DT 28124

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28124

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer has arrived, it’s already 23C and it’s only 0930CEST as I’m typing this.

Today we have a RayT and I reckon it’s at the easier end of his spectrum but hey, what do I know?  It will be interesting to see if we have the usual split in opinion about this one as the synonyms aren’t stretched too much, there’s a couple of anagrams and a few gimmes to get you going.  All-in-all I thought it was pretty good stuff.

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.


7a           Solitary sailor with parrot capsized in unending ocean (8)
SEPARATE:  Start with a three letter sailor and the usual word for parrot or copy and reverse the lot (capsized). Around this put a word for ocean, or at least part of an ocean, without its last letter (unending).

9a           University fellow accepting reading perhaps is critical (6)
URGENT:  U(niversity) followed by a fellow or man with R (reading perhaps) inserted (accepting). Could just as easily been writing or arithmetic but at least reading does actually start with an R.

10a         Face expressed relief for the audience (4)
SIDE:  The face of a cube perhaps sounds like (for the audience) a word for expressed relief.

11a         Rash? It’s nice and red, sadly (10)
INDISCREET:  It’s an anagram (sadly) of ITS NICE and RED.

12a         Goddess caught in passion by sweetheart (6)
HECATE:  A Greek goddess is a word for passion or fire with the letter for caught in cricket notation inserted (in). Finally an E, the heart of swEet.

14a         Best spot for view following bell? (8)
RINGSIDE:  Once the bell has sounded in a boxing match this is the best place to be to watch the forthcoming action.  If you like that sort of thing . . . personally I’d rather be in the bar.

15a         Supports around outside of pole for tents (6)
TEPEES:  Native American tents are supports used on a golf course placed around the outer letters (outside) of pole.  I always thought these tents had four E’s but apparently both spellings are acceptable.

17a         Doctor receiving education in charge of doctor (6)
MEDICO:  Start with one of the two letter doctors and insert (receiving) abbreviations for education and in charge.

20a         Coming back in profit, I repaid drink (8)
APERITIF:  A pre-prandial drink. It’s our first lurker and it’s  reversed (coming back in) in profit I repaid.

22a         After seeing tabloid, comprehension’s lowered (6)
SUNKEN:  One of the tabloid newspapers followed by a word for comprehension or knowledge.

23a         Scepticism as term in Dartmoor detains ringleader (10)
MASTERMIND:  The best lurker for quite some time IMHO.  The ringleader is very well hidden (detains) in scepticism as term in Dartmoor.  This was my last in. I’d convinced myself that scepticism was the definition and the term in Dartmoor was something to do with sentence, punishment or something similar with R (Ring leader) inserted (detains).  Big D’OH when the lurker suddenly de-lurked itself.


24a         A behind’s endless expanse (4)
AREA:  A (from the clue) followed by a word for your behind without its last letter (endless).

25a         Employee seen chaperoning one round town initially? (6)
ESCORT:  First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.

26a         English bird’s wintry, occasionally for ages (8)
ETERNITY:  A charade of E(nglish), a common crosswordland seabird and the the alternate letters (occasionally) of wInTrY.


1d           Unemotional sex turns up in novel (8)
RETICENT:  A two letter term for sex is reversed (turns up in a down clue) and inserted (in) into a word meaning novel as in new or lately.

2d           Peel fruit noisily (4)
PARE:  A word for to peel sounds like (noisily) a fruit.  Is that the chestnut alarm I hear?


3d           Indigenous tribe’s leader has primitive surroundings (6)
NATIVE:  Start with T (Tribe’s leader) and put around it (has . . . surroundings) a word meaning primitive or ingenuous.

4d           A nice Sun spread provides something offensive (8)
NUISANCE:  Anagram (spread) of A NICE SUN.

5d           Is sore with gang’s violent hostility (10)
AGGRESSION: Anagram (violent) of IS SORE with GANG.

6d           Iron Duke ended all disheartened, undoubtedly (6)
INDEED:  Remove the inside letters (all disheartened) from the first three words of the clue and then stitch together what’s left.  Hand’s up all those who thought ‘iron duke’ was FED and ‘all disheartened’ was AL.
iron duke

8d           Unrestrained nude about to show stomach (6)
ENDURE:  Stomach as in put up with rather than a belly. It’s an anagram (unrestrained) of NUDE followed by one of the usual abouts.

