Quick Cryptic 2623 by Hurley – hello Dr Purr

This is a friendly grid if you can get 1a and/or 10d, and the cluing is fairly gentle. So I’m hoping to see some happy solvers, hard as it is to predict the general reaction! A pleasingly exact 06:30 for me.

It’s Pi Day today and I was on alert for a suitable Nina, but if it’s there I’ve missed it. (OK, PI is hidden in UTOPIA, but these things happen – if you read the unches across the middle rows you get “O sit me, Dr Purr”, for example, and I’m not reading anything into that either. Unless Hurley is sending Ninas to his cat, of course.)

Definitions underlined in bold.

1 Insured person’s decision-making basis with husband not so young (6-6) 
POLICY-HOLDER – POLICY = “decision-making basis” + H for “husband” + OLDER for “not so young”. I solved this in reverse order, starting by wondering what “not so young” could mean, getting “older”, adding an H and then seeing the answer.
8 Highest point — unplayable tennis serve Mike welcomed (4)
ACME – ACE is the unplayable serve, inside which is M for Mike (NATO alphabet). As a child I once wondered out loud why objects in cartoons were regularly labelled “ACME”; my classicist mother explained to me that it was the Ancient Greek for “peak”. And then turned the television off.
9 Historical ship all gone sadly (7)
GALLEON – anagram (“sadly”) of “all gone”.
11 Tenant maybe full of energy to go in again (2-5)
RE-ENTER – RENTER is “tenant maybe”, into which (“full of”) we insert E for “energy”.
12 Money Greek character’s keeping at home (5)
RHINO – Wonga. Spondulicks. Skrilla. There are some fantastic slang terms for money and RHINO is one of them, first used in the 1600s  (origin sadly unknown) and still going strong. The wordplay is IN for “at home”, going inside the Greek character RHO (“keeping”). Fancy using RHO on Pi Day *looks sternly over spectacles at Hurley*.
14 A second carrier off right path (6)
ASTRAY – A + S (“second”) + TRAY (“carrier”, very good). “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6, set to beautiful music by Handel in The Messiah).
15 Brought by some guru to piazza, a perfect spot! (6)
UTOPIA – hidden (“some”) inside “gurU TO PIAzza”. When Sir Thomas More wrote Utopia he was at pains to point out that it meant “no place” rather than “a good place”, which would have been “eutopia”.  But authors lose control over their creations, and a perfect place is what it means today.
18 Behind street, a quiet hiding place (5)
STASH – I did not know that STASH can mean the hiding place as well as that which is being hidden, but it’s in the dictionaries. ST = “street”, after which (“behind”) we have A + SH (“quiet”).
20 Travelling up from here, maybe, give voice to Left (7)
AIRPORT – a rather sneaky definition, but with reasonably accessible wordplay: AIR = “give voice to” and PORT = “Left” (always worth remembering “port” when L doesn’t help).
21 The Spanish agent, potentially very smart (7)
ELEGANT – EL = “the Spanish”, followed by an anagram (“potentially”) of agent. Lovely clue.
23 My mistake cutting end off spool when returning (4)
OOPS – take the last letter away from “spool” (“cutting end off”) and reverse what’s left (“when returning”). Another slightly elliptical definition, in the same family as “that hurt” for OW or OUCH.
24 Sign of trouble ahead? End could hurt unfortunately (12)
THUNDERCLOUD – an anagram (“unfortunately”) of “end could hurt”.
2 Group of musicians crash tore apart (9)
ORCHESTRA – it is a reasonably well known crosswording fact that ORCHESTRA is an anagram of “carthorse”, but here the anagram (indicated by “apart”, never seen that one before) is of “crash tore”.
3 After popular late ruler, note a disinclination to act (7)
INERTIA – ER is our “late ruler”. She comes “after” IN for “popular”, followed by TI (the last of the DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LA-TI notes) and then A. Phew.
4 Food, you must swallow good? Right (6)
YOGURT – I would have given you any money that YOGURT has an H in it, so I refused to enter this until I had all the checkers. According to Collins, British English = YOGHURT and American English = YOGURT. But Chambers just gives “yoghurtyogurt or yoghourt” without suggesting any transatlantic preferences and a quick squint in my fridge shows both with and without an H. We live and learn. Anyway, the wordplay is YOU containing (“swallow”) G for “good”, followed by RT for “right”.
5 Losing head, one working hard in fuel ship (5)
OILER – someone working hard could be a “toiler”; take off the first letter and you have an OILER, which is a ship that carries oil.
6 Fitting grand, you see ultimately (3)
DUE – the last letters (“ultimately”) of “granD, yoU seE“.
7 Track down small animal, old, by where we live (3,2,5)
RUN TO EARTH – I liked this very much, COD from me. RUNT is a “small animal” (as in “the runt of the litter”), + O for “old” + EARTH for “where we live”. Again I solved this backwards, starting by wondering what “where we live” might mean.
10 Newspaper era the bods recollected (10)
BROADSHEET – an anagram (“recollected”) of “era the bods”.
13 Unprepared, I’m seen at concert, put out (9)
IMPROMPTU – IM for, err, “I’m” + PROM for “concert” + an anagram (“out”) of “put”.
16 Confusion from time in school reportedly, one is livid at the start (7)
TURMOIL – TURM sounds like “term” and thus is “time in school reportedly”. To that we add the first letters (“at the start”) of “One Is Livid”.
17 Minister’s contribution to coup — a story! (6)
PASTOR – today’s second hidden word, inside “couP A STORy”. Here “contribution” is the novel (to me) indicator for the hiding.
19 Difficult to import oysters initially for store (5)
HOARD – HARD is “difficult”; it “imports” (ie has inside it) an O for “oysters initially”. Very neat.
22 Monsieur in European Union — one that won’t fly? (3)
EMU – M = “monsieur”, and it goes inside (“in”) EU.

