DT 28160

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28160

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hola from the Vega Baja where it’s very hot and humid and I’ve just heard a rather loud clap of thunder.

I’m pretty sure this is a RayT production as we have the Queen, some innuendo including a nude star and a lot of stretched synonyms.  I rather enjoyed the challenge but I know there will be the usual complaints as there are some whoppers today. Overall it didn’t cause too many problems but perhaps a tad trickier than Ray’s recent offerings.

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.


1a           Combat with lives in balance (6)
RESIST:  A word meaning lives or exists is inserted (in) into a word for the balance, as in what’s left over.  This sets the tone for the rest of the puzzle. Fair but slightly obscure.

4a           Radio set used to find celestial body (8)
ASTEROID:  Anagram (used) of RADIO SET.

9a           Physical resistance found in Tube (6)
CARNAL:  Start with a tube or duct and insert (found in) the abbreviation of Resistance.

10a         Lady exposes Mellors’s rear, holding on (8)
BARONESS:  This lady is a titled one.  She’s a word meaning exposes or undresses followed by the last letter (rear) of Mellors with the ON from the clue inserted (holding).

11a         More corpulent and porky right after drink (8)
PORTLIER:  Start with a drink of fortified wine and after it put a porky pie and R(ight).  Not sure which is the better word here – the answer or ‘corpulent’.

13a         Films covert agency employing flipped operatives (6)
CINEMA:  The usual US covert agency has inserted (employing) some operatives or workers but they are reversed (flipped).

15a         Ban nude star sketchily covering up — too common (13)
SUPERABUNDANT:  Anagram (sketchily) of BAN NUDE STAR placed around (covering) UP.

18a         Erudite men sat around giving inferior judgement (13)

22a         Aircraft proceeds slowly following battle’s opening (6)
BLIMPS:  These are aircraft because they fly but they aren’t aeroplanes. Start with a B (Battle’s opening) and follow with a word meaning proceeds slowly, perhaps because you have a sore foot.

24a         Queen backing about arrangement for instrument (8)
RECORDER:  Reverse (backing) the usual two letters for Queen, follow with a single letter for about and lastly a word meaning arrangement and you’ll get a woodwind instrument.

26a         United, wearing team colour, worked out (8)
REASONED:  You need to start with a phrase (2,3) meaning united or in unison and around it (wearing) you need to put the colour of the shirts of a famous United football team.

27a         Burn energy taking runs (6)
STREAM:  This is a burn in Scotland.  It’s R(uns) inserted (taking) into some energy.

28a         Tortured artist swallows Ecstasy before English essay (8)
TREATISE:  Anagram (tortured) of ARTIST with E(cstasy) inserted (swallows) and then E(nglish).

29a         Defeated European saint buried in part of garden (6)
BESTED:  E(uropean) and the usual saint are inserted (buried in) a part of the garden where flowers grow.


1d           Formula developed about energy and speed of light (6)
RECIPE:  Start with a word meaning developed as in ready to eat and place it around E(energy) and the letter which represents the speed of light.

2d           ‘Shocked‘ almost certainly peeped hiding Sun (9)
SURPRISED:  Take a word for certainly without its last letter (almost) and follow with a word meaning peeped, as in was a bit nosy, and then insert (hiding) an S(un).

3d           Cooked sliced potato ring in dip (7)
SCALLOP:  A sliced potato dipped in batter and fried is a word for ring on the phone inserted into a word meaning to dip or soak in a liquid.

5d           False alarm ends — quiet ahead (4)
SHAM:  Take the two ends of AlarM and before them (ahead) put a two letter exclamation requesting silence.

6d           Movement Number One with volume turned up (7)
EMOTION:  Start with the abbreviation of number followed by I (one) and then a large volume or book and reverse the lot (turned up in a down clue).  Not sure about movement as the definition.

7d           Overly big? Excessive size evident initially (5)
OBESE:  First letters (initially) of the other five words in the clue.  I’ve corrected the typo in the web version. Was it OK in the paper?

8d           Horror from nudist as ‘textiles’ gathered round (8)
DISTASTE:  Our first lurker.  It’s hidden (gathered round) in nudist as textiles.

12d         Trespasser gendarme traps climbing exit (6)
EGRESS:  And our second lurker, but this one’s backwards (climbing in a down clue).  It’s in trespasser gendarme.

