4d   Power of Atlas’s heart always on decline (8)
LEVERAGE — a charade of L (middle letter, or heart, of AtLas), an adverb denoting always, and a verb signifying to get older

5d   Dodgy hip, so rests getting replacement part? (10)
PROSTHESIS — an anagram (dodgy) of HIP SO RESTS

6d   Return of Queen left for pop (6)
REPORT — and now the moment we have all been waiting for — Her Majesty backs onto stage — and is followed by the nautical expression for left, producing the type of pop made by a bursting balloon

8d   After party drop Ecstasy in prescribed amount (6)
DOSAGE — a charade of one of the usual parties, a word that describes what happens to many of our body parts as we decline (as in 4d), and E(cstasy)

13d   Teeming rain let loose under storm centre? (10)
TORRENTIAL — an anagram (loose) of RAIN LET following (under in a down clue) the central letters of “storm” (this being a large storm centre, not a small one)

16d   Drunk crashed a party game (8)
CHARADES — an anagram (drunk) of CRASHED A gives a party game that could also be a type of cryptic clue — one we have seen several times today

18d   Stiff, almost awake, embracing Frankenstein’s helper (8)
RIGOROUS — all save the final letter (almost) of a verb meaning to awake wrapped around what is popularly — and apparently mistakenly — believed to be the name of Frankenstein’s assistant (his name was actually Fritz)

19d   Go back on promise arising in naive generosity (6)
RENEGE — contained in (in) and reversed (arising in a down clue) naivE GENERosity

21d   Gloomy surrounded by very big smells (6)
ODOURS — an adjective denoting gloomy or sullen is contained in the indication of very big that one would find on a clothes rack

22d   Swam seeing fish in so-called foreign sea (6)
REELED — snake-like fish found in the sea parted by Moses produces what your brain may have done after a few too many at the local

24d   Prudish, quietly covering skirt (4)
PRIM — the usual musical direction come before (covering in a down clue) a circular edge

I am giving my clue of the day to 20a as it generated the biggest smile today. It may not parse flawlessly, but I am more than prepared to overlook that minor quibble.

The Quick crossword pun: tar+rub+able=Tower of Babel




  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    3*/4*. Most enjoyable as ever for a Ray T puzzle which I found very challenging in parts, particularly the NW, with 1d & 15a my last two in. I made life much more difficult for myself by rushing to put in “prosthetic” for 5d without checking off the anagram fodder, but I revisited it when 17a & 22a refused to yield. I agree with Falcon about 20a being my favourite today.

    I couldn’t see the second part of the wordplay for 11a, so many thanks to Falcon for helping me out with that, and many thanks of course too to Ray T.

  2. Roland
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Many thanks to setter (Ray T?) and Falcon for the review. All completed pretty quickly without the need for hints, but I was hoping to find out what “so-called” refers to in the clue for 22d. The clue seems to work perfectly well without it, and I can’t see what it would add. Can somebody please enlighten me?

    • Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Ray T is always very precise, and Red on its own is not a Sea – “so-called” tells you that it is an adjective which qualifies a sea.

      • Roland
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        OK, thanks Dave. That did occur to me, but then I thought that “MED” would be taken on its own to mean the sea in question, so why not “RED”. I would have thought that in this case both MED and RED are proper nouns as opposed to adjectives (as I don’t think the Red Sea is actually red), but as you say, it may be that he’s trying to be extremely precise. Thanks again.

        • Physicist
          Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          “Red” is definitely an adjective here. The ancient Greek and Latin names for it both meant “red sea”, most likely because it is subject to frequent blooms of a cyanobacterium
          which indeed colour it red, a fact which was also noted by Captain Cook.

          • Roland
            Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            OK thanks – I was unaware of that. However I still believe that the term Red Sea is a proper noun in this context. The clue refers to a “so-called foreign sea”. The sea required to complete the answer is the RED SEA which is its name, not (necessarily) a reference to its colour. If we were talking about the Black Sea, the Yellow River or the White Nile, would anyone dispute they were the names of the features and therefore proper nouns?

      • Rick
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        I agree he is usually (or unusually) precise but I don’t see what the ‘should’ is doing in 17a?

        • Falcon
          Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          In large part, I think the word “should” is there to enhance the surface reading.

          One could argue that from the perspective of the cryptic analysis, that “tester’s ends” must include “enjoyment” (otherwise, you will never arrive at the correct solution to the clue).

          Having spent much of my career writing government procurement specifications, such a document would call for the use of the word “shall” rather than “should” in this situation. But I am sure no one would want to impose those bureaucratic rules here.

          • Rick
            Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            I commented on it because Mr T does not usually go in for superfluous words and the clue works fine for me without it.

