Sussex's lead at the top of Liverpool Victoria Division One was restricted to 13 points as bad weather and Middlesex resistance limited them to an agonising draw at Southgate on Saturday.
Sussex and Middlesex cooked up a last-day equation which left the Londoners needing 421 to try to haul themselves off the bottom of the table and their visitors to take all ten wickets.
Events on a pitch loaded in the batsmen's favour all match were beginning to go Sussex's way - only for a downpour to halt proceedings shortly before tea and take more precious time out for Chris Adams' team.
In the end - after opener Nick Compton had scored 86 and Mushtaq Ahmed had taken three for 74 - Middlesex held on to close with 208 for nine on the board.
Rain brought less frustration south of the Thames in Division Two at Guildford where Rikki Clarke (214) had a maiden double-hundred in safe-keeping in a monumental Surrey total of 717 all out by the time rain put the run-fest stalemate out of its misery.
Clarke hit 30 fours and three sixes from 258 balls while Somerset captain Cameron White ended up with five for 148 with his leg-breaks before both teams accepted the inevitable draw.
Poor weather also brought an early close and a drawn match at Grace Road where Derbyshire easily made themselves safe against Leicestershire.
There was time between rain and bad-light stoppages for the visitors to take their second innings to 263 for three - a lead of 134 - and for Michael di Venuto to move from his overnight 131 to a still unbeaten 161.
Glamorgan and Essex might not have been too disappointed had rain also intervened to bring an early conclusion to their drawn encounter at Chelmsford.
Instead, though - after Essex had conceded a 12-run first-innings deficit when they added ten runs for their final wicket to close on 462 all out - the Welsh reply had time to muster a largely pointless 251 for five declared.
That was thanks to an opening stand of 107 between Mark Wallace (72) and Brendon McCullum (63), as well as an unbeaten 53 from James Franklin.
Essex's Grant Flower took three for 58 with his occasional left-arm spin.