Times Quick Cryptic No 2359 by Felix

Today we have another Quick Cryptic from Felix. I enjoyed it a lot – some great clues, with 19A, 3D and 16D all getting an approving tick on my copy. LOI was 21A and I finished in a just-over-average time for me of 5:47.

Being a Felix Crossword, we again have a Nina to spot. Can you see it? You will need to look at the whole grid… For the solution click the button below. By the way, if you didn’t check the blog for last Friday’s Des Puzzle, QC 2354 after about 8:20pm, you will have missed that there was a lot more to the Nina in that than we originally thought! For a full explanation see here.

“That’s a nice grid”, I thought as I started the puzzle. Unusually, instead of rotational symmetry it has reflective symmetry about a diagonal. There is also a pattern in the unfilled grid that is explained in the answers to 10A, 11A, 6D, 7D and 21A – ROMAN FIFTEEN SYMMETRICALLY TURNED IN GRID. Take the grid and turn it 45 degrees clockwise. Can you see the roman numerals for fifteen , XV, going downwards in the black squares?


Thank-you Felix! How did you all get on?

Fortnightly Weekend Quick Cryptic. This time it is Sawbill’s turn to provide the extra weekend entertainment. You can find the crossword (and news of a London get together in June) here. If anyone is interested in our previous offerings you can find an index to all 73 here.

Apologies, but again I won’t be able to respond to comments after early morning until the evening as I am walking a 7th and final stretch of the Angles Way to Great Yarmouth today. But I’m sure you wont miss me.

Definitions underlined in bold italics, (Abc)* indicating anagram of Abc, {deletions} and [] other indicators.

1 What player won’t want to receive? Guys maybe fail to answer (8,4)
HOSPITAL PASSHOSPITAL (Guys, maybe) PASS (fail to answer). A HOSPITAL PASS is a poor pass to a teammate in rugby or football that puts them in a high likelihood of a crunching tackle from an opponent. It was one of those that got me a broken collarbone playing rugby at school. [Thanks Merlin for the prompt to explain the term in the blog].
8 Sound of cattle crossing river by cricket club: love the country! (7)
MOROCCOMOO (sound of cattle) crossing R (river), CC (cricket club) O (0; love).
9 Change your mind regarding university originally chosen for Wales (5)
CYMRU -First letters of, [originally chosen], Change Your Mind Regarding University.
10 From memory, an Italian native (5)
ROMANROM (Read-Only Memory) AN.
11 Rugby team, very loud, surrounding one youngster (7)
FIFTEENFF (fortissimo; very loud) [surrounding] I (one), TEEN (youngster).
12 Give out one’s petition (5)
ISSUEI (one) ‘S, SUE (petition).
14 Had yearning of French father and daughter (7)
DESIREDDE (of in French) SIRE (father) D (daughter).
15 Asian rips off French people (9)
PARISIANS – (Asian rips)* [off]. Lovely surface.
17 Firm, small lettuce (3)
COSCO (company; firm), S (small).
19 One got our mail redirected to a remote region (5,8)
OUTER MONGOLIA – (One got our mail)* [redirected].
21 Scandinavian girl maybe riding out (6)
INGRID -(riding)* [out].
22 Caught in dismay orotund dignitary (5)
MAYOR – Hidden, [caught], in disMAY ORotund.
1 Cartoon character: poet’s devil child (5,7)
HOMER SIMPSONHOMER’S (poet’s) IMP (devil) SON (child).
2 Seafood one’s taken from ships crossing border (7)
SHRIMPSSH{i}PS , without the I (one), crossing RIM (border).
3 Old Peruvian showing where the baked beans are? (5)
INCAN – Double definition, the second a funny cryptic hint. Well it made me laugh anyway.
4 A female keeping gents perhaps distant (5)
ALOOFA F (female) outside, [keeping], LOO (gents perhaps).
5 Lifting cap, one means to punch peace-lovers (9)
PACIFISTS – [Lifting] CAP -> PAC, I (one) FISTS (means to punch).
6 So nicely balanced, my lime crystal shattered (13)
SYMMETRICALLY – (my lime crystal)* [shattered].
7 Part of garden ruthlessly lifted up and transformed (6)
TURNED – Reverse hidden [part of … lifted up] in garDEN RUThlessly.
13 Distraught re nurse, I can guarantee (7)
ENSURER – [Distraught] (re nurse)*.
14 Playing card, most valuable one? (7)
DIAMOND – Double definition, the second a cryptic hint.
16 Rodent performing in shop (3,2)
RAT ONRAT (rodent) ON (performing).
18 One on flight to look hard when speaking (5)
STAIR – Sounds like [when speaking], STARE (to look hard).
20 Stick something in one’s mouth (3)
GUM – Double definition.

