I almost had it! With the sage advice of more experienced seekers, and their generous gifts, I was at last almost free of my confounding Ancient Cards blockade. I've been trapped with no progress for several days, now. Punished for failing to make purchases. With Christmas coming, and the kids needing boots, I could hardly indulge in such an frivolity. I sought advice here, and was surprised and delighted at the outpouring of support I received from advanced players.
I was poised to make my last try, employing my last remaining eyeglass tool. Phone at the ready, I was prepared to take a photo, and carefully, swiftly, knock off pairs, a few at a time, pausing between spates of matching to regroup and study. As I took a breath and committed myself, Gremlins intervened. The camera behaved bizarrely, not snapping the image as I hit the button. What was going on? I'd just taken an experimental snap of the laptop's screen, and it had worked fine. Panic! What the heck? It turned out that the camera had somehow switched to video. (???) Recovering myself to film a few seconds, I finally got the game paused, to check what I had caught. The video did not capture the moment when the cards had all turned up, but rather, the moment after more than half-a-dozen of them had already flipped back to inscrutibility. Dismayhem! Having lost precious seconds to figuring out what was going on, and then more of them, trying out the mystery cards, it seemed very unlikely that I'd be able to beat the clock. I had 5 gems, no Flying Times, and little hope; but I decided, gamely, to try.
I was not able to manage it. There were 6 pairs remaining when the clock ran down.
Oh, I was crestfallen! Felt twelve kinds of a little fool.
Well, it's a puzzle. An amusement of no real consequence. Setbacks will happen, but they are unimportant. The kindness I've encountered here? That is real, and welcome, and warms my Canadian bones.I'll play out the last minutes of my CI/fixers talisman, and enjoy the heck out of it, successes or none.