DT 28262

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28262

Hints and tips by pommers

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Hola from the Vega Baja where the Indian summer continues. It was shorts weather yesterday, which is most unusual in November, and it’s looking pretty good for today.

Perhaps it’s just me being on good form today, and I’m sure that there will be some who disagree, but I found this to be the easiest RayT puzzle ever. On first pass I got all but two of the acrosses and then every one of the downs so the whole thing was over in a flash. It did raise a few smiles along the way and I enjoyed it while it lasted so I’ve gone for 4* enjoyment.  I’ll be interested to see how you all found 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.

Across

1a           Break point with return I fancy (12)
INTERRUPTION:  Anagram (fancy) of POINT RETURN I.  Always nice when 1a goes straight in!

8a           Poor American English the French start to speak (7)
USELESS:  A charade of the usual two letters for American, E(nglish), the French definite article (but it’s plural) and lastly the first letter (start to) of Speak.

9a           Cold look facing certain bankruptcy (7)
CLOSURE: Another charade, this time of C(old), the usual two letter crosswordland word for look and then a word meaning certain.  I suspect many will say this has stretched a synonym so far it has snapped.

11a         Part of hero is terrific romp (7)
ROISTER:  The first lurker of the day is hidden in (part of) hero is terrific.

12a         Saw voting system finished British (7)
PROVERB:  Abbreviation of a voting system followed by a word meaning finshed or completed and finally B(ritish).

13a         Turn over page covered by nude spread (5)
UPEND:  P(age) surrounded by (covered) an anagram (spread) of NUDE.

14a         One script rewritten for ‘Morse’, perhaps … (9)
INSPECTOR:  Anagram(rewritten) of ONE SCRIPT.  A picture for Kath . . .
morse

16a         … separate detective’s partner talked oddly (9)
DISMANTLE:  Separate as in to separate something into its individual components.  It’s a phrase which could mean a detective inspector’s partner (3,3) followed by the alternate letters (oddly) of TaLkEd.  This is one of the two I missed on first pass but it gives the opportunity for another picture for Kath . . .
lewis

19a         ‘Mob‘ arousing fear in America initially (5)
MAFIA:  First letters (initially) of the other words in the clue.  I suppose a purist might say that MOB is doing a bit of double duty as definition and part of the fodder but it works for me.

21a         Relatively helpful? (7)
NEPOTIC:  A cryptic definition of a word describing someone who favours members of his family above others.  This is the other one I missed.

23a         Interest in Eastern songs, reworked, Queen covered (7)
ENGROSS:  Interest as a verb.  It’s an anagram (reworked) of E(astern) and SONGS placed around (covered) an R for Queen.  We’ve had covered as a surround indicator already today in 13a – naughty.

24a         Quiet before long surrounds northern river (7)
SHANNON:  A river in Ireland is a two letter command to “be quiet” followed by a word meaning before long or soon placed around (surrounds) an N(orthern).

25a         Speech is over before Budget (7)
ORATION:  The cricketing abbreviation of over followed by a word which can mean a budget or allocation.

26a         Commanding officer and male crew fix launch (12)
COMMENCEMENT:  A charade of the abbreviation of Commanding Officer, M(ale), a word for crew as in some chaps and finally a word meaning to fix in place.  Much easier to solve than write a hint for.

Down

1d           Quite miserable penning record (7)
ITEMISE:  Another lurker, this time hidden in (penning) quite miserable.

2d           Managed walk round ends of terrace (7)
TREATED: A word for walk or step around TE (ends of TerracE).

3d           Control balance, with drops over time (9)
RESTRAINT:  Control here is a noun.   It’s a word for the balance as in what’s left followed by some drops of water falling from the sky followed by, over in a down clue, a T(ime).

4d           Open a French champagne and party starts (5)
UNCAP:  A French indefinite article and then the first letters (starts) of Champagne And Party.

5d           Couple with wife very large in volume (7)
TWOSOME:  Abbreviation of Wife and two letters for a very large size inserted into a volume or book.

6d           Abundant work university provided (7)
OPULENT:  The usual crosswordland work followed by U(niversity) and then a word for provided as in loaned or advanced.

7d           Badly ruins ground on small habitat (12)
SURROUNDINGS:  Anagram (badly) of RUINS GROUND followed by S(mall).

10d         Tricky compiler’s given up, except for trapping idiot (12)
EMBARRASSING:  How the compiler may refer to himself is reversed (given up in a down clue) followed by a word meaning except for placed around the usual idiot or fool.

15d         Worker day after day before in hold (9)
STEVEDORE:  This is a worker in who loads and unloads ships.  To get him you need to put a D(ay) after a word for the day before and the put that lot inside (in) a word meaning to hold as in to stock.

17d         Singer thus performed opera’s intro around piano (7)
SOPRANO:  A word for thus (2) followed by a word meaning performed or managed and an O (Opera’s intro) are placed around P(iano).

18d         Ally could be one of enemy (7)
ANTONYM:  A not very cryptic definition of a word for the relationship between the two words ALLY and ENEMY.

19d         Noble fellow pockets silver coin finally (7)
MAGNATE:  This word nowadays is usually used for a person of power and rank in industry but historically it meant a great nobleman.  Anyway, you need a word for a fellow or friend and insert (pockets) the chemical symbol for silver and an N (coiN finally).

20d         Stocks trader? (7)
FLORIST:  This clue becomes easy once you twig that stocks are flowering plants.
stock

22d         Report of gun law (5)
CANON:  Church law that sounds like (report of) a large gun.

My favourite was 19a with 20d and 4d on the podium but there’s plenty of good stuff to choose from.


The Quick Crossword pun: eyed+sum+arch=Ides of March


117 Comments

  1. Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Currently this site is being used to send out large quantities of spam email. As part of the process of tracking down the source of these I have suspended both of the email subscription facilities.

    • Angel
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if that has anything to do with my recently being inundated with emails from various people purporting to be the “personnel manager of a large international company” seeking employment applications? Is anyone else undergoing this I wonder?

  2. George
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Usual RayT fare – 3*/1*.

  3. Alec
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    A stroll in the park yesterday with Jay and a stroll in the park today with RayT. Liked 24a and 28a and 10d and 18d. A pleasure while it lasted. Thanks to all

  4. Jaycat
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Not on the same wavelength at all today, had to wait for hints for several before I could complete.
    Didn’t particularly find it very enjoyable either.
    3*/ 2*

    Thanks to setter and Pommers

  5. Miffypops
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    This took longer than than usual and certainly was not over as quickly as Pommers managed. Nobody likes a smartypants. The lurker lurked far longer than it needed too long after the answer had gone in. The stocks took a long time to open up and the Noble fellow at 19d refused to show himself. Lots of enjoyment as usual. Thank you RayT and thanks to Pommers for the review and for indulging Kath who deserves indulging for the surprising content of her email to me earlier this week, the contents of which will never be revealed.

  6. Spook
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    I’m with Jaycat I found this particularly tough, I suppose it’s the way our brains are wired. Some days we complete in reasonable time with certain setters and others like today we struggle with. Thank goodness it makes the solve more of a challenge.
    I have to rate*/*** still as they say onwards and upwards. Thanks to Pommers and RayT.

  7. pete
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I found this quite tricky too, but still enjoyable. Last ones in were 26a and 18d. 3*/2.5* Many thanks to Ray T and to Pommers.

  8. Una
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I agree with pommers rating, and I don’t think he is a smarty pants and I hope I’m not . I think it is just about wavelengths.
    18d was my favourite.
    Thanks pommers and Ray T.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I never said Pommers was a smarty pants. Just that nobody likes them.

      • Una
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        True.Although teachers tend to .

