Times Cryptic 28142

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 33 minutes, and as this would suggest I found it quite straightforward. I needed a confidence-builder after some of the difficult 15 x15 solves I experienced last week.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.


1 Temperature not hard to adjust (5)
T (temperature), WEAK (not hard)
4 Book, second that Richard wrote (4-4)
MO (second), BY DICK (that Richard wrote)
8 How hands go, having drunk chocolate in break (6,3,5)
Anagram [in break] of DRUNK CHOCOLATE
10 Knowing generous patron, his crime is a load of rubbish (3-6)
FLY (knowing), TIPPER (generous patron). A fly-tipper dumps rubbish in an unauthorused place.
11 Prop removed, pass on a stone (5)
{prop}AGATE (pass on) [prop removed]
12 About to enjoy oneself when it turns bright (6)
C (about), then REVEL (enjoy oneself) reversed [when it turns]
14 At first cat, then a dog, beside one tree or another (8)
C{at} [at first], A, LAB (dog), ASH (tree).  The definition is reflexive, referring back to the tree.
17 August, and I am ready for holiday snap! (8)
I’ M (I am), POSING (ready for holiday snap?)
18 Evil doctor following with attention? Forget it (2,4)
NO (evil doctor – James Bond villain),  F (following), EAR (attention)
20 Roofing material defective at the front, leaving opening (5)
{t}HATCH (roofing material) [defective at the front]
22 Piece of bread excellent, taken by a large class (9)
CRUST (piece of bread), ACE (excellent), A. SOED: A large class of mainly aquatic, hard-shelled arthropods including the crab, lobster, shrimp, woodlouse, etc.
24 What a spider does   is highly precarious (5,2,1,6)
Two meanings of sorts
25 Consider oneself allowed to touch, without being charged (4,4)
FEEL (touch), FREE (without being charged)
26 Where you’d hold hands and jabber (5)
Two meanings, the first with reference to the card game
1 By the way, is it needed if this? (7,5)
Cryptic. If traffic is light one may not need one of these at the side of the road (by the way).
2 Black Prince in the end pretty heartless (5)
{princ}E [in the end], BO{n}NY (pretty) [heartless]
3 Eccentricity of families not so much when head’s away (9)
KIN + KIN (families), {l}ESS (not so much) [head’s away]
4 Came across endlessly accessible feature of classical temple (6)
MET (came across), OPE{n} (accessible) [endlessly]. SOED: Architecture: A square space between triglyphs in a Doric frieze. I didn’t know this although ‘metopic’ (also unknown to me)  came up only last month.
5 National institution to study what youngsters are fed in the cells (8)
BEEB (national institution – The BBC aka ‘Auntie’), READ (study). A mixture of pollen and nectar prepared by worker bees and fed to the larvae. Another unknown to me although it came up twice before around 4 years ago when I also didn’t know it.
6 In Model T, avoided part of Mississippi for example (5)
Hidden [in] {mo}DEL T A{voided}
7 It’s sweet, to take a short spin with a friend (9)
CYCL{e} (take a [short] spin), A, MATE (friend). An artificial sweetener. It was banned in the UK in the 1960s but this was later overruled by the EU who considered it safe. I wonder if we are planning to revert.
9 Someone from depressed area could move to end her rental (12)
Anagram [move] of END HER RENTAL
13 Expansively discuss citizen far from home I took in (9)
EXPAT (citizen far from home), I, ATE (took in)
15 With U-boats manoeuvring in, change tack (5-4)
Anagram [manoeuvring] of U BOATS, then HIP (in fashion)
16 Cab rank relocated behind small food outlet (5,3)
S (small), anagram [relocated] of CAB RANK
19 Kind of shade fellow wears (6)
MAN (fellow) contained by [wears] HUE (shade)
21 Philosopher picking up on what? (5)
LEG (on – cricket) + EH (what?) reversed [picking up]
23 Constant foul smell in bay (5)
C (constant), REEK (foul smell). Later Edit: In view of the amount of queries raised below about this definition I’m adding this, the first entry under ‘creek’ listed in Chambers: a small narrow inlet or bay in the shore of a lake, river, or sea.

90 comments on “Times Cryptic 28142”

  1. I biffed AROUND THE CLOCK, never saw the anagram, which is well disguised in the anagrist. Also biffed MOBY-DICK & CRUSTACEA (POI), parsed post-submission. I knew CALABASH (LOI) the gourd, didn’t know it grew on trees. Like HEGEL & CLEVER.
    1. Regrettably you were right about “limited” yesterday Kevin. Neither setter nor editor made an appearance.
  2. A relief after a few hard ones. Indeed around the clock much easier to get than to parse. Liked SNACK BAR, it was a write-in but the surface reading is excellent. Remembered beebread from the medium-past, but not metope/ic from recently; no problems with them or the unknown calabash. Also vague memory of the unexpected creek/bay synonym from a few months ago – in the dictionaries as British usage, unseen elsewhere.
    Nice puzzle, thank-you.
    1. I’m replying to your comment isla3 since you were the first to raise the query:

      Here’s the first entry under ‘creek’ in Chambers dictionary:
      a small narrow inlet or bay in the shore of a lake, river, or sea.

      I have also posted it in my comment in the blog above.

      1. We live on Crum Elbow Creek and it’s not a bay it’s a stream that’s a tributary of the Hudson. The locals often pronounce it “crick”.
            1. Ah, sad. Probably not meal-worthy, but they do keep dogs and children amused.

              And, if it did have them, which would they be called?

      2. I recall looking it up last time, and again today. It’s in Chambers and also the Australian Oxford, both saying it’s British. I’m happy to have remembered it, and not queried it only to be told I’d queried it a few months ago 😉
  3. Like you, Jack, I was glad of a confidence builder after some difficult puzzles.
    I thought there were several clever clues. My COD today went to TRAFFIC LIGHT as it made me smile, but POKER was good, too.
    LOI: CLEVER because it was, well…clever.
    Thank you, Jack.
    I’m an early bird today as I’m going to the cinema ce soir to see a film about Jacques Cousteau.
      1. Are you referring going to the cinema, Pip? I’m in NZ so, I was doing the crossword in the afternoon my time so I could see the Cousteau film in the evening. It was interesting to discover that the person who became such a conservationist to save the seas and sea life, at one stage did oil exploration work for BP to raise money so he could refurbish his ship, the Calypso and so he could continue his undersea exploration.
  4. 47 minutes. Just like yesterday, held up by the NW corner. Luckily I saw TRAFFIC LIGHT early on, but both BEE(-)BREAD and FLY-TIPPER were NHO and I’d forgotten METOPE. As mentioned by isla3, we’ve had CREEK for ‘bay’ before (or perhaps it was “cove”), which otherwise I would have queried.

    I liked the surface for NETHERLANDER and the ‘families’ in KINKINESS.

    Thanks to Jack & setter

  5. Some lovely anagrams in this one, which tends to suit me for some reason. Just a moment’s hesitation over CREEK, thinking the pong word was “reak”, and wondering about creek=bay.

    Any unknowns? As a typical Australian household, the conversation here often turns to the name of the square space between triglyphs in a Doric frieze, so that was a write-in. (The wordplay also helped).

    And I didn’t know ABOUT-SHIP was a thing, but it’s hardly surprising.

    Thanks Jack and setter. Nice to be controversy-free today.

    Edited at 2021-11-23 03:33 am (UTC)

  6. I was slow today after a reasonble run. I started well enough with 8ac AROUND THE CLOCK FOI and 4ac MOBY DICK SOI, but 1ac TWEAK held me up!

    LOI was 19dn HUMANE



    Was 15dn the Titanic’s last ‘sailing’ order?

    As per our resident Australian Egyptologist, Lord Galspray, I’d NHO 4dn METOPE.

    Time 48 mins

    Edited at 2021-11-23 04:23 am (UTC)

    1. I forgot all about 5dn BEEBREAD. My Grandfather used to make it to feed his ten hives.
      He was allergic to bee-stings!
  7. Much easier fare, should have finished it off. But 60 mins is enough head banging at the last three clues. NHO CYCLAMATE and with C-C-A it was hard to look beyond COCOA for something sweet.

    I guess I have been misusing NO FEAR all my life, I thought it was an affirmation, like “no problem”.
    Did not see f=following in this clue, tried to make w =with work for NO WEAR.

    COD TRAFFIC LIGHT, and liked the anagram for AROUND THE CLOCK

  8. There are CREEKs back in West Virginia (often pronounced “cricks”), but they don’t look what I’d call a bay…
    I entered NO FEAR with some trepidation, not sure of its dictionary status.
    AGATE was biffed but parsed eventually.
    METOPE took a while.
    I had to get FLY-TIPPER (POI) before BEEBREAD, which I just couldn’t think of before, despite seeing the definition.
    But I got a buzz off this puzzle. TRAFFIC LIGHT was great fun, but that’s just an example.

    Edited at 2021-11-23 06:07 am (UTC)

    1. Not a word we use in England except for Frenchman’s Creek the novel where the eponymous bay is not a stream. I gather US & Au usage is for a stream; we have loads of words like rill, brook, rivulet, I could go on, but we don’t use creek.
      1. we do use the expression “up the creek without a paddle” which implies a stream or river, certainly something with a current.
      2. There are literally hundreds of creeks in England, as a quick google-map will show. Largely in the south I think.
  9. Apart from wondering why neanderthals were depressed for a few seconds, it all went smoothly. I couldn’t tell metope from me-elbow but it was fairly clued.
  10. Orderly solve, successfully avoiding the corner-cutting that’s recently blighted my efforts – FOI TWEAK (initially thought TEASE but realised is wasn’t up to snuff…)
    …then the 14-char crossers + TRAFFIC LIGHT gave me some confidence that I was on my way.

    NHO METOPE / BEEBREAD / CYCLAMATE, but in all cases the cryptic gave me confidence, finishing sequence went CLEVER – CREEK – CRUSTACEA – HUMANE (LOI because I misunderstood the clue, thinking “fellow” must be HE and UMAN was some unknown synonym for “shade”)

    As Jack noted, a much-needed confidence-booster and a decent time for me at this level of difficulty – thanks!

  11. 37 minutes with LOI BEEBREAD. COD to FLY-TIPPER, I liked TRAFFIC LIGHT too. METOPE was unknown as it was probably intended to be. I suppose BAY and CREEK can be synonymous but I see one as the size of Morecambe and the other as a muddy inlet where you can make no progress in the absence of a paddle. Thank you Jack and setter.

    Edited at 2021-11-23 07:55 am (UTC)

  12. Hatching in the hawthorn-tree

    30 mins pre-brekker. I’m not convinced by ‘in break’ and in 16dn (being a down clue) the ‘behind’ doesn’t really describe the positioning relative to the S.
    I’ve got toothache. Can you tell?
    Thanks setter and J.

    1. You raise an interesting point and coming from such a distinguished crossword expert I hesitate to query it, but my understanding is that whilst there are a smallish number of juxtaposition indictors that can only apply in Down clues (above, below, under, north, south etc) and a few only to Across clues (right, left, east, west) the vast majority can be applied to both Across and Down answers.

      ‘Behind’ seems fine to me as when solvers write the answer SNACKBAR in the grid at 16dn, NACKBAR comes behind (after, following) the letter S.

      Edited at 2021-11-23 11:02 am (UTC)

  13. Agree 100% on the bay / creek thing – possibly due to our shared Lancs family roots. You may even be familiar with Skippool Creek…

    …and for anyone else – you’ve gotta love Google Earth. Even a two-bit, er, backwater like SC comes right up when entered into search

    EDIT – that was upposed to be a response to boltonwanderer

    Edited at 2021-11-23 08:05 am (UTC)

    1. I know Skippool Creek well, a great place to start a walk down the Wyre to Fleetwood. My Mum used to tell me with pride how some of those rusting boats there went to Dunkirk in 1940. I’m still none too sure about her story. I’d have thought the war would have been over before they got there.
  14. I’m not CLEVER, but I solved with ease
    With just a slight doubt re the trees
    And please FEEL FREE to tut
    But this daft astro-nut
    Once thought MOBY DICK a disease
  15. I too remember CYCLAMATE, but have lost track of the controversy. BEEB has appeared a lot in crossword land recently, long may it last. Liked KINKINESS.

    14′ 23″ thanks jack and setter.

  16. Around 13 minutes for this gentle offering, then 4 minutes staring at BEE-BREAD before eventually coming up with it. Among other things, I thought the Institution might be the B(ritish) L(ibrary), and was thoroughly flummoxed by the “youngsters in cells” idea. For a while, I thought I was looking for a word meaning cells, with what’s fed to youngsters being something like pap, Coco Pops or fishfingers.
    The whole thing felt a bit ST-ish, with the CD at 1d and the sometimes stretchy definitions like bay for CREEK and “large class” for CRUSTACEA, and both long across clues having similar “what X does” devices. All clearly meant to be amusing, as a good crossword should be, but I ended up being more meh than tee-hee.
  17. 44 mins. Quite tricky in parts, with the same unknowns as others, MÉTOPE, CYCLAMATE and CALABASH. LOI for some reason was FEEL FREE, just after 7d.

    I liked FLY TIPPER and AROUND THE CLOCK best. Rather like Mr G in Aus, my wife and I are always chatting first thing in the morning about the TRIGGY GLIPPY thing in a Doric frieze!

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  18. 11:55 I had a bit of a double take at AROUND THE CLOCK.. “It’s not really and anagram of that, is it?”, I thought, but then I checked the letters. Lots of other witty and fun clues too, e.g. TRAFFIC LIGHT and CLEVER. LOI the unknown BEEBREAD from the wordplay. I was pleased to remember METOPE from a lecture on architecture I attended last Tuesday. Thank-you Jackkt and setter.
    1. You did well to remember METOPE, John, and after a whole week too. My short-term memory clears much more quickly than that.
  19. 9:02. No dramas.
    I didn’t know that MOBY-DICK had a hyphen. To be fair, it often doesn’t.
    Also DNK METOPE, CYCLAMATE or ABOUT SHIP, and if you’d asked me what a CALABASH was I’d probably have said it’s a type of carriage seen in Georgette Heyer novels.
    I was a bit puzzled by 9dn, thinking the Netherlands isn’t particularly known for deprivation (rather the reverse) until the penny dropped. Ho ho, nice one setter.
    The AROUND THE CLOCK anagram is a corker.
    1. The title of Melville’s chef d’œuvre is hyphenated, as is the white whale’s name in its pages. That’s the only proper way to spell it.
      But I’m sure you know that.
      And I don’t care how many people have gotten it wrong!

      Edited at 2021-11-23 03:36 pm (UTC)

      1. Yes I did know that, although I didn’t when I woke up this morning. It’s often shown without the hyphen, in movies and certain editions of the book. As you might expect though the more respectable publishers show it pretty consistently with the hyphen.
  20. Slower than perhaps I should have been, or expected to be after a fairly rapid start. Mainly held up by having to resort to wordplay only to determine BEEB-READ and CYCL(e) A MATE, neither of which I knew. Rest flowed smoothly enough with my COD to TRAFFIC LIGHT. Cryptic defs often don’t really do it for me, but this one made me smile. Many thanks to setter and blogger.
  21. 19 minutes, some lovely stuff, LOI the unknown METOPE from wordplay. Creek for bay was a stretch for me. CoD POKER.
  22. Nice puzzle which went down easily while my breakfast sausage was under the grill (obviously I leave it to the likes of Verlaine to squeeze the crossword in while their egg is cooking). Most knowledge properly “general”, METOPE from being a smug classicist, the hyphen in MOBY-DICK from just ordinary smugness (see also Howards End without the apostrophe); didn’t know the sweetener, but the wordplay and checkers made it pretty clear.
      1. So the title also functions as an imperative: “Finnegans[,] Wake!”

        Edited at 2021-11-23 11:01 pm (UTC)

        1. That and 24 other meanings you need to spend a lifetime obsessing about Joyce to unravel. His work is in part a form of abuse on the reader. I subjected myself to it willingly, and enjoyed the process, with Ulysses, but Finnegans Wake is a kind of literary cult.

          Edited at 2021-11-23 11:42 pm (UTC)

          1. And I’m at least an honorary member. For years, I’ve been on a mailing list that goes thru the Wake at the rate of a page a week… and when the end is reached, it rivverruns back to the beginning and starts again. I’ve saved all the posts and lately I’ve started following them more assiduously. The group behind it also maintains an extensive list of glosses for each page at… a website that I take it you would not be that interested in checking out… I certainly don’t accept all the proffered interpretations. I find it great fun to dip into a passage even knowing that I’m catching only a fraction of all that could be found there (next time there, I’ll see more, or at least different, things). Nora, James’s wife, surely understood precious little of it but she loved to hear him read it aloud—and doing that is an essential step to really “getting” any passage, which in fact doesn’t depend at all on having a comprehension anywhere near exhaustive.
            1. This is exactly what I’m talking about! When I did Joyce at university I forced myself to read the first three or four pages of the thing, alongside every available gloss explaining every bloody word. I just think this kind of literature that requires a guidebook to be understood is a waste of time. I have similar feelings about The Waste Land.
              Ulysses is different. There’s some humanity to it. Of course you need all the glosses to understand it properly but at least all that stuff is layered over something you can usually understand at a human level.
              Having said that, put me on the mailing list. Perhaps I was too young.

              Edited at 2021-11-24 12:17 am (UTC)

              1. I know what you’re saying, but what I said is that FW can be quite enjoyable if one can only stop worrying about getting it all, or wondering how much one may be “missing.” After all, the greatest art is always inexhaustible—though this one really seems to be insisting on it!
  23. Nice puzzle. Started with TWEAK, then made steady progress with the unknown METOPE LOI. Biffed KINKINESS and didn’t quite manage to parse it. 25:38. Thanks setter and Jack.
  24. I took 42 minutes, eventually giving up and cheating on humane because I just couldn’t see it. Otherwise nice. Entered metope, calabash and bee-bread without really knowing them but assuming.
  25. This one took me 10m 18s and I thought it was one of the chewiest for a while – so I was surprised to see fast times on the leader board, and come here to see most people thought it was one of the easier ones. Wavelength, as ever.

    HEGEL was nicely put together. BEEBREAD & CYCLAMATE rang vague bells but took a while to come (I was trying COCK for friend in the latter), and CALABASH was an even vaguer bell that required me to run through the alphabet for ?A? dog possibilities.

  26. CYCLAMATE — couldn’t have told you what that was before today but easily parsed. Scraped around a bit for BEEBREAD before the Auntie hoved into view. LOI METOPE was more difficult to recall.
  27. 21:36. Started fast but got progressively slower as I descended the grid. Half familiar words kept bobbing up through the murk somehow, though I was unconvinced by CALABASH. SE corner was very knotty. Interesting to read comments about CREEK.
  28. 55:48 so more of a struggle for me than most other solvers. North more tricky than the South. I never parsed AROUND THE CLOCK having taken drunk as an anagrind and not been able to back out. Enjoyed KINKINESS and MOBY-DICK
  29. Has anyone ever tried to read HEGEL – I’d given up almost before turning the page. The juxtaposition of AROUND THE CLOCK and AGATE reminded me of Bill Haley and the Comets. 15.48
  30. Straightforward, except for the Clever Calabash line which took some unwinding, and for the parsing of Agate. Same thoughts regarding About Ship, Creek, No Fear, and even under/behind the Snack Bar
  31. Didn’t look at the snitch, so was pleased to finish when I did, not easy, not hard. A Goldilocks puzzle for me.

    Lots to enjoy. TRAFFIC LIGHT and CLEVER in particular. LOI was HUMANE. NHO METOPE or CYCLAMATE, but they were fairly clued, and everything else was dredged from somewhere.

    Annoyed my other half immensely by snorting and sniggering while listening to 12th Man bits and pieces on my headphone last night.


    Edited at 2021-11-23 01:09 pm (UTC)

  32. when sitting around a billabong in the west, as Rabbitoh will remember, after discussion of Greek architecture and after a tinnie or two, the topic often turns to Hegelianism, which may not be entirely rational but is absolutely ideal for tackling a puzzle like this. 20:51
  33. I liked this one a lot. Took around 20 minutes. Didn’t parse ‘around the clock’, but it fitted pretty well.
  34. Struggled much more than I should have. Inexplicable problem with HUMANE, just didn’t see that kind of KIND. A creek was very much what I was in last Saturday. Surprisingly it wasn’t that cold.
  35. Thank you. You are kind.
    Having been for emergency root canal work and having started the antibiotics — before the anaesthetic wears off, I should reconsider my view about ‘behind’.
    Nah, my nackbar is still not behind my S.
  36. Had a 60 min limit, self imposed. All but 3 CYCLAMATE (NHO), AGATE & NO FEAR. Annoyes with last 2. Will try 60 min deadline tmw. (Get told to stir if I sit too long).
  37. was such a splendid anagram – drunk chocolate – indeed! My COD. 1dn Traffic Lights at 1dn was my FOI. Moby Dick hyphenated!?
      1. The book was first published (in three volumes) as The Whale in London in October 1851, and under its definitive title in a single-volume edition in New York in November. The London publisher, Richard Bentley, censored or changed sensitive passages; Melville made revisions as well, including a last-minute change to the title for the New York edition. The whale, however, appears in the text of both editions as “Moby Dick”, without the hyphen. Ibid.
  38. Finished and almost all parsed in forty minutes. Only five on first pass – time to bite those fingernails. But this was a friendly puzzle, and began to solve itself steadily. Much to enjoy for me. I liked the spider in its precarious predicament, the lobsters and crabs, and the almost-Neanderthal – where does that other e go? Ah, there. Thanks for the blog and for parsing about four of these that I biffed, Jack, and thanks setter for a doable puzzle. Yesterday I only managed the North-East – too feeble an effort to justify posting on the blog. Nice to finish today, and in probably my best time.
  39. I ran out of time at the hour or I might have got the three I missed I think. TWEAK, TRAFFIC LIGHT, and KINKINESS.

    FOI 26ac POKER

    COD 1dn TRAFFIC LIGHT shall forever be ambiguous for me henceforward.


  40. Despite getting the four long ones fairly quickly, I thought this was quite tricky. Some very nice cluing, in particular HEGEL, HUMANE and CALABASH. METOPE and BEEBREAD new to me.

    My favourite ever piece of literary criticism, (seen on Twitter):

    “Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’ has perhaps the most memorable opening line in all of Western literature: ‘I hope you mother******s like reading about whales’”

    Thanks to Jack and the setter.

  41. a bit of a relief, this one. You can’t always think that on a Tuesday.
    Is it just me, there is a constant stream of what I take to be Russian pop-ups along the bottom of the Live Journal page? Are they in anyway harmful?

    Edited at 2021-11-23 05:01 pm (UTC)

    1. I have a background in Internet security and privacy – don’t see the pop-ups because I’m configured with a fairly aggressive privacy setup – but I think it’s very unlikely they are harmful, rather than just irritants. Since popups are usually injected into websites by third-party providers, the publisher probably doesn’t have much control over their contents – so don’t click ‘em just in case.

      Depending on what browser you use, you may be able to use anti-popup measures in the form of browser add-ons – I have Firefox (browser) with AdBlock Plus and NoScript (add-ons) and I see almost no ads or popups here or anywhere else, I can watch YouTube vids with no interstitial ads, etc. Possibly worth a bit of your time to look into.

      Regards Denise

      1. thanks Denise, I do have Malwarebytes Browser Guard which has the same effects, unwanted adverts a faint memory!
        These pop-ups show times_xwd_livejournal….. as the reply address. I have much enjoyed your contributions on this site
        kindest John
  42. A late entry. LOI HUMANE after a long look.
    Good fun on the way home from lunch. Walked down part of Oxford Street by Selfridges-it was heaving.
    A lot to like in this. Maybe COD to TRAFFIC LIGHT.
  43. 27.10 with lots of pondering. LOI agate, recognised the stone but not the rest so relieved it was a correct punt. cyclamate took a time as well as did beebread- but I thought the latter was a very good clue. Other highlights for me humane, Hegel and calabash. Thanks setter for an entertaining puzzle and blogger for parsing agate for me.
  44. 24.23. I was interested to read how many people found this one straightforward. I sort of plodded round the grid not quite seeing how things worked. Resolved everything ok in the end, just felt a bit harder than others seem to have found it.
  45. Me too found it harder than many seem to have. But then I didn’t have the monastic silence around me which I prefer, what with the wife working on the phone and the wee-uns nattering in bed upstairs. LOI beebread which I constructed from its constituent elements, and then breathed out a very satisfied aaaah. I feel we have had it before. It was not totally new to me.

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