DT 28052

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28052

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where spring seems to have arrived. Makes a change from having the proverbials frozen off in England last weekend – brrrr!

I’m pretty sure that this one is a RayT puzzle as all the indicators are there.  However, not much in the way of innuendo and there are six anagrams which is unusual.  There are a few tricky bits but enough gimmes to get you going so I don’t think it will frighten any horses too much.

As usual the ones I liked most are in blue.  The definitions are underlined in the clues and the answers are under the “click here” buttons.  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           Pass cost United a thrashing (11)
OUTDISTANCE:  Anagram (thrashing) of COST UNITED A.

9a           You French scoff over large dishes (7)
TUREENS:  A French word meaning you followed by a word meaning scoff or look down on but it’s reversed (over).

10a         Ship so overturned by man-eating monster (6)
OGRESS:  Take the usual two letters for a (steam) ship and the Latin for so or therefore and reverse the lot (overturned).   I didn’t know about the man-eating bit before but here’s the definition from Collins – ‘a giant, usually given to eating human flesh’.  Shows Shrek in a new light methinks!

12a         One cheats in party game (7)
TWISTER:  Double definition.

13a         Officer roughly put leader of terrorists in torment (7)
CAPTAIN:  A two letter abbreviation meaning roughly or about is followed by a word for torment with a T (leader of Terrorists) inserted (in).

14a         Once capsized crossing a body of water (5)
OCEAN:  Anagram (capsized) of ONCE placed around (crossing) the A from the clue.

15a         Money that is admitting Queen supporter (9)
BRASSIERE:  A northern slang word for money is followed by the Latin abbreviation meaning that is with the usual letters for the Queen inserted (admitting).

17a         Most macabre secret unfolded about meat dish? (9)
CREEPIEST:  Anagram (unfolded) of SECRET placed around (about) something which might be a meat dish but could contain just about anything, hence the ? on the end.

20a         Dull sandwich has a French filling (5)
BLUNT:  Dull meaning not sharp. It’s the French indefinite article placed inside (filling) a type of sandwich.  The sandwich involves crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise – I had one for lunch yesterday.

22a         Span on prize bird’s feathers (7)
PLUMAGE:  Span as in life span is placed after a word meaning prize or excellent.

24a         Part of calf or elegant part of limb (7)
FORELEG:  A lurker. The answer is hidden (part of) in CALF OR ELEGANT.  Not sure that the second ‘part of’ is strictly necessary.

25a         Stroke initially soothing after worries (6)
CARESS:  An S (initially Soothing) goes after some worries.

26a         Show criminal’s almost expected before court … (7)
CONDUCT:  Crosswordland’s favourite criminal (3) is followed by a word meaning expected without its last letter (almost) and then an abbreviation of court.

27a         … villain’s given time by judge for show (11)
DEMONSTRATE:  A charade of a villain or monster, the S from the clue, T(ime) and lastly a word meaning to judge or value.  Unusual to have the same definition in consecutive clues.


2d           Last of ormolu trim left on plate (7)
UNEATEN:  U (last or ormolU) followed by a word meaning to trim or tidy up.

3d           Alluring birds with ale, drunk, on Ecstasy (9)
DESIRABLE:  Anagram (drunk) of BIRDS ALE followed by E(cstacy).

4d           With no parking, stay in charge of patient (5)
STOIC:  A word meaning stay or cease with the P removed (no Parking) followed by the usual letters for In Charge.

5d           Relevant support in Apple’s first operating system (7)
APROPOS:  Start with A (Apples first) and the abbreviation for an operating system and insert a support, not a 15a but another one.

6d           Falls about when about half dead (7)
CASCADE:  Falls as in waterfalls. It’s one letter for about followed by a word meaning when (2) and then two letters for about and then the first half of DEad.

7d           Doctor to pose with chest instrument (11)
STETHOSCOPE:  This instrument is indeed one that a doctor may use to examine your chest. It’s an anagram (doctor) of TO POSE CHEST.

8d           Voyage for ships’ companies, we hear (6)
CRUISE:  The voyage sounds like (we hear) more than one ship’s company.

11d         Lay out one on door search (11)
INVESTIGATE:  To lay out or venture some money followed by I (one) and then a door or entrance.

16d         A terrific oily mechanic (9)
ARTIFICER:  Anagram (oily) of A TERRIFIC.

18d         Teach English University course beginning in time (7)
EDUCATE:  Start with E(nglish) and then time as is a specific day. After that insert (in) U(niversity) and a C (Course beginning).

19d         Plant with unpleasant odour produces fake medicine (7)
PLACEBO:  A word meaning to plant or to position followed by an unpleasant bodily smell.

20d         Aristocrat, apart from old lace (7)
BARONET:  A word for ‘apart from’ as in excluding (3) followed by O(ld) and then some lace, curtains perhaps.

21d         Top mark in German? (6)
UMLAUT:  Cryptic definition of a mark placed over a vowel in German.

23d         Stops losing head and relaxes (5)
EASES:  A word meaning stops loses its first letter (losing head).  I’ve used the word for stop in the hint for 4d and now I’ve used the word you need in 4d here.

Some good stuff here but 21d does it for me. How about you?

The Quick Crossword pun: beau+dear+seer=Boadicea


  1. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    3*/4*. Another Ray T masterpiece complete with Her Majesty and wonderfully concise cluing.

    As soon as I looked at 1a, I thought, aha, it’s an anagram of “cost United a”. Having stupidly let myself be brainwashed by Miffypops I confidently entered “discontinue” without writing it down, not noticing that it has got too many “i”s which completely messed up the top half of the grid for me for a while. 16d was an obscure word I haven’t come across before, but readily solvable from the wordplay.

    21d was my last one in and favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    P.S. the paper version for 8d is very slightly different. It is: “Voyage for ships’ companies, say”.

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      My initial thought for 1a was also ‘discontinue’ but as usual, having been caught too many times before, I wrote down all the letters so it was OK – sorry MP but I’m always going to do that.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        So am I in future…

  2. spindrift
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    re:12a – Naked Twister is not a game for the shy or fainthearted. Enjoyed this but that’s as per for me with a Ray T puzzle. Favourite has got to be 15a for an Ex pat Yorkie.
    Thanks to pommers & to Ray T

    On another note does Kath know what’s been going on in her absence? Words will be had, I’m sure, on her return.

    • pommers
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      You nearly got a piccie of naked Twister, or even a Youtube clip, but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t too obscene :whistle:

      • Steve_the_Beard
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        The piccie for 15A was awfully restrained of you ;-)

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear – what do I need to know about what’s been going on in my absence? Has there been bad behaviour again? :negative:

      • crypticsue
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Nothing at all – we’ve all been perfectly well behaved ;)

      • Hilary
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        We have all been beautifully behaved while you have been away, your name came up frequently usually followed by only one favourite in case Kath is watching. We are not actually scared petrified is more likely. :rose:
        Only joking.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Everyone has been perfectly behaved apart from me, I’ve had loads of multiple favourites and made toffee vodka. Although the two aren’t related. :yes:

  3. dutch
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    had bunged in interrogate for 11d (er – lay out = inter?) but rapidly corrected. Liked the sandwich with french filling (20a), the top german mark (21d), and the oily mechanic(16d). Also thought the surface hints for 7d were clever (doctor to pose with chest instrument) also 24a (part of calf..). enjoyed parsing the definitions in 2d and 22a (which was LOI).

    Many thanks RayT and pommers

  4. Kevin
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    like the picture for 7d
    appropriate on so many levels

  5. Jezza
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    A slight pause at 10a and 5d, which were my last in; apart from those, all plain sailing.
    Many thanks to RayT, and to pommers (who I imagine is enjoying the same warm sunshine as I am).

    • pommers
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Certainly am – it’s pretty good for the beginning of March. Not usual to be this warm so early in the year so enjoy it while it lasts :yes:

  6. Wahoo
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    **/***. Excellent all round. Loved 20a and 21d (last one in) but favourite has to be the simple 7d just for the surface reading. Thanks to RT and to Pommers.

  7. Bluebird
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Re 20d, after idly flirting with “Byronic” , I so wanted it to be ” arsenic”, that I began to resent the surrounding answers which rendered it incorrect.

    Any clue with “old lace” in it should definitely lead to arsenic in my view.

  8. stanXYZ
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    A very nice puzzle from RayT to solve whilst scoffing my brunch – BLT’s with plenty of Hellmann’s – (other brands of mayonnaise are available!)

