DT 28076

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28076

Hints and tips by ShropshireLad

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Good Morning everyone from a bright and sunny day in Shropshire. Single-word answers in both the Cryptic and the Quickie, tightly worded clues and even Her Maj is here. Therefore we must have a Ray T production albeit there is a lack of innuendo. I completed the majority of this at a steady pace (15 & 18a helped a lot), but dragged my heels a bit to complete the NE corner (top right hand side for Kath & Hennir) so it went into *** time.

I do hope the hints help you to get the answers, but if they don’t – you can always click on the grey ‘Click here’ button. As usual the definitions are underlined.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Shocked seeing part of bag has torn (6)
AGHAST: Our very first lurker of the day.

4a    Peeled herb stuffing small pies for tapas (8)
STARTERS: Carry out the instruction of the first 2 words in the clue and then put those letters inside (stuffing) the abbreviation for ‘small’ and another 5 letter term for ‘pies’.

9a    Danger which catches engineers (6)
THREAT: Replace the pronoun ‘which’ with another and enter (catches) our usual crosswordland ‘engineers’.

10a    Row after French meeting about border (8)
FRONTIER: After the 2 letter abbreviation of ‘French’ add a 4 letter word for ‘row’ and insert ‘on’.

11a    Satisfy need initially in criminal depravity (8)
CONVINCE: Another term for a ‘criminal’ and a ‘depravity’. Then enter (in) the initial of ‘need’.

13a    Starts to cringe or wince, ending really scared (6)
COWERS: A lovely all in one clue using the ‘starts to’ the other words.

15a    Scandalous, man on tube line flashing (13)
UNMENTIONABLE: An anagram (flashing) of MAN ON LINE TUBE.

18a    Entered marina, churning sea (13)
MEDITERRANEAN: You wait ages for one to come along and then you get 2 at the same time. An anagram (churning) of ENTERED MARINA.

22a    Recover, say, being seen in shower (6)
REGAIN: Take the usual Latin abbreviation for ‘say’ and insert it in (being seen in) ‘shower’ – of the water from the Heavens type.

24a    Avoid work delay after morning’s over (8)
MALINGER: Use a term to describe ‘delay’ i.e. loiter and put it after the 2 letter abbreviation for the ‘morning’ reversed (over).

26a    Unsparing swine with a learner, holding cane (8)
PRODIGAL: Farm animal ‘swine’ and add the ‘a’ from the clue and the abbreviation of ‘learner. All that covers (holding) a 3 letter word for a ‘cane’.

27a    Sheen about to follow craving (6)
LUSTRE: 2 letter abbreviation for ‘about’ following a sexual ‘craving’.

28a    Section of trestle’s stood on edge (8)
RESTLESS: Our second lurker of the day – he does hide them well.

29a    Push bike reportedly (6)
PEDDLE: Not my favourite clue – it’s a homophone (reportedly) of ‘bike’ as a verb. The word you are looking for is a part of a bike – of which there are 2 and you put your feet on them.


1d    Cheers up on course to get fit (6)
ATTACK: An informal 2 letter word for ‘cheers’ reversed (up in a down clue) and nautical term for ‘course’.

2d    Lectured hard and fought to pen article (9)
HARANGUED: Usual abbreviation for ‘hard’ and a 6 letter word for ‘fought’ containing (to pen) a 2 letter ‘article’.

3d    Awkwardly sat in mud missing new ground (7)
STADIUM: A subtractive anagram (awkwardly) of SAT IN MUD without (missing) the N(ew). Clever to have 2 anagram indicators in the clue.

5d    Last of beer in barrel producing wind (4)
TURN: Take the last letter in ‘beer’ and insert it in a type of ‘barrel’.

6d    Capital managed by clown (7)
RANGOON: 3 letter word for ‘managed’ and a term for a ‘clown’ Peter Sellers, Spike et al leap to mind.

