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Here is another re pattern that does NOT use recursive grammar.
It has similar performance as my split version (no lookahead)

Without recursive grammar, backtrack overhead may be smaller.
I optimize it furthur by not directly matching 'and'

pat = re.compile( 
      "((!'and' .)* ...)+ -> drop3 {.*}",
      { drop3 = function(s) return string.sub(s, 1, -4) end }