Times 28558 – Pandora’s 13

Time taken: 15:37.  This is a tricky one for sure!  I hit submit with baited breath, since there were a number that were pieced together from wordplay that I wasn’t completely sure about. Hopefully they will all come clear for the blog.

How did you get along?

1 One might tell the future English novelist, one being held back (10)
FORECASTER –  The novelist is E.M. FORSTER, containing ACE(one) reversed
6 Sudden rush, after wasting time, to be prompt (4)
SPUR – SPURT(sudden rush) minus T(time)
10 One up on reading, maybe, digesting papers? (5)
RIDER – RE(on), R(reading, maybe) containing ID(papers)
11 Mother holding quiet family gathering initially plans business (9)
MAPMAKING – MAMA(mother) containing P(quiet), then KIN(family) and the first letter of Gathering
12 Plant carbon copy, one couple don’t want (4,10)
CAPE GOOSEBERRY – C(carbon), APE(copy), GOOSEBERRY.  According to Collins, GOOSEBERRY can mean an unwanted single person in a group of couples.
14 Meet up maybe to welcome back war invalid? (7)
AMPUTEE – hidden reversed in mEET UP MAybe.  So well hidden that I missed it in the first version of the blog and concocted some wild wordplay that didn’t work
15 Medic, one taking Tube — but not to such an establishment? (5-2)
DRIVE-IN – DR(medic), I(one) and VEIN(tube)
17 The worse for wear, having only gin to drink? (3,2,2)
OUT OF IT – if you drink straight gin you might be OUT OF IT(Italian Vermouth)
19 Artist and composer putting out article concerned with environment (2,5)
EL GRECO – ELGAR(composer) minus A, then ECO(concerned with environment)
20 Refurbished hotel pub shuns award for cleaning operation (4,3,5-2)
WASH AND BRUSH-UP – anagram of H(hotel), PUB,SHUNS,AWARD
23 Property lists alternative to split loaves? (4-5)
RENT-ROLLS – sounds like it could be a different type of bread
24 Welcome back stuff needed for pilgrim’s garment (5)
IHRAM – HI(welcome) reversed, then RAM(stuff)
25 For which finally souls get ferry and cross? (4)
STYX – last letters of soulS, geT, ferrY and X(cross)
26 Old king, one banning painting, possibly then returning it (10)
ARTAXERXES – one banning painting could be an ART AXER, then SEX(it) reversed. One of a couple of Persian kings, and my last one in with crossed fingers
1 Prison reformer holding uniform leads to violence (4)
FURY – Elizabeth FRY(prison reformer) containing U(uniform)
2 Racecourse favourite getting celebrity welcome? (3,6)
RED CARPET – REDCAR racecourse, then PET(favourite)
3 Important business going on run? Faster if car’s involved (7,7)
4 VIP a bit of a joke? (7)
SOMEONE – SOME(a bit of), ONE(a joke)
5 Did out, and sexed up, Post Office interior (7)
EXPOSED – anagram of SEXED containing PO(post office). The anagram indicator here is “up”, which is worked in to the clue well
7 Coming before one to ask insensitively for a hearing? (5)
PRIOR – sounds like PRYER(one to ask insensitively)
8 Game of golf interrupting fortieth wedding (5,5)
RUGBY UNION – G(golf) inside RUBY(fortieth), UNION(wedding)
9 Eccentric poet to take on, becoming a handicap (14)
CAMBRIDGESHIRE – CAM(eccenctric in an engine), the poet Robert BRIDGES and HIRE(take on). Another pieced together from wordplay. Referencing the Cambridgeshire Handicap, an annual horse race.
13 Tinned pickle to open? (3,2,5)
CAN OF WORMS – cryptic definition
16 Will female divorcee miraculously cure it with a kiss? (9)
EXECUTRIX – EX(divorcee) then an anagram of CURE IT and X(a kiss)
18 Mostly merry monarch? There’s a slight catch (7)
TIDDLER – TIDDLY(merry) minus the last letter, ER(monarch)
19 On reflection, lives to regret crossing area, a huge one (7)
EURASIA – IS(lives) and RUE(regret) all reversed surrounding A(area), then A
21 Couple outside on Saturday like the beach (5)
SANDY – the external letters in Saturday are S AND Y
22 One’s very large book of prophecies (4)
AMOS – AM(one’s), OS(very large)

86 comments on “Times 28558 – Pandora’s 13”

  1. 14ac – seem to be missing an A in the parsing – no idea where it is supposed to come from

  2. Well I guess I won’t be wearing my OHRAM to the CAMBRIDGESTONE Handicap this year.

    14ac is a reverse hidden. An extremely clever one.

