DT 29447 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29447

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29447

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

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

Hello everyone. A Ray T crossword today – it has almost all his trademark clues and not many anagrams which perhaps contributed to my finding it pretty tricky – very much at the difficult end of his range, for me anyway, so I’ll look forward to hearing what everyone else thought.

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

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


1a        Fish taken on board quivers (6)
SHAKES — an edible fish which is a bit like a cod goes inside (taken on board) the usual two  letters often used to mean a S[team] S[hip]

4a        Adult accordingly purchases container for plant (8)
ACANTHUS — the abbreviation for A[dult] and a synonym for accordingly, or in this way, go round (purchases) a container used in food preserving

9a        Trickery by politician following Iowa’s first recount (6)
IMPART — the first letter of Iowa (Iowa’s first) and a common abbreviation for a politician are followed by (by)  another word for trickery or deceit

10a       Left pig covered in fat (8)
LARBOARD — a male pig is surrounded by (covered in) fat often used in cookery

11a       Lot of the woman’s maturity captivating Italian (8)
HERITAGE — a pronoun that means the woman’s, or belonging to the woman, and a synonym for maturity or adulthood contain (captivating) the abbreviation for Italian

13a       Second bar rejected parties (6)
REVELS — the one letter abbreviation for S[econd] and a bar or handle are reversed (rejected)

15a       Clear obstacle in net at sea (13)
 INCONTESTABLE — an anagram (at sea) of OBSTACLE IN NET

18a       Canine coat not adapted for chain (13)
CONCATENATION — an anagram (adapted) of CANINE COAT NOT

22a       Supplier of drink left in glasses? (6)
 OPORTO — this ‘supplier of drink’ is a place rather than a person or a shop – you need a nautical term for ‘left’ (a bit like 10a!) which goes inside (in) two letters that could, just about, look like some glasses or a pair of specs. I knew this one was going to be a pain to give a decent hint for!

24a       Model prisoner leaves study (8)
TEMPLATE — another word for study or mull over begins with a short three letter word that means a prisoner – not lag but the other one – just remove that (prisoner leaves)

26a       Ruction occasionally in test for lesson (8)
TUTORIAL — a test or an experiment contains (in) the even letters (occasionally) of  rUcTiOn

27a       Commonplace sound of spring around river (6)
BORING — the sound of a bouncing impact contains (around) the abbreviation for R[iver] – I thought the sound was a made-up word used in cartoons but it is in the BRB

28a       Name of church improved taking time (8)
CHRISTEN — one of the many two letter abbreviation for church is followed by another word for improved or progressed which contains the  abbreviation for T[ime]

29a       Book border held in both hands (6)
LEDGER — a border or a limit goes inside (held in) the directions your hands point to – oh dear – why is that so difficult to express?



1d        Small and delicate? (6)
SLIGHT — the abbreviation for S[mall] is followed by delicate or frail

2d        Slander because individual takes Independent (9)
ASPERSION — a synonym for because, or since, is followed by an individual or a human being which contains (takes) the abbreviation for I[ndependent]

3d        Unstable volcanic crater encircles island (7)
ERRATIC — an anagram (volcanic) of CRATER goes round (encircles) the abbreviation for I[sland] – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that anagram indicator before

5d        Man in check with a pawn (4)
CHAP — the chess abbreviation for CH[eck], the ‘A’ from the clue and another chess abbreviation for P[awn]

6d        Most aristocratic not really favoured (7)
NOBLEST — a little word that means not is followed by another way of saying ‘invoked divine favour upon’

7d        Pull and keep holding sweetheart (5)
 HEAVE — a synonym for keep or hold contains (holding) the central letter (heart) of swEet

8d        Audibly moaned over sweetheart’s raised skirt (8)
SIDESTEP — a homophone (audibly) of moaned or exhaled is followed by (over) a reversal (raised) of a sweetheart or someone you’re very fond of – don’t forget her (or his) ‘S

12d      Bird found in butcher’s, some say (6)
GANDER — this bird is also a slang term for a look or a glance – ‘butcher’s’ is cockney rhyming slang for the same thing. Oh dear, again – another one that’s really difficult to do a hint for

