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DT 29770

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29770

Hints and tips by StephenL

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Good morning from South Devon, where we seem to be stuck in a weather pattern of North Easterly winds and grey skies.

Ray T has provided us with a tricky puzzle today but with a few gimmes to get you started along with two appearances of his sweetheart

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a        Watch revues call in comic (12)
SURVEILLANCE: An anagram (comic) of the preceding three words

8a        Automatic rifle beginning to oddly jerk (7)
ROBOTIC: The first letter of oddly and a synonym of jerk (as in spasm) follow a synonym of rifle as a verb, not a gun

9a        Praise a god, say, keeping very quiet (7)
APPLAUD: Place A from the clue and a homophone (say) of a god around (keeping) the musical instruction to play very quietly

11a      Pigeon let down catching insect (7)
FANTAIL:  A type of pigeon is obtained by placing a verb meaning to let down around (catching) a three-letter insect

12a      Cheers seeing house with old beams (7)
HOORAYS: A two-letter abbreviation for house is followed by the abbreviation for old and some beams (that are not wooden!)

13a      Composer saw audience thrilled in Eroica initially (5)
SATIE: The first letters (initially) of the preceding five words give a French composer….no, me neither!

14a      Conclude EastEnders’ trial, winning (9)
ENDEARING: A three-letter synonym of conclude is followed by how an EastEnder might pronounce a trial in court

16a      Swamps single sister with boyfriends? (9)
INNUNDATES: The letter that represents single is followed by a religious sister and how one may label boyfriends

19a      Oddly plump cases transforming insects (5)
PUPAE: The odd letters of plump cases give some insects in a stage of transformation

21a      Split, a capital city? (7)
NICOSIA: Here the split refers to divided, as is this capital city

23a      NATO is one friend in a million (7)
ACRONYM: A five-letter friend sits between A and the abbreviation of a million to give a noun of which NATO is an example

24a      Ogling the French sweetheart with girdle (7)
LEERING: A French definate article is followed by the usual single letter “sweetheart” and a loose synonym of a girdle

25a      Flipping raining around drive home (7)
INGRAIN: An ingenious lurker (around). The drive home has nothing to do with cars!.

26a      Dope perhaps seeing reason (12)
INTELLIGENCE: I think this is a double definition where the first is obvious and the second being the ability (perhaps) to see reason


1d    Maybe some bread roll found inside case (7)
SUBUNIT: This component part is obtained by placing a three-letter bread roll inside a synonym of a legal case

2d        Run over from Beetle car, terribly upset (7)
RETRACE: Hidden (from) and reversed (upset)in the clue

3d        Boss of former unit on hospital department (9)
EXCELLENT: The usual two-letter prefix meaning former is followed by a small unit, typically a secret one, and a three letter abbreviation of a hospital department

4d        Area in Scottish lake for fish (5)
LOACH: The abbreviation for area sits inside a Scottish lake

5d        Heard I’m in favour of a jar (7)
AMPHORA:  Homophones (heard) of I’m plus a synonym of “in favour of” followed by A from the clue

6d        After tea I knock up Indian speciality (7)
CHAPATI: The usual three-letter tea is followed by a a reversal of I and a synonym of knock

7d        Trained person if also rubbish (12)
PROFESSIONAL: Anagram (rubbish) of the preceding three words

10d      Argument made steering awkward (12)
DISAGREEMENT:  Anagram (awkward) of the preceding two.words

15d      Preparing fish, empty sac during handling (9)
DESCALING: Sac without its middle letter (empty) sits inside a synonym of handling

17d      Dirty European occupying a French house (7)
UNCLEAN:  Start with a French indefinite article, add a (typically Scottish) house which is placed around the abbreviation for European

18d      Notwithstanding abnormal speed, embraces sex (7)
DESPITE: An anagram (abnormal) of speed is placed around (embraces) a dated synonym of sex

19d      Equality over top of nude model (7)
PARAGON: A three letter synonym of equality, a word meaning over and N (top of nude) give a model (often followed by “of virtue”)

20d      Boozer on board tramp ship (7)
PINNACE: A boozer (as in drinking establishment) sits inside a synonym of tramp (not a vagrant!)

22d      A new hair product for sweetheart (5)
ANGEL: A from the clue, the abbreviation for New and some hair product (much favoured by myself) gives a sweetheart in the conventional sense

I think 25a took the honours today

Quickie Pun Core + Don + Blur = Cordon Blue (Some sort of cookery)


145 comments on “DT 29770

  1. 4*/4*. This was very enjoyable, but I registered a DNF today due to 20d, for which I needed to put the checking letters into a crossword solver to identify the answer. I don’t give in easily but that clue alone took me up from my 2* time to 4*. I also needed to verify the meaning of “boss” in 3d.

    My podium consists of 16a, 21a & 5d.

    Despite the absence of Her Majesty today, this was undoubtedly the work of Ray T, to whom many thanks. Many thanks too to Stephen L for keeping Kath’s seat warm and providing a very high quality review. Very best wishes too to Kath – I do hope you are continuing to make good progress.

    1. My comeuppance was 1d. I worked it out but when I checked the hints I was still none the wiser. What is a subunit?

        1. Can be a self contained part of a military unit. E.G a Company is a sub-unit of a Battalion. A Battalion usually has several sub-units, say 3 rifle companies, a support company, and a Head Quarters Company.

      1. A subunit is simply a distinct part/component/subdivision of something. For example (as cited by LOK at 10, below), the pound is the unit of currency in the UK and the penny is the “subunit” of the pound.

    2. I had the checking letters for 20d and it still took forever. I’ve been doing these things for over 65 years and I still cannot come up with that word for boozer, how dumb can one be?

  2. I too did not finish. ****/*** I had the same problem as RD. Even with all the checkers, it could have been anything in terms of making up words and I simply didn’t know it and had used up all my guesswork powers on 1d. No particular favourite. Thanks to all.

  3. A Queen-less Ray T that defeated me by one clue. That was 1a. I could see it was an anagram but just could not work it out and had to use the hints. So, Mr. T. has stopped my run of unaided solves. Oh well!

    As for the puzzle, it was most entertaining with stars being placed by many clues but my favourites are 23a and 5d with the latter being my COTD. A new word learned at 20d, which I managed to solve from the parsing then checking the answer in the BRB.

    Many thanks, Ray. T. for the entertainment and grateful thanks to MP for coming to my rescue.

    1. SC. I’m intrigued by reading the daily comments on this blog (and sometimes nonplussed, too). I know you’re older than me (and I’m in my late 60s) but you seem to display a youthful exuberance/enthusiasm about solving. I was just wondering, did you start (from scratch) solving these puzzles just a few years ago or were you always a casual/occasional solver and decided to “get serious” about it later in life?

      * I’ve just sent my SNAFFLE effort off – quite a difficult word to clue!

      1. I started looking at the back pager when I was in the RAF back in the 70s, Jose but for years it was all very hit and miss. I would complete some and not others but I never bothered to look into the reasons why. I became more serious about solving when I found Big Dave a couple of years ago.

        I’m pleased you think I have a “youthful exuberance” towards solving. I hope I do because life is to be enjoyed even at 74.

        SNAFFLE was difficult to clue and I don’t think my entry will do much.

        1. Yes, that’s an interesting bit of background info. I’m reasonably happy, in general, with my SNAFFLE clue but I can’t quite decide if it’s a standard cryptic or if it might actually work as a DD – so I’m not too confident either.

  4. My last one in was 1d. I’ve never heard the word used in that context, and I was a little surprised when the words “all answers correct” popped up on my iPad. ***/***. Thank you setter and StephenL.

  5. A good puzzle. Some might argue that there were one or two rather obscure words (hello 1d and 5d) but as I always try to be positive, I won’t mention them.

    Today’s crossword soundtrack: 13a

    Thursday best wishes to The Lovely Kath

    Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L.

      1. “I eat only white foods: eggs, sugar, grated bones, the fat of dead animals; veal, salt, coconut, chicken cooked in white water; fruit mold, rice, turnips; camphorated sausage, dough, cheese (white), cotton salad, and certain fish (skinless).”

        *As a vegan, I do not endorse Monsieur Satie’s dietary choices…!

          1. Yes, imagine impregnating sausages with camphor! I’ve just read this: “Never take camphor internally or apply it to broken skin, as it can be toxic”.

        1. As a vegan, what do you sub for milk? I don’t eat mammal and would like to stop dairy as well but can’t find a sub for milk.

          1. Soya milk for tea, oat milk for coffee and cereal, either for cooking. Both from Aldi, cheaper and nicer tasting than some of the more expensive versions.
            As for the crossword: slow but got there eventually. Couldn’t parse 17 down, obvious when I read the hints – thank you, and thanks to setter.

  6. Tough for me and needed help to put in 4d which I then recognised. I am sure StephenL’s hint is right for 25a but I read it as an anagram of raining which bizarrely also works! Thanks for the help and to Ray T

    1. I settled on around in 25a as a lurker indicator but I did consider flipping . . . around as an anagram indicator. But it would not be much of an anagram with just moving the last three letters of raining to the front.

  7. I appear to have been the only one who found Mr T friendlier than usual – I enjoyed the solve too so thank you to him and Stephen L

  8. I also read 25a as an anagram but then I often miss lurkers. Quite enjoyable and after messing about finally got the last two referred to by by Rabbit Dave and Greta above. What to do you do with pounds of green tomatoes if you don’t like green tomato chutney? Any ideas welcome. Thanks to the setter and Stephen L.

    1. I have recipes for both a green tomato flan and fried green tomatoes. It will take me a little while to find them and we have to go out this afternoon, but I’ll let you have them in due course

    2. You could try ripening them indoors by putting them next to some bananas. If they then ripen off, they’d be ok for cooking or soup making.

        1. Pasta. (My favourite pasta recipe) Put all the pasta you have into a large pan. Place carefully in the rubbish bin and order a takeaway

        1. I put them i the drawer I keep my tea towels in. They ripen eventually and last for ages.
          But I guessing depends on how many you have…and how many tea towels.

  9. I filled in all the squares, but was left scratching my head at 22a, I only knew one capital city N.C.S.A, but Split? It was the very clever capitalisation that had me, hook line and sinker.

    All over in *** time. Thanks to Ray T and Stephen L.

  10. About average Ray T for me with 1d being a new word which I Googled to check.
    Stephen: I think in 1d the underlined should be “Maybe some bread” as the term refers to money & the 3 letter bun refers to a roll not necessarily of breadwhich forms part of the definition?
    Thanks for the hints and illustrations.
    Thanks Ray T for the usual tussle, always a pleasure to get over the line on Thursdays.
    If you pop in Kath best wishes, hope things getting there.

    1. Sorry LROK, I’ve underlined the wrong end, will try to alter it, though I think the explanation is correct.

      1. Stephen no need to apologise, it was intended as as observation (and an indication that I do read the review). We are all so grateful for what you guys do – it is nice when we can occasionally be of assistance.
        After numerous warm & sunny days up here we have your weather today.

    2. LOK, 1d. I thought the definition was just “Maybe some” (a distinct part/component/subdivision of something), with the bread roll (BUN) being inserted into the case (SUIT). But I’m not 100% sure.

      1. I think “maybe some bread” indicates subunit, using bread as money or currency. The penny is the subunit of the pound and (in Senf’s case) the cent is the subunit of the dollar.
        To me “maybe some” is less precise than using bread as part of the definition.
        Ray T may pop in later to comment.

        1. Hands up. It was me who underlined the definition while prepping Stephen’s blog for publication. I’ve altered it now as per the comment from Labs rule ok

          1. Is that why there’s two reviews of this puzzle on the Home Page, one posted by your good self (with no comments) and this one posted by SL?

        2. Yes, I can see your logic and you may well be right. It would be great if Ray T could let us know later.

        3. Lordy, I am so thick. I tried to make one word of it instead of putting the emphasis on the first syllable. Doh.

  11. Like others, a couple of clues kept me wondering for a while and pushed out my solving time. Great fun though as ever from Ray T, delightfully concise and beautifully clued, with 21a my favourite.

    My thanks to Mr T and to SL. The Toughie took some teasing out too but was well worth the effort.

  12. Completed unaided except for checking some spellings, laziness.
    Pleased that I constructed 1d.
    Thought 22a absolutely brilliant clue, was there a few years ago and inconvenienced by the split!
    So, ****/*****
    Very many thanks, Ray T and I admire StephenL for doing the review.

  13. A few in the NW defeated me and I gave in and came to StephenL’s very helpful blog. Very pleased to have got as far as I did with a Queenless Ray T so could now do with a bit of sunshine.

    Thanks to Ray T and StephenL. I liked 16a and 6d but no favourite today.

    1. Corky
      As a Yorkshireman did you see the obit. today for Keith Howard? I didn’t know who he was but found it interesting that a worldwide publishing company was based in Bingley!
      Interesting that he was once a victim of discrimination for being a Lancastrian.

  14. A very benign Ray T helped by the three of the four long ‘outside’ clues being anagrams – **/****.

    Candidates for favourite – 9a, 14a, 5d, and the Pun (in which the second word, based on my ancestry and the BRB, should be bleu) – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Ray T and to Stephen L.

    (Interesting to read the DT coverage of our upcoming election called by The Boy Wonder thinking that he could turn his Minority into a Majority and now the likely result is a different colour Minority.)

      1. The electorate is not as daft as politicians believe it to be. Most of us who vote know when we have made a mistake and elected a lemon and are not likely to repeat the error.

  15. Managed it all by my little own self but have obviously used up all the available grey cells as the Kcit Toughie is currently defeating me big-style!
    Podium has been adapted to hold 21&25a plus 5&10d – all socially distanced of course!

    Devotions to Mr T as always and many thanks to Stephen L for his excellent handling of the review – pleased to see that you weren’t deterred following your first stint in the big red chair.
    PS Much love to Kath if she pops in – still hoping for news of younger lamb’s big day.

  16. Another excellent production from Ray T. Very good clues, a decent challenge and an enjoyable solve. Probably average difficulty for a Ray T puzzle, but compared to all back-pagers I’d rate it a bit above average difficulty. Too many fine clues to isolate a favourite. 3.5*, 4.5*.

  17. A tricky puzzle, especially in the NW, where 1d and 2d nearly took me into 3* time but the penny dropped just in time. It was more enjoyable than yesterday’s puzzle (4.5*) because the clues gave clear instructions were brief and to the point and could all be worked out even if I hadn’t heard of a word (1d). I liked the geographical clue 22a and found16a and 12a amusing. Thanks to SL for the hints and to Ray T for another enjoyable puzzle

  18. Took a while to get into the swing of this but was worth the struggle in the end. Needed help with 20d. Joint Favs 16a and 5d. Thank you RayT and StephenL.

  19. Thanks to RayT and Stephen L for their most enjoyable offerings.
    19a simplicity and perfection.
    I am just confused by 3d. Solved from the letters and wordplay but how does ‘Boss’ justify its inclusion please ?

      1. Seem to recall a review of a Bruce Springsteen (aka The Boss) gig headlined The Boss was boss.

      1. Also struggled to understand Boss definition.
        Could someone let me know what BRB stands for in this blog?
        I’ve seen it referred to several times but can’t seem to find out what it is!

        1. BRB is short for Big Red Book, a euphemism for the Chambers Dictionary, the acknowledged crossworders bible.

        2. The BRB is Chambers Dictionary because it is a Big Red Book. This information, and the answers to other Frequently Asked Questions, can be found under the FAQ tab at the top of the page

        3. BRB = Big Red Book – The Chambers Dictionary. So called because it is big and coloured red, and the recommended reference dictionary for DT crosswords.

          1. Thanks everybody for the swift responses. All is clear now!

            I have always used the OED but do understand Chambers is considered the cross word bible.

            Thanks too to Ray T for another excellent challenge and to Stephen L for helping me to crack the NW corner.

            1. Before leaving a first comment on any site it is a common courtesy to read that site’s Comment Etiquette. Point 1 in ours covers this.

      2. Thanks R. D.
        I should have checked BRB more carefully.
        It’s fun to read other comments and realise that one is not alone. What a wonderful site😊

    1. I agree, the answer has no relationship to Boss in any way shape or form and the hint only explains the wordplay.

      1. I agree Brian, whatever it might say in the BRB. In my lifetime, I have never seen the word excellent used to mean boss.

        1. I’m so late to the party you prob won’t see this, but anyway… Boss as excellent also defeated me. BUT yes I have heard it fairly frequently used by younguns mostly in the North to mean something awesome. “That’s boss, that is!”. Imagine scouse or geordie accent. As seen on reality TV. Ray T- a cultural chameleon!

  20. That was really good and I had lots of hold ups. It had me wasting my time trying to find the cockney rhyming slang for a trial. Hadn’t come across the three letter word for over in 19d before either. Lots of good stuff here. But overall “he was hard but he was fair” and I did feel he was “nailing my head to the floor” at times – did I get this turn of phrase from Monty Python. My most enjoyable Ray T for a long time and thanks too to StephenL.

    1. As I said above, not much of an anagram just moving the last three letters of raining to the front ‘as is’ and in that situation the around is superfluous.

      1. I wonder if Ray T realised that a freak/unintentional anagram existed in the clue, or was it purposeful/crafty misdirection? Knowing him, probably the latter.

  21. The usual sense of mounting panic that I often have with a Ray T puzzle as I read through & few light bulbs came on. As it turned out though it wasn’t too bad once the 4 long ‘uns yielded & it was steady progress to the 20d head scratch which increased the solve time by 25%. Eventually twigged it from the wordplay & had to confirm both it & the fish with Mr G after completion. I took flipping around as the anagrind at 25a & didn’t even notice it was also a lurker. Good fun as always & with plenty of clever clues. 21a was my favourite & 13a prompted me to play some while making a start on the Toughie.
    Thanks to Ray T & Stephen & best wishes to Kath.
    Ps no Robert for the last couple of days. Hope all ok in Charleston

    1. I also noted Robert’s absence. Hurricane Ida visited the Carolinas after leaving Louisiana, I hope it didn’t cause him any damage. It’s now causing massive destruction on the NE.

  22. A more approachable Ray T than many of his but still needs a bit of thinking. Still cannot see where the definition is in 1d and never heard of the composer in 13a although the wordplay was obvious. COTD for me was 14d.
    Thx to all

  23. 2/4. A very enjoyable puzzle with a couple of head scratchers (20d in particular). My favourites were 23a and 5d. Thanks to Ray T and StephenL. Our current PM is taking an ill advised chance on getting re-elected – serves him right. Just as long as the majority of fellow citizens don’t forget the pack of lies he spouted last time and is regurgitating now.

  24. Solved in The Astley Bank Hotel in Darwen before visiting relatives and driving to Cromford in Derbyshire for lunch in The Boat Inn, Cromford. A very enjoyable RayT puzzle as we have come to expect on alternate Thursdays. Thanks to RayT and StephenL

    1. Did you drive down the A6 to the south of Stockport to get to Cromford via Buxton and Bakewell? If so, you will have skirted (on the by-pass) the magnificent village of Chapel en le Frith and you could have called in to see my new bathroom curtains!

      1. Surely Chapel-en-le-frith – or should I say Capital of the Peak – is a town rather than a village? I live down the road in sunny Buxton. 😉

        1. Yes, I guess it is a town – a 2011 population of 8700 and it does have a Town Hall. But, for some reason, it still feels like a large village to me.

        2. ‘down the road’ is something of an ambitious claim, Peaky, I used to live in the same village as Jose – a little removed from Chapel – and can confirm that the route to Buxton can regularly be a challenge rather than a tootle!

          1. You are quite right, Jane – especially challenging in the winter – and of course Buxton is famous for when a Derbyshire/Lancashire county cricket match was snowed off on 2nd June 1975!

            1. I remember when I first started driving (1969) the A6 (a trunk road and then the main route from Manchester to Derby, etc) went up the twisting Long Hill, straight down Spring Gardens (now pedestrianised) under the viaduct and onwards down Ashwood Dale. The bus drivers don’t believe me now when I tell them that!

    2. Oh Miffypops you could have called in for a coffee! We are only 4/5 miles from the hotel just off the A666.

      Enjoyed today’s puzzle despite not getting a couple of the clues. Many thanks to Mr T and Stephen.

  25. This one had us scratching our heads over lunch but we got there in the end apart, as I have said, from 1d. I laughed at 16a although it did make me think of the hurricane in New Orleans and the dreadful floods in New York. All those poor people and animals! 23a and 5d were starred as well – many thanks Mr.T and well done SL. And thanks for the kind thoughts yesterday as well. Hurrah. The sun has just come out.

  26. I found this much harder than yesterday’s. 5d was new to me, and was inclined to put in approve, which would not have worked. 3d doesn’t work for me, nor 22d. But par for the course as I usually struggle on Ray T days. Thanks to him and StephenL. BTW, on my iPad I see two reviews from StephenL for this puzzle, the first one without comments and the second without…. For one strange moment I thought I was going to be the first comment, but knew that couldn’t be.

    1. Hi Lizzie
      I had to work hard to justify 3d but boss can be used informally as an adjective meaning very good. The solution and the definition of 22d can both be terms of endearment so it definitely works.
      As for the rogue blog maybe someone more technically proficient than me can get rid of it!

      1. Knowing that something was not right and not knowing what that something might have been is the reason for the confusion today. Thanks to CS for sorting it whilst I drove home to the familiar discussion about wether or not speed limits are 1. Advisory 2. Targets to be beaten 3 Too slow anyway 4 No longer applicable since Brexit

  27. “Boss” puzzle! Hugely enjoyable, reasonably straightforward other than the NW corner, which held me up until a couple of pennies dropped. A couple of words needed dredging from the depths of memory, and some of the parsings only dawned a little while after writing in the answers. However when will I ever learn … if all else fails, look for a lurker. Doh!

    12a and 23a my joint CsOTD.

    Many thanks to Ray T, and to SL for the review.

    2.5* / 4*

  28. Mostly gettable. 21a could only be what it is, but needed hints to get the meaning of ‘Split’ – kicked myself since I live in Cyprus and have crossed checkpoint Charlie many times! Like so many others, puzzled by ‘Boss’ in 3d. Missed also the series of initial letters for 13 – a composer I have never heard of, so needed Bradford’s Big Red Book. **/***

  29. Found this puzzle a real struggle today. 4*/3* for today
    Favourites, once I managed to suss them out, were 14a, 15a, 25a, 15d & 20d with 14a winner.
    Not a fan of 13a or 21a as not really cryptic but a GK clues … but that is a minor quibble.

    Thanks to Ray T and StephenL for the many needed hints today.

  30. Does anyone know if Robert in Charleston is alright. Ida was quite a hurricane. Merusa commented that he was not commenting yesterday and he hasn’t contributed yet today. On another tack good wishes to Kath, who is in my mind, it being a Ray T day. Hope you are making good progress.

    1. Hi Chriscross, I’ve just commented above that Robert is OK, just taking a bit of time out. I think the state of the world and his country in particular is grinding him down a little at the moment.

  31. Hello everyone – I just had to have a go – I admit that I didn’t finish but not too bad and definitely better than it was a few weeks ago. Onwards and upwards, or whatever . . .
    Thanks to everyone – I do still miss you all – back where I belong soon, hopefully . . .
    I think 22d would be my favourite if I had still a vote.
    Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL

    Our Younger Lamb and her Dan had a very good wedding day. I now am allowed to call him my son-in-law!! Their baby is due next weekend – whether he or she will be born then is another matter or otherwise – the Lamb looks like a whale but don’t say I said so . . .

    1. Nice to hear from you Kath and so pleased that you are on the up. I’m sure you’ll be back in the chair on alternate Thursdays in no time.

    2. Lovely to hear from you, Kath, and so pleased that the wedding day was a success. From photos I’ve seen of her previously, I’m not surprised that younger lamb looks like a whale at the moment but no doubt she’ll shed that rapidly once the demanding youngster appears!

    3. It’s brilliant news that you are making such positive strides, Kath. StephenL is doing an excellent job holding the fort but it will be a Red Letter Day when you’re back where you belong.

    4. Wonderful to hear from you, Kath and to hear you are getting better slowly. Long may it continue.👍

    5. Hi Kath, glad to hear that you are improving, keep it going, you’ll soon be back in the blogging chair.

    6. Lovely to hear from you Kath. We all miss you but it sounds like you are making really good progress. Definitely onwards and upwards! Take good care and we look forward to hearing from you again soon X.

  32. How lovely to see you Kath. Did we ever tell you how much we miss you? Well, we do, heaps and heaps … get well soon!

    Crossword: no surprises here, done with copious use of e-help. A lot went in without understanding the “why”, 8a, 21a et al. I needed help with the 1a anagram. However, I knew others like 13a, I have a CD of his works, but he’s not a fave. My fave, hands down, was 5d, I also liked 16a.
    Thanks to RayT, at least I did finish, and much thanks to StephenL for unravelling many for me.

  33. Evening all. My thanks to StephenL for the review and to all for your comments. Also, best wishes to Kath, of course!


    1. Thanks for popping in sir and providing us with another fine puzzle that was a pleasure to review.

    2. Many thanks for popping in as usual, Mr T. Such a shame that we don’t have the pleasure of your puzzles every Thursday but I guess you still have another life to take care of!

  34. Late on parade due to a visit to Cardiff. The grass is coming along nicely in the Principality stadium after it’s temporary re-purpose as a field hospital.

    I did need to check a couple of definitions but my constructions were correct. I thought this puzzle was boss (a familiar term to me) so 3d gets my vote.

    Thanks to StephenL and RayT.

  35. An excellent Thursday challenge – and I find Ray T’s puzzles amongst the most challenging. I do like his succinct clues and the brain stretch required to solve them. I was very happy to complete this one unaided with my favourites being 21a and 23a. Many thanks to Ray T and to StephenL.

  36. Needed the hints to parse 23a and 1d, never heard of 3d in that context but I have now. Apart from that no real hold-ups, just the usual excellence. Favourite was 5d. Thanks to Rayt and SL.

  37. Today’s crossword takes the fun out of what is normally my way of relaxing after a busy day. Some words were beyond my understanding and ridiculously impossible. Go away Mr compiler.

    1. Welcome to the blog Mary. A lot of people have made adverse comments about the style of RayT puzzles but grow to look forward to his offerings once they master his methods. His puzzles appear every other Thursday. RayT is one of the easiest setters to recognise.
      Only uses single word clues in the quickie puzzle
      Only uses single word answers in the Cryptic puzzle

      Has a self imposed maximum count of seven words per clue
      Often includes The Queen or Her Majesty in a clue
      Nearly always has an acrostic or initial letters clue
      Nearly always uses the sweetheart indicator for the letter E
      Likes to stretch a synonym and use some innuendo

      I hope you grow to like his puzzles as much as I do

  38. I’m rather pleased to have finished this with no help. Having read the comments of some of the people who are old hands who found it a challenge, I’m even more chuffed.

    A really enjoyable solve today ***/****

    For me this has been, so far, one of the best weeks for enjoyment combined with a good cerebral workout for some time. Bravo to all involved!

    Here’s hoping tomorrow rounds off the week! 😀

  39. I was also puzzled by 3d. The answer was obvious but my BRB does not give boss under excellent, but does give excellent under boss, so I must remember to check both ways in future! Had 21a in but did not twig to the divided city. As I had all the correct answers even if I could not parse 3d & 21a I’ll consider it another unaided effort!
    All 4 long sides went straight in which gave a good starting point to another very enjoyable Thursday puzzle.
    Thanks to all.

  40. Thanks to Ray T and to StephenL for the review and hints. A very enjoyable puzzle from Ray T, I managed three quarters of it without too much trouble, but was stuck in the NW corner for a while, then managed to get 8a, and the rest fell into place. Had never heard of 20d, but got it from the wordplay. Needed the hints to parse 17d. Thought 25a was an anagram, didn’t notice the lurker. Agree is was probably the latter. Last in was 1d. Favourite was 5d, which was a bit of a groaner, but it made me laugh! Was 3* / 4* for me.

  41. Late on parade (again) here in Brisbane. I didn’t spot the lurker in 25a but it works equally as an anagram. If so, then it’s my COTD. Tanks Ray and Steve🦇

  42. Thanks to RayT and to Stephen L.

    Failed at 1d like a lot ofmpeople but otherwise managed the rest…..this is good for me on a RayT Thursday.

    Lovely to hear from Kath…so pleased to hear (and see fro your post) that you are improving and that you enjoyed the wedding.

  43. Rather late but for what it’s worth Ray T I found this a mixed bag. Thanks for some anagrams to help get me started. But I didn’t like 21a (couldn’t that refer to lots of cities, Budapest, Berlin???), 1d (I’d heard of the word but found parsing a bit tricky and it seems I wasn’t alone!), and 20d (because of lack of general nautical knowledge, my own fault, but also I was looking to put the boozer word on top of, not inside, the tramp which I think was not so much my fault!). Anyway, thanks. And I loved 5d- a fantastic groaner of a clue once I’d got it. And also 23a.

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