February 28th, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1559 by Des - Ménage à trois?

I got off to a flying start with this, with the first 3 across clues, but then I discovered it was no picnic. I was pleased to get 3 of the 4 words around the outside quickly which gave me plenty of checkers for the other clues. Nothing too horse-scaring, I think, with no obscure words or arcane general knowledge. For what it's worth, it took me 5:33, which is just about my average time. Who are Helen, Jack and the reckless Violet, I wondered? COD to the 15D trilogy. Thanks Des. How did everyone else get on?

[Edit: Given the other early times, It would appear I was fully on Des's wavelength with this, so don't be discouraged if you found it harder than I did. I'm astounded to see I was faster than Verlaine!]

P.S. Oh. By the way. Excuse the self-indulgence... A bit of a milestone for me today - it's my first day of retirement. And yesterday, my wonderful (now) ex-colleagues, by way of a leaving present, presented me with a framed version of this crossword that they had compiled! No. I haven't tried to solve it yet, but it looks quite tricky.

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