119 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2359 by Felix”

  1. 16:42. 1642 Start of English Civil War.

    Would have been another Crusader time but for LOI SHRIMPS where I thought ships = SS, and also distracted by ‘scampi’.

    A HOSPITAL PASS is a poor pass to a teammate in rugby or football that puts them in a high likelihood of a crunching tackle from an opponent.

    I did not see ROM=memory, so had to discount PISAN

    What a great NINA, not distracting, and itself a cryptic clue. And fine use of the “reveal” capability in WordPress, John. Top Blogging.

  2. I had no idea what a HOSPITAL PASS was, so thank you Merlin; I biffed it (LOI), never tried to parse it. Ditto for HOMER SIMPSON, although I parsed it post-submission. Biffed ROMAN, too, I see; and PACIFISTS, PARISIANS, SYMMETRICAL, OUTER MONGOLIA, in all 3 cases assuming without checking that the anagrist was all there. No idea, of course, what the Nina is, or what it was last Friday. 5:52.

  3. 10 minutes. NHO HOSPITAL PASS. I rarely notice grids except the sometimes unkind portcullis variety, so I was never going to spot the hidden aspect of today’s puzzle.

  4. An early clockwise solve in bed, to take my mind off being awake. Lovely puzzle with some excellent clues. Only real hold ups were HOMER (I was trying to think of a Disney classic) and the crossing ISSUE/SHRIMPS, the latter being LOI & COD.

    All done in 09:26 for 1.6K and a Decent Day.

    Many thanks John and Felix. Off to tackle sawbill now!


  5. Lovely crossword and clever Nina. COD to PARISIANS.

    Good luck with the Weekend QC.

  6. 8:31. A good way to start with HOSPITAL PASS and HOMER SIMPSON. Not so good to be held up by FIFTEEN and SYMMETRICALLY (needed crossers to spell correctly) at the end.

    Try as I might I couldn’t see that Nina; too difficult for me and well done for spotting it.

    Thanks to Felix and John

  7. Remarkable nina – it would have gone unnoticed without John’s help, so thanks! A solid seven on the first pass of acrosses but mostly in the bottom half. Very slow to see HOMER SIMPSON, I was thinking Beano or Eagle until every single checker was in place. Enjoyed being tricked into trying to get XV into what turned out to be FIFTEEN (a rare example of a nina enhancing a puzzle), the (post-solve) simplicity of SHRIMPS and the way the HOSPITAL PASS clue slowly reavealed its meaning. Really good one, all green in 10.

  8. A tough week completed by a lazy pink square of ‘insurer’ not ENSURER which was very very poor as I even had to overwrite the ‘e’ of ISSUE to make the mistake.

    No idea how you ever spot the Ninas – and don’t really understand this one if I’m honest!

    Thanks Felix for some lovely clues and John for the fine blog.

    1. Take the grid and turn it 45 degrees clockwise. Can you see the roman numerals for fifteen going downwards in the black squares?

      1. Aha! Thank you. I don’t who’s more clever – Felix for constructing it or you for spotting it!

        1. It’s a great spot, though the V isn’t very V shaped! I spotted ROMAN FIFTEEN and then wondered if it was because there were going to be loads of (or none of) x and v. I looked at the giant + sign in the grid but never thought of rotating it!

