Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25612 – Tramp

Posted by Uncle Yap on April 17th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

Phew! What a tough nut to crack, taking me well over the hour, my criterion for a difficult puzzle. It did not help that the mini-theme is something which I have never seen (British TV programmes do not sell well in the outside world due to perceived dullness and slow plodding plots compared to the fast-action of American TV).

But I enjoyed most of the clues, especially the beautiful surfaces created for some of the anagrams. Conclusion – tough but fair and entertaining.

Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

1 FLAT CAP Remember the story of the old lady who had two cats, one big and one small and her two cat flaps of different sizes? This has got me into a happy start.
5 SALVAGE SAL (rev of LAS) + *(VEGAs)
9 MOCHA MO (moment, instant) CHAT (talk) minus T
10,25 ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES *(OF RODNEY’S SHALL SOON) for Only Fools and Horses, a British sitcom aired between 1981 & 1991 AND of which Rodney Trotter is one of the main characters.
11 LAUNDRETTE *(ENTER ADULT) What a lovely surface of dirty old men sneaking into a cinema playing XXX films
12 NAVY Rev of Y (yard) VAN (vehicle)
14 LOVE HANDLES *(DOLLS HEAVENS) Another surface worthy of Paul
18 RAFAEL NADAL RA (Royal Academician, artist) + rev of A N (new) LEAF + Salvador DALI  minus I for  Rafael Nadal, one of the current top tennis players. May I use this forum to inquire about some kind of convention that living persons are not featured in crossword puzzles? Is this generally true or only confined to Times?
21 GEAR ha
22 PAPER TRAIL PAPER (NOTW, perhaps) TRAIL (pull) for a term commonly used by auditors to trace an accounting/financial transaction
25 See 10
26 BLEAR *(ALBERt) a character from OH&F as pointed out by NeilW
27 HANDGUN HG or H AND G (chemical symbol for mercury) U (united) N (last letter of Queen) Another delightfully crafted surface alluding to the late Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. I can play Bohemian Rhapsody all day long and not be bored. Go to – more than 36 million hits !
28 MYELOID Cha of M (male) Y (first letter of yes) ELO (Electric Light Orchestra, a British rock music group) I & D (first letters of interview & donor) This clue held me back quite a bit as the word is new to me. Chambers defines it as adj like, relating to, or of the nature of, marrow; relating to the spinal cord.
1 FAMILY Ins of AMI (ins of M, motorway in AI) in FLY (dart)
2 ACCRUE AC (account) Tom CRUISE (Hollywood star) minus IS
3 CHANDELIER CHE Guevara (1928-1967) was a Latin American Marxist revolutionary and is spelled C, H AND E + LIE (whooper) R (right). … Scenes such as the Trotters accidentally smashing a priceless chandelier in “A Touch of Glass” have become iconic British comedy moments, invariably topping polls of comedy viewers.
4 PROBE dd
5 SPLOTCHED Ins of PLOT (allotment in say a community garden) C (third letter of the alphabet) in SHED, pseudonym of John Young, Guardian setter
6 LIFT L (left) I (Independent) FT (Financial Times, paper)
7 ADORABLE Ins of R (last letter of dealer) in A (America) & DOABLE (do-able, possible)
8 ESSAYIST Quite convoluted, so I will just line it up as E (middle letter of FLEET) S (Sun) SAY (perhaps) I (one) ST (Street) for a writer
13 INFLATABLE The Trotter family from OF&H lives IN FLAT + CABLES (wires) minus C & S (oops)
15 VENIAL SIN First one with a sensible parsing gets a pint of Guinness Stout when we next meet.
16 TRIGRAPH  TRIGger (dopey roadsweeper in OF&H) RAP (hit) H (hard) for combination of three letters for one sound … another new word to me
17 OFF AND ON Tichy allusion to a busman taking a holiday trip by bus to, say, Brighton
19 GAZEBO GAZE (watch) + BO (Björn BOrg‘s first half)
20 BLARED *(BAR + DEL) Derek “DEL Boy” Trotter, character in OF&H)
23 EPSOM EP’S (plural of extended play record) OM (Order of Merit) which is a medal or …
24 GONG from GOING (course condition) minus I (symbol for electric current in physics)

Key to abbreviations
dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(fodder) = anagram

60 Responses to “Guardian 25612 – Tramp”

  1. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY.

    15: It’s V SI(g)N around ENIAL which is a reversal of (b)LAINE as in David Blaine.

  2. NeilW says:

    13: Isn’t it cABLEs? “Stripped wires.”

    By the way, there’s a typo in 27: R should be N.

    Uncle Albert (26) was one of the main characters, by the way.

  3. Uncle Yap says:

    Well done, Neil, the next pint is on me … now, do we have it in Jakarta or in Kuala Lumpur? I’ll be in Jakarta for two nights end of May.

  4. gsingh says:

    13D clue says ‘wires'(plural).
    I’d go for c(able)s stripped

  5. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for a helpful blog. Never watched OFAH either, but Del Boy rang a bell. Got off to a flying start with 1a: Boatman had the catflap Spoonerism last July, and you blogged Paul at 1a with this answer (non-Spooner) in December. Cheated on two, not being able to parse them – SPLOTCHED and MYELOID. Some good stuff from Tramp here, including HANDGUN.

  6. shuchi says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I love the extras you add to the blog, like the story of two cat flaps.

    I read 5a as *(LAS VEGAs), with ‘get back’ as the definition.

    Tough crossword, but very enjoyable. Some great anagrams in there.

  7. Tramp says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap for the excellent blog.

    Shuchi is right: 5ac is LASVEGA(s)*

    Here’s some background to the creation of this puzzle. On my home PC, I have a list of interesting words that I come across in day-to-day life that I intend to include in future puzzles. I’ve drafted clues for many of these words. One phrase on my list was LOVE HANDLES. When it came to defining this, my first thought was ‘something to hold during sex, perhaps’. For this to work, I figured I needed some suitable wordplay that would fit in and form a decent surface reading. That’s when I thought of blow-up dolls; as it were. Realising ‘blow-up’ could be an anagram indicator, I was pleased when I saw that ‘dolls’ is contained in LOVE HANDLES; I was even more pleased to find that the remaining letters could produce ‘heaven’. Hence, the final clue:

    Blow-up dolls? Heaven! Something to hold during sex? (4,7)

    When I thought of blow-up dolls, I immediately thought of that scene in Only Fools and Horses where the explosive blow-up dolls pop up in the back of the three-wheeler. Having recently written puzzles on Fawlty Towers, Life of Brian and Monty Python, I figured I could keep the comedy theme going and write a OFaH-themed puzzle. I wanted to include some of the classic scenes from the series. The three scenes that immediately came into my head were: 1. the blow-up dolls scene 2. dropping the chandelier and 3. Del falling into the opening in the bar.

    I figured I could easily clue CHANDELIER (my first effort at a clue for this used ‘DEL’ explicitly). However, I thought I would struggle with the ‘Del falling into bar’ idea. I tried to think of words where I could use ‘Del falling over’ as a reversal indicator for LED — it would have to be a down clue. I needed this clue to contain a word for ‘bar’ (rod, inn, pub etc.). I eventually thought of BLARED and, after looking it up in Chambers, was pleased to find that this can mean ‘blast on a trumpet'; I could use ‘hoot’ instead of ‘blast’ as this can mean ‘to laugh’. Hence, I came up with:

    Hooted loudly — Del goes head over heels, crashing into bar (6) DEL toppling over (in a down clue) into BAR.

    I then had to clue ‘Only Fools and Horses’. I saw that this comprised the letters for ‘Rodney’ and after a bit of work produced the anagram ‘of Rodney’s shall soon’. I needed an anagram indicator that could be a noun in the surface but a verb in the cryptic reading — I settled on ‘blunder’. Thus, I came up with:

    Blunder of Rodney’s shall soon appear here? (4,5,3,6)

    On reflection, I’m not happy with the ‘double duty’ nature of the clue and I feel it’s lacking a proper definition. In short, I don’t think it’s a sound clue.

    I picked a grid and started to fill it, looking for other OFaH possibilities along the way. ‘TRIGraph’ was too hard to resist, even though it’s a difficult word!

    Anyway, I settled on a grid, wrote the clues and submitted it early August 2011. Looking back, I think it’s a decent puzzle.

    Ps for 28. I’m using Y to mean YES as in (Y/N) and the ‘Male to front’ simply means ‘M comes at the start’. A bit convoluted and I realise not everyone will like Y=Yes. I also apologise for some clues being a tad convoluted; especially ESSAYIST.


  8. Eileen says:

    Thanks, UY for the blog – but where is the ‘outside world’ of which you speak? Your Wikipeda link lists countries througout the world that have bought the programme, including some that have made their own version. And “there have been several plans to produce an American version”. 😉

    Huge thanks to Tramp for further pages from A Tramp’s guide to British Comedy, brilliantly clued, as always, with some intricate constructions [ESSAYIST took a while but no complaints!] and real laugh-out-loud surfaces as we’ve come to expect. Favourites 10,25, 14ac and 15 and 20dn.

    Thanks, too, for the fascinating commentary on the writing of the puzzle and highlighting references that might have been missed. [‘Here’ as a definition in 10,25 works for me – cross-references in other clues give strong hints that it’s a programme – and I have entered Y for yes on forms enough times not to have thought twice about it.]

    What next, I wonder?

  9. Dave Ellison says:

    Thanks UY and Tramp, especially for your explanations above. I enjoyed this and did not find it too difficult. It is a rare event for me to get the first two across clues straight away; indeed, spoonerisms are usually some of the last in.

    My “in” to 10a etc was 3d CHANDALIER, though I couldn’t parse it.

    I agree with Eileen wrt her ‘outside world’ comments.

  10. Dave Ellison says:

    I had initially thought 12a NAVY was a reference to Uncle Albert’s former life; and the clue to 7d to the episodes “Miami Twice”, but perhaps I am reading too much into this.

  11. Tramp says:


    I did think of that as I filled the grid. I also tried to shoehorn RELIANT or THREE-WHEELER in there but had to settle for ‘vehicle reversing in yard’. I also wanted to get JUBBLY in there too but settled for the effort at 7d.

  12. ArtieFufkin says:

    A really enjoyable puzzle today. Loved the theme running through. Some great memories conjured up watching those episodes: the blow up dolls, the chandelier, the classic “….Nice and cool Trigger. Nice and cool…” Excellent stuff.

    Favourite clues were 17d, 11ac and 1ac.

    Thanks Tramp. Great stuff.

  13. Paul B says:

    Nice to hear how Tramp goes about setting.

    I dress up, actually, in a tutu and a pair of hiking boots in the hope of provoking the muse, and smoke a half-pound of Bella Vanilla before even thinking about which grid I’m going to use. Then I’ll fight with my faithful if somewhat battle-scarred Airedale, Sharkey, before putting the words in. After that, if there’s a chair not yet used for firewood, I’ll sit down at my database and try to recreate someone’s clues.

    Excellent puzzle.

  14. Matt says:

    Very good, plenty to chew on.
    Hats off, as usual, to Uncle Yap for the excellent, cheery blog on a subject that must have seemed quite arcane. Trust me, Only Fools and Horses is worth a look if you ever have a chance to catch it; a proper tragicomedy.

    Very much enjoyed Tramp’s insight into the setting process as well.

  15. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    In spite of Tramp’s comment I agree with Eileen that 10,25 is fine.
    Actually I didn’t use it at all since a very early solve was TRIG(raph) which with the enumeration gave me 10,25.
    Last in was ‘blared’ after toying with ROareD put finally parsing the former settled matters.
    I liked 2d and particularly 5d; ‘plot C’ indeed.

  16. Blaise says:

    Nice puzzle, nice insight from Tramp, to whom much thanks.

    I liked the way Richard Adams maintained (in the first Dirk Gently story) that Isaac Newton’s greatest invention was the catflap. When someone protests “What about gravity?” Gently says something like “Oh, that was just lying around waiting to be discovered…”, throws a coin in the air, which falls to the ground, and adds “Look, they even leave it on at weekends.”

  17. Chris says:

    I may be revealing some ignorance here, but actually I _don’t_ remember the story about the old lady with two cats of different sizes. Anyone care to enlighten me?

    On happier notes, I finished this one, which makes a nice change. Thanks Tramp!

  18. crypticsue says:

    I always know we are going to have fun when Tramp’s name appears at the top of a crossword and today’s puzzle was no exception. No problems for me, loved the theme. Thanks to Tramp for both the crossword and his insight into the setting process and to UY for the blog.

  19. Monkeypuzzler says:

    Blaise @16; Is Richard any relation to Douglas?

  20. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. I needed this because I have never seen OFaH – except for a Christmas special one year. I am one of those who got rid of the TV long ago – in fact before OFaH started :(

  21. Blaise says:

    Monkeypuzzler @19; I stand corrected — always mix those two up.

  22. chas says:

    I also have never heard of the old lady with two cat flaps.

  23. Monkeypuzzler says:

    I think the cat flap joke is that the little cat can use the big orifice, making the construction of the smaller one redundant.

  24. William says:

    Thanks, Uncle. This was right up my street. Never watched a single episode of OFAH but all gettable anyway.

    My only complaint is the strain of being asked to accept that News Of The World is synonymous with ‘paper’.

    Love stumbling on new words such as TRIGRAPH & MYELOID, and I thought Raffa was beautifully clued.

    Plot C as ‘the 3rd allotment’ was outrageous – loved it.

    Not quite sure what ‘hand’ is doing in the poker clue at 4d. Perhaps someone will explain this to a thickie.

    Thank you Blaise @16 for the reminder – lovely story.

    So glad the setter dropped in to describe some of the mechanics of making the puzzle. More please, Tramp.

  25. NeilW says:

    William, I think you have to put yourself in the shoes of the PROBEr and poke your hand in…

    As Tramp told us, the puzzle was submitted back in August 2011 when, perhaps, the NOTW was slightly less despised.

  26. grandpuzzler says:

    Thanks to Tramp and Uncle Yap. Loved this puzzle even though I hadn’t heard of OFAH. Eileen asked what is next? I remember enjoying Rising Damp on Public Television. I’ll be ready for that one, Tramp!


  27. Tokyo Colin says:

    I am another who has never heard of OFAH. I needed every crossing letter to solve the central anagram since there is no definition and the result seems like a random phrase and so was one of my last in. That made the puzzle more difficult and less enjoyable but there were still some highlights; I particularly liked the H and G for mercury.

    I have to agree with Uncle Yap, that sadly there really is an outside world when it comes to British TV. Before I cancelled it, our TV service here in Tokyo had dozens of trashy American sitcoms, reality shows etc. but I cannot recall a single British programme. I would not have watched the American equivalent of OFAH but I probably would know the name at least.

  28. yogdaws says:

    Thanks UY and TRAMP

    A neat and elegant little number from The Guardian’s resident hobo…

    Can somebody clarify please: I know it’s a crusty old tradition for ‘s’ to stand for ‘sun’ but why? What branch of knowledge does this come from?



  29. Uncle Yap says:

    Eileen and Dave Ellison, try moving out of the British Isles and see the world. Tokyo Colin, NeilW and other people not living in Great Britain will tell you that apart from the English Premier League matches, most countries do not carry British TV programmes.

    My children know all the US programmes like Dynasty, Dallas, Hawaii Five-0, A-Team, Criminal Minds, CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrub, House, Medium, Suits, Touch, NCIS, LA Law, etc but the only British series they know is “Mind Your Language”.

  30. Eileen says:

    Hi Tokyo Colin [and UY, as you have joined us since I started writing this]

    Looking at the Wikipedia list again, [“Only Fools and Horses was sold to countries throughout the world. Australia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Israel, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa and Spain are among those who purchased it”] it does seem to be roughly your and UY’s part of the world that has been deprived of / escaped OFAH – but I prefer your ‘an’ rather than ‘the’ ‘outside world’! 😉

    Hi Grandpuzzler

    I should have known better than to tempt Fate like that. Look what happened when Arachne was challenged to produce a scientific crossword [nothing wrong with that!] – I got to blog it! [I shall decline to reveal the name of the vintage box set that I treasure …]

    Hi William

    I don’t think we could reasonably argue that NOTW was not paper – Tramp’s clue didn’t suggest that it was a ‘newspaper’. [tupu recalled a fairly widespread possible use for it in his comment 23 last Monday. 😉 ]

  31. Tramp says:

    I understand the point that British TV programmes might not travel much outside of Europe. Perhaps this puzzle was too arcane for people living overseas. What I would say is that any themed puzzle will be unfamiliar to certain groups of solvers. For example, write a Britney Spears puzzle and you might risk alienating some older solvers. Write a sports-themed puzzle and you immediately lose certain solvers etc. However, I reckon the vast majority of people tackling this puzzle will be familiar with OFaH.