  9. Bluebird
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Most of the bottom half was tricky for me. 18, 21 and 22 all eluded me and although I flirted with the stevedore for a while, 23 and 26 across stayed back because of my obstinate attachment to the “farrier” who seemed desperate to lodge himself in at 20d.
    Once you get hold of the idea that stocks are horses and cattle and then look for a tradesman connected with the former……..oh dear!

    I blame it on the lurgy that refuses to leave me. And I blame that on the weeks of stress (sorry,… I mean “planning”), preceding my daughter’s wedding a couple of weeks ago. I’m looking forward to settling down with my feet up, a nice cup of coffee and the crossword in the next few weeks, and to my brain’s recovery.
    Glad not everyone found this a cinch.

  10. Rabbit Dave
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    To use George’s words, “usual Ray T fare”, but my rating (2*/4*) is rather different!

    20d was my favourite.

    Many thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  11. Steven Kemp
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t posted for a while (been very very busy for quite some time). Clue for 23A in the paper has the word EASTERN missing – luckily I took Queen to be ER. Unless Pommers has the clue wrong here

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Welcome back – I solved from the paper and so automatically thought the Queen was ER.

      • LabradorsruleOK
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        I too solved from the paper, where “Eastern” is absent: Ihen see it is present in the online subscription version. The clues otherwise being identical.
        I feel in the paper version the anagram of songs is covered by ER & in the online version the anagram of E songs covers the R so it works either way
        This is the 2nd time in a week the two have differed & again I would ask why?

        • Gazza
          Posted November 3, 2016 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          I suspect that the clue was changed online because the paper version doesn’t really work – the E & R are separated with the E appearing before the anagram, so it’s not correct to say “Queen covered”.

          • LabradorsruleOK
            Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

            Sorry Gazza I realised when walking the dog what I should have said re the paper clue. In our edition the clue reads “Interest in songs with Queen reworked”. Tnere reworked is the anagram indicator for songs + ER which works for me.

            • Gazza
              Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

              In that case it was probably changed because it’s flirting with being an indirect anagram, i.e. it’s a 2-stage process getting from Queen to ER then using those letters in the anagram.

              • shropshirelad
                Posted November 3, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

                I’m with you on that one Gazza , I didn’t fill it in as the ‘Queen’ in the paper could have meant anything from ‘V, R, ER, HM, Qu or VR’. This would have been a prime example of how ‘indirect’ anagrams are unfair to the solver if they hadn’t changed it in the ‘e’ version.

                • LabradorsruleOK
                  Posted November 3, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

                  Thank you both. I see the point.
                  My inexperience is sometimes an advantage as I took it that the uppercase Q referred to the “sitting tenant” so to speak & didn’t see the rest.
                  The change however lead to Pommers’ comment “naughty” re 23a & 13a
                  Great to hear from you SL

                • Tstrummer
                  Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:46 am | Permalink

                  It’s good to know that you are doing the crosswords, if not blogging them, SL. This is encouraging – at least, I am encouraged by it

  12. Sheffieldsy
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Not overly taxing and quite enjoyable, so 2*/3* feels about right. We’ve learned a new meaning for 19d, so educational value also.

    Returned to Alice Springs just a few hours ago. In the last two days coach pick-ups have been at 6.30am and 4.30am necessitating getting up before 5 and 4 respectively. Welcome back jet lag! Seriously, all much more than compensated for by the sight of sunrise over Uluru (Ayers Rock) and a visit to the nearby (10 miles is near in Oz) Kata Tjuta, two quite magnificent sandstone formations with massive significance in Aboriginal lore. There are some great places on this planet and Uluru National Park is one.

    Thanks to Pommers and Ray T.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! Here comes Mr. Google.

  13. Collywobbles
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Totally agree Pommers. Puzzle was most enjoyable. Not usual for me with RayT and I feld that 8a was one of the best clues that I have seen

  14. Jane
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Pommers and Una on this one – gentle Mr. T today but none the less enjoyable for that.
    Lucky Kath getting a clue ‘all for her very own self’ plus TWO pictures of her favourite detective!

    Hard as ever to compile a leader board – the nod goes to 8&26a plus 18&20d.

    Devotions to Mr. T (missed you last week) and thanks to Pommers for the great review.

  15. dutch
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I took 19a as an all-in-one, since the whole clue is word play – so I read the whole clue as the definition as well.

    I liked the lurker in 1d and the amusing surface in 5d. I liked 21a as well.

    Many thanks pommers and RayT

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      I took 19a to be a lovely all-in-one too

  16. Scousegit
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Even if the print edition of the DT had had the word ‘Eastern’ in the clue I doubt that I would have cracked 23a without Pommers’ assistance, thanks to him and the setter. **/*** from me.

  17. Angel
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    This was just up my street. TVM RayT and pommers to whom I didn’t in fact need to turn today except stupidly to parse 4d. Always forget the 12a meaning of “saw”. Thought 20d a bit far-fetched. Enjoyed fathoming 26a and liked 5d but Fav was 18d. **/***.

  18. upthecreek
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I normally. look for hidden words in RayT puzzles but 1d evaded me and it was the last one in. However, Mr T had his easy hat on today so it wasn’t a problem. The long anagrams at 1a and 7 gave a good start. There were some really nice clues of which I thought 4 was the best because of the great surface. 20 was very good and 19 was a trademark RayT. Many thanks for all the fun.

  19. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Shorter than usual Mr T time for me but very enjoyable. Had to check 19d, new meaning that I will forget no doubt..
    Liked 15 & 18d with latter COTD.
    Thanks to Mr T, Pommers for the review esp. the blast from the past for 24a. I’m sure it sounded different pre hearing aid days though.

  20. Toadson
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the difficulty rating this was still the hardest of the week so far for me. Enjoyable though. The staggering irony of a comment above has left me almost speechless. Thanks to all.

    • Angel
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      I had a similar thought and wonder if it was about the same comment! Nuff said!

  21. stanXYZ
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    It took me longer than pommers to tune in to RayT’s wavelength today … but not much longer.

    Nice to see the ellipses making a real connection for once (14a & 16a) by both setter and blogger.

  22. Jaylegs
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Unusually for me I managed to solve this without the hints 😊 But I needed help to understand the reasoning behind several 🤔 ***/*** Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers. Liked 18 & 20d I was unable to access blog today in normal fashion by typing DT 28,262 into browser but arrived here via http://bigdave44.com 😕

  23. Mark
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I agree with those who found this a fairly straightforward solve – though I seem to have gone through the quarters NE, SE, SW, NW so I was often working with intersecting letters at the end of words rather than at the beginning. That said, I found it more challenging than the first three days of the week and very enjoyable.

    Three clues stood out for me: 18d – gloriously misleading for quite some time, 21a – solved quickly but is very clever and, best of the day for me, 20d which really had me scratching my head before intersecting answers made the solution obvious.

    Well done Ray T and thanks to Pommers for the review

  24. Young Salopian
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Something a little more arduous for me than a stroll in the park, although certainly not a marathon. Good fun though with 20 down my favourite for its apparent misdirection and simplicity, plus I laughed when I solved it.

    2.5*/3.5* overall with thanks to Ray T and the on-wavelength pommers for his review.

  25. Woolgatherer
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Just to add balance to the large group who found it easy, I thought it was very much more difficult than Mr T’s usual offerings!

  26. Merusa
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I certainly didn’t find this a walk in the park, but I did solve it except for 1d; I could kick myself, isn’t it pommers who said if you can’t solve a clue look for a lurker?
    There was so much to enjoy, once I got the answer. I particularly liked 10d, 18d and 19d, but winner is 20d, it took me so long to tumble to what kind of stock it was.
    John Thaw was gorgeous, wasn’t he?
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for his entertaining review.

    • BusyLizzie
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      He’s ok but Michael Kitchen (Mr foyle) is more my cup of tea…

      • Merusa
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Oh, he’s pretty dishy too!

