QC 2406 by Teazel

Some tough old parsings in here,  which were hidden by some very clever clueing.

1A is one of those borderline loanwords which have been adopted into English. Is it still a French word, worthy of Italics and circumflexes —Maître d’hôtel . Or is it now an English word? Maitre d’hotel.

Pleasing that I had to apply REVERSION to the REVERSION clue. And my time of 15:43 is a REVERSION to the mean after some poor showings.

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

1 Head waiter tolerated him, after a fashion (6,6)

Usually cut down to “MAITRE D”. Pedants can put diacritics on.

8 Returning somewhat empty, fill untidily and set aside (7)
NULLIFY – Hidden backwards in empty, fill untidily

Hard to parse, as “somewhat empty” looked like it had to be S[omewha]T, then “Fill Untidily” looked like an anagram of (FILL)*. And NIL=empty was also a distraction. I got it based on the fact that “there’s usually one hidden clue in a QC”

9 Diving aid in small island (5)
SCUBA – S[mall] + CUBA (island)

A chestnut not helped by my misreading this as “driving aid”, and trying to work GPS in there. Must get my specs checked.

10 Assistant keeps son apart (5)
ASIDE – AIDE (assistant) containing S[on]
11 Dispose of girl’s heart perhaps (7)
DISCARD – DI’S (girl’s) + CARD (heart perhaps)

Di is just a random girl much loved by setters.

12 South-western city we don’t expect to run out of water? (5)
WELLS – Cryptic definition.

A city because it has a cathedral, not because it’s a big place. It’s not.

14 For nourishment, a fruit, not forgetting the core (7)
ALIMENT – A + LIME (fruit) + N[o]T

NHO ths word, but I have heard of Alimentary Canal, so it got the edge over my first guess of ADATENT (fruit=DATE).

15 Extremely reliable translation going back (9)
REVERSION – R[eliabl]e + VERSION (translation)

I changed this to REVERSING when I thought 5d must be OBESSESING, and on unpicking that one I made a Reversion.

17 Young lady from the upper-class set? (3)
GEL – Double definition

I had GAL for this as a cryptic definition.  But on receiving a pink square, I looked more closely and applied “lift and separate” to see that gel=set. Set famously has 464 meanings in the OED, easy to miss one.

19 In new part of house first position additional cable (9,4)
EXTENSION LEAD – EXTENSION (new part of house) + LEAD (first position)
21 Speaking well of hospital department after illness (6)
FLUENT – FLU (illness) + ENT (Ear Nose & Throat dept)

Hospital department is nearly always ENT in the land of crosswords, more often than gastroenterology anyway.

22 Graduate’s at home, providing bowl (5)
BASIN – BAS (Graduate’s) + IN (At home)
1 Factory hand preparing the instruction book? (6,6)
MANUAL WORKER – Cryptic def, a manual is an instruction book so a Manual Worker is one who works on it.

The setter had to find a synonym for working, not sure that “preparing” was a great choice.

2 I shall wish to show malice (3,4)
ILL WILL – ILL (I shall) + WILL (wish).

“Will” is rare as a verb, you can hear it when given as a royal command, “The king wills it”

3 Increase applause after the start (5)
RAISE – [p]RAISE (applause)
4 Rainless day to welcome a wood nymph (5)
DRYAD – DRY (Rainless) + D contains A

Dryads are female nymphs who inhabit the forests, groves and woods. The dry- part of dryad comes from the Greek word δρυς (oak), from which we also get Druid.

Naiads are the water nymphs. Both much loved by ANIMISTS

5 Old boys’ time drinking together? There’s a thing (9)
OBSESSION – OBS (old boys) + SESSION (drinking together)

When guys get together for a heavy round of drinking, its called a session, or “heavy sesh”.

