DT 28040

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28040

Hints and tips by Falcon

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ** / ***Enjoyment ***

Greetings from a snowbound Ottawa where we are still digging out from a record one-day fall of 51 cm on Tuesday.

I would say that today’s puzzle from RayT leans toward the gentler end of the spectrum. I got off to a very quick start but a handful of holdouts provided a bit of a mental test toward the end of the solve.

In the hints below, the definitions are underlined. The answers are hidden under the ‘Click here!’ buttons, so don’t click if you don’t want to see them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a   Riot Act laid out getting autocratic (11)
DICTATORIAL — an easy anagram (out) of the first three words to get one off to a quick start

10a   Look back and pine for classic song (5)
OLDIE — a reversal (back) of an old-fashioned exclamation signifying “Look!” followed by a colloquial term used to express a strong desire for something

11a   Instrument offers harmony in squeezing oxygen (9)
ACCORDION — agreement or harmony followed by the IN from the clue wrapped round a chemist’s symbol for oxygen

12a   That man, plain cruel (9)
HEARTLESS — a masculine pronoun precedes an adjective denoting simple and natural in manner

13a   Part of play pictured for the audience (5)
SCENE — sounds like (for the audience) the past participle of a verb meaning to perceive mentally

14a   Small snake is comparatively low (6)
SADDER — S(mall) plus a venomous snake

16a   Aggravates hip hurt in case of falls (8)
INFLAMES — start with the other usual suspect for fashionable; then append an adjective denoting an injury to a lower limb which has been inserted into the outer letters (case) of F(all)S

18a (online)   Lethargy during bidding — United’s missed out (8)
INACTION — the usual suspect from the previous clue tries to avoid detection by masquerading as a preposition denoting in the course of something; this is followed by a bidding competition from which U(nited) has been removed

18a (newspaper)   Possibly fighting lethargy (8)
INACTION — split (2,6), the solution would describe a soldier on the front

20a   City retreats in Lausanne I visited (6)
VIENNA — reversed (retreats) and hidden (in) the last three words of the clue

23a   Origins of appallingly ripe odour making awful smell (5)
AROMA — the initial letters (origins) from five words in the clue

24a   Nude agitatedly embracing a cheat, naked (9)
UNASHAMED — anagram (agitatedly) of NUDE wrapped round the A from the clue as well as a cheat or impostor

26a   Crack blokes caught by English team’s first tackle (9)
EQUIPMENT — a witty saying and some blokes find themselves engulfed by E(nglish) and the initial letter of T(ackle) T(eam) [with a thank you to Tstrummer for bringing the error to light]

27a   Club‘s instructions for man at wicket? (5)
BATON — split (3,2) this is what a cricket batsman would do in the absence of a declaration

28a   Repair of rare container with gold in base (11)
RESTORATION — the outer letters (container) of R(ar)E followed by the heraldic term for gold inserted into a military base


2d   Raised support supporting independent new republic (5)
INDIA — a reversal (raised) of a verb meaning to help or support underpinning (supporting) the abbreviations for I(ndependent) and N(ew)

3d   At that place catching a thespian’s opening? (7)
THEATRE — an adverb denoting at that place containing (catching) the A from the clue and the initial letter (opening) of T(hespian); the implied definition is “a place where a thespian would open”

4d   Composer following tenor’s progress (6)
TRAVEL — T(enor) and a French composer

5d   Dissenter of Church rising in turn as converted (8)
RECUSANT — the abbreviation for the English state church is reversed (rising in a down clue) and inserted into an anagram (converted) of TURN AS

6d   Spray raised from pedalo, so reacted (7)
AEROSOL — reversed (raised in a down clue) and hidden (from) in the last three words of the clue

7d   Ditches patois, turning suave (13)
SOPHISTICATED — anagram (turning) of the first two words of the clue

8d   Referee means to change after no score upset (8)
LINESMAN — anagram (to change) of MEANS following a reversal (upset) of a score of zero (but something other than love)

9d   Getting sympathetic? (13)
UNDERSTANDING — double definition

15d   ‘Ring, ring’, done in say, reversed exchange (8)
DIALOGUE — string together a verb meaning to call on the telephone, a letter shaped like a ring, and a reversal of a Latin abbreviation meanng say or for instance into which one must inject what Nancy Mitford tells us is done or acceptable to the upper class

17d   Importance shrouding Greek character’s memorial (8)
MONUMENT — a formal term denoting importance or significance encasing the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet

19d   Hard walk from pirates ordered (7)
TRAIPSE — anagram (ordered) of PIRATES

21d   Soon to welcome husband’s people (7)
INHABIT — here people is verb; a phrase (2,1,3) meaning soon is surrounding H(usband)

22d   Beam, seeing Queen following (6)
RAFTER — the one-letter abbreviation for Her Majesty and a synonym for following provides a beam that supports a roof

25d   Ran across right over railway (5)
METRO — a verb meaning ran across or encountered followed by R(ight) and O(ver)

There are a couple of very nice hidden reversals (20a and 6d) in today’s puzzle. I also liked 16a and 5d. However, as my favourite, I will go for 24a with its double dose of nudity.

The Quick Crossword pun: highly+sell+lassie=Haile Selassie


  1. JonP
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I found this to be relatively straightforward, completing it in just over my 1* time. Quite a few anagrams helped to gain a foothold – especially 1ac and 7d.

    Thanks to Falcon and RayT 1.5*/3.5*

  2. bifield
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Definitely an easier Ray T today. Steady progress with very few hold-ups. Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review.

  3. Miffypops
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Absolutely brilliant. A joy from start to finish

  4. Graham
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    New word learnt for me in 5D that apart it was fairly plain sailing.Many thanks to the setter & Falcon for his review,glad that he has got the snow & not us. :yahoo:

  5. Rabbit Dave
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    We got an apology today in the paper for the missing definition yesterday, but today we have another clue which is different from the online version! 18a in the paper is “Possibly fighting lethargy”.

    3*/4*. I had a similar experience to Falcon today with much of this very enjoyable puzzle going in quickly, but I got held up with the final 20% or so. 4d was my last one in, even though I spotted the clue construction straight away. With apologies to Jean-Luc, French composers don’t seem to come immediately to my mind.
    15d was my favourite, but there were lots of other challengers for that honour.

    I know it’s been debated before but 8d has not been the correct terminology in association football for at least the whole of this millennium. Is it still used in any other sports?

    Many thanks to Ray T and to Falcon, particularly for the bizarre picture for 25d.

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      This millennium which ends at midnight began in 1016. The term linesman was used in association football during that time. In Rugby Union they were known as Touch Judges and are often referred to as ‘Touch’ by both the players and the crowd. Now both sports refer to them as assistant referees.

    • Hanni
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I’m curious as to what Falcon Googled to get that picture?

      1016….2000…2001? Which millennium is correct?

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        My take on this is:

        A millennium is any period of 1,000 years
        The millennium is a period of 1,000 years starting from a fixed point in time.

        In our neck of the woods we use the Gregorian calendar which starts counting from 1AD (1CE), so strictly speaking the 1st Millennium was from 1-1000, the 2nd from 1001-2000, and the 3rd (and current) Millennium started on January 1st 2001. However, even for me, this is getting a bit over pedantic as the great majority of people celebrated the start of the new millennium at midnight on 31st December 1999/1st January 2000. So my vote for “this millennium” is 2000-2999.

        Linespeople were promoted to assistant referees in the 20th Century in the decade we call the 90s! :whistle:

      • Falcon
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        The Paris incident occurred one week after “A naked woman shocked train commuters in Chicago … when she jumped the turnstile and declared she was the ‘Goddess of the Train’ and planned to take over the train.”


