Quick Cryptic 2464 by Felix

This one was of average difficulty, though the parsings were all very straightforward. For once in my life I have spotted the Nina, and it is quite a good one – I’ll explain in the comments if no-one gets there first.

3 In secluded oasis, ayahs obey me! (2,2,1,3)
DO AS I SAY – hidden word: secludeD OASIS AYahs
7 Umpire at home with English and Polish (6)
8 Say incorrectly how to address gallery founder’s daughter? (8)
MISSTATE – Mr Tate’s daughter would be Miss Tate
9 Trouble follows loud bomb (4)
FAIL – AIL after F
10 Boy not quite finishing aria? (3)
11 Lights showing seabirds east of territory, briefly (8)
13 Lean time before conclusion (4)
15 Grass brought back for ruminants (4)
DEER – REED backwards
17 Streaks of light bun, a mess when splattered (8)
SUNBEAMS – anagram (‘splattered’) of BUN A MESS
19 Self-esteem, for example, zero (3)
EGO – E.G. + O
22 Extended record to include name (4)
LONG – LOG with N for name inside
23 Cuts thin pants to reverse seamstress’s work? (8)
UNSTITCH – anagram (‘pants’) of CUTS THIN
24 Famous old female, not European (2,4)
OF NOTE – O + F + NOT + E
25 Cleaner’s mum making personal appeal (8)
1 After month, a class is to break up (8)
2 Friend of Pooh and mine keeping leg moving (6)
PIGLET – PIT with anagram (‘moving’) of LEG inside
3 Protest of French medic (4)
4 Killer twin fools at home (8)
ASSASSIN – A fool is an ASS, two of them is ASSASS, plus IN
5 Camping goal? (6)
6 Worker, perhaps with one opponent (4)
12 Dishes of rice to stir so frenziedly (8)
RISOTTOS – anagram (‘frenziedly’) of TO STIR SO
14 Put up with some venom in a testimony (8)
NOMINATE – hidden word: veNOM IN A TEstimony
16 Vicar in park, over the hill (6)
RECTOR – REC is a park, TOR is a hill
18 London suburb ravaged in gale (6)
EALING – anagram (‘ravaged’) of IN GALE
20 Move slowly in church (4)
21 Order to stop being misery to audience (4)
WHOA – sounds like ‘WOE’

115 comments on “Quick Cryptic 2464 by Felix”

  1. It started with a hidden – DO AS I SAY – and for once I got it straight away! I saw this by Felix as a terrific example of a QC, with a good mix of clues and some clever wordplay. I took a while getting SEPARATE (I didn’t get that deep into the year, and anyway I thought it was Sept) but main hold-up was the CHARISMA/WHOA pairing. Didn’t take the time to actually look at the ‘whoa’ clue and couldn’t get past ‘charm’ along the bottom. 7.55, thanks excurarist.

    PS: I’m not a Ninaphile but seeing you mentioned it I went back and had a look. I see nothing!

  2. Very fast solve for me so an easier, enjoyable puzzle, or just on the wavelength (<10 and anything outside SCC is good for me – but why bother – I like to savor the clues and the club has a very pleasant ambiance). Mais moi aussi – pas de nina. Please enlighten!

  3. 8 minutes. On a point of pedantry, and as someone born and raised in a parish presided over by a rector, I need to mention that a rector is not a vicar, although they may perform exactly the same function. It’s historical stuff going back to how parish priests were paid in the days when tithes were levied.

    I note that Vinyl1’s comment about September being more usually abbreviated to Sept is supported by the Cobuild entry at Collins online however I would disagree. It’s common practice for months of the year to be abbreviated to 3 letters, so September becomes Sep in line with the other abbreviations which never in any circumstance run to 4 letters. I’m not saying that Sept isn’t valid, only that Sep is every bit as common if not more so.

    On the Nina I thought I spotted odd words or bits of answers that appear in the lyric to Do Re Mi from The Sound of Music but it all became a bit random and was not really sufficient to constitute a coherent theme – DO A / DEER / SUN / LONG / NOTE if you want to know.

    1. The first two letters of the across clues are DO, RE, ME, FA, SO, LA and TE. This is repeated as DOE = DEER, RAY = SUNBEAM, ME = EGO, LONG =FAR, SOW = STITCH. The crossword is OF NOTE.

      1. Ah, many thanks. So I was along the right lines! I’d also spotted STITCH in the grid as having relevance to ‘needle pulling thread’ but neglected to mention it in my earlier post.

        1. You also have CHAR of CHARISMA covering the TE. Now, what aligns with LA? By the (perfectly correct) order in which they are written in the grid, is that not the “of note” reference?

          1. Well spotted. The best I could do for LA was either La meaning look! ie NOTE or LA meaning no in Arabic (It is easy to start seeing Nina elements everywhere).

            1. I agree re spotting (or imagining) more and more tenuous Nina connections…it can be a lot of fun. I know some solvers think Ninas often result in some clunky clues. I have yet to be anything but entirely impressed by one.

              1. This always struck me as a weak part of the song. “Lah: a note to follow Soh?”. Surely any half-decent crossword aficionado can improve on that such as:

                “LA: another word for LO”. This scans and rhymes, and I just learnt this word last week.

                1. In our student days Penfold (of this ‘ere place) & I created our magnum opus, “The Sound Of Yorkshire”, where we used “Lah is what tha’ mustn’t breck (break)” .

  4. I was very much on Felix’s wavelength today and came in all green in 12:30, which is light speed for me. (I would’ve come in sub-10 had I not persisted in trying to parse my LOI, 1d, using FEB and DEC as the months. Doh!). Maybe the fact that no clue was more than eight letters long helped? I dunno but I’ll take it as a win.
    No real stand out clues for me although RECTOR made me smile, even though I agree with Jackkt that a rector is technically different to a vicar.
    Thank you Felix and Excurarist for a fine end to the week. Happy Weekends all.

  5. I was on Felix’s wavelength too today, and achieved my fastest time of 13:09. FOI was Do As I Say; LOI was Lanterns. Thanks Felix and to all bloggers this week.

  6. 8’23” held up by CHARISMA, DEER and SEPARATE, but I have no issues at all with Sep vs Sept as I stand with Jackkt on the standard 3 letter abbreviation.

    Would never have seen the Nina but think it’s wonderful having read Sawbill’s decoding.

    Thanks Felix and Excurarist.

  7. Well! After 4 toughies this week, a 6 minute solve and the fastest I’ve ever done a puzzle by Felix. Doing it on a phone and therefore not knowing the setter, I was convinced by both the friendliness and the Piglet clue that this was by Oink. A pleasure from FOI Do as I say to LOI Unstitch.

    Many thanks to Excurarist for the blog and a good weekend to all.

  8. Obviously the theme passed me by, but now that it’s been pointed it it’s worthy of applause.

    I lost the best part of a minute on my LOI where I had -A-TERNS and simply couldn’t see the light (groan!!!)

    I thought this was quite gentle by Felix’s standards.

    TIME 4:57

        1. I suppose it may be obvious that I say (truly) that I tend to miss etc., but my tendency isn’t obvious.

          1. Since 95% of themes and Ninas totally escape my attention, and most regular readers here know that, then “obviously” seems perfectly reasonable (at least statistically).

    1. Sirry, I am new to this blog. Could someone let me know what NINA. FOI and any other acronyms used here stand for? I assume COD is [for me ] CLUE OF THE DAY. Many thanks.

  9. That was a relief after the battles of the last few days. No major issues apart from a complete brain fade where I couldn’t get Winnie out of my head for one of Pooh’s friends 🤦‍♂️ 😂.
    Started with REFINE and finished with LANTERNS in 7.17 and, as usual, the nina very clever passed me by.
    Thanks to Excurarist

  10. 8:56 – first authentic sub-10 ⚡ Had a 9:42 corrected dnf on Monday and last Tuesday (8th) recorded 10:30. So about two minutes knocked off the March previous PB of 10:53 during August.

    Fairly flew round one of the weirdest grids I’ve seen which made tabbing to each clue harder. Probably helped with speed as I ended up just working off what I had. Didn’t find many of the defs biffable until I had some part of them – which I see as good. Was helped by having seen WHOA just yesterday and tentatively using that – but not sure I like it as a homophone. I feel like I want to pronounce A or say it really slowly and long … whoooooooaaaaaaaaa

    A minute or so hold up at the end trying to use December for SEPARATE and a few moments thought to be sure of F=loud for FAIL. So there’s potential to get down into the 7s but let’s celebrate today first …

    Have a good weekend everybody 👍

      1. Not making that mistake again.

        After passing back in early June, I immediately had a head-on crash into an Izetti.

        Anyway my instructor says while this was an excellent effort I am still make too many minor faults which has led to only 8/14 successes this month 😬

    1. No more LPlates for you!
      I thought I might get close to 10 today after a flying start but got rather slowed up in the last few and ended up strolling in at about 15, forsaking the SCC for today.

      1. That’s frustrating but still nice to get it all done and dusted in not-too-long especially after most of the recents

  11. I echo Plett’s experience – relief after the last couple of days. Not just the tough QCs but, more disruptively, being on our third day of PGD with lovely granddaughter.
    I couldn’t post times for the last two (didn’t get more than a couple of mins interrupted time wherever I tried to hide). At least today offered a simpler puzzle and only one interruption, allowing a time of 11.5 mins (all parsed). So quite respectable for me. Nina? Nah – didn’t spot it.
    Some nice clues and some sitting ducks to be picked off.
    Like ITTT, I spent too long trying to start 1d with FEB and DEC but got there in the end. I quite liked CHARISMA and MISSTATE and my LOI was WHOA, despite having seen it in a recent puzzle but not really seeing it as a homonym.
    Thanks to both. John M.

  12. 1354 Earthquake in Gallipoli earthquake followed by Turkish capture of the peninsula from the Byzantines.

    After a couple of slow ones this week, this felt a bit easier. Missed the Nina, keeping my 100% miss rate for them.

    LOI was SEPARATE where I was tempted by the many words starting with DEC.

    I thought the plural of Risotto would be Risotti. Then I made it fit by misspelling as RISSOTTI.


    1. Yes, of course it is, in Italian. I too had a bit of a MER at the rather lame RISOTTOS, but fear risotto is now deemed an English word which therefore obeys the laws of English grammar. It’s not as bad as panini, though, which (again “of course”) is plural in Italian (one panino, two panini) but has now (shame!) become singular in English (one panini, two paninis – yuk!).

      1. And what one is to make of the word “sautéed”, which appears on far too many menus, is anyone’s guess.

  13. Brilliant Nina, now that people smarter than I am have explained it to me!

    Also a very enjoyable puzzle, though like my legs after yesterday’s hill walking my brain seems to be a bit on the stiff side. Got absolutely hung up on the three letter month being DEC and spent a long time there. Eventually moved on to FEB and finally SEP, which I really didn’t think of as an abbreviation for September and half expected the DPS on submitting. Otherwise a delight for 09:10 and a Decentish Day.

    Many thanks Felix and Excurarist.


  14. I don’t time myself but this was probably a PB for me although appeared daunting to start off with.

    I loved some of the images – The cleaner’s mum making a personal appeal and the friend of Pooh and mine keeping leg moving!

    Thanks PEDRO great crossword, Excurarist and for the discussion above about Rectors and Vicars, I never knew that. What about Parsons??

  15. Possibly my fastest solve ever. All the across clues, except two in the SW corner went in almost immediately. This made the downs easier. This supports yesterday’s suggestion that a puzzle need not be difficult to be enjoyed; although I did this puzzle quickly, its readable surfaces and clever wordplay were not lost on me. FOI DO AS I SAY, LOI CHARISMA, COD to NOMINATE, where but for crossers already in, I would surely have wasted minutes seeking a synonym for PUT UP WITH. Thanks Felix and Excurarist..

  16. Thank you, Felix – all done in an hour. FOI REFINE, LOI WHOA (again!). Am I being churlish to FAIL to NOMINATE any special COD?
    Thank you too, Excurarist, for explaining those I couldn’t parse: LAN(d) for territory, and “to audience” being an indicator for “sounds like”. Then UNSTITCH was obvious, but how is “pants” an anagram indicator, please?
    Thank you both (below); NHO, but Mrs M assures me “pants = of inferior quality / rubbish” is “perfectly normal”, so clearly it’s just me who’s in his ivory tower.
    Completely in awe of the Nina – almost unbelievable that anyone can be as ingenious as that. Congratulations to the extraordinary Felix. So now we have it: the FOD (feature of the day) is the Nina.

    1. It is quite a common anagrind. From Wiktionary:
      pants (comparative more pants, superlative most pants)
      (Britain, slang) Of inferior quality, rubbish.
      Your mobile is pants — why don’t you get one like mine?
      so I suppose it implies scrambled?

    2. “pants” is used these days to describe anything that is poor, wrong, unsatisfactory, etc. There may be a number of A level students describing their results as “pants” today, following a return to “normal” grading.