14d         Make liquid boil, say, for serving up (6)
OBLIGE:  Make as in to make someone do something.  It’s an anagram (liquid) of BOIL followed by the usual two letters for ‘say’ or for example reversed (serving up in a down clue).

16d         Close partners in heartless mistrust after a change (9)
AMENDMENT:  Start with the A from the clue.  After that you need MT (heartless M(istrus)T) and into that lot you need to insert (in) a word meaning close or finish and some partners as in husbands or male sexual partners.  The bit about the partners comes from the BRB and partner comes up as a synonym in Collins but not the other way round.  Pushing things a bit too far IMHO.

17d         Grate temperature rising in fire’s flare-up (8)
OUTBURST:  A word for grate, as in chafe, and T(emperature) are reversed (rising in a down clue) and inserted into (in) a word meaning fire or sack.

19d         Relationship of Left under attack (7)
RAPPORT:  The nautical word for left placed after (under in a down clue) a word for attack or knock.

20d         Evangelist to lapse improperly (7)
APOSTLE:  Anagram (improperly) of TO LAPSE.

21d         Conceived and nourished eating butter? (6)
FRAMED:  A word meaning nourished or given food has inserted (eating) an animal which might butt you if it’s in a bad mood.

23d         Rodent caught inside that is furious (5)
IRATE:  A three letter rodent inserted (inside) the two letters for ‘that is’.

25d         The French start to strike? Not so much (4)
LESS:  The in French (but it’s plural) followed by an S (start to Strike).

Since I wrote the preamble it has started peeing down big time.  There’s some good clues here but my favourite was 27a for it’s rather clever definition.

P.S.  It’s stopped raining and the sun’s come out to play!

The Quick Crossword pun: bar+gut+hell=bagatelle


  1. George
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, a RayT – enough said.

  2. Tom Darby
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Why does Ray T always make it just so difficult!! Rather spoils a Thursday morning!

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink | Reply

      It rather makes mine. It wouldn’t do for us all to be the same.

      • Jose
        Posted July 9, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I’d be happy with a Ray T every single day…

  3. Miffypops
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not in blue where I am sitting Pommers.

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      Knew I’d forgotten something,d’oh!

  4. Rabbit Dave
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink | Reply

    5*/3*. My goodness that was tough with the NE corner putting up the most resistance. A wrong envelope day? As a great Ray T fan I did find most of today’s offering enjoyable. However, uncharacteristically in my opinion for one of his puzzles, there were several clues that seemed overcontrived and rather impenetrable, which took a bit of the gloss off it for me.

    I’m always somewhat suspicious when a setter resorts to using quotation marks, and both examples today resulted in clunky surfaces. A few clues (26a, 3d & 17d) took me a long time to parse, and for 16d I couldn’t come up with a sensible explanation why “partners” should lead to the second occurrence of “men” in the answer. I did consider pommers’ explanation in his excellent review but ruled it out as being implausible.

    27a was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    P.S. Yes there is a letter missing in the clue for 7d in the paper.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      26ac threw me. 3d made me smile. I eat scallops from the sea often and could never understand why chip shops in Coventry sold slices of potato battered and fried and called the scallops. 17d was a bung in which I didn’t bother parsing. Reference partners meaning men. I always expect BD to post something like BRB Partners – definition No 48 Men. I had a letter in each light and that suited me.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink | Reply

        For scallop, Collins on-line dictionary says (inter alia):
        mainly Australian a potato cake fried in batter

        … or should that be amended to mainly in Coventry?

        • Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Scallops were available in nearly every chippy I visited in Leeds and York and many other places “up North”.

          • pommers
            Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Available in most chippies in Manchester when I was a lad.

        • Miffypops
          Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Once I made the upward move from Berni Inns (gosh we were sophisticated) to better restaurants I would not choose scallop because I thought it was the same as the chip shops. That’s what happens to the poorly schooled

          • Rabbit Dave
            Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink | Reply


          • pommers
            Posted July 7, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Berni Inns takes me back a bit. Fond memories of prawn cocktail followed by steak and chips with Black Forest Gateau for pud, not forgetting the bottle of Blue Nun or Mateus Rose if you were feeling adventurous :lol:

            • Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

              I was at Uni in Bristol, the home of Berni Inns, in the early sixties. From memory Chicken in a Basket was 4/3d (21.5p) if you had leg and 4/6d (22.5p) for breast. As an impoverished student I couldn’t afford pud or wine.

