DT 29578 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29578

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29578

Hints and tips by Kath

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating — Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Hello everyone. A Ray T Thursday crossword – this one is lacking a few of the usual trademarks  but it still feels like one of his. I didn’t have a lot of trouble but will wait to see how everyone else got on today.

Please leave a comment to tell us what you thought.

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

Across

1a        Store fat eating every brand (11)
SUPERMARKET — a kind of animal fat – not lard, a different one – goes round (eating) a synonym for every and one for brand or burn

10a       Check in unrefined earth for pigment (5)
OCHRE — the two letter abbreviation for check in the game of chess goes inside some unrefined earth

11a       Offended being blown by detectives (9)
DISGUSTED — ‘blown’, as in intermittent strong winds, follows one of the many abbreviations for some fairly senior detectives

 

12a       History covers start of Moscow retreat (9)
HERMITAGE — a synonym for history or cultural tradition contains (covers) the first letter (start of) M[oscow]

13a       Cave found in verdant region (5)
ANTRE — the first lurker, or hidden answer indicated by ‘found in’ – it’s in the middle of the last two words of the clue – I’ve never heard of this one

14a       Miserable individual’s beginning to miss cruelty (6)
SADISM — another word for miserable or a bit down in the mouth, the letter that looks like a one (individual) with the ‘S, and the first letter (beginning to) of M[iss]

16a       Most extreme bother on small driving area (8)
STEEPEST — a bother or nuisance follows (on) the one letter abbreviation for S[mall] and the area where a game of golf starts – not being a golfer I didn’t know this as an area, only the little thingie that the ball sits on

18a       Forward part of shoe not without padding … (8)
INSOLENT — the lining of a shoe (part of) is followed by the outside letters of NoT (without padding or the middle letter)

20a       … helps son wearing wellies, perhaps (6)
BOOSTS — the abbreviation for S[on] goes inside (wearing) some footwear of which ‘wellies’ are just an example (perhaps)

23a       Budget vote leader ignored (5)
ALLOT — another word for vote or poll without its first letter (leader ignored)

24a       Some lingo adapted for new word (9)
NEOLOGISM — an anagram (adapted) of SOME LINGO

26a       Dispose of ale in time, drunk (9)
ELIMINATE — another anagram (drunk) of ALE IN TIME

27a       Incendiarism against right saw off nominee initially (5)
ARSON — the first letters (initially) of the middle five words of the clue

28a       Strident babbling about European trap (11)
PENETRATING — babbling, verbally rather than like a stream, contains (about) the one letter abbreviation for E[uropean] and a trap or mesh

 

Down

2d        Show ‘American Idol’ cut short (5)
USHER — two letters used to mean ‘American’ is followed by the first three of a four letter synonym (cut short) for idol or someone who is admired

‘Alright usher! I know where to stand…!’

3d        Laments English members taking to wit (7)
ELEGIES — the one letter abbreviation for E[nglish] is followed by some ‘members’ or limbs which contain (taking) the two letter abbreviation for the Latin (to wit) or in other words

4d        Average detective with average case (6)
MEDIAN — a two letter abbreviation for a detective goes inside (with average case) another word for average – I’d already spotted this one as the ‘difficult to give a decent hint for’ one today

5d        Salutations concerning glasses around time (8)
RESPECTS — the usual little abbreviation for concerning or about is followed by an informal word for glasses (the kind that you wear on your nose rather than drink from) which contain (around) the abbreviation for T[ime]

6d        Reproduce flightless bird, extinct? (7)
EMULATE — a large Australian bird that can’t fly is followed by another word for extinct or dead

7d        ‘Cosmopolitan‘ dictates I shop around (13)
SOPHISTICATED — an anagram (around) of DICTATES I SHOP

8d        Good person speaks and falters (8)
STUTTERS — the usual crosswordland ‘good person’ followed by a synonym for speaks or says

9d        Vender at times used this? (13)
ADVERTISEMENT — an anagram (I think the indicator is probably ‘used’) of VENDER AT TIMES

15d      Abandon one consumed by record hit (8)
DISCLAIM — the letter that looks like a one goes inside (consumed by) another word for a record and a verb to hit very hard

17d      Overwhelm single sister over engagement (8)
INUNDATE — the same letter that looks like a one (single), a sister, the religious kind not one who has the same parents as you do, and an engagement or arrangement to meet

19d      Place for soldiers to go on manoeuvres? (7)
LATRINE — some lateral thinking needed about the fifth word of the clue – the picture is rather more salubrious than some I found!

21d      Oscar event oration, having a bouquet (7)
ODORANT — the letter represented by Oscar in the phonetic alphabet and an event or party and finally an oration or a rather loud tirade

22d      Exhibitionist in French street, thus quietly revolting (6)
POSEUR — the French word for street, thus, or in this way and the musical abbreviation of the instruction to play quietly – then turn all that lot upside down (revolting)

25d      Writer of one’s biography in the ascendancy (5)
IBSEN — the second lurker or hidden answer but this time he’s not just hidden but reversed too indicated by the words IN and ASCENDANCY

I think I’ll leave it up to the rest of you to pick out the clues that appealed most.

The Quickie Pun:- PAY + PUP + LANE = PAPER PLANE

 

146 comments on “DT 29578
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  1. All completed in *** time, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. I didn’t like 19d, didn’t know 13a and generally couldn’t get ‘into it’.

    Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  2. I agree with Kath on the difficulty rating but I think she’s being a tad mean on the enjoyment rating, I thought it was a cracker, full of Mr T’s trademark humour and cunning.
    I had to check the “babbling” synonym in 28a and 24a, rather appropriately was a new word, but other than that it was plain sailing.
    Loads to like but I’ve chosen 6,9, 17& 22 as my highlights.
    2/4.5 *
    Many thanks to the aforementioned Kath and Mr T.

  3. 4*/4*. I found this tougher than last week’s Beam Toughie but as enjoyable as ever, although I did raise an eyebrow at the double dose of Detective Inspectors who appeared in intersecting clues.

    13a was new word for me as was the spelling of vender in 9d.

    1a, 24a, 28a & 22d made it onto my podium.

    Many thanks to RayT and to Kath.

  4. I thought this was going to be really difficult but gradually found the wavelength and began to get some of the long anagrams (2.5*/3*). It wasn’t one of Ray T’s finest puzzles but there were some good anagrams and 19d really made me laugh, once the penny dropped. Thanks to Kath for the review and to Ray T. I see (DT today) that Leicester University Faculty of English is going to drop all studies of pre 1500 literature and possibly the study of Christopher Marlowe, John Donne and John Milton in favour of more modern literature featuring diversity, sexuality etc. This is to make them more competitive in the modern world. Sad to lose Chaucer, Beowulf, Mallory and the first 1000 years of English Literature

    1. Not my cup of tea today. Took ages and had to use electronic help, so not my finest hour.
      Thanks to Kath and to the setter.

      1. Sorry, this should have been a separate post, not a reply……..BUT….losing Chaucer, Beowulf and Mallory ….shocking!

    2. I haven’t an ounce of political correctness and do not plan to acquire it any time soon. It’s quite mad to my mind to ignore all those elements of English Literature. I suppose Shakespeare will go next. What will it be replaced by? Fifty shades of grey? And no, I haven’t read it and it will be a very cold day in hell before I run out of better books!

      1. I’m afraid I took the National Trust to task when they included The Wordsworths home, Allan Bank in Grasmere on their list of properties linked to slavery and imperialism. The reason, their brother John worked for the East India Company. Never mind poor John died in a shipwreck on the south coast. And the real story is that both Dorothy and William Wordsworth were fiercely opposed to slavery. The irony is that the Wordsworths hated living in Allan Bank!

    3. Could hardly believe that article – surely the best way to be ‘diverse’ is to include literature from all ages and genres? We certainly had both Chaucer and DH Lawrence on our curriculum in the ’60s.

      1. The trouble with eradicating history and its mistakes is we stop learning the lessons it teaches us. That is when the mistakes start all over again. Anyway, all these “woke” people baying for statues to be pulled down because of connection to old slave trade should look at the slavery going on today and demand action on that.

        As for literature I loved Chaucer and Milton as a teenager. I would hate to think new generations will never hear of them.

        1. I enjoyed the Chaucer and Milton that I, studied for A level and the syllabus also included Fielding’s Tom Jones, Keats’ 1820 poems and TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral. Studying a work from each century meant that we gained an appreciation of the development of English Literature over time. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on that.

      2. Despite being in Nottingham D H Lawrence was unknown to us young gals in the early 60s until the infamous trial. We did get our fill of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Pope, Goldsmith, Dickens, Orwell, Hardy, George Elliot, Jane Austin, the Brontes to name but a few. Consequently Lady Chatterley had to be purchased from the Station bookshop and neatly covered in brown paper labelled “Latin Primer”.

      1. They say it will make their courses more competitive in the modern world . It also means that they will be making some academics redundant so I guess the aim is to make more moneyand save some money.

        1. Truth is there are too many universities offering too many courses. A levels have been dumbed down in order to tempt students who do not have the necessary intelligence for a proper degree course. It follows that the degree courses have to be dumbed down as well, so that students manage to stay the three years and pay enough fees to perpetuate the system. This nonsense started with Tony Blair’s group think about getting 50% of school children to go on to university, and a similar political mindset amongst senior academics is driving this damaging woke agenda. Society and the economy has never had need for more than about 5% of the population to be educated to degree level. Exceeding that number in search of equality of opportunity only serves to drag down standards.

          1. Upgrading polytechnics and the like to university status was the start of the problem. Scrapping streaming in the secondary education system so that the brightest had to slow down for the less able didn’t help either. The end result for the standard of degrees was that it could only drop.

          2. I’m going to reply at length to both of these comments as a new comment at the bottom of all of the rest – it’s something that I feel strongly about.

  5. I made heavy weather of this one. ***/** As far as any Ray T puzzles are straightforward, much of this was very workable. I’ve learned two new words in 13a and 24a, both of which can be deciphered from the clues. It took Kath’s hints for me to understand the why of 1a and 10a and it took me ages to see where we were going (no pun intended) with 19d. 28a is a well constructed clue. No real favourite today. It all felt like too much hard work. No offence to Ray T. I always struggle with his Thursday puzzles. Thanks to all.

  6. I liked this today, not plain sailing though with a couple of head scratchers, top half flew in and twice as long on the south, not heard of 13a but straightforward enough from the clue also 24a but easy enough from the checkers, last in was 28a.
    ***/****
    COTD for me 17d, 1a and 6d on the podium.
    Thanks to Kath and Ray T

  7. Well I found that comfortably the toughest from this setter in quite a while – fingers crossed for Steve’s 4fold. 28a caused a fair bit of head scratching chiefly because I was sure it was a 5 letter synonym for babbling around E & then sting for trap. Once that blind alley had been thoroughly explored the answer was eventually happened upon & I must say I thought it a pretty tenuous synonym but I suppose it’s in the BRB. 3 in the SW also gave me a headache but the main one was 19d which was last in. I’m sorry if I’m being thick but I still don’t really understand what soldiers have got to with it & wonder if for soldiers could have been left out. Either way I was reduced to making up words & fortunately the answer followed closely on the heels of lattice. Pick for me was between 12&18a.
    The rain has relented so an escape from confinement. Today’s albums: Southeastern (Jason Isbell) & Seesaw (Joe Bonamassa & Beth Hart)
    With thanks to Ray T & of course to Kath.

    1. I have to agree with you about the soldiers in 19d…..they completely mystified me and I too was reduced to making words fit.

    2. Unfortunately, Ray T has brought my run of solving unaided to a crashing halt. I had about six to go and, despite resisting them for ages, I had to look up the hints for these. Thanks for the fingers being crossed, Huntsman but it was not to be. Still, I am more than happy with three in a row. I will have to start again.

      As for today’s puzzle it was a harder Ray T than of late and I missed The Queen and the sweetheart. Plenty of good clues but I did raise an eyebrow at 19d. A new word for me at 24a but I will no doubt forget it by tomorrow. The reverse lurker was well hidden but my COTD was 12a because I spent ages trying to reverse words to mean history. Talk about getting hold of the wrong end of the stick!

      Many thanks to Ray T for the challenge and, of course, to Kath for the greatly appreciated hints.

      Sorry – this was not meant as a reply. It should be a new comment.

    3. I like the Joe Bonamassa and Beth Hart pick Huntsman.
      I subscribe to his channel. He’s kept himself busy this year with a lot of interviews with new and old musicians.

  8. With Kath doing the blog and all those detectives around I thought you know who might turn up somehow.

    With a grid like this, a long anagram at the top, or as here, the side certainly helps kicks things off.

    The answer to 13 was obvious from the checkers and clue construction but needed checking. That apart, it all fell into place for a **/***….no, an extra * for the amusing 19d, which probably had the best surface as well.

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath.

    The Firefly toughie has something that helps the solve, a linked “variety” as it were.

  9. First run through was pretty sparse. Made a coffee, got distracted and then when I came back to it everything rapidly fell into place. Thanks to today’s setter and Kath.

  10. A most un-RayT-like crossword, with the only trademark appearing to be the length of the clues. I found it at the tricky end of his spectrum too.

    Thanks to him and Kath

    1. A paucity of anagrams, two well hidden but short lurkers and an acrostic. A bit of devilment in the bog at 19 down. No sweetheart and no Elizabeth the second. That’s enough of a RayT for me Sue

  11. I thought this was right up there as one of Ray T’s best, full of fun, innuendo and stretched synonyms. 19d and 22d were my co-favourites from a long list of possibles. Great fun. I did this before going into the ghost town formerly known as Shrewsbury to go to the bank. Not even a parking warden to stop me leaving the car in an unloading bay. So sad.

    Many thanks to Mr T and to Kath.

  12. Your mood must really have picked up Kath. To see this as 2* you must have been on song. Like quite a few others I found this quite tough, took some getting into then needed quite a lot of puzzling to sort out.
    I thought soldiers appropriate in 19d: BRB “toilet esp in barracks” I think the last two words superfluous but it gets my COTD. Anything to bring a smile on a miserable sleety morning. Thankfully no deluge up here though commiserations to those suffering.
    Thanks to Ray T and Kath for the explanations that have been invaluable to me in making Ray T puzzles manageable and satisfying solves.

      1. I’ve always felt, regardless of dictionary definitions, that 19d was about the temporary nature of the place,(on manoeuvres?) — so related to camping or similar, rather than a permanent set-up or building. There’s a bit of privacy provided by a bit of canvas, but basically a hole in the ground………..we now have one of these at the allotments, although it has a fancier title and looks a bit like Kath’s picture. Nicer than blue chemicals anyway.

  13. I, too, place this in the ‘tricky’ category – right at the 16a edge of my ability.

    The cone/collar is off! Little Lola strides free in the manner of Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom. As you can imagine this has given her a real boost and although she (naturally) is having a fiesta of grooming, so far she hasn’t nagged at her remaining stitches. I will post an updated photo once her poor little face has returned to a more becoming state (she has shaved areas from the biopsies and has a few stitches hither and thither). I can tell by the way she is sitting and carrying herself that she is so much happier without that awful cone around her neck.

    Today’s soundtrack: Joni Mitchell – Blue (for approximately the 2,500th play since its release.)

    Thanks to Ray T, and lovely Kath.

    1. Love to Lola, I bet she’s purring for you any time soon and that will be so satisfying for you too Terence. It’s made my day as well

    2. Great for Lola Terence,
      I think lampshades are the ultimate symbol of a pet’s unhappiness at being ill (and our frustration at being able to sort things out in a way they understand).
      Each day another step towards getting the old Lola back!

    3. Oh you’re a mean old Daddy but I like you, I like you, I like you. Joni Mitchell one of the few I never got to see live. My youngest daughter is a Joni

              1. Probably, Merusa but I just passed them on. Others seemed to be more in need,

                It was a great festival but I was astounded when a group called The Meggies appeared. The singer was my biology teacher from school. Meggies is what folk in Grimsby call Cleethorpes and the group appeared regularly at the local folk club.

    4. Wonderful that the collar has gone. Lola will be much happier, I’m sure. Looking forward to the new picture when she is ready for her close-up.

    5. That news has made my day, Terence, no doubt it’s done the same for both you and Lola. Yes please, would love to see another photo of her once she’s recovered her dignity.

    6. Oh, joy, joy, joy, Terence. I popped in today just to see how Lola was. Thought I’d take a day off after being exhilarated but also worn out by yesterday’s epic transition into decency and honesty in government over here, but I had to hear about Lola. And I love Steve C’s comment: Like Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, Lola can soon say, “I’m ready for my close-up now, Mr Demille!”

  14. A slow start, but then a steady and enjoyable solve. I did not know 13a, but it was generously clued.
    Like others, I was surprised to see two similarly ranked detectives featuring at the intersection of 4d and 11a.
    My last one in was 28a, largely because I too was convinced that the trap was a sting.
    Thanks to all.

  15. Have to say that I didn’t enjoy this one too much – took ages to get a foothold but then it was slow and steady. Nipped out for a quick walk, very quick, freezing north wind. Thanks to all.

  16. Definitely a very tricky solve but a lot of satisfaction when completed in the *** difficulty category for me which is not based on time.

    I have noted that a lot of solvers on here write about leaving the puzzle for a while and finding on their return that they find the difficulties resolved. Of course they have not been consciously reasoning out the clues but the sub/unconscious will have been very busy. So when they have gone on the checkers provide for more solving and hey presto the crossword is completed.

    Is this time added in to the starring criteria?

    However I liked 12a and 4d having no problems with DIs or Superintendents. It is the PCs of all description who are the ones to avoid at all costs.

    Thanks to Kath and Ray T.

    1. My number of stars for difficulty is based only on how I felt about a crossword while I was doing it. I don’t time myself although I know lots of others do. I often have a wander around and a think about it in the middle but not when I’m the ‘hinty person’ because I stay up and do it at midnight and by the time I’ve finished it I’m usually quite keen on getting to bed!

        1. No – trust me, I’m not – I don’t ‘do’ martyrdom! I enjoy doing it very much even though I’m a bit like a piece of chewed string by early evening which doesn’t really matter much. Thanks anyway.

            1. I hadn’t until you suggested it
              It’s not very rewarding, so I’m going to make a stir-fry instead and then write on the soles of my slippers with a biro – much more satisfying

  17. Well I enjoyed the solve. What’s not to like about a RayT puzzle. The four anagrams, two lurkers and the acrostic clues were solved first to see how those clues filled the grid. It left five clues with no checkers. The initial letters of five clues were revealed. One of which, 12 across was an old chestnut recently seen. That’s quite a good start. The rest were nibbled away at until only 19 down was left. With four checkers I could only see two words that might fit. Thanks to RayT for the puzzle and to the delightful Kath just for being Kath

  18. Well I never, I really loved this puzzle. I thought it one of the best crosswords for quite a while. 19d made me laugh out loud and I liked 16a too. New word for me in 13a.
    Had to think carefully to fully parse 28a which was my last in.
    Thx to all
    */****

    1. Brian / & * for difficulty with a Ray T, oxymoron of the week surely?
      The setter usually looks in, hopefully Mr T doesn’t think he’s getting too soft on us and ups the ante too much!

          1. Agreed, Labs. The last thing we need is Ray T thinking he’s going soft on us.
            Hope you got your edit in before Mr T visited, Brian!

  19. I filled in the left hand side before being persuaded to go out for a walk in the sunshine. A quick jaunt round Chequers, then I came home and filled in the right hand side without any problems. I didn’t think that it was a RayT because the Queen was missing, and because I could finish this one unaided. I was a bit shocked to find that others thought it might be a RayT. 19d made me smile. Thank you setter and Kath.

  20. Sorry but it doesn’t feel like a Ray T 🤔 plus the fact that I completed it in the daylight! However very enjoyable ***/*** 😃 Two new words for me in 13a and 24a 😳 Favourites 16a, 20a & of course 19d Thanks to the Setter and to Kath 🤗

  21. Not a lot of fun for me today. North less challenging than the South. 13a and 24a now added to my personal vocabulary. Bunged in 15d as hit synonym didn’t occur to me. 19a too clever by half. Thank you RayT and Kath.

  22. A puzzle of two halves, North and South unusually for me. Some hold ups in SE corner but otherwise very entertaining.
    Lots of stormy weather here in NC blustery walks on cliffs. Keeps the germs away.
    Thanks to Kath and RayT

  23. Put me down in the ‘trickier than usual’ camp – there were several bit of parsing that took me longer than usual for a Ray T back-pager and I had to look up the unknown 13a once I’d determined that it was the only feasible answer.
    The biggest smiles came from 1&18a plus 19d – I have a feeling that the latter turned up in ‘It ain’t half hot, Mum’.

    Devotions to Mr T (still the best!) and to Kath for the review. I did wonder whether junior at 11a had caught a whiff of his own nappy. My grandson apparently refused to eat his toast this morning because it smelled awful – could have been something to do with the fact that his 7 month old sister was sitting next to him and smiling contentedly!

    PS Mr Waitrose finally brought me a packet of Bath Olivers with my delivery – bliss in a biscuit. Now then, if we could just get Huntley & Palmers breakfast biscuits back on track…………

    1. The Bath Olivers I ordered from Waitrose were substituted for high bake water biscuits! Next time, I will say “no substitutes”.

      1. “No substitutes” works fine …..as long as it’s not wine you’re ordering……much to my husband’s dismay.

  24. I didn’t enjoy this quite as much as I’d hoped. Had 4 left, all in the South West, with insufficient checkers and which could have had a number of alternative contenders. I tried to persist, but had a busy morning, what with a car needing MOT and then not starting and keeping up with the floods in Manchester, where we have acquaintances, but luckily not family, who have been evacuated. I don’t even know what happens when Metrolink tramways are flooded…….

    My favourite was 22d.
    Thanks to Kath for the answers and to Ray T.

  25. On a first read through only one clue came straight to mind and that was 2d. I finished my avocado and went back and it all began to fall into place thank goodness. I needed your help Kath for 28a and once I had the L for 19d I thought of the answer straight away but couldn’t quite believe it! I rather liked 17d and 18a. Thanks to Ray T and to Kath for your nocturnal sleuthing.

  26. Half way through my first pass I had this ranked as a stinker. But it slowly all began to make sense and it’s ranking changed to very enjoyable. I guessed at 13a, correctly thank goodness, and also managed to figure out the anagram at 24a, both new words for me. My first inclination, before checkers, for 19d was warpath, glad I didn’t go with it. Thanks to Ray T for a nice challenge today and to Kath for her excellent hints.

  27. I really hope it was a Ray T.asit is a great rarity for me to finish one of his.I think it was as the the Quicky was all single word clues.Needed Kaths help to make sure of 16 a and not heard of 13 a.Thankyou to all.

  28. A good Ray T for me and 19d made me laugh out loud too. A new word in 13a and altogether very enjoyable as we wait for our NHS letters and “the call”. Looks like they are now inviting the 75-80s as a neighbour and a friend are scheduled for first jab tomorrow. This crossword and cycling has become such a part of our daily routine – no theatre, restaurants, cinema, opera or art exhibitions. I should be getting better at it…… but it’s still hard going. Thanks to all our setters and hints and tipsters.

    1. Am hopeful that I am on the near horizon so discussed with the medic.
      Having the vaccine (according to him) does not mean
      You can still get CV, just the body will take less of a load so the symptoms will be milder thus it will be”more treatable.”
      It will not significantly reduce my ability to pass it on to others. So masks & social distancing etc will still be required as now.
      It could be argued that the vaccine will give CV the status of the common cold but to me a return to any semblance of “normality” is but a twinkle in Boris’ eye.
      As Mum used to say “It’s being so cheerful keeps me going.”

      1. I think you are so right. I cannot see this thing going away for a long time yet. Summertime will be OK when we can be in
        the garden with our families but travel? How can we plan a holiday? I don’t want to go on an aeroplane or be on a big ship.
        It is so miserable, I walk round the village where I am very well known – yet we don’t recognise each other with masks on and
        the careful crossing over of the road when you meet someone. I have always been a glass half full girl, but the glass is beginning to look
        empty. I need a good dose of sunshine.

  29. I finished this Ray T unaided for the first time ever! Definitely cause for celebration despite Canada having to wait for more vaccines and general gloom. Happy to hear about Lola. Thanks to the setter and Kath.

  30. I nearly gave up with this one. Not because I found it particularly challenging, but because I was continually interrupted and every time I picked up my iPad to continue I found that the part-completed grid was even more part-completed than I’d left it. In fact only 2.5 answers remained. Wierd! In the end I rebooted and all seemed well again.

  31. I made it, finally, having remembered that it was a Ray T Thursday and that it was Kath’s Day–both enough to shake me out of my lassitude after yesterday’s monumental events over here. I did struggle at the very end with 28a, and it held me up long enough to push me into *** time, but as always, I enjoyed the tautness and rigour of a Ray T production, and this one was crackerjack. Good stuff. Thanks to Kath and Ray T. *** / ****

  32. It never ceases to amaze me how we all see things differently. On Monday, when everyone else sailed through, I was up to a very unusual **** time for me. Today, when many found it tough going, I rattled through. 19d was my LOL moment. The two lurkers my last in. Thanks to everyone.

  33. Found this to be a tough offering today. 3.5*/*** No real clues for favourites today as this was a struggle. New word for me in 13a. Not liking the spelling of 21d and I felt a couple of iffy clues to get to the answer. Completed with a lot of hinting help, some of which did no more to enlighten me.
    An off day for me today.
    I’m sure it is Ray T puzzle today due to clue word length of less than 7

    Thanks to Ray T and Kath

  34. Had to come here for the hints, this is the toughest so far this week and a couple still leave me flummoxed. But great news on little Lola!

  35. Evening all. My thanks to Kath for the analysis and to everybody else for your observations. As always, much appreciated.

    RayT

    1. Many thanks, Ray T for an enjoyable puzzle. You stopped my run of unaided solves but no matter, the puzzle was as enjoyable as ever.

  36. Natch, I found this very tricky, though I did solve the east before coming to a halt. I used Kath’s hints to solve 7d, which gave starting letters for most in the west.
    I knew 13a from anatomy, it’s in the same family as antrum, astral and so on. Fave was 17d.
    Thanks to RayT and to Kath, your hints got me to the finish line.

  37. A rather late response to Jules in Sussex and to devartly and nothing to do with the crossword but it’s something that I feel strongly about.
    In 1996 our elder daughter (known as the Elder Lamb on the blog) had a very bad A level year for various reasons. She missed her grades to go to Sheffield University to read Biomedical Science by getting a B instead of an A and ended up going to Sheffield Hallam – an old poly. It was the making of her. Perhaps you should google Dr Josephine Bunch.
    She is now Principal Reseach Scientist at the NPL and has a chair at Imperial College London.

    1. I’m pleased your daughter managed to do well and navigate her way, no doubt with much help from you, through the modern educational minefield.
      The era I was referring to was the late 70s and early 80s when I think things started to go wrong with the system for many people. I have nothing against polytechnics or tech colleges per se, it’s just that standards seemed to become lowered in a lot of , but by no means all, areas. There are often articles about meaningless courses that offer degrees, which you must have seen, that seem to have been spawned around this time. I have not meant to cause any offence, and apologise if I have.

      1. OK – thanks for replying and I give in about standards being lowered and meaningless courses. You have nothing to apologise for and you certainly haven’t caused any offence at all.

        1. If I may add my twopennyworth. I am the parent of 2 university students and a governor at a 6th form college. First I would say that in my experience both students and staff work at least as hard as when I was in education as a student. The world has changed and I agree that the commercialisation of tertiary education has had some negative aspects. In particular incetivisimg university’s both to get students in and to maximise results to encourage others. This is systemic and needs to be addressed but there are many vested interests. I do think we need to be wary of nipping our to buy the broadest brush and drawing conclusions from limited data. I don’t think that is fair to the students who are navigating through the only time they have to imply that their choices are less valid than those in the past. Oh and crossword tough but fair…

          1. It’s never too late for anyone to add their twopenn’orth and thank you for yours. It may be too late for most people to read it but whoever does the hints, in this case I did, gets an email so thank you.
            I do understand what you’re saying – I have a sister-in-law in Cardiff who teaches Media at a sixth form college and is a school governor so I’m fairly ‘well-educated’ by her.
            I’m glad that you found the crossword fair, even if tough.
            Good luck to your two universtity student offspring, and to you!

            1. Thank you Kath, I like to observe the occasional digressions on this site but rarely comment. I wanted to support your point and perhaps ask people to reflect that as the world changes it is not all a general drift from nostalgia to dystopia. I find today’s young people, on the whole, an inspiration.

    2. Kath, I think that’s a brilliant story, you must be so proud of her. I can add two people who’ve also had similar experiences. I think we can learn from this that examination grades are not always, or rather, are seldom an indication of someone’s intelligence.

    3. A friend of mine failed his 11 plus for grammar school and had to settle for a secondary modern. He’s now a professor at Oxford university.

  38. Thanks Mr T – enjoyed this! Much more enjoyable than the inadvertent grind of trying to do the Toughie earlier…only realised when coming here for help…doh!
    Also cheers to Kath for the hints…19D made me laugh…to ‘go on manoeuvres’ indeed!!

  39. Well the east side went pretty smartly then I stared at an almost completely blank west side for ages. Then I got one, then another and ended up completing it more quickly than the east. How does that work then? Favourite was 28a. Many thanks to RayT and Kath.

    1. Welcome to the blog

      If one is revolting, one could be said to be rising up [against some form of oppression, perhaps]

  40. A mixed bag today. I’ve gone ***/*** overall. Whilst I could see 13a I’d never heard of it so a check in chambers needed. Fav today 19d
    Thx to setter and Kath

  41. I may be absent for a while, folks. It’s the time of year when I get swamped with post graduate diploma essays to mark. I have 22 so far, each one 5000 words long, and all have to be marked by the start of next month.

    I will, of course, check the blog daily but I may not have time to post comments. Anyway, I will not have much time to spend on the crossword so I may be silent for a few weeks – did I hear “thank goodness” just then?

    Stay safe everyone.

    1. No – you didn’t hear “thank goodness” – you heard ” thank you for letting us know in advance so that we didn’t worry about your absence”!

  42. Thanks to Ray T for another great crossword and to all of the rest of you for commenting.
    Off to bed pretty soon so night night and sleep well, everyone.

  43. I found this both trickier and less enjoyable than Ray T’s usual crosswords. I didn’t get much in at first pass, used electronic help for the long anagrams and then used electronic help again for the last few and even after that I needed Katy’s hints to parse a few of them. Not my finest hour. ***/**

  44. I thought this was great apart from 28a. I got 19d straightaway on the basis of “Place for soldiers to go on”. I did not enter it till I had all the checkers as was not sure what manoeuvres had to add to it (unless getting themselves into a comfortable position). I finally cottoned on I think having looked at some other comments. The latrines or lats as we called them in the Girl Guides were something to dig in the field when (in the soldiers case) in action. I needed Kath’s hint to realise that I was looking for a word for strident in 28a as it could have been trap and my anagram fodder was not correct. I only got the significance of babbling when I had finished and realised not yet another anagram indicator. This rather took the shine off for me. I always spell vendor like this but I guess the other must be an alternative. I have a long list of favourites but as no doubt you are all in bed I shall limit myself to the short and sweet 22d. Night night sleep tight! Thanks RayT and Kath.

  45. What is it about Ray T? I finished yesterday’s Toughie and, incredibly, today’s Elgar offering but just cannot get a handle on this one. I cannot be the only idiot can I?

  46. Everytime I see the word in 19d, I think about Tracy Ullman who played the role of the same name in Mel Brooks Robin Hood, men in tights. Makes me laugh. Specially as she says she changed her name from S***house to Latrine.
    Needed Kath to understand 3d as I didn’t understand the IE.
    Thanks to RayT for a pleasant workout and to Kath for the review.

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