DT 27705

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27705

Hints and tips by Falcon

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

Greetings from Ottawa where we are “enjoying” a spell of very frigid temperatures. Lovely weather to stay inside and do crosswords.

Today’s puzzle is undoubtedly from RayT. He certainly wastes no time in introducing Her Majesty and spices up his creation with the customary dash of innuendo. A couple of clues are based on “old chestnuts”, but done à la RayT they seem to have a fresh look about them.

Please leave a comment to let us know how you got on and what you thought of it.

Finally, be warned that if you click on anything that says “Click here” you’ll see the solution to the clue so only do that as a last resort.


1a   Tempo has changed penning Queen air (10)
ATMOSPHERE — anagram (changed) of the first two words of the clue surrounding the regnal cipher of Her Majesty

6a   Powder stock regularly contains aluminium (4)
TALC — a regular series of letters from sToCk with the symbol of aluminium inside

9a   Church in Dublin accommodates believer (5)
HINDU — a follower of an Eastern religion is hiding (accommodates) in the first three words of the clue

10a   Little  doubt? (9)
SUSPICION — a slight quantity could also be an unsubstantiated opinion

12a   More healthy attached to popular medical device (7)
INHALER — a charade in which another term for more healthy (might it usually be accompanied by ‘more hearty’?) precedes the usual suspect for popular

13a   Arouse first woman to admit approval (5)
EVOKE — Adam’s mate embraces a brief indication of agreement

15a   Administrators of Forest   Football Club? (7)
RANGERS — these custodians of the forest are also the name of one of London’s football clubs

17a   Angry about cheers and gold for paid killer (7)
MATADOR — another word for angry placed around a British goodbye thank you and followed by the heraldic term for gold gives a Spanish executioner

19a   Disallowed curving shot holding ball (7)
FORBADE — a curving golf shot goes around a rather poetic name for a ball

21a   Touching when snatching win before time (7)
AGAINST — place another term for win inside a short conjunction meaning when and append T(ime)

22a   Someone with almost mystical insight initially (5)
SWAMI — the initial letters of the first five words of the clue; if you feel he inevitably loses his power over time, you can underline the final word as well

24a   Start old writer by way of legend (7)
OPENING — a charade of O(ld), a writing implement, a preposition denoting by the means of or using, and the final letter (end) of leG (leG end)

27a   Camouflaged and in disguise, noticing nothing (9)
INCOGNITO — anagram (in disguise) of NOTICING with the letter that looks like a zero appended

28a   Antelope located over in North America (5)
NYALA — reverse (over) a synonym for located or placed and insert it in the abbreviation for North America

29a   Bats knock for six on rebound (4)
NUTS — a reversal (on rebound) of a word meaning to utterly surprise

30a   Sort of tender name? Indeed (10)
ENDEARMENT — this is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue, a type of clue in which the entire clue serves as the definition and a portion of clue forms the wordplay, the latter being an anagram of (sort of) TENDER NAME


1d   Pain of the man supporting a cold (4)
ACHE — a masculine pronoun following (supporting in a down clue) A (from the clue) and C(old)

2d   Clergyman‘s extract from sermon’s ignored (9)
MONSIGNOR — a Roman Catholic clergyman is lurking (extract from) in the final two words of the clue

3d   Last of gins drunk causing emotionalism (5)
SLUSH — final letter (last) of ginS followed by a slang term for someone who habitually imbibes excessively

4d   Problems for the French following hard idiot (7)
HASSLES — a charade of H(ard), one of the commonly encountered idiots [who seems, so far, to have avoided suspicion], and a French definite article

5d   With unending racket play guitar for stage (7)
ROSTRUM — remove the W from the end of loud unpleasant noise or disturbance and replace it with a verb meaning to play the guitar

7d   Don Quixote’s companion? (5)
AMIGO — you were thinking Sancho Panza? Well, I am sure that pommers’ neighbours would describe the squire thusly.

