I'm not sure how you would rate them, but based on your descriptions, #9 and #13 would qualifty as dead-on spiked controls for many, if not most people.
I expect to go directly to a control, with no time loss.
Which is why you've generally been so successful. Others get into the situation you described where you were thinking, "What if I'm not where I think I am?", and in fact they are not. You were describing what others view as "being careful", which, you're quite right, can incur a time loss, though not as big a one as screwing up.
Deeside is pretty rough underfoot. Too rough for me, that's why I'm at home.
Maybe also this time around the maps are made in the typical Scottish way rather than to rigid IOF standard. We map small rocks because there aren't any big ones. They're really on for control sites: you can't rely on seeing them. Also, the green tends to be mapped for visibility rather than runnability, and clearings you can only see by looking up not down. Then there are those wavy contours which show the hillside isn't smooth: but they are just lines of equal height, they aren't picking out distinct features.
There's a case that this bespoke mapping is best once you get used to it, but it can take a while to get the hang of it. Stick at it - Creag Connich is a little less stony underfoot, and Glen Fearder is a lot more runnable.
Thanks for the encouragement, Graeme, and I have to say it's too rough for me, too--not much to compare with back at home and no really good way to prepare for it, and not sure I would want to do much running in something comparable even were it available.
I'll keep on going at it, and I will either get better, or else I will die. At least one of those propositions is guaranteed to come to pass. ; )
In the meantime, I'm still in Scotland, which remains as charming and beautiful and friendly as I remember it from 2 years ago. Things could be much worse. Like, what if some man named "Trump" were the president?!
Whatever could you use that area for except golf?
Anyway, Trump isn't all bad. Without him, Britain would still hold the "world's dumbest democracy" prize.