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DT 27861

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 27861

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good morning everyone. Without any doubt at all this is a Ray T Thursday. I thought it was a fairly tricky one but, as I’ve said lots of times before, I find it really difficult to judge when I know that I’m doing the hints. I hope that all of you who love his crosswords enjoy it as much as usual and, to all of you who find him difficult, just keep calm and carry on!

The answers are hidden under the things that say “Click here” so don’t do that unless you need to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today but, however you got on, please don’t call it horrid!


1a            Munch, eating a small nut (6)
CASHEW — A verb to munch or chomp with your teeth contains the A from the clue and S(mall).


4a            Charlie, poorer swallowing start of soft soap (8)
CLEANSER — Begin with the letter that Charlie represents in the phonetic alphabet, this is followed by word meaning poorer, or a lesser amount of, which contains (swallowing) the first letter (start of) soft.

9a            Native American swiftly catches horse’s head (6)
APACHE — Another word for swiftly or rapidly contains (catches) the first letter (head) of H(orse).


10a         Hymn about America facing American abomination (8)
ANATHEMA — A hymn, or spiritual song, contains (about) A(merica) and is followed by (facing) a second abbreviation for A(merican).

11a         Fan with no time for act (8)
SIMULATE — A verb to fan or excite without one of its abbreviations for T(ime).

13a         Reportedly longs for wife (6)
MISSUS — A homonym (reportedly) of a word that means longs or feels the lack of gives you an informal way of how a man might refer to his wife – it’s usually preceded by “The”.

"What's this I hear about you frightening my missus?"
“What’s this I hear about you frightening my missus?”

15a         Dessert in diet unusually generous (13)
DISINTERESTED — An anagram (unusually) of DESSERT IN DIET.

18a         Awkward and formal once but relaxed (13)
UNCOMFORTABLE — Another anagram (relaxed) of FORMAL ONCE BUT. This one caused me such grief – with a few letters in the answer was clear but I completely missed the anagram indicator for ages – dim, blind or possibly both!

22a         Capital haunt’s empty around old inn (6)
HOBART — The first and last letters (empty) of H(aun)T contain the one letter abbreviation for old and another word for an inn or pub.


24a         Sultry redhead seen in local (8)
TROPICAL — A word meaning local or regional contains the first letter (head) of R(ed).

26a         Later on I fancy Chinese, possibly (8)
ORIENTAL — An anagram (fancy) of LATER ON I.

27a         Medical containers restricting temperature for organs (6)
VITALS — These organs are not musical instruments but the innards of an animal. You need some containers or small bottles which are often made of glass and are used to hold medicines which contain (restricting) the one letter abbreviation for T(emperature).

28a         Sweet product, Polo centre, consumed by loads (8)
MOLASSES — The middle two letters (centre) of p(OL)o are put inside (consumed by) a word meaning loads of or, if you happen to be one of the Famous Five, lashings of something (usually ginger beer).

29a         Guard posted next to railway (6)
SENTRY — Another word for posted or mailed is followed by (next to) the two letter abbreviation for a railway.



1d            Obscene programme for the audience (6)
COARSE — A homonym (for the audience) of an educational programme or series of classes.

2d            Erratic cop tormented with sadism (9)
SPASMODIC — An anagram (tormented) of COP with SADISM.

3d            Blows out former wife then husband drinks … (7)
EXHALES — The usual two letter abbreviation for a former wife (or husband) is followed by (then) the one letter abbreviation for H(usband) and some alcoholic drinks that are a kind of beer.

5d            … left single? (4)
LONE — The abbreviation for L(eft) and then another word for single or only. Hmmm – for some reason this is a bit tricky to give a hint for.

6d            Like this, when finally sat on horse? (7)
ASTRIDE — A two letter conjunction meaning when or while, the last letter (finally) of (sa)T and then what you’d be about to do if you were on a horse. Sorry – that’s really one of my less than good hints but I hope you can all make some kind of sense of it!


7d            Spot on manuscript appears (5)
SEEMS — A verb to spot or observe is followed by the two letter abbreviation for a manuscript.

8d            Epic poem of perhaps ‘Odyssey’ (8)
RHAPSODY — The first of our hidden answers or ‘lurkers’ for today (of) – the word you’re looking for is in the middle of the last two words in the clue.