          • BusyLizzie
            Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Berni Inns, that takes me back. Went there as a special treat while we were saving up to get married (in the good old 60s) And yes we did think we were sophisticated youngsters back then 😊

        • The Bear
          Posted July 7, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I had one the other week – Wirral…

        • RogBrown
          Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

          They’re called potato fritters in E Mids.

      • Merusa
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I went with “scalloped potatoes” as close enough in a very esoteric puzzle.

      • Michael
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I’ve never heard of 3d as a fried potato – maybe it’s Northern thing like deep-fried Mars Bars or something – it’s in the BRB so it must be right if not more than a little obscure!

        Apart from that the puzzle was tough, on the verge of being beyond my ability – mind you that’s not saying much!


    • Bluebird
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

      The 7d clue was correct in my paper.

      • Rabbit Dave
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink | Reply

        Bluebird, are you sure? I would have thought that all the printed copies would be produced from the same master. The second “i” is missing from initially. I didn’t spot it at first because it is very easy to see what you expect to see.

        • Bluebird
          Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Yes, you’re right Dave.
          My excuses:
          1. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, so don’t notice thin letters when it doesn’t substantially change the meaning.
          2. “The effects of set on perception”; the title of the first essay I did in my first degree.
          3. It was a pretty straightforward clue so no going back to check and mull over and dredge through letters.
          4. Even when I did go back and check ( before my post) I still couldn’t see it (I refer you to excuse 2).

          Colleagues will be relieved to know I do wear distance glasses for driving!😅

          • Merusa
            Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Like you, I completely missed it until RD pointed it out!

  5. Miffypops
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

    A joy from start to finished which strangely enough occurred shortly after I realised 26ac wasn’t realised. Once sorted 19d went straight in and the all answers correct banner flashed up. I do enjoy tussling with RayTs mind. Truly it works in mysterious ways. Well done West Spain for beating West England last night. And many thanks to yesterday’s centre court players for giving us ten sets of wonderful sport. A day off today ready for Friday’s excitement. Thanks to Pommers and thanks to Ray T

    • Bluebird
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I enjoyed yesterday’s Wimbledon, but did anyone catch the red button match ( no commentary – hurrah!) – an invitation men’s doubles with 3 Swedes and Ivanisevic. Having massive fun on a No 1 court that was sadly only 30% full at 8pm?
      Lots of mucking about with chairs, ball boys and girls playing and even at one stage, the umpire, and an overlarge pink ball later autographed by GI for a small boy.

      • Miffypops
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I always liked the fun when Saint Sharon and I regularly attended The Championship. Always after the main serious entertainment. It meant we got to see the stars of yesteryear. The Wimbledon crowd are easily amused.

  6. Beaver
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Difficult parsing today, some charades somewhat ‘clunky-16d for example.
    Going to agree with Pommers at ***/***, nearly put sunburst for 17d then thought that the correct solution fitted better-admit I needed Pommers to unravel the wordplay-thanks-more like a toughie standard clue.
    Liked 28a, raining in Cheshire !

  7. Bluebird
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    It was the SW corner that gave me trouble, with several vaguely right answers for 17d and, like MP, I tried to go with realised for 26a. I did put the correct answer in once I got the relationship in 19, but I never saw ” as one” meaning United.

    To be admired, with hindsight, but nevertheless, a bit of a slog for me.
    Tried to pick a favourite but nothing springs out. Maybe 12d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

    PS could we have some Summer, please?

  8. Domus
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    I always finish these puzzles- but not today! Gave up with 4 to go; God bless pommers

  9. Una
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am pretty much the same as Domus , towards the end I just couldn’t be bothered anymore.
    Unfortunately I never heard of 22a and the connection between 6d ‘s solution and its definition is pretty sketchy.
    Onwards and upwards.
    Thanks to all concerned.

  10. pete
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have to thank Pommers for his much needed help in sorting out the clues. I can usually do Ray T;s puzzles, but not today, too much like hard work and very little pleasure as far as I am concerned.

  11. upthecreek
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Another great offering from RayT. Plenty of nudge nudge and a couple of lurkers as usual. So many good clues of which I picked out 5 7 10 11 12 19 21 22 and the best one 26. Thanks to RayT – what a great way to spend Thursday morning.

