DT 28220

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28220

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where it looks like autumn is arriving as there was a distinct chill in the air this morning. I’m pretty sure that this is a RayT as it’s all short clues and it has three lurkers and a first letters clue. However, there’s a much larger than normal anagram count (6), Her Majesty hasn’t come out to play and the synonyms aren’t squealing much so perhaps it isn’t he after all. I thought it was at least as tricky as the last RayT a couple of weeks ago that seemed to frighten everyone’s horses so I’ll be interested to see what you all think of it.

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           Roughly punishes with pain ignoring one’s misery (11)
UNHAPPINESS: An anagram (roughly) of PUNISHES PAIN but you need to remove one of the I’s (ignoring one). This is slightly naughty as there are two I’s in the fodder and you only need to remove one of them. At least it doesn’t matter which!

10a         Decree frontiers should have no boundaries (5)
ORDER: Another word for frontiers between countries has its first and last letters removed (have no boundaries).

11a         Count part return of asset a remuneration (9)
ENUMERATE: The first lurker. It’s hidden in (part) the last three words but it’s backwards (return).

12a         Legacy male’s pinched leading to cell (9)
HERMITAGE: Something inherited has M(ale) inserted (pinched) to give a cell, as in a place where a person may live in seclusion.

13a         Place providing opening for birds in storm? (5)
GABLE: Take a word for a storm or high wind and insert a B (opening for Birds in) and you’ll get a place where birds might be able to take shelter. I think this is trying to be an all-in-one but it doesn’t quite work for me, although we did have some martins nesting in this part of our house in England.

14a         Back in a moment? (6)
SECOND: Double definition. Back as in support and a short period of time.

16a         Doctor is rude to stranger (8)
OUTSIDER: An anagram (doctor) of IS RUDE TO.

18a         Clueless stupidly ranting about nothing (8)
IGNORANT: An anagram (stupidly) of RANTING with O inserted (about nothing).

20a         Section of ‘Star’ is endlessly followed (6)
ARISEN: Another lurker. It’s in (section of) ‘Star’ is endlessly.

23a         Room at the top in cottage initially (5)
ATTIC: The first letters (initially) of five words in the clue. Of course, the fact that the room is actually at the top of the house gives a nice twist.

24a         Rising in power while insincerity covers butt (9)
ASCENDANT: Start with a word for while (2) and a word for insincere talk (4) and insert (covers) a word for a butt or stub. I didn’t help myself by putting ING as the last three letters, d’oh!

26a         Former favourite compiler’s receiving large curse (9)
EXPLETIVE: You need to read compiler’s as ‘compiler has’. Start with the usual two letter former partner and the usual teacher’s favourite and follow with an abbreviated way the compiler might say he has something. Then insert L (receiving L(arge)) and you’ll get a curse or swear word.

27a         Slow early bird doesn’t finish work (5)
LARGO: The musical term for slow. Start with a bird said to rise early without its last letter (doesn’t finish) and follow with a two letter word which can mean to work.

28a         ‘Get up, get up!’, to welcome duke’s regiment (11)
STANDARDISE: Regiment here isn’t a bunch of soldiers but a verb. It’s two ways of saying ‘get up’ with a D(uke) inserted (to welcome).


2d           ‘Bottom‘ fun, a director admits (5)
NADIR: Another lurker. This time it’s in (admits) fun a director.

3d           A right shower reportedly in charge (7)
ARRAIGN: Charge as in a court of law. It’s A (from the clue), R(ight) and then some letters which aren’t a word but when pronounced sound like (reportedly) a shower.  Sounds like a description of Westminster!

4d           Pressure’s on concerning cool house (6)
PREFAB: P(ressure) followed by two letters for concerning and then a word for cool as in very good.

5d           Sick, showing common sense without a purpose (8)
NAUSEOUS: Take a word for common sense and place it around (without) an A (from the clue) and a word for purpose. I’m not going to get into a discussion about whether without means around the outside.

6d           Abuses cricketer oddly solo on boundaries (7)
SLEDGES: This is the way Australian cricketers are said to abuse the opposition’s batsmen. It’s the alternate letters (oddly) of SoLo followed by some boundaries or borders.

7d           Drops aitches it turned out, not right posh (13)
SOPHISTICATED: An anagram (turned out) of DROPS AITCHES IT but you need to remove the R (drops R(ight)). Same construction as 1a but this time it works better as there’s only one R to remove.

8d           Stick criminal on very big island (8)
BARBADOS: A stick or rod followed by a word for criminal or not good and the two letters to denote very big clothing gives a West Indian island.

9d           Wandering about in art opening I fancy (13)
PEREGRINATION: Two letters for about inserted (in) an anagram (fancy) of ART OPENING I. This was my last in and it took all the checkers, a fair bit of ‘guess what letter goes where’ and a consultation with the BRB.

15d         Opera company hit featuring in church memorial (8)
CENOTAPH: Start with two letters for church and insert (featuring in) the initials of a national opera company and a word for a (gentle) hit


17d         Smart and so vain, terribly offensive (8)
INVASION: A military offensive. Start with a word for smart or fashionable (2) and follow with an anagram (terribly) of SO VAIN.

19d         Chauvinist admitting European’s most saucy (7)
RACIEST: Take a chauvinist or bigoted person and insert (admitting) E(uropean).

21d         Class ruled and caused resentment (7)
RANKLED: A word for class or standing followed by a word for ruled as in was the leader.

22d         Plan‘s south roughly around bottom edge? (6)
SCHEMA: Take S(outh) followed by two letters for roughly or about and insert (around) the bottom edge of a skirt for example.

25d         Lots of winners accepting silver finally (5)
ACRES: Some cards which are usually winners with R inserted (accepting silveR finally).

I think 7d is favourite for it’s fine surface reading or perhaps 23a, I’m not sure.  Once again with a RayT puzzle it’s a bit short on photo opportunities.

The Quick Crossword pun: dear+neigh=DNA


  1. crypticsue
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    I was sailing along in a record time for a Ray T (single word clues in the Quickie would confirm this) until I got stuck at the very bottom and took just as long to solve my last couple as I did all the rest.
    I had a similar experience in the Toughie too. Perhaps I’m ‘heat affected’ as it is still scorchio here in Kent.

    Thanks to Mr T for the entertainment and Mr P for the explanations.

    • neveracrossword
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Ditto. It took me a while to get a handel on “largo”.

    • Jose
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Today, it’s a double whammy (not in a bad way) from Mr T – his Quickie has only single-word clues and his Cryptic has only single-word answers. That must be quite rare?

      • Kath
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

        His Quickie always has only single word clues – it’s one of his trademarks – not sure about single word answers in the cryptic but I know that I can remember one of the answers in a long ago crossword of his that certainly had two words – it’s possibly my favourite ever answer.

        • Jane
          Posted September 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

          What was it, Kath?

          • Kath
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

            Apologies to Ray T if it’s not exactly right but:-
            “Kind of shrink underwear giving a revealing glimpse” (8,4)

            • pommers
              Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Brilliant :good:

            • Jane
              Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

              Oh yes! That’s why we love him.

            • Jose
              Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

              K. That’s a typical humorous, risque clue from Ray T and I’ve been trying to solve it since this morning. Any chance of a couple of checkers for the first word please?

              • Jane
                Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

                Hi Jose,
                In case Kath’s not about – how about if I give you ‘F’ as the first letter of the first word?

              • Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

                The clue was from DT 26401 (18 Nov 2010) and my hint at the time was:

                “a charade of a kind of psychiatrist and an item of underwear gives an unintentional action supposed to reveal an unexpressed or unconscious thought”

                • Jane
                  Posted September 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

                  Oops – sorry, BD. Quite happy for you to delete my reply to Jose.

                  • Jose
                    Posted September 16, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

                    Thanks J and BD – I’ve sussed it now (via the F hint). And to prove it, here’s my alternative clue: Relating to Clement’s grandfather’s mistake.

                    Well, it’s not bad for a novice!