8d   Bless decomposed ancestor in Church (10)
CONSECRATE — an anagram (decomposed) of ANCESTOR placed in the abbreviation for the Church of England

11d   Tending not to move owning this property? (7)
INERTIA — the property in question is not real estate but a physical attribute that is the subject of Sir Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion

14d   Job   announcement (10)
PROFESSION — an occupation requiring specialist training could also be a declaration

16d   Celebrate after time obliterating memory (7)
ERASING — place a verb denoting to utter praise or recognition after a period in history


18d   Slight gradient marred end of ramble (9)
DENIGRATE — an anagram (marred) of GRADIENT followed by the final letter (end) of ramblE

20d   New excellent mark uplifted schoolboy (7)
ETONIAN — start with a charade of N(ew), the designation for first-class found in Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, and a synonym for mark or distinction; then reverse (uplifted) the whole lot to get a student at one particular English public school

21d   A case of enmities in females, almost amazing (7)
AWESOME — start with A (from the clue); then append to this the result obtained from inserting the initial and final letters (case) of EnmitieS into a term for adult human females with the final letter removed (almost)

23d   Course, when seated on bed … (5)
ASCOT — the little conjunction from 21a reappears, this time sitting on top of a portable bed [from the context, it surely couldn’t be a baby’s bed] giving us a racecourse

25d   … intimate meal is topless (5)
INNER — strip the initial letter from the name of the main meal of the day

26d   Handle hot behind (4)
HAFT — a charade of H(ot) and a nautical term denoting towards the stern [it’s tempting, but a little too hot to illustrate]

As my favourite clue, I will go with 24a. Despite this not being the first time that I have encountered the “legend” device, I failed to recognise it for a very long time.

The Quick Crossword pun: fur+staid=first aid


  1. crypticsue
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    A nice Ray T start to the day – thank you to him and Falcon.

  2. Jezza
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    This all went in nice and smoothly; my only pause for thought was with 24a (leGend).
    Many thanks to RayT, and to Falcon for the review.

  3. JonP
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Enjoyable as always from RayT. Thanks to him and falcon **/****

  4. Sweet William
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable Ray T thank you. I needed your advice on 24a Falcon. I had the answer on a “bungitin” basis but couldn’t decode the “ing” ! Thank you for your review and hints.

  5. dutch
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I didn’t spot legend for “G” (24a). This sort of thing used to be frowned upon; it seems we are becoming more liberal.

    I thought there were many wonderful clues today. For I really liked for their elegance seem all to have a religious theme: 9a (church in dublin..), 22a, someone with almost mystical insight), 2d (clergyman’s extract..), and 8d (bless decomposed ancestor..). I also had a soft spot for 30a (sort of tender name) and 7d (Don Quixote’s companion) but my favourite of the day had to be 27a (camouflaged and in disguise..).

    Many thanks RayT and Falcon

  6. Beaver
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    A **/*** for me today, usual high quality clues by Mr T, a pleasure to solve, liked 15A but assumed the famous Glasgow club was the one alluded to by Mr T( not Falcon’s QPR ) in the same way as United would be Manchester.27A took a while to ‘unravel’ clever wordplay again.

    • Falcon
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      My apologies to those north of the border for the unintended slight.

  7. toadson
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Plenty to think about. Needed the clue to fully explain 24a, in 19a the curved shot was new to me, and I was thrown for some time by 11d. Thanks to Ray T and the reviewer. Was expecting a mention of a Glasgow club for 15a rather than QPR!

    • Falcon
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      It was the “Park Rangers” aspect of the name that I associated with forest rangers.

      • toadson
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Aha! Hadn’t seen that Falcon.

  8. Una
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Some easy clues and some that took quite a while before the penny dropped.The parsing of 19a still eludes me as I know neither the poetic name of thhe ball nor the curving golf shot.Thanks Falcon and Ray T.