      1. So far as I can see ‘pants’ has fallen completely out of modern parlance, and survives only as a crossword anagrind.

  17. Very fast but slowed in NW. LOsI SEPARATE and FAIL. Did not equate ail with trouble at first, then realised it was a verb. ‘O, what can ail thee, knight-at-arms, alone and palely loitering?’
    Liked CHARISMA, SUNBEAMS, PIGLET, RECTOR, among others.
    The clever Nina passed me by, as usual.
    Thanks all, esp Excurarist.

  18. Lovely end to the week, especially when clever folk explained the theme (which I did look for in vain), which is really very good.



  19. 12:46 for a rare SCC avoidance for a Felix QC. FOI DO AS I SAY, LOI DEER. I absolutely love the brilliance of this NINA, so the COD has to give way to the NOD (Nina of the day) closely followed by the GOD (Grid of the day, or Genius of the day, referring to people who can invent and/or decipher NINAs). Thanks Felix and excurarist.

  20. Couldn’t believe how everything just fell into place. If it wasn’t for messing about with DEC instead is SEP for separate this would have been an even more remarkable time. As it is 5:36 ‘isn’t too shabby’ as they say around here! Didn’t see the Nina but have enjoyed going back over it. Thanks all.

    1. So many PBs, including me finishing for the first time in months. In 1:45hr, clearly not a bright as most of you lot, but who cares. Loved ASSASSIN, and SUNBEAMS and of course the SoM theme.

      1. Well done on the completion and PB Will.

        It has taken me almost two years to reach today’s PB with lots of practice. I often took well over an hour last year so keep applying your “will power” 🙄 and it will pay off

  21. Lovely Nina! And a relatively straightforward QC for Felix. In fact I had a clean sweep of the acrosses apart from 9A where I had FADO to start. Thanks retired Curarist and Felix. 4:23.

  22. I was well on my way to a very quick time with just 1dn to do. Like Templar I thought it had to begin with DEC or at a push FEB, and spent well over a minute trying in vain to get to the answer. Eventually SEP came to me as a possibility but I suspect I had subconsciously dismissed it as it is usually a four letter abbreviation. My finishing time of 6.45 was still quick by my standard, but I’m frustrated it wasn’t faster.
    The Nina is absolutely outstanding, and in spite of seeing The Sound of Music umpteen times, I still failed to spot it.
    My total time for the week was 50.39 giving a daily average of 10.08, just a little outside target.

    1. Very well done, Mr Pandy!
      Re: The Sound Of Music – My mother, who has recently passed away, claimed that she watched that film 77 times and enjoyed it on every occasion. Mind you, she was working as an usherette at The Odeon in Bournemouth when the film was released.

      1. When I saw the film when it first came out in 1965 I was only 17, and I didn’t dare confess to my friends how much I enjoyed it, as I thought my they would consider me wimpish! I think in truth I fell in love with Julie Andrews and always considered her the perfect English rose!
        Four years later I was in Salzburg with my mother on holiday, and she was totally enchanted by seeing all the locations from the film on the ‘Sound of Music Tour’.
        To this day, I’m not ashamed to admit I still get a lump in my throat when I hear Christopher Plummer sing ‘Eidelweiss’ near the end of the film.

  23. 12 minutes steady solve, but failed to spot the theme, which I knew must be there. After yesterday’s travails with the blog (I missed an entire clue as well as the title – how dumb was that?) this was a welcome relief. Many thanks Felix and Excurarist.

  24. 6.15 which is fast for me, including a slowish middle. Just over 2 verlaines which is probably a record.
    COD unstitch.

  25. Managed to complete this one with some difficulty. Cat help needed with 23a.

    I’ve always seen/used Sep to be September, never Sept.

    Wasn’t a big fan of 21d, it really depends how you pronounced whoa. However, I can see how it works.

    1. 23a was UNSTITCH, so not sure how your cat was able to help. Unless he/she is a descendent of Bagpuss.

      1. I don’t think he is as he’s orange. But I’ll ask him when he gets back. He’s gone fishing.

  26. 20 mins…

    A good Nina – although I didn’t spot it.

    Nearly came a cropper with 1dn, thinking it was something to do with Decimate, but 9ac “Fail” put that to bed. Similarly, initially had “As Is A Yah!” for 3ac until I saw sense.

    Liked 7ac “Refine” and 23ac “Unstitch”

    FOI – 3dn “Demo”
    LOI – 1dn “Separate”
    COD – 25ac “Charisma”

    Thanks as usual!

  27. I join the band of happy solvers with a 35 minute finish.
    Well done Felix for sending us all off for the weekend with smiles on our faces.
    COD to PIGLET. I like clues that look impossible and then fall into place.
    Thanks Excurarust, I could not parse WHOA and certainly didn’t see the nina, which is one of the best I’ve seen.

  28. 6.42 with three typos. Very quick for me but SUBMEAMS and INSTITCH spoiled it. LANTERNS was the last one in. I am yet to spot a nina but it was very clever. Thanks to Excurarist and Felix.

  29. On wavelength for the solve but looked and failed to see the NINA. FOI DO AS I SAY and LOI SEPARATE (hesitated over RATE) in 6:32. A lovely way to end a tough week.

    Oh, I do like the NINA but now I can’t get the Julie Andrew’s rendition out of my head. Well played Felix.

  30. I enjoyed this offering from Felix which I finished in 13 minutes, all parsed. No particular hold-ups although, like others, I was trying to start 1dn with DEC.. at first. The nina completely passed me by but that is normal.

    FOI – 7ac REFINE
    LOI – 15ac DEER
    COD – 8ac MISSTATE. Also liked the well hidden DO AS I SAY

    Thanks to Felix and Excurarist

  31. 12:13. Didn’t see DO AS I SAY for a while as there seemed to be a lot of other tiny words in there that distracted me(e.g. AS IS A YAH from James Ed 46). I was another
    who thought SEPARATE would start DEC. I missed parsing CHAR IS as I could only see CHAR’S- thanks, blog. Congrats to all who achieved great times! P.S. I always thought “The Sound of Music” was a rather silly title.

    1. Hello Curryowen,
      If you think The Sound Of Music was “a rather silly title” you may wish to take a listen to The Music Of Sound, a concept album by an American artist/musician who goes by the name of melodysheep. I’ve enjoyed each of the tracks (approx. 4) I’ve heard.

    2. Let’s hope we make it safely through the weekend CO … 1.37NDs may rattle the gods 😁

  32. I fairly zoomed through this one, but spoiled it all at the end by noticing that the the clock said 4:58 and rushing to submit as 99% floated before my eyes and vanished, leaving me with 1 pink square where I’d failed to put the O in 10a. Drat! Missed the nina as usual. Thanks Felix and Excurarist.

  33. 5:01

    The nina was way, way over my head, indeed, so far that I couldn’t see it – very clever once explained. The crossword itself was fairly straightforward – my LOI was 1d where I’d focussed on DEC or FEB as the month, forgetting that SEP also fit the checker.

    Thanks Felix and Excurarist

  34. Breathless speed! I saw DO AS I SAY and REFINE straight away and many of their dependent down clues also came quickly. My solving pace didn’t let up much and I became a little concerned that, either I would make an unforced error by striving for a PB, or I would hit the buffers with one clue to go. Fortunately, neither of these outcomes actually happened, although I couldn’t parse the ‘territory’ bit of LANTERNS, and I put my pencil down after just 14 minutes (super-fast for me).

    Mrs Random started her attempt one minute after me and finished one minute ahead. I didn’t see her overtake but it meant that, once again, she earned the family point.

    Many thanks to Felix and Excurarist.

  35. Haven’t been able to post for a couple of days as life has been getting in the way. Very pleased to come back to the most straightforward QC I can remember. Everything went straight in. Liked CHARISMA and WHOA (love a homophone). Nina totally passed me by but nothing new there. Thanks Felix and excurarist.
    Btw, we still use pants to mean awful in our household 😂

  36. After several dnfs, the week finished on a high at record speed (for me!) 34”. Didn’t see the nina so thanks to others for enlightenment.
    Thanks to Felix, Excurarist, and bloggers

  37. Quick solve apart from spending time on my LOI Separate as, like others, I was concentrating on Dec and Feb.

    Excellent Nina which I did not spot but the clues go DO RE MI, not DO RE ME.

  38. PB of 8 minutes.
    LOI Lanterns

    This was a great puzzle for me – everything was ok. Hesitated over Charisma and Whoa but not for too long.

    Missed the theme.

    Thanks all,

  39. Congratulations to those who achieved PBs and other excellent times today, particularly L-Plates with his superb finish.

    Unfortunately, I feel completely flat after reading so many people say this was easy/straightforward etc. I didn’t enjoy it and struggled throughout. Finished in 21 mins with a hold up in SW corner. Missed the homophone indicator for ages in 21dn and thought mum in 25ac meant a word for cleaner beginning with SH. I don’t think I will ever make a good solver if I do so poorly on what was evidently a simple QC. How so many of you breezed through this is unfathomable to me!

    A miserable end to an awful week. 19ac is how I feel right now.

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

    PS Perhaps part of the reason for my struggle was trying to do this after trying and failing to get all but one clue on the Quintagram. Thirty minutes that left me frazzled before attempting this.

    1. A lot of the time it is a wavelength thing, with some setters I am stuck on clues for ages and have to write out the anagrist or do alphatrawls, other times like today the answers just pop into my head.

      1. I agree. Those days when the answer just seems to arrive without any effort are blissful.

    2. Thanks for the shout out GA. For whatever reason, your solve hasn’t gone well. I’ve been having the same issue with Hurley recently whereas everybody else says “that was easy”. Just have to chalk it up to experience. 21mins isn’t *that* bad.

      The CQ has been a nightmare over the past couple of days – think I got two yesterday and two today (#3&4) before I checked. I couldn’t even get #1 today which is abysmal given it’s a chestnut and only 3 letters 🤦‍♂️

      1. Relieved it wasn’t just me thinking the CQ had been horrible – it normally sharpens me up for the QC but today I should have stopped after 10 mins when it was clear it wasn’t going to happen. By carrying on today I just frazzled my brain, and put myself on the back foot from the start with the QC.

        I’ve achieved my revised target so I’m happy-ish now I’ve had time to think. Would like to have avoided SCC but I was genuinely amazed at all of those PBs and other excellent times.

        Have a good weekend. Weather forecast here looks decent for the first time in ages, although your part of the world might be a bit soggy.

    3. So sorry to hear you’re depressed by finishing in 21 minutes. I was thrilled, delighted, elated and ebullient to finish at all – so it’s all a matter of arbitrary perception. Perhaps you’re doing too many puzzles, so they take over your life and become important out of proportion? But I think you did jolly well and (for one, at least) will congratulate you – if that makes you feel any better?

      1. Thank you, that’s very kind and does make me feel a little better. It’s not so much the 21 mins, as the fact that I found this tricky(ish) when many others thought it straightforward. It makes me wonder where my ‘blind spot’ is. It is also a bit annoying to end up in the SCC again, when an escape was possible.

        I only attempt the QC and the Quintagram from Monday to Friday. I take the weekend off to avoid becoming obsessed with cryptics. I have rarely come across anything so challenging as cryptic crosswords, and I need to guard against giving them undue significance.

        Thanks again and have a lovely weekend.

    4. By comparison, 1:19 on Saturday’s CQ – #1 took a bit of thought to parse post-solve. That’s definitely my fastest ever.

  40. 7:53 (753 BCE, Foundation of Rome)

    My fastest time for a while, and nice to finish with no pink squares for once.

    I did not spot the Nina. Thanks to those who pointed it out. A very impressive Nina.

    Thanks Felix and Excurarist

  41. Like Templar, I was convinced that the month was DEC, and only got the answer when I started thinking of words that meant the definition. I got all but one (Of Note) of the across clues on the first pass, which is a personal best. And then I spent a very long time before I got Separate! I was very impressed with the Nina, but did not spot it even when I saw from the first line of the blog that there was one.

  42. Obviously I DNF. 18/26 today. The first 14 answers went in in as many minutes! I am therefore nominating this QC as the easiest QC in a very long time!

    1. Not too bad Ian. Keep going.

      My brain must work differently to everyone else. I found this relatively hard whereas Monday was ‘easy’.

  43. 4.46

    Quick one here which makes a change from recent efforts.

    Also wanted DEC at the end but forced myself to go through each of the months and Bingo!

    Well done to everyone on their fast times

    Thanks Excurarist and clever Felix

  44. Really enjoyable puzzle. Thankyou. After 3 days of hair pulling this was sheer joy. Not that it wasn’t without stumbles however.

  45. I do the puzzles on paper so times are a bit irrelevant, but I was pleased to complete this one in strict order first Across to last Down – only the third time ever, and never for a 15×15.

    Elegant clues, and a beautiful NINA, so thanks to Felix (who I seem to remember took a bit of a battering last time out) and Excurarist.

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