Times Quick Cryptic No 2409 by Kenny

Today we have a Quick Crossword from the occasional setter Kenny, his second of the year. On the tricky side of average it took me 6:33 finishing with 4D, which was my COD, although I liked 8A and 21D too.

We know Kenny is one of our crossword editor’s pseudonyms and have come to expect a Nina. Can you spot today’s?

I spotted 6 towns or villages in Northern Ireland hidden among the rows – BELCOO, ANTRIM, MAGHERA, ARDS, TOOME and LARNE, but I can’t see what, if anything, is in row 5. And what do they all have in common apart from being in Northern Ireland? Any ideas?


Thank-you Kenny! 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 the crossword (and news of a London get later this month) here. If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to all 78 here.

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

1 Appellation created by President Lincoln in the fifties (5)
LABELABE (President Lincoln) in L L (fifties).
4 Poultry cage Edward brought on board (7)
COOPTEDCOOP (Poultry cage) TED (Edward).
8 Weapons treaty , shaky at best, close to completion (4,3)
TEST BAN – ( at best )* [shaky], [close to] completioN.
9 Puts in order that requires instant mug shot first of all (5)
TRIMS – Initial letters of That Requires Instant Mug Shot, [first of all].
10 Fix a fizzy drink: DA gets a cocktail (4,6)
PINA COLADAPIN (fix) A COLA (fizzy drink) DA
14 Men’s publication from convict — about a Deutschmark (3,3)
LAD MAGLAG (convict) about A DM (Deutschmark)
15 Messenger detained hugging artist (6)
HERALDHELD (detained) about, [hugging], RA (artist).
17 Verbals duo exchanged in the streets of Paris ? (10)
BOULEVARDS – ( verbals duo )* [exchanged].
20 Encountered Oscar repeatedly making movement (2,3)
ME TOOMET (encountered) O O (Oscar in the NATO phonetic alphabet) [repeatedly].
22 Yours truly has a cosy place, most humble (7)
MEANESTME (yours truly) A NEST (cosy place).
23 Our land is ploughed as a small lump appears (7)
NODULAR – ( our land is )* [ploughed].
24 Born, then days and years in poverty (5)
NEEDYNEE (born) D (days) Y (years).
1 Two notes that follow so delayed (4)
LATELA a note to follow SO, TE a drink with jam and bread.
2 Optimal to live above street (4)
BESTBE (live) ST (street). Above as this is a down clue.
3 Oil that’s but a relic, sadly (9)
LUBRICATE – ( but a relic )* [sadly].
4 Racket smashing causes talk (6)
CONFABCON (racket) FAB (fabulous; smashing). Nice surface.
5 Grass where go-carts oddly going missing (3)
OAT – Every other letter of gO-cArTs [oddly going missing].
6 Sailor crossing border on an unusually shaped boa t (8)
TRIMARANTAR (sailor) [crossing] RIM (border), AN.
7 Breaks up gangs descended on by CID officers (8)
DISBANDSDIS (Detective Inspectors; CID officers) BANDS (gangs).
11 In the red pullover draw Nicholas, but not fully (9)
OVERDRAWN – Hidden in pullOVER DRAW Nicholas [not fully]
12 A workshop in the morning with a North American (8)
ALABAMANA LAB (workshop) AM (in the morning) A N (North).
13 Unusual jade stud, fixed as required (8)
ADJUSTED – ( jade stud )* [unusual].
16 A maker of horror films needing someone to overact? (6)
HAMMER – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
18 Hesitation when opening man’s present (4)
HEREER (hesitation) in, [opening], HE (man).
19 Hang around small Scottish river (4)
STAYS (small) TAY (Scottish river).
21 Duck with large hooter (3)
OWLO (0; duck in cricket) W (with) L (large).

110 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2409 by Kenny”

  1. 11:20. I wasn’t familiar with LAD MAG but the clue was clear. I wonder if the definition for NODULAR should be “as a small lump”? I think a small lump would just be a nodule.

      1. Thanks. I don’t know what I was thinking. Probably in too much of a rush as usual. Blog updated.

        1. Should it be just ‘as a small lump’ as the definition and then the solution (nodular) appears?

    1. 0.58 LP … the universe is back to rights 👍

      I’d say LAD MAGs are very 90s, maybe scraping into 2000s. They were a softer version of soft porn mags. Do Generation Z even read offline?!

  2. 4d LOI from wordplay, but conflab is the word I know and had never heard confab. OED confirms both confab/conflab are accepted abbreviations of confabulation (which also NHO). So, just over 15m target time.

    1. I say CONFAB but my wife says CONFLAB. We have agreed to differ as we both think the other is wrong. Wedded bliss, eh?

      1. You can’t have a conflabulation, therefore conflab is one of those persistent misuses that has found its way to acceptability.

        1. Conflab has apparently been around since the 19th century. Since both are abbreviations of a word that would seem to make them both acceptable

          1. I discussed this with Dr Interred and she denies ever saying she uses CONFLAB. I think she must have changed her mind at some point. Or my memory’s going. Or hers is!

            1. We have a saying – I could agree with you, but then we’d both be wrong.

  3. I biffed ROOSTED at 4A which made CONFAB impossible before I gave up. Otherwise not too hard.

  4. 9 minutes for this. I’ve little to offer on what links the towns, but maybe because they are all in the part of the UK that the setter hails from is sufficient in itself. My only other thought is that Kenny and Alconiere (another RR pseudonym) usually have a sporting theme so perhaps these towns are all in a particular league etc. I note the presence of BEST at 2dn which could have a bearing.

  5. Just over 14, held up by COOPTED which revealed itself when I actually read the clue properly. Never heard of a single OAT but I suppose it must be a thing. Also it’s strange to describe a trimaran as an unusually shaped boat, there are millions of them and the hulls are perfectly normal except there are three of them…

  6. A relatively fast solve for me this morning, so avoiding the SCC at 19 minutes.
    All went in smoothly to begin with, but I was ultimately slowed down by HERALD, ME TOO and NODULAR. I especially liked BOULEVARDS, PINA COLADA and LUBRICANT.
    I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

  7. DNF beaten by COOPTED.

    Some tough clues including CONFAB which felt worthy of a biggie.

    Thanks Kenny and John…great spot with the N.I.na

  8. Lovely crossword. I spotted the Nina en route. I cannot see any more connections other than those John found.

    1. 12:33 on your Weekend Cryptic. Struggled to get going up the top but the bottom half all went straight in except LOI 11 👍 Enjoyed it, thank-you.

  9. Never spotted a theme, but enjoyed the appearance of a few lesser spotted pieces of vocabulary. Thanks for the blog John.

    TIME 4:49

  10. Camping today so solved on a phone sitting on a deck chair waiting for others to get up and weighing up whether to walk Bertie first. Taken out to 21 by the NE where COOPTED AND CONFAB held me up a lot. I thought I’d been saying it wrong for years so was buoyed by the reassurances of Iratover and Mrs Interred before Busman made me face the facts. All green in 21.

  11. 19:32 … scraped out of the SCC after a 2-3min panic over CONFAB with CO-OPTED and TRIMARAN preceding that for a further couple of mins due to coop- and trim- beginnings.

    Completed the SW on first pass. Enjoyed LATE and OWL clues and thought Kenny was mostly generous as a QC should be. HERE was my only doubt with opening=insert the word. Biffed HAMMER as misread the clue as over-reacting and unsurprisingly couldn’t make sense of that.

    Back-to-back escapes to start June and it would have been a decent week with two others around 30-mins but Tuesday’s Teazel at 1+hr DNF was the miscreant and the week came in at 2hr35.

    Have a good weekend everybody 👍 Off to run some 200 and 300m efforts before it warms up!

    1. Lucky you if it is due to warm up in your area! It has been cold in the E. Midlands all week and we are promised a max of only 15 degrees today. Summer clothes have been put back in the closet…..

      1. It hasn’t been a great summer, has it?

        Should be about 20C by late afternoon here but there’s been a chilly 12mph wind and grey this morning. Began to brighten as I arrived back on the driveway. We are promised sunny days and 22-23C over the weekend.

        Temporarily filling in for I3T until he’s able to pick back up on the weather reports for BCP (Bmth-Christchurch-Poo) area.

        1. Ahhh! Good old BCP. Are they still as functional as ever? Fortunately I’m still in Dorset – who aren’t much better admittedly.

            1. It eventually got to a balmy 14 degrees on my walk along the River Waveney today, but no sun and a strong northerly wind meant people kept their coats and gloves(!) on until the afternoon.

                1. While we didn’t have a hot Indian summer here last year, it was mild for a long time. The leaves on my copper beech tree and the oaks over the back didn’t drop until December 8th!

        2. What’s this summer talk, L-P? Over here on my side of the Atlantic we still have another three weeks of spring to look forward to-have a great weekend!

        3. Bmth-Christchurch-Poo area. Is that a reference to sewage leaks into the sea, L-plates? ☹️

          1. Fortunately I don’t think we’re too bad on sewage leaks although there was an oil spill in Poole Harbour a couple of months ago which was about 200 barrels worth.

            I actually live in Poole – it’s just the joke name one of my friends gave it!

            1. Thanks, L-Plates. I thought it was a typo and couldn’t resist highlighting it!

        1. Steady progress thanks. I learn something new every day. Keeping a log since January so we’ll see if there is improvement.

  12. Really enjoyed this one but had to work hard to sneak in under target.
    Got off to a good start with LABEL and LATE going straight in but had some struggles later on. I assumed that COOPTED would be hyphenated (Collins has now put me right) so struggled with that despite seeing the constituent parts early on.
    My knowledge of N. Irish geography is sadly lacking so the theme passed me by, although I struggle to spot these things at the best of times.
    Finished in 9.49 with LOI DISBANDED and particularly enjoyed OWL and HAMMER.
    Thanks to John and Kenny, who I’d be happy to see more often

    1. Well you can also see me on every fifth Cryptic Jumbo and the Monthly Club Special, but I don’t think it’s me you would be happy to see more often!

  13. Firmly in SCC lounge but got there by fair means, not foul. Still giggling at OWL clue. That one tickled me.

  14. DNF, couldn’t get HAMMER, could someone explain this to me please?

    But other than that quite pleased with myself. Although after 45 mins I would hope most of them are green! Although a lot of that was spent on CONFAB, OVERDRAWN, MEANEST and STAY

    Cheers all

    1. Hammer studios produced an almost endless series of horror films in the 60s and 70s, usually involving Peter Cushing driving a stake into Christopher Lee’s Dracula. Also, a ham actor (‘a hammer’) is a poor actor.

      1. Thanks Invariant for the clear explanation. Never watching horror films and being born in the 80s hasn’t helped me with this clue!

        Now you mention ham, I feel like I have seen this before. Cheers for the reminder. Hopefully I’lll remember for next time!

      2. We used to relish a good Hammer film shown on an old fashioned projector in the mess on board ships when other entertainment was sadly lacking. Provided to ships at sea by the Services Sound and Vision Corporation, they became known as ‘all tits and teeth’ movies.

    2. If you are ever near Maidenhead, the nearby Bray film studios, which was the home of Hammer films for many years, is referenced in some street sculptures in the Chapel Arches part of town. You can also stay at the Oakley Court hotel next to the studios where many of the Hammer films used the wood panelled interiors, grand staircases and wonderful gargoyles.

    3. Sorry. I could have elaborated in the blog, but I see the commenters have done my job for me 😀.

  15. I just didn’t get into this one. My experience chimed with many of those above and I, too, had a mer at the NODULAR definition. Once that was sorted, I saw my LOI, OWL. I shot myself in the foot by writing in lubricant (do check anagrams carefully, John, I’ve told you before!) which made the streets of Paris difficult until I rediscovered where my brain was hiding.
    I can’t blame Teazel for my slow Friday on this occasion (nudging the SCC). There were some good clues and I liked ME TOO, LABEL, and COOPTED.
    I never look for NINAs but certainly wouldn’t have seen this one in a million years.
    Thanks to Kenny and John. John M.

    1. Let’s sing it together (with Julie Andrews as #50 said)… Doh a deer, a female deer….

  16. I was slow today – I see from my records that I always find Kenny challenging and this one took me 17 minutes. NE corner the culprit, as like Paul I had Roosted for Co-opted at first, before Confab put me right (eventually – I’m another who would usually say Conflab). (As an aside, I would always spell Co-opt with a hyphen, so to see the clue as 7 not 2-5 didn’t help!)

    Other than that I think I was just not thinking very fast, because all mostly seems fair. Though I join others in thinking the clue for Nodular poor, as the natural answer given the surface would be nodule, and nodular suggests “lumpy” not “a lump” to me.

    Many thanks John for the blog, and I look forward to Sawbill’s Saturday Special.

    1. I’m maybe missing something here, but the definition for NODULAR in the clue is not “a lump” but “as a lump appears” which seems OK to me.

  17. I thought this was all fairly straightforward until I got to my last pair in the NE corner, Coopted and Confab. Wrong end of clue issues (😉, Martinů) with the former, and I’ve always thought the chinwag was a Conflab, so Confab only went in when I could think of nothing else. Put all that together and it adds up to a window seat in the SCC. CoD to the 12d build up for Alabaman, which on first reading I thought was going to be a dnk native American. Invariant

  18. Nothing really difficult, but many clues needed more than a little thought so took above average time. Don’t look for Ninas and, though place names are one of my stronger points, had heard only of Antrim and Larne of those mentioned. FOI LABEL, LOI LAD MAG, waiting for crossing ALABAMAN to get CON out of mind, and COD COOPTED, delayed by not remembering COOP, but pleased to spot the answer as soon as it came to mind. PIÑA COLADA is virtually on y cocktail I know. Thanks Kenny and John

  19. I found this easy at first but was then slowed down by the harder clues. Finished in the NE after finally spotting CONFAB (great clue) which led to LOI COOPTED.
    I thought this was a smashing puzzle to finish the week. Off for a walk now in a sunny 11°.
    Thanks Kenny and John. Enjoy your weekend everyone.

  20. Some easy ones (FOI LATE) but they soon dried up … failed seven (but got CONFAB, my LOI, thank you, Invariant). No excuses – won’t bore you. Thanks to John for the instructive blog.

  21. 19 minutes for me; LOI ALABAMAN.
    I was slowed down by a few e.g. COOPTED, which needs a hyphen. I too had ROOST as a thought. I also had DISSECTS at 7d which just about works. I needed a pina colada to correct that.
    Enjoyed this one. COD to BOULEVARD.

  22. Found this easier than other QCs this week, but no less enjoyable. All parsed apart from CONFAB – totally missed smashing = fab. Definitely my COD! Hesitated because I’m more used to ‘conflab’. Nice to be reminded of Hammer Horror (and the late, great Christopher Lee). LOI STAY. Thanks Kenny and John.

  23. It’s a long time since I failed to complete the QC, but today was one of those days. I was sailing along quite nicely in about eight minutes with two to do, and ground completely to a halt with 4ac and 4dn. I gave it a further nine minutes and gave up. Having seen the answers, I cannot believe I didn’t think of coop for poultry cage, as until a few years ago we used to keep chickens!

  24. No time as interrupted several times this morning, but felt like one of the quickest this week. BOULEVARDS was LOI for no good reason, and again, I failed to spot the theme, although having had it pointed out, I suspect a football connection from Kenny. Many thanks both.

  25. Very enjoyable QC today. Was going to be a quick one for me but held up by COOPTED and CONFAB. When they eventually went it I found a big smile on my face which is a lovely way to move to the weekend.
    Thanks Kenny and John – great blog, love the Nina button. Very clever.

  26. I ground to a halt on my last two. I say CONFLAB so CONFAB was my penultimate solve followed by COOPTED which just looks wrong without a hyphen. 12:43 so only 1 on target solve this week. No idea about the NINA and having revealed it I’m rather glad I didn’t spend anymore time looking for it! Thanks John for the clever reveal button.

  27. After a pretty dire 7 puzzle sequence of over target solves, I managed a very rare sub busman/johninterred double.

    LOI was HERE – ?E?E is something that I don’t like to see, but thankfully it was straightforward. I liked CONFAB and OWL.


  28. Started with LABEL and finished with NODULAR. Didn’t spot the theme, but I only knew LARNE and ANTRIM from the list anyway. COOPTED took a while. 8:05. Thanks Kenny and John.

  29. Weirdly I was on the wavelength today and found this easier than usual.
    FOI LABEL, LOsI CONFAB and SE corner, though had to think about LAD MAG too. No prob with CO-OPTED as coop sprang to mind.
    Thanks vm, John. Shall press on Reveal Nina button next!
    Mystified that some say ConfLab – NHO.😀

  30. 7.10

    Thought COOPTED and CONFAB were both rather good as was the rest of it. Not the easiest but it is a Friday

    Thanks Ken and John

  31. Dnf…

    A sad state of affairs. I think this is the first time since I’ve recorded my times on here that I’ve had a clean sweep of DNF’s for the entire week.

    After 30 mins, I couldn’t get the axis of 4ac “Co-opted” (is that a 7 letter word? Never thought about how a hyphen is treated before) and 4dn “Confab”.

    I may have to reassess the world after this, or perhaps just forget it and start afresh next week.

    FOI – 1ac “Label”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 10ac “Pina Colada”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. And, of course, another example of the setters favourite trick: putting two hard clues together

    2. It was a tough week. I managed 4 DNFs, including today. I don’t think I’ve had more than 2 in a week before.

    1. I count the unchecked lines as well. Line 5 is PINA COLADA and I couldn’t find a NI town or village in that. MAGHERA is in Line 7 by my reckoning.

  32. 6:59

    Pretty comfortable with a few educated guesses – PINA COLADA from (4,6). LOI was COOPTED (wondering what the T was doing until I thought of Ted instead of Ed).

    No idea about the nina – only heard of ANTRIM and LARNE so well over my head unfortunately. Another upvote here for the Nina button though!

    Thanks Kenny and John

  33. 21.20 Back in the SCC. This was all straightforward except for the NE. After five minutes on COOPTED I stood up to clear my head and the answer came immediately. It misdirected me nicely. As another conflabber, CONFAB took a further six minutes. It came up in QC1844 so I should have remembered it. A nice puzzle. Tough at the end but fair.

  34. Just under 12 minutes. No hope with the Nina and I found some of the clues here quite tough, eg CONFAB (good surface), the NHO LAD MAG and ALABAMAN. I liked the ‘Two notes that follow so’ wordplay for LA TE.

    Thanks to Kenny and John

  35. A slightly disappointing 8:11, with probably at least 2 minutes spent trying to cram something into C_N_A_. Got there in the end!

  36. For what it’s worth, Kenny’s other QC this year was #2314 back in January.

    The theme that day was Premier League football managers and I identified nine plus a couple more possibilities. Here are their fates …

    – Frank Lampard was sacked within three days by Everton of the QC being published. He later became Chelsea’s caretaker manager through to the end of season.
    – Brendan Rodgers was sacked by Leicester City. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to save them from relegation.
    – Antonio Conte was sacked by Tottenham although his press conference comments around Easter time about the club’s culture left little option for the owners.
    – Graham Potter was sacked as manager at Chelsea, having left Brighton earlier in the season.
    – Patrick Viera was sacked by Crystal Palace and replaced by Roy Hodgson who managed to keep them up.
    – Steve Cooper’s was a favourite to be sacked by Nottingham Forest but the owners kept faith with him and the team managed to secure their stay in the top flight with a game to spare.
    – Thomas Frank took Brentford to a 9th place finish and they can claim to be the most successful west London club.
    – Eddie Howe guided Newcastle to a Champions League spot in his first full year. He only came onboard last year when the team were fighting relegation.
    – Mikel Arteta also guided Arsenal to a Champions League spot and runner-up of the Premier League.

    Amazing … 5 of 9 sacked in a little over four months!

    1. I missed Conte’s comment, though I suspect it needed saying. There. Ust surelybe something badly wrong at the club.

      1. “Tottenham’s story is this – 20 years there is this owner and they never won something. Why?” Conte said. “The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stay here?” said Conte. “I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench. You risk to disrupt the figure of the manager and to protect the other situation in every moment.”


        That’s a coach who didn’t want his job anymore.

    2. Great commentary. Thanks. Can you find a football connection in today’s Nina? The best I could think of, on past form, was that the towns/villages are where some the players in Coleraine FC were born, but I couldn’t find a way to verify or disprove that guess.

      1. Can’t find a connection – I couldn’t even see the NINA, geography is not my strong point.

        A quick look at the towns found a couple of darts players, a Northern Ireland football manager and rugby’s Willie John McBride 🤷‍♂️

  37. DNF – was going quite well until I was utterly destroyed in the NE. Had no idea about COOPTED, TRIMARAN or CONFAB, which I don’t feel too bad about, but also failed to get TRIMS because I didn’t think about the clue properly. Foolish wombat.

    Oh well. Happy Friday, everyone!

  38. A strange experience today as the LHS went in really quite easily, whereas the RHS (and particularly the NE corner) put up a proper fight. I smiled at OWL, but I was unsure of MEANEST and CONFAB until I came here. Time = 35 minutes.

    Total time this week = 3 hrs 40 mins. Quite slow, even by my low standards, but a 5-0 scoreline vs the setters.

    Enjoy the weekend one and all.

    Many thanks to Kenny and John.

  39. Dnf as I found it hard. Meanest most humble I think not. A poor clue in my mind

    1. Mean can mean humble, tho it’s rare these days.
      Since the Nina is N Ireland, I quote….
      “In a mean abode
      on the Shankhill Road,
      lived a man named William Bloat.”…. etc QV

    2. Not in common usage admittedly, (and I frowned at first), but then I remembered singing,
      ‘With the poor and mean and lowly,
      Lived on earth our saviour holy’
      at Christmas when I was a choirboy.

  40. We were very slow with this one although did finish with some help on a number of clues. Not our best week, but the comments are always enjoyable.

  41. Apologies for lack of responses during the day. I was doing a reprise of the stage of The Angles Way we had to abandon in March due to strong winds and heavy snow (see here if you are interested). So I can now say I have walked it all, if not exactly in the correct order! Now to catch up and respond to comments. Thanks to all for contributing!

  42. I managed to complete this one, though it took a while. I did need help with CONFAB (only ever herd of confLab).

  43. DNF

    Just over 20 minute target but put DISCARDS instead of DISBANDS. Held up for ages by biffing LUBRICANT.

  44. A better performance than other days this week, but still frustrated. No official time but around the 20 min mark. Cross because there were a few answers that I ‘got’ but lacked the confidence to put in immediately. Had I done so, I would have had a decent time. I was quite methodical today and it was a QC that one could solve by diligently following the word play.

    Overall, a shocking week. Two DNFs (GAL/GEL and PLEASANT/PLEASING being the culprits), and some very slow solves. No definite escapes from the SCC.

    Today felt better but I’m nowhere near where I should be after almost 3 years. Good example was my inability to see 1ac straight away. I’d been diligently swatting up my Roman numerals less than 5 mins before starting the QC and still didn’t get LABEL immediately. Dreadful! Thought President Lincoln was PL rather than seeing the blindingly obvious ABE.

    Walking near Ampleforth and then Chop Gate this weekend. Forecast is good and the sun cream packed, so I shall try to forget the QC until battle resumes on Monday.

    Thanks for the blog John and best wishes to everyone for the weekend.

    PS Joke about overacting:

    Donald Sinden to waiter in restaurant – ‘Do you serve a ham salad?’

    Waiter – ‘Yes sir, we’ll serve a salad to anyone’

    1. Enjoy the walk. I hope you get warmer temperatures than we did on the Angles Way today. I’ve walked on days in December that were warmer!

  45. Thanks John. We’ve had glorious blue skies today in God’s Own Country. British weather!!

  46. I was mystified by 1A on first pass despite LATE and BEST going straight in and having L-B–. Had no idea what appellation is/was and “fifties” felt well-disguised. Only sussed it out when I started saw the lubricates anagrist and needed to put the L somewhere.

    Anyway enjoy your walk. A fresh assault on the QC next week 👍

    1. Thanks L-Plates, and well done on another SCC escape. Wonder where Izetti was today? 😂

  47. Errrm – how does most humble = meanest?
    I am last to comment today I expect as I have been very busy at the Royal Academy in Piccadilly. I have had a work accepted into the Summer Exhibition! A photo – been trying for years to get in. Most thrilled. Show opens in 10 days. Went to a private view today for Artistes! So sod the x word! Although – tried!

    1. Congratulations! Well done on getting a work accepted into such a prestigious exhibition! As for the insignificant-in-comparison crossword and humblest = meanest, I refer you back to previous comments where ITTT quoted the carol “Once in Royal David’s city”, with the line… “With the poor and mean and lowly,
      Lived on earth our saviour holy”.

      1. Ok so mean can mean humble … I’ll bank that in my word coffers. Thanks!

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