Times 28804 – un de les six?

Time taken: 13:23

Looking at the early times, I made a bit of a meal of this, and I’m glad for the unusual grid with the generous checking in a few areas. The wordplay is difficult, but it might help to be familiar with some of the rarely-seen words in the grid.

How did you get along?

1 Figure one Grand Master must enter with first class marks (8)
STIGMATA – STAT(figure) containing I(one), GM(Grand Master) then A(first class)
9 In flight, bat is not a plant-fancier (8)
BOTANIST – anagram of BAT,IS,NOT
10 Sea dweller not entirely near a bit of sun (8)
STINGRAY – STINGY(near, miserly) missing the last letter then RAY(a bit of sun)
11 Parisian institution aggrieved to receive German capital (8)
SORBONNE – SORE(aggrieved) containing BONN(German capital)
12 Saying “Run!”, shocked, when circling area steeped in blood (10)
SANGUINARY – anagram of SAYING,RUN containing A(area)
14 Maiden going to resort getting lots of unwanted correspondence (4)
SPAM – M(maiden) next to SPA(resort)
15 Medical man’s impression about twisted pose (7)
DENTIST – DENT(impression) surrounding SIT(pose) reversed
17 Confinement when stockpiling, having overlooked area (5-2)
LYING-IN – This was my last in, and it was a guess at the last unchecked letter. LAYING IN(stockpiling) minus A(area). I haven’t heard of either part of this – LYING-IN is confinement in childbirth, and LAYING IN is not in Collins, however LAY IN is, as stockpiling
21 Copper following to provide restraint for prisoner (4)
CUFF – CU(copper), FF(following pages)
22 Relative mostly needs caring when out of sorts (10)
GRANDNIECE – anagram of most of NEEDs and CARING
23 Cost of pair in charge of back entry (5,3)
PRICE TAG – PR(pair), IC(in charge) and GATE(entry) reversed
25 Reversing small car I call almost pernicious (8)
INIMICAL – reverse of MINI(small car), then I, CALL minus the last letter
26 Detective Sergeant apprehending former suspect in low spirits (8)
DOLDRUMS – DS(Detective Sergeant) containing OLD(former), RUM(suspect)
27 Dear person who encourages Swiss composer (8)
HONEGGER – HON(dear), EGGER(person who encourages)
2 Student about to delay getting protection (8)
TUTELAGE – TUTEE(student) surrounding LAG(to delay)
3 Instinctive to cover fellow’s opening in nearby armed battle (8)
GUNFIGHT – GUT(instinctive) containing the first letter of Fellow in NIGH(nearby)
4 Cautious, having answer misplaced? It’s wrong (4)
AWRY – WARY(curious) with the A(answer) moved
5 Dreadful article — Times largely diminished (7)
ABYSMAL – A(article), BY(times, multiplied by), then SMALL(diminished) minus the last letter
6 Looked to consume whisky and brandy, finally out of touch with reality (6-4)
STARRY-EYED – STARED(looked) containing RYE(whisky) and the last letter of brandY
7 Get hold of drink, say, in Canadian city (8)
WINNIPEG – WIN(get hold of), NIP(drink), EG(say). In 1996 a friend dared me to spend a Christmas in Winnipeg and while it was bitterly cold, it was far more fun than I expected. Particularly remember drinking at Earl’s and looking down on trucks loading up snow and carting it off to dump on the frozen river to later flood the Dakotas
8 Workers in carbon and iron and different elements (8)
13 Astute, flushing it out (10)
15 Small party walked up for crustaceans (8)
DECAPODS – S(small), DO(party), PACED(walked) all reversed
16 Lack of difficulties about French at a basic level (2-6)
NO-FRILLS – the lack of difficulties would be NO ILLS, surrounding FR(French)
18 Last of huntsmen considering ignoring first sound of horses (8)
NEIGHING -last letter of huntsmeN, then WEIGHING(considering) minus the first letter
19 Small quantity of grasses, mostly rudimentary (8)
INCHOATE – INCH(small quantity), then OATEN(of grasses) minus the last letter
20 Fairly big Scottish town containing one hospital (7)
LARGISH – got this from definition. The town of LARGS, surrounding I(one), then H(hospital)
24 Family gathering around Lima’s oven (4)
KILN – KIN(family) surrounding L(Lima, NATO alphabet)

80 comments on “Times 28804 – un de les six?”

  1. Really enjoyed this. Am sure I could have gone faster if I hadn’t had old videos of carnaval in Santa Elena, Entre Rios, Argentina, playing (it’s almost that time again!). The clue for SANGUINARY is particularly neat! Got SORBONNE immediately from the definition. Never heard of LARGS, and didn’t get that till I had most of the crossers.

  2. 17:12
    Fairly slow, even with a lot of biffing. (I put in WINNIPEG without reading the clue). I dithered over 17ac because I thought stockpiling would be ‘laying up’, but ‘lying-up’ made no sense; so I waited until I got the N. I wasted more time taking ‘twisted’ in 15ac to indicate (pose)*. I count 7 clues deleting a letter: 10ac, 17ac, 22ac, 25ac, 5d, 18d, 19d. George, you’ve got ‘composes’ instead of ‘encourages’ at 27ac.

  3. Never really comfortable with this one, staggering home in 27 minutes, with last in the clever INCHOATE. Enjoyed GUNFIGHT, even if I don’t suppose I’d enjoy the real thing. Unless the other fellows were mostly armed with bows and arrows, I guess.

    1. Still wouldn’t be fun, as the brilliant opening sequence of The Revenant so viscerally depicts.

  4. I don’t know whether it is the capital of one of the Länder that make up Germany, but Bonn ceased to be the capital of West Germany upon reunification in 1990 and was replaced by Berlin. I generally take a very relaxed view of this sort of thing on the grounds that references can be historical, but this one really leapt out at me and I think the change might have been reflected in the wording of the clue.

    34 enjoyable minutes although I had several things to look up after the event as it involved a number of words I knew of but was not entirely sure of their meanings. INCHOATE, INIMICAL as pernicious, TUTELAGE as protection, for example. The parsing of OATE in 19dn had me foxed too until I checked for words derived from ‘oat’ and spotted ‘oaten’.

    1. Technically, Bonn is not the capital of anywhere, so far as I can see. It is in Westphalia, the capital of which is Dusseldorf.
      But the Wiki article is interesting and says inter alia: “Due to a political compromise (Berlin-Bonn Act) following the reunification, the German federal government maintains a substantial presence in Bonn. Roughly a third of all ministerial jobs are located in Bonn as of 2019, and the city is considered a second, unofficial, capital of the country.”
      So the setter is unofficially correct 🙂

    2. “If aught of oaten stop, or past’ral song,
      May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe they modest ear,”
      (Ode to Evening- William Collins)

    3. Put Sorbonne in with very little thought but on reflection I think you’re right and it should say former or West German

    4. Confinement means childbirth (archaic). It was also referred to as ‘lying in’. Women used to isolate and stay in bed (if they had the means), in preparation for the event.

  5. Gave up with TUTELAGE (known but not worked out) and INCHOATE, not known. Oh well.
    Partly due to a bit bit of a rush this morning as I have an early appointment.

    Thanks g and setter.

  6. I too was thrown by some of the definitions and the resurrection of Bonn as Germany’s capital, but generally enjoyed this and got through it in 27.24 in two sittings. Thanks to George for unravelling TUTELAGE and STARRY-EYED, and pointing out that STEELMEN was an anagram. FOI BOTANIST, LOI INCHOATE, COD…um…probably SANGUINARY for the surface.

  7. Another one that felt more difficult than my 28 minutes suggests. I remember the last time either TUTELAGE or TUTELARY came up someone pointed out that the three little maids from the Mikdado had been freed from the “genius tutelary” of their ladies’ seminary, which helped the meaning stick in my mind. On the other hand, I finished off with INCHOATE, one of those words that I know exists without ever being quite sure of its actual meaning.

    About the only problem I has was convincing myself that LARGS was a plausible name for a town, even in Scotland, so that’s one to try and stick in the ol’ memory bank…

  8. 39m 00s
    I agree with Jack about Bonn. I feel a word like ‘former’ should have been inserted.
    INCHOATE: It had to be that but I was unfamiliar with OATEN.

  9. Below the thunders of the upper deep,
    Far, far beneath in the Abysmal sea,
    His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
    The Kraken sleepeth: …

    35 mins pre-brekker plus a bit more for LOI Inchoate.
    Not my cup of tea.
    Ta setter and G.

  10. 50 mins or so with a couple of aids.

    A bit surprised that German capital was Bonn, was sure that it would be “G”. LOI the NHO HONEGGER, I thought ogler might work.

    Is TUTEE a real word or a back-formation like Mentee? I though Greek words wouldn’t follow this convention, though better than Attedee or Standee (seen on buses in the US)


  11. 10:00
    Unsure about WINNIPEG, until I realised it wasn’t supposed to be a homophone of “win a peg”.
    LOI TUTELAGE, which I dragged back from memory of ‘tutelary’ in G & S.
    I now have the theme to STINGRAY going round in my head (at least for the next half-hour).

    1. Ah, the late, great Barry Gray. Thunderbirds was his masterpiece, but many here will remember Fireball XL5 (I wish I was a
      spaceman, the fastest guy alive) and the pounding drums of Stingray. After retiring, Wikipedia informs me that he was the house pianist at the Old Government House hotel in St Peter Port, where I may unknowingly have heard him play.

    2. It’s interesting you say that as native Canadians pronounce it exactly like ‘win a peg’, not ‘Winnie peg’, as most Brits do. Not sure about the US pronunciation.

      1. I’ve often joshed Manitoban friends with humorous sallies based on the pronunciation “Win a pig”.

      2. I (American) have never heard or said Winniepeg, didn’t know Brits did; but then they do talk funny.

  12. 28 minutes with LOI INCHOATE. I WAS held up by having LYING UP rather than IN until the STEELMEN put me right. HONEGGER was unknown and I had to to decide whether to have HON or HUN for ‘dear’. I went for HON as the answer then sounded more like the old leader of East Germany. An enjoyable puzzle. COD to the STIGMATA. Thank you George and setter.

  13. DNF. Like Napasai above I put ‘Hunegger’ rather than HONEGGER, not having heard of the composer (maybe I’ve seen a few too many ‘u ok hun?’ posts on Facebook). I was also completely defeated by INCHOATE – in desperation I put ‘inchcape’, which rang a vague bell, though I now see that’s because it’s the name of an automotive distributor.

    Took ages to see the anagram for SANGUINARY, even with all the checkers, as I was convinced ‘saying’ would be the definition; not familiar with ‘laying in’ as stockpiling for LYING-IN; MER over Bonn not being indicated as a former German capital in SORBONNE, as jackkt has noted above.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    COD Doldrums

  14. 25 minutes. Same MER as others for BONN as ‘German capital’. Of the others I opted for the correct spelling of HONEGGER which looked more likely than the U alternative and had come across TUTEE for ‘Student’ before. Like gothick, INCHOATE is one of those words I feel unconfident about and would never use in conversation due to not knowing its proper meaning or pronunciation; I’ll stick to NO-FRILLS instead and would probably be wrong.

    2024 continues to be kind to us but it can’t last.

  15. One error in 14:43. TYING-IN. I had my doubts as my answer didn’t parse but a quick alphabet trawl failed to reveal the correct answer.


  16. Breezed through this in 15.05, unusually competitive with George’s time. I finished in the top left, because nothing dawned in my early stages.
    I actually have HONEGGER’s Pacific 231 on vinyl, but was briefly thrown by the “Swiss”. Perhaps because of Pacific 231 (it’s about a steam engine) I rather associated him with America, which he’s not.
    Hesitated over WINNIPEG (though where else?) because of the (chota) PEG, and vacillated briefly over a possible BUNFIGHT, but otherwise was lucky today with the flow.
    I look forward to the day when STIGMATA is clued as one badly beaten on Top Gear.

    1. I thought of BUNFIGHT and nearly wrote it in until I realised. Then it occurred to me that it would be a suitable item for the game on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue in which film and song titles etc take on a whole new meaning by having one letter changed. I think I might have paid money to see Bunfight at the O.K. Corral.

      1. There was another classic such game where ISIHAC panellists derived vegetarian versions of otherwise meaty film or book titles. My favourite being ‘The Silence of the Yams’.

  17. About 13/14 minutes, but with HENEGGER, having never heard of the composer, and to me ‘hen’ is a term of endearment (as are HON and HUN, neither of which came to mind). Thought it would be ‘lying-in’ that did for me as neither laying in nor lying in meant much to me!

    Thanks both.

    1. Yes I think this is an annoying ambiguous clue if you don’t have the GK. Which I didn’t but was lucky in that hon was the first to come to mind for me

    2. Flew thru all but two in 15 mins then held up for 8 minutes by the annoyingly not spotted grandniece and its associated crosser inchoate.

      Enjoyed a lot of these clues esp sanguinary and gunfight.

      Thanks George and setter

  18. Found this a bit of a struggle. I had to really work to get the crossing DENTIST, NO-FRILLS and DOLDRUMS, and all I could see from the checked letter was INCREASE for 19d. INCHOATE came eventually after another mental struggle. I was quite pleased to finish without resorting to aids.

    45 minutes

  19. 27′ and played into my hands somewhat. LARGS was a frequent day-trip destination for me as a youngster, visiting Nardini’s art deco ice cream parlour. And STEELMEN is the nickname of Motherwell FC, where I went to school. NHO of near = stingy but STINGRAY an easy biff from crossers and RAY. INCHOATE also a partial biff fron inch_a_e; knew the word but not sure of the meaning. Thanks George and setter.

  20. Another easier one, and my best time this week.

    INCHOATE was my only biff today (actually, WINNIPEG too – I thought there was a dodgy homophone going on), and despite NHO the composer, HON seemed most likely to me. Took Largs on trust too.


  21. For some reason I didn’t find this all that easy, I had trouble spotting the anagrams and spent far too long trawling the periodic table to make up “steelmen” from chemical symbols… but no complaints, beyond the usual mer at Bonn, in its time the capital of various regions but now capital of nowhere at all, apparently

  22. Liked this one, 25 minutes with a few slow moments but nothing unknown. INCHOATE was last in, one of those words I knew but couldn’t define if asked. Also surprised by the BONN reference without “former” or “once”, but not a big deal as it’s still an unofficial capital I see. I used to like Honegger’s 2nd but find it a bit too cheerful at the end these days. Thanks George.

  23. 23:55 but with honorary membership to the HUNEGGER fanclub.

    I didn’t know the aforementioned composer so I was let down by GK, but I can see Amoeba’s case for either of HEN/HON/HUN. If I’d have thought of HEN then I would have been sorely tempted to put that in instead.

    I also didn’t know INCHOATE but constructed that from the wordplay and I only put in LYING-IN because it looked the most plausible of the options.

    A bit more meat on the bone today so thanks to the setter and to George for the blog.

  24. No problems with this, except DNK ‘near’ as ‘stingy’, so biffed this one — but for some indefinable reason not as satisfying as yesterday. I’d always thought ‘inchoate’ meant something like ‘unstructured’ or ‘amorphous’, but it had to be the answer, so I learnt something too.
    FOI AWRY, LOI LYING IN. Nothing witty enough for a COD award!

  25. 17:59

    Had forgotten near = STINGY but pencilling in STINGRAY helped with the first two downs.
    If you’ve ever been to Glasgow Central Station, you’ll have heard the destination LARGS mentioned a lot!
    Couldn’t have told you what INCHOATE meant but guessed from the first three checkers.
    NHO HONEGGER so checked with Google before submitting – a technical DNF.

  26. Snuck in under the half hour. LARGS not too bad for me as it’s just down the coast. I liked HONEGGER, the world’s most musical trainspotter. (GLH, sorry to be a French pedant but the form ‘de les’ does not occur, so it would have to be ‘un des Six’). DENTIST caused me problems, was trying to think of torsions and contrapostos or make an anagram out of ‘pose’. I suppose I don’t really think of dentists as medical, but that’s just my ancient prejudice. Thank you setter and GLH.

  27. Tumescent digit syndrome gave me INCCHATE at 19d, so never mind.

    COD to the magnificently well-hidden STEELMEN.

    My thought process on 7d before getting the final G went something like: “Dang crossword setters expecting me to learn the N. American map by heart. This is intolerable!” etc etc

    My thought process after getting the final G: “Oh, it’s Winnipeg.” Blush.

  28. 11:08. I found that quite tricky, and had my fingers crossed on submission, hoping that there really was a town in Scotland called Largs, and that my choice of HON (based on Erich Honecker) was right.
    MER at Bonn, like everyone else.
    NO FRILLS is a chain of discount supermarkets in Canada, an equivalent to LIDL and the like.

  29. Against the grain, found this very easy . Until the last word, INCHOATE, which I was too time-poor/lazy/ignorant to get – thought it meant mixed up rather than rudimentary. So DNF, looked it up.
    HONEGGER a NHO but easily guessed, BONN a MER, LAYING IN and LYING IN both known. LARGS heard of, but I would have guessed it as short for Lanarkshire or something similar, rather than an actual word, and a town. Only other problem was the double-F in cuff.
    Enjoyable puzzle.

  30. 15:35 – tough but accessible vocabulary thanks to uniformly clever cluing – in spite of the apparent lapse over the German capital.

  31. 7:29 Rather too much of a biff-fest to my liking, though it’s good to be higher up the leaderboard than usual. I’m afraid SORBONNE, WINNIPEG, STIGMATA, GRANDNIECE, NO FRILLS, STEELMEN, LYING-IN and DECAPODS all went in without bothering with the wordplay. So I thought the definitions were a tad too obvious (“Parisian institution”, “confinement”, etc). Having read the clues post-solve however some of them are excellent. “Inchoate” is one of my favourite words (check out Joanna Newsom’s wonderful “Only Skin”). HONEGGER rang a bell but I have no idea where I’ve come across him (bound to be a “him”). COD to TUTELAGE.

  32. 05:49, no major obstacles in the well-phrased wordplay or general knowledge requirements, apart from having always th0ught of Honegger as French (and to be fair, the first para on wikipedia confirms he was born in Le Havre and lived most of his life in Paris), and a brief pause where I concluded “once a capital, always a capital (maybe)”.

  33. I’m not sure how long I took because in the middle I had a longish phone conversation and I think forgot to press Pause, at least that’s what I guess because the crossword seemed pretty easy yet my time was quite long. INCHOATE well-known (I think it appears in some hymn) but I never knew what it meant and had to look it up, not helped by my being a bit doubtful about oaten. Also entered WINNIPEG without seeing it all.

  34. 23 mins but with a silly typo. Mostly very easy, but a few MER’s, inc the extra F in CUFF (got it now, tx). Liked the misdirection in STEELMEN.

  35. 26:49. Loved it. Hit the spot perfectly. A great range of clues and vocab. I enjoyed the words I knew without quite being able to pin down their meanings (TUTELAGE, INCHOATE and even INIMICAL)
    We’ve had TUTEE recently, so that helped. And I’ve been to Largs. Honegger sounded familiar; I had a nagging doubt that I knew him from the Philosophers Song, rather than music, but in he went. LOI INCHOATE. It Is hard to isolate a COD – GUNFIGHT perhaps

    1. Heidegger, Heidegger was a drunken beggar. Nope, boozy, according to google. I had the same thought.

  36. A friend of mine lives in Skelmorlie so I’ve visited LARGS as well as Wemyss Bay. Today I went AWRY at the start and immediately bumped into a STINGRAY. I needed STEELMEN to get rid of UP at the end of 17a, but it still took a while to see LYING IN. TUTELAGE had to be painstakingly constructed. My first thought for the dear person at 27a was HONEY as I already had LARGISH, so fortunately I just chopped that and added the EGGER. The composer did ring a faint bell once he was constructed. INCHOATE was my LOI and I’m another who knew the word but couldn’t have necessarily defined it. 21:54. Thanks setter and George.

  37. 32:45
    I squirmed at the word TUTEE, but then wondered why, since I have often used the similar “supervisee” without squirming. COD to STEELMEN for the misdirection. Same MER as others about the German Capital not having a “former” or a “once”.

    Thanks glh and setter.

  38. One of the few who didn’t have a MER at BONN, since I’d actually forgotten that it no longer was the capital. As Stavrolex says: quite a lot of biffing went on as many of the definitions were fairly straightforward. However, a bit of a MER at 6D, where RYE is referenced by Whisky. I’m no expert, but I thought rye was whiskey with an e, as opposed to Scotch. Not that many Swiss composers around, so Honegger was my immediate guess (not Martin or Bloch for length); fortunate, as the clueing wasn’t that obvious. INIMICAL went straight in from wordplay – I hadn’t been sure of the meaning – and likewise LOI INCHOATE, which I also thought meant more amorphous from my previous encounters with the word. POI GRANDNIECE also went in from the crossers, but it took me some time to see it was an anagram. Enjoyed this, however, and grateful for the 4-letter write-ins that got me off to a good start.

    1. Whiskey with an E is Irish or (except for the perverse Maker’s Mark) bourbon, whisky sans E is Scotch.

      1. Well, that’s my point. Scotch ‘whisky’ is made from barley, Irish ‘whiskey’ is made from barley and corn and American ‘whiskey’ is from rye, largely speaking. So rye would have to be whiskey, not whisky. Not that it bothers me that much, but I’m sure it’s an important distinction to the drinkers.

        1. True, you wouldn’t find a Scotch rye whisky. Definitely a mistake there, which I hadn’t noticed while solving. I am not sure you meant to imply that rye is the defining factor of American whiskey when you said, “American ‘whiskey’ is from rye, largely speaking.” However, some clarification follows.

          The main ingredient in bourbon (American whiskey) is corn—by law, at least 51 percent. “High-rye bourbon” is not a legally defined term but usually means a bourbon with 20–35 percent rye. High-wheat bourbons are described as more mild and subdued compared to high-rye varieties. I currently have in the house a new brand, New Riff, which is “high rye,” with 65 percent corn, 30 percent rye and 5 percent malted barley. I can taste the rye, which I cannot with Heaven’s Door straight bourbon. But New Riff also has a Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, which is 95 percent rye and 5 percent malted rye! “Rye whiskey” is a distinct category (“a hard-edged version of bourbon”)—which I guess is how Don McLean got away with having the boys on the levee “drinking whiskey and rye,” which always sounded redundant to me—and is typically more expensive, as with (the Bob Dylan brand) Heaven’s Door’s rye.

        2. There is no rye in Maker’s Mark. I wonder if that could be how they justify dropping the E…!

          1. Thanks for the clarification. I have never even tasted Bourbon, as far as I remember, and I rarely drink Scotch or Irish, so I made a false assumption about bourbon being largely rye.

  39. 45:34 – a pleasant run through and the first slightly harder puzzle I’ve managed to do for a while. nothing to do with the festive boozing you understand… Some really clever (and tricky) wordplay here which made it extremely enjoyable. thanks George and setter.

  40. 21.55 and definitely my toughest of the year so far. A few inspired guesses which I then parsed – inchoate , Honegger and decapods plus some very tortured workings out such as stigmata and gunfight.

    But all turned out well. Thx setter and blogger.

  41. 11:40. My only hold up was trying to make MANTA RAY fit 10A, which made TUTELAGE and GUNFIGHT not easy to see. Thanks George and setter.

  42. Very pleased to finish this one as a relative newbie to the 15×15. I think this is only about my 10th unaided solve. Needed the blog to sort out a few of the parsings, notably the -IST in DENTIST, STARRRY-EYED, TUTELAGE, and the ‘sting’ bit of STINGRAY. Vaguely heard of HONEGGER, similarly INCHOHATE. Liked STEELMEN best. Very enjoyable. Many thanks all.

  43. 35 minutes, but actually very easy except for the last two clues (after 20 minutes, I was only lacking the STINGRAY-TUTELAGE crossing). I would have biffed STINGRAY right away, except that I didn’t see why STING was “not entirely near”, because I was taking that to mean “quite far”, which it isn’t, of course. But after TUTELAGE replaced my visions of TOE-PLATEs and TOP-PLATEs for protection, I saw what kind of near was meant as well. Nothing else was any problem at all, and I entered STARRY-EYED without even looking at the clue.

  44. Didn’t start this till gone 6 pm after a busy day, and perhaps a later start suits me as I finished in 24.15, a nifty time for me. This included about a minute or so on my LOI LYING IN, where I wasn’t sure if my parsing of it was correct. As it turns out it was, but I certainly had my doubts. Like others I noticed the anomaly with Bonn being clued as the German capital. I visited it about 50 years ago when it was the capital, and can only remember thinking it didn’t seem to have the ambience of a capital city. If I remember correctly, it has the distinction of being the birthplace of Beethoven.

  45. Really nice puzzle so frustrated to have to use a word search to complete LOI INCHOATE after 38 minutes. I’d reasoned that it would begin with INCH, had the A and the E, and knew of the word and its meaning! Just couldn’t complete with OATE(N). Fairly certain that a large part of the problem was being misled by the ‘sh’ sound of inch.

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