DT 27741 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 27741

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27741

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Good morning everyone. It’s a bit on the nippy side in Oxford but if we can believe the forecast it’s going to be a lovely day later on. I have no doubt that this is a Ray T crossword – it has most of his trademarks and anyway it’s his week. I thought it was reasonably straightforward for one of his but have given it three stars as I got stuck in the bottom right corner – I find it really hard to judge the difficulty of a crossword when I’m doing the hints anyway.

If you click on anything that says “Click here” you’ll see the answer so only do that if you’re still floored after reading the hint.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a            Endless banter with line I’m spinning (12)
INTERMINABLE — An anagram (spinning) of BANTER and LINE I’M. I know that I’ve said this before but a nice long and not too difficult anagram right across the top is a good start – I’m beginning to think that this might be a new Ray T trademark.

9a            Lad with catapult taking tumble (9)
STRIPLING — A catapult or something with a string attached for hurling a stone contains (taking) another word for tumble or fall down.

10a         Capital of Sweden? (5)
KRONA — No – not the geographical capital but the money that is used in Sweden.


11a         Tremble madly, hugging figure (6)
EMBLEM — He’s there – right in between the first two words of the clue (hugging) and I caught him before he had a chance to catch me out.

12a         Bit by dog, mine unfortunately, after seconds (8)
SMIDGEON — An anagram (unfortunately) of DOG MINE after the one letter abbreviation for S(econds).

13a         One sketches model’s middle comparatively naked (6)
DRAWER — The middle letter of moDel is followed by a word meaning more naked or wearing fewer clothes. If someone is starkers another way of saying so is that they are “in the ***”.

15a         Sun spread rejected sexy photo (8)
SNAPSHOT — Start with S(un), follow that with a reversal (rejected) of another word for spread or extent and finish with a word meaning sexy or full of lust.


18a         Faithful concerned with good man consumed by hypocrisy (8)
CONSTANT — A short preposition meaning concerned with or about and the usual two letter abbreviation for crossword land’s favourite good man are contained in (consumed by)a four letter word meaning hypocrisy or insincere talk

19a         Beat America, putting first of astronauts in space (6)
HIATUS — A verb to beat or strike contains the first letter of A(tronauts) and is followed by one of the normal abbreviations for America.

21a         Single record on turntable ends (8)
DISCRETE — A record, maybe a CD or a DVD, is followed by a two letter abbreviation meaning on or concerning and the first and last letters (ends) of T(urntabl)E.

23a         Spot politician in imposing building (6)
PIMPLE — Our usual politician is contained in (in) an imposing building or large house.

26a         Cooked as French — in other words, entrée for dinner (5)
FRIED — The two letter abbreviation for FR(ench), another two letter abbreviation for the Latin meaning in other words or that is to say and then the first letter (entrée) of D(inner).


27a         Rating coming down following case of excess (9)
ESTEEMING — A word for coming down – not landing but pouring with rain – is preceded by (following) the first and last letters (case of) E(xces)S.

28a         Row of detectives with squad in a salute (12)
DISAGREEMENT — Time to get the lego out and start building – begin with the common abbreviation for some fairly high up detectives, follow them with the A from the clue and a word meaning salute or acknowledge which contains (in) a squad or team of blokes.



1d            As an alternative, detains criminal (7)
INSTEAD — An anagram (criminal) of DETAINS

2d            Itch oddly then take pulse (5)
THROB — The alternate letters (oddly) of iTcH are followed by a word meaning to take (illegally).

3d            Show envy going after Queen record (9)
REPRESENT — A verb to envy or begrudge is preceded (going after) the one letter abbreviation for a Queen and an old type of record which was played at 45 rpm and usually had two tracks on each side.

4d            Bird’s in bliss on and off (4)
IBIS — The alternate letters (on and off) of IN BLISS


5d            Debate advanced and divided catching stick (8)
ARGUMENT — The one letter abbreviation for A(dvanced) is followed by a word meaning divided or split apart containing (catching) a verb to stick or glue.

6d            Enjoyed getting beaten without clubs (5)
LIKED — A word meaning beaten or well and truly thrashed without the abbreviation for C(lubs).

7d            Mate who’s drunk a bit (8)
SOMEWHAT — An anagram (drunk) of MATE WHO’S

8d            French artist capturing grand attractive person (6)
MAGNET — One of the French impressionists containing (capturing) G(rand)

14d         One acting so suspiciously? (8)
AGNOSTIC — An anagram (suspiciously) of ACTING SO.