          This stuff is way above my pay grade, basically

        1. Look at the black cross (+) in the grid, then turn your paper/screen until it looks like an X and you should then see a black V under it. XV = 15

          1. Thanks Invariant.

            Personally, not convinced about that “V” – needed an extra black square on each side in my opinion. More like a chevron to me.

            1. Glad you found it Paul, but you missed the important instruction TURNED… but I think I explained it all in the hidden part of the blog introduction.

              1. I thought I was missing a piece, and there it is in plain (and symetrical to Ingrid) sight

                I did read the blog header, but I also didn’t see the obvious “click here for full info” button – just the link to last week’s mind-bender, which I skipped past.

                I’m feeling less and less clever as this goes on, but am looking forward to next Friday

    2. I very nearly did the same, i.e. enter ‘insurer’, not ENSURER; however I did pause and noticed that there was no ‘I’ in the anagrist.

      I’m not particularly happy with ‘ensurer’ – you won’t find it in the concise OED. Presumably this is allowed on the basis that you can form an agent noun from any verb simply by adding ‘er’ (or ‘r’ if the verb ends in ‘e’). I wonder; has anyone ever seen or heard the word ‘ensurer’ actually used?

  9. Started with 1d having drawn a blank with HOSPITAL PASS, and got most of its offshoots straight away which opened up the grid nicely. Thereafter it was a speedy solve until breezeblocked by LOI TURNED.
    Thought the theme was going to be geography related but didn’t spend too long looking – even if I had I wouldn’t have spotted something that clever.
    Finished in 7.42
    Thanks to John for the blog and Felix for the entertainment.

  10. 5.06

    Quick one for me today. Must be the thought of the weekend.

    Excellent crossie and very clever Nina

    OUTER MONGOLIA was cracking anagram

    Thanks John and Felix

  11. 17:38 to save the week!

    Was not enjoying all the geography references but ALOOF made me laugh out loud and lightened my mood. Poor first pass had me thinking it might be another of those difficult days so while it never felt quick I was surprised to see the SCC escape. Hoping PennyB makes it out too and we can go to Costa instead 😉

    Wouldn’t have spotted the NINA in a million years so thanks to John for the explanation and the blog.

    2hr26 for the week albeit with a DNF on Orpheus’s stinker which would have left the clock ticking forever to get correct. Next week is the last chance to have a full week of successful solves in March.

    Have a good weekend everybody 👍

    1. As I say below, today’s effort has put me beyond the SCC! But I’m going shopping with my daughter shortly and we will be having a nice coffee somewhere or other. I need it 😅
      Congrats on your escape – and enjoy the coffee!

    2. Congrats #50. That’s 4-1 to you and 3-2 to me so technically we beat the setters despite a tough start to the week.

    3. Great performance L-Plates. You are now well ahead of me in solving ability and will soon be leaving the SCC for good. I shudder to think what my time is for the week. A full week of solves but little satisfaction.

    4. Good luck next week. Great to see the progress. What will you call yourself when you pass the test and can discard the plates?

      1. Unfortunately, when I try the 15×15 and Jumbo those L-Plates are very much in effect!!

  12. Very quick comment for a very quick solve – 8 minutes for me. Didn’t see the Nina, but was looking for something SYMMETRICAL in the answers, so maybe got a third of the way. Now off to the Ideal Home Exhibition. Thanks both.

  13. Chalk and cheese compared to the first four days of the week as I came home in 7 minutes for this very enjoyable puzzle. (Though despite this, still over my target 1 hour for the week combined – alas). Did not spot the XV Nina but thought there were a lot of geographical terms, both places and people. And some very clever anagrams.

    Many thanks John for the blog and enjoy your walk. Looking forward to the Saturday Special.

    1. Thanks. A walk without getting wet this week! And Angles way completed bar Stage 5 which was a DNF – rerun 26th May.

  14. A bifftastic and rare sub 10 for me today. Helped by many UK-centric answers which played to the GK of this rugby fan and newly retired medic. I shall revisit the parsing and see if I can spot the Nina. many thanks John and Felix.
    ps Thanks John for signposting us to your blog and the very cryptic Nina from Des. That was definitely ‘sous’ my radar

    1. That Des Nina was quite something. As a bit of a compiler myself, my mind boggles at forcing the clues to start with specific letters to make the Nina work.