6 Stab no illiterate would attempt? (8,5)
EDUCATED GUESS – Cryptic def
7 Outlaw pop group over regular instances of riot (6)
BANDIT – BAND (pop group) + [r]I[o]T
13 Odd way to move around (7)
STRANGE – ST (way) + RANGE (to move around)

RANGE as a verb. “There were buffalo ranging the plains of North America”

14 Nature worshipper from an island failed to speak (7)
ANIMIST – AN + I[sland] + MIST  sounds like “missed” (failed)

Really struggled with this parsing, as just could not separate “failed to speak”. But of course “to speak” is a homophone indicator: excellent misdirection.

16 Essential temperature inside medicine bottle (5)
VITAL – VIAL (medicine bottle) contains T[emperature]
18 Left port weighed down (5)
LADEN – L[eft} + ADEN (port)
20 Roll up, that’s the point (3)
NUB – BUN (Roll) reversed (up)

My COD. Simplicity.

86 comments on “QC 2406 by Teazel”

  1. 15:03. Put in EXTENSION cord first until I realized it had to be a LEAD. NULLIFY was obvious but I couldn’t parse it until I came here and learned it was hidden! ANIMIST was LOI and EDUCATED GUESS COD.

    1. CORD is the US variant of what we call a LEAD in the UK. Having lived in both places I am still surprised at the number of small differences in vocabulary.

  2. Like curryowen, I put in EXTENSION CCRD; unlike him, I failed to notice that EDUCATED GUESS had turned CORD to CERD. ANIMIST was quite nice. 6:20 WOE.

  3. I had GAL, but didn’t submit on account of NULLIFY. I’m always stunned (and glad in a way!) when I’m fooled by a hidden.

    1. DNF. Put RETURNING for 15A and never recovered.
      Assumed 2D that Wish = WILL as in ‘last will and testament’.
      Enjoyable failure nevertheless.
      Thanks Teazel and curryowen for the clarity where none was found.

    2. Hello PJ. We rarely hear from you these days. Do please pop in from time to time.

      1. It’s true: I started teaching, and was finishing up my masters degree, and so I’ve had little time for puzzles in the last year. Hopefully you’ll see me puttering around more now!

        1. PJ. We say pottering this side of the pond. So there’s another one!
          Outside my target today struggling in the same places as most others 🙄 J

  4. ☕️☕️☕️☕️ Another hard one for me and took mean age to get going. No time given as I made several errors (obsession, reversion, fluent…)
    Never heard of ALIMENT. DISCARD I did get but thought it very tenuous. I liked MAITRE DHOTEL and EDUCATED GUESS, but only got them after checkers were in place. ANIMIST raised a surly smile.
    Another poor start to the day ☹️

  5. A bit under 13 minutes. Never really got going and tried to biff too much to speed things up, meaning I also put in EXTENSION CORD for a start. Another clue that almost did for me was 20d, where I confidently bunged in NIB for ‘the point’, wondering about BIN for ‘Roll’, until a lengthy alphabet trawl put me right. I’m not sure I could have provided a job description for an ANIMIST which went in from wordplay.

    I could have sworn DISCARD was spelled with a K 😊.

    Thanks to Merlin and Teazel

  6. Fairly quick solve but a pink square for GAL, where I assumed it was a cryptic definition. Also spent time looking for a driving aid at 9a.
    Oh well, roll on tomorrow.
    Thanks to Merlin

  7. Thanks to the wizard for pointing out that nullify was a hidden and explaining wish/will. Sometimes I wonder whether answers containing apostrophes should be indicated in the clueing, but I suppose that would be a bit of a giveaway. Nevertheless it’s a bit weird that d’hotel = 6. Got aliment after remembering that a grocer in Italy is an alimentari, and then there’s the canal. That, and all the talk of ranging and buffalo, brings us to Home on the Range: Oh show me a home, where the buffalo roam, and I’ll show you a house full of **** (I’ll just leave it there).

  8. It took WELLS to discover that MANUAL LABOUR was wrong. Sadly I didn’t discover that GAL was wrong until receiving the DPS.

    07:33 but WOE. Next!

    Many thanks Teazel and Merlin.


    1. I see WOE as an acronym a couple of times in the comments today, but it’s not in the glossary. Could you enlighten me? Many thanks.

        1. Thankyou, so not an acronym (although it would fit quite neatly as one in this case), just one more TLA to add the alphabetti spaghetti of modern life!!

  9. The good news is I finished it in 3:41 and it would have been correct on paper.

    The bad news is that I fat-fingered the E of OBSESSION to end up with 4 consecutive S’s. Duh !

  10. I was flying and on for a 6 minuter when I hit ANIMIST (thanks for parsing, Merlin) and it was an alphabet trawling biff with fingers crossed to get it but then glad to see I was in the fine company of our blogger, Templar and Plusjeremy anyway with a pink-squared ‘gal’ for GEL (does the word exist as a ‘young lady’?)

    NULLIFY as ‘set aside’? Could someone do the hard work and find me that definition?

    Like others I started with ‘returning’ but saw the error and hit REVERSION relatively swiftly.

    I also liked NUB.

    All round lots in common with various commenters today.

    Thanks Merlin and Teazel.

    1. Chambers – gel 2 – a facetious rendering of an upper-class pronunciation of girl

      I can’t help with nullify, but it seems close enough to me.

      1. Thanks for the first part, I’m just not seeing the second – I just can’t get close to making the meanings I have for nullify (void, cancel etc) fit with ‘set aside’. Ho hum, nobody else seems to have an issue so I’ll expand my understanding of the word.

          1. But only if that means to nullify the argument, as opposed to ignore it. Perhaps it does. Does it?

        1. Because United used an illegal player their win was nullified (set aside) by the FA. Too tenuous?

          1. It kind of fits but to be honest it’s still a bit tenuous for me. I can’t hear “and so, the result was set aside”… I can hear “was nullified” or “was declared void”… Not to worry, I’m happy to go with it. I have set aside my reluctance to accept it.

  11. I started very quickly and the long answers went in without a hitch. I thought I was on for a record but was thrown for a while by one or two clues in the SW quadrant (and by biffing ‘reversing’ at first). I spent time seeing the (unparsed) ANIMIST and sorting the clever misdirection in GEL (I admit to GAL) and NUB. I lost momentum but still finished 2 mins under target. Some very clever clues and typical ‘teazes’, I thought.
    Thanks to Teazel for an impressive QC and to Merlin for the fine blog which, for me, emphasised just how good some of the clues really were. John M.

  12. Another with a Pink Square for Gal. To me this hovers somewhere between “clever misleading” and “a clue with an acceptable alternative answer”: given that “the upper class set” is a plausible phrase, I am not sure that the fact that Gel is a better answer (which I concede) automatically implies that Gal is wrong.

    That apart, a 12 minute completion, with the Aliment/Animist pair the last to fall. Slight MER at first at translation = version, as to me they are not the same and a translator would I think be slightly miffed that the result of his labours was considered just “a version” of the original as opposed to a new piece of work – but then I remembered the Authorised Version of the Bible is in fact an Authorised Translation of the original Greek etc.

    Many thanks to Merlin for the blog

  13. All very fair, but I got totally lost down a rabbit hole with the FLUENT clue. I was toiling for ages on PLAGUE (AGUE for illness; AE and GU for hospital depts, etc). I had to walk away, eat breakfast and drink a strong coffee before FLUENT appeared.

  14. On travels today and took so long that I reached my destination and had to leave the station and find a cafe to finish. Still ended up with a pink square for ‘gal’ which I deserved but also three others which can only be explained by solving on my phone and not proof reading. So, congratulations to anyone who gets below me on the leaderboard today. This was tough. Took much, much too long to see 1a was an anagram and realised I didn’t know what maitre d’ was short for (or that it was 6,6). Other NHOs too, so I found this hard at both ends of lots of clues (ANIMIST, DRYAD probably others). Ouch.

