Times Cryptic 28772


I was a little surprised to find 55 minutes on the clock as I finished because I wasn’t aware that I had been solving particularly slowly. There was a hold-up over the last two intersecting answers however, one of which was an unknown word. I followed the logic of the wordplay meticulously but it came down to a two-way punt on possible answers and I picked the wrong one merely because it fitted in with my best shot at the missing intersecting answer. So in the end I had both wrong. These were at 2dn and 9ac and I shall return to them later.

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 Commentator’s dread: champ producing masses of data? (8)
Sounds like [commentator’s] “terror” (dread) + “bite” (champ)
5 Broadway musical, The King and I, by a small opera company (6)
K (King), I, S (small), MET (opera company), Adapted from a 1911 play of the same name and set to music lifted from Borodin, this musical opened on Broadway in 1953.
9 French are getting behind petition to host one group of stars (8)
PLEAD (petition) contains [to host] I (one), ES (French for ‘are’ – makes a change from ‘art’!). In my ignorance I went for PILEADES here as I was banking on 2dn being RELY even though I was unable to parse it as such.
10 No great lecturer getting request to repeat something (6)
A PAR DON might be ‘no great lecturer’
12 Place for whoopee cushion, perhaps, after replacing a glee cushion (6,6)
Anagram [replacing]of A GLEE CUSHION
15 President implicating his country in exploitation? (5)
ABE (President Lincoln) containing [implicating] US (his country)
16 Accommodating  description of race-track at times (4-5)
The cryptic hint refers to horse racing where ‘the going’ is a description of the conditions underfoot on the course as it may affect a horse’s performance. The more moisture in the ground, the softer or slower the going. The drier the ground, the firmer or faster the going becomes. In British racing ‘going’ varies from: Heavy – Soft – Good to Soft – Good – Good to Firm – Firm, but further research suggests that ‘Easy’ may be used to describe a surface that is Good to Firm.
18 I backed limits on name for tavern — something anti-inflammatory? (9)
I, then N{am}E [limits] + FOR + PUB (tavern) reversed [backed]
19 Be powered by what overlong speakers do? (3,2)
A definition and a cryptic hint
20 Source of power wasted in loading train (8,4)
Anagram [wasted] of LOADING TRAIN
24 Dry, requiring feed of river? Digger produced (6)
TOWEL (dry – vb) containing [requiring feed of] R (river).
25 Veteran less good without a right hand (8)
WORSE (less good) containing [without – outside] A + RH (right hand)
26 Time after time bringing in second variable substitute (6)
ERA (time) containing [bringing in] S (second), then T (time), Z (variable)
27 Sound of animal having returned without a saddle (8)
BARE sounds like “bear” [animal], BACK (having returned)
1 Record fifth beer-pump? (4)
TAP E (fifth beer-pump) when counting from TAP A
2 Bank assistance — pounds I will withdraw (4)
RE{L + I}EF (assistance) [pounds  L + I will withdraw]. I immediately thought bank = RELY because it so often is, and even though I was unable to parse it and hadn’t written it in as my penultimate answer I allowed myself to be influenced by the L-checker it would have provided when trying to deduce the unknown intersecting word at 9ac.  Then I bunged in RELY and hoped for the best only to be informed that I had two errors.
3 Runs out of gap on river in swimsuit? (9)
B{r}EACH (gap) [runs out], WEAR (river in NE England)
4 Greeting PM? (3,4,2,3)
Two meanings. I’m a bit doubtful about the first one but I found this in Wiktionary which would seem to cover it: According to some, the expression originally literally referred to greeting someone with the obsolete greeting “good time of day”, or other greeting appropriate to the time of day e.g., good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Idiomatically it tends to be used negatively as in this example: He wouldn’t even give her the time of day. So if you were given the time of day it would hardly be a greeting, only the very minimum attention.
6 Adult insect? The writer’s not entirely enthralled (5)
I’M (the writer’s), AGO{g} (enthralled) [not entirely]
7 Second barbed comment? I fix upset artist (10)
MO {second – moment), DIG (barbed comment), then I + NAIL (fix) reversed [upset]. He lived 1884-1920 and when I did an image search to look at his work Mr Google saw fit to blur the images in order to protect my innocence.
8 Locomotive to fail: no good stopping German one (4,6)
TANK (fail – as discussed here recently), then NG (no good) contained by [stopping] EINE (German one)
11 Sailor turning up in parsonage unexpectedly someone you want to see (7,5)
TAR (sailor) reversed [turning up] and contained by [in] anagram [unexpectedly] of PARSONAGE. I’m not sure how much this is used in English, but persona non grata is very common.
13 One-time rat transformed into model character? (10)
Anagram [transformed] of ONE-TIME RAT
14 Disorderly, on the loose, climbing into barrow (10)
OUT (on the loose) reversed [climbing] contained by [into] TUMULUS (barrow – ancient burial mound)
17 Various hearings end in trouble for one served legal notice (9)
Anagram [various] of HEARINGS, then {troubl}E [end]. Collins: In law a ‘garnishment’ is a notice warning a person holding money or property belonging to a debtor whose debt has been attached to hold such property until directed by the court to apply it. ‘Garnishee’ is the person to whom the notice is issued.
21 Patent finished before end of night (5)
OVER (finished), {nigh}T [end]
22 Unspecified number evicted from stadium neighbourhood (4)
ARE{n}A (stadium) [unspecified number – n – evicted]
23 Put down cards (4)
Two meanings, the first as in knock someone to the floor.

76 comments on “Times Cryptic 28772”

  1. 26:43. Exactly the same issue as Jack in the NW corner. The only thing that stopped me submitting with RELY / PILEADES was the nagging memory of some word relating to the stars having an “over-vowelly” spelling.

    Took longer than necessary on MARIONETTE, and BAREBACK was slow to fall as I had the suspiciously non-cryptic DEAL instead of DECK.

    Got away with it in the end. It seems the secret to dodging bullets is to move more slowly.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  2. I enjoyed this a lot, taking my time (as I watched something on YouTube).
    That’s amusing about your Google lookup of MODIGLIANI, Jack, but surely you can turn off “Safe Search.” I put that in as soon as I guessed MO and had a couple crossers.
    Put in REEF strictly from the definition, was the last one parsed though. (Had the E from Pleiades, which I know how to spell partly because Pléiades is the name of a famous collection of French literary works deemed to be classics.)
    Had it all figured out except what EASY-GOING had to do with a racetrack!
    NATIONAL GRID is actually the name of the company that used to provide my gas, before I had it turned off (not a political decision, if anyone’s wondering).
    Not sure I’d ever heard TANK ENGINE for “Locomotive.”
    Do people ever really say PERSONA GRATA or is there reason to be gruntled about that one?

      1. That’s the one place I’ve ever heard it. So he pulls a train! Wasn’t even sure, but what else would it be?!

        1. Just checked in Wikipedia which says:

          A tank locomotive or tank engine is a steam locomotive that carries its water in one or more on-board water tanks, instead of a more traditional tender.

    1. There were also Percy, Sir Handel, Duke and Peter Sam (all saddle tanks) and Montague/Duck (pannier tank).

      1. Well, now I’m certainly well-informed! Forgive me for going off on a tangent (it’s my specialty), but I happen to live, and have for 31 years, on Montague Street in picturesque Brooklyn Heights (NYC). It’s not named after the family in Romeo and Juliet but instead the feminist woman of letters Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (no E!), who discovered the smallpox vaccine! From The Guardian: “Wortley Montagu, a smallpox survivor with a disfigured face, took the risky decision to inoculate her daughter by making tiny cuts on her daughter’s skin and rubbing in a small amount of pus from a live smallpox sore.” And the rest is history. (I’m vaxxed to the max!)

          1. It’s a long story.
            « Jenner’s work is widely regarded as the foundation of immunology—despite the fact that he was neither the first to suggest that infection with cowpox conferred specific immunity to smallpox nor the first to attempt cowpox inoculation for this purpose. »
            « It was the continued advocacy of the English aristocrat Lady Mary Wortley Montague that was responsible for the introduction of variolation in England. »

        1. Is that the same Montague Street as in Tangled Up In Blue?

          “I lived with them on Montague Street
          A basement down the stairs
          There was music in the cafes at night
          And revolution in the air
          Then he started into dealing with slaves
          And something inside of him died
          She had to sell everything she owned and froze up inside
          And then finally the bottom fell out
          And I became withdrawn
          The only thing I knew how to do
          Was to keep on keepin’ on
          Like a bird that flew
          Tangled up in blue.”

          I think I have every word of that album on an internal tape loop in my brain. Along with quite a few others that I spent most of my education listening to over and over again.

          1. The Montague Street Business District, at least, is convinced it is and has placed a sign on the street about it (there’s also one about Lady Montagu and one about the street’s having been the site of NYC’s first gay bar). I’ve had my doubts, as the “revolution” and “music in the cafés” (though the latter has occasionally happened) doesn’t sound like the one I’ve known. But that was several decades ago, and Dylan supposedly did crash at a friend’s flat here for a time in the early ’60s; also, he may have jumbled or embellished his memories. I don’t know of any below-sidewalk apartments on this four-block drag, though there are businesses so situated (like the little hardware store on the ground floor of my building).

            1. Thanks for the interesting local knowledge! Of course Dylan is ALWAYS jumbling and embellishing his memories and lyrics and there is absolutely no reason why your Montague Street should be expected to be anything like the one in the song. Very likely he knew the street name, thought it fitted the metre of the song and slotted it into the verse. And so a legendary location was born.

          2. I was listening to Saturday Club in 1963 on the Light programme, a 17 year old sixth former. Brian Matthew was interviewing John Lennon. “That Bob Dylan, he’s the gear,”said John. When the show finished, I got on my bike, rode off to the local record shop and bought Freewheelin’. I couldn’t believe how good it was, and I’ve bought every album since. Together through life.

            1. I tuned in a bit later, with “Like a Rolling Stone.” The “Greatest Hits” (seemed an odd idea at the time!) came out when Dylan was in seclusion after his motorcycle mishap and I, 11 years old, was out of school waiting to have a lower vertebrae fused back together. I was taken aback at first by the starkly minimalist folk-style songs revealed on that record, but they quickly grew on me.

              1. Yes, well I always thought the “Greatest Hits” was a brilliant album in itself. And a typical Dylan album into the bargain, as I have always found (IMO of course and it sounds like boltonwanderer will not agree with me here) that his albums have at least one song that isn’t really up to the standard of the others (e.g. “Meet Me In The Morning” on BOTT). On Greatest Hits that award goes to “Rainy Day Women Nos 12 & 35” but the rest is pure genius. Even he is in awe of his younger self and doesn’t know how he managed to write those songs. As Mozart said “I write music like sows piss” and both musicians found the stuff just flowing out of them. My favourite at the time was “It Ain’t Me Babe”. As a spotty nerdy teenager trying to get a girlfriend I was in awe of someone who could actually be singing a song telling a woman to go away and leave him alone. And so poetically as well! And in a sense “Greatest Hits” wasn’t even true. More like “A Highly Subjective Selection Of Some Of Dylan’s Best Songs Disregarding About 50 Others That On Another Day Could Have Easily Made it”. It should have been followed by about another 5 volumes.

    2. From Wiktionary:
      persona grata (plural personae gratae)
      A person who is welcome or acceptable.
      persona non grata
      So I suppose gruntlement is in order.

    3. >NATIONAL GRID is actually the name of the company that used to provide my gas, before I had it turned off

      It’s the very same business that owns and operates the electricity transmission system in England (and retains a 40% stake in the gas transmission network in Great Britain).

  3. 40’27”
    Found the going testing, rather than EASY, and consequently rather one-paced and did not RUN ON.

    Still, all parsed and familiar with the exception of garnishee; one sporting a cherry or sprig of parsley perhaps. Come to think of it, Thomas Cromwell often had a bit of rosemary, but he was more of a garnisher, not -ee.
    On reflection the going was pretty easy, but there were some sticky patches; or rather I seemed to find the sticky bits.
    Very enjoyable nonetheless; thank you setter and Jack.

  4. 41 minutes. Progressing steadily until the forgotten TUMULUS for ‘barrow’ held me up at the end. I remembered PLEIADES but not the order of those vowels and I needed the crossers.

    One day I’ll understand what a GARNISHEE is but, despite Jack’s detailed explanation, not today

    1. A garnishee order is more common than you might think; it is just a legal instruction to someone not to dispose of the listed asset(s) until the court has determined what should be done with it (ie surrender it to the bank, usually 🙂

  5. Not too hard, held up at the end by the TUMULTUOUS (and I do know Tumulus) and TROWEL crossing pair. I assumed KISMET was a modern musical I’d never heard of, as opposed to one that opened so far in the past. At one point when I was paying alimony I had my wages garnished, so I guess I have been a GARNISHEE.

  6. 23:28. I had the same issue as Jack and galspray, and having got into my head that poll could mean petition I was tempted to submit with RELY and POLLANES. Eventually I managed to parse REEF and PLEIADES quickly followed.
    Elsewhere I came up with GARNISHEE from the anagrist quite early on, but dismissed it as something I’d invented. It put me in mind of my nephew who had a teacher called Mrs Garnish. Parents’ evenings now tend to include the child, and when my nephew and my sister and her husband saw Mrs Garnish my nephew announced “My daddy calls you Mrs Side Salad”. My brother-in-law nearly died of embarrassment!

  7. Similar experiences here, though 50 mins and error-free only because I’m familiar enough with the PLEIADES, except for which order to put those vowels in the middle, so that took some working out before I could see the REEF.

    I imagine it was my love for science fiction that got me through this one; I’m certainly no astronomer, so a lot of my knowledge of stars comes from mentions in SF.

  8. 31 minutes with LOI REEF. I wasn’t helped by the app producing last Thursday’s puzzle. I suppose I’ll have to make NATIONAL GRID my COD, even 26 years on. Bring back the CEGB, the KGB without the glasnost as Private Eye called us. Good puzzle, I thought. Thank you Jack and setter.

  9. 25:07. Very slow over my last 5 which added about 7 minutes to my time, finishing with DECK and BAREBACK. I too got stuck on trying to make 2D RELY and REEF took me a while to parse. But at least I finished all correct. Like Sawbill, I thought THE TIME OF DAY a bit weak. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  10. 31 mins but didn’t get reef. I felt sure the deleted letters would be I’ll rather than LI .I also tried tier which is the usual sub for bank and that gave me time to consider the unknown word Titabyte- commentators would certainly dread a titter in their delivery or so I thought.

    Two days of failing at the last, yesterday it was the less forgivable edentate rather than edentata. Hey ho.

  11. Just over half an hour, finishing with BAREBACK where for a long time I thought the definition was at the start. Pieced together the unknown MODIGLIANI from wordplay, hadn’t heard of a tumulus barrow for TUMULTUOUS, and had to trust that GARNISHEE is a legal term. I associate race tracks more with Formula 1 and other vehicle races rather than horse racing, but EASY-GOING had to be right.

    Thanks setter and blogger.

    FOI Pleiades
    LOI Bareback
    COD Marionette

  12. 11:43. Quite a tricky one. I’d never heard of the musical or GARNISHEE. TUMULUS seemed familiar once I had reverse-engineered it from the answer. Fortunately I remembered PLEIADES, helped by knowledge of the literary collection mentioned by GdS.

  13. Lots of anagrinding and penny-dropping. Had RELY for bank for too long without really parsing it properly resulting in trying to shoehorn in various imagined constellations. CHAISE LONGUE defined by place for whoopee cushion is very sneaky and, although I had TAPE, I couldn’t for the life of me see that TAP-E was beer-pump 5 for the longest time. GARNISHEE is a new one on me.
    Enjoyable puzzle thanks all.

  14. Another good puzzle, harder than yesterday, 24 minutes with some BIFfing. Reef was my LOI, didn’t much like it, a reef is rock or coral and a bank is sand.

  15. 42:59
    Tricky, but got it done. Put in reef with fingers crossed. I figured out the wordplay, but couldn’t actually see the word ‘relief’ properly and wondered what a relly-eff was.
    Thanks, jack.

  16. 39 mins and it turns out I can’t spell IBUPROFEN which I didn’t bother to parse
    LOI REEF, agree, poor definition

  17. Right. First of all, there’s no place to put a whoopee cushion on my 1902 CHAISE LONGUE. By convention, a whoopee cushion has to be hidden to be effective. My limited legal education supplied me with the GARNISHEE order, but I learned that as the order itself rather than the person served therewith. PM is a TIME OF DAY, not THE. Is “Broadway” necessary for KISMET? I don’t think it helps.
    I’m with Jack on seeing RELY as too tempting: you can squint nearly enough to sift out the letters implied by pounds I will (a plethora of Ls, I count four) but eventually remembered how to spell Seven Sisters when not a station. I’m mollified a bit by finding that IBUPROFEN is a generic, not a bit of product placement, and look forward to the day we’re expected to know it in full as isobutylphenyl propionic acid (Jumbo setters please note). All these irritations (as they were to me) slowed me on such simples as the TANK ENGINE, where I couldn’t think of the tank, and the MARIONETTE where I had to write it out to get it. Almost 28 minutes.

    1. If you time it right you can get a whoopee cushion under someone’s bottom as they are sitting down, so no concealment is necessary. However a CHAISE LONGUE is not recommended: a hard surface is more effective.

      1. I owned a really beautiful chaise longue for a few months, which we had to get rid of as we acquired my late mother’s furniture. I can assure you it was extremely firm to sit on – didn’t give at all!

  18. I must admit to having discovered that a whoopee cushion is most amusing in a cinema.
    This only took me about one minute more than the quick cryptic today, so about 11 or 12 minutes, although garnishee went in with fingers crossed.
    The German for one is of course eins not eine, but since nobody else has quibbled I will shut up.

    1. Yes. If you are counting, one is eins – one two three is eins zwei drei – but that’s as far as my 60-year-old German O-level gets me. How do they distinguish between a banana (eine banane) and one banana (eine banane?)

      PS on edit. I guess they’re just the same. Here’s the online translation of one potato,…
      Eine Kartoffel, zwei Kartoffeln, drei Kartoffeln, vier.
      Fünf Kartoffeln, sechs Kartoffeln, sieben Kartoffeln, mehr

      1. That is an interesting question — in writing there is indeed no difference between a banana and one banana in German, but when you are speaking the stress provides a distinction. “EINE Banane” is just one, to make it clear, and “eine Banane” is a banana, but it might not stop at that.

    2. I don’t think so. Ein (masculine), eine (feminine). People think it’s eins because of the counting, ein, zwei, etc.

  19. A shade over 45, held up in the end on slightly easier clues such as warhorse and tumultuous, having already worked out the unknown composer, musical, and constellation. I also had my fingers crossed for reef as I couldn’t parse it.

    I found this one a test but an enjoyable one so thanks to the setter and the blogger for filling in the blanks.

      1. Well spotted. The real life Penfold is clearly nothing like his avatar.

        I did say I’d never heard of him, but to justify my comment I’m now in the process of updating his Wikipedia entry to include his renown in the world of music.

  20. I ran up the white flag at 33ish having foundered on REEF. Then I found I had idiotically written CHAISE LOUNGE, which altered the artist to MODINLIANI, so a forgettable day, might try concentrating tomorrow, I find it helps…

  21. DNF, decided it was probably REEF but didn’t put it in.
    Had to cheat to spell PLEIADES, and don’t think that ES is French “are” except that we have abandoned
    THOU ART for YOU ARE due probably to laziness. I was trying to shoehorn in SONT, SOMMES or ETES.
    Looked up KISMET to confirm.
    The Time Of Day? Had to be, but weak I thought.
    DECK/BAREBACK tricky and excellent.

  22. 26:36. Great puzzle with careful parsing needed to avoid several tempting, but wrong, biffs. REEF and TUMULTUOUS were last to fall but it could have been quite a few others.

  23. I’m trying to be more consistent with these and managed this one in less than an hour, whereas yesterday was mostly beyond me. I did enjoy this but I think that the idea of ‘the time of day’ being some sort of greeting is a complete nonsense in 2023, even if an obscure reference work has hung on to an obscure usage. Thanks all though!

  24. I was off to a quick start with TERABYTE and RELY, or so I thought. I did enter the latter with reservations, which proved founded when the PLEIADES arrived. I had to painstakingly assemble MODIGLIANI from the instructions. GARNISHEE was another unknown, but once the crossers were in, easy enough to construct. LOI, TUMULTUOUS took a minute or 2. 22:59. Thanks setter and Jack.

  25. Required a few visits around golf and errands so not sure of time, except it wasn’t quick!!

    LOI PLEIADES but only after parsing REEF to give me the correct spelling. Like a few others I wasn’t taken by the “opposites” of normal usage, such as THE TIME OF DAY and PERSONA GRATA. EASY-GOING also a bit of a stretch for me. But presumably all are strictly acceptable.

    NHO tumulus so only arrived at with all crossers and an alphabet trawl.

    Hard work after yesterday. Thanks Jackkt and setter.

  26. 16.39, with the same eyebrows as others for THE TIME OF DAY (I was thinking of MAY as the PM for a while) and CHAISE LONGUE. Might be the only solver who recalled the PLEIADES thanks to the Red Hot Chili Peppers song Can’t Stop, back when you’d get lyrics printed in CD inserts.

    Deletion clues are tricky. I got REEF from the crossers, but working out the parse was harder.

    GARNISHEE, KISMET, and TUMULUS new (or as good as) to me. I liked WAR HORSE, NATIONAL GRID and MARIONETTE.

    Thanks Jack & setter.

    1. I know the line in the song you mean, but I never quite knew what Anthony Kiedis was singing – until now!

    2. I’m in the club that only knew Pleiades because of the RHCP – I suspect it is a very small club indeed……

  27. Well, all in and parsed, but fingers were crossed for the the NHO and unlikely sounding GARNISHEE! Having said that, even the known words proved quite a challenge eg MARIONETTE, where I had to shoehorn in 8 letters, but it took the longest time to find the combination, even written down. NATIONAL GRID was also slow, as the superfluous ‘in’ didn’t allow me to see the anagrind. POI was TUMULTUOUS, where I finally remembered ‘tumulus’ rather than ‘mound’. LOI was TROWEL, not helped by putting a T at the far end having confirmed the first. I’ve been conditioned into considering ‘dry’ to be TT, and was looking for a 4-letter river to fill it and a burrowing animal! Luckily, during the subsequent trawl of letters, the penny dropped. PLEIADES and KISMET both known – my husband knew everything there was to know about musicals and I believe I still have a recording of the soundtrack on the shelf, but it took a long time to get before working out MODIGLIANI gave me the M for the Met. However, an ultimately enjoyable if exhausting workout.

  28. 38:54

    Steady progress though clearly on the more challenging side. Filling in the gaps all over the grid gave more checkers for the missing answers. Left with the top corners – NE fell more easily, but NW I was trying to make PETABYTE work with 2d TIER and 1d the unsatisfactory PIPE when I saw that TAPE was a better answer, changing 1a to TERABYTE the parsing of which immediately became clear, then a long think and a brief alphatrawl before REEF came up.

    Failed to parse PARDON (doh!) and NHO GARNISHEE was the most reasonable guess given the checkers.

  29. Garnishee was a write-in, have delivered a number in my day. No problem with Pleiades, but did struggle with the reef!
    Thought of BW when I solved 20ac..

  30. Almost threw in the trowel on this one, it just felt lumpish, but maybe that’s me. Got there in the end after 53 minutes.

  31. This took me around 50 minutes. I rather liked this puzzle although I agree with what others have written about “Reef” and “The Time Of Day”.

  32. Defeated by the same clues as our blogger, and not too fond of the greeting: as our blogger says, giving someone THE TIME OF DAY is well short of a greeting in my book. I’m no expert on the sport of kings, but I’ve never knowingly heard a race course in England described as EASY-GOING. But on this one I have to accept that those in the sport may know the term.

    1. As jackkt indicates in the blog, I don’t think the horsey reference in this clue is a definition, but rather a cryptic hint based on the idea that the ‘going’ might be called ‘easy’. It could arguably have done with a question mark.

  33. At 38 minutes I found this rather easy, despite the GARNISHEE, and fairly enjoyable as well.

  34. Like others, I guessed it was REEF but couldn’t parse it so left it blank.
    It’s funny to read people wondering how the Germans can tell whether ‘a’ or ‘one’ is meant in ‘eine banana’. After the quadruple definition in the Times 2 yesterday I should think we could be more understanding. I mean, you just do, don’t you?

  35. Bad fall at IBUPROFEN which I spelled IBUBROFIN. Either way I couldn’t parse it. Pretty tough I thought, but maybe that’s because it’s the end of a long day. Guy d S will know that Pleiades is a long-standing and beautifully-produced edition of French classic books. Thomas the Tank Engine had to keep stopping to have his tank filled up with one of those raised water pumps on the side of the track. On one occasion they instead filled the tank with water from the river and fish got in. How we laughed. 31’34” with the error. Many thanks.

  36. 47:52
    My last 4 were in the NW corner. LOI was BEACHWEAR. I spent a long time trying to fit an R into BATHERS.

  37. Anyone intelligent enough to solve this crap should be saying that it is way over the top. But no comment like that here. Why? because none of you are real and times is now AI.

  38. Erasmus: think maybe you should be erased! No space for negative comments like that here… ( just because you’re not up to it, doesn’t mean you have to put others down). And one thing AI cannot do is provide the parsing (reasoning) for clever cryptic clues.

  39. Found this tough, as my aging brain is not as agile as it used to be! So consequently had to look up a few before really getting going; but as usual I found that what other seasoned solvers found easy, I found difficult, and vice versa – for instance EASY GOING and GARNISHEE well-known to me ( I’m no racing fan however), whereas constructing those complex clues ( IBUPROFEN, MARIONETTE ) too hard for me . Liked MODIGLIANI (got from a couple of crossers) and TANK ENGINE.

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