Times Quick Cryptic 2354 by Des

This didn’t put up very much resistance, coming in at four and a half minutes for me.  Some nice surfaces, especially 1dn. We also have a theme, one which I didn’t spot because I had never heard of its subject.  I suspect  solvers who have small-to-medium-sized children might have a better chance. I will reveal all in the comments later, if no-one beats me to it.


1 Having it covered in meat sauce is something serious! (7)
5 Lessens force: everything’s to follow (5)
8 Inscrutability of the writer’s pen, capturing queen (7)
MYSTERY – MY (the writer’s) STY (pen) outside ER
9 Inside bag, heroin for cabin (5)
SHACK – SACK with H inside
10 Be present when old police company returns (5)
OCCUR – RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary, now replaced with PCNI) +CO all backwards
12 Hospital department with frozen treats is alluring! (7)
14 Laurel, maybe with daughter’s bears (6)
STANDS – STAN (Laurel) + D’S
15 Ladle disturbed red pip (6)
DIPPER – anagram (‘disturbed’) of RED PIP
18 Harassed clients obtaining design template (7)
STENCIL – anagram (‘harassed’) of CLIENTS
19 Meeting of clergy into heresy, no doubt (5)
SYNOD – hidden word: hereSY NO Doubt
20 Lass, married, murdered brother (5)
22 Implied meaning of chaos, with time (7)
24 Longs to regularly display options: easy! (5)
PINES – alternate letters of oPtIoNs EaSy
25 Letters beginning each numbered clue offer Des’s excuse, duly disguised (7)
ENCODED – first letters of Each Numbered Clue Offer Des’s Excuse Duly
1 New lambs go for frolics (7)
GAMBOLS – anagram (‘new’) of LAMBS GO
2 Wild sea coast gripping one’s companion (9)
ASSOCIATE – anagram (‘wild’) of SEA COAST with I inside
3 Fury evident in one note (3)
IRE – I + RE (do re mi etc)
4 Went up and down with two Yankees carrying old dictionary (2-4)
YO-YOED – Y for yankee (NATO alphabet) twice, with O inside, then OED (Oxford English Dictionary)
5 Vehicle’s uncontrolled movements: search follows (9)
FISHTAILS – FISH (search) + TAILS (follows)
6 We’ll drive, finally, over a meadow (3)
LEA – last letters of we’lL driv+ A
7 Vacant kasbah toured by British spies and worshippers (5)
SIKHS – KH is kasbah ‘vacated’, with SIS (Secret Intelligence Service aka MI6) outside.
11 Hopeless clue Idris mocks (9)
RIDICULES – anagram (‘hopeless’) of  CLUE IDRIS
13 As a beggar maybe, better to get home help (3,2,4)
CAP IN HAND – CAP (better) + IN (home) + HAND (help)
16 Teacher after wine and ginger (7)
17 Burning meat few, in short, can eat (6)
FLAMBE – meat is LAMB, surrounded (‘eaten’) by FE[W]
18 Assess, briefly, maths problem at college (3,2)
SUM UP – self explanatory
21 Scrap book, fashionable (3)
BIN – B + IN
23 Hemmed in by strangers, I complain so! (3)
SIC – hidden word: strangerS I Complain

110 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2354 by Des”

  1. DNF in c.13 mins beaten by MYSTERY (a foolish hurried entry of ‘mastery’ to blame) and OCCUR where ‘be present’ doesn’t help me at all despite RUC CO reversed now making sense from the cryptic. Biffed ‘Oscar’ with a shrug.

    FISHTAILS was hard.

    Fair to say I don’t really have a COD as I struggled through the whole thing really.

    Thanks Des and Curarist.

    1. Hi Jack – you are usually very knowledgeable on the stats. When did Des last appear?

      I had to add ‘him’ to my list of setters which suggests nothing since July. I have seen him in the books which are from 2019-20ish.

      1. He has set 23 puzzles so far.

        Here are the dates and puzzle numbers:
        10/03/2014 #1 Des
        05/09/2014 #130 Des
        04/02/2015 #237 Des
        08/04/2015 #282 Des
        12/08/2015 #372 Des
        01/01/2016 #474 Des
        12/08/2016 #634 Des
        23/09/2016 #664 Des
        12/01/2017 #743 Des
        28/04/2017 #819 Des
        20/09/2017 #922 Des
        08/01/2018 #1000 Des
        23/03/2018 #1054 Des
        18/09/2018 #1181 Des
        11/04/2019 #1328 Des
        15/05/2019 #1352 Des
        07/08/2019 #1412 Des
        28/11/2019 #1493 Des
        28/02/2020 #1559 Des
        28/04/2020 #1601 Des
        09/07/2020 #1653 Des
        27/05/2021 #1883 Des
        08/11/2021 #2000 Des
        17/03/2023 #2354 Des

  2. Had to pass over five clues before getting started with ENTICES on the way to getting seven on the first pass of acrosses. Struggled at the end with FISHTAILS, I think compliments must be the only thing one searches for like that. All to no avail as I entered YO-YOEs – must be a typo as the tense is totally clear from the clue – annoying. A fully deserved pink square in 14.

  3. Complete in just over 10 minutes. F-S-T-I-S wasting a couple of minutes for an alphabet trawl. Didn’t spot the theme but a quick internet sarch revealed it. Never heard of the place. Not very interesting puzzle otherwise. Thanks Curarist.

  4. 7.54

    FISHTAILS needed a minute and a half at the end. Crikey, thought something was wrong with the clue. Nope, just a good’un.

    Thanks Des and Curarist

  5. I’m another who wondered why I was slower than usual. I needed all the checkers for FISHTAILS, which I thought was rather good. Nice puzzle overall. I found the theme relatively easy to spot, unlike last Friday’s Felix. When nobody spotted it I emailed the puzzle editor who told me the answer – last Friday’s blog now updated to explain. Thank-you Des and Curarist. 6:17.

  6. I thought that was fun starting with GAMBOLS and finishing with ENCODED for a top to bottom solve. COD: CAP IN HAND. I didn’t spot the theme.

  7. Had my anagram hat firmly in place today which was fortunate as it felt like there were quite a few of them.
    I made decent progress through the puzzle and for once didn’t have a breezeblock at the end – although LOI OCCUR took some thought to parse.
    Finished in 7.50 and shall await enlightenment with regards to the theme.
    Thanks to Curarist and nice to see Des back on one of his rare outings.

    1. Can you parse OCCUR for me? I’m still not seeing ‘be present’ and ‘occur’ as synonymous…what am I missing?

      1. I agree and can’t really think of a phrase where they can be interchanged. An online dictionary has them as synonyms though.

          1. Thank you – maybe it’s because it’s the first time I can recall that I’ve seen OCCUR as a synonym for ‘be’ as opposed to ‘happen’ or ‘take place’ … Prof below has given me the example that clarifies it perfectly for me so that I can have no real issues with it at all.

      2. I took the definition to be “be” not “be present”. As in to come to be or to occur. The present then just shows that the answer is later in the clue.

      3. Weeds can be present in even well tended gardens.
        Weeds can occur in even well tended gardens.

        1. Indeed they can, unless the gardener defines them as ‘the right plants in the right places’.

  8. 9:31. Yes, FISHTAILS was hard for me too and my COD, both the word itself and the not so obvious def. Just about fell into the YO-YOES trap. Somehow I don’t think of a MABEL as a ‘lass’.

    Look forward to hearing about the theme – a MYSTERY to me.

    Thank to Des and Curarist

      1. You’re right – I’d forgotten about that Mabel. Must have been because I played the Pirate King in our 1967 Grade 6 school production and I can’t remember the name of my schoolboy friend (yes, boy) who played Mabel.

        NHO the theme in which a Mabel also plays a part I see.

  9. 33.49 … first pass had over half done so bit disappointed it dragged out so long. Just wasn’t on Des’ wavelength. Not knowing SIS held me up in the NE along with SHACK and FISHTAILS (LOI).

    2hr20 for the week but all done in under 35mins albeit one DNF.

    Have a good weekend everybody 👍

  10. Please can someone just say what the theme is. It’s a frustration to have these dragged out reveals where something gets hinted at 2pm, then at 6pm someone adds a bit more. Then about 8pm, when doing the QC happened many hours ago and a day’s worth of stuff has happened, the theme is explained.

    1. To save you the bother…. It’s an American tv series that you have probably never heard of!

      1. Jeez – that’s obscure.

        I thoughts Sikhs Redhead for 7dn and 16dn might indicate somekind of personal ad 😃

  11. GRAVITY and GAMBOLS wer nice clues for a start, but I then took well above average time as I found many definitions stretched, eg OCCUR, FALLS, MYSTERY, all going in with a shrug after getting crossers. NHO FISHTAILS.. The bottom half was easier, perhaps I was finding the wavelength. COD MABEL, LOI STANDS. Thanks, Des and Curarist.

  12. The chef in me slightly objects to Flambé being clued as burning, because if you actually burn the meat you’ve got things wrong! (And shouldn’t the tense be “burnt” anyway).

    A 13 minute technical DNF because I have NHO Fishtails and had to resort to a word-search engine to fill it in. Most of the rest of the puzzle seemed fairly straightforward, as our blogger says, so my time slightly surprised me and I am not sure now what held me up. A few of the clues seemed a little loose – yes of course Gravity is serious in one sense (we would not be here on this earth if it wasn’t), but in this sense it is more seriousness I’d have thought. The answer to “is alluring” should be “enticing” – it would have been easy enough to clue Entices as “Hospital department with frozen treats beguiles”, for example. And is cluing Head as “Teacher” (not eg “Top teacher”) entirely within the rules?

    Minor quibbles for what was on the whole an enjoyable puzzle, and a par week at 58 minutes overall. Many thanks to Curarist for the blog, and a good weekend to all.

      1. Gravity is indeed something serious! So is quite a lot else though, and my point was more that gravity the concept (ie gravitas), as opposed to gravity the thing which keeps us on the ground, is more a synonym of seriousness. But (as with entices/enticing – thank you Kevin – and probably my other minor issues as well) I get the sense I am looking for too much precision and others give the setter more leeway. So I shall stop here.

        1. I didn’t much like gravity until I thought about it in the sense of talking about the gravity of a situation.

      2. I parsed this as ‘gravity’ being the opposite of levity, hence something serious. I think I’ve pinched this idea from a book by Eric Idle, long since returned to the library, so no idea of the title.

    1. Flambé means ‘flamed’ -food covered in spirit and set alight – which most would regard as ‘burning’ but doesn’t mean the meat or whatever is actually ‘burnt’. I think your suggestion to change the tense would mean that things had gone too far!

      1. Jack I read this clue as lamb being the meat with flambé meaning burning. Hard to think of Crepes Suzette without thinking of the song by Kenneth Williams.
        Fishtails LOI. I had a 3 litre Mercedes that did that if you floored it. A frightening experience. J

        1. Thanks, Johnny. I wasn’t parsing the clue (curarist had already done that in his blog) but supporting the setter’s definition of flambé.

          1. Got you. Didn’t think a solver of your standard would mix that up. After doing a cryptic I struggle to follow simple English 😜

  13. 16 minutes, just over target, never saw the theme as NHO the programme or anything to do with it. The puzzle was ok though, I liked FISHTAILS, which took a moment to emerge from the checkers. Thanks Des and Curarist. I’ll head back now to last Friday’s blog to clear up the mystery of that theme.

  14. This seemed on the harder end today. I finished in 19:57, narrowly avoiding the SCC.
    LOI was FISHTAILS. NHO of this in the context of a vehicle’s uncontrolled movement.
    As a lay member of a Deanery Synod, I dispute the synod=meeting of clergy definition. In the C of E all synods (deanery, diocesan and general synod) have lay members as well as clergy. That said, the clue was obvious, so no complaints.

  15. Another DNF at 20 mins with FISHTAILS unsolved. I biffed SIKHS suspecting that ‘sis’ must mean MI6 although I have never heard the term. Now I look it up it appears that that is the organisations actual name!
    I took an age to get STANDS as I was not thinking of the name – a learning I have taken previously and forgotten. Hey ho.

  16. Was going to give up on fishtails, couldn’t fit tic or fit for uncontrolled movement.
    Eventually after an alphatrawl I saw that fish was most likely.
    COD gambols

  17. This felt different, for reasons that I can’t really explain. However, it was a fairly steady solve for me – NW, NE, SW and then some delay in the SE. All green, just avoiding the SCC in 19:29. FOI GRAVITY, LOI FLAMBÉ, COD MABEL. NHO the TV programme. Thanks Des and curarist.

  18. Wasted some time trying to work “sir” for “teacher” into 16d, hesitated over DIPPER for “ladle” but the real issue was getting completely stuck on LOI FISHTAILS. I thought I was looking for a vehicle and only blundered my way through in the end by positing “flails” for “uncontrolled movements” (which gave me “tails” by accident). It’s been that sort of week.

    All green in 11:42 for 1.9K and a Poor Day.

    Many thanks Des and super-speedy Curarist.


  19. Found this quite tricky with only a handful of clues solved on first pass. I did best in the NW corner and proceeded anti-clockwise, ending up in the NE where I was stuck for a time. Couldn’t see SIKHS for a long time despite knowing how the clue was constructed. 21 minutes all told with one or two unparsed.

    FOI – 5ac FALLS
    COD – 19ac SYNOD for the surface and 25ac ENCODED for the cleverness in making an intelligible sentence out of 7 first letters.

    Thanks to Des and to Curarist

  20. 7:52

    NHO the theme. Then again have NHO the definition for FISHTAILS. Otherwise quite enjoyable.

    Thanks Des and Curarist.

  21. Unfortunately I could not finish this one as 22a and 16d eluded me.

    I found this one quite difficult. But I actually enjoyed it. I’m not sure what it was about this QC but it seemed quite different from many others I have attempted. I am not sure if I have attempted a Des QC before (if I have, then it is not many at all), but I thought Des gave us a very enjoyable puzzle. Other setters (I’m looking at you, Mara and Joker amongst others) could well take a leaf out of Des’ book: His clues, though tricky in places, did not appear to me to be a complete nonsense.

  22. I got properly bogged down in the north east corner where FALLS and finally FISHTAILS held me up for what seemed an eternity. I finally managed to hobble over the line in 14.45.
    Generally a poor week for me with a total time of 52.14 making a daily average of 10.27, outside my ten minute daily target.

  23. I found most of this fairly easy, but like many, 5d was a bit of a puzzle. I had to leave it and do something else. Cleverly disguised definition! I saw TAILS, and then the FISH followed. Good one.
    As usual, I didn’t spot the theme.
    I won’t be troubling the scorers on the 15×15 today. A SNITCH of 150 is way out of my league, and probably most solvers on the 08.10 from Reading too.

  24. Another puzzle that took me over target. FISHTAILS held me up for ages. GRAVITY was FOI. 12:26. Thanks Des and Curarist.

  25. Another breezeblock day for me, although at 29 minutes in total I am not complaining. As for many contributors above, F_S_T_I_S proved remarkably difficult to trawl – an extra 5 minutes for me.

    Otherwise, getting the first two Across clues and most of their dependants early on gave me a great start. At one stage I even wondered if a PB might be in the offing, but clues like SIKHS, SYNOD, MESSAGE, REDHEAD and (of course) FISHTAILS put paid to that.

    Many thanks to Des and Curarist.

    P.S. As many as 28 clues today. Phew!

    1. Well done Mr R and thank you for your kind comments yesterday. Unfortunately I had something of a nightmare today, but I did manage five finishes this week.

      Have a great weekend.

  26. I thought this was going to conclude with another (enjoyable) visit to the SCC, but I eventually gave up trying to shoehorn Tic into loi 5d and then saw Fishtails without any further delay, for a skin of the teeth sub-20. I assume that Des and Felix are just two of the aliases used by our Editor, but, for me at least, American TV is not that much of an improvement on Dickens when it comes to Ninas, so this one passed me by as well. Invariant

  27. Easy enough, except for FISHTAILS, which it took me a long time to see. My pet hate in crosswords is synonyms which are a bit remote; fish/search, I’m not sure about that one. I’ve since checked the OED; one of the meanings of ‘fish’ is ‘to grope for something concealed’; is that really the same as ‘search’? The word ‘search’ is not included in any of the definitions.

    Edit – reading some other comments has reminded me that I had the same gripe parsing OCCUR (10ac) ‘be present’ and ‘occur’ are not really synonyms; something can ‘occur’, but not ‘be present’ at any given time.

    1. My old boss, a solicitor, once explained to me how some lawsuits are “fishing trips”. When I asked her what she meant, she said that the lawsuit would be baseless but by forcing the defending party into providing emails and other documents during the discovery process, the litigant would be hoping to find something they could then use to get compensation.

  28. Well, my prophesy came true – each day worse than the previous. Today I finished in about 14 minutes, with more than 6 minutes spent on my last two, and I had to resort to help from MrB to get my LOI. I always forget ‘head’ for teacher, and I couldn’t see where the definition was for FISHTAILS. I’m another who didn’t know the context. So a DNF or a team effort – not sure how to classify this one!
    Very frustrating, as I was zipping along, and thoroughly enjoyed a lot of the clues. Having said that, my COD makes up for everything – what a truly lovely clue 😊 I haven’t seen any lambs yet, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing lots in the next few weeks.
    I didn’t know the theme, but as Des is one of RR’s disguises, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised to have one! Thanks John for resolving last week’s poser.
    I squeezed in just under the hour for my weekly total, at 59 and a bit.
    FOI Gravity LOI Fishtails COD (and COY so far) Gambols
    Thanks Des and Curarist

    I note from the heading for the 15×15 that the blogger didn’t finish – there’s no hope for me today then. I’m really struggling!

      1. I shall look out for some tomorrow when I go out 😊 We have some rare breed cattle with their calves near where I volunteer – so sweet!

        1. A highlight of today’s 13 mile stage of the Angles Way (from North Cove to Somerleyton) was a ewe and her two lambs who posed for photographs in a field we passed.

  29. DNF. Foiled by FALLS and FISHTAILS. I had palls for the former thinking “The excitement palls(lessens?) quickly”. Oh well, must carry on. I also thought bit for BIN at first as “it” suggested fashionable in some way. Another misapprehension was thinking “ladle r” was the anagrist not “red pip “. Did enjoy both MESSAGE and MYSTERY though, which helped massage my misery!

  30. Snuck in at 19 mins…

    Like many, I got held up with 5dn “Fishtails”, which made me wonder whether 5ac “Falls” was correct (as I thought falls = lessens, whilst correct, felt a little clunky). I also didn’t know SIS was another name for MI6.

    My first thought when I put in 1dn “Gambols” was of the cartoon strip from many a year ago, so I wondered whether the theme, that was alluded to above, was something to do with that or cartoon strips in general. It turns out it was even more esoteric.

    FOI – 3dn “Ire”
    LOI – 5dn “Fishtails”
    COD – 12ac “Entices”

    Thanks as usual!

  31. Clock came in at 30:04 but was interrupted by a colleague so probably nearer 20 mins.

    Fishtails and Flambe took a bit of working out.

    Enjoyable workout, though completely missed the theme as had never heard of it.

    Thanks to Des.

  32. A slow but steady solve until I stuck on FISHTAILS. Disappointing. NHO in regard to car skidding.
    Liked many inc STANDS which made me smile when the penny finally dropped. Also liked GRAVITY, SIKHS, SIC, REDHEAD.
    LOsI NW corner.
    Thanks vm, Curarist. (NHO Gravity Falls either!)

    1. I could be wrong, but I think fishtailing is more of a problem with lorries, or perhaps cars pulling trailers, where the load swings violently from side to side.

    1. Given this had loads of tricky stuff – as comments show – that’s pretty good, and (from memory) a much better statistic than you’ve posted lately!

  33. 21.56 FISHTAILS wasn’t a problem but I ground to a halt after ten minutes with about eight clues left in the NW and SE. After another ten minutes I realised that the Laurel was Stan and everything else took a couple more minutes. I’m not sure that the problem was. ASSOCIATE and MESSAGE should have been very obvious.

  34. I wasn’t on Des’s wavelength at all today. A technical DNF with aids needed for FISHTAILS and – annoyingly – MYSTERY, which I should have spotted. I didn’t spot FISH=SEARCH even after finding the answer. I’ve never heard of the TV show, but didn’t think the puzzle strayed into clumsiness because of the theme. Fwiw: 23:31, after staring at my last two for 5 minutes.
    Thanks to Des and Curarist.

  35. Slow again today, failed on 5d fishtails, we had no idea of the meaning. Also 22a, where we has mistake for an answer. Better than yesterday but a poor end to the week.

  36. Needed help to get FISHTAILS and dallied over SMACK (slang for heroin) but couldn’t parse it, so stuck SHACK in, guessing that H was for heroin. Otherwise a fairly mild offering. GRAVITY FALLS? NHO.

  37. Late start (away for a family celebration) but I was driven nearly 2 mins over target by FISHTAILS – a tough one. Most of it was fine but one or two pennies were a bit slow to drop and I did biff a couple.
    Thanks, both. John M.

  38. Later: I finished the biggie! It took me between 90 minutes and 2 hours, with a two hour gap for my art appreciation group, but it’s done, with everything pretty much parsed and no help from aids or husband either 😅

  39. 5:49 this morning.
    A little slower than normal with too much time spent on LOI 5d “fishtails”. Once I saw how the clue was structured and despite 5 crossers being in place, I had a mental block trying to remember the word that often applies to artics in this context and eventually,once “jacknife” came to mind I realised it was totally unhelpful.
    COD 1 ac “gravity”.
    Weekly total time was 25:20, so just above my long term average and target. Much narrower range than last week.
    Thanks to Des and Curarist

  40. I’m getting nowhere with the QC. A dreadful performance today, finishing just under the hour mark. Held up badly by 7dn (after initially putting ENTICED for 12ac) and then taking forever to work out FISHTAILS. How do I go from 16 mins on Monday to this?

    I completed all 5 QCs this week, but take very little pleasure in that. Four finishes at 30 mins or worse is desperately disappointing. I appreciate that improvement comes slowly, but I am going backwards if anything. 🙁

    Thanks for the blog Curarist and best wishes to everyone for the weekend.

    1. Don’t despair! I thought this week was tricky – each day was slower. At least you finished each puzzle 👍 Here’s to next week being better!

    2. I agree with Penny about it having got harder this week.

      But in a learning process, progress is rarely straight upwards. It’s often 2-steps forward, 1 step back or a series of plateaus and then a leap forward.

      Always pulling for you mate 👍 Have a good weekend

  41. A bit late in the day… sorry. But I have it on good authority (i.e. the setter himself) that “…this week’s Nina is not at all quick but very cryptic ” and “The theme goes a lot further than anyone spotted. I didn’t think anyone would spot it, and I’m not sure whether to let on!”
    So who CAN spot it? I’m looking at the answers “MESSAGE and ENCODED” as a potential hint, but I’m maybe barking up the wrong tree.

    1. That I can see no-one has actually detailed what is in plain sight. From a quick read of Wikipedia we have…

      Top row – GRAVITY FALLS
      3rd row – MYSTERY SHACK
      5th row – OCCURENCES (OCCUR – ENtiCES)
      7th row – STAN (the great-uncle), DIPPER (the surname)
      11th row – MABEL (the girl)
      13th row – PINES (the boy)

      As for MESSAGE ENCODED, it seems the end credits had some ciphered messages include … https://gravityfalls.fandom.com/wiki/List_of_cryptograms
      I tried putting the unches through Caesar and Atbash but didn’t get anything.

      I’m noting the 9th row of STENCIL / SYNOD is the one row of the grid with nothing related going on. But that may just be a consequence of having to fit some down words in with everything else that’s going on.

    2. I think the instruction is to use the first letters of the clues not the answers to find the excuse. In Atbash this gives SORRY SOOS NO ROOM DUDE DES.

      1. Good spot.

        That would also some of the queried defs – particularly the above-mentioned occur=be present, but I also found myself slowed by ladle=dipper, message=implied meaning along the way. And others have questioned falls=lessen.

        1. I should share the email I got from Des when he saw we had solved it….
          Well done! I didn’t necessarily expect anyone to spot it. I was watching the entire two series with my son during August 2021 and when it came to thinking of a Nina it was an obvious choice. And then, well you have to include an ENCODED MESSAGE. Wouldn’t be right otherwise 🙂

      2. Well done. I was trying to work out what had to be encrypted and you beat me to it. And thanks #50 for pointing to the cryptographs site. And thank-you Des for the extra fun!

  42. So… Quick Cryptic number 2354… And the clock stopped at exactly 23.54! What are the chances, eh?

  43. Failed on FISHTAILS which I thought was a bit much for a QC. Also could not decide between PALLS and FALLS both of which would have worked.
    A mixture of very easy clues and some real testers today.

      1. Thanks #50. It as 4-1 to the setters this week but two puzzles were only one clue away from finishing so not disheartened. I learn something new every week and the blog adds to the pleasure.
        I see you had a quick solve week.

    1. I’m in full agreement about FISHTAILS – the vast majority struggled here and many seemed to solve only with an alphabet trawl. I also considered PALLS for a while.

      Let’s put this week behind us and look forward to the next!

  44. Never got fishtails because I though(and still think) that Palls was a much better answer than Falls.

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