7d    End to corpulence on low-fat cream (5)
ELITE: Take the end of ‘corpulence’ and add the horrible term for ‘low-fat’.

8d    Perhaps trifle upset supporting state’s leader under pressure (8)
STRESSED: What a trifle could be referred to on a menu and reverse it (upset) and add the leader of ‘state’.

12d    Chap oddly never gets bird (6)
CANARY: Begin with the odd letters of ‘chap’ and add an old fashioned term for ‘never’ (it’s not ‘nard’).

14d    Army surrounding Islamic republic’s capital (6)
TIRANA: Our usual group of ‘army’ volunteers over (surrounding) an ‘Islamic Republic’.

16d    Get behind, possibly, being unenlightenend (9)
BENIGHTED: An anagram (possibly) of GET BEHIND.

17d    Outrageous devil, guy fronting Queen (8)
IMPROPER: Take a little ‘devil’ then add a synonym of ‘guy’ (this is not a male we’re talking about) and add (fronting) the usual single letter abbreviation for a ‘queen’.

19d    Test with intravenous injection for minor (7)
TRIVIAL: This type of ‘test’ would be held in a court and holds a 2 letter abbreviation of a type of drip you could possibly be on in hospital.

20d    Gourmet put last of sauce on good kipper (7)
EPICURE: Does what it says on the tin – not a letter wasted. Take the last letter of ‘sauce’ add a 2 letter word for ‘good’ and a verb ‘to kipper’. Another wafer sir?

21d    Lets go in speech, getting interruption (6)
FREEZE: I had this word as an answer last week. It’s a homophone (in speech) of ‘lets go’ – as in to release.

23d    Lord’s purchasing old property (5)
GOODS: Our Holy Father and the letter ‘s’ from the clue ‘Lord’s’ containing (purchasing) the abbreviation for ‘old’.

25d    Boys and girl almost catching daughter (4)
LADS: Take a term for a country girl and remove the last letter (almost) and contain (catching) the abbreviation for ‘daughter.

I do apologise if my explanations appear rushed today, but I had problems with my tablet and therefore had to resurrect my lap top. I also apologise for being late.

Which clue(s) did you enjoy most?

The Quick Crossword pun: gear+low+teen=guillotine


  1. dutch
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    29a: the answer means to sell or push

    I liked 15a (the flasher). Surface readings on 1d, 5d, 12d were nice. I was lucky to have seen the word in 16d before – not a word I’d normally use. 6d of course is no longer the name of the capital.

    Nice easy toughie today – if you’re a toughie non-regular, today is a good day to give it a go

    Many thanks Shropshirelad for the review – perhaps Mr Creosote is more of a gourmand – what a horrible sketch that was…

    and thank you setter

    • Kitty
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      One day I might disagree with you Dutch, but today is not that day.
      Ditto re the Toughie. Also ditto re the sketch. I can’t watch that film because of it.

      • dutch
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        looking forward to the day

  2. Kitty
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    How nice it was to get the quickie and see all single word clues. Another great RayT puzzle to savour.

    The 1d definition confused me at first and had me wondering if “tach” was somehow a course – then I realised what kind of fit to have. Silly me.

    3d conjured up a nice image and I too liked the ambiguity as to which was indicator and which was definition.

    Re 7d, low-fat might be that horrible word, but lower fat might be cream.

    My first thought for 12d was to wonder if caneer was a bird … fortunately my second thought was better.

    17d was clever and shows that our setter can still find new things to do with his trademark.

    I liked the 15a anagram – and of course the cheeky surface. That makes it my favourite today, and I will just this once resist the desire to have multiples.

