Times 28383 – Witty Wednesday

All you could wish for in this enjoyable offering, I thought; some clever wordplay, a bird and a plant we know, and a couple of things for me to bang on about with a bit of enthusiasm. Half an hour, ending with 20d and 26a, which took a little time to parse.

Definitions underlined in bold, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, anagrinds in italics.

1 Associate’s satisfied cry after swapping leads (9)
BEDFELLOW – a FED BELLOW would be a cry by someone satisfied = fed.
6 Weird private radio hosts bringing little comfort? (5)
CRUMB – CB (Citizen’s band) being a type of private radio network; insert RUM for weird. A crumb of comfort being a common expression, in UK at least.
9 Light artillery in retreat hold firm (3-4)
ARC-LAMP – RA (artillery) reversed, then CLAMP = hold firm.
10 Large duck with bill for storing of milk(7)
LACTEAL – AC (bill, account) “stored by” L (large) TEAL (duck).
11 Take delight in spinning dancefloor discs (5)
DROOL – hidden reversed as above. Some dogs like Labradors drool with delight, but ours is a proper poodle so it doesn’t. EDIT I’ve just noticed that my HTML has the L of drool in red, but the display shows it as blue like the F before, and it won’t let me highlight the L without the F. Very odd.
12 Ill feeling on May 1st, I suspect (9)
13 Winger joking about training exercises? (5)
PEWIT – PE WIT could be joking about physical training.
14 Give cards for snap? (3,4,2)
GET SHOT OF – double definition, one meaning to fire someone, one meaning to take a photo.
17 Leg I planted without assistance (2,4,3)
ON ONES OWN – ON (leg, cricket) ONE (1, I) SOWN (planted).
18 People had power to cut fees (5)
DUPES – P for power goes into DUES for fees.
19 Fab to be somehow associated with iconic sort of series (9)
FIBONACCI – (FAB ICONIC)*. Fibonacci numbers (the series in which each number is the sum of the two preceding numbers) are interesting, not least because of the frequency with which they crop up in the natural world; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number if you are as interested as I am.
22 Place roughly the wrong way round, causing malfunction (3,2)
ACT UP – Reverse PUT CA (place, roughly = circa). Malfunction as a verb here.
24 Use a lot of energy, a shade overeagerly at first (3,4)
EAT INTO – E (energy) A, TINT (shade) O first letter of overeagerly).
25 As Ladies Champions announced, so the stars come out (7)
NIGHTLY – sounds like “Knightly”, knights once being ladies’ champions.
26 Girl at home suffered back cramps (5)
DINAH – HAD (suffered) reversed with IN (at home) “cramped” inside. Not a common name, but it gave me a pleasant earworm of Whispering Paul Mc Dowell in The Temperance Seven, 1966 (“.. is there anyone finer.. in the state of Carolina… “).
27 Leading exponent of drag, the outlandish (9)
1 Come down in pursuit of bachelor flat (5)
BLAND – B for bachelor, LAND for come down.
2 TV show of note, worth streaming in company (6,3)
DOCTOR WHO – DO (a note) then CO with (WORTH)* inside. Started in 1963, and still running.
3 Do like lifting uniform with character, mostly, and something decorative on it? (9)
EPAULETTE – APE = do like, copy, “lifting” makes it EPA, U for uniform, LETTE(R) = character mostly; “on it” meaning on a uniform.
4 Report of what happened at northern karaoke? Inside, it’s painful, it’s smoky! (7,8)
LAPSANG SOUCHONG – “a person from Lapland sang song” being the report in question; insert OUCH for “it’s painful” and you have the smoky tasting Chinese tea.
5 With a good end, but not a good ending? (4-11)
WELL-INTENTIONED – I’m open to other ideas, but I think this is a cryptic definition, as in you meant well but in the end it didn’t go well. I can’t see any wordplay for another explanation.
6 What chance a dog periodically needs a tree? (5)
CACAO – alternate letters of C h A n C e A d O g.
7 Truck on run, one from which all our deliveries come? (5)
UTERI – a UTE or utility vehicle being what my Aussie cousin drives, then R for run and I for one; Latin plural of uterus.
8 Game restarts, marred by low frequency fouls (5-4)
BULLY-OFFS -(BY LF FOULS)*, where LF is short for low frequency.
13 Check cover on trailer after parking (9)
PROOFREAD -P (parking) ROOF (cover) RE (on) AD (trailer).
15 From hospital yard, mountains and a bush can be seen (9)
HYDRANGEA – H (hospital) YD (yard) RANGE (mountains) A.
16 Something from the sewer to throw across street (9)
TOPSTITCH – TO, PITCH with ST inserted. Mrs piquet assures me topstitch is a thing.
20 Stick up only CD of first four, perhaps? (5)
BATON – the first four letters being ABCD, NOT AB would leave only CD; all “up” i.e. reversed.
21 One books into new hotel for a date? (5)
NINTH – N(new) I NT (one, books) H (hotel).
23 Petition to exclude a busybody (5)
PRYER – PRAYER without the A.