        • Kath
          Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          Yes – but in my book no-one, and I mean no-one beats John Thaw. I have to confess that the Oxford connection has something to do with it – our Younger Lamb and a friend of hers were extras in one of the Morse episodes and apparently he was lovely. When we watched that particular one we couldn’t tell whether it was her and friend or not but it didn’t really matter.
          Now – lets see if I’m still billy-no-mates i.e. if I go into moderation again . . .

          • Kath
            Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

            Well – damn me – what on earth have I done? Every comment I write goes into moderation.
            I’m definitely still billy-no-mates :sad:

            • LabradorsruleOK
              Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

              Count me (and Ted) as mates.👍

              Perhaps the FBI have seen your emails to Hillary!

            • crypticsue
              Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

              You aren’t alone. I’ve just had to rescue Jane from moderation too

            • Jane
              Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

              I’ve just gone there as well, Kath!

              • crypticsue
                Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

                And again – very strange

          • Gazza
            Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            You keep needing rescue from moderation, Kath, for no good reason that I can see.

          • Kath
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink

            Let’s see if I need rescuing again – just trying once more. In the meantime thanks to CS and Gazza for hauling me out of wherever I keep being sent – wherever it is I really don’t want to be there and can’t see what, if anything, I’ve done wrong.
            I’m glad to know that I have Jane, LROK and the wonderful collie, Ted, as mates anyway.

            • Kath
              Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink

              My persona is clearly not very grata today. Off to bed :sad:

  27. Gwizz
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t find this as easy as some did – at least not to start with, but once a few scattered answers had gone in everything thereafter became significantly solvable.
    20d was my favorite too; the simplicity and the possible misdirection was clever.
    2/3.5* overall.
    Thanks to Ray T, and to Pommers for his review.

  28. mre
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon everybody.

    Joint effort today. Tricky in places but finished the puzzle. My colleague’s favourite was 20d – a solution I certainly wouldn’t have found.

    ***/na

  29. Mr Kitty
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Until quite recently I was regularly defeated by RayT’s crosswords and puzzled by the adoration they get from his fans here. After bemoaning that situation a while ago I was given (by Kath, I think) the sage advice to persevere because it’s mostly a question of wavelength. Well, today I am a happy Mr Kitty because I think I’m finally getting tuned in. It was not a fast solve, but I’m hoping that the second RayT in a row that I’ve eventually completed unaided marks a transition from being stymied all over the grid and wondering what all the fuss is about to smiling at a sequence of penny drop moments and admiring his clue construction.

    I was happy to get 18d almost immediately because that’s the kind of clue that used to frustrate me for a long time. I liked the innuendo of 13a, but my biggest smiles today were for some brilliant cryptic definitions, particularly 21a and 20d, which has to be my favourite.

    Many thanks to RayT for the fun, and to Pommers for his great blog.

    • Jane
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the Ray T fan club, Mr. K. All membership ‘stuff’ available from Kath.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        This rescuing business is getting silly now :scratch:

        • Mr Kitty
          Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

          My earlier comment also went into moderation, so thanks Sue if it was you who rescued me. Perhaps this is all connected with the changes BD has had to make to stop the spammers?

          • Posted November 3, 2016 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

            I think the hosting company have helped in resolving the spam issue, but the comment moderation is a mystery.

      • Mr Kitty
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Jane. Of course having stuck my neck out I’m sure to be humbled by the next one.

  30. silvanus
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Nowhere near as tricky as some of Mr. Terrell’s puzzles, but I wouldn’t exactly call it easy. It was definitely extremely enjoyable, so much so that I’ll even overlook the repetition of “start”/”starts” as an initial letter indicator!

    My three ticks went to 1a (superb surface), 18d and 20d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Pommers.

  31. JonP
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Agree with pommers – enjoyable solve but certainly not as tricky as RayT can be.

    Thanks to pommers and RayT */****

    Just waiting at Knoxville airport (Tennessee) to board the plane to Fort Lauderdale – hopefully sunny weather awaits….

