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DT 29519

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29519

Hints and tips by Kath

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

Hello everyone. Here we go on the first day of the second week of lockdown 2, in England anyway – thank goodness for crosswords! Today it’s a Ray T Thursday and I think it’s probably somewhere in the middle of his range of difficulty but will wait to see how everyone else found it.

Please leave a comment telling us how you got on today and anything else you feel like saying.

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        Save Queen removed from passage (6)
EXCEPT — a bit of lateral thinking is needed here – a seven letter passage or a quotation without the one letter abbreviation for the Latin word for queen

4a        One values fool’s gold pocketing empty earnings (8)
ASSESSOR — a fool or twit, with his ‘S, and the heraldic term for gold with the first and last letters (empty) of E[arning]S going in between (pocketing)

9a        Round coin recalled, oddly (6)
CIRCLE — the odd letters of the middle two words of the clue (oddly)

10a       Journalists on drink, possibly squash? (8)
SUPPRESS — a general term for journalists goes after (on) a short word to drink

11a       Quiet stroll embracing sweetheart leads to overture (8)
PREAMBLE — the usual one letter for quiet and another word for stroll or walk slowly contain (embracing) the middle letter or heart of swEet

13a       Dairy product from ram? (6)
BUTTER — the dairy product that most of us put on our toast in the morning  could also be a way of describing a large male sheep (ram)

15a       Sinned with erotica, terribly rude (13)
INCONSIDERATE — an anagram (terribly) of SINNED with EROTICA

18a       Stroppy vegetarian with tum rumbling (13)
ARGUMENTATIVE— an anagram (rumbling) of VEGETARIAN with TUM – I dithered for a while about which was the anagram indicator and which was the definition as each would have done for the other

22a       Absolute anger on hospital department (6)
ENTIRE — one of the many hospital departments is followed by anger or irritation

24a       Air jeans wearing sort of shirt (8)
TELEVISE — air here is broadcast rather than atmosphere or appearance – a very famous make of jeans – American, I think – go inside (wearing) a casual sort of top or shirt

26a       Lonely one criticised about nothing (8)
ISOLATED — the letter that looks like a one is followed by a slang word for criticised or took apart which contains (about) the letter that looks like a zero or nothing

27a       Eat around six? Charming (6)
DIVINE — a slightly formal word meaning eat contains (around) the Roman numerals for six

28a       Inside jail one so merits ‘solitary‘ (8)
LONESOME — the first of two lurkers or hidden answers indicated by the first word of the clue

29a       Mean of this compiler, crafty concealing answer (6)
 MEASLY — how the compiler might refer to himself is followed by a synonym of crafty or sneaky which contains (concealing) the one letter abbreviation for A[nswer]



1d        Break free finding key (6)
ESCAPE — a double definition – the second is a key that’s on a computer keyboard – I don’t know what it does so have never dared touch it!

2d        Sympathetic about sweetheart dressing down (9)
CARPETING — another word for sympathetic or compassionate contains (about) an affectionate term for a sweetheart or darling

3d        Stick with sound equipment for debate (7)
POLEMIC — a stick or a bar is followed by an abbreviation for a bit of sound equipment used in performances

5d        Small outhouse is locked (4)
SHUT — the abbreviation for S[mall] followed by an outhouse or shed

6d        Marry love on purpose after second sight (7)
ESPOUSE — a three letter abbreviation for second sight, or the ability to feel something that not everyone can, is followed by the letter that looks like a love score in a game of tennis and then, finally, another word for purpose or effect

7d        Fish had a bad stench (5)
SMELT — a double definition – a kind of  fish is also another word for had a really bad pong

8d        Kept quiet (8)
RESERVED — another double definition – put aside and not very outgoing or chatty

12d      Scoring swimmer, receiving almost nil (6)
LINING — this kind of scoring isn’t to do with kicking a ball into a net to get a goal – it’s making marks – a kind of fish (swimmer) contains (receiving) the first two letters of the last word of the clue (almost)

14d      Fury following motorway for vision (6)
MIRAGE — the motorway that goes up from London to the north (I think!) is followed by another word for fury or extreme anger – very appropriate on that particular motorway

16d      Excellent friendships around gents conveniences (9)
AMENITIES — one of the ways of saying excellent or top class contains some gents or chaps and then some friendships or close connections

17d      Physical partner left, bearing up (8)
MATERIAL — a partner or chum is followed by a reversal (up) of L[eft] and another word for bearing or general appearance

19d      Humans act ultimately constrained by ethics (7)
MORTALS — the last letter (ultimately) of acT goes inside (constrained by) another word for ethics or values

20d      Record despite miserable catches (7)
 ITEMISE — the second hidden answer for today which is indicated by the last word of the clue – I spent a little bit of time thinking that it could be indicating a homophone – wrong!

21d      Apostasy in this place, say, is heartless (6)
 HERESY — in this place or present is followed by the first and last letters (heartless or without its middle) of SaY

23d      Commonly however, Navy shows spine (5)
THORN — a shortened form of a word meaning however, or even if, is followed by the two letter abbreviation for our Navy – I’m not quite sure what the ‘commonly’ means – the BRB says that it’s US or poetic

25d      Streak live in the morning (4)
BEAM — to live or exist followed by the two letters for the morning

I thought there were a lot of very good clues today which makes picking out any particular ones a bit tricky so I’ll just leave it to the rest of you – I did think that the 15 and 18a anagrams were good.

The Quickie pun:- LORE + RIP + ARC = LORRY PARK

130 comments on “DT 29519

  1. I hope the Letters Editor has plenty of room in his Intray.

    I failed to finish. With about one third complete, I was about to get electronic help for the two long anagrams, but they suddenly appeared out of the fog, and I was able to complete most of the rest of the puzzle. After a full ***** time, I was left with three blanks in the SE corner, namely 21d, 24a & 29a.

    It is difficult to pick a highlight after such a hard slog, so I have no contenders for COTD.

    I am unsure as to whether I should have a rant about the difficulty level, but let me just say this. There is already a Toughie on the inside pages.

    Many thanks, I think, to the compiler, and many congratulations to Kath, who clearly found it easier than I did.

  2. So much fun today. Lots to like. As a bonus the sun is shining and I have beer. Thanks Kath. Thanks to the Thursday setter honourably mentioned in despatches recently

    1. OK, I’m coming over to England to live, I need sunshine in my life. This tropical flower closes her petals and fades in all this rain and dankness.

  3. It’s Ray T in cracking form. The top half went in a lot quicker than the bottom so a ***/**** for me. Took me longer than it should have done to spot the lurker in 28a and the famous American jeans baffled me for quite a while! It was my last one in and it’s a brilliant clue so it’s my pick of the day for the top spot. Thanks to all.

  4. A bit easier than most for a Thursday – but Quickie harder than usual….think it is the same compiler………

    1. I had to use all 3 hints to complete the quickie, it was a bit of a horror and did make me wonder what we were in for with the cryptic.

      1. As is often the case, I failed to finish the quickie, despite finding the Cryptic reasonably friendly for Mr T.
        Having entered 4a and 6a, I hazarded a guess at 1a, before realising that such a term has never, and probably never will appear in the DT or this lovely blog.
        I didn’t get 1a (or 2&3d), so thanks to Kath, and I’ll now get my coat….

      2. I just asked my wife how easy/difficult the quickie was, as she did that one whilst I was out earlier. Her comment was, ‘not particularly difficult, it went in only as fast as I could write the answers’. As for me, I couldn’t see the pun until she enlightened me :-) I still prefer the cryptic puzzles.

    2. The Quickie and The Cryptic are nearly always set by the same compiler each day. It’s a very rare occasion when they aren’t. For a RayT Quickie all of the clues will be single words only as will all of the answers

        1. They’re very much trademark clues of ‘the Master’ – others are the presence of the Queen, in some shape or form, a sweetheart also in some shape or form – it’s often an E as in the middle letter or heart of swEet but he’s getting ever more devious as shown in 2d today. There are also very often, but not today, answers derived from the first letters of other words of the clue. He was also known for some really smutty surface readings with completely innocent answers but that seems to have gone recently – I miss it – used to make me laugh a lot!
          A great example of one of his smutty surface readings was:- ‘Move rhythmically topless on a pole maybe’ (9)
          Another was:- ‘It’s tiny, hardly obscuring naked glutes to begin with’ (5)
          Blimey – hope I’ve got those long ago (but still remembered as classic) clues right and apologies if I haven’t!

  5. I really enjoyed unpicking this MrT masterpiece, his best puzzle for quite a while. I thought the anagrams, lurkers, double definition and (partial) homophone were all right out of the top drawer.
    Virtually every other clue could have been on the podium but I’ve gone for 1&24a plus 3d.
    Many thanks to Ray T and to Kath for the entertainment

  6. 2*/4.5*. Hooray! It’s the day for the alternate Thursday dream team of RayT and Kath, and neither disappoint.

    I found this relatively straightforward apart from 1a which seemed to take forever and was my last one in. It makes it onto my podium alongside 29a & 3d.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

    P.S. Happy Birthday, Cryptic Sue. Will you be treating yourself to an extra crossword for your birthday?

    1. Thank you – I’m probably going to do fewer crosswords today – the morning has been surprisingly hectic and I’m sure the afternoon will be the same

  7. Well I thought it slightly friendlier than the ‘usual’ Ray T. My biggest problem came with working out those long anagrams – I did like the two separate sweethearts and was pleased to see Her Majesty back on duty.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray T – no letters to the editor from me!

  8. I found this pretty straightforward, unlike last Thursday’s offering. Didn’t spot the lurker in 20d for ages and last one in was 24a. Thanks to the Ray T and Kath. WI Committee Zoom this afternoon, what joy!

  9. There was a lovely mixture of clues in this puzzle, with lots that were very manageable
    and a few tricky ones to keep you on your toes. I kept thinking of the same answer for 1a and 1d for some reason, until the answer dawned on me. I’d give this one 2**/4**. My favourites were the long anagrams, 15a and 18a but I really liked the one with the jeans as well, 24a. Many thanks to Kath for the review and to Ray T.

  10. I found this to be utterly baffling I needed lots of hints to help me. At least I did not have to reveal all the clues. Plus the usual doh moments.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT

  11. Agree with Sabrinastar ( remember from my Latin that Sabrina was the name of the river Severn-and the actress!) that this puzzle was a little easier than most for a Thursday by courtesy of Mr T’
    Very enjoyable and a **/**** for me.
    1a was in a recent Telegraph puzzle and helped with the usual NW start.
    Favourite was 24a,thanks Kath for the pics and especially the contrite dog in 2d-paws for thought !

  12. Luverly stuff although I did share Kath’s dither over 18a when I first looked at it.
    29a made me smile as did the 25d name check but 11a topped my leader board.

    Devotions as ever to Mr T and many thanks to Kath for doing another night shift on our behalf.
    Best of birthday wishes to CS – hope your day is ‘hectic’ in a good way!

  13. I’m in the easier than usual for a Ray T camp today chiefly due to the thankful absence of his pesky four letter homophones. It helped that the 2 long anagrams went straight in leading to a steady solve in 2.5* time. No real difficulty other than having to refresh my memory as to the meaning of apostasy which as I remember having it as an answer recently & checking it only goes to confirm that my brain is still a fully functional sieve. Last in was 25a where I spent too long trying to fit denim into a synonym of the wrong air. Lots to like today with 3,6&16d my pick of the bunch. Had a quick look at the Toughie & got none on the first read through so the last 2 days of benevolence seems to be at an end.
    Thanks to Ray T & to Kath & birthday best wishes also to CS.
    Ps looking forward to The Masters & hoping for a European winner or anyone but Bryson.

    1. Autumn leaves instead of Azaleas this time around, eh Huntsman? I intended to comment on your Alan Arkin-as-Yossarian reference t’other day, but my scattered brain, suffering still from the convulsions of our elections, imply forgot. I was going to mention the sheer hilarity that overtook me the first time I saw ‘The Russians Are Coming, Ditto’ on the Big Screen; it was my joyous introduction to Arkin, and I’ve loved him ever since.

      1. I’m a big fan of his & thought he was great in The Kominsky Method comedy series with Michael Douglas.

      2. The Russians are Coming remains one of my very fave movies, ever! I’ve seen it three times and could watch it again.

  14. Ray T on sparkling form this morning, with most of the clues having less than seven words. Difficult in places, for sure, but the concise wordplay and accurate clueing made solving this one a delight. As Kath is in the chair I will only pick one favourite, the excellent 3d.

    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath for her blogging duties.

  15. I found that at the easier end of Ray-T’s spectrum today.
    Some stretched synonyms caused my eyebrows to raise somewhat, but all very doable (dreadful non-word).
    Beautiful day here in darkest Kent. The allotment beckons this afternoon, the spinach has been wonderful this year.
    Jane, I was out on my bike this morning and was luck enough to see a merlin hunting on the fields. Even many years since I have seen one.
    Thanks Ray-T and Kath for their usual excellence.

    1. Lucky you, Hoofit. I always dither when it comes to Merlin and Hobby – haven’t seen enough of either to get it imprinted in the brain.

        1. What an imagination you have MP. Now I shan’t be able to rid my mind of the picture of a red-robed gent in a pointy hat, carrying a wand instead of a riding crop, galloping ventre-a-terre, shouting ‘Abracadabra’.

  16. Found this toughish, mainly because I couldn’t sort out the South. Realising jeans in 24a referred to the originators was the key to the SE & sorting out 17d the key to the SW. Then things fell into place in *** time overall.
    Very satisfying and enjoyable with 17d COTD with 11a ( couldn’t get prelude out of my head) R/U.
    Thanks to Mr T and Kath – I’m sure if those who wrote to the Editor read the notes every other week Ray T would become solvable. Similarly with MP on the intervening weeks.

  17. I found this one very tough so I’m going against the grain here. It was a bit of a slog for me and, therefore, not so enjoyable.

    Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

    A Happy Birthday to Crypticsue.

    1. Hi Steve. I have replied to you in yesterday’s 29518. You may have found 1/17 dn made perfect sense, but I (with others) did not. So please use the blog, as I think it is intended, to assist others.

      1. Hi Stone Waller, I’m sorry but I cannot find your reply. I suppose the combination made sense to me because “draught” is another word for beer and “excluder” is something that bars.

        1. Steve / SW
          It worked for me too in a convoluted way.
          Draught beer flows out of the tap (a current), if there were a blocked / burst pipe it would exclude ( bar) the draught being served thus a draught excluder. I don’t think it a technical term.
          It also bars the flow / current of air under a door.

  18. A very enjoyable and, by his standards, a not too challenging Thursday puzzle from the self-indulgent (25d) Mr T, completed at a gallop – 2.5*/4.5*.
    Candidates for favourite – 11a, 21d, and 25d – and the winner is 21d.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.
    And, Happy Birthday to CS.

  19. Did slightly better today than I normally do with a Ray T of late, only had to use the hints for about 1/3 of the clues. As often little fun and tedious clues.
    Thx for the hints

  20. I found this fairly easy though took a while to see 1a and 1d even with the checkers…..for some reason ‘key’ never calls to mind the computer but hopefully I have learned my lesson now….anyway, bright and enjoyable!

  21. I found this a really good workout it took me into ***time, last in was 29a ***** for enjoyment, it was a pleasure to pick my way through with lots of good clues, top half flew in SW took a little longer and then SE took a while longer to tease out, but it was completed without assistance, a Ray T beauty for me.
    COTD 11a with podiums to 21d and 16d
    Thanks to Ray T and to Kath.

  22. Spent more time on this than on the toughie but I always struggle with RayT.
    18a took a while to unravel.
    My first thought in 24a was tedenime and had to check if it was a real word…d’oh.
    Favourite 8d.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath.
    Happy birthday to CS. It’s Iron watermelon season down here. Pasteque de Fer is a strange fruit that can only be used for jam. Plenty of time to prepare some as you have to dice it finely.

    1. Haha! I was reminded of this excellent website when I googled “tedenime” to see if it was a word!

      I enjoyed this one and pleased I found those long anagrams (long ones usually stump me!)

  23. Elegant, masterful, witty–all the tricks of the sublime conjuror’s baton, and a thorough delight, this latest gem by Ray T. The long clues were perfect as midway anchors for me (wish we had a word as self-referential as ‘stroppy’ over here), but the real top-drawer winners were 29a, 3d, 1a, and (my LOI) 24a (I also toyed with ‘denim’ briefly). Thanks to Kath for the always enjoyable review and to Ray T for all of it! 2.5* / 5*

    Toughest Toughie so far this week…still at it.

    1. I see we’ve sent you the remnants of a very wet Hurricane Eta, I hope you don’t have the flooding we had. My area was lucky, just a tad higher than the rest of Miami, but still lots of streets under water.

      1. So far, we’re OK here in North Charleston, but the folks up north, in NC and VA, are being hard hit.

  24. Either I’ve had a brain transplant overnight ,or this was at the easy end of RayTs offerings. Only needed the hints for one,24a,🥴. Many thanks to Kath and RayT for the entertainment.

  25. Just popped in to say Happy Birthday to Sue – I hope you manage to have a lovely day even if it’s not quite what was planned. :rose:

  26. Not straightforward at all but finished before I came here. I enjoyed the struggle because of the beauty of so many clues. The long anagrams helped and despite it being hinted that Kath thinks there should only have one favourite I will nominate 1a, 4a, 24a, and 3d as ones I particularly liked.

    Thank you to Kath and Ray T for the pleasure of a fine crossword and blog on a fine sunny morning.

  27. Puhleese, would someone send me the crossword! I’m told my log in is incorrect, it’s what I’ve been using all this time, now it won’t let me access the puzzles. Why me, oh Lord! I’m so untechie.

    1. Hi Merusa. There is a thing with the login at The DT that has come up before. If , like many, you are normally logged on all the time, but then something happens (computer restart for example) then you will be asked to log in again.

      I am assuming you have a subscription for the Puzzles only?

      But the login screen presented is for “The Daily Telegaph” premium subscription (acces to whole paper). So your login details for puzzles will not work.

      You have to simply close the login popup and you will see a login option for the puzzles page.

      I hope this is the case and solves your problem.

      1. I seem to remember that you told me this before but I totally forgot! I’ll try that. Thank you again.

          1. I didn’t get on at all! Godson (aka IT) is staying here until tomorrow, when he comes in I’ll show him your instructions and let him deal with it. They must have equally dim subscribers, surely, or am I the only one with space between the ears?

            1. I wouldn’t say it’s dim subscribers. Folks who fail to notice the alternative login option might just out of frustration sign up to full access to the DT to get their crossword fix👀

            2. This happens to me whenever I run a clean up on my computer or there is a software update which requires me to log off and log back on. I complained to the DT who told me to close the screen which asks if I have a DT subscription. Eventually a screen comes up that asks if I have a puzzle subscription, and there is a small (not particularly easy to spot) log in box at the top right side of the screen. This is the screen you click “Yes” and click on Log in so you can insert your password. It is quite fiddly and annoying. I blame the software, not the subscribers. The DT is clearly used to this question being asked, and I think they should fix it. I think if you click “No” before you close the first screen (the one that asks if you have a DT subscription), it brings the next screen up (which asks if you have the puzzles subscription). I usually have to try a couple of times. I use a laptop.

  28. I was a bit confused by 22a. I sorted it out eventually, but ‘Anger on a hospital department’ looks to me as if the anger should come first. Not a complaint, just a comment! In the end I gave up with three to go, then looked at the hints. Lovely hints, thanks, Kath. Then I looked at the answers. For two of mine I had all the right checkers but not the in-betweeners, though the words looked as if they were right. Oh, dear. Must try harder!

    1. Hi Wic. I will be corrected if I am wrong but the use of “on” in an across clue can refer to placing, in this case the synonym for “anger”, on or after the definition of “hospital apartment” … its just something you have to look out for.

  29. This for me was definitely on the easier end of the Ray T spectrum. I usually am defeated on Thursday.The left side and the long anagrams went in fast, but I struggled with the SE . COTD was 24a which was the last one in. It was a lot of fun and thanks to the setter and Kath. No lockdown in Ontario yet but very scary rise in numbers.

  30. I found this to be a solid solve. I do not share the issues that many in the letters to the DT have. For me the Thursday and Ray T have always been a challenge, but a very satisfying one when I succeed.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath for the blog.

    1. RayT became easier after I found this blog and found out who I was fighting on Thursdays. Always best to know who one is fighting and what tricks he may come up with

        1. But two different ones – clearly promiscuous then!
          Sorry, Ray T – only joking – honest, guv!

  31. I didn’t find this one easy but getting the two big anagrams was an essential breakthrough. Of course I missed the two lurkers.
    All good fun and very enjoyable to untangle.

    I’m finding Lockdown 2.0 to be a much different experience from the first one earlier this year. Today I had to drive into a nearby town to pick up some medication for a family member and found the roads and the streets to be very busy.
    In March or April, undertaking a similar run, I might have encountered about one tenth of the people and traffic I saw today.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

  32. Happy Birthday CS
    When I was doing this I thought even though it’s Thursday nobody can say this is hard!
    However I know that all our brains work differently and sometimes when everyone seems to be breezing through I am really struggling and find it a boring slog.
    On April 1st 2013 I decided to complete every crossword for a year and my last one was a Thursday which was my worst day so I was very nervous. I did it and have continued to finish every day since with electronic help and hints where necessary. It took me 3 and a half days to do a Sunday dada once! He’s my favourite setter now. My *s don’t indicate a time solved like most people as I usually do it in 3 or 4 visits.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath

  33. Very surprised by a lot of the comments so far. Rattled through this so quickly that I thought the Editor had taken recent Letters in the paper to heart. However, at the time of writing I have one space which is 24a. I can only assume this is because the checkers are vowels and there are various ways to look at it. I have resisted the temptation to resort to the hints or any other aids and shall return later when perhaps the answer will write itself in. 20d was the penultimate and it was the SE corner in general which slowed me down.

  34. I came to this expecting a bit of a Thursday fight but it all went smoothly. I did need Kath’s excellent hints for the last two. 24a I was working with the fabric rather than the original manufacturer and the second sight wasn’t with me today I always forget ESP.
    I did like 16d and that got a titter and COTD from me.
    Happy Birthday CS and thanks to Kath for the hints and also to Beam
    This second lockdown is making me 15a and 18a I feel 26a and 28a and we need to 10a the 29a Virus
    Thanks to the blog and all its participants for providing a silver 12d and a 1d from the real world.

      1. Aww thanks – I wish I’d gone with an 1d rather than a 1d but on the other hand I am glad I didn’t go with the “he who 7d’it dealt it” joke that came to mind first

  35. I have returned and, as I hoped, 24a no longer resisted my efforts and succumbed willingly. Thanks Ray T and Kath. I shall now check my parsing against your hints and enjoy the rest of the comments so far. I have rings round 4 and 11a and 16d to which I shall now add 24. Little birds above say it is your birthday Cryptic Sue so many happy returns and hopes for us all that our birthdays in 2021 (including Big Dave’s) will be more like the ones of old.

  36. Loved this puzzle -or at least the bits I could do. Several evaded me and I needed some help from Kath, thanks. Held up forever with 15a mainly because I read the word tum as turn. My sights obviously not 20/20. Thanks also to Ray T.

    1. I had the same problem with tum, had to get the old temporary measure (magnifying glass) out to look at it.

  37. Easier than last Thursday’s offering, but still a tricky one I thought. ***/*** for today. A few of the clues took some real head scratching for me. Last in was 14d but in general the bottom half was harder than the top.
    Clues for favourites include 13a, 24a, 29a, 12d & 14d with winner 14d followed by 24a

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath for the hints (that were needed today!)

  38. Well, chaps, a miracle has happened. I completed a RayT bar one, 24a, and only needed one hint to finish the SW corner. All this while my word search programme, always needed with RayT, has gone kaput. It was kindly provided by pommers and was the best, does anyone have another one to help me out? Not Dan Word though, I don’t like that one. I need one where I have to do some of the work! I’m feeling quite brilliant today but feel my balloon will burst next week just ‘cos I’m so cocky with it!
    I think 13a is fave, not sure, so much to like here, 21d also impressed.
    Thank you RayT, I’m sure it’s all backsliding from here, and thank you Kath for the usual sterling hints.

    1. The word wizard on the Chambers site is good at anagrams if you know all the fodder. With the ? wildcard it is great for finding words that fit checkers. for instance, the pattern of checkers of 24a was ?e?e?i?e and it gave 16 words that fit. As none had the denim I was looking for and only 1 had levi I had the answer. ( in this case, I didn’t actually use the word wizard but got there from Kath’s hint.) It doesn’t feel as cheaty as letting Danword do the hard work but all is fair game in crosswords IMO.
      The word wizard is here https://chambers.co.uk/ and is usually near the top of the first page.

  39. 24a was our last in took quite a lot of head-scratching.
    A real pleasure to solve.
    Word count checked and a maximum of 7 words again.
    Thanks RayT and Kath.

  40. Just away from the crossword for a minute or two – there’s been nothing from Daisygirl since she was rather less than happy with the way things were going with her knee. She sounded scared which must be horrid. She was about to have an appointment with a ‘real live person’ (hoping that it wasn’t in a car park which the previous one had been).
    I hope that she’s OK and if we don’t hear from her tomorrow perhaps I’ll email her – does everyone agree that I should?

      1. As i was thinking about her, I read the above comments from Kath and BL. If you are reading this Daisy, with so many of us thinking of you and pulling for you, it will hopefully have a positive effect.

      2. Absolutely, Kath. Daisygirl is a cherished member of this blog and I know we all wish her well. I also know your email enquiries are tactful and DG will reply if she wishes.

    1. Definitely, Kath, she might be in need of a bit of support even if it’s only from ‘virtual’ friends.

    1. Good evening, Mr T. You may have been appraised of the ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ type of letters that have appeared recently in the DT regarding the difficulty of the Thursday back-pagers. As you have been a Thursday compiler for ages, I would think folk would have complained in writing long ago had they been referring to your puzzles, so your loyal fans are choosing to believe that it is your more recent opposite number who is in their firing line.
      Don’t change a thing, we love you just the way you are!

  41. Well it’s Thursday. Enough said. I am very grumpy away, having a fight to get my iPad to relinquish its pictures to my laptop. Both have been threatened with a fate worse than the naughty corner. I got about half of the puzzle, but my day is rushing by and can’t spend any more time scratching my head. I am quite pleased with the ones I did manage to solve, without hints or help, so off to fight the laptop some more now. It’s a very old Vaio…
    Thanks to Ray T and hats off to Wonder Woman Kath.

  42. Where would we be without RayTs sweethearts? Thought he was losing this touch when I saw the second one until much later I twigged the variation on a theme. I agree with the sentiment that this was on the easier end of the Ray T scale . I also really struggled with last Thursday and needed the hints, but not this week. Nevertheless, the hints from Kath we as good as always and hats of to Ray T as always for the Thursday battle of wills. Thanks to both My favourites 13a and 2d my last two in.
    **/**** for me today.

  43. Before we open the lovely wine, I just thought I’d say thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes and to BD for the banner.

    One thing the last year has taught me is never to plan anything whatsoever, but even though I couldn’t celebrate this landmark birthday as I would have liked (we should be in Dublin with No 2 son, having wanted to spend half term with No 1 son – thank goodness for Zoom), I’ve had the most splendid day. Hopefully the new year will bring the chance to actually think about planning to do things. I really hope so.

    Take care everyone

    1. Godson has just put Zoom on my computer, now if I can just learn how to use it!
      So glad you’re having such a special day, we love you, Sue! Cheers!

  44. Blimey, can’t remember the last time we were treated to an enjoyable Thursday crossword and I thought a particularly good one at that!! My wife is particularly grateful as she doesn’t have Mr Thursday Grumps to suffer tonight!! Thanks to all.

  45. Phew…finished a Ray T crossword and having grumbled last week, I should say that I enjoyed the tussle this week! Some very clever clues and the clue for 15a made me chuckle, so that can be my clue of the day. Thanks to Kath for the hints which were not required and Ray T for the puzzle.

  46. I’m with the easier end spectrum commenters as I raced through most of it at a Senf like gallop, there’s always a sting in the tail with Rayt though. Hey ho! I got there. As favourite I’m going for 15a. Many thanks to Rayt and Kath.

  47. I haven’t yet read to see what other solvers may have said, but IMHO this was a joy to solve and in no way a difficult Thursday puzzle, as has been expressed in the Telegraph letters pages recently. I began late today as I have been busy for most of the day tidying autumnal leaves, dead plants and rubbish that had accumulated and lain both here in our cul de sac and at our local preserved railway station. Several candidates for a personal favourite, but 16d, 17d, 19d & 13a took my fancy. Thanks to RayT (it felt like one of yours) a most enjoyable solve and to Kath also.

  48. I struggled, but managed to finish this one. Good job we don’t mention times. 3d was my favourite clue. Thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  49. The consensus seems to be that this was an enjoyable puzzle. I agree – so much to admire. No letters to the Telegraph from me today! 2d was very satisfying (‘dressing down’). Ditto 13a (‘dairy product’). We had two sweethearts and a queen! And the bath water was still quite warm when I got out afterwards.

    PS – I wonder if having Chambers as a surname is an advantage for me (re the BRB).

  50. I too enjoyed this crossword, even though I needed the hint for 24a. I had completely forgotten about Levis….do people still wear them? When I was young (when dinosaurs roamed the earth) everyone wore them but I cannot recall seeing them for ages.
    Thanks to Kate for her most excellent hints and to RayT for his most excellent crossword.
    (Late today as have been making quince jelly….a pain but worth it.)

  51. That’s been really good fun – thanks so much to Ray T for making it possible with his excellent crossword and thanks also to everyone for the comments – there would be no fun at all in doing the hints without them.
    I’m tired now and heading in the direction of bed so night night all and sleep well.

  52. Came to this late in the day after returning home after a pleasant couple of days “bubbling” with my sister which made a welcome change from Lockdown on my Jack Jones chez moi. As is often the case I made heavy weather of today’s challenge from RayT and can’t really pick a Fav. Thank you anyway MrT and Kath.

  53. My favourite clue 29a – thanks to setter for making me laugh. Although I didn’t use Kath’s hints, many thanks for all her efforts. I have to admit to some minor electronic help,but I certainly enjoyed this crossword.

    1. PS to my previous message. I don’t usually make comments because I am mostly the last one in and it has already been said by others. |However I couldn’t resist the comment about 29a.

      1. It never matters if it’s all been said before – whoever does the hints gets an email whenever there’s a new comment so they’re all always read.

  54. 24a’s answer had a variation on the same clue in the Sunday Times crossword 4938 by Robert Price on 17 Jan 2021, “Jeans and shirt put outside to air,” that I felt was a bit better phrased but did make me wonder about who first came up with it!

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