77 comments on “Times 28383 – Witty Wednesday”

  1. I found this one really tough and after half-an-hour I had only 6 or 7 answers in place scattered around the grid. Eventually I managed to get some flow into the proceedings and I eventually completed the puzzle in 66 minutes.

    Still a technical DNF though as I used aids for the unknown FIBONACCI which was another of those lottery-style clues relying on an anagram of a foreign word or name. The three unchecked vowels might have gone in any order if one didn’t know the answer.

    I wondered if using LF from ‘low frequency’ as anagrist in 8dn might make it an indirect anagram which I understood is not permitted in the daily Times puzzles? I’m used to these in The Guardian now so it didn’t bother me unduly.

    1. Hi John,

      I seem to recall a comment some time ago, probably from Peter B, that indirect anagrams will just about get through the editor if the indirect element can’t really be anything else. So you might see Post Office denoting PO in the fodder, but not, say, shop leading to DELI.

      1. Many thanks, Penfold. If it came from Peter he might only only have been referring to the ST which as we know has slightly different conventions. Also on today’s example have we ever seen LF = Low Frequency before, I wonder? I’ve confirmed it’s valid but it’s not in the same league as PO = Post Office. I might expect either to appear as enclosed by other anagrist but not split up and included in the general mix.

  2. 30:13
    It probably would have been closer to 20′ but for a couple of recalcitrant clues. I was pleased to quickly spot the hidden DROOL, but does ‘drool’ mean ‘take delight in’? ‘drool over’, maybe, but. Biffed DOCTOR WHO, parsed post-submission.
    I came up with DUPES early on, but couldn’t see how that would be ‘people’; it took me forever to see ‘people had’. I didn’t know ‘give cards’, and I didn’t think of the relevant ‘snap’, but the G_T/_H_T/ suggested GET SHOT OF, and suggested nothing else. So 8d (LOI) was X-OFFS, and there I was stuck, never having heard of BULLY-OFF. So I looked up bally-off, belly-off, etc. and finished the puzzle on a low note.

    1. Hi Kevin, I read the definition as simply “take delight”, with “in” just linking it to the cryptic bit.

  3. 17:36. I also found this tough, and was badly stumped at the end thinking that GET SHOT OF was the only thing that fitted the checkers and enumeration but clueless as to how to parse it. Eventually I dredged this meaning of ‘give cards’ up from somewhere deep in the memory banks but somehow never spotted the much more obvious photography reference.
    Good one.

  4. Slow, but fun.

    No problem with FIBONACCI. The series is well known in mathematics and science.

    I think the definition at 10ac might just be ‘of milk’.

    1. Interesting that prime numbers were referred to in yesterday’s puzzle and then there’s the Fibonacci Sequence today. In future I plan to use only primes that appear also in Fibonacci as lottery picks.

