DT 29327 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29327

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29327

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty ***/****Enjoyment ****

Hello everyone. I hope you’re all safe and well at this very difficult and scary time. Here is a Ray T crossword – some of his trademark clues are missing but I’m still sure that it’s one of his. I started off well and thought it was going to be a doddle but changed my mind quite quickly. There are a few clues with a topical feel but I’m not going so far as to say it has a theme – maybe I haven’t looked hard enough.

In the hints the definitions are underlined and the answers are under ANSWER so only do that if you need to see one.

Please leave a comment telling us how you found the crossword and adding anything else you feel like, especially if you’re feeling cooped-up and lonely at the moment and could do with a natter.


1a        Altered by lie, altered by design (12)
DELIBERATELY — an anagram (altered) of ALTERED BY LIE – a nice long angram  . . . I’m sure anyone who’s been around on the blog for any length of time can finish the sentence for me

9a        Part in sitcom for terrible dummy (9)
COMFORTER — the first lurker or hidden answer which is indicated by the first word of the clue

10a       Stayed saucy, twirling with tango (5)
DWELT — a reversal (twirling) of another word for ‘saucy’,  as in a bit risqué rather than covered in gravy, followed by the letter represented by ‘tango’ in the phonetic alphabet

11a       More feeble play on words? That is right (6)
PUNIER — a little word with which I’m sure we’re all familiar that is a play on words followed by the two letter abbreviation for the Latin ‘that is’ and R(ight)

12a       Age taken by fat old painter? (8)
LEONARDO — some fat that’s used in cooking contains (taken by) an age or period of time and then O(ld)

13a       Husband is maybe hiding alarm (6)
DISMAY — the second hidden answer indicated by ‘hiding’

15a       Storing remains covered by incense (8)
STASHING — some remains, of a fire perhaps, go inside a synonym of incense – a verb meaning to anger or annoy rather than the pongy stuff  

18a       Drift catching current finally hooking fish (8)
STINGRAY — another word for drift or go off course contains (catching) a synonym of current or up to date and the last letter (finally) of [hookin]G – I confess to having taken ages trying to justify the wrong fish

19a       Gorged showing greed oddly, after wine case (6)
BINGED — a case for storing wine bottles followed by the alternate letters (oddly) of GrEeD

21a       Punish hound taking common order rolling over (8)
CHASTISE — a verb to hound or pursue goes round the outside of (taking) a reversal (rolling over) of a common order which is given to a hound or a dog of some kind

23a       America can, employing army, win (6)
ATTAIN — the one letter abbreviation for A[merica] is followed by a can or airtight container which contains (employing) the old two letter abbreviation for a voluntary military force 

26a       Greek character central to ‘Medea’? (5)
DELTA — the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet – ie the middle (central) bit of [me]D[ea]

27a       Politician rested in bed for illness … (9)
COMPLAINT — the usual two letter crosswordland politician and another word for rested or put to lie down are contained in (in) a child’s bed

28a       … strangely ensured it ran wild (12)
UNRESTRAINED — an anagram (strangely) of ENSURED IT RAN



1d        Crab maybe walked about, almost curious (7)
DECAPOD — a reversal (about) of a synonym for walked or took steps is followed by the first two of a three letter word (almost) that means curious or a bit peculiar

2d        Light unit measurement’s European norm initially (5)
LUMEN — a Ray T special – the first letters (initially) of the remaining words of the clue

3d        Blast resounded round exhaust’s opening in backfire (9)
BOOMERANG — two synonyms with the first letter (opening) of E[xhaust] in between them (round) – the first bit is a blast or loud noise like thunder and the second is resounded or echoed

KODAK Digital Still Camera

4d   Grasses Sun up! (4)
RATS — ‘grasses’ here is a verb that means betray or inform on – it’s a reversal (up) of what the Sun is an example of

5d        Afflictions of soldiers, male, under canvas? (8)
TORMENTS — the two letter abbreviation for some non-commissioned soldiers and the abbreviation for M[ale] are contained in (under) some shelters which are made of canvas

6d        Boy, even empty, carrying some weight (5)
LADEN — a young boy or youth followed by the first and last letters (empty) of E[ve]N

View across Giudecca Canal of San Giorgio Maggiore island and church. In the foreground, moored boat laden with big colorful plastic bags, probably with wast material to be transported out of town.

7d        Tendency to include reading perhaps for education (8)
LEARNING — a tendency or direction which contains (to include) the abbreviation for R[eading], as in the three R’s

8d        Pungent air around middle of restroom (6)
STRONG — an air or tune contains (around) the middle two letters of [res]TR[oom]

14d    Right in America upset, albeit wrongly (8) 
SUITABLE — a reversal (upset) of the two letter abbreviation for the United States is followed by an anagram (wrongly) of ALBEIT

16d      Wrong keeping head of cattle, cultivate a grain (9)
SCINTILLA — a wrong or an offence around (keeping) the first letter (head) of C[attle] is followed by a synonym for cultivate or dig ground – finish that lot off with the ‘A’ from the clue

17d   Annihilate multitude about to catch a cold (8)
MASSACRE — a multitude or a large number of people and the little abbreviation meaning about or concerning containing (to catch) the ‘A’ from the clue and the abbreviation for C[old]

18d   Break from Church doctrine’s first in diocese (6)
SECEDE — a diocese, not the specific one in the East of the country, but a synonym for one, contains the two letter abbreviation for Church of England and the first letter (first) of D[octrine]

20d      Stood for action holding weight lifted (7)
DENOTED — an action or attainment contains (holding) a reversal (lifted) of an old measurement of weight

22d      An American writer or two? (5)
TWAIN — a double definition – the second is an archaic word for two

24d      Tall story with article about extraterrestrial (5)
ALIEN — the two letter indefinite article contains (about) a tall story or a fib

25d      Sentence is overturned leading to discharge (4)
EMIT — a reversal (overturned) of a sentence or term of imprisonment – this one was made difficult for me because when I printed out the crossword the last word of the clue was on the next page so I didn’t see it!

I liked the linked (or am I imagining things?) 27 and 28a.


112 comments on “DT 29327

  1. 4.5*/4.5*. Was it just me or was that really tough today? Very enjoyable though. I assume Her Majesty is in self-isolation.

    My podium comprises 1a, 5d & 18d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  2. This was right up my street, Ray T at his best, topped off by a brilliant Quickie Pun.
    Last to fall for me was the SE but once I’d twigged 14d the remains fell into place.
    One things for sure, with this setter you’re going to get plenty of podium contenders.
    I’ve gone for 10, 11 and 12a
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for their excellent works.

    1. By the way Kath your hint for 21a needs a tweak to reflect the “rolling over” of the order.

      1. Thank you – sorted!
        Hints were done today under rather less than ideal conditions – it’s a long story – and I didn’t have time to check everything before publishing.

  3. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, bearing in mind it’s a RayT, but this was my fastest finish for a while. There was a time when I groaned when I saw it was a RayT, but I’m really glad I persevered because I so enjoy them now.

    I needed Kath’s help to parse my answer to 18a – obvious once it’s pointed out, so many thanks for that.

    Thanks also to RayT for the usual fun.

  4. I did it but not without help. Unlike yesterday, there was nothing that brought a smile to my face, so enjoyment rating ** only, but difficulty was at least ****.

  5. A **/**** for me today,1d was a new word but luckily all the checking letters saved the day.
    I was on the setters wavelength-assume it was Mr T as per according to Kath, a pleasure to solve anyway.
    As a charade fan I liked 12a and 18a, also 26a when the penny dropped.,no obscure clues to spoil the solve.
    The quickie pun was topical to say the least! Just been out for my essentials which include the paper.

  6. I am with Margaret on this one, I always struggle with a RayT offering but probably for the first time ever, I managed to finish it with no help. 18d and 19a were my last ones in. Thanks to Kath for the expanations and to RayT.

  7. A really enjoyable Ray T crossword (**/****). Thank you for brightening our day in this time of isolation. I liked 3d, 14d, 16d and 18a but there were loads of good clues to choose from. Thanks to Kath for the review. Another sunny but chilly day to spend i the garden. What a shame the Vale of White Horse Council
    are short-staffed and cannot collect all the prunings I am accumulating. A sign of the times.

    1. You could start your own compost heap, Chriscross. Alternate prunings and grass cuttings. If you make a wooden frame, you could even have a raised bed in which to grow veg in the coming weeks.
      At least the latter was what I was thinking of doing before I realised that a month ago I had thrown out my ‘best before..’ seeds.
      Oh dear.
      We had green bin collections today. But no green deliveries.

      1. We have just been delivered two new enormous wheelie bins. A blue one for glass and cans and plastic and a brown one for paper. We now have 4 bins in a little terrace and no room to swing a cat. they arrived with a note telling us what to put in each bin and a schedule of collection which had a P.S. that they were not collecting anything other than normal household waste for the duration! We will be buried under newspapers and soup/beans cans by the time this is over.

        1. We have had 4 bins for a few years now. Brown wheelie for garden waste (large diameter prunings);green wheelie for recyclable card/paper/cans/ light plastics etc; a smaller black wheelie for land fill and a caddy for food waste. Small garden waste goes in one of our two compost bins with green kitchen waste but woody stuff doesnt break down.

        2. I’m not often one for standardising things because it so often means bringing everything down to the lowest standard but I do wish that the colours of bins and what goes into them were the same all over the country. It’s completely impossible to be helpful in someone else’s house – “No, Mum, not in there ” etc etc.

          1. It is strange on my road as the boundary between local authorities is down the middle of the road. The bins on the other sides are completely different colours and are collected on different days. We have black for general and green for recyclable plus a much too small box for bottles. There is a brown one for garden rubbish but you have to pay for that so we don’t. Our bins are so old and drab that difficult to distinguish the green from the black and it is an arduous path back up from the road with a full bin!

  8. For me, this was Ray T close to the top of his game, rather like Jay yesterday. Difficult in places, but very solvable. 1a was my favourite of many fine clues.

    Many thanks to Mr T and Kath. Incidentally, I would be interested to know if any other users of the Telegraph iPad Edition are having similar problems to me, in that I get an error message halfway through the Quick Crossword with no access to it available for an hour or so.

      1. Me too. When I read all the problems people have when trying to complete online, I know it is not for me. My Mum always said I was at the back of the queue when they were handing out patience.

  9. Sorry to be a downer but I didn’t enjoy this much. I felt I was struggling on nearly all of it and it took me ages. That shouldn’t matter as I have little else to do today, being stuck on a Med. island with no prospect of returning anytime soon, but I’d rather be doing Killer Sudokus than this. Don’t like the one word quickie clues much either, but the pun was very clever!
    ****/* – a bad combination I’m afraid.

  10. Enjoyed every minute of this although it did take me several of those minutes to sort out the parsing of 18a……….
    Podium places here went to 1a plus 5&8d.
    I wonder whether Ray takes the prize for being the first to make a pun out of the current situation?

    Devotions and many thanks to him and also gratitude to Kath for producing the review amidst a houseful of ‘home workers’!

    1. . . . add to ‘the houseful of home workers’ the fact that they were all wandering around the kitchen making toast, porridge and coffee, and chattering just as I was starting the hints – could have throttled every single one of them! :roll:

      1. A friend of mine has taken in her 96 yr old Mum for the duration, but has had to confine her to her room for chunks of the day or else she comes downstairs and keeps chattering.
        Seems like a double pincer movement to me. Folk in their 60s just aren’t used to it anymore.

    2. I’m as contrary as ever, failed on so many levels but solved (and parsed) 18a in a trice!

  11. Solved alone and unaided but did need some help with the parsing, so well done me today.
    Very pleased with myself for managing a RayT. Not so long ago I was lucky to get a few answers.

    Thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    Keep safe, stay home.

  12. Well that took some solving. I ground to a halt with half a dozen or so to go. I stopped and sent Kath a ‘rather you than me’ email. When I returned to the puzzle the reluctant answers flew in. Thanks to RayT for the workout and to Kath for the blog.

  13. I’m with you on this one Kath. The right hand side fell into place pretty quickly and it looked a doddle but I found the left hand side much trickier & was just over *** time at completion. As with all Ray T crosswords I confidently bung the answer in & then spend more time trying to figure out the wordplay – 3d, 10a & 18a cases in point today. 9a was my last in today & I was focused on the wrong type of dummy & like a dummy took an age to eventually twig the lurker. 16d was my COTD – a word I’ve always liked for some reason.
    The sun is shining here so it looks like 20 mins of social distance queuing to get into Waitrose followed by a good walk over the common & golf course with an Allman Brothers Band playlist for company.
    Thanks to all & stay cheerful everybody.

