Thanks, I think that's working now :)
However, I don't think I understand the difference between "# another way, since @_ is an alias:" and what I was doing.. Is it because by assigning a reference to $_ (say) $_ would then be a reference to a reference? And if so, would my code have worked if I'd added an extra dereferencer (e.g. $$$_ instead of $$_), or is that just nonsense?!
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