13d         Desire excessively good helping when going first (10)
ASPIRATION:  Start with a two letter abbreviation of a word which can mean excessively good or sanctimoneous and follow with a helping or portion.  Before this (going first) put a two letter word meaning when.

16d         Body about to be consumed whole (8)
ENTIRETY:  The same about as used in 8d is inserted (to be consumed) into a word meaning a body or being.

18d         Cheers after old favourite covering Queen’s musical piece (8)
OPERETTA:  O(ld) and the usual teacher’s favourite followed by a two letter word for cheers or thanks placed around (covering) the two letters for our Queen.

19d         Rough diamonds in workplace (6)
OFFICE:  Another word for rough as in unwell or below par is followed by a slang term for diamonds.

21d         Thanksgiving set up supporting first of Pilgrims (6)
PRAISE:  A word for set up placed after (supporting in a down clue) the first letter of Pilgrims.

22d         Waterlogged hole covered by turf (6)
SODDEN:  A hole or lair is after (covered by in a down clue) a piece of turf.

24d         Skinny-looking — not good? That’s relative (4)
AUNT:  Remove the G (not G(ood)) from a word meaning skinny-looking and you’re left with a female relative.

I can’t decide on a favourite. It’s either the splendid lurker in 23a or the &lit 14a but third step of the podium goes to 25a.

The Quick Crossword pun: car+chuck+old=catch a cold


  1. George
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well, as usual for a RayT I found this quite tricky and for me the synonyms are quite stretched. Much thumbing through the thesaurus required followed by the usual groans.

    3*/1* for me.

  2. Rabbit Dave
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    I leapt out of bed this morning with a spring in my heels knowing it was a Ray T Thursday, and I was not disappointed! The top half fell into place fairly smoothly but the bottom half put up quite a fight with my last one in, the lurker in 23a, eluding me for some time.

    Overall my rating was 3* for time and 5* for enjoyment. All the Ray T elements were there: brief clues; great surfaces; Her Majesty; some sex (albeit unemotional); an unrestrained nude; and an endlessly expansive behind. The sun is out here in London too – what more could one want?

    There’s no point in trying to select a favourite. The whole thing was wonderful from start to finish.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  3. Beaver
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    Certainly the trickiest puzzle of the week, especially the NW corner where I always start from habit, so going for a ***/****. Just about included the full gambit of the setters art and a pleasure to solve. Favourite was 23 across as I was completely mislead and looking for ‘ scepticism ‘.I note that Pommers has14a as a cryptic definition , I thought it was a charade made up from side for view( profile ), following ring for bell ? Anyway, excellent fare and review.

    • pommers
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

      I did wonder whether VIEW could equal SIDE but thought it a bit weak so opted for the all-in-one which works fine for me.

    • dutch
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

      yes, I also saw it as a semi-all-in-one, i.e. whole clue definition including word play. For a cd, I’d be looking for two surface readings – but pommers didn’t actually say it was a cd….

      • Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink | Reply

        Looks like a semi to me.

        • RayT
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Again, a perfectly innocent statement…


          • stanXYZ
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

            How does one spell inuendo correctly?

            Oh! Yes!


  4. pommers
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    Looks like we already have the usual split in opinion and that’s after just two comments!

    • George
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think I will ever appreciate RayT’s style of cluing. For me it is a library project using the thesaurus to validate what I think is an improbable answer to each clue and then throwing up my hands in disbelief, I much prefer puzzle that requires some thought rather than fast fingers and thumbs. But that is just my opinion – obviously there are many others who are delighted.

    • David in Bali
      Posted May 27, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink | Reply

      I agree with George. It was a bit of a slog today, and apart from a few gems, it felt more like a missing letters quiz followed by five minutes trying to figure out why each answer was what it was. For example, I got 13d, but still don’t understand why…

  5. dutch
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    Took quite a while – NW last to go in – got hung up on unemotional sex and the passionate goddess.

    Very much liked 23a and 25a – both well disguised by smooth surface – great stuff, and plenty more to like

    No sun in Macclesfield but I’m about to go to Menorca

    Many thanks pommers and RayT

  6. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink | Reply

    B****r…Where’s the Guardian!!!

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

      Try the “Toughie”

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Funnily enough Sue, I have given up on the back-pager already, first time since I started. Yet the Toughie is fine. Great fun.
        I have been through a couple of the hints of the backpager and I am very glad I have. I agree with the comment that it’s just an exercise in using a Thesaurus.

  7. Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’m a bit short of time now, so I’ll just piggyback on Rabbit Dave’s comment and say ditto to that. The only difference is that I didn’t get up until after I’d polished off the crossword (and I’m pretty sure I did no leaping). What a delightful way to start the day.

    I had exactly the same experience as pommers with 23a, and my hand is up (6d). Unlike Dutch and Beaver, for me it was the SW that took some beavering away at.

    Thanks muchly to RayT and pommers. Good job, as they say across the pond. :good:

  8. Jane
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful stuff, of course! The goddess caused a bit of head scratching despite her appearance in Hamlet – other than that, all fairly plain sailing.
    Like RD, I find it almost impossible to pick a favourite but I found 7a particularly appealing and a great surface read.

    Devotions as ever to Mr. T. and many thanks to Pommers for the review and the brilliant Two Ronnies sketch.

    Anyone who, like me, was somewhat disheartened by the Tues/Weds Toughies should give today’s PJ a try – a real confidence booster!

  9. Ora Meringue
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink | Reply

    Just not on the right wavelength at all today….but I’ll keep at it.

    Thanks to the setter and to pommers for the hints which were much needed.

  10. crypticsue
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    I’m going for Wrong Envelope Day (and I’m not alone in this opinion) as the Ray T took quite a bit longer than the ‘Toughie’.

    Enjoyable as ever, thank you Ray, I’m just saying it was creeping towards the Beam end of the Ray T spectrum..

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Same here. I thought it was a swap from the crossword editor.

      • Miffypops
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Me too with more like a toughie

    • Heno
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree it was tough, but I don’t think it was a wrong envelope because Beam doesn’t have any anagrams.

  11. pete
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    I usually like Ray T’s offerings but this didnt do anything for me. I managed to get about half way and sorry to say I lost interest, every clue was like pulling teeth. Judging by others comments a lot of people liked it, goes to show you cant please everyone.

  12. mre
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good afternoon everybody.

    The usual thrashing from Mr T with the north west corner entirely (7,12,15a 1,2,13d) eluding me. C’est la vie.


  13. Jose
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent, excellent, excellent! Another cracker form Ray T. Wish we could have one of these on the back page every day. 3.5*/4.5*

    • crypticsue
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I just wish we could have the crossword actually on the back page every day!

      • neveracrossword
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Just wait for the next stock market crash. When the FOOTSIE was in the doldrums earlier this year, the back-page adverts largely disappeared.

      • Jose
        Posted May 27, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink | Reply

        CS. Absolutely! I photocopy the crosswords from the DT and Manchester Evening News (which actually comes out in the early morning) at my local library. I hate it when the DT’s appears on the penultimate page because I have to turn the leaf back and fold it into an A4 size. Then, the MEN ones are always on a random page and you have to search the entire paper to find them! Luckily, being in a library, I can only swear in frustration under my breath – especially if there’s a queue to use the machine. Arrrrrgh!!!!!

  14. JonP
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with pommers that this was at the easier end of the RayT spectrum, but certainly a most enjoyable solve.

    Thanks to pommers and RayT */****

    • neveracrossword
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink | Reply


  15. Kath
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wonderful but certainly more than 2* difficulty for me – at least 4* for enjoyment.
    The bottom left corner was my sticking point, not helped by having ‘entirely’ for 16d – don’t ask me why – dim!
    I confess to having to look at a list of goddesses to find 12a – she sounds like a nasty piece of work.
    I was feeling so smug having found the hidden and reversed lurker two clues before 23a that I missed that one.
    22d took ages for some reason.
    I liked 7 and 11a and 6 and 24d. I think my favourite has to be 23a. I also really liked the Quickie pun.
    With thanks to Ray T for such a great crossword and to pommers for such a great set of hints.
    Nice sunny day – off to battle with more weeds.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Forgot to mention it the other day but your carrot/parrot story made me smile :good:

  16. upthecreek
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great fare from RayT as usual. Liked the hidden words which gave me a start. Only 3 anagrams which is good. My favourite was 24a as it made me chuckle but also enjoyed 1 3 12 14 15 17 20 both 22s and 23. Are there any left? Thanks to RayT – keep them coming.