  32. JB
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Was no one else concerned that 5d “couple with wife” might result in an indelicate answer?

    • Kath
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Do you have an ‘indelicate’ answer in mind? It’s a typical Ray T clue – the surface reading sounds as if it could be a touch on the risque side but the answer is always totally innocent. That’s what makes him so clever/popular.

    • pommers
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

      It did cross my mind I’m afraid :lol:

  33. KiwiColin
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    No doubt at all that this Thursday puzzle is by RayT. Still wondering what was going on last week though with the ‘look-alike puzzle’ that we had. Perhaps Ray will enlighten us when he appears. Good fun from start to finish and the clue word count once again within the 8 word limit.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  34. Florence
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I found this a bit trickier than the normal RayT, and any pride I had in being able to complete them has now gone out the window. I didn’t get 21a and was sure that it had something to do with a nephew just because of a couple of the checking letters. I didn’t get 18d which on reflection I should have. There were others I did get right, but didn’t know why so had to look at the review. Not my day today. I will put it down to sore arms and general grumpy mood from travel vaccinations last night. Thank you for the challenge RayT and for the ever splendid review Pommers.

    • Jane
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      I tried to slot some sort of nephew in there as well!

      • Florence
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Phew, not the only one. Thank goodness. Read any good books lately Jane, I’m on the hunt?

        • Tstrummer
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:33 am | Permalink

          Try Sweet Caress by William Boyd or I Saw a Man by Owen Shears (it says on the cover its a thriller. It certainly isn’t, it’s a proper novel)

          • Florence
            Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            Thanks Tstrummer, I’ll take a look.

  35. Ora Meringue
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this one tricky, but as it was a RayT I am pleased with how much I managed……it was not that long ago when I could not get any answers to his puzzles.

    Thanks to the setter and to Pommers for his hints.

  36. Michael
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Struggled all the way through this one and found it quite tricky, didn’t really enjoy it – ah well, you can’t win them all!

  37. Kath
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    It feels like a while since we had a Ray T crossword – not surprisingly this one was worth waiting for.
    I agree it wasn’t anything like as tricky as some of his can be – or are we all just getting better at them? Discuss . . .
    I’ve spent the last couple of days around my great nephew and niece, aged four and two – they spend too much time in front of the TV. A lot of what they watch is American and the grammar is appalling – I hate to think what they’re picking up so I really appreciated the surface reading of 8a. Rant over.
    I was a bit slow with 26a and 10d but did manage to get to the lurkers before they got to me.
    Trying to decide which word in the clue for 7d was the anagram indicator also took a little while.
    I liked the previously mentioned 8a and 13a and 10 and 18d. My favourite was either 14 or 16d because any opportunity for a pic of the lovely John Thaw needs to be appreciated!
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers, specially for the pics.

    • Brian
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Not long enough for me, one a year would be too many.

      • Merusa
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Did you try today’s RayT? If I can solve it, so can you – have a go.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Especially the split infinitives in the written word. Sometimes a whole sentence will split one and it makes it so difficult to understand.

  38. Vancouverbc
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Very very enjoyable puzzle and not too tricky for a Thursday. Thanks to Ray T and Pommers for the review.

  39. BusyLizzie
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Found this slow going over breakfast, and only finished over lunch thanks to Pommers hints. 12a really held me up as I spent so much time thinking of all the types of saws Mr BL insists we need, plus anything to do with eye sight, darn. Wish they would have a clue about Mr Foyle so we could have a picture of him 😉

  40. Brian
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Managed about half but usually with little understanding so for me ***/*
    Typical Ray T, very difficult and very little fun.
    Thx for the hints

    • Merusa
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, I replied to your comment above before reading this!

  41. RayT
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Evening all. Muchas gracias to pommers for the review and to all for your comments.

