Quick Cryptic 2611 by Teazel

A stiff challenge from Teazel today. Some easy ones but rather more of the tricky ones, plus a few obscurities (to me) in ANNEAL, BEARER and HADJ (spelt that way). This pushed me out to 10:37, but then Teazel is often my nemesis and maybe you found it easier. How did it go?

Definitions underlined in bold.

7 Prosecutor with face covering: silk? (6)
DAMASK – during Covid I did a 4 week trial in which masks were compulsory unless speaking; I used silk ones, since I found them so much more comfortable. We won. I digress. DAMASK is a heavy cloth with a woven pattern; it is often but not necessarily made of silk, hence the question-mark to indicate that this is a definition by example. The “prosecutor” here is an American one, being a DA (District Attorney), + MASK.
8 Very narrow lane in a hollow (6)
VALLEY – V for “very” + ALLEY for “narrow lane”.
9 No one for turning out in the morning (8)
FORENOON – it took me a second visit to realise that this is an anagram (indicated by “turning out”) of “no one for”; to begin with I was trying to fit something into AM.
10 Double praise returned (4)
DUAL – “laud” backwards (“returned”). Very neat.
11 Stunner swallowing drug is a problem (6)
TEASER – I liked this, COD from me. The “stunner” here is not a good-looking person but a TASER (which would stun you) containing (“swallowing”) E (ecstasy, “drug”). I’ve learned a lot of drug slang since I started doing crosswords more regularly (honest mum). Collins sense 3 for TEASER is “a difficult question”.
13 Beginning to crumble stone (5)
ONSET – an anagram (indicated by “to crumble”) of “stone”. Either this was well-concealed or I’m a twerp, because it was my POI. Opinions on these alternatives are not invited.
14 A football team maybe back in French city (3)
AIX – A = “a” + IX which is XI backwards (“back”).  XI is eleven in Roman numerals and there are eleven players in a football team (and in teams for other sports too, such as cricket and hockey, which is why the clue says “football team maybe“). Aix-en-Provence is a lovely city just north of Marseilles, founded by the Romans and then constantly changing hands between the Saracens, the Franks and the  various Kings of Aragon, Burgundy and Naples until finally becoming permanently French in the late C15. (Sorry to bang on, I was there last October and had an enthusiastic guide.)
15 Gem right to fit into ring (5)
PEARL – a GEM is any precious or semi-precious stone used in jewellery. R for “right” goes inside PEAL for “ring” (as in bells) – clever deception from Teazel.
17 Servant once about to be eaten by wild animal (6)
BEARER – Collins has (formerly, in Africa, India, etc) a native carrier, esp on an expedition; a native servant”. The wordplay is RE (“about”) inside (“eaten by”) BEAR. I found this tough and it was my LOI – as the famous stage direction in A Winter’s Tale has it, “Exit, pursued by a bear(er)”.
19 Good to have academic dress (4)
GOWN – G for “good” + OWN for “to have”.
20 Without children stuffy, we hear (8)
HEIRLESS – sounds like (“we hear”) “airless”, which is “stuffy”. A rather clunky surface, if I may say so.
22 Messenger from goddess, extremely loud (6)
HERALD – the “goddess” is HERA, Queen of Olympus, both the sister and the wife of Zeus (deities, eh?). To her we add LD, being the “extremes” (first and last letters) of “loud”.
23 Silenced, or made a joke (6)
GAGGED – a double definition, the second one in the dictionaries but perhaps rather artificial.
1 Go limp, with nothing for starch (4)
SAGO – SAG (“go limp”) + O (“nothing”). According to Collins, SAGO is “a starchy cereal obtained from the pith of a sago palm, used for puddings”. According to every schoolchild of my era, SAGO pudding was “frogspawn” (because it came in little balls or pearls which became translucent when cooked). Oh how I hated it. Apparently children were given it because it’s an excellent source of calcium. I’d rather have had no bones.
2 A loving touch, and worries initially soothed (6)
CARESS – CARES are “worries” + S as the first letter (“initially”) of “soothed”. Lovely clue.
3 Fine enclosure as place for shootout (2,6)
OK CORRAL – OK = “fine” + CORRAL = “enclosure”. The Gunfight At the OK Corral is the stuff of cowboy legends and has inspired innumerable books and films (including Burt Lancaster/Kirk Douglas in 1957 and Val Kilmer as a brilliant Doc Holliday in 1993).
4 Part of Provence that cooks (4)
OVEN – hidden inside “PrOVENce”.
5 Grand woman’s name (6)
GLADYS – G = “grand” (as in “thousand”) + “LADY’S” = “woman’s”. The Random Name Haters Club gains a few more members. My mother had an Aunt Gladys and I’ve never met another one, which makes sense because according to Google the name peaked in 1901 and is now about as popular as the Post Office. Sorry to any Gladyses out there, but the stats don’t lie
6 In religious education improperly repeat witticism (8)
REPARTEE – Inside RE (“religious education”) we have an anagram (“improperly”) of “repeat”.
12 Used manoeuvre to enter eastern sea (8)
EMPLOYED – “manoeuvre” = PLOY, and that enters E (“eastern”) MED (“sea”). I found this tricky because I assumed that MED would be at the end. Never assume.
13 Combined places to study old, unknown card game (8)
OXBRIDGE – the wordplay is O (“old”) + X (“unknown”, as in algebra) + BRIDGE (“card game”). If you’d managed to solve ONSET and AIX then this began OX and so was a bit of a gimme, but the definition seems a bit loose to me – they aren’t actually combined places to study, it’s just a portmanteau word.
16 Old queen with a finally foul temper (6)
ANNEAL – I took a punt on the NHO ANNEAL meaning “temper”, which fortunately it does (“to temper or toughen (something) by heat treatment”). The wordplay is ANNE for the “old queen” + A + L for “finally foul” (ie the last letter of “foul”). Obscure, to me anyway.
18 Maintain alcoholic drink is about litre, say (6)
ALLEGE – ALE is often the setter’s favoured “alcoholic drink”, and here it goes around (“is about”) L for “litre” and EG (as in “for example”) for “say”.
20 Took Jack for pilgrimage (4)
HADJ – the HADJ (more usually spelt HAJJ) is a pilgrimage to Mecca which all Muslims are supposed to make at least once in their lives, wealth and health permitting. HAD for “took” + J for “Jack” (as in (Ox)bridge).  I knew this alternative spelling because back in the day my sister-in-law used to fly jets full of pilgrims from Indonesia to Mecca. She found it both amusing and infuriating that it was fine for a woman to operate a Boeing 737 but she then couldn’t hire a car.
21 One with runners was at the front after second (4)
SLED – LED = “was at the front”, which comes after S for “second”.