    Thanks to RayT and to SL for yet again delivering the goods. That kind of lateness is not a tragedy. The other kind would be.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      You really are sweet :rose:

  3. Kath
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant – loved it – would anyone expect me to say anything else? I agree with SL’s difficulty but would go for 4* enjoyment.
    The first clue being a lurker was helpful as I was on the lookout and saw it immediately – missed the other one though.
    I was slow with the long 15a anagram – thought that either ‘scandalous’ or ‘flashing’ would do as the anagram indicator so wasn’t sure what I was after.
    I made life difficult by trying to put the 12d bird into the 14d space and vice versa – oh dear!
    I liked 26a and 6 and 20d. My favourite – my one and only favourite was 15a.
    With thanks to Ray T and to SL for a fun review.
    Done Toughie apart from one – off to the garden.
    PS – Just heard that Ronnie Corbett has died – how sad – I remember my Dad being in absolute fits watching them.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      How come you lecture us Kath and then have another favourite every single day. That is hundreds of them. I have only one favourite clue which was something like AB CMan. Answer. sailor.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        There is always one….unbelievable

  4. Hanni
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I found this to be on the gentle side for a RayT.

    I enjoyed the long anagrams (man flashing on tube…district line on a night), and the churning sea. 6d is about the only time that a clown has made me smile.

    I agree about the second part of 7d.

    Biggest hold up was in the SE corner, that’s on the right at the bottom of the puzzle, I checked…good thinking Hennir (and thanks for that Jean-Luc.. :-) )

    Favourite goes to 15a but liked pretty much all of it especially as I spotted the ‘hiddens’ quickly.

    Many thanks to RayT and to SL for a great blog as always.

    I learnt this morning that tapir’s can swim.

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      A tapir’s what can swim?

      • Hanni
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Erm..oh dear. OK tapirs can swim? Oh gosh…you know Jane and SL correct my spelling on email. It’s not that I can’t spell, it’s just that half the time I am typing quickly and the half of the time I am paying no attention.

        Anyway the upshot of this is that if a tapir was dropped in some water the chances are it could swim to safety. I don’t advocate doing that though as I think they are quite nice. Also a Pantig is cross between a panther and a tiger.

        I missed your pendantism when you were away.

  5. Una
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I have stars besides quite a few clues, 21d, 13a, 26a, 9a, 7d.
    Definitely 3 star territory as some clues took a long time to unravel, 26a and 22a for example.
    My favourites are 29a and 21d.
    Thanks SL and Ray T , presumably.

  6. Spook
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Phew what a scorcher I found this particularly tough, especially after yesterday, I just couldn’t get going. I persevered. I got held up at 9a as I thought”terror” correct alas no.
    This certainly gave the brain an excellent workout.
    Thanks to Shropshire Lad and to Ray T for keeping me entertained.

  7. Vince
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    13a. I don’t think this really works, as the clue suggests the answer should be in the past tense, which it isn’t.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid I disagree with that one Vince. If it were in the past tense surely it would have read:

      Started to cringe or wince, ending really scared – then the clue wouldn’t make any sense.

      • Kath
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        I agree with you.

      • Vince
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        What about: “ending really scared”?

      • Vince
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        I forgot to say, surely the “starts to” is just instructing us to use the initial letters of the following words???

  8. Heno
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Shropshire Lad for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much. Was beaten by 1d & 9a. 6d made me laugh. Favourite was 7d. Was 3*/4* for me. Having a walk over Kenwood, chilly when the sun goes in.

  9. Brian
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Finished this with huge electronic help but almost no pleasure. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am currently laid up with a broken ankle, I don’t think I would have bothered. Very much a Marmite offering.
    Thx for the hints.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Have a go at the Toughie. :-)

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Come on Brian. How did you break your ankle?

      • Brian
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        By stupidly going up a ladder, at my age I should know better but age doesn’t always bring wisdom!

        • Kitty
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think it was going up the ladder that was the problem, Brian. It was the coming down part.

          • RichardW
            Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

            It’s not the fall that hurts…it’s the sudden stop at the end!

            My Sister’s partner broke her ankle stepping awkwardly off the second to bottom step of a ladder getting something out of the loft! Easy done…

        • Hanni
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Did and ant on the roof have something to do with it? No idea if this will work.


