28,726 Le Bikini jaune du temps perdu.

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic


Pleasant enough if not too demanding “for a Thursday” and I got through in less than 20 minutes but (as I think is my regrettable custom) I can’t spell the American. I’d sort of like to think I’m not alone.

I rather liked the unusual, if slightly arbitrary rhyming clue, which oddly enough would have provided a better example for the poetic metre clue. Linda Barton, should you be breading this, please say hello!

Definitions underlined in italics, everything else improvised.

1 Ex-president agitated State Department, ultimately in a spot (5,3)
POLKA DOT – James Knox POLK  was the 11th President of the USA, serving from 1845 to 1849, so very much ex. Add him to an agitated state or ADO, and the last of DepartmenT
9 Drop in pace limiting English cricket side (8)
RELEGATE – Pace is RATE, which goes outside E(nglish) LEG, being one side of a cricket field.
10 Sonnet’s opening is able to follow a metrical pattern (4)
SCAN – The opening letter of Sonnet plus is able: CAN. Scan here is the intransitive form of the verb.
11 Guy known for storytelling amuses Pat and Dicky (2,10)
DE MAUPASSANT – Indeed known especially for a prodigious number of short stories mostly in the 1880s, and his name really was Guy. Dicky is your anagram indicator, and AMUSES PAT AND the letters to use.
13 Poetry, finally moving, needs love really (4,2)
EVER SO – A phrase I still shudder to use after a humiliating moment in Mr Downing’s 2nd year junior class. Redemption partially comes in being clever enough to say this is VERSE for poetry, with the final E moving (ever so randomly) to the front and O for love appended.
14 Jokester willing to show patience? (4,4)
CARD GAME – Simple enough: jokester is CARD, and willing GAME.
15 Altered ground on which you might step (7)
TREADLE – Ground the anagram indicator, ALTERED the fodder.
16 Climber may want this coffee mostly sweet (7)
LATTICE – I think you assume the climber is a garden variety, LATTe the coffee cut short, and ICE the sweet.
20 I’m going to restaurant, admitting drug abuse (3-5)
ILL-TREAT – I’m going to translates to I’ll, restaurant is the TRAT, a conventional shortened from of trattoria, into which the setter’s drug of choice, the very convenient E, is admitted.
22 Travel with convict, wanting one driver, say (6)
GOLFER – Not his club but the victorious (if generic) Ryder cup team member himself. GO for travel, LIFER for convict with the I (one) wanting or removed.
23 Devotion to firm British monarchs defending country with displaced leader (5,7)
BRAND LOYALTY – B(ritish) ROYALTY (monarchs) “defending” LAND with the leading letter L displaced, again arbitrarily, to the back.
25 E.g. compare or contrast the setter with a doctor (4)
IAMB – So the wordplay is I for the setter, A in plain sight plus MB as one of the many short forms of doctor. An IAMB is a metrical foot of two syllables, the first unstressed, the second stressed. Contrast does that when it’s a verb, but not when it’s a noun, so it’s not quite as good an example as compare.
26 Maybe Napoleon thus features in my article (8)
CORSICAN – Assemble the little islander from thus: SIC, my(!): COR(!) and AN in plain sight.
27 English-heritage.org inaccessible? Girl has got into it (8)
GEORGINA – If wordpress converts that address into a link, you’ll be invited to buy the domain: it needs a .uk appended. But it’s only rather wittily here to provided the setting for today’s hidden.
2 Working business boss recalled minister’s survey (4-4)
ONCE-OVER – Working is on, the boss is the CEO, and the minister to be reversed/recalled is a REV.
3 Nursery rhymes for Linda Barton (12)
KINDERGARTEN – A clever lift and separate and an unusual device. You are invited to find rhymes for our named lady, of which your diligent servant found dozens both alive and dead, all of them no doubt worthy but none, as far as I can tell, blessed with celebrity. We are, however, thereby excused chocolaty references or dodgy homophones, and can only really wonder whether -da rhymes with -der  and -ton with -ten. Over to you.
4 Tattoo is funny peculiar, with funny ha-ha edging (4,4)
DRUM ROLL – I rather like this use of the well-known two funnies. Funny peculiar is RUM, funny ha-ha DROLL, one placed inside the other.
5 Counter manoeuvres leading to defeat (7)
TROUNCE – An anagram (manoeuvres) of COUNTER
6 Big star‘s key song (6)
ALTAIR – Well, it is quite big, almost twice the size of ours, and the 12th brightest star in the northern sky. Key gives you ALT (probably left of your spacebar) and song AIR.
7 The Gunners fixing a day where young players train (4)
RADA – The gunners are your very own Cadet Bombardier’s R(oyal) A(rtillery) fixing A D(ay) on the end for the Royal Academy  of Dramatic Art.
8 Marcel Proust, say, has tea with these bananas (8)
AESTHETE – An anagram (bananas) of THESE and TEA. I take it on trust that the author of À la recherche du temps perdu is an aesthete: wiki doesn’t say so, but many learned monographs out there do.
12 Loudly quote drama during grand musical performance (5-7)
SIGHT-PLAYING – Loudly is merely a homophone indicator deriving SIGHT from cite, quote. Then it’s PLAY from drama, IN from during, and G(rand). I’m more familiar (if less than at ease with) sight singing, and am generally in awe of those who can transfer the dots on the page instantly onto the instrument they play.
15 Bail criminal in fix or jam (8)
TAILBACK – Criminal is an anagram indicator to produce AILB from bail, which is then set in TACK for fix.
17 American backer I turned up (8)
ANGELENO – And here disaster strikes: I can just about justify NO as on/up turned, probably going via being on horseback, but it’s just ONE for I backwards, tacked on to ANGEL for backer. It looks just as likely with an I. “What, will the (pink) line stretch out to the crack of doom?” Probably.
18 One on board ship wearing cape — a tough guy (8)
CHESSMAN – SS for ship “wears” C(ape) plus HE MAN for tough guy.
19 Checking time to visit Maxim (7)
STAYING – AS a transitive verb. T(ime) is included in SAYING for Maxim, slightly naughtily with a capital letter.
21 Learner pilot follows men initially going for spin together (6)
ENLACE – L(earner) ACE (pilot of a sort) coming after mEN with the first letter gone.
24 The heart’s gone out of market place in India (4)
AGRA – You should know the AGORA as the Greek Market of Fear. Take out its heart for the home of the Taj Mahal.

95 comments on “28,726 Le Bikini jaune du temps perdu.”

  1. 26:20 WOE
    ANGELINO, of course. Well, that’s how I pronounce it (‘eenyo’), and though I did actually pause for a moment to wonder about the INO, I didn’t do anything about it. Serves me right. I also misread the hidden at 27ac and typed in GEORGIAN, which delayed getting CHESSMAN for some time.

    1. INO works if you consider ON as UP (up high/on high) and then turn it.

      Which is of course what I did.

      Sorry, I see someone made the same point much further below.

  2. 12:28 – fortunately knew ANGELENO with the correct spelling, but did have to sift through the letters to make sure DE MAUPASSANT was correct. I’ve only ever heard of SIGHT READING and had that in initially, but SIGHT PLAYING fell into place eventually.

  3. Tricky, but enjoyable and eclectic. Like George knew sight-reading not sight-playing. Sight-reading was no trouble as a youngster learning flute, but unlike piano that’s a single note at a time. Spelled de Maupassant correctly first time with no checkers. Parsed then spelled Angeleno correctly. L2I IAMB then CHESSMAN – that sort of board! Liked GUY, POLK, DRUM ROLL, ONCE OVER, but COD to BRAND LOYALTY.

  4. 14:17.
    An excellent and witty puzzle I thought. I had the same last two in as Isla3, and the same experience as George with DE MAUPASSANT. Would have been stuffed without the checkers.

    NURSERY RHYME and GEORGINA were refreshing deviations from the usual norms. Well done setter, and thanks for the blog Z.

    BTW, I count Polk as a recent ex-President on the grounds that his predecessor’s grandson is still alive today. (Sorry, just taking the opportunity to mention my all-time favourite piece of trivia).

      1. Haven’t seen “Pointless” since I moved to NZ in 2017. If it’s on a free-to-air channel I haven’t found it. One of the amusing recurrent themes on that programme for me used to be the Central African Republic. And my very favourite quiz answer came from “Pointless”:
        Q: Who was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in “Dallas”?
        A: J……R! Er, I think I’ve got the wrong Dallas…

        1. Marginally intrigued. Was JR, in the soap Dallas, killed by Lee Harvey Oswald? Or, is there another Dallas (many) where another LHO (couldn’t find one) assassinated someone? Or, looking up Pointless on Wikipedia, where they ask many random people random obscure questions, did they ask them who Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated in Dallas and they mostly said JR?

          1. The answer to all of your questions is “no” 🙂
            By many measures, Pointless is the most successful TV quiz programme of all time… according to google there have been 1198 episodes, and by the time you read this it probably will be 1199 at least.
            Some of the contestants are very stupid, some of them are very smart. Guess which tend to be the quoted ones ..

            1. If I were ever to appear on either “Pointless” or “The Chase”, what would worry me would be saying something so daft as to qualify for the “Dumb Britain” feature in Private Eye. “The Chase” is the popular quiz programme here. Sometimes it feels as if you can’t go into a doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room and it’s not showing an edition of “The Chase”.

  5. Overall, EVER SO enjoyable. I too got de Maupassant first go. I don’t understand why DRIVER is a golf player, not a golf club!

  6. Solid puzzle. Well, you know what I’d say about the “DE,” after yesterday, but I’ve read that guy and put that in without hesitation. Was Proust an AESTHETE?! Oh, boy, was he ever! Had the same MER about the possible trochee in “contrast.” Bunged in SIGHT-READING initially and was corrected by BRAND LOYALTY. The SE was last to fall, with GOLFER and then CHESSMAN.

  7. I found this to be a real struggle, but I rather like these ones where after not too long you realise your time is going to be off the scale so you just settle back and enjoy the ride. 52.00 in the end, for what that’s worth. The SE was the final hold-out with CHESSMAN (I was looking for a tough guy, then I was looking for someone on a ship + C), LATTICE and GOLFER taking…I dunno, ages. LOI was ALTAIR, oh THAT kind of key. Which my rather new Mac does not have. Thanks Z for explaining POLKA DOT, IAMB and BRAND LOYALTY. I thought ILL-TREAT was I’LL EAT with an unknown drug (TR) in the middle of it, but at least I knew how to spell DE MAUPASSANT. All told tough but fair.

  8. At 55 minutes I didn’t find this easy. Although I made steady progress for the most part I became stuck towards the end with 2½ answers missing and there I stayed for a very long time. The missing words were interlinked.

    One was ALTAIR which proved impossible for me for as long as its final checker was absent, then it arrived via wordplay. I have a blank spot when it comes to names of stars and although this one has come up a handful of times previously, including a puzzle I blogged in September last year, it hadn’t stuck in my head.

    The simplicity of CARD GAME fooled me, especially as I had considered ‘patience’ in the required sense when trying to solve the clue. However I might take issue (or at least have a MER) at CARD defined as ‘jokester’ as I think of a card as being eccentric, perhaps witty in a subtle way, whilst a jokester is someone more ‘full-on’ who tells prepared jokes or plays practical ones.

    My worst problem however was coming up with the SIGHT in SIGHT-PLAYING. I studied and taught music for many years but I’ve never come across the term. ‘Sight-reading’ is used widely because it covers both both singing and playing instruments. Once again (as with the rodent hare in the Monday QC) we have go to Chambers to find an entry for SIGHT-PLAYING because neither of the principal reference sources for daily Times crosswords recognises its existence.

    1. Also challenged by SIGHT-PLAYING because like you I’d only ever heard of sight-reading in music. Perhaps an Americanism? Certainly not a term I’ve ever encountered in the UK.

    2. I’ve never seen SIGHT PLAYING either. Thinking about it, it makes more sense. I can ‘sight read’ music perfectly. It’s the translation of that into the correct finger movements that I find challenging.

      1. I wonder if we’re going to have EAR-PLAYING next for people who play but don’t read music?

        1. Well, we do already have a term which works – Playing by ear. There aren’t any (AFAIK) classical musicians who don’t ‘read’ music, unless you count blind ones, who obviously have to learn by rote and by ear, but there are plenty of jazz and folk musicians who don’t read a stave. FWIW, I have come across the term ‘sight playing’ before, though it’s less common than sight reading.

          1. Remember seeing Dudley Moore playing piano once in an interview, asked to play a piece then play it again half a note/key up? Or something? Don’t know what you call that, but was very impressive.

          2. Thanks, alto_ego. Indeed, and that was actually my point following on from k’s comment about ‘sight-playing’ making sense once he’d thought about it. By the same logic, EAR-PLAYING ought to be a word as ‘playing by ear’ is very much in common usage, but as far as I know EAR-PLAYING doesn’t exist.

            1. I’m not sure this is the same logic TBH. My point is that the activity of ‘sight reading’ necessarily involves playing, so as a description of the activity it’s less accurate than ‘sight playing’. This logic doesn’t change if you change the word order, indeed ‘reading by sight’ is even more nonsensical!
              From a linguistic point of view this doesn’t matter a jot, of course. ‘Sight-reading’ means what people use it to mean, the soundness or otherwise of its internal logic is neither here nor there.

  9. I was another who put in SIGHT READING and then discovered the error of my ways when I got BRAND LOYALTY. Some lovely clues today (or tomorrow, it is still Wednesday here in California). No trouble with ANGELENO being at the other (wrong) end of the state. Napoleon was not especially short, 5′ 6½” which was an average height for the time.

  10. La grande plaine est blanche, immobile et sans voix.
    Pas un bruit, pas un son …
    (Nuit de Neige, Guy de Maupassant)

    25 mins pre-brekker with the last five on Card Game (I needed patience) and LOI Altair. I liked it.
    Ta setter and Z

    1. “Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays
      C’est l’hiver.
      Mon jardin ce n’est pas un jardin
      C’est la plaine.”
      Gilles Vigneault, from his song “Mon Pays”.

  11. 14:53. I had a vague idea of Guy the writer’s surname being something like Montparnasse but I needed all the checkers in place to construct it. Thankfully once they were in there seemed to be no ambiguity as to where the rest of the letters went. I finished up with CHESSMAN, where I spent too long thinking the answer was either a crewman or a hard man.

  12. It’s occurred to me overnight that it’s Los Angeles, not Los Angelis, so the faux pas should be easily avoided. Didn’t occur undernight!

  13. 14:05
    An excellent puzzle for National Poetry Day!
    In one of Woody Allen’s stand-up routines he recalls a bully from his childhood named Guy de Maupassant Rabinowitz (“Take your hands off her, Geeda”). The original GdM was the one who despised the Eiffel Tower so much that he dined every night in one of its restaurants, as it was the only place in Paris without a view of it.
    LOI CHESSMAN (why “a” tough guy?), LOL GEORGINA.

          1. “a” .. pretty harmless, no? Common, in many a sentence? Should not be set up as a target. Cut setters a little slack

  14. 13:09 but another ANGELINO here. DNK Guy the storyteller or that IAMB was a foot of 2 syllables. Nice whimsy in the crossword… and the blog. Thanks Z and setter.

  15. 45 mins going great guns but…. For some reason I had bunged in OVER DO at 13ac, meaning to go back to it (well it did have ODE in it with the E moved), but forgot. Oh well.

    A couple of clues that appealed to my French half, and I liked KINDERGARTEN and TAILBACK too.

    Oh, another with INO! Double drat.

    Thanks Z and setter.

  16. Quick today, but a witty and enjoyable crossword. Liked the funny tattoo, and Ms Barton when I twigged, knew Angeleno because we have had it before, five or six times in fact.
    Proust was not only an aesthete but a total weed and fusspot. Needed to go to the gym more, imo.

  17. 49 minutes with LOI a constructed IAMB. There, I was genuinely clueless as to what was going on, not a good thing to be when doing a crossword. If I knew ANGELENO, I’d forgotten. I found the SE very tricky compared with the rest of the puzzle. COD to de MAUPASSANT (de in lowercase in case Guy reads this) as I was pleased to see it quickly. Thank you Z and setter.

  18. 20 minutes with the only unknown being DE MAUPASSANT, but my lack of literary knowledge was rescued by the cluing and checkers. Overall I didn’t think there was anything too chewy, and the hidden name was well signposted thanks to the rather odd looking webpage.
    An enjoyable if not hugely challenging crossword, so thanks to the setter and to zabadak for clearly up my biffed answers.

  19. About 25 minutes. Hadn’t heard of DE MAUPASSANT but managed to get it as the most likely sounding name once enough checkers were in place. Might have struggled with EVER SO if it hadn’t come up very recently. Hadn’t heard of ALTAIR and can’t recall coming across ANGELENO before, but the wordplay helped in both cases.

    No one has commented on this yet, so I assume my MER over patience being clued with small P for CARD GAME is unjustified?

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Rada
    LOI de Maupassant
    COD Tailback

  20. 71m 33s
    Considering 8d, I’m a little surprised there hasn’t been an outpouring of Pythonisms….”Prowst in his first book wrote about…” etc.

  21. Yes he was a guy, but being French, pronounced ghee.

    Hesitated over ANGELENO, so got it right.

    15’03”, thanks z and setter.

        1. So I figured. But I had to check that pronunciation.
          The G followed by U is always hard in English anyway.

      1. Just so. I think my Spanish background played a role in luring me into the trap too 🙂

  22. 9:48, WOE. I had no doubt about ANGELINO: ANGEL (backer), I, reversal of ON (are you on/up for dinner tonight?). A bit cruel.
    The device in 27ac is novel but it rather obviously signalled a containment. Similarly ‘compare or contrast’ signalled immediately that we were dealing with examples of something. And I thought ‘devotion to firm’ was a bit loose: firm and brand are not really the same thing.
    I did enjoy the use of ‘funny peculiar/ha-ha’.

  23. Over 50′, a couple of misdirects (maybe self inflicted) held me up. Particularly CHESSMAN where I fixated on “tough guy” being the definition and tried for a while to do something with helmsman + c (I know, one letter too long). As a golfer I didn’t much like GOLFER, and Linda Barton was pretty random. Anyways, after all that I had ANGELINO too…

  24. 25ac was a bit risky nowadays — consider what has happened to ‘research’, which always used to be reSEARCH, but nowadays is usually REsearch — but easily enough getting IAMB. 32 minutes with no major problems, missing the nice Guy but solving the clue fine. BRAND LOYALTY seemed to be something about swapping the R and the L, but in fact it was simpler. Never heard of SIGHT-PLAYING, only sight-reading.

  25. I did wonder about ON for UP, but just assumed it was one I hadn’t come across before. If we’ve had ANGELENO before I didn’t remember it

  26. 11:49 OK time for a quite straightforward puzzle but for some reason I bunged in DU instead of DE for the famous writer – I think I must have been thinking of du Maurier. No particularly stand-out clues today but COD to KINDERGARTEN for the unusual device, which works as a perfect homophone for me as an RP speaker but must have infuriated others.

  27. 08:52, pleasant solve and clues which avoided the obvious. I had to read down as far as Martin’s comment before I found that someone else had been ear-wormed by “Summarising Proust”, but glad to discover I’m not alone.

  28. 5m 59s and got lucky guessing the anagram for DE MAUPASSANT (NHO him). ALTAIR rang a vague bell but was another one where I was glad to get it right.

    Nice puzzle.

  29. BRAND LOYALTY by The Blues Band is a favourite album of mine. IAMB unimpressed by 25A and grateful to Z for parsing it – I biffed and moved on quickly!

    SIGHT went straight in, but I waited until I had crossers before adding PLAYING. It was a NHO and seems a curious concept.

    TIME 9:53

  30. 52:47 so a bit off the pace again, but I’m not alone. There must be an offsettting speedy group to put the SNITCH only just above 100. NHO ANGELENO so relied on the (obvious?) wordplay, reversing “one”. NHO SIGHT-PLAYING either. I thought the rhyming KINDERGARTEN was a bit odd, but I liked the funny peculiar and funny ha-ha

  31. Spooked and fell final furlong.
    It would have been under par with all parsed but one; yes that ONE.
    Still, it means a hike in the handicap mark has been dodged.
    With a very nearly four way symmetrical grid yesterday, one pops up today.
    An elegant grid elegantly filled; well done setter and thanks Z.

  32. 20:50 – mixed bag of old devices and some cleverer, though I wasn’t sharp enough to avoid the ANGELINO gaffe. Annoying, as I couldn’t parse it and vaguely recalled it was spelt differently from the name, but evidently it wasn’t enough to slow me down to a sensible pace.

  33. 34:36 – would’ve been a touch quicker but NHO ALTAIR so wanted to cycle through a few options in case I was making a daft error. The ANGELENO/CHESSMAN/GOLFER combo was what really held me up; I was just pleased to have realised what ‘I’ had to be doing in the former, which got me there.

    I thought KINDERGARTEN a bit peculiar; no issue with the homophone, just a funny (strange) little clue. DE MAUPASSANT was very good, as was POLKA DOT.

    Thanks both.

  34. Just shy of 47 mins but went for Angelito rather than Angeleno . I presume it’s something to do with Los Angeles? LOI golfer which was a real headbanging moment when it finally dawned on me.
    Defeated but enjoyed it.

  35. ALTAIR, who was a Guardian setter, was one of my regular adversaries when I was first persuaded to tackle cryptic crosswords regularly about 1975. The Times came into my orbit on a regular basis in 1978.

    1. ‘Fraid not: Margaret Wix, St Albans, on a newly built council estate – remember those? Mr Downing must have done a good job on us: that particular group went on to gain 5 of the 25 direct grant places allocated for virtually all of Hertfordshire (and more) for St Albans School, then occupying a lofty position in the league table.

  36. Yet another who carefully parsed the NHO ANGELINO with ANGEL – no problem – I, then ON turned, meaning UP as on a horse – and pleased with myself for avoiding being tempted by the Spanish ‘Angelito’! Thinking about it, the ‘up’ is superfluous in the phrase, though I suppose it makes for a smoother surface to the clue. Oh well! I had been perfectly confident with all of the answers until I saw the introduction of Z’s blog, but as it happens, I mis-wrote DU MAUPASSANT, despite being familiar with his name and works, so it would have been a DNF anyway. But a perfectly ‘on-the-wavelength’ and enjoyable offering nonetheless, and not too time-consuming.

  37. 26:23 WOE. Another ANGELINO $%*^*%&£! NHO DE MAUPASSANT so that was LOI with a bit of alphabetic juggling. NHO SIGHT PLAYING as opposed to READING. I initially biffed PIANO RECITAL, but took it out when LATTICE and BRAND LOYALTY arrived. Constructed IAMB with fingers crossed. SCAN was FOI. Thanks setter and Z.

  38. 56:01. must confess to having checked how a native of Los Angeles was spelled… LOI was ALTAIR which rang a distant bell but definitely not on my list of big stars. oh well onwards and upwards. t’was EVER SO.

  39. 23:17 but…

    …another ANGELINO here, though not sure why it can’t be given seeing as though it is apparently not what the setter intended, THIS IS AN ALTERNATIVE SPELLING AND THE PARSING WORKS – a truly technical DNF in my view.

    Thought the few in the SE corner were very clever on the whole – ANGELINO, GEORGINA, CHESSMAN – pink square ruined the effect somewhat!

    1. Now that you mention it, I checked and ODE does indeed give ANGELINO as an alternative spelling so I’m claiming a correct answer! Interestingly OED doesn’t give it as an alternative but the first citation is ‘we have to go abroad to fully appreciate the varied blessings showered on the Angelinos’.

      1. I’ve checked the VAR. We’re not allowing it. Mainly on the basis that I got it right.

        1. 100% right Gallers, as always.
          I went back and this is the SEVENTH time “Angeleno” has been in a Times crossword .. in relation to Los AngelEs!
          (I also got it right 🙂

          1. Fortunately the authority by which I award myself a correct answer is myself, so your heretical opinions carry no weight.

              1. The total incompetence of football administration, over much of my lifetime, never ceases to amaze me.
                Although really, it shouldn’t 🙂

              2. In this case the relevant authority (me) overrides the determination of the VAR. I’m sorry, I don’t* make the rules.


        2. Wouldn’t be the first time VAR has got it wrong:
          ” “Offside, goal, yeah … That’s wrong that, Daz.”
          “Oh f…!”
          Not that I’m complaining about that one!

          1. Ah, you beat me to it. I don’t really follow the EPL but that one popped up in some social media feed.

            What a howler. And an object lesson in the importance of precise language!

  40. Entered CREWSMAN but it clearly didn’t parse so had a rethink. In spite of playing regularly I’m always slow on the Chess related clues. Like others had NHO sight-playing but it brought back unwelcome memories of Grade examinations for the violin over 40 years ago …

    Beat my target and avoided the American trap so a good day.


    Thanks setter and Z.

    Time: 28 mins

  41. Surprised myself by managing to finish this (albeit with -ino), whereas I was four or five short doing yesterday’s ‘easier’ one. It’s not the first time this has happened, but I still have no idea why I find ones with a snitch of 75 – 90 (even) more difficult. My favourites today were the Drum Roll for Georgina. Invariant

  42. 36 minutes, but another Angelino. Enjoyable offbeat puzzle.

    I too was humiliated for saying ‘ever so’ … by my own mother. Must have been quite the shibboleth back in the day. After that I made a point of saying it as often as possible.

  43. Altair is one of the three stars in the Summer Triangle, along with Vega and Deneb. They appear roughly the same brighness in our sky. Altair and Vega are 16 and 25 light years away respectively – that’s quite close in celestial terms. Deneb however is a very different beast. It’s about 1500 light years away and is estimated to be 60,000 times brighter than our Sun. Now THAT’S a big star…

  44. This took me 33 minutes, in two bites, almost twice as long as yesterday, but I found it a fair and enjoyable exercise. I managed to avoid the bear traps but took a long time to convince myself that the NHO SIGHT-PLAYING was right.
    FOI – SCAN
    Thanks to Zabadak and other contributors.

  45. I’m reminded of the poorly-read bookseller who, on being asked if he had any Guy de Maupassant, said he didn’t, but he did have some Guides Michelin. Sadly, I can’t quite make it work in French, but maybe someone can help?

    Enjoyable puzzle today, but completed in several chapters, so no idea of time.

  46. “In 1844, the Democrats were split, The three nominees for the presidential candidate Were Martin Van Buren A former president And an abolitionist; James Buchanan, a moderate; Lewis Cass, a general and expansionist; From Nashville came a dark horse riding up He was James K. Polk, Napoleon of the Stump.”

    James K Polk by They Might be Giants (Thanks again to Dylan’s Theme Time)

    “He seized the whole southwest from Mexico, Made sure the tariffs fell, And made the English sell The Oregon territory. He built an independent treasury. Having done all this he sought no second term.
    But precious few have mourned the passing of Mister James K. Polk, our 11th president
    Young Hickory, Napoleon of the Stump”

    History has treated him unfairly. 20’29” LOI POLKA DOT

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