Times Quick Cryptic 2051 by Tracy

In stark contrast to last Tuesday’s blog, today’s is full of sweeetness and light. Answers flew in right across the grid. Although LOI 23ac threatened to spoil the party (for no apparent reason), it then meekly yielded up the answer and all was all done and dusted in 6:19.

I expect a correspondingly low value of K and would like to hear from anyone escaping the clutches of the SCC. Have fun!

Definitions are underlined.

1 Recommend Scottish barrister (8)
ADVOCATE – double definition.
5 Continuous pain in stomach eased (4)
ACHE – inside stom(ACH E)ased.
8 Crime of member of the clergy, beheaded (5)
ARSON – member of clergy p(ARSON) beheaded.
9 Novel about bishop miles away from place of pilgrimage (7)
REBECCA – about (RE), bishop (B), miles (M) away from place of pilgrimage m(ECCA). If I was aware of this novel it was only slightly. No need for gk, though, with the cluing so straightforward.
11 Have a meal of pulse after missing starter (3)
EAT – pulse – not as in bean but as in throb – b(EAT) missing starter.
12 Fine clue, cryptic, about northern power (9)
INFLUENCE – anagram (cryptic) of FINE CLUE about northern (N). A fine clue, indeed.
13 Greek character in rear returning sword (6)
RAPIER – Greek character (PI) inside rear reversed (RAER).
15 Newspaper chief tried desperately to bag duck (6)
EDITOR – anagram (desperately) of TRIED with duck (O) inside.
18 Unusual sort‘s reputation (9)
CHARACTER – double definition.
19 Tree over in arboretum, leafy (3)
ELM – over (backwards) inside arboretu(M LE)afy.
20 Saw wanderer in empty pub (7)
PROVERB – wanderer (ROVER) inside empty pub (P)u(B).
21 Entire golf club without parking (5)
UTTER – golf club p(UTTER) without parking (P).
22 Accomplished university teacher close to home (4)
DONE – university teacher (DON), hom(E).
23 Sons flee having pinched a work of art (8)
SEASCAPE – sons (S) and flee (ESCAPE) inside which is a (A).
1 Not professional, a struggling RU team (7)
AMATEUR – a (A), anagram (struggling) of RU TEAM.
2 Call on model after six (5)
VISIT – model (SIT) after six (VI).
3 Kind of desecration involved (11)
CONSIDERATE – anagram (involved) of DESECRATION.
4 List of charges sailor provided fisherman initially (6)
TARIFF – sailor (TAR), provided (IF), (F)isherman.
6 Clown, eccentric person, target at fair? (7)
COCONUT – clown (COCO), eccentric person (NUT).
7 Efface ages first of epitaphs gives (5)
ERASE – ages (ERAS) and (E)pitaphs gives us the answer.
10 Tactless remarks about black American’s old musket (11)
BLUNDERBUSS – tackles remarks (BLUNDERS) about black (B) and American (US).
14 Squad also enthralled by scheme (7)
PLATOON – also (TOO) inside scheme (PLAN).
16 Deep regret about code creator (7)
REMORSE – about (RE), code creator (MORSE). Samuel F.B Morse invented it in the 1830s and it was improved upon by Alfred Lewis Vaile – his assistant and partner.
17 Place where horses are trained, firmly established (6)
STABLE – double definition.
18 Caught up with papers showing Roman god (5)
CUPID – caught (C), up (UP) with papers (ID).
19 Tear off about ten more (5)
EXTRA – anagram (off) of TEAR about ten (X).

58 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2051 by Tracy”

  1. I think I took ‘sons’ to be SS at first, but gave that up pretty quickly. Biffed REBECCA. 5:04.

    Edited at 2022-01-18 03:16 am (UTC)

  2. An encouraging eight on the first pass of acrosses but with a sense that things might not be that simple from there. However, the downs went well and I ended up all green in a little under 11. Ended up with REMORSE where I made things hard for myself by expecting a more obscure code, having previously battled with ERASE where I didn’t know what ‘efface’ meant, so I needed to construct the also unknown REBECCA and trust the cryptics.
  3. 17 minutes top to bottom with FOI: AMATEUR to LOI: CUPID all parsed along the way.
  4. 7:56 with at least a minute on SEASCAPE. Biffed BLUNDERBUSS and a few others went in unparsed but nice to get back under 10 after a DNF.