    My favourite is 21d – so top marks go to the German one.

    Thanks to pommers for the usual witty review.

  9. Young Salopian
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    An excellent and quite tough Ray T puzzle which I found pretty testing. 7 down was a clever anagram but my favourite was 10 across for the simplicity and the laugh that went with it once solved.

    I have to put 3*/4* in the honesty box with grateful thanks to RT and Pommers for a top review.

  10. Expat Chris
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable and beautifully smooth as usual, but short on the cheeky innuendo today. I checked off 15A, 20D and 21D, with 21D earning the “top mark’. Thanks RayT and Pommers.

  11. Heno
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A nice puzzle from Ray T, but a bit on the gentle side. Favourite was 9a. Last in was 6d. Was 2*/3* for me. Off to the Camden Beer Festival.

  12. Brian
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I think this must be the exception that proves the rule, I thoroughly enjoyed it!
    Esp liked 4d and 5d the latter being very clever. Lots of anagrams to get one going then into the trickier stuff.
    For me unusually today, **/****
    Thx to all.
    Just shows if you wait long enough at the bus stop, one does eventually come along.

    • Hilary
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Hope you’ve got your bus pass.

  13. Hilary
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Yipee my name’s in place today. Went into panic mode when I saw Ray T mentioned but I grasped my faithful pencil and readied my electronic supertoy and dived in. 10a in BRB is the female of the species, 15a sounded vaguely familiar, loved the dreary sandwich but my one and only favourite is 4d because I love the sound of the word. Off to try Rookie so wish me luck. :phew:

    • Hilary
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to Ray T and Pommers. :good:

  14. Miffypops
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    1ac completely beat me. Even with a pen and paper and the first three checkers. Thank you Pommers, I peeked at your answer. Once in it was easy to solve my last two 5 and 6 down. Defeated by an anagram. RayT 1 – 0 Miffypops. Oh the shame. Thank you RayT. An excellent puzzle.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Oh the shame MP…the shame.

  15. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Very enjoyable (even Brian liked it – gasp) but, as pommers said, nothing to scare the horses. Good clue constructions and surfaces as expected from Mr T and I had quite a few smile moments when solving. I have a few clues bustling for first place but I will opt for 16d for the Naval connotation :mail:

    ‘Six munce ago I cudnt evan spell Enjanearing Articifer, and now I are one’. ‘Tiffies’ in the RN went to school for about 3 years before they were allowed near a ship – as us proper Engineers used to quote ‘ they can work out the total surface area of a jam jar lid, but can’t open it’ :yes:

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and to pommers for his review with the usual refined illustrations.

    A PS for Ray T from Jane: Biggest apologies to Mr. T if you wouldn’t mind.

    She is having difficulty accessing the site – let alone commenting.

    • Jane
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks, SL. Looks as though I’m up and running again – but for how long? :unsure:

      • Kath
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Oh good! :bye: this is a ‘hello’ wave not a ‘bye bye one’!

  16. Hanni
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Great puzzle.

    2d was my LOI. Well I bunged it in and then stared at it for a bit trying to work out why is was correct.

    Thought 7d was clever and had to double check 21d even though I’m sure that it has come up before.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Pommers for a great blog. Goodness only knows if this will post.

  17. Sheffieldsy
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Nice puzzle all round. For once, the Toughie went in more easily, but I enjoyed this back-pager (not on the back page).

    Favourite was 17a, although I’m sure you can get vegatarian pies.

    Thanks to Pommers for the blog and RayT.

    • pommers
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      As I said in the hint a pie can be of just about anything – fish, fruit, veg, cheese but the ? saves the day

  18. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Short and sweet as you would expect from RayT.
    Almost put the “H” in 7d in the wrong place. Had to check the dictionary.
    For the rest no outside help was needed.
    Favourite either 5 or 21d.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the review.

  19. Framboise
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Strangely enough first perusal did not yield anything so I thought ‘Ah, a battle ahead’. I was wrong, however, as I managed to finish it in reasonable time and enjoying it very much to boot. Lots of clever clues: 10a, 27a but my favourite was 15a – nice illustration which matches the one for 10d. Many thanks to Pommers and of course to setter. Jean-Luc, we are back for a long stretch, such a relief to be away from this Brexit madness!!!! See you soon.

