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Squid 2.7.STABLE9 suddenly fails to run

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Ubuntu 11.10, Squid 2.7.STABLE9-4ubuntu4 on amd64.

This has been running just fine since I set it up several weeks ago,
and now today it won't run on boot or if started manually with init.d
or service.  The error messages are:

squid[2173]: Unable to open configuration file: /etc/squid/squid.conf:
(13) Permission denied
squid[1551]: storeDirOpenTmpSwapLog: Failed to open swap log.
kernel: [   46.350141] init: squid main process (1551) killed by ABRT signal

I've changed nothing at all to do with Squid.  squid.conf is owned by
"root" user and group, r/w for user only; the swap log (which I assume
is swap.state) is owned by "proxy" user and group.

Only changes today that may have something to do with it are:
installing git through apt-get; installing tvheadend with apt-get;
installed patchutils with apt-get; installed libproc-processtable-perl
with apt-get; and obtaining, building and installing the V4L-DVB
Device Drivers from (git clone
git://; cd media_build; ./build; sudo make

Troubleshooting attempted: deleted swap.state; purged git, tvheadend,
patchutils and libproc-processtable-perl packages with "apt-get
purge"; rebooted machine various times.

Any advice?  Seems odd it should suddenly just stop working.  Thanks.

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