    Liked COCONUT and PROVERB.

    Thanks Tracy and Chris

  5. A little over 20 minutes. Never heard of a novel called Rebecca, and did not understand at the time how “saw” meant “proverb”. However, proverb seemed to be the word that leapt out at me, so I duly entered it. On completion I checked Chamber’s Crossword Dictionary, and indeed saw is a three-lettered word under proverb.

    A nice puzzle. Not too difficult at all.

  6. SEASCAPE defeated me, as thought I was looking to take SS from a word ending with LESS or NESS. I also didn’t know what ‘efface’ meant, and ERASE is the first word of the definition, overwriting my guess of EVADE.

    CONFEDERATE looked possible for 3d, but that gave EFFLUENCE which wasn’t quite right. More backtracking. “Cryptic “ as an anagrind was new to me.


    Edited at 2022-01-18 07:49 am (UTC)

  7. 2Cs so escaped SCCs thank you kindly. Enjoyed the elegant surfaces of the rugby and golf clues.

  8. Daphne du Maurier’s novel REBECCA (1938) still sells 4,000 copies a month, mainly to schools. Quite the best seller and a stalwart crossword chestnut. Yet no one has heard of it — a generational thing?


    LOI 7dn ERASE



    Time 10:45

    1. Well, some of us have heard of and even read REBECCA! There was yet another film of it in 2020 with miscast Armie Hammer as de Winter and Lily James as the girl. Kristin ST was good as Mrs Danvers though.
  9. An enjoyable puzzle. A fairly smooth solve and I managed to shave almost 4 mins off my target. A few seconds over 11 mins is good for me, these days.
    Not a ‘straight through’ solve. I always seem to pick off the easier clues in the top half (ADVOCATE came later!) and then start at the bottom with the same method. That gives me enough crossers to allow me to finish the tougher clues.
    I liked RAPIER, PROVERB, REMORSE, ERASE, and CUPID but my COD and LOI was SEASCAPE. Many thanks to Tracy and Chris. John M.

    Edited at 2022-01-18 10:20 am (UTC)

  10. I enjoyed this too thanks setter and blogger. Lots to enjoy. Only reservation was Coconut. Had a lightbulb moment remembering Coco the Clown from my childhood, but I’m nearly 70 and he died in 1974!
  11. All done bar 21A in a surprisingly brief 12 minutes. Went to make a cup of coffee and brain chirped in SEASCAPE so came back and filled in the blanks just before the doors of the SCC opened. Feel free to take my usual chair in the corner.
    Another sunny January day beckons. All a bit odd weatherwise these days don’t you think.

  12. Have Tracy and Joker changed places? I certainly seem to have less trouble with Tracy than Joker these days. Having said that, this was still a close run sub-20, with Rebecca (tried to squeeze Ro{m)ance in when I just had the initial letter) and loi Seascape the main hold-ups. Otherwise a steady solve, with problem free double definitions — unlike yesterday’s Recess. CoD to the aforementioned Rebecca. Invariant
  13. Top half seemed easy as REBECCA and BLUNDERBUSS sprang to mind, but I was slow to solve CONSIDERATE, then CUPID and CHARACTER. LOI SEASCAPE after some thought. FOsI 1a and 1d, always encouraging.
    Liked REMORSE, COCONUT, UTTER and the aforesaid BLUNDERBUSS, among others.
    Thanks all, esp Chris.
  14. 07:38 today with LOI PLATOON. FOI AMATEUR.
    I was going quickly and allowed myself a few biffs. ERASE was the one clue that seemed very unclear and still looks a bit clunky having read the blog.
    COD to PROVERB in an enjoyable puzzle.
    REBECCA, which I have not read, was in my mind thanks to numerous documentaries about Cornwall which all seem to pass through Jamaica Inn at some point. Not sure whether Rick Stein has been there yet; maybe today?

  15. Straightforward enough, but careless proofreading meant that I had a pink square for REMOREE at 16d. Like others my only real hold up was LOI SEASCAPE.
    Thanks to Chris
  16. Bang on 12 minutes, with last two in REBECCA and ERASE. I couldn’t get RUBICON out of my mind for 9a, despite knowing of the unread novel. SEASCAPE also held me up a little, but everything else flowed in nicely. Thanks Tracey and Chris.
  17. This seemed easy and a sub-ten minute beckoned until I got stuck at seascape (LOI) which I thought was going to defeat me. Found it in the end, and the delay added more than five minutes, all done in fifteen. Seventeen on first pass. FOI advocate, COD proverb. I agree the clue for erase was clunky. Thought I had parsed everything, but as usual there were some nuances to be gained from reading the blog. Thanks, Chris, and Tracy.
  18. ….but was quickly defeated by my eventual LOI. It was one of only three that I didn’t get straight away.

    TIME 3:47

  19. Pretty much 11 mins for everything apart from 23ac “Seascape” that just wouldn’t come. So for me it did spoil the party, and whilst I could have cried if I wanted to, I didn’t.

    I hate those ones — especially as the answer was just a little unsatisfactory.

    FOI — 1ac “Advocate”
    LOI — dnf
    COD — 10dn “Blunderbuss”

    Thanks as usual!

    1. ‘spoil the party, and whilst I could have cried if I wanted to,’
      For sure, it’s your party 🎵 🎶 ..
      Seascape, yes, it happened to me too!
  20. As the minutes ticked by on 23ac I was gripped by an acute case of Last Clue Fever (symptoms being foggy brain and increased desperation levels). Got there when I eventually realised that “sons” = just S, not SS.

    Otherwise a gentle puzzle with lots to enjoy along the way.

    FOI ADVOCATE (speaking as a practising barrister, MER at “Scottish” since all barristers are advocates and indeed many solicitors too these days), LOI SEASCAPE, COD REBECCA, time 06:47 for 1.3K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Tracy and Chris.


  21. 9 mins, on phone, about as quick as I can go, with correcting typos.

    Had to think for a little to get utter=entire.
    I think i have seen seascape and snowscape come up quite often.

    Csod seascape/coconut.

  22. 23ac Seascape did have a bit of fret present. COD 9ac Rebecca. WOD Blunderbuss. Efface/Deface?
  23. ADVOCATE was FOI, then a steady plod with CONSIDERATION POI, Then SEASCAPE LOI after some cogitation. 9:00. Thanks Tracy and Chris.
  24. … as I was another who was delayed by 23A Seascape, looking for a SS somewhere. Why did Tracy say Sons not Son, I wonder? Ah well, pushed me out from a 9 minute solve to just over 11.

    Otherwise no real issues, though like many I had NHO 9A Rebecca. Fortunately it was generously clued. A somewhat tortuous surface for 7D Erase though, and what is the purpose of the word “gives” in the clue?

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

    1. If he had put ‘son’ in the singular, ‘flee’ would have needed an S on the end, which would have messed up ‘escape’! It took me a bit to see it 😕
  25. This was a left to right hand solve starting with AMATEUR and ending with SEASCAPE. I confess that I have heard of the word BLUNDERBUSS but until now I didn’t know what it was. REBECCA is a classic by Daphne Du Maurier (also author of The Birds, Don’t Look Now, Jamaica Inn, My Cousin Rachel among others) so I had no problem with that one. 8:06 for a good day.

    Edited at 2022-01-18 01:29 pm (UTC)

  26. Surprised how many people haven’t heard of Rebecca. As well as the excellent Du Maurier novel, it was a classic Hitchcock film with Laurence Olivier as widower Maxim De Winter and Joan Fontaine as his second wife who lives in the shadow of first wife Rebecca at his house Manderley. Well worth reading or watching.