  20. Merusa
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    As usual, I didn’t find this as easy as most, but with the use of my trusty cheater from time to time, I got to the finish line, something I don’t often do with RayT!
    So many good clues, once I had solved them, and loved it.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for his usual fun review.

  21. Kath
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    I think I’d probably have to add an extra star to the difficulty rating that pommers has given – I agree with the enjoyment rating.
    I didn’t know the party game – sounds as if I’ve missed out here – a sheltered life!!
    I didn’t get the ‘why’ of 13a which was seriously dim – can I still use jet lag as an excuse? If so how long can I go on using it?
    I don’t think I’ve seen ‘oily’ used as an anagram indicator before.
    I always enjoy Ray T crosswords but I’d like him to go on a hunt for his naughty hat before the next one.
    I liked 20a and 7d. My favourite (and last answer) was 21d.
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Haven’t had time to say hello and welcome back.
      Hello and Welcome back. :bye:

    • neveracrossword
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Glad to see you back from your Antipodean adventure. I note from an earlier comment that you were a student nurse in Oxford at the same time I was studying there.

      • Kath
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        I was a student nurse at the old Radcliffe Infirmary from September 1967 – September 1970 when we qualified. Where and what were you?

      • neveracrossword
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        I was at Exeter College then. An old friend of mine is married to a nurse from Oxford of your vintage.

        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

          Go on then – who? I’m dying of curiosity! Wouldn’t it be funny if we knew each other. We did spend a huge amount of time in the Royal Oak, the pub opposite the main entrance of the RI – where the fountain was – blimey, could tell some stories about that . . . Oh dear! :roll: and :oops:

    • Hanni
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back Kath! We missed you.

    • pommers
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been told it takes a day to get over one hour of time change so you’ve got about 12 days grace.

      Welcome back and don’t count the favourites – there have been a lot :whistle:

      • Kath
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        That’s what I thought too about time to ‘recover’ from time change stuff but he who is always right (or at least thinks that he is :wink: I do usually humour him – it makes for a quiet and peaceful life!) says that if you go in the ‘right’ direction i.e. westerly (be impressed that I do roughly know which that is) then the time is halved. Oh dear – who knows – all I know is that my brain, or what passes for it, feels as if it’s full of mashed potato and porridge.

        • Hanni
          Posted March 3, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          I’ve always found flying east to west far worse than the other way around. Does anyone know why? Hope you both recover soon.

          • JonP
            Posted March 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            From Wiki:

            In general, adjustment to the new time zone is easier for east-to-west travel than west-to-east. A westward adjustment takes, in days, approximately half the number of time zones crossed. For eastward travel, adjusting to the new time zone takes, in days, approximately two-thirds the number of time zones crossed.

            Personally, I always find it easier to adjust from East to West.

            • JonP
              Posted March 3, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

              P.S Welcome back Kath – hope you had a wonderful time.

              • Kath
                Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

                Thank you – and yes, we did have a great time – it is also lovely to be home – in no particular order (as they say) own house, own bed, own shower, daughters, friends – I could go on . . .

            • Hanni
              Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

              Thanks Jon. Although having just read my post I meant to put it the other way around. :oops:

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to everyone for the lovely welcome back. :yes:
      Such a pity about the ‘bad behaviour’ though – oh dear – :sad: just be warned – I’m back!!

      • Heno
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

        Welcome back Kath, only one favourite from me today :-)

        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          Creep – does the ‘today’ bit mean that you’ve been a little bit naughty in the last few weeks, hmmmm . . . I’m watching you know!

  22. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. Extra star for difficulty as for the first time in ages I read through all the clues and didn’t get one. Sat in bed this morning and the whole thing fell in place. I guess a good nights sleep got the little grey cells working again. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review. Time to walk the dogs before the next squall comes in.

  23. Mary Mary
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    As with yesterday’s puzzle, I couldn’t get to grips* with the top half at all and 15a was my first one in ( can never get one to fit ) * Couldn’t grip pencil either, as boiler on the blink for two days and no heating for aged convalescent ! Do NOT recommend service provided by a certain Co. with 3 initials for its logo ! :cry:
    Filled in second half in a few minutes – hurrah . 1a had me completely foxed until son half my age suggested “distance” for the last part and penny dropped…..
    3d had me searching for birds’ names……and 5d was my loi.
    3*/4* and thanks to setter and pommers !

