DT 28112

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28112

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where the weather has resumed normal service after a few days of cold and wet, while it’s been hot and sunny in the UK.  Pommette picked a very good weekend to visit her mother!

I’m pretty sure this is a RayT if only for the slightly stretched synonyms and some cleverly concealed definitions. I quite like stretching the synonyms as it makes you think a bit laterally but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I thought it was a fair bit trickier than his recent puzzles but perhaps that’s just me. It will be interesting to hear what you all make of it. I also thought the whole thing brilliant and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever gone to five stars for enjoyment!

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           Need to conserve money showing frugality (10)
ABSTINENCE: You need another word for need, as in lack of, and insert a word for money (3) that is only used in crosswords as far as I can see.

6a           Small sweet potato (4)
SPUD: S(mall) followed by a colloquial term for the sweet course of a meal.  The old hands among us will find this a bit of a chestnut methinks but I like it.

9a           Precipitate invasion seizing power (5)
RAPID: An invasion, or at least an incursion into someone’s territory, has P(ower) inserted (seizing).

10a         Primitive arrow found by fire, unfinished (9)
BARBAROUS: An arrow is followed by (found by) a word meaning fire or excite without its last letter (unfinished).

12a         Bird‘s back in Sun a lot, routinely (7)
ORTOLAN: This isn’t a page 3 bird but is a bird of the bunting family. It’s found all over Europe but is only an uncommon vagrant in the spring and autumn in the UK. Anyway, enough of the ornithology, this bird is hidden in SUN A LOT ROUTINELY but it’s reversed (back in).  It’s considered a delicacy in France and treated in a rather disgusting fashion which, fortunately, is now illegal.

13a         Basket for catch caught with tackle (5)
CREEL: This is a basket into which an angler might put his catch.  It’s also C(aught) followed by a piece of his fishing tackle.

15a         Forcibly gets former partner to right wrongs finally (7)
EXTORTS: The usual former partner followed  a legal term for some wrongs.  I’m not sure what ‘to right’ brings to this party but perhaps someone will have an idea. by TO (from the clue), the two letter abbreviation for right and then S (wrongS finally).  Thanks to Dutch and Jose for spotting this one.

16a         Nearly reach canyon’s limit (7)
COMPASS: This is limit as in range or scope. It’s a word for reach or arrive without it’s last letter (nearly) followed by another word for a canyon or col.  I thought canyon was stretching it a bit but it is in my thesaurus as a synonym of the word you need so who am I to argue?

18a         Putting stopper in  crack (7)
CORKING: Double definition. Crack as in very good and also putting the stopper into a bottle of wine. 

20a         French love following Germany’s leader’s allure (7)
GLAMOUR: The French word for love, don’t forget the definite article, goes after (following) the first letter of Germany (leader).

21a         Animals creep audibly (5)
FAUNA: The generic term for animal life as opposed to vegetable is the answer. It sounds like (audibly) a creep or someone very obsequious.

23a         Cracking Queen finale (7)
RENDING: We had crack meaning very good in 18a and the surface here makes you think it’s very good again but this time it’s cracking as in splitting.  It’s the one letter abbreviation for Queen followed by a finale.

25a         European bank reversed charge, creating stress (9)
REITERATE: You need E(uropean) and a bank, of seats in a theatre perhaps, and reverse it all as it says in the clue. Then you need a word for charge as in a tradesman’s hourly charge.

26a         Especially lucky individuals, terribly exclusive at first (5)
ELITE: It’s the first letters (at first) of the other five words in the clue.

27a         Embracing sweetheart the man would notice (4)
HEED: Sweetheart here isn’t your girlfriend but is the heart of the word sweet, i.e. the letter E. Around it (embracing) you need a short way of saying ‘the man would’.

28a         Light, with hourglass figures, including the French (10)
WEIGHTLESS: This is so light as to not register at all on your kitchen scales.  You need the abbreviation for ‘with’ followed by some numbers (figures) which have the shape of an hourglass and then inset the French definite article (but it’s plural).


1d           Piece of sacred land? (4)
ACRE:  This area of land is hidden in (piece of) the word SACRED.

2d           Stand a couple of drinks (9)
SUPPORTER: You need two words for drink. The first is a common crosswordland word meaning ‘to drink’ and the second is a dark sweet ale brewed from black malt

3d           Comically entertained? I’m not sure (13)
INDETERMINATE:  An anagram (comically) of ENTERTAINED IM.

4d           Preserves made by English doctor with charity help (7)
EMBALMS: A word meaning preserves a dead body is a charade of E(nglish), one of the usual two letter doctors and then some charitable donations of money or goods to the poor.  I’ll not bother with a picture for this one if you don’t mind!

5d           Zero resistance put up in elegant pants (7)
CHRONIC:  For once pants isn’t an anagram indicator, it’s the definition, as in very bad or rubbish.  You need a two letter word for zero and the letter for electrical resistance and reverse them (put up in a down clue). Around this (in)you need a word, of French origin, meaning elegant or fashionable.

7d           Examine end of zip on dress (5)
PROBE: ‘End of zip’ is, of course, the P. After this you need a form of dress worn by a teacher or judge perhaps.

8d           Club certain to accommodate large outing (10)
DISCLOSURE:  Not outing as in a day trip but as is revealing.  It’s a sort of club where you might dance the night away (5) and a word meaning certain (4) into which is inserted (to accommodate) an L(arge).

11d         Backing account, criticise one in remark (13)
ACCOMPANIMENT: For once backing isn’t a reversal indicator, it’s the definition!  Start with the usual account (2) followed by a remark. Into this you need to insert a word meaning criticise and I (one).  Hands up those who, like me, first thought that backing account was meant to clue the letters CA.

14d         The French corruptly taking over from now on (10)
HENCEFORTH: Another unusual use of a common crosswordland device. ‘The French’ isn’t LE, LA or LES but it’s anagram fodder! You need the anagram (corruptly) of THE FRENCH and insert (taking) an O(ver).

17d         Next to godliness, practically converted by American initially (9)
ALONGSIDE: Take the last letter off (practically) GODLINES(s) and anagram what’s left (converted). Then you need to put the one letter abbreviation for American at the start (initially)

19d         Refuse starter with breakfast in service station (7)
GARBAGE: Not saying no but rubbish. Put the first letter (starter) of Breakfast into where you might get your car fixed or fueled.

20d         Herbal remedy gives new endless drive in performance (7)
GINSENG: Start with a performance, of a rock band perhaps. Into this you need to insert (in) N(ew) and a word for drive or propel without its last letter (endless).

22d         Posh evening reported for couple (5)
UNITE: Couple as a verb, stop sniggering you lot!. The usual letter for posh followed by four letters which aren’t a word but when pronounced sound like (reported) the part of the day which starts with evening and continues until the following morning.

24d         Charges iron elements’ external points (4)
FEES: The chemical symbol for iron followed by the first and last letters (external points) of ElementS.

A lot of blue today but favourite for me was 14d with 5d, 11d and 12a fighting for the other steps on the podium.

The Quick Crossword pun: peace+suck+ache=piece of cake


  1. JonP
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    It certainly took me longer to solve than the last few RayT puzzles but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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

  2. George
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    As is common with a RayT puzzle it is more about diligent searching in the Thesaurus than anything else.

    3*/1* for me.

  3. dutch
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just got 15a, it was causing me grief as well (I won’t mention my original parsing): it’s former partner + TO +abbr for right + (wrong)S. Now that it works, I can sit back and appreciate the surface.

    Not sure about the French article added to French love (20a). And I thought ‘reach’ would translate to ‘come TO’ (16a).

    However, some lovely clue writing: ‘creating stress’ (25a), ‘Next to godliness’ (25d) ‘putting stopper in crack’ (18a). Good surface in 20d (herbal remedy).

    This took me twice as long as the toughie, with some cheating – I found it hard to find the stretched synonyms, for me that detracted from the enjoyment.

    • pommers
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ta Dutch for 15a. i just spotted the TORTS meaning wrongs and didn’t bother to look any further. Not the first time I’ve been guilty of that sort of thing.

      • dutch
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

        yes, I did the same – nice potato, by the way

        • pommers
          Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

          I thought the potato a bit amusing. If you key “funny potato” into Google images you’ll get a lot more to smile at. Unfortunately many of them overstep the bounds of decency.