    • Kath
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t understand 19a either but now I do. The first letter and the last three are a curving shot (golf) and the rest are a sphere or a circle or pretty much anything else that’s round. All I could see to begin with were the first three letters and the last one which even I know is also something to do with golf but unfortunately not only are they not a curving shot but also that left me with three letters that I could not equate to a ball! Dim!

      • Rick
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        I’m very disappointed Kath. We had a long discussion about hooks and fades not that long ago!

        • Kath
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Permalink


      • Una
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gifThank you , Kath.

  9. Heno
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very nice puzzle as usual from Ray T. I struggled with the last few, but got there in the end. Last in was 11d. Favourite was 30a. Was 2*/3* for me. Just noticed that nearly all the anagrams were partial, as opposed to having all the fodder, apart from 30a.

  10. skempie
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyable today and I particularly liked the use of ‘legend’ in 24A – very clever.

  11. Angel
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    This began by being R & W in the North but then the South was a bit more challenging. Liked use of penning for containment in 1a. 17a took a while after having stupidly read it as pain killer. Thanks RayT and Falcon. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif **/***.

  12. Framboise
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable and lots of clever clues. Got 3d wrong as I did not know lush as being used for a topper! I knew that my shush had to be wrong… Apart from this, no problem. My last one was 11d. Got 24a but did not realise how clever the clue was – definitely my favourite. Many thanks to Falcon and to Ray T. 2*/4*.

  13. Ora Meringue
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Hello. First time I have posted her, though I have lurked for a while.
    have to ask about 17a. When did the British for goodbye become two lettered?
    British for thank you, perhaps = cheers, but not goodbye for me.

    • gazza
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog, Ora Meringue. Now that you’ve de-lurked I hope that you’ll become a regular contributor.
      I think you’re right about TA – it’s cheers or thanks rather than goodbye.

    • Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Chambers gives both meanings.

      Cheers! interjection (informal)

      * Good health! (used when drinking a toast)
      * Thank you!
      * Cheerio, goodbye!

      • gazza
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Yes, cheers can mean goodbye but I don’t think ta can.

        • Falcon
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Put it down to a confused colonial wrestling with the complexities of British slang at 2:00 AM.

          • Ora Meringue
            Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

            Very rude of me not to thank you for unravelling all of the other clues.
            Ta. ;-)

            • Falcon
              Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

              You are more than welcome. And I have corrected the blog.

        • Ora Meringue
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          I wasn’t questioning ‘cheers’ meaning either ‘thanks’ or ‘goodbye’ . It was Ta. I have never heard Ta said to mean goodbye. Ta-ta as in TTFN, but never Ta.

          Thank you for the welcome to the blog.

          • Chris
            Posted January 22, 2015 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            Hello, OM – “Ta” is a word fairly commonly used, especially with infants, as a synonym for “thank you”.

            • Kath
              Posted January 22, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

              Not in our family it’s not!

              • Chris
                Posted January 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

                Definitely not in mine either! We can’t stand it! But I have, regretfully, heard it used a lot.

        • George
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          I agree – but I have come to expect weak links like this from RayT.

          • Physicist
            Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            But RayT hasn’t used TA to mean goodbye, he was equating it with cheers.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        You’ll be able to paste your answer on today’s toughie. Re: 17a.

  14. Kath
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I loved this but thought it was quite tricky – at least 3* difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    It all started off really well and I thought that it was going to be fairly straightforward – didn’t take long to change my mind.
    I missed both the genuinely hidden ones for a while but spent too long searching 27a before realising it was an anagram. Daft!
    19 and 24a took ages – both answers were clear but couldn’t see why.
    I liked 22 and 30a and 3, 7 and 8d – haven’t yet decided which of those is my favourite. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    With thanks to Ray T for the brilliant crossword and to Falcon for all the unravelling.

