Times Quick Cryptic 2241 by Trelawney


A good start then a slow finish in the SW. 1ac went straight in and the top half went in nicely. Much slower further down with the SW taking me over 10 minutes – LOI 15dn is amazingly easy if you don’t get stuck on vision as the sense.

Definitions are underlined in bold italics.

1 Martial art — it’s surrounded by magical charm (7)
JUJITSU – it’s (ITS) surrounded by magical charm (JUJU).
5 Broken sculpture (4)
BUST – double definition.
7 Basis for soup — last of celery with plenty of beef? (6)
STOCKY – basis for soup (STOCK), celer(Y).
8 Obtain parking place outside theatre finally (6)
DERIVE – parking place (DRIVE) outside (around) theatr(E). I thought ‘outside’ related to the parking space outside a house but revised that thought.
9 Badly built rental vehicle that’s rapid (6,5)
BULLET TRAIN – anagram (badly) of BUILT RENTAL.
10 Set free? That’s rotten! (6)
PUTRID – set (PUT), free (RID).
12 Grabbed by green ogre in film, I scream (6)
SHRIEK – I (I) inside (grabbed by) green ogre in film (SHREK).
14 Think about West Country heroine (6,5)
WONDER WOMAN – think about (WONDER), West (W), country (OMAN).
17 Airman bombing harbour (6)
MARINA – anagram (bombing) of AIRMAN.
18 Briefly look good with weapon (6)
GLANCE – good (G), weapon (LANCE).
20 Hand over some choice delicacies (4)
CEDE – some of choi(CE DE)licacies.
21 Smelly stuff next to one revolting prison (7)
DUNGEON – smelly stuff (DUNG), anagram (revolting) of ONE.
1 Black plane (3)
JET – double definition.
2 Beginning of joke to do with looking humorous? (7)
JOCULAR – (J)oke, to do with looking (OCULAR).
3 Herb produced by your old-fashioned setter (5)
THYME – your old-fashioned (THY), setter (ME).
4 Taped us changing latest news reports (7)
UPDATES – anagram (changing) of TAPED US.
5 Rumba dancing in part of Asia, once (5)
BURMA – anagram (dancing) of RUMBA.
6 Number observed outside party, perhaps (9)
SEVENTEEN – observed (SEEN) outside party (EVENT).
9 Creature‘s vulgar cry picked up (4,5)
BLUE WHALE – vulgar (BLUE), homophone (picked up) of cry=wail.
11 Action movie I’d heard is dreadful (3,4)
DIE HARD – anagram (is dreadful) of ID HEARD.
13 Run amok and barge into errand boy (7)
RAMPAGE – barge into (RAM), errand boy (PAGE).
15 Sensory organ captures one sound (5)
NOISE – sensory organ (NOSE) with one (I) inside.
16 Comedian aboard cart (5)
WAGON – comedian (WAG), aboard (ON).
19 Prisoner‘s trick (3)
CON – double definition.


66 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2241 by Trelawney”

  1. Started off fast, slowed down in the lower half. It sounds odd to me to call a train a vehicle, although the definition in ODE or Collins certainly includes them (or ships or rocket ships, for that matter). 5:45.

  2. 11:47. Slowed down by missing free=rid in PUTRID for a long time. Also didn’t think of MARINA as the same as harbour. Otherwise no big difficulties. Enjoyed BLUE WHALE , WAGON and WONDER WOMAN most.

  3. 13 minutes. As with some others I found the top half really straightforward but became stuck as I worked my way down the grid. References from some areas of popular culture such as SHREK, DIE HARD and WONDER WOMAN were always going to delay me.

  4. Also started fast, then got distracted by something else and closed my laptop for a while, and later finished up with BLUE WHALE and WONDER WOMAN among others. Very enjoyable puzzle tonight.

    (FWIW and completely off topic: pace 11d, the original 1988 “Die Hard” is now considered by many to be one of the best action movies ever made. Tastes can differ widely in these matters, but I think it’s definitely worth a look if you haven’t seen it.)

  5. 1158 The English Pound Sterling (currency) is introduced

    11:58 Same as most, rapid top half, slower bottom with PUTRID LOI.

    A well-judged QC, with contemporary references rather than tired 1950s slang. SHREK, DIE HARD etc. COD SHRIEK

    1. Merlin, I’m interested in your quoting 1158 as the introduction of the pound. I thought the use of “pound” to indicate value by reference to a weight of silver was much older than that, and this website https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/a-short-history-of-the-british-pound/ suggests it may be Saxon if not originally Roman. Closer to but still before 1158, Ken Follett in his book “Pillars of the Earth” (set in the time of King Stephen, ie 1135-54) talks of pounds as a unit of value, even if not coinage, and he is fabulously well researched.

      On the other hand the first actual coin to be issued with a value of £1 was in 1489 – the Royal Mint issued a special design for the 1989 sovereign to commemorate 500 years since the first £1 coin. And the first paper £1 note was 1797.


  6. 19 minutes.
    FOI: JET
    Also speedy top half but a much slower lower half. Took a while to break down the WP of WONDER WOMAN also for the green ogre to come to mind. I haven’t seen the films.
    Favourites: DERIVE and PUTRID.

    There are several references to films and characters.

  7. Very enjoyable even if I was tripped up by PUTRID at the end of what had been, up to then, a relatively straightforward solve.

    Enjoyed WONDER WOMAN, SHRIEK & DIE HARD – surely with BULLET TRAIN there too (on release recently) and RAMPAGE there’s more than just some contemporary references, there’s a film theme going on here. Any others?

    Thanks Trelawny and Chris

  8. PBtastic at 11:13

    Only one in top half that was left out was DERIVE … re: Chris’ blog DRIVE is the parking space outside my house!

    As the lower half began looking less certain (although DIE-HARD went straight in) I managed to avoid the mental jitters that come with knowing you’re on for a good time.

    Having checkers helped massively to build my way round the answers … DUNGEON led to CON and WAGON led to GLANCE led to a biffed WOMAN which gave WONDER. BIFD BLUE-WHALE to finish. Everything parsed postsolve.

    Thanks to Chris and Trelawney 🙂

    1. I agree that DERIVE is a well worded clue making you think that ‘parking place outside’ = drive. However the ‘outside’ is an instruction to place DRIVE outside E.

      1. Good point, well made. That’ll teach me pride comes before a fall.

        Had to convince myself that obtain=derive, that a drive=parking place all while thinking parking wanted a P in the answer. I am a biffer at heart!

      1. Thanks all.

        Pleased with a 2+ min PB. To think I completed one in 24-mins last Christmas, didn’t escape the SCC until late May. There was a reason I was so often grumpy!

        Escaped from the 9 times officially plus a couple more that required corrections.

        Think there’s probably a sub-10 in there somewhere with the right grid/clues but I mustn’t get ahead of myself. I’m still more likely to take the better part of 40=45mins these days. What’s gone are the 1+hr days.

        My final thought on today’s grid is that answers didn’t seem to have many possible alternatives. You either got them or you didn’t. Looking back up the blog to see if anyone DNFed, I notice Vinyl1 said this too, just more eloquently.

    2. Very well done, Mr Plates! My PB is 12 minutes, but I can’t imagine going sub-10. I usually finish in the 25-45 minutes range these days, but the occasional 55+ still creeps in from time to time. And, I still DNF about 15% of the time.

  9. Like others, I started well and wrote in answers at a very rapid rate. However, I was slowed in the SE by SHRIEK and RAMPAGE and slowed further by PUTRID, WONDER WOMAN and, the then obvious, BLUE WHALE.
    A good puzzle with stings. I ended up a minute over target (all parsed) after expecting a record time early on.
    Well done Trelawney and Chris. John M.

  10. A nice crossword, though I seem to be unusual in finding the split was left-right not top-bottom, with almost the whole of the left hand side a write-in and much of the right hand side more chewy. Still, a 10 minute finish and much to enjoy.

    Totally misled by the clue for 11D – “I’d heard” got me thinking of homophones and once my brain was going down that track, it took some wrenching to bring it back to how the clue actually worked.

    Many thanks to Chris for the blog

    1. Me too! I was trying to think of an action movie that sounded like ‘the pits’ 😂

  11. Lots of films/nearly film titles and hidden films here- really enjoyable puzzle- thanks Trelawny and Chris- favourite WONDERWOMAN.

  12. A gentle offering by Trelawney, with my only slight delays coming from looking for a homophone at 11d and LOI PUTRID. Particularly enjoyed WONDER WOMAN but my COD goes to DIE HARD for the aforementioned misdirection.
    Thanks to Chris

  13. Like others, I raced through the top half – even Jocular came quickly – but then it was as if a switch had been flicked, and I really struggled with the lower half of the grid. Eventually I realised a specific film, Die Hard, was called for, and then Wonder Woman and Shriek similarly followed. A consolation sub-20 was narrowly thwarted by an alphabet trawl for loi Putrid, but at least it’s an improvement on yesterday’s DNF. CoD to 16d, Wagon – simple enough, but only once you see it. Invariant

  14. Quick start (the top), slow finish (the bottom). Just like every cross country race I ever ran.

    COD DUNGEON, time 07:08 for 1.25K and an Excellent Day.

    Many thanks Chris and the Squire.


    1. Whenever I encounter a Trelawny, I always think of John Nettles aka Bergerac talking to Charlie Hungerford.

      Is that the right cultural reference?

      1. My wife’s father dying before he was my father-in-law is a sadness for me. I always wanted a Charlie Hungerford type influence in my life.

  15. Yet another DNF for me today, this time self-inflicted having incorrectly put ‘juditsu’. Although I didn’t know what the resulting ‘judu’ meant in the parsing, I have NHO ‘juju’ either, so did not spot the error. Consequently I could not solve 2d starting with a letter ‘d’.

    Hey ho.

  16. A similar story to others. I took 15 minutes. LOI PUTRID like so many it seems.
    Prior to that were STOCKY and JOCULAR.
    I think there was something tricky in this for everyone; perhaps one definition of a good puzzle.

  17. I was attuned to Trelawney’s offering today and finished with no significant hold ups in 7.38. My first thought for West Country heroine was Lorna Doone, but realised there was one letter too many.
    Had to think hard to remember Shrek as the name of the green ogre even though I’ve seen the film. Die Hard was known to me, but I expect I’m one of the few people posting today that’s never seen the film.

    1. I’ve seen all the Shrek films several times, as a result of having children of the right age! But I have never seen any Die Hard films and don’t plan to either 😅

  18. 13 minutes for me, on my iPhone – which isn’t the fastest way to solve in my experience. RAMPAGE was my LOI, and I did kinda spot the movie theme, also seeing Wagon Train in there. Thanks both.

  19. Very nice crossword, I awarded several mental ticks.

    As for others, my LOI was PUTRID. BULLET TRAIN and STOCKY were good clues, but I liked the simplicity of THYME the best.


  20. As others have said, the top of the grid yielded an awful lot easier than the bottom of the grid. FOI JUJITSU, LOI BLUE WHALE and COD to WONDER WOMAN. 7:52 for a very good day.

  21. Thanks to Chris for the blog and Trelawney for an enjoyable puzzle with more clues than usual being either very easy or for me, very difficult. FOI JET, which confirmed JUJITSU which had already crossed my mind: proceeded rapidly to complete the top half in record time, but then….Although I have seen some truly excellent US culture, most fails to interest me, so found the bottom half was even more of a challenge. However I had vaguely heard of SHREK leading to my LOI, and my COD must be the film which emerged from a corner in my subconscious with only one crosser, when, on the point of throwing in the towel, I twigged that I’D HEARD could be anagram fodder, enabling me rapidly to fill in about ten unsolved answers

  22. Managed to finish this one, with no aids and without much difficulty. However, my last one in, PUTRID, did require some head scratching.

  23. Unlike most people above I found this very easy and finished in just over 7 minutes. Must have been on Trelawney’s wavelength this morning.