    1. I’m glad I am not the only one to take that approach to solving Ray T crosswords. On the whole even with lockdown life’s too short to try to understand his twisted logic when it comes to the wordplay.

  14. I struggled with this one needing several hints(thanks Kath) not one of the best for me. I think cabin fever is setting in. Had to have Grandsons birthday by facetime. Still the air is clear and fresh.
    Thanks again to Kath and RayT

  15. Another day of completing the crossword without resorting to hints. I am beginning to look forward to Thursdays and Ray T’s offerings. Remarkable considering I used to find them impenetrable. They are most enjoyable now I have got onto his wavelength. Great lurker at 9a but my COTD is 12a.

    Terrific Quickie pun, as well.

    Thank you, Ray T and many thanks also to Kath for the hints.

  16. I wasn’t sure at first that it was a Ray T as a lot of the usual suspects are obviously self-distancing. The clue word count was correct.

    I did enjoy the solve and can confirm that it took exactly the time I’d expect the average Ray T to take. Thanks to him and the overcrowded Kath.

    This morning’s walk was chillier than yesterday, occasional bits of sun, but there were more skylarks than yesterday and I could hear a woodpecker doing his best to make a hole in a tree. We used to have one in the village who couldn’t understand why a metal pole didn’t give in, but he doesn’t seem to be around these days.

    1. I had a woodpecker who used the metal on my telephone pole to stake his claim to the area, made a racket but I quite liked it.

  17. Finished but with no great enjoyment, all a bit of a slog. I thought 1d and 26a absolutely awful clues. No favourites today.
    Not a pleasant puzzle at all, such a shame after the really good ones we have had so far this week.
    One point if this was a Ray T where was the Queen? It was certainly quirky and tedious enough to be one of his lesser puzzles.
    Thx for the hints

    1. HM is at Windsor Castle for Easter. She went there earlier than usual because of the pandemic.

      1. I love this double-entendre, Senf. Got a huge laugh. Hope she’s well and thriving at Windsor.

        1. I hope so too as her footman contracted the virus. Understand she has a “skeleton staff”

  18. Must be the sunshine we have this morning. Put me in a good mood. I’m in the “not too tough/average enjoyment” camp. – about **/***. Favourite, for the surface, is 18d. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

    If, as BD’s homepage seems to indicate, today’s Toughie is by Elgar, I found that not too tough either (for Elgar) and can recommend it.

    1. BD’s list has the right setters but the wrong dates – today’s Toughie is by Kcit. Elgar is tomorrow’s Toughie setter

      1. Aha! That explains it. I did wonder why Elgar was doing the Thursday slot!

        Bit like Eric Morecambe at the piano then.

        1. The calendar from which the Toughie setters are generated is correct, but the widget is getting it wrong. I’ve no idea why.

    2. I got two answers in the Toughie after reading through twice. I’ll have another go later

  19. Out of interest can I ask other iPad users if they are finding that the new app drains their batteries at an alarming rate? Reading the DT and doing the cryptic (true it was difficult and took a while to solve) I used 52% of a fully charged battery.

    1. Yes , if completion takes some time , especially in older iPads . Battery usage of the iPad can be seen in the settings .

  20. For a Ray T, this was not too bad in terms of difficulty and was very enjoyable, completed at a fast canter – 2.5*/3.5*.
    However, the Quickie was a very different story – a real head scratcher!
    Candidates for favourite – 12a, 5d, 17d, and 22d – and the winner is 17d.
    Thanks to Ray T and well done Kath for a very good blog produced under ‘duress.’

  21. Weirdly, although slowish, I found this easier ( and therefore more enjoyable) than yesterday.
    Just needed an electronic hint for 3D, as I couldn’t tear myself away from BANG! as a surrounding word.

    Well done to Kath though, given the circs and to Ray T for the quickie pun.

  22. Was surprised it was a RayT as the last down clue was printed on another page.
    Wasn’t too keen on 26a.
    No real favourite either.
    Thanks to Mr T and to Kath for the review.

  23. Thanks to Ray T for a typical Ray T puzzle and to Kath for the typically excellent blog.
    I had to laugh at the 12a whinge about the slow decorator and the terrible actor in 9a but my favourite today was the Quickie pun.

  24. Didn’t find this too bad although I couldn’t solve 1d. I guessed the word for walk but was trying to put it around something. I also did not know the answer so it made it doubly difficult. In addition I could not parse 21a even with the hints. Eventually the penny dropped. Perhaps more dog owners should use this command more often. **/****

  25. I got there in the end but like others struggled to parse the fish and was unable to get Credo out of my mind for 18d. They were the last to fall with Kath and BRB’s help. Following the Miffypop maxim, I have saved the paper from unnecessary graphite. I liked the fat painter and 16d because it was/is the brand of a local breweries soft drinks. the topical 27 28a combo amused too.
    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  26. Thoroughly enjoyed this and finished fairly quickly but needed Kath for parsing 18a Jolly good quickie pun too, thanks to all. Cold in Cambridge today!

  27. Took my time over this, interspersed with digging a new rose bed. Being a very strong ‘completer finisher’, I’m learning to take my time over the more challenging puzzles rather than rushing to the blog. I think this is probably the first time I’ve completed a Ray T before reading the hints. Did not get the lurker in 13a, and 19a was my last to go in because I assumed the first three letters were a farm animal known to be greedy.

    3* / 4*

  28. I found this initially quite straightforward, but I spent half my time on 1d, my favourite was 16d ***/***
    Thanks Kath and Ray T.

  29. Took some time, main holdup in SW corner – not quite sure why now it is completed.
    1d was a bung in, thanks for the explanation. For me ***/***

  30. Gosh! Yet another nice easily solvable crossword 😃 **/**** I can’t believe it is a Ray T, but if Kath says so it must be true 👍 Favourites 12a & 3d Big thank you to Kath for a nice blog and to Ray T, even though HM has left for Windsor😳

    1. No – just because I say so doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true but I am pretty sure it’s a Ray T. I’m very used to doing the hints for his crosswords – they’re the ones that I “cut my teeth on” when I first started doing hints with pommers many years ago – and good fun it was too so thanks to him and hope that he’s OK and safe in Spain.

  31. A very nice challenge. Started off quicky, helped by the anagram at 1a and most of the downs that it started, then a steady pace after that. Gold to 16d, silver to 3d and bronze to 18. Thanks Ray T and Kath.

  32. This went from a ** to a **** with the SE corner creating huge problem mainly by me being too clever by half with 18d. Put in schism. Why? Ch for church – ism for doctrine – and s for see (diocese). At the time very proud of myself. Needed Kath to get me out of it because nothing else came to my help.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

  33. Having to print the puzzle now like most of you. Having taken hours yesterday to replace the printer inks and reset the wifi connection, the crossword took no time at all. Today though a completely different story. After 3 separate attempts at different times today, I actually abandoned it. Not sure I’m much the wiser seeing the answers. I certainly wouldn’t have come up with several of them in a million years! Very tough. I find Ray T pretty obscure on the best of days but this one was off the scale.

    1. I’m not quite sure how to interpret your question. Do you mean the three little thingies
      . . . at the end of one clue and the three more at the beginning of the next or do you mean the actual clues and answers?

        1. As everyone who’s been around this blog for a long time already knows I’m often wrong! :oops:
          My interpretation of the clues and answers to 27 and 28a was that they were both concerned with the beastly virus. 27a was a reference to Boris catching it and retiring to his bed and 28a was to do with how fast it’s spreading. I hope I’m right and that that helps.
          If anyone has a better idea please feel free to say so. :smile:

          1. You are quite right, Kath, except that it wasn’t specifically about the PM catching the virus. I submitted the puzzle before he announced the news, counting on at least one politician eventually succumbing!


            1. Thank you for commenting, as always, and :phew: at least I was right even though the timing was fortuitous.
              Please stay safe in Paris, or wherever you are at the moment.

            2. Good evening, Mr T and thanks for brightening our day.
              Hope that both you and the family are well and making the best of things – as much as any of us can!