  15. jean-luc cheval
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    One mistake only.
    For 15a I wrote Runners. Well we have Gunners for Arsenal so I thought Nottingham Forest were called the Runners. Hope I haven’t offended any fans.
    Apart from that, I found this crossword very entertaining and quite straightforward to solve. So is today’s toughie.
    Thanks to RayT and to Falcon for the review.

    • Jane
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Quite relieved to read that you finally made a mistake, Jean-luc! I can’t tell you how demoralising it is to have a ‘foreigner’ consistently out-performing some of those of us who are doing the puzzles set in our native tongue. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

  16. Rick
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Mr T’s more benign side. After the ‘gimmes’ at 1 across and down the upper right diagonal folded quickly but the SW corner took a while longer to untangle, taking me into 2* time. 3* fun but not the usual battle of wits.

  17. Michael
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    A couple of points after reading the blog –

    19a – are you saying ‘bad’ is a ‘poetic’ word for a dance? If so it’s a new one on me!
    20d – are you saying ‘ai’ the the Lloyds thing and ‘note’ is the synonym for mark or distinction? – if so, you’ve got to be joking – what a stinker!
    24a – eh!

    I give up!

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      19a is an ORB or ball inside a FADE (curving shot)
      20d AI was used by Lloyds to describe a vessel in a first class condition. Something of note would imply distinction.
      24a I liked the legend myself.

      • dave hartley
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t have a problem with ‘legend’ for the G, but I struggled with’in’ for ‘by way of’, I suppose I could travel from A to B by way of a train, but if that works then ‘on’ should also have a definition of ‘by way of’ (which it doesn’t), as I could make the same journey on a bike. It sounds like the start of a ‘teacher and little Johnie’ joke, but could someone give me a better sentence where ‘in’ can be replaced with ‘by way of’.I’m sure I’m just being thick, but I can’t.

        • gazza
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          “He received payment by way of a lump sum.”

          • dave hartley
            Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Gaza, mental block now cleared.

    • Vancouverbc
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Michael, I think you’re looking at 19a with the wrong slant. Try the opposite of hook and insert the partner to sceptre.

      ***/****. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the review.

    • Kath
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      I completely missed the ‘orb’ too – stupid as I know it perfectly well but all I could see was the ‘bad’! Oh dear!

    • Michael
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      Right – the scales have fallen from my eyes – I assumed the curved shot was ‘fore’ and got into a state of confusion.

      20d I see now but I’m not having 24a that’s just not playing the game!

      I’ll keep plugging away and praying for plenty of anagrams!

      • Angel
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        I agree 24a really is a bit far-fetched. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_evil.gif

  18. Franco
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Easier than usual for a RayT …

    With the 2Kiwis being absent, I have taken it upon myself to see if any clue has more than 8 words. No!

    Falcon, half of Glasgow will be most disappointed with your solution to 15a! The other half must be delighted when Administrators are to be found at Ibrox Park!

    • Falcon
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear! It looks like I may be stripped of any claim to Scottish ancestry.

  19. SheilaP
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, we finished eventually with a little bit of help from the hints, mainly to explain our answers. Quite tricky some of them I think, but fortunately I don’t worry too much about the parsing as I know I’m never going to remember all the little bits and pieces you experts find so easy. As long as I’ve got the correct answer I’m happy. Thank you to the Thursday setter and to Falcon.

  20. George
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    A quite easy one today, not my favourite setter, RayT, I must admit, but this is a bit of a better standard than I usually find with him.

    2*/2* for me.

  21. Longers
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Hello all – I’m another lurker breaking cover! I’ve been enjoying this blog for over a year now and thanks to what I’ve read over this time from the brlliant contributors I am at least completing most of the back pagers on the same day ha ha. But – I stil seem to make some classic mistakes, the latest of which I felt the need to share . “Owenist ” for 24a – O from old, Weni for a writer and st for way, all leading me to convince myself that I’d found a legend! Even the combination of Mr Google and the BRB seemed to confirm my answer. Made 18d difficult! I know – I’ve still have a long way to go! Finally many many thanks to Big Dave – you are much appreciated.

    • Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Longers

      Thanks for the compliments – they are much appreciated as well.

  22. Brian
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Are you sure it was a Ray T? Only I found it not only eminently doable but enjoyable.
    My only carp would be 24a, what indication is there to split legend. Not sure I was too fond of 11d but loved 15a (are they still going?) and 17a which I thought very clever.
    How nice for me to finish a Thursday puzzle and I won the golf this morning by 6 points.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif
    Thx to the setter and to Falcon for explaining my answer to 24a.

    • Falcon
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      There is no explicit indication to split legend. This construction is a cryptic crossword device in the same vein as “midniGht” being used to clue the letter “G” and “Redhead” the letter “R”.

      • Brian
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        ThevRedhead I can see, the others are perhaps a little to subtle for my somewhat linear brain. As CS would say “must try harder”

    • Jane
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m delighted to hear it, Brian – just maybe Mr. T. is finally winning your over?

      Did you buy something nice with your birthday money?

      • Brian
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes, bought my wife some Ug Boots she has been after and a new golf jumper for me.

        • Jane
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Extremely noble of you to spend some of your birthday money on your wife – perhaps MP was right in suggesting that you should have a statue!

    • Kath
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      I think you enjoyed the crossword because winning the golf this morning had put you in a good mood! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

      • Jane
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        The thought did cross my mind. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    • Hanni
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

      I propose three reasons that you enjoyed todays offering. One is highly unlikely.

      1) You are finally enjoying the genius that is RayT.

      2) Kath is correct and winning golf this morning played a massive part..by six points. I’ve witnessed this scenario before.

      3) Someone has invented a ‘Flex Capacitor’, gone back in time, stepped on bug or something and altered the course of history.

      By the way it was lovely of you to treat your wife. :-)

  23. Rabbit Dave
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Great! 2*/4*. Exactly what I would hope for a Ray T Thursday.

    I found the first three quarters to be straightforward but struggled more to complete the SW corner with 19a, 14d & 20d my last ones in.

    My only issue leads me to say “ditto” to Sweet William’s comment regarding 24a.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon.

  24. Jane
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    It will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that I thought this was the best back-pager since……….. the last Ray T offering! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    Favourite could be any one of 27a, 30a, 3,5,8 or 18d – wonderful surface reads.
    Not even a complaint to register about the ‘golf’ clue! 2*/4* for me.

    Many thanks to Falcon (just knew you’d be digging a hole for yourself with the hint for 15a!) and the usual http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to Mr. T.

    • Jane
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      If you should happen to pop in later, Mr. T, thank you for letting us know that you won’t be able to make the party – although I think we’d talked ourselves into believing that you just might!

      I wonder whether you ever do venture to this side of the Channel? If so, I think you can be assured of free B&B the length and breadth of the UK courtesy of your admiring DT solvers. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

  25. pommers
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I was in the Glasgow Rangers camp too and I’m not too keen on IN for by way of, but it just about works, and I did like the legend part :grin:.

    Overall a very enjoyable puzzle, if a little on RayT’s benign side, so **/**** from me. 7d was my favourite, or perhaps 30a.

    Thanks to RayT and Falcon.

  26. Shropshirelad
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    An enjoyable enough puzzle from Ray T, although I did not feel I was on the same wavelength today and struggled with a few (though I persevered without hints).21a was last in after the penny dropped on 11d. Thanks to Ray T for the brain exercise and Falcon for the review.

  27. Hanni
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink


    Even though I am unashamedly in the RayT fan club, it still amazes me that he can continuously produce such high standards of work. This applies to pretty much most setters. They are a unique breed.

    It should be obvious that I liked this. I needed help unravelling 24a, very clever, and the hidden answers took a little while to spot. I don’t see the problem with 17a at all though?