  12. Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    17d was much easier after I’d given up trying to parse sunburst. I was stuck for a while on 1a, 9a and 3d; got 9a, but had to get help with 3d before I could finish. Oh well. I’m on holiday and just about to head out for a picnic so it would take more than that to dampen today.

    I found this lots of fun with some pleasing surfaces. The physicist in me likes 1d even though it was an easy one. I also like the cheeky stuff, naturally. I have heard whispers that Kath is now allowing multiple favourites, but my list is rather long so I won’t push it.

    Many thanks to RayT and pommers.

  13. Jane
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    More great stuff from Mr. T although I suspect he had his other hat on for some of these. Lord knows what Brian will have to say about it……..
    22a seems to be fast becoming the word of the month.
    Have to confess to checking up on the letter that represents the speed of light.

    Thought the ‘men’ in 16d were acceptable as used in the phrase ‘comrades-in-arms’ but not quite as convinced by movement = emotion. Perhaps it works if you think of emotion = inclination?

    Plenty of ticks but my top two were 26&27a.

    Devotions to Mr. T and many thanks to Pommers for a great blog and the recorder piece at 24a. Don’t recall the instrument sounding quite as good when the daughters were learning!

    • Rabbit Dave
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

      For 6d, could it be that e-motion is an electronic movement? :wink:

      • Jane
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Not bad at all, RD. Mr. Google has plenty of answers for e-motion including pens, pencils, wheelchairs and counselling for young people in Brighton and Hove!

    • Brian
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The letter for the speed of light was the only bit I found easy. All Ray T crosswords should be confined to the Toughie in my opinion but hey what do I know!

      • Kell
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 9:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I agree. This was far too difficult for the back page.

        • HoofItYouDonkey
          Posted July 8, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink | Reply

          It does seems a bit strange to have two Toughies on the same day??
          As to whether they should be confined to the Toughie page?? I disagree. Ray-T’s crossword a couple of weeks back, I completed and I thought it was a brilliant crossword. Some will be relatively easy, and some will be very difficult, like this.
          The moral of the story is that solvers are of a wide range of abilities and ones that I can solve will be a major disappointment to the Ray-T fans, and vice-versa.

  14. Hathersage John
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Intellectually I must be at a low ebb today as I found the Sudoku difficult, although Mrs H waltzed through it as usual. Each day I warm up with Codeword, quick crossword and Sudoku in that order, before starting the cryptic. As usual for a Thursday, I found this a real grind through from start to finish. Got there in the end, lots of effort but not very enjoyable so ***/** from me.

    Summer’s over now in the Peak District – windy, muggy and drizzly. Yuk.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The mini sodoku on the toughie page distracts me. I have found the ideal way to treat sodoku puzzles is to write the number one in every blank square and be done with it.

      • Hathersage John
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Ha! That is brilliant. What always intrigues me is the need for Sudoku solutions to be published – do people really look at these next day and say ‘ oh, that’s where the 6 should have been’?
        Still have a regret that as an on-line subscriber only I don’t get a chance to try the Toughie – wish they could find space to include it somewhere.

        • Miffypops
          Posted July 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

          They have the space. The D Word could make way for it on a Thursday. What a load of drivel that is.

  15. Mary
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hola Pommers from dull, cold, wet West Wales, please send some sunshine our way :-) , I really didn’t like this one today, after a good start I came to a screeching halt! Had to have loads of ‘help’ to finish it, tho didn’t need the blog, I thought some of the readings were awful e.g. 2d!
    Never mind, done and dusted, dog to be walked if the rain should stop! Thanks for blog Pommers, enjoy the sun :-(

    • Merusa
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      How is Caia (spelling?) doing? On most weekends I have a friend’s mutt to stay and her name is Kaya, Rasta for “darling”!

      • Mary
        Posted July 8, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink | Reply

        Hi Merusa, Cai, Welsh name, is really doing well, he is one of the most perfect rescue dogs we could have had, totally spoilt of course!!!

  16. Toadson
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very good – lots to think about. 10a took a while! Needed the blog to fully justify 26a, and for 21d couldn’t quite see why conceived = framed. Thanks to all involved today.

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      In Collins thesaurus conceive is listed as a synonym of frame but not the reverse.

      • Toadson
        Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Fair enough .. thanks Pommers.

  17. Newminster
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree about 16d. There are plenty of cryptic synonyms for ‘men’ without starting down the ‘politically correct’ route.