12d         PA is tense with anger (6)
TANNOY — This PA is not your Dad or your secretary – it’s something that is used to make loud announcements. Begin with T(ense) and follow that with a verb to anger or irritate.

'The train now standing on Platform 2 should really be on the track!'
‘The train now standing on Platform 2 should really be on the track!’

14d         Clergyman bound by direct order (6)
RECTOR — Our second ‘lurker’ (bound by) – he’s obviously learnt how to do it from the answer before the last one as he’s hiding in the same place – ie in the middle of the last two words of the clue.

16d         Biting fish catching river insect (9)
TRENCHANT — A dark brown freshwater fish contains (catching) the abbreviation for R(iver) and that is followed by one of the small insects that are so useful to crossword setters.

17d         Sprout puree on jumper missed opening (8)
MUSHROOM — This sprout isn’t a green cabbagy vegetable that lots of people hate – it’s a verb that means to grow rapidly. Begin with a puree or sloppy food, follow that with a jumper – a short form of an Australian marsupial – and finish that off with the first letter (opening) of M(issed).

19d         US state’s protecting Republican force (7)
MARINES — An American state – the largest one in New England – with the ‘S contains (protecting) the one letter abbreviation for R(epublican).

20d         Bishop inclined — one’s given English name? (7)
BAPTISE — The abbreviation for B(ishop), another way of saying inclined or tending to and then the letter that looks like the Roman numeral for one, the ‘S and then the one letter abbreviation for E(nglish).

'Are you quite sure you want to call him Warren,Mr.and Mrs.Peace?'
‘Are you quite sure you want to call him Warren,Mr.and Mrs.Peace?’

21d         Expressionless girl embraced by heartless bloke (6)
GLASSY — A young girl is contained in (embraced by) another word for a bloke or man without the middle letter (heartless).

23d         Cool source of babbling brook (5)
BRILL — This kind of ‘cool’ is an informal way of saying ‘excellent’! The first letter (source of) B(abbling) is followed by a brook or small stream.

25d         Scarce record album initially by Queen turned up (4)
RARE — The Queen has finally ‘turned up’ but she’s taken her time about it today. The first two letters (initially) of R(ecord) and A(lbum) are followed by a reversal (turned up) of the two letters for our Queen.

I liked 9 and 26a and the combination of 3 and 5d. I think my favourite was probably 21d because of the mental image that it conjures up!

The Quicke pun (Bell)+(Hid)+(And)+(Sir)=(Belly dancer)

119 comments on “DT 27861

  1. Another excellent puzzle from RayT in my opinion. I thought it slightly easier than usual but pretty much what we’re accustomed to from this setter. Thanks to Kath and RayT **/****

  2. Hooray, hooray, it’s a Ray T day!http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gifhttp://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yahoo.gif
    2*/5* for a joy from start to finish. Impossible to pick a favourite. Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    P.S. Kath, this puzzle is completely and utterly unhorrid.

    1. P.P.S. Kath, Isn’t 5d an all-in-one? i.e.: the definition is “left single” and the wordplay is “L” + a word meaning “single”.

      1. I think you’re probably right – I got into a bit of a twiddle with that one and wasn’t really quite sure where I was or what to underline etc etc. I got into a similar state with 6d – oh dear!
        Having got this to publish when I asked it to (unlike two weeks ago) I’m not even going to try to edit anything – it’s not the technology that I don’t trust – it’s me!

    2. Just wait for Brian to pitch in with his ten penny’s worth before you declare the puzzle to be unhorrid. Personally I think Ray T is one of the best setters currently doing the rounds.

      1. You just know that we’re all waiting with bated breath for Brian! Sometimes – just sometimes – he has a ‘purple patch’ regarding a Mr. T……..http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_unsure.gif

  3. Loved this. Great clues, lovely surfaces, a joy from start to finish. ***/**** and 17d gets my vote for favourite. Thanks to Ray T and Kath for the hints.

  4. Very benign for a RayT I thought! In fact I was in doubt that it was indeed by Ray. None of my usual quibbles came to light today.! Overall I thought it was well put together and quite solvable. I would rate it as 2*/4*

    Thanks to all!

  5. We found this one quite tricky and two answers in the NW corner, our usual starting place, sat empty well after the rest of the grid was filled. These were 1d and 11a where we had trouble justifying the definition for the latter. Should have seen 1d sooner though. All good fun and much enjoyed.
    Thanks RayT and Kath

  6. The Queen does double duty today appearing in the quickie as well. Ray makes an appearance in the quickie. Can’t see a beam though. I liked 13ac and would not have been able to have resisted using “Often preceded by the words ooh err.” I went after the lurkers when I got held up and found them both very cleverly hidden. Thanks Kath for the decryption and thanks Ray T. Not (Rat T). For the puzzle. Now all I need to know is how much Williamus enjoyed his part in the fight.

  7. Ahhh….. Mr. T. puzzles, sun shining, birds singing, sea calm and shimmering………all’s well with the world. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    Slow to get 1d – no idea why, but couldn’t get ‘crass’ out of my mind.
    Last ones in were 4a & 8d – completely missed the lurker at 8d for ages (and the answer is not easy to get to any other way!) plus I really thought 4a was going to have something to do with a ‘right Charlie’. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wacko.gif

    Podium list is 1,27,29a plus 12,17 &23d. I’ll give the nod to 17d mostly because I have this vision of someone spilling stuff on their jumper having missed their mouth (room in the ‘mush’?). OK – but it was VERY funny at the time! http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_smile.gif

    I’ll go for a 2.5*/5* with a teensy bit of the latter awarded to the Quickie pun!
    Devotions to Mr. T. and a big pat on the back for Kath – how fitting that the pre-eminent member of the T fan club should do the blog!

  8. Best of the week so far, i’m pleased that it seems to have everyone’s approval, even the hidden words were clever and nicely misleading ie 8d,14a -well they were for me! and a **/**** for the record.Bet I wasn’t the only one looking for a five letter word for ‘ jumper ‘ in17d- nice d’oh moment when the penny dropped. Loved the surface reading of 16d and a brilliant charade, thanks setter, and also Kath for the amusing pics-loved 20D,reminded me of the Walace and Gromit film when grommet was in prison reading Crime And Punishment by Fido Dostoyevsky !

  9. I get that 15a is an anagram and I even got to solve it but should not the answer link to something else in the clue or is an anagram on its’ own ok

    1. Hi Collywobbles,
      The answer is one of the definitions of ‘generous’. Others could be open-minded, fair, just, equitable, even-handed.

      1. Thanks Jane and MP (who is clearly disinterested) but I just couldn’t see a link between disinterested and generous

        1. Hi Collywobs – disinterested means not out for personal gain, impartial, unselfish or generous.
          Uninterested means not taking any interest in something, or bored and so it’s totally different. Lots of people seem to use them as synonyms and they’re not.

          1. thanks Kath, I think that it’s a bit of a stretch but we all got it anyway

        2. I agree. Disinterested may mean unselfish, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to generous.

  10. How can generous mean disinterested? 15a. What am I misunderstanding? Always enjoy the challenge of Ray T but usually need hints for the last couple of clues. We’ll done Kath. Not an easy one to review.

    1. I checked the synonyms for ‘unselfish’ in the thesaurus and it came up with generous and disinterested, so it is just a definition which has another nuance of it’s common meaning, best I can come up with.

    2. Message to me – always read all the comments through before replying to any! I’ve just replied to Collywobbles about 15a.

  11. I liked the way the 18a anagram fits nicely into the surface ( formal once but relaxed). 26a is a brilliant version of a common answer (later on I fancy Chinese). Both lurkers are well and naturally hidden (8a epic poem of perhaps odyssey and 14d clergyman bound by direct order). I love “source of babbling brook”

    But can someone please explain to me why disinterested = generous (15a)?

    Many thanks RayT and Kath for the wonderful blog

    1. Collins gives “free from pettiness in character and mind” which I suppose could be construed as generous


  12. Pleasant enough but IMHO nothing special. Fav was 8d which GK solved without spotting the hidden word. ***/***. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_neutral.gif

  13. Thanks to Kath for explaining 6d & 12d – I failed on both.

    (I always confuse “Homonym” (13a) and “Homophone” as well – off to Pedants’ Corner – Any cake available?)

