@ bbm2: just realized while lying in bed how good your clue is for 45! In fact punctuation would rather ruin it, wouldn't it?! Only hope my other guesses for the last few difficult 3-letter ones are just as fortunate: I rather doubt it-- e.g. Les's 2d still bothers me: could there almost be a connection between the right solution here and your 45d, if you see what I mean? Different context, but from the wording, I mean. Perhaps I'm just wandering down the garden path, though.