28822 Curriculum Vitae

 

Continuing my series of slow solves this week, I devoted 32.25 to this challenging offering, which as it happens caused many a reminisce along the way, including my acquaintance as a Cadet Bombardier with the Lee Enfield .303. At points, while not killing me softly, I did feel the setter was “telling my whole life with his words”! Right up to the very recent past when I received a most unusual 19 in a refund from my solicitor.

Nothing herein was outside my ken, though there are some less familiar words which might flummox some, but the cluing is kind.

Definitions underlined in italics, the rest described serendipitously.

Across
1 After electricity failure, stop eating meal at work (5,9)
POWER BREAKFAST – An excuse for young execs to overdose on croissants and proper coffee while pretending to do blue sky thinking. Electricity is POWER, the failure is BREAK and stop eating FAST.
9 Steals round place in underclothing (9)
SHOPLIFTS – Next time I solve this I’ll start at the right end. Round place reduces to O PL, dress in SHIFTS or underclothing.
10 I paper over stage with wings (5)
IMAGO – Technically the adult stage of an insect’s life. I, MAG for paper, O(ver).
11 Maybe a little snowy in the breeding season? (5)
OWLET – I think this is just a cryptic definition: a (little) snowy (owl) in the breeding season is an example of our entry.
12 Charter party once here beginning to embark on flowing sea (9)
RUNNYMEDE – My last in, bemused by the definition and perhaps by 1ac and thinking works outing. Flowing is RUNNY, the sea you want is the MED, finish with Embark’s beginning. The charter is the Great one, signed (some say sealed) at a quarter past noon.
13 Prayer day that is coming round, at first chanted with a backing (5,3)
AGNUS DEI – A regular part of the Mass/Eucharist, “Lamb of God”. Careful following of the instructions gets you there. D(ay) and IE (that is/id est) reversed (coming round) and then before that SUNG for chanted with A also reversed (backing).
15 Way to enter a university that is handed to you on a plate (6)
GATEAU – The definition allows a very wide range of offerings, but way to enter: GATE plus A U(niversity) selects the one you want.
17 Injury as limb at first sound twisted (6)
LESION – The first letter of Limb and NOISE from sound reversed (twisted)
19 Calming of gale is a bit of luck (8)
WINDFALL – Calming of a gale is equivalent to WIND FALL
22 Reported for duty  dressed, and dismissed (6,3)
TURNED OUT – A rarity, a triple definition.
23 Members of kingdom are amusing Joe (5)
FUNGI – The kingdom fungi belong to is -um- Fungi. Amusing leads you to FUN, and Joe is the archetypal GI.
24 Cat losing head on European peak (5)
EIGER – The cat must be a TIGER: remove its head and replace with E(uropean) That the Eiger is a European mountain is felicitous.
25 Poor-sounding judge makes a mark (9)
DIACRITIC – For us non-rhotics, DIA sounds like DIRE, so is poor sounding. A judge is a CRITIC. The whole is a mark such as an accent or a cedilla.
26 In poverty, chose one bottle to get drunk (5,2,3,4)
CLOSE TO THE BONE – an anagram (first of the day) of CHOSE ONE BOTTLE. Probably more familiar as near the bone, which itself is more familiar as dubiously funny.
Down
1 Sales talk enthrals everybody in supermarket — bishop may deliver it (8,6)
PASTORAL LETTER – Is a thing: I’ve seen several in my time. Today’s matryoshka. ALL for everyone inside STORE for supermarket inside PATTER for sales talk.
2 Chase little girl over piece of knitwear (7)
WOOLLEN – Chase gives you woo, and the little girl, while it could be the normal diminutive, is more properly Little NELL from the Old Curiosity Shop. “One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.” – Oscar Wilde (who else?)
3 Half perused books, given another Kindle (5)
RELIT – Half of REad from perused plus LIT for books (as in Eng Lit). The definition shouldn’t really have the capital K.
4 Biblical teaching by old Luther, for one (8)
REFORMER – RE is Biblical (or at least religious) teaching, old provides the FORMER. Not the detective, but the theses pinner up. I’ve seen “the door he did it on”* in Wittenberg and treasure a chipping of the slate memorial thereto blown up by an allied bomb.

*There were Americans present when I was there, which was surprising because it was 1975 GDR.

5 Inattentive worker catching disease (6)
ABSENT – Worker is the conventional crossword ANT, and the disease caught therein is Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis, mad cow disease of receding memory.
6 Pretty lady travels round new fantastic location (9)
FAIRYLAND – Pretty is FAIR, then an anagram (travelling) of LADY round N(ew) gives the rest. Been there, it’s on Mahe in the Seychelles, and with a rainbow on the day I visited, was truly magical.
7 Very late coming in, sees twitchy cat (7)
SIAMESE – Very late (at the time of writing) is a little after 1 AM, which is placed in an anagram (twitchy) of  SEES.
8 Turn up: no seats upstairs, so go back to where you were (4,4,6)
COME FULL CIRCLE – Turn up: COME the no seats upstairs translates to FULL CIRCLE, the posh seats in a theatre.
14 Order for soldiers mushy food, keeping men initially at attention (5,4)
SLOPE ARMS – Transfer your rifle from your side to your shoulder, you ‘orrible little man. Mushy food is SLOPS, attention is EAR, and put the M of Men where it works.
16 Region has area for one to entertain (8)
DISTRACT – Region is DISTRICT, replace the I (one) with A(rea)
18 Sit with girl struggling to get skin cleaner (7)
STRIGIL – Handy in a sauna, a blade to scrape the sweat and grime from your person, invented or at least named by the Romans. An anagram (struggling) of SIT and GIRL.
20 Delicious food not started — revolting excessive colouring (7)
ANNATTO – The delicious food must be MANNA, with its M removed. Excessive is OTT (over the top) and since it’s revolting it becomes TTO. Annatto is one spelling of many for “a bright orange colouring matter obtained from the fruit pulp of a tropical American tree, Bixa orellana.”
21 Success involves familiar wait (4,2)
HOLD IT – Success is HIT and familiar OLD. One in t’other.
23 Comedy clubs having food brought round (5)
FARCE – FARE for food with C(lubs) enclosed.

69 comments on “28822 Curriculum Vitae”

  1. 52 minutes. A slow but steady solve, very enjoyable with only one unknown word in STRIGIL, although it has come up a couple of times – a Jumbo in 2020 and a Sunday puzzle in 2009.

    POWER BREAKFAST was one of my first in but other than RELIT none if its danglers gave up their secrets until some time later. The other three long answers at the perimeter needed lots of checkers to bring their answers to mind. Another delaying factor was the complete absence of 3- and 4-letter words in the grid as I usually rely on these to get started and to establish new footholds when I am stuck.

  2. The 44 minutes felt a lot longer; it took me ages to get going and once I did I mostly solved from bottom to top. STRIGIL rings a bell now I think of it, so perhaps it came up in Latin GCSE. PASTORAL LETTERS aren’t something I’ve heard of, but not hard to figure out once I’d finally stopped going through the actual *names* of supermarkets and trying to crowbar in ALDI or LIDL at random. Finished off with SHOPLIFTS, OWLET and WOOLLEN in the NW.

  3. I found this hard. I didn’t think it was going to be since I got POWER BREAKFAST immediately. Having done that it was in the bottom half that I finally started to get traction. Finally finished it all correct. Had to dig STRYGIL and ANNATTO up from deep memory. Also got sidetracked by trying to put in DIAERESIS instead of DIACRITIC although I couldn’t see how the wordplay worked (because it doesn’t).

    BSE may be in receding memory, but I am still not allowed to give blood in the US since I lived in the UK in the late 1970s.

    1. They’ve only recently lifted that restriction in Australia. Seemed to be an overly cautious approach given that they’re always saying there’s a shortage, but I guess they know what they’re doing.

      1. A little off topic, but I still can’t give blood in the UK because I had a blood transfusion after 1980 (in 1989). That seems vanishingly unlikely to cause a problem thirty-something years later – and of course, having benefited I would be very keen to give back!

  4. T’Eiger, T’Eiger, burning bright,
    In t’ forests of the night;
    (Apologies to W Blake. I’m going to Yorkshire today)

    25 mins mid-brekker left me with the delicious food, TTO colouring. After a minute or two of nectar, ambrosia, fat rascals, lime marmalade, etc., I landed on Manna.
    Ta setter and Z.

  5. 46 minutes with LOI the unknown STRIGIL, from the anagram and crossers. The only PDM was OWLET, the rest was a grind, PASTORAL LETTER particularly. ANNATTO was also unknown and by then I didn’t really want to be fed any more bread of heaven. Mind you, better that than a POWER BREAKFAST. Thank you Z and setter.

  6. My goodness! Is it Friday already? I started at the bottom, with the long anagram CLOSE TO THE BONE, got some crossers and so was optimistic. Hah! This might have gone a little quicker after my usual “Black BREAKFAST” (with half-and-half), but at this hour [wasn’t that late when I wrote this, really!] it took forever. ANNATTO? SLOPED ARMS!? STRIGIL?!?! Had the NW to fill in at the end. POI, not surprisingly, the CD OWLET and LOI WOOLLEN (two “L”s!). Among others, I appreciated 25: I was born a critic, and I’ll…

  7. 24:50. Hard work, finishing in the SW corner with the unknown and, to me, unlikely looking, SLOPE ARMS. DNK STRIGIL either but an eventual LESION convinced me. Pleased to finish without aids. Some neat surfaces. I liked FARCE and GATEAU among others. Thanks Z and setter.

  8. 25’21”, delayed by banging in LIGHT BREAKFAST, then not getting anything until RELIT told me I was wrong. Knew STRIGIL from visits to Roman sites and the imagined pictures of people in bathhouses. CLOSE TO THE BONE seems another ugly phrase that nobody actually uses. Liked COME FULL CIRCLE (needed -U-L) and PASTORAL LETTER.

    Thanks z and setter.

    1. I have heard CLOSE TO THE BONE, but only in the context of a dubious joke or perhaps an overly-sharp criticism (similar to ‘near the knuckle’).

  9. 33.16. This felt like a wavelength problem more than anything, although the Snitch and others’ comments here suggest otherwise.

    I made a horribly slow start, with just a smattering of answers after my first pass and some unfriendly crossers, but very gradually inched my way towards my LOI, L_S_O_. I came concerningly close to trying LUSDON or LUSNOD for some peculiar injury (L plus an anagram of SOUND), before sparing my own blushes.

    I had a vague idea about STRIGIL early on, but wasn’t confident enough to enter it until I had the lower crossers. SLOPE ARMS was either new or as good as, but the wordplay and a mental image of a soldier with a gun on sloped arms got me there. ANNATTO was definitely NHO, and I had always assumed manna was for sustenance rather than delicious, although not to the extent where I refused to put it in. No idea about RUNNYMEDE’s significance, but I knew it was a place and the wordplay all worked.

    Thanks Z and setter.

  10. 71m 15s but stumbled at the last hurdle and had to use aids to get ANNATTO. STRIGIL was another one I had NHO but at least the anagram was clear.
    Much prefer Burmese to Siamese. I’ve had many of the former.

    1. I was brought up along with a Siamese, Asuelide Tiger Tim, and was never quite sure which of us my parents preferred. We called him Tiger because he was feisty, to say the very least. Still I seemed to get told off more often than he did, despite not scratching the furniture ..

  11. Tough for me, it’s been a tough week I think but at least I finished. No time because I came and went a lot but let’s say about an hour. Could not believe STRIGIL was a word, it sounds like a character from LOTR, and I was similarly bemused by ANNATTO, SLOPE ARMS and a couple more besides. Many thanks to Z for explaining several parsings that eluded me completely. Regarding RUNNYMEDE, you say the charter was signed and some say sealed, but (to reinvoke Stevie Wonder from a day or so ago) was it delivered?

  12. Just under half an hour.

    Only familiar with the ‘near the knuckle’ meaning of CLOSE TO THE BONE as mentioned above by Amoeba; never heard of STRGIL or ANNATTO so relied on wordplay and checkers for both; tried to insert one of RD/ST/MO/AVE in 15d for a while before the U at the end pointed me towards GATEAU; thought of SIAMESE early on, but it was a while until the penny dropped for the parsing of the ‘iam’ bit.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Relit
    LOI Strigil
    COD Absent

  13. 40something
    DNK SLOPE ARMS, ANNATTO. I was really annoyed by 12ac, because I knew the answer immediately I saw ‘charter party’, only I couldn’t remember the name of the place. I think the setter was confusing manna with ambrosia; at least, I was. Was MANNA yummy? Don’t ask me. I expected ‘twisted’ (17ac) to be an anagrind, rather than a reversal indicator. CLOSE TO THE BONE: see Amoeba above.

      1. Exodus 16.31: “The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.” So I suppose it depends on your taste buds feel on the matter. I rather like the story that the word manna derives from the Hebrews saying “mah na?”, what is it, leading to the theory that the Israelite host survived on a diet of Wotsits. Probably marginally healthier than something which was almost entirely sugar.

        1. Although absent from Exodus, the verbal tradition (Gommora / Mishna) says that manna tasted like whatever the eater wanted it to, however, this is slightly at variance with the Exodus narrative that the Israelites got so tired of eating the stuff that G-d was obliged to send flocks of quails to relieve the monotony.

  14. 52:39
    Lots of huffing and puffing but glad to have got to the end and to have teased out my last ANNATO with no pink squares.

    A relatively tough week so far so hopefully tomorrow won’t disappoint.

    Thanks to both.

  15. 12:39. I started slowly on this, and it remained pretty tricky throughout. Not helped by not knowing PASTORAL LETTER, STRIGIL, or this meaning of CLOSE TO THE BONE. I did remember ANNATTO.
    The question of the capital K in 3dn is an interesting one. Capitalising common nouns is normally allowed, the logic being (as I understand it) that such nouns can be written that way in certain circumstances (e.g. at the beginning of sentences) whereas the opposite (writing ‘paris’ for instance) is never permissible. Here however the definition – ‘given another kindle’ – has to be taken as a whole, and there are no circumstances in which you’d write that phrase (with the required meaning for the definition) with a capital K. This is a long way of saying that I agree with Z.

    1. I thought we’d finally cracked the position on deceptive capitalisation in discussion with Peter B (9th July 2023) and it came down to the simple logic that any word can be written with a capital letter but proper nouns are never written without, but now the debate seems to be open to further possibilities. I didn’t have any problem with today’s clue and I don’t see a reason to revise my opinion.

      1. Yes that’s the normal position, which as far as I’m concerned is completely logical.
        If the word ‘kindle’ were a standalone element of wordplay, it would certainly be fine to capitalise it. The way I think about this is that you might have cut the word from the beginning of a sentence somewhere and used it as a building block for the clue.
        Here though the word ‘kindle’ is not a standalone element of wordplay: it is part of the phrase ‘given another kindle’ and that phrase is the building block that contributes to the construction of the clue. If you cut that building block out and put it at the start of a sentence you would get ‘Given another kindle’.
        So for me this clue does not respect logic as I understand it. Of course this understanding may be wrong!

        1. Given that Kindles typically contain LITerature, I thought the wordplay was quite clever (though I do kind(le) of agree with you).

  16. I’m painting my house. On Saturday I went to Screwfix to buy one of those curved tools you use to scrape paint off a roller. A victim of a (hard) classical education, I unthinkingly and automatically assumed I must be looking for a ‘strigil’, and wasted some time scrolling through the wretched digital catalogue before realising that it wouldn’t be a Latin tag. Felt a bit stupid then. But today, vindication!

    1. A circular version with a small gap next to its handle to slot over the one on the roller forces amazing quantities of paint out when drawn down at an angle. Most satisfying.

    2. A circular version shaped like the outline of a hand mirror with one small gap for the roller handle out performs a crescent. It forces amazing quantities of paint out when drawn down at an angle. Most satisfying.

  17. A really good puzzle, I thought, a steady solve in 34 minutes, with STRIGIL written in then looked up to check. LOI was SIAMESE for no particular reason. I liked COME FULL CIRCLE. Thanks Z for LESION which I biffed.

  18. 76 minutes. Like trying to walk through treacle until I got a bit of a run-on near the end. NHO STRIGIL, had forgotten ANNATTO and had a ? against CLOSE TO THE BONE for the same reasons as Amoeba and ChrisLutton. PASTORAL LETTER sounded plausible but I’d never come across the term before and like gothick I spent too long trying to fit in ALDI.

    Very slow but glad to have survived a “Very hard” one according to the SNITCH at the moment.

  19. Wrote in 1 ac immediately so had high hopes (which should’ve been a warning), but DNF. Tough but enjoyable. SHOPLIFTS defeated me — with all the crossers in I was convinced it must be a word for an undergarment unknown to me so resorted to aids. Brilliant concealment by setter. Also, NHO ANNATTO and failed to get it from the wordplay (despite seeing the OTT trick). I knew SLOPE ARMS (and all the other rifle drill manoeuvres) from my days in the school CCF.

  20. An hour and a half. I’m still dead chuffed to have finished it. It took me ages to get going with only three in after 30 minutes – OWLET, EIGER and RELIT – but then the pace picked up enough to keep me going. LOI RUNNYMEDE, COD GATEAU

  21. Enjoyed today’s knotty challenge, and thought I’d done pretty well to hit ‘submit’ in 21:16, only to find I’d inadvertently transposed two letters to give me REFROMER and, of course, OUNNYMEDE. Drat!

    Like others, I had a few un- or barely-knowns – STRIGIL and ANNATTO were pretty helpfully clued, so didn’t hold me up much, but I did spend quite some time trying to parse PATRONAL LETTER before the penny dropped.

    Good fun, though, despite the typing frustrations. Thanks to the Setter, and Z for the entertaining blog.

  22. Slowish here on 42 minutes. Didn’t know strigil and annatto but (almost) had to be. Not keen on rarefied meanings when a common one’s to hand as in ‘close to the bone’ which is generally used of an uncomfortably accurate home truth or somesuch. The setter’s either clever by artfully hiding the simple or clever-clever by dodging the solver’s main area of knowledge. The latter is becoming all too common and is something of a B grade approach.

  23. 46 mins. I was in the school CCF too, but my memory doesn’t go back 55 years that easily so I can safely say that I had no knowledge of SLOPE ARMS. I also had a MER about the cryptic there, which implied MEAR not EARM.
    Also NHO STRIGIL, although I thought of it as the only anagram that worked but the word seemed unlikely.

  24. I hate clues like 25d (there are far worse examples) where “sounds like” actually doesn’t for a large number of solvers. Although I was born and brought up in Kilburn in north-west London, my parents – and the parents of everyone I knew – were Irish, so Rs were most definitely always sounded.

    1. 25ac? Perfect homophone for me, and struggling to see how else it could be pronounced.
      Given your name I hope you have been to see JFK’s memorial at 12ac? It is quite moving.

  25. Liked this one a lot, elegant and with good surfaces.
    Knew strigil from having been to Housteads, a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall where several have been unearthed. The Wall itself was disappointing; it badly needs work done…
    I recommend anyone to visit Runnymede if they haven’t been. It has several memorials including one to the Air Services as well as one to John F Kennedy.. we gave an acre of Runnymede to the USA, to place the memorial on, fitting since Runnymede itself was gifted to the National Trust by an American lady.

  26. 90 mins for this slog through the trenches – can’t say I’ve ever been more off the wavelength.

    I probably would have gone quicker had I at least heard of pastoral letters. Ecclesiastical matters not really my forte I guess.

    NHOs were ANNATTO, STRIGIL and SLOPE ARMS so was lucky the wordplay didn’t have any kinks.

    If I have to give a COD, then I suppose FUNGI was rather neat.

  27. 38:39

    A Snitch of 141 gives me 60m30s to complete, so pretty happy with doing so in less than 2/3 of that time. At around 20 minutes, had the whole of the left side and 1a, 12a, 26a and 23d which crossed into the right side…… for ages! Nothing came for perhaps another 10 minutes until WINDFALL led to FAIRYLAND and IMAGO, followed by COME FULL CIRCLE and the rest in short time, ANNATTO (vaguely recalled) being my LOI. Funny how one answer can have the rest fall like a house of cards…

    Thanks Z and setter

  28. Gave up timing this over several sessions and just enjoyed it. I found it a stinker – in a good way – with lots to appreciate (and plenty of time to do so) among the many unknowns and the cunning cluing.

  29. No new or unfamiliar words here, nor any problems with unusual definitions/ phraseology. But a bit of a puzzle regarding process. After two plus hours of increasing bewilderment, I dropped off for a very short (minutes only) sleep. On waking I more or less immediately completed the grid by entering DISTRACT, WINDFALL, POWER BREAKFAST, FAIRYLAND (that had been a tormentor) SIAMESE and possibly one or two others I have forgotten.

    I had given up earlier on GATEAU. Unable to clear my head of APERCU I simply ‘revealed’ it. LESION was biffed; still don’t get it…

    A puzzle I would be pleased to have the skill to construct. Thanks.

    Now got LESION. I had missed Z’s explanation on first reading.

  30. I feel really proud to have finished this great crossword in 28:58! LOI was ANNATTO, which I’ve never heard of, got the OTT part but finally thought of MANNA just in time to beat the 30 minutes mark. Without the clue I’d have spelled agnus dei wrongly – with agnes – but luckily caught it. Loved the owlet for some reason, my first thought was for Tintin’s dog Snowy, only caught on to the owlet when I finally caught on to the pastoral letter after ages thinking about paschal letters. I’m not sure by the way if an imago necessarily has wings, or if non winged creatures can have this life cycle???
    Finally COD to Runnymede.
    Anyway LOVED this crossword and many thanks to the setter and it’s not often I get a faster time than Zabadak!!!

    1. I think that all winged insects get them only at the imago stage. If they are wingless insects then they don’t (obv).

  31. Thanks for parsing the Siamese cat for me. Didn’t know the command “slope arms “.
    All finely clued for me except the clue for owlet, where I felt “in the breeding season“ was rather weak.

  32. One error in exactly 40 mins. ARNETTO with the delicious food being (Chilli con) Carne. No I wasn’t convinced either.

  33. I thought the cheeky surface for 3d justified the capital letter. My position is the setter should be able to make grist for his/her mill from as wide a choice as possible. Linguistic hygiene (including the punctuational variety) can be safely ignored.

  34. I was glad to get through this bloodied but unbowed. I took ages to get started, then felt the setter took far too many liberties (paper=mag, that capital K, 1am is very EARLY!), but there were some excellent PDM’s to make up for it.

    FOI EIGER
    LOI SHOPLIFTS
    COD COME FULL CIRCLE
    TIME 22:25 (I daren’t look at SNITCH)

    1. Well one way of looking at 1 a.m. is that among the early hours it is very much at the leading edge. The only earlier being 0, MDT.

  35. 50:53 today.

    A hard slog seeming to get nowhere even having got power breakfast and having eventually pieced together pastoral letter where the matroshyka device was clear as were the elements but kept trying Tesco, Asda, Aldi etc🥲

    After 40 minutes I had less than half but then suddenly a biff fest cleared up the eastern half.

    Very enjoyable but I’m off now for a lie down.

    Thx Z and setter

  36. Another marathon for me, fortunately with a happier outcome than yesterday. POWER BREAKFAST andf RELIT went straight in. ABSENT and SIAMESE followed fairly soon. Then I hit one of several walls which I had to clamber over, clinging on by the fingernails. WINDFALL was the first breakthrough, leading immediately to COME FULL CIRCLE and eventually, after CLOSE TO THE BONE (NHO that meaning, knew the other one) led to HOLD IT, DIACRITIC dropped in. Another long hiatus was broken by PASTORAL LETTER. More time was frittered away completing, FARCE, FUNGI and ANNATTO, the latter vaguely triggering a dim recollection. In the meanwhile FAIRYLAND led to RUNNYMEDE (good one!) and GATEAU loomed through the mist leaving most of the NW corner still to be solved. AGNUS DEI led the charge, the OWLET flew in with WOOLLEN, then SHOPLIFTS drew my attention away from underwear and allowed the REFORMER to finish the job. A snail like 49:02, which nevertheless got me onto the SNITCH, which perhaps it would’ve been better not to see, as per Phil! Thanks setter and Z.

  37. No time recorded for this as it was completed in two sessions with a sizeable gap in between. I would guess it was somewhere around the hour mark in all. I had only half completed when I came to a virtual standstill, and assumed it was going to be a DNF. The long break must have done me good, and I finished the second half more smartly than my first session. I’m so glad I persevered as I finished with all correct and only SIAMESE unparsed.

  38. Strigil was for some reason a theme in a Hinge & Bracket (I think) turn, and I knew it from there.
    Was NOT familiar with ANNATTO, but I’m sure it has been here before so shouldn’t claim NHO.
    The CCF (Combined Cadet Force) taught me SLOPE (and Order) ARMS inter alia.

  39. I did this in fits and starts but probably took over an hour. Very enjoyable. Lots of unknowns but they were all fairly clued. (ie, I managed to get them)

    I got POWER BREAKFAST quite quickly, but then wasted several minutes in shuddering at the thought of it.

  40. Never heard of SLOPE ARMS, last one in, had to be right from parsing, though. Otherwise, 37 minutes for completed grid.

  41. An hour with all clues solved but one, and when I came back after a break I finally decided (M)ANNA might just be the delicious food and ventured ANNATTO as my LOI, by that time not really caring any more whether it was right (but still happy that it was) and wondering once again if the setter really has to do this to us. I have no problem with this sort of thing in Mephistos, after all they are supposed to have obscure vocabulary, and of course I did solve the clue, but it does seem to be pushing things a bit, quite incongruous in the company of the other rather moderate clues.

  42. Very slow to start, as I NHO POWER BREAKFAST ( I assume an invention of the ‘modern’ era). Looked it up to get a start, but it didn’t help much with the danglers. FOI AGNUS DEI, then COME FULL CIRCLE (good PDM); and moved all round the grid attempting a foothold. IMAGO and WINDFALL got me going again, but so.o slowly. NHO STRIGIL, ANNATTO (though I got the TTO), nor SLOPE ARMS.
    Mustn’t grumble:all fairly clued.
    COD ABSENT.

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