DT 29423 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29423

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29423

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hello everyone – here we go again. This is definitely a Ray T day. It has most of his trademark clues, including the Queen who’s reappeared having been in isolation somewhere for the last few weeks. I’ve given it an extra * for difficulty because, although a lot of it was about average, there were a few clues that jumped out and bit me towards the end.

 Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today.

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

Across

1a        Jerks taking on work issues (6)
TOPICS — some jerks or involuntary movements go round (taking on) the abbreviation for a musical work

4a        Stock controller? (8)
SHEPHERD — this ‘stock’ is farm animals

9a        Hand turned around sleeve’s end, touching arm (6)
WEAPON — a reversal (turned) of a colloquial word for a hand which contains (around) the last letter (end) of [sleev]E and then follow that with a synonym for touching or in contact with – sounds like the act of a contortionist to me

10a       Lets cats out being unfeeling (8)
TACTLESS — an anagram (out) of LETS CATS

12a       Domestic trainee prepared to face Queen (8)
 RETAINER— an anagram (prepared) of TRAINEE is followed by (to face) the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for Queen

13a       Keep Labour’s leader constrained by social class (6)
CASTLE — the first letter (leader) of L[abour] gets tucked into (constrained by) another word for a social class

15a       Creating coal fire and our bacon’s cooking (13)
CARBONIFEROUS — an anagram (cooking) of FIRE and OUR BACON’S

18a       Wrongly see nudism as trend to reform (13)
MISUNDERSTAND — another anagram (to reform) of NUDISM AS TREND

22a       Expert going on about unexpected rejection (6)
REBUFF — an expert or a connoisseur follows (going on) a little abbreviation meaning about or concerning – I spent a little while trying to fit an ‘ace’ into the answer  

24a       Wine drunk neat? Sure (8)
SAUTERNE — an anagram (drunk) of NEAT SURE

26a       The vacant Republican without limit (8)
TERMINUS — the first word of the clue without its middle letter (vacant or with nothing in it) is followed by the one letter abbreviation for R[epublican) and then another word for without or excluding

27a       Supplies online jokes? (6)
EQUIPS — the letter that implies something online or electronic is followed by some jokes or ripostes

28a       Stagger from drink increase round mid-afternoon (8)
SURPRISE — a verb to drink containing (round) the middle letter (mid) of afternoon is followed by another word for increase or go up

29a       Playing part of lovers, uselessly (6)
VERSUS — the first lurker or hidden answer which is indicated by ‘part of’

 

Down

1d        Tasteless cheers, prohibitionist drinking whisky (6)
TAWDRY — a little short slang word that means ‘cheers’ or ‘thank you’ is followed by a synonym for prohibitionist or teetotal – in between the two you need the letter represented by whisky in the phonetic alphabet

2d        Customs charges impounding fake (9)
PRACTICES — another word for charges or costs goes round a verb to fake or pretend

3d        Crook is more hopeful after crime’s beginning (7)
CROSIER — the colour that implies more hopeful or favourable follows (after) the first letter (beginning) of C[rime]

5d        Mend part of shoe soundly (4)
 HEAL — a homophone (soundly) of the back bit of a shoe

6d        Servant carrying uncalled-for soup (7)
POTTAGE — a servant or an attendant contains (carrying) another way of saying uncalled for or far too much

7d        Upstanding before court (5)
ERECT — the poetic or archaic word that means before is followed by the abbreviation for court

8d        Dole out some coppers, some coppers reportedly (8)
DISPENSE — an abbreviation for some coppers or policemen (or women so as not to be sexist here) is followed by a homophone (reportedly) of some ‘coppers’ in the sense of some coins worth a small amount

  

11d      Sweetheart left almost finished in sack (7)
BELOVED — the one letter abbreviation for L[eft] and a synonym for finished or done without its last letter (almost) are contained in sack  – ‘sack’ here is a slang word for where you sleep

14d      Missile’s point raised creating noxious vapours (7)
MIASMAS — a missile, with the ‘S, which is  used to bring down aircraft or other missiles and another word for the point or motive are reversed (raised) – this one nearly turned me into a gibbering wreck – oh dear!

16d      Hospital attendants repose in groups (9)
ORDERLIES — some groups or classifications contain (in) another word for repose or recline – I know this is in the BRB but even having worked in hospitals for most of my life I’ve never come across one

17d      Goes abroad missing grand airline (8)
EMIRATES — a verb that means goes to live in another country without (missing) the one letter abbreviation for G[rand]

19d      Sharper smell, practically rank (7)
NIFTIER — a slang four letter word that means an unpleasant pong without its final letter (practically) is followed by a rank or level

20d      Clairvoyant I questioned about past (7)
ANTIQUE — the second lurker or hidden answer indicated by about

21d      Cold comfort before illness finally stops (6)
CEASES — the one letter abbreviation for C[old], another word for comfort or relaxation and the last letter (finally) of [illnes]S

23d      Comparatively empty boozer, empty earlier (5)
 BARER — a boozer or a place where you might go for a drink is followed by the first and last letters (empty) of E[arlie]R

25d      Starts to swallow using, perhaps, spoon (4)
SUPS — the first letters (starts to) of the last four words of the clue

The clues that stood out for me today were 28a (for the misdirection) and 11d. I think my favourite was probably 19d.

The Quickie pun:- BOUGH + DOUBT = BOWED OUT

109 comments on “DT 29423
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  1. 3*/4.5*. This continued the trend of excellent back-pagers this week, although this typical RayT puzzle was certainly the most challenging of them so far with the NW corner taking me the most time.

    My podium choices are 13a, 28a, 3d & 8d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  2. Genius puzzle!
    I loved teasing out the solutions to this. Nice to see “sweetheart” being the definition for once and of course the other Ray T trademarks
    Podium contenders are 9& 27a plus 6&17d.
    3/5*
    Thanks to both Mr T and Kath for the outstanding entertainment.

  3. A ***/**** for me today , clever surfaces and clueing all round ,nicely mislead by 3d.
    Not sure about the ‘ touching ‘synonym in 9a.
    Liked 14d for its originality and 26a.
    Thanks to Kath for the pics.

  4. What a gem! The most satisfying and most playfully enjoyable Ray T in a long time for me. I’ve come some distance since first encountering his brand of mastery, and today’s is an instant classic. Many favourites, but I’ll settle for 3, 17, and 6d as the winners. The 15a anagram deserves a special award, too, as do 16d/29a. My LOI warmed my heart’s old cockles: 11d. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath, whose hints I’ll read now. ** / *****

    Still working on the Toughie (a true one too).

  5. This was a bit fiendish in places. 11d was my last one in and even with all the checkers I struggled. I thought of lots of permutations of the work sack before the light bulb moment. Similarly, 9a took me longer to work out why than finding the answer. I too tried fit ace into 22a and 26a was equally thought provoking for a while. Ray T certainly gives me a work out. Loved the picture of the shoes for 5d. Could anybody actually walk in these? Favourite has to be 14d. Convoluted to the point of insanity but very clever. ***/**** Thanks to all

    1. My younger daughter wore a cream version of those with her wedding dress and seemed to manage OK. Mind you, she did of course have someone’s arm to hold onto! I certainly recall said shoes getting ‘ditched’ when the dancing started.

          1. Here it is capris and flip flops most of the year, with jeans and sneakers during occasional cooler winter spells. I think my feet would go into shock if I tried to walk in heels now,

    2. My mother walked in high heels for 40 years, until arthritis stopped her. It was the loss she most regretted.
      I did the same – the gel inserts helped a bit, but eventually it was the Android-like gait and failing to get out of low sofas that did for me.
      One of these days, I’m going to have to lose all those lovely things resting upstairs. Anyone fancy a lovely pair of Stella McCartney boots with stainless steel heels?

      1. Oh bluebird – my thoughts precisely especially in these dodgy times. Shoes so beautiful you just want to stroke them although you know you will never wear them again. Will they end ignominiously in the bin or the charity shop? My mother left her affairs in an impeccable state but turning out her wardrobe I found the shoes and gloves she had had dyed to match the outfit she wore at our wedding!

        1. I still have the dress I wore for younger daughter’s wedding. I had to slim down to get into it then, doubt it will make it out of its box again. Shame, it was very flattering.

  6. Like you, Kath, I was working my way through the clues quite rapidly until I hit the buffers with 4 to go. I was very puzzled by 24a, which I wrote in, rubbed out and rewrote because I’m used to spelling it with an ‘s’ on the end. However it was a very enjoyable challenge (3*/4*). There were so many great clues that it is hard to pick a few out but here goes. I liked 9a, 14d, 8d and 27a best and wnjoyed the superb misdirection. Many thanks to Kath for the hints and to Ray T

    1. I agree on the spelling of Sauterne. I have never seen it without the final “s”. Even my spell checker wants to add an “s” at the end.

      However…Wiki suggests that it may be permissible…

      Sauternes is a French sweet wine from the Sauternais region of the Graves section in Bordeaux. … In the United States, there is a semi-generic label for sweet white dessert wines known as sauterne without the “s” at the end and uncapitalized.

      Great crossword, by the way! Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath for an excellent blog.

  7. Absolute cracker from the ever reliable Ray T. Sadly can’t claim an unaided finish as having got to within 14d of completion in just over ** time I was still staring blankly at it in the same time again despite correctly figuring vapours was the definition. Impatience got the better of me so logged onto the puzzles website to reveal the first letter (a function that seems to work when it wants to) & it fell immediately. It has to be COTD for me therefore although 26a runs it close.
    Thanks to RT & to Kath for the review.

  8. Reports of my death have been somewhat exaggerated! The damn libraries, with their computers, have all been shut down since March. And the thing I’ve missed most during the lockdown – reading this blog every day. I’ll be back soon with some incisive comments.

  9. Orderly is a rather old fashioned title for what would now probably be called porter or nursing assistant. Used often in military nursing. You must be very young to not have heard it in a hospital context!

    1. I’m certainly not very young by any stretch of the imagination! I have heard of it but don’t think it’s used now. In my day we had nursing auxiliaries, who are now called nursing assistants, and porters were always called porters and, as far as I know, still are. Never had anything to do with the military though so maybe that’s the gap.

  10. Loved it although, like Kath, I almost came apart at the seams over 14d.
    Not many that don’t deserve podium places but my short list is 13&27a plus 3&6d.

    Devotions as always to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for her doubtless late night stint to produce the review.

  11. A very pleasant Thursday Puzzle which, after the three ‘Mondays’ in a row so far this week, was not too much of a jerk back to reality – completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4*.
    One small matter of semantics – the W in 1d is based on bourbon not single malts and the word in the clue should contain an ‘E’.
    Candidates for favourite – 3d, 11d, and 21d – and the winner is 11d.
    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

    1. I just assumed the whisky represented the British version of the NATO alphabet, e.g. like alpha not Alfa.
      And I thought the ‘e’’ only appeared in Irish or North American stuff. After all, blended Scotch has no e.
      I’m on shaky ground here……..

  12. Re 16d, I definitely remember them from being a hospital patient in the 60s and working in hospitals in the 70s. It was the term for men who were a bit above porters, but not qualified nurses. They’d look after (mainly male patients‘) non-clinical needs like going from place to place, some heavy lifting, shaving etc and also as assistants in rehab gyms, operating theatres and mortuaries, before that became professionalised. The male equivalent of auxiliaries. I think that role began in military or psychiatric environments and hung on for a while post-war in UK and longer in North America. In my dim memory box, they wore white hip length coats to distinguish them from doctors or porters.
    If only my memory for current stuff was as detailed ………

  13. A fair old tussle this morning, definitely the hardest of the week. Great fun, fair clueing and a rewarding challenge. 3d takes my top spot this morning, although in fairness I could have picked any one of a dozen or so. Nice misdirection in 11d.

    Thanks to Mr T and to Kath.

  14. Lovely crossword today full of misdirection and cunning clues to tease and challenge .
    Thanks Kath and take a bow Mr T .
    Cannot believe the goings on in the football results in the Championship yesterday evening . Full of surprises , delight and despair . Once again , fact is stranger than fiction . Great sport .

  15. It was OK for me for a long while (as I went clockwise) and was then stung by the top NW corner.
    I eventually got 1d, 2d and 9a, but had to look up 3D. I’m my head it’s spelt with a Z and that interfered with the more hopeful synonym.
    Otherwise, I enjoyed it and thanks to Ray T and to Kath for her review.

          1. My rule of thumb is that if it’s obviously a z then it’s a z, craze, amaze etc. If you’re not sure then it’s an s. Americans usually get it wrong! 😁

  16. Much better for me, managed to get on the Ray T wavelength today and consequently really enjoyed the puzzle.
    Best clue for me was 4a.
    ***/****
    Thx to all

  17. I was held up for ages because I put the answer to 18a into 16a by accident. Not a good start! Definitely the trickiest of the week but fairly clued as are all Ray T crosswords. I had to scratch my head for a long time over some clues and I admit to using the hints a few times. Favourite clues are 13a, 22a and 14d. I love 14d as a word. I heard it mentioned for the first time by Rod Steiger in the film, “In the Heat of the Night” with Sidney Poitier.

