Times Quick Cryptic 2485 by Trelawney

Hi everyone.  I thought this one fit the brief nicely; my solving was on the brief side too.  Just a slight hold-up in 9a where I needed to let go of the idea that it would contain a B.  I see I’ve given special mention to Trelawney’s surfaces before and I could do the same again today.  My COD was the possibly hypoallergenic burglar food in 11a.  Thanks Trelawney!

Definitions are underlined in the clues below.  In the explanations, quoted indicators are in italics and I’ve capitalised and emboldened letters which appear in the ANSWER.  For clarity, I omit most link words and some juxtaposition indicators.

1a Too inept to move stealthily (2,6)
ON TIPTOE TOO INEPT to be anagrammed (to move)
5a Recall computers making racket (4)
SCAM — Reverse (recall) MACS (computers)
8a Period charm (5)
SPELL — Double definition
9a Places to land black items of clothing (7)
JETTIES JET (black) + TIES (items of clothing)
11a Low-risk snack for burglar? (4-7)
SAFE-CRACKER SAFE (low risk) + CRACKER (snack).  The question mark is needed because a safe-cracker might not be a burglar
13a Intimidate blokes with club, perhaps? (6)
MENACE MEN (blokes) + ACE (club, perhaps? – the playing card of that suit)
14a Mark almost excessively drunk (6)
BLOTTO BLOT (mark) + all but the last letter of (almost) TOo (excessively)
17a A little gale blowing around some pasta (11)
TAGLIATELLE A LITTLE GALE anagrammed (blowing around)
20a Fashion designer skirting northern body of water (7)
CHANNEL CHANEL (fashion designer) going around (skirting) N (northern)
21a Animal seen regularly in Aztec burial (5)
ZEBRA — The answer is found in alternate letters of (seen regularly in) aZtEc BuRiAl
22a Require some gene editing (4)
NEED — This one is hidden in (some) geNE EDiting
23a Strangely, inert gas is fuming the most? (8)
ANGRIEST — An anagram of (strangely) INERT GAS
1d Expel leaders of our university skiing team (4)
OUST — The first letters (leaders) of Our University Skiing Team
2d Finally invent rationale for betrayal (7)
TREASON — The last letter of (finally) invenT + REASON (rationale)
3d Beat up cop in lift for Tarantino film (4,7)
PULP FICTION — An anagram of (beat) UP COP IN LIFT
4d Protest‘s purpose (6)
OBJECT — Two definitions
6d Prison beginning to concern couple (5)
CLINK — The first letter of (beginning to) Concern + LINK (couple, verb)
7d Cry from a sled — space for fungus? (8)
MUSHROOM MUSH (cry from a sled) + ROOM (space)
10d Pioneer with time to complain furiously over jacket (11)
TRAILBLAZER T (time) + RAIL (to complain furiously) over BLAZER (jacket)
12d Once omit weird digital symbol (8)
EMOTICON ONCE OMIT anagrammed (weird)
15d Shudder when head of museum breaks three cups? (7)
TREMBLE — The first letter (head) of Museum goes inside (breaks) TREBLE (three cups? – sporting ones, won in a single season)
16d Pinched scarf close to town (6)
STOLEN STOLE (scarf) + the last letter of (close to) towN
18d Look intently around river and eat grass (5)
GRAZE GAZE (look intently) around R (river)
19d Final piece of plastic (4)
LAST — Our last answer is found in a piece of pLASTic

74 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2485 by Trelawney”

  1. I had no idea what the cups were doing in 15d. JETTIES took me a very long time; having the JET, I thought of a plane landing, which of course got me nowhere. It finally took an alphabet trawl to see the light. 7:23.

  2. 7.07 for me. I too was trying to start JETTIES with a B, so that and OBJECT were LOsI. EMOTICON also fooled me for a while, and I missed playing card ref in MENACE. Otherwise a nice, clean quickie, thanks Kitty and Trelawney

  3. 6:50. Needed a full two minutes for JETTIES and OBJECT! I did actually see TIES and wrote it in, but couldn’t for the life of me think of the three-letter synonym for black, nor could I see the word JETTIES. One of those WEE KNIGHTS situations.

  4. 12:23. Another who spent most time on JETTIES and OBJECT. I could only see a B starting JETTIES but when OBJECT finally came to me I remembered JET for black. BLOTTO and TRAILBLAZER were favourites.

    1. Funnily enough I put the B in the grid for Black and then went to 4D to see if it helped – it did! but only through a bit of good luck. I immediately spotted and parsed OBJECT, shifting the B up one and then was able to solve JETTIES fairly quickly too. 7.45 for me, which is my PB 🙂

  5. Very nice puzzle finished in 22 minutes on my phone (a v good time for me). Couldn’t parse TREBLE and as for many others LOI JETTIES Thank you Trelawney and Kitty

  6. 13:52. I also missed the significance of the cups in 15d. COD SAFE CRACKER. LOI TAGLIATELLE, needed all the crossers for that one.
    Thanks to Trelawney and Kitty.

  7. I found this one quite straightforward but was plagued by typos yet again (I’m sure this new format is extra tablet-keyboard sensitive as it never used to be a problem) so I achieved a probable 16 minutes. However, by the time I’d corrected BLOTOO, MENABE and TAGLIATRLLE I actually finished in just over 18. (One thing this new format does is still give you a time after corrections have been made.) I wouldn’t really equate ‘gaze’ with ‘looking intently’, quite the opposite, but GRAZE was the obvious answer.
    I therefore consider this a successful solve.
    So a short trip toward the front of the class today having particularly enjoyed TRAILBLAZER and CLINK along the way.
    Thank you for a satisfying start to the week Trelawney and Kitty.

    1. gaze: You surprise me; what do you mean by ‘gaze’, then?
      ODE sv ‘gaze’: look steadily and intently, especially in admiration, surprise, or thought

      1. Aren’t the nuances of language strange? I would only use the word GAZE to look dreamily and definitely un-intently. As in ‘He gazed up at the clouds and yearned for the day they might meet again’. I would never use it to describe looking intently. I would use STARE.

        1. Yes, the nuances of language are strange. I agree with your GAZE example but this isn’t how the dictionaries see it (no pun intended) and there are clearly times when ‘look intently’ is OK. On the other hand, to me STARE means to “look dreamily”. I’ve just checked STARE in Chambers which goes with “to look with a fixed gaze”(!) and in Collins which has much the same sense. However the ODE has one sense of STARE as “[no obj] to look fixedly or vacantly at someone with one’s eyes wide open”, a bit like your “look dreamily”. GAZE is also given as the first synonym for STARE and vice versa in the Oxford Thesaurus.

          Very confusing!

  8. A very rare finish below 10 minutes at 8m 55s. A steady solve clockwise from top left. LOI: CHANNEL for no other reason than it was in the SW corner. I liked 7d because it reminded me of an occasion in the Arctic on a sled, drawn by huskies, although the driver not once cried ‘mush’!

    1. Yes. I think you’re the only one who comments on MUSH; what is this, please – cry from a sled, meaning? Who or what is doing the crying, and why MUSH?

      1. Collins:

        in British English
        1. an order to dogs in a sled team to start up or go faster

        Word origin
        C19: perhaps from French marchez or marchons, imperatives of marcher to advance

        1. Thank you, Templar. I look at my (2000) dictionary and there it is listed as specifically Canadian, so no wonder I’ve NHO it. But it seems everything moves across the pond eventually…

          1. Yes, it must be Canadian in origin rather than UK given the greater need for dog sleds over there! Maybe we adopted it when we started polar exploration.

            1. That’s it – with the added info, should it not be known, that Amundsen used sled dogs for his pioneering trip to the South Pole. I’d be surprised if the average solver knew any more famous users of sled dogs (aficionados of the Iditarod excepted).

  9. Mainly straightforward but severely held up at the end with CLINK, OBJECT (doh) and JETTIES – where I was thinking of how to get a ‘b’ into airstrips etc. Also didn’t help myself by thinking that the pasta ended in an ‘i’ and not paying too much attention to the anagrist. Like others I couldn’t work out what cups was doing int TREMBLE.
    Lots to enjoy along the way and I finished in 7.40
    Thanks to Kitty

  10. Classic breezeblock with all but two done in very fast time and then the dastardly duo of Object and Jetties pushing the time out to 10 minutes. I am comforted that better solvers than me found those two challenging as well, but having completed the puzzle I can’t for the life of me see what it was in them that held me up so long.

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog

  11. 12 and a bit minutes. I was slow generally and like several others was held up by JETTIES, thinking of aircraft and expecting a B. Like Ittt?, I wondered about GAZE for ‘Look intently’, but if it’s in the dictionaries, fair enough and there is the sense as in eg “he fixed him with a steely gaze”, admittedly here as a noun.

    I liked the BLOTTO and CLINK colloquialisms. My favourite today was MUSHROOM.

