Quick Cryptic 2639 by Izetti


Slow going for me due to a confident but wrong entry for one of the long clues.

Merlin’s Pet Peeve Bingo Card lit up today with ETON, PI and COR. But no matter, some excellent clues here. Especially 2D (ROMAN), and the smooth surface at 4D (APPLE). I’ve been trying to write my own clues recently and it’s so hard to pick a word, that fits, with wordplay that is fair and a surface that makes sense and be original at the same time.

Definitions underlined in bold , synonyms in (parentheses) (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, other wordplay in [square brackets] and deletions in {curly} brackets.

1 New batter collects one special cap (7)
BIRETTA – (BATTER)* contains I (one)

One for the Ecclesiastic vestments fans to go with COPE, STOLE and ALB. All crossword staples. It’s that red hat thing that cardinals wear, although they can be in other colours for lower ranks.

Not to be confused by Bond’s gun, the Beretta.

If this was a NHO, then Beritta was a good guess, as both the I and E were unchecked.

5 Food for number to tuck into, as intended (5)
MEANT – MEAT (food) contains N{umber}

MEAT is an old word for any kind of food. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”, makes more sense if the MEAT is food in general. This original sense survives in sweetmeat and in the phrase be meat and drink to, meaning “be a source of great pleasure to”.

8 Object, being not quite totally bashful? (5)
DEMUR – DEMUR{e} (bashful)
9 Bird nice pal gets to fly (7)
PELICAN – (NICE PAL)* [“gets to fly” as anagram indicator]

Spent ages thinking the anagram was (PAL GETS). So was considering the lesser-spotted SPAGLET.

10 An age in school? Time to escape! (3)
EON – E{t}ON (school)

ETON for school is on my Pet Peeve List.

11 Student finally gets to study philosopher — a dreary routine! (9)
TREADMILL – {studen}T + READ (study) + MILL (John Stuart Mill)

John Stuart Mill,  Author of “On Liberty”, a Utilitarian:  hence “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction.”

Or as summarised by Monty Python:

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill

12 Meal is excellent with one portion doubled up (6)
SUPPER – SUPER (excellent) contains an extra P

I don’t think this is a very clear instruction. Does “one portion” just mean any of its letters is doubled up?

14 Instrument that plays my number the wrong way (6)
CORNET – COR (my!) + NET[TEN=number, reversed]

COR=my (is also on my Pet Peeve list)

16 A swagger, when rounding on a long-distance traveller (9)
ASTRONAUT – A + STRUT (swagger) contains ON + A

Tricky, as I couldn’t think of another word for Swagger, and I’m not sure they are really the same. OED definitions however indicate they are very similar. What does everyone think?

Strut= To walk with an affected air of dignity or importance, stepping stiffly with head erect.

Swagger=To behave with an air of superiority, in a blustering, insolent, or defiant manner

18 Brute very holy? Minimally good (3)
PIG – PI (very holy) + G{ood} [“minimally indicating initial letter]

When this popped up I immediately checked the setter. Last time I blogged I had Oink with no Pig clue. And this time I have PIG with no Oink. What’s going on?

PI (Three in a row on the Bingo Card!)

19 Less friendly, showing back to monarch once (7)
STERNER – STERN (back, of a boat) + ER (monarch once)
20 Escape to a match? (5)
ELOPE – Cryptic def

The match here being the wedding, although it originally meant a woman who had “run away from her husband in the company of a paramour” (paramour is such an excellent word, OED)

21 Instrument seen with celebrity around India (5)
SITAR – STAR (celebrity) contains I{ndia}
22 Resists nasty relations (7)
SISTERS – (RESISTS)* [“nasty” is the anagram indicator]
1 Wild animals getting bugs (7)
BADGERS – Double def, to BADGER someone is to bug them, annoy them.
2 Upright type, member of an empire (5)
ROMAN – Double def

Excellent and COD. Usually “type” in a clue is an attribute or a person, so upright type might be “saint”, or “paragon”. But this time type means what is now usually called a font.

And Roman font like this has very upright letters.

3 Start to pick up and go round? (4,3,6)
TURN THE CORNER – Double def

I got in a mess here, which really held up my time as I went for TURN THE TABLES. It works pretty well for both definitions, as to Turn the Tables is what a restaurant calls it when you clear up one diner to be ready for the next “start to pick up”.