    1. OK Franco – I’ve looked them both up but can’t come up with any easy way to remember which is which. Any suggestions?

      1. The etymology of words starting with Homo- comes from the Greek = Homos = Same.


        Homonym = Same Name

        Homophone = Same Sound

        It’s all Greek to me! Είναι όλα τα ελληνικά μου

        1. I have to confess that I thought they were the same. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/icon_redface.gif
          I’ll never make that mistake again.

  14. Cracking good puzzle, last one in 5d got fixated again with old poets.
    Favourite clue 24a. Weather brightening looking favourable for ailing t weekend.
    Many thanks to Kath and RayT.
    ***/*** for me.

    1. Oh please don’t be poorly at the weekend, especially if the weather is brightening http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  15. I thought 8d was one of the best hidden clues I’ve seen.I also really liked 12d and 7d among many others.
    It seemed to me that there were quite a number of clues which involved a synonym of one word wrapping around a few letters. Nine by my count.
    Thanks Kath and Ray T.

  16. RayT has gentle spells.
    This is one.
    Some great constructions eg 17d.
    Many thanks, and to Kath for the review.

  17. **/****+

    Sweet nectar. What is not to like? 18a was my last to go as I didn’t spot the anagram. I also questioned the Miffypopsness of 15a, live and learn.

    Really rather 23d.

    Many thanks for the masterclass RayT and to Kath for a wonderful read of a blog.

  18. When I was writing the hints I almost put a comment after the one for 15a saying something along the lines of, “This one is going to cause trouble/disagreement/discussion etc etc”. I should have done . . . .

    1. No, Kath – you were just being disinterested and assuming we would all understand perfectly. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

  19. Really enjoyed the blog, but not so much the masterclass. Personally, I think being disinterested is a very neutral emotion whereas generous is a positive one, and I didn’t know that rhapsody was an epic poem, so I suppose I’ve learned something new. Thank you to the Thursday setter and to Kath.

    1. I agree with you about 8d and 15a. I have this theory that some obscure meanings are only kept going by their use in crosswords. I only use basic searches for meanings and they fail to throw up the crossword answer in most cases.

      1. Operator! Give me the number for 911!
        My favourite “Homer” quote .Fun puzzle as always ,thanks to both

  20. A comfortable and very enjoyable Thursday puzzle which I found a solid 2/4. Re the discussion on 15a, although I thought the setter was stretching the limits of a synonym, it was, in truth, a reasonable definition even if I didn’t like it too much. Just had a quote for a new kitchen floor. Ouch! I’m reminded of a Lew Grade bon mot: upon being told of the cost of producing the film ‘Raise the Titanic’, he said it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic.

    1. If I do your floor you will not have to pay for a couple of years but you won’t get a new floor for a couple of years. Our new bathroom is progressing nice and slowly.

  21. Putting ‘HOSTRY’, meaning ‘old inn’ for 22a, which I cleverly got from HS (haunt’s empty) and TROY (Capital) did make 23D absolutely unintelligible, so thanks to you, Kath, for putting me out of my misery! Apart from that, I thought it was a cracking good puzzle and really enjoyable, so a ***/***** from me. Day 12 in Crete and still haven’t seen a cloud in the sky. A cool 31 degrees today….. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  22. Am I the only person to put ‘chill’ for 23d, which then got me stuck on 22a…..?

    1. No, Omar – I made the same mistake, so it’s very comforting to know I wasn’t alone http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  23. Nice to see Ray T back on form (sorry Brian). I’m with the majority on 15a but I’m sure we can allow just one dodgy / tenuous definition – is the clue the same in the electronic version? I’ll go with 16d as my favourite purely as it was the name of the last submarine I served on http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cry.gif

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle (AND the quickie pun) http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_good.gif and thanks to Kath for her excellent review.

    1. With regard to the cartoon insert on 20d – it reminds me of a good friend of Mrs SL. She went on a sabbatical to a kibbutz and got very friendly with a German lad in the process. Things were going along quite swimmingly up to the point when they were leaving and decided to keep in touch with a view to meeting up again in a few weeks time (way before mobile phones etc).

      Her dreams of a long and developing romance were shattered then and there, as she learned of his second name. It was Kurtin and I’ll let you guess what her first name was…….

      And that’s a really true story http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_yes.gif

  24. Each Thursday I take a deep breath and expect a tough time, but applying Mary’s perservation pays off, and I’m becoming slightly less intimidated by them – so big hurrahs for this blog and to BD for for being such a hero in the first (& continuing) place. And humble salaams to all the Clever Clogs who review each day so brilliantly – you’re all much appreciated, as are all the setters…. Many thanks http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_rose.gif

  25. Thank you to Ray T and Kath for my usual Thursday cerebral workout. One day my ancient brain will click into action and I will be able to cope with Thursday’s crosswords. Like several of you I had a big fat question mark over 15a even though I had solved the anagram it did not quite feel right, the BRB says yes so I have to go with it. Several possible favourites so will not be specific. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/smiley-phew.gif

  26. Entertaining, but not one of Ray T’s best in my opinion. Apologies for sounding a note of heresy!

    I was prepared to overlook the tenuous definition in 15a, but I thought 10a was surprisingly poor, especially as it immediately followed 9a – three mentions of America/n in the space of two clues, surely not!

    I did warm to 12d however, which I shall nominate as my favourite.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

  27. Fresh in my inbox this morning was a list of no fewer than 14 words (well, 13 words and a short phrase) – all from the clues, so no spoilers – that the sender identified as suitable for a Kitty to play with in the comments. Talk about being spoiled for choice!

    I solved this whilst out and about and thinking always comes harder to me when I’m in public, but I found it a fairly steady solve nonetheless. So not the stiffest of Thursdays, but still most satisfactory. And about as much fun as it is possible to have in a dentist’s waiting room.

    I thought I might nominate 6d as my favourite, with 3d and 21d also on the podium, but 27a was my last in, and as an enjoyable way to finish I think I will award that the ribbon.

    Thanks to RayT and Kath for the usual sterling work.

  28. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The NW corner was a write-in, but it was more tricky after that. Needed the hints to parse 11,15,18a&17d. But bunged ’em in nonetheless :-)
    Favourite was 8d which was last in. Getting the other lurker at 14d provided the breakthrough I was looking for. Was 3*/5* for me.

  29. Unlike yesterday’s headache – today’s offering was a joy to solve from begining to end, many thanks to RayT. 4a puzzled me as I was looking for a word meaning a right charlie! Many lovely clues: 1a, 13a,8d, 17d and 23 d which will get my vote for favourite. 15a caused me no problem as we use the same word in French for someone not looking for financial gain or praise when doing a good deed. Well done Kath for a thorough review. 2.5*/4*.

  30. Found this one quite tricky in places and also can’t understand the 15a definition. Needed the excellent hints from Kath today. No real favourites, a bit dissapointing from Ray I thought, some of the wordplay and definitions didn’t quite ring true.


    Thanks to Kath /RayT

  31. A couple of tenuous definitions maybe, but after the last couple of weeks I’m just glad to finish a Thursday puzzle!

  32. A really good puzzle and like almost everyone else I found it slightly easier than the usual. Got stuck on 4a, as I was thinking ‘ss’ until I clicked with Charlie and realised I had been reading the whole clue back to front. Doh!

  33. Well – Brian’s keeping us all in suspense today…….!

    By the way, Kath, I forgot to thank you for the cartoons – 12&20d were really good. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_bye.gif

  34. Good afternoon fellow cruciverbalists. An unusually quiet caff for market day but paradoxicaly long wait for the newspaper. Made a half hearted stab at the Times crossword to limber up before finally getting going at 15:27.

    p1 ~ a9,26,28,29; d3,14,25: p2 ~ a1,18; d7,19 leaving 19 to solve

    22a,2d,15d (does this really mean generous?), 16d (very good).

    Broke after half an hour for a quick look at the newspaper. No news to speak of…

    12d (didn’t like, why ‘T’?), 11a,1d,17d (no idea why). At this point added 23d (didn’t like this one) and 5d which I’d be sitting on. Nine to go. 4a (poorer? really?) 13a (doh!), 6d (why?), 8d (new to me). Five left 50 minutes in. 21d, 24a, 20d – pause – 27a (all nice clues I thought).

    I usually call it a day after an hour but with just 10a to solve made a vain attempt at a letter search for five minutes before hoisting the white flag. Setter 1 Me 0 (agg lots:0).

    How was it for you dear? Four star difficulty/three star enjoyment.

  35. Had and look and decided to save the ink. It would be more fun sticking needles in ones eyes!

    1. …but but Brian…even, say. 5d?
      Or even 9a?
      They are Junior Telegraph stuff.
      In my opinion.

    2. I think you’ve developed an unnecessary complex, Brian. This truly is a straightforwad puzzle. Give it a go, you may surprise yourself, with 1 or 2 obvious anagrams to get you started.

      1. And I think you have missed Brian’s sense of humour. He will be sitting there with a completed grid sniggering away.

    3. A bit late to comment but I’m with you Brian on this one, although I did finish this with hints . Not quite sure the ” fan club” found this so enjoyable . Use of archaic english terms and definitions that can only be found by trawling through internet and thesaurus sites for hours can hardly be described as fun . Needles and haystacks rather than pins
      Still a very big thanks to Kath

  36. I regret I am becoming a Brian clone. I found this a real drag, from start to finish – such a contrast to yesterday, which I loved. Got there without the hints but it took me a long time, and I had better things I should have been doing. Only 2/2. Sorry!

  37. Loved it. Like others ,although I saw the anagram in 15a right away I couldn’t equate it to generous, but now I have learned something new. Thought the lurker in 8d was brilliant . Thanks to Ray T & Kath.

  38. I sailed through this one until I came to 11 and 12 and that was a different story. Needed onelook to get 11 and then 12 fell into place. Its a long time since I heard PA called that. Two great hidden words as usual. Many thanks to RayT and to Kath

    1. Forgot to say that 26 was brilliant – great surface reading. This is what its all about!

  39. Late input from me – I only do the crossword late in the afternoon.

    Fave was 17d.

  40. Evening all. Very many thanks to Kath for the hints and to all for your comments. Glad most of you enjoyed it.


    1. Thanks for dropping in. Loved the puzzle, as always. I think Brian’s sitting on the fence with his opinion.

      1. Are you OK Hanni? Perhaps you need to take some soda water with the wine.

        Brian sitting on the fence http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

        1. http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_wink.gif

          I forgot to say earlier, congratulations!! I was away from the blog one day and you became a blogger! Fantastic stuff SL, and a Toughie to boot.

            1. Mud House ordered with a 10% extra discount and Gewurtraimmer bought. The Sauv will go to a party next month. Oh forget to tell you the Sancerre was a hit! Thank you on that tip.

              Can we expect to see you blogging again?

    2. Thank you for popping in – it’s always so much appreciated by everyone.
      I thought today’s pun was one of your best – once I’d worked out that it was a four word effort!

  41. There’s a bit in this week’s Private Eye about DT 27854 by Jay on 15/07:

    An interesting juxtaposition in last Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph crossword: the answers to 1 and 2 Down were “SUBS” “DIE AWAY”, fittingly for a paper that has sacked most of its sub-editors.
    Another group of juxtaposed answers in the same crossword included “PAY AND DISPLAY”, “IMMORAL”, “ABYSMAL” and “OWN GOAL”. A cryptic reference to the paper’s willingness to do editorial favours for paying advertisers? Surely not!

    1. Haven’t read PE for years. You mentioned Cyclops the other day so I had a look. I owe you a drink! About 3 clues in I was laughing.

  42. For me it was 21d were I made a mess.
    Wanted the answer to be MARBLY OR MARBEY. As in made of marble because in France that what we say about expressionless.
    But the checkers just didn’t work.
    Remembered the tannoy at the theatre. Mr Sands is in the foyer! Only joking.
    Very enjoyable RayT with a great selection of good clues.
    1a fave of the day.
    Thanks to Kath for the review and to RayT of course.

    1. Hi JL,
      Don’t know whether you get the whole of the DT or just the crosswords. There’s an article today by Christian Adams re: the French scrabble championship which might amuse you!

  43. I really enjoyed today’s offering; I had an early warning that it was Ray T with the quickie and it’s lovely pun. 8d I thought was an elegant ‘lurker’ so I’ll nominate that as my favourite. 3/3* over all (or is it overall? I’m never sure…)
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath, a lovely review. Thank you.