  3. upthecreek
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Damn! RayT has done it again. I thought I had all the hidden words but I was stuck on 20 for ages before I realised as the answer was so well hidden. This has tb my favourite. Also liked 1 4 12 14 18 and 19. Thanks to Ray for an entertaining if not too difficult puzzle.

  4. 2Kiwis
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Agree with others that 20a is the clue of the day. Last one in for us and we had tried all sorts of possible ways to parse it before the penny dropped. Lots to enjoy in a really good fun puzzle and we did of course check the word count in the clues just to make sure that none contained more than 8 words.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  5. dutch
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I also liked the holding stomach clue (20a) – took me a while to see the hidden word even with it being my last one in (checking letters were all vowels).

    I thought 5d (dodgy hip) was clever, and took a while to see the parsing for 11a (..sound endlessly reviewed). Enjoyed Teeming rain (13d) too. Lovely puzzle,

    Thanks RayT and Falcon

  6. Sweet William
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you Ray T – very clever as usual, but almost too much for me ! Am I the only one who struggled ? LHS was OK but RHS took me ages. Excellent clues but really struggled to get the wordplay even having got the answer. Thanks Falcon for your review and hints which were greatly appreciated in the decoding process.

    • Poppy
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Definitely not, SW – I was in the process of writing my response below before I saw your comment. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

      • Sweet William
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink


    • Merusa
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Not a walk in the park for me either!

  7. Poppy
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Needed lots of help today to prevent a major headache – I often seem to struggle with Ray T’s puzzles, while admiring them enormously and feeling an absolute klutz for not getting them. So thanks to Falcon for rescuing me. Like Rabbit Dave I needed the explanation as to why my answer was correct for 11a. And didn’t see 20a at all because I was stuck on the physiological understanding of stomach! Yet another d’oh moment. But grateful thanks to setter for ensuring my workout. Greetings to all.

    • SheilaP
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      We struggle too with Ray T’s puzzles. I think he is very clever and when I am forced to look up a hint, which happens fairly frequently, I know that I would never have worked the answer out on my own without assistance, which is really annoying. Thank you to the setter and to Falcon.

  8. Beaver
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Thought todays puzzle was quite difficult ,well the NW corner (like Rabbit Dave) – a ***/**** for me as I like Ray T crosswords, always some difficult parsing as in14a ; liked 18a-when I had remembered the ‘name’ !, Thanks Falcon for the blog and pics , I like charades but am not a great anagram fan, i suppose I could make an exception of 16d!

  9. Kitty
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I had feared that today my brain might not be quite up to a Thursday crossword, but am happy to report that it was. I found it enjoyable and satisfying. Maybe a little on the soft side for a RayT. Or maybe that’s just because I could do it with no real holdups! Didn’t like 20a because I didn’t spot it for a bit, and was sat for a while staring at four checking vowels and an unpleasant surface image. Clever clue though. Plenty of smiles and lots of good clues from which I can’t single out any real favourites.

    Thankyous to RayT and Falcon for the good work as always.

  10. George
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I really disliked this puzzle as I found some of the wordplays to be tenuous at best. Some of the synonyms are very strained in my opinion. Why should a father be old, for example? There are many more in a similar vein.

    So 3*/1* for me.

    • Falcon
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      “Old man” is a common term for father, as witnessed by Lonnie Donegan’s “My old man’s a dustman …”

  11. BigBoab
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I enjoyed this crossword from RayT very much and I also enjoyed the review from Falcon though as a Scot I take exception to his remarks at 22a.

    • Roland
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      I think that in fairness to Falcon, he meant that it was a stretch to refer to a period in government as a reign, as that ought to refer to a monarch. I don’t believe it was a dig at Mr Salmond, the Scottish parliament or the SNP – or at least that’s the way it came across to me.

    • Falcon
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


      I think you may have misinterpreted my remarks at 22a. I merely meant to indicate that I do not think of the words “reign” and “government” as being particularly synonymous.

      • BigBoab
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Apologies Falcon my mistake.

      • Steve_the_Beard
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        The Chambers Thesaurus says that “reign” and “government” are synonymous, so you’re on a loser there :-)

        • Falcon
          Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          It wouldn’t be the first time that I find myself out of sync with Chambers.

        • SheilaP
          Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          No government reigns over me, thank you very much, no matter what Chambers says.

      • Angel
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        D’accord, Falcon, as far as government and reign not being synonymous, whatever Chambers says.

  12. Bluebird
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I agree with the 3 star, as it took me quite a bit longer than usual and struggled with 11a and 6d.

    Although I did write in 20a, that was due to a careless ” anagramming” of ‘toilet are’.

    Lots of red herrings and not many anagrams. Good puzzle and thanks to Falcon for the ones I missed…….

  13. Toadson
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    A relatively gentle Ray T .. Liked 5d, last one in 12a. Wondered about ‘so called’ in22d, so Dave’s comment above was useful. Thanks to all.

  14. JonP
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I found this slightly tamer than normal for a RayT but entertaining nonetheless. Thanks to Falcon and RayT for the grey matter work-over 2.5*/4*

  15. Brian
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Obviously a Ray T, no phrases and refs to the queen. A little better than normal for one of his in that I managed 13 answers today but the rest is just shrouded in mystery as usual. I can always rely on Ray T to spoil my batting average for the week.
    Ah well a Giovanni tomorrow to look forward to.

  16. Franco
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    All was going so well until I encountered 20a – missed it completely. After much “research” I now know the 4 compartments of a cow’s stomach. Why, you ask? – I have no idea!

    I also wondered about the use of “so -called” in 22d – all explained (I think) by BD in comment no #2 above


    Thanks to Falcon for the very early review …. my sleep pattern at the moment! seems to be on the other side of the Atlantic so I logged in very early.

    • Falcon
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I seemed to be tuned to RayT’s wavelength today and finished the review in record time. I actually was able to enjoy a full night’s sleep — a rare occurrence when I am blogging.

  17. Simmo
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Need help with the phrase on the quick crossword where in my world the top 3 answers are

    Cant see it at all. HELP!!!

    • Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Simmo

      I’ve just added it to the end of the review!

      • Franco
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        I thought that Today’s Quickie Pun was “Terrible”? Wrong again!

        • Kitty
          Posted October 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          You’re not wrong if you remove the quotation marks!

        • Michael
          Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

          I wrote down ‘terrible’ too – I thought it was a bit weak!

          Maybe it’s where you can rub tar in?

          • Michael
            Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

            Err – I’m waiting for moderation for some unknown reason – have I done something wrong?

            • Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

              As I’ve said before, the spam checker gets overloaded – currently we are attracting over a thousand spam comments every day, over 1,000,000 since May 2012. Please be patient.

  18. Jay legs
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    ****difficulty **enjoyment 12a I did not like this clue, I can see (or used to) the Policeman on his beat but “on his route!”

    • Falcon
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Strange isn’t it that a policeman walks a beat and a postman walks a route (at least, that is the case in North America).

      • Rick
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        They walk rounds round here!

  19. Brian
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I’ve now had chance to go through all the remaining hints as I always do with a Ray T in the hope of gaining an insight into his way of thinking and some i would never have got such as 20a and 12a but could someone explain the so-called in 22d. There is nothing so-called about the Red Sea, it is simpy a foreign sea so why the so-called?

    • Franco
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      22d -… so-called foreign sea.

      RayT normally always pops in … maybe he can explain?

      • Hrothgar
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        In spite of RayT, thanks, but I still don’t get it.
        I’m thick.

  20. Gwizz
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    A typical Ray T crossword I thought. Nice and ‘do-able’ (sorry Brian!). 14a was my favourite, and Falcon, I beg to differ! A lot of the music mentioned is actually quite good! But each to their own, and anyway enough exclamation marks….
    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon for the revue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

  21. Merusa
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I slogged with this one, and I never did get 20a. A lot of my answers were with the M’pops rule, bung it in and find out why later, e.g. 11a and 14a. Even though I didn’t have the answer and needed Falcon’s hint, my fave has to be 20a. Thanks to RayT for the fun and Falcon for the help.

  22. Miffypops
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I have always thought that Rap music began with a silent C. This was a beautifully constructed puzzle as usual from Rat T. Each clue slowly being teased out A few put in merely because they fit with the checkers and parsed later. I had a poodle around Lakes Coniston and Windermere toady. Off to The Blacksmiths in Broughton Mills for dinner. Driving down to The Star in Thrussington tomorrow. at to all especially Ray T and Falcon..

  23. RayT
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. My thanks to Falcon for the decryption and to all who left a comment. The ‘so-called’ in 22d is there because we say ‘The Med’ but we don’t say ‘The Red’, we say ‘The Red Sea’.

    • Jane
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mr. T. How kind of you to pop in so consistently to the blog. You must be very aware by now that you have an enormous fan club here (most of them female?!!!) but I do wish you could win Brian over – poor man obviously sees your trademarks and panics! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    • Brian
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Words fail me!

      • Jane
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        That’s not like you! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif

  24. Chris
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Another fine crossword by RayT, whose work I always enjoy so much. My thanks to him and to Falcon for the review and discussion. I found it very difficult but very satisfying. (Only just managed in the end with no hints or help but it was a very close-run thing – especially 20a. Great clue!)