112 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2623 by Hurley – hello Dr Purr”

  1. No problems. Biffed POLICY-HOLDER, never parsed it; ditto, I think, for IMPROMPTU, where the U gave it away. 5:36.

  2. A lot of biffing here too, so thanks Templar for doing the hard work on POLICY HOLDER, RUN TO EARTH and IMPROMPTU, my LOI. Actually my real LOI was EMU, a total gimme which I had not even seen, and my scouring of the grid to find whatever was missing so as to prevent me getting the congrats message took me just past 7 minutes. A fun puzzle, I suspect there will be some super-quick times and not too many complaints.

  3. At 7 minutes this was my best solving-time since Izetti’s puzzle on 5th February, so a welcome return to form, especially on a puzzle set by Hurley whose last offering two weeks ago delayed me for 19 minutes.

  4. Unlike others so far I found this quite tricky and was ultimately defeated by (RUN TO) EARTH and ASTRAY. Looking back though this was a good puzzle so many thanks to Hurley and Templar.

  5. Had to come back to POLICY HOLDER – very disappointing for a former Bridport rep with Refuge Assurance. NHO LOI RHINO but then it’s only been around for 600 years – give it time to bed in. Enjoyed INERTIA unfolding before my eyes and THUNDERCLOUD emerging from the anagrist. Fastest for (quite) a while, all green in 7.42.

  6. DNF very cross with myself to have missed the 2 hidden clues. I knew it had to be Rhino but never heard of that expression for money. Otherwise enjoyed this one.

    Thanks Hurley and Templar

    1. Apologies, I seem to have posted in the wrong place! (But I too have a big problem in missing hiddens).

  7. Rather than try our usual method of get one answer then follow the crossers to solve clues where we have at least one answer, we started by going through the acrosses. Delighted to get 6 in first pass which helped get many of the downs.
    Chuckle moment ar COD oops. Also NHO rhino for money.

    Then it all slowed up! At 26 minutes we had 4 left and took until 36.23 to tease them out with POI pastor and LOI airport putting up most of the fight. Sooo annoying when you finally spot it’s a hidden.

    Thanks Hurley and Templar for the great blog – yes I recall Wile E Coyote opening countless Acme boxes in Road Runner, happy days 😊

  8. An enjoyable solve and not as testing as some of Hurley’s offerings.
    Couldn’t make head or tail of 1a so came back to it once I had a few checkers in place, but BROADSHEET opened up the left hand side of the grid nicely so worked my way round from there.
    Started with ACME (which only seems to exist in cartoons and crosswords) and finished with AIRPORT in 7.46.
    Thanks to Templar

  9. 14:30 (birth of Margaret of Anjou)

    Held up by the NE corner. With 7d I got the RUN TO part, but then took ages to get GROUND out of my head.

    Thanks Hurley and Templar

  10. 06:29
    Nice to be faster than our speedy blogger, even if by only a second, doesn’t happen very often.
    And after a steak/red wine night.
    I was only held up by LOI NHO run to earth.
    Some sad surfaces with the old ship and the musicians.
    COD galleon.