                    • stanXYZ
                      Posted September 16, 2016 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

                      Which part of the clue should be underlined as the definition?

                    • Jose
                      Posted September 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

                      stanXYZ. You’ve got me there. But in my defence I will claim that I never said that it was a cryptic crossword clue, merely a general clue to give the answer without actually stating it. But if it was one, would it be an all-in-one or a cryptic definition or none – you tell me!

                      But more importantly, how come your comment is posted without a reply option – that’s cheating, that is!

                    • Posted September 16, 2016 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

                      The limit is ten levels of nested comments.

                    • pommers
                      Posted September 16, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                      as we would do it now:-

                      Kind of shrink underwear giving a revealing glimpse (8,4)

                      A charade of a kind of psychiatrist and an item of underwear.

                    • Jane
                      Posted September 16, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

                      The definition is ‘a revealing glimpse’.

  2. JonP
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    I found this puzzle to be at the gentler end of RayT difficulty. I was held up briefly in the SE corner but not for too long.

    Some really good clues today IMO. Thanks to pommers and RayT 2*/4.5*

  3. George
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    Well, if is a RayT puzzle then it a great improvement over the frequent Thursday fare he offers. I did no think it was at all typical of a RayT.

    I enjoyed this puzzle very much – I thought a good mix of clues, some of which needed a bit of teasing out.

    2*/4* for me.

    Thanks to all.

    • Jose
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Wot, complimenting Ray T – you been drinking? :-)

  4. Toadson
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    The following is only an opinion. The Telegraph is probably the easiest of the broadsheet crosswords.This was maybe on the level of the more ‘do-able’ Guardian crosswords, and as such it was quite a challenge (I only got three answers at the first pass). However, in completing it (including the use of electronic aids), I circled clues which struck me as notably interesting/clever in some way. I have 11 circles on the page, and we even have butts and bottoms to keep the innuendo count up!

  5. Alec
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yes, I found this to be gentle for a RayT compilation. Setters seem to becoming quite inventive of late with their reverse lurkers. I had no problem with 1a; as I read the clue it indicated to me that the “i” in “pain” was to be disregarded. Thanks to all concerned.

  6. Miffypops
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Golly bongs this has all of RayTs trademarks in abundance. The Queen is at Balmoral and even she cannot be in two places at once. RayT used to have me fighting to get a toehold and battling on for each answer that I teased out. He would knock me down so many times but resilient little brat that I am I got back up and fought on until battered bruised and exhausted I wrote the last one in and went for a gallon of beer to soothe the hurt. Nowadays I eat him up for breakfast. So should I thank this blog or wish I had never discovered it?

    • LabradorsruleOK
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I used to ignore Thursdays (& Sundays) until I found the blog MP. Today 1st pass I found 2; second pass the SW corner got me started & then slowly the cogs started working & things gradually fell into place.
      As I see it, thanks to people like pommers, you, Kath, 2Ks, BD et al showing me how to think I now enjoy a “7 day week” (mostly). So I am in the ” glad I discovered it camp” as I am sure you are too.
      SE corner last in. COTD for me was 28a.
      Google wasn’t very helpful on the origins of the cricket term but gave examples not suitable for here. Not one for non- cricketers though.
      Thanks to setter for a very satisfying exercise & pommers for hints – studied but not needed today but that’s only because of previous weeks.

      • Miffypops
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Merv Hughes “Tickets please”

        • LabradorsruleOK
          Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

          A degree of subtlety and absence of profanities neither usually found in sledges.

  7. dutch
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    This took me much longer than the toughie, probably because I wanted the 9d anagram to include “in” (def = wandering about) which held me up no end. When that didn’t work I put in the answer with an ING ending which made life even harder, and when I finally corrected that, it took me ages to see the parsing, doh!

    a new cricket term for me

    favourite was 26a (favourite compiler). I also liked the way the rest of the clue extended the definitions in 18a and 23a.

    Many thanks RayT and pommers

  8. Spook
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Found this to be a right little stinker I never seem to be able to get into RayT way of thinking. Nevertheless stinkers they may be but it improves my solving. Thanks to Pommers for the hints and to RayT for the need for extra coffees.

  9. Jezza
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    A gentle offering today, held up only by 9d, which was my last in.
    Thanks to RayT, and to pommers for the analysis.

  10. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink | Reply

    Forgot the use of ‘without’ yet again!!

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Not sure what’s going on, but I can’t get the automatic emails any more as I need to ‘manage my subscription’, but the email is blank and has no link.
      Suspect that BD has finally got fed up with my rubbish comments!!

      • Miffypops
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

        I would forgive any comment from anybody with a blog name such as yours

        • hoofityoudonkey
          Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Presumably out of pity….

  11. Senf
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    A lot of head scratching in this one and, in the end, I was surprised that I completed it at all and that it had taken a lot less time than I thought it did. Maybe, it was the effect of the Boddingtons I was consuming last night.

    Favourite 8d which was my last one in and took some time because I was trying to end the answer with ‘IS’ for island, oh well.

    Thanks to the setter (was it really Ray T) and to Pommers.

    PS to Pommers – the ‘gentle’ hit part of 15d is missing from your description.

    • pommers
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

      So it is. Glad to see that someone actually reads the stuff. Now fixed so ta muchly.

  12. Harport
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I’m still puzzling over 20a.. I got it but Can’t see when ‘arisen’ means ‘followed’.

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      To occur as a result of. A matter has arisen. If in doubt check the BRB. Which I don’t have

  13. Jane
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The big man does it again although I’m always sorry when HM is away on hols and I think I need to have words about that cricket thing in 6d!
    Like CS, I was sailing along nicely until near the bottom. My stumbling block came with 24a where I started out with the wrong ending and couldn’t figure out how ‘C’ could stand for insincerity. That made a mess of both 9&25d down until I retraced the steps.
    22d was a bit of a head-scratcher as I’m only familiar with the word when it has its ‘tic’ ending.

    Top three for me were 26&28a plus 3d. Couldn’t help but think of Brian with 26a!
    Devotions to Mr. T as always and many thanks to Pommers.

  14. Graham
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink | Reply

    ***/*** for me today. I’m not experienced enough yet to recognise the setter so no coment there. Got stuck on 25d as last one in until my wife queried lento as my answer for 27a! Doh. When corrected 25 fell in ok. Favourites were 28a and 9d which took quite a bit of head scratching before I invented the word which turned out to be right. Didn’t really get 13a so thanks for pointing it out as an all in one.
    Thanks all.

    • pommers
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like we had similar experiences with 9d.

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

        9d was OK with me too as it is my category “heard of but never used, or could see using”.
        I know: “Come on animals peregrinations time”.

    • Miffypops
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

      9d. The word was ok, it was the fodder that fooled me as it seemed to have three letter Ns. Took a while for about to shout me,me,me.

  15. Dottie
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Found this difficult today. Finally managed to get quite a few I was stuck on with help from Pommers. Not really happy with 7d as I don’t think it is the same as posh, but hey ho, who am to argue?!
    Very grateful for Pommers’ help today and to setter, whoever it is, for taxing my little grey cells.

    • Kath
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I agree with you about posh = sophisticated, or not, but I would hesitate to doubt Ray T. He’s well-known for stretching synonyms to their utmost but he’s invariably right.

  16. Miffypops
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I didn’t like that. I am not racist. I may be called chauvinistic though.

    • hoofityoudonkey
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Actually I checked the BRB and the definition of chauvinist reads “fanatical pride in one’s country with a corresponding contempt for foreign nations”. This surprised me, but no mention of the hatred of different races.

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Hoofit, I was surprised by chauvinism but also see racism: “hatred, rivalry or bad feeling between races”. So taking racism to be merely “bad feeling” they could be seen as very stretched synonyms perhaps.

      • Jose
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Definition of chauvinism, straight from Collins Online dictionary:

        noun: 3. smug irrational belief in the superiority of one’s own race, party, sex, etc.

        And from CO Thesaurus:

        racism: noun-

        xenophobia, bigotry, racial discrimination, racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, intolerance, chauvinism, racialism

        I’m surprised by that, but I’m not willing to argue with a dictionary.

  17. Young Salopian
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    3*/4* from me as I got stuck in too many areas of the grid. With a break for lunch in between, the final dozen clues slotted in quite quickly. Don’t often pick an anagram as a favourite but 7 down was delicious. 22 down last one in.

    Many thanks to Mr T and to Pommers for a lovely review.

  18. Graham Wall
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I found this to be a uphill struggle. It took a lot of effort to find the soft underbelly and then progress. Having said that, it was worth every minute! Well crafted clues, many when solved made me think ” of course it is”. Luckily pommers was at the top of the hill reeling me in for which I thank him. 4*/4* is my verdict.

  19. Beaver
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wrote in the top half, then slowed right up and gradually worked my way through.
    Gable didn’t quite work for me either, seemed to lots of clues with insertions or omissions as seems to be in vogue with the setters .Some tricky charades like 24a,11a pretty good for a ‘lurker’ and 29a was different whilst 22d would not have been out of place in a toughie!
    Agree with a ***/***, having a rejuvenating cup of Bessy’s Tea.

  20. Kath
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I started off at a cracking pace then it all went a bit wrong – I have no doubts at all that this is a Ray T.
    I do love a good long and not too tricky anagram almost all the way across the top.
    My first thought for 12a was ‘heritance’ but couldn’t make it work so, luckily, didn’t put it in – could have made life a bit interesting in that corner.
    When I first read 28a I just gawped at it and decided to leave it until later . . .
    I’m probably being picky here and I haven’t looked in BRB but I don’t think that sick = nauseous. I think sick = nauseated.
    I did know 6d, thanks to reading this blog for so long, and like others can’t think of any examples that are repeatable here!
    Got in a terrible pickle with 9d although the answer was obviously what it was.
    I liked – oh dear – too many to put them all down. For the moment my favourite is 28a but I might just revise that while cutting the grass before it rains . . .
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

    • Jose
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

      K. I don’t have any dictionaries with me, but the primary synonym in Collins Online for nauseous is “sick” and the primary synonym for sick is “nauseous”. But I was fully with you till I read those – now I’m not so sure.

      • Kath
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

        At the risk of sounding opinionated I am still sure – I think that ‘nauseous’ is an adjective describing something (or even someone) causing a feeling of sickness i.e. nauseated.
        I also think that I’m fighting a losing battle here as I seem to remember having had this argument before and agreeing to differ not only with everyone else here but also with the BRB! Oh dear! :sad:

        • BusyLizzie
          Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:11 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Well you could say “he is feeling very sick” or you could say ” he is feeling very nauseous”… So that would make the clue work?

          • Kath
            Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink | Reply

            No – I don’t think so. For the answer to fit the definition should be sickening rather than sick. You (not you specifically, of course, but one) doesn’t feel nauseous you feel nauseated. This is an argument that I know I’m not going to win – but I still think I’m right. OK – now I’ll stop banging on about it! :smile:

            • Jose
              Posted September 16, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink | Reply

              K. Both sick and nauseous are listed in the BRB thesaurus as adjectives and they are both listed as synonyms of each other. Sickening is an adjective too – so your’re not wrong about that. But it’s good to discuss these things, don’t you think?

  21. Jose
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This was excellent, as usual, from Ray T – and congratulations to him for (again) correctly using “without” as a containment device, in 5d. 3*/4*.

    • Jose
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      But on reflection, just a very minor niggle about 11a: using remuneration in the wordplay for the rekrul “enumerate” somehow made the parsing very easy – the answer seemed to leap off the page at you. The clue was a very clever construction nonetheless – way better than I could ever do.

      • Miffypops
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 5:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Part? Return? Whatever made you think of a reverse lurker?

        • Jose
          Posted September 16, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink | Reply

          MP. I was just making an incidental observation. I read the words “count” and “remuneration” and for some reason saw the answer immediately. Of course, with hindsight (just a few seconds later) I noticed the other obvious elements in the clue which clearly indicated a reverse lurker. But I must thank you for your helpful guidance, presented without a hint of sarcasm… :-)

  22. Vancouverbc
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A lot of shots to my feet today. 9d I had ending in ing for a long time due to carelessness because I didn’t tick off the letters in the anagram part which made 27a a challenge. Also not helped by 22d ending in e until the penny dropped so 28a got stalled. However I did enjoy this puzzle so thanks to the setter and Pommers for the review. Rain will begin in about 24 hours (yes our weather is reasonably predictable) so last chance to tidy up the hedges and probably last BBQ of the summer.

  23. Merusa
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink | Reply

    When I first started this, I thought it could not possibly be RayT, I was moving along nicely in the top half. I didn’t even look up the crickety clue at 6d, I just bunged it in.
    I was helped a lot by getting 7d and 9d early on, but even with those, I sweated bullets at the bottom, having to use my electronic gizmo for a lot of them, which seems to take some of the pleasure away.
    I never did get 28a, mainly because I had 22d wrong, ending in “e”.
    My fave is 27a, it was one of the few bottom answers I got by myself.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the unravelling of some clues.

  24. LetterboxRoy
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Everything I would expect in a Thursday puzzle, very enjoyable. (13a Not great though).
    I had to look up 9d a couple of weeks ago I seem to remember, but still took ages to see it today!
    Top clue 28a ***/***
    Thanks to all as ever.

  25. mre
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Scanned the clues first for ‘Ray T’ness but the absence of Her Maj left me unconvinced.

    Anyway, things started briskly but much of the right side, especially the south east corner, put a brake on matters. Eventually got there, noting 24a as good and 28a, 17d and 21d as very good clues. Couldn’t fully work out the logic for 20a, 27a and 8d.

    A real tussle but satisfying to complete it after almost packing it in with nine unsolved.


  26. JB
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Oh dear! Another day when the toughie was easier and far more enjoyable!

  27. Brian
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting comments. I haven’t looked at the crossword and I am certainly not going to bother wasting my time doing so now.
    Every other Thursday is a crossword desert for me.

    • JonP
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Make it a crossword dessert and enjoy it! George did.

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Now how can a crossword ever be a waste of time?

  28. david brinkworth
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

    28220. For 8 down I managed to get concrete! Couldn’t work out where the stick came in. Duh!

    • Gazza
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome to the blog, david.

    • Florence
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Welcome David. Your answer to 8d made me smile. It was the sort of answer I would normally write in.

  29. Gwizz
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 6:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A splendid crossword from RayT! Easy-ish at the top but a sight tougher lower down.
    I like the simplicity of 21d and that was my favourite. 3/3* overall.
    Thanks to RayT and to Pommers for his usual entertaining review.

  30. 2Kiwis
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Good fun once again from RayT. It might not have the queen this week, but the clue word count being eight or less is confirmatory evidence. Not a quick solve but smiles and chuckles all the way.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  31. RayT
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Evening all. Setter here with thanks to pommers for the decryption and to all for your comments.


    • Jane
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:52 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Nice to ‘see’ you, Mr. T. Now then – about this cricket stuff – gained a 26a from me!

    • Florence
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you Mr T for dropping in. The more cricket clues the better as far as I’m concerned.

  32. Jon_S
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    A fun puzzle that was for the most part fairly straightforward, except for a little (long!) pause at the end on 9 and 25. I suspect I’m running out of energy this late in the day. :-)

  33. Killer Watts
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Have to admit I found this no cakewalk, but after many hours completed. Wasn’t sure of 9d, but parsed it ok.
    Thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  34. Karen
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Tricky but got there in the end all by myself!
    9D was the hardest to solve- not a word I’d come across before.
    Glad of your reasoning for 5D which I solved but wasn’t sure why.

  35. Ora Meringue
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Had to resort to the electronic aid as well as the hints today, but what I could do , I enjoyed.
    Does anyone else remember Peregrine Penguin ?

    Many thanks to the setter and to Pommers.

