Times 28744 – Whoops

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Time taken – 6:07.

I must be having a good day or the setter wrote this one just for me, since my time appears to be a lot better than solvers who are usually much quicker than me.  I suspect it is a few that I’m really familiar with and one where the wordplay can be trusted easily that helped me out here.

How did you get along?

1 Dry rocks amongst loot? Discuss ditching odd bits for study of fluids (10)
HYDRAULICS – anagram of DRY inside HAUL(loot) then the even letters in dIsCuSs
6 Expression of indifference about son’s entanglement (4)
MESH – MEH(expression of indifference, really popular with college students here) containing S(son)
9 Prosecute a criminal in remote region (5,5)
10 The female Aphrodite’s foremost goddess (4)
HERA – HER(the female) and the first letter of Aphrodite
12 Daringly soften most of eyeshadow, but not right now? (3,2,5,4)
ONE OF THESE DAYS – anagram of SOFTEN and EYESHADO(w) minus the last letter
14 Chicken stew: backed everyone getting a lot in E London (6)
PAELLA -ALL(everyone) and ‘EAP(a lot in E London) all reversed. Although I think of it as a fish dish, Collins defines Paella as a “Spanish dish made from rice, shellfish, chicken and vegetables”.
15 Change arrangement to include introduction of clarinet, a wind instrument (8)
RECORDER – REORDER(change arrangement) containing the first letter in Clarinet
17 International player’s mood, finding peak (8)
CAPSTONE – CAP’S (international player’s), TONE(mood)
19 Come to a track left by any number (6)
AWAKEN – A, WAKE(track left in the water), N(any number)
22 Frequently, gas rushes after my work on island (4,2,3,5)
LORD OF THE FLIES – OFT(frequently), HE(helium gas), FLIES(rushes) after LORD(my!)
24 Quiet argument? There’s nothing stern about it! (4)
PROW – P(quiet), ROW(argument)
25 Main opener for Middlesex and Derby — and team-mate (4,6)
SEAM BOWLER – SEA(main), the first letter of Middlesex, and BOWLER(derby). Referring to a cricketer.
26 One getting a hand in time as tradesman (4)
EAST – hidden inside timE AS Tradesman
27 Regulations covering Australian region — nine in error? It’s a matter for the courts (4,6)
LAWN TENNIS –  LAWS(regulations) containing NT(Northern Territory, Australian region), and an anagram of NINE
1 Catchy tune not entirely popular, right? (4)
HOOK – HOT(popular) minus the last letter, then OK(right)
2 Detective with record ignoring latest easing of tension (7)
DETENTE – DET(detective) and ENTER(record) minus the last letter
3 Atmospheric trouble? Nothing in stormy April, I observed in London airport (3,9)
AIR POLLUTION – O(nothing) inside an anagram of APRIL, then I inside LUTON(Londonish airport)
4 Ridiculous place, a place found within US city (6)
LAPUTA – A,PUT(place) inside LA(US city) – reference to the island in Gulliver’s Travels
5 Absurd tilt noticed (8)
COCKEYED – COCK(tilt), EYED(noticed)
7 European artist brought in to blend green (7)
EMERALD – E(European) then RA(artist) inside MELD(to blend)
8 Good point raised about English commercials being intractable (10)
HEADSTRONG – G(good) and NORTH(point) reversed, containing E(english), ADS(commercials)
11 Chap surfaced with large advance to pen Western — great reception (5,7)
HEROS WELCOME – HE(chap), ROSE(surfaced) and L(large), COME(advance) containing W(Western)
13 Papacy struggling with sole feature of Revelation (10)
APOCALYPSE – anagram of PAPACY and SOLE, reference to the Biblical book
16 Four articles about origin of millennial curse (8)
ANATHEMA – the articles are AN, A, THE, A, insert the first letter of Millennial
18 Dreadful rooms — Queen skipping second appearance in them (7)
PARLOUS – PARLOURS(rooms) with the second R(Queen) removed. Got this from wordplay.
20 King taking control, going outside limits of monarchical government (7)
KREMLIN – K(king) and REIN(control) containing the external letters of MonarchicaL
21 Page with revolutionary style encapsulating northern author (6)
PENMAN – P(page) and then NAME(style) reversed containing N(northern)
23 Produce missing western God (4)
ARES – WARES(produce) minus W(western)

81 comments on “Times 28744 – Whoops”

  1. Paella being my absolute favourite dish, never thought of it as a “chicken stew” but I suppose it could be so described. 40+ minutes bottom to top solve, and initially put in “pash” for 6a!