91 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2611 by Teazel”

  1. I did it

    TASER is my wordle starting word so I always have it on the brain.

    A few words I didn’t know like AIX but I trusted the crossers and the wordplay and hoped for the best

    Edit: so I just found out what sago actually is and that it’s not unlike Tapioca and as a South East Asian girlie, my life would be much sadder without it. No tapioca desserts? No boba tea? 🧋 Come visit me, Templar, I’ll make the frogspawn delicious for you!

    1. Sago pudding was always a treat when visiting my paternal grandmother. Come to think of it, sometimes it was tapioca pudding. I suspect Nanna never knew the difference and just alternated the names on a whim.

      Loved it though.

    2. I’m another sago/tapioca fan. And (horror of horrors), I even like the tinned versions as much as home-made ones. I know, I know. I shall dig no further and go and reflect on my sins.

    3. I loved all those cereal-based puddings they served us at school in the 60s, especially if they had a skin on the top and a bit of over-cooking/ burnt crust. Didn’t help me get SAGO though. Couldn’t get SODA out of my head.

      My Wordle starter is HOUSE, which scored me a successful first attempt a few months ago. My second word is PAINT.

      1. I use a different word every time – makes it much more interesting. And I make a point of not using the obvious starters.

    4. South-east Asian girlie? That’s interesting – what sort? My wife is half Chinese – mother from Kedah – and was brought up in Brunei. We adore rendang here but kue not so much … sorry tapioca was one of my nemeses at school.

      1. I’m Vietnamese! Also Australian, but Vietnamese background.

        Ah Kueh is everything. My husband is Anglo-Australian and he isn’t into Asian sweets much either. Not sweet enough, no chocolate, all coconut and pandan and tapioca and taro and rice and various beans. Luckily for me, my kids are into it.

        I’m also a sucky Vietnamese girl in that everyone in my family can eat spicier food than I can, so my husband is the rendang man.

        1. A joy to hear from you! especially after that crossword which was a real battle. I’m the same as your husband, adore the really spicy dishes even more than my good wife. (Even she had NHO ANNEAL, but got it in the end – it had to be.) Vietnamese: the real masterpiece was the Cha ca yellow fish dish in Hanoi – but so hard (impossible?) to find anywhere else … and the spring rolls in Saigon were to die for, too. We really loved Vietnam in 2004 but hear it’s become all Americanised since – what a shame. Gam-on nu.

          1. Yeah a lot of external money poured into Vietnam, so while a pity, people are much much less poorer than they were, so it’s hard to be mad

            Yeah I think it’s hard to find Northern Vietnamese dishes in places, most of the diaspora is South Vietnamese. Best Viet food in the world is probably in Australia though, I reckon. We have the people and our fresh ingredients are much better. Except for my aunt in Vietnam’s yellow curry, I can’t replicate it because she kills a chicken from her farm and chops a coconut from her tree just before I arrive. My Texan cousin and I have international battles on who can get closest and taunt each other when we’re fortunate enough to visit.

    5. Today we have the very first frogspawn of the year, and frogs making whoopee. and again a pair of ducks that keep nipping off every other day to lay an egg

  2. I was quite proud of myself for getting HADJ, AIX, TEASER, DAMASK, EMPLOYED, etc. all quite quickly, but I knew I would get stuck somewhere, and it was my last few GAGGED, BEARER, ALLEGES that tripped me up.
    I fortunately knew the GK required (and assumed HADJ was an appropriate transliteration alongside the more common HAJJ), and combined with the precise wordplay meant I quite enjoyed this.

  3. 17:27. TEASER held me up because I couldn’t see past the stunner as a person and BEARER also because I thought the wild animal was a boar. I enjoyed GLADYS and EMPLOYED most.

  4. I got to FORENOON like Templar, starting with AM then catching on. And BEARER was my LOI, too; came up with BEAVER first, but quickly dropped it. One of my high school French teachers was GLADYS Metcalf, long since passed on to whatever circle of hell has French teachers; looked like a Central Casting little old lady in lavender and lace, but a nasty piece of work. (Come to think of it, she could well have been born in 1901; which might explain the subsequent drop in the name’s popularity.) 7:00.
    [on edit::] I (thought I) knew ANNEAL, but I thought it meant what one did when sticking a hot sword into cold water. I also thought that it meant ‘shrive’ or ‘anoint’; but it turns out that’s ‘anele’. Gilbert seems to have got it wrong, too: Mabel sings, “Is he to die, unshriven, unannealed?”

    1. Even with the help of a religious Christian I’ve never understood that line before – thank you – and astonished that Gilbert got it wrong.
      And it’s happy birthday today to Mabel’s beloved, Frederic.
      42, if we go by birthdays.

      1. No, it’s not 42, as Gilbert and I forgot 1900 wasn’t a leap year, probably to do with some person in authority, very likely the Astronomer Royal.

  5. 10.14, no significant problems I can recall. Got the first couple of acrosses straight away which always helps. As Templar says, Val Kilmer was great in Tombstone, itself a fantastic film. There’s that memorable line when he’s almost dead from TB but still rides out to help in a gunfight: Ah’m in mah prahm. Might dig it out and watch it again…

  6. 14 minutes, so not my fastest solve by a long way, but at least a 5 minute improvement on my effort yesterday.

    I think AIX on its own tends to refer to the one in Provence but it comes from ‘aqua’ meaning ‘waters’ so it’s common enough in other names of spa-towns on the continent. ‘Aix-la-Chapelle’ tends to be the one I think of first as the French name of ‘Aachen’, which came up in an Izetti puzzle last month.

    I have to speak up for GLADYS as the name of my godmother who was a delightful person to know.

  7. I found this mostly straightforward but with a few real puzzlers. Teaser took time, but the real hold-ups and last few in were in the SE, with Gagged, Allege and then finally Bearer pushing the time out to 14 minutes. Looking back I’m not sure why they took so long, but Bearer in particular was a difficult clue – a random and not very common word for servant built from a random animal. And I always forget the many ways in which the letter combination RE can be clued.

    Many thanks Templar for the full and informative blog.

  8. Was all going so well until big hold up in SE. Couldn’t get Aix so Oxbridge took a long time, eventually PDM after thinking of card games starting with o. Once that was in the rest fell quite quickly with allege LOI

    Liked OK Corral even if Mrs RH had to correct my spelling!

    Thanks Teazel and to Templar for such a comprehensive blog. Do you have to stay up late on your watch?

  9. 15:10 here, just outside my personal target. No major issues, but a question that I’m sure someone here will know the answer to: how on earth do you pronounce Aix?