    Huge thanks to Ray T and thank you, Kath for the excellent hints.

      1. We grew up very close to Eastnor and used to ride round there – we called it the Valley of the white leaved oak but not sure if that’s ‘for real’ or just us!

        1. Cribbage boards are how I became a dealer in Tunbridge ware. I loved playing cribbage and started collecting boards, which you could pick up for a few pounds. A friend of mine, who was a master carpenter, told me I should look for Tunbridge ware ones. When I eventually found one and saw the intricate work, not to mention the price, I was hooked.

    1. Brilliant film, Steve, thanks for the reminder of it. ‘They call me Mr Tibbs’ has to be amongst the best one-liners ever – Rod Steiger’s face was a picture!

      1. Ah yes…you beat me to the great line, Jane! I was about to quote Poitier. We watched Steiger the other day in The Pawnbroker, a heart-stirring, deeply moving performance. What an actor.

        Speaking of Greengage: my delivery has been unaccountably held up but Amazon tells me it’s on its way. I’m temporising (ha!) with David Mitchell’s new novel, Utopia Avenue. Remember his Cloud Atlas?

        1. Think you’ll enjoy Greengage – it’s quite ‘different’ but an intriguing take on the workings of a child’s mind.
          Haven’t read anything from David Mitchell as I have to confess to having something of an aversion to the entire Coren family. The Go-between is my next one due from Amazon but meantime I still have quite a long way to go with the last of the trilogy from Hilary Mantel.

            1. So there is – thank you for the info Jepi. However, it would seem that the ‘other’ David Mitchell is a sci-fi author so I may leave his books to be read by others who enjoy that genre.

              1. The Mitchell I mean is the one whose Cloud Atlas won the Man Booker Award, and it does leave Planet Earth, sort of, but is otherwise grounded in the imagination and so I guess he is labelled a sci-fi author. The new one is about the earlier days of rock bands, and as far as I’ve got, is earthbound. But I’m not a sci-fi reader, as a rule, either.

        2. I find amazon deliveries are getting very erratic. I was messaged that my package had arrived and I could pick it up from the depot. I have no car, can’t drive and certainly can’t walk, which I explained to them. Instead of arranging the delivery, they refunded the cost and told me I could keep the product. Two days later, after I got it from Publix, it arrived. I’m definitely living on an alternate planet.

          1. I’ve had two instances where they’ve delivered the same thing two days in a row. But other than that, they have been a godsend during this pandemic.

  18. Wow. Well this week’s gravy train has certainly hit the buffers.

    Not sure who to thank first, Kath or Ray T. So…

    Kath, you have produced a most lovely explanation for some excellent clues.

    Mr T, you had me staring into the Pearl River Delta here in Honkers early this morning and wondering where to put the ‘e’ in 11d. This is after months of just starting to understand that I had to put an ‘e’ somewhere when spotting ‘Sweetheart’. More fool me.

    Fiendish? Perhaps. Brilliant? You should be a James Bond scriptwriter.

    Anyway thanks to both, appreciate the skill and love in all you do.

    1. What a delightful comment – thank you – you’ve made my day and I’m sure Mr T will appreciate it too when he ‘calls in’ later, as he always does.

  19. The most challenging so far this week but no real problem. 15a wasn’t a word that sprang instantly to mind! I’m with Kath re grappling with 14d. It’s a change for sweetheart not to indicate middle letter but d’oh moment when sack occurred to me. The simple 27a appealed. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  20. Loved this. 9a and 14d took a bit of teasing out but otherwise completed at a gallop. My favourites were 6d & 11d. Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  21. Oh dear. I agree with most of the previous comments so why say it all again. It certainly gave us more pause for thought than anything else this week. I just had to turn to Kath for a hint on 9a (though I did say straight away I bet it is a gun) and for 1d but then I got both without a ‘reveal’ from the hints. Our manic gardener came this morning and has worn me out, she’s like a tornado – I think I have to have a little siesta. Thank you RayT and Kath Isn’t 14d a lovely word?

  22. I approach Thursday with some trepidation and when the single word clues for the Quick reveal Ray T that feeling magnifies but l look forward to reading the plaudits of you experts.The difference today was that l could solve this one even if it did take a long time and l had to reverse engineer some of the parsing.Great puzzle blog and comments.Thanks to all.

