Quick Cryptic No 2393 by Wurm – you are my everything!

Another quickish one.  Whilst this took me only 11 minutes to solve, it took significantly longer to write the blog, partly trying to properly understand the parsing for 2d, which is still unsatisfactory as far as I am concerned.  If I have missed something stupid, your help would be appreciated.  15d was another that flummoxed me for a while, but it eventually became clear and is a perfectly good clue.  My COD is the amusing 17d.

Please let us all know how you got on, and I thank Wurm for his efforts on behalf of us all.

I am looking forwards to Army v Navy on Saturday at Twickenham (or as one of my mates describes it, Nelson’s Men v the South Pacific Islanders Invitation XV), where I shall be wallowing in the luxury (?) of expensive all-in hospitality with a bunch of old Shipmates (at our own expense, unfortunately).  Sponsors would be welcomed for next year’s fixture!


Sacred poem from saint in tree (5)

PSALM – S{aint} inside PALM (tree).  Saint is more usually abbreviated to ST, but we have seen this version before, and we saw PALM only yesterday.

4  Lack of restrictions when squeezing Charlie’s spots (7)

NOTICES – NO TIES (lack of restrictions) containing (when squeezing) C{harlie}.

Stretch old kitchen utensils with energy (7)

EXPANSE – EX (old) PANS (kitchen utensils) and E{nergy}.

9  Old boy with cup sent back soup (5)

GUMBO – OB (old boy) and MUG (cup) all reversed (sent back).  GUMBO is a soup in the USA usually flavoured with Okra (my least favourite veggie).

10  Lace is enough to be worked into couch (6,6)

CHAISE LONGUE – Anagram (to be worked into) of [LACE IS ENOUGH].

12  Daughter in tune, or one braying? (6)

DONKEY – D[aughter} ON KEY (in tune).

13  Escapes when crossing gulf (6)

AVOIDS – AS (when) with VOID (gulf) inside (‘when’ crossing).

16  Wordless 6 from bad guy – an ogle possibly? (4,8)

BODY LANGUAGE – The answer to 6 down is communication, which makes the definition here ‘wordless communication’.  The answer is an anagram (from, possibly) of [BAD GUY – AN OGLE].

18  Expert in A-section? (5)

ADEPT – A (a) and DEPT (department, section).

20  Delayed catching rook in camp loo (7)

LATRINE – LATE (delayed) containing (catching) R{ook} IN.  LATRINE is defined in my Chambers as ‘A lavatory, esp in barracks, camps, etc.’

21  Using every effort in Home and Away? (4,3)

FLAT OUT – FLAT (home) and OUT (away).

22  Do famous marathon?  That gets you thin (5)

RUNNY – To ‘do’ a famous marathon might be to ‘RUN NY (New York)’.  Think runny custard for runny = thin.


Ran through piece about king by duke (7)

PIERCED – PIECE containing (about) R (Rex, king) and then D{uke}.

2  Had a game plan sorted for keeping ball – most important element (5,3,5)

ALPHA AND OMEGA – Anagram (sorted) of [HAD A GAME PLAN] and O (keeping ball).  I must admit that I am bemused by the definition.  ALPHA AND OMEGA, meaning first and last, has often been used as a description of God, and Jesus defines himself with that phrase in Revelations.  It can also mean the whole lot, the kit and kaboodle, but how either of these usages relate to ‘the most important element’ I have no idea – perhaps someone can provide assistance.

3  Old knight in control in religious community (9)

MONASTERY – MASTERY (control) containing O{ld} and N (knight in chess notation).

4  Rivalry unnecessary when ship departs (6)

NEEDLE – NEEDLE{ss} (unnecessary) becomes NEEDLE after deleting SS (ship departs).

Mark’s catching game (3)

TAG – Double definition.

6  Moggy one in sharing thoughts gives message (13)

COMMUNICATION – CAT I (moggy one) inside COMMUNION (sharing thoughts).

7  Second drink, kiss and cuddle (4)

SNOG – S{econd} and NOG (drink).  Apart from the famous (and revolting?) yule-time quaff of Egg NOG, NOG can also mean strong Norwich ale, so it is a perfectly valid synonym for drink.

11  Viagra not stirring pilot (9)

NAVIGATOR – Anagram (stirring) of [VIAGRA NOT].

14  Background in the theatre? (7)

SCENERY – Slightly cryptic definition – not the best clue of the day IMHO.

15  Poor actor allowed in drama (6)

HAMLET – HAM (poor actor) and LET (allowed), to give the name of the Shakespeare play (drama).  Until I stopped thinking about a hamlet as a small village, and saw it as the play, I struggled with parsing this before entering it.  Was POOR the definition, or drama?

17  It’s back of leg or a little lower? (4)

CALF – Double definition, the second relying on the alternative definition of LOW, which is to make the noise of a cattle.  My COD.

19  Duo in ancient wood (3)

TWO – Hidden word in {ancien}T WO{od}.

81 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 2393 by Wurm – you are my everything!”

  1. 21:44. NEEDLE for rivalry and RUNNY for thin took me a while to see. I was also distracted by thinking full out at first instead of FLAT OUT. I was pleased that Charlie was just used to give a “c” in NOTICES instead of being used in any pejorative sense. I’m sure the newly crowned monarch will also appreciate this thoughtfulness.

  2. This took me ages for some reason; drowsiness and lack of concentration mainly. DNK the rivalry sense of NEEDLE, my LOI. Nothing pejorative in ‘Charlie’ this time, but a rather off-putting clue! I do wish they’d keep cross-referencing clues like 16ac out of QCs (I wish they’d keep them out, period); but I might remind everyone that the convention is that an Arabic number refers to a clue, while a word (‘six’) does not. (Naturally, ’50’ is not going to refer to a clue, in a QC, at least.) 9:29[!]

  3. 13 minutes. My solving time taken together with Kevin’s and Vinyl’s suggests that this puzzle is perhaps harder than the average QC. The two clues I was aware delayed me unduly were to ADEPT and NEEDLE. The first I thought of immediately but for some reason I didn’t see the wordplay so I didn’t write in the answer until it came to me much later. I’m not sure I ever knew NEEDLE in the sense of ‘rivalry’.

    I had no problem coming up with ALPHA AND OMEGA and wasn’t aware of its religious meaning, only that it meant something important like ‘the be all an end all’. I looked it up after reading the blog and found this in Collins as a secondary definition: the basic reason or meaning; most important part.

    1. Thanks Jackkt. I did look at the usual sources for such an alternative definition, which I was sure would legitimise it, but came up with nothing in Chambers, Wikipedia or even my Collins, which doesn’t include that second definition you cite. Strangely, I won my Collins recently by completing and submitting one of the Times weekend prize cryptic puzzles. You’d think they would issue as prizes their own reference sources!

      1. I wonder which edition of Collins you have? I took that definition on-line but I’ve now checked my printed copies (9th, 1oth and 12th editions – I stopped buying after that) and they all have it exactly the same. My understanding is that the official sources for Times cryptic puzzles other than Mephisto are Collins and the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English.

          1. Thanks. I wonder if under the title on the cover it says ‘Essential edition’? If so, it’s a cut-down version. That’s the only one I can find confirmed as published in 2019 but my info may not be complete.

              1. Thanks. I googled the ISBN number and this is what came up:

                Collins Essential – Paperback English Dictionary Essential: All the words you need, every day (Collins Essential): Eighth edition
                Publication Date 04-04-2019
                ISBN 978-0-00-830943-5
                Pages 992

                The full version has 2300+ pages, so obviously something had to go! It’s available free online (plus American entries and Cobuild stuff), always a useful resource.

  4. I struggled from the off today. Only two on the first pass of acrosses and then the downs didn’t come to the rescue. NHO ALPHA AND OMEGA but apart from that Wurm just outplayed me. CALF was a brilliant clue, I echo Rotter’s COD award and expect it will be COW and enjoyed the ‘ex pans’ in EXPANSE but SCENERY is probably the worst clue in a long while, an escapee from the concise? ADEPTY was LOI, the temptation to bung in ‘agent’ was enormous but I finally made the perfectly reasonable leap from ‘section’ to ‘department’. All green in 20.34 with the longest holds ups in the NE.

  5. ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ A long slog this morning, constantly interrupted by breakfast pleasantries on the first morning of our holiday with friends. An emphatic kick under the table from Mrs ITTT finally persuaded me to abandon all efforts until breakfast was over and I could comfortably retire poolside. (We are 2 hours ahead of UK time.) So all green in 56 minutes.
    I didn’t understand ALPHA AND OMEGA either, and couldn’t parse MONASTERY, but bunged them in anyway. PSALM took a long time as I was trying to fit in ST for ‘saint’ and didn’t have the ‘P’ until my LOI, PIERCED emerged. I especially liked CHAISE LONGUE.

    The weather is grey here and only marginally warmer than home, but I have packed tee shirts, shorts and sandals so am damned well going to wear them, despite Mrs ITTT having confiscated all of my socks. (Unbeknown to her I’ve secreted away a couple of knottable hankies for headgear, should the Kefalonian sun deign to make an appearance at any point. That’ll show her!)

    1. Also abroad on holiday and I have to report the weather in the Algarve is wall-to-wall sunshine. Luck of the draw I guess, although like you this was a long, but ultimately satisfying, slog for me. Lower for cow is excellent and a deserved COD! I also liked Adept. No knotted hankies here however..

  6. Finished correctly, but slowly.
    LOI and COD to CALF.
    I agree with Jack about the parsing of ALPHA AND OMEGA.
    MER at the clue for SCENERY which seems to be a single, simple definition, not very cryptic at all.

    1. I think he was trying to mislead by suggesting “career history” for “background” (“Jane’s background is in law”).

  7. I made life difficult for myself by biffing ‘sign language’ for 16a, without properly reading the clue.

    1. ‘Ball’ is often ‘O’ in cryptics. It had to be added to complete the anagrist. John.

      1. Ah – ok! I know O is ‘ out for a duck ‘ in cricket. Didn’t know O for ball. Thanks!

      1. yes! Got it! Honest! round ball = O! Not likely to ever forget this! Oooo!

        1. Seeing your comment about duck being “out for a duck” in cricket ^^^

          Kick me if I’m patronising you but … “love” and “duck” are O because they mean to score nothing in tennis and cricket respectively. Hence what goes on the scoresheet or scoreboard = O

          Ultimately go with whatever helps you remember it though 👍

          1. yes! Got it! I was only confused by O = ball this morning! All good – you can all relax now but have much enjoyed the conversation and enthusiasm shown for the little O!

            1. I was always told that Love, as in scoring, was derived from L’oeuf, because the zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg. But I cannot find a categoric reference to it so it may be an urban myth.

              1. Yes, I heard that too; and subsequent rebuttals that it was a myth. I wouldn’t be surprised though given sportsmen’s enjoyment of calling things by other names e.g. an 8 on a golf card being a snowman; and in tennis being beaten 6-0 in a set is known as a bagel.

          2. Just to add to the confusion, most grown-up cricket games consist of two innings per side. A batsman scoring a ‘duck’ in each of his two innings (0-0) is said to have earned a ‘pair of spectacles’ or just a ‘pair’, so OO in Crosswordland can be clued by pair or spectacles.

