Times Quick Cryptic 2037 by Trelawney

An abundance of familiar crossword vocabulary, and a couple of real chestnuts, gave me enough of a start in all corners. Only 13ac and 4dn caused any head-scratching; the former to check my spelling, and the latter with it’s many parts and vague definition. Edit: Not vague – just longer than I expected!

Definitions underlined.

1 Angler‘s fine with one tank (9)
FISHERMAN – F (fine) with I (one) and SHERMAN (tank).
6 Filming location is ready to go (3)
SET – double definition.
8 Masked assassin is somewhat forlorn in jail (5)
NINJA – hidden in (somewhat) forlorN IN JAil.
9 Husband absorbed by observing a trifle (7)
NOTHING – H (husband) contained by (absorbed by) NOTING (observing).
10 Met was at training for American police squad (4,4)
SWAT TEAM – anagram of (training) MET WAS AT.
11 Piano teacher holding back school (4)
ETON – hidden backwards in (…holding back) piaNO TEacher.
13 Old soldier and successful batsman? (9)
CENTURION – definition and cryptic hint.
16 Beginning of retirement in brilliant piece of land (4)
ACRE – first letter of (beginning of) Retirement contained by (in) ACE (brilliant).
17 Unrivalled, but lacking nobility? (8)
PEERLESS – definition and cryptic hint.
20 US city fashionable in the past (7)
CHICAGO – CHIC (fashionable) and AGO (in the past).
21 Gone swimming near a port in Italy (5)
GENOA – anagram of (swimming) GONE, then A.
22 Love endless river (3)
NIL – all-but-the-last letter of (endless) NILe (river).
23 Insulting attack (9)
OFFENSIVE – double definiton.

1 Reportedly from Northern Europe? Close! (6)
FINISH – sounds like (reportedly) “Finnish” (Northern European).
2 Small insect on a Christmas visitor (5)
SANTA – S (Small), ANT (insect), and A.
3 Drama with old partner is tiresome (8)
EXACTING – ACTING (drama) with EX (old partner).
4 Activity that involves putting sensible car around trendy island (9,4)
MINIATURE GOLF – MATURE (sensible) and GOLF (car), containing (around) IN (trendy) and I (island).
5 Bar snack from floor being picked up (4)
NUTS – STUN (floor) reversed (being picked up).
6 Infatuated sweetheart, initially, with glove (7)
SMITTEN – first letter of (initially) Sweetheart with MITTEN (glove).
7 Messily eating African stew (6)
TAGINE – anagram of (messily) EATING.
12 Funny ringtone is a gas! (8)
NITROGEN – anagram of (funny) RINGTONE.
13 Friendly drink (7)
CORDIAL – double definition.
14 Two beers, maybe, for dance (6)
CANCAN – CAN (beer, maybe), twice.
15 Large property‘s broken tea set (6)
ESTATE – anagram of (broken) TEA SET.
18 Boredom of nine running around university (5)
ENNUI – anagram of (running) NINE, containing (around) U (university).
19 Old pet turned over Mexican dish (4)
TACO – O (old) and CAT (pet) reversed (turned over).

57 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2037 by Trelawney”

  1. This may be a pb; I seldom get under 5′, for that matter. Biffed MINIATURE GOLF without reading the clue, parsed post-submission. William, I’d say that the definition is ‘Activity that involves putting’. 4:10.
    1. PB or not, it was quicker than me. I also slung in MINIATURE GOLF without parsing it until afterwards.
  2. Another solve slightly on the slow side. I finished in 11 minutes, missing my target 10 for the fourth consecutive day. CENTURION was the answer that took me over the line.

    Edited at 2021-12-29 07:06 pm (UTC)

  3. I was alerted early on to a possible NINA by the presence of a couple of WWII warhorses — the SHERMAN and CENTURIAN but that notion soon tanked!


    LOI 22ac NIL



    Time 12 minutes with 13dn CORDIAL the elusive one.

      1. The ‘Centurion’ was the primary British Army main battle tank of the post-World War II period. Introduced in 1945, it is widely considered to be one of the the most successful post-war tank designs, remaining in production into the 1960s, and seeing combat in the front lines into the 1980s.

        Do you not have Wikipedia?

          1. Confusion on spelling. It’s ‘Centurion’ with an o for the old soldier, the tank and the successful cricketer 😉

            1. I suspect that the subtleties of this set of posts may have escaped both you and Horryd.
  4. Typo William. ‘its many parts’.
    A very doable QCC today that just seemed to flow nicely. Thanks Trelawney and Chris for unpicking MINIATURE GOLF which I biffed.
  5. Perfectly pitched crossword. I am with my 94 y.o. father at the moment. He drove Sherman tanks.
      1. He was showing me photographs of the other tank he drove – the Comet (?)which he described as ‘dangerous’. Not sure what Shermans were?
  6. Under the 15 minutes mark for me with a typo, so quite straightforward. I got a little stuck on the SW corner trying to get ale in to the beer clue and with 4 D, but otherwise a nice gentle offering from Trelawney. Thanks for the blog Chris.

    Crossword fans, you may like Wordle. It’s an online game where you have 6 attempts to guess a random 5 letter word each day. You get told whether the letter you have chosen is right in the right place, right in the wrong place or just wrong,a bit like the children’s game Mastermind. It’s strangely addictive.

    Edited at 2021-12-29 08:01 am (UTC)

  7. Completed in 26 minutes, but did need help with some of the clues. Never heard of Tagine.

    I got ENNUI. I only put it in as I have seen that word a few times in QC, and I still do not know what it means. I need to grab my dictionary and read up on it, especially as it seems an often used QC word.

    1. Ennui is Boredom in French so have assumed it means that in English too… a sort of ethereal dullness or listlessness…

      1. … as (perhaps) shown by those who spot the word in a QC for the third or even fourth time this year. Which is 3 or 4 more times more than I have met it in real life in the last 12 month!
    2. Tagine pots were the in-thing about 5-10 years ago – large terracotta dishes used for making spicy Moroccan stew. Lovely served with big chunks of bread and rice or couscous.
    3. You may have seen casserole dishes with a coloured glaze and a pointy lid. Their usefulness is that the stock, or other liquor in which the food is cooking, starts to evaporate, is trapped at the top and turns back into liquid, effectively basting the dish during the roasting time.
  8. This seemed to flow nicely and I just broke into double figures at 10.07. Pretty much top to bottom with TACO as LOI.
    Thanks to Trelawney and William. John M.
  9. Phew, back on form today — we finished in 8 minutes. Great puzzle with lots of clues to enjoy.

    FOI: SET
    LOI: MINIATURE GOLF (beautifully biffed by Steed)
    COD: CHICAGO (very amusing)

    Thanks William (especially for parsing 4D) and Trelawney.

  10. … and he is usually one of the less taxing setters to start with. All done in 7 minutes, and the only hold-up was over the parsing of 4D Miniature golf, where having biffed the answer I saw the Mini at the front and for a while looked no further for my “sensible car”.

    I suspect Centurion/Centurian may catch a few and introduce the occasional unexpected pink square. At least those of us in the UK have the excuse that with none of our batsmen remotely in danger of earning the title, our newspapers have not had to print the word much of late so we in turn have not seen it much.

    Many thanks to William for the blog

  11. I biffed MINIATURE GOLF, misspelled CENTURIaN and was slow to see CANCAN. I missed my target also. Double drat in 10:20.
  12. Very good crossword. FOI Ninja, twelve on first pass, LOI nil, enjoyed all the clues. COD nitrogen. Did not parse miniature golf, or fisherman. Could not spell centurion – dithered over o/a and went for the wrong option. Thirteen minutes. Thanks, William, and Trelawney.

    Edited at 2021-12-29 10:09 am (UTC)

  13. I had a horrible suspicion that CENTURION was spelt with an O, but I left it with an A anyway. Drot and double drot. Apart from that, a fairly straightforward solve in 14:56, though I didn’t see the hidden NOTE, thinking instead that it must be some sort of slang word for a piano teacher like sparks is for an electrician. COD to MINIATURE GOLF. Thanks Trelawney and William.
  14. Not overly taxing, but the Cancan/Nil combination was enough to nudge me into the SCC, at which point I spent an extra couple of minutes parsing 4d, Miniature Golf, and still managed to miss the ‘involves putting’. Lots to enjoy, with Chicago my favourite unseen chestnut. Invariant
  15. Oh dear! I seem to be on another wavelength to everyone else today, finding this decidedly tricky after another fast start. I was in the SCC for the third successive day this week, at 22 minutes. FISHERMAN and SET went straight in, quickly followed by 1, 2 and 3 down, and then I hit 4d and my troubles began. I jumped around a bit picking the low-hanging fruit, but ended up again without a clue, so to speak, mostly in the SW, where GOLF, CORDIAL, CHICAGO and finally CANCAN put up stiff resistance. Like Horryd, I saw the two tanks and wondered if there was a theme hiding in the unanswered clues, which probably slowed me down further. Well beaten today, so hats off to Trelawney and to William for unravelling it all.
    1. Definitely found it tricky. The golf totally foxed me until I used an aid. Couldn’t parse it or fisherman. Nuts was a punt as, again, I couldn’t parse it. Still wouldn’t have equated stun and floor but I’m sure it’s in the dictionary.
  16. Getting FISHERMAN and SET straight away really helped, both with solving their descendants and by boosting morale after two very challenging QCs earlier this week. From there, whilst I was never sprinting, I never got properly stuck (except with parsing ETON, which didn’t come until right at the very end.

    The SW corner held out the longest, and my last few in were CORDIAL, NIL, CANCAN and CHICAGO – in that order. Total time = 27 minutes (fast for me).

    My CoD goes to MINIATURE GOLF, the full parsing and beauty of which I have only just realised.

    Many thanks to Trelawney and William.

  17. Gave up with 4d unsolved. Poor effort from me today, after success with Monday and Tuesday’s puzzle.
    All the best
  18. I think that might be a record. Either covid is supercharging my crossword solving skills or I just fell upon the elusive “wavelength” this morning.

    Thanks Trelawney and William.

  19. After struggling with yesterdays QC I found this to be far more on my wavelength and finished in 18.12 which is a very rare sub 20 solve for me. Took me a while to see Fisherman but did get Centurion quickly whilst bemoaning the fact that England could have done with one in the last three tests and ideally two or more.

    Thanks all

  20. ….which I solved reasonably smoothly until slinging in my LOI on trust.

    TIME 4:25

  21. A first finish albeit with a couple of checkers in 28 minutes. This is the kind of puzzle that encourages us newbies.
  22. I posted earlier but it seems to have got lost in the ether.

    In summary I found this fairly straightforward, apart from the parsing of NUTS. Finished in 6.14 with COD to MINIATURE GOLF.
    Thanks to William

  23. I’m with Rotter today in finding this one tricky. Was plodding along nicely until held up in the SW with a group of what turned out to be straightforward clues. Too many people talking to me I think. Could not parse 4D and that gets COD from me for wonderful misdirection ‘involves putting’. I enjoyed learning that an anagram of nitrogen is ringtone which I shall reapply in my work. Prof

  24. I am definitely with those that found this tricky today. I eventually finished in 20 mins but not without using aids to get the elusive offensive at 23ac. No idea why I just couldn’t see this. I also struggled with 4dn, being unable to think of a four-letter car apart from Ford. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

    COD – 17ac PEERLESS

    Thanks to Trelawney and William.

  25. A lot of chestnuts as has been noted, but there was still enough going on to take me to 10 minutes. However I spelt CENTURION wrong — boo! I biffed MINIATURE GOLF and never did work it out so thanks to William for the parsing.
    I got a new tablet for Christmas and some of last week’s issues seem to have disappeared 😉 How is everyone getting on with LJ at the moment?
    FOI Fisherman
    LOI Centurion
    COD Tagine — perhaps I’ll make one with the remaining turkey
    Many thanks Trelawney and William

    Edited at 2021-12-29 06:16 pm (UTC)

  26. … as opposed to yesterday’s which didn’t encourage at all and I gave up in the end.


  27. Late to this — but managed it in 8 mins which is on par with my PB.

    Just one of those days where everything was going in as soon as I looked at it. Maybe leaving it until later in the day is more conducive to my brain working properly.

    FOI — 1ac “Fisherman”
    LOI — 9ac “Nothing”
    COD — 12dn “Nitrogen”

    Thanks as usual!

  28. Failed to parse MINIATURE GOLF and took a while to see CORDIAL. Otherwise fairly straightforward.
  29. Nice mix of straight forward clues -6 earth minutes

    Edited at 2021-12-29 05:28 pm (UTC)

  30. Quick for me today with only MINIATURE GOLF causing any head scratching.

    CHICAGO is one of the first crossword clues I ever remember solving, when I was about 15 (so 4 decades ago …). It was clued as “US city with a fashionable past” and I still remember the joy of the PDM.

    FOI FISHERMAN, LOI NITROGEN (because I hadn’t noticed it), COD CHICAGO for old times’ sake, time 05:56 for 1.4K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks to the Squire and William.


  31. I think this was an example of a perfectly judged QC. Some easy ones but also a few that were tricky. A thoroughly enjoyable solve. I don’t time myself but, had I done, probably around 30 mins.

    Thanks for the excellent blog.

  32. I note that once again we are missing the Like and Complain options on the second page of comments whilst they are present on the first page.
  33. Mini golf my LOI. Anyone else play the one on the beach at Le Touquet? Missed it the last 2 years. J

  34. A first finish albeit with a couple of checkers in 28 minutes. This is the kind of puzzle that encourages us newbies.

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