  15. 1:01:05 for the DNF with GaL and NiB corrected. Was thinking of roll top bins on the latter 🤣

    Only three answers on first pass and little hope as no anagrams waiting to be solved. If I hadn’t spotted MANUAL (labour) I’m not sure I’d have got any further. It was a slow grind round from there. But only had about 5-6 left at 20-mins.

    Pretty much similar problems as others have pointed out with struggling to see NULLIFY reverse hidden, putting REVERSIng (and also OBSERVING for “there’s a thing” which blocked DISCARD), NHO ALIMENT but have of the canal. Saw RAISE, thought (p)raise still couldn’t understand the parsing. I also didn’t know the HOTEL bit of MAITRE D’ to bif it and it was my LOI when I finally spotted the anag which brought much joy as I thought I’d got there. Obvs not.

    “lots of stuff that made it feel like the harder QC ever” … “another one for the 15×15 experts wanting a quick solve rather than a QC for beginners” … “spectacularly misjudged for a QC” … blah, blah, blah … all the usual complaints 🤣

  16. 08:33

    I had typed in GAL but had glanced at the clue again immediately afterwards and saw the word ‘set’ so changed to GEL.

    After a slow start and a stronger pick-up in the middle, I was left with the ALIMENT/ANIMIST crossing both of which looked like they might begin with A – ALIMENT went in first but had to do a lot of thinking to come up with ANIMIST – I’d say that’s creeping into Mephistoland…

    Thanks Teazel and Merlin

  17. I’ve given up on this and Teazel’s previous, though I have managed this setter before. Is s/he getting trickier? Only five in, one of which was wrong. I guessed MANUAL WORKER, but didn’t think it worked grammatically, which is when I threw in trhe towel. I knew there was a French expression for 1A but couldn’t recall it, in spite of the possibility of 1D beginning wih M. (No complaint about THIS clue, however.)

  18. 17 minutes, becoming the new normal, but this was a toughie from Teazel. I avoided the GEL / GAL trap, finished with the barely known ANIMIST / ALIMENT pairing, saw the hidden NULLIFY and knew DRYAD having served on sister ship HMS NAIAD, so no complaints – a good challenge. Thanks both.

  19. Also put GAL instead of GEL – obvious when you know! I haven’t seen WOE before. Can someone explain please.

    1. WOE has just been explained to me above as With One Error – it’s not one I was familiar with either, perhaps one for the glossary at the top of the home page here.

  20. I got off to a good start with MAITRE DHOTEL going straight in, but made slow progress after that. Took a while to decide NULLIFY was the answer having failed until the eleventh hour to spot the hidden.
    I thought my time of 11.27 was reasonable for this one, but was disappointed to find I’d fallen into the GAL trap. I didn’t give it a second thought thinking it worked cryptically, but will admit that GEL was of course the definitive solution.

  21. Got there in the end (90 minutes) after sudden inspiration gave the thrilling PDM for FLUENT. But for ages I had 12 Poole, almost as good as WELLS. And I too put GAL – my dictionary allows GAL but not GEL. (Thank you, Rotter, for your superior dictionary definition, but it seems almost as specious as it admits to being facetious. So thank you, Cedric, for your imprimatur.) But my main MER is reserved for DHOTEL; can we really accept that as a 6-letter English word? And how do you get from “There’s a thing” to OBSESSION, please? But all (except GEL) were correctly biffed or guessed. Several I couldn’t parse (especially ANIMIST), so thanks to Merlin for the blog. Agree with others, COD EDUCATED GUESS.
    A further thought about GEL: if this is now deemed a “word” merely on account of its being a “facetious rendering of an upper-class pronunciation of girl”, is “chep” equally an allowable “word”? I suggest this is a bogus, and potentially never-ending, mistreatment of “lenguage” (that, too?).
    The fact is that it’s in some dictionaries but not others; I suggest it may therefore be deemed obscure.