  8. Pleased to sneak in under target as I thought this was quite tricky in places.
    It all started very promisingly as both of the 1s went straight in but their offshoots proved more elusive. The two long across anagrams needed a lot of thought as did the parsing of LOI SNOG.
    Overall I thought this was one of the better puzzles of recent weeks with many standout clues including DONKEY, NEEDLE and COD CALF.
    Thanks to Rotter and Wurm

  9. Yes, I agree that this was harder than usual and a style that threw me off balance. I started very slowly, made more progress on the LHS at first, although I had to return to 1a because, like Rotter, I was trying to incorporate ST. I finished with ADEPT and FLAT OUT in the SW followed by TAG, SNOG, and (LOI) NEEDLE in the NE. CALF made me smile when the penny dropped.
    In the end, I was 2 mins over target but all correct and mostly parsed; at least I was a couple of minutes under 2K which doesn’t happen often. I biffed 6d and couldn’t make sense of ALPHA AND OMEGA at first but as well as ‘the beginning and the end’ (Revelation 1:8) which I know, I see it can also mean ‘the basic or essential element or elements’. I see that jackkt got there first, though.
    An interesting QC. Thanks to Wurm and to Rotter for the blog. John M.

  10. 48:15 … thought that was spectacularly 💥 misjudged for a QC as only had TWO and SCENERY on first run through clues and quite a few I had no idea what I was meant to do with them. As I hit the SCC I had got to 7 or 8 answers. Couldn’t sort the long answers COMMUNICATION, SIGN-LANGUAGE (which is made worse when you don’t know 6) or ALPHA-AND-OMEGA until past 30mins. Long anagrams are tough without checkers.

    I am happy to put myself in as more of a biffer than good solver but there was so much in here that even when I had checkers I just couldn’t see. LOI ADEPT where I had to hold myself back from just chucking an answer in and alphabet trawl.

    Wow! Really pleased to have solved it successfully though.

    1. One thought in case it helps in future. You didn’t actually need to solve 6 before solving 16. The clue to 6 makes it clear the definition is ‘message’. So you know the definition of 16 is ‘wordless message’. You also know it’s an anagram and with some checkers it is straightforward to solve. This is generally the case for cross-referenced clues in the QC

  11. Definitely tougher than usual, but that’s why Penny dubbed him Wiggly Wurm. I’ve never come across ALPHA AND OMEGA in the secondary sense cited by Jack, only as “the beginning and the end”, so that took a long time to come. Was also very unsure about NOG.

    Limped home in 11:52 for 1.2K and a Meh Day. COD to CALF.

    Many thanks Wurm and Rotter.


  12. I join those who found this puzzle tough, and it took me 16 minutes to complete. I think at this stage with 20-plus comments we need to tip the hat to our blogger for what appears to have been a cracking time on a Difficult Day!

    Rather than list the individual clues that I struggled on it is easier to simply say “most of them” (though funnily, Alpha and Omega was one of my first ones in despite doubts about it expressed in the blog), with the whole NE corner blank for a long time and the Needle/Notices pairing the last to fall. Clearly not on Wurm’s wavelength today.

    Many thanks Rotter for the blog.

    1. Tough indeed but no DNFs to this point. I’d predict any DNFs will be more a case of throwing in the towel.

      On reflection, I found the clueing tough whereas the answers were nothing unheard of.

  13. I also found this on the tricky side, scraping under my target at 9:48. FOI, PSALM, LOI, BODY LANGUAGE. Thanks Wurm and Rotter.

  14. I suspect there will be quite a few DNFs today with this one, with many clues that would happily sit in the 15×15. I eventually limped home in 15.44 with my last two NOTICES and finally SNOG holding me up for two to three minutes. Didn’t help myself by biffing EVADES for 13ac and initially spelling the second part of 10ac as LOUNGE instead of LONGUE.

  15. I did pretty well with this one until I had 6 clues left that just would it come to me. In the end I had to use aids to answer them.

    I knew Alpha and Omega as relating to Jesus, but not the most important element. However, once I saw above somebody saying the “be all and end all” I could see it.

