Times Quick Cryptic No 2329 by Wurm

A somewhat wriggly one from Wurm today. A knowledge of Roman commanders, Kipling, ministerial roles and a less common synonym of engraver is helpful. I was a bit slow starting with 11A my FOI and finished in 6:08 with a PDM for my LOI 3D. I liked that and 13A, my COD the most. I began to wonder if we had a bit of a theme with the number of nincompoop references (1D, 4D, 12A and 13A), but maybe I’m just imagining we are being teased. Thank-you Wurm! How did you all get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Sawbill’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find his latest crossword here. Enjoy! If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to all 70 here.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, {deletions} and [] other indicators.

1 Live life outrageously — that shows confidence (6)
BELIEFBE (live) (life)* [dangerously] [outrageously]. Oops. I appear to have subconsciously edited this clue. Thanks Kevin for pointing it out, but I think I prefer my version.
4 This corrupts data month after rot reprocessed (6)
TROJAN – (rot)* [reprocessed] JAN (month).
8 Roman commander one holding tight, we hear? (7)
AGRIPPA – Sounds like, [we hear] A GRIPPER (one holding tight). Agrippa “was chiefly responsible for the victory over Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 bc, and during Augustus’ reign he suppressed rebellions, founded colonies, and administered various parts of the Roman Empire.
10 Prosper having kept shilling in chest (5)
BOSOMBOOM (prosper) with S (shilling) inside. Yes. A different sort of chest.
11 One among back copies reveals tone (5)
SEPIAI (one) in APES (copies) [back] -> SEPA.
12 Idiot catches nose removing old attire (7)
TWINSETTWIT (idiot) outside N{o}SE [removing O, old].
13 One not bright or amusing when drunk (9)
IGNORAMUS – (or amusing)* [drunk]. Great surface!
17 Infant, tiny, unclothed? That’s appalling! (7)
ABYSMAL – {b}ABY (infant) SMAL{l} (tiny) without the outside letters, [unclothed]. Tricky!
19 Ring through snout is topping device (5)
NOOSEO (circular letter; ring) inside, [through], NOSE (snout). Sneaky definition!
20 Extra time open to view (5)
OVERTOVER (extra) T (time).
21 Grid now adjusted for syntax (7)
WORDING – (Grid now)* [adjusted].
22 Welcome S African stringed instrument (6)
SALUTES A (South African) LUTE (stringed instrument).
23 Additional drink for engraver (6)
CHASER – Double definition.
1 We hear donkey calls for cook slowly (6)
BRAISE – Sounds like, [we hear], BRAYS (donkey calls).
2 Lovers rapidly confused cabinet minister (4,5,4)
LORD PRIVY SEAL – (Lovers rapidly)* [confused].  The Lord Privy Seal is responsible for the organisation of government business in the House, providing assistance to all Lords and offering advice on procedure. The Lord Privy Seal also expresses the collective feelings of the House on formal occasions, such as motions of thanks or congratulations. The current role holder is The Rt Hon Lord True CBE.
3 Say why more attractive new partner was sought? (7)
EXPLAIN – Jocular cryptic definition, the reason for the search being EX PLAIN. Ho ho!
5 Synagogue teacher‘s endless talk (5)
RABBIRABBI{t} (talk) [endless].
6 Children’s book with fair distress call given to Conservatives (4,2,7)
JUST SO STORIESJUST (fair) SOS (distress call) TORIES (Conservatives). This book, published by Rudyard Kipling in 1902. “Do you like Kipling? I don’t know, I’ve never kipled”.
7 Politician stops fanatic, unknown idiot (6)
NUMPTYMP (politician) inside, [stops], NUT (fanatic), Y (unknown in a mathematical equation, perhaps).
9 Fading light aloft grew, somehow (9)
AFTERGLOW – (aloft grew)* [somehow].
14 Charles perhaps against appearing in demo (7)
MONARCHON (against, as in leaning on) in MARCH (demo).
15 Fat-reduced sumo wrestling celebrated (6)
FAMOUSFA{t} [reduced], (sumo)* [wrestling].
16 Mendicant wants something fried or boiled in pub (6)
BEGGAREGG (something fried or boiled) in BAR (pub).
18 Ultimate in excitement in bubbly composition (5)
MOTET – Last letter, [ultimate], in excitemenT [in] MOËT (bubbly)


81 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2329 by Wurm”

  1. I’m not sure why this took me so long. I biffed the two long downs, trusting that the anagrist was all there. John, at 1ac you’ve got [dangerously] where you want [outrageously]. 8:33.