4 Drink containing very soft fruit (5)
APPLE – ALE (drink) contains PP (very soft, as written in music)

pp= pianissimo. Even though the word only contains one p. The practice of doubling a single-letter abbreviation to form a plural goes back to Latin. See also pp (pages in printing).

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathétique has a marking of pppppp.

5 Silly ladies’ man, sort displaying ineptitude (13)

If you ever doubted if maladroit was an English word, the fact that you can add -NESS clinches it. And any time you say those letters in your anagram fodder, stick ’em at the end and you’ll be well on your way.

6 Trade event with lots getting sold (7)
AUCTION – Cryptic def, or double def.

Because in an Auction the items to be sold are called “lots”, which has been providing setters with misdirection fodder ever since.

7 Like music in restaurant, on always (5)
TONAL – Hidden in restaurant, on always
13 Long-suffering man or woman that is not heartless (7)
PATIENT – PAT [a name that can be for a man or woman] + IE (that is) + N{o}T

Wikipedia calls these Unisex names. It’s a contentious area as women keep stealing male names: Meredith and Evelyn were originally male. More recently this is happening with Robin,  Casey, Sandy and probably many more.

My father called me Jamie (for James), but that is almost always a female name now. And my daughter is Alex.

Maybe there is some merit in that pronoun business after all.

15 Beastly female gets sir excited (7)

The female tiger.

16 Fools to judge, mostly (5)
ASSES – ASSES{s} (judge)
17 Units of land in mostly sacred ground (5)
ACRES – (SACRE{d})* [“mostly” indicates drop the ultimate letter, and “ground” is the anagram indicator]

Very easy definition, but the parsing was difficult here.

18 Perch outside old coastal town (5)
POOLE – POLE (perch) contains O{ld}

POOLE a town in Dorset, which has Europe’s largest natural harbour. Pole and Perch are famously equivalent to the Rod, all names for the stick used by a surveyor, 5 1/2 yards. And ACRES are of course 40 rods by 4 rods. Chains, Furlongs and Miles all follow on logically (!)

78 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2639 by Izetti”

  1. 18:03. TREADMILL, PATIENT, and ASTRONAUT were favourites. Took me a while to parse ACRES. Lots of interesting nuggets in blog- thanks, Merlin!

    1. 9.58, some tricky stuff here, especially on the western side. Took a while to get BADGER but the 1ac hat went straight in after that. FOI MEANT, LOI ELOPE. In the end a nice mix of tricky and less tricky from Izetti. Thanks to Merlin for explaining those I just biffed (PATIENT, DEMUR, TREADMILL) and for the interesting mini-dissertation on John Stuart Mill courtesy of that last clue.

    2. Have you seen the 15×15 today? No spoiler alert needed, but there’s one clue there that may not please some of your countrymen/women 😊. Winnipeggers unite!

      1. Oh gosh you need to elucidate, I did the biggie but I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Also…Winnipeggers? Do we have some?

          1. Yes, there certainly seems to be an uncalled for antipathy towards innocent Manitobans. Winnipeggers are justly admired for how they stoically withstand their bitter winters. Then instead of getting to enjoy the advent of spring like other Canadians they are hit by an onslaught of mosquitoes and floods!

  2. Re ROMAN, one of my pet peeves is how “font” has come to be used for what is really a “typeface” due to computer stuff. A font is actually a drawer of type, so it has to be something like “times new roman 10pt”. I found this hard and it took me nearly 20 minutes (Izetti is always a bit tricker than some of the other setters). LOI was ELOPE, not because it was hard but for some reason I never read the clue earlier. An ACRE is also a chain by a furlong, so-called English units are fun.

    1. I think that battle for font/typeface is lost, along with decimated, disinterested and hopefully. I still fight a rearguard action for “whom”, incorrect use of -er (escapee, attendee etc) and “Resiliency”.

      That’s a different pet peeve list.

      1. Am still fighting for ‘disinterested’. I do visit one site where worse mistakes are made, ‘sat’ instead of ‘sitting’ and the famous piece of furniture, Chester draws.

      2. In San Francisco, on the buses, there are signs saying how many “standees” are allowed. Wouldn’t they be people being stood on?

        1. 😥.
          Actually when I was first married and went to SE Asia, I bought an American measuring jug by accident. It took me a year or two to realise why some recipes did not work out – US pints are smaller than ours. Had to throw away the jug.

  3. 11 minutes with ELOPE as my LOI for some unaccountable reason.