        • Miffypops
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

          Why did you go up stupidly?

      • Killer Watts
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        I fell from a sixty foot ladder and emerged without a scratch. Mind you, I was only on the bottom rung….

  10. Jason
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, as ever, for the much needed help. 6d, however funny the clue is, is not the capital, Naypyidaw is.

  11. Miffypops
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    How on earth does this setter maintain this consistently high standard? This offering did everything I ask of a puzzle. It amused and stretched me equally but yielded up its secrets without any need for outside help. The yellow singing bird took a bit of finding and I missed the anagram at 16d but bunged the correct answer in anyway. A delight from the start to the finish. Thanks to The Lad and thanks to The Master

  12. Expat Chris
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Just to be different, I found this more challenging than the usual Ray T. and not as enjoyable. I never did solve 11A or 12D, so maybe I’m just annoyed with myself. Appreciate the challenge, though and give my thanks To Mr. T and SL.

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Those were my last two in EC after too much head scratching. Looking for a man to start 12d and a single word for criminal depravity to go around the letter N I already had.. I wasn’t giving up though

  13. Kath
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    How many ears did Davy Crockett have?

    • Hanni
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      3 :-)

    • Miffypops
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Also 3

    • Kath
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Oh – that was good then, wasn’t it? It always used to make me laugh – come to think of it it still does!

    • Young Salopian
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I think Mr Spock from Star Trek had the same number.

      • Hanni
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        Oh yes…that works too. :-) I agree, it’s still funny Kath.

  14. George
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Usual RayT fare -2*/2* for me.

  15. Rabbit Dave
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    2*/4*. Very enjoyable puzzle, but it’s a pity about 6d. Jason is correct that it is not a capital city. 14d was my last one in, and 15a was my favourite.

    For 21d I was torn between “frieze” and “freeze” – either could be considered an interruption.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to SL.

    • Jose
      Posted April 1, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      RD and Jason. 6d: Sorry to interject, but Ray T appears to be correct with this one. Although Rangoon is the former national capital of Myanmar (Burma), it is still the regional capital of Yangon Region – therefore it is a “capital”. The clue doesn’t specify (and it does not need to) what status the referred-to “capital” is.

  16. Young Salopian
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Another cracking Thursday offering from Ray T. Great clueing, nothing too obscure and hugely enjoyable. 2 down my last one in and favourite for the day. 2.5*/3.5* seems about right, with grateful thanks to Mr T and my fellow Salopian.

  17. silvanus
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I began thinking this would be a tougher challenge than it actually was, but the answers steadily fell into place and overall it was probably slightly easier than an average RayT backpager.

    An extremely enjoyable solve, I have to join the consensus in voting for 15a as my favourite of the day.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to SL.

    R.I.P. Ronnie Corbett.

    • Kath
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Yes – to Ronnie Corbett. I heard a few little bits that he’s said, “I was so small when I was a child that I could only have one measle at a time”.

      • Young Salopian
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        “I play nine holes of golf a day. Actually, I play six and fall down three.”

        • Hanni
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          All those who believe in psychokinesis raise my right hand.

          • Banksie
            Posted April 2, 2016 at 2:02 am | Permalink

            I was a fan of RC too. Who wouldn’t be…..

            Was also amused, however, by Lionel Blairs description of him this week as “a giant” and “head and shoulders above the rest”

            I hope RC would have seen the funny side of that

      • silvanus
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        The Two Ronnies was one of the funniest programmes in my youth and was one of the main reasons why I like puns and wordplay so much. I’m thinking of lighting four candles in his memory tonight…

        • Shropshirelad
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

          • Angel
            Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Yes indeed one of their best – memorable.

  18. Vancouverbc
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    ***/***. Finished most of this quickly but held up by 1 & 21d which I got but didn’t like. The rest was sublime. Thanks to the setter and SL for the review.