    Thanks to Templar and Teazel.

    1. Doofers, if you are asking how I pronounce Aix, as an Englishmen, it is something like the way one says Eh. But how a Frenchman pronounces it is something else altogether. I have a French sister in law and she says there are subtleties in French vowel sounds that only native French people can hear (let alone say) – her favourite example is that (depending on what part of France one comes from), the words jouer, joué and jouaient should all sound very slightly different. I strongly suspect that Aix is pronounced like one of the three – but as for which one, I have no idea!

          1. I think it’s “ex”-en-Provence but “eh”-la-Chapelle. In matters like these, the French usually choose the euphonious option.

            Like many others we found the crossword very tricky, especially the SE corner. But we got there eventually.

  10. 13:02 and a challenging but enjoyable quickie I agree.

    My LOI was DUAL, which would do for a Friday standard cryptic I think. Phew!

    Only knew AIX from my days reading Asterix. Really liked GLADYS. Thanks blogger and Teasel.

  11. 5:59. We had a Gladys in charge of NSW quite recently, but not sure I’ve actually encountered one in real life.

    Nice puzzle, excellent blog. Thanks Teazel and Templar.

  12. I found this one pretty tough, and ended up with a DNF after 30 mins with 9 unsolved. Annoyingly, none of them were NHOs, so I have nobody to blame. A total train wreck.


  13. 5:07. Another who tried with AM in 9A for a while, and also FF in 22A. Teazel being Teazing as usual. Ah yes never assume – it makes an ASS out of U and ME. Re OXBRIDGE. I was walking down Kings Parade in Cambridge with a couple of friends once and we were stopped by a tourist who asked (I kid you not!) “Excuse me. Can you tell me the way to the Oxford and Cambridge colleges?”. Thanks Teazel for the puzzle and Templar for the excellent blog.

      1. Or to Magdalene (since it was in Cambridge), but telling him the “e” was silent.

        Two fun facts about Magdalene. When Lord Audley re-endowed the college in the 1500s, he dedicated it to (and named it for) Mary “Maudleyn” – because his own name was hidden in hers. Maybe he was a crossword fan. And when it was later changed, it was Magdalen for centuries – it only became Magdelene in the mid C19 with the birth of the postal service, so as to make it distinct from Oxford!

          1. There’s quite a lot of overlap – each have Pembroke, Trinity, John’s, Jesus, Corpus Christi, Wolfson, Magdalen(e) and Queen’s/Queens’.

  14. Slow and steady. Some nice misdirection but managed to find my way home.
    School sago made somewhat more palatable by large dollops of a synthetic red jam. As a child, we had a resident nanny called Gladys, Welsh, seemed ageless, heart of gold.
    Liked HEIRLESS (chestnut?). LOI DUAL.
    Thanks Templar and Teazel.

  15. Beaten all ends up today.
    My solve can be summed up by my struggles with GOWN, which with the ‘o’ in place and a confidence that it would start with a ‘g’ it still took me an age to see the answer. Similar brain freezes over OVEN, OXBRIDGE and GLADYS took my past my target time and eventually left me battling with the NHO (forgotten?) ANNEAL, BEARER and LOI ALLEGE.
    Finished in 16.33 with what must be my highest ever NITCH score (195), which is a fetchingly deep shade of red. I’m now off to lie down in a darkened room to recover.
    Thanks to Templar for the excellent blog and to Teazel for the lesson in humility!!

  16. 18:39
    Same as Plett but longer. Worst time for a while. All clues were fair and gettable though.
    Pre coffee and every clue was slow to come.
    COD Onset.

  17. Like Pi-Curious I found this one to be tough, and I DNF’ed with 8 left unanswered.

    This has not been a good week so far for me in the QCs, not very impressive at all.

    My verdict: Meh!
    Pumpa’s Verdict: Too busy on a catnip high.

  18. Opposite experience to Plett, a nice calming green.

    I thought it a very neat puzzle, and I was firmly on Teazel’s wavelength for once.

    LOI BEARER, and there were lots to like – FORENOON for the misdirection (AM is always morning isn’t it?), GLADYS for its brevity, and in memory of my great aunt of the same name – born a little after Templar’s peak of 1901, but not long after.


  19. 12:39. I thought this was pretty hard too. The two I found most difficult were my POI BEARER which gave me the first letter for my LOI ALLEGE. Completely missed that FORENOON was an anagram; another to join the AM brigade. Favourite was the surface for DAMASK.

    Thanks to Templar and Teazel

  20. 15:08.
    I was halfway down the grid before getting going on this, then it was a steady if slow solve. When I started in medical physics many decades ago, one of my chores was to ANNEAL the LiF chips for thermoluminescent dosimetry, so I was OK with that word. LOI was ALLEGE, since my poor spelling made me think the word needed a D in it.

    Thanks Templar and Teazel

  21. Difficult. Biffed ANNEAL (NHO) and struggled with TEASER, BEARER, PEARL and ALLEGE. Phew. Yet another random name (GLADYS).

  22. DNF disaster. Will draw veil. I couldn’t spell CORRAL correctly which did not help. I did manage ANNEAL. Thanks, Templar.

  23. I suspect there will be quite a few DNFs today, as this was to me anyway, quite a tough test. I was only a little outside my target time today at 10.15, but the impression I was left with was that I needed to be on form to achieve that time. I was held up mainly in the ne corner, where I spent a fair time solving 5dn and 8ac. Eventually GLADYS came to me and VALLEY quickly followed.

  24. Another QC which required hard work and some experience.
    My problems were in the NE. LOI DUAL after VALLEY and GLADYS.
    14 minutes in all.
    My Scottish grandmother always said Forenoon instead of Morning; and her daughter, my aunt, was called Gladys -as noted above, it’s a very rare name now.
    A biffed DAX did not help my time but I’m well aware of Aix.
    COD to DAMASK.

  25. I don’t remember SAGO pudding in school but I do remember rice pudding with a tiny dot of jam. The days where I got to be milk monitor and had rice pudding for dessert were red letter days. As to the QC, FOI VALLEY and LOsI the HADJ (guess) and HEIRLESS crossing in an on target 7:50. COD for me was ANNEAL.

  26. Typical Teazel – challenging but entertaining. LOI BEARER. Wasn’t totally sure FORENOON was a real word but clearly it’s very much in usage (or has been). Know ANNEAL from crosswords only. SAGO/tapioca reminds me of primary school meals – sorry guys, but yuk. Liked HEIRLESS best. I know it’s a chestnut but it made me smile. Wanted MED to be at end of EMPLOYED too. Tricky but much to like. Great blog thanks.

  27. Corrected DNF at 31:31 when BEARER finally stopped being BEAVER.

    Horrendous. Three NHOs for me in ANNEAL, FORENOON, HADJ plus DAMASK and AIX in my VHO. Difficulty added to that with definitions like alley=lane, allege=maintain, taser=stunner. And a portcullis grid.

    On a different day I might have enjoyed GLADYS!

  28. Fastest time of the week but that’s not saying much as the first three days were all pretty disastrous. Completed and all parsed except FORENOON in 20 minutes. I never spotted the anagram for FORENOON and spent some time trying to make it start NONE—- when I had the 2nd and 4th letters. That was fairly typical of today’s experience – staring at clues waiting for PDMs – which luckily all came before I lost too much time. I knew ANNEAL, although I couldn’t tell you where from, and also BEARER, so no problem with the GK.

    FOI – 7ac DAMASK
    LOI – 12dn EMPLOYED
    COD – 5dn GLADYS. Also liked the foul-tempered old queen at 16dn

    Thanks to Teazel and Templar

  29. 11:10

    Slow start which after 7 minutes saw a third of the grid left to complete – sometimes it takes only one answer to open the floodgates – in this case I needed both ANNEAL and BEARER to do that. LOI – GLADYS. Tip of the hat to Teazel for including my area of expertise (AIX – IBM’s Unix-like operating system).

    Thanks too for the blog Templar

    1. Had Teazel clued AIX as a computer operating system it really would have tested our GK. You might well have been in a class of one in getting it.

  30. It’s been a long while since I had either sago or tapioca but both were staples of my youth. 14:02 today so a little slower than average for us now but a good 2 1/2 minutes was spent on the final pair of BEARER and ALLEGE. A good mix of clues though so thanks Teazel and Templar.

  31. 15.16 I was off the wavelength but I really enjoyed this one. Nearly all of the misdirection was successful. I spent a lot of time thinking “it can’t possibly have a J in” before getting HADJ. EMPLOYED was LOI. Thanks Templar and Teazel.

  32. I started off well enough with the NW built around FOI, SAGO, but slowed myself dramatically by biffing CORAL and BUTLER for 15a and 17a. No idea how my brain translated CALL int CO(r)AL, and I knew BUTLER didn’t parse, but left it in anyway. This held up ANNEAL and ALLEGE. The other big hold up was in the NE where last 2 in, GLADYS and VALLEY took an age to see. Improved on yesterday’s time though. 12:39. Thanks Teazel and Templar.