    Army and Navy at Twickenham. I don’t miss having to police that. The worst was having to go to a nearby army barracks for a post event briefing, which seemed to take as long as the event itself! 😩

  16. Glad (some) others found this tricky. It took me a full 38:12 to get over the line. Very puzzled by the 6 in ‘wordless 6’ for an eternity. Also struggled with seeing the parsing for ADEPT at first. Last three in were NEEDLE, NOTICES and SNOG (dnk ‘nog’ = drink). Also overthought PIERCED and wasted time trying to put ‘st’ in ash, elm, oak etc for the now very obvious PSALM. Brain really slow today.
    Liked CALF very much. Many thanks Rotter and Wurm.

  17. DNF today due to ADEPT. Thought of Agent but couldn’t parse it and stopped at 20 mins. Other than that, I thought all was fair and reasonable although slightly harder than average. But some QCs have to be harder than average! I don’t have any complaints about SCENERY which seemed like a reasonable clue, misdirection to someone with a background in the theatre being an actor. Why complain about an easy clue?
    Thanks to Rotter for the helpful blog.

  18. I’m firmly in the “good puzzle, if a bit difficult in places” camp.

    DONKEY, RUNNY and CALF were worth the price of admission on their own so to speak.

    I’d never heard of the religious definition of ALPHA AND OMEGA, so thankfully wasn’t held up by that.


  19. I started quite well with this one, with quite a few falling at the first read through. After that though it became quite a struggle, although there was nothing particularly untoward in either the clueing or the vocabulary. In particular I was very slow to solve the long anagrams and needed all the checkers to come up with COMMUNICATION at 6dn for some reason. However I saw CALF at 17dn straight away. No time as I was so relieved to finish I forgot to stop the clock, but it can’t have been far short of 30 minutes.

    FOI – 8ac EXPANSE
    LOI – 18ac ADEPT
    COD – 17dn CALF

  20. I agree with others that this seemed quite a testing puzzle from Wrum but, whether by luck or judgement, this was a rare day when the answers came without too much delay – right up until loi Adept. After an unsuccessful alphabet trawl, I was sorely tempted to throw in the hidden and totally unknown (for good reason) Asect, but a more considered run through finally prompted Adept and an 18min finish. For 2d, I was happy enough with ‘totality’ for ‘without restrictions’. CoD to 4ac, Notices. Invariant

  21. DNF – couldn’t get NEEDLE/NOTICES at 4d/4a, a bit too subtle for me: needle = rivalry?? and didn’t see TIES = restrictions. Oh well. COD CALF.

  22. About 10 1/2 minutes, though inaccurate Club time due to an interruption. ALPHA AND OMEGA seemed OK to me though I bunged it in from wordplay and didn’t think too much about it. As intended, I was misled into thinking of the wrong sort of ‘thin’ for RUNNY which I found the most difficult clue, not helped by the crossing SCENERY being barely cryptic as noted. I liked DONKEY and CALF.

    Thanks to Wurm and TheRotter

  23. That was quite a mental workout and I’m very pleased to have finished in something under an hour.
    Don’t think I have ever biffed so many answers with all the crossers in place and then parsed them e.g. Hamlet, Needles, Notices, Avoids and Communication (which I could not parse)
    Enjoyed it all the same and the helpful blog.
    COD to Calf for the laugh.

  24. Glad it wasn’t only me – yes, it was classic Wiggly Woo! I found this a bit of a plod and finished in 16:20. I can’t say why exactly – nothing was overly difficult – but I couldn’t get a grip on it. GUMBO took ages, even though I had all the letters – I just couldn’t get them in the right order (shades of Eric Morecambe there) 😅 The juxtaposition of 7d and 11 d made me smirk (but sadly it took me ages to get SNOG!) and I liked CALF and DONKEY a lot, but my reaction to SCENERY was ‘Is that it?’. So rather a mixed bag today.
    FOI Psalm LOI Snog COD Navigator
    Thanks Wurm and Rotter – congrats on a very good time on what was clearly at ticky day for many of us!