  2. 16:02. Only vaguely knew NUMPTY and Moet and didn’t know this meaning of TROJAN. ABYSMAL took the most time but was COD once I could see it.

  3. 12:26. 1226, King Louis VIII leads a Crusade against the Cathars , which is covered on today’s “And the rest is History” podcast. Highly recommended.

    Like King Louis, I also had trouble in the Southwest, until ABYSMAL opened it up.

    I knew AGRIPPA from I, Claudius (what a great show that was). TROJAN is computer malware that misleads users of its true intent. It, of course, comes from the Ancient Greek story of the deceptive Trojan Horse.

    At 7d I thought NUTJOB might work.

    DNK chaser= ENGRAVER. They are not quite the same: an engraver actually removes material. In “chasing”, hence “chaser”, material is pushed and moulded, but no material is removed.

    COD EXPLAIN. I like this type of clue.

    1. Agree with you re The Rest is History podcast. Only recently discovered it and loving the range of historical subjects they cover.

  4. At the tougher end but of a very high quality. ABYSMAL was great but COD to the smooth IGNORAMUS.

    I don’t think my Weekend QC is as hard. Let me know.

  5. Probably half asleep in the middle of the night it took me nearly 8 minute to get to two answers. After that it was steady but a bit of a grind to finish the rest in just over my 30 min cut off. Didn’t know CHASER. COD ABYSMAL which was tricky and EXPLAIN which made me smile. Agree with Merlin about the wonderful Rest is History Podcast and I Claudius with the remarkable Derek Jacobi in the tttitle rrole.

  6. I was surprised to find the clock on exactly 10 minutes when I completed this as I had a few problems finishing it off. I was particularly pleased because it means I have achieved my target every day this week, giving me a clean sweep. Last week I managed only one completion within time.

    The two intersecting answers that resisted my attentions and required several revisits along the way were BOSOM and NUMPTY.

    1. Jack, is there any convention on brand names in The Times? I was a bit surprised to see Moët being used but don’t know the “rules” on this.

  7. 8’54” which pleased me because so few flew in. A thoroughly good and fair test with only MOTET a NHO for me.

    ‘Mendicant’ is a word I have never seen or heard used outside of crosswords, and I still forget it’s meaning when I first see it in a clue, but with EGG in the middle what else could it be – so oddly a clue that didn’t hold me back.

    I’m glad the use of NUMPTY has become more common – I like the word. I am often one myself.

  8. High quality puzzle from Wurm with enough chewiness to get the grey matter turning this morning. Started with TROJAN and made decent progress at the top with NUMPTY getting my vote for WOD, although I struggled with the book despite the helpful ‘j’ at the start.
    Didn’t know the second meaning of CHASER so it went in with a shrug and finished with MOTET in 8.49. Couldn’t fully parse ABYSMAL – I don’t remember seeing the device before where unclothed (or similar) covers two words.
    Thanks to John

  9. Not on Wurm’s wavelength today as a number of clues biffed and the parsing had me then scratching my head. On = against seemed a stretch, and I don’t really see it even after John’s blog, and Wording also a word I put in without really seeing how it means syntax. And Abysmal never parsed at all, not even close: the idea of taking the outside letters off a whole phrase is not one I’ve met before.

    Quite a surprise therefore to finish in 11 minutes, as it seemed longer (and at one stage threatened to be much longer). But not a puzzle I really engaged with or enjoyed. On the other hand any puzzle which contains the word Numpty cannot be all bad!

    Many thanks John for the blog. I did wonder how many of our non-British colleagues would have heard of the Lord Privy Seal (or even how many UK-based ones would know what he or she does), so explanation much appreciated! I look forward to the Saturday Special from Sawbill.


    1. “I’m leaning on/against a lamp post at the corner of the street
      In case a certain little lady comes by”

        1. Thank you both. I’d still maintain they are not what I’d call natural synonyms, being perhaps more like some (in fact as far as I can see most!) of the words used in Scrabble tournaments, which are legal without being seen much in common speech. But your examples do indeed work, and Mrs S took one look and saw the connection straight away, so Wurm is in the clear.


      1. I think I used exactly that example in one of my recent blogs – maybe last week or the week before. I’ve no idea what a natural synonym is. Either words can be substituted in a particular context or they can’t .

  10. A very good puzzle but very chewy in my view. I will change the tone from the majority of the earlier posts – much hand-wringing over good (many sub-10 min!) times – and admit to being quite relieved to have avoided the SCC by a minute or so. I had interruptions but I can’t really blame them -I was pretty off-balance at times.
    Like Kevin, the two long downs went in quite quickly for me (as did the long-ish 9d) and these were a big help. I parsed as I went along but spent too long on SEPIA and couldn’t see my LOI MOTET until I had all the crossers (and I used to sing them).
    I think IGNORAMUS has to be my COD and it probably sums me up at times. I was tempted to add ABYSMAL but it was perhaps a bit too ‘clever’ for a QC.
    Thanks to Wurm for a challenge and to John for a good blog which I will now return to and explore in detail. John M.

  11. Solved in a few seconds shy of 53mins. From 30 mins onwards stuck with the five in the SW with OVERT coming to me at 39-mins and I was on the verge of giving up at 50-mins when it suddenly occurred what “sumo wrestling” might want doing with it. From there I was able to get SALUTE, bifd ABYSMAL and NHO MOTET. (Also NHO AGRIPPA, mendicant, chaser=engraver)

    What a trial 🥵 The setter definitely inhabits a different world to me – probably thirty years older and Oxbridge.

    I’d suggest the editor needs to ponder whether the QC is a puzzle for people who can already do a 15×15 but don’t have much time, or whether it is here to encourage newbies into the world of cryptics. My gut feel is most who do the 15×15 also do the QC thereby making it more beneficial to the latter. In which case, I doubt today fits the bill.

    Have a good weekend everybody 👍

    1. Well done for sticking at it for a successful completion.
      I quite enjoyed today in a perverse sort of way but I agree with your points about who the QC is aimed at. I think the crossword editor usually manages to tread a careful line between your two ‘types’ and succeeds in satisfying both camps most of the time. I suppose it is inevitable that the occasional puzzle will lead to a tightrope ‘wobble’.
      It is good that there are two cryptics available in the Times but this was a chance for the experts to polish their skills in a short-ish time rather than an encouragement for newer and less-practised entrants to enjoy the world of the cryptic crossword. I’m sure a few of our newer contributors will have found it very tough. I am saddened to see that some have fallen by the wayside recently. John.

      1. Dear Blighter,
        I’m not falling by the wayside, despite being well and truly dumped back in the SCC today. As they say, ‘nothing worth doing was ever easy’ (or something like that) … or was it ‘When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping’?

        1. Ups and downs are normal, I find. Of course, that refers to setters just as much as solvers (as we have seen today). You will recover.
          What bothers me more is the fact that my own average times have steadily increased in recent years. I used to be below 10 mins quite frequently and my target (which I don’t reach often enough these days) is now higher at 15 mins.
          I cannot work out whether it is age-related deterioration or whether QCs are getting harder on average.
          Keep bu****ing on (as Churchill used to say). 😉

      2. We have used the QC to get into cryptics as a retirement new venture. It’s worked very well for us with enormous help from Tim Moorey “The Times – How to crack cryptic crosswords” who pointed us to this blog. Thoroughly enjoying them ever since.

    2. Probably older, yes, but we’re definitely not Oxbridge. We’ve just picked up general knowledge for the last almost 80 years. Never got anywhere near the SCC .. always in the VSCC area.

  12. That was satisfyingly stretching and very enjoyable, packed with clever and quirky clues. When I cracked ABYSMAL I thought “never seen that before, I wonder who the setter is?” – glanced up and saw that of course it was Wurm. He is an ingenious fellow. Read all about him here https://www.theguardian.com/crosswords/crossword-blog/2021/mar/01/crossword-blog-meet-the-setter-tees

    FOI BELIEF, LOI (by some distance, since I had it the wrong way round and was looking for an S in a “chest” meaning “prosper”, not the other way round) BOSOM, COD EXPLAIN which brought a proper chuckle at the PDM, all green in 09:24 for 1.1K and a Very Good Day.

    Many thanks Wurm and John.


    1. Yes I also read the clue for Bosom the “wrong” way round at first. One of those where the setter is either being delightfully devious or downright deceitful, depending on one’s mood – if I’m enjoying a puzzle this sort of misdirection is all part of the game, if I’m not it is “poor and loose”!


    2. Once I’d got past the fact it wasn’t the guy adjusting the Neo costume, I thought he looks a little like Garth from Wayne’s World.

  13. I think I must have been on form today finishing in 7.39, nearly a minute in ahead of Kevin, and that doesn’t happen very often! The only one that held me up briefly was my LOI 7dn NUMPTY. My COD goes to 3dn or perhaps 12ac TWINSET, as it brought back happy memories of my long departed mum who seemed to be always attired thus.

  14. 8:12. For once nothing which had me staring at the grid blankly for too long, although OVERT wasn’t immediately ‘open to view’. Along with several other commenters, IGNORAMUS and EXPLAIN were my favourites.

    Thanks to Wurm (nice to know your true identity) and John

  15. Absolutely agree with L Plates. Toughest for some considerable time. I usually come home in the 15-20 mins, but today was a touch over 30.

  16. 12 minutes for this puzzle, which contains a pleasing mix of GK and slightly off-beat vocab. 5d is a bit of a chestnut, but there is plenty of originality elsewhere in the grid. Thanks to John and Wurm.

  17. I felt I was on the wavelength today for quite a tough puzzle and needed 11 minutes, finishing slowly with OVERT and LOI MOTET.
    Motet was derived from the wordplay; I thought of Moet then inserted the T to find a word that looked vaguely familiar.
    Some good clues; FAMOUS made me smile at the image in the clue.

  18. 14.53 (fall of Constantinople). Held up by the SW corner. I was convinced that “extra” in 20a was cricket-related, but could not get wide, no-ball or leg-bye to fit. Only when scraping the barrel for other methods of scoring such as “overthrows” did the penny finally drop that over=extra in a non-cricket contest.

  19. Crikey, what a puzzle. I had most of it finished in just over 10 mins, and then spent nearly as long again sorting out the SW corner, which had remained stubbornly empty apart from the tail of Lord Privy Seal. I began to think a different setter must have finished off an incomplete Wurm, such was the contrast with the rest of the grid. Eventually even I realised that 15d wasn’t gibberish, but in fact a cunning anagram instruction. Famous then prompted a cascade (ok, dribble) of answers, with Salute, Overt, Abysmal (another sneaky one) and Motet falling in that order for a skin of the teeth sub-20. CoD to 15d, Famous, for being impossible until it wasn’t. Invariant

  20. All green in 21:12. Slightly disappointed to be in the SCC as I seemed to be making good progress with no major stumbling blocks. FOI BELIEF followed swiftly by BRAISE. I’m often surprised how I seem to know words others don’t, and vice versa. MOTET very familiar – I’ve sung them all my life. Slight MER at wording, like others. Some great surfaces today, particularly IGNORAMUS, and I loved ABYSMAL (parsed as I did it, surprisingly – liked the idea of “unclothing” two words), and EXPLAIN. On reflection, maybe that’s why I made the SCC – too long spent laughing at EXPLAIN! Thanks, Wurm and John.

  21. In my opinion this was not worthy to be called a QC. Far too difficult.

    I have to agree with L-Plates. The editor needs to decide whether the QC is a puzzle for 15×15 solvers who do not have time to tackle their crossword, or if it really is one that should encourage new people to the world of cryptic crosswords.

    1. It’s stated policy that “The Quick Cryptic aims to introduce a new audience to cryptic crosswords and offer a step to solving the main puzzle” (Richard Rogan, Times Crossword Editor on QC launch day, March 2014). However in order to do this, and to maintain interest of solvers, it would be pointless to set every puzzle, or even the majority, at new intake level. There has to be progression. That means some puzzles will be easier than others, but over a period of time the intention is surely to even things out.

  22. Steady solve in two parts with a couple of interruptions in the middle. Time around 18 minutes all parsed. This is not a particularly slow time for me, so I obviously found it easier than some (that old wavelength thing again). Like others I had a MER at wording for syntax but otherwise no great problems.

    FOI – 1ac BELIEF
    LOI – 10ac BOSOM
    COD – 3dn EXPLAIN. Also liked 11ac SEPIA

    Thanks to Wurm and John

  23. 7:35

    735AD – Death of The Venerable Bede

    No major hold-ups though my solving did seem to favour the LHS initially, with the RHS going in less smoothly.

    Thanks Wurm and John

  24. Started with BRAISE and BELIEF. Pondered on AGRICOLA but he didn’t fit, then as I was smiling at 3d, the P brought the correct Roman to mind. LORD PRIVY SEAL and JUST SO STORIES were write ins and helped a lot with crossers. The SW held out for a while, with SALUTE and OVERT being the key to FAMOUS, then I biffed ABYSMAL, parsing it after submission. MOTET was LOI. 7:44. Thanks Wurm and John.

  25. I got really stuck in the SW corner and was about to throw in the towel when I solved OVERT quickly followed by MOTET (MER at Moet), SALUTE and LOI FAMOUS. 13:04

  26. V good puzzle, which spoiled my run of target or under solves for the week, and I seem to be a little off the pace compared to others who normally post similar times to me.

    LOI was TWINSET, straightforward enough construction once I saw it, but a TWINSET is not something that has ever been worn by any of the women in my life, even though I have heard of it!

    So many good clues; EXPLAIN, FAMOUS, ABYSMAL, but I think IGNORAMUS just gets the nod.


  27. 5:02 this morning, a welcome personal improvement on yesterday’s performance. Some original and tidy clueing from our teutonic nematode setter and no MERs from me.
    Particularly liked “Twinset”, “Ignoramus” and “Famous”
    Thanks to Wurm and to John for his entertaining blog, particulary the elucidation regarding the role of “Lord Privy Seal”. I had always vaguely assumed he was responsible for securing the House of Commons loos at close of business…..or maybe not.

  28. Phew! Got hardly anything at first glance at the across clues. Saw BRAISE at 1a which started me off on the NW corner and answers began to come until a final struggle with the SW corner. Exhausting but fun!

  29. Only three on the first pass of acrosses and all of those in the bottom half, so pretty pleased to have finished all green a shade under 16. Downs went a bit better and I ended up with work to do in the SW and NE. MOTET was new to me so I was relieved to see ‘Moet’ on my second time round the alphabet – I had begun to doubt OVERT. Ended up with NUMPTY and BOSOM. Both had me in a fair bit of trouble

  30. Dnf…a bit of a shambles on this one, which I thought was pretty tough. I got to 30 mins (my usual cut off point) and had to come to the blog, where upon I realised I had totally messed up the SE corner.

    I DNK 23ac “Chaser” was an engraver, and put in “Etcher” – the logic being “etc” = additional and “her” some medieval drink I’d never heard of. As a result, 6dn became “Just So Snobish”, which at first glance was a little derogatory to the Tories, but kind of made sense at the time. But then, the whole thing began to unravel.

    A poor end to the week.

    FOI – 1ac “Belief”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 13ac “Ignoramus” – mainly because I was today.

    Thanks as usual!

  31. My best ever run of SCC escapes (two) came to an abrupt halt today. Maybe the rarefied atmosphere just got to me, as I limped along fearing a likely DNF. Fortunately, however, Wurm’s various obstacles were cleared one by one and I reached the finishing line (all fully parsed) in 39 minutes.

    I started with BELIEF and ended with FAMOUS and OVERT. Along the way, I enjoyed IGNORAMUS and NUMPTY (self-descriptions, perhaps) and I had NHO ‘mendicant’ or MOTET.

    The air is thicker and the seats are more comfortable here in the SCC, although my excursion over the past two days has left me with a lingering AFTERGLOW to sustain me through the weekend.

    Many thanks to Wurm and John.

  32. With the NW completed in 4 minutes and other clues rapidly falling I thought I was in for a fast finish today but came to a grinding halt at 10a bosom and 7d numpty (despite the latter being a much used insult) and gave up after the allotted hour.
    So a dnf and still only 2/5 this week.
    No complaints though and a happy weekend to Wurm, John and fellow bloggers.

  33. Good brisk work out before what looks on the Snitch to be a challenging 15×15. Only held up by wanting 10 across to mean Prosper and 22 across to mean stringed instrument. COD Abysmal- very clever. Level of difficulty just right for me. Not so easy that you groan, but eminently do-able. Thanks Wurm and johninterred.

  34. Since a few weeks working in Glasgow some 50 years ago, I have always considered that a scotch chased down by a pint of heavy is one drink in two glasses, so had a MER at 23a. Fortunately CHASER for engraver rang a vague bell for some unknown reason, so this didn’t delay much. Also a MER at MOET, which delayed me as I also took a long time to see the parsing of the crossing OVERT. Mercifully I recalled being either delayed or defeated by a brand name in another puzzle recently, so rescued from a DNF. Apart from this, AGRIPPA, NUMPTY and others were within my mediocre GK, so I completed and enjoyed this witty puzzle in below average time. FOI BELIEF, COD FAMOUS, LOI NOOSE. Many thanks Wurm and John.

  35. 11:25. I thought this was good fun, and am more than happy with my time, as Wurm tends to be my bete noire. We were laughing only last night about a song my daughter used to sing at Brownies – ‘There’s a worm at the bottom of my garden, and his name is Wiggly Woo’. Seems appropriate!
    10a BOSOM also reminded me of a song that was popular when I was a child listening to Junior Choice on Saturday mornings – Joyce Grenfell singing ‘Stately as a Galleon’ 😅
    NOOSE made me laugh and flinch at the same time, and I didn’t parse 3d, so thanks for EXPLAINing – my immediate reaction to that, though, was ‘How shallow’!
    FOI Belief LOI Chaser COD Wording
    Thanks Wurm and John

    1. Hi Penny. Logged in when you commented, I see from the avatar, so you should get notification of this… Re EXPLAIN, I agree, but I don’t think our setter is the best at being politically correct. I’ll have to remember to call him Wiggly Woo the next time I get one of his puzzles to blog.

      1. Hi John – yes, I’m double checking my log-in before posting every time, just to make sure 😅 Many thanks for all your help.
        I was being a bit tongue in cheek with my comment – just a bit 😉 TBH I’d say a few setters can be less than PC!
        We were also remembering the words to ‘Nobody likes me… I’m going to eat worms’ – still makes us chuckle.

  36. 21:03. First human colony on Mars. 😀

    I hope there’s still a chair in the SCC. The Roman commander had me questioning whether I actually knew how to spell “Caesar” (“‘one holding tight, we hear?’ Must be ‘seizer’ – hold on, wrong number of letters”). Well played to Wurm on that one. Definitely on the harder end of the spectrum, but enjoyable.


    Thanks to Wurm and John.

  37. 21:38

    A few tricky ones here. Failed to parse CHASER, took ages to work out ABYSMAL and NHO LOI MOTET.

  38. Now this is bizarre. Given the comments above and my limited experience/ability, I would have been expected to occupy one of those comfy seats in the SCC today. Instead I blasted through this in well under 20 mins. It just goes to show that some days – admittedly few and far between – I can hit the setter’s wavelength.

    Inspiration came today from some unlikely sources. I got AGRIPPA courtesy of a vaguely recalled pun in Carry on Cleo. The cabinet minister clue put me in mind of Churchill and a joke he once made about avoiding a meeting as he was sealed in his privy – the answer soon followed. Bubbly put me immediately in mind of MOËT (although I hate the stuff!). I did guess CHASER and semi-guessed TROJAN, so I had a bit of good fortune.

    I found the debate over the difficulty of the QCs interesting and, despite what I did today, I do think that there are some very tough ones.

    With regard to ABYSMAL, I got this from the checkers. I understood ‘unclothed’ as the wordplay, but thought it applied simply to ‘tiny’ and so initially thought I was looking for a word ending ‘in’, preceded by another word for an infant. It would never have occurred to me that I needed to find two new words and then deduct the first letter from one and the last from another.


    I will doubtless be back in more familiar surroundings next week, but I am going to enjoy a rare day out of the SCC.

    Thank you for the blog.

    Have a good weekend everyone!

  39. I have had a good week this week but struggled with the bottom left corner with everyone else today. I was exercised by there not being a hidden word anywhere but knew INCYUNCL 17A really wasn’t a word! Equally HARPSA 22A isn’t either! Surprised that NUMPTY is a real word though; I guess it is in Chambers. Thank you wurm and John.

    1. Oh dear. That’s a shame. But your in good company as several others had difficulties in the SW corner.

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