  44. Very late getting to this today. Had a trip to the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich to see the Francis Bacon and the Masters exhibition…….absolutely brilliant! mind blowing in fact. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Rodin, Ingres, Velasquez, Cezanne, Titian, Bernini some ancient antiquities.. Roman and Egyptian and of course Bacon. Many of the paintings and sculptures loaned from the Hermitage Museum, St Petersberg …so a once in a lifetime opportunity to see them… Not many chances to see such famous works locally in Norfolk. Now, back to the crossword…. Quite a struggle at first as I was unable to concentrate…still on a bit of a high. I liked 17d and 10a. Thanks to setter and to KTh..just needed the hints for the last two. 2*/3*

      1. Hi Hanni. Yes, it was wonderful. I could have spent much longer there. I was absolutely mesmerised by the Rodin marble ‘Eternal Spring’…glorious…still buzzing from this afternoon.

        1. What a wonderful piece. When I was much younger my mum tried to convince me about Rodin, I didn’t see it. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s I think, that finally it clicked. Same with Mozart. To quote MP, I considered it to be “Pop pap”. The folly of youth.

          Brilliant that the exhibit has been extended.

          I can imagine you’re still buzzing!

    1. I would have enjoyed this exhibition Van Gogh never disappoints Rodin Rocks and to my great delight Cezanne was a subject for study in my first year arts module. It took time with Cezanne but blooming heck. When you get it you really do get it.

      1. Hi MP. Yes, you would have loved it! If it had been just Bacon, I might not have gone, but to see those old masters was really something. Interesting the way the exhibition demonstrates how Bacons work was influenced by them and the ancients. Wonderful to get right up close to the paintings and see the brush work. The Cezanne self portrait was something else! And the Rembrandt …wow!

  45. I found this crossword very difficult, as always on a Thursday :( but enjoyable ***/***
    without Kath’s cracking hints (no pun intended) I feel I would have failed to complete! Thanks to Ray T for an enjoyable puzzle ;). Why oh why does the DT cover the back page with a huge ridiculous advert, for every ones convenience ,especially commuters, this should ALWAYS a be the place for the crossword http://bigdave44.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_scratch.gif

  46. I agree with the the rating for a change. I really struggled at first and was convinced it was a toughie. I’m glad i persevered as I enjoyed this one. Only clue i failed to get was 1d – what a muppet! 17d was my favourite and thought 15a a bit naughty.

  47. Slightly easier than the last RayT, but still struggled with it, so well done to everyone who thought that it was easy, and a big thanks to Kath for the splendid review. Was stuck in NW corner for a while. 1a and 3d straight in, but put Navaho in 9a. At least they have a link with the Apache tribe, who were once known as the Apache of Navaho. Spent ages on 8d, as was sure it had to have something to do with Homer/ The Iliad. Favourites were 4a and 13a.

  48. It has been a very long day, and the toad work has squatted on my shoulders for most of it. I am very tired. And weary Perhaps that’s why I found this RayT more difficult than usual. I simply could not get my brain out of second gear and when I did solve a clue, it was with a feeling of relief rather than the joy a RayT usually brings, for I am one of his biggest fans. Reading everyone’s comments, I know that this is me, not him. It made me bellow to myself behind the darkness of my eyes. Many thanks to all concerned, especially Kath and Mr T. I’m off to self-medicate with copious quantities of the sort of stuff that makes me the one who is distorting the averages in Friday’s horror revelations about middle-class drinkers.
    PS Good spot yesterday, MP. A greater challenge this time: I’ve hidden two of my favourite poets in the above

    1. Use the pitchfork of your wit to drive away the toad and enjoy the brightness of your day

  49. 15A I agree with the ones above that ‘disinterested’ does not mean ‘generous’. Also do not like 7D as there is no indicator for the final word.

    1. Good morning Jo,
      In the hints the definitions (final word) are always underlined. In 7d the definition is appears, or seems to be. The first three letters mean spot, or observe, and the last two are the recognised abbreviation for a manuscript or a piece of writing.

  50. Hi Kath, sorry to be so late in – we seem to be a day behind on our crosswording at the moment. We loved this puzzle and thanks to you and Ray T.

  51. Every time it’s this setter I fail miserably. I finish the crossword unaided about 70 per cent of the time, but I obviously need to go on a “Ray T” study weekend to get on his wavelength. About ******* star for me!

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