14d      Mind is vacant accepting opposing points? (6)
BEWARE — this ‘mind’ is a warning to be careful rather than a verb to care about – a synonym for vacant or empty contains (accepting) two opposite points (of the compass)

16d      Covering Rolling Stones, perhaps getting on (9)
BANDAGING — the Rolling Stones are just an example of the word used here which is indicated by ‘perhaps’ – that word is followed by a synonym for getting on, as in becoming older

17d      Puzzle of Castro and CIA almost resolved (8)
ACROSTIC — an anagram (resolved) of CASTRO and CI[a]

19d      Embraced by Grant, a respectable star (7)
ANTARES — a lurker or a hidden answer which is indicated by embraced by

20d      Press possibly creates fairy stories (7)
IMPLORE — a mishchievous fairy is followed by some stories or myths

21d      Vagrant from Paddington say, collecting two grand (6)
BEGGAR — this ‘Paddington’ is the name of a little chap from children’s books – he wears a blue coat and red wellies and a hat – put two abbreviations for G[rand] inside (collecting) what he is an example of (say)

23d      Superficial bogus theory ignoring the odds (5)
OUTER — the even letters (ignoring the odds) of the second and third words of the clue

25d      Worry about Queen getting upset (4)
CARE — the two letter abbreviation for the Latin for about is followed by a reversal (getting upset) of the two letters for our Queen

I particularly appreciated 10 and 27a and 8 and 12d.

The Quickie Pun:- FORE + RISK + HUMP = FORREST GUMP 

123 comments on “DT 29447

  1. I thought 1d was just a double definition. I enjoyed this crossword. Thank you to Kath and Ray t.

    1. Re 1d, I wondered that but the question mark appears to rule it out so I think Kath is correct.

    2. I dithered for ages but decided to underline the whole lot – think it probably makes more sense like that but I’m not entirely sure.

  2. Definitely a ‘Down first’ day, with just two across clues answered in the first pass. I had to take a break with the SE corner (again) quite bare, but it came together at the second visit to the table.

    LOI was 20d and therefore COTD. All over in *** time in the end.

    Many thanks to Kath and RayT.

  3. I thought the difficulty about right for a Ray T – nice to see his sweethearts not being E again, even if there are two in a row

    Lots to enjoy apart from that awful word in 18a. I think my favourite was 20d although I could have quite a few on the list if it wasn’t a Kath day

    Thanks to her (especially for the picture of Monty) and Mr T

  4. Yes Kath I found this crossword difficult as well (****/*****) but the clues were so well-constructed that it was really fascinating and very enjoyable. There were so many great clues that I’m spoilt for choice. I did enjoy the long anagram at 18a. Amongst the others 4a, 8d, 18d, 20d and 21d were all worth a mention. The great thing was that they were all gettable and I finished with no bung-ins, no electronic help and a great deal of satisfaction, even if it took a long time. I probably woudn’t have been able to do that a few years ago, before discovering this blog. Thank you Kath for the hints and thanks to Ray T for en entertaining challenge .

  5. The most challenging Ray T in some time for me but also one of the best. Hard to pick winners, but here goes: 20d, 8d, 4a, with many runners-up. Thanks to Kath and Ray T. 2.5* / 4.5*

  6. Mr T with his Beam hat half on his head for me today with some tricky anagrams and a couple of relative obscurities in 10&22a. However some cracking clues to compensate, I loved the “aging band” in 16d, the clever 11& 27a but my COTD goes to the brilliant 8d.
    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for top notch puzzle and blog .

  7. Never heard of 10a and I have a totally irrational dislike of 4a, other than that tricky but brilliant
    Thanks Mr T and Kath

    1. I don’t like 4a, either LBR. Not because of anything irrational but the darn plant, majestic as it is, is slowly taking over the garden. Drastic action is called for because I prefer the Love-in-the-Mist that it eradicated.

  8. Fairly gentle and fairly enjoyable. (2.5/3). I’m with Square Leg on the double definition in 1d. Is the answer to 11a supposed to mean “one’s lot”? Bit odd. Thanks to RT and Kath.

    I can recommend Today’s Toughie – not hard and very enjoyable.

  9. We thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Ray T and agree that it was at the top end of his difficulty spectrum ****/****. Particularly liked 10A and 8D but for some reason took forever to get 13A.

    1. I agree it was my last in. I was about to write in Levees being both bars of a sort and receptions when the penny dropped!

      1. I pencilled ‘levees’ in before rubbing it out and going back to the drawing board. Ray T is so good at leading you up the garden path to a plausible but wrong answer.

  10. It’s Ray T. Always a struggle for me. ****/*** I rather liked 18a – it’s not a word I come across often but it does have a certain ring to it. Favourite today 29a and 12d made me smile. It’ll be interesting to see what Robert makes of that one. Thanks to all.

  11. This was a very reasonable RayT. I only had a problem with 8d, where I thought that the definition was “Audibly” . I’m not sure why I thought that. I know fine well it is a homophone indicator. I actually tried to raise a “mini” skirt. Yes, you can all laugh. I am. 16d was my favourite. Thank you RayT and Kath.

    1. I too spent some time wondering how a raised skirt might fit the clue–good misdirection there.

  12. I do look forward to the alternate Thursdays which see the wonderful combination of RayT and Kath, and today provides a fine example of both.

    My rating is 3*/4*. I’m not entirely convinced by either 22a or 6d, but, apart from those two, all RayT’s brilliance was on view. 10a was a new word for me but readily derivable from the wordplay.

    My favourite is a toss-up between 8d & 20d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

    1. Thoroughly enjoyed this crossword. I’m sure the cognoscenti on here will be well aware but for 10a it was used in naval parlance as the opposite of starboard. It won’t surprise you that in the teeth of a gale differentiating between the 2 caused problems. Hence the change to port instead, Capt Fitzroy of HMS Beagle fame and much else is credited with being a leading advocate of the change.

      1. Robert FitzRoy FRS, a fascinating man. After the Beagle he later became Governor of New Zealand & rose to vice-Admiral. Having developed the weather forecasting barometer which bears his name he was largely responsible for setting up the Met. Office. He met a tragic end when he was only 60.
        Another bit of GK to forget.

        1. Thanks both for that bit of info. I knew the old name for port and the reason it was changed, but I had no idea about Capt FitzRoy, only as captain of the Beagle.

      2. Thanks very much for that, Taking 5. It’s an interesting piece of information. 👍

        Thanks too to LROK.

    2. I didn’t know the history but knew the word (10a). Also a coincidence as one of the neighbouring houses in Fowey where I am staying this week has that name.

  13. A couple of ‘big words’ from Mr T today but those of use who follow Mr K’s Tuesday blogs should be very familiar with 18a!
    Needless to say I found it most enjoyable, his wavelength is ‘right up my street’.
    My favourite is probably 10a with others on the podium being 27a plus 8,20&21d.

    Devotions to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for doing all the hard work to bring us the review – always good to see Monty taking a bow!
    PS I think the third word of the pun may start with a different letter?

    1. Jane – in response to your PS, Kath has the correct third word in the pun, at least that is what the web site ‘accepted’ from me in my solution for the Quickie.

      1. Don’t quite see how that works with ‘hunch’ as the clue and it would be most unlike Ray T to gift us part of the answer. Surely it should be ‘hump’?

        1. Yes – thanks Jane. I think Senf saw it after I’d risked blowing the place up and dived back in to edit it – it was wrong to begin with, and you were right.

          1. Makes a change for me to get something right, Kath. I’ve made quite a selection of blog ‘booboos’ recently!

  14. Definitely more tricky than some recent Ray T Thursday puzzles. Although I made problems for myself in the NE by entering a semi-plausible but incorrect answer for 6d, completed at a fast canter – ***/****.
    Candidates for favourite – 29a, 12d, and 16d – and the winner is 12d.
    Thanks to Mr T and Kath.

  15. A tricky little devil this one, never heard of 18a so that will be stored for later. I made a bit of a mess with SE corner and needed the hints to help me out. Favourites 10a and 16d.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT.

  16. My first thoughts were it was going to be very tough indeed. But slowly I got myself into it and it was a joy to unravel. Too many favourites to name just one but did enjoy 20d. Have had a couple of river holidays from Porto to Salamanca on very small boats and can thoroughly recommend. (Duoro Prince and Duoro Princess). Beautiful scenery, food and wine and you can get the DT on the WiFi to do the back pager and the Toughie (if you are cleverer than me) as you glide along. Thanks to Kath and Ray T

  17. Some difficult parsing today ,for example 8d and 24a-my favourite followed by 27a which brought a smile.
    I noted RD’s comment on 23a but I’m sure that the ‘glasses’ have been so worn in other crosswords.
    Anyway another top draw puzzle and a ***/**** for me.
    Funny pun and like Jane, I thought that the third word started with another letter.

    1. Re 22a, Beaver, my comment was related to the definition. No problem for me with the glasses.

  18. I spent enough time on this without finishing. The top right corner is proving to be elusive but I’ve left the iPad at home so it will be later tonight before I get to look at it again. One of my least favourite words in the English language reared it’s ugly head at 18 across. One hard C in a word is bad enough but two? Oh come on now. Ta to all

  19. Off to a flying start in the NW then slowed down but overall did enjoy the brain exercise. 10a and 19d new ones on me. 12d Fav and also liked 25d and, with a bit of leniency, 22a. 5d took a while to dawn as not a chess aficionado. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  20. I find I can get to grips with Ray T in a way that I can’t with Jay. Thus I found today pretty straightforward & trundled through it with no major hiccups.
    18a was my COTD. Very much a computer-age term I suspect. It brought to mind Mr K. I wonder how many had come across the word before he started using it in his review.
    Thank you RT for the pleasurable solve & Kath for another insightful review

  21. Apart from a couple of clues that had me stumped – 4a and 18a – I found this Ray T quite straightforward and most enjoyable. The usual concise cluing and, as was stated by Crypticsue, it was good to have two uses of sweetheart. My COTD is 10a but it might not appeal to non-mariners. I’m no sailor but my father was a radio officer in the Merchant Navy during WW11 and used the term often.

    Many thanks, Ray T and also Kath for the hints.

  22. The NE corner eluded me apart from 6d, and also some of the SE, so without more checkers, I was never going to be able to find the answers, so, as it’s sunny today, I threw in the towel.
    Of course, checking in with Kath’s hints, a couple of the downs were perfectly straightforward and might have given me a few more. Although I would never have got 10a without being told, despite a whole bunch of naval officers tied to me by marriage.

    I congratulate Ray T for besting me today and Kath for 8d especially – I kept hoping “ curtsied” might be possible.
    So, now for the outside and I may consider “raising the skirts of” one of my tall conifers, which I often do.

  23. Really enjoyed it, best I’ve seen for ages! I’d say ** difficulty and ***** enjoyment! 10a, 22a, 3d and 8d were my favourites. The pun was good too. Thanks to all.

  24. Took me a while, this one. Got there in the end after much head scratching. Strange how easy it seems after the event, isn’t it? *d gave me some amusement – I couldn’t get a raised skirt out of my mind–sorry ladies! Favourite is 24a.

  25. Yes a brilliant crossword, again- aren’t we lucky! Just the right amount of head scratching. 7d and 13a were last in. Too many good clues to pick out a special one. Thanks to Ray and Kath!

  26. A bit of a nightmare for me in that this was rather beyond my abilities, but once Kath put me on the right trail (for more than a handful) I did enjoy figuring out those clues that were left, and understanding how we got to the ones that left me bewildered.

    I’m sorry I missed some comments and questions left yesterday. I shall answer them here…
    Lola is fine. After a few days sheltering from almost incessant rain, she has returned to her favoured spot under the ivy. She has raised herself a couple of times to say ‘hello’ but is a little aloof today and not interested in lap-sitting. I suppose we all have days like that.
    The gazebo is not yet constructed. Peculiarly, the weighted ‘feet’ arrived separately (only yesterday evening). However we are still going to wait a day or two as we are supposed to be receiving the back end of some storm or other shortly.
    I was due to go back to the garage today for the third attempt to fit an ‘Apple Car Play’ system. You will probably be ahead of me… a phone call this morning – the wrong part was sent leading to further delay. I felt sorry for the young chap who phoned me; I was kind to him for it wasn’t his fault and I think he was expecting a rocket. One must be philosophical about such small issues.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    1. Yes you are right about the small issues. As we sat gloomily looking at a possible hurricane again next week, we reminded ourselves that at least we don’t live in Beirut or Belarus.

  27. Still going but trying hard not take a peek at the clues until later.
    Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the compiler for the laugh at 27a. Of course I am now stuck with Zebedee in my head all day, plus Ermentrude…. Bryan and Dylan…….. gosh I do love corny!

    P.S. Note to Big Dave, I have changed my e-mail address so this will delay this being approved.

    1. Approved

      Welcome back – you’ve no idea how much we’ve been both missing and worrying about you. Hope you are doing well. Please don’t disappear again, or if you have to, please ask someone else to keep us in touch with how you are doing.

      1. awww thank you. I have still not had the dreaded lurgy (Covid) as we are being super careful. Alan does the shopping, I have taken to typing out the list because my handwriting is evolving into something completely illegible. I am still waiting for a fairly hefty operation now, originally it was just a follow up repair after all the shenanigans of last year but 3 months on with no word the hernias are sort of merging, sometimes I feel there is more of me on the outside than on the inside!
        Plus I have to admit that I have been battling depression. Partly because of the health and lockdown but also because our middle son and all of our grandchildren live in Texas and we are not sure when or even if we will see them again. The border closure has been extended, which I approve of, Canada’s numbers are very good and we can’t allow all our hard work to be undone.
        I don’t sleep well so the crossword helps at 3.00 a.m. especially the funny clues.
        I am sorry that I worried you but thank you, you have no idea how touching it is to hear from my Big Dave Page family.

        1. Yes nice to hear from you! I googled a geodesic home and it looks fabulous. I then googled Marmara thinking I might spot you! It does look pretty isolated but beautiful. I do sympathise with your depression – our elder daughter was diagnosed with early onset dementia after being knocked about by her husband who has Huntingdons. She has been in a care home now for 18 months with 90 year olds and the last six months in total lockdown. I cannot tell you how many sleepless hours I have. So like you probably do, I embrace crosswords with open arms as they certainly concentrate the mind on other things! All the best!

          1. I am so sorry Daisygirl. Helps ut thing in perspective. Cyber-Hugs!

    2. Good to see you back, Carolyn, as CS says – we’ve been worrying about you.
      Hope all is well, or at least as well as anything can be these days.

      1. Jane said it all. Glad you’re as well as can be. Like Florida, Texas is not exactly the best place to be. Good luck!

        1. Merusa, a friend drew my attention to a Facebook piece on the Bloviating One’s take on American History. Incredible stuff.
          The influenza epidemic in 1918 resulted in the ending of the second World War, and the links between the USA and Italy went back
          to Ancient Rome – etc. etc. !

          1. There’s enough to fill a fair-sized tome. He delivers these “facts” with an absolutely straight face and his following lap it up. When he recommended intravenous disinfectant, the Centre for Disease Control phone was running off the hook from people trying to find out how to do it.

  28. To me this was a different but enjoyable crossword, I liked 1 across and 10 across and 17 down, I felt pleased when I got 19 down as I had heard the word and beamed when I was right, thank you to Ray t and Kathy for what they do.

  29. Definitely at the tougher end of the setting spectrum, this was nonetheless a cracking puzzle to solve. Thoroughly enjoyable and a worthy tussle. As for a favourite, it’s a toss up between 8 and 20d.

    Thanks to Mr T and congrats to Kath for unraveling it all.

  30. *****/*****. This was difficult but very enjoyable. I got three quarters of this but the NE corner held me up and I needed a couple of hints to finish. My favourites were 18a (it leapt out at me from first scan) and 27a and 20d which were superb and amusing. Thanks to Ray T for an excellent challenge and to Kath for wrestling this puzzle to the ground.

  31. Going back to a couple of recent comments I’m never quite sure about contacting someone who has been a regular if they suddenly go AWOL or sound really low. All the ‘hinty people’ have access to email addresses because we get an email every time there is a comment so it’s certainly possible. The bit that I’m uncertain about is whether it could be felt intrusive.
    What do people think?
    I remember very well that when our wonderful collie died nearly six years ago I had such a lovely message from Jane who had just picked up that things in our house weren’t good and asked BD for my email address.

    1. I think it is a very good idea. Especially in these times. I am feeling very loved because people noticed I was quiet.

      1. Thanks for replying – I’ve felt for a while that it could be a good idea but never got round to doing anything about it.

    2. Out of curiosity Kath do you know if the majority of people who contribute opt for notification every time there is a comment if indeed that’s how it work. I just dip in from time to time to see further comments.

      1. I didn’t opt for notification at all – it’s just that the ‘hinty person’ of the day gets an email every time there’s a comment so that they can have a quick 12d and see what’s going on and if anything could do with responding to. In other words it’s only on alternate Thursdays (my ‘hinty days’) that that happens and the rest of the time I just pop in and out.
        Perhaps what you’re asking is if everyone has access to the email addresses of others – that’s not the case – it’s only ‘hinty people’ who do.

        1. I still tick the two boxes for notifications which I used to receive. I found it useful as I am often commenting the day after. However, it has not worked for some time.

          1. Same here, but I changed email provider round about the time I stopped getting WordPress subscription confirmation mails from this site, so I presumed the problem was at my end.

    3. Kath
      I don’t see anything intrusive, others may, but if they do they would just bin the email. I think we are all fairly like-minded people.
      I look on this site as a sort-of community. If I didn’t see a neighbour for a week or so I would ask after them.
      Some contributors, like Carolyn, yourself & myself give glimpses of their life in their posts, I would think they would not consider a concern an intrusion. Those who merely comment on the puzzle may. Horses for courses I guess.
      As my old mum used to say (why is it always “mum”? He asked leading with the chin) ” A trouble shared is a trouble halved”.

    4. A message from the hinty people would by welcomed by most, especially if they have gone AWOL.

  32. P.S. if you go to my old e-mail address (still exists I am just gently switching to gmail) and just type in the bit after the @ sign you will see photos of our dome home. Please free to share and/or use any of them in hints!

      1. LOL to save any image click on the right mouse button over the image and then click to save image.

        1. I had a feeling I would not be allowed to post a link so here’s a almost cryptic clue.
          To vet the address of my site the first word (all one word) is a combination of
          a lady who flies and a spider’s home.
          Followed by a full stop
          followed by the thing my husband often takes on fishing trips though he very rarely catches anything!

          1. Carolyn I am rolling with laughter at that – with no crossing letters to give us a clue who knows what we might come up with!
            Angels, witches, stewardesses, astronautesses, Sorry, I am just being silly. I asked my husband what he would take on a fishing trip and
            he said a book!

            1. LOLOL my usband is really good at fishing, it’s catching he has a problem with. And yes, he too always takes a book.

                1. Don’t be so hard on yourself Daisygirl…..why wait until 6.00. You can have a GnT anytime. 😂

                  1. I agree. I have a beer at 5pm while preparing dinner. I then have a Grouse while my wife and I binge on Silent Witness and another in bed as I read the blog or a book.

                    I’m beginning to enjoy retirement. 🥃

                    Glad to have you back, Carolyn of wherever it is you live in. As others have said, we were getting concerned.

                    1. I’m a Grouse lady too, but I confess the sun is over my yardarm a little earlier than that!

                2. Me too, Scotch and soda or vino on the dot of 6 p.m. together with BBC News – I always feel guilty for that as my late husband had the same habit and I used to criticise him for it … oh dear all is forgiven!

            2. LOL here too. I am so glad that Carolyn is back and seems to be doing as well as most of us. Your sense of humour is full of warm fuzzies, felt all the way down here in South Carolina, Carolyn. Daisygirl’s list of women who fly really tickled me. I came up with [aviatrixweb]–is that close?

              1. Thank you for the welcome back. No it’s the kind of flying lady wwho wears a pointy hat. There was one called Samantha on TV many years ago ;-)

          2. Glad you are OK, even if it is only “ish”
            PS Can’t get “hipflask” to work at all what else would one take fishing?

            1. LOL net but yes my husband takes your suggestion too. I think he really goes for the peace and quiet. When I was really bad with sepsis last year he did tell me that he would the background noise so could I try to stick around…..

            1. We do love it. We only have an acre but we are surrounded by government land.

  33. This was certainly a RayT to savour. I was stuck in the NE corner until the penny dropped for 8d, which I thought was a very RayT like clue and quite brilliant. Also enjoyed 4 11 12 16 and 20 and a lots more too numerous to mention. The 2 long anagrams at 15 and 18 were also standard RayT backie clues. Thanks to the setter and to Kath for her brave efforts in explaining Ray’s foibles.

  34. Amazing, a 4* RayT and I had a good shot at it. Of course I didn’t finish, I’ve never finished one of his, but I only missed four clues.
    First in was 10a, “the fat” did it for me! I’m torn between 27a and 12d for fave, with honourable mention for 20d.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath for help completing.
    The ceiling in my sitting room that fell down is now being demolished, didn’t want to risk anyone being hurt by more tiles cascading down. I’m so lucky to have the sitooterie at the back to get away from it all.

  35. I found this very difficult as usual 😳****/*** needed assistance with 18a (unknown word) and with 25d, the long and the short 😬 Favourites 27a & 26a Thanks to Kath and to Ray T

  36. A late post today following a lovely rain free day on the course with a poorly back being the only downer. As for the crossword, completed at a pedestrian crawl earlier this morning, I’m firmly in the ‘at the trickier end of the Ray T spectrum’ camp. It’s not too often the Graun cryptic is much easier than DT but today it certainly was in my book. Both of the long anagrams needed pencil & paper (sorry MP), the 19d lurker took a while to spot as I was sure Cary must come into it somewhere & 10a, last in, was eventually twigged from the wordplay but Mr G needed to confirm as completely new to me. On the plus side I got another plant pretty quickly so things are looking up.
    Really enjoyable – 20d narrowly pips 2d & 27a for COTD for me.
    Many thanks to Kath for her review & Ray T for the fun.
    Ps – correct 3rd word doesn’t work for me in the Quickie pun however I say it…..

  37. I enjoyed this one but got stuck on the NE corner. Never heard of 10a. I was trying to get 9a to mean trickery so needed the hint for that one. Thanks to the hinter.

  38. A bit late to the game, partly because I only started when I’d fired up the barbecue and partly because it took a bit more effort than many a back pager. Excellent fun. Thanks all.

  39. Being Ray T I knew I wouldn’t do this one unaided, but quite satisfied with those I was able to untangle. I struggled with 18a for a while, so hating not to be able to complete an anagram, but gave up finally and found out it was that awful word which always makes my brain shut down. Never heard of 10a, despite taking our Coastguards test here when we wanted to get our boating licenses years ago. Absolutely loved 12d. Thanks to Ray T, and for Kath who deserves a medal for tackling his challenging puzzles.

  40. I thought this was going to be beyond me but it all slowly fell into place. I thought there were some very clever clues and any crossword that has a certain bear from Peru in it, has to be a good one! I’m finally beginning to get the hang of Ray T and appreciate the crafting of his clues. Thanks to Kath and Ray T for the workout.

  41. Is anyone else loving alternate Thursdays? This was a test but thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve added 10a to the dictionary in my head. Loved 22a (especially on a day when the UK has removed Portugal from the quarantine naughty step!). I’ll toast Ray T. with a glass later.

    PS Would 22a have worked just as well as ‘Supplier of drink in glasses’? Or does it break some sort of rule about definitions?

    1. You’ve expanded your alias since your previous comment. Both versions will work from now on.
      The problem with your alternative clue is that ‘drink’ is being used both as part of the definition and part of the wordplay – what’s known as ‘doing double duty’.

  42. Very enjoyable! Clear parsing, some fantastic words and lots of smiles. Hadn’t heard of 10a despite my boaty heritage (my boaty lot?) but got it from the clear clueing. I loved 17d; what a word to get your chops round and very appropriate in a crossword. But my favourite was 27a; who doesn’t love an onomatopoeia (and the word onomatopoeia itself)?!
    I failed to put in 11a even though I thought it was the only word that could fit in there; what’s the synonym with “lot”? No one else seems to have found that odd so I must be missing something.
    And something else I’d like to know: what is the rhyming slang with butchers at 12d? I definitely understand and use the phrase to have a gander but am curious if anyone knows the rhyming origin of that one!
    Thanks Kath and Ray T, and positive thoughts to all those suffering with mental health and other difficulties. This too shall pass, as they say…

      1. Aha! Thanks! And now it’s time for me to go up the Apples & Pears for a little Bo Peep!

  43. A bit late today. I was a bit stuck in the NE corner. 5 6 and 7d were pencilled in but until I got the hint for 10a I wasn’t confident enough to put them in.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath The pic for 28a got a real laugh here and the pic for 4a brought a tear of sympathy for Monty who lost his beloved Nigel during lockdown. I am not a big gardener but the sight of Nigel following Monty’s wheelbarrow with tennis ball or similar was very relaxing.

  44. Good fun and much appreciated. For no particular reason 9a was our last one to solve.
    Clue word count maximum of 7 once again. This seems to have become the new norm.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  45. Very enjoyable, the usual DNF, but used to that now. Funny to think that once I volunteered to do the blog!!!
    Thanks Kath and Ray-T.

    1. Did you, Hoofit? Good for you. John Cleese said too many people never try anything. They just go through life timidly then jump into their graves and shout “Phew, made it!” I try things all the time and I have failed many times but I would rather do that and go to my grave shouting triumphantly, “WOW, what a ride”!

  46. Finally gave up any effort to finish this with only half done if that. After doing so well with the Jay yesterday I feel totally emasculated as a crossword solver. Highland Park in large doses now for comfort.

    Thanks to Kath for unravelling this monster and to Ray T for ensuring I open the new bottle and sleep well.

  47. :phew: Thank you, Ray T, for your usual brilliant crossword.
    Thanks too to everyone who’s commented today.
    I think I’m now just a little bit past my best so night night all and sleep well.

  48. This has confirmed my suspicion that I am a bit thick,well above my pay grade. I will skip the Thursday puzzle from now on. Well done to RayT and Kath.

  49. No Brian? Hope he is OK. Finished it all without hints or aids whilst in my holiday bed this morning. Oddly didn’t circle many favourites – just 22 and 24a and 16d. 22a was not to everyone’s taste. 28a took me a time – I think I was trying to fit in my real name or a derivative. Like others NE was last although not 10a which was in nice and early. 13a was the last with only two vowels and the plural S at the end. I wondered whether to bother as could have been tedious but then thought of Brownie Revels great fun days which some of our female bloggers or their daughters may have enjoyed. Thanks RayT and Kath

  50. Let’s hope I’m out the spam folder. I did half of this over my evening meal yesterday before repairing to the pub thinking it wouldn’t be busy. Wrong. I was besieged by a bevy of attractive young ladies who didnt seem to have any regard for social distancing or covering themselves up properly and wanted to talk to me, I’ve no idea why. Trust me that wasn’t a complaint. Needless to say I didn’t do any of the crossword. I fell asleep in the chair when I got home, a recurring occurrence, but completed it this morning. I found this tough in parts. Favourite was 27a. Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

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