Times Quick Cryptic 2515 by Trelawney – too much 3d

Hello everyone.  I moved very easily through this but then but made a mistake too embarrassing to detail.  One of those annoying ones where you know it’s not right but go with it anyway.  I only ever do that when there’s a timer running, so only in the Quick Cryptic.  Still, I think it’s a puzzle which fits the Monday QC brief nicely, with plenty of (not too deviously-signposted) anagrams, a couple of hidden words and nothing too convoluted or esoteric.  You may of course disagree; the place to do so is below.  Thanks Trelawney.

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

1a I need a lift — problem with back of car after steep rise (10)
HITCHHIKER HITCH (problem) accompanied by (with) the last letter (back) of caR after HIKE (steep rise, as in a price hike)
7a Protect oneself against losing fence? (5)
HEDGE — Two definitions.  Trelawney has hedged his bets by adding the question mark to the second
8a Aunt Sal cooked piece of dried fruit (7)
SULTANA — An anagram of (… cooked) AUNT SAL
10a Boar’s feet is weird option for Sunday lunch! (5,4)
ROAST BEEF BOARS FEET is anagrammed (weird)
12a Skip first bit of very long film (3)
PIC — The setter is instructing you to omit (skip) the initial letter (first bit) of ePIC (very long)
13a Sample of boy’s terrible seafood (6)
OYSTER — A part of (sample of) bOYS TERrible
15a Mean, in time, to finish (6)
INTEND IN + T (time) + END (to finish)
16a Periodically unhappy? Rest for a bit (3)
NAP — Regular letters of (periodically) uNhApPy
17a Angered at strange place for an outdoor cuppa (3,6)
TEA GARDEN — An anagram of (… strange) ANGERED AT
20a Falsely deