Quick Cryptic 2471 by Felix


Quite a tricky one at the time I thought, with the SW corner holding out longest. A not very speedy 15:48 but in the end, happy to have finished.

Looking at the puzzle now though, I can’t see anything unreasonably difficult. I’ve always found Felix’s themes hard to spot. There is at least one pair of related crossing words; not enough for a theme, but I’ve probably missed something obvious. There are also a few words which could be a Nina pointing to a theme but not that I can see. Over to you…

Thanks to Felix

Definitions underlined in bold, deletions indicated by strikethrough.

7 Girl of fifty-one, large Yankee (4)
LILYLI (‘fifty-one’ in Roman numerals) L (‘large’) Y (‘Yankee’)
8 Some raw hate, verbal, of any kind (8)
WHATEVER – Hidden (‘Some’) in ‘raW HATE, VERbal’

Good hidden which I didn’t spot immediately, put off by that cunningly placed comma

9 Split on extreme points of Turkish economy (6)
THRIFTRIFT (‘Split’) after in an across clue (‘on’) TH (‘extreme points of Turkish’ = first and last letters of ‘Turkish’)
10 Sullen medic stood up (6)
MOROSEMO (‘medic’) ROSE (‘stood up’)

MO is an abbreviation for an army medic (medical officer), but is still used in parts of the world for a civilian doctor, eg LMO = local medical officer = GP

11 Old Dynasty showing finally to be suspended (4)
HANGHAN (‘Old Dynasty’) G (‘showing finally’=final letter G of ‘showing’)

I can never remember the dates of those Chinese dynasties, but looking it up just now, the Han dynasty was separated into two periods from 202 BC – 9 AD and from 25–220 AD. Between was the Xin dynasty (9–23 AD) but you all know that.

12 Contrary gardener to come down in a state (8)
MARY (‘Contrary gardener’) LAND (‘to come down’)

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?…”

I first thought of “Adam” reversed and then started going through all those US states starting with the letter M. This therefore held me up longest but ended up being my favourite

15 Dramatic scenes as tether broken (8)
THEATRES – Anagram (‘broken’) of AS TETHER

I would have expected the singular which is more common, but I suppose the plural is also OK and fits in with the crossing 13d

17 Means to raise flag (4)
JACK – Double definition

On edit: Thanks to Paul.in.London. This is a triple definition, with JACK being a US colloquialism for money (‘Means’) according to the ODE, Chambers and Collins. Something I’ve learnt today.

18 Compensated for non-functioning television? (6)
OFFSETOFF (‘non-functioning’) SET (‘television?’)
21 Briefly opted to hold in trousers (6)
CHINOSCHOSE (‘Briefly opted’=CHOSE with last letter E deleted) containing (‘to hold’) IN (‘in’)

Just plain old ‘trousers’, neither a containment indicator nor in the sense of obtaining something unlawfully, the more usual crossword sense or use. Chinos are lightweight, cotton blended pants without a pleat or crease; yes, I had to look that up

22 Catch “This is where you’ll find me!” being said? (8)
OVERHEAR – Homophone (‘being said?’) of OVER HERE (‘”This is where you’ll find me!”‘)
23 Autocrat in capital of Russia sat awkwardly (4)
TSAR – Anagram (‘awkwardly’) of R (‘capital of Russia’ = first letter of ‘Russia’, or the letter of the word Russia which is capitalised) and SAT
1 Hotchpotch of notes heaped originally on potato dish (8)
MISHMASHMIS (‘notes’) H (‘heaped originally’) MASH (‘potato dish’)

MI for note as in “do, re, mi…”, MASH for mashed potato

2 Using keypad facility, PIN gets shrunk (6)
TYPING – Hidden (‘shrunk’) in ‘faciliTY PIN Gets’
3 One cheating on a second occasion? (3-5)
TWO-TIMER – ‘on a second occasion?’ as a cryptic hint
4 Ranch maybe a long way — miles (4)
FARMFAR (‘a long way’) M (‘miles’)
5 Fuel oddly eliminated speed: turmoil! (6)
PETROL – Every second letter (‘oddly eliminated’) of ‘sPeEd TuRmOiL
6 Not so many of the French soldiers at the borders (4)
LESSLE (‘the French = French for “the” (m.)) SS (‘soldiers at the borders’ = first and last letters of ‘soldiers’)
13 What’s doing nothing for your recovery? (4-4)
REST-CURE – Cryptic definition

A cryptic def in two senses if you’re being cynical. Another good clue

14 Parsons perhaps chaotically clash on introduction of ideas (8)
NICHOLAS – Anagram (‘chaotically’) of CLASH ON and I (‘introduction of ideas’ = first letter of ‘ideas’)

Nicholas Parsons (Wikipedia entry), English comedian, radio and TV presenter. I can just remember him from the 70’s-early 80’s

16 Ridiculous having a bus moving on road (6)
ABSURD – Anagram (‘moving’) of A BUS then RD (‘road’)
17 Clubs for smokers? (6)
JOINTS – Double definition

Colloquialisms in both senses, the second def for that which smokes, not for someone who smokes

19 A number one has to pursue loudly (4)
FIVEIVE (‘one has’ = I have = I’ve) following (‘to pursue’) F (‘loudly’)
20 Ash maybe, and last bits of burnt rubber, lie here (4)
TREE – Last letters (‘last bits of’) ‘burnT rubbeR, liE herE

92 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2471 by Felix”

  1. When the first five across clues went straight in I thought I was in for a blinder, but I ended with a PW – DNF in 20+. Completely hit the wall in the lower half and failed utterly on MARYLAND (good clue in retrospect), REST CURE (which I should have got) and the NHO TV presenter NICHOLAS. Even if I’d known of his existence I doubt I would have worked the anagram that way. PETROL took a while (I thought it would start with FE) and so did JOINTS, a double slang definition to make it harder. I’ve never heard of a reefer being a smoker but I do recall ‘the minute you walked in the joint…’ Thanks BR and congrats on actually finishing.

  2. Nice blog, nice puzzle, I too don’t see the theme. I think 17 is a triple def, BR

    1. Thanks Paul. The “money” sense of jack was new to me. Blog now updated.

  3. 18:23. MARYLAND was slow to come until I thought of the nursery rhyme. There seem to be a lot of U.S. states starting with M! I had HUNG instead of HANG for a while until I gave up on the Huns as a dynasty instead of just a barbarian horde. I think the clue for JACK has three definitions with means as money besides raise and flag. I didn’t think of THEATRES in that sense as a plural and NHO Mr Parsons, but the anagram was clear.

    1. Thanks curryowen. As you’ll see the blog has now been edited in response to Paul.in.London’s comment. Looks like I might well be n=1 here in not knowing the US colloquial sense of “money” for JACK!

      1. You’re not alone, BR; ‘jack’ for money is new to Murcan me, though it doesn’t surprise me.

      2. I could be wrong, but I don’t think a triple def was the setter’s intention. The device used to lift vehicles is perfectly described as a ‘means to raise’, so why complicate it with a US slang word that most solvers are unlikely to be familiar with?

        1. The origin of JACK as money could well be British. A site Learning English, in it’s English Slang section, gives JACK as a pound and earlier(1600’s) a farthing(possibly based on JACK meaning a small thing). It also gives JACKs as five-pound note, Cockney Rhyming Slang from “Jack’s alive”.

  4. 11 minutes , missing my target by 1 possibly because I was looking for a theme but didn’t find one, only the hidden word in row 3. I had thought I might be on to something with female names, LILY, ROSE and MARY but that idea fizzled out. Elsewhere there’s JACK and DEE who as current host of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue Radio 4’s second longest running comedy panel game might have fitted nicely with NICHOLAS Parsons who hosted Just a Minute, the longest running one, for 52 years, but I suspect all this is coincidental.

    1. It might be clutching at straws but following on from what jackkt has picked up on, I can see LILY, ROSEMARY, and the JACK OF HEARTS. Bob Dylan.

      I see that sawbill had the same idea!

      1. See my reply to sawbill below. Looks like you’re both right, though I can’t say that with any authority. Well done.

    2. Although I didn’t remember the moderator’s name I did enjoy Just A Minute in the 70’s as the Canadian national radio service, the CBC, used to air it weekly for several years. Since that time I have always done my best to speak without hesitation, repetition or deviation.

  5. Short of time today and struggled with this so DNF. Am I right to quibble about 7 down – Def ‘not so many’ = fewer (not less which is ‘not so much’. Also 11A – Def = ‘to be suspended” = hung (not hang which is ‘suspend’).
    I am much less experienced and less accomplished than most on this blog so interested to know if I am being overly pedantic or perhaps am just wrong.

    Afterthought perhaps this an exchangeable use “the murderer is to hang / be suspended in the morning” justifying 11A ?

    1. Or possibly both?
      On the fewer/less debate, this was a “rule” invented by the grammarian Robert Baker in 1770 and has no genuine basis. It can be a matter of style as much as anything: “I drove fewer than 10 miles” or “I drove less than 10 miles” – both are correct, but I know which one I prefer. As an apostate on pendantry, I am pretty relaxed about breaches of such arbitrary rules – common usage is the only real touchstone.
      With 11a, could you read it as ‘…to be(come) “suspended”…’?

      1. (Almost) both! On less / fewer I can see that the use of less is more fluid than i thought. Less than 10 miles is a good example. I am still struggling a bit with less in the context of this clue definition. Probably not the place for a long debate about correct grammar vs common use though.

    2. Thanks Slowcoach. I’ve just seen Deezzaa’s post which explains this much better than I will be able to. For what it’s worth, I’ve never been good on the difference between “fewer” and LESS, lazily using them interchangeably and therefore often wrongly, though I’d be surprised if I were alone in this. Looking it up now, you’re right that strictly speaking “fewer” refers to the number of things when counted, so ‘Not so many’ should be “fewer” as you say, whereas LESS refers to the number when measured (Merriam-Webster and I presume other sources). However, M-W also say that “this is not a strict rule” with LESS sometimes being used for countable amounts, so this will be the reason the Editor allowed the clue.

      For 11a, ‘to be suspended’ eg on a hook = to HANG on a hook seems OK to me.

      1. I suggest (if I may) that “less miles” is permissible (even if not exactly felicitous) because 9.9 is less than 10. But for me “less people” is definitely taboo, and even “less strawberries” is surely bad. I agree with Countrywoman (below).

      2. Shocked that M-W claims that the rules about fewer and less are not strict! I, for one, am constantly correcting my offspring on the subject. So MER at 6d.

    3. I wondered about that, too, but convinced myself that ‘to be suspended’ doesn’t have to reference the past tense: Christmas ornaments are to be suspended from a tree = they are to hang from said tree

  6. I presume the Nina is Bob Dylan. LILY, (mo)ROSE MARY(l) AND THE(atres) JACK OF (fset) (over)HEARTS(ar). HANGing is also involved. Music not to my taste.

    1. Yes, well done to both you and AgileJames above for picking this up. Way beyond my ken, so at least I didn’t miss something I should have been able to identify.

  7. The SE corner caused the most problems for me. My LOsI were NICHOLAS, JOINTS, JACK and REST-CaRd! So a DNF in 11:16. I’m grateful for not having been prescribed REST-CURE which I have NHO. Bed rest yes but REST-CURE no. I knew there would be a NINA that I wouldn’t be able to see!

  8. If Sawbill is correct, I can’t say I recognize the particular Dylan songs. I was into His Bobship in the 60’s, but I rather lost enthusiasm later on.

    This was a tricky offering from Felix, but I was helped in reaching my target by seeing NICHOLAS Parsons immediately. I remember him best as the straight man to the excellent comic Arthur Haynes, and later as the host of the quiz show “Sale of the Century”.

    FOI LILY (as in the Who’s “Pictures of Lily”, so not remotely Dylanesque)
    TIME 4:26

    1. The two Johns will be along soon to fill in the gaps, I’m sure. Looking for the Nina, the first thing I saw was SPORTS across the third line (They did cover Dylan songs).

  9. Thought I was going to need a ticket for the club today. Started off well despite the tricky grid but I couldn’t make head or tail of the SE. Eventually I ground out MARYLAND and REST-CURE via alphabet trawls and the rest slowly followed. Finished with PETROL where I’d been looking for a synonym for turmoil.
    Finished in 17.56
    Thanks to BR

  10. Another DNF, with the right hand side defeating me on several clues. Could not give up on 5d starting with FE, and several “turmoils” seemed close: furore, fever, fervid. There are 8 US starting with M, but I got hung up on MISSOURI.

  11. I saw LILY, ROSEMARY and JACK but they didn’t mean anything to me, not having, by choice, ever listened to any Bob Dylan, although I may well have OVERHEARd plenty. I didn’t find this too tricky and came in just under target, despite having HUNG for 11A until I finished with MISHMASH. Thanks Felix and BR. 4:59

  12. All done in 12 minutes, much of which on the SE corner where Nicholas was a long way from my first stab at a parson, and Rest-cure was my LOI. Before that, quite slow going on a chewy puzzle, and like others I was well misled by the clue for Petrol, which had me looking for a 6-letter word meaning turmoil starting with FE (spoiler alert – there aren’t any!).

    In other totally unsurprising news, I failed once again to see the Nina. I so seldom do that I confess I have stopped looking for them.

    Many thanks to BR for the blog.

  13. So many were easy – F2I 7a, 8a, and half done in 10 minutes, a (half) PB – that it was frustrating to be held up by the last several and completely stumped by the last eight, mostly the SE corner.
    But at least, going through the blog (thank you, Bletchley), I can’t reproach myself – I wouldn’t have got any of them in 100 hours. All far too difficult for me: THRIFT, MARYLAND, JACK, CHINOS, OVERHEAR, REST-CURE, NICHOLAS, JOINTS – no chance. (Found PETROL easy, though.) And I biffed FOUR instead of FIVE, so that’s nine to the bad…….

  14. 18 minutes, but I had to press reveal to get the never heard of REST CURE, so a DNF. Lots of chewy stuff in the SE with NICHOLAS, JACK, JOINTS and CHINOS all taking far too long. Thanks BR and Felix. I did spot the hidden SPORTS in row 3 and looked in vain for a theme.

  15. Back home (minutes before Air Traffic Control meltdown) and straight into the club. Struggled with MARYLAND (COD) and CHINOS and missed the NICHOLAS clue for ages. 30 minute solve, guess I don’t know Jack.
    Thanks all

  16. Did this in A&E in Fort William (suspected broken foot after falling walking in Glencoe, clumsy idiot). Took 08:08 but WOE, putting REST CARE. Judging by the number of errors showing on the leaderboard I’m not alone!

    Good puzzle – reminded me of one of Phil’s, similar style. Liked PETROL and JOINTS most.

    Wish me luck in the queue – I bought 10 hours of parking just in case.

    Many thanks Felix and Bletchers.


          1. I’ll second that. It was quicker for me than today’s QC. I also thought that the current Private Eye crossword is a particularly nice one.

            1. Thanks both – managed to finish both of them (a rare event for me) while waiting, one in 20 mins and the other in 28. I must get injured more often!

      1. I’m out, released into the wild with no break (just bad bruising), a pair of very smart crutches and a small sack of painkillers 👍🏻

        1. Good news. Only disappointments – you haven’t got one of those natty-looking moon boots and it doesn’t sound as though you’ll be tackling Rannoch Moor on crutches tomorrow. Hope you’re back to normal soon.

    1. Sympathies from me too – so sorry, how unfortunate and what a pain (double def, or pun?). Hope you can salvage some of your holiday – doing extra crosswords must be like a busman’s holiday for you!

  17. I was quick today apart from in the SE. Slow to see NICHOLAS and last two were JOINTS and JACK ( a double definition intended I think). 13 minutes in all.
    Some good clues. I liked OFFSET and FIVE.
    A brilliant nina but so obscure that only a few people like Bolton Wanderer would get it (well spotted Sawbill). And he doesn’t do the QC!

  18. I started so well, that I thought Felix was pulling out the stops to give us an easy puzzle. . . the SE corner soon convinced me otherwise. I have come across Nicholas Parsons many years ago, but in a QC ? really? Jack, Joints and Chinos were teased out with a crowbar and Thrift needed an alpha-trawl. Two sittings, over at least 30mins, but even then a DNF thanks to Rest-Care, which is what I now feel I need. Invariant

    1. Surely every schoolchild remembers “Nicholas Parsons shouldn’t climb trees”?! Thanks for good wishes above

      1. The ditty that I remember from my youth was ‘Lots of ladies like Nicholas Parsons, but lots of parsons like knickerless ladies’!

  19. Another slow one as yesterday, and only marginally quicker this time at 14.45. I suspected NICHOLAS would cause a problem for many, particularly the younger solvers who wouldn’t know of Nicholas Parsons appearances on tv. It came to my mind swiftly enough, but I’m sure I would have struggled otherwise without this knowledge.
    Two toughies on the trot, I suspect the editor may take pity tomorrow and compensate perhaps?

  20. Looks like I did pretty well. In fact I find myself only ten seconds slower than Verlaine, who must have forgotten to press submit, or fallen asleep half way through.

    NICHOLAS, JACK and JOINTS all caused some thinking.


  21. Like others, I started very quickly and completed the LHS and much of the rest in double-quick time. I was well under target and on for a possible record. However, I spent ages on PETROL (a clever move to sidetrack some of us towards a word beginning with FE) and NICHOLAS – not an easy jump from a clergyman! I finally came to grief with REST CURE and MARYLAND, and found myself in the SCC when I had completed (with a careless typo: OVrRHEAR).
    I’ve never had the brakes slammed on so dramatically whilst motoring along smoothly, solving a QC.
    Thanks to Felix for a good puzzle which seemed to be on two levels (and with fatal stings in the tail for me). Thanks, too, to BR for blog and discussion. John M.

  22. Took me almost as long to do this as it took me to do both together yesterday so tricky for me for sure. One or two clues felt a bit iffy but no real complaints. Only thing I didn’t like was the reference to Nicholas Parsons. Clues like this exclude younger generations in my opinion. thanks Felix and Bletchley Reject !

  23. I was another convinced that 5D would start FE…. for a long time. Eventually made it to the SCC in about 23 mins.
    I am surprised NICHOLAS hasn’t got more of a kicking than it has so far, but maybe the clue was sufficiently worded that a knowledge of 1970s UK TV hosts wasn’t necessary. Or maybe he actually is still internationally famous. Hmm..
    FIVE/OVERHEAR held me up at the end.

    1. He presented Just A Minute on Radio 4 from 1967 to 2019 … I really don’t think he’s an obscure figure!

        1. Well it’s a crossword in a British newspaper so reference to well known British figures is fair game … and 2019 is reasonable recent …

          1. I agree. He was on Just a Minute until close to his death at a great age and was forever in the news because of that. It’s extremely popular. I don’t listen to that much but am perfectly aware of him. If you take any interest in contemporary culture in the UK I think you would have heard of him. It was a mighty misdirection though as I was looking for all the religious nomenclature!!

  24. Along with many others, I started well and finished badly. In fact, failed to finish without seeking aid. Similar problems to others with PETROL (another FE…. seeker) and JACK and JOINTS also proving too stubborn to appear. I had a MER over LESS and was also divided over HUNG/HANG until MISHMASH solved that dilemma. MAINE seemed to be the state in 12A surrounding something or other, so pretty dismal showing in the end. Thanks br and Felix.

  25. I think this is a personal worst.

    I paused at the 19m point, with most of the SE corner unsolved. Returning after a cup of coffee, I quickly saw MARYLAND, NICHOLAS and CHINOS, but 17a and 17d still held me up for a number of minutes, crossing the line just before the half hour mark (and submitting at 30:05, after checking for typos). I should have spotted Nicholas Parsons earlier, but I was not on the correct wavelength, and was hunting for an obscure name for clergymen.

    DNK JACK=money, but there were enough other definitions in that clue that I would have got it quicker.

    (Have now done today’s 15×15 which I found much easier than this QC. I would recommend it to anyone who needs their confidence restored after a slow time here.)

    Thanks BR and Felix

  26. 13:25

    This seemed hard considering my average against Felix is about 8 minutes. No idea about the nina, not being much of a Dylan fan – I was wondering whether the third row would be significant. Struggled mostly in the SE where it took JACK to break the deadlock (missed the third definition there). Liked MARYLAND and NICHOLAS.

    Thanks Felix and Bletch

  27. DNF today. Short on time so sneaked a look at blog with JACK & JOINTS unsolved. Had completely missed the ‘means to raise’ definition, concentrating on ‘flag’… JOINTS obvious once I had JACK. I was very slow solving many of the other clues too. I think it was due to having a time pressure today – when I can take as long as I like I enjoy the process far more and almost always finish. Note to self: don’t try to fit the QC into a particular block of time!
    Many thanks for the much-needed blog. The third definition of JACK was also new to me. Liked MISHMASH, although it took an age. Thanks Felix.

  28. DNF. Did quite well but just got totally stuck in the lower half.

    I think the Lily, Rosemary & Jack of Hearts/Dylan theme is a bit of a stretch to say the least.

  29. Dnf…

    Had everything apart from 13dn “Rest Cure” and couldn’t for the life of me work out what it was. It was only when I came on here I realised I’d got 22ac “Overhear” the wrong way round and put “Overhere” instead 😤

    The rest of it I enjoyed though, and thought there were some good clues, including 1dn “Mishmash” and 12ac “Maryland”.

    FOI – 7ac “Lily”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 14dn “Nicholas”

    Thanks as usual!

  30. Had to resort to help to complete the SE corner, not getting the Nicholas Parsons allusion and not seeing JOINTS = CLUBS and trying to fit CHOSEN (HOSE)= TROUSERS into 21a. NHO JACK = MONEY. I am with the pedants on 6d: should be FEWER. LESS goes with something whole: less cake. FEWER with something divisible: fewer cakes.

  31. David drew my attention to this and asked me to do it to see if I could spot the Nina. First pass, I suggested the Golden Bear, Jack Nicholas. Don’t be so ridiculous. Second bash, I noticed Lily and Rosemary, but needed a third to match Lily’s pair. The only person on the scene missing was the Jack of Hearts. On the third pass I could see that the whole title was there. Great song on a great, great album. It’s left Blood on the Tracks.

    1. Agreed! Great song, great album! All hail His Bob-ness!
      And, despite listening to it whilst washing up yesterday afternoon, I still didn’t spot it.

    2. Thanks BW. I think we can now take this as official confirmation of the theme as initially identified by AgileJames and sawbill.