  25. Catherine
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Very good, satisfying puzzle today. 22d was my last one in and I appreciated BD’s and then Ray T’s explanation of the “so-called” Thanks Ray T and thanks to Falcon as well.

  26. Hilary
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Brain dead today, off to cupboard under the stairs (difficult when you live in a bungalow) with a large box of tissues. Just when I thought I was beginning to get Thursday cracked this came along. Thanks to Falcon and BD for sorting things out fingers crossed for tomorrow.

    • Jane
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hilary, I was expecting some emoticoms from you today – need any help? Kath told me how to do it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

      • Hilary
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Too downcast to even consider an emoticon but help greatly appreciated for another day.

  27. Franco
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    In my search for more information about RayT (aka Ray Terrell), I found this on Google (Keywords: ray terrell crossword)


    Very interesting reading ,,, nearly 4 years ago.

    • Jane
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the link, Franco, makes BD seem almost human! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif
      I always look upon him as a really big, scary monster – but his blog is wonderful, so I guess he must be too. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  28. Angel
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Good news is that there were only 4 anagrams otherwise OK but not special – thanks Ray T. Needed help with 25a so thanks Falcon for that. By the way, visited Ottawa for first time briefly last month and loved it. I will return. ***/**.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  29. Heno
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Ray T, favourite was 13d as the fodder was about the elements, brilliant. Needed the hints for 22a&d,and 25a. Was 3*/3* for me.

  30. Jane
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The great thing for me about a Ray T is the enormous sense of satisfaction when it’s completed (took me a little while today!) and the answers all make perfect sense. Parsing 11a took a while – I got tied up with ‘session’ musicians, so missed the wood for trees and 20a took an age despite the very obvious indicator. Best clues – 14a, 5d, 18d, in no particular order.
    Not overly happy with the Quickie pun – bit of a stretch? Still struggling with the SW corner – must have got something badly wrong there!
    Going back to last night’s posts – flu jab done (sorry, Kath, but I have ‘bad habits’ that make it a necessity!) and have now been offered a pneumonia jab. Anyone got any input on that score?
    Many thanks to Mr. T for another great Thursday offering http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif and to Falcon for reminding me about the lynch mob! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif
    A little worried that Kath hasn’t checked in on a favourite man day – hope all is well? http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Me too. I noticed Kath hadn’t posted yet. How’s the arm post jab? Not too sore I hope? :-(

      • Jane
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

        thank you Hanni – the arm’s OK but I did have a ‘bleak’ moment whilst driving this afternoon and I’m rather worried that the nurse suggested I should have the pneumonia jab when I know I’ve got a couple of quiet days ahead! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  31. Salty Dog
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Quite pleasant but not over-taxing; 2*/3* by my reckoning. I rarely go for an anagram as favourite, but 20a gets my vote. Thanks to Ray T, and to Falcon for the review.

  32. Hanni
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    ****/***. I do like RayT days. I didn’t find this simple at all and invoked the Miffypops rule, yet again, for 20a.
    I fear risking the wrath of others in that I actually liked 22d. NW corner was a major hold up but loved 4d when it finally clicked.
    Thank to RayT and to Falcon for blogging.

  33. Whybird
    Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Falcon for explaining 14a. I knew the answer, but couldn’t decode it. Glad to see Queen in a music context – I am starting to get my son interested in the delights of crosswords, and was enthusing about the likely Ray T trademarks. At 22 it’s about time! Unfortunately, I found the puzzle overall well below normal standards for a Ray T. Nothing that made me laugh (or thump myself when the answer clicked). And I agree with those that don’t like the “so-called” sea. It just about makes sense with the explanations, but it is suitably tenuous to encourage all sorts of delusions on fitting incorrect answers with part of clues. Eerie often crops up as a lake, but its name surely includes the Lake, too, so by this logic, the so-called is redundant.

    • Falcon
      Posted October 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Re: “it is suitably tenuous to encourage all sorts of delusions on fitting incorrect answers with part of clues”

      Ah! But is that not precisely the objective of the setter!

      • Jane
        Posted October 16, 2014 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Falcon, such a succinct way of putting it! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif

    • Miffypops
      Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:14 am | Permalink

      I find it very difficult to see queen in a musical context. Pop Pap. File in the bin

      • Jane
        Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        Think Freddie Mercury fans might take issue with you over that one!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_whistle3.gif

        • Miffypops
          Posted October 17, 2014 at 12:39 am | Permalink

          They are welcome to do so but they will be wrong. Showmanship yes. In bucketfuls. Musicality? No. Not a jot, not an iota.

  34. Pikestaff
    Posted October 20, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Coming late to this as I had a pile to catch up on. I found it pretty hard work, not helped by having the wrong answer (“besets”) for 12a. I think it fits the clue at least as well as the right answer.