Times 28639 – A perennial that grows for me!

Time: 24 minutes

Music: The Bothy Band, Old Hag You Have Killed Me

I thought this was a bit difficult for a Monday, and my solve ran slow, fast, slow, as the crossing letters helped speed me up until I came to the last few. I could have finished under 20 minutes, but ochre and servo gave a lot of difficulty.    Fortunately, living in crosswordland gave me oche, and then I was left with a set of crossing letters with very few words to pick from.

Probably the more skilled solvers will finish in about their average time, but those with less wide-ranging knowledge might struggle a bit.   So which one are you?

1 Rhythmic jazz lead accepts honour in retirement (5)
BEBOP – P(OBE)B, all backwards, PB for lead.
4 Secured folio placed in prepared prepaid envelope (4,4)
MADE SAFE – MADE + S.A.(F)E, which is usually a SASE in the US.
8 Having run out of nail polish, ordered Germanic cosmetic (9,5)
10 Knocking back Castle Cary ale really restricts legs of runners (5,4)
RELAY RACE – Backwards hidden in [Castl]E CARY ALE R[eally].
11 Mineral deposit right in missile launch area? (5)
OCHRE – OCH(R)E, the missiles being darts launched at a dartboard.
12 Hector sent back to carry a plant (6)
YARROW – WORR(A)Y backwards.    Since they are pretty close to weeds, they are really easy to grow.   Don’t ask about the phlox.
14 One year, following winless season, American kid fails to finish course in Japan (8)
TERIYAKI – [win]TER + I Y + A KI[d].
17 Provocative glimpse of the pub, by the sound of it! (8)
18 Hindu returning a Hong Kong carpet (6)
GURKHA – A H.K. RUG, all backwards.
20 Musician Franz at last cuts record (5)
LISZT – LIS([fran]Z)T.    The given name kind of gives it away.
22 Barring outsiders, try second event: get to assemble again (9)
RECONVENE –  [t]R[y] + [s]ECON[d] + [e]VEN[t].
24 Talented Frenchman designing a de luxe mansard (9,5)
25 Penelope’s husband liberally used soy sauce at first (8)
ODYSSEUS – Anagram of USED SOY S[auce].
26 Intolerable midday temperature inside (3,2)
NOT ON – NO(T)ON.   The literal is a little strong.
1 British brothers who sang about high rise suburb (7,5)
2 Boring name, boring idol (5)
3 Move stealthily around rogue US spy base (9)
PUSSYFOOT – Anagram of US SPY + FOOT.   A different meaning is current in the US.
4 “Thousand Island” first class cocktail (3,3)
5 Bank on introduction of Ezra Pound verse (8)
DOGGEREL – DOGGER + E[zra] + L for pound.
6 Driver found stuck in middle of dam (5)
SERVO – [re]SERVO[ir].   My LOI, very tricky.   I would take both dam and reservoir as verbs.
7 Florida shed housing black echo of the past (9)
FLASHBACK –  FLA + SH(B)ACK, an older abbreviation for Florida.
9 Food business needs elastic supply (12)
13 Shakes round top, not being this? (4-5)
15 Giant animal droppings make nitrogen beneath one (9)
16 Indiana bangs violate the law (8)
INFRINGE – IN + FRINGE, a modern two-letter abbreviation.
19 Clergyman, not very upper-class, succeeded as a high-flyer (6)
ICARUS – [v]ICAR + U + S.
21 State vote breaking the laws regularly (5)
TEXAS – T[h]E(X)[l]A[w]S.
23 Madame features in film The Cornwall Tourist? (5)
EMMET – E(MME)T, our favorite film    A write-in if you know the expression.

102 comments on “Times 28639 – A perennial that grows for me!”

  1. MAI TAI is M, “thousand” + AIT, “island” + A1. (I think AIR is just a typo in the blog.)
    Had no idea about the “tourist.” And still don’t. I’ll look that up now.

    And now that I have: I wonder how that started!
    It actually seems to be swathed in mystery…
    Wikipedia: « It is commonly thought to be derived from the Cornish-language word for ant, being an analogy to the way in which both tourists and ants are often red in colour and appear to mill around. However the use of ’emmet’ to mean ants is actually from the Cornish dialect of English, and is derived from the Old English word æmete from which the modern English word ant is also derived (compare Modern German Ameise [ant]). The Cornish word for ants is actually moryon (singulative moryonen). »

  2. I didn’t find it so hard once I started solving on paper instead of on screen.

    I knew that EMMET was a dialect word for “ant” or, in Cornwall, “tourist”. But, carelessness with the anagram prompted me to write Dumas with an -ER instead of -RE! That slowed me down on 19dn!!

    I put the puzzle aside to reflect on the wordplay for 6dn. Got there eventually.

    All a lot of fun.

  3. Gosh, I thought this was easy until I got to SERVO / OCHRE. Around the 15 minute mark, my Spidey-sense told me that these were the answer, but I couldn’t parse either. Eventually I submitted off-leaderboard and found I was correct, but definitely needed your help to understand them!

    1. I finally bunged in SERVO, as the only word I know that fits, dubious about the definition, and clueless about the parsing.

  4. I liked it. Very easy – OCHRE included – until the end with SERVO. Which is slang in these parts for a service station / petrol station / garage, so didn’t go in without an alphabet trawl. Even though I have an actual servo motor sitting on the bench in the next room and know the word well. Very embarrassing. I’m another ALEXANDER, but ICARUS quickly corrected that. Looked up Castle Cary ale after the solve to see if it existed; seems Castle Cary is a place.

  5. 21:07, off leaderboard since I could make nothing of SERVO
    Biffed a bunch, parsed post-submission. I wasted some time trying to make 4d work as MAKE FAST. RELAY RACE was an impressive hidden.

  6. About 55 mins, but I’ll blame the fact I’m feeling woozy after a full day touristing. Couldn’t parse Teriyaki (LOI) nor MADE SAFE which i should have … (never heard of “SASE”). Otherwise surprisingly ok if quite slow. Yarrow came quite quickly given I’m currently waging war on it on my lawn. Thanks to all.

  7. 36 minutes which is about average for me. No luck with 1a starting with a J as I’d thought, so I had to look elsewhere in the grid and then work up to the NW. Took a while to parse SERVO and was surprised to hear that RESERVOIR can be a verb. (We have a suburb of that name hereabouts which is pronounced as “reservwore”, rather than “reservwa” which sounds much too posh). I couldn’t work out how he had turned into a she, but I initially had ALEXANDRA for DUMAS until a proof read and review of the anagram fodder made me see sense.

    Thanks to Guy for the extra information about EMMET; I look forward to “grockle” making an appearance (for the first time as an answer) soon.

    1. My Nan used that pronunciation…and pruned with “secatooers”. Thanks for jogging my memory, she was quite a character.

  8. Nah, SERVO did me, both in the parsing and the definition, so a CNF. NHO the motor thingy. I found this a challenge though an enjoyable one. Much biffing of answers that remained a mystery even when shown to be right, so many thanks to vinyl1 for explaining. As for his question as to who is a more skilled solver and who has less wide-ranging knowledge, I’m unashamedly amongst those he predicted ‘might struggle a bit.’

    PS: I hope the weekend get-together at The George went well…

    1. The George was a fun gathering. Great to meet old and new friends.

      As to this crossword, all finished but SERVO unparsed. Why didn’t the setter put ‘stuck in middle of lake’?

      1. One day I’ll maybe get there, it’s something of a hike from South Yarra to Southwark. Your suggested amendment would have helped me zilch, I’m afraid, not knowing any kind of servo except the one I buy petrol at. Also I must confess I’m untroubled by any dam/reservoir equivalence, I see them both as man-made storage facilities and a lake as more naturally occurring (yeah I know they’re not all). But either way it doesn’t matter because I was nowhere near it!

          1. Maybe for the next Ashes? Only four years…thanks Jerry. Oh I saw a comment elsewhere about hair-curling clues in old Xwords, I think we should be told…

            1. I meant, in the sense of how they ignore all normal cluing standards so gloriously .. definition? Who needs it. Parts of speech/tenses? Ignore them, I give one example from the one I am doing today: “Not left in the fens.” (9)

              Answer: FRIGHTENS

            2. Don’t do it Lindsay. They’re awful people and they made me drink too much.

              1. Also it is a little bit scary, meeting folk in real life, when you have been rude to them 100 times, online (see above) 🙂

                  1. Ha ha, I thank you and Jerry for the advice and Jerry I see what you mean about the old clues but they certainly are intriguing. I have enough trouble as it is with a definition staring me in the face…

      2. My local library got “The Collation Unit” in for me and I’m about half way through it. Very enjoyable with some lovely laconic wit. You can tell it was written by someone who spent time in The Magic Kingdom. As I may have said, I was in Riyadh from ’82 to ’86. I like the mention of a (hooded) falcon in the cabin of a plane. I worked for Saudia and there was a whole section in one of their manuals about the carriage of falcons in the passenger cabin.

        1. Thank you and I am so glad that you are enjoying the book. I am today writing Chapter Nine of my fourth novel.

            1. I bought Sawbill’s and Bolton Wanderer’s books for my Kindle in preparation for my trip. According to BW this caused an observable uptick in his Australian revenue stream!

              1. You have doubled my worldwide sales. 😉

                Thanks and hope that you enjoy it.

  9. 40 minutes for what I did, but I gave up on 6dn as I knew I wouldn’t know the answer and I found the wordplay baffling. I was even more baffled finding SERVO after resorting to aids and realising the wordplay relied on ‘dam = reservoir’ as it would never have occurred to me that the two were the same thing. A trip to Collins confirmed that they can be, though I have to say I’ve never come across it before.

    I’d also never heard of ‘reservoir’ as a verb as suggested in the blog. I now know it can be, but I don’t think it’s needed in this case as Collins has this definition of ‘dam’: a reservoir of water created by such a barrier.

    I lost time at 14ac trying to make ‘sukiyaki’ work.

    1. For me it was “takoyaki” I was trying to cram in. In fact you’ll see me trying to cram in takoyaki any time I’m near Bristol’s “She Sells Sushi” market stall!

      I see that “yaki” means “grill”, which explains its popularity as a word ending.

      1. ‘yaki’ is a noun (derived from the verb ‘yaku’) meaning baking/roasting/broiling whatever.

    2. Very interesting Jack. In common Australian usage dam and reservoir are almost perfect synonyms. And they do get a lot of use!

      1. Thanks for that info, Galspray. I’ve acknowledged the setter is correct according to Collins Dictionary, but in support of my own POV I’d mention that neither Collins Thesaurus nor Chambers Crossword Dictionary has ‘dam’ and ‘reservoir’ listed as synonyms either way, and we know that thesauruses are usually much more generous than dictionaries. TBH I don’t even get the concept, as a dam blocks something and a reservoir is used for storage.

        1. Yes I’m not disputing your point of view, that’s why I said it was interesting.

          Sydney’s water supply comes from Lake Burragorang, which is the reservoir formed by the action of Warragamba dam. BUT…. nobody ever mentions Lake Burragorang. I couldn’t have named it without looking it up. In times of El Nino there are constant conversations and daily news reports about the level of water in Warragamba dam. Similar stories for other towns and cities. Those conversations relate solely to the level of water in the reservoir formed by the dam, but without the word reservoir being used.

          Probably more compelling though is the rural property dam, the water supply that forms the lifeblood of many of these properties. Also where a lot of country kids learn to swim! There are thousands of these across Australia, and most of them were formed without the damming of any existing watercourse. They could be called reservoirs, and maybe they should, but they’re not. They’re called dams.

          Doesn’t make anybody right or wrong here, it’s just language!

    3. A dam creates a reservoir. Surely two different things. Is a road accident a tail-back?

      1. With apologies to Robert Plant, “you know sometimes words have two meanings”.

  10. 9:52. Once I got going I thought this was fairly straightforward, my only slight doubt being IGUANODON. I remembered it as beginning differently to iguana, but then wondered if I’d misremembered and it actually began the same as iguana. Anyhow, I was largely confident the bird droppings were guano rather than guana which gave me extra help in getting it right this time.

  11. 25 minutes, with a question mark next to SERVO. I’m not sure being that familiar with them (like isla3, I have one on a nearby bench!) helps as I tend to think of the circuit that powers them as the driver, rather than the motor itself, but it’s a perfectly fair definition in hindsight. I think I was even more question-marky about “dam”=“reservoir”.

  12. 41 minutes with LOI ICARUS, a problem until I spelt Monsieur Dumas’ first name correctly. EMMET was second last: I’ve only been to Cornwall the once and it was foggy, so I didn’t see much. CODs to the BEPOP, BEVERLY HILLS crosser. I did get to the Don and Phil reunion concert and heard the music of paradise. Don’t take this heaven from one. SERVO was an informed guess. Quite tricky puzzle but very enjoyable. Thank you V and setter.

      1. Early boomers like me didn’t realise at the time quite how brilliant they were. Everybody who followed, The Beatles, Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel etc etc had The Evs as the soundtrack in their heads.

  13. More challenging than usual for a Monday, but fun.

    Had no idea at all about SERVO (still not convinced).

    16’34’, thanks vinyl and setter.

  14. Hoping for a QC-like Monday offering, I opted to warm up with the quickie, which utterly destroyed my confidence – though it did give me time to wake up a bit. On to the main event, and I failed to solve RECONVENE for 25 minutes despite thinking of the answer first pass, also had to correct ALEXANDRE like everyone else. Ended op NE, but didn’t manage SERVO or OCHRE – 42m fail.

    1. Not quite EVERYONE else, but then I’m a fully paid-up member of the Smartarse Society.

  15. 22:21 … but with 1 error as I had scandalously misgendered M.Dumas with an errant A.

    SERVO was the only thing that really fit, didn’t even think about reservoir. I had been racking my brains for F1 drivers for a while – not my specialist subject.

  16. 10:08. I had no problem with SERVO although it was one of my last in as I saw it was hidden in reSERVOir immediately. Never heard of reservoir as a verb, but I use dam as a synonym for the water held back by it. I enjoyed the fusion of Scandinavian and Japanese cooking with the Ikean construction of TERIYAKI. LOI DOGGEREL. I liked INCITING best. Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  17. 17:06. Tricky enough for a Monday – but all very fair. COD: INFRINGE.

    If allowed, I’m thinking of joining THE SNITCH. Can anyone advise how I might go about doing so. I can see the link at the side of this page but not an option to join.

    1. I’m not sure, but I think it happens automatically if you complete and submit online for leaderboard often enough. It catches neutrinos, for example.
      You should have asked johninterred about it on Saturday!

      1. Yes. I’m sure it happens automatically if you maintain enough appearances in the leaderboard top 100. There must be reference solvers who do not know they are

    2. The SNITCH can also pick up times from people’s comments (lines in lilac, such as for boltonwanderer or johninterred), in a format which your comment appears to satisfy, so either you haven’t made enough comments or there is some list of names that you need to be added to.

  18. A tricky start to the week for sure, and it was only after a 2 minute hiatus that “oche” came to me during my alpha trawl, at which point I biffed my LOI – thanks for enlightenment Vinyl.

    Incidentally your explanation for RECONVENE should also include “get” as it contains the final E.

    At 16D I briefly wondered whether a bang was a single fringe and BANGS more than one, but subsequent research favours the setter.

    There was much to enjoy here, and before plumping for my eventual COD I also considered INCITING, BEVERLY HILLS, and BANAL.

    TIME 10:03

  19. After an hour with about three-quarters done, I took a break.
    On resumption, I completed it in another 28 minutes.
    SERVO was a calculated guess based on ‘driver’ and crossing letters and EMMET required a Google check post solve as did TERIYAKI. I needed the blog to see the parsing of INFRINGE and SERVO.
    Solving RECONVENE was very satisfying.

  20. Dum(b) As(s)
    Failed to pass today’s spelling test, initially of course with ALEXANDER (when are the French going to learn to spell?) and then with an IGUANADON, which I think I’ve done before. I actually thought SERVO was rather clever, or perhaps felt smug about spotting that it was contained in reservoir.
    Can’t see Dumas without thinking of Andy Dufresne and Red
    “Dumb-ass? Dumas. You know what it’s about? You’ll like it, it’s about a prison break.”
    “Well we should file that one under “Educational” too, oughten we?”
    18.39 with an addition to my growing collection of pinks.

  21. 07:46, an interesting puzzle, and stiffer than the average Monday, for sure, but I was lucky in spotting everything that needed spotting. I’ve spelt IGUANODON wrong more than once before, so I treat it with great care now, and it was good to have a clue which left no room for doubt about what the vowel in the middle should be. Finished up with SERVO, confident enough that it was the right answer, but asking myself questions about how “dam” could = “reservoir”, all of which have now been answered, as I thought they would be.

  22. 40m 35s
    I thoroughly enjoyed that! The only difficulty I had was with SERVO. With the checkers in place the only word I knew that would fit was servo. As far as I remember a SERVO in Australia is both a service station and a branch of the RSL) – Returned & Services League Australia (Aussie British Legion).
    So many great clues: VANISHING CREAM ( “Having run out of nail polish”); TERIYAKI (“Winless season”); MAI TAI (“Thousand Island”) and RECONVENE were my favourites. But COD has to go to OCHRE (“Missile launch area”!)
    Thank you setter and thank you, Vinyl.

  23. No probs today. I am always cautious with dinosaur spelling, but the GUANO helped this time.
    Left with servo/ochre but managed to spot the reSERVOir and sadly it never occurred to me to worry about noun vs verb .. I have been solving some old crosswords lately, back to 1923, and such niceties never worried compilers at all, until the ’70s at least .. make your hair curl, some of the earlier clues would!

  24. All but two done in about 30 minutes, but then I became so stuck on SERVO and MADE SAFE that I resorted to Chambers electronically, and it didn’t give MADE SAFE. But no excuse, SAE was quite obvious and I shouldn’t have missed it. SERVO was a different matter since it was quite tricky in retrospect and dam = reservoir isn’t very obvious. If all reservoirs were dams it would be OK, but they’re not I think. Not sure about 1dn: I had B EVERLY as the British brothers who sang, then hills = HIGH RISE (?…), so wondered about the ‘about’. Surely the Everly-s, should be Everlies? Perhaps the conventions for names are different.

    1. Ready to be corrected but I don’t think one can interfere with the spelling of a surname when referring to a family in the plural. You just stick an S on the end, or it may be one of those occasions where some would seek to justify an apostrophe S to avoid confusion.

  25. This took me one hour! Nothing I couldn’t do, but it all took so long to work out. Still enjoyed it though

  26. Also beaten by SERVO and consequently OCHRE, though the rest went in fast enough. Yeah, yeah, dam=reservoir may be in such-and-such dictionary, but it’s still crap. I live next door to a very large reservoir that was formed and exists without any kind of dam whatever. Nobody locally would dream of calling it a dam, neither have I ever come across anybody in the UK in my half century of existence who uses the words ‘dam’ and ‘reservoir’ interchangeably.

    So I’m calling this a dam lousy clue.

    1. I am curious, which reservoir is this? It is not completely clear to me how you could form an artificial lake, without a dam..

      1. Easy: You dig it out. Quite common in the UK, where a ‘reservoir’ usually means just a big artificial lake (dug, not created by damming a river) to store water. If you ever fly into London’s Heathrow airport on a clear day, you’ll see several large artificial reservoirs near the airport. They’re there to store water for the London area, but also I’m told to offer a safe place for pilots to ditch in case of trouble.

        1. But they all have dams, or at least they have above-ground banks formed from the spoil. Sailed on a couple of them

          1. Call if a ‘dam’ if you like, but I’ve never heard them called that. Banks, levees, embankments, sure…. but never dam.

            Seems though that the Australian usage is the one setter was referring to.

    2. As mentioned above, every large and important reservoir in Australia is called a dam, both formally and informally. See Warragamba, Keepit, Wyvenhoe. And every repository of water on every rural property is called a dam, regardless of how that repository is formed.

      Maybe we’re wrong, but good luck trying to get that usage changed!

  27. 31:31 but having eventually biffed LOI, SERVO, I was miffed to discover that I’d got IGUANADON wrong yet again. I questioned it when I entered it too. Drat! I too was held up by M. Dumas, eventually being corrected by ICARUS. SUKIYAKI was succeeded by TERIYAKI fairly quickly. Thanks setter and Vinyl.

  28. 22:55. Slowed for a while by anglicising ALEXANDRE (what would the Academie say?) and failing to see SERVO until the O went in and I could see no other possibility. I knew servo as driver, but the hidden bit in reservoir was too clever for me.

  29. 23:25

    A few unparsed:
    VANISHING CREAM – bunged in from first three checkers, didn’t come back to it
    TERIYAKI – got the IY part – glad I know only a few Japanese dishes!
    SERVO – couldn’t think of owt else and would never have equated dam and reservoir. Have heard the word in relation to motors though.

    Glad to have spelt IGUANODON correctly – that one has caught me out before.

    As for OCH(R)E, I’ve accidentally caught a few old editions of Bullseye lately where at the ad break, Jim Bowen often says ‘See you back on the oche in two minutes’, so ’twas fresh in mind.

  30. Another erroneous ALEXANDER, which corrected itself when writing in LOI ICARUS. SERVO was thoroughly biffed – not a clue how that one worked – aware of the “driver” definition from e.g. servo-assisted brakes.


  31. Didn’t see RESERVOIR (and wouldn’t have accepted ‘dam’ as its definition if I had), so writing SERVO in the margin didn’t help. I once entered IGUANADON in a competition puzzle at Cheltenham – Big Dave said afterwards “But wasn’t it obvious from the anagram?”, to which I had no repeatable response.

  32. Am I missing something, or is there a typo in 14AC? I assume it was supposed to say “American child fails to finish” to clue KI, “American kid fails to finish” is supremely inelegant otherwise (why American?).

  33. Two goes needed, the second to get SERVO and OCHRE. I’m pleased that I now remember to spell IGUANODON correctly, i.e. with an O before the D, and I avoided ‘Alexander’ DUMAS by already having ICARUS. Didn’t know that ODYSSEUS was Penelope’s husband, but fortunately I didn’t really have to.

    FOI Bebop
    LOI Ochre
    COD Vanishing cream

  34. OK I’m a bit thick but I don’t get servo=driver.
    There are lots of drivers, such as the s/w that drives your printer, and golf. Servo (Latin I obey) is a process that might use a motor, but not always. It isn’t a driver. Typically it supplements the physical input of the human driver, as in brake servo, which used to be driven by the vacuum created by the engine.
    Also never saw the reSERVOir.

  35. For some odd reason I did not seem to have the same hold ups and probs as some of our esteemed bloggers above. Maybe the large amount of alcohol consumed yesterday til late (large party, hence late post!) befuddled my brain to the point whereby I didn’t overthink things. 31 mins.

    No probs with SERVO (which «drives » one’s car brakes) once I had OCHRE.


    Thanks v and setter.

  36. I would have been under 20 minutes if I hadn’t put Alexander. Took me about 5 minutes to fix that after getting icarus made me realise my mistake.

  37. 20 mins, most of which spent in the NE. DOGGEREL was the one the eluded me for longest. SERVO bunged in, see above for comment.

  38. 15 minutes. I always thought these puzzles favoured residents of the UK, but I’m sitting here in Teddington and it didn’t seem to help at all!

    Thought this was a really good puzzle. “Succeeded as a high flyer” is a lovely bit of misdirection for ICARUS.

    Was nice to finally overcome the curse of the IGUANADON, and fortunate that my mis-spelling of ALEXANDRE was reversible.

    Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  39. Failed in two places- first deciding it sounded more French to write DAMUS- and misremembering the spelling of GUANO even though I knew IGUANODON had a tricky spelling.
    So bad start to the week but I don’t think I can blame anyone else unlike on Friday!!

  40. Penultimate one in was OCHRE. Ultimate one in was SERVO, cos it was the only word which fitted. Didn’t understand why it was SERVO until I came here. The rest was pretty straightforward. 31 minutes all told.

  41. All very easy until S?R?O, which I couldn’t get and still don’t really understand. NHO it, and I’m not convinced a dam is a reservoir.

  42. 31’52”
    Clearly didn’t act on the going, one-paced throughout.
    Twigged ‘reSERVOir’ eventually and was momentarily distracted by musing that Lady Penelope had a butler, not a husband – ‘You rang, m’lady.’
    Which languorous, doe-eyed beauty in the black and white realms of my subconscious memory sipped Mai Tais, I wonder?
    I enjoyed this a lot; thanks to all.

  43. Slow in the NW corner, not helped by initially entering Yarrah for the plant instead of Yarrow (I must have been thinking in Cockney). I got Servo but couldn’t see why (like many others). Enjoyed the puzzle.

  44. An average Monday effort for me, all done in 32 minutes, delayed by the parsing of 6dn, which despite the learned comments above I still do not fully understand. And ICARUS may have been a high flyer, but not for long!
    Thanks to vinyl and other contributors.

  45. Only managed to get round to this at the eleventh hour. Too many interruptions to record a time but probably about 50 minutes I would estimate.
    I was pleased to finish with all correct and only one not parsed, and I join others with trying to decipher the head scratcher that was SERVO. I was also thrown for a while by misspelling LISZT by transposing the S and Z, and by the spelling of ALEXANDRE but getting ICARUS sorted that out. I’m glad I persevered as it was a good test, but fair.

  46. I was so pleased to remember the Iguanodon animal that I forgot that it required special spelling. I wouldn’t have been bothered at all about the dam verb/noun if I’d ever gotten as far as reservoir, but as an LOI I didn’t fuss with the cryptic bit once the crossers gave me the only logical answer.

  47. Like quite a few others I misspelled ALEXANDER before ICARUS set me straight, and SERVO blatantly BIFD as NHO it as a driver (not being mechanically-minded.). Distant memory of early pub-crawling days, where darts was a favourite pastime, gave me OCHRE, but I missed out on TERIYAKI as I was looking for a Japanese river for “course” ! 🫣. Other failures of GK meant I didn’t know a GURKHA was Hindu. But the clever BEVERLY HILLS gave me VANISHING CREAM ( used nowadays?), and the never-tasted MAI TAI followed. CODs to INCITING, RECONVENE and ICARUS with the tricky misdirection. Good Saturday morning fare for me , over in about 40 mins…but then of course I have to read all the comments from our wise and witty group! (Another hour!)

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