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14th June 2022, 01:08
Hats off to anyone who has managed to finish this. It's the hardest puzzle I have ever encountered. Even Sabre makes concessions to the solver in his toughest puzzles. I have solved 40 clues and have some tentative entries in the NE and bottom rows of the grid (mainly SE), but the double letters make the rest virtually impossible to fill.

The preamble is distinctly short of help. We're not told if cells containing double letters are checked or unchecked or both. We are not even told if such cells are confined to one per entry. The whole puzzle verges on unfair, in my opinion.
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14th June 2022, 02:40
murky, there are seven 9-letter answers but only one 9-letter grid space, so six 9-letter answers will need to be fitted into a shorter space, but there are only four 8-letter grid spaces, so we can infer that at least two of the 9-letter answers will have to be squeezed into a 7-letter space (or shorter), and must therefore have at least two cells containing double letters. So such cells are evidently not confined to one per entry.

That’s one of a very small number of things I’ve so far been able to work out with any confidence for this puzzle…!
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14th June 2022, 08:41
Brendan, many thanks for your suggestions at #55. Just what I needed!
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14th June 2022, 09:38
Morning all, I have been looking at this off and on and it is quite possibly the hardest puzzle of my experience. I have tentatively entered some answers in the NW corner which suggest that one of the very few clues I have yet to cold-solve has 'oo' in it. Can somebody confirm if this is correct? If not this may be my first non-finish in many years. Thanks.
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14th June 2022, 09:42
yes the 5 letter answer with oo in the middle does go there
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14th June 2022, 09:46
Thanks kirky, if I had been wrong this beast was heading for the bin. I ponder on.
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14th June 2022, 12:25
Oh golly gosh, this sure is hard ! I've cold solved over 30 clues but I would be really grateful for a hint on "Duff tin" "Elegant shop" and "He won't attend". I know a hint has been given for the latter before, but I still can't get it !
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14th June 2022, 12:44
Mooncow, that is observant of you. I should have deduced it myself, but I got so fed up counting answer lengths and grid entry lengths that I lost focus (and almost my sanity).
I do now have a nine-letter word tentatively placed in a seven-cell entry.
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14th June 2022, 13:32
samovar, stupid here is a noun, so a stupid person + usual abbrev for hospital + an old word for lessons (minus one letter). duff suggests an anagram (of four letters) under (there's another clue in itself!) a word for flurry (minus one letter).
I hope that isn't too much information
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14th June 2022, 13:55
I have just completed this fabulous puzzle. One cannot help but wonder at the ingenuity of the setter. Puzzle of the year so far for me. Thanks Twin.
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