    1. And I’m extremely dim when it comes to hiddens; thanks for dropping the penny.

      1. Don’t worry, I was framing a comment in agreement with simbo when I finally saw it.

  3. 25:24
    I didn’t notice the A [non-; see galspray] problem in 14ac until later; and I don’t see what ‘war’ is doing in the clue. I thought of RIDER early on, but couldn’t make sense of it; it became my LOI when I finally saw the light. DNK IHRAM (not in ODE, but luckily is in my English-Japanese dictionary). DNK TIDDLER, barely recalled FRY. I finally parsed CAMBRIDGESHIRE, working from -HIRE, but had to infer that there is a horse race so called (George, I don’t think ‘becoming’ should be underlined).

  4. So much I didn’t understand! The missing A in 14, why a county is a handicap, why 5 is an anagram. Sigh.

  5. First two acrosses and two downs in the top left straight in, thought it was going to be easy.
    Pleasantly tricky, with maybe a few dodgy obscurities. Smug classicists will consider the king a write-in, I guessed/solved him from the known Xerxes. NHO Cambridgeshire, needed most crossers. IRHAM suggested but not put in until all three crossers confirmed it. Looking at the wrong end of the clue for too long for NHO RENT-ROLLS, wondering what R_N_ could be property and what sort of bread rolls existed. Took a long time to see AMPUTEE was a hidden, not an anagram.
    Happy to finish all correct.

      1. See Busman’s comment below. I’m not sure how much you could rely on it!

  6. 74 minutes. Along with many others it seems I missed the AMPUTEE reversal and I couldn’t parse FORECASTER. The ‘Old king’ at 26a and ‘handicap’ at 9d went in from wordplay. The ‘s’ in ‘car’s’ not being included in the fodder for the anagram at 3d made things more difficult. I wonder why it wasn’t just ‘car’ instead, which would have worked for the surface; probably too easy (whinge, whinge). IHRAM was yet another word which I’ve now found was a forgotten rather than an NHO.

    A bit of a slog and glad to have (just) made it over the line.

  7. Oh, cool, so it wasn’t just me. The NHO ARTAXERXES was my LOI, which will surprise no one. I had the backward SEX before anything else there.
    And I also didn’t see the reversal for AMPUTEE and was wondering if “A” could be a greeting…? (Ha. “A, there!”)
    After guessing CAMBRIDGESHIRE, I looked up the race.
    Never had heard of Ms. Fry either!
    I didn’t get the wordplay for SOMEONE, and taking ONE to mean “joke” depends totally on context (and not any dictionary I’ve looked at).
    The definition I found for IHRAM (after working it out, Mephisto-style) was the sacred state into which a Muslim must enter in order to perform the major or minor pilgrimages; it requires a special garment, so maybe Chambers or somewhere has the word as also defining those clothes.
    I thought of CAN OF WORMS right away but took more time to accept the clue as a CD.
    The clues for the shorter words RIDER and STYX (an &lit!) are amazing. And AMOS—my FOI.
    (George, you mean “bated breath.”)

      1. Yes, I didn’t look long enough (why can’t they consolidate their entries?!).
        It does all depend on context, though. “informal |a joke or story (esp in the one about)”

  8. Did you hear the one about 4d? You must be joking! It took me a while to see how this worked even after reading the blog. I entered it without parsing, but now I see it it’s quite amusing.

  9. DNF – at least not without resorting to aids as the hour approached. The first I looked up was ARTAXERXES, unknown to me although I knew XERXES from the Handel opera (the source of Handel’s ‘Largo’ discussed here recently). The second was CAMBRIDGESHIRE where I failed to make the horsey connection because I’d never heard of the race in question.

    Other unknowns I managed to work out were IHRAM and RENT-ROLLS, and like others I concluded there was an A missing from anagrist at 14ac.

    EURASIA seems to have appeared a lot recently, but possibly sometimes in The Guardian

  10. crossword club is not showing on my phone so solved on the main menu. I immediately (wrongly) entered amputee from a quick scan of “meet up” but then realised it’s not an anagram. Cambridgeshire my COD and LOI, only solved by biffing and then parsed it once I saw “hire” for take on. Enjoyed it better than yesterday!
    Thanks setter and blogger.

    1. Doofenshmirtz has also reported problems with the CC on his iPhone in the 15×15 discussion, but it’s fine on mine..

  11. 43:04. Tough finding a way in until FOI 15ac DRIVE-IN. Like others I thought AMPUTEE was a dodgy anagram and never saw the reverse hidden. Nice one. NHO IHRAM and ARTAXERXES (LOI) constructed from crossers and wordplay. Saw CAMBRIDGESHIRE first just from crossers and assumed it was a race. I liked TIDDLER (slight catch)

  12. 23’25”, with at least five minutes staring at the crossers for CAMBRIDGESHIRE, before the ‘eccentric’ part kicked in. IHRAM LOI nho, but had to be.

    As a young man at a party, we played that game where, by a series of yes / no questions, you had to work out who a person was knowing only the first initial. The atmosphere was somewhat spoiled by someone picking ARTAXERXES, and refusing to concede until everyone else walked away.

    Thanks george and setter.

  13. But I can tell—let truth be told—
    That love will change in growing old;
    Though day by day is naught to see,
    So delicate his motions be.
    (Robert Bridges)

    After 30 mins mid-brekker, I threw in the towel on Cambridgeshire/Ihram/Artaxerxes. Good grief.
    I ticked Rugby Union, but it doesn’t make up for the crosses.
    Ta setter and G.

  14. So near yet so far away with just the one missing. It feels like an hour wasted when it was so nearly a triumph. I’d even put in EXECUTRIX without being sure why. But the wretched king was beyond me and I eventually succumbed to an aid. WASH AND BRUSH UP was a blast from the past. COD to OUT OF IT. Thank you George and setter.

      1. Ezra/Nehemiah wasn’t/weren’t (a) set book(s) in my divinity degree. Weak excuse, I know.

  15. 40 mins which I’m quite pleased about considering the difficulty level.

    LOI ARTAXERXES having done an alphabet trawl with A-E- to finally get AXER then assembled the rest outside. Phew.

    Didn’t know Fry or see the hidden, very clever. I particularly liked MAPMAKING, RUGBY UNION, and CAN OF WORMS. Hadn’t heard of the CAMBRIDGESHIRE handicap either, but guessed it.

    Thanks g for the explanations and setter.

    1. 29:21 with a short interruption. Pleased to complete this with no errors. Lots of great clues. Can of Worms. Rugby Union. Amputee.


  16. I entered my unknown LOI on a wing and a prayer. This was definitely a tricky beggar, but I avoided the typos which marred the last two otherwise credible efforts.

    The Cambridgeshire Handicap dates back to 1839, and is run late in the season at Newmarket (which is in Suffolk, not neighbouring Cambridgeshire !) usually attracting a field of such size that starting stalls cannot be used. Only one of the last nine renewals has been won by the favourite, and those winners have included one at 50-1, and two at 40-1. The professional punters tend to avoid it.

    TIME 11:59

    1. What distance is it run over? Also down this part of the world handicaps can be big races – $2 or $3million Melbourne Cup lures horses from all over the world – but serious punters eschew them, prefer the set-weight classics where the best horse wins.

    2. The Cambridgeshire is indeed run in Suffolk on the Rowley Mile course, but the other main course (the July or Summer course) is actually in Cambridgeshire. A third course (the Round course) is used just once a year. All very British.

      1. I am reminded of a walk I did in Newmarket about 4 1/2 years ago. Part of it was round the Gallops. I commented on passing the 4 furlong marker and the walk leader asked me what a furlong was. I was surprised she (and others on the walk) didn’t know. After I explained, she challenged me to come up with a cryptic crossword clue related to FURLONG. After mulling it over while we continued our walk, I eventually came up with… “Hankers after coat, seen on boat at a distance, worth 1000 guineas, perhaps? (5, 8)”. Another race held at Newmarket, slightly shorter than the Cambridgeshire.

        1. Good effort, but as I parse your clue (solution EIGHT FURLONGS, for the bemused), the literal is somewhat better served by ‘1,000 guineas, perhaps?’ than by ‘a distance, worth 1,000 guineas, perhaps?’

    3. Starting stalls are always used. The oddity is the distance it’s run over-one mile and one furlong. And straight. Somewhere there are probably other races run over that distance in the UK, but I’m going to stick my neck out and say the distance is unique. It makes assessing form and trials for the race particularly difficult.

      1. That’s a long straight! And I though Flemington’s 1200m straight was long. When they have sprints at Flemington the horses usually form two groups, one on the inside (of the full circular track!) rail and one on the outside rail. The large distance between them across the track makes it difficult to gauge which group’s ahead. Just 2 weeks ago was the premier sprint race in Australia, called… ‘The Newmarket Handicap’ of all things. And for once there were twenty-odd horses spread all the way across the width of the track, not two separate groups.

  17. DNF
    I had AS as ‘returning it’ and then couldn’t figure out why the second X was there.
    Also got thought the gooseberry was fake, not cape.
    The hidden word was a belter.
    Thanks, g.

  18. 11:53, which feels like a massive triumph now I can see the leaderboard. Various gaps in my knowledge exposed here, so as per the blog, it was a case of following the wordplay and hoping I’d done so correctly. I assumed the RENT-ROLLS were a sort of batch roll which you tear apart, but apparently I was looking at the clue through the wrong end of the telescope; and NHO the pilgrims’ garment, but I_RAM didn’t leave much room for guessing wrongly. Still, although horseracing isn’t my specialist area, I knew enough for this one, and I’ll always accept a carefully-chosen gift for the smug classicist.

    AMPUTEE is a very clever hidden word, so it’s a shame that I was yet another person who solved the clue by assembling a non-existent anagram. Oops.

  19. No time recorded as I had an interruption while solving and didn’t stop the clock. Same experience as others: never encountered the king (though I knew of Xerxes) and also thought that the reversal of ‘amputee’ was a cracker: also like others, I initially thought that it was a dodgy anagram then spotted it. Icing on the cake after the ever-reliable Picaroon in the Grauniad.

  20. I thought the author was C S Forester of Hornblower fame. So I couldn’t account for the AC in the middle. Says a lot about my taste in literature…

    1. I also never got beyond Forester, even though I’ve never read him but waded through Room with a View or Passage to India once.

    2. I also assumed him at first but always thought he was spelled with double-R, so couldn’t see how the clue worked at all. Never spotted E.M. But bunged in forecaster anyway – it had to be.

  21. A slow starter, but it got better once I had cracked 3dn and 9dn, and I eventually checked out in 30 minutes. I thought at one point that I should be looking for an ‘x’ in every answer, but not for too long. I biffed AMPUTEE without spotting the rationale, and NHO IHRAM, though the clueing was generous. An enjoyable puzzle.
    Thanks to george and other contributors.

  22. Finished in 45 mins, and was relieved. This was tricky. NHO of the handicap race, so CAMBRIDGESHIRE went in more in hope than expectation. Ditto IHRAM, which was a fingers-crossed entry only because it fitted the wordplay. Luckily I knew old ARTAXERXES. SOMEONE was my LOI, and I think it’s a very weak clue. Liked RUGBY UNION and EL GRECO.

  23. 38. Very tricky. IHRAM was a guess.
    Some of the wordplay seemed a bit loose here and there but I see I was – as usual – simply missing the obvious. Always looks so easy when you read the explanations. COD to AMPUTEE, which I assumed was an anagram inexplicably missing the A until coming here. Thank you for the enlightenment- much needed today.

  24. I so very nearly gave up on this one but so glad I persevered. I had all but five solved in about 37 minutes, and it took me as long again to get the last five. I finally crossed the line with MAPMAKING and finally SOMEONE being my final two answers. Like others I wondered about the missing A in AMPUTEE, and I agree that it was a devilishly clever hidden. My final finishing time was 74.10, nearly 30 minutes over target, but the sense of achievement in finishing this stinker makes the effort worthwhile. I’ve won money betting on the Cambridgeshire Handicap in the past, so recognising it as an answer once it dawned on me wasn’t a problem. It was however one of the last five that I needed to solve.

  25. Gave up on this one about half-way through. Saved a lot of frustration, since I would definitely not have completed it.

    For my education, could someone be so kind as to explain to me how ‘One’ equals ‘joke’ in 4dn. I don’t understand that at all.

    1. See Corymbia’s reply above:
      “Did you hear the one about 4d? You must be joking!”

      1. I’m not convinced. The ‘one’ there is simply an identifier for what one is about to say. In your context it’s a joke, but in other contexts it isn’t.

        1. The unwritten but generally-accepted rule for The Times is not that the words must be synonyms (here they aren’t), but that you could substitute one for the other in a sentence while retaining identical meaning. Corymbia’s sentence is a perfect example.

          1. Thanks for taking the trouble to answer my question. I had guessed it must be something like that, but it makes very little sense to me.

            On that basis you could put any random concrete noun at all in any clue where the answer is a word containing ‘one’. The clue might just as well have been ‘VIP a bit of a washing machine’ (justification: “Did you ever fix that old washing machine?” – “No, I bought a new one.”) or ‘VIP a sip of beer’ (justification: “Fancy one for the road”).

            Notwithstanding my gripe, presumably ‘JOKE’ = ‘ONE’ is one of those Times crossword “conventions” that go back years and that I find irksome because I’m a fairly new devotee and many of them are unknown to me. I shall add this one to my mental list that so far contains ‘SEX’ = ‘IT’ and ‘VERY GOOD’ = ‘PI’.

            1. I’ve come back to the page again to read your comment, and seen Keriothe’s comment above and Ulaca’s below: Under ‘one’ in Collins and Chambers, one of its meanings is ‘A joke, as in the one about … (informal)’.
              Which I guess means it is a synonym.
              For your two examples above, I would reject both if I were the editor. In the washing machine example the words match, but that is a specific sentence rather than a general saying. In the beer example it is not just one=beer but one for the road=beer. Though having checked also the Australian Oxford one can mean an alcoholic drink: one for the road, have one on me, have a quick one. So you second example is technically sound!
              I’ve been doing the Times more than 15 years, and still learning things like this.

              1. Thank you. The OED has the same definition for “one”. I still struggle to accept it, but who am I to argue? My gripe really boils down to the fact that some of these crossword “conventions” reflect the usage of the ever more distant past rather than today and so do not spring to my mind while I’m attempting to solve a puzzle; I learn them (from this blog), after the event, and have to commit them to memory.

                In all seriousness though, one of the definitions of “one” is “pronoun: referring to a person or thing previously mentioned or easily identified”, which I think covers the use in “have you heard the one about…?”

                1. I don’t mean to crack a nut with a sledgehammer, but ‘one’ (pronoun) and ‘one’ (noun) function differently.

                  If you hear someone say ‘We have a big one’ (pronoun), you’re none the wiser about what they possess, because you didn’t hear the previous mention of it in their conversation.

                  If someone says, ‘Have you heard the one about the Irishman, the Scotsman and the Englishman’, the meaning is exactly the same as ‘…the joke about the…’, because ‘one’ (noun) and joke are synonyms.

            2. I’m inclined to agree with you, A-R, except that my list of (must remember) NHOs is thousands of words long now and I’ll probably never look at it! I’m also a bit ratty about ONE=JOKE…

    2. It’s in Collins, as a noun:
      ‘25. (informal) a joke or story (esp in “the one about”)’

  26. I failed to get the old king, partly because I had a typo at 19d, EURASIS, which got corrected when I Googled him. I’d already managed to get IHRAM, but at least ARTA-whatsit allowed me to see CAMBRIDGESHIRE. I still had 23a to solve, but had lost heart by then and didn’t even see RENT when I did an alphabet trawl, so I looked that up as well, then submitted offline. Everything was green, but I feel a bit battered. Time for another coffee I think! 48:58 with 2 looked up.

  27. DNF, defeated by CAPE GOOSEBERRY (got the ‘Cape’, but didn’t know that meaning of gooseberry), ARTAXERXES (thought it might be an ‘art something-er’ but couldn’t think of ‘axer’) and CAMBRIDGESHIRE (NHO as a handicap, so no chance – and I need to remember cam=eccentric).

    Add me to the club when it comes to not seeing the reverse hidden in AMPUTEE and thinking it was an anagram missing an A. Very clever. IHRAM went in from wordplay with no confidence whatsoever, and I slowed myself down with CURRENT AFFAIRS by thinking ‘business going on run’ was part of the wordplay giving ‘cor’ and the definition was simply ‘important’. Didn’t understand FORECASTER at all either.

    A tough one, so all credit to those who completed it, and thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Amputee

  28. 11m 24s – tricky today. I finished on AMPUTEE, one of the most fiendishly hidden words I’ve ever come across. Nice work, setter.

  29. Thought the novelist was Forester for a while so stumbled a bit there. My big hold-up, entirely self-inflicted by fat fingers, was map-makinb, and I thought 8dn began ‘rub’, so became utterly stuck on those three long answers in that area. Also being stuck, used electronic aid for CAPE GOOSEBERRY. ARTAXERXES entered with a shrug: I was thinking that both ARTAXERXES and Xerxes were relevant to the parsing. I thought the CAN OF WORMS was a bit vague. 56 minutes, which should have been quicker.

  30. DNF. NHO (I think) RENT ROLLs.
    Remembered from school that Xerxes had a relative called xxxxXERXES, but couldn’t think of ARTA-X, so went to wiki and looked up Xerxes.
    Liked RUGBY UNION.

  31. Can’t believe that I failed on a 14-letter word with 7 crossers in place!
    Should have persevered – going to be glum all afternoon now.

  32. Like others, beaten by the king. Can anyone explain why “one’s” can mean “am”? “I’m” would be ok, but I can’t see am.

    1. I think the justification is that you don’t have to include the “I”, and in some more informal situations you can just say “am” – e.g. rather than “I’m on my way”, simply “Am on my way” in a text message.

  33. 35 mins. I knew there was a king which ended in XERXES, but usually IT means SA so I got somewhat befuddled. Started quite well, then got very bogged down.

  34. Too hard for me. NHO of the three connecting answers CAPE GOOSEBERRY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE as a handicap (got as far as CAM plus all except the final checker; NHO the random poet either) and ARTAXERXES.

    Some setters are too clever.

  35. Technical DNF as I had to use aids to check IHRAM. (Untimed but ~50 mins with a break.)

    I seem to have had much less trouble with this than others. Guessed the problematic king in a flash once I had the second X and then reverse engineered the parsing. (Perhaps I remembered him from my days in 1959 grappling with Xenophon at St Ignatius.)

    I thought ‘Will female’ so brilliant that 16 dn must be my COD. Also liked STYX (clever to bring ‘ferry’ and ‘cross’ into the clue.)

    BTW, non-one seems to have mentioned (unless I’ve missed it) that the R for ‘reading’ in 10 ac is one of the three ‘R’s.

    1. Re R(eading): I think the blogger may have seen that but just didn’t spell it out.

  36. Hurrah! Successfully finshed in around an hour and a half solving time, around many interruptions. Though had to look up NHO Artaxerxes and Irham, so perhaps not so brilliant. Particularly liked Out Of It, Executrix, and Rugby Union.
    COD Can Of Worms

  37. Gave up on this: after biffing SOOTHSAYER at 1ac (Sayers as novelist, but else no idea) couldn’t think of anything better, so got nowhere with top half.
    However, had no problems in finishing off after cheating on that one.

  38. Finished more than I expected thanks to being able to recall Elizabeth Fry, Artaxerxes, and though no racing fan, the Cambridgeshire. As a teenager I once went somewhere with a couple, and my mother accused me of “playing gooseberry”. When she told me what it meant I explained indignantly that I had been invited. So the expression is very old, bit I haven’t heard it much lately. FOI FURY COD ELGRECO. Very pleased to eventually spot AMPUTEE! Thanks GLH and setter

  39. 16 mins which I was quite pleased with but by no means smug. NHO ihram but the cluing certainly helped. Forecaster and someone my last two in. Delayed a bit by wondering whether the answer might be teller rather than caster. Glad I saw sense. Eventually gave in to someone on the basis I couldn’t see anything else. Another who missed the reverse missing word.

  40. Wow, this was a toughie! After two sessions, I still had 5 to go, 9D and the others in the NE. Then suddenly I saw PRIOR, then thought of C + APE and the penny dropped as to the plant. My LOI was the fiendish 9D which I had to biff, as I’d never heard of the race, but luckily, the answer came to mind. NHO IHRAM or RENT-ROLLS, but clueing generous. I remembered a Persian king named Arta-something-xes, so a bit of ‘ban’ searching eventually brought back the answer. Also confused by RIDER, though it had to be correct. Jolly pleased to have got there in the end.

  41. 31’36” LOI SOMEONE, POI CAMBRIDGESHIRE. Recently read Forster’s Where Angels Fear to Tread. His first work, I think, and not his best. But worth it. Boy did he have it in for English late-Victorian middle-class hypocrisy. Priggish uptight Brit ends up killing Italian baby.

  42. One hour with two left to solve (and a few mistakes in what I already had), then a long break, then another 20 minutes and I finished correctly to my surprise. I cannot say that I liked this puzzle — things like CAMBRIDGESHIRE gotten solely from wordplay, CAPE GOOSEBERRY gotten mostly from the crossers, all depending on very dim obscurities. If I were to know all of these I might as well be solving Mephistos without looking things up. The thing is that I could work the clues out, but in an excruciating manner that was really no fun at all. CODs, if there must be some, to ARTAXERXES and AMPUTEE.

  43. I also DNF because of IHRAM. Did the rest in 35 mins but after 10 minutes staring at 24ac had to come here. A bit annoyed with myself now because I was wondering about IH and if I had just had the courage to guess RAM then I might have finished.
    Also Nho Cape Gooseberry but found it work-outable. Didn’t know there was a Cambridgeshire handicap either but realising S-hire made it obvious.
    ETA – just googled Ihram, ok interesting to know and worth having learnt about it in fact

  44. What a great puzzle. I’ve been reading ancient and pre-history, so Artaxerxes was a write-in.
    I parsed drive in as DR EIN (one, German) taking IV (tube) – which works if you allow one to be “a” (1 is eins)

  45. DNF: First one straight in was CAPE GOOSEBERRY ( only with a shrug after CAPE ), then OUT OF IT, which was clever. Got AMPUTEE without seeing the hidden ( best one yet), and WASH AND BRUSH UP familiar in my era. BUT – a few NHOs put a stop to my smugness: IHRAM, RENT ROLLS , the king and -to me – obscure horse-race. Gave up with only half finished, but liked EXECUTRIX ( because I got it), RIDER (“one up”), and TIDDLER (fond memories of catching these at the bottom -of -our -garden river in my childhood).

  46. I want the world to know about this great love spell caster that is well known as Doctor Sambola, he has the perfect solution to relationship issues and marriage problems. The main reason why i went to Doctor Sambola was for solution on how i can get my husband back because in recent times my husband and i have been having some issues in our marriage over some other lady, I have read a lots of testimonies on the internet about this powerful man.I was so pleased to seek for assistance from him i contacted him which he did a perfect job by casting an effective love spell on my marriage and made my Husband to come back to me and beg for forgiveness, and all this happened within 48hrs it’s about 3 months now. I will not stop publishing his name on the net because of the good work he is doing.For the usefulness of those that need his help.

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