    17 minutes for me. I got a bit bogged down with seascape, influence and considerate but managed to avoid the SCC

  27. Ah! I do appear to exist again.

    Ran counter to most contributors above, as I found this decidedly tricky. I crossed the line in 39 minutes, but only after a lengthy pontification about 7d (ERASE). I didn’t see ERAS for ‘ages’ for ages, so I nearly concluded that I would have to choose between those two well known words: EGASE and ESAGE. My uncertainty was compounded by not confidently knowing the meaning of ‘efface’.

    Mrs R has yet to tackle this puzzle, so I will sign off now with thanks to Tracy and Chris.

  28. I think I’ll measure this in Templars today! One T and a tiny bit — sounds good to me 😉 This was pleasant enough but as others have said, a couple of the clues were a bit odd — yes, 23a and 7d, I’m talking about you.
    Whenever I see ELM in an answer, I feel really sad. A while ago, we went to an exhibition of 18thC landscape paintings and my husband was musing on the huge trees in one of the works . He thought they were very exaggerated until I pointed out that they were elms. He barely remembered them 😢
    FOI Amateur
    LOI Rebecca
    COD Seascape
    AOD Considerate
    Thanks Tracy and Chris
    1. Yes, sadness abounds.
      I was brouggt up just around the corner from an Elm Avenue, which had a few elm trees at the time, and I currently live just around the corner from an Elm Grove Lane. Sadly, no elms though.

      1. We lived for years at Elm Tree House, happy memories but sadly our lovely elm has long gone.
  29. For the most part this was relatively easy but there were a few trickier clues. Considerate to a long time to come despite the fact that I had most of the crossers. Also Rebecca, although I had heard of the novel. 17 mins in total with everything parsed. Thanks Tracy and Chris.

    FOI – 5ac ACHE
    LOI – 20ac PROVERB
    COD – 16dn REMORSE

  30. Nice puzzle which we finished in 30m, but felt we should have done better. We had elms when living in Reading, which we tried to save to no avail.
  31. Failed on Seascape — sons for s threw me….. and Rebecca and Erase beyond me. I know the book well but didn’t think of Mecca and, like Rotter, could only see Rubicon and then Eonse… which didn’t work.
    Much of this tricky for me — PW gets home in 20 minutes and I was DNF after 30.
    Thanks all — I needed the blog for this one..
    John George
  32. We too experienced last clue hold up and eventually finished in 18 minutes. Nice puzzle.

    COD: CONSIDERATE (clever anagram)

    Thanks Chris and Tracy.

  33. It seems a bit of a cheat to have “S” meaning both singular and plural son(s). Clearly it’s not commonly used as such, as evidenced by the number of LOI SEASCAPEs reported.
  34. I tried hard to turn 18A into an anagram of something. I expect I’m the unusual sort! Got there in the end after Cupid and Seascape were Done. Needed Extra time today but no Remorse at 32 min a GN6.
  35. Raced through most of this in just under 10 minutes, but my LTI, SEASCAPE and CONSIDERATE took another 7 minutes to leave me with 16:58. I did consider CONSIDERATE earlier, but dismissed it as it didn’t fit the anagrist. After I’d got SEASCAPE, I saw how CONSIDERATE could mean “kind” and bunged it in anyway. Then I discovered that I had misspelled “desicration” (sic being the operative word) and it was the lack of a second E that had thrown me off the scent. Still, at least I didn’t end up with a big fat DNF like I did yesterday with Oink, who seems to be following Joker’s lead and getting ever more difficult. Given how quick I did most of this, I am surprised at how much I didn’t know. I didn’t know the Scottish barrister, nor that a tariff was a list of charges (I thought it just meant price), nor the meaning of EFFACE, and I had forgotten that a BLUNDERBUSS had an extra S and was a musket. So thanks Tracy, and Chris.
  36. It seems I struggle to slip under 7, let alone my target 6 these days. Some handicap revision may be required!

    Still, a very enjoyable puzzle.


  37. Bit of a struggle today. I’m getting so used to newspaper chief meaning ED that I almost missed the whole word. Struggled with SEASCAPE and LOI ERASE.
  38. Nothing makes me happier than to find that the one clue I failed to get in under five minutes was the stinker that caused my betters the problem, i.e seascape!

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