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DT 28849

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 28849

Hints and tips by pommers

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hola from the Vega Baja where summer seems to have returned with a bang. After some rather spectacular thunder and seriously torrential rain, like 35mm in 30 minutes, over the last few days the skies have cleared and it’s forecast to get up to 35°C over the weekend. Not bad for late September!
Anyway, to the puzzle . . . It’s a RayT but there’s nothing to really frighten the horses and there’s more than his usual quota of anagrams to get you going.  I’m sure even the RayT sceptics will get along with this one.

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 so don’t click on them unless you really want to see the answer.  Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Celebrates dancing round piano, upright (11)
RESPECTABLE:  Anagram (dancing) of CELEBRATES around a P(iano).

10a         Coffee or tea, we hear, inside old container (5)
LATTE:  The letter that sounds like (we hear) tea inside a word for old or dead.  Not sure what the word container brings to the party.

11a         Report of frozen deluge creating vision problem (9)
EYESTRAIN:  Another sounds like clue (report of).  The first syllable of the answer sounds like a word for frozen and the second syllable sounds like a deluge of water from the sky.  A bit topical around here after the recent weather!  At least we didn’t have a deluge of hailstones.

12a         Correct current slang for ‘beggar‘ (9)
MENDICANT:  A  charade of a word for to correct or to put right, the letter for electric current in physics and finally a word meaning slang or jargon.

13a         Epic poem is long. It’s also dull, initially (5)
ILIAD:  One of the epic poems by Homer is made up of the first letters (initially) of the other words in the clue. It’s certainly long at 15,693 lines but whether it’s dull or not I can’t say as I’ve never read it.

14a         United trained to take on Newcastle finally … (6)
TEAMED:  Take a word meaning trained or pacified and insert (to take on) an E  (NewcastlE finally).  It would have been icing on the cake if Newcastle were playing one of the other Uniteds this weekend but unfortunately they’ve got Crystal Palace.

16a         … Bury facing new wingers from Arsenal inside (8)
INTERNAL:  The usual word for bury followed by (facing) an N(ew) and AL (wingers from ArsenaL).

18a         Excess praise one’s Queen rejected (8)
RESIDUAL:  You need a word for to praise followed by I (one), the ‘S from the clue and the usual Queen.  You now have to reverse the lot (rejected).

20a         Consent from top admitting Church doctrine’s first (6)
ACCEDE:  Start with the top card in a suit and insert the abbreviation of the Church of England and a D (Doctrine’s first).

23a         Suitor with reaction to innuendo (5)
WOOER:  W(ith) followed by a phrase (2-2) which you might use in response to hearing a bit of innuendo.  Does anyone ever use this word?

24a         Handy gear for relocating plant (9)
HYDRANGEA:  Anagram (for relocating) of HANDY GEAR.

26a         Improve conditions spreading deeper love endlessly (9)
REDEVELOP:  Anagram (spreading) of DEEPER LOV(e) but without the final E (endlessly).

27a         East River capsized craft (5)
TRADE:  E(ast) and a river in Devon all reversed (capsized).

28a         Kill like elite force with crime destroyed (11)
ASSASSINATE:  A charade of a two letter word for like, an elite regiment of soldiers, a word for a crime and a word which can mean destroyed or, more likely, consumed.


2d           Scoffed feta at beano, regularly (5)
EATEN:  Alternate letters (regularly) from feta at beano.

3d           Force to accept this compiler twisting proposition (7)
PREMISE:  Take a word for to force, with a lever perhaps, and insert (to accept) how the compiler may refer to himself but he’s reversed (twisting).

4d           Emperor about right to hold tide back (6)
CAESAR:  Start with one of the two letter abouts and an R(ight) and insert (to hold) a word for tide (?) but reversed (back).  Not 100% convinced about this word for tide.

5d           Warning of drink round around time (8)
ALERTING:  Warning here is a verb.  You need a common crosswordland drink followed by something round placed around T(ime).

6d           Row about dodgy art for gents, perhaps (7)
LATRINE:  Another word for a row placed around (about) an anagram (dodgy) of ART.

7d           Weapons and helmets for war at sea (5-8)
FLAME-THROWERS:  Some rather nasty weapons are an anagram (at sea) of HELMETS FOR WAR.

8d           Light playing in arcade (8)
RADIANCE:  Anagram (playing) of IN ARCADE.

9d           Pure, natural duet moving journalist (13)
UNADULTERATED:  Anagram (moving) of NATURAL DUET followed by the usual journalist.

15d         Bolts sailors do on empty decks (8)
ABSCONDS:  Nothing to do with Jamaican sprinters. It’s bolts as in runs away.  Start with some of the usual sailors, don’t forget it’s plural, followed by a word meaning to do as in defraud and finally DS (empty D(eck)S).

17d         A small room turned up around lobby — heaven! (8)
VALHALLA:  A (from the clue) and an abbreviation of the toilet (small room) reversed (turned up in a down clue) and placed around a word for a lobby or vestibule.

19d         Drops containing skin of elder extracts (7)
DERIVES: Drops, as in falls rapidly, placed around (containing) the outer letters (skin of) from EldeR.

21d         Punish Conservative over race (7)
CHASTEN:  A single letter for conservative placed before (over in a down clue) a word for to race or hurry.

22d         Experts of French exercise a school head embraces (6)
ADEPTS:  Take the French word for OF and two letters for exercise, not PE but the other one.  Around this (embraces) put the A from the clue and an S (School head).

25d         Maudling ran Treasury accepting gift (5)
GRANT:  A lurker lurking in (accepting) the first three words of the clue.

I thought this one lacked some of the usual sparkle.  Not so much blue as usual but fav was 13a with 14a and 25d up there on the podium.

Quick crossword pun:     HOST     +     RILE     +     EAR     =     AUSTRALIA


43 comments on “DT 28849

  1. A little too many anagrams for me but they do help if easily solved .
    Liked the 2 homophones but , no doubt , others may disagree .
    Hope the Vega Baja stretches to the Canaries next week .
    Thanks to everyone .

  2. One of those puzzles that starts to fill itself in after the first pass. The last one in was 14ac which took a bit of thinking about. Ta to all involved.

  3. Good fun from Ray T this morning, full of trademark clues. 17d was my favourite of several, and it had just the right amount of difficulty to be worthwhile yet comfortable to complete.

    Thanks to Ray and pommers.

  4. 23a
    Last May a braw wooer cam doon the lang glen
    And sair wi his love he did deave me

    The Braw Wooer by Robert Burns
    Usually asked to recite this once a year around 25 th January…. so a not unfamiliar word for me, but perhaps not in general use?

    1. Welcome to the blog

      Pommers is asking whether anyone actually uses the ‘reaction to innuendo’ part of the solution any more

      1. I have used it on this site. Occasionally in conversation as last week when I turned up to overhear our friend Janet telling St Sharon that she likes to do it for an hour In the bedroom. Ooh er Mrs.

  5. Like Young Salopian 17d was my favourite, my first thoughts were allelula-or a variant spelling – thought the little room would have been loo-never mind.
    14a would have been difficult without the checking letters, and last in was 22d which I nearly put adopts in until I realised I was barking up the wrong tree.
    Anyway a **/*** like Pommers for me overall.
    Thanks Pommers for parsing 23 a , which eluded me.

  6. I thought 23a was brilliant, and must rank as one of my favourite-ever Ray T clues. 7d was an excellent anagram also, and, unlike our blogger, I found more than enough sparkle in today’s puzzle to keep me content.

    Many thanks to Mr Terrell and to pommers.

  7. Viewed through my usual Ray T day rose-tinted specs, there was plenty of sparkle here, not to mention a wealth of anagrams to encourage those who find his puzzles problematical.
    14a was my last one in – maybe others also fell into the trap of assuming, once the checkers were in place, that the ‘final’ of Newcastle had been dealt with!

    Podium places awarded to 11,13,18&23a. In answer to your question, Pommers, I seem to recall the 23a ‘reaction’ being regularly used jokingly in Frankie’s heyday but probably not much beyond that. Time for a revival perhaps?

    Devotions to Mr T and thanks to Pommers for the blog and the river trip.

  8. 7d I notice that pommers’ solution when revealed is not hyphenated.

    Most unusual for a RayT to include a nearly multiple word answer.

    And no “sweetheart” today …

    1. I claim carelessness as my excuse. I’ll put the hyphen in. Interestingly, or not maybe, in Collins the weapon is listed as both hyphenated or two words in British English but only as one word in American English.

  9. A good brain stretch with this Ray T as always – once I managed to get on the right wavelength. Last one in 21d for no particular reason. As for COTD I’m in the 17d camp. Many thanks to Ray and Pommers.

  10. Like KFB I am not a fan of numerous anagrams – the odd one perhaps. Re 23a I seem to remember instances when MP and others have included the Frankie Howard expression in their reactions to risqué/double entendre comments by bloggers. I am not too keen on 10a, 14a or 4d. No Fav today but the Quickie pun raised a giggle. Thank you RayT and pommers.

    1. I remember a year or two ago giggling at some very amusing exchange between Kitty and PJ where he used it.

  11. Thanks to Ray T and to Pommers for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, perhaps one or two too many anagrams. I liked 7&17d, but my favourite was 23a. Last in was 14a. Was 2*/4 * for me.

  12. 14a was my last in as well, but I did appreciate the concatenated football themed clues.

    I also am not sure what the container in 10a added. This made me doubt my answer for a while, but not as much as my doubts as to whether being old really is the equivalent to being dead – which the answer to this clue would have us believe is the case.