    1. Poole is probably a good deal larger than Wells but has no cathedral, so is not a city. But hang on, Southend has muddied the waters by being recently awarded city status!

      1. I actually looked these up. TRURO and RIPON are other 5 letter small cities.

      2. Conversely, Guildford has a cathedral but is not a city. City status is granted by the monarch, and contrary to popular belief is not related to the presence or absence of a cathedral.

      3. As a resident of Poole, I can enlighten that our population is around 100,000. Our football team is Poole Town. I think there used to be something about it being the largest town without a football league club or some such.

        My initial instinct for the clue in question was BATH but obvs that doesn’t have enough letters nor parse fully. Thought WELLS was quite obscure if you don’t happen to live down here or have visited.

    2. Martin, GEL has its own in entry in the Shorter Oxford:

      gel noun. colloq. E20.
      An upper-class or well-bred girl or young woman.

      1. My wife was at Roedean and I can confirm that at reunions the housemistress says “hello gels”!

        1. May I suggest that if you were to ask her to spell the words she said, she would say G.I.R.L.S., denying any suggestion that she was propagating a neologism. Merely, her accent makes it *sound like* “gels”. This is an extremely slippery slope!

      1. Well done – ok, thanks!
        Reading all the various comments on this below, may I suggest it’s more commonly a thing *about* something, not a thing “for” it. And could we agree, = a *mild* obsession? I plead guilty to many obsessions, and in each case to substitute the word “thing” would be too mild. And the reverse.

  22. I saw MAITRE D’HOTEL straight away and made fairly steady progress. However, both 14s, brought me to a dead stop. Eventually ALIMENT arrived, followed by ANIMIST (LOI). Submitting gratefully I had the DPS for GaL, like many others, which is what you get when you don’t fully parse (that’s my excuse, anyway). Some nice clues today, with EDUCATED GUESS my COD. Thanks Teazel and Merlin.

  23. Dnf…

    Completed after a tough 35 mins, but then got 17ac “Gel” wrong (following many others by putting “Gal”)

    A couple I didn’t know: 14ac “Aliment”, 14dn “Animist” – and 1ac “Maitre d’Hotel” was a 6dn.

    Started doing bits of yesterday (as I was out), but from what I’ve completed so far, that also felt pretty hard. Feels like one of those weeks.

    FOI – 10ac “Aside”
    LOI – 4dn “Dryad”
    COD – 2dn “Ill Will”

    Thanks as usual!

  24. Tough but fair. This took me a full 41:49, but it was a long steady solve, which I find much more acceptable than one of those ones where you race through most of it and then scratch your head for twenty plus minutes over the last one or two. And at least I did get it all right in the end, not falling down the GAL or BIN traps although I did contemplate both. Didn’t have a problem with will=wish but thank you to Steakcity for mentioning “last will and testament” because I never knew why it was called a will. I can’t say I had ever stopped to wonder either, but it’s good to know nevertheless. LOI was ALIMENT, which I’d never heard of, but once I’d alphabet trawled to lime and thought of alimentary canal, it had to be right. COD to EXTENSION LEAD. Thanks Teazel and Merlin.

  25. Off to a quick start with 1a, and made reasonable progress in the top half, but slowed a bit down below with ALIMENT and ANIMIST responsible for going slightly over target. Despite having been to WELLS several times, I needed all the crossers to get it. 10:15. Thanks Teazel and Merlin.

  26. Slogged through this witty crossword, to LOsI ALIMENT and ANIMIST, but failed to revisit 17a despite doubts about Gal. Pity.
    Biffed all the long ones, but unnecessarily slow on others.
    Liked SCUBA, OBSESSION, REVERSION, FLUENT, WELLS. Got NULLIFY but failed to spot the reverse hidden.
    Thanks vm, Merlin.