  34. Haven’t read the comments yet since, like yesterday, I worked the Toughie before the Cryptic and am late with this one, which I thought must have been a Ray T specialty (speciality?) because it had many of the zigs and zags I’ve come to expect from him. It was tough, but doable, and full of the kind of GK and scientific detail that is one of his hallmarks. I rather ran through two-thirds of it but got bogged down in three places: 1d, 9a (sneaky little devil of a lurker!), and 19a (that ‘wine case’!, which was my LOI. Still, quite enjoyable. Winners galore: 10a (simple but wicked), 16d, 1d, 19a. Thanks to Kath and Ray T (?). *** / ****

  35. I said l faced Thursday with some trepidation and l was right. Pleased that got the right letters in the right squares,except for 12a,but think l was only able to parse about half of them.Thankyou to Kath for the parsing and to Ray T for the challenge which kept me entertained and frustrated for a long time on a lockdown day.

  36. Another good but tricky puzzle. I’m still going to bang on about only being able to see one clue at a time. Isn’t anyone else having this problem? Don’t want to print it out as I seem to get through ink at a gallop and it’s sooooo expensive. Our farm shop butcher has started delivering and we have just received our first ‘special’. For 50 pounds 2 sirloin steaks 500g, 2 rump steaks 500g, 500g mince, 2 huge chicken breasts, 2 huge pork chops 500g, diced venison 500g, 10 sausages and just over 1k topside. He has his own Aberdeen Angus herd and his meat is wonderful. Thank goodness I’m not a vegetarian in these dark days. Must remember to go and clap at 8pm

    1. Not sure what you have already tried. Delete whatever app you are using then download it again.

  37. If this was a RayT, it was on the mild side today. I missed the queen. It was all fairly straightforward with lots to like. Unlike some though, I wasn’t keen on 5d. The clue said “under canvas?”, so I put “tent” at the beginning and tried to put different combinations of male soldiers under. Many thanks to the setter and to Kath.

    1. In 5d I think you have to read ‘under canvas’ as ‘IN tents’ (there is a question mark indicating that the wordplay is slightly unusual) so the soldiers and M(ale) go inside the TENTS.

      1. Thank you Gazza. It’s obvious ….now you’ve pointed it out. I will try and remember that.

  38. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the review and hints. I enjoyed this one very much, but found it a bit of a struggle. Perseverance paid off as the SW corner finally fell. Last in was 21a. Wasn’t too keen on 26a, but thought 13a was a great lurker. Favourite was 3d. Was 3*/3* for me.

  39. Excellent offering today. Very enjoyable. A bit like malt loaf, satisfying and chewy with a few sticky bits.
    We actually completed this before getting out of bed today. Ah well, time to get up then!

  40. Struggled with this today, so ****/**. Not so sure it was RayT.

    Maybe the morning’s quest for food in the M&S crinkly hour exhausted me. Worked a treat last week, This week, everyone was kept 4-5 yards apart, and each till given a deep clean after each customer. I could go on….Took forever.

  41. Very, very tricky, done the top half but really need to get in the pool for exercise, so will go to Kath’s hints.
    I shamelessly used an anagram solver to get the long anagrams, I’m not going to live long enough to work through those.
    I had a problem with 19a, I certainly don’t store my wine there, but I suspect it’s my ignorance than RayT’s error.
    Thanks to RayT, and huge thanks to Kath for unravelling that lot.

  42. Late(ish) shout out for today’s Guardian cryptic for anyone underwhelmed by tonight’s telly & at a loose end. Haven’t dared to look at the Toughie having clocked the difficulty rating.

  43. Evening all. My thanks to Kath for the decryption and to everybody else for your comments.


      1. Really great puzzle, brilliant clueing, loved every brain – stretching minute.
        Many thanks, Ray T.

    1. When I was still a lurker, O cut my teeth, as it were, on your Thursday challenges and learned patience and a few skills in the process. Thank you for your terrific puzzles over the years and for joining us today. I thought this one was most enjoyable, Mr T.

  44. Wot! No Queen. What is happening! Maybe she is in isolation. Lovely puzzle as usual with all the normal Raytisms. Best for me was 12a but the puzzle was full of fun as usual.

  45. Also struggled with this one and needed many of the hints. Quickie also took an age, but at least I burst out laughing when I saw the pun, superb and something to cheer me up on these strange days.

  46. Started reasonably well, but soon really needed Kath’s hints. I did persevere, it’s the only way I can hope to get tuned into his thinking. Nevertheless, an enjoyable and a necessary distraction. Workers arrived this morning to prep the outside of our house for painting. It’s the latter end of the repainting project scheduled by our HOA. They’ve now covered all the windows in opaque plastic, so we can’t see out. Now I feel really isolated. But happy for the painting crew, who I imagine are well pleased to be gainfully employed right now, outdoors away from people.

  47. I am sure I don’t know how Kath managed to get this done by the 11am deadline and with her house disrupted – it took me most of the day! Congratulations to her (or is it she) and to Ray for an absolutely first class puzzle and pun.

    1. Thank you – the only way that I ever get the crossword done and the hints sorted is by getting the crossword at midnight, doing it, hunting for and downloading some pictures and then going to bed and worrying about the actual hints in the morning. Normally it’s fine but this morning was a touch on the tricky side . . . very strange and unfamiliar times . . .

  48. Rose triumphantly produced sturgeon for 18a, only to be crushed by Gray solving 14d. We were proud and rather surprised to finish this without the hints: good fun, thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  49. Really enjoyable solve with lots of chuckle moments but special mention has to go to the Quickie pun.
    Checked the word count of course.
    Thanks RayT and Kath

  50. A master at the top of his game today,,,, difficult but very enjoyable:
    3.5*/4.5* got stuck well & truly on a couple but hints put me back on track.
    Many thanks to RayT for a cracker & to Kath for review & direction.

  51. I may have mentioned it before but I love RayT crosswords. All things accessible, nothing obscure and if you follow the clues they will, eventually, lead you to the answer. Last one in was 1d, I had the answer for ages but could not parse it. There was a large clanging noise when I did, so it becomes my cotd. Many many thanks to RayT and Kath. I must now answer all the messages that have been dinging into my phone that I have been steadfastly ignoring in order to give this excellent crossword its due consideration. Keep safe everyone and keep alive.

  52. Raced through the NW then slowed right down. Had to call on the services of ace anagram solver Mrs doguern for 28a.
    I do prefer clues where I am certain my answers are correct, so not keen on 15a, 18a, 21a, 18d. Favourite was 1d.

  53. Still a little on the easy side for my taste – need longer-lasting lockdown diversion!

    1. Try doing the toughie, it’s rated with **** for difficulty. You haven’t commented so I assume you haven’t done it. Better yet, do the toughie first, then if you still have time, you can do the regular cryptic.

  54. Excellent crossword, tricky, but beautifully clued, each clue eventually leading to the answer.
    1d could be solved from the wordplay as could the grain.
    Very late, but very satisfying to complete.
    Thanks to Kath for an excellent set of hints and blog, and Ray-T for his continued excellence.

  55. Blimey – what a lot of comments today – not surprising for lots of reasons.
    1) not an easy crossword
    2) a very good crossword
    3) lots of us are stuck at home feeling like billy-no-mates
    4) it’s nice to be able to ‘pop in’ to the blog to see if anyone has said anything interesting
    That’s it for now from me, chaps and chappesses, so night night all, thanks for the comments and sleep well everyone. :yawn:

  56. Morning from my time zone. I had to call time on this one around midnight with a few on the eastern side to go in. I’m blaming my son who needed some help with a uni assignment😜 So thanks Kath for helping get those stragglers in and to ‘Mr T’ who always presents a challenge. No real favourites today, too many to choose from🦇

  57. That was just nicely testing and I’m glad it wasn’t more demanding as the midnight oil is being burnt. North was gentler than the bottom half. Fav 1a. Hope to read all those Comments before attacking 29,328. Thank you RayT and Kath. 😴Me too.

  58. I have nothing to add – everything has already been said! Thanks to Kath, and Ray T for a somewhat testing puzzle! 🙃

  59. Satisfying but not as much fun as yesterday. Unlike one of the commentators I thought 26a was an excellent clue once properly parsed. An excellent use of two alphabets. Other favourites 10a and 16 and 22d. Last corner in was the SW but once one was in the rest followed ending with 14d. Thank you Ray T and Kath. Problem now only is that it takes too longs to read the comments and I hate to miss any of them. Perhaps for the duration of the pandemic they should be rationed!!!

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