    Yes, double any letter in SUPER to get the answer at 12ac, but there’s only one way of doing it that forms a word so it shouldn’t be all that hard. I think there are times when clues need to give more explicit instructions on such matters, but not when only simple everyday words are involved.

    Both ‘strut’ and ‘swagger’ can be used figuratively to describe arrogant behaviour and don’t literally have to indicate a particular manner of walking.

    James, you have a typo at 1ac.

  4. Just under 11 1/2 minutes. PATIENT held me up longest after taking a while to see MALADROITNESS, a v. clumsy sounding word. I still think of ACRES rather than hectares but can never remember how long a ‘Perch’, rod and chain are. My pick today was SITAR, which could also be parsed as having an extended definition.

    Izetti rarely includes themes so the occurrence of five furry and feathered friends in the grid today is probably coincidental; you could also include DEMUR and STERNER if you were really keen on theme-(=train) spotting.

    Thanks to Merlin for the as ever interesting tit-bits in the blog and to Izetti

  5. Success, but it took a bit over half an hour to come in all green. (Ironically POOLE, where I worked until about two years ago, took me the longest to see. Doh!)
    I liked the long ones especially but PIG and DEMUR were very satisfying too.
    Thanks to Izetti and Merlin.

  6. ELOPE was late for me too, just on the wrong sort of match. Once that was in I finished all green in 16 with POOLE – tucked away in ceremonial Dorset it’s just too far from Yeovil to come to mind. Knew what was coming with ASTRONAUT but still enjoyed it when it emerged and for lucky with BIRETTA. Enjoyed DEMUR and TREADMILL. Good one.

  7. Pleased to finish an Izetti in 30.11 but needed Merlin’s excellent blog to understand supper and LOI badger. Was a worrying start with nothing ringing any bells until FOI pelican then we were off.

    Poor Mrs RH had to suffer me singing the ditty about the philosopher only to then have to read it in the blog too!

    Liked sister, simple but nice surface.

  8. I found most of this fairly gentle apart from NW which remained stubbornly blank (apart from TURN and EON) until the end. Eventually resorted to pen and paper to work out the forgotten BIRETTA and the rest followed in a rush.
    Started with MEANT and finished with BADGERS in 7.14.
    Thanks to Merlin

  9. After his last couple of QC’s seemed (to me at least) to have been slightly dumbed down, this was a proper Izetti. I laboured through the first pass, but then surprised myself by mopping up everything on the second.

    TIME 4:23

  10. 12:25 (Henry III reissues Magna Carta)

    I also started slowly, with only two across clues on the first pass, before speeding up on the downs. 17d ACRES had me thinking about odd units of area (allotments are still measured in square poles, with a standard allotment being 10 square poles, i.e. a sixteenth of an acre), which meant that 18d POOLE fell immediately into place. LOI was STERNER.

    Thanks Merlin and Izetti

    1. Interesting about allotments. I had forgotten that, although I can still recite the old measurements.

      1. I just looked up how long a Pole Vaulters pole is, and pleasingly, top male vaulters poles are all clustered around one pole in length. Also provides a good visual on how long a pole is.

        1. Interesting too. Shall look at pole-vaulters with new eyes.
          As I may have said before, I have an old tape measure marked in Links, 8 inches or so.

          1. ‘I was sat’ or ‘stood’ regularly appear in the Times these days, as does ‘Me and my husband / friend etc’, in copy written by the journalists, particularly the feature and fashion writers (I refuse to call the reporters editors!). It’s a different matter when people are being quoted, but in copy – well, I’m lost for words 😱
            However, at the risk of being a total hypocrite, I do (mis)use hopefully and decimate – oh dear.

  11. Thoroughly exercised by Izetti today, and pleased to have finished albeit well into SCC time. Thanks for the fine blog which cleared up a few semi parsed clues, although I decoded most along the way.
    Plenty of clever clues, but liked SITAR for placing the answer in its home. Any philosopher related clue is welcome as long as the target is included in the Python guide, any excuse to sing a silly song to myself.
    Hoping that the difficulty level doesn’t rise beyond this as the week goes on…

  12. Every time we get PI or ETON I chuckle to myself at the forthcoming harrumphing from Merlin – to get both in one puzzle, plus COR, when he’s the blogger, was marvellous!

    I held myself up by sticking in “malcoordinated” – finding it was too long – removing an O – discovering it didn’t fit with ELOPE – and then finally realising that there was no C in the anagrist anyway. What a mess. And now I discover that “malcoordinated” isn’t in either Collins or Chambers, and according to this entertaining Penguin Dictionary article doesn’t exist as a word https://penguinukbooks.wordpress.com/2007/10/01/the-penguin-eng/#:~:text=Despite%20the%20existence%20of%20the,). But we were calling each other “malcos” in the 70s so I’m astonished this doesn’t appear in the dictionaries.

    Anyway, I sorted it out in the end and nothing else really held me up except LOI BADGERS, which needed a trawl. All done in 07:45 for a Pretty Decent Day.

    Many thanks Izetti, and to Merlin for an excellent blog.


  13. 9:47 with LOI ELOPE, which took me the last minute or so. Was a 50/50 chance between BIRETTA and BERITTA but the -etta ending seemed more plausible.

  14. No official time but guess 18 mins.

    I think Izetti has done the 15×15 today and I prefer his main crosswords.
    He can sometimes add superfluous frills that the quickie doesn’t need.
    What is “totally” doing in 8a, it could just be written as: object being not quite bashful.

    Biretta not unknown but couldn’t get the gun out of my head.

    Anyway COD treadmill.

  15. Thank you for your excellent blog as always, Merlin. I’m most impressed you knew the exceptional pppppp in the Pathétique. The only one I’ve ever found in the normal repertoire which beats that is in the Harp part of Puccini’s La Bohème which sports ppppppp (sorry I just cannot do italics in this blog). After that we have to go to Ligeti (pppppppp) and the absolute record, Verdi’s Il trovatore where in his autograph manuscript he actually wrote ppppppppppppppppp (that’s 17), but unfortunately it was diluted in publication. Hope you enjoyed that!
    I was stuck on three in the SW corner today, but enjoyed getting MALADROITNESS.

    1. I certainly encountered Verdi’s ppppp in the last page of the Libera me marked for the basses in his Requiem. We approached it with our usual gusto.

      1. Yes you’re absolutely right (actually the last page is only pppp, but ppppp occurs a little earlier) – but of course that’s only five, not six. However, I am greatly indebted to you for pointing it out; for it turns out to be the earliest example anywhere of five ppppp, beating the next one by six years. Thank you!

  16. DNF. Tried to do this on the phone in a train with too much noise around. Pleased to have got MALADROITNESS just by looking at the fodder, but less pleased to see my name being used as a constituent of PIG! 🐽

    Happy Tuesday all. Pi

  17. Returning after a few days away from the laptop. Quite tricky, especially my last two – ELOPE and POOLE, where POOLE was obvious once I finally saw the match that Izetti meant.

    Off to catch up on the 4 QC’s that I missed.


  18. I also biffed TURN THE Tables which did not help in the lower CORNER. I had been doing rather well until, as I said, I stuck in the SW. In the end I needed help to finish there and with the PIG end.
    Thanks vm for blog, Merlin. Yes, Eton and Pi ++! (I don’t think Swagger=strut)

  19. Too much chocolate over the last few days must have befuddled my brain as I got MALADROIT very early and took 2 minutes to work out the ending 😡. Also liked the connection of PERCH with rod and pole – memories of school maths. Thanks Izetti for a good QC, and Merlin for the enjoyable and instructional blog.
    PS typo for ‘red’ in 1A.

  20. A slow start; FOI was PELICAN. Then I worked steadily through this to finish in 14 minutes. LOI BADGERS having tried to justify Bothers earlier.
    A good QC from Izetti. COD to TREADMILL.

  21. Hard work to finish this testing puzzle. Had to look up BIRETTA (NHO) and struggled with BADGERS, STERNER and POOLE. Time for a coffee.

  22. I was on Izetti’s wavelength today finishing in a respectable 8.19. My only holdup was where I initially carelessly misspelt BIRETTA with a double R instead of a double T, and it was only when I solved 3dn that I was able to correct the spelling. A nice puzzle with my COD going to ROMAN.

  23. 13:23

    Miles off the pace today and just 5 seconds short of my worst performance against Izetti – started with half a dozen acrosses on the first pass but some of the LHS (and 5d) just wouldn’t drop into place. Eventually filled in MALADROITNESS and ASTRONAUT, ASSES, STERNER which at last gave TURN THE CORNER and finally DEMUR and LOI BADGERS.