16d         Right killjoy covers disgusting eye-opener (9)
PRIVILEGE – Begin with a killjoy or someone likely to disapprove of a smutty joke – put another word for disgusting or repulsive inside that (covers) and finish off with the first letter (opener) of E(ye).

17d         Superman at He-Man’s tackling Bane (8)
ANATHEMA — This hidden answer was nearly the one that got away today. I think all the hyphens and capitals confused me – well, that’s my excuse anyway.

18d         Order fish provided by day’s end (6)
CODIFY — A large food fish is followed by a conjunction meaning provided that or supposing and finished off with the last letter (end) of (da)Y.

20d         Deceit of sweetheart caught in modest embrace (7)
SLEIGHT — The middle letter of swEet (sweetheart) is contained in (caught in) a word meaning modest – not shy but a small amount of something.

22d         Initially rotating arms does involve individual bones (5)
RADII — The first letters (initially) of the middle five words of the clue.


24d         Stance to keep one’s balance (5)
POISE — I think this is a double definition. I also think I might have missed something here – spent ages trying to think of a three letter word meaning stance containing the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one with the ‘S from the clue but . . . if anyone has any better ideas please feel free to say so!

25d         Porridge mix (4)
STIR — The first word of the clue and the answer are both slang words for time spent in prison.


I liked 12 and 15a and 7 and 22d. My favourite was 25d.

Quickie pun:- Deck+Stir=Dexter

110 comments on “DT 27741

  1. 4*/4*. I really enjoyed this. A few clues went in immediately – including 1a which is always an encouraging start! With a little persistence, the first three quarters succumbed and I was on course for 2* time. However, the SE proved to be much more challenging and took me up to 4* time overall. 19a was my last one in but it followed quite quickly once I had solved 16d, which had held me up for quite a while having been convinced that the killjoy in question must be a “prude”.

    There are lots of possibilities for favourite today, but I can’t decide between 19a, 26a, 14d & 17d. I feared that 17d might have proved to have been Kath’s nemesis.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  2. This is what it’s all about for me – loads of clues in which the wordplay is beautifully woven into the surface reading. For example, “endless banter” (1a), “bit by dog” (12a), “sexy photo” (15a – this was particularly good since it could refer to the recent page 3 ban), “first of astronauts in space” (19a), “spot politician in..” (23a), “rating coming down” (27a), “detains criminal” (1d). “mate who’s drunk” (7d), “deceit of sweetheart” (20d). All wonderful.

    I did notice that “bit” was used twice and we had both argument and disagreement in the answers, but what a tiny niggle in an outstanding puzzle

    Many thanks RayT and Kath

  3. I got held up in the SE corner for a while but found this an enjoyable puzzle to solve (as always from RayT). Thanks to RayT and Kath ***/****

  4. I got 24d by putting ‘i’ into a four letter word for to sit for an artist. Thanks for the review and to the setter

      1. Strange ! how I really struggled today , but pose and i, seemed light relief compared with some of the others . Some folk talk about being on the same wavelength as others e.g setter ; I think sine language could be the apt model for me on this puzzle .

    1. Thanks, thought it didn’t quite ‘add up’ like others just went for an ‘iffy ‘ double definition’

  5. RayT at his best and Kath at her best. Perfection. Could not get Temple out of my mind at 23ac. Thanks RayT Thanks Kath. The Bottom right or South East corner took the most time

  6. I don’t know what it is about RayT puzzles but I find them immensely difficult. I just do not think the same way for some reason.

    5*/1* for me as usual.

    1. George, you are not alone. A third of the answers went in no problem, then a hard slog to get the second third and then a variety of nefarious means to “solve” the final third.

      1. George you are definitely not alone. I think some of the meanings of the answers have been stretched far too far, but others think RayTs puzzles are wonderful, and I’m sure they are, they’re just not for me Anyway, thank you to the Thursday setter and especially to Kath for the explanations.

        1. i’m in the same boat – one third obvious, one third solveable, and the final third very very hard…..BUT, a great puzzle with no resort ot obscure words etc

  7. I am sure that no one will be surprised to know that I hated every clue in this one even the ones I actually understood! Mrs B was so fed up with she went to do the ironing, something she also hates. With the help of the hints I did manage to finish but the clueing is so awful that even when you have the answer often I don’t understand it ie 27a (odd word), 18d (surely this means to encode rather than order), 19a (doesn’t this mean a pause rather than a space), why superman in 17d, who is the killjoy in 16d and many more too tedious to mention.
    For us *****/-100.
    Thx to Kath for the hints.