  5. I really enjoyed this, before getting stuck at the very end on what I guessed, though I could not quite see why, must be GET SHOT OF and BULLY/BILLY/BELLY…?-OFFS left undecided. Having admitted defeat, I resorted to Chambers Word Wizard for the last, but BULLY-OFFS was not seen there. As for not even seeing the relevance of the “snap” part of the clue for the first, it had been a long day and this was a strenuous exercise up to that point. LAPSANG SOUCHONG, indeed! (Well, maybe easier for tea-drinkers.)

    I agree with Bruce about LACTEAL.

    As for DINAH not being a common name… well… there was DINAH SHORE, for shore, y’all. Man, was there ever!
    And all us Americans know the folk song “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” (for a folk song, it sure has a lot of different parts—like a Broadway production number!):

    I’ve been working on the railroad
    All the livelong day
    I’ve been working on the railroad
    Just to pass the time away
    Can’t you hear the whistle blowing?
    Rise up so early in the morn’
    Can’t you hear the whistle blowing?
    Dinah, blow your horn

    Dinah, won’t you blow
    Dinah, won’t you blow
    Dinah, won’t you blow your horn
    Dinah, won’t you blow
    Dinah, won’t you blow
    Dinah, won’t you blow your horn

    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
    Someone’s in the kitchen, I know
    Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
    Strumming on the old banjo

    Fee-fi, fiddlee-aye-o
    Fee-fi, fiddlee-aye-o
    Fee-fi, fiddlee-aye-o
    Strumming on the old banjo

    (What’s the difference between a banjo and a trampoline?
    You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline!)

    1. There’s also Tristram Shandy’s aunt. “Amicus Plato; that is, Dinah was my aunt;—sed magis amica veritas—but Truth is my sister.”

    2. Thanks for “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”. If I ever had heard this before, it was long forgotten. Charming and folksy. Good to see that recordings and videos are still being made for kids, young and old.

      (Don’t give me any ideas about what to do with a banjo. We have an old one at home. It remains intact – for the time being).

    3. I like Dinah Shore’s “Shoofly pie and apple pandowdy”. We’ve had one or both of those puddings in the puzzles. (I never get enough of that wonderful stuff!)

  6. A couple short in the NW corner after 60 mins: BEDFELLOWS & EPAULETTE.

    Other sporting starts as well as Kick-off : Tip-off ( basketball), face-off (lacrosse), stroke-off (bandy), swim-off (water polo)


    1. Indeed. More generally, the phrase WELL-INTENTIONED seems most often to be either preceded by a “while…” or followed by a “but….”

  7. Another finding it hard, feeling vaguely uneasy with a few answers. Missed the Spoonerism/swapping leads at 1ac. Didn’t know “give cards” but did see snap for shot, though not as the whole phrase. Saw well-intentioned as a not-great CD. LOI Bully-offs vaguely recalled after much fruitless staring, confirmed by finally seeing the anagram after entry – so an excellent clue. Overall much enjoyed
    Can I be Jimbo for a day and say: Everyone has, or should have, heard of the Fibonacci series.

      1. 😉
        Can I also say lapsang souchong, which I occasionally get a hankering for, is harder and harder to find down here.

  8. 48 minutes. Pretty hard work. I wondered if there was anything else to WELL-INTENTIONED but it doesn’t look like it. I couldn’t parse GET SHOT OF; NHO ‘Give cards’ meaning to fire someone, but no excuses, just missed the relevant sense of ‘snap?’.

    ‘Report of what happened at northern karaoke?’ = LAP SANG SONG? OUCH! No, I quite liked it.

    A few ear-worms already, to which I’ll add “Buttons and Bows” sung by the 26a chanteuse mentioned by Guy.

  9. Didn’t have much luck in the NW corner, but CRUMB got me started, reminding me of nattering away on my CB radio as a teenager. After that it was a random walk around the grid—the random walk being a mathematical concept that I think I learned around the same time as I first heard about the FIBONACCI sequence—enjoying such fun as BATON and DOCTOR WHO until finally finishing off with PROOFREAD. The last would have been quick if I’d not been convinced that “cover” meant that the word would end with FIELD… A smidge under 40 minutes, I think.

  10. 34:42
    Slippery puzzle! I liked it. Always on the edge of getting stuck, but somehow kept inching forwards.
    Thanks, pip.

  11. Should’ve stayed in bed! Biffed FIBONNACHI early in solve without checking the anagrist, so the effort in digging out the rest of it with BULLY OFFS, CRUMB, and LACTEAL exercising the neuron mightily at the end, was all in vain. 33:34 WOE. Thanks setter and Pip.

      1. Ah yes, well spotted Jerry, probably something to do with my very early emergence due to a lack of slumber. I went back to bed and got 90 minutes sleep after I wrote that!

  12. 16:15. Nice to have a day when I knew all the GK – FIBONACCI was recalled from school maths and BULLY OFF I think possibly from school hockey. I looked it up just now and apparently it’s no longer used to start a game.
    I finished with EPAULETTE having spent some time trying to fit in “emulate” for “Do like”.

  13. Then Nightly sings the staring owl,
    Tu-who; Tu-whit, a merry note,
    While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

    25 mins pre-brekker. Very clever and neat and tidy. I don’t like abbreviations being shoe-horned into anagrists, so Low Frequency got the eyebrow twitching.
    Thanks setter and Pip.

  14. 37 mins for a stop-go solution
    Fibonacci went straight in as it’s one of the most famous series
    Didn’t parse 1a or 4d (LOI)

  15. Excellent crossword with too many clever clues to list. Thanks setter.

    For the last two days I have had a female teal on the river outside of my window reaching up to eat blackberries. She landed precisely as I read the word ‘duck’. Timing is everything. Uncanny.

  16. 51 minutes with LOI GET SHOT OF. I found this tough but fair, apart from perhaps WELL-INTENTIONED which for me didn’t quite work. The LAPSANG SOUCHONG took a long time to brew too. COD to BEDFELLOW. Thank you Pip and setter.

  17. 60m 48s
    Yes, a very good and enjoyable test. Thank you, Pip, especially for the parsing of GET SHOT OF, DUPES , NIGHTLY, EPAULETTE and BULLY OFFS.
    But what am I missing in 27ac? GODFATHER is a ‘leading exponent’?
    Favourites today: BEDFELLOW, LAPSANG SOUCHONG and BATON.
    You’re quite right, Pip: Poodles don’t drool. They’re far too classy for that. Unfortunately my ‘Bianca’ has now learned to whimper to get my attention…..and treats.

  18. 15:47

    I can only echo what Sawbill said, “Excellent crossword with too many clever clues to list”.

    It took me a while to get momentum but once I’d homed in on the style and quality of cluing we were dealing with, things went smoothly and I never felt stuck.

    isla3 is bang on about what Jimbo would have had to say about Fibonacci.

  19. 22′ 20″, with CRUMB / UTERI last in.

    WELL-INTENTIONED went in, then spent a while looking for the parsing. I also never correctly parsed any part of GET SHOT OF.

    FIBONACCI spelling is best remembered by knowing that it means ‘son of Bonacci’. Because of the war in Ukraine there is a shortage of sunflower oil – sunflowers are a superb illustration of the Fibonacci sequence.

    Thanks piquet and setter.

  20. 18:47. Quite tricky but I enjoyed the PDMs when they came – e.g. “people had” for DUPES and the great LAPSANG SOUCHONG. LOI the clever UTERI after CRUMB. Thanks Pip and setter.

  21. After last week’s wipe-out, I wearied of reporting my failures, and thought I was having a crisis of confidence – this persisted through to today, where I made a sluggish and half-hearted start. Felt bogged-down and about to give up at about 28m and 60% completion, but instead I took a stroll to my allotment. Grabbed a generous serving of blackberries and raspberries, and had them with muesli before resuming, and the turnaround was remarkable – I zoomed through the remainder, apart from LOI EPAULETTE which took about 4 minutes.

    Along the way, I was reminded of my own favourite DINAH, the divine miss Washington https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKV2zYv1h9g

    Found unfortunately that I’d tripped up with GET SHUT OF – but anyway at least the enjoyment, and a degree of self-belief returned. 37m fail, thanks P and setter

    1. The fruit sounds wonderful Denise. Has the drought affected your plantings? We had no blueberries at all this year. We seem to have plenty of bees but apparently not the right kind to pollinate the blueberry bushes.

      1. Rather dry summer here in NW England, Olivia, but no hosepipe ban – so fruit yields, especially blackberries and rhubarb, have been excellent. This time of year I absolutely adore my muesli with fresh berries, picked when they are super ripe / sweet / juicy, and eaten immediately. You can’t get them in the shops at any price in that condition, because they have almost zero shelf-life, and are incompatible with supply chains. A super-delicious (and super-healthy, guilt-free) seasonal treat!

        1. I’m lucky enough to have a small mulberry tree in my garden, Denise. If you’ve never tried picking them, my advice would be don’t wear white, unless you want to look like you’ve been in an accident! That’s why they can’t be sold in the shops: the skins are so delicate that they can’t be transported, seeping a blood-red juice at the slightest touch.

  22. Struggled with this one as couldn’t get the two long ones for a while and had the wrong end of the stick with a couple others too.

    Dragged myself over the line in just over 20′ and then had a typo anyway!

    Thought there was a lot of fun wordplay though so thanks setter and p

  23. Very surprised to find how difficult so many people found this — it took me 27 minutes and there were no problems so far as I could see. FIBONACCI is surely pretty well-known, although having a background in teaching elementary maths I’m very aware of it. There’s even a musical group, a quartet I think but am not sure, called ‘The Fibonacci Sequence’. I am never convinced by those pictures one sees with a golden rectangle placed on top in what seems to me a totally random position.

    In 11ac surely the definition is just ‘take delight’, because otherwise how is the inclusion indicated?

    WELL-INTENTIONED seemed a bit vague. TOPSTITCH was what they call an educated guess.

    1. Pleased to see that the group is the correct name for
      1,1,2,3,5,8,………. which is a SEQUENCE in Mathematics
      The Fibonacci Series would be
      1+1+2+3+5+8+……….. .

  24. 27:56
    Found this tough going and was irritated at times by, in my opinion, some laboured surfaces.

    That said, having completed it, I can appreciate the overall excellence of the cluing. So maybe it’s just the heat.

    Thanks to Pip and the setter.

    1. Yes, I found myself getting bored halfway through the reading of some of the clues. Having said that, I concede my attention-span is pretty low these days.

  25. Very slow start but then managed to get up some momentum. Not too sure about DROOL which I associate with babies and bibs rather than delight, but no quibbles about the rest. A spoonerism with no mention of the doctor was certainly unusual. Had no idea what was going on with the cards in 14a but saw the photograph. I never played hockey but had somehow heard of a BULLY-OFF, though if pressed I’d have said it was rugby. I did like LAPSANG SOUCHONG a lot. 25.03

  26. Well, I definitely found this difficult, finishing in 1hr 10 mins but with the incorrect BALLY-OFFS unparsed, obviously, so a DNF. Other unparsed clues: BEDFELLOW and DUPES. Remembered FIBONACCI from his previous outing.

    I have never had a LAPSANG SOUCHONG in my life so no idea if it’s Smokey or not which didn’t help with that clue.

    Perhaps I’m just slow today.

    Thanks piquet and setter. A fine challenge that unfortunately I wasn’t up to.

  27. 10:25, really enjoyed this one. If it’s not invidious to single out one clue among many good ones, I especially enjoyed the penny-drop moment when I realised that the definition in 18ac was “people had” rather than just “people”. Lovely stuff all round.

  28. I found this fairly tough and took forty minutes to finish. I got off to a slow start looking for clues I could solve quickly to get some letters in. DROOL was FOI, followed by ANIMOSITY. After that things proceeded fairly steadily, if not rapidly. FIBONACCI was very familiar from Listener numerical puzzles. The Chinese tea (LOI) was a struggle. The clue made me groan when I got it. Better clues elsewhere.

  29. 40 mins. One of those puzzles where you get stuck and then move elsewhere and it gets going again. Re LAPSANG SOUCHONG, I put the OUCH in but then couldn’t think of any word to fit. Looked elsewhere, and when I came back it was obvious. I love the way the subconscious works!

  30. Truly enjoyable 35 minutes. I was convinced that I wasn’t going to finish this because my first pass got me about 5 answers, but slowly I tuned in and actually speeded up towards the end.
    COD Lapsang souchong.
    LOI Arc-lamp.

  31. 30:53. Wasn’t at all confident about BULLY OFFS and didn’t get CRUMB until the end. Also wasn’t convinced about GET SHOT OF, being unable either to parse the cryptic or see the definition. Very enjoyable stuff.

  32. A grid full of talent and wit
    With one clue that just made me spit
    If you don’t wish to see
    GET SHOT OF the ruddy PEWIT

  33. Needed two goes to complete this.

    Took ages to see how the clue for BULLY-OFFS worked, and it only rang a bell thanks to General Melchett in Blackadder Goes Forth, who exhorts Baldrick with it (“Looking forward to bullying off for the final chukka?”). Didn’t know CB radio either, which meant CRUMB was a long time in coming. Getting the G from GODFATHER was crucial for me to get LAPSANG SOUCHONG, as even with the other checkers in place I’m not sure I would have figured it out. Enjoyable stuff all told.

    FOI On ones own
    LOI Bully-offs
    COD Nightly

  34. This had several mentions in the QC blog so decided to give it a whirl.
    And jolly pleased we did!
    Needed the blog for GET SHOT OF – didn’t see the “snap” bit, so many thanks piquet.
    As a by-the-by, Mr SR has always said “get shUt of” (which DeniseTremble mentioned above) while I knew the “shot” version. He’s from Yorkshire, so we wondered if it was a more northern version. Certainly wouldn’t work for the “snap” parsing.
    The first Dinah I thought of was Alice’s cat in “Alice in Wonderland”.

  35. Would have been a pretty decent 23 minutes for this today but I failed the Fibonacci test. Knew what it was very familiar with it from maths (and working out how many bets in a horse racing accumulator such as Yankee Canadian or Heinz) but completely failed to remember the spelling so a bit of a meh from me for a “unknown” anagram clue but this was a hugely enjoyable puzzle that I just happened to be on the wavelength for.

    Thanks piquet and setter.

    1. You can always remember how to spell it because the difficult letters (b, n, c) appear 1, 1, 2 times and 1, 1, 2 is how the sequence starts.

  36. 36.00 of never feeling in control. A fair few guesses- well intentioned, epaulette, bedfellow being the main ones. So, all in all very relieved to have finished. Still, I did do this in hospital so I can claim to have had more pressing matters in mind. But expect to be out tonight so no grapes, flowers or cards necessary!😊

  37. 16’51”

    Well I loved this crossword. The number of superb misdirections was just about right to make it hard, but doable and very enjoyable. No major hold-ups, though I’m a bit ashamed that my last entry was 1 Across. Favourite clues were the smokey tea and LACTEAL.

  38. Well, well (intentioned or not), I surprised myself by finishing this in about the same sort of time as yesterday’s, even though the Snitch predicted something twice as hard. Go figure. Several excellent clues with a nice twist of humour, including Get Shot Of and Baton, but CoD to Lapsang Souchong by a country mile. Invariant

  39. Regarding the mysterious HTML drool: what’s happening here is that the “fl” in dancefloor is behind the scenes being replaced by a single “fl” glyph during automated typesetting in-browser, in order to make sure that the kerning is appealing between the two letters. Then, because this is a single glyph, the browser can’t display half of it in a different colour and you also can’t select half of it. Some background here: https://www.gnu.org/software/groff/manual/html_node/Ligatures-and-Kerning.html

    1. Yes, the CMS moves the damn code back one letter!
      Putting LOOR D in all-caps is the only way to get the L red and not the F.

        1. Yes. That’s why I’ve added an underline to hiddens lately (may have forgot last time).

    2. In the old days when I actually used letterpress type, you had to do this replacement yourself. As the compositor, you had to notice that there was an “fl” and replace it with a completely different piece of lead type that was an “fl” ligature (in its own little space in the type case, near “ff”, “fi”, “ffi” and “ffl”, “ae”, and “oe”.

  40. As has already been said, an excellent crossword with so many clever clues. Unfortunately I didn’t get through it unaided, but not too many trips to the dictionary. It was worth it to appreciate the clever/amusing answers once unravelled. Particularly liked the not good ending and the tea. Thanks setter and Piquet.

  41. Well, I managed to finish with all correct in 82.30, having given up the ghost a few times. I would usually give up when the hour mark is passed, but something made me persevere. I’m glad I did because there is at least a sense of achievement to get everything right when fully stretched. Couldn’t parse GET SHOT OF and ‘people’ for DUPES confused me, but in each case it just had to be the answer.

  42. 37.49

    Mildly astonished FIBONACCI was not universally known and I say that as very much a non-scientist but GK is very much to his/her own

    I don’t normally like long contrived clues but thought LAPSANG SOUCHONG was brilliant when I eventually saw it.

    Got and parsed some of the harder ones comparatively quickly (DUPES and BATON) but caused myself big problems with a v sloppy UDDER based on the initial U alone which it took some time to realise was the cause of the NE blockage.

    But it was the comparatively gentle BLAND and DROOL combo that were my last two in – just couldn’t see the former whilst I even looked for a hidden for the latter and couldn’t see it ..

    Surprising that GET SHOT OF caused so many parsing problems but it was the same for me missing the photo point

    Lastly DINAH straight in from the Enid Blyton Adventure Series. Remember loving those books as a kid. Probably need a trigger warning in them now ..

    Thanks all

  43. I needed two sittings to complete this. 20d and 26a were the last to fall for me, also.

  44. 22:43 early this evening, after completing some household chores earlier.
    I felt this was really hard and although my time was good by my standards for a puzzle with a relatively high SNITCH, I had a few biffs en route, so it wasn’t an entirely satisfactory performance.
    Biffs included 6 ac ” crumb” where I didn’t remember “CB radio” and 25 ac “nightly” where I would have expected “ladies” to have an apostrophe at the end, but no one else appears to have come up with the same thought, so maybe it’s just me.
    Fortunately had heard of Signor Fibonacci.
    Plenty of candidates for COD but I particularly enjoyed cracking 4 d “lapsang souchong” – Mrs P has been known to partake occasionally.
    Thanks to Piquet for an informative blog and to setter for a stretching puzzle

  45. 22.12. After a shaky start I seem to have fared pretty well with this one given the difficulties expressed by others. I loved the Lap sang song and felt like giving the construction “at home suffered back cramps” a standing ovation. Terrific stuff.

  46. Unlike others, I started off fast but ground to a halt at the end with the two east corners needing BULLY OFF and GET SHOT OF, and then my POI and LOI, NIGHTLY and PRYED. But all correct in the end, in two sittings (with a sleeping in between!).

  47. Undone by FIBONACCI- sadly I had the vowels in a different order. Otherwise a pleasant solve.

  48. Did this the next day. Roughly 1 hour. I agree it’s a good puzzle but I’m not convinced about 5dn “Well Intentioned”.

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