    Thanks Izetti and Merlin

  24. A stiff challenge today I thought, and I needed 15 minutes to complete this, with Acres and Astronaut (LOI) not parsed as the clock stopped. So definitely a more “traditional” Izetti, though all fair and no unknown words.

    There seems to be a competition among the other setters to make up for Oink’s lack of porcine clues – a couple yesterday and Pig today.

    Many thanks Merlin for the blog

    1. Thanks, Cedric, for the info about The George. Sadly, I can’t make that date as we’re on holiday. What a shame. Last year was great fun.

  25. A couple of trickier ones today. Needed help to parse ASTRONAUT and ROMAN (doh). Struggled to see LOI BADGERS for what seemed a very long time. Liked PIG and EON despite failing to try the oft-used Pi and Eton straight away. Liked surfaces of both TREADMILL and MALADROITNESS. Thanks Merlin and Izetti.

  26. After a run of good puzzles this offering is very poor imho loose and ropey definitions and obviously contrived clues. no fun, just annoyance that the setter is inaccurate in the definitions. Setter should do better and stop trying to be so “clever by half”

    1. What a sour remark about one of our most distinguished and experienced setters! I’m sure he didn’t set out deliberately to upset you. I think the words you were groping for were “I wasn’t on the wavelength for this puzzle”.

  27. DNF

    I don’t know whether it was me or the puzzle, but I really couldn’t get into this QC. I had no enthusiasm for it whatsoever.

    I answered perhaps 1/3 of the clues and then got bored and gave up. It just did nothing for me.

    My verdict: 🥱
    Pumpa’s verdict: 💤

  28. A satisfying puzzle today, completed before the morning coffee was too cold. FOI PELICAN, LOI ASTRONAUT, which became clear once other words completed. COD ELOPE, clever word play which was only solved after trying synonyms for games etc.

  29. This was one I really enjoyed, though slow and steady was the order of the day. For once I parsed all the clues and I had heard of all the answers. Thanks to Izetti for a good workout (nothing like being on the treadmill) and Merlin for an entertaining and informative blog.

  30. A MALADROIT performance today. I made things extremely difficult for myself when I thought I had found the hidden TOAST as Food in 5a. This was further complicated by it being my FOI and the checkers A and T were confirmed by AUCTION and TONAL. I was never going to solve MALADROITNESS with my answer starting with a T. My other big fail was BADGERS. So a big DNF with 11.55 on the clock. Next!

  31. I found this harder than usual and had to skip around the grid to get started. EON and SUPPER were first 2 in. BADGERS was LOI. 11:51. Thanks Izetti and Merlin.

  32. I used to fear them but I now look forward to an Izetti puzzle for the clear and precise clueing. This was a dnf however thanks to BERETTA which is a type of cap. But no idea where I thought the e was coming from.
    Thanks Invariant for a very informative blog and for parsing the ones I could not e.g. PIG and ACRES.

    1. Unlike our Editor, I only have the one pen name. . . and it’s not Merlin 😉

      1. Oh dear, apologies to Merlin for the mix up. My brain must have been exhausted after an Izetti.
        But I must enjoy your contributions Invariant for the name to stick.

  33. 5:06 so just over target for me. My first thought for 2D was, bizarrely perhaps, PYLON, but the wordplay made no sense. I was a little discombobulated by the surface meaning for 9A, but SITAR was my favourite clue of the day. Remember Ravi Shankar? Thanks Izetti and Merlin.

  34. Despite starting with a Biretta write-in, having come across it before, and an early Maladroitness, this turned into a very slow and difficult solve, with Demur and Badgers bringing up the rear. I’m just grateful I didn’t have to work out which demur(e) was which, otherwise I might still be there. Glad to meet up with ITTT at the 30min post: Good company while we wait for the next charabanc. CoD to 22ac, Sisters, for the surface. Invariant

  35. Think about 50 mins. Pleased I stayed with it. Badgers, Pig, Poole (despite that’s where I live!) and Elope were the concluding answers.
    COD Astronaut. Thanks Izetti and Merlin

  36. As soon as I saw Eton and Pi, I thought ‘Merlin won’t like them!’, little remembering that today is his blogging day 😅 My bête noire is font for typeface – they are different things and it drives me mad. But Microsoft etc have won – even journalists refer to fonts when they mean a typeface. This old school print hack is never going to succumb though!
    I liked the crossword – lots of ticks, including TREADMILL, BADGERS and (obvs) ROMAN.
    FOI Pelican LOI Sterner COD Sitar 10:55
    Thanks Izetti and Merlin

  37. Just back from the gym to polish off the crossword. More difficult than his last one, but all doable and all heard of. Last one in was BADGERS – I see I’m not alone. Some nice clues, although I bifd ROMAN, not having thought of the type face, though it’s one I use. Liked TREADMILL. Thanks also to Merlin for the entertaining and informative blog.

  38. Found it a tad tough today. Didn’t help that I had bunnies in for 1d for a while! What’s up Doc! DNF. Thanks for grid and blog!

  39. 27.47 DNF. Just as I hit submit I spotted a typo of SITAT rather than SITAR, which gave me two errors. Gah! I found this very tough. TURN THE CORNER, DEMUR, BIRETTA and BADGERS were the last few. Thanks Merlin and Izetti.

  40. 20:33 but a technical DNF as I used Chambers to check for another instrument that matched _O_N_T, as I hadn’t parsed CORNET properly, failing to separate “my” and “number”.

    COD to ELOPE: it wasn’t until I had all the crossers that that sense of “match” came to mind.

    Thanks to Merlin and Izetti.

  41. 29:51 so not outrageously slow, for me. If our esteemed blogger has his way, setters will stop using “my” for “cor” just about the time I start remembering this bit of lore. I saw CORNET early but left it last because I couldn’t parse it (kept trying to work DONS into the answer somehow instead).

    Liked ELOPE, and PATIENT for the way it assembled itself in my mind as I read the clue.

    Thanks Merlin and Izetti!

    I love this game, but I’m constantly bewildered in retrospect by how it can take me so long to do one. Maybe it’s just old age.

  42. Steady solve. Was pleased to remember the old measure of perch=pole.
    COD – ELOPE.
    Thanks Izetti and Merlin.

  43. This didn’t seem like it had taken as long as it had (around 17 1/2 minutes) but, looking back, I don’t think we had many in on the first pass through the acrosses. I think I had heard of BIRETTA but had forgotten about it until reading Merlin’s blog, nevertheless guessed correctly. POOLE was our LOI and it took a while, parsing after spotting the town and after wondering whether there was some synonym or variant of the fish. COD to TREADMILL and thanks to Merlin and Izetti.

  44. 33:05

    Well that was horrible. NHO BIRETTA and failed to spot the correct meaning of bugs until after I’d finished to took ages to finish the top left. That still left ELOPE, POOLE and LOI PIG. Again only understood the clue after I’d finished.

  45. Well, I was never going to manage three days in a row outside the SCC when Izetti is setting one of them. 31:46, and a lucky guess with BIRETTA.

    Thank you to Merlin for a much-needed blog! Must have been half a dozen that I couldn’t parse on my own.

  46. 34 minutes

    I was the one displaying ineptitude today. Yes, I know it wasn’t easy, but I continue to make stupid mistakes. Some examples:
    – writing down O rather than I for the anagram in 1ac and so taking ages to get the easy BIRETTA
    – not seeing SITAR immediately (easiest clue today – why am I so inept?)
    – seeing STERNER, but not putting it in for ages as I couldn’t parse it
    – missing the obvious NESS ending for 5dn

    Why am I unable to avoid these clangers?

    I get so wound up and tense when I start the QC that I leave my brain at the door. I must have spent 20 mins today (in two roughly equal periods) just looking at the grid in complete confusion/desperation.

    I don’t think improvement will ever come at this rate. How can I go from 17 mins yesterday to 34 mins today?

    Just not good enough, Gary. Pull your socks up!

    51 mins already for the week. All hope of hitting my target gone, as always.

    Thanks for the blog.

  47. Late start due to jet lag and a rush to catch up with matters outstanding lead to my usual sluggish pace. Without seeing setter’s name I biffed HOG in the hope that it was Oink but then remembered Pi.
    Similar flash back for CORONET when I remembered MY and recalled George Takei.
    More than 20 but less than 30 for a pleasant interlude before heading to the shops.
    Thanks Merlin and Izetti.

  48. 43 mins…

    Really slow on this. Spent far too long on trying to work out 5dn “Maladroitness”, 16ac “Astronaut” and a few in the NW corner.

    FOI – 4dn “Apple”
    LOI – 1dn “Badger”
    COD – 13dn “Patient”

    Thanks as usual!

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