  32. My experience almost exactly mirrored simjt’s – paused on 19 minutes with the SE corner almost unpopulated. Perhaps my coffee was a little stronger as I eventually finished up in 27 minutes. Never saw the hidden at 2dn but the answer was clear. Couldn’t parse FIVE (perfectly obvious having read BR’s fine blog). Also fell into all the other traps mentioned above although I did manage to get OVERHEAR the right way round.

    FOI – 7ac LILY
    LOI – 17dn JOINTS
    COD – 12ac MARYLAND, closely followed by 18ac OFFSET

    Thanks to Felix and BR

  33. This confirmed that I have definitely entered a sticky patch. Once (Friday’s DNF) may be accidental, twice (yesterday’s hour-long marathon) could be coincidental, but three times (another DNF today) is a definite loss of form.

    Unlike yesterday, I started well by solving 7-8 of the acrosses on first pass and reached just 4 clues to go after about 22-23 minutes (fast for me). Unfortunately, those clues put up a lot of resistance. It took me 7-8 minutes to break through with JACK and JOINTS, and a further 6-7 minutes to (tentatively) write in REST CURE. However, I never thought of MARY as the contrary gardener, I never thought of LAND for come down and the only useful state I could think of was MAINE. The closest I got to the correct answer was MARYLiNe, which I knew was wrong, so I gave up with 47 minutes on the clock. Very frustrating and a rough start to the week.

    Many thanks to Felix and BR.

  34. As usual the theme passed me by, but this was one of my better efforts at a Felix puzzle. No problems with NICHOLAS. I even remember him as Arthur Haynes’s straight man! From LILY to OVERHEAR in 6:59. Thanks Felix and BR.

  35. Glad to finish this enjoyable challenge. Very easy at first but then stuck in SE. A PDM with MARYLAND (COD as it made me smile) helped with NICHOLAS, JACK, CHINOS, JOINTS. NHO JACK = money, but it had to be, in view of jack up and Union Jack, I finally realised.
    LOI THRIFT in the opposite corner. FOI LILY.
    Apart from the above, also liked MOROSE, FARM, OVERHEAR, REST CURE.
    Thanks to blogger BR.

  36. I thought this was easy until I reached the empty SE which took as long as the rest of the puzzle put together.
    Had to resort to aids for JACK and, having missed the rather clever contrary gardener clue, looking up states to get MARYLAND. So a technical dnf but pleased to finish in 56 minutes.
    LOI NICHOLAS which took a lot of working out as I originally thought it was an anagram of clash with a word for ideas to be introduced.
    Thanks Felix from a Dylan fan and BR for the blog.

  37. 23.47 WOE. All done in under ten minutes except for the SE. Like simjt and Peregrineflyer I also paused at nineteen minutes, in my case to go shopping before the rain. I probably would have been even slower without the break. Once I had MARYLAND the rest followed, but I failed with REST CARE. Thanks to BR and Felix.

  38. Joined those who found this far from easy. Failed to solve a number of clues eg 12a, but some we should have got eg, 8a whatever. Difficult grid.

  39. For a long time there was a graffito on a wall in Harrow which read ‘Nicholas Parsons is the opiate of the people’. I wouldn’t have remembered him otherwise.

  40. DNF

    Got nowhere with the SE corner after having breezed through the rest. A shocking 6 clues unanswered before I gave up.

  41. Started on 2022-01-20 with TQC 1000 published on Jan 8 2018

    Finally today I fully got caught up. 1471 puzzles in 19 months. Never been to UK, English is not my first language, it has been a struggle. But I am typically finishing 65% of the time without error, and 85% of the time with one error or less. Given my background, its probably the best I could hope for.

    1. Well done! Such perseverance deserves congratulations – as does your completion rate. You’ll be enjoying a 75% success rate before long at this rate, and then, who knows? 👏👏 👏

  42. And another DNF (from.a resident of the SCC). Looking at the comments “only” 5 clues looks comparatively good. (!!).

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