Times 28735 – Fearful symmetry?

Music: Prokofiev, Romeo and Juliet

Time: 18 minutes

Well, easy Monday is back, and I don’t have much to say.    If you are an experienced solver, you won’t find much to delay you here, and even novices may do well.    It was only 1 across that held me up; yes, I put in Beeb, but the rest had to await a crosser.     I was a bit concerned about how to spell Saskatchewan, but Ewan seemed like the only possible version of the name.     Most solvers will just enter one answer after another, and there should be quite a few clean sweeps.

1 Pollen mix studied by national broadcaster (8)
9 Hill-dweller terribly rude about one leaving flat terrain (8)
UPLANDER – U(PLA[i]N)DER, where the enclosing letters are an anagram of RUDE.
10 Fateful day Cockney goes to ground? (4)
11 Thinker involved with grant, a quixotic type (6,6)
KNIGHT ERRANT – Anagram of THINKER + GRANT.  Quixote is a knight errant, in a sense.
13 Grass English composer found in odd parts of dale (6)
DARNEL – D[a](ARNE)L[e].
14 Leader of squad softening and extracting metal (8)
15 Time to accept work initially slicing cut of beef (7)
TOPSIDE – T(OP, S[licing])IDE.
16 Rule out ditching Chopin’s first short composition (7)
PRELUDE – PRE[c]LUDE.   Since Chopin did compose numerous preludes, not a very deceptive clue.
20 Short story about Oscar approaching a curve (8)
22 Quietly leaves to view cricket, for example (6)
23 Crack troops reportedly seize Scotsman maybe in province (12)
SASKATCHEWAN – SAS + sounds like KATCH + EWAN, the third-most popular Scotsman in crosswords.
25 Dash shown by Hassan, a legend from the East (4)
ELAN –  Backwards hidden in [Hassa]N A LE[gend].
26 Inflexible gear old American soldiers carried (8)
27 That girl’s boyfriends include extremely dubious animal minders (8)
HERDSMEN – HER  (D[ubiou]S)  MEN.
2 In Spain, the dolphin’s place of great abundance (2,6)
EL DORADO – EL + DORADO.   The only obscure thing in the puzzle – the fish commonly called the mahi-mahi can also be called the dolphin or the dorado.
3 Requesting silence in sailing ship, seeing marine creature (7,5)
4 Having right to be honoured (8)
ENTITLED – Double definition.
5 Something chewed over by ambassador’s son and noblewoman (7)
DUCHESS – CUD upside-down + HE’S S.
6 Rip off woollen coat (6)
FLEECE –  Double definition.
7 Snake endlessly turning up in Old Norse poems (4)
EDDA – ADDE[r] upside-down.
8 Charge made by expert Europeans keeping sheep (8)
12 Severity shown by head supporting girl to a reduced extent (12)
15 Wall hanging records sporting achievement (8)
TAPESTRY – TAPES + TRY.   A try doesn’t sound like much of an achievement to me, but what do I know?   Instant biff.   Further information may be found in the first comment, for which I thank our friend from down under.
17 Waterproof clothing found by artist in northern river (8)
18 Wipe out rodents on the rise in time (8)
DECIMATE – D(ECIM)ATE.    Unfortunately, only one mouse in ten is killed in this operation.
19 Hallucinogenic drug a chap’s smuggled into mess (7)
21 Be more cunning than unfashionable founder of Quakerism (6)
OUTFOX – OUT + FOX – that would be George Fox, 1624-1691.
24 Appeal inspiring a good heroic story (4)
SAGA – S(A.G)A, a compendium of cryptic crossword cliches.

105 comments on “Times 28735 – Fearful symmetry?”

    1. Also in American football, meaning the attempt to score an extra point after a touchdown, although other terms are more commonly used. It’s from the same origin as rugby.

  1. The biggest mystery to me is the reference to Blake’s poem in the title, I assume something is lurking there in the depths. To continue a brief conversation from the QC blog, I found most of this pretty straight-forward but there were a few challenges that took me out to 30.09. I mean, BEEBREAD? Huh? I also needed convincing that DARNEL was anything, took a while remembering TEG and EDDA (at first I thought about SAGA until it popped up later) and as for BASKING SHARK…we don’t have them in Oz, but we do generally refer to sharks using an adjective that sounds like basking but only at the start.

    1. I’ve rather assumed the symmetry alludes to both EDDA and SAGA at the antipodes, and perhaps OUTFOX and FLEECE having a certain consonance. But I could be making it up, perhaps ignoring the fearful RUTHLESSNESS of the BASKING SHARK.

      1. I did notice we had a SHARK, a DORADO, the IDE and the SMELT but I don’t think there’s any symmetry there either, fearful or otherwise!

  2. 25 minutes. There were three unknowns for me, at least for today.

    BEEBREAD would seem unusual enough to have stuck in my brain if met before, but it hadn’t despite last appearing in a puzzle blogged by me in November 2021. I remarked on that occasion that it had come up twice before that, when I also didn’t know it.

    DARNEL has appeared twice previously.

    DORADO as a dolphin would seem to be new to us, but the rest of the clue was so easy one really didn’t need to know the fish.

    1. The DORADO is (apparently) also known as a dolphin-fish, but cluing it as ‘dolphin’ seems rather unfair. EL DORADO is of course ‘the golden one/man’, which is how the legendary place got its name.

  3. 13:16
    I’ve always wondered why a score was called a try. I was slowed down getting PROTEGEE; it took me a long time to move away from the ‘accusation’ and ‘fee’ meanings of ‘charge.’

    1. The act of grounding the ball over the opponent’s try-line (in the end zone, if you will) entitles the attacking team to “try” for a shot at goal for extra points. Not unlike American football in that sense.

      In the very early days of rugby the act of kicking goals was the main objective* so grounding the ball in this way was just known as a try. Now it’s ostensibly the prime objective of the game, and the points awarded for it have increased accordingly over the years. But it’s still called a try.

      *Probably still would be if the southern hemisphere teams didn’t bring some enlightenment to the game!

      1. The France v SAfrica match, the first half at least, certainly provided some enlightened rugby this morning.

          1. The BBC website match report on my iPhone describes it as “one of the greatest matches in World Cup history”. Alas I lost much of the second half coverage because of a glitch so I went from 22-19 to France to 29-28 to Safrica before I regained coverage.

            1. Sorry you missed a bit. It was a great match. You don’t mind losing, having been hammered by a better side, but to lose by 1 point is heartbteaking.

              1. And that one point, of course, came from Kolbe (?) charging down a French attempted conversion. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a succesful charge-down in top flight rugby. What a match indeed!

                  1. Unfortunately I’ve not seen any footage to back that up but you’re right. It was definitely suspicious.

              2. I really felt for the French rugby team; and that is not something that happens to me often! They played their absolute hearts out, and came within inches of winning the match. I was v impressed.
                At least the winners will probably have an easy time in the semis 🙁

        1. Personally I thought all four QFs were great matches: Ireland’s 37 phases battering in vain at the NZ line beyond the 80 minutes, Fiji doing much the same against England, Argentina breaking Welsh hearts with a magic final try: all great adverts for the game, and at least partially compensating for England losing to Afghanistan (sic!), something we are in the habit of doing and not just in cricket

          1. I only watched the 15min highlights package of the Wales v Argentina match but I agree completely about the other three. Here in NZ, last night on the main TV news, the general talk was that an AB v Boks final is a done deal. I do hope England and Argentina can upset that particular apple cart! (I’m British!)

      2. It’s curious that in American football you don’t have to actually ground the ball yet they insist on calling it a “touchdown”.

      3. In the very, very early days, the try scored no points, I believe: only what we now know as the conversion was scored. The first international game, played between Scotland and England, ended with Scotland having scored two tries and a goal and England one try – i.e. 1-0 to Scotland. This is usually good for a pint or two in the right pub (i.e. one favoured by fans of the round ball game).

  4. 10:57. Agree that it was a fairly gentle Monday, but I’m not sure that a beginner would see DORADO as the only obscurity. I’d throw in EDDA, BASKING SHARK, DARNEL and BEEBREAD as well. They were all fairly generously clued though.

    Can’t really pick a stand-out clue, but nothing to complain about either.

    Thanks Vinyl and setter.

  5. 29m 52s
    A pleasant half hour. In 3d, with some checking letters in place my first thought was FISHING SMACK!

  6. 7:45. As galspray says there are too many strange words in here for it to qualify as very easy, even with generous clueing. To his examples you might add KNIGHT ERRANT and SASKATCHEWAN (not obscure but hardly everyday vocabulary) and arguably George Fox, who turned out not to be Thomas Wit.

    1. KNIGHT ERRANT was made easier by having appeared in a Monday puzzle (also blogged by vinyl1) as recently as 4th September. Those who also do The Guardian puzzles will have seen it again since then.

    1. I think you should put in a protest. OOTFOX would be perfectly acceptable here in Glasgow.

  7. 30 mins. I agree with galspray that the clues he mentions aren’t exactly write-ins. BEEBREAD and DARNEL were NHOs.

    However, I enjoyed this otherwise simple offering. I liked TAPESTRY, and PARABOLA.

    Thanks vinyl and setter.

  8. About 20 minutes. Didn’t know DARNEL, but what other English composer is there in crosswordland other that Thomas Arne? BEEBREAD was another unknown only put together once the checkers were in place, and I just hope I never have to pronounce SASKATCHEWAN. I hadn’t heard of the Dorado dolphin, though EL DORADO was obvious enough, and I wondered if there was a person called Wit who had founded Quakerism before the O from RIGOROUS set me straight to get OUTFOX. I also hesitated slightly over BASKING SHARK as I wasn’t completely familiar with the bark ship.

    Not too taxing, but a nice start to the week. Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Ides
    LOI Outfox
    COD Duchess

  9. Quick today, though I agree having the vocab. helped.
    Only nho was darnel, but not a problem.
    I have never seen a woollen fleece, always 100% artificial fibres. But I decided the clue works fine if it refers to what a sheep wears.
    Decimate doesn’t mean “Wipe out.” Even ignoring the literal meaning, which most, annoyingly, do, Collins only has “to destroy a large proportion of.”

    1. OED says ‘to reduce drastically or severely; to destroy, ruin, devastate’. Seems close enough to me. The insistence on the original Roman military usage is one of the sillier examples of the etymological fallacy.

      1. I’d meant to predict that there would be a complaint about the ‘proper’ meaning of DECIMATE. If I may add to Keriothe–and who the hell’s going to stop me?–, 1) I know what the word means without the OED helping me; 2) the word does not, in fact, mean ‘kill one person in ten’, although it may have meant it for a while (although of course not among the Romans); 3) not ‘sillier’, since ‘silly’ means, as we all know (cf. Coleridge’s ‘silly buckets’), ’empty’; 4) Jesus H. Christ!

      2. I’m certainly not insisting on 10%.
        But “Wipe out” = eliminate, to me, not devastate or ruin. It has a finality and completeness about it which to me at least, decimate doesn’t.

        1. You should cut the poor setters some slack, their job is hard enough without this rigid insistence on strict rules of equivalence 😉

            1. That would spoil the surface a bit. ‘Destroy’, perhaps. The fundamental problem here is that if you insist that ‘decimate’ implies that there are some left it doesn’t apply very well to pest control. ‘Pest Eliminator: we guarantee to leave you with a much smaller number of cockroaches!’.

      3. I do have a bit of a sneaky feeling that each of us (not you obviously) likes to hold on to our own pet etymological fallacy. Not that we would call it that in that case.

        1. We all have stylistic linguistic preferences, and there’s nothing wrong with that as long as we don’t harbour any illusions that they are ‘correct’.

    2. It doesn’t even mean destroy a large proportion either. It meant every tenth man in Roman times….

      1. Ha, I think we knew that .. read the other comments.
        My point, which thank you for this opportunity of restating, was that although decimate DOES in common usage normally mean more than 10% nowadays, thanks no doubt to modern armaments etc, it does NOT mean, and never has, wipe out, obliterate, eliminate completely and altogether…

        But hey, does it matter much? 🙂

  10. Monday all round, QC and this completed in under 15 mins. Adding on just a couple of mins for the concise meant a quick visit to the Puzzle Club for me this morning.

    Finally remembered the English composer, which gave me confidence in DARNEL. NHO of teg=sheep, but will try and file that away. RIGOROUS LOI.


  11. Similar MER over DECIMATE, though no problem getting the answer, though I was held up by trying to put ‘rats’ up across ELAN, rather than ‘mice’ across INSECT. NHO DARNEL, but thank goodness Arne is almost invariably clued as English composer, as he instantly springs to mind. BEEBREAD was a half-remembered known, and again the clueing was generous. A bit of trouble with OUTFOX, as I couldn’t remember Fox, and was thinking of Elizabeth Fry, who was definitely a Quaker, if not the founder. I knew DORADO as a fish, though didn’t understand the connection to dolphin. LOI PROTEGEE where, like Kevin G, I was fixated on the wrong type of charge, even with TEG in place. A good, fun and fairly speedy puzzle – thanks setter and Vinyl.

  12. 10 minutes or there about with only one or two slowing me down. The only unknowns for me were BEEBREAD and DARNEL but thanks to the cluing they were write-ins. I didn’t try to work out the KNIGHT ERRANT anagram whilst on my first look through but as soon as the K and E were in place it was another write-in. Knights and the chivalric deeds were fresh in my mind having recently finished Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s historical romp Sir Nigel. I wouldn’t necessarily take that as a book recommendation.
    Thanks to the setter and blogger.

  13. Under half hour and only one cup of tea so this must’ve been as easy as everyone says. I usually struggle to finish and don’t post here because I’m generally about 4 days late!
    Didn’t know Darnel and missed the meaning of charge in protégée but they went in nonetheless.
    Maybe you’ll hear off me again next Monday!

  14. Not easy in my estimation, with a time of 18.44. maybe just being off the pace today, with BEEBREAD remembered/deduced very late, and desperately unsure of how to spell SASKATCHEWAN: Euan turned up elsewhere recently. I also pondered OUTFRY for a while.
    I don’t think DARNEL is to be found other than in the KJV, in the parable more often referred to as the wheat and tares, scarcely more in common usage.
    I stumbled practically everywhere, and the final indignity was to assume “a chap’s” in the HASHISH clue led to HE’S, and thus the third variant spelling with a pink square.

  15. 25 mins.
    A few bits and bobs I’d forgotten or NHO here, but no real dramas.
    Thanks, v.

  16. 23:35, but spoiled by my poor spelling. I had SASKATCHUWAN , which unfortunately still works as a homophone of EUAN.

  17. Held myself up a bit by carelessly spelling it SASKeTCHEWAN and wondering why the setter was using a cut-glass English accent for the synonym of ‘seize’. But it’s very easy to pronounce ChrisLutton since you say it just as it looks as if you should. BEEBREAD, DARNEL and DORADO more or less unknown, but the wordplay was simple. 30 minutes.

  18. Well I thought the homophone indicator could easily have stretched to include the Scotsman. So UWAN or EWAN? Now where did I put that coin?

  19. 7:40
    Nice swift start to the pre-Championship week.
    Speaking of which,
    “Ruth rode in my new cycle car
    In the seat in back of me:
    I took a bump at fifty-five,
    And rode on RUTHLESSly”.

    (And on the subject of Spoonerisms as discussed last week, the indication for one such clue in yesterday’s Azed was “for Rev. William”.)

  20. Also struggled with spelling of SASKeTCHEWAN but fortunately noticed ketch not in the clue, but katch was.
    I dimly remember DARNEL, and I see it has occurred before.
    I vaguely and wrongly thought Penn was something to do with founding the Quakers, but he didn’t fit.

  21. Yes, an easy one, and I had the same experience of musing a bit before getting BEEBREAD, and worrying about the spelling of SASKATCHEWAN before having kindly checkers. LOI was OUTFOX, where I hadn’t remembered the founder’s name but it seemed plausible. 3m 37s and maybe the closest I’ll ever get to mohn.

    1. My commiserations. I can just see you there before you dared to look at the leaderboard, on your knees, praying for the first time since you were made to as a kid, ‘Please, please, please!’

      1. Speaking of leaderboards, I wonder how ‘Henry Wyatt’ feels, when, having cheated, as always, by solving elsewhere and then typing it in as fast as he can online, he *still* fails to go faster than, say, Magoo and Mohn.

  22. Mondayish, but Times-ish – lots of words seen before, but only in the crossword. Knew the spelling of Saskatchewan, luckily, as it’s EWEN in these parts. Only NHO/not remembered was Darnel – wondered who he was and who he shopped to the police to be so famous. A post-solve google put me right.

  23. 10:48. DARNEL and BEEBREAD (unwelcome echoes of Jeremy Clarkson’s bee juice) put paid to a sub-10 minuter, but it was nice to whizz through for the first time in a few days. Presumably solving even a straightforward puzzle like this in 3:37 involves reading and solving a clue while writing in another. Or is there some even more impressive parallel processing going on, where multiple clues are taken in at a single glance and solved more or less simultaneously?

    1. Don’t google “Royal jelly,” whatever you do.. it is basically bee vomit, from glands in their bodies..

      On the other question, it turns out it is easy to type in the clues to a 15×15 in less than a minute, with practice. Less, if you can touch-type. This gives a good 2m+ extra for actual thinking, some of which could be done whilst typing the previous answer in.
      Whether that is clever, or desirable, or even worthwhile, is quite a different issue 🙂

  24. 15:53

    I wondered if the rumours of a quick Monday crossword were false when so few went in on the first pass, but things quickly picked up and thenceforth joining the dots was straightforward.

    Didn’t know DORADO = dolphin, fortunately had seen BEEBREAD somewhere here before, DARNEL was a new one but with a helpful composer (went in once checkers were in place). LOI was PRELUDE once I spotted that I’d somehow bunged in an S as the last letter of 8d.

    Thanks setter and V

  25. Thinking of English composers beyond Arne I’ve been trying to make an anagram of my favourite one, but “Hail a rump having walls?” doesn’t really make the grade.

    1. OK, I give up. Best I could do was: Vaginal Whiplash Mural, but I don’t think they’re a composer.

      1. Ralph Vaughan Williams. It wasn’t really fair of me using all three names as in our context he would probably just be Williams or maybe RVW. I do think your anagram is more interesting!

  26. You know when you have been doing these things a long time when words like EDDA, TEG and DARNEL seem commonplace. Appropriately for the season I found it very chestnutty and a bit dull.
    Dolphin for Dorado was a write-in. It took me back to the Florida Keys where ‘Blackened Dolphin’ is on virtually every menu, meaning grilled Dorado/Mahi-Mahi encrusted in Cajun spices (yum).

  27. Felt my time of 37 minutes should have been quicker, but sleepless nights are taking their toll. Ever since my collapsed lung I’ve suffered insomnia. I needed almost all the checkers to get the province, in spite of the SAS giveaway. I’ve never heard of BEEBREAD, and couldn’t think of any word with BEEB in it. That, UPLANDeR aand PROTEGEE were my LOIs.

  28. 14’21”. Didn’t feel that easy to me, and was slightly surprised to see Snitch so low. Remembered BEEBREAD from a crossword here a year or two back. Otherwise I’m not sure I’d have believed it existed.

  29. I found the same as some other commenters – pretty easy cluing, but a few bits of vocab that were a bit too esoteric for the whole to be a proper write-in. NHO ‘darnel’, for instance, although I did remember ‘beebread’ when I had a helpful crosser. Not really sure ‘hashish’ is an hallucinogenic drug. Most held up by LOI ‘rigorous’ which took me quite a while to see. Good fun.

    Thanks Vinyl, and Setter.

  30. Managed to complete this over lunch with no real problems other than a couple of unknown words. Mainly a QC-er so very happy to finish this (even though it’s an easy one!). Enjoyed the ‘discussion’ around decimate/eliminate. Couldn’t parse PRELUDE – thank you. PROTÉGÉE took a while as teg was unknown and I was thinking of a different sort of charge for quite some time until the penny dropped. Otherwise all seemed fairly straightforward. Luckily knew DARNEL. Thanks all.

  31. Came here thinking this was quite tough for a Monday but it seems that almost everyone thinks the opposite.
    Unfortunately spoilt by putting HASHESH.

  32. A pleasant Monday stroll, completed in 16 minutes. A weary shrug at 18 dn but I fear the battle on the meaning of DECIMATE has already been lost.
    COD – KNIGHT ERRANT (even though it is just an anagram).
    Thanks to vinyl and other contributors.

  33. Happy to acknowledge I am an interloper at this stage, but as someone just trying to make the jump from the QC to the 15×15 the vibe of these blogs is always a little disheartening! I for one did not find this puzzle frustratingly *easy*

    1. No one has said they found it frustratingly easy I don’t think.

      The NITCH currently stands at 63, so there’s evidence that it is a much “easier” puzzle than average.

    2. There are no interlopers here Blue, they seem to allow anybody in. I offer myself as Exhibit A.

      I know what you mean about some of the comments, but you shouldn’t feel discouraged. It’s a pretty welcoming environment overall.

      “Easiness” of a puzzle is entirely relative and everyone has their own yardstick.

      One thing for sure is that if you call in here regularly your solving will improve, assuming that’s what you want to happen.

      Welcome aboard and enjoy the ride.

    3. My “name” on the very rare occasions I comment is Suffering Blue because I am an Evertonian and because I never find the crossword easy.
      Welcome aboard. You’ll come to find some of the comments amusing – “Found this hard, took me 11 minutes but I was composing a symphony at the same time”
      Not a genuine quote but gives the idea

  34. Less than 30′ with some time spent on LOI PROTEGEE, in part due to the spelling but also took me a while to catch the meaning of “charge”. Other than than that, like others, a couple of easy biffs for (NHO) BEEBREAD and (unparsed) EL DORADO… NHO dorado = dolphin. But certainly a Monday!

  35. I remembered BEEBREAD from previous puzzles and DARNEL from the Parable of the Tares, which also involved wailing and gnashing of teeth. I seem to remember it cropping up annually in the readings at church. Didn’t know Mr Fox, but options were limited with OUT_O_. IDES was FOI and OUTFOX was LOI. 13:11. Thanks setter and Vinyl. Vin Garbutt wrote a song involving a BASKING SHARK possibly having suffocated from trying on a T-shirt when a container was lost overboard from a ship carrying designer clothes from Tees Bay to Amsterdam. I commend it to you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehFQwGjvDac The patter introducing the song is wonderful. The song was recorded live at the Red Lion in Kings Heath Birmingham for his album Plugged.

  36. Finished in 40, with plenty of unknowns, but got ’em in the end. So “novices may do well” was on the money for me.

    FISHING SMACK looked very possible as a “sailing ship”, which fitted the 5 checkers and the enumeration, but the rule that the definition is always at the beginning or end is rarely broken.

  37. 14 mins, so a bit slow by comparison methinks. LOI BEEBREAD nice clue when I’d got it.

  38. 23:12 quite happy with that. Held up for quite a while with OUTFOX as was thinking of Fry (who were Quakers but not founders as it turns out). Also would have finished 5 mins quicker if I hadn’t typo’d HASHIDH. Gah. I hadn’t heard of BEEBREAD or DARNEL but both seemed fairly clear from the wordplay. Thanks Vinyl and Setter.

    1. Admirably honest! But which Dictionary did you use? Doesn’t seem to be a very accurate one 😅

      1. Oh dear. I had a nagging feeling I’d spelt it wrong but couldn’t be bothered having another look😊

  39. Just over 30 minutes thanks to DARNEL – never heard of the composer nor the grass, which made it rather tricky; it just seemed like the most plausible combination of letters, albeit not an obviously English surname. I eventually decided there was going to be no PDM, and was relieved to have it right.

    Thanks both

    1. Thomas Arne might certainly be considered an obscure composer but for the fact that he composed the music to the song Rule Britannia. That’s why most practised crossword solvers know of him. Ask any (including myself) to name something else that he wrote and we may well expose our own ignorance!

  40. ‘Ridiculously easy’ I chortled as I scribbled down ‘TADESTRY’ and hurried on to the next clue. Then tried for ten minutes to think of a curve that begins with a ‘D’. Crossed the finishing line at 30 minutes feeling very deflated.

  41. BEEBREAD was an answer to one of my first attempts at the Times Cryptic quite a few years ago and it has always stuck in my mind. Reredos is another. I knew Arne from previous puzzles and I guessed right on the spelling of the province.

    So a good day and for me a quick time: 16:54

    Thank you setter and Vinyl

  42. 12.32

    Just pipped my bro partly because I think I remember doing that very crossword on a section of the Cotswold Way, and BEEBREAD has also stuck with me. I also recall being astonished that such a word existed and even more that folks knew it. The other similar one for me was ELEMI which it seemed was a standard write in as soon as the word resin appeared in a clue. And so for me now as well.

    DARNEL had to be but it was a NHO and my LOI.

    Thanks all

  43. A doddle, only BEEBREAD was new to me but well clued. DARNEL features as the bad guy in a biblical tale vaguely remembered from my youth. Thanks for the blog.

  44. Add me to the list who had HASHESH, and I still think that looks more likely than HASHISH. Shame as I had negotiated the other problems such as DARNEL and the spelling of the province. I’ll try tomorrow’s when I get chance next week!

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