    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon for blogging. :-)

    N.B I’m not saying Miffypops is correct, but I made the same mistake of mixing up a ‘D’ and an ‘O’, again! Might be time to switch to an online version.

    • Miffypops
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Miffypops is never wrong. Just ask Sain Sharon.

      • Hanni
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        I concur MP. You never make mistakes.

        I will ask Saint Sharon when she stops making the sign of the Cross. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

        Still winning at crib?

      • Miffypops
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        The Green Man (my team) beat The Greaves Club by 4- 3. GMLI. Saint Sharon’s team beat The Bibl Club also by 4 – 3. We sit atop the table six point clear at the halfway stage. GMLI are 8th.

        • Hanni
          Posted January 22, 2015 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

          Congratulations! I take it you won’t be smug when/if you take the title? I play in a quiz league and have considered turning a hose on my own team at times. There is still an ongoing argument about the collective term for locusts. It started about nine years ago. My other half refuses to take part. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  28. Miffypops
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    A perfect puzzle which I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you Ray T and thank you Falcon. The antelope eluded me.

  29. Jay legs
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Nice and straightforward for a Thursday **/*** again Thanks to Falcon for the explanations

  30. Chris
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Like Kath, I started by being lulled into a false hope that The Beam had turned from a laser to some gently warm winter sunshine. This only lasted until I reached the bottom half, unfortunately, but nevertheless it was a very pleasant day completing the rest bit by bit. Many thanks to RayT and Falcon. 4*/4*.

  31. RayT
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Setter here, with many thanks to Falcon for the review and to everybody else for your comments.


    • pommers
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ray, that was excellent stuff as usual so thanks as usual.

      Can’t offer the B&B in the UK but if you ever visit the Costa Blanca . . .

      • Jane
        Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, Pommers – didn’t mean to leave our overseas Mr.T fans out of the equation!

  32. Salty Dog
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    A reasonably straightforward 2*/3*,, and21a my favourite. Ta (or cheers) to Ray T and to Falcon for the review.

  33. Owdoo
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Bit late to comment since Ray has already popped in, but I just wanted to add my thanks for an enjoyable puzzle. No hints needed but I also enjoyed the pictorial review too. Thanks Falcon.

  34. Tstrummer
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Those of us who thought that the DT had issued instructions to setters to make them more hard in 2015 will have truly had to eat our words over the past few days. This, for RayT was another example of a fun but straightforward solve, although I puzzled over 21a and 11d. Once I got Newton’s law, 21a was obvious. But why did I spend so long looking at it without seeing it? It took me into 2* time. But 4* for inner satisfaction. Thanks to Falcon for the well-illustrated review and to RayT for warming me up on a bitter evening.
    PS Good to see two lurkers breaking cover today. Let’s have some more of you.

  35. Gwizz
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I completed this last night but forgot to comment. The brain does hurt occasionally.
    A lovely crossword from Ray T and I agree that maybe it was a little on the benign side for him!
    19a was my favourite clue.
    Thanks to Ray T and Falcon for his revue. I shall not mention the picture accompanying 25d….

    • Angel
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I thought 25d hint illustration amusing and rather more tasteful than Page Three Girls whose demise it seems may be imminent. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

  36. Ginny
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Absolutely great crossword. Thanks very much to Ray T and to Falcon. So many enjoyable clues. 29a and 25d made me laugh.

  37. Catnap
    Posted January 23, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I thoroughly enjoyed doing this puzzle last evening. RayT is one of my fave setters and this was a lovely crossword. Difficult to single out a fave, but I specially marked several clues, including 17a, 7d, 21d and 26d.

    Although I had the answers to 19a and 24a, I valued Deep Threat’s explanation of the parsing. Otherwise I had no problems.

    Many thanks to RayT for the super puzzle and to Deep Threat for the entertaining and lucid review.