        Perhaps commuters should look up from their crosswords occasionally to see what is going on around them.

      • Hanni
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Good grief Falcon..who knew there was a global ‘taking ones clothes off on the tube crisis’. All the time I commuted in London I never had the urge to do that. I had the urge to shout at the odd person but never that.

        Right so it’s now 2016 and we are all slightly out on what decade it really is? MP made up the 1016 bit and linemen are now assistant refs? Even though I don’t ‘do’ football I know they are linesmen and touch judges in rugby. My head hurts.

        • Jose
          Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

          Yes Hanni, I’m not quite sure what this millennium has to do with 8d either. After all, Istanbul hasn’t been called Byzantium since 330, or Constantinople since 1930 – but I’ve seen all three as answers in cryptic crosswords more than once! Does that help you to fathom it out? :wacko:

    • Falcon
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Rabbit Dave,

      Re: your question “Is it [the term “linesman”] still used in any other sports?”.

      Yes, the term is used in (ice) hockey. In addition to stopping play when the puck goes over the glass, linesmen are primarily responsible for watching for violations involving the centre line and the blue line. Such infractions include icing and offside infractions, after which the linesmen conduct faceoffs. They are also expected to break up scuffles, fistfights and other altercations that occur during the game. Ice hockey rules allow linesmen to call some penalties (such as too many players on the ice), while others only allow them to report the infraction to the referee.

      By the way, such officials are called linesmen whether they are male or female.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that information, Falcon.

        Tennis and badminton have “line judges”, such as the delightful lady in your video clip (or perhaps she is a line-hen?). Field hockey, I think, just has two umpires, one positioned on each side of the field. What are the line officials called in American football?

        • Miffypops
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Glen Campbell was a lineman for the county

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            And he drove the main road
            Searching in the sun for another overload

        • Falcon
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          I did realize that the lady is referred to as a line judge, but I thought I might get away with sneaking the video in under the entry in Oxford Dictionaries which defines linesman as (in games played on a field or court) an official who assists the referee or umpire from the touchline, especially in deciding whether the ball is out of play.

          In American and Canadian football (similar games played on fields of different sizes, with different numbers of players, and under different rules) there are seven on-field officials (at the professional level). The names of these officials is one of the few areas of commonality between the two games. The officials are known as referee, umpire, head linesman, line judge, field judge, side judge, and back judge. A major responsibility of the head linesman and the line judge is to monitor violations at the line of scrimmage (offside and illegal procedure).

  6. Jane
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Great stuff as always from The Man. Raced through the top half but slowed down considerably towards the end with a couple of slow parsings in 15d&28a (that sort of base!) and two penny-drop moments required for 22&26d
    Almost impossible to decide on the rosettes but I’ve narrowed it down to four – 16&26a plus 5&21d.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Falcon – good luck with the ‘digging out’ programme!

    • Bluebird
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Digging out is responsible for a lot of deaths due to heart attacks, so Falcon should go steady!

      • Falcon
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Fortunately, I have a snowblower. Unfortunately, I feel obligated to assist my less fortunate neighbours. I spent 3.5 hours clearing snow on Tuesday and another hour on Wednesday. And I have only a short suburban driveway.

        • stanXYZ
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          51 cm of snow !

          It always surprises me that Ottawa on the 45th parallel north is a lot further south than London.

          (I would be tempted to blow my snow over to the neighbours – but such a violation might cause a linesman to break up scuffles, fistfights and other altercations.)

  7. Michael
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    5d was a new word for me as well – checkers and my trusty Wordsearch program did the business!

    A very enjoyable solve and quite tricky – some very good anagrams.

    It’s strange that Falcon saying they had 51cm of snow means nothing to me – it’s only when I converted it to just over 20 inches that it registered. Snow is a thing of the past in the UK, I remember the winter of 1963 when I waded through snowdrifts to get to school, the snow hung around for months that year – happy days!


    • Graham
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Yes that was a long hard winter and no laughing matter when wearing short trousers to school.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Ah, yes! The memorable winter of 1963. I would have said that was in the last millennium but MP would disagree.

      Then, of course, we could open the can of worms about when the current millennium actually began. Mathematically the answer is at midnight on December 31st 2000/January 1st 2001 but the worldwide celebrations for the new millennium actually occurred at midnight on December 31st 1999/January 1st 2000. You notice I carefully avoid saying whether midnight itself refers to the day just finishing or that just starting. A pedant’s nightmare …

      • Miffypops
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        The two worst winters I remember we’re Mike and Bernie

        • Rabbit Dave
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

          LOL :yahoo:

        • Jose
          Posted February 19, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          The BEST two winters I remember are Johnny and Edgar. The first time I saw Johnny Winter was in 1970 at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive music, held at an outdoor venue near Shepton Mallet – the most fantastic set I’ve ever witnessed! Last time I saw him was at the Picturedrome at Holmfirth in 2013, where he started off in a wheelchair and did most of the gig sat on a chair – but still the greatest Texan blues guitarist ever in my book. He died in July 2014. God bless you, Johnny!

          • Bluebird
            Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

            Oh yes, I’m a big fan of both. Edgar, I think, was more of a prog guy than Johnny?
            Very iconic look they had too.

  8. Bluebird
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    A good 3* for me I’m afraid – new word at 5d and a horrible tortured clue at 15d.

    Some diverting anagrams though, not including the one (not) at the bottom of the grid, where I spent far too long trying to make a word from “container” plus OR. It was so tempting with practically all the letters available………

  9. pete
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Fairly straight forward, much more to my liking than yesterday. 5d was a new one for me too. I struggled to understand the cryptic for 15d, thanks to Falcon for the hint.

  10. Spook
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Missed out yesterday, I thought this was quite tough maybe my brain is wired differently when it’s RayT. I also learned a new word at 5d.
    Thanks to Falcon and Ray T

  11. Hanni
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant stuff from Mr T.

    Took me awhile to spot the hidden reverses, well they were bunged in and figured out later. Pencil circles were absolutely used for anagrams and 15d took quite a long time to figure out!

    So many great clues with 16 and 26a standing out. Favourite goes to the uproariously funny 21d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Falcon for a great blog in the snow.

  12. Heno
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Falcon for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Ray T. I would agree with Falcon that it was quite gentle, but there were a few clues that made me think. 26a was one such clue. Thought that there was a lot going on in 22d, very clever, but my Favourite was 21d, made me laugh. Last in was 28a. Was 2*/3* for me. Lovely blue sky in Central London.

  13. Venator
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Another little beauty from Ray T,

    What a brain teasing stroll it was until 15d stopped me in my smug tracks.

    Half an hour later “Yippee”, & the smile reappeared.

    Thanks to Mr T, & Falcon for explaining the reason for gue in the aforementioned clue that widened my parting.

    • Una
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Quite the fan, aren’t you .

  14. pommette
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Afternoon peeps – nice gentle workout for us today except 15d, which was our last in. Knew the answer but could not figure out where the “U” came from.
    Thanks to RayT and Falcon for the hints.

  15. Pasa Doble
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    We thoroughly enjoyed this lovely puzzle from Mr T, with plenty of mindbending clues. Thanks to Falcon for the review. We can’t resist this hit from the 80s for 20a …….


  16. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Odd, I am finding this much harder than yesterday…Got halfway yesterday before hitting the wall, hit the wall today after 5 answers, of which were the two, easy long anagrams!!
    I think I just don’t ‘get’ this setter as every Thursday is the same.
    Time for a break…

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Too much turning things upside down, inside out, back to front, dropping this letter, adding that letter for a poor beginner!! Though once one can get one’s head around it, I can see the appeal, but it will take time!!
      I guess it’s a good learning curve!!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Sadly for us Ray T fans, he only gets to set the DT back-pager every second Thursday. His puzzles are an acquired taste but once you get onto his wavelength they are an absolute joy. Keep going – it’s well worth the effort!