    1. As I have run out of crosswords to solve and have half an hour left of my lunch hour to fill, I’ll respond

      27a – why?
      18d – verb meaning to organise or collect together
      19a – break or interruption can mean a space
      17d Superman is there to provide the first two letters of the hidden word
      16d – the killjoy is a prig.

      As for the ironing, do it on Saturday at 4pm while listening to Weekend Woman’s Hour, that’s what I do.

      1. Thx. Probably still a bit jet-lagged for a Ray T. As for 27a, it’s just not a word I have ever come across, esteem yes but not esteeming.
        I could see Prig, just never thought of one as a killjoy.
        Stupid of me not to realise that Superman was just to hold the hidden clue.
        What I find so frustrating about Ray T crosswords is the sheer difficulty of unpicking the clues. With other setters I may not know the answer but I can at least understand the clue. The Superman clue is a good example as there seems to be know indication of a hidden word and 19a as well.
        Must say though I did admire 10a. As always I have great respect for his crosswords but very little enjoyment.

        1. Re 17d – the hidden word indicator is ‘tackling’ as in the first defintion in the BRB of the verb to tackle: ‘to seize or take hold of’.

    2. Brian, I agree that this was a difficult puzzle but I don’t agree with your assessment of the clues you mention. 27a is a perfectly normal word for rating someone, my thesaurus gives ‘order’ as one meaning for the answer to 18d. The ‘space’ in 19a is as in ‘breathing space’ which is a ‘pause’ and ‘superman’ has nothing to do with the answer except to supply the last two letters. The ‘killjoy’ in 16d is a ‘prig’.

      Thanks Kath and Ray T

    3. Perhaps Chambers could put an asterix alongside all the words in the English language you find odd so that setters will know not to use them in future?

      1. Rick, it’s not the words that are odd, it’s the inclusion of obscure and archaic meanings that I find irritating.

          1. Here here. Once upon a time in the not too distant past I too feared every Thursday. But now I look forward to a RayT crossword. Delightful and beautifully clued.

            It’s that Monday fella that gets me all tangled up sometimes !

  8. ****/***

    I really struggled with this. The top half went in slowly but surely, the bottom half was another matter. I pencilled in ‘temple’ for 23a. I was didn’t see the hidden answer in 17d and spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to make some sort of anagram. Because I had messed up 23a, the checking letters for 16d didn’t make sense.

    And my personal favourite, I completely forgot the currency used in Sweden.

    I love RayT days. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    Many thanks to the man himself and to Kath for a quite frankly excellent blog.

    Not long until the weekend now.

  9. Best of the week (so far!) for me. As someone posted fairly recently, not one bit of the clueing is superfluous.

  10. Seem to agree with Rabbit Dave’s ratings these days-****/****, most difficult puzzle for a while for me, found the parsing difficult as the answer was often an ‘obscure’ meaning of the word, ie 19A, (also last in) and18D,nevertheless a satisfying solve all round,took ages to spot the anagram in 7D! Thanks to setter and Kath, liked the pic of the ibi-or ibises? reminded me of Mr Mc Cartney and Mr Jackson!

  11. 2d. Although the answer was obvious, I don’t see TH being the odd letters of ITCH. IC are surely the odd letters?

    1. One of the ‘odd’ things about Crosswordland is that sometimes ‘odd letters’ can mean the even ones.

      1. Misdirection is, obviously, part of the cryptic crossword clue, but I think this is taking that concept too far!

        1. Thanks and a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif to you in return.
          The only problem that I can see is that MP has met me whereas I think that he probably hasn’t met you. Yet again http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif!

          1. As Jane puts so wonderfully below, don’t ever change. You give people confidence, you give me confidence, and you are such an essential part of this incredible blog.

            The jabberwocky comment didn’t bother me in the slightest. Worryingly I get MP’s humour. Besides I suppose I can be jabberwocky like before 6 a.m ish/cup of tea.

            1. Hanni – only two things worry me about you:-

              1. You always ‘get’ MP’s humour.
              1b. You agree his music choices.
              2. You drink tea at 6am.

              In response:-

              1. I’m never entirely sure of what is humour/serious with MP.
              1b. If those were the only choices, I’d have to opt for Abba.
              2. I wouldn’t have tea at any time of day – I’d only be drinking anything at 6am if I was still up from the night before – but maybe that comment is valid simply because it’s a fair few years since I had to be up for the school run!

