Can't login through web interface or ssh

Haven't logged into my Openwrt build 18.xx for quite some time until today, and was unable to do so.
The web interface password was always flagged as incorrect, and ssh key login failed, and ssh password login was rejected.
Thought I must have recorded the root password incorrectly, so entered failsafe mode and reset it.
Then removed key from known-hosts file, and tried recopting ito router, but when asked for password to upload key, same thing, password rejected.
I have modest knowledge of openwrt and ssh, but this seems odd tome, or am I missing something obvious?
How can I fix this so I login into my router?
Then upgrade firmware to the latest stable release if possible with settings reset.

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