Times 28617 – from Shakespeare to the stars.

A more meaty and esoteric puzzle than we’ve had on a Wednesday for a while, which I really enjoyed. I particularly liked the “short stay in French hotel” and the astronomical clue at 16d, which were my last two to be solved. 18a was an unknown to me but gettable from the wordplay.

Definitions underlined in bold, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, anagrinds in italics, [deleted letters in square brackets].

1 A time to abandon overdone religious ceremony (4)
RITE – TRITE (overdone) deletes a T.
3 Boss one in recent times restricted in cramped lodging? (6,4)
STUDIO FLAT – STUD (boss) I (one) OF LAT[E] = in recent times losing the end / restricted.
10 Posh mariner in hat avoiding lake and river (9)
TRIBUTARY – TRILBY = hat, delete the L, insert U TAR = posh mariner.
11 Clown Launcelot covering two bachelors in slime (5)
GOBBO – GOO (slime) has B B (two bachelors) inserted. Launcelot Gobbo as in The Merchant of Venice, which I did for O Level in 1963.
12 Crime related to stolen goods receiver (7)
OFFENCE – OF (related to) FENCE (stolen goods receiver).
13 King murdered in dark and gloomy prison (6)
DUNCAN – DUN (dark and gloomy) CAN (slang for prison). As in The Scottish Play.
15 2 of 25 behind with credit given by wine people (15)
PROCRASTINATION – “procrastination is the thief of time” being a well known phrase, originally from the poem “Night-thoughts” by Edward Young in 1742; see answers to 2d and 25 below. PRO (behind, backing) CR (credit) ASTI (sort of wine) NATION (people).
18 Company calls about poor lads maltreated in resort (8,7)
COLORADO SPRINGS – CO RINGS (company calls) with (POOR LADS)* inserted. I’d never heard of this particular city,so got it from the checkers and anagrist, although apparently it’s home to about half a million people; no doubt our transatlantic friends will be more familiar with it.
21 Skate home? Notice daughter holding a book (6)
SEABED – SEE D = notice daughter, insert A B[ook].
23 Upheaval at Cape Canaveral? (7)
LIFTOFF – cryptic definition.
26 Short stay in French hotel for White House resident? (5)
INUIT – “une nuit” would be a short, one-night stay in a French hotel, so I NUIT. Some inuits still live in igloos I presume.
27 Ecstasy taken into pub by super star group (5,4)
GREAT BEAR – GREAT (super) BAR (pub) insert E. Not a great clue, though, IMO.
28 Free issue includes image facing the wrong way (10)
EMANCIPATE – EMANATE (issue) has PIC reversed inserted.
29 Network in muddle, as Connery would have had it? (4)
MESH – 007 star Sean Connery was often the subject of debate as to whether he had a lisp or just a distinctive Scottish way of pronouncing things. If he said MESS (muddle) it might have sounded like MESH. Many of Connery’s more profound utterances are on record, such as “I am a Scotsman! I was a Scotsman and I will always be one.”
1 Review top secret revelation’s source after decoding (10)
RETROSPECT – (TOP SECRET R)*, the R being “revelation’s source”.
2 Tea leaf from tea in Paris to impress one female (5)
THIEF – THÉ being French for tea, insert I and add F for female. Tea-leaf being CRS for thief.
4 Went over point, reflecting, having introduced poetry (9)
TRAVERSED – DART = point, reverse it and insert VERSE for poetry.
5 Nymph in wood unbalanced, lacking warmth for male (5)
DRYAD – MAD = unbalanced, swap M[ale] for DRY meaning lacking warmth.
6 Last letter in newspaper a sheer fabrication? (7)
ORGANZA – ORGAN (newspaper) Z (last letter) A.
7 One in Larkin’s position, 51, very naughty boy accepting God (9)
LIBRARIAN – LI (51) BRIAN (“he’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy” as in Monty Python’s Life of Brian) insert RA an Egyptian god. Philip Larkin was a librarian in Hull and a poet.
8 Old city queen featured in play (4)
TROY – R for queen inside TOY (with) = play (with).
9 Artist using lathe? (6)
TURNER – witty cryptic definition.
14 An award taken by Scots river along with other things? (3,2,5)
AND SO FORTH – AN, DSO (military award) FORTH (Scots river).
16 What’s observed in 27, flying low, unable to change course? (3,6)
OWL NEBULA – I’d vaguely heard of this although wouldn’t have been able to tell you in which constellation you’d find it. It does look a little like one of my favourite birds, though. It’s in the Great Bear, as this clue and 27a tells you. Parsed as (LOW)* then (UNABLE)*.
17 Broke in thus — lever initially opening (9)
INSOLVENT – IN, VENT (opening), insert SO (thus) L[ever].
19 Unthinking nonsense keeping old boy in charge (7)
ROBOTIC – ROT (nonsense) insert OB (old boy) add IC (in charge).
20 Deny match official cup ties on a regular basis (6)
REFUTE – REF (match official) c U p T i E s.
22 Find good university in Bath (3,2)
DIG UP – G U inside DIP = bath.
24 Is it extra stout that’s inside to be selected? (5)
OBESE – hidden as above.
25 Frenchman in relationship for an age? (4)
TIME – M (monsieur) inside TIE (relationship). Time as in “of our time / age”.


88 comments on “Times 28617 – from Shakespeare to the stars.”

  1. Came to a halt on INUIT and OWL NEBULA. I gave up and tried to use aids, but Chambers has nothing that fitted for OWL NEBULA’s enumeration or checkers, so I threw in the towel and came here for enlightenment. About an hour before I abandoned the field.

  2. I’m not sure if the clue for 26 across works as INUIT means “the people”and the singular for one person is Inuk.

    1. Collins has an entry for ‘Inuk’ for British English, while its American entry for ‘Inuit’ shows it as a singular denoting a member of the Inuit. Go figure.

  3. 12:57
    I didn’t get ‘short stay in French’ (now that I see it, I’d give INUIT my COD), didn’t get DRYAD, and missed the hidden in OBESE. DNK OWL NEBULA, let alone where it is. Never parsed PROCRASTINATION.

  4. Thanks for explaining DRYAD. I thought the INUIT clue might deliver FRESH at first (RES(t) in F H), but for the definition. COLORADO SPRINGS was known to me through some chess connection I think – was there a gambit, or a famous tourney?

  5. This one felt a bit dull to me, though I was not able to see PROCRASTINATION, even though I am currently procrastinating by doing puzzles instead of my research 🙂

  6. Some good clues there, but a few cross-references escaped from the Grauniad. With the S for ASTI then _A_I_N checkers in place I parsed PROCRASTINATION before even looking at 2 and 25, so go figure. No trouble with the NHO Owl Nebula leading to INUIT, then a few minutes at the end to get DUNCAN.
    Colorado Springs known, but couldn’t tell you how. Failed to parse RITE, trying to remove AT from something, failing, and so trying to subtract age, era, eon etc. Similarly failed on DRYAD, though I saw DRY and MAD. A bad day’s solving overall.

    1. Yes, I was surprised to see the Guardian cross-referencing in 15a and 16d. I do those puzzles most days so it didn’t faze me exactly but it did hold me up a bit while I made sure I wasn’t missing anything. I don’t mind them but I hope we don’t get them too often. Took a very long time to see DRYAD. 15.27

  7. Nice but not too hard. Turner was a landscape painter, so I think the “lathe” is a cryptic hint.

  8. I found this reasonably tough and was pleased to get around in just over 30. Thank you Piquet for explaining Duncan, dryad, Inuit and many more. Will confess I thought it was ‘minuit’ shortened and thought no more of it. Will also confess I missed the anagrams for retrospect and owl nebula, put oil at first but it seemed all wrong. Seeing there were two anagram indicators would an ‘and’ between ‘low’ and ‘unable’ have been appropriate? NHO Launcelot Gobbo, probably never will again, and still confused by liftoff (needs a hyphen I reckon). Is it that a rocket is heaved up? Hmm. Nice to see Brian resurrected…

    1. Yes I agree, ‘What’s observed in …, low and unable to change course’ would I think have been better. Maybe not qute such a vivid surface but neater. I too found the double anagram indicator a bit grating.

  9. 29 minutes. I couldn’t parse DRYAD (which appeared elsewhere very recently) and had never heard of ‘Clown Launcelot’ from The Merchant of Venice or the OWL NEBULA. I knew just enough Shakespeare to remember DUNCAN as the ‘King murdered’ after flirting with a hidden “dindar” for ‘prison’. Favourite today was INUIT.

  10. 29 minutes for all but the two intersecting clues at 16dn and 28ac. After another 10 with no progress I decided that I would not know any answer to fit OWL ?E?U?? so I used aids to confirm the fact. I had overlooked the possibility of the second word being an anagram of ‘unable’, but with the final checker missing I doubt I would have got the answer anyway. Once I had the a checker provided by that, EMANCIPATE fell into place immediately.

    GOBBO from wordplay, but unknown. I seem to have known of COLORADO SPRINGS forever but I’ve no idea how.

  11. Initially felt like I was really on-form and heading for a fast time – until it turned into a “receding-horizon” puzzle, progressively slowing down to failure on the final clue. The OWL NEBULA and INUIT crossing took 5 mins or so, then another 7 or 8 on LIBRARIAN and finally D-N-A-, where I was 100% sure “dark and gloomy” had to be DANK.

    I ***** hate Shakespeare. 35m fail

    1. I gave up on DUNCAN likewise trying to fit in DANK. My best guess was DANSAK, thinking maybe there was a king SA and for some reason there was a curry named after a prison (or vice versa!).

    2. With you entirely on the bard, always referred to by my dear old Dad as Bill Spokeshave. Hence DUNCAN my LOI today. Nice puzzle though, occupying a pleasant 40 mins or so with a pint of Abbot Ale to help things along.

  12. I agree that yesterday’s was about the easiest ever, but quite honestly I didn’t find this one much harder. Maybe a little bit but it all went in pretty smoothly. On the wavelength plus I knew the Shakespeare characters and the American resort (as suggested by someone else I think it might have been the site of a famous chess battle). OWL NEBULA was vaguely familiar but in any event it wasn’t a stretch being quite an obvious anagram (and the first word had to be OIL or OWL really).

  13. … Trampled and mock’d with many a loathed Rite
    Of lust and blood; he went, unterrified,
    Into the gulf of death;
    (Adonais, Shelley)

    25 mins mid-brekker. I started very slowly, gradually got the hang of this quirky one, then finished quickly.
    I wondered if the nebula was a nod to our excellent blogger?
    Ta setter and Pip.

    1. Keep ’em coming Myrtilus. I meant to thank you for the TA of WS yesterday.

      1. Although until I saw the obvious I wondered which poem by Wallace Stevens TA referred to.

  14. 13’02”, with no issues.

    Have heard of horsehead and crab nebulae but not the owl one until now. Didn’t parse INUIT.

    Are we edging towards full Grauniad-style puzzles with themes and numerous cross references?

    Thanks pip and setter.

    1. Hope so! I really enjoyed the style of this ‘quirky’ puzzle: more WS references please, and don’t mind the cross- references either. I often wonder how people of such obvious intelligence can dislike Shakespeare! But there’s nowt so queer as folk, as someone famously said.

  15. At 75 minutes I decided to call a halt with three left. I don’t normally give up but I had already thrown in PROCRASTINATION just from the crossing letters.
    The murdered king I should have seen from WP but with the White House resident I didn’t make the connection to igloos and by then TIME just wasn’t going to happen.
    I did draw a smiley face against the SEABED clue.

  16. 34:14. A good one that needed some working out. I had to spend time afterwards parsing RITE and DRYAD. And never did work out OBESE. A hidden word! I thought there must be more to LIFTOFF than I could see, but no. I liked SEABED and the wine people – the ASTI NATION

  17. 40 minutes with POI a constructed OWL NEBULA after I finally saw INUIT, my COD. I then put LOI SEABED in with a groan. I think I knew COLORADO SPRINGS, but I had to construct that first too. I liked the literary references, although I guess some will see DUNCAN as an historic one. An excellent puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.

  18. 16:45
    Excellent all round! The link between 15ac, 2d and 25d was helpful, as were the definitions for THIEF and TROY. I needed my seebackoscope to parse TRIBUTARY, but managed to work out DRYAD as I was writing it in.
    What time does Sean Connery go to Wimbledon?

      1. I have literally just posted this in a WhatsApp group. As we all know, there is no off-switch on comedy.

  19. 9:35. I did most of this quickly, but then got completely stuck with just DRYAD and DUNCAN left. Like Louise and Pootle I was convinced ‘dark and gloomy’ must be DANK, but I had no idea about the wordplay for DRYAD (thanks PK) so wasn’t entirely sure about the D. Eventually I just thought of DUNCAN: fortunately I’m much more familiar with Macbeth than with Merchant, because I was able to get the unknown (forgotten) GOBBO from wordplay but would never have got DUN from ‘dark and gloomy’ in isolation.
    The apparently well-known phrase about PROCRASTINATION was completely new to me last time it came up but I remembered it this time.
    I knew of COLORADA SPRINGS, and its fictional equivalent, Radiator Springs.
    Always nice to see Larkin. I randomly came across, and reread, The Whitsun Weddings the other day. What a poem.
    What time does Sean Connery go to Wimbledon? Tennish.

    1. Can’t remember the episode but on one of his excellent Theme Time Radio Hour shows Bob Dylan did a great Connery imitation with six words: the shunny shide of the ship…

  20. 27 mins. Found this one easier than usual, so must be a wavelength thing. Couldn’t parse DRYAD at all but after getting DUNCAN, what else could it be. Saw INUIT once I had the first I and last T. I have a cute polar bear carving by one from bone. My COD

    Thanks setter and pip.

  21. 23:25
    Steady solve. Took a couple of minutes to parse dryad.
    Thanks, p.

  22. 12:10

    Like Myrtilus I started slowly but gathered pace, albeit using a bit of a scattergun approach.

    I don’t mind the odd x-ref but this was a bit overloaded. There were some nice touches elsewhere though.

    GOBBO from wordplay and I don’t think I’d ever have parsed DRYAD.

    “I am a Scotsman! I was a Scotsman and I will always be one”, said Mr. Connery from his home in Marbella.

  23. Quite liked this, witty I thought.
    Not the world’s greatest fan of cross-references, but they are OK in moderation..
    Nho Colorado Springs but knew Radiator Springs, of course, so not much of a leap.
    To me the Owl Nebula looks about as much like an owl as the Great Bear does like a bear, ie not even a little bit.

  24. 24 minutes. LOI DUNCAN. Second last in was INUIT which was definitely COD. NHO GOBBO (well I probably have at school, but forgot) Also couldn‘t parse DRYAD.
    Thanks setter and pip

  25. I thought this was going to be quicker even than yesterday, but slowed down going past the long ones and almost ground to a halt with 3 in the SW corner and of course DUNCAN, which was annoyingly looking as if it should be some variation on dungeon.
    Surmised the OWL NEBULA might be a thing from the anagrist, then the clever and amusing INUIT emerged blinking into the sunlight and SEABED followed, explaining why skate was the nominated fish. Since I was watching Patrick Stewart in the Scottish Play recently, DUNCAN suddenly sprang to mind, but took my time to 18.54.
    Odd, isn’t it, that we know Larkin (I only know the rude line!) was a Librarian in Hull, while I’m finding it hard to remember the profession of any other poet. George Herbert I know was a priest, but had to look up where. Anybody else?

    1. Wallace Stevens, insurance exec; William Carlos Williams, physician: Emily Dickinson, recluse.

      1. Shows up the limits of my knowledge, though is “recluse” a profession? If so, I think I might like to qualify!

    2. That Shakespeare chap found occasional part-time work in the theatre, I’ve heard.

    3. Chaucer, civil servant, T.S.Eliot, banker, Kipling, journalist, and John Donne, priest.

  26. 10:39, after getting bogged down in the SW corner (the nebula, in particular, was new to me and required all the checkers before I was happy to submit). I know lots of people aren’t fans of the cross-reference, but it’s all fair game, I think, like all things in moderation – I do the crossword ultimately hoping to be entertained and amused, and this one definitely did that.

  27. Found yesterday’s difficult, but oddly breezed through this. Liked LIBRARIAN and TURNER, but couldn’t parse INUIT.

  28. 27 minutes. All three so far this week have been under 30 for me, which is very unusual; I expect that tomorrow or Friday will make up for it. Colorado Springs was I’m sure the venue for some famous chess tournament or match but my reference books, as well as Google, fail to tell me what. They came close with Fischer-Larsen (1969?) but that was in Colorado, which is I imagine different from Colorado Springs. GOBBO unknown, entered from wordplay. I entered DRYAD (dry = lacking warmth? Well I suppose so …) without understanding it. Also a bit uncomfortable with pro = behind in the PROCRASTINATION clue, but again OK I suppose. Liked the skate home.

    1. My first thought was Cambridge Springs which has a chess variation named after the famous tournament held there.
      I don’t think this other resort has any chess connection.

      1. Yes I think you’re right, that was probably what I was thinking of. I once won a piece in the Cambridge Springs variation, then lost the game.

  29. 24 mins. Proverbial curates egg, with a mixture of quickie clues and some corkers. Yes, INUIT COD. LOI OWL NEBULA.

  30. 34:15 – piquet, you’ll be heartened to know that we were still thumbing through Merchant of Venice in the late 80s GCSEs, so GOBBO was a cinch here.

    Pleased to get into the top 100, no doubt for all of 5 minutes but hey ho.

    LOI – ORGANZA, which I had NHO
    18A took me the longest time
    Did I parse OBESE? Fat chance.
    COD – DUN CAN (Try using extra strong bleach) 😉
    Hon. mention INUIT – a nice d’oh moment when I got it, though I suspect it might be a chestnut for the more venerable among us.

    1. “One night in Montreal: I’ve come a long way south?” turned up in a puzzle I blogged nearly 2 years ago, though that may not elevate/demote it to chestnut status.

  31. It was different and fun.
    Couldn’t parse DRYAD but the full definition in the clue meant it “had to be”, biffed.
    Didn’t spot the second anagrind in the OWL NEBULA, but as I didn’t expect it to be OIL I saw the “flying low” as an obvious WOL (if you know your Winnie The Pooh).
    Didn’t know that skates were bottom dwellers, just that they taste good.
    DNK Launcelot GOBBO, but full instructions sufficed.
    Couldn’t parse the PRO part of CRASTINATION, thought the behind was a bum, but it’s obvious now, DOH.

  32. I was poised to finish five or so minutes within target until I got to my final two 16dn and 26ac. I spent a good while trying to think of something to go with OWL but couldn’t manage it so after ten or so minutes gave up the ghost. Having now seen the answers I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get them, but there again I would be wouldn’t I!

  33. Slow start then quickened considerably once I had the two long across answers. Thought I was on a roll after yesterday’s best time till I got to the French SW corner (never did French; we did Spanish for some reason). Anyway eventually worked out TIME, sort of knew White House was misleading and Inuit was obvious from the crossers for COD. About 40 mins in the end. which I’ll take! A few I couldn’t parse though so thanks to setter and piquet.

  34. I liked this puzzle despite the cross references. I didn’t bother to fully parse PROCRASTINATION as I already had 2d and 25d, and knew the expression. The parsing of DRYAD, however, escaped me so thanks for that Pip. Didn’t know GOBBO but he was easy to assemble. DUNCAN came along eventually. I somehow knew of COLORADO SPRINGS too. SEABED and INUIT both raised a smile. OWL NEBULA, though unknown, was easy to construct. I finished off with LIFTOFF and finally, AND SO FORTH. 24:59. Thanks setter and Pip.

      1. I did – though I only parsed it once I’d had the word in my head for a while (helped by it coming up very recently) and eventually figured out what was going on.

      2. I immediately thought of DRYAD from the def, but didn’t enter it because of the parsing. However, with checkers, it had to be, and I then worked out the MAD/DRY bit, but I have to say I thought it was poor, tbh.

      3. Yes: I thought immediately of DRYAD on reading the obvious definition- it’s the only nymph I know! But struggled to make it fit. 😨

  35. Very pleasant solve- GOBBO NHO and TRIBUTARY LOI
    Thanks for explaining DRYAD.
    Thanks to setter and blogger.

  36. Needed two goes to complete this. Didn’t figure out LIBRARIAN, even with all the checkers, until I came back for my second attempt (when of course I saw it immediately…), then eventually got OWL NEBULA, TIME and finally an unparsed INUIT. I didn’t fully parse PROCRASTINATION, relied on the wordplay for the unknown GOBBO, and was helped a lot by DRYAD coming up very recently.

    This is obviously a personal preference, but I don’t like having many question marks in clues, and it felt like this crossword had too many of them. OWL NEBULA and TIME, for example, didn’t need one, and I think STUDIO FLAT would have worked OK without one too.

    Otherwise this was a tough but enjoyable challenge – thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Offence
    LOI Inuit
    COD Colorado Springs

  37. No time recorded but around my average 25 minutes – a very classy puzzle with just the right mix of write-ins and head-scratchers.

  38. 25:11

    A few leaps of faith here:
    DRYAD from definition
    COLORADO SPRINGS bifd from CO RINGS – don’t know why I’ve heard of the place
    DUNCAN – DUN = dark – didn’t know that
    OWL NEBULA – was thinking OIL at first but alpha-trawled the first word and came up with OWL, then saw the anagrist…
    AND SO FORTH – saw FORTH but didn’t bother parsing the rest

    Twitching eyebrow for LIFTOFF as a single word (though I don’t doubt that some dictionary somewhere has it like that)

    And I did know GOBBO – my Merchant Of Venice knowledge is of a late ’70s vintage.

    Thanks setter and P

  39. All solved okay. But couldn’t understand why RITE and INUIT were correct until coming here.

    Knew Larkin was a librarian, but couldn’t understand why naughty boy was Brian – I suppose it does help if you’ve seen the Monty Python film.

  40. Two stupid mistakes today. Had found TROY but somehow failed to enter it and then I somehow managed to enter RETROSPaCT. Still, happy to be finishing in 45 mins with everything else correct. I got CO RINGS straight away but took a while to decipher the rest of the clue, veering between Resort and re-sort. I usually struggle with linked clues but PROCRASTINATION was very quick to appear, being familiar with the expression. Couldn’t parse DRYAD but felt pretty confident about it with D_Y…… I liked Skate home clue for SEA BED once I’d sussed it. Thanks both.

  41. Late to the party today as we’ve had people in and out since 10 this morning.

    NHO OWL NEBULA but, as I had O-L and the U, I was able to take an educated biff. SLOI SEABED would have been COD in many instances.

    TIME 7:04

  42. I found the Mercant of Venice problematic; possibly because the path to true love is tricky enough without riddles with dire consequences for failure. Half way through the first act of Turandot I came to a similar conclusion; anyone who wants anything to do with this malevolent, murderous maniac must have a screw loose. So I associate GOBBO with Rigoletto, which all ended in tears without the need of diabolic riddles.
    Dryad’s parsing was done after the event, and I seem to recall a Guardian White House/Igloo stunt which helped me biff my way to 21’45”.
    I’m pleased Piquet’s watch was granted a WOL.

  43. I happened to see Pip’s first line intro to the puzzle before tackling it, which both made me nervous that it would defeat me, and also determined to slog away until it was beaten into submission. And it took a looo-ng time, but all OK in the end. LIBRARIAN went straight in without parsing, so I missed our naughty boy, but I failed to parse RITE as I honestly wouldn’t equate trite with overdone. Nobody else seems upset by it, however, so perhaps I’m missing something. I also failed to parse INUIT, along with several others, I see. Once I’d eliminated ‘potus’ as an answer, it had to be some other form of ‘white house’, so went in with the I and T in place, which was fortunate, as it enabled me to realise the ungettable 16D was actually an anagram, and therefore gettable. Don’t know whether I’d heard of the OWL NEBULA or not, but I have now! Oh, and I missed the hidden too – another one unparsed. LOI DUNCAN, a PDM as I did a vowel search for D-N…

    1. Now you’ve changed your email are you getting notifications of replies to your comments?

  44. 27.30 with a big hold up in the sw corner. NHO the owl nebula but eventually saw the anagram. Got lucky with procrastination which was my LOI. Was still looking for a wine citation right to the end but happy to get it right.

    Didn’t parse inuit but I loved seabed when I finally worked it out.
    Thx setter and blogger.

  45. Technical DNF as I entered “Tire” for “Troy” (R in Tie) – although it’s probably Tyre anyway, so then I couldn’t see Goo in Gobbo. I had to resort to aids to find out who this Launcelot fellow was and corrected myself from there.
    So, frustration all of my own making – but good puzzle otherwise. In writing, I would put Sea Bed and Lift Off – but clearly they can both be conjoined.

  46. Just under an hour, with a break for dinner, and I don’t know what I think of this. Very obscure references, but I did finish correctly, even though I didn’t understand the wordplay for a number of clues (DRYAD, or the definition for PROCRASTINATION, for example, as well as the Shakespearean references). COD to INUIT of course, solved after taking the question mark seriously as one should.

  47. 12:33 but biffed RITE and DRYAD. NHO GOBBO but at least I knew DUNCAN having done Macbeth for ‘O’ level English Lit. COD to INUIT. Thanks Pip and setter.

  48. This felt like a UK expat in the US as a setter, or vice versa. Not just Colorado Springs and the WH, but a lot of the subconscious references. I liked some of the clues, wrote Dryad in and when Pip explained the parsing thought it was a bit convoluted, and did not at all like the cross-references.

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