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

          Yes Dave, I agree, they are special.
          15d is unreal…I got it once the checkers were all there, but had no idea why is is right, I’m not even sure after reading the explanation.

          • Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            It’s all there in the hint – DIAL (ring) + O (ring) + EG (say) reversed around U (done / socially acceptable)

            • HoofItYouDonkey
              Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

              Thanks Dave, I got there in the end.
              I can see the appeal of Ray T’s crosswords, but there is so much ‘crosswordland’ stuff in the clues that for a beginner, is mindboggling. I have a little book with all the crossword mneumonics in and it’s rapidly becoming a large book.
              Thanks to your excellent website, it’s possible for me to go through the answers, shake my head in wonder…and learn…
              Thanks to the setter (reallly!!) and the excellent hints.

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    22 down my last entry, 15 down my favourite out of many excellent clues in this top Ray T puzzle.

    2.5*/3.5* seems fair today. Many thanks for a diverting and pleasurable crossword and to Falcon for a fun blog.

    Can I add Shelley to MP’s list of worst winters?

  18. Hilary
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Bit of a slow start but working my way up helped. Lovely anagrams for which I did not need my trusty pencil although in the end I had to jot 7d down to get spelling correct. Knew 5d because it came up in recent book and will pick it as favourite just because I like the sound of the word. Thanks to the snow-bound Falcon and Ray T for cheering me up on a chilly damp afternoon. :bye:

    • Jane
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Well done, Hilary – Mr. T can brighten up the dullest of days. Today’s Toughie, on the other hand……….. :phew:

    • Miffypops
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Hilary, sometimes I think you are the only member of my no pencils club. Well done today with a very devious puzzle.

  19. Gwizz
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    What’s not to like about a Ray T crossword? Lovely stuff on a cold sunny Thursday after yesterday’s interminable downpours.
    21d was my runaway favourite and overall 3/3.5*
    Thanks to Ray T and to the snowbound Falcon.

  20. Vancouverbc
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable if a tricky (at least for me) SE corner. Favourites 26a and 15d. Thanks to the setter and Falcon for the review.

  21. silvanus
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    About equal to yesterday in terms of both difficulty and enjoyment I felt. Like others, I started off at quite a pace and then slowed to a crawl, particularly with the right-hand side. I’m sure that 5d has cropped up before, but I had forgotten it. To extend the debate about linesmen, in crossword circles they can of course also be another name for poets etc.

    Very clever of Mr. Terrell to get both his alter ego and Her Maj into the same clue (22d). Favourite clue for me was 21d though.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to a very wintry Falcon.

    P.S. Thanks to the Telegraph for apologising for yesterday’s mistake. A pity however that once again today there was a difference between online and paper versions in one of the clues (18a) as eagle-eyed RD has again identified.

    • Jose
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Yes, absolutely agree that this one was about equal to yesterday’s in all departments, so for me 3*/4*. To extend further, other definitions for linesman are: a soldier belonging to the regiment of the line and: a person who attends to the upkeep of roadside verges (both OED).

  22. mre
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    After yesterday’s sappergate fiasco I approached today’s puzzle gingerly and my fears were in no way assuaged by the presence of a beaming queen in the south east corner.

    Fortunately my sometime crosswording oppo was on hand to solve most of the grid making it a nice easy solve for me…


  23. 2Kiwis
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Good fun once again and like many others it seems, parsing 15d was the last bit to sort out. Clue word count checked and all in order.
    Thanks RayT and Falcon.

  24. ChrisH
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Firstly, where’s Brian?

    Secondly, a tad harder than the usual Thursday puzzle, but solvable with a little persavation.

    • Jane
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Maybe he’s watching the grass grow or some paint dry – both of which he reckons are more enjoyable pastimes for a Thursday!

