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ESC followed by UP-arrow cause bash shell to hang

I do a lot of command recall on the command line (xterm running on
Xorg server in Cygwin).  One of the most common things I do is type
the UP-arrow once, then ESC-backspace to get rid of the last word on
the line, so I can change it to something else.  Occasionally I type
these two keys out-of-order, ESC followed by UP-arrow.  This seems to
lock up the bash shell for about 30 seconds before control returns.

What's going on here?  Is there something I'm doing wrong, or is there
a way to prevent this, other than being a better typist?

Jim Reisert AD1C, <jjreisert@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, http://www.ad1c.us

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