  24. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Lovely stuff once again from RayT that all went together smoothly for us. Clue word count checked as usual and we can report that no clue contains more than 8 words so all in order. Good fun.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  25. silvanus
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    What an excellent puzzle! I fairly sailed through the left-hand side before coming to a grinding halt when trying to find a way in to the right-hand side, which took far, far longer than it should have done. I think this was partly due to convincing myself that the answer to 10a was “kraken” before I saw the error of my ways.

    Many clues stood out for me, but I’ll give a special mention to 20a, 2d and 16d. I’m still in shock that Brian enjoyed it too!!

    Thank you RayT and thank you Pommers.

  26. Jane
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Tears of joy at this end – finally getting renewed access and – on a Ray T day!
    Thought he treated us quite gently today – pay back for the recent Beam? – but still a master of his art.
    Favourite slot goes to the dull sandwich with a nod to the lacy aristocrat.

    Devotions to Mr. T – your other main fan is back on board today as well, following her world tour – and thanks to Pommers and the rest of you for just ‘being there’ again!

    Will this post………….

    • Hanni
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Hurrah! I’ve just said on the other side you were having problems posting. But you’re back. :yahoo:

  27. mre
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Good evening everybody.

    Another joint effort today and done in fairly short order with me only contributing a few in the north west. Not sure I’d have got too far on my own so I’ll give it a three rating.


  28. Gwizz
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    A lovely Ray T crossword…… but it was a bit gentle! I liked both 4 and 5d simply because they are not commonly found in a crossword. The latter was my favourite although the ‘dull sandwich’ made me smile. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for his review and pics.

  29. Jaylegs
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Traditionally Thursday was crunch day but recently it has been a walk in the park :yahoo: **/*** Thanks to Pommers & Ray T Liked 15 & 21d :bye:

  30. RayT
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. Muchas gracias to pommers for the review and to all for your comments.


    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to you Ray, for an excellent puzzle.

  31. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I am not up to the level of solving the Thursday puzzles yet, but I am working out how the clues work correctly, which is progress, I just can’t then do the last bit, to use the wordplay towards working out the definition, but I am definitely making progress.
    Many thanks to Pommers for the clues and to the setter, very cleverly constructed clues.

  32. Jon_S
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    Something a little meatier to get our teeth into today. Didn’t understand 10ac until I came here to check, even if the answer was pretty apparent, so many thanks for the blog. :-)

  33. Angel
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Great to see a full pro BD turn-out again today – hopefully now more or less fully back in the old routine. This was a bit of a tussle but perseverance paid off without a need to call on Pommers’ excellent hints. I too am not sure about 17a being necessarily a meat dish. Fav probably 21a but do wonder if clue could have been slightly better possibly still using “top”. TVM RayT and Pommers. ***/***. :yes:

  34. JonP
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable puzzle from RayT as usual. I found it fairly straightforward once the appropriate wavelength had been found.

    Thanks to pommers and RayT **/****

  35. pommers
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I quite enjoyed this puzzle but it didn’t get the fourth star for enjoyment due to lack of the expected smut which Ray usually provides.

    The pictorial opportunities were a bit limited as well. 15a was too obvious, the naked twister was a complete no-no and I couldn’t see a realistic way of getting a racing car into the blog at all. Hey ho, no pasa nada.

    • Kath
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you – the lack of smut, albeit always genteel, meant that the usual laugh was missing. As for the racing car, well, sorry but :yawn:
      Just you wait until I get round to emailing you with photos of the boat ‘Aphrodite’ which belongs to friends of ours in Eden NSW where we stayed.

      • pommers
        Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        I will retaliate with ‘Negril’ – our friends boat in Thailand, more of a ship really :wink: It’s no use to me though as it has no sails, just two six cylinder diesels.

        • Kath
          Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          Aphrodite is a 42 ft boat – he, she, it or whatever certainly has sails – just don’t ask me how many – how would I know – I’m a land lubber! We did have a lovely day on he, she or it though! Anyway, what’s the difference between a boat and a ship, or is that a trap that I’m supposed to have inadvertently fallen into?

          • pommers
            Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

            A ship is merely a very big floating thing. Aphrodite sounds like SHE (boats are always feminine) might be a lot of fun – a 42ft sailing boat can’t be much else. I’m not at all jealous!
            Our ‘Firenze’ was only 32ft but I would have sailed her anywhere.

            Negril, on the other hand, is a 65ft motor catamaran and is from a different world.

            • Tstrummer
              Posted March 4, 2016 at 1:45 am | Permalink

              Boats are not always feminine. Narrow boats, for example, were often given boys’ name. Our Marina is host to Raymond, the last working narrow boat made of wood. Old working boats at the historic boat show at Braunston hardly ever have girls’ names. My boat, The Racy Mole, is also definitely a he.

          • Angel
            Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

            For a long-winded explanation of the differences see online Marine Insight 7 Differences between a Ship and a Boat. :wacko:

            • Hanni
              Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

              Last time I was at the Gare a lot of what I would call ships went past. They are big. But some pilot boats and tugs went past. They are small.

              Somehow if a ‘vessel’ has sails then it becomes a ‘she’ though, in my mind anyway. I shall have a read Angel.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      Having just Googled picture of racing cars, I think you were wise to leave it out. Pure filth.

  36. Florence
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    So close,so close to finishing a RayT unaided. I put concert into 26a so it threw my 21d. Never mind, there’s always next week…week after? Thank you RayT for today’s puzzle. At least I’m beginning to get on the right wavelength. 20a has to be today’s favourite. Thanks Pommers for the review and the Top Gun clip. Nice to have something for the ladies.

  37. Salty Dog
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Found it tricky, but I’m way out of practice (only just got broadband back after 3 weeks off and only a couple of paper crosswords to exercise the LGCs). I made this 3*/3*, but no particular favourite clue. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  38. Kitty
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Owww. I made heavy weather of this today, partly because it was a very interrupted solve after a very interrupted sleep.

    This didn’t quite hit the spot in the way that RayT usually does, but I think that’s down to the above. More innuendo might have been welcome but then I can never get enough.

    I stupidly misspelled some anagram fodder and generally got myself into a muddle, being slow with some things that I thought were genuinely tricky as well as some things that had me kicking myself for not seeing earlier. To add to that I had made a silly typo that I just couldn’t see, so in the end I was rewarded by being told some answers were incorrect. Gahhh.

    For all my grumbling, I liked it. I would have thought it was more than 2 star difficulty even if I did make it harder still for myself.

    I particularly liked 13a, 6d and 21d (as well as the two chesty ones, just because). I might have nominated 25a as favourite, but after the day I’ve had 17a just has to win.

  39. Una
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Standout clues for me were 2d and 21d, both of which took an age.
    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  40. TheTeesdale2
    Posted March 3, 2016 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Excellent puzzle, uped the ante from the last couple of days, but still do-able, only needed a couple of Pommer’s tips, thankyou. Thankyou to Ray T too!

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted March 4, 2016 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    As always with Ray’s challenges, I struggled. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a hard week, a long day and my train was cancelled, leaving me to wait half an hour in the rain for the next one. Having got there in the end, I can reveal that I didn’t like it much – too many typically overstretched definitions for my taste – but there were also some pleasing nuggets in there. 20a shone the brightest for me. Thanks to Pommers (and for refraining from giving us the Alicante Naked Twister Society’s calendar shot). Thanks to RayT as well – it’s not you, Ray, it’s me, I’m sure. 3*/2*

  42. badger
    Posted March 4, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    A diversion – I am having great trouble accessing Big Dave’s website, my computer telling me it cannot be found. Having said that, it has just connected. Is it my computer or are others having problems?

    • crypticsue
      Posted March 4, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      I have just had success at accessing the site via Internet Explorer while at work – it is the first time I have been able to do so since the move to a different server. Fingers crossed that it remains this way as it has been a very frustrating week.

    • Posted March 4, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      It would seem that most of the problems are caused by the caching of dns entries. These should be resolved when the cache expires, normally a maximum of 24 hours.

  43. judetheobscure
    Posted March 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Finally seem to be getting on RayT’s wavelength. Thursday has always been the most challenging day of the week for me but this one is done and dusted. Not quickly, mind ;)