  18. Ridgerunner
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Having just solved 9a , on then reading 10a ,its no surprise that the lady who jumped to mind was Antonia de Sancha-of Chelsea football strip fame!

  19. stanXYZ
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    One of the better RayT Thursday offerings – even though it was nearly a Toughie for me.

    Needed pommers to explain 17d – I bunged in “sunburst” and 24a – my Queen was the last two letters of the solution.

    My favourite – 10a – for the D H Lawrence reference.

  20. Kath
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Blimey – Ray T at his trickiest – rather you than me today, pommers. :phew:
    Having said that I did really enjoy it and, even if I hadn’t, loyalty would have prevented me from saying so.
    It’s taken me absolutely ages – possibly the longest ever for a Ray T.
    I did finish it but it all went wrong when I was trying to sort out 16d – I always thinking of Bridge when ‘partners’ are in a clue.
    Couldn’t find the ‘united’ in 26a for far too long – that was just dim.
    I only knew 3d as a shell fish and didn’t know the speed of light in 1d.
    I liked 22 and 27a and 23d. I thought 1a and 25d were very topical. My favourite, just the one, was 11a.
    With thanks to Ray T, or should we call him Beam today, and thanks and a big well done to pommers for untangling all this.

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I did wonder whether Ray was having a bit of a snipe at the French air traffic controllers with 25d :grin:

      I, too, was a bit slow with the united bit as I ‘saw’ the wrong E as part of the red bit and EASON didn’t make much sense, d’oh!

  21. Ora Meringue
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Way, way above my pay grade.

    Managed to solve very few clues off my own bat, so not a pleasurable experience for me.

    Many thanks to Pommers for the hints .

  22. mre
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good afternoon everybody.

    A very good back puzzle today and although progress was steadily made for most of the time I had a sense that I was unlikely to finish it. Got there eventually but into four star time I think.

    Thought 8d was nicely hidden and misleading. 21d, 6d and last in 10a were my favourites. Couldn’t really justify 16d but the required solution seemed clear enough so I wrote it in.


  23. omar
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very hard indeed! 26a was my nemesis…..

  24. Brian
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I actually enjoyed the right hand side but the left is a complete mystery. Sop meaning dip? Oh come on that’s surely stretching it even for HIM,
    Thx for the hints.

    • Jane
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Surely you’ve heard of a milksop, Brian. Literally – a piece of bread sopped (dipped) in milk.

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 3:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I wasn’t sure either so I looked it up.

      From Collins on-line:-


      4. (transitive) to dip or soak (food) in liquid

  25. silvanus
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting to see that even some of Mr. Terrell’s greatest fans had mixed feelings about this one.

    I thought it was definitely trickier than one of his normal puzzles and, for me, the left hand-side took longer to decipher than the right. Like Kitty and stanXYZ, I originally thought 17d was “sunburst” too.

    I don’t really see the point of putting the first word of 2d in quotation marks and had to check my BRB for the meaning of 3d. Favourite clue was 27a for the excellent surface.

    Many thanks to RayT and Pommers.

  26. Dr M
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Glad I wasn’t in a rush today. Boy that was hard, almost a toughie in my humble opinion. Bit of a curates egg with some great clues and some that were off, 16 d was my least favourite. Has someone upset RT as this was difficult even for him and I needed the great hints from pommers to finish the last 4. 26a and 15a made me smile.

  27. Vancouverbc
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    *****/**. I quite enjoy the Thursday puzzle but this was not my favourite as I needed far too much help to get to the end. Thanks to the setter and Pommers for a very much needed set of hints.

  28. Merusa
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, Ora, way above my pay grade too, but I did manage to finish with the help of my electronic gizmo – I had no chance on my own.
    You weren’t kidding, pommers, about stretched synonyms! Really, peeps, shocked is a synonym for surprised? Even if it is in the dictionary, (and in quotes in the clue), it’s still a huge stretch.
    The anagrams and lurkers saved my day and gave me an entry. Fave was 27a with runner up 11a; I remembered the porky bit!
    Thanks to RayT, I did finish it, though many would say I cheated. Endless thanks to pommers for unravelling so much of it for us.

  29. Gwizz
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Blimey, that was a challenge and a half! It took me a long time before I fell over the finish line. Several clues (once I had solved them) made me smile; 10 and 11a being prime examples. Overall I’ll go 3.5/4*
    Thanks to Ray T, and to pommers for his review.

  30. Young Salopian
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well the bottom half went in without too much of a struggle, but the top half, especially the NW corner, took some sorting out. This was certainly at the tougher end of the RayT spectrum, with a couple of contrived clues that I didn’t especially like. I will nominate 28 across as my favourite with the reverse lurker at 12 down coming a close second. That said, overall it was very rewarding to actually finish it, so I will mark it 3.5*/3* with thanks to the aforementioned for a tough but fair fight, and Pommers for his excellent review.

  31. Salty Dog
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, well up to Toughie standard. I score it 3*/4* (bearing in mind that I use the same scoring criteria for every puzzle). 9a was my last in – until I hacked 3d I had “circle” instead of “carnal” (yes, I know it doesn’t parse, but I was in “inspired guesswork” mode, and the clue does mention a Tube). My favourite clue was 14d. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  32. Macolm Dunn
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found it very difficult because of the obscurity and vagueness of some of the clues.
    It didn’t help that I put in ‘UNDERESTIMATE’ in15 Across as the first answer solved!!!!

  33. RayT
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Many thanks to pommers for the decryption and to all for your comments. Much appreciated. Anybody interested in the use of the ‘quotes’ above should ‘google’ ‘scare quotes’!


    • Miffypops
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 6:55 pm | Permalink | Reply


    • Merusa
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Aha, I did, and I take back what I said about shocked and surprised above!
      Thanks for dropping in, your puzzles are still very much a mystery to me!

    • Kath
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, as always, for calling in.
      I still love your crosswords but was very relieved that it was pommers doing the hints today and not me.
      I just asked the obliging Mr Google about ‘scare quotes’ – I didn’t know that – you live and learn . . . .

    • Jane
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for dropping in, Mr. T – and for the explanation of the ‘quotes’. Interesting piece of info!

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Ray and thanks for the fun.

      Not only did I forget to put the best clues in blue but forgot to adjust the star ratings! The three for difficulty remain but I intended four for enjoyment – now fixed! Sorry an’ all.

      Are you perchance trying to find out how far you can stretch a synonym before the elastic snaps? I’m enjoying the ride :lol:

  34. KiwiColin
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I agree that it was on the tougher end of the range for a back-page puzzle. Tried to justify sunburst for 17d until the right answer eventually came to mind. Good challenge, good fun and the word count checked and all in order.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  35. BusyLizzie
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Did not find as tough as yesterday, surprisingly, but not sure how cinema is a definition of films in 13a, nor framed for conceived in 21d. I get how the clues work, just not how those two meet the definitions. Enjoyable though so thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  36. JonP
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like RD I was held up in the NE but I found the rest of the puzzle reasonably straightforward albeit a bit Beamish in places – even though I solve with Guinness in the evening.

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

  37. neveracrossword
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

    On the subject of “speed of light”, crypticsue solved the Times cryptic yesterday in 7 minutes.

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

      One of her slower days then :grin:

    • JonP
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

      She can go quicker than that! Still ridiculously rapid though…

    • crypticsue
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Just because I’ve left the country, it doesn’t mean I can’t hear you talking about me!

  38. cat
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this really difficult but just when I had almost given up, inspiration seemed to strike – even if I didn’t always understand why! 9a was my last in, again it suddenly came to me at the last moment, the NW corner was the last to go. 4*/3*, I was tempted to make it 4* for enjoyment but felt too worn out to add the extra *!
    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

    • cat
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Meant to add that I have never heard of scallop in this context, it must be a north/south thing

  39. Jon_S
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A little easier than yesterday, but definitely in *** territory, with some very nicely disguised definitions. No complaints here. :-) Last ones in 17d and 9ac.

  40. Paso Doble
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Absolutely agree with Pommers about this puzzle and we needed his help with some of the parsing. Many thanks to Ray T for an enjoyable challenge and to our friend in Sunny Spain.

    • pommers
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Not so sunny today! Cloudy and rain on and off but warm at 29C. Better tomorrow with a bit of luck.

  41. HoofItYouDonkey
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 10:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks for the hints Pommers, that was miles over my head, but great fun deciphering the wordplay.
    Thanks to Ray-T for the puzzle.

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 8, 2016 at 12:09 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ah now Oofit with a RayT you really need to read the clues. Over and over again.