  11. I got my fastest ever time for a quick cryptic on this, but kudos to Mohn for breaking the 2 minute barrier – not sure if this has ever happened before?

      1. Really? It’s rare you see under 1 minutes for the concise, 2 minutes for the quick cryptic and 3 minutes for the normal cryptic. I always think of these as like the 100m 10 second time: doable, but only under perfect conditions.

        1. In the Quitch, you can click on the names of individual solvers and see (among other data) their top ten times. Mohn’s start at 01:21 and end at 01:34, so 01:56 is nowhere near his top ten. He’s incredible!!

        2. The Quitch reckons you’ve had a 2:01 and a 2:04 in the last year so you’re underselling yourself! Also, bear in mind that it only started collecting data last summer so any fast times from before that won’t appear.

          Of those benchmarks, I think the sub-1m Concise is the rarest (none so far this year – I seem to remember half a dozen, maybe a few more, last year) with the sub-3m Cryptic two or three times as common (one this year – at least 18 last year). The sub-2m Quick Cryptic has been achieved by at least 7 different genuine solvers this year alone, with one occurring on average every other puzzle, so perhaps 1m45s or 1m40s might be a better Quick Cryptic benchmark for a very fast time.

          That said, at least a couple of solvers have done the Cryptic in sub-2m30s or Quick Cryptic in sub-1m30s so, under perfect conditions, these benchmarks can be comfortably beaten. I’m not sure the same can be said for the Concise – I’ve seen maybe one sub-55s in the ~12 years I’ve been doing it, and I may even be imagining that one.

          1. I did the concise in 59 seconds once, and have seen Verlaine got 58 seconds before. I don’t think it’s possible to do it if you’re not a touch-typist. For some reason it reminds me of a competitive eating contest, but I’m not sure why …

      2. I never knew there was a QUITCH! Or that you could show top 10 times. They’re impressive feats of statistics, those sites.

  12. Strangely after a month or so of being logged in to the blog, today I find I was logged out again. Anyway, a very easy ride from Hurley today which I completed, fully parsed, in 13 minutes which is like lightning for me.
    Well, I say fully parsed but I didn’t know yoghurt could be without a ‘h’, NHO ‘rhino’ for money but thought it must be, and NHO ‘stash’ for the hiding place rather than the loot. Great to lesrn something so thanks to Hurley for that.
    I very much enjoyed Templar’s blog which made me laugh out loud, always a good start to the day. As a child I thought ACME was the name of a company from which coyotes bought equipment to catch roadrunners.

    Thanks Templar and Hurley.

  13. It sure is Pi day today, as I think I delivered a PB of 15.16! 😀

    A few biffs, but this is a happy bunny here. 🐰

    Happy Thursday all. Pi ❤️

  14. 15:54 … I was very much enjoying that for the first ten mins but I felt it was let down a little bit by OILER, RUN-TO-EARTH, THUNDER-CLOUD and a couple of other words/phrases but everything was parseable.. Only know RHINO from Crosswordland.

    Have to say I was taught Pi is bigger than 1.43 but with inflation perhaps it’s shrunk in real terms 🤷‍♀️ Takes me back to my teenage days of playing Pimania on the ZX81 when the Golden Sundial prize could only be claimed on 22nd July (22/7).

      1. Certainly did. The old 16K wobble pack with a bit of cardboard wedged under it to try and avoid crashing from hammering the membrane keyboard while playing 3D Monster Maze. Apparently the ZX81 1K Chess game is a treat though – amazing what someone could do with so little available memory.

        Were you part of the 80s home computing revolution?

        (And well done on today’s PB 💪)

        1. Thank you!

          And yes, I started off on a ZX81 then progressed to a Sinclair QL, on which I became quite competent at BASIC programming. However, uni and career took me in a totally different direction from IT, though I still love tech!

          I still remember fondly that earsplitting screech from the tape deck as I loaded up a program onto the ZX81. It used to drive my parents nuts. The quiet whirr of the QL’s microdrives made a big difference to domestic harmony. 😊

          1. The Sinclair QL – wow, I barely ever saw one of those. I went down the BBC Micro B route which led to an ‘A’ level and then secured a job as a “trainee computer programmer”!

            The tape loading noises / screens of all those early computers are a memory for our generation – Youtube and emulators are a good place for reliving this stuff. One of my friends wrote an article about Commodore 64 loading screens for Zzap! 64

            1. I was fortunate to start my company with one of the engineers credited in the team designing the Acorn/BBC micro OS. An outstanding multi-talented hardware/software engineer. Sadly he died a few years ago. Our first product was based on an Apple 6502 with Z80 card, software in assembler and blistering performance for its time. A lot was done with the barest ingredients.

        2. I was a C64 devotee, and wrote a routine to produce poetry based on the frequency distribution of the next letter after being given a pair of letters. Written in 6502 assembler for speed, and this is the basis for ChatGPt 40 years later.

          1. I remember all my classmates were using the C64, BBC Micro, PAL, Acorn (same as BBC?), Apricot, Spectrum. The QL was a bit niche, so I was looked down upon.

            And little did you know you that back then your poetry was inadvertently sowing the seeds of humanity’s destruction by the AIs and the droids.

            1. Yep, Acorn made the BBC A/B, Atom, Electron, Master and Archimedes. Aforementioned writer friend lent me a book called “Retro Tech” which has a couple of pages on most of the computers/consoles up to 2000.

              There was a big rivalry between Sinclair and Acorn who were both based in Cambridge. Acorn won a BBC contract (as in tv corporation) to create the Beeb which was used as part of a Computer Literacy Project including a dedicated TV show. And then all the schools bought them.

              1. We had a BBC Master Compact. Then my husband won an Apple notebook in a competition to compose a short poem on a flight to the USA. He was surprised it turned out to be a computer.

      1. As our esteemed bloggar Templar points out … today is Pi day – 14th March … I assume it’s not because it’s 14.3 …

        1. Do you express the date 3/14/2024 in Britain or 14/3/2024? I’m not even sure what we do here. I prefer smallest to largest, i. e. day/month/year but that doesn’t give a number close to pi.

              1. It’s like that other States-side “day”, the “Star Wars Day”, from “May the 4th”. It is my daughter-in-law’s birthday, but when she announced it as “Star Wars Day” none of us had a clue what she meant. It is nothing like so obvious if your custom is to say “4th May” …

  15. At last a finish in just under 14 minutes and no fat fingers either. I thought ACME stood for a company making everything. You learn something every day.

  16. Dnf…

    After 20 mins, I had everything apart from 7dn “Run to Earth”, which I had never heard of as an expression. As a result, I was probably always going to struggle. My other main hold up was 20ac “Airport”, but once the penny dropped I thought it was a great clue.

    FOI – 1ac “Policy Holder”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 20ac “Airport”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. Sounds exactly like it to me. I can’t even think of a way to pronounce either of them differently.

      How would you say them?

      1. From both the avatar and the fact that his moniker is “Jagsman” (the Jags being Partick Thistle), I’m putting money on Glasgow!

  17. 6.21

    Not sure I will ever beat this as there were no delays.
    I certainly couldn’t read the clues and write in the answers in under two minutes, even if I were to repeat this puzzle now!
    Thanks all.

  18. Nice straightforward QC.

    RUN TO EARTH was LOI. POLICY HOLDER took a while – solved in the same way as Templar.

    I’m a great fan of the Road Runner cartoons, so it raised a smile to see Wile E Coyote’s favourite supplier.


  19. 4:37

    Definitely my quickest for a while – not much missed on the first pass of acrosses and the downs were just as benevolent.

    Thanks Hurley and Templar

  20. Not super easy, imo, but maybe I was distracted this morning. I did finish but had to dot about the grid until I solved POLICY HOLDER and BROADSHEET. Biffed RHINO. Also biffed PASTOR before I saw the hidden. LOI AIRPORT, with a wry smile.
    Yes, thought of YogHurt but dismissed at first as too long.
    Thanks vm, Templar.

  21. I was nicely under target at 8.40, but judging by the comparatively quick time of others, I suspect I may have underperformed. Nothing held me up to any great extent apart from my LOI where it took me a while to get RUN TO EARTH. The only reason I solved RHINO is because I’ve seen it so often in crosswords; I’ve never actually heard anybody use the expression. I suspect it may be tricky for anyone relatively new to crossword land.

  22. For those who haven’t heard of RUN TO EARTH meaning track down, I imagine it comes from foxhunting. The fox was sometimes tracked to its Earth, i.e. its lair or den. That was in ye olde days when foxhunting was permitted. The expression can be used metaphorically, of course.

  23. I didn’t find the grid particularly friendly as I couldn’t see 1a. I did start with 10d though. I had forgotten RHINO for money and, like Templar, I thought STASH was something you find in a hiding place not the hiding place itself. My penultimate solve was POLICY HOLDER and LOI a biffed YOGURT (not how I spell it but I’ve just looked in my fridge and I have Greek yogurt). 8:30

    1. “Not the Messiah” if you can find it is much funnier, less pedantic, and occasionally moving: Terry Jones singing “Take us home” is more than a bit special.

      1. Brian: “You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals.”
        Crowd: “Yes. We’re all individuals.”
        Single Voice: “I’m not.”

  24. 12:55. I thought depot first for HOARD and only remember ever seeing PROMs plural but not the singular PROM. The hidden UTOPIA jumped out at me but I puzzled minutes over PASTOR. Curious. Enjoyed THUNDERCLOUD most.

    1. Your eyes must have skimmed pastor hidden word there!

      You’re having a good week. The manager at the SCC says she is missing your trade (and wit and humour of course)!

  25. I didn’t think I’d complete this one as my first run through was poor. However, with perseverance I managed to finish this QC, admittedly with a little help from His Royal Orangeness.

    For 12a, all that kept going through my mind was RHINU, a currency found on the Discworld.

    As far as I’m concerned, it’s yogHurt!

    ACME, of which Wile. E. Coyote is a regular patron.


    My verdict: 👍
    Pumpa’s verdict: 🐈

  26. I found this more difficult than most people seem to have done, although in retrospect I can’t really see why. I was interrupted several times and, although I stopped the clock, it takes a while to get back in the groove. That’s my excuse anyway. All done and parsed in 21 minutes except ORCHESTRA which was obvious from the crossers.

    LOI – 16dn TURMOIL (failed to read the clue correctly which added a couple of minutes to the time)
    COD – 13dn IMPROMPTU

    Thanks to Hurley and Templar

  27. I was going to come in with one of those infuriating “I did it all across then all down in a quick time” comments only to discover most of us found it easy enough, especially given that dodgy looking 1a. Mind you, a quick time for me is still 6.57, which puts me a dispiriting 74th on the current leaderboard.

  28. Spent a good 30 secs looking at the clue for 1ac, trying to work out what was going on, before deciding that a few crossers were called for. Oiler and Due then prompted Holder, and Policy then fairly jumped off the page. After that slow start, I tuned into Hurley and made good progress around the grid, finally crossing the line in a satisfying 15mins. CoD, in a strong field, to loi Airport- where the target initially seemed nearly as baffling as 1ac, but I eventually twigged. Invariant

    PS I have never before come across Pi Day (sheltered life etc), which is a bit embarrassing considering my son is a mathematician.

  29. A steady solve, no great holdups once I realised it was YOGURT not YOGHURT. Biffed RHINO -NHO. STASH is what you put in a place, not the place itself, isn’t it?

  30. After a self-inflicted, but nevertheless galling DNF yesterday Hurley has restored my self-belief with a more straightforward challenge today.

    1a was too complicated for me without any checkers, as were all three of the other long clues, so I was forced to work from the middle out. I had question marks by several clues – OILER, RHINO, RE-ENTER and STASH – as I approached my last few, but I managed to satisfy myself about those before laying down my pencil.

    My final three clues in were RUN TO EARTH (I would say RUN TO GROUND), YOGURT (I would include an H) and POLICY HOLDER.
    Time = 21 minutes.

    Mrs Random started after me and struggled with RHINO and some in the SE corner. However, she’s a canny operator and made sure she crossed the line a minute quicker than me to earn the family point. By the way, when I told Mrs R about the reason for my DNF yesterday (writing paATHETIC instead of APATHETIC and therefore being unable to solve ALIENATION) her comment was “I thought you would know by now not to be such a wassock”. How kind!

    Many thanks to Hurley and Templar.

      1. It’s a cracking word, though I’ve only ever seen it as “wazzock”. “Wazzock” is in Collins (“a foolish or annoying person”), but “wassock” appears only as a “new word suggestion”.

        New Word Suggestion
        A word used frequently in the Midlands to describe someone who is a bit dim, an idiot
        Additional Information
        My friend really is a bit of a Wassock.
        Submitted By: Unknown – 11/09/2012
        Status: This word is being monitored for evidence of usage.

        1. I happily defer to your spelling (wazzock), Templar. I first heard it used by my scout group leader, back in the early/mid ‘70s. That was in ‘Daarzet’, although our town had switched from Hampshire just a few years earlier. I have since heard wazzock used on a number of occasions in Devon/Cornwall and, given the prevalence of the letter ‘z’ over there, I wonder if the word originated in the SW.

      1. Mrs R and I also do on the odd occasion that we attempt the 15×15 or Saturday Jumbo. Normally when I’m driving on a long journey.

  31. It felt very fast but my internal clock must be running slow, since I only barely made it off the bus at 19:56.

    Very enjoyable, thanks to Hurley for the generous RHINO clue, without which I never, never, never would have decided to put that in (more obscure knowledge for the crypto toolbox). And for the many great surfaces.

    LOI AIRPORT, for some reason.

    PS I too was logged out for some mysterious reason.

    Thanks Templar for the entertaining blog!

  32. With POLICY HOLDER and BROADSHEET going in more or less at sight, the grid was opened up nicely. I did the across clues first, skipping the ones that didn’t spring straight into mind, and finished with THUNDERCLOUD. I needed the R from OILER before I remembered RHINO. ACME brought back happy memories of recording Wile E Coyote cartoons for my kids on a Grundig 4004 video recorder, the one with a square cassette with the spools mounted vertically inside the cassette. 5:15. Thanks Hurley and Templar.

  33. Nice puzzle. Last two in were RUN TO EARTH, followed by AIRPORT (doh, and therefore COD). Needed the checkers for POLICY HOLDER. Only know RHINO in crosswordland. Thought YOGURT had an H but happy to be educated. Many thanks all.

  34. Hurley at his most benign I thought as I fairly whizzed through (for me). Now have a gap in my evening routine! 1a didn’t come until 5d and 7d gave useful hints for (h)older and then policy jumped into place. Why did I mis-spell 21a and need go back and correct it? Heaven only knows. Liked the hiddens.
    FIO 2d Orchestra
    LOI 18a Stash – simply missed it earlier but with all the crossers it had to be
    COD 7d Run To Earth.

  35. 7.11 I was flying through this but AIRPORT, PASTOR and ASTRAY took two minutes at the end. Quick for me anyway. I’m pleased to see that my spell-checker doesn’t like YOGURT either. Thanks Templar and Hurley.

  36. Enjoying some warmth in Crete and tucked into spinach and feta PIe for lunch and may well continue the theme and have a PInt later on (although the carafes of decent and remarkably cheap white Cretan wine are difficult to pass up). So thank you for pointing out the day – and for the blog. Shame the connection of yog(h)urt at 4 was not followed up by something more Greek at 13 unless I’m missing something.
    Oh, yes – the crossword – just under 10 minutes finishing on airport (which is where the short break will end all too soon).

  37. 7:57 here, very quick for me. All but two of the acrosses and all of the downs went in on my first pass, leaving only ASTRAY and AIRPORT to be mopped up. I cannot conceive of doing this 4 times as quickly: hats off to the speedsters.

    Thanks to Templar & Hurley.

  38. 5.06

    First quick time for me in a while, like a few other posters.

    AIRPORT was good and a few others but I have to admit to not bothering with clues like 1a until I have a few checkers. So a bottom up solve and POLICY HOLDER close to my LOI without needing to work out the parsing

    Thanks Hurley and Templar for the excellent blog, as always

  39. Didn’t quite make it to the door of the SCC before the final word went in, an enjoyable journey. 1A went straight in which helped considerably. I’ve learned my Greek now, so RHINO wasn’t a problem despite being very unfamiliar, had to be. PASTOR was well hidden, a PDM at the end.

  40. I loved the chat about early computers. I wonder if I am the only one who used a Commodor 64 to do the church accounts?

    1. I reckon there were a few more out there. The ability to do accounts and word processing was part of the marketing I’d reckon. In between Attack of the Mutant Camels!

      Incidentally, my friend’s mum used to use their BBC Micro for processing the results of the Orienteering club/races I believe.

  41. 10:53, this is looking like a good week

    Held up a bit by putting in THUNDERCLAPS, and unsure about RHINO=money.

    Solved while waiting at Belgrade AIRPORT, and that was my LOI, as I thought it might be ADRIFT.

  42. Really enjoyed this puzzle which was pleasantly accessible. It gave me a PB of 16:14 despite a slow start and taking two minutes to find LOI Run to Earth. Just over two years ago when I started (because I was worried about declining linguistic skill) I was happy to get 2 or 3 clues. Thanks to all the bloggers for helping me train up!

  43. At the faster end for us at 10:26. Difficulty seeing LOI PASTOR at first though and needed some checkers for 1a. Applause for COD RUN TO EARTH. Re RHINO, we’ve only come across it in crosswords and probably learnt it from this blog. I suppose it should be no surprise that there are so many slang words for money but I always have an internal groan when I see ‘money’ in a clue. The checkers fell the right way here!


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