  24. Like many others I struggled with the bottom half. PUTRID, WONDER WOMAN, RAMPAGE, BLUE WHALE all difficult.

  25. 4:54 this morning. An enjoyable puzzle from Trelawney, nothing too obscure.
    Movies are not exactly my specialist subject but having seen both films, I was aware of 11 d “Die Hard”, although initially I could only visualise the green ogre in 12 ac “Shriek” and it took a little while to release the mental block.
    9ac “Bullet Train” – Mrs P and I travelled on one a few years ago from Niigata to Tokyo. Unsurprisingly everything was highly efficient and the train was bang on time. The only disappointment was that the the track was bounded by a solid wall for virtually its entirety. Would any of of our Japanese-based contributors happen to know why this was the case by any chance?
    COD 7 ac “stocky”. Thanks to Chris and Trelawny.

  26. I’m another who started smoothly enough but ended up dotting around the grid a bit. Still I finished it, all parsed, in 8:50, so a Just About Average Day.
    Like Andy Pandy, my first thought at 14a was Lorna Doone, but it took me a while to work that one out, even with most of the checkers! I got stuck on the idea of ponder=think about. Ponder woman – could be me trying to decide what to cook for supper 😅 I liked BULLET TRAIN and THYME.
    FOI Jujitsu LOI Wonder Woman COD Blue whale (one for Alan Davies)
    Thanks Trelawney and Chris

    1. I also briefly considered PONDER WOMAN: the cerebral member of the Marvel universe, perhaps!

  27. Just outside the SCC with another slowish plod. No particular problems other than PUTRID where I spent lots of time looking for a DD… Needed the checkers for WONDER WOMAN. All parsed pre-submission. Enjoyable puzzle. Many thanks all.

  28. A rare sub 10 mins for me – coming in at 8 mins, which must be close to a PB.

    Just one of those puzzles where every answer came pretty much immediately. Only hold up were the last two of 10ac “Putrid” and 11dn “Die Hard” (which I thought was a cryptic clue rather than an anagram).

    The thought of a West Country Wonder Woman makes me hark back to a possible David Prowse voiced Darth Vader. Thankfully, they went with James Earl Jones – but it could have been fun.

    FOI – 1dn “Jet”
    LOI – 11dn “Die Hard”
    COD – 14ac “Wonder Woman”

    Thanks as usual or, should I say, yippee ki-yay!

        1. If only it worked the other way around as well ! I would gladly put up with a run of DNFs for a chance of a sub-10 😉

  29. A rare sub 10. I fear I may have missed a rely fast one by solving on a phone in a cafe. WONDER WOMAN nearly did me in. First because I wanted Tess to be in there and then because separating West and Country is so hard for a Somerset lad.

  30. No problems until jocular, putrid and got stuck on shre(i)k.
    Liked marina, wagon, COD wonder woman.

  31. Like many others I started with a bang at the top and the top half was speedily completed. I slowed down appreciably in the bottom half but after 16 minutes (a reasonable time in my book) I just had 12ac to crack. Unfortunately I never managed to. I couldn’t work out what was going on in the (slightly contrived) clue and wasn’t sure whether I was looking for a synonym of grabbed or scream. Neither could I bring any green ogres to mind! Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

    FOI – 1ac JUJITSU
    LOI – DNF but would have been 12ac SHRIEK
    COD – 10ac PUTRID

  32. 11.04 PB for me today. Wow! After yesterday’s trudge this was a gift.
    Somewhere deep in my family history there is allegedly a connection to Trelawn(e)y of ‘The Song of the Western Men’. That was one of my favourite songs to sing at school many, many years ago.

  33. We also found the top half straightforward, then slowed down by wonder woman, and some others. Pleasant puzzle, thanks Trelawney.

  34. 16:17 here, with the last 3 minutes spent trying to find RAMPAGE and PUTRID. As others have said, it’s nice to see some cultural references more recent than Biggles.

  35. 12:42

    Definitely one of the easier ones. Thought a sub 10 was possible as the top half flew in but slightly slowed at the bottom overthinking LOI WONDER WOMAN.

  36. I thoroughly enjoyed this and was on for a sub 20 min time until I was left with 12ac. I worked out the wordplay but just couldn’t get first the Incredible Hulk and then the Jolly Green Giant out of my mind. Got there eventually.

    This QC was about my level. Enough to make me think but a respite after some recent horror shows. 10ac required an alphabet trawl and is my COD.

    Thanks as always Chris for the blog and congratulations 🎉 to those of you who recorded some impressive times .

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