  23. Fiendish? Yes! Challenging? Certainly!
    Terrific crossword? For sure!
    Of course, for an eternity, I missed both lurkers, which never helps; and I called on Kath’s aid for 3d and 14d.
    We had a lovely walk yesterday along paths and through meadows in rural Berkshire. So peaceful and uplifting that we forgot the madness of the world for an hour or so.
    Thanks to Ray T and extra thanks to Kath.

  24. Didn’t finish until 3pm (with a short break for lunch) a few anagrams, which took a little time.
    9a took some getting as did 27a

  25. A really good puzzle today; I thought 8d was excellent but could not get 14d. Therefore thanks to Kath for the hint, and RayT continues to make Thursday the highlight of the week

  26. I was going along solving online at my own pace when I pressed the wrong button and as i did not save when I went back it was to the beginning again, all my fault, on to the crossword, i liked 9, 10 12, as well as 25 across. On the downside 1 & 3 came to mind but my C’sOTD were 6 & 21 down. Thank you RatT and Kath.

    TTFN of to Toughie Land to Tussle with Zandio

  27. Worked my way slowly through this but was completely foxed by 19d being convinced that the answer was niffier…for no good reason.

    Otherwise alone and unaided, so , as it is a Thursday I’ll give myself a “good effort”.
    Very enjoyable puzzle.

    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  28. For the first time in ages did not finish, 14d the tricky one. Not only that but the hint didn’t help. I read all the comments first before looking at the hint and then finally looking at the answer. What on earth has the answer got to do with painful shoes which several people have mentioned? Just can’t see it so please enlighten me, thanks. Favourites 3d 11d 27a. Thanks to all for a superb puzzle today.

    1. You’ve got me in a bit of a muddle now! I agree that 14d was a very tricky one but neither the answer nor the hint has anything to do with shoes, painful ones or otherwise. Are you sure that we’re not talking at cross purposes?

      1. Oops Kath, So sorry, yes I am (talking at cross purposes). I thought the comments above were about 14d, now I have looked again and they were about 5d. Now it all makes perfect sense although I had never heard of the word in 14d before. I so love this blog because of the little bits of stupidity – people having to take their miasmas off to dance! Just didn’t make sense.

  29. This for dome reason is firmly on my stinker pile, it started well then descended into chaos. I just couldn’t sort out about a third. I resorted to Kaths excellent hints to help me through even then I had to uncover the answers.
    Anyway many thanks to Kath and Ray T

  30. Very good fun and finally caught up after being a few days behind.
    14d defeated me, it’s not a word I have ever heard of and I’m afraid the hint does not help me either as I have no idea what brings down an aircraft apart from an anti-aircraft shell! No fault of the hint, just my ignorance.
    Shame as the rest was a good, stiff challenge.
    Thanks to Kath for the usual, brilliant set of hints and to Ray-T.

    1. Many thanks Sue. On the basis that I have never heard of the acronym for a surface to air missile or the actual answer, I’m glad I gave up on it.
      One to remember.

      1. I’m glad I gave up on 14d too. Could have been stuck all week. On investigation looking on line at various crossword solvers it seems to appear from time to time. Perhaps therefore it should be remembered, but I would prefer it not to be included. Not helped by the fact there is a similar word, but beginning with S which seems to mean the same, and also whether or not it needs an S at the end. For me it spoilt an otherwise enjoyable workout. Thanks RayT and Kath.

  31. I’ve been on quite a long journey with this superb crossword! Started at lunchtime and nothing leapt out on the first pass until, thankfully, the anagrams came to my aid. Then it was an enjoyably steady pace till I was left with 14d which almost reduced me to the vapours! I had to go out to shop but trying to cope with mask, gloves, a list and not being able to stop thinking of possibilities for 14d made the whole thing a Herculaean task so I came home and consulted Kath’s hint. I’d never have got that, so many thanks to Kath for saving me from the smelling salts and RayT for providing so much pleasure as usual.

  32. A most enjoyable puzzle, with plenty to think about. I enjoyed the 2 long anagrams which contributed to the solving of many other clues. Particular mention goes to 26, 27 and 28a, as well as 8, 14 and 25d. My favourite today is 9a – it took me ages to come up with the synonym for hand! Thanks to the compiler and, as ever, to Kath for her review.

  33. What a difference from yesterday! Found this a struggle from beginning to end. Well, not the end because I had to resort to Kath’s excellent hints for the last few. Hope I do better tomorrow, but suspect I may have to wait until Saturday.

    1. Yes I found it a struggle from beginning to end, and was so exhausted by the effort that I even gave up on Kath’s very helpful tips and just looked at the answers. Sorry Kath!

  34. I was actually enjoying this until I ground to a shuddering halt with 14d as the last remaining unsolved clue. Sadly, in the interest of not delaying my return to work after lunch, I had to give in and resort to the hint, so thanks to Kath for helping me complete the grid, and to Ray T for the rest of the puzzle. I liked 11d best, as Mr T turned the tables on us.
    Doesn’t the wine at 24a normally have an extra ‘s’ on the end?

  35. Solved 1a immediately and thought I was in for a doable RayT! How wrong I was.
    I had to use an anagram solver to get 15a and 18a just to get me going.
    I liked a few, particularly the ones I could solve. I liked 14d, lovely word. I was also confused by 11d, couldn’t find where the “e” went, then the penny dropped. I think 17d has appeared before, must be tricky for a setter to avoid repeats.
    Thanks to RayT, I had to go to the hints to get to the finishing line, so many thanks to Kath for her invaluable hints.

    1. Hi Merusa,
      Finished reading The Greengage Summer last night. Not quite sure how one should categorise it but I certainly enjoyed it – thank you for the recommendation.

      1. Good, am glad you liked it. Have you read the Kristin Hannah books? The Nightingale and The Great Alone are very good. What our cruciverbalists would call a page turner!

  36. Another blisteringly good puzzle from the master. A much needed tussle after the easier start to the week. The comments seem to be in favour of a workout. Hi thanks to RayT for the workout. Thanks to Sir Van Morrison for the accompanying music. Thanks to Kath for the wonderful blog.

  37. Late on parade today, went to the big city then post failed twice.
    Ray T to a T for me.
    Stumbled a bit in NW corner & beaten by 14d. Strange but Mrs LrOK both were under the impression it meant something completely different. Wouldn’t have solved it in a month of Thursdays.
    COTD 11d clever !
    Thanks Ray T and Kath, for the review and the news on Ted, glad he is sorted. That just leaves you!

  38. Evening all. Many thanks to Kath for the analysis and, of course, to everybody else for your comments. As always, much appreciated.

    RayT

  39. OMG, I think that is the second time since the beginning of time that I have almost finished a Ray T puzzle. I agree that you do have to tease the answers out. Just got a bit bogged down in the SW corner, where 23d was last in as I couldn’t get the definition right. 3a was new to me and it was a while before 14d clicked. I did also spend too long trying to make ace fit into 22a. Thanks to Ray T for an enjoyable puzzle and to Kath for the hints. How she does these on Ray T days is beyond me.

  40. I did better at the Toughie yesterday than this.

    For 11d I needed the hint and 14d made my brain dribble out of my ears and I had to resort to clicking on the answer.

    Still enjoyable, so a ****/*** for me today.

    I have to say I envy everyone who gets to tackle the crossword in the morning when the brain is working rather better than those of us who tackle it in the evening.

  41. Good fun as always and a good level of challenge.
    Clue word count a maximum of 7 words and only a few were actually made it to 7.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  42. I hadn’t heard of 3d or or 14d so it involved Googling the answers I had only to find you my amazement they were right. Any road up I’ve heard of them now. Classic RayT favourite had to be 28a, not a z in sight, as with 3d. Many many thanks to RayT and Kath.

  43. Thanks to Ray T for the very good crossword and, as always, for popping in to check up on all of us.
    Thank you to everyone who’s commented.
    Night night all, and sleep well.

  44. Yes I found it a struggle from beginning to end, and was so exhausted by the effort that I even gave up on Kath’s very helpful tips and just looked at the answers. Sorry Kath!

    1. One of my successes was 11d , which I thought was a brilliant clue. 15a came to me (in a flash!) just as I was switching the light out at bedtime. I just love anagrams, although when you don’t pick all the right words in the clue it can make life difficult, which was what happened here at first. Mr. T was asleep so didn’t hear about it till morning.

  45. No one fell into the trap of putting CHANDLER (4a) as I did, took ages to complete the NE corner but eventually realised my error. Best Ray T ever, thanks all.

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