      • Falcon
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        … or perhaps he is heeding the advice of those who told him if you can’t say something good, say nothing at all :wink:

    • Jose
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      …or perhaps he’s discovered the aphorism: “Silence is the best tactic for he who distrusts himself”. Also, what on Earth does ‘persavation’ mean?

      • Falcon
        Posted February 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        It’s the phonetic representation of the British pronunciation of Mary’s “perservation” :smile:

        • Jose
          Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          It’s a good job you put the smiley face, otherwise I might have just about thought you were being serious – you can easily get thwarted or shot down in flames by some of the experts and academics on here. I think he means perseverance, doesn’t he?

          • Posted February 20, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

            Mary, one of our regular contributors, coined the neologism “perservation” several years ago as a combination of perseverance and perspiration.

            • Jose
              Posted February 22, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

              Thanks for that BD – a kind of portmanteau word. I thought Falcon was making some obscure biblical reference when he mentioned Mary.

  25. Angel
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    A pleasant exercise. Thank you RayT. Think of 10a more as a magazine than a song. Had various ideas for 24a but couldn’t incorporate a cheat. Parsing for 21d eluded me and needed help to introduce me to 5d addition to my vocabulary. Thanks Falcon for hints which I enjoyed reading. ***/***. :good: Where’s the apology from the DT for yesterday’s faux pas?

    • Jane
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Can’t speak for the online versions, Angel, but in the paper it’s printed under the answers to yesterday’s back-pager.

      • Angel
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Jane. Afraid I hadnt noticed the inconspicuous apology (as per most of their error acknowledgments). :oops:

  26. RayT
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. Thanks to Falcon for the decryption and to everybody else for your comments.


    • Jane
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks for your usual drop-in, Mr. T. As Silvanus commented – quite a smile moment over the appearance of both your good self and HM in 22d!

  27. Jon_S
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Definitely on the easier side for a Thursday, apart from 15d, which wasn’t. :good:

  28. jean-luc cheval
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Great stuff.
    Although at the moment I don’t have much free time, I wasn’t going to miss a RayT.
    Loved the construction in 26a.
    And what an honour to have him meeting the Queen in 22d.
    Thanks for the fun and to Falcon for the review.

  29. Kitty
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Lovely. I started off finding it easy, but then it got harder so I had to work for my satisfaction.

    My favourite is obvious.

    The later part of this week has been very nice so far, but there is always tomorrow to mate things up.

    Thanks to RayT and Falcon.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted February 18, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Mate things up at the weekend eh?
      I wonder what you were thinking of.

      • Kitty
        Posted February 18, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Only that the four-letter word in my mind needed to be replaced with a synonym to be fit for the comments!

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted February 18, 2016 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          That’s what I thought. :yahoo:

  30. Sam
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Whew. Glad that’s over.

  31. Tstrummer
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    I always find RayT more challenging than most other back-page setters and tonight was no exception. Got half of it done on the train home, but the rest took strong ale and stronger tobacco to decode. Was it worth it? Yes it was. Looking at the completed grid, I feel happily smug. Top of the pile has to be 21d with 26a and 18a in the second-place payoff. Many thanks to Ray and to Falcon, not least for parsing my 15d bung-in – however, may I suggest that, contrary to the hint, the final T of 26 across comes from Team’s first, rather than Tackle, which is the definition. 3*/4*

    PS My favourite Winter is Johnny, RIP

    • Jose
      Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Ts. I posted a comment about Johnny Winter a while ago (above) and have now just read yours, lurking at the nadir as usual. Great minds think alike! Did you see him at Bath, 1970? Maybe you’re a tad too young.

  32. Jose
    Posted February 19, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Ts. I posted a comment about Johnny Winter a while ago (above) and have now just read yours, lurking at the nadir as usual. Great minds think alike! Did you see him at Bath, 1970? Maybe you’re a tad too young.