  17. Werm
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Best puzzle of the week imho. Thanks to RayT and Pommers , especially for the Two Ronnies sketch, the older I get the more I enjoy them and I loved them already when I was a kid

    • Kath
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Have a look at the Two Ronnies crossword sketch.

      • pommers
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

        • Kath
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

          :smile: and a :rose: for you.

        • stanXYZ
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Some lovely hints and tits tips from the Two Ronnies!

        • BusyLizzie
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Thank you for this great clip. We always enjoy the two ronnies, and don’t recall seeing this one before. Perfect!

      • BusyLizzie
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thank you Kath for this clip, made us both roar with laughter, what a great piece of comedy and a trip down memory lane…

        • Kath
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I love it too but don’t thank me, thank pommers.

  18. Florence
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    As a fairly new RayT convert I found this more difficult than previous weeks. Not helped by printing it off and realising printer was on landscape not portrait, so was on two sheets of paper. Also hindered by the fact I’ve gone to London to my sons flat and don’t have a BRB to hand. Struggled, struggled and struggled some more. 23a my favourite despite trying to make an anagram of Dartmoor plus various combinations of other letters. I couldnt get 12a…. I had it written in the border spelt with a ‘k’ but couldn’t parse it. Only works if spelt with a ‘c’. Not sure how I would star rate this one. Enjoyment was overtaken by frustration, but that’s just my poor solving ability. Thanks to Pommers and to RayT.

  19. Senf
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Five unanswered at lights out last night (3 acrosses and 2 downs) and no additional inspiration when I woke up this morning. So, thanks to Pommers for helping me to complete the puzzle.

    Like Pommers and Kitty, I went the same way on 23a, but that does not stop it being my favourite.

    Thanks to Ray T.

  20. Bluebird
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I did so badly on this that I couldn’t even enjoy it.
    Went in at the wrong angle on at least half of it….what WAS the name of that sailor in Treasure Island?
    Please instead of praise.
    Couldnt spell tepees, (well the iPad is getting it right, at least). We’re having them at our daughters wedding and they’re called “tipis”…….who knew?
    Don’t think of reticent as being unemotional, just unwilling to show it.

    I could go on but I won’t……….well done the rest of you.

    • Beaver
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ben Gunn Bluebird-and if I remember he liked cheese!

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Bribed by the squire with a piece of Parmesan, I think!!

    • Jose
      Posted May 27, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink | Reply

      Just for the record, both tepee and teepee are correct.

  21. Young Salopian
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 2:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    NW corner held me up and pushed me into 3* for difficulty. I don’t think I was quite on Ray T’s wavelength today, but I struggled through and got there in the end. 23 across was a top lurker, and I liked 26 across as well. 10 across my last one in.

    3*/4* overall, the enjoyment pushed up a notch by the relative difficulty. Thanks Ray and Pommers.

    • Omar
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Exactly the same for me!

  22. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    1d, am I understanding the hint correctly that ‘IT’ is a synonym for ‘SEX’?????

    • pommers
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      From Collins, definition number 8 for IT:-

      8. (informal)
      a. sexual intercourse
      b. sex appeal

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Pommers.
        The next time a member of the female sex asks me if I want ‘it’, I will know what to do!!!

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I thought IT was what BD and Gazza used to do …

        • Kath
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

          That was just the pictures they used before the PC brigade stepped in and made life difficult.

  23. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found it a bit tougher than usual too.
    The right side went in quite smoothly but the left was a different kettle of fish.
    Writing “teepes” in 15a didn’t help.
    And the goddess was a no no.
    Such a wonderful language when a parrot can be an ape.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the review.

  24. Vancouverbc
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ***/***. Enjoyable and rewarding when the pennies dropped. Favourites were 23a and 6d. Never heard of the goddess but fortunately Mr Google had. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review.

    • HoofItYouDonkey
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I think she makes a guest appearance in Macbeth, not a very nice Goddess, this one.

  25. jean-luc cheval
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to BD for the pics from the different meetings.