      • HoofItYouDonkey
        Posted July 8, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink | Reply

        Fair point, MP.
        I still find that there are many of the crossword constructs in the clues that I miss, that mean:=
        Reverse a word
        Remove a letter
        Put this word around
        Etc. etc…
        That’s why I go through the hints…It is sinking in slowly!!!
        On a different note, well done to Cav, becoming the second only to Eddie Mercx in Tour stage wins. A shame that the BBC could not even find room on it’s front sports page for a remarkable achievement, it was able to put a story about Hamilton and Rosberg colliding in that wonderfully exciting sport, Formula 1.

  42. jean-luc cheval
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Probably the only one who checked the BRB to see if Intially actually existed but realised while doing it.
    Took a while to parse 16d too.
    Favourite is 27a.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the review.

    • Shropshirelad
      Posted July 8, 2016 at 12:15 am | Permalink | Reply

      Well done to France this evening J-L. :good:

  43. pommers
    Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Off to bed now as it’s past midnight here and I have to take pommette to the airport at 0800 tomorrow.

    If Hanni’s listening pommette’s on the Ryanair ALC-MAN flight FR4006 at 1105CEST tomorrow. Going for a mother visit.

    G’night, see y’all tomorrow.

    • Hanni
      Posted July 7, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ta Pommers :good:

      Not done the puzzle yet but will get around to it!

    • Miffypops
      Posted July 8, 2016 at 12:11 am | Permalink | Reply

      Ryanair. Ye Gods. Never turn right on boarding an aeroplane.

  44. Shropshirelad
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 12:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very late to comment today – packing for hols :) I haven’t read any of the comments but I’d venture that a few people have put forward the idea that this puzzle was definitely a ‘wrong envelope’ day.

    Some of the synonyms were stretched to ‘Beam Toughie’ level but enjoyable nonetheless. It was certainly more difficult than the toughie from PJ. I am really going to try and drop 18a into a conversation :whistle:

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

    I’ll ‘see’ you all in a week or so.

  45. Heno
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 12:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this very much, but it was very tricky. Needed the hints for 1,9,22a&17d. No particular Favourites. Was 4*/4* for me.

  46. Angel
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 1:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Phew that was a bit of a slog with not much light relief. Needed help with parsing 1a. 3d potato and 22a aircraft new to me. 21d amused when I finally discounted the fat. And so to bed. ****/**. Thanks RayT and Pommers.

  47. mamasan
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 1:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    Had never heard of scallops being associated with potatoes and 14D was crazy.

    • Posted July 8, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog mamasan

      Many of us do crosswords to improve our vocabulary, although in this case I new about scallops and have eaten them on many occasions. I wonder how many people in the south of the country know that scraps are the bits of batter that are left over, and are usually free.

      • crypticsue
        Posted July 8, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink | Reply

        Scraps in newspaper were part of my journey home from school, so yes we do know about them down south

      • Jose
        Posted July 8, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink | Reply

        Scallops are as described above, but when I was a kid (in rural Derbyshire) we use to have sliced potatoes (left in the round and not diced as chips) fried in lard with no batter. Everyone called those “scallops” and they tasted just the same as chips but were “healthier” because they had less surface area than small chips for the nasty fat to get attached to. Also, you could get a free scoop of “fish bits” at the chippy – these were the crispy fragments of fried batter that had dropped off the fish whilst frying and delicious they were too!

  48. Tstrummer
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Too tired after a long and taxing day yesterday to try this. Just as well. It was a stinker that occupied much of my morning. I’m sure Ray is a charming and erudite gentleman, but his puzzles turn me into a Brian clone. Thanks to Pommers for parsing the bung-ins and, grudgingly, to Mr T for the challenge 4*/2*

  49. LetterboxRoy
    Posted July 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I thought I was having a slow brain day until I read all these comments – but it wasn’t that bad for me bar some bung-ins/guesses.

    I must admit nearly falling off at the SW (Not 19) corner, but a fresh look this morning and it seemed quite straightforward.

    We have had easier toughies, no doubt. Far from my favourite puzzle, but fair enough I thought..

    11a gets my vote.

    Thanks to all as ever.

  50. Jose
    Posted July 9, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    I did this one sporadically over the last two days and it was a cracker – difficult, challenging and very enjoyable. 4*/4.5*

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