      • Jose
        Posted May 14, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink | Reply

        Pommers. 15a: I didn’t notice it originally, but the clue just about works without the “to right” – and that’s probably why you asked what it brings to the party in the first place. But your revised answer elicits something more fascinating – how do you type in the line which goes through the original text to strike it out? Is it a feature found only on this site, or can you do it on a Word document? How exactly do you do that?

        • Posted May 14, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink | Reply

          You can do it on this site and in a Word document.

          On here use <del> before and </del> after the text to be struck out.

          In Word select the text and then click the abc icon.

          • Jose
            Posted May 14, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

            Thank you BD. I’ve been using Word for many years and never noticed that abc icon before!

    • Senf
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      dutch – if you are still not sure about the French article in 20a, because the noun for love begins with a vowel the second letter of the article is replaced by an apostrophe (missing in the answer to this clue).

  4. Jose
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Pommers. 15a. “To right” comes from: …former partner (EX) to right (TO RT) wrong(S) finally. Giving: (EX) (TO RT) (S).

    • pommers
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ta also Jose. See reply to Dutch above.

  5. Alec
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 15a .You are correct that torts are civil wrongs. However, I read the clue as the usual abbreviation for former partner, followed by TO from the clue, followed by abbreviation for right (RT) and then the S (end of wrongs)

  6. Miffypops
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    A total delight from start to finish. My sort of puzzle every time from this setter. Ray t is a wizard and a true star. Thank you. Thanks to pommers for the review as well.

  7. crypticsue
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    I marked 1d as my top favourite purely because it is such a splendid &Lit as there is indeed a place called 1d in a ‘sacred’ land!

    Thanks to Mr T for the splendid start to my crosswording day and to Pommers too.

    • pommers
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink | Reply

      Nice one Sue. I completely overlooked the Israeli city but now I think it might be my top favourite as well :yes:

    • Hanni
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant CS. Totally missed that. Great clue.

  8. pete
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Certainly a lot trickier than most of Ray T puzzles that I remember. Very clever but above my pay grade unfortunately, I managed about two thirds of it. 3* for enjoyment and 5* for difficulty level. Many thanks to Ray T and especially to Pommers for the explanations.

  9. Jane
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Perfect and pretty much as the Quickie pun for me. Only slight hesitation came with forgetting the old schoolboy definition of 18a.
    Won’t risk the wrath of Kath by naming multiple favourites (although she probably doesn’t mind on a Ray T day!) so this is just a list of the ones I couldn’t bear to leave out:-
    12,20&28a plus 5,8,11&14d.

    Devotions to Mr. T as always and many thanks to Pommers for lavishing the well-deserved praise on this one. I notice that all our bloggers are getting very careful about the accuracy of their ornithological references these days!

    By the way – the Toughie is very ‘doable’ Hoofit.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Jane, I already have more answers in the Toughie after xx minutes than I do after staring at this for [six times as long]

      Ray-T and I mix like oil and water!!

      [Edited to remove time references. CS]

      • Jane
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Don’t give up on him, Hoofit. Once you ‘get’ Mr. T you’ll be a devotee!

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted May 12, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I certainly won’t give up on it Jane, I am working today, so unlike the rest of the week, this looks like a three-pipe problem, so eyes-down for a full house later on today…

          • Merusa
            Posted May 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Don’t worry, HIYD, I’ve been doing these things for longer than I care to think and I still can’t get on his wavelength. I just enjoy the rest of the week and do as much as I can here.

  10. neveracrossword
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As a retired lawyer, I plumped for “torts” in15a, with the former partner on the right-hand side of them. Thought some synonyms were stretched to breaking point. Glad to hear it’s been raining in Spain – should freshen things up for our next visit!
    Thank you Pommers and RayT.

  11. Kath
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree this was quite tricky – at least 3* for difficulty and 4* for enjoyment.
    As usual, for me anyway, a low anagram count adds a lot to the difficulty – think there were only three but maybe I can’t count!
    20d caused grief – the answer had to be what it was but I never did get to the bottom of why it was.
    Found the 12a hidden bird without too much trouble.
    Missed the anagram indicator in 17d and spent too much time thinking it was something to do with cleanliness – dim – this is a Ray T crossword after all!
    I liked 6 and 23a and 5d. My favourite was 14d.
    With thanks to Ray T and thanks and well done to pommers.

  12. upthecreek
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    RayT had his easy hat on today. A couple of hidden words gave a good start. Many good clues as usual with few anagrams. Liked 3 6 11 12 18 25 and 28 and was very surprised to find 1a in a RayT puzzle. Many thanks to Ray. Keep up the good work!

  13. Salty Dog
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not too hard, but well worth doing: 2*/3.5*. My favourite clue was 5d, but 28a was a strong contender. Thanks to Mr T and Pommers.

  14. Senf
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    For me, definitely the most difficult of the week (until I see what the Don gives us tomorrow) with 4 acrosses and 3 downs left open at lights out last night; three of those cleared this morning and thanks to Pommers for the remainder.

    Favourite 11d, one of those that went in this morning.

    Thanks to Ray T for a good cranial workout.

  15. Beaver
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice to have a proper crossword to solve for a change, as so far this week they have not been too challenging ,in my opinion.
    Did anyone else think that 18a also had a third meaning ,as the term’ corking’ was/is putting a filler/stopper in a crack on a boat- or am I being too obscure!
    Anyway really enjoyed the solve and a ***/***** for me too, thanks Pommers for the quality blog, glad to hear that at least one disgusting French custom is now illegal , I always thought the demise of the bird was somewhat barbaric, one good reason for the Brexit !

    • pommers
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The nautical meaning did cross my mind but it should really be spelled CAULKING. I know it’s often spelled as corking but it’s not in the BRB with that spelling.

      • Beaver
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Pommers don’t think I’ve seen the word in print.

    • Jane
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks guys – knew there was something else in the back of my mind as a possible definition but didn’t quite get there. Seem to think that we had a discussion about ‘caulking’ on the blog a while back?

  16. Hanni
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So very enjoyable. Hard to find fault so I won’t.

    LOI was 15a. I could ‘see’ what the answer was but couldn’t figure out how it worked for quite a long time.

    Too many likes to go into but favourite is 1d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Pommers for a excellent blog.

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An excellent and slightly tougher Ray T crossword than usual, but no less enjoyable. My first pass yielded five answers, but then I got on his wavelength and the rest went in fairly smoothly, with one or two hold-ups. 8 down was my last one in as I was thinking golf clubs not night clubs. 28 across just beat 5 down as my favourite.

    Grateful thanks to Ray T and Pommers. 3*/4*

  18. Heno
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. A fantastic puzzle, but quite tricky took me ages. Favourite was 28a. Last in was 1a. Was 3*/4* for me.

  19. Vancouverbc
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! I don’t know whether I didn’t spend enough time with this as our grandson arrives on Saturday so lots of preparation. Bottom line, I needed lots of help from Pommers (for whom many, many thanks) as I couldn’t work out so many of these great clues once I’d read the hints. Thanks also to the setter for bettering my logic.

    PS, the hints were visible today but not yesterday. Strange?

  20. Una
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think I’d reverse the star ratings, 5 for difficulty and 2 or 3 for enjoyment.
    18a is a very good clue. 1 d is short and sweet but extremely obvious.
    Otherwise , it took me far too long, which is my own dimness.
    Thanks to the setter and Pommers.

  21. Merusa
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Knowing this was a RayT, before sitting down I dusted off my gizmo, not used for ages, in preparation. Even so, I needed the hints for several. Somehow my brain will not tune in to his wavelength, such a shame as he seems the top pick of so many that I feel I am missing out.
    Of the ones I was able to solve, 14d was my winner with 1d runner up.
    Thanks RayT, I’ll keep on trying, promise I will, and thanks to pommers for the answers I failed to get.

    • Jane
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Merusa,
      How’s the ‘in house’ recuperation working out?

      • Merusa
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 5:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Because of my fear of narcotics, I hadn’t been taking them and had a couple of really AWFUL nights. I came to my senses and started taking them and it’s made a huge difference. Shhhhhhhh – don’t tell anyone, but I had a shot of Famous Grouse last night, promise, just one! I felt human again, and Sadie comes back tomorrow morning, hip, hip!!

        • Hanni
          Posted May 12, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Good for you! I hope you enjoyed every drop of it.

        • Jane
          Posted May 12, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Enjoy both the Famous Grouse and the pleasure in getting Sadie back home – but please tell her to be careful around your ‘hip, hip’!!!

  22. Hrothgar
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant challenge, got there eventually, after referring to my favourite dictionary five or six times.
    In my time **** for difficulty.
    Pennies taking ages to drop, 5d and 28a.
    Many thanks RayT and to pommers for the nicely illustrated review.

  23. Jaylegs
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry can’t do Thursdays ! 😰 Highlight for me was the photo that accompanied 12a possibly my favourite (because I understood the clue 😄) also 28a. Big thank you to Pommers and grudging admiration for Ray T for concocting clues such as 25a 😕

  24. e cook
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Again no click button

  25. Posted May 12, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    It was up early for me today and so a lunchtime effort rather than my usual breakfast affair, and I’m inclined to blame my slowness on that. I certainly found it rather stiff. Interestingly, it was when I was re-entering those I’d already managed after the terrible excuse for an app had wiped my answers that it all started flowing. I will admit to using a weeny bit of extra help right at the end to reach the finishing post.

    Another fail was that I made the same careless error as others with 15a. I have no excuse for that wrong.

    12a was a new bird for me, but he was hiding in plain sight so I caught him easily. :licks paws:

    I wasn’t sure at first about the second definition of 18a but now see it.

    I can normally just about stretch to accommodate RayT synonyms, but was taken right to my limits with this one. Not beyond, though I did have to 7d deep, so I’m completely satisfied.

    It’s hard, but I think my favourite – just because it’s fun – is 5d. With thanks to RayT and pommers.

    • stanXYZ
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Where have all the RayT innuendoes gone?

      Ask Kitty!

      • Jane
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

        She assures me that it’s all down to the way in which we choose to interpret her comments, Stan. I’m not so sure about that, but perhaps Mr. T would applaud her efforts?!!

        • Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Stan and Jane – I have no idea why people choose to misinterpret so much of what I say. :whistle:

          I will interpret RayT’s silence as a sign that there is nothing whatsoever untoward in my comment.

          • RayT
            Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

            All seems perfectly innocuous to me…


            • Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink | Reply


              Thanks. :good:

              • Jane
                Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Umm…… sounds more like kindred spirits to me!

            • oj
              Posted May 13, 2016 at 6:21 am | Permalink | Reply


              • Deep Threat
                Posted May 13, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink | Reply

                You’ve changed your alias. Both versions should now work.

  26. Angel
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear, suddenly today the hints are revealing all the solutions. Help, can someone please tell me what I need to do to conceal them now and in the future? TVM.

    • Angel
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hurray the problem seems to have solved itself – don’t know what caused the hiccup?

  27. Posted May 12, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Angel et al – can you try making sure that the web address starts with http:// (rather than https://)? Does that work? The site isn’t designed to work with the latter, so it’s a complete mystery as to why people are being directed there.

    • Angel
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for your response Kitty. That is indeed what I have so presumably that wasn’t the problem. Anyway let’s hope that it was just a temporary blip – onward and upward now.

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes I did not get the hints using my usual link today, and you are right Google was sending me to https today for some strange reason. When I went to the web site directly I was sent to http and then I got the hints…

      • Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the information, BusyLizzie. And welcome to the blog, by the way. :)

  28. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 6:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3*/5*. Another excellent puzzle from Ray T. I found the LHS relatively straightforward and the RHS extremely tough, but I got there in the end and it was extremely enjoyable from start to finish. Picking a favourite is oh so tough, but if you twist my arm I’ll settle for 14d.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  29. RayT
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Evening all. Many thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments.


    • pommers
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Evening Ray. A question – Was the juxtaposition of barbarous and ortolan intentional perchance?

      • RayT
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I must admit that I didn’t notice it!


