Times 28155 – … and so Cornish means like a cereal?

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic
A meaty Wednesday, this week, not far off a Friday helping, I thought. A couple of definitions on the edge of acceptable, I felt (1a, 15a) and one word at 24d I didn’t know but took a punt from the word play. Some really good stuff in between, clever clueing and interesting words. I spent about 35 minutes to complete it, with the last ten spent on the 1a / 3d crossers and the unknown 24d. Enjoy! (Sorry, I really think enjoy is a transitive verb, but times change).

1 Cut one blood-drenched knight (6)
IGNORE – I, N for knight inside GORE. It took me a long time to decide that ‘cut’ could mean ignore, without an adjective added such as ‘cut dead’. It was my penultimate one in before 3d.
4 Curried pimento wraps a possible cause of illness (8)
PTOMAINE – (PIMENTO A)*. Ptomaine poisoning is these days more often called just food poisoning; ptomaines are a non-specific group of amines caused by the action of nasty bacteria on proteins in your gut. The amines have colourful names like cadaverine and putrescine, while ptomaine itself comes from Greek ptoma, corpse. All a bit grim. I learnt this in Chemistry a long time ago, so I thought you deserved to learn it too.
10 Victor in easy position giving a wave (4,5)
SINE CURVE – What a nice clue! SINECURE is an easy job, insert V and make it into two words.
11 It’s surprising I don’t know what leaves eater gutted (5)
CORER – COR! = it’s surprising! ER = I don’t know. The ‘eater’ is an eating apple and a corer leaves it gutted.
12 We hear this person shows happiness in a glance (3-4)
EYE-BEAM – EYE sounds like I = this person; so I BEAM = this person shows happiness. Apparently an eye-beam is a glance.
13 Least wise place to keep eggs (7)
INANEST – keep your eggs in a nest, if you’re a bird. A chestnut, methinks.
14 Drink tea that’s picked up and then mostly shelved (5)
TONIC – tea sounds like T, ON IC(E) = mostly shelved.
15 Suddenly pedestrian in English city sent back summons (8)
BATHETIC – BATH is our city, then CITE = summons, reversed = ETIC. I thought BATHETIC meant soppy and schmaltzy, emotional in an exaggerated way, but our setter has a slightly different slant on it.
18 One smearing last of teriyaki dish into both hands (8)
LIBELLER – L and R (both hands) have into them put I BELLE = last of teriyaki, dish.
20 Character marking spot by fire — it resists heat (5)
PYREX – X marks the spot, after a PYRE = fire.
23 Substitute one fabric with a more decorative one (7)
REPLACE – two fabrics, REP and LACE.
25 Dirty like certain lakes? (7)
TARNISH – The Uxbridge Dictionary returns. Tarn-ish here meaning ‘like a tarn’. Apologies (and commiserations) to anyone not familiar with “I’m Sorry I haven’t a Clue”, the self-called “antidote to panel games” on BBC Radio 4 now brilliantly compered by Jack Dee.
26 Noticeably beginning to stick one’s tongue in Shiraz (5)
FARSI – What they speak in Shiraz, a city in Iran, not after drinking too much shiraz red. Noticeably = FAR, as in ‘far and way the best… ‘ perhaps; S the first letter of Stick, I = one.
27 Someone other than me about to tour pitch where Arsenal play (9)
ISLINGTON – NOT I = someone other than me. Reverse that (‘about’) and insert SLING for pitch. Arsenal play at the Emirates Stadium which is in Holloway, not Islington proper but within the London Borough of Islington so it passes muster. Great team (used to be), great stadium.
28 Black just capturing a learner’s castle (8)
BALMORAL – B (black) MORAL (just) captures A L.
29 Starter, perhaps, or where you might find one (6)
COURSE – a double definition; starter as a meal course, and starter on a race course.

1 Quietly coming between factionally divided vets (8)
INSPECTS – IN SECTS = factionally divided, insert P for quietly.
2 Old relative to bind broken knee in cloth (7)
NANKEEN – fortunately I knew this cloth crops up in crosswords; NAN your old relative, (KNEE)*.
3 Little known about revolutionaries seizing queen (9)
RECHERCHE – RE (about) CHE CHE (two Guevaras) have R for queen between them.
5 Play time cut, with Italian team past its best (3,7,4)
THE WINTERS TALE – before I had all the checkers I was toying with The History Boys, but no. It’s T (time) HEW (cut) INTER (Milan), STALE (past its best).
6 Colour of smock chap uncovered (5)
MOCHA – uncovered (central) letters as above.
7 Middle Eastern king’s about to be welcomed by pair from Rome (7)
ISRAELI – King LEAR’S reversed inside I I a pair from Roman numerals.
8 Dastardly so-and-so cutting long time lapses (6)
ERRATA – a RAT goes into ERA a long time.
9 Uptight sailor and Parisian to go home with a stage star (5,9)
PRIMA BALLERINA – As soon as I had the terminal letter A, I saw the answer and how this works; PRIM (uptight) AB (sailor) ALLER (French infinitive to go) IN (home) A.
16 Repeat son’s garbled, unnatural lingo (9)
17 Trade farthings or shillings? (8)
EXCHANGE – well, ex change would be change in old money.
19 Threaten to drive around capital of Rhode Island (7)
IMPERIL – insert RI for Rhode Island, into IMPEL = drive.
21 Ruler abroad forbidding endless revel (7)
ROISTER – ROI (French king, ruler abroad) STER(N) = forbidding, endless.
22 With heavy metal cladding, fear collapsing building (6)
PREFAB – (FEAR)* inside PB, or Pb, symbol for lead a heavy metal.
24 Hindu deity turning round old boat (5)
AVISO – Of course, I was initially looking for a Hindu deity made from O and a boat word all reversed; but there is no Hindu deity A*I*O. So, think again. O for old, SIVA an Indian deity I knew. Reversed to give AVISO. Did you know an AVISO is a boat, an ‘advice ship’ or warship in the old French and Spanish navies? I didn’t, but looked it up once I’d plumped from the wordplay.

93 comments on “Times 28155 – … and so Cornish means like a cereal?”

  1. … but did not deserve to submit, because I looked up ATOMPINE, saw it wasn’t a word, and only then was able to come up with PTOMAINE. Reminds me of yesterday’s NOC / CON debate. PTOMAINE, ISRAELI, and BATHETIC were all quite difficult, and kept me occupied for many minutes. Don’t ask me where I dredged ISLINGTON up from!
  2. 9:18 – I had a bit of a head start on this since AVISO is paying a visit from Mephistoland, where I blogged it with the same wordplay. BATHOS is defined in Collins as a sudden descent from exalted to ordinary matters. Cut = ignore is pretty common in the USA, particularly when my students decide to cut class.
  3. I went offline just short of 30′ with four clues unsolved, came back from the gym, and got them in one minute. Although I biffed ISLINGTON, no idea how it worked (but then, I didn’t think about it very long). I knew AVISO, but thought it was some sort of speedboat. Got THE WINTERS TALE from T HEW. COD to SINE CURVE.
    ‘Enjoy’ is a transitive verb, Pip; transitive verbs take–but do not necessarily require–a direct object.
    1. I think you missed my grumpy irony here! I know that and dislike people in restaurants telling me “enjoy”. As intransitive…
      1. It’s transitive. The subject (the meal or crossword) is implied. Telling a dog to ‘fetch’ or ‘kill’ is the same. I’m sure there are plenty of other examples.
        1. Since I’m in pedantic mode, I may as well note that the meal/crossword is the object. I shuffled, Max cut, I dealt. She gave to me from the tree, and I ate. I understand. Help!
      2. Missed it totally; sorry. I had no idea that people in restaurants said that sort of thing. I haven’t been to a restaurant in months.
  4. Tough old bird, with the North West giving me pause. 2dn NANKEEN again! But the ‘longuns’ at 5 and 9dn were easy.

    My FOI was 27ac ISLINGTON – home to ‘The Gooners’. They were until recently at Highbury and before that Woolwich, from whence they gained their name. My least favourite team – 1979 still rankles.

    LOI 12ac EYE BEAM


    WOD 22dn PREFAB

    I started out with GAFFE at 11ac! Anyone? My time was 55 minutes.

  5. Lots of hold-ups, mainly around the Central Queensland area. I knew BATH had to get a guernsey somehow at 15ac, but didn’t know the word, couldn’t make sense of the definition, and not helped by taking way too long over ISRAELI.

    Couldn’t remember whether it was PYREX or PIREX and was only 60% confident of AVISO, so very happy to escape from the pink void.