  33. ‘Right,’ I said, as I buckled myself in for this morning’s red-eye flight from Soton to Guernsey, ‘35 minutes will be ample time to polish off today’s QC before we touch down.’ But I was still scratching my head over DAMASK, GAGGING and BEARER when the undercarriage clumped down onto the tarmac, and at which point I threw in the towel. That I did manage to parse ANNEAL and FORENOON, despite never having heard of either, salvaged a little bit of lost pride but, ouch!
    Not a good week so far.

  34. Dnf…

    After 30 mins – only had 18dn “Allege” to get, but for the second time in a row it just wouldn’t come. Subsequently I found my answer for 23ac of “gassed” was incorrect. Had a feeling it wasn’t right – and from reading the blog I can see I missed the obvious.

    Overall, I agree the puzzle was a fairly stiff challenge.

    FOI – 7ac “Damask”
    LOI – Dnf
    COD – 20ac “Heirless”

    Thanks as usual!

  35. Hard going throughout! A slow start was followed by a slower middle phase and ended with an even slower last-few-in. Time = 47 minutes, but a at least I did finish successfully with every clue parsed.

    CoD: Not awarded, as I was too traumatised.

    Thanks to Teazel and Templar.

  36. I kept on thinking this was tough but kept getting lightbulb moments, eg ANNEAL. However a dnf as 2 items not completed within my time limit

  37. Took longer than it should have but not too too long so I guess I don’t have to slink away in shame from this pastime after all! Lots of enjoyable PDMs. Oxbridge took far too long, of course I had seen AIX right away but didn’t put it in, didn’t think it could be that because I was too dull to think of Roman numerals! Saw OXBRIDGE from BEARER and GAGGED (MEB) and realized it had to be AIX, LOI. (Also LOL at myself.)

    Thanks for the swell puzzle from Teazel and entertaining blog from Templar!

  38. Tasered. And un-employed. Struggled throughout and beaten by the last pair, first Fail for some time. However, clever clueing and plenty of entertaining PDMs until I dropped instead. Well done all those cleverer solvers. I will retire to a dark corner of the SCC and sulk.

  39. A thumping DNF. Second day in a row when I threw in the towel after getting too frustrated. Normally I refuse to quit and even if it takes sporadic efforts over several day usually I refuse to be beaten. Maybe lacking stamina over the last two days but when it stops being fun, I have decided to stop too!

  40. Look away now…

    Even by my pathetically low standards, this was an appalling performance.

    36 minutes, largely caused by not seeing OVEN (please feel free to laugh at my incompetence – after Aix, I thinking it was a place in Provence) and missing the oh-so obvious anagram indicator in FORENOON. So many other clear indicators missed.

    After not seeing any answer until HEIRLESS (which I found easy), I did my usual headless chicken panic routine. Given that I’ve been doing these puzzles for almost 4 years, you might have thought that I would have learned by now not to do this.

    My times this week: 17 mins / 36 mins / 17 mins / 36 mins. Utterly, utterly awful.
    Whenever I think I am getting somewhere, I am reminded of my ineptitude. I make the same silly mistakes time and time again.

    I am dreading tomorrow and what will doubtless be the usual Friday humiliation. I need a 13-minute finish to beat 2 hours. Fat chance of that happening. My optimism tank is well and truly empty.


    Thanks for the blog Templar.

  41. My worst performance for some time, DNF with about 5 left to do. No PDMs.No DNKs

    Maybe I got out of the wrong side of bed.

    Was it me or was it you?

    Oh well, thanks Templar for a great blog and everyone else, and thanks anyhow Teazel.

  42. DNF

    Defeated by the NE corner with GLADYS, DUAL and VALLEY, which I would never have thought a synonym for hollow, all unsolved after 25 minutes.

  43. Did not like one bit. Obscure spellings of rarely used words are just ridiculous. It’s supposed to be quick. Please improve setting skills to only use words commonly used. Thank you.
    Forenoon! Give me strength.

    1. Wouldn’t that be a bit hard on everybody else? Why not try a different puzzle that doesn’t tax you so much? I’m afraid I found FORENOON terribly easy, but I’m not complaining about it, because some are easier, some are trickier. And it’s not an obscure spelling. That’s how it’s spelled.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *