I have an inkling of what might be happening and your host can probably confirm it.
Normally, any change to the .htaccess file is applied immediately. That's how Apache and LiteSpeed, the two web servers which support .htaccess files, are supposed to work.
So, we've seen a small number of hosts actually having .htaccess files disabled but periodically run a script which reads these files and modifies the site's configuration. This happens anywhere from once ever 15 minutes to once every day. Any changes made between successive runs of the script are not taken into account.
If your host is doing this it would explain why your previous changes had zero effect (which made no sense to either of us!), but “magically” it all worked fine today. The changes we made did have the desired and expected effect, it's just that they did not take effect until several hours later.
Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos
Lead Developer and Director
🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
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