  15. Slow on HOMER and had to biff NHO HOSPITAL PASS, LOI.
    An early solve of OUTER MONGOLIA didn’t help as much as I had hoped. Don’t know why I wasn’t quicker on some of the others.
    FOI COS. No idea about NINA.
    Thanks vm, John.

  16. Just too many interruptions for me, today. I have had 5 phone calls amongst other interruptions since I started and I could not maintain any momentum. I did finish but can’t record a time. A pity because I felt I was doing quite well.
    Some unknown/strange words (e.g Hospital Pass amongst others) perhaps introduced to facilitate the nina but I shouldn’t comment because I can’t be bothered to search for it.
    Roll on next week. This was not a good one for me (or for quite a few others, I gather). John M.

  17. NHO HOSPITAL PASS despite having played both games, and still occasionally follow them on TV. Put in HOSPITAL POST, so second QC DNF this week. That apart, some lovely clues, about the quicKest this week, but with enough challenge to enjoy. FOI SHRIMPS, LOI and COD STAIR. Noticed that the grid was not symmetrical in the usual way, but this happened before recently, so I neither noticed that it was symmetrical in another way nor suspected a nina. Thanx Felix and John.

  18. 6:45

    Pretty fast solve, though had forgotten the sporty meaning of HOSPITAL PASS.

    Seeing that it was a Felix, I looked for a Nina but went down the wrong rabbithole, digging up MOROCCO and INGRID as a suggestion of Casablanca. The actual Nina was too clever for me.

    Thanks Felix and John.

  19. After a tricky few days, Felix has rescued the week for this Felixstowe resident (or perhaps I should call myself a Flexistowe resident, following the installation of a signpost in a nearby village which referred to the town in this way!). All green in 14:53 and my first escape from the SCC this week. I enjoyed this a lot. HOSPITAL PASS very familiar, having given and received quite a few in my scrum half days – I needed some crossers before it came to mind, as initially I was thinking “card” for the second word. FOI SHRIMPS, LOI PARISIANS. COD OUTER MONGOLIA for the clever anagramming and great surface. No likelihood of spotting the Nina without John’s help but very clever once explained. Thanks John and Felix.

    1. That’s very funny! It’s remarkably easy to make such errors – hence the need for at least a couple of pairs of eyes to proof read. (The Times could do with a few!) There used to be a sign on a store here which told us they sold DINNING FURNITURE on a huge banner 😅

      Ha ha – just noticed a literal in my own copy 🤣 Now amended!

      1. It is easy to do – but generally easy to spot as well. I’m surprised so many make it through to where it matters, rather than getting rooted out by checking.

    2. As a fellow Suffolk resident, I too heard the story earlier the week. Hilarious! I guess the signwriter was working on flexitime and longing to finish their shift.

  20. 13:44 but a lazy typo on SYMMETRICALLY. Never mind, there are more important things in life to worry about, and I spelled it correctly in my head haha HOSPITAL PASS rings a distant bell in the nether regions of my brain, and HOMER SIMPSON was a d’oh when I finally got it.

    COD -CYMRU am byth!

      1. There aren’t many Welsh words that a setter could get away with in a crossword, unless it’s a place-name, so it may very well be.

          1. Good one! And you have encouraged me to check its etymology, so I have learnt something. But corgi is a word English has borrowed and incorporated into the language, and there are lots (and lots and lots) of those. Moreover there is no “pure English” equivalent one could use in its place. But Cymru now – clearly still Welsh word with a straightforward English alternative.

            I think we had Eisteddfod in a QC, and maybe also Hwyl. Good words …

      2. I used to think dad and daddy were Welsh but research shows it’s not that straightforward, that is , our dad and the similar Welsh word both stem from the same ancient Indo-European root.

