Times 28516 – where to go when you are sick in London

Time taken: 12:11, with a lot of that time trying to justify 10 across. Eventually I hit submit and things were correct, but I had to look up part of the wordplay for the blog. I may be an outlier timewise, as several solvers have faster times than me.

Fun puzzle, though I suspect several entries can be biffed from the enumeration or definition.

How did you get along?

1 Retired city keyboard player, not a mountaineer (8)
ALPINIST – LA(city) reversed, then PIANIST(keyboard player) minus A
6 Scandinavian pirate’s female leader (6)
VIKING – VI is the female and a leader is a KING
9 Legal-minded don loses nothing cracking up the shires (6,7)
MIDDLE ENGLAND – anagram of LEGAL-MINDED DON minus O(nothing)
10 Petulant model ringing a London hospital (6)
TOUCHY – TOY(model) surrounding UCH(University College Hospital). At least I presume this is what is meant, it seems the hospital goes by UCLH now
11 Shot during news broadcast (8)
BULLETIN – BULLET(shot), IN(during)
13 Aussie possibly opposed to work, backing head of faculty (10)
ANTIPODEAN – ANTI(opposed to), then OP(work) reversed, and DEAN(head of faculty)
15 Brittle BBC boss welcomed by the old in retirement (4)
EDGY – DG(Director General, BBC boss) inside YE(the, old) reversed
16 With which a fencer may score record points? (4)
EPEE – EP(record) and E,E(easts, points)
18 Eg Man Ray in county mostly associated with top people (10)
SURREALIST – SURREY(county) minus the last letter, then A-LIST(top people). I’ve thought of him more as pop art than surrealism
21 A human made it: a truth Irish broadcasters accepted (8)
ARTEFACT – A, FACT(truth) containing RTE(Radio Telefis Eireann, Irish broadcasters)
22 Scottish prosecutor, female, is about fifty (6)
FISCAL – F(female), IS, CA(about), L(fifty). I have seen this as procurator fiscal
23 Daydreaming? Shearers may be doing it (13)
25 Ultimately hostile in a sense, practising a form of discrimination (6)
AGEIST – last letter of hostilE in A, GIST(sense)
26 Creator of placard nibbled by ruminants (8)
DESIGNER – SIGN(placard) inside DEER(ruminants)
2 Knock Indian city briefly in burlesque (7)
LAMPOON – LAM(knock) then POONA(Pune, city in India) minus the last letter. Edit: apologies for any confusion, I had originally underlined Knock as the definition.
3 Asian working in co-ed: he’s popular to begin with (11)
INDOCHINESE – anagram of IN, CO-ED, HE’S with IN(popular) at the top
4 Current authority protecting large part of Scotland (5)
ISLAY – I(current), SAY(authority) containing L(large)
5 Quake when young chorister crosses minister at first (7)
TREMBLE – TREBLE(young chorister) surrounding the first letter of Minister
6 One watching Roman poet leaving right before (9)
VIGILANTE – VIRGIL(Roman poet) minus R(right), then ANTE(before)
7 Parrot Eliot initially pinched from another poet (3)
KEA – remove TS (Eliot) from KEATS(another poet)
8 Dropping off, like some acquaintances? (7)
NODDING – double definition
12 Undying Latin verse recollecting gods primarily (11)
EVERLASTING – anagram of LATIN,VERSE then the first letter of Gods
14 Attack cricket side’s mirth without hesitation (9)
ONSLAUGHT – ON(cricket side) ‘S then LAUGHTER(mirth) minus ER(hesitation)
17 Old hairpiece found in cable over in Tamworth? (7)
PERIWIG – WIRE(cable) reversed inside PIG(tamworth is a type of pig)
19 Went round gallery, visiting bar (7)
ROTATED – TATE(gallery) inside ROD(bar)
20 Special slant identifying clothing ornament (7)
SPANGLE – SP(special), ANGLE(slant)
22 After fine, daughter leaves city — does a runner! (5)
FLEES – F(fine) then remove D(daughter) from LEEDS(city)
24 Sash former pupil originally introduced (3)
OBI – OB(former pupil), then the first letter of Introduced

109 comments on “Times 28516 – where to go when you are sick in London”

  1. 14:54
    I also spent some time trying to justify (LOI) 10ac TOUCHY; both because of the UCH–which I finally assumed to be University College Hospital (DNK)–and because ‘touchy’ hardly seemed like a synonym for ‘petulant’. I also had an MER at 6d VIGILANTE; ‘one watching’ is a poor definition.

  2. I had a problem with the S in Onslaught, thinking sides could be ons, but side’s with an apostrophe couldn’t be, and I wasn’t comfortable ignoring the punctuation when the use of the punctuation wasn’t needed. Otherwise, it was a relatively quick anti-clockwise solve.

  3. 25 minutes. ‘Petulant’ and TOUCHY didn’t strike me as being quite the same thing either, but Chambers has “Showing peevish impatience, irritation, or caprice” for ‘petulant’ so fair enough. I thought ’round’ in 19d was going to be a containment indicator and was fooled by ‘initially’ referring to the initials, rather than the first letter of ‘Eliot’ at 7d. No other major hold ups.

    Sorry to point out a couple of v. minor typos but I think you meant to underline ‘burlesque’ as the def for 2d and perhaps it should be “Remove the initials of TS Eliot from …” for 7d.

  4. Having read half-a-dozen clues I was unable to gain a foothold in the top half of the grid so I tried further down where I found easier pickings and worked gradually upwards from there. Last in were ALPINIST and the wretched parrot that should have been a write-in, but I can never remember.

    Petulant = TOUCHY fits perfectly with my expected meanings of the words although I note it’s the third meaning listed in SOED under petulant Exhibiting peevish impatience and irritation, esp. over trivial matters.

    I only just stopped myself writing VIGILANCE at 9dn which would have been wrong on two counts.

    31 minutes.

    1. “Wretched parrot”- 100% right
      It’s more ornithological shite
      So here’s today’s news
      I have “Norwegian Blues”
      And I vow to continue the fight

  5. What would have been a rare sub 50 minute solve for me was blighted by slight fogginess/ignorance.

    Kicking myself that I needed an aid to remind me of another Roman poet beyond Ovid to get VIGILANTE which gave me VIKING (I needed the V because female = Vi is too “green painty” for me) which then gave me reason for an even bigger self-administered boot when I biffed ‘Kia’ thinking that is how you spell the parrot, without doing the legwork of KEATS minus TS.

    I had no issues with TOUCHY but have never heard of WOOLGATHERING although an easy biff with enough checkers (crossers?downers? – never sure of the correct terminology for letters already in place!)

    Thanks setter and Gih.

  6. 9:36 I know UCH as the hospital my daughter was born in, before that as adjacent to the Wellington pub, where I tried to chat up the student nurses.

      1. Not so far as I can remember, Martin; I do however recall once sneaking out of the adjacent Nurses Residence after hours where the security man patrolled with a large and savage-looking dog.

        1. I did the same at Guy’s but eventually did the honourable deed and married the girl. In those days the nurses home was like a prison.

        2. I was in and out of the windows of the nurses home at the Western General in Edinburgh – no scary dog but definitely some scary people to avoid. I did the right thing and married her too.

    1. Forgot to say that although I would have thought of UCH eventually (I went to London University and also the Wellington pub) it’s in my mind at the moment as my brother was admitted there on Monday – the hospital not the pub!

      1. Interesting that we might have drank there at the same time, Jack. I went to King’s, I assume you were at University College? Good luck to your brother.

    2. I initially misread that as you chatting up student nurses in the pub while your daughter was born. I was glad to reread it and realise you weren’t the cad I had thought 😂

  7. 24m 49s
    An enjoyable puzzle made more so by the presence of KEA, my COD. They are such hooligans in the way they can vandalise people’s cars by attacking the wiper blades and other rubber car parts.

      1. Oh, they’re very cute, Pip! The kakapo is also a cute parrot but there’s a video on YouTube which shows one trying to mate with the head of a Dep. of Conservation ranger who was accompanying Stephen Fry on a trip into the NZ bush. It looks as if the parrot was digging its claws in to the poor man’s skull. Ouch!
        PS….Forgot to thank you for your blog.

  8. I forgot to go back and parse KEA, which I biffed.
    TOUCHY was my LOI, and somehow I mistyped (?!) ULCH when I checked UCH—was relieved to see that the shorter version also worked!
    To define VIGILANTE taking only the etymology into consideration is surely cutting such characters too much slack.

  9. 34 minutes for me with no problems apart from getting started in the top half. I was semi-convinced I was going to have to lift-and-separate Man Ray and the definition would turn out to be “e.g. Man” but I was being too clever as I tried to remember if the Isle of Man was a republic or an oligarchy or whatever.

  10. This felt like a stiffer challenge than yesterday’s – thought of TOUCHY early in the solve, but failed to parse and had to get all the crossers before entering. Finished off near the bottom with NHO WOOLGATHERING and finally SPANGLE (which will always be a sugary sweet to me and nothing else). 27:42 – thanks G and setter

    1. I didn’t immediately think of the sweets but now I have it’s brought back fond memories 😊

    2. You must be a very important person to have a clue in your honour. Maybe the great and the good at The Times are trying to get you to renew your subscription next week, as per your post yesterday.

      1. Cancellation of subs requires you to ring a call centre, who duly offer a reduced price for the next six months as an inducement to keep stumping up.

        The call handler noted all the great things about the Times, until I pointed out that I subscribed for the crossword only, didn’t like the paper, and generally hated making payments to the Murdoch organisation..

        I think it would be a scandal and an outrage if commenters on this website made a call just to get the discount, thereby depriving Rupe of a few quid.

        1. Did you consider the Light Digital pack, which seems to be harder to find than the other options? £5 per month with the “downsides” being you can only view 30 articles per month and you can’t comment on articles or be a member of Times+. None of the puzzles (crosswords, Sudoku, Polygon, etc) count as articles and you can still comment on the Crossword Club site. Probably the cheapest way you can get the puzzles other than via underhand methods.

          1. Thanks for the suggestion – looks just the ticket for me – though I suspect it’s no longer available. Certainly not mentioned on The Times subs page, also tried various searches from the front page, no joy. I’m guessing that they’ve closed this for new subscribers, but are allowing existing subscribers to continue renewing.

            Anyway, I decided to unsub for the time being in pursuit of more sleep – not sure if removing the incentive to get up at 05:45 will make a difference, but let’s see. I ‘m certainly not quitting forever, nor am I too skint to afford the full-fat subscription, and at some point (just like Arnie)…

            …I’ll be back. Cheers

            1. I do appreciate the desire to take some time off but when (it’s never “if” …) you come back, it’s worth checking this out. The package is not widely advertised, but if you Google “light digital times” it should give you this as one of the first results: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/subscribe/light-digital-5/, plus it was endorsed by Mick Hodgkin, the puzzles editor, just a few months back on this thread: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/puzzleclub/crosswordclub/forums/general/1/any-chance-of-a-return-to-the-crossword-club/24027 (which is where I first heard about it). The “Offer not available to current subscribers” condition is negotiable, as I and others have been able to switch to it, but that won’t apply to you anyway if you have cancelled. Enjoy the extra sleep!

              1. Hey, thanks for that – I stand corrected – and humbled (because I work in IT / website stuff, and consider myself a “digital native” who knows how to do internet searches properly).

                That link is definitely a keeper – I’m tempted to bite right away in case I miss the opportunity. As a compromise, I think I’ll wait a month or so, putting some distance behind my about-to-expire sub, and giving my sleep experiment time to kick in.

                Best regards, Denise

        2. Always worth haggling. I got a big reduction last time. Personally I liked the old arrangement where you could subscribe to the crossword only.

        3. Oh Denise! A woman after my own heart! I too buy the newspaper solely for the crossword ( certainly not the politics ) as my feelings about Rupert – not the cuddly bear – are the same as yours. Btw, I’m now an ANTIPODEAN, and the newspaper is The Australian, which publishes the Times puzzle about a month after issue in the UK. And good to see a tribute to you in 5d….

  11. 11 minutes with LOI DESIGNER after SPANGLE took long enough to prevent the sub ten. I had a friend who worked at the hospital and it was always UCH then. I thought Man Ray was more of a photographer from my visit to MOMA, but I was accompanied by my family who didn’t fully appreciate the subtlety of a blank canvas. No tricky clues, so COD to BULLETIN. Thank you George and setter.

  12. 10:38. When I saw verlaine’s time of 3:01 I thought maybe I’d been slow today but turns out I was very near my expected time and Verlaine was just super quick.
    I did have a few moments of despondence when I got to my LOI, KEA. I couldn’t remember if it was KEA or KIA, and I thought I was looking for an obscure poet whose name was comprised of those three letters and an E. A nice sleight of hand by the setter in “Eliot initially”.

  13. 24 mins. I found this pretty easy, only getting slightly stuck in the NE with L2I VIKING and VIGILANTE. Quite fun really.

    Guessed at the RTE bit of 21ac but it seemed likely. Also a MER at NODDING which would normally be followed by « off » , no? Nodding on its own is more a « confirmation » to my mind.


    Thanks g and setter.

  14. I feel as if I’m on another planet this morning – with a lifetime PB, and many many write-ins and biffs streaming through my brain.

    Looking back, no time spent querying VIGILANTE as the wordplay was so generous; slight worry re TOY as model, but UCH immediately to mind; ONSLAUGHT took a short while as I’d struck on OFF… to start.

    7′ 21″, thanks george and setter.

  15. Half my normal time at around 18 minutes but crashed and burned thanks to biffing the wrongly-remembered KIA with no idea about the wordplay. I blame the fruit drink advertised in cinemas in my youth, a different NZ phrase which which has also turned up in crosswords I think.

  16. 4:25. When the first two acrosses and then all the danglers from the top row went in immediately I thought this might be quick. A few in the bottom half did require a bit of thought but not much.
    MER at ‘one watching’. It would have been more than a MER if I’d paused to think about it more but I was already in a hurry.

  17. DNF. Someone mentioned an OWL (One Wrong Letter) club a few days ago – I’m in it today. I put ‘kra’ rather than KEA for 7d, not realising that ‘Eliot initially’ meant TS rather than E, not remembering the bird, and hoping there was a poet called Kera (or possibly Ekra).

    Straightforward enough otherwise, though I needed the wordplay to get the unknown PERIWIG and WOOLGATHERING and hadn’t heard of Man Ray, which held up SURREALIST.

    COD Bulletin

  18. A Monday type puzzle I thought, 13 minutes with no delays; I thought TOUCHY for petulant was okay but also agree VIGILANTE was a dodgy definition even if the answer was clear.

  19. 22 mins – fast for me. Found it very easy. Only LAMPOON and TOUCHY held me up, but familiar with ‘UCH’ as the shorthand for the hospital from a lifetime of London living. Liked NODDING.

    Had no problem with VIGILANTE for ‘one watching’, prob because of the Latin root, but I recognise that it’s not the dictionary definition of the word. Still think it’s not as bad as forgo/forego! 🙂

    1. We could form the forgo/forego preservation (reinvention?) society. I have a thing about the dogs breakfast and the dogs dinner being totally different things

      1. Discreet/discrete is another. They are spelled differently because they MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS. For the love of God.

        1. Unlike forego/forgo this is a generally recognised distinction, so if you get them mixed up it’s a straightforward spelling error. So you can moan about it with full justification!
          But there are literally thousands of examples of words with different meanings that are spelled the same.

        2. My particular pet hate is confusing and misusing ‘defuse’ and ‘diffuse’. Amazing how often supposed professional writers do so — including Times writers.

          1. Like discreet/discrete, I think we can safely just call that a mistake!
            I have a colleague who constantly uses e.g. to mean i.e., which I find quite grating.

      2. The first citation of ‘forego’ meaning ‘relinquish’ in OED is from 1561 so this is certainly not a case of preservation!

        1. Well, yes. And I think you know about language, keriothe. So, right.

          Or you could look at it this way. They didn’t do spelling in those days. They just wrote things down any way they wanted. Look at Chaucer; he didn’t spell anything right. It was all a big mess that gradually got sorted until they nailed things like forgo/forego – around the time when I was at school – and its been going back downhill ever since. Well, that’s my theory

          1. But ‘they’ never did ‘nail’ forgo/forego, because there is no ‘they’ and there’s nothing to ‘nail’. There’s only usage. Both spellings have been in constant use for hundreds of years, but certain people just invented a rule that one of them was invalid, rather in the way a group of 19th-century Latin fetishists invented the split infinitive rule. These ‘rules’ have no linguistic validity and can be safely ignored.

            1. Of course they can, like all rules. But since the rule on forgo/forego appeared – invented by evil ‘fetishists’, no doubt – careful writers, as Orwell calls them, have been able to thereby impart their meaning, immediately and unmistakeably, without any resort to context and without the remotest possibility of misapprehension. Seems perverse that anybody would ignore or pooh-pooh the evil ‘rule’, given its clear and obvious benefit to writers, readers and comprehension more widely.

              1. The meaning of ‘forego’ will always be obvious from context, so there is no need for this artificial distinction. And why stop at ‘forego’? With very few exceptions every word in the language has multiple meanings, would you propose slightly different spellings to eliminate ambiguity in all cases? It’s a pointless battle against an intrinsic property of language.
                If you prefer to make the distinction, you are of course completely free to do so, but this is a matter of personal preference.

  20. Am a very novice solver, transferred over from another newspaper. Finished in 1.5 hours (was pleased!). Thought 1d meant burlesque (as in parody) and knock was ‘lamp’ with some unknown Indian city staring with OON…

  21. 23:02. slow to get started – and I thought it was going to be a hard one – but it was fine once I got going with FOI ISLAY. COD KEA and WOD LAMPOON.

    This is the fourth gentle one this week. Maybe I’ll stay in bed tomorrow, hiding under the covers

  22. All done in 28 minutes, but would have been a lot quicker if I had not got stuck on 10ac and 23ac. My first thought on 10ac was TOUCHY but I then convinced myself I should be looking for a word containing ‘a’ and took an age to work it out. No problem with UCH as that is how I always refer to it. WOOLGATHERING also took a while as the initial letters suggested something starting with ‘wrong ..’
    Thanks to glh and other contributors.

  23. A return to a quickish solve after a couple of days of being in the late 20’s.

    TOUCHY LOI, nearly put VIGILANCE, but followed the clue.


  24. All but two done in 20 minutes, but I took another five to get TOUCH and ISLAY. Definitely the easiest of the week so far. I think the definition for VIGILANTE is loose, but still acceptable. WOOLGATHERING as defined is new to me.

  25. Easiest one this week for me. Held up by SPANGLE and WOOLGATHERING.
    KEA is COD today

  26. Help! A real parrot! A SURREALISTS crossword with a few misdirections. And yes, SURREALIST was LOI once I’d got SPANGLE. Wasn’t particularly aware of SP for special. 22 mins

  27. A rare sub-30 minute finish for me (actually, all my 15×15 finishes are relatively rare) after Mrs S completed it in rapid time and said “could be one for you today”. LOI was Lampoon; it’s a long time since I thought of the City of Pune as Poona.

    Many thanks for the blog, always an educational read for me on the 15×15.

  28. Well, I finished, but totally baffled by the clever KEA/KEATS TS ELIOT trick; like others I just assumed there was a poet KEAE that I DNK. Doh!

  29. Slow to get started, so I had a sneak preview of the top times so far and saw that Verlaine had done it in just over 3 minutes. Since I tend to judge the difficulty by how quickly he does it (not of course that I compare our times) I was surprised by this. But once afloat everything went in easily enough, as was borne out by the SNITCH, and I finished in 11 or 12 Verlaines (that’s 35 minutes if you need help).

  30. A few short, particularly VIKING which should have been a write-in.

    My daughter lives in New Zealand and says that the keas are as mischievous as is claimed.

    NHO WOOLGATHERING. I use “noodling” for productive daydreaming.

  31. I know this is a crossword puzzle but I was puzzled by the parsing of 1d. Is knock LAM or LAMPOON or both? And therefore what about burlesque? Surely that’s the definition, being a synonym for lampoon? Anyway, very pleased to be all green in 46:15, with only KEA (which I knew as a parrot) unparsed while solving. Thanks glh and setter.

    1. Lam for knock – more usually a solid hit. It’s in the dictionaries. Poona known to me as birthplace of Milligan, Spike -except it wasn’t, according to Wikipedia.

  32. Unbelievably I’ve done it again and for the umpteenth time (plus one from yesterday) having finished with one letter wrong, and join ChrisLutton above in the OWL Club. This time I thought the parrot was a KIA and couldn’t make sense of the parsing. Having discovered the answer I think it’s a clever clue and I’m disappointed I didn’t see the solution. I think I must have had my wife’s car in mind!
    My time was a little over target at 47.15, but a good 15 minutes of this was spent in the south west corner trying to sort out the daydreaming clue where I couldn’t get sheep counting out of my head.

  33. 05:12, so the annoying cold that has affected my household clearly doesn’t affect the crosswording parts of the head. Only brief pause was following others in wondering who on earth KEAE was until the penny dropped…

    I note Verlaine was at his very speediest today: solvers on the American side of the Atlantic might be interested to know they can see him as a contestant on today’s episode of Jeopardy! (how he has done remains a closely guarded secret, so I am keen to find out…)

  34. 11:40, so about as fast as I go. I had similar misgivings as others about TOUCHY, but principally, in my (apparently rather isolated) case, over model being equated with toy. Models can be toys, of course, but not always or even, I suspect, mostly. Having written that down, it seems a more feeble objection than it did at the time. Also agree that watching is not a characteristic much associated with vigilantes.

  35. 7d became my clue of the day after the penny dropped with a loud clang. No problem with 10a – I used to play golf with a professor associated with the hospital.

  36. A pleasant and quite quick solve after lunch; for me that’s under an hour.
    LOI was INDOCHINESE as I had been fixated on Indonesia.
    10a had been BOLSHY with a question mark.
    Then Great Ormond St became my hospital of choice. And the parrot was the last in my list of three -letter birds ending in A. Got there in the end.
    ISLAY reminds me that I have a bottle of Bruichladdich in the house.

  37. 26:22, glad to get a second finish in around 30 minutes this week. KEA was very good. I thought the surface for 14dn was a bit odd. Thanks b & s.

  38. 34 mins … but DNF. Dimly remembered the Greek poet KOSTA and removed the T and S to get a KOA. No such bird, it turns out. But I feel there should be.

  39. Fairly easy, as noted by most. As an antipodean can I point out that shearers aren’t woolgatherers, they shear. The roustabouts gather the wool. Reminds me of the Tom Roberts painting ‘Shearing the Rams‘, and the Leunig cartoon ‘Ramming the Shears‘.
    Slight MER during solving at vigilante, expecting the dictionaries would have the unknown definition, a bit surprised they didn’t and it was an apparent error.

    1. I did think as I put in WOOLGATHERING, that someone from the Antipodes would make the point that the shearer is paid to shear, not to gather and pack the wool. Although the same applies everywhere, I believe, in commercial farming.

  40. 26.15, which is fast for me. I usually stick to the Quick Cryptic.

    LOI was TOUCHY. I was surprised how slow I was to remember UCH; my MSc involved lectures at the Middlesex, which later merged with UCH, and I have had collaborations with Radiotherapy Physicists at UCH/UCLH over the course of the last four decades.

    Many thanks.

  41. 17:57

    Quick start after bunging in BULLETIN, TREMBLE, MIDDLE ENGLAND and EVERLASTING in rapid succession – gave a lot of crossers to play with.

    Worked around the grid until I was left with just three: ARTEFACT went in first (had been thinking the TV station was just RT represented by the 2nd and 8th letter (both checkers) wrapped around ‘the truth’).

    After much wrangling, finally thought of WOOLGATHERING – had initially thought this might start with either WRONG- or WROUGHT-.

    Finally, the unknown parrot – three letters K_A – took a while to see the trick before submitting with fingers crossed.

  42. 14:05 – a very good time for me.

    The hospital is still called UCH. UCLH (University College London Hospitals) is the trust that runs it, along with several others including the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

  43. Third day running to complete without aids . That’s a first for me. Tomorrow will bring something very chewy I’m sure.
    I liked SURREALIST and KEA was clever.
    Got stuck for a while thinking PIGTAIL was a hairpiece . Doh. Read the clue…
    Thanks to setter & blogger.

  44. A lovely, on-the-wavelength one for me today with, unusually, a fair amount of biffing in order. Which meant that I didn’t quibble overmuch about VIGILANTE, WOOLGATHERING or ONSLAUGHT as they went in with minimal crossers. My FOI turned out to be wrong, as it happens. I confidently put in PASSING for NODDING on 8D, understanding it as ‘dropping off (the perch)’ or ‘turning one’s toes up’, both expressions for dying. That meant I was looking for an anagram made from D,N in ‘up the shires’ for 9A, as I had an S at the end. Unsurprisingly, I was unable to make one, and not until M-D-L- forced me to think again did I realise that I had to rethink my ‘acquaintance’. However, that apart, it was all plain sailing, with nice clear cryptics where biffing wasn’t possible. No time, as done around a cleaning job!

  45. A bit late to the party but this brings up the 100 so worth a shot.
    LOI and COD KEA
    I often can’t finish so getting back to back successes is a treat for me, even if they were at the easy end of the spectrum.

  46. I very much enjoyed this, which took me 33 minutes. Not too hard, but with some very creative and imaginative clues (my CODs being KEA and NODDING, as a kind of acquaintance, and strangely, as far as I know, not a kind of anything else which might be synonomous [nodding friend? nodding colleague? nodding neighbour? Isn’t the English language wonderful!]). AGEIST was rather good, too.

  47. Just over 20 minutes for me which is unusually fast. I batted an eyelid but no more at VIGILANTE and also took knock as the definition for LAMPOON until I realised the non-strip-joint meaning of burlesque. Thanks for the blog.

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