  19. mre
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Very straightforward today and hard to imagine it’s a Mr T puzzle. Couldn’t rationalise 8d but the solution was clear anyway.


  20. upthecreek
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    RayT must have been in a good mood as a nice little lurker at 1a gave me a start. Having said that the NW was the last to be filled in and 1d was last. Usual variety from Ray with my favourites being 6 7 8 17 and 22. See you in a fortnight Ray.

  21. Jane
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Late in today – ‘girlie’ day took precedence!
    Wonderful stuff as ever from my favourite setter with hardly any stumbling blocks along the way. Like RD, I hesitated over which interruption to use for 21d and also got into a slight pickle with 17d, wanting Her Maj to be ‘er’ for quite a while.

    Hate to pick a favourite in a Ray T but, if pushed, would opt for 6d – made me smile.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to SL for persevering with the laptop to bring us the review. Struggle to remember which day of the week it is anyway but with Kitty on a Wednesday and now SL on a Thursday, I’m definitely sunk for the next few days!

    Off to look at the Toughie now.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure Mr Terrell will drop in later and verify which ‘freeze / frieze’ he meant.

      • Jane
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Hi SL, I’m reasonably sure now that he will have meant ‘freeze’ but ‘frieze’ did seem like a viable alternative.
        Forgot to mention before – I did think his Quickie pun was well up to his ‘teeth-sucking’ best!

        • Miffypops
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Let’s go = frees. In speech = Freeze. I love RayT puzzles. Altogether now. Freeze a jolly good fellow Frieze a jolly good fellow. Frees a jolly good fellow. And so say all of us.

  22. Collywobbles
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Phew. That was a struggle.Many thanks Shropshirelad for the hints which were sorely needed. Also, BD, I have just read your note on getting the systems right so belated thanks for that. I get so much pleasure in being able to finish the puzzle as I am sure do the other bloggers. Now , I know that I have asked this before and so Iapologise in advance, but how do we get the two lettered word for good.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      BRB – adj: obtrusively religious, sanctimonious.

      It’s also probably in the ‘mine / usual suspects’. It has appeared more frequently than the letter ‘g’s in the past few months in many a cryptic crossword.

      Hope that helps.

      • Collywobbles
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Many of thanks Shropshirelad. I knew it but couldn’t bring. It to mind

  23. pete
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I found this fairly easy going. Maybe I am having a good week, finished without any help four days running, if I can manage the same tomorrow, it will be a record for me. Friday is usually harder, so I am expecting a rough ride tomorrow.

  24. Merusa
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    As usual, I struggled mightily with this. The bottom half was easier and I solved that without tearing my hair out, but the top, particularly the NW corner left three undone.
    I had high hopes for this today as I found the lurker at 1a right away and thought it might prove easier than normal, but no, I found it really difficult.
    Fave is 6d, but I also liked 21d.
    Thanks to Jay and to SL for the review.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      We have the first Fava beans down here.
      You’re right. They are expensive. Only a few years ago they were almost given away for free.

      • Merusa
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Last year I took the trouble to count how many beans I got in one package after I had shelled them, and they worked out as 8 US cents PER BEAN! I really enjoy them so it’s a luxury, but I’m only feeding myself and I’m worth it!

        • jean-luc cheval
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          There is only one bean every two inches or so. Sometimes you peel a pod and only find one 😒. I know what you mean.

          • Shropshirelad
            Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            The term ‘blind Rudolph’ comes to mind about this thread :)

            • jean-luc cheval
              Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

              Sorry SL.
              It’s a discussion that started yesterday.

              • Shropshirelad
                Posted March 31, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

                Hey, No sweat J-L. I just wondered what it was all about. I presume you understood the reference to ‘Rudolph’ :)

                • jean-luc cheval
                  Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

                  Has it got to do with foggy?
                  That’s the only connection I can make.

                  • Shropshirelad
                    Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

                    No J-L. A blind Rudolph is a ‘No -eyed Deer’ = No Idea :)

                    • jean-luc cheval
                      Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

                      I’ll have to remember that one.

                    • Merusa
                      Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

                      Yes, that is funny and worth remembering for future use!

  25. jean-luc cheval
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Been trying to post since the blog opened but each time I tried, something came up. Oh no! Don’t try to read any double entendre in that comment.
    Must admit that I had to write some circles for the anagrams in 3d and 15a whereas 18a was a write in.
    As usual I didn’t notice it was RayT until I read the review.
    4a made me laugh. We always send our kitchen help to look for the tool to uncurl parsley. Now I shall ask for the herb peeler.
    Thanks to RayT and to SL for the review.

  26. Angel
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    SL the solution to 4a is plural but your concealed word is singular … You may want to alter it.

  27. RayT
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. Thanks to ShropshireLad for the review and to all for your comments.


    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Good Evening Mr Terrell – I hope you are well? As ever, it’s great you take the time to ‘pop’ in and say hello – much appreciated. We have one question – can you recall what answer you expected for 21d?

      • RayT
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        I was expecting ‘Freeze’ but I can see how ‘Frieze’ could work.


    • Jane
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Mr. T – great to ‘see’ you again. Thank you for popping in.

  28. 2Kiwis
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    We arrived home yesterday. We had been travelling for just over 12 hours by car, ferry, then car again. When we reached home, before we had even unpacked, we printed out and solved the puzzles. We wonder if this could be interpreted as addictive behaviour? Surely not!
    Nice and gentle we thought and good fun as ever.
    Thanks RayT and SL.

  29. Angel
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite a struggle but pressed on regardless and finally made it however it’s always good to be challenged. Some clues I found a bit iffy (1d, 16d, 17d and 20d) but eventually managed (loosely) to parse most of them. 16d new one on me. ****/***. Thanks RayT and SL.

  30. Jane
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    OK – so what’s going on now? Scrolling through the comments, they’re littered with supposed ‘clips’ which state ‘This video does not exist’ or have bizarre Vimeos from someone called Jake Lodwick!

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      You’re right Jane.
      Whenever there was a number mentioned, there’s a video instead.

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Let’s try:

    • Merusa
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I’ve been wondering about this. Don’t tell me our lovely blog has been hijacked?

    • Posted March 31, 2016 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      The problem was with a change made today to a plugin – this plugin is written by Automattic, the creators of WordPress, who are the last people you would expect to make such a mistake. I have disabled the rogue facility until a new version is made available.


  31. Jon_S
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    1/11/12 conspired to push this from a */** for difficulty into a definite ***. All good, fair and above board though. **** for entertainment value.

  32. Robin Newman
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    13A &15A very good
    Thanks RayT and SL

  33. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, for the hard of thinking….4a hint – “Carry out the instruction of the first 2 words in the clue…” – what does that mean??????????
    In fact, looking again, the given answer does not fit, should it be plural???

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Hi Hoofit,
      Peeling means to take the outside letters out of the word: h(ER)b and insert them in a (S)mall pies (TARTS).
      Tapas being served before the main courses.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Thanks J-LC, obvious really!!!

    • Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      4a now corrected.

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

        While you’re on cleaning duties, 2d in the toughie still shows “PASTING”

  34. Shropshirelad
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Hi HYD – I will try to simplify my hint

    Peeled, limited, shelled, wingless etc generally mean delete the ends of a word. In this case ‘peeled’ (h)er(b) leaves you ‘er’. You then put those letters into (stuffed) the abbreviation of s(mall) and ‘tarts’ (pies). That gives you ‘(s)(tart(er)s)’. I hope that helps :)

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Sorry SL,
      Didn’t see you were around this neck of the woods.
      Please use your “corne de brume” next time.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        J-L, I don’t possess a ‘corne de brume’, will a ‘hooter’ do instead. I think my nose (hooter) is about the size, shape etc to be accepted as a Frenchman.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Many thanks SL, yes, nice and clear,,,excuse my ignorance,
      Many thanks for the excellent hints, a day taking my granddaughter round Bethnal Green toy museum has utterly fried my brain, so your hints have been a great help.
      This is an excellent (and hard) crossword, it has been good fun going through the hints.

      • Shropshirelad
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

        Thank you indeed HYD – I hope you had a great time at the toy museum with your granddaughter.

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted April 1, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

          It’s more for us grown-ups really…the number of times I said “I used to have one of them!!”

  35. Paso Doble
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Thoroughly enjoyed the usual excellent fare from Mr T and thanks to SL for the blog. A ***/**** from us.

  36. Florence
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s really late, and nobody will be around, but I am cock-a-hoop and celebrating. I have just finished my first RayT without any help. Gosh, it has taken a long time to get there. I had to keep going back to it throughout the day, but stuck it out. It was worth the perseverance. Every clue was my favourite today. I so enjoyed working it all out. Thank you RayT. I am now a convert. Thank you too shropshirelad for your review. Never had a canary, but once owned a cockatiel.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      I’m here Florence. Let me be the first to congratulate on you milestone, well done. I remember when I completed my first serious cryptic crossword without assistance – I think it was today :) . That probably makes us BFF – no idea what that means btw.

      Again, well done!

      • Florence
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Thank you sooooo much. Really appreciated.

    • Hanni
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

      Well done Florence. :-)

      • Florence
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Hanni. I’m on cloud nine. Cloud 15 actually.

        • Hanni
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          YAY!!!! I do know what you mean when you finally ‘crack’ a particular setter. It’s a great feeling.

    • Kath
      Posted March 31, 2016 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Well done from me too – see, I remember telling you some time ago that, one day, you’d love Ray T crosswords.

      • Florence
        Posted April 1, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink

        Thank you for your comment Kath. Really appreciate the encouragement.

        • Miffypops
          Posted April 1, 2016 at 1:40 am | Permalink

          A big day for you Florence and a big hug from me. It is sweet isn’t it?

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted April 1, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      Very well done Florence!!

  37. Tstrummer
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Congrats to Florence who has become a RayT convert. I am yet to be convinced. I always struggle with his puzzles and, although I usually finish them, they leave me a bit cold. This was no exception. I too wrestled with Freeze/Frieze, wrote in the former and then amended it to the latter, which I still think is better. As mentioned, Tirana is no longer the capital and Tapas are certainly not starters – there’s a street in Logrono, Rioja capital, which comprises only bars, and each bar has its own signature tapa. The idea is that you walk down one side, taking a small glass and a tapa at each bar, and then return up the other, doing the same. Then you lie down in the gutter and sing a sea shanty that you’ve forgotten most of the words to. It’s as good a way to spend Saturday night as any. Thanks to SL and Mr T. 2*/2*

    • silvanus
      Posted April 1, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Hi Tstrummer,

      I’m sure that you meant to write Rangoon rather than Tirana, the latter is still a capital city!

    • Jose
      Posted April 1, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Ts. 21d: Freeze is listed in the BRB (Thesaurus) and elsewhere as a direct synonym for interruption, so the clue works very well. I can’t really see how a “frieze” could be convincingly described as an interruption. A demarcation strip, yes. But I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise.

  38. David Kelly
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I would never get 4 across because Tapas are not starters 😞😞

  39. Gwizz
    Posted April 1, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I must admit I tend to take clues such 4a with a reasonable pinch of salt. I have tried on many occasions to ‘make’ a clue but I always find that the exactness required is a definite art and one which I cannot aspire to!
    As for this crossword 3/4* overall for a worthy challenge. Yes and 15a floats my boat too.
    Thanks to RayT and to SL for his review.