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I agree, although I was partly responsible for them being introduced I didn't realise they would end up almost being compulsory.
The down side of them is, they preclude otherwise good cryptic solvers ( and there are lots on here ) from not only solving them but taking part at all if they don't know the theme ( I'm one of them ) so I've voted to abandon them.
"We can't stop here - this is bat country" - Hunter S Thompson - RIP
My aunt and uncle raised me and they had a huge German Shepherd and he knew what time the mail man delivered so he would wait by the door and as soon as the mail came through the slot he would grab it with his mouth pull it through and drop it then commence to snarl and bark. Scared the crap out of the mail man.
1. A person that fixes stuff you can't.
2. One who does precision guesswork based on unreliable data provided by those of questionable knowledge.