              However – as I said to Kath – don’t change one iota, you’re great just the way you are (plus, it gives MP a soul mate on the bog!).


              1. I take comfort in the fact that only two things worry you about me. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                You should see how excited I get about a Series restoration project, new loop lakes walks and proper coffee.

                1) MP is MP. It’s a wonderful equation.
                1b) I don’t always agree with Dylan choices, my boss will attest to that. Oh and there is pics of my dressed as Agnetha. And away from here I play Bach…cello, and Chopin and Beethoven on my piano.
                2) Tea. 6 a.m. is the perfect time. Early start or late finish it is a thing of joy.

                Don’t you ever change either Jane. You are this… http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

                As for a soulmate on the ‘bog’? That’s out of my realm of experience.http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

                1. OOPS! I would apologise to both of you for the unintentional slip of the keys but……… on reflection, it rather amuses me!

                  You’re both delightful to know – and I can’t imagine either of you wishing to share a loo seat – mahogany or otherwise. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_sad.gif

                2. Hi Hanni – that’s a relief, I can quite happily go along with your classical music choices and have great respect for your ability to play same. I just very much enjoy listening to others demonstrating their skills. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  12. Just about to start this one over some strawberries and Kiwi fruit for lunch. Then perhaps the Toughie.

    For anyone who’s already done it and has a bit of time to spare there’s a great Paul (Dada) in the Grauniad and a pretty good Sleuth (Shamus) in the FT. Both well worth a look.

  13. Very enjoyable Ray T and thanks to Kath for the nice photo of the two ibis which I think are of an American White ibis and a Glossy ibis side by side.
    Favourite was 27a but 9a was last in as although I had thought of strapping,sling then tripping, took a while sort it all out.

  14. Hi Everyone, I’m very new to crosswords and would like to thank you all for the help provided by your comments and hints. I had quite a struggle today, can someone explain 21 a . Many thanks to Kath.

    1. Welcome Tinks

      21a is single in the sense of separate – DISC (single – record) RE (on the subject of) and TE (the ends of TurntablE

        1. Sorry George but I disagree with your comment about 21a. The disc (or disk as you spell it) is not a single – I agree with you about that bit. The definitions are underlined in the hints. The definition is “single” as in separate or consisting of different parts. The answer is made up from a record i.e. a disc, a two letter abbreviation meaning on or about and then the first and last letters (ends) of turntable. I do apologise if my hint didn’t make all that lot completely clear. Must try harder!!

  15. Splendid stuff, nearly as good as the strawberries http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif

    Had a bit of a hold-up due to spelling 10a with an E on the end, but that’s the capital of Denmark, not Sweden. Due to that we go for ***/***.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath

    P.S. The clue for 26a has nine words, tut tut Ray. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_negative.gif

        1. Just checked the quickie (which i will solve while eating my wheaty bangs tomorrow morning) and no clue has more than one word so on that note, dipso fatso, i rest my case that the setter is Ray T

  16. This one put up a bit of a struggle and needed an extended lunchbreak to complete. I do find some of Ray’s clues a bit convoluted but I usually get there eventually, and usually with a sense of achievement that feels hard earned. Not always much enjoyment along the way but retrospectively the skill and clever surfaces are more evident.
    Thanks for the challenge Ray and Kath for the review.
    4*/2* for me today.

  17. We found this very challenging today and felt it was more of a trudge than a romp. Thanks for the review Kath which somewhat lightened the mood.

  18. A tricky little so-and-so that had me teetering on the brink of 4* time. I needed to stop the clock and have my shower with a few still to go. As usually happens that cleared the fug and the rest came together quite smoothly, with 16d the last to yield. 12a is a favourite for the beautifully disguised definition – so typically Ray T.

    1. 16d was also my last in. ***/**** and a great deal of satisfaction at finishing a Thursday`s crossword without using the hints (not often done)· But thanks to Kath for explaining a few that I wasn’t 100% sure of.

    1. Any time. If you click on the ‘reply’ bit of the comment you are replying to, it keeps the thread together.

    2. Welcome from me too – please keep commenting as it’s always lovely to have new contributors to what has to be the best blog in the world.

  19. I liked it a lot, but then I have yet to meet a Ray T. that didn’t make me smile at least a couple of times. 18D and 21A were my last two in. 14D was my favorite. Many thanks to Ray T. and to Kath.