    I was also convinced, on first reading, that 11a was going to be Cataracts, (just assuming that the setter had carelessly inserted the frozen without meaning to – as is often my downfall, when I impetuously just want the answer to be a certain thing).

    Honourable mention also to 12a, our beggar, which I probably would not have got without checking letters.

    Overall 2,5 / 4

    Thannks to Ray T and Pommers

  13. Not a big Ray T fan but enjoyed today’s offering 😃 ***/*** My favourites were 11a & 6d 😉 Big thank you to Pommers and to Ray T 👍

  14. As usual with a Ray T for me tricky but not as tricky as some of his. Found parts straightforward and others bits challenging. Last in 17d and needed Pommers help with that, also used Pommers hints to understand the parsing of 12a and 14a. Like Jaylegs not a real fan of Mr T but pleased to have completed and did enjoy it to a certain extent. Down to me to keep improving with this setters puzzles. Didn’t realise it was a Ray T until coming on the blog and perhaps that’s a good thing?

    Clues of the day: 28a / 6d

    Rating: 3.5* / 3.5*

    Thanks to Pommers and Mr T.

  15. **/***. A couple of “stretched” clues (10a&4d) were blots on an otherwise very enjoyable puzzle. My favourite was 17d. Thanks to all.

  16. I agree with you Pommers about 4d,which is a clever clue…but is a sea the same as a tide?
    Only quibble about an otherwise enjoyable puzzle.
    Favourite today was 11a.

  17. Well, well, well, that is a first for me, completing a RayT puzzle, but, full disclosure, with a prodigious amount of electronic help. I usually get bored and give up when I have to use help like that, but I was encouraged by the fact that I was “getting” it! I daresay the next RayT puzzle will be uncrackable.
    I was stumped at first by the spelling in 25d, had to google it to find out it was a person. Very misleading to put it at the beginning so it was capped anyway.
    On first run through I only solved two clues, 12a and 17d, so I’m going to choose those as top likes. I also needed pommers help with parsing a few, 23a in particular.
    Thanks to RayT and to pommers, especially the Roger Whittaker clip, I do like him, must ferret out his CDs and play them again.

    1. You are not alone, I only completed this crossword by dint of extensive use of electronic devices and pommers’ blog. Sometimes Ray T provides joy, on other occasions anguish. Nevertheless, thanks to him and pommers.

    2. I always struggle with Ray T puzzles. I had to look for help too often, so giving up, as little satisfaction if not all my own work. Did think 11a was very good, one of the few I solved without help. Didn’t care for 10a or 4d as mentioned by some others. And I spent far too long thinking 25a had something to do with Reg, Chancellor from way back when.

  18. Nothing here to spook the horses today. I found it a bit low key which is unusual for a Ray T crossword but that could be just me though…
    I put 23a in without giving it a thought. 18a is my fave.
    Thanks to Mr T, and to pommers for his review.

  19. When we first looked at the puzzle and noticed the 5-7 enumeration for 7d we had a moment of doubt about who was the setter. Once we started solving all doubts disappeared. Good fun all the way through with a special mention for 23a.
    Word count all in order.
    Thanks RayT and pommers.

  20. Yikes, and yikes again. I appear to be in the minority today who struggled. At the close I was left flapping round odd answers scattered about the grid, and must have spent almost a quarter of my time on 14ac. All this despite getting the long answers pretty sharpish and being fairly sure they would be the key to a quick solve. Goes to show.

  21. Had to comment in praise of 23a. I laughed out loud (as the kids say!).
    Many thanks to Ray T and Pommers.

  22. Very enjoyable and surprisingly it all fell into place, in spite of a 350 round trip to Nottingham to collect a Laura Ashley table.
    Thanks all

  23. Well,not so many negative comments as usual for a RayT. I thought this was an excellent puzzle and the only reason I went for only three star enjoyment is that poor Mr T is a bit hoist by his own petard. As soon as I twig it’s one of his I have certain expectations about how clever/wiitty/ smutty/ entertaining it’s going to be and, for me at least, this one fell a tad short of those expectations. I guess if it wasn’t a RayT then I’d have gone for 4*.
    Anyway, off to bed now so see y’all later.

  24. A bit late to comment now – the story of my life at the moment – so I’ll make this quick.
    The four long answers round the outside were a big help today.
    Don’t know why, apart from the fact that something had to be, but 14a was my last answer.
    Lots of good clues as usual on Ray T Thursdays and I absolutely loved 23a whether or not anyone ever uses the word.
    With thanks to Ray T and to pommers.

  25. A very enjoyable puzzle with lots to like. As the 2K’s have already said – I was initially unsure if it was a RayT production with the hyphenated 7d but everything fell into place.

    I will pick 13a as my favourite as it will remind me how to correctly spell the answer. I have a ‘blind spot’ with single and double L’s .

    Thanks to RayT for the fun and to pommers for his review.

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