    None of the puzzles I’ve written since this one are themed around British TV programmes.

  32. Paul B says:

    Anglo-Saxon bishops is where it’s going, they say.

    Re S, dunno. Not in Collins (though sol = s is) or C21, only the full-on Red Book. Not a solar mass thing either, AFAICS.

  33. ArtieFufkin says:

    Surely the key factor should be whether the theme is known by the vast majority of Guardian readers who are attempting to solve the puzzle. Most people above the age of 20 would know this series, these characters and the referenced famous episodes. Those under the age of 20 would still be aware of them by the endless repeats on UK Gold. If you were doing a themed grid on a British comedy series which is likely to be known by the vast majority of solvers then OFaH would be the first one to choose.

    For me personally, this was right up my street. Great surface reading to the clues. Some mis-direction. Modern references. A sprinkling of humour. Challenging puzzle.

    Lovely jubbly.

  34. sidey says:

    Eileen and Dave Ellison, try moving out of the British Isles and see the world.

    What a spectacularly rude thing to say.

  35. NeilW says:

    Dear All

    Glad to see UY back from his Hash run and not too out of breath. Some of these British sitcoms are shown around the world but with subtitles or, worse, dubbed and only when the local TV has a dearth of local content and no expat is so desperate as to watch them. How would a show like this work with subtitles? (Translation for “plonker” anyone?)

  36. Allan_C says:

    I’m almost with Grandpuzzler and Tokyo Colin. I never watched OFaH but knew the name and those of some of the characters. But once I’d guessed 10/25 (almost at once) the rest of the puzzle was solvable without detailed knowledge.

  37. Robi says:

    Very enjoyable puzzle, although my knowledge of OFaH is not very good. And thanks to Tramp for giving his insights.

    I’m a little surprised that MYELOID is not very well-known. Myeloid leukaemia (sometimes also called myelogenous) is often talked about (AML and CML in acute and chronic forms.)

    Thanks UY; I’m glad we had NeilW @1 to parse VENIAL SIN for us.

  38. RCWhiting says:

    Why are we (?) always so keen to belittle our achievements.
    We (UK) export more TV programmes to the world than any other country except the USA.
    This is one of the frequent arguments used by Tory BBC-haters who think that export sales should replace the licence fee.

  39. NeilW says:

    Allan, I’ve been an expat for 20 years (which, of course, means I was still around for most of this show) but there are far more arcane subjects, in my opinion, which feature in this crossword. And I have no objection.

  40. Uncle Yap says:

    sidey@34, what is so rude about my comments?

    Many Britons nowadays are insular people, thinking, like the Chinese (of Middle Kingdom fame)in bygone days, that the world revolved around them.

    On the issue of British TV programmes outside UK, hear the non-British residents speak to tell us what the rest of the world know. Cheers, Frasier, American Idol, ER, etc can be seen almost everywhere outside UK.

    But where are Steptoe and Son, Porridge, Fawlty Towers, Emmerdale, Alias Smith & Jones, ‘allo, ‘allo, Are you being served, Britain’s got talent, etc

    I am not saying that British TV programmes are not better than US programmes; but that British TV power-that-be are lousy marketeers who also do not know what the world (outside UK) wants by way of entertainment.

  41. NeilW says:

    You’re welcome, Robi!

  42. tupu says:

    Thanks UY and Tramp

    I started this this morning and was able to return to it late this afternoon. I found it generally enjoyable but quite hard. I failed to parse essayist and found chandelier hard but got it eventually. I still don’t recognise the h and g, ch and e device as quickly as I should (perhaps 2 in 1 puzzle is too much for my gray cells).

    I ticked 1a, 10,25, 11a, 12a, 4d!, 5d, 13d.

    Thanks Tramp for your info here and thanks Eileen for remembering my recollection.

  43. Uncle Yap says:

    How come nobody has yet commented on “May I use this forum to inquire about some kind of convention that living persons are not featured in crossword puzzles? Is this generally true or only confined to Times?”

    Okay, just back from Hash run, full of beer and whisky … going to bed now. Cheerio

  44. NeilW says:

    Gosh, UY, you’re up late! Unfortunately, the Lingua Americana and associated humour translates (sadly) to the global audience rather better.

  45. NeilW says:

    P.S. Times only, as far as I know.

  46. Tramp says:

    My understanding is that The Guardian has no objection about including living people in puzzles; as far as I’m concerned, the puzzles are better for it. I know the Times doesn’t allow it. Someone more knowledgeable than me would have to speak for the other papers.

  47. Matt says:

    Hi UY,

    Certainly can’t disagree that there are less UK programmes shown around the world than American.

    However, as RCW points out (and David Attenborough, Doctor Who or Monty Python would happily verify) we come a respectable second in the world of tv exports. “British TV programmes do not sell well in the outside world” may be stretching things.

  48. Kathryn's Dad says:

    I’m another one who’s never watched the programme, but it is pretty well known, so most of the characters (if not the situations) were gettable for me. I too liked the smut in LOVE HANDLES and LAUNDRETTE. Bravo, Tramp.

    But of course VENIAL SINS (which I never would have parsed, btw) are only forgiveable if you go into the confessional box and tell the scary priest on the other side of the curtain what you’ve done …

    Thanks to UY for the blog.

  49. aztobesed says:

    Prescient for Aug 2011. Given the clue to 22 – shouldn’t it have been ‘venal sins’?

  50. Median says:

    I much enjoyed this puzzle, which was just about the right standard for me on a day when I had no access to a dictionary or computer. My thanks also to Tramp for giving us an insight into a setter’s mind. All in all, excellent value for (no) money. :)

  51. morpheus says:

    Really Uncle Yap, I think you should calm down (if that is you are still awake)! Where is Gaufrid, or indeed Dr Gurmukh Singh when you need them?…

  52. Paul (not Paul) says:

    Was I the only one to write Dray in for 12ac. As Yard in reverse and a vehicle for service (I regard beer as an essential service anyway) it seemed to fit to me.

    No complaints anyway. A great puzzle with lots of laughs.

  53. Paul B says:

    You have to be dead to have your name appear in The Times crossword. You can be alive when you appear in The Guardian, Independent or Financial Times puzzles, and I don’t know what the score is for the DT or Toughie.


  54. Chris C says:

    Excellent puzzle, as we’ve come to expect from Tramp.

    Am I the only one who, knowing the setter’s predilections, saw ‘server from Spain’ at 18ac and tried to fit ‘Manuel’ in somewhere? (And was this deliberate misdirection on Tramp’s part?)

  55. grandpuzzler says:

    Chris C: Manuel Orantes?


  56. apple granny says:

    We were out from the crack of dawn yesterday, so did not attempt this until today. I reckon we did quite well, finishing it within the hour, despite knowing virtually nothing about OFAH, apart from Rodney and Del Boy. So we invented characters as needed, and it worked. We also didn’t know David Blaine, so we couldn’t quite explain “Venial Sin” It was a great crosswoed – Tramp is joining Araucaria and Paul as one of our heros

  57. Edward says:

    For 4d I had PROKE. I took “hand of” to mean anagram and you can proke something with a poker. However that’s probably not using “analyse”.

  58. AndrewC says:

    Paul (not Paul) was not alone on his dray

  59. brucew_aus says:

    Thanks Tramp and all

    A very late post that will probably never be read … but did find this one tough and my first in DRAY did get in the road of my last one in NAVY!!

    I haven’t seen OFAH down here in Aust, but given the liberty of the internet – was able to add some more knowledge into the crammed grey cells – did laugh along as I watched the Chandelier scene.

    In fact, I find it one of my key drivers of actually doing cryptics is that the new information you learn can start off a whole new path – hate to think how many novels have been purchased after the curiosity was piqued by a clue in a crossword. Also remember spending a hour or two reading up on the problem of prescription drugs in water following a particular clue just recently.

    Totally enjoyed doing this puzzle for both its clever surfaces, tricking clueing and some more new information.

  60. Tramp says:

    Thanks Bruce and everyone else for your kind words

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