  20. Really enjoyed this offering although I found it difficult in a pleasant sort of way. The clues were perfectly constructed in a good cryptic way. Difficult to choose a favourite as one is spoilt for choice but I will go with 19A My rating is 4/4 and my thanks to Kath for the enlightenment.

  21. If it wasn’t for the odd burst of mistral, it feels like summer down here.
    Did the crossword this morning and decided to spend the day outdoors.
    Back home now and back to business.
    Really enjoyed the challenge and didn’t find it that difficult.
    Great clues from RayT and all quite easy to parse.
    Favourite is 19a. Just love this word.
    Off to finish the toughie now. See you in a while.
    Thanks to Kath for the entertaining review and to the setter again.

  22. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments more than I enjoyed the crossword. **/** for me.
    Thanx to Compiler and to Kath for the excellent review.

  23. Another enjoyable Thursday offering from Ray T (sorry Brian). It did take me longer to do this one than today’s ‘Toughie’ from Petitjean. Perhaps I used all my brain cells before attempting the back pager. I’m so glad that the spelling of 1a didn’t upset the checking letters as this another example of a word I have trouble saying, let alone spelling. Liked 11, 15 & 28a, but 16d is my favourite.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and Kath for her splendid review. Is 25d really a selfie?

  24. After three straightforward solves in a row (after a very tricky Saturday) this caused a crash landing ****/** :( So thanks very much to Kath for all her help in getting there in the end :)

  25. I was way off wavelength today. The top half went in quite well, but I could not crack the bottom half. I thought I was getting the hang of RayT but obviously not.
    On reading Kath’s review and answers, I have to acknowledge that this chap’s clues are pretty clever.
    Thanks to RayT, I wish I were on your wavelength. Your review, Kath, was as entertaining as usual, thank you for that.

  26. Distinctly tricky and I was grateful for the hints , Kath, particularly 16d and 14d. Is there a definition in 14d ?
    I liked 12a, 15a ,19a, and 17d.

  27. Phew, that was exceptionally hard work, but immensely satisfying to solve.

    A superbly crafted puzzle in my opinion, and definitely maintaining Thursday as the day when the most challenging puzzles are to be found.

    So many clues were excellent, it’s hard to single out favourites, but if pushed to name a couple, then 12a and 16d achieved that difficult balance of great surface reading and devious misdirection !

    Many thanks indeed to the setter and Kath.

  28. Are we really the first ones to notice? 26a actually has NINE WORDS in the clue! What is the world coming to!
    Really enjoyed this puzzle, difficult enough that it was not a write in but the answers flowed regularly and smoothly with lots of smiles along the way.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

    1. Whoops. Just noticed that pommers spotted the nine word clue @ comment 16 above.

  29. Thanks Ray T and Kath. Friends staying, run out of time – all too much for me ☺

    1. Had another go this morning and finished it after using some of your hints Kath for which many thanks. Without your help I could not have finished it.

  30. Many thanks to Kath for the decryption and to everybody else for your comments.


    1. Hi, Mr. T. Just wondering – do you give your students these crosswords to complete as part of their homework?

      1. Not very often, no. Incidentally, kudos to the Francophone contributors who put some of the Anglophones to shame!


        1. Sorry you mentioned that – it’s actually quite mortifying…….. particularly when it’s a puzzle that us native speakers have really struggled to complete. How they cope with the anagrams is an absolute mystery to me!

    2. Thank you for your wonderful crossword. Just for the record I meant to give it 4* for enjoyment but failed to notice that I hadn’t changed the standard setting which is 3* for both difficulty and enjoyment. OK that’s the first “oh dear” out of the way.
      I do hope that you know how much everyone appreciates the fact that you always “pop in” and leave a comment.
      I apologise for messing up a really good clue (24d) with a rubbishy, not to mention completely wrong, hint – just plain dim!

      1. Second that Kath. It makes him seem human and that we know him instead of a remote machine spewing out a crossword puzzle. Thanks RayT, very much appreciated.

  31. Late on parade due to meetings all day – economics this morning and Anglesey Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) this afternoon (how’s that for diversity!).
    Expected a smiley Mr. T puzzle to go with the glass of wine on my return and indeed it started out that way but………. I reckon he put his Beam hat on part way through. A bit of ‘carrot & stick’ springs to mind! I did worry for Kath but she obviously coped brilliantly. I’ll go for 3.5*/4.5* for this one.

    Lots to like – special mention for 12&15a + 7&17d – but I have a particular fancy for the simple 1d.

    The thing I love about Mr. T is the delight of the surface reading of his clues. I’m happy to ‘let him off’ about the 9 word one at 26a but perhaps he could have done away with ‘as’ in order to stick to the 8 word target he sets himself? It was bad enough missing out on Her Majesty in the recent offering!

    Well done to Kath for apparently sailing through and producing a great review – as for you, Mr. T., you certainly made me work for it but the sense of achievement was worth every bit of effort! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_heart.gif

    1. Thanks but I didn’t sail through it at all – blood and guts went into the hint for 24d – I knew something was wrong – blast, damn it, oh dear and http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif

    2. That is most definitely a diverse day. Agree about the Beam bit. Hardest back page for a long time. Just so much fun though.

  32. I hate Thursdays, why do I always have a struggle? It’s lonely here in the cupboard under the stairs and I am running out of tissues again. The supertoy and I have soldiered bravely on but I needed every one of Kath’s wise words today. One day I will improve. Thanks to Ray T and Kath. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    1. Come out from the cupboard under the stairs – stuff the lack of tissues – you’ll be needing Vitamin D if you stay out of the light all the time. Please don’t hate Thursdays – just learn a bit more each week. It’s all to do with the wavelength . . . http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

    2. Please don’t feel bad Hilary. I’m in my comfy corner as I never find RayT easy.

    3. PLEASE don’t give up on Ray T puzzles, Hilary. Once you discover his mind-set there is so much joy in completing the grid – plus, he is one of the few who always pop in to thank us all for making the effort. Makes you believe that he listens to what we say and takes it all on board.

      I almost came to believe that Brian had turned into a convert – after today’s posting from him, I’m not so sure!!! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  33. Well, l enjoyed it! Some very clever cluing, but perfectly fair, l believe. 2*/4* by my reckoning. I think 16d is my favourite, but l could very easily have bestowed that title elsewhere. Thanks to Ray T, and to Kath for the review.

  34. That was a crossword and a half! I ran into problem after problem in the SE(?) corner; I couldn’t leave Prude alone which certainly screwed up a lot of the surrounding clues and as the online Chambers failed to recognize the answer to 27a I refused to use it although part of me was sure I should have. To cap it all I forgot the word for Space….
    D’oh! Not a good day for me.
    And I love Ray T crosswords! So I’ll give it 3*/4*
    Back to the DIY….
    Oh, and thank you Kath, an excellent review as usual.

  35. This was just the right level of hassle and contained plenty of lighter moments. Thank you RayT. Thanks Kath also – your hints are always jolly to read usually after the event! South went in quite quickly but North was a bit more demanding. Liked 26. 22d takes one back to 28/4/13 but a different clue.

  36. Thanks so much to all of you for your tolerance – a mere novice amongst all the pros doing the hints.
    I’ve just decided that if Ray T can have lots of “trademark” clues then I’m allowed to have just one “trademark” hint – it’s going to be that I always make a complete mess of at least one. Oh dear! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif
    Night, night all. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-yawn.gif

    1. Don’t you dare underestimate your abilities! Every single one of our wonderful contributors would admit to making the odd faux pas from time to time – you are always so diffident about apologising for the odd time it happens to you.

      Don’t ever change, Kath – we love you just the way you are and your reviews are a delight. If you don’t believe me, I’m sure Mr. T would back me up! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  37. This took ages and stretched my ability (and patience!) to its limits but was well worth it. RayT is a true artist. 4*/ 4* and many thanks to Kath as well. Thursdays are a double pleasure!

  38. After a working day that began at 9am and finished after midnight, my brain was in reluctant mode, but as always with Mr T, perseverance pays off. It took me 4* time! but I had plenty of Greene King Special Reserve IPA to oil the cogs and got there in the end. What a terrific crossword, my favourite of the year so far, I reckon. Oil give it foive, as they used to say where I grew up. Thanks to Kath for struggling so that some us don’t have to, and to Ray for an intellectually stimulating end to long and trying day.

  39. Done in bits and pieces, so hard to judge difficulty. Or indeed enjoyment. Another really good Thursday puzzle, but I’m wishing I’d saved it instead of attempting it yesterday. Like pommers I was held up slightly by ending 9a with an e (confusing my Sweden and Norway); I also managed to put the a into the second rather than third letter of 19a http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_rolleyes.gif. 9a was a new word for me.

    Might leave tackling today’s crossword until later. There might be breakage of expensive devices if I attempt a Friday puzzle now http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif.

    Many thanks to RayT and Kath http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif.

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