Times Quick Cryptic No 2168 by Wurm

Tricky enough today from Wurm that took me a couple of minutes over target. Lots of very effective misdirection sent me completely the wrong way on quite a number of clues.

So, quite a lot to trip you up if you’re newish to these things (anything under a decade), but the cluing was scrupulously fair (with the possible exception of 7d) and well worth spending a bit of time examining.

Great puzzle – many thanks to Wurm!

1 Creative labour devilishly hard I know! (9)
HANDIWORK – anagram (devilishly) of HARD I KNOW
6 Subtle humour cryptically “Fey”? (5)
IRONY – if Fe is the symbol for IRON, then Fe-Y is, cryptically speaking, IRON-Y.
8 Caught in the end — cut short marathon athletic event (9)
DECATHLON – C(aught) in DEATH (the end) LONg (“cut short” marathon). “CaughT in the end” had me fairly convinced it was going to be TRIATHLON.
9 Next dead king (5)
LATER – LATE (dead) R (Rex = king)
10 Closely examine in changing main to sea (9)
ANATOMISE – anagram (changing) of MAIN TO SEA
12 Banknote left in tray emptied (6)
TWENTY – WENT (left) in TraY “emptied”
13 Best setter? (3,3)
TOP DOG – cryptic definition, with a pun on setter = dog.
16 Daring USA duo involved with CIA (9)
AUDACIOUS – anagram (involved) of USA DUO with CIA
18 Manage as copper seen with bird (3,2)
CUT IT – Cu (copper) seen with TIT (bird)
19 Island MP has easy win — trade union unprepared (9)
IMPROMPTU – I(sland) MP has ROMP (easy win) TU (trade union)
21 Fabric light with no backing (5)
RAYON – RAY (light) with NO “backing”
22 Does one attach handle to door? (9)
NAMEPLATE – cryptic definition, with a pun on handle = name. Lovely surface – I was initially unsure if the cryptic reading worked, but a nameplate assuredly associates a name with a door.
1 Pipe is monster not drained (7)
HYDRANT – HYDRA (monster) NoT “drained”
2 Tight when holding court? It’s the drink (6)
NECTAR – NEAR = tight = miserly, holding CT (court). Tight = drunk in the very neat surface reading.
3 Some Angevin troops opening passage (5)
INTRO – “some of” angevIN TROops
4 Creature from Old World lakes originally (3)
OWLOld World Lakes “originally”
5 School class painting in green messily (12)
KINDERGARTEN – KIND (class) ART (painting) in an anagram (messily) of GREEN
6 Misconception about flan served up for example (12)
ILLUSTRATION – ILLUSION (misconception) about TART (flan) reversed or “served up.” LOI
7 The deep — place for many catches? (8)
OUTFIELD – our third cryptic definition, and I think the trickiest, requiring some possibly esoteric cricket knowledge: a pun on THE DEEP being the ocean and, well, the outfield in cricket (where a dropped catch is more or less forgivable than in the slips). Lesser sports are available.
11 Asian flower tax in business (8)
INDUSTRY – INDUS (Asian thing that “flows”, ie a river) TRY = tax (as in trying/taxing)
14 Enigmatic old boy steady outside clubs (7)
OBSCURE – OB (old boy) SURE (steady) outside C(lubs)
15 Bear from the South American city is fair game (6)
HOOPLA – POOH (bear) “from the South” = reverse, LA (American city). As in a game played at a fair – very nice!
17 Our PC crashed? Here’s complaint (5)
CROUP – anagram (crashed) of OUR PC
20 Toy dog for Englishman abroad (3)
POM -double definition: the first as in Pomeranian; the second short for “Pommy,” short for “Pomegranate.” A play on “Jimmy Grant” which is (dated) Aus/NZ rhyming slang for “immigrant”: as the Sydney Truth explained in 1912, “Now they call ’em ‘Pomegranates’ and the Jimmygrants don’t like it.”

86 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2168 by Wurm”

  1. So, I was tossing up between NAMEPLATE and NAMEPLACE and obviously I zagged when I should have zigged – but what does a nameplate have to do with a door, specifically? Neither google nor my Chambers seem to know what the connection is

    1. I always assumed nameplates are those metal names you put on doors in offices. For professors or laywers or doctors etc. You don’t see them in many other places do you?

        1. Haha maybe you’re going to all the right places! Google image ‘nameplate door’, they’re so ubiquitous I’m beginning to wonder if we’re talking about different things. Esp the one that has a bracket you can slide your name in and out of.

          1. FWIW I used to have a nameplate on my desk. When I started, it was only the senior management who had them – a solid bar of silvery-grey metal with name engraved on it. Eventually though us lesser types were given a simple version (plastic nameplate slides into metal bracket).

            We had open plan offices and so I guess this was how the management kept their status when they lost their doors. But it was also useful when you had to go find someone in another dept and didn’t want to disturb anyone.

            1. The medical lab I used to work at did have these on all the doors – but I never thought of them as nameplates. Of course a name is what the doors of the pathologists and senior management had, but most of them simply described the room’s function – bleeding room #1, storeroom, mens, etc

    2. It’s worth remembering that Collins and Lexico are the principal source dictionaries for the Times Cryptics (both accessible free online) although Chambers is also used on occasion. Collins’s first definition of nameplate is : a sign on a door, wall, or desk which shows the name of the person or organization that occupies a particular place.

      At 14 minutes I was slow on this one especially delayed by the 12-letter answer at 6dn which meant I had to solve the 6 adjoining clues without having their first letters.

      I can’t remember the last time I awarded a COD but the one to HOOPLA was brilliant.

  2. 22:03 Took longest on LOI OUTFIELD. Remembered fairground meaning of HOOPLA from a puzzle a few months ago. Also needed a while to see HYDRANT as a kind of pipe. COD to IRONY- very droll! I think doors of offices in businesses, colleges, hospitals etc often have NAMEPLATES attached to them to identify the occupant.

  3. This took me close to an hour. I have ADHD, and the tangents and distractions this puzzle sent my brain on… bit like this:

    … Subtle humour cryptically “Fey”… Oh hey, Tina Fey, she’s a great comedian. I don’t think they’d use her as a reference, but maybe Tina can be anagrammed? ANIT? ANTI? Imagine being Anti Tina Fey. If I did Roller Derby my name would definitely be Tina Flay. Pity I’m tiny. Haha Tiny Tina.

    I got there eventually. Big palm print shaped mark on my forehead after that.

    Or… The deep — place for many catches?… this is a sports one isn’t it. They catch a lot in cricket and baseball. What do they call the bit where the wicket keeper / catcher squats? That’s where all the catching happens. Many catches there. By the catcher. The catcher who catches. Hmm maybe it is a fishing clue after all.

    Turns out the catching also happens… away from the catcher. In the outfield.

    Other places I got knocked down (but I got up again) : Asian flower and South American City.. if you can’t think of a south american city or an Asian flower, maybe lift and separate!!!

    I didn’t know ‘complaint’ is an illness, and didn’t manage to parse DECATHLON (I had Triathlon as well, held me up for ages) so thank you for the explanations.

    The clue that I learnt the most from was Bear from the South American city is fair game. I thought the clue had so many extraneous parts for a six letter answer, and my thought process often disregarded whole parts of the clue. If the definition was ‘bear’ then why would the wordplay start with ‘from’? If the definition is ‘game’, then i had to fit in a bear, a south american city and work out why it was fair, in six letters. In these cases I should remember to see if it’s not a ‘first/last letters from each word’ clue, or add more words to the description.

    Sorry for the longwinded treatise, I remember things better once I’ve discussed them. I enjoyed this puzzle very much.

    1. Congratulations, Tina, and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I don’t have ADHD, my only excuse is old age, and it was by far my slowest “Quick” crossword ever.
      I used to follow cricket closely, so know that catches taken by fielders close to (and usually behind) the batter occur at least five times more often than those in the outfield. With that possible exception, the puzzle was scrupulously fair, nothing I’d NHO, many clever and humorous clues, and all completely parsed. FOI HANDIWORK, LOI HOOPLA.
      COD? – virtually every clue was a joy, but there were too many and the whole puzzle took far too long for me to say I enjoyed it.!

      1. Thank you Ozned! I think that’s why I liked this puzzle, none of the words were beyond my vocabulary or knowledge. I guess I had to wrack my brain for Indus.

        But yeah it took up my entire lunch break 🙁

    2. Tina, no need to be sorry- your posts are always informative, and even better , entertaining!

    3. I was also convinced “Fey” referred to Tina and that the entire clue must be subtle = “A HINT” with the H coming from humour — even though of course then the number would have been (1,4) and not (5).

  4. Miles off the pace for a big DNF. I had ILLUSTRATIVE so that knocked out NAMEPLATE. Also missed HOOPLA (COD) and INDUSTRY. I’ve never really liked “flower=river” as a device. “TRY=TAX” was tough as well, one of those when the tertiary meaning of one word is matched with the secondary meaning of the other, and even then, only in the participle form.

    But good puzzle, I was beaten fair and square.

  5. A puzzler indeed. ROOT (Ran Out Of Time) at 40 mins with
    HOOPLA unsolved. I played around Rio/Lima and wondered about Pooh but didn’t think enough. Thanks Roly and Wurm.

  6. 21 minutes and three BIFD: DECATHLON, OUTFIELD and HOOPLA.
    LOI: The BIFD HOOPLA. Great clue now I have had time to reflect.
    Lots of fine clues but favourites INDUSTRY as I have got used to ‘flower’ as a river and IRON Y.

  7. DNF as beaten by three and probably should have got ILLUSTRATION which probably would have given IRONY but hey, if my auntie had testicles and all that…and I still wouldn’t have got HOOPLA.

    Couple of clues there worthy of the biggie methinks, but a great puzzle. ‘Chapeau’ to Wurm and thanks to Roly.

  8. Seeing it was Wurm I settled in for an entertaining but challenging puzzle and wasn’t disappointed. Starting with OWL it was slow going at first but gained momentum as I tuned in. I kept returning to 6d in the hope that it would open up the west but it ended up being my POI. Lots of excellent clues including NAMEPLATE and LOI IRONY but my COD was HOOPLA.
    Crossed the line in 12.33 which I was pleased with despite being over target.
    Thanks to Roly and Wurm

  9. Both this QC and the 15 x 15 were excellent today so I am a happy solver. Thanks all.

  10. I found this one way too difficult. I got about halfway before giving up, mainly because I was resorting to aids so much I may as well have been looking up the answers.

  11. As I was solving this and finding it clever (and hard), I thought “I wonder if this is Wurm? We haven’t seen him for ages”. And lo, it came to pass.

    I was another wanting and failing to crack 6dn early on, but I got the two other long ones quickly and that helped.

    Terrific, witty puzzle.

    FOI HANDIWORK, LOI OUTFIELD, COD IRONY & HOOPLA, time 11:51 for an estimated 1.5K and a Good Day.

    Many thanks Wurm and roly (excellent blog).


  12. I was on the US ‘Irony Bypass’ by 16:00 on a bearing for LA!

    FOI 14dn OBSCURE
    LOI 6ac IRONY
    COD 7dn OUTFIELD all the catches in Baseball are taken in the outfield.
    WOD 15dn HOOPLA

    1. Well, lots of catches are made in the infield too- viz. the arcane Infield Fly Rule!

  13. A quick start. It turned out to be a tough but interesting (Q)C. Wurm took me a few mins into the SCC.
    Lots of intricate, challenging clues – I need to go through Roly’s blog in detail now.
    I am torn between INDUSTRY, HYDRANT, HOOPLA, and IRONY for COD. The cricketing side of OUTFIELD was OK but the tenuous connection between the deep, the sea, and the outfield was a bit too far out.
    Thanks both. It has been a difficult week for me; I wonder what Friday will bring? John M.

  14. DNF. I gave up around the 15 minutes mark. I couldn’t make sense of ILLUSTRATION, IRONY and OUTFIELD.

  15. One minute over target at 16 minutes for this cracker – one of the most satisfying QCs for a while. I also can’t pick between IRONY and HOOPLA for COD. HANDIWORK FOI, with lots to enjoy – thanks Wurm and Roly.

  16. Too hard for a QC. DNF with 4 outstanding, including HOOPLA as others found difficult.

    1. Agree totally. The most difficult QC in a very long time. What is the point? OK, perhaps, for the 3 minute old hands solvers but likely to put off the average person from future offerings. If this was intended as bridge to the 15×15, for me it was bridge too far.

  17. I really enjoyed this one even though I was way over target at 15.35. Not one for the beginners I suspect. Excellent clue at 15dn where RIO had to be involved didn’t it? Took me a while to parse IRONY but again good clue. LOI was 7dn where my mind was transfixed on ocean beds as the setter intended. Nice one Wurm. 👍

        1. Quite. And The Concise is a different sort of puzzle altogether so has little bearing on cryptic solving. I never attempt them these days because I get no enjoyment from them, but in the past even as an experienced cryptic solver I have been unable to complete them on many occasions. If you don’t know an answer you don’t know it and there is nowhere to go other than cheating.

          1. I attempt the three crosswords every day starting with The Concise. I appreciate what you say Jack, and I used to be discouraged because many clues were so far removed from the bounds of reasonable general knowledge as to be ungettable.
            In recent times however the setter seems to be accepting the fact that solvers seem to appreciate something they have a chance of finishing.
            Maybe revisit it?

            1. Many thanks for your reply, Andrew, and I wasn’t intending to dismiss the Concise, as I know it’s a type of puzzle that many enjoy and some find useful as a practice ground if they also have an interest in solving cryptic puzzles — very useful for practising synonyms used as straight definitions in cryptics. If anything I was trying to lay to rest the idea put forward above that the Concise is for beginners and by implication easy. It’s a whole separate thing. Regards.

              1. Jack, Reading through today’s comments ‘the beginners’ got little or no enjoyment nor much satisfaction from this QC. It was indeed hard but with a brilliant COD.
                So if what you maintain about ‘The Concise’ is correct, then there is little to encourage novices in The Times portfolio.
                I sincerely wish that perhaps the Monday QC was bit on the easier side for us all! Meldrew

                1. Meldrew

                  I agree; it was undoubtedly at the tougher end of the scale. I found it chewy, and wondered myself whether a few of the clues might have been more at home in the 15×15. But I think what the comments also show is that we have a larger than usual number of newer posters, perhaps encouraged to do so by the brilliant new website. The ratio between “learners” and “old hands” is always in flux, not least as people migrate from one to the other, and right now we seem to be blessed by a burgeoning number of people who have only recently started doing the puzzle (or at least, only recently started commenting here).


                  1. I do the concise every day, but have recently taken to getting my daughter to do them with my help while she’s home from Uni. Not only is it good for expanding your vocabulary, but (apart from the Sunday concise, which is often a pangram) Mondays to Saturdays (all set by John Grimshaw, by the way) always contain a theme or Nina and Sarah gets a lot of fun once we’ve completed the grid in trying to find it (as do I). In fact that’s the main reason for me to keep doing it.

          2. My thoughts exactly. Even my brain feels unstretched with the Concise. Very boring – which I can never say for the Quick Cryptics.

            1. But do you try and find the daily theme/Nina? That’s the fun bit of the concise for me. If you can’t find it (as I sometimes can’t), you can always look in the discussion of the crossword in the clubh forum, where somebody has usually worked it out and left a message.

  18. I kept thinking -this is hard for a QC; and did so for 17 minutes as I entered LOI HOOPLA, thinking this is hard for a QC.
    An excellent puzzle though which our blogger accurately described.
    I confess I had not parsed HOOPLA when solving but COD to that anyway.

  19. A good crossword, if a bit tricky in places. Very pleased to only be a few seconds over target.

    ILLUSTRATION last in, needed all those checkers!

    HOOPLA was the stand out clue amongst several good ones.


  20. Struggled with the LHS after completing the right half fairly quickly.
    DNF having failed to get 15D. I could not get RIO out of my head – even though the checkers told me it didn’t fit.
    Guessed (correctly) at 6A, 7D and 22A. 6A was obvious after I read Roly’s explanation but I thought 7D and 22A a bit obscure for a QC.
    Sorry Wurm, I did not enjoy the outing very much but that was purely down to my failure to think on the right wavelength.
    Oh well… always another day.
    Thanks both.

  21. Devilishy hard is correct! Wurm isn’t my ‘best setter’ because I find his puzzles so hard, but I did like that clue a lot. Once I realised what was going on, I put a tick next to HOOPLA too.
    It took me several clues before I got started, and this puzzle nearly shoved me into the SCC for the first time in ages. I never did fully parse IRONY, DECATHLON or OUTFIELD. Actually, despite my comment above, I did mostly enjoy this in a slightly masochistic way – the PDMs were almost worth it 😅
    FOI suitably enough, it was INTRO LOI Outfield COD Top dog
    Thanks Wurm and Roly

  22. I’m interested in Rolytoly’s parsing of POM. I always understood it was short for Prisoners Of Mother (England). After the independence of USA, some British convicts were transported to Australia (though usually only for minor crimes – see link below). At one time it was frequently joked that all Aussies were descended from prisoners (though in fact more were descended from settlers or simply immigrants); to return the insult, the Aussies invented POM for Englishman.
    I thougth this clue a little unfair, as the insult is rarely if ever used other than by Aussies.


  23. Torn between thinking this was “hard but fair” and “several clues were beyond a QC”. I did finish, but in a slow 15 minutes,so I suspect my verdict is “hard for a QC but fair” – not least because I do finally understand all the parsing. But quite a workout.

    Just one minor query, over “next” = “later” in 9A. In an otherwise very precise puzzle that one seemed a little loose to me. But I’m sure someone will come up with a phrase where they are interchangeable.

    Many thanks to Roly for the blog

    1. I think it’s indisputable that ‘next’ is ‘later’ but ‘later’ is not necessarily ‘next’ so there may be a problem with their being interchangeable. The way the clue is set works for me but I can understand your misgivings – unless someone else can find a substitution that works .

      1. I must admit that “next = later” put my eyebrow into the ascendent, but nothing else did.

    2. LATER seemed ok at the time of blogging, but I see what you mean when you put it in the context of an otherwise very precise puzzle – Collins does give one definition as SUBSEQUENTLY which certainly could be NEXT, if not necessarily so, and I’m also struggling to think of a sentence where the two would be used to mean the same thing.

  24. Almost 20 mins. Liked hoopla and irony.
    Didn’t parse decathlon, dnk croup, and LOI outfield.

  25. dnf…with only half the grid completed.

    A total failure today – some I can accept, others me just being a bit dim. 11dn “Industry” for example was staring me in the face, but I was trying to put in Indo, India and everything else apart from the obvious. Minutes were wasted trying to fit “Honolulu” into 19ac even though it didn’t have the right number of letters. I had a feeling 7dn was something to do with cricket but thought it was something “end” (I actually thought “Outer End” which wasn’t a million miles away from the right track). 6ac and 6dn just totally passed me by.

    A clever puzzle, but one to forget for me.

    FOI – 4dn “Owl”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 8ac “Decathlon” – nice word play, but also because you can’t help but think of Daley Thompson.

    Thank as usual!

    1. Imagine whistling the national anthem and wearing a t-shirt saying “Is the world’s 2nd greatest athlete gay?” in this day and age!! No wonder the BBC don’t give him much work beyond a quick appearance.

      The ZX Spectrum game was top-notch though

      1. I didn’t know Daley Thompson did that. Now I would love to see Tom Daley wear that same shirt. (and have the masses try to work out who he thought was number one)

  26. I didn’t enjoy this and I didn’t finish. Much too hard for a QC so I feel cheated of my lunchtime fun

  27. The grid of nightmares! It’s come up at least twice before and I’ve been unable to get 6D on those occasions (veggie-burger and skateboarder). I was determined to get this one done and break the duck. A pre-lunch 52-mins had most of the right side done but still no sign of 6D.

    Postlunch came back and wondered how I’d failed to see DECATHLON despite trying all the variations of biathlon, triathlon, pentathlon, heptathlon, septathlon while trying to ignore ultrathon and marathon. Only sorted it out when HYDRA=monster popped into my head.

    Took a long time to realise I’d gone the wrong way in the OUTFIELD with OCEANBED. First read had led me to think it was a cricket surface – doh. Took that out and was finally able to get TWENTY which should have been obvious but not when there’s a –B-TY in the middle of it.

    Had “after” for a while instead of LATER and alphabet trawled to IRONY and was left pondering misconceptions, quiches and pies. Eventually ILLUSTRATION popped in there for a total time of 1hr57.

    Couldn’t parse DECATHLON, IRONY or ILLUSTRATION. The latter moreso because it was my LOI. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that was tough …. but gives me 13 solves from 22 QCs in June.

    1. Wow I’ve never paid attention to the structure of the grid.

      Hi five for slogging it out!

      1. Many thanks for responding. I have come across ‘tight’ but not ‘near’ …

    1. When I was a young Dolph Lundgren lookalike, I often used to have my hair cut to a flat top and grade 1 or 2.

      On one of these occasions, our beautiful Irish secretary gasped and said “it’s a bit toight” to which I had to ask what she meant. “You know, it’s a bit close” she said. Still blank stare from me until she said “very short”. So while she never quite said tight=near, she did say tight=close.

      I’m not quite sure that’s good enough for QC parsing but the memory of her comment has always stayed.

      1. By the sounds of it there were no complaints about the muscles rippling beneath your miserly shirt!

  28. Pretty well all completed in pencil with only a few certainties in ink. However all correct. Happily, I went straight to cricket for 7d, mythology for 1d, and Olympics for 8a and my other hopefuls all turned out ok. Struggled with 10a anatomise. Helpful blog has given insights to some of the subtleties in the clues.

  29. Right hand side went in fairly quickly then ground to a halt with an almost completely blank left hand side. Other demands on my time during the day led to several revisits and an eventual completion and a grudging appreciation for the skills of the setter. COD has to be 15D where I was completely misled into looking for a South American city, rather than a reversed bear and an American city. 6A went in from the checkers and it needed the blog to fully explain the subtleties of the clue. Congratulations to Wurm for this one.

  30. This certainly wasn’t one of the easier QC’s, but nevertheless I’m surprised to find myself 12th on the leaderboard 19 hours into the day ! INDUSTRY is a real chestnut, and I’ve commented on the slightly dodgy LATER earlier in the blog.

    IRONY was clever, but was pipped for the COD nomination.

    TIME 4:28

  31. That was flippin’ hard! Got there in the end but with limited parsing. Thank goodness for the blog! Enjoyable after a fashion but I wouldn’t want this every day. Some brilliant clues, particularly 15dn which was my LOI.

    Well played Wurm.

  32. Impossible. Had done about 6 clues and gave up after about an hour. Usually I get to finish, but slowly. Today was way too convoluted for a QC.

    1. Don’t blame you Dave. Some real headscratchers in there once you got beyond the findable OWL and INTRO. Even the HANDIWORK and ANATOMISE anags were tough. What most surprised me was AUDACIOS unravelled in seconds for me and IMPROMPTU jumped off the page with only —-O—U before I’d even read the clue.

  33. Late today as I drove home from Oxford and have just got around to it. I was held up at the end by OUTFIELD and missed my target. 11:58. Thanks Wurm and Roly. Not sure whether to start the 15×15 or just go and watch some mind numbing TV!

  34. I’m still a beginner at cryptics and have never finished even a Quick Cryptic — so I was delighted when I got the northeast corner pretty much immediately and in the end only had to reveal a couple answers. I didn’t expect to see so many commenters saying it felt hard when the clues seemed more straightforward to me than usual! Perhaps my brain and Wurm’s work much the same way, haha.

    As a filthy America I had to look up POM (unfamiliar slang to me) and HOOPLA (here we’d call it Ring Toss, I think). I twigged that “Asian flower” probably meant a river but I confess I did have to look up a list of rivers to help out after that. The only one I know off the top of my head is the Ganges! Geography was never my subject.

    I also spent way too long thinking the em-dash in OUTFIELD’s clue must be part of the answer somehow (HYPHEN? MINUS?)

    I’m sure tomorrow I’ll be back to my “entire grid DNF” ways but today was a treat!

    1. I’m new to crosswords too but I’m pretty sure that all punctuation can be happily disregarded! It’s there to confuse not disambiguate.

      So happy to see other newbies 😀

  35. A bit late commenting as I went out yesterday, so it wont be seen by those who may be encouraged… I got stuck for ages on ILLUSTRATION and IRONY and ended up taking 12:40, well over twice my average time and my slowest since I got similarly stuck on a Joker QC in March. Yes I agree this was rather hard and IRON-Y, although fun, is maybe a bit of a stretch for a QC.

    1. Dear Mr Interred,
      I am also a day late, as I have only just tackled this offering from Wurm. Given that you rarely take beyond 10 minutes, your 12+ today gives me real hope. I struggled, but still managed to finish (unaided) in 47 minutes.
      N.B. I loved HOOPLA.
      Mr Random

  36. Practically a miniature 15×15, and I was over target at 5:58 – which didn’t matter as I entered ‘hyenae’ and failed to check Don’s usual scrupulous parsings ! Obviously, I missed the nina as usual, so congrats to Don on what I suspect is yet another milestone !

    Anybody tackling my Weekend Special should note that I can’t comment on John’s blog for some reason. I’m happy to resolve queries, or discuss matters generally, by email at :


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