  27. No problem with ‘WILL’ for any golfer who putts their ball, stands staring at it rolling across the green. “What are doing?” “I’m willing it into the hole!”

  28. After yesterday’s 10 and a bit minutes and today’s 8:31, this week seems to be going a bit better than last week so far – fingers crossed I haven’t jinxed it! I felt this was quite tricksy but seemed to find the necessary wavelength and things flowed relatively smoothly, despite convincing myself that Truro was the south western town. When WELLS revealed itself, it raised a smile. I liked EXTENSION LEAD too. I didn’t understand RAISE, so thanks for the parsing Merlin. Thanks also for the info about DRYADs, druids and oak trees – I love this sort of stuff!
    The cane furniture maker (and later craft equipment suppliers) DRYAD was a Leicester based company which was among the first to provide occupational therapy for injured servicemen after WW1. Its founder Harry Peach was an amazing man – definitely worth going down a Google wormhole to find out more about him 😊
    FOI Maitre d’hotel LOI Animist COD Strange
    Thanks Teazel and Merlin

    1. I knew Dryad was familiar (beyond its definition in this QC). I appreciate being reminded of Dryad in Leicester. We used to buy upholstery and other supplies from them (and I used to buy timber from a nearby woodyard). All gone and re-developed since.
      The reminder of Harry Peach and his work for others was good, too. Thanks, John

      1. Was the timber yard Gimsons? There was a close link between the Gimson family and Harry Peach – through Arts and Crafts links as well the many good works both families did. I was interested to discover that he co-founded Dryad with the head of Leicester School of Art. I could go down a serious A&C wormhole if I’m not careful 😅

        1. It only needs a small push and the ‘wormhole’ beckons.
          It probably was the Gimson yard where I sourced my oak. The Gimson connection is still evident in some Ernest Gimson A&C houses in the area – for example The White House in Clarendon Park, Inglewood in Stoneygate, and Stoneywell Cottage in Charnwood (now owned by the National Trust).
          I had the pleasure of identifying (some years ago) a beautiful oak extending table by Ernest Gimson which was being used, unwittingly and routinely, as a ‘boardroom table’ in a Committee Room at the University of Leicester. I have always liked his design and use of materials.
          I will pull back from the wormhole before I get lost!

  29. Tricky in places but much to like. Fell into the GAL trap, otherwise all correct. Needed blog to parse PRAISE and ANIMIST. My COD was the brilliant GEL (now that I understand it). Had reversing/obsessing to start with, although thankfully neither felt right. Very enjoyable. Nice one Teazel. Thanks for blog Merlin.

  30. 14.45 DNF. I was pretty sure they were right but I couldn’t parse NULLIFY or LOI ANIMIST. It was GAL that caught me out though. Thanks both.

  31. Could someone please explain why “theres a thing” defines OBSESSION?

    1. I’m not 100% sure that my parsing matches the Setter’s thoughts (one can never be sure), but in my head at least, having a ‘thing’ for something is a bit like an obsession for it, so ‘there’s a thing’ = obsession. Can anyone do any better?

    2. I think colloquially you can be said to have a “thing” for 18th century Dutch porcelain or rare first editions of books or early Beano comic papers etc. Personally I have a thing for perky redheads from silly TV shows, e.g. Patsy Palmer (EastEnders) or Laura Leighton(Melrose Place).

    3. If someone “has a thing about” something, it’s maybe an obsession. I have a thing about old-fashioned crossword “conventions” from PG Wodehouse days, so for today that would be Old Boy and GEL. And don’t get me started on PI (smug), GUY (as a verb), BAGS (trousers)or SA.

  32. That was Teazel at his most awkward, despite getting MAITRE D’HOTEL straight away (in spite of me not speaking French – CSE grade 2). Very little came easily. DNK the wood nymph (DRYAD), the nourishment (ALIMENT) or the nature worshipper (ANIMIST), and really struggled with GEL, RAISE, OBSESSION and REVERSION. Time = 46 minutes.

    I am sincerely hoping for a few QCs soon, as the last three puzzles (Friday’s Wurm, yesterday’s Orpheus and today’s Teazel) have detained me for just seven minutes short of three hours. Around twice as long as would be predicted my recent form, so what’s going on?

    Many thanks to Teazel and Merlin.

  33. I had GAL, ANIMIST was unknown and why oh why couldn’t I remember what came after the D of MAITRE D? The missing apostrophe might have helped. 12:21 At least I did get ALIMENT from my Spanish tuition as both comida and alimento = food.

    1. I agree. And while I am sure all those who entered Gel will continue to believe it was a great clue which through sheer brilliance they solved correctly, the more people who admit to entering Gal, the more my mind is turning away from giving this clue the benefit of the doubt. It is a bit like the Post Office scandal – the more people who appear to have done something wrong, the more you begin to suspect it cannot be a rash of misdoings by the legions of postmasters, but must be something to do with the common denominator, ie the system they were using.

      I would love to know if Teazel set this trap intentionally or simply didn’t think of the alternative answer. No criticism of him/her if the latter – after all, once you know the right answer you stop looking for other ones – but perhaps, given phrases like “the Chelsea set”, the Editor might have caught this one and suggested a tweaking of the surface. Either that or allowed either answer as “not wrong” – though I don’t think the software of the online system allows that.

      As for Gel as a word meaning girl, I agree with Martinů. I’m told the late Queen used to pronounce Hat as “het” – can we expect to see that (thet?) in a QC soon?

      1. Thank you! To that (thet), the answer is: as soon as anyone sees it cited in just one edition of a dictionary, yes.

  34. Another who put GAL for GEL. LOI ANIMIST, which, as others have said, was an EDUCATED GUESS, as was ALIMENT (guessed from the French ALIMENTATION). Not an easy puzzle at all.

  35. Many, or most, taken into English from French retain their accents.
    Tête-à-tête, vis-à-vis, for examples, would simply be misspelled without the grave accent on the A, as that is an entirely different word.

  36. I was another to put GAL in lieu of GEL missing the well positioned word “set” at the end of the clue, so WOE is me. I have of course read GEL for an “upper class young lady” – but nearly always in reported speech in books such as the Flashman series. Not in PG Wodehouse though.
    I did however get the correct endings to REVERSION and OBSESSION amending them from the incorrect …ING.
    I lived in WELLS for 10 years so that was FOI.
    COD to EDUCATED GUESS. Honourable mention to MAITRE D’HOTEL.
    Thanks to Merlin and Teazel

  37. Found this another tough one. Few if any anagrams which are normally our strongest clues.

  38. DNF

    Multiple pinks with GAL, OBSESSING and had RETURNING for 15ac. Not a good day.

  39. Still nothing good to say.

    DNF after 75 mins. A dreadful time with 14ac and 14dn (NHO either). Thought I had finished but put GAL not GEL. The ultimate kick in the teeth.

    An utterly horrific day. Every time I think the QC can’t get any worse, something like this comes along to prove me wrong. It stopped being fun a long time ago.

    Thanks for the blog.

    1. You sound like me now!! 😂

      Personally I feel like this may just be a difficult stage between being a beginner and the next level (whatever that is). I’m finding myself surprised at how much I’m getting completed in 20mins these days and then it stops feeling enjoyable if I have to eke the rest out.

      I do think there have been a bunch of mispitched QCs recently. But I also recognise that isn’t going to change. Orpheus, Teazel, Izetti are my three particularly groaners.

  40. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Like you, I get the vast majority within 20 mins, but quickly become dispirited if I then get held up. There were some very tough ones today. Wouldn’t have been quite so bad had I finished, but I seem to be in good company when it comes to putting GAL. Some of the speed solvers made the same mistake.

    🤞 for tomorrow ! 😀

Comments are closed.