    RayT

  42. Jon_S
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    More like a ** for difficulty for me, with the bottom half a little trickier than the rest. Perhaps on the easier side for a Thursday though. :-)

  43. Salty Dog
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    A charming doddle – 1*/4*. No-one who has had the misfortune of seeing my pants would ever describe them as “smart”, but sometimes you’re right on wavelength and everything falls neatly into place. My favourite was 5d, and my last in 1d, because I took ages to spot the lurker. Thanks to Mr T, and to Pommers.

  44. Orphan Annie
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Once upon a time I would have downed pencil when magis words Ray T appeared but these days I struggle bravely on. Found it quite hard but the supertoy and I persevered until all the little squares were filled up. TVM to Mr T and Pommers. :phew:

    • Merusa
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Doesn’t it feel good when you solve a RayT? Admittedly, I missed 1d, didn’t see the lurker, but I still feel that I accomplished a home run.

  45. BobH
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Managed all except the lurker. How stupid to have missed it. Had to think about some answers after solving, but it makes for a more interesting crossword I guess. As A retired person it’s not a problem. I thought that pommers was a bit dismissive of some of the clues I found tricky. Perhaps he should just comment on the toughie and leave the coffee time crossword to us mortals.

    • Merusa
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Pommers is a whizz at crosswords, he has to review it as he sees it, and his reviews are always spot on. It was a RayT on the more benign side today, I can quite see that pommers aced it.

      • pommers
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Not a whizz Merusa. I usually struggle a bit with Rufus and Giovanni but I’ve blogged so many Jay, RayT and Shamus puzzles (and the late lamented Petitjean) that they now seem to come as second nature. Certainly today was a first in terms of solving a RayT but what am I supposed to say – that i found it tricky when I didn’t?

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      Writing the blog does sharpen ones ability across a whole range of setters to the point that where one would previously have struggled the read and write has become the norm

  46. jean-luc cheval
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    For once I found that I didn’t have to look for far fetched synonyms.
    But didn’t understand 21a and still don’t understand the connection.
    That was my bung in of the day.
    1a favourite as first and last word are both anagram indicators.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers for the review.

    • Jane
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi JL,
      Someone who demonstrates nepotism will give advancement to his/her own family members above all others, thereby being ‘helpful’ to his relatives. Does that make sense?

      • jean-luc cheval
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Jane.
        Perfectly clear now.
        I swear I only gave Charlie a job for 3 weeks this summer and didn’t pay her more than normal.
        She’s a clever girl. Two weeks in Aix en Provence and she already found a little student job.

  47. LabradorsruleOK
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I am reluctant to comment to such a long-standing blogger. However…
    I guess Rupert Murdoch promoting his son would be seen as relatively helpful and is a nepotic act

    • jean-luc cheval
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh thanks.
      Makes perfect sense now.
      Totally misread pommers as I thought he meant preferring a family member among other family members.

      • pommers
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

        Sorry J-L. I wasn’t sure how to hint that one if truth be told.

  48. pommers
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Hello all. Sorry I’ve not been around today but pommette has been at the hospital having x-rays and an MRI on her knee that has seized up. The good news is that it doesn’t need replacing yet but they are going to have a go at cleaning it out to see if that improves things. In the meantime I think I will be hiring a wheelchair :sad:

    • crypticsue
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Poor Pommette. Hope they fix the knee soon :rose:

      • pommers
        Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Sue.

  49. Heno
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I very enjoyable puzzle, which I thought was quite tricky. I just worked through one at time slowly, and was surprised to find that I’d completed 6 across clues and no down clues after a while. Got there in the end. Some very well disguised anagrams and a great lurker in 1d. Enjoyed 26a, but my favourite was 24a. Last in was 23a. Was 3*/3* for me. Off to the pub.

  50. Posted November 3, 2016 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had a redonculously busy day today, but just had to squeeze in a RayT before bedtime. I was grateful for the gentle exercise, and enjoyed too the slightly harder job to get the last bit in in the south.