  36. Angel
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    An enjoyable brain-teaser. Thank you RayT and Pommers. Failed to think of cell in 12a and missed the clue first word synonym in 14a and also overlooked lurker in 2d although solution was obvious. Not sure about 25d. Fav probably 28a. ***/***.

  37. Salty Dog
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Quite tricky for a back-pager: 2/3* difficulty and 3* enjoyment. 28a, I think, is my favourite – even if I did spend quite a while mulling over the names of regiments in the slightly less senior service before the penny dropped. Thanks to Ray T, and to Pommers.

  38. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Judging by the comments, today was great if you know Ray-T’s wavelength. Sadly, I don’t, so today was a massive struggle and not very enjoyable.
    I hope to one day be able to do these, but I can’t at the moment.

    • Kell
      Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Is it the same compiler every Thursday? If so, will give me a day off. I didn’t enjoy this crossword in the slightest. Obscure and tenuous cluing.

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Kell not seen your name so welcome from me.
        This Mr T is usually every other Thursday I believe. I was like you 6 months ago but regular going through with the hints has changed it round & I only needed electronic help to confirm one today. Made my day when I solved 28a without help.
        Pommers et al will flatten out the learning curve believe me!

      • Miffypops
        Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Hi Kell. If you read my post at 6ac you will see that RayT can be beaten. There are many people who started here struggling for a leg up the cryptic ladder who now comment regularly on Toughies. Keep at it.

        • Kell
          Posted September 16, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink | Reply

          Thanks. I’ve actually been doing the Telegraph back-page cryptic for thirty years or so, but have acquired the (perhaps bad) habit of becoming impatient. This crossword, to my mind, exhibits obscure and difficult cluing: “followed” = “arisen”, “posh” = “sophisticated”, “regiment” = “standardise”?? Such clues belong in the Toughie. I simply don’t have the spare time in my day to stare at a clue, boring down through several layers of obfuscation, to find the answer. And I know nothing about cricket.

  39. Jaguar Pete
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well I am still struggling with this one. I’ve decided it must be the heat. And normally I ‘get’ Mr T.
    Now I’ve cheated with the answers, I’m impressed with everyone who completed the crossword.
    Thanks to Pommers and MrT. Hopefully better luke next week

  40. Posted September 15, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I can be embarrassingly bad at spotting anagrams, but not today. No – today I was merely shockingly bad at doing the things. Sapped of energy by the heat, I didn’t find this gentler than the normal RayT, but I did note the higher than usual nagaram count. Well, I should have noticed – I spent enough time on them! Untangled everything in the end, and enjoyed it. As for others, some in the bottom held out for longest. 24a and 2d made a cheeky pair. Mr K’s favourite was 2d. Mine was 26a.

    Thanks to RayT and pommers.

  41. BusyLizzie
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Enjoyable puzzle today with good clues, and the *** difficulty ranking adds to the satisfaction of almost completing without Pommers hints, thanks. 9d, 22d, 24a and 27a were stumbling blocks,

  42. Florence
    Posted September 15, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thought that this was going to be a piece of cake. Top half went in really quickly, but bottom half took ages, and had to resort checking the review in the end. Brain is still on holiday. Thank you Ray.T and Pommers.

  43. Tstrummer
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 1:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    My fortnightly grapple with Mr T is getting less like a visit to the dentist with the passage of time. Managed half on the train home and then finished off on the sofa. Perhaps the fact that I am still not allowed alcohol is helping – but given the choice (which I haven’t been) I’d plump for a large Glengoyne and a pint of London Pride and fall back on Pommers (or Kath) to help me fill in the blanks instead. Sigh. Ta to Ray and Pommers for a couple of parsing aids. I’ll go for 8d as the cream of the crop. 3*/3*

  44. Heno
    Posted September 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed what I could do, but gave up in the end, needed the hints for 24a,9,22,25d. Favourite was 28a. Very tricky, was 4*/3* for me.

  45. Ian Silk
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you as ever. Great help with the last few clues I can’t get unaided. Just a thought – is 25 winners referring to tennis winners rather than cards?

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