  26. Merusa
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Not surprisingly, I am firmly in the camp of those that found this very difficult and obscure. I cannot hit RayT’s wavelength, and I left several undone – all on the LHS, needing the hints to finish.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for bailing me out in the end!

  27. ShropshireLad
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, my brain was definitely off ‘beam’ today. Nothing whatsoever to do with the puzzle – just me being slow as, when I finished it, I wondered why it had taken me so long to do so. Not my finest hour.

    Lots of good clues but the first past the post today has to be the 23a ‘lurker’ – quite brilliant imho.

    Thanks to Ray T for the workout and to pommers for his usual excellent review.

    • ShropshireLad
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Forgot to say – Mrs SL and I are off to Twickenham this weekend. So I hope you all have a good weekend and I’ll probably ‘see’ you next Tuesday. :smile:

      • Young Salopian
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I hope you enjoy the match. Saracens and Exeter were easily the most consistent teams in the Premiership, although my own team Wasps were sometimes more exciting without the resolute defence. It still seems daft that you can win the league after 22 games but have to prove yourself all over again in knockout playoffs.

        • Miffypops
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

          The powers that be will not stop tinkering.

        • ShropshireLad
          Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I venture to say that money might have something to do with it. :whistle: As you’re probably well aware – instead of the top team in the Championship being promoted automatically, they have a series of play offs to decide who will go up. Why don’t they have a play off amongst the bottom teams in the Premiership to see who gets relegated to the Championship?

          Oh. I remember – Bath may have been involved in that and, if they were relegated, they’d never get back into the Premiership as the ‘Rec’ doesn’t meet Premiership standards. Wasn’t that the reason they stopped the ‘2 up, 2 down’?

          • Young Salopian
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

            You cynic. Harsh but fair.

          • Jane
            Posted May 26, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

            What? Who? Why?

            • ShropshireLad
              Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I’ll explain it all to you when come to stay – although if your eyes start to glaze over I’ll strengthen your spirit with a glass of Malbec :cool:

            • Hanni
              Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Rugby Jane. Ridiculous promotion rules.

              • Jane
                Posted May 26, 2016 at 9:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Ah – that answers one question. I thought the Premiership was to do with football!

                • ShropshireLad
                  Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:10 am | Permalink | Reply

                  NEVER, EVER FOOTBALL – yes, I know I’m shouting :cool:

                  • Hanni
                    Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:19 am | Permalink | Reply

                    Leicester won football. I so know football (ta RD).

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted May 27, 2016 at 7:16 am | Permalink | Reply

          I am off to Wembley on Sunday for the League 1 play-off Final.
          COME ON YOU LIONS!!!

  28. Dr M
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tricky especially the NW corner. Don’t think it was actually a toughie in disguise as I managed to do more than 3 clues!! Eventually completed it although I needed the hints for 1d and the goddess. Thanks to RT and pommers.

  29. Miffypops
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Golly Bongs. That was tough.

  30. pommers
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nipping out for a 20a in the next village while pommette gets a haircut so see y’all later.

    BTW, the goddess must have turned up in a previous crossword somewhere as I knew her – and I’m no classics scholar!

  31. Salty Dog
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A nice warm-up for the Toughie after supper. 2*/3.5*, I think. My favourite would have been either 18 or 19d, but although I enjoyed them both, that enjoyment pales into insignificance beside that gained from watching the Two Ronnies “Mastermind” sketch! Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  32. paso doble
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Amusing Ray T puzzle today with some very clever clues…not too tricky but very enjoyable . We agree with the Pommels assessment of **/****

  33. Una
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Golly Bongs is a very mild expression.Reverse the star ratings.
    I am beginning to doubt I will ever appreciate Ray T.

  34. fran
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Too many vague synonyms but if you have a thesaurus why not use it , and when that fails go electronically ; Having said that the bottom half fell into place relatively easily but the NW had me stumped and I had to use three hints — sacre bleu , grrrr. I am on the brexeit side when it comes to this setter , but thanks anyway Ray T you do seem to have a cult following . Liked 14a and 23a but spotted the lurker immediately ; disliked 12a and 2d . Thanks to pommers for much needed help ****/*

  35. Heno
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I dunno about 2* difficulty, I thought this was one of the hardest puzzles for a long time on the back page. I was on the point of giving up after I had only got 9 answers. However, I persevered and once I got 3 down, I picked ’em off one at a time. Favourite was 23a, was my penultimate, took me so long to notice it was a lurker. Last in was 6d, mainly because I had 11a ending with an island :-) Was 4*/4* for me.

  36. Collywobbles
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, I made it but not without a great deal of confirming with the hints. Many thanks Pommers and RayT for another enjoyable one

  37. RayT
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Evening all. Many thanks to pommers for the review and to all for your comments. As always, much appreciated.


    • ShropshireLad
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Evening sir, I wasn’t on your wavelength today – don’t know why. Anyway, that was down to me and not you :smile: . I thought that 23a was one of the best clues I’ve seen in a long time – loved it.

      As ever, it’s always appreciated that you ‘drop in’ to say hello.

      • mre
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Oh aye, 23a was a very good clue.

    • Jane
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Mr. T. As usual, your puzzle divided the commenters into two distinct camps. I would think that you probably derive a great deal of satisfaction from that!
      Keep ’em coming…..

  38. Hanni
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Golly bongs indeed.

    Found this tough going…tougher than the Toughie…but plenty of smiles inc the goddess, the doctor getting an education and 24a.

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

    • Hanni
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Forgot to add that favourite is the amazing hidden in 23a. Brilliant.

  39. silvanus
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So late to comment on this one that even our esteemed setter has beaten me to it today!

    Gardening took priority over crosswords until late afternoon, so I was relieved that it was at the gentler end of the RayT spectrum, although I found the left side a tad trickier than the right. Favourite clue (and LOI) was 7a, but there were many other candidates for the podium. Mr. Terrell has a merit point deducted by me however for the repetition of the two letter word for “about” in both 8d and 16d.

    Many thanks to our alternate Thursday setter and to Pommers. Much more like May should be today thankfully, rather than yesterday’s March-like weather.

    • Jose
      Posted May 27, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      This is the DT cryptic, not Radio 4’s Just a Minute – where you get penalised for “repetition” :-)

  40. 2Kiwis
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We are great RayT fans so are definitely in the ‘loved it’ camp. Had the some trouble as many others spotting the lurker in 23a. Clue word count checked and spot on once again.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  41. Tstrummer
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found it very slippery indeed and it took three sittings to cross the finishing line. Ray and I are seldom in synch and today was no exception. I did like 23a when I finally saw it. Ta to Pommers and Mr T. 4*/3*

    • ShropshireLad
      Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:26 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hope all is going well on your recovery TS. When will be the next meeting?

  42. John Batten
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Easier end of the spectrum, you must be joking. I think you have been doing these too long to assess their difficulty.

    • pommers
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog John

      It’s all in the wavelength thingy. If you read all the comments there are a lot saying it was hard and a lot agreeing with my ratings – even one saying only one star difficulty. We rates them as we see them and it’s only a personal opinion.

      Hope to see you on here again soon.

    • ShropshireLad
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi and welcome John. I don’t normally have any problem with a Ray T Thursday back page production but, for whatever reason, I didn’t manage to get on his ‘wavelength’ today and it was a bit of a struggle. As pommers has said though, it’s all in the wavelength. Hope you become a regular commenters.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi from me too John,

      As Pommers and SL have said it really is often a wavelength thing and it is always just a personal opinion. I found this quite hard.

      Hope you keep commenting.

  43. Steve in St A
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Too nice a day for this 2 star (thought higher personally) difficulty crossword. Out on my bike with our club to a nice pub with tea and a cake on the way back. Our oldest cycling member is 85 and he had a great day out too. Started this crossword late afternoon and after half an hour went straight to Pommers for hints and tips. Life is just too short. Any chance of having tough crosswords only on rainy winter days?

  44. Jon_S
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ***, maybe **** for difficulty today. A lot of that was spent agonising over 23/22ac and 22d. Yes, the first one was a hidden word, I know. Yes, I have a blind spot concerning them. :-) A good Thursday puzzle…

  45. BusyLizzie
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m definitely in the “found it tough” club today. Managed to finish but needed hints for more than half and felt quite stupid, so encouraging to read that I am not alone in finding today’s puzzle a struggle. Thanks Pommers, couldn’t have done it without you. Thought 2d was rang, taking o and e away from orange, and rang seemed to fit peel. Oops. But when I do get a Ray T clue unaided, it does feel great!

  46. pommers
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh well, I’m not sure why but there always seems to be more divergence of opinion on RayT day than any other. I think I must be getting on his wavelength because I really didn’t find this very hard at all. Certainly solved quicker than usual for a RayT so easier than average. Maybe John Batten #42 is right or perhaps I should just get out more.

    Anyway, off to bed now as pommette has just poured a glass of vino collapso and asked if I want it – must be my lucky day :yahoo:

    G’night all :bye:

    • ShropshireLad
      Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:31 am | Permalink | Reply

      A tad too much information on ‘it’ there pommers. :whistle:

  47. Robin Newman
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    some very good clues, I think
    enjoy your well earned vino collapso Pommers

  48. Jaylegs
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Just another Thursday 😰 Thanks to Pommers for the blog and to Ray T for totally banjaxing me 😕 Did have a sneaking liking for 7a 😉

  49. pommers
    Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Unfortunately the IT pommette was referring to was the glass of wine itself and not the IT in 1d so I’ve not gone to bed but am still here drinking said glass and watching an old episode of Bullseye on ChallengeTV – how sad is that?

    • Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      There’s nothing sad about enjoying it by yourself sometimes. :)

      • pommers
        Posted May 26, 2016 at 11:17 pm | Permalink | Reply


        • ShropshireLad
          Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink | Reply

          Enough – there’s nowt wrong with a bit of Bully.

  50. Expat Chris
    Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:10 am | Permalink | Reply

    Kicking myself hard! I was so stuck in the SW corner for ages, but then 23A dawned on me (how did I miss that!) and then 21D and 25A fell into place. Now I can go and cook dinner in peace. Thanks Pommers and Ray T.

    • Hanni
      Posted May 27, 2016 at 12:16 am | Permalink | Reply

      Chris…never kick yourself on general principle…but certainly not about 23a….the best ‘hidden’ I think I have seen in a long time. Superb clue.

      Enjoy your dinner…hope it’s not shrimp :wink:

  51. Angel
    Posted May 27, 2016 at 1:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    This simply didn’t float my boat at all and I was far off completing when I decided to call it a day/night and check the hints for at least 50 percent of the clues. They were an enjoyable read so thank you Pommers and also RayT but you did rather leave me cold this week. I was relieved to discover I wasn’t alone in finding it an uphill task. Can’t even nominate a Fav. *******/*.

  52. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted May 27, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love Ray-T puzzles…
    When I looked at this yesterday morning. After two passes, I could not get one answer, and I usually finish the DT backpager, sometimes with a few hints. So I abandoned it and did the Toughie, which I finished with a couple of hints.
    The reason that I love them is because it generates such a wonderful blog. Pommers hints are compelling reading for me as they are amusing and allow me to understand the answers. The diversity of opinion created is like no other on here, a real marmite blog.
    Congratulations to those that finished this.
    Thanks to Pommers for a wonderful set of hints and managing such an amusing blog.
    Many thanks to Ray-T too, I will probably never be able to do your crosswords, but I love the diversity of opinion they create.

  53. Alan
    Posted May 27, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink | Reply

    Will be kicking myself over 23 for a while.

  54. DaveK
    Posted May 27, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Could’nt do this one even with electronic help. Also peeled orange for 2 down (rang). Could not find nuisance in thesaurus as offensive.🤔

    • Posted May 27, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink | Reply

      A small change to your alias has put your comment into moderation. Either will work now.

      Chambers has, as its second definition of nuisance:
      * That which is offensive to the senses
      so I think it works as a attributive noun (noun being used as an adjective), as in “Nuisance smells can be caused by problems with agricultural practices like spreading slurry or sludge onto land” (from a .gov.uk website).

  55. Gwizz
    Posted May 27, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Curses Moriarty, I forgot to comment yesterday. I thought like Pommers that this was a benign Ray T. 23 a was out and out favourite simply because it was just not obvious! Very clever. 2/3* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and the Two Ronnies clip.

Leave a Reply, but please read the Comment Etiquette (under Contact on the menu) first, especially if you are asking a question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *