QC 2386 by Breadman: The British are Coming

Are are the QCs getting harder? This one was also outside my target time of 20:23, with 12a taking me over the top. Two NHOs for me today, one anatomical, one culinary.

20a FASTEN caused me a bit of a re-think. I was sure that it parsed as F (loud) + AT TEN (When 22:00, as in the News AT TEN), which meant the answer should be FATTEN. I couldn’t make tie=fatten, so went back to see how FASTEN could work, and had a light bulb seeing ‘when’=AS, and Breadman had beaten me.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Group of hospital patients tucking into dessert later (10)
AFTERWARDS – WARD (Group of hospital patients) inside AFTERS (dessert)
8 Unusually large seat for each (6)
BUMPER – BUM (seat) + PER (each)

BUM is good British English for what the US refer to as the Butt.

9 Pleased to have flag flying around party (4,2)
GLAD OF – (FLAG)* around DO (party)

I wonder if this phrase is responsible for the emergence of “Would of” for “Would have”. Pretty unstoppable now.

10 Caught a Geordie producing stick (4)
CANE – C{aught} + A + NE (Northeast, where Geordies are from)
11 Companion learning about popular chemical element (8)
CHLORINE – CH (Companion of Honour) + LORE (learning) containing IN (popular)
12 Seaman, then another seaman cut ankle bone? (6)
TARSAL – TAR (seaman) + SAL[t] (another seaman)

My LOI as had never heard of it and was looking at AB(-Able Seaman) for one of the seaman. I learnt of the Metatarsal when it was feared that David Beckham might miss the World Cup due to his injury of said bone.

14 Outer garment appreciated by poet (6)
TABARD – TA (=thanks, hence appreciated) + BARD (poet)

Originally something worn by rather natty heralds, expect to see a few in the coronation procession. Now mainly worn by cleaners and supermarket workers.

16 The Spanish artist entering Charlie’s heavenly place (2,6)
EL DORADO – EL (The Spanish) + RA (artist) inside DODO (Charlie)
18 Record from band is complete (4)
DISC – Hidden inside band is complete

This word came up last week, I think.

20 When twenty-two hundred hours, put on loud tie (6)
FASTEN – F (loud) + AS (when)+ TEN (22:00h)

See preamble regarding confusion with FATTEN. This was my LOI and a classic “lift and separate” operation needed to unpack “When 22:00”

21 Greatly respect American folk hero (6)
REVERE – Double Def. Revere=Respect and  Paul Revere famous Revolutionary Patriot (or treasonist). He famously arranged to have signal lanterns lit to announce the arrival of the British  – “one if by land and two if by sea”

Also a 1960s rock band who wore Revolutionary-era topcoats.

22 Stick a soft drink by attorney’s alcoholic cocktail (4,6)
PINA COLADA – PIN (Stick) + A + COLA (soft drink) + DA (attorney)
2 Animals collectively creep, it’s said (5)
FAUNA – Homophone  (it’s said). I guess one who fawns (a bit of a creep) is a fawner?  OED has One who fawns, cringes, or flatters; a toady
3 Printing unit with machine for printing female sovereign (7)
EMPRESS – EM (Printing Unit) + PRESS (machine for printing)

EM and EN are standard crossword fare, being the width of an “m” and an “n” respectively. Useful in differentiating dashes: the EM dash — (Alt 0151 in Windows) and EN dash – (Alt 0150). They are the only Alt numbers I have learnt. Use of a pair of em dashes—as in this example—is classier than parentheses.

4 Military campaign award uncovered (3)
WAR – {a}WAR{d} : “uncovered” indicating removal of first and last letters
5 Kit and Colleen regularly over-the-top about opera (9)
RIGOLETTO – RIG (kit) + {c}O{l}L{e}E{n} + TTO (OTT reversed)
6 Part of flight from street broadcast (5)
STAIR – ST{reet} + AIR (broadcast)

“Broadcast” is not an anagram indicator today.

7 Doctor near poorly person who grumbles (6)
MOANER – MO + (NEAR)* “poorly”
11 Pass clergyman eating new vegetarian dish (9)
COLCANNON – COL (pass) + CANON (clergyman) containing N{ame}

Never heard of this. OED has Potatoes and cabbage pounded together in a mortar and then stewed with butter (Irish and Scottish). Subtly different from Bubble & Squeak, but I’ll let others expand.

13 Shiny silver key found in belt (6)
AGLEAM – AG (silver) + LAM (belt) containing E (key)

E is a random Key, could be any of seven (eight if you are German). My usual complaint about LAM not being LAMP, which is how I’ve always heard it.

15 Harry and educationist reside northwards (7)
BEDEVIL – BE (Bachelor of Education) + LIVED (reside) reversed

On edit: BEd + LIVE (reversed), to match the tense of “reside”. Thx Vasco.

17 Religious books penned by pensioner readily available (2,3)
ON TAP – NT (books) inside (penned by) OAP (pensioner)
19 Fragment right in middle of outhouse (5)
SHRED – R{ight} in SHED (outhouse)
21 Sports ground concerning clubs (3)
REC – RE (concerning) + C{lubs}

REC short for Recreation Ground, common in crosswords as a handy fragment.

90 comments on “QC 2386 by Breadman: The British are Coming”

  1. 15:35 Well, this took some thought- many very tough nuts to crack. BEDEVIL, AGLEAM, TARSAL and TABARD especially were very cunningly put together. The Spanish painter starting EL had me thinking this has to be El Greco but there were too many spaces to fill. Charlie as dodo had me grinding my teeth since I’m a Charlie (or Chuck) too. Couldn’t there be at least a month or so moratorium on that usage in deference to the new monarch?

        1. I remember an episode of Fawlty Towers (Basil the Rat I believe) where Polly called Manuel a dodo when his rat escaped.

      1. A dodo, admittedly uncommon, is an ineffective or feeble-minded person – as is “a right Charlie”.

        1. The origin of which, according to Collins, is exceptionally vulgar!

          1. Yes we had that discussion here only a few weeks ago and it transpired there are alternative innocent theories as to its origin.

  2. Biffed CHLORINE, PINA COLADA, & RIGOLETTO. BUMPER slowed me down some. 6:35.

  3. 5m but 2 errors today, on track for 3 tomorrow

    I suppose if you’re fattened to the point of morbid obesity, you’re tied – to your bed? I didn’t actually think about it that much at the time, and as it turns out it didn’t matter anyway because my fattened thumbs entered RCC for 21dn

  4. Thought that was a toughie and a couple I’d never heard of. DNF. Thanks for the explanations in the blog.
    15 down: B.Ed is Bachelor of Education not B.E. Live is to reside; otherwise Lived would be Resided..?

  5. Just under 7 1/2 minutes. Luckily I’d come across (guess where) the less common ones such as TABARD and COLCANNON before but for some reason I took a while to see AGLEAM. I agree with Vasco about the parsing of BEDEVIL.

    Thanks for the reminder of Paul Revere and The Raiders. Here’s a link to their most well-known song, or at least the one I remember best; a bit more than just mindless bubble-gum pop.

    Thanks to Merlin and Breadman

  6. 11 minutes, missing my target 10 because I also thought of FATTEN before FASTEN and lost time checking the wordplay carefully and avoiding the error. DODO for ‘Charlie’ was unexpected but the answer at 16ac was never in doubt.

    The TABARD was the inn in Southwark where Chaucer’s pilgrims met before setting out on their journey to Canterbury. It was lost in the Great Fire of 1666 but is commemorated by a blue plaque. It’s also a pub in Bath Road, Chiswick, adjacent to a college where I studied in the mid 1960’s and taught in the 1970’s.

    1. Interesting bit of history. Thanks. I’ll have to look out for the blue plaque on my way to our June QCers get together. I generally walk from Liverpool St (or Kings X) to get to The George, passing Southwark Cathedral on the way. Where is the plaque to be seen?

  7. 15 minutes for me, but then I had a typo (SHRRD instead of SHRED) so a technical DNF. Nothing I didn’t know but several clues were very slow in coming.

  8. Held up in the middle with COLCANNON and CHLORINE being responsible. I was sure of COL but was tempted by the companion being a ‘pal’ in what became CHLORINE. Also slow on AGLEAM where I had to work hard to remember ‘lam’ for ‘belt’. Would never have got to ‘dodo’ from ‘charlie’ but EL _O_A_O made it pretty clear by the time I got there. Scrapped under 15 with no pink squares despite the unknown cabbage and spud delicacy.

  9. Oh dear. Another well over 30 minute DNF. That’s two in a row for me this week. These QCs have got harder for me of late. (I’m beginning wonder whether it’s me or the setters!) That said I did particularly like CHLORINE and BEDEVIL. I’m now looking forward to tomorrow morning with some trepidation 😟

  10. I wasn’t convinced by “heavenly place” for EL DORADO. I was certainly of the impression that the fabled “city of gold” was earthly rather than ethereal, but I’m open to correction !

    I was another with “fatten” on my mind, and AGLEAM should have been obvious, yet wasn’t.

    TIME 4:34

    1. I’m with you on El Dorado, but I suppose heavenly=good in some cases so I let it pass.

  11. Fair QC I thought with no unknowns to me other than Paul Revere so REVERE went in on its first def. and I moved on.

  12. Chewy in places and my GK was stretched at times – I’d vaguely heard of COLCANNON as food stuff but couldn’t have told you what it was and would have been tempted to put spell it with a ‘k’ or two in a concise crossword. I’d forgotten about printing units in 3d and tend to agree with Busman about the heavenly aspect of EL DORADO
    Held up at the end with TARSAL, AGLEAM and FASTEN but managed to sneak in under target in 9.57.
    Thanks to Merlin

  13. DNF in 11 minutes with a typo – I ended with SHRRD for 19D. I’d love to claim it was “just” a fat finger but I started with Sherd for the fragment not Shred, later typed in Revere across the top of it and did not notice the resulting nonsense. Sometimes the eye sees what it wants to see.

    El Dorado: the answer was clear enough but the linkage Charlie = Dodo went unparsed, as I’ve never heard someone called a dodo. Colcannon also a tough one, and “Glad of” went in despite the phrase not known and sounding odd to me – though on research it seems to be pukka.

    So I would agree with our blogger that this was perhaps tougher than Breadman’s usual fare. Many thanks Merlin for the blog.

  14. I was relieved to finish this just 1 min over target (16 mins). An odd one. Many of my answers came simply from the available pattern of crossers followed (in all cases, may I say) by parsing.
    I spent time trying to find an element beginning PAL; it took a while for CH to click. At least the C of CHLORINE made my LOI COLCANNON clear to me but I would not have got it quickly without all the crossers.
    All my possible comments have been made in the notes above. Some answers that stitched bits together seemed a bit contrived (I thought AGLEAM was tough, for example) but there were some very good clues, too. I liked RIGOLETTO.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  15. 7.32

    Knew there was an Irish foodstuff beginning COL but needed scrapage of the braincells to remember the rest. Suspected this might be tough though average sort of time for me

    Thanks all

  16. Breadman needs to recalibrate in my opinion- this was ridiculous for a quickie! Thanks blogger!

  17. Not delighted with tarsal being described as ankle bone. More the heel to me with the bottom projections of the tibia and fibula being the ankle- a fracture of the ankle usually there and not the talar bones. Paul

  18. 14 minute on target solve, but two of those spent on LOI FASTEN for no accountable reason, and I was never tempted by fatten. I knew COLCANNON, but spent a moment wondering how I could fit an N into KOHLRABBI, which I would also have to misspell for it to work (with a homophone of the pass). I also knew the other GK, so was generally on the right wavelength. Thanks Breadman and Merlin.

  19. Yes, Merlin, some QCs are getting harder, there have been some stinkers lately. DNF this, and wouldn’t have even given time, as I had COLLATION, which fits the definition but doesn’t parse, for the NHO COLCANNON. BUMPER was a loely clue, sadly in the corner I DNF!

  20. Well I seem to have bucked the trend today finding this not too difficult, although the comments so far would suggest that I was either on form or just plain lucky! I finished in 7.03 nearly three minutes inside target. My last two in were TARSAL (where memories of injuries to Englands World Cup players helped) and finally FASTEN

  21. I was slowed down at the end by my last two: AGLEAM and FASTEN. Both not easy at QC level.
    This was quite a tough test overall and I needed lots of help from the cryptics. But quite a few went in not fully parsed.
    A good challenge which took me 19 minutes.

  22. Sadly I didn’t revisit FATTEN even though I knew it didn’t parse with tie, so a pink square. As a regular in Scotland, COLCANNON was well known to me. DODO = Charlie was unusual, in my view, but the crossers meant it had to be EL DORADO, even though I would never have thought of it as heavenly. TARSAL was another that had to be, although I was surprised at its description as an ankle bone. Otherwise it was a slow and steady process that took 23:18, with BUMPER my LOI and a return to the SCC. Thanks Breadman and Merlin.

  23. 13:50 (civil war in Holland between Hooks and Cods).

    I found this tough. I biffed EL DORADO but could not see dodo=Charlie, and got FASTEN as my LOI without understanding the parsing – I missed the twenty two hundred hours =10pm, and had my calculator out trying to see if this number of hours made a meaningful number of seconds or days.

    Many thanks Merlin for making sense of it all.

    1. Ha ! I raise you: getting to it early enough to wonder if *iopm* could make a word.

  24. Despite 1ac and 2d being write-ins and a generally friendly NW corner, this turned out to be a lot harder than expected. Admittedly time lost persevering with Pal to start 11ac didn’t help, but I thought Agleam and Colcannon were quite a stretch for a QC. CoD Bedevil also took a bit of working out, but was a good clue. A short pause with loi Chlorine (even with the C) confirmed I would miss out on a window seat. Invariant

  25. Couldn’t finish this one.

    10a and 12a beat me. Plus two incorrect answers.

  26. Bother, shd have spent more, even more time on LOI 20a as I put Batten, tho unconvinced.
    A very tricky puzzle. I always disliked COLCANNON. And unfair of setter to call it vegetarian, why not say a vegetable dish. I was trying to think of a trendy new veggie dish rather than something I ate or avoided at school in Ireland in days of yore. Sorry, I try not to be a MOANER, and I liked the canon on the mountain pass.
    Anyway I did finish this admittedly clever puzzle, albeit slowly. Among other LOsI were CHLORINE, STAIR, AGLEAM, TABARD.
    Liked BUMPER, AFTERWARDS, remembered TARSAL. No problem with RIGOLETTO once the R appeared.
    Thanks vm, Merlin.

  27. Breadman is rapidly becoming my most difficult setter as I never seem to be on his wavelength at all. I got down as far as 18ac before managing to solve a single clue. In all I found it a struggle throughout, eventually coming in in 27 minutes, well above target. The SE corner in particular seemed very resistant, not helped by having confidently entered SHERD at 19dn. TARSAL known from footballing injuries and COLCANNON vaguely remembered from a cookery book – couldn’t have said what it was exactly , although I thought cabbage came into it somewhere.

    FOI – 18ac DISC
    LOI – 14ac TABARD
    COD – 8ac BUMPER. Also liked the hard-drinking attorney in PINA COLADA

    Thanks to Breadman and Merlin

  28. 5:34

    Back in the day, I believe one could buy a ready-made COLCANNON from at least one of the big UK supermarket chains – not seen it for years though, probably just as easy to make it oneself.

    Some of the vocab seemed trickier here – TARSAL, TABARD, AGLEAM – but it seemed to be one of those lucky days where everything thought of slotted in nicely.

    Last two in: GLAD OF and FASTEN

    Thanks Breadman and Merlin

  29. Little more than half today, I’m afraid, though I agree the NW corner was friendly (FOI CANE). NHO TARSAL, COLCANNON (where I think the blog should read N{ew}, not N{ame}?). “Charlie = DODO” seems obscure (though managed to biff it). NHO LAM or Paul Revere (but both again biffed). NHO Harry = BEDEVIL – what’s that about, please? NHO BE, either….. (Vasco seems to agree, thank you). Many lessons to learn here.

    1. If you harry someone you could also bedevil them as a verb. Think of someone being bedeviled by issues or problems…?

      bedevil /bɪˈdɛv(ə)l /
      ▪ (of a person) torment or harass:
      he bedevilled them with petty practical jokes.
      bedevilment /bɪˈdɛv(ə)lmənt / noun

  30. Noted also that the first and last columns seem planned by the setter – I wonder what went wrong with 12a…

    1. I hadn’t noticed that. Yes, I wonder what happened to 12a?
      Also, I now wonder why Breadman didn’t set a clue with REVERB as the answer for 21a?

      1. Yes very curious – on seeing the coincidence, I didn’t compute that REVERE ended in E rather than B. I wonder what it all means…. if anything.

    2. DAMSEL would have worked nicely with REVERB. Did Breadman give up with his Nina, or are these letters mere coincidence?

      1. I was wondering the same about giving up on the Nina, although I had DORSAL for 12A and OILCAN for 13D. Surely no coincidence, though. Maybe our editor didn’t like the original clues and asked for a couple of changes?

  31. 36 mins…

    Needed a lie down after this – the toughest for quite a while I thought.

    First pass the grid was worryingly empty, and whilst some of the answers became more straight forward they were clued in such a way that required quite a bit of thought. NHO of my LOI 11dn “Colcannon”, stretching my repertoire of clergyman to breaking point.

    After realising the first seaman in 12ac was probably “Tar”, I also recalled David Beckham and thought it might be Tarsal.

    FOI – 6dn “Stair”
    LOI – 11dn “Colcannon”
    COD – 14ac “Tabard”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. “NHO of my LOI 11dn “Colcannon”, stretching my repertoire of clergyman to breaking point.”

      Funnily enough the same as I wrote below. Except I used a lot more words! 🤣

  32. Got through relatively unscathed in around 18 mins today. No problems with the GK but couldn’t parse EL DORADO (feel a right dodo). Initially had ‘sherd’ for SHRED which caused problems for REVERE until the penny dropped. Liked FAUNA (love a homophone). Thank you Breadman and Merlin.

  33. 51:02 over two attempts (39 + 12). Quite a depressing experience to take over three times as long to complete that as yesterday’s. Felt this was a “quick for experts”. Far too much in there they would know but I have yet to fully memorise or even come across.

    I had a half empty grid as I entered the SCC. And if GLAD-OF hadn’t popped in I might have been done for. From there eked out a few in the NE – MOANER, RIGOLETTO (barely known), TABARD, CHLORINE.

    Didn’t understand the FAUNA homophone but didn’t help myself by having a complete brainfart whereby I was thinking Geordie=NW 🙄 so just couldn’t figure out what to do there until it was impossible to avoid getting it correct.

    LOI COLCANNON is a NHO. On my first pass, I was thinking “tarsus” as I know it is a proper foot-related term so that blocked me from seeing COL which GaryA helpfully provided to me on second try. Not only was COLCANNON a nho, I was unsure of “canon”. My list of clergy runs out after reverend, bishop, priest, deacon, parson and their assorted abbreviations.

    All in all a bit galling given I went in feeling positive after yesterday and seeing Breadman’s name. Previous 5 Breadman’s – 22min average ranging from 16-28mins. Oh well, at least it’s a solve.

    Off to go strim the garden. Time to take it out on the flora but hopefully not any hidden fauna!

    1. With regards to “Fauna”, I think Merlin explains it fairly well above. A fawner, or someone who is fawning, is someone who is a “creeper”. In this context, creeper means brown-noser or sycophant, rather than someone who is unsettling.

      1. Agreed Merlin explained it well – in fact his whole blog was very good (Thanks Merlin). I just meant I didn’t get it at the time without help.

        Just added pope, verger and cleric to my list although I think the latter may just be a derivation of clergyman. Also the lesser-heard primate.

  34. I thought I had survived a particularly tricky offering from Breadman, whom I normally cope with quite well. That was until I read Merlin’s blog, that is. I had FAtTEN, which I knew didn’t mean tie but my alphabet trawl somehow missed FASTEN. 35 minutes (about average for me), but it has to go down as yet another DNF. I just can’t seem to put a decent string of error-free solves at the moment. That makes six DNFs in the past five weeks. What’s gone wrong?

    I struggled with REVERE (NHO the American), RIGOLETTO (NHO the opera), COLCANNON (NHO the dish, despite having been vegetarian for the past 40 years), EL DORADO (NHO DODO for Charlie), TARSAL (DNK the bone), AGLEAM, FAUNA and BUMPER (my LOI). Solving AFTERWARDS without any checkers was the only upside today.

    Many thanks to Breadman and Merlin.

    1. As I said, you haven’t missed much not eating Colcannon. So is Mrs R vegetarian too?

      1. Yes, she is and has also been so for around 40 years.
        N.B. Neither of us is veggie for moral reasons. Just preference and habit, I suppose.

  35. Badly defeated by this stinker today – 6 blanks. NHO COLCANNON. EL DORADO not heavenly, as others have pointed out, but very earthly, and NHO DODO = CHARLIE. REVERE I have heard of, but didn’t get, and AGLEAM (still not sure of LAM = BELT) and FASTEN also defeated me. Disheartening.

    1. A couple of commenters asked about LAM=Belt. LAM, or more commonly LAMP, is another word for punching someone hard. As is belt.

      1. Ah, I see it now thanks. That kind of belt, though it’s not a term I’m used to.

  36. 17.50 DNF. CAGE instead of CANE and stumped by COLCANNON, which I’ve heard of so no excuse. Couldn’t make any sense of the bed in BEDEVIL but entered it anyway. Thanks both.

  37. Better than yesterday for me. I was taken over target by the new setter ALEX, but not by Breadman.

    Maybe I had the GK/vocab, as others seem to have struggled.

    MER at the “heavenliness” of EL DORADO, COD to CHLORINE, though I liked BEDEVIL as well.


  38. 09:14 but putting in SHERD, not realising that this gave me that lesser-known revolutionary Paul REVEEE. Durr. Had a long think over COLCANNON, EL DORADO (MER) and AGLEAM. NHO “dodo” for “foolish person”.

    Many thanks Breaders and Merlin.


    1. . . . he must have been really flogging his horse to get that good a doppler shift as he raced past 😉

  39. All done in just over an hour with fingers crossed for AGLEAM. Thanks Merlin for the parsing but NHO LAM for Belt and E seems a stretch for Key.
    LOI was CHLORINE which fortunately corrected 6d from Stall (which didn’t parse) to Stair (which does). Rule 1: ‘If it doesn’t parse it’s probably wrong’
    Pleased to finish after dropping the ball yesterday. Thanks Breadman.

    1. Key= musical note = letter A-G but more usually A-E is something that will come up frequently #5. So one to make ‘note’ of – no pun intended.

      CH= companion is one I’ve seen recently a few times too. As Merlin states in blog, comes from companion of honour.

      Well done on getting it done successfully 👍

      1. Thanks for the tips #50. I’ll tuck them away in the section of my brain marked ‘crossword language.’ Although whether I can recall them again is another matter.

  40. Quick question for Merlin, or anyone else. What is the 8th key recognised by Germans in music?

    1. Its ‘H’, which to us is ‘B natural’ – this is because the Germans (some other countries as well) use ‘B’ for what to us is ‘B flat’

        1. Thanks Merlin. Considering I play the piano, I’m struggling to understand why I’ve never heard of that before. I will have to look that up and find out why B Flat is such a special case.

  41. I didn’t have any real trouble with this one, but I got cross with it at times – maybe a tad tricky for a QC, and I found some of the clues annoying rather than amusing/challenging. Maybe I’m being uncharitable because I wasn’t in a very good mood when I started it.

    I particularly didn’t like the clue for ‘El Dorado’ – there’s nothing “heavenly” about El Dorado.

  42. We also found this slow going, needed help to finish. Looking forward to an easier onemail tomorrow, hopefully?

  43. I didn’t get time to comment this morning before going out. Harder than any of last week’s, but I didn’t think it the stinker others did. Like BUSMAN I had a MER at EL DORADO for heavenly place. I liked BUMPER best. Thanks Breadman and Merlin. 6:00.

  44. You’re not going to believe this …

    I sailed through Breadman’s QC and was all done bar 11dn in 11 minutes. Got COL quickly (in my mind after I stupidly thought it was a hill yesterday) and understood the rest of the wordplay, but could not bring canon to mind until 25 mins had elapsed!! Agonisingly close to a PB which, after my recent dreadful run, makes it so much more painful.

    Tempted to say things can’t get any more frustrating, but I have a horrible feeling they will.

    Thanks for the blog.

    PS Glad to see my mistake with COL yesterday was of some assistance to L-Plates today!

    1. Hard to bear, Gary. Commiserations. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve got stuck on a last clue in the 15×15. But well done on getting all but that done in 11 minutes.

    2. A Canon is quite a specialised role in the CofE, so I wouldn’t beat yourself up over not bringing it to mind. I am lucky enough to know one as a very good friend so for me 11d wasn’t a problem, unlike 11ac.

    3. Wow! Well and truly breezeblocked 🧱

      Thanks for your help on my solve though 🤣

      1. Isn’t it strange how COL came up today after my thinking it was required yesterday? A remarkable coincidence.

        1. Indeed. Although my life is full of coincidences – this sort of stuff happens to me all the time.

          I went to Tesco last Friday and as I was leaving, I checked out their charity book trolley. There was a book of Edgar Allan Poe stories – remember how Fall of the House of Usher came up on Wednesday.

  45. 35:57!

    One of my slowest ever solves (I usually give up at 30 minutes but the answers kept trickling in). Held up by CHLORINE and the unparsed MOANER but it was LOI AGLEAM that caused most problems.

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