    A whole sextet of favourites clues I particularly enjoyed: 12a, 13a and 1d (not necessarily in that order) are my medallists, but I also had big smiles for 4d, 10d and 18d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to pommers for the usual good stuff. Best wishes to pomette too. And strokles to the cats.

  51. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Ray-T for the puzzle and Pommers for the hints

  52. hoofityoudonkey
    Posted November 3, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Quick question for anyone who can help…
    I am thinking of getting a tablet as I can’t do the cw on my phone.
    Can you do the DT online cw on a tablet??
    How does the internet connection work?? Do you have to pay a monthly subscription to use 4G????
    Many thanks..

    • Florence
      Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      I can’t do the DT on my iPad as it doesn’t support Adobe Flash Player required for the crossword. I can do the free Grauniad though. Have you sorted your rusty leek problem yet ? You can do a googlething on it. Only way to get rid of it is to dig them up, and put in rust free variety, but you can still eat them if you throw away the brown bits.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Hi Florence, thanks.
        The rusty leeks will be eaten in time, I went on to the RHS website and they were quite dismissive of varieties that were resistant, such a shame as I love leeks!!

    • Posted November 3, 2016 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

      I have a Samsung tablet and I can download all three main puzzles (Quick, Cryptic and Toughie) using my (paid) online subscription and a cheap app from Stand Alone. The app will also allow other puzzles, many of them free, to be downloaded.

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the reply Dave.
        Is your ‘cheap app’ a replacement for Adobe Flash Player??
        The Which guide recommends a Samsung tablet as ‘Best Buy’.

    • Miffypops
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      I have an ipad and a Telegraph subscription at £32.50 per month. I get the newspaper delivered which is useful for lighting the fire and the paper is delivered to the ipad in the we small hours. I get the cryptic puzzle the quickie and a codewords plus silly sodoffku number puzzle but not The Toughie which annoys greatly. Mondays blogs are written on the ipad much to the disgust of BD who shuns anything Apple.

      The paid online subscription to the puzzles pages is a different kettle of fish altogether. I do not think the paper comes along with that.

      • crypticsue
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        Surely its 32.50 a year unless yours is a special gold-plated version.

        • hoofityoudonkey
          Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

          Mine is £6 a month

      • Jose
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        I hope you let the punters in the pub read the DT before you burn it :-)

    • AnntheArt
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      Hi Hoofit…About the leeks. You might have a problem with he Allium leaf miner. Our last year’s crop was mostly ruined by it so we didn’t grow any this year. One of the side effects is rust and rotting of stems. But you can see the little reddish brown beetles burrowed in along the stems. All over the allotment here. Fingers crossed its not that!

      • hoofityoudonkey
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Hi Ann,
        Thanks, I will have a look, if that’s the case, hopefully the recent frosts will do for the little sods…

  53. Tstrummer
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    I’m not a RayT fan, as some may have gleaned from posts passim, although I enjoyed his previous offering. This , though, was the usual wrestling match – stretched synonyms and all. A few cracking clues scattered among the Brian fodder, of which I’ll plump for 20d to receive the lai. Ta to Ray and Pommers (and encouraging thoughts for Pommette). 3*/2*

  54. almo
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    23a where did you get “eastern” from, Pommers ? – my copy of the DT said “Interest in songs with Queen reworked” – I might even have got it if someone had offered “Eastern” !!

    • pommers
      Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      See comment thread at #11, the clue has been changed in the on-line version.

      • pommers
        Posted November 4, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Hmm, just had to rescue myself from moderation.

  55. Jose
    Posted November 4, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Only average for Ray T but still excellent, when compared to genearl back-pagers, nontheless. I find it extraordinary that anyone could rate this 1* for difficulty? 9a: The definition of a synonym is “a word that means the same, or nearly the same, as another word” – so synonyms are not always (precise) definitions. Closure, in the sense of cessation or termination, is (I think) a reasonable synonym of bankruptcy but is it a precise definition (which it ought to be according to the clue-type description)? People on here often mention “stretched synonyms” when the really mean stretched definitions. 3*/4*.