        • Jane
          Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Nice of you to pop in as usual, Mr. T. Off to stay with Kath in a few weeks time so, if your ears are burning around the 10th-12th June it will just be us raising the odd glass in your name!

          • Miffypops
            Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

            I will be up in the Lake District Jane so I won’t be able to pop round to Kath’s to say hello. Sorry.

  30. silvanus
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Phew, that was tough! I made the mistake of starting this much later than normal, a very bad decision!

    Like RD, I found the RHS considerably harder than its counterpart, and that wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either.

    I thought 28a was exceptionally clever, but my “douze points” (as Eurovision is almost with us again) goes to 8d.

    Many thanks to Mr. Terrell and to Pommers, who didn’t have the easiest job today.

  31. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Really good fun from go to whoa. Lots to enjoy and a good level of difficulty. Clue word count checked and found to be in order as usual.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  32. Jon_S
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Easier than par for a Thursday, full marks for entertainment. 1d was one of my last ones in, so smoothly done the hidden word almost passed me by.

  33. Woolgatherer
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very enjoyable, and I thought approaching Toughie standard today. Many thanks to Pommers and much applause to Ray T.

  34. Gwizz
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A super crosswords! Tough and clever and very satisfying to complete. 14d was favourite and overall 4/4*.
    Thanks to Ray T and to pommers for his review.
    No comment from Brian yet I notice….

    • Merusa
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I also noticed his absence!

      • Jane
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I know it’s a wicked thought but maybe Mrs. Brian solved it all by herself and actually enjoyed it?

  35. BusyLizzie
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m definitely in the “find Ray T hard to solve” club, and would not have been able to finish without Pommers hints, thanks! 12a was a stumper as Ortolan was new to me. Don’t believe we get those here in steamy South Florida. But we did see a beautiful Painted Bunting enjoying himself in our small fountain recently, and Red Cardinals are visiting right now. 5d with pants as a definition meaning very bad was also new to me. But then a day is not wasted if you get to learn something…

  36. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A straightforward solve for me except 28a for which the even crossers stared at me for a long while sniggering and telling me “come and get me” which I did eventually.
    Didn’t get the second half of 21a.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the review.

  37. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks to Pommers and Ray T.
    Hard to know what to say except that reading the hints was an education. So much so that I shall have to read them all again to make sure that I have actually understood them!!

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Having gone though the hints again, brilliantly explained Pommers!!

      • Jane
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Good for you, Hoofit, knew you’d persevere. Now you’ll be intrigued for the next Mr. T. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked! Watch out for 26th of this month – that should be his next back-pager.

      • pommers
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Hi Hoofit and thanks for that :yes:

        Don’t worry about RayT at the moment – he’s definitely one of the harder setters. When I retired and had the time to get back to doing crosswords and then found this site (I guess about five years ago) I always struggled with Ray but now I reckon he’s one of my favourites.

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted May 13, 2016 at 6:11 am | Permalink | Reply

          Cheers Pommers, what’s the significance of the blue clues in your hints???

          • Posted May 13, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink | Reply

            You may have read the hints twice, but try going back and reading the prologue!

            • HoofItYouDonkey
              Posted May 13, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink | Reply

              Oh, right, I see.

  38. Tstrummer
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I know that many of you love RayT puzzles. I don’t. I do them, but seldom enjoy the challenge. Today was no exception. The overstretched definitions drive me to despair, then dump me by the roadside at the wrong end of a blind alley. I found this more like homework than fun – and, perhaps, trying to be a little too clever. Thanks to Pommers for help with some of the parsing (I was in the Torts camp) and a grudging nod in Mr Tyrell’s direction. 4*/1*

    • Jane
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi TS, trying to equate your roadside/blind alley allusion, but it’s making as much sense to me as Mr. T obviously does to you! Sorry about that – I’m used to us sharing fairly common ground re: setters, if not always authors!
      What progress on the shoulders?

  39. AnntheArt
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Am experiencing the same sort of “bewilderment”, is that the right word? Hope I’m being fair, as Hoofit with this one. It was somewhat beyond me I’m afraid. Before looking at the blog, though, I did solve quite a few clues and liked 21a, 6a, 28a, hourglass figures, brilliant! and 27a. But then clues such as 25a and 16a leave me reeling. Befuddled.
    So will read through the hints again and try and make sense if it all. I do agree that pommers did a great job, so thanks, and as always am in awe! Thanks to Ray T for providing the challenge which I hope to be able to rise to one day.

  40. Brian
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Mother said if you can’t find anything good to say, say nothing.

    • Jane
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      That doesn’t usually stop you, Brian! Your protestations are my second favourite thing about Mr. T days.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 13, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      I’m disappointed Brian!!
      I got up early to read your comments!!

  41. pommers
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Last word from me as it’s time for bed, or at least a last nightcap . . .

    RayT is an acquired taste perhaps, but one I have certainly acquired over the years. Tricky but fair IMO.
    Synonyms may be stretched to breaking point (and sometimes slightly beyond) but are always likely to give very satisfying d’oh moments when pennies finally drop. He’s also very good at misdirection which is what the cryptic is all about. Look at today:-
    We all know that “the French” means le, la or les – not so this time.
    and “Backing account” is obviously the usual AC for account reversed – not so again
    “pants” is an obvious anagram indicator but here it’s the definition

    All of these terms are used in wordplay where their usual meaning is staring you in the face so it takes a real effort to think outside the box to get the real intention. Great stuff.

    I really like his puzzles.

    And so to bed . . .

    • Jane
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Well said, Pommers.

      • pommers
        Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I would normally reply to this comment but I’ve gone to bed so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow.

        • Hanni
          Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I agree with what Jane said. Since you are asleep, when is Pommette back? Flight times etc.

          • pommers
            Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Day before yesterday. Sorry but I’m asleep so can’t say more.

            • Hanni
              Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Excellent news! Your dedication to sleep blogging is commendable.

  42. Angel
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I must admit I didn’t find this to be a barrow-load of fun. I thought solving the long 3d and 11d early on would be a help but that wasn’t the case. Gismo was needed for several and Pommers’ parsing for others so thanks for that and also to RayT for the real mind-bender you set us. ****/**.

  43. Shropshirelad
    Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Late on parade today and for once I’ve actually read the review and all the comments before posting. Yep, lots of Mr T’s usual style:

    Good anagrams – tick
    Hidden / reverse / initial letter clues, highly elasticised synonyms – tick
    An appearance from Her Maj – tick
    And of course ‘Brian / Barrie / whosoever’ didn’t like it – tick

    Mr T is still one of my favourite setters as he expects lateral thinking from his many followers / solvers – and – long may that continue. :smile: Just one complaint – where’s the innuendo gone?

    Far too much enjoyment to single out a particular clue but I did think the misdirection in ‘the French’ clue at 14d was splendid.

    Thanks to Ray T for the puzzle and to the ‘sleepyhead’ pommers for his usual excellent review. ‘night all.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 11:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      PS Forgot to say – ‘love the potato’ – pampers.

      I’m afraid that I really can’t be bothered to argue with the ‘spelling policeperson’ that always tells me I’m wrong and never gives me the option to ‘add to dictionary’ pampers.

      I am now asleep :cool:

  44. Florence
    Posted May 13, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

    Girls day out yesterday, hence very late start. Managed to scribble a few answers in down the side last night but had to wait until this morning to finish. Needed to check the review several times to make sure I had the right answer. Found it all a bit scary but was worth persevering. 25a caused me problems. Couldn’t get Rhineland out of my head, but plumped for my second option. Wondered if the pic in 5d was a result of various discussions over a slightly misleading 1a yesterday. Autosuggestion going on ? Thanks Pommers for the review, and RayT for the challenge.

  45. Jose
    Posted May 13, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent! Yet another cracker from Ray T – by far the best back-page setter. I’m definitely on his wavelength. 3*/4*

  46. RichardW
    Posted May 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Late comment…. I get on OK with Ray T – only needed to reach for the thesaurus for 11d. 16a was last in – I could see the answer once all the checkers were there, but I couldn’t understand what it had to do with limit. For me this was much easier than the tougie, of which I only manged 3/4!

  47. MarcusW
    Posted May 20, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you! Utterly stuck on 10a/16a until your excellent 8d…

    • Gazza
      Posted May 20, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, MarcusW.

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