    A really enjoyable challenge overall. COD to SINE CURVE of course.

    Thanks Pip and setter.

    Oh, and what on earth is an EYE-BEAM?

    1. I also NHO it but Lexico has:

      rare, literary
      A glance of the eye, imagined as a beam of light.

      Late 16th century; earliest use found in Brian Melbancke (d. 1600), writer. From eye + beam

      1. You’d think it would be becoming more common, now that the eyes are just about all you can see of most people …
  6. 40 minutes. Much of this went in easily but I struggled with the NHO AVISO which I arrived at from wordplay and was amazed to find actually existed. And finally I was then held up for ages in the NW corner which had remained empty throughout apart from NANKEEN (a write-in) and IGNORE.

    The next to fall there was SINE CURVE, also NHO, but fortunately I have seen ‘easy position’ or something very similar = SINECURE in a puzzle within the past week, perhaps in another place.

    At 12ac, surely ‘We hear this person shows happiness’ gives us EYE BEAMS? Anyway that thought delayed me a while after I had first considered the NHO EYE BAEM as something that fitted the checkers.

    Possibly because of the David Essex song I had got it into my mind that the Shakespeare play is called A WINTER’S TALE, so that led to another delay on what should have been another write-in.

    It must be a sign of something that as a person who loathes most team sports and especially football, my first thought on seeing ‘Italian team’ was INTER!

    I had no idea that Arsenal play at ISLINGTON but of course I’m familiar with the place-name so I was not delayed by that one.

    1. Not sure Jack. If we accept the premise that somebody might refer to themselves as “this person”, then taken as a whole, “this person shows happiness” would translate to “I beam”.

      All a bit crosswordy though.

        1. Same here. I think it jars with me because I sort of want each element included in a homophone to be a homophone. This isn’t really logical!
    2. Essex’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ was written by Tim Rice – 1982.

      Some ten years later, ‘Queen’ finished and released their version of ‘A Winter’s Tale’ – 1995 after Freddie Mercury had died.

  7. A 58 min DNF with a typo in RECHERCHE. Still, I pretty well guessed the NHO AVISO and didn’t have much idea about BATHETIC so I deserved my comeuppance.

    Favourite was PTOMAINE, which immediately brought Agatha Christie to mind.

    Thanks to Pip and setter

  8. Is this crossword in English? It is.
    So the setter has not done the biz
    I’m no Hindu believer
    But in our tongue it’s Shiva
    And AVISO’s a bit of a swizz
  9. … truckle at the eye.

    After 20 mins I couldn’t be bothered guessing Aviso or Ptomaine. Another one spoiled IMO.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  10. First pass of this gave me just BALMORAL and PREFAB – I was so concerned that I went for an emergency Somali breakfast, in order to give me extra solving power. After consuming an excellent suqaar and rotis, I resumed, and figured my best move would be to tackle the 8-letter anagram at 4a…
    …and 5 minutes later marked the end, fellow solvers, of any remaining will to continue without assistance. Tried putting PIMENTO A into a web page called “Anagram Genius” and the only result was MAIN POET.

    It was never gonna happen for me today

  11. 46 minutes while catching up on our desperate start in the Ashes. What with that and having watched Wanderers get hammered last night on iFollow against a Cod Army, not even a real one, I wasn’t in the mood. I guessed the unknown EYE-BEAM and certainly had no intention of showing one. EYE-GLEAM maybe. LOI a biffed FARSI. I do associate ISLINGTON more with Tony Blair and to be further south than the Emirates. COD to SINE CURVE. A toughie on the wrong day. Thank you Pip and setter.
  12. For the second day in a row I struggled through only to fall at the final impossible hurdle. I must have solved the Mephisto clue mentioned by George but I had forgotten that Shiva can also be Siva and had no idea about the boat. This and PTOMAINE (which I happened to know) are very poor clues IMO.
    1. Agree re AVISO, but what’s wrong with PTOMAINE as a clue? It’s not exactly obscure (subjective I know), and you’re given all the letters to work with.
      1. Subjective indeed. I would argue that it is obscure, and if you don’t know it I don’t see how you construct it confidently from the checkers. Admittedly the alternatives (ATOMPINE?) don’t look very likely but then neither does PTOMAINE.
        1. Fair enough, so we’re just divided on the degree of obscurity of PTOMAINE. No way to resolve that other than for me to say “come on, ptomaine? Ptomaine poisoning? Really?”

          I’ll concede that it’s not the most eloquently-constructed argument.

          1. To which I can only reply that I have never seen the word outside crosswords. Not exactly scientific! To be fair most people on here seem to have had no problem so perhaps it’s just me. Or perhaps everyone else knows it from crosswords too.
            1. Definitely familiar to me, from the childhood warning don’t eat green potatoes, you’ll get ptomaine poisoning.
            2. There was a famous novelty song in the 1960s — Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, Allan Sherman — ostensibly a letter from someone at summer camp who is not enjoying himself. Anyone over about 50 who was raised in the US knows that Leonard Skinner got ptomaine poisoning last night after dinner.
                1. I think I still own the album. When my college mates pillaged my collection while my back was turned, somehow they overlooked that gem.
                1. Well, if there really is no such thing as ptomaine poisoning, what did for poor Leonard Skinner?
        2. I suspect this is a generation thing, where the word, very familiar to me as a child even (and I think galspray is closer to my age than yours), has, as Pip suggests, died out. ‘Ptomaine poisoning’ was definitely part of my GK long ago.
            1. And now that I think about it, we had a bit of a punster at school who would refer to any foot-related injury or ailment as “Toe”-maine poisoning.

              He was actually better company than he sounds.

              1. And Chambers marks PTOMAINE poisoning as ‘obsolete medicine’: ‘Food poisoning, formerly thought to be caused by ptomaines, few of which, it is now known, are poisonous if eaten’.
  13. It’s very rare to have Mon, Tue and Wed all over 100 on the SNITCH (I think the last time was 2018). Similar problems to everyone else but no issue with PTOMAINE (once I had all the crossers). Liked ISLINGTON and SINE CURVE.

    Thanks setter and Pip

  14. Am I alone in thinking 3d is a bit off? For the definition to work – i.e. for it to be read as an adjective – should it not be hyphenated?
    1. I think you are right but hyphens are disappearing all over the place these days so it may be sanctioned somewhere, but not in any of the sources I have looked at today.
  15. DNF. Rather like keriothe said. I got stuck with 26A and 24D and eventually did a word search to find FARSI and entered AVISO not remembering the Mephisto clue or answer. Otherwise I managed the rest of it OK. COD to CORER. Thanks Pip and setter.
  16. Interrupted by one call but still steady progress despite some headscratching over words already mentioned by most. Not at all convinced by FAR = NOTICEABLY and thought that AVISO should have bit more meat on its BOAT def (some idea that it is historic, or that it conveys dispatches, perhaps).
    PS: If (when?) Denise becomes a setter, will she include all these Somali brekky items – eg SUQAAR in her grids? HHU…
    1. Hmmm …interesting thought – that sure is loooong-range planning – but OK.

      In the interest of pure research, and for the future benefit of the entire community here, I’m going to continue and intensify my gastro-adventures!

  17. I enjoy your comments , Denise but am intrigued by your interesting cullinary choices . Do you eat English food?
      1. I’m lucky enough to live in a multicultural community, so I rarely have to resort to our dreary indigenous grub. I have a predilection for dishes containing fish and rice, so Thieboudienne, Kedgeree, and (especially) Ackee and Saltfish are all big faves. Also, like a quarter of the world’s population, I’m a regular slurper of soup with noodles. Yum!

        1. I love kedgeree, with indecent amounts of chopped parsley and coriander.

          I just googled suqaar, expecting something exotically spiced but it seems to be a simple stir-fry.

          Soup with noodles also a winner — tonkotsu, pho, bun hue, laksa.

          Now regretting that rather prosaic ham sandwich I had for lunch.

        2. I am SO glad you are not one of our setters, knowing that alphabet soup of possible “dishes”.
  18. Battled with this for 73 minutes, then gave up and looked up AVISO. Knew Shiva, but not Siva. Didn’t know the boat. Another one spoiled by an obscurity. Submitted offline and had all the rest correct. Thanks Pip.
  19. Otampine for Ptomaine. I expected a pink square of two in AVISO but that was OK.

    COD: The Winters Tale.

  20. Just doing PopMaster with an online friend, and she pointed out that PTOMAINE features in Allan Sherman’s wonderful “Hello Mother, Hello Father”

    I went hiking with Joe Spivey,
    He developed poison ivy.
    You remember Leonard Skinner,
    He got ptomain poisoning last night after dinner!

  21. I was getting absolutely nowhere in the top half so slid down to the bottom and started again, which turned out to be a far far better thing… AVISO was a regular in the NY Times puzzles when I started doing them which is how I knew it. Now they seem to call for knowledge of rap lyrics and HBO shows which means I often don’t finish them “I beam” – as in construction – also used to turn up there quite regularly which confused me totally with 12A (which was a NHO). In the end I found the zone for this after an unpromising start. 19.38
    1. I’ve pretty much given up on the Friday NYT, where rap singers are the least of the problem; sitcom actors, 1990s musicals, people named Kardashian, …
  22. 27.42. I had no trouble with the top half, but struggled with (obviously) AVISO and FARSI and my last in the should have been obvious COURSE.
    AVISO turns up often enough in the word game I play online, but I’ve never bothered to find out what it was. And it took me far too long to equate FAR with “noticeably”. I still think it’s a bit of a stretch made harder if you don’t know Shiraz is in Persia.
    Thanks for an erudite blog!
  23. This was hard but enjoyable work until it came to the last few.
    NHO ptomaine so, like astonvilla1, opted for otampine on the basis that it might have something to do with ears.
    NHO of aviso or siva (rather than shiva which we had in the last couple of days). Kicked myself when I read the answer to 26ac. Should have got that one.
    Also failed with 21dn despite having seen the use of roi a couple of times recently. Thought Ruler abroad was the definition so struggled.
    Also didn’t know the ‘suddenly’ aspect of bathetic which really threw me but it couldn’t be anything else.
    So 4 incomplete or wrong. It’s good to have reached the stage at which this is disappointing rather than a triumph.
    Thanks to setter and to Pip for the explanations.
  24. I found this much tougher than yesterday’s. BATHETIC was my penultimate entry after 45 minutes. I gave up on 24d and checked crrossword lists for deity and boat. I have never come across AVISO. Like some others, I think it’s a poor clue in a daily puzzle. I agree with dcrooks that the definition in 3d should be hyphenated. I’m not that keen on clues like 29. It always seems to me tha ‘where you might find one’ invites the response ON, IN, or AT, etc to begin the answer.
    There were some inventive clues elsewher that I liked.
  25. 56:03 despite all of the above. And, I put HEART in early at 20ac (hearth minus the H for heat) which messed up the SE until sorted out. A struggle, but much better than yesterday
  26. My time is pretty impossible to give as I had to do this on my desktop since the tablet I normally use was playing up, sorted now I hope, so since I was late anyway and have lots of other things to do I used electronic aids pretty freely. It still took me about 50 minutes. Somehow ptomaine was my FOI, knew of it, not sure why. I think cut is quite OK for ignore and Lexico seems to agree: ‘(dated) Ignore or refuse to recognize (someone)’. I’ve heard it used in normal speech, although perhaps my speech is dated. Noticeably = far is in my opinion much less certain.

    Edited at 2021-12-08 11:44 am (UTC)

    1. ‘It isn’t etiquette to cut anyone you’ve been introduced to’, as the Red Queen tells Alice, who’s about to take a slice of the joint.
  27. I lost the will to live at 75% done having had a terrible night’s sleep — just not on the ball nor in the mood.

    While some of the remaining 8 clues might have fallen — and a break sometimes helps here – I would never have gotten the FARSI/AVISO crossing.

  28. 37:20 with a lucky guess at AVISO, hazarding an unknown alternative spelling of Shiva and rather desperately wondering if an AVISO could possibly be a boat. Wasn’t too sure how “far” means “noticeably” either, but happy enough to have got through unscathed.
  29. Doubt I would have finished anyway. Always good to be cut down to size.

    Great swathes of the right hand side unfinished.


  30. Toughish puzzle which took me past the limits of my vocabulary with AVISO, though I worked out what it had to be. I did know PTOMAINE, though I suspect this comes from being old enough to remember the good old days before Health and Safety, when food poisoning was much more on everyone’s lips, often literally. Enjoyed TARNISH, as I do any clue which could appear on ISIHAC.
  31. 36:19 but having, like Pip, done the heavy lifting on AVISO, I then typed ASIVO. Tant pis.

    Harder than yesterday but, for me, much more fun. EYE BEAM threw me, for the same reason as it did others, but I see now that it’s fair enough. Loads of good clues but the wittily concise definition “Suddenly pedestrian” makes BATHETIC the COD.

    Thanks to Pip and the setter.

  32. ….enjoyable. SINE CURVE, EYE-BEAM,and AVISO (I only knew Shiva), were all outside my range of knowledge. Arsenal play in Islington ? Really ? Holloway is sufficiently well known, but how do non-Londoners know which Council area it falls in ? It’s like the old ‘best team in Manchester’ gag — it must be City, since United don’t play in Manchester, but in the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford.

    TIME 16:44

  33. 4ac Ptomaine WAS MY FOI too! Nasty! 20 ac Pyrex is a trade name, but that seems not to matter anymore. My COD to 5dn The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare – has he had a mention thus far!?

    Edited at 2021-12-08 03:50 pm (UTC)

    1. There have been trade names since at least the 1960s, when I started doing them (also see glossary)
  34. Solved this ages ago but forgot to report in. AVISO? I have a friend called Siva, and it was the one god I couldn’t remember. Nearly AMARO, until I remembered where Shiraz was.
  35. Coming to this after a rare day in Knightsbridge, where this was finally completed thanks to aids for AVISO and the poison. I think SINE CURVE is a serious contender for my Clue of the Year — excellent. No time, done on tubes, in cafes and at Harrods. Thanks both.
  36. Around 40 minutes but undone by Aviso which was completely new to me. Eventually saw Farsi without being able to parse it but even that wasn’t enough to catch the boat. Good puzzle, nevereasy to work through for me but still enjoyable.
  37. Once again knowing when to quit = Aviso = was important to my mental balance. I knew Ptomaine (there was a famous US novelty song — I mentioned it above), and have to say I was pleased to suss out quite a few of these. Nice puzzle, setter, barring Aviso. Thanks for the helpful blog, pip
  38. For various boring reasons I’ve been pretty busy the last two afternoons and decided to forsake the stopwatch and attempt the 15 x 15 while relaxing and watching the Euro football in the evening.
    Not a good idea really — my performance yesterday was pretty grim as was today’s — like drawing teeth. Just shows that in my case at least, if I am a little tired, the usual techniques to solve puzzles don’t seem to work.
    In both cases I doubt if I would have finished within my target time in any event. They were tough puzzles as far I was concerned. Congratulations to those of you who took these challenges in their stride!
  39. 31.51. My heart began to sink a little at first as I read clue after clue without a clue. Eventually got tarnish and managed to build from there. Not easy though.
  40. Well, I nearly finished after 55 minutes, but actually DNF, at least for a unique reason — after putting in BATHETIC on a wing and a prayer and pressing submit, I discovered I had two pink squares, having entered SOURCE (which sort of fits) rather than COURSE. I couldn’t do anything else with the .O.R.E I don’t think I’ve seen PTOMAINE anywhere for several decades now. EYE-BEAM also unfamiliar and of course AVISO. But COD to SINE CURVE (I liked PYREX, too — as the PM will know from watching Peppa Pig, X marks the spot).
  41. I went for AMIGO for no reason except it fitted and I thought I’d try it rather than using aids. I thought Arsenal played at Woolwich (isn’t their full name Woolwich Arsenal?) but that is south of the river so I was surprised when the only thing I could fit was Islington, which is north. For ages I was trying to justify RAINIER as the foreign ruler. I guessed that Shiraz must be in Iran and so put FARSI in confidently.
    1. Arsenal was originally in Woolwich but then moved at some point. I’ve no idea how I know this!
    2. Strangely, Arsenal have never formally played in Woolwich. From joining the League in the 19th.century, their stadium was in neighbouring Plumstead, but after suffragettes burned down the main stand in 1913 they dropped Woolwich from their name and relocated to Highbury (which actually WAS in Islington). They moved again in 2006 to their present stadium in Holloway.
  42. Late entry

    Absolutely no idea about PTOMAINE and I’m 55. Left that one blank after 41 but wouldn’t have come up with the correct answer

    On the other hand AVISO a write in for anyone who’s read the Aubrey-Maturin series as many times as I have. Well to be fair it was my POI but I really did postulate SIVA being an alternative to shiva (gold star self-awarded) and then out popped the answer which I did at least know was right!

    Loved the clues for the two long down clues. Ikea furniture has never been that well constructed 🙂

    Thanks all

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