  21. No Izetti but a Felix instead to finish off the week – at least we were spared Dickens. In all fairness to Felix, this seemed more like a genuine QC, so a big tip of the hat for including a stunning Nina that didn’t ruin the puzzle.
    Hospital Pass was a write in and Homer Simpson followed shortly thereafter, so a good start in the NW, particularly when the offspring started to tumble. A brief diversion with Peaceniks (no idea) was corrected via Cymru, and then steady progress for a 14min, fully parsed, solve. That left me in such a good mood that I even spent time looking for the Nina, but completely missed the XV. Invariant

  22. An entertaining puzzle with answers that went in steadily after a slow start. No problem with HOSPITAL PASS: some players in my football team are sadly good at these! As ever, I had no idea that there was a NINA in here. Clever.

  23. Pretty straightforward for me today finishing in a relatively nippy 7.38. I’m surprised so many have never heard the expression ‘Hospital pass’, particularly those who say they played rugby. In my youth I played football but occasionally was coerced into playing rugby. I recall receiving a hospital pass in the last game of rugby I ever played at school, when a split second after receiving the ball my opponent thought I may like to have my head removed from my shoulders! The person responsible went on to play many times for Wales and was a British Lion.
    Back to the crossword, I would have one small issue with STAIR being the answer to ‘One on flight’. The stair refers to the whole flight, and ‘one’ could be either a tread or a riser perhaps.
    My running total for this week is 48.00, giving me a daily average of 9.36, very much in line with my ten minute target.

    1. I’m female and I wasn’t offered the chance to play cricket, football or rugby in my youth.

      1. That is a common feature in many crosswords – particularly cricket based clues. Sadly women and those of us who did not go to public school are often at a distinct disadvantage.

        1. Just to set the record straight, I didn’t go to a public school I went to a grammar school as it was termed in those days. I certainly wouldn’t regard either rugby or cricket as elitist sports if that is what you are suggesting.

  24. 14 mins…

    A nice end to a tough week.

    Hospital Pass may have originated in rugby, but it has entered general vocabulary for any action that results in potential disaster (quite common in the workplace).

    A lot of clues to like here including 14ac “Desired” and the old chestnut of 18dn “Stair”. I also nearly biffed “Insurer” for 13dn, but luckily spotted the issue it would have with, er, 12ac “Issue”. Similarly, I thought 19ac “Outer Mongolia” was something to do with the post, and for a while believed 19ac started with “Intra”.

    My last one in was 1dn “Homer Simpson”. For a while, i couldn’t get Elmer (from Elmer Fudd) out of my head – which obviously wouldn’t work.

    With regards to the Nina, I thought the big “+” in the middle of the grid had something to do with the hospital from 1ac, but I see it’s something different.

    FOI – 3dn “Incan”
    LOI – 1dn “Homer Simpson”
    COD – 1ac “Hospital Pass”

    Thanks as usual!

  25. I’ve been away climbing volcanos on my bike while in between jobs – too tired at day’s end to do anything other than re-fuel and re-hydrate. I must catch up with the last week or so to keep up my spreadsheet for the year.

    I seem to have hit the wavelength for this one on my return, though even expecting the NINA, I couldn’t see anything, though was not looking at the black squares.



  26. DNF, thanks to ISSUEs at 1a and 12a. I entered INSUE instead of ISSUE, and eventually got HOSPITAL PASS, but thought it might be a momble. I put it in reluctantly, double checked on a crossword solver, and the only word which came up with the checkers was indeed hospital. Still didn’t know / remember the term though. Finish time would have been a tad under 17:00. So near to that cappucino in the SCC but am now on the other side 😅
    Of course, I had no idea about the nina. I never really look at the grid – clearly I should. Thanks John for the explanation to Mango Man – I still hadn’t understood until that point 😕 Thanks, also, for the info about last week’s nina – what a complicated business, I’m definitely still unsure about some of it.
    Moved straight to the downs today when I couldn’t kick off with 1a, so FOI Incan LOI Hospital pass (with a big but) COD Homer Simpson
    This has been a slow week – my total is in the region of 1hr 5 mins (if I include today’s effort). I don’t have a target as such, but guess I’m happy if I come in under 10 minutes. That has only happened twice this week.
    Thanks Felix and John – enjoy the walk. I hope the weather is nice where you are 😊

    1. Oh Penny, what I would give for one of your ‘slow’ weeks! It took me longer than that to finish yesterday’s QC 😊

      1. Oh Gary – I’m sorry. You finished every day – I didn’t! As I’ve said before, I’ve been doing these since they started and it took me a hell of a long time to get to grips with it all. And my quick week is still very slow compared to many others!
        Perhaps I won’t continue with totting up the weekly total – it seemed a fun idea, but not if it’s going to make people feel bad.

        1. Hello Penny,
          Don’t be deterred. Some of us out here (well, me at least) enjoy the challenge of trying to whittle down the advantage some more experienced solvers have. Three steps forward, two steps back over the months and years may eventually bring many of the faster solvers within range. So, weekly totals/averages are “a fun idea” IMO.
          Mrs Random thinks so too, probably because she knows I have much less chance of recording a faster weekly total than her than I have of doing so on a particular day.

    2. Thanks. Weather was great and, for the first time in 5 weeks of our Friday stages of the Angles Way we didn’t get wet. Thetford to Great Yarmouth completed (bar the DNF of Stage 5 two weeks ago where the snow and gale force winds dampened more than out enthusiasm – rerun on 26th May),

  27. Another tricky one which took me over target. FOI ALOOF LOI HOSPITAL PASS. Clever nina which once again passed me by, even though I was aware it would be there! 10:48. Thanks Felix and John.

    1. I too knew it was there, but as I raced through the puzzle in 4:42 I didn’t allow it to distract me. I’m not commenting further.

  28. 13:12. LOI was TURNED.
    I failed to spot the NINA. Thanks John for the explanation of it, and for the reveal button to put me out of my misery after searching for the NINA and failing.

  29. Started slowly but then it all worked out steadily in 37 minutes for a good end to the week: three finishes after two dnfs.
    Lovely puzzle thanks and I can’t believe John spotted the Nina. There are clearly different brains at work here.
    COD TURNED because I like these clues when the penny drops.
    Have a good weekend everyone. I’m travelling in France next week but will try to solve online.

    1. Great end to the week Ian, well done. Have a good time in 🇫🇷, and avoid the protests! It looked quite nasty on the news today.

    2. Très bon numéro cinq 👍

      Passez un bon week-end

      (Google translate is my friend)

    3. Good result. Well done! Enjoy France. I’m away too doing something closer to home – staying in Richmond and doing 3 days of the Thames Path starting at Walton-on-Thames and walking east (we did the opposite direction from there last March).

  30. My first sub-ten minute! Much needed confidence boost after a tough start to the QC week…!

  31. Slow to get started, but then picked up pace. Helped by seeing the two long anagrams (SYMMETRICALLY and OUTER MONGOLIA) very quickly. Some other clues were biffable/not fully parsed and the only correction I really had to make was changing iNSURER to ENSURER, a word I can’t ever imagine using, as I_S_I was never going to be fillable. Total time = 18 minutes, so an SCC escape to send me into the weekend in a joyous mood.

    I saw the NW/SE diagonal symmetry in the grid before I started, but I didn’t see the Nina.

    Total time this week = 2 hrs 22 mins which, given the difficulty of the puzzles, I am over the moon with.

    Many thanks to Feliz and John.

      1. Many thanks, although I thought you had sent me an anagram … until I looked it up.

        1. Just being whimsical – Z for X in Felix in your post! All those years of Spanish had to count for something 😅

    1. Well done Mr Random. Think March has been going very well for both of us 👍

      How did Mrs R end up yesterday with her gauntlet search?

      1. I do enjoy hearing about you guys’ progress. Good week for me too with a below target total for the week. Today’s was actually my slowest.

        1. And well done to you too John on your week 👏👏👏

          Appreciate your blogging and the write-up on last week’s Nina was excellent 👍

        2. Dear Mr Interred,
          You may need to watch out, as certain members of the SCC are on the march. Make a note in your 2043 diary, as I am confidently expecting to come storming past you sometime around then.
          Many thanks again for your blogging and support for this site.

      2. Hello LP,
        I’m afraid Mrs Random drew a blank with her search for GAUNTLET. She has less patience than me, probably because being stumped and having to embark on a protracted alphabet trawl is a much less common experience for her.

  32. Got there eventually. LOsI HOMER SIMPSON and then after an alphabet trawl HOSPITAL PASS which I have NHO. 11:17 for a poor week with only 1 QC finished inside my target time of 9 mins.

  33. 14:30. HOSPITAL PASS was NHO but gettable from clue.Now I know what it means I see it is a very useful term . Rest of puzzle was fun for me and no big snags.

  34. 10.09 with the last three minutes spent on HOSPITAL PASS, ROMAN, ISSUE and HOMER SIMPSON. The nina is nice, not that I spotted it. Thanks both.

  35. After a week in which my routine has been disrupted by various things, it felt good to be able to do this with my morning cup of tea. Even better when I turned in a rare sub-10 minute time, all parsed in 9:08. COD a toss-up between HOMER SIMPSON and INCAN.

  36. 14 minutes today with LOI SHRIMPS.
    Have been looking for the Nina and can’t find it. Will look it up now -thanks John for the help.
    I liked this. No issues.

  37. Enjoyed this. Didn’t see the Nina (as usual). TURNED was LOI, which held up an otherwise steady solve.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Thanks blogger and setter

    1. So near! You’ve had a couple of close ones this week, I think, Ian, both on not particularly easy days.

    2. 20 right out of 24 is to me, if not an A+, at least an A. Oh well, rest and recuperate over the weekend,Ian, and we’ll see you back bright and early Monday morning down in the salt mines!

  38. Another disappointment. Somewhere around 30 mins. Better than yesterday but should have been far quicker. Again saw answers but lacked confidence to put them in, RAT ON being the prime example. I still forget that ‘out’ is an anagram indicator, and I missed so many pieces of word play that I should spot without any problem by now.

    It never ceases to amaze me how so many solvers have a poor first pass but then come home quickly. I tend to have a decent first pass and then my brain goes into panic mode.

    My total time this week is off the scale. I can’t remember the last time I had a DNF but the feeling I had a few weeks ago that I had begun to crack the QC is a distant memory. Rather like my golfing career, the more I try, the worse I get.

    Thanks for the blog John and I hope your walk was a success.

    I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend. Back to it on Monday! 😊

    1. Oh dear GA 😕

      The positive is you’re getting them solved. I appreciate that’s small solace at this moment, but focus on the positive as best you can to keep morale up.

      I often say but its ebbs and flows. A run of easy solves are just round the corner 👍

      1. Thanks L-Plates. You’re right about the ebbs and flows. I shall adopt a positive outlook for next week.

        I’m delighted that you and Mr R are doing so well. It’s great to see your progress in recent times. Keep it up!

        Have a good weekend.

        Gary 😊

    2. A bit like my experience of the 15×15 this week. It’s horrible to get stuck after a good start, isn’t it?. Thanks. Yes the walk was a success. We didn’t get wet and got to the end of the Angles Way in Great Yarmouth by 3pm. But no dancing girls to greet us as promised and nowhere to get a pint of Woodfordes’ Wherry before our community bus transfer back to our cars at Somerleyton and a 50 mile drive home.

      1. No pint! That’s the thing that I most look forward to with my walking group. Sounds like a good day otherwise. I’m walking on the North York Moors this Sunday – waterproofs at the ready if the forecast is right.

  39. Phew, a QC that was at my level. Being male definitely helped with HOSPITAL PASS. Definitely NHO for my wife and our (female) sports therapist friend.

    1. I thought it was quite a difficult clue for anyone who hadn’t played football or rugby. I played neither seriously but heard it used by friends who did. The alterative part of the clue with Guys Hospital and “Fail to answer”=pass wasn’t much better. Checkers needed.

  40. Blimey! I don’t believe it! How did we get to 104 comments? …oh make that 105.

Comments are closed.