    Thanks to Kitty and Trelawney

  12. 7.10

    Really struggled to get going not helped by having SAFE BREAKER but picked up speed at the end.

    Nice puzzle – thanks Trelawney and Kitty

  13. Lots to like today. I loved the idea of the animal in the Aztec burial and the low-risk snack for the burglar.

    Thanks Telawny and Kitty

  14. 10:31 France suffers from a famine

    Was on for a very good time in spite of a slow start, but like many JETTIES/OBJECT cost me several minutes.

    COD TREBLE. Our American friends use Triple in general for three in a row, but for three cups they have the dreadful “threepeat”

    1. ‘Threepeat’ was a joking neologism when the SF 49ers (football) had won the championship 2 years in a row and were hoping for a third. I’d hate to think that it’s become generalized.

  15. Enjoyable puzzle completed in below average time. Did not know MUSH or see rhe point of CUPSr, but it hardly held me up. FOI ON TIPTOE, LOI TREMBLE, COD OBJECT. Thanks to Trelawney and Kitty.g

  16. Anyone else with TARMACS for 9A? I put it in and then made things worse with OUTCRY for 4D. It made a right mess of the NE corner that only SAFE-CRACKER and OBJECT resolved. I’m another who failed to see the significance of “cups” in 13D. All sorted in 5:28. Thanks Trelawney and Kitty.

    1. Goodness! You have time to make multiple errors in the NE corner, correct them and still finish in under 5½ minutes. Lightning fast!

  17. I don’t normally bother about my time but this just flowed along with no blockers for once and I finished in my first sub 20m this year.
    I noticed my score was 601 rather than 600. Is that a sub 20m bonus point?
    Thanks Trelawney and Kitty

  18. Oh dear, I cleared my history last night and had to sign in again, having forgotten to copy my post first.
    I’ll try again.
    A good puzzle, spoilt for me only my my own stupidity in not parsing 11a properly and entering SAFE BREAKER simply on the basis of ——K-R. That left me to remove the TRAIL from 10d (d’oh) and puzzle over OBJECT (which I had seen early on but didn’t fit with my 11a). When the penny dropped, I reinstated TRAIL and OBJECT and saw my LOI JETTIES. What a nana!
    I ended up under 12 mins (over 3 mins under target) but it could have been so much better.
    That will teach me to take my own advice and parse carefully as I go.
    Many thanks to Trelawney for a good Monday puzzle and to Kitty for a good blog. John M.

    1. Blighter, depending on your browser and settings (I use Chrome) you should be able to set a default option to clear history and cached items without removing cookies and your regular sign-ins.

  19. 23 mins…

    Frustratingly went over the 20 minute mark because of 4dn “Object” (no excuse) and 9ac “Jetties”.

    Lots of nice clues though and I’m in agreement with Kitty with regards to 11ac “Safe Cracker”, which I’m sure I’ve seen before, but still made me smile.

    FOI – 1dn “Oust”
    LOI – 9ac “Jetties”
    COD – 11ac “Safe Cracker”

    Thanks as usual!

  20. On a good run at the moment.

    Thought of jet=black straightaway, which helped with OBJECT, and the checkers gave me the ties for JETTIES. My LOI was SAFE CRACKER, I liked the fuming inert gas.


  21. A similar story to others.
    I solved bottom up and was very quick until being held up by JETTIES and OBJECT. My last two were actually SPELL and SCAM and I was slow to think of the film. 11 minutes in total.
    A nice puzzle. COD to SAFE CRACKER.

  22. No help needed from the cat to complete this one.

    JETTIES took me a long time. I saw JET but the rest perplexed me for a while.

    BLOTTO made me think of Laurel and Hardy where they get “drunk” on cold tea, thinking it was booze.

  23. Nice friendly one this Monday morning – all done in just under my usual hour – thank you, Trelawney. But two of the parsings (BLOT, MUSH) escaped me, so thank you too, Kitty, for your useful blog. FOI ZEBRA, COD the suitably topical TREMBLE, LOI SAFE-CRACKER.

  24. QC SNITCH score of 88 = easier 👍🏻

    And easier it was, except for the terrible twins OBJECT and JETTIES, which pushed what would have been a quick time out to a regulation 08:00. Drat. Still, 1.1K and a Good Enough Day.

    Many thanks to Kitty and the Squire.


  25. 12:04 (Crusaders sack Constantinople)

    I also had OBJECT and JETTIES as my last two in. The latter is an excellent piece of misdirection; I assumed B must be in there somewhere, and only saw JET when I had the J from OBJECT.

    Thanks Kitty and Trelawney

  26. I seem to be one of the few to have had no trouble with OBJECT and JETTIES, solved in that order. My LOI was SPELL which probably cost me about an additional 30 or so seconds, taking me to a finishing time of 8.09. Never having seen a Tarantino film I didn’t get 3dn on the first pass, but the title did ring a bell.

  27. Was on for a record but couldn’t get Jetties or Object. Bit annoyed about Object. Should have had that. Don’t think I would ever have got the other one.

  28. A friendly puzzle from Trelawney, with a good mix of clues and enough humour (Safe Cracker is the stand out CoD) to make this a very enjoyable 16min solve. Like others, a slight delay with Jetties, but immediately obvious once Jet for black came to mind. Scam/macs was another hold up, even though its probably a chestnut. Invariant

  29. Solved steadily until my last three: JETTIES, OBJECT, and LOI SPELL. Groaned when I finally saw SPELL as it is a bit of a chestnut really. Lots to like including favourites MENACE and MUSHROOM. Many thanks kitty and Trelawney.

  30. My brain doesn’t seem to be working properly today. I took ages to solve the NE corner with Jet for black very slow to come. I also wasted ages trying to see how PULP FICTION worked, not noticing that UP was part of the anagrist. I put it down to the Covid and Flu jabs I had on Saturday! OUST was FOI, SAFE CRACKER and CLINK were last 2 in. 10:11. Thanks Trelawney and Kitty.

  31. Very easy and lots of fun. Slightly slower on OBJECT but it gave me JETTIES and (COD) SAFE CRACKER. LOI SPELL.
    Also liked BLOTTO, MUSHROOM. Biffed PULP FICTION without checking letters.
    Thanks vm, Kitty.

  32. 5:06

    Trelawney is definitely one of the setters I am most comfortable with averaging at about six minutes. No real issues with the same pause for thought at the end as several others, coming up with OBJECT and finally JETTIES – I had thought of TIE but had misread the clue thinking it was a single item of clothing so wondered what the S was doing. I also missed the ‘three cups’ = TREBLE – COD for that.

    Thanks T and K

  33. 9:29 – My first one ever in under 10:00!

    I was starting to panic when my FOI was 17ac but rallied on the remaining across clues and fared much better on the downs – which then helped with the across clues I hadn’t been able to solve on the first pass.
    Struggled in the top right corner with LOI’s 5ac, 6 & 7dn, but they came to me when I took a deep breath and focused.
    COD 11ac SAFE CRACKER for me also, but I did like 7dn MUSHROOM.
    A big thanks to Kitty and Trelawney.

  34. Began a read through waiting at the dentist but only sat down to solve once home again. A lovely puzzle to start the week. With 2 x Z I was wondering about a repeat of the recent double…
    FOI 13a menace
    LOI 20a channel (fashion not my scene)
    COD 11a safe cracker

  35. 7.15 Much quicker than usual. TREMBLE made no sense to me. JETTIES and OBJECT were the last two in. Thanks to Kitty and Trelawney.

  36. 7:17. A pleasant start to the week. I’ve never seen any Tarantino films but am fully aware of what they’re like, so liked the surface of PULP FICTION vey much. I liked the Mexican ZEBRA, ON TIPTOE, MENACE and NEED a lot too. Actually the list is getting quite long!
    FOI Oust LOI appropriately it was Last 😅 COD Angriest
    Thanks Trelawney and Kitty

  37. 5.27. In the zone today, but held up by throwing in a casual “safe breaker“ which made no sense really.

  38. I wondered what was going on at first when the setter was Trelawney but I couldn’t get anything. FOI was MENACE. Thankfully things started flowing more easily after that and I ended up with 15:44 despite taking a couple of minutes on the OBJECT/JETTIES pairing. COD to TRAILBLAZER. Thanks Trelawney and Kitty.

  39. 11 mins. I’ll never have a better chance to break 10 mins so very cross with myself for missing a golden opportunity. As usual, saw some answers but lacked confidence to insert them until I had checkers.

    I began last week with an 11 minute solve and still missed my target, so hopefully this week will be better.

    Thanks for the blog Kitty.

    Another failure to complete the Quintagram ☹️. Wouldn’t have got no. 5 in a month of Sundays!

  40. 16.05 for me. Using a PC instead of Android phone was much faster and I found it straightforward without any particular holdups. Nice clues and helpful grid.
    Thanks everyone

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