        1. I put PASH in straight away and took a while to realise it was wrong when stuck in the NE corner as a result.

  2. Blew it. Had all but EAST and HERO’S WELCOME by about 20, spent 5 whole minutes sorting them out then found I’d stupidly put EROS (unparsed) instead of ARES so DNF. Still don’t get EAST definition and was obliged to George for many others that went in unparsed, especially the long acrosses, HOOK and the aforementioned welcome. Some really nice clues here, though I had a MEH at PENMAN and at the idea of PAELLA being a chicken stew.

      1. Ah, OK, thank you isla3! It makes sense now though I suspect I won’t be alone in being puzzled by this and more than a few others…

    1. Bad luck, Lindsay! I so nearly ended up with EROS my LOI! Only the unparsability of it made me check and re-appraise. ARES barely known, but so obvious if one thinks of wares. If the setter has ever eaten paella that was a stew, then he is missing out on one of the great dishes of the world, to say nothing of rabbit, seafood, pork, beef or vegetable paella.

  3. Liked it, entertaining and humourous. Wasn’t sure if something really clever was going on in the HERA clue, but having consulted the Oracle (wikipedia) it looks like no.
    A relative walk in the park, after a hard start to the week and a silly error yesterday. Friday shocker coming?

  4. Top seemed easy, then I got distracted, had dinner, and took a while to find the wavelength again. Saw PENMAN (Shem?) a long time before I accepted “style” as NAME—guess it is as in “Peter Parker styled himself the Amazing Spider-Man.” And WARES just seems wrong for “Produce,” which usually means something from a garden or farm. PAELLA I think of as a rice dish, and seems that’s normally the first part of any description. SEAM BOWLER was, of course, a long time coming. POI EAST, after PARLOUS and before LORD OF THE FLIES, which I read in high school and like to think now is unduly pessimistic.

    A HOOK is something a “tune” has, not the entire melody. “Riff” might’ve worked.

  5. I stopped the clock at 36 minutes but for the second consecutive day when I came to read the blog I found I had omitted an answer – one that had eluded me during the solve so I had intended to return to it at the end but then forgot. Yesterday it was ‘fichu’, today it was ARES. Like Lindsay I had thought of EROS here, but was unable to parse it so it didn’t go in.

    Elsewhere I wasn’t entirely convinced by ‘author / PENMAN’ but it turns out to be in the usual sources, although in every case ‘author’ is the final meaning after two or three others. I wondered if there might be an author actually named Penman and there is one who may qualify, the American historical novelist, Sharon Kay Penman (1945-2021). I never heard of her, but she could be very famous for all I know.

    Several definitions of PAELLA omit reference to chicken as an ingredient or specify it as one of several optional extras. The only consistent ingredients are rice and saffron so I’d argue that ‘rice dish’ is the only accurate way to describe it in general terms.

    1. … but of course it is the setter’s job to combine deviousness with legitimacy. I think s/he just about manages that here. Any mention of ‘rice’ would’ve made it far too obvious.

      1. Agreed, and I’ve already had a discussion elsewhere this morning in support of the setter’s right to be devious. My slight quibble with chicken here is that it makes the definition ‘by example’ which weakens it even if we accept that DBEs don’t necessarily have to be signalled these days.

        K’s point about ‘stew’ is 100% valid in my view since although paella and a stew are both cooked slowly in liquid in a pan, for a stew the pan is covered so that all the liquid remains within, but for a paella the pan is uncovered so that the liquid not absorbed into the rice evaporates away. That’s why it needs a special pan with a large surface area.

      2. But legitimacy isn’t calling what is clearly a rice dish a stew. And deviousness shouldn’t extend to that either. Any Spanish people reading this would be 🤦‍♂️ and 😠. It reminds me of Manuel’s argument with Terry about it in Fawlty Towers.
        It comes to something when an English dictionary published in Glasgow is defining Spanish food for the Spanish, and getting a modicum of support from a crossword thread into the bargain.
        With Paella you normally add pre-cooked , or easy-cook ingredients such as prawns chicken and chorizo to briefly cook after you’ve almost reduced the liquid cooking the rice. So it’s not a stew by the ‘liquid’ definition either.

  6. Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy Hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    (To Autumn, Keats)

    30 mins, leisurely pre-brekker. I quite liked it except for Paella and Penman.
    Ta setter and G.

  7. Another EROS here, though I gave it five minutes and had also thought of ERIS, but there’s a lot of things “produce” could be and a lot of Gods in the world. I just gave up.

  8. 29m 38s
    Being of a certain age I cannot think of Luton Airport without thinking of Lorraine Chaise and those Campari adverts!
    In 22ac I very nearly biffed LORD OF THE RINGS!

      1. Very fondly remembered! “Inimitable” indeed! But am I alone in thinking that those Cinzano ads with Rossiter and Collins had to be dropped because people couldn’t name the product?!

        1. When you think about it, that would be surprising, since the product is mentioned at least twice, along with the ingredients, in every commercial! However, at a distance, I originally thought when I looked them up that they’d been Martini ones also, so you may have a point!

    1. In fact I did , Martin, and left myself with an ungettable w?i???e, which made 11d impossible!

  9. 38 minutes with LOI PARLOUS. What a state of affairs! COD to SEAM BOWLER. Getting ARES meant that our last ten days of touring Greek antiquities weren’t wasted. I’m not going to tell my wife that she’s been putting too many things in her PAELLA. Quite a tricky puzzle. Thank you George and setter.

  10. 16:36. Like pbarnes I started with PASH in place of MESH, very likely influenced by its appearance at the championship. In hindsight, I don’t think PAH is an expression of indifference and I’m not sure PASH could be an entanglement. The S still works though!
    I’m still unsure about NAME for “style” in PENMAN. I see Guy has suggested an example but it doesn’t feel synonymous there to me. However I just looked it up and Chambers incudes “Assumed character (of)” which I guess fits Guy’s example and does work for style.

    1. There’s plenty of support for ‘style / NAME’ in the usual sources but I think ‘style’ more usually refers to an honorific title or mode of address. I’ve seen it many a time on forms to be filled in when they want to know whether you are Mr, Mrs, Miss, Lord, Lady, Sir, Dame, The Reverend etc etc etc.

  11. 10:51. Tricky one.
    14ac is a culinary disgrace. PAELLA does not have to contain chicken and it absolutely cannot in any way whatsoever be described as a ‘stew’. I see that Chambers defines it as such so I will – reluctantly – forgive the setter but I shall be penning a stern letter. 😡

    1. You’re forever pointing out that “real life” doesn’t matter, anyone can say anything, it’s what the dictionaries say that matters to define clues. And now one time when what the dictionaries say doesn’t agree with what you think is “real life’, suddenly you’re in high dudgeon. You should write a stern letter to yourself about being hypocritical 😉 (joking)
      But at the same time… I’m not a fan of Chambers, I reckon the editors make up half their definitions. And invent Scottish words, as a joke – any random combination of 3/4/5/ letters is seemingly a Scottish word, according to Chambers.

      1. That is a bit of a distortion of my position, which to be absolutely clear is:
        1) Dictionaries are not an ‘authority’. They are a record of how language is used. Usage is – linguistically – the only thing that matters.
        2) All words have multiple meanings which are often ambiguous and constantly changing. Recording usage accurately is like nailing jelly to a wall so it’s inevitable – lexicographers being no more perfect than anyone else – that sometimes dictionaries get it wrong, as here. A paella is not a stew in the way the word is generally used. Similarly the Collins definition of ‘smoothie’ is objectively and demonstrably wrong.
        3) Given 2), and 1) notwithstanding, for the purposes of crosswords it seems reasonable to me to accept what dictionaries say as an neutral arbiter of what constitutes a fair definition.
        4) I wonder if this setter has ever actually eaten a paella. Stew? Pah!

        1. There are four lists for “smoothie” in Collins online and the drink is defined fairly similarly in each. What is the objectively wrong definition?

          1. The main British English definition is ‘a smooth, thick drink made with puréed fresh fruit and yogurt, ice cream, or milk, or with blended vegetables’.
            The word ‘and’ implies that yogurt, ice cream and/or milk are a necessary component. However the great majority of smoothies sold and consumed in the UK contain only fruit.
            What’s really notable is how rare this is: lexicographers do a pretty good job!

            1. Would certainly be smoother with something milky… I don’t know what a typical smoothy/ie is made of over here. Not my cup of tea.

              1. You can use those things of course. My son makes them with milk and peanut butter 🤢. But they are far from a necessary ingredient, and indeed usually absent in this country.

                  1. I don’t hate it but I never eat it. It’s the idea of drinking it blended with fruit and milk that makes me gag.

                    1. Milk isn’t so bad—it’s been quite a while since I’ve made my mom’s peanut butter French toast—but I never liked peanut butter and jelly. Never understood those kids.

      2. On the subject of making up words, I am informed that, as a means of detecting plagiarism, dictionary compilers do indeed invent fictitious words……

  12. Got off to a flier, adopting my newly avowed approach to improve speed (if it looks right chuck it in until something proves it wrong).

    And so it was with LORD OF THE RINGS which went in from enumeration and “work” in the clue. That then meant lots of starting at how on earth I could make anything fit in 11d, until eventually the penny dropped and FLIES went in instead, suddenly making a lot more sense of HEROS WELCOME and KREMLIN.

    EROS was very nearly a Magoo-moment (can we use that as a term now? Or too soon?), put it in a couple of times, then removed, then in again, but still niggled so the briefest of alphabet trawls gave me ARES which felt much nicer.

    So 16:13 in the end – slow but at least accurate.

  13. More clearly than ever we have a reverse week this week: tomorrow expect a 15×15 Quickie. I ran this to earth in 16.36, the last three at the bottom right and HOOK delaying an even quicker (for me) time. That sneaky “matter for the courts” definition made up for the bizarre chicken stew. I didn’t get COCK for tilt, though mostly because I read it as till. and wondered what it had to do with ploughing. HYDRAULICS was a kind starter.
    On HOOK, later study shows there’s quite a vigorous debate online as to whether a hook can be a melody or tune. Tempers are raised, and flames kindled. “Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?”

  14. 14:42. Another PASH to start with. One or two doubts needed thinking about to resolve… name=style and paella =chicken stew, but got there in the end. I liked HEADSTRONG and SEAM BOWLER. Thank-you George and setter.

  15. 35 minutes, finishing with CAPSTONE – not helped by misreading my C from APOCALYPSE as an L for several minutes. One risk of solving on paper is that you are dependent on being able to read your own handwriting…

    Not too tricky otherwise. Thought of New South Wales for the Australian territory, which for a while looked all the more likely with the W from laws, before going a bit further north and piecing together LAWN TENNIS; didn’t know LAPUTA, but once the L from HYDRAULICS was in place any thoughts that it might be ‘naputy’ with NY as the city were dispelled; got AWAKEN without realising that wake=track; and tend to think of PARLOUS more as precarious rather than dreadful, but no one else has mentioned it so clearly it’s fine.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Mesh
    LOI Capstone
    COD Air pollution

  16. Half an hour or there abouts, with a good deal of that spent cracking the long anagrams as I’m trying to resist using pen and paper. I’m sure there is a long term benefit to be had somewhere.

    I also flirted with the idea of 22A being an epic sea saga about the adventures of a Royal Naval Admiral who is marooned on an inhospitable island and has to make war with both native and Frenchman alike. Thus LORD OF THE FLEET almost made it into print for the first time. Luckily sense eventually prevailed and William Golding won the day.

    No unknowns today, and a nice mix of clues, so thanks to the setter and blogger.

  17. 14.15
    Luckily PASH didn’t occur to me, despite its appearance in the Championship final and in the dramatisation of ‘The Camomile Lawn’ on R4 the following morning.
    I enjoyed APOCALYPSE – good to see Revelation in the singular (don’t keep calling it The Book of Revelations).

    1. Agreed. If memory serves, there’s no “S”, it’s the Book of Revelation. As revealed to St John the Divine.

  18. 37 mins DNF with LOI HOOK eluding me. Couldn’t think of anything but IN for popular and R for right in such a short clue and never arranged anything to come up with the unfamiliar HOOK. Lesson learnt

    Thanks G

  19. 34:00. I found this tricky but persevered and was pleased to finish with no errors.


  20. Pretty much what everybody else has said already. A slow start, but once the first few were in things speeded up a bit, and LORD OF THE FLIES opened up the bottom half nicely. Liked ANATHEMA and SEAM BOWLER. The other 14letter clue took some time to surface, but as an anagram, was always going to appear eventually. Like several, I missed the track/wake sense, though AWAKEN occurred to me very early on, confirmed by KREMLIN. Thanks to setter, and George for the blog.

  21. 09:43, nice puzzle. I was mostly pleased with my restraint in realising that EROS just didn’t make any sense from a wordplay point of view, and thus not putting it in (I suspect that if this puzzle had been used on Finals Day, it would have tripped up a few unwary solvers). And I’m in the camp who like to bung a bit of everything into their PAELLA – chicken, chorizo, prawn, red pepper, peas…lovely.

  22. Just over the hour but another with the unpauses EROS. Luckily I whacked MESH in straight away and didn’t consider PASH.

    I agree about PAELLA, definitely not a stew and chicken is mainly found in the « Valenciana » recipe.

    I liked COCKEYED, LAWN TENNIS and the novel.

    Thanks g and setter.

  23. About half an hour ending with PARLOUS. No problems but not easy. No paella I have eaten (which is a lot) has resembled a chicken stew, and many don’t contain chicken.

  24. DNF. HOOK & EAST occurred to me, but I couldn’t parse either. Had biffed WELCOME but HEROS never came to me. Bah.
    LOI (apart from those 3) was ARES, having toyed with various gods.
    Liked SEAM BOWLER and LAWN TENNIS, and was surprised that they came to me as they ain’t in the usual style.
    LORD OF THE FLIES was COD I think. My is usually “cor” but “lord” is just as good.
    I agree the MER re PAELLA, not that it held me up.

  25. 6:55 Definitely on the right wavelength today, since that was my best time for several weeks. HYDRAULICS and MESH went straight in, as did most of the crossers, so I was off to a good start. I did hesitate over whether paella contains chicken (I’ve always though of it as a fish & rice & saffron thing), and whether “style” is a good synonym for “name”, and I didn’t spot the bridge reference with EAST. It was always going to be FLIES given the “island” hint in the clue. No stand out clues today, but all very solid. Thanks, setter.

  26. The main ingredient of authentic Spanish paella is seafood. To describe i as ‘chicken stew’ is 5d.

    I was held up for some time by reading ‘Revelation’ in 13d as ‘revolution.’ Quite a few tricky definitions or wordplays. Took me an hour, four times as long as yesterday’s.

    1. Valencian solvers would disagree with you vehemently- while Paella di Marisco may be a popular dish, the traditional Paella is made with chicken and sometimes rabbit or duck.

      1. There are as many ‘traditional’ paellas as regions (or perhaps even towns) in Spain, but the Valencians claim their version (with green and garrafón beans) as the original, I think with some justification.

  27. 10:09. Was pretty steady throughout. Glad I didn’t think of PASH. Like Tim, I initially thought EROS but thankfully quickly moved on. Would have been a quicker If I’d had the courage of my convictions with AWAKEN, but couldn’t initially see the wordplay. Fun puzzle.

  28. I don’t quite get why so many thought PASH would parse properly. ‘PAH’ hardly expresses indifference. More like ‘disgust’ or ‘scorn’.
    I was furious at not seeing ‘FLIES’. Got entirely seduced by Tolkien rather than Golding, despite having read (and enjoyed) the latter in my youth, and never having read Tolkien (though I did try, once). And I knew RINGS must be wrong so it totally screwed my SE corner.
    Not sure about ‘KREMLIN’ for ‘government’, though. The word means ‘fortress’, so it’s the place, not the institution. Metonymy works, I suppose, just about.

    1. We had the Kremlin discussion here recently. In the same way that Whitehall is shorthand for the British government, and Washington is shorthand for the US government, Kremlin is shorthand for the Russian government. It just is ;-). How language is used.

  29. 31:47

    Mostly OK though had a question mark against PENMAN. No problem with PAELLA being a chicken stew – looks very stew-y when being cooked, and in older times, whatever meat was available to the rice growers (rabbit, duck, chicken, snails) went in. Nearer the coast, seafood would have been included.

    Never thought of HYDRAULICS as the study of fluids, but of course, it makes perfect sense. Last two in AIR POLLUTION (have a problem thinking of LUTON as a London Airport) and CAPSTONE (once I’d got CAPSTANS out of my mind).

    Thanks G and setter

    1. Luton bloody well NOT London!
      Suits me as much cheaper parking and just as close, but London it ain’t. I lived in Southend for a while and am GOBSMACKED that its airport is called London Southend. Lies, damn lies etc. And as for Stansted, the mind boggles.

  30. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood. Struggled all over the grid, and my LOI was a desperate biff (thanks George). I also failed to parse ONE OF THESE DAYS, LORD OF THE FLIES, and HERO’S WELCOME.

    TIME 12:34

  31. 10.43, unusually speedy for me. LAPUTA my LOI, and a NHO but I decided not to spend time worrying about other possibilities, as the wordplay was unambiguous once crossers were in.

    Thanks both.

  32. 26 – and agree with Keriothe about the paella, which ain’t chicken stew whatever the dictionary says

  33. 44’18”
    A game but only workmanlike showing from the old jade today, never nearer.

    However, happy memories of an awestruck morning in the Palladian splendour of Holkham Hall, fish and chips and, in the chandler’s, finding cheap dividers and plotter in Wells-next-the-Sea, kite flying on Holkham beach and, having dodged the students, a pint or three in the hunting lodge like pub nearby. The nineteenth century Earl was the inventor of the Coke (his style) hat, known outside Norfolk as a bowler. Corner of the day for me was the SE, where only the interlocking penman and bowler were my salvation for hero’s welcome.
    Enjoyed this immensely; very well done setter, and thanks and congratulations to George and Stavros for excellent SnitchaWitch Handicap performances.

    The Earl has a cricket ground in his “garden”; I’d confidently back the Holkham XI to beat an XI playing, or rather, playing around in Bangalore today.

  34. 38:37 – LOI: EAST (with a groan, why do I always take so long to spot the hiddens?). Enjoyable puzzle. Liked the neatness of SEAM BOWLER

  35. 49:44. some interesting vocab, and still growling about the PAELLA. Couldn’t recall where LAPUTA was but seemed to fit the wordplay and checkers, had forgotten my Swift.

  36. Solved on paper to make me less bothered about time and slightly more likely to persevere when stuck. Still failed with EROS even though it didn’t parse. Not quite at the races, as it all seemed like pulling teeth to me.


  37. 37.20 but was a bit of a struggle. Hook my last in and that a guess- but glad to see the explanation. The other answers to stress me out were parlous- oh it made such sense when I finally twigged it, penman- because I spent most of the time trying to uncover an author and hero’s welcome. The least excusable of the lot.

    But success gives me a chance of a full house this week . Friday? Bring it on.

  38. Another bah for chicken stew. Not even remotely.

    Otherwise an enjoyable 36 minutes. Thought it was going to be an easy one (RECORDER, HEADSTRONG, ANATHEMA) but then I finished all the easy ones and had to tackle the harder ones (EAST, LAPUTA, SEAM BOWLER). Thanks to setter and blogger.

  39. My Spanish sister-in-law once dismissed an attempt to impress her in the kitchen with : “Eez nice. But eez not paella.” Since when I have known not to cross any Spaniard on the subject. But I have been told a million times that chicken or rabbit, not shellfish, is the true ingredient. As for stew, well… Read LOTF for the first time recently. Amazing. Last chapter especially. What an end. 24’57”. Thanks to all.

  40. I was lucky to get plenty of crossers from the long answers early on, but even so it took 30 minutes to complete the grid. Never thought of chicken as part of a paella, but then the only parts of Spain which I have explored are on the coast. For once the four-letter words were not so hard to pin down, except for HOOK, which I put in with a ‘faute de mieux’ shrug. A pleasant exercise.
    FOI – HERA
    LOI – HOOK
    I fear we may be in for a nasty shock tomorrow. Thanks to george and other contributors.

  41. Quite a few PARLOUS definitions here: PAELLA=stew? PARLOUS=DREADFUL?, PENMAN= author?, KREMLIN =government? (though I accept K’s explanation of this). So I found it harder going than most, mainly due to my ignorance of several words ( CAPSTONE, SEAM BOWLER – though I knew how to parse, just couldn’t recognise it – and EAST as a Bridge term. Was in like Flynn with HERA, so thought I was off to a good start, but putting in the wrong “work” at 22a left me perplexed at the finish line with nowhere to go with ?E?O?/W?I????E for 11d. (Justified my choice with LOTR having been made on an island 🙂) No problem with ARES or MESH . Particularly liked AIR POLLUTION and DETENTE.

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