    1. I’ve noticed that Rotter’s times are often better when he’s blogging – the pressure obviously stimulates the little grey cells! (And it takes us all ages to get a SNOG these days.)

      1. I wonder if my times when blogging are shorter due to the fact that I solve at a different time of day on blogging days. Who knows, but I have noticed the same phenomenon myself. One other factor is that my daily solves are on an iPad, and I work on a pc when blogging.

  25. Delays aplenty today. The 2d anagram fitted with the checkers but I didn’t understand the cluing. BODY LANGUAGE needed all the checkers too. I was very slow to see FLAT OUT and ADEPT and I nearly gave up with my LOI SNOG which needed several alphabet trawls. 14:50

  26. Needed CCD for NOTICES, then biffed NEEDLE from the clueing but NHO it as meaning Rivalry. It is not in my Oxford dictionary as a noun in this sense.
    Major eyebrow raise. I see queries above too. (Later : sorry, have checked larger ‘new’Oxford and found needle as rivalry ‘Brit Informal’)
    Admit I failed on ADEPT as forgot to go back and check. Good clue though. I liked HAMLET, AVOIDS, SNOG, CALF, SCENERY.
    Thanks for much needed blog, Rotter.

  27. Failed five, I’m afraid. Searched for a word for rivalry, would never think of NEEDLE – how does that work, please? Wanted it to be CALF but couldn’t parse it. Failed to see FLAT, NOTICES, TAG. Can’t see how NY works in RUNNY (but it had to be; and now answered by TheRotter below, thank you). NHO GUMBO but again it had to be. Slight MER with PIECE, retained unaltered from clue to grid?

    1. Collins:
      needle (ˈniːdəl)
      in British English
      15. informal
      a. anger or intense rivalry, esp in a sporting encounter
      b. (as modifier)
      a needle match

      1. Thank you – NHO – how rare / obscure is that? (Thank you jackkt and Random, below.) Thank you also to DaveC. I can imagine NEEDLE as a verb, but how does it work as a noun? Can one of you invent a plausible sentence?

  28. Right at the outer limit of my capability. 53 minutes, but how I reached the finish line I will never know.

    PSALM was my FOI and I had entered eight solutions by the time I had gone through all of the clues, which took nearly 15 minutes. Everything after that was a struggle and my last few were ALPHA AND OMEGA (no idea what was going on there), ADEPT, EXPANSE (couldn’t see past EXPANDe or EXPANDo), NOTICES (never parsed) and NEEDLE (doesn’t equate to rivalry, IMO). Not really a pleasant experience, I’m afraid.

    Mrs Random took 27 minutes and then proceeded to complete a Joker QC from a couple of weeks ago in just 18 minutes, thereby comfortably finishing two QCs before I’d done one. That’s the way it goes here.

    Many thanks to Wurm and Rotter.

    1. We’re in the same boat today, a finish but a long slog. Well done on getting through it.

  29. 16:26 (Coronation of King Charles I)

    A very tricky QC, taking longer than the combined time for the previous two days. Very few of the across clues solved on first pass.

    LOI was PIERCED.

    My copy of the one volume Oxford dictionary has “the essence or most important features” for Alpha and Omega.

  30. Dnf…

    Has a shocker on this, and it seems from above that I wasn’t the only one who found this hard.

    Didn’t get anything in the top half on first pass and then only had slim pickings on the rest until I chucked in the towel after 30 mins.

    “Alpha and Omega” for 2dn. Seriously? Still have no idea what is going on with that clue. At one point I thought it was Flora and Fauna, only because I couldn’t fit anything else in.

    FOI – 12ac “Donkey”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 17dn “Calf”

    Thanks as usual!

  31. 14:25

    Seemed much tougher to get into as others have mentioned – only DONKEY of the acrosses, plus four downs on the first pass. Still a bit of a slog after that and didn’t have my anagram-solving hat on, needing several checkers on each of the long ones to fill them in.

    Not too happy with TAG nor SCENERY clues, but LOI ADEPT was very good – took me a while to come up with that even with all checkers.

    Thanks Wurm and TheRotter

  32. NOTICES, NEEDLE and ADEPT were my downfall today, where some help was needed even to finish in 35:45. Liked CALF, particularly. Thanks Wurm and Rotter.

    1. Apart from thinking that donkey is one of the funniest clues I’ve seen, I didn’t get on with this much and couldn’t finish it. Done in by notices, needle and adept. Oh well tomorrow is another day. Fred.

  33. I needed help to get NOTICES, which unlocked my LOI NEEDLE. I’m pretty sure we’ve seen this used to mean “rivalry” before. I was happy to get the long anagrams without aids. Overall pleased to finish in 22:03, on what I thought was a tough day. COD CALF.

    Thanks to Wurm & TheRotter.

  34. Trickier than average. A ‘duck ‘ in cricket is I think short for a ‘duck’s egg’ – apologies if I’ve missed someone noting this in the ‘O ‘ discussions. Liked BODY LANGUAGE – with ‘ogle possibly’ giving an ‘and lit ‘ feel. Incorrectly stuck in RANGY for RUNNY…….

  35. Am I to understand that there is a famous race in New York ….. namely the NY marathon? If not I don’t understand 22across. Any info would be appreciated.

    1. Correct! The NY City Marathon is the largest annual marathon in the world, and runs this year in November.

  36. 11.29

    Yup definitely on the hard side. Some excellent clues and a v nice anagram for CHAISE LONGUE but I am with Kevin on the cross reference clues. Not for me at all.

    Thanks all

  37. A pretty horrific day. Finished in somewhere around 50 minutes, but derived little enjoyment. Very hard to get going and definitely not on Wurm’s wavelength (is anyone?).

    I had hoped to achieve 5 finishes in less than 2 hours this week. As a result of today, I am now at 1 hour, 43 minutes. Annoying after 3 good days.

    Had to laugh at some of the speed solvers saying how slow they were. What I wouldn’t give for some of those times! It seems a long time since the day when I solved a Wurm in less than 20 mins.

    Thanks for the blog Rotter, entertaining and informative as always.

    1. Was a toughie but we solved it. Once I knew it was going to be hard work, I switched my mindset from time to just getting the completion. Just putting the focus in the right place so you feel some sense of achievement.

      I rate your chance of the sub2 week better than mine as I’ve totalled 1hr56 so far 🤣 I agree though it does get frustrating to get past Wednesday and feel it’s a possibility then have it trashed.

      I thought Wurm was a setter I got on with and I didn’t check until post-solve. Turns out my previous four attempts of this year came in at 19min, 53min, 16min, 29min. I don’t know how someone can be so variable in their setting.

      Your times for the same four were 17mins, “well under 20mins”, 13mins, “over an hour” (the Peter Sellers, gauntlet one) which makes 9th March the last time you solved a Wurm in under 20mins! 😉

      Hang in there GA. You’ve had three goodies this week. I don’t think anyone here thought this was easy. Oh, except Rotter that is 😂

  38. Thanks L-Plates. I hadn’t realised how well we had done with so many of Wurm’s previous offerings. Like so many QCs, if you can get a decent start and a good number of checkers, the answers to the tricky ones tend to look after themselves. Your stats show that he does throw in a real ‘stinker’ now and then!

    I’m happy to have completed today’s puzzle. I thought I was badly off form today but, on reflection, many solvers struggled.

    Fingers crossed 🤞 for tomorrow. It certainly won’t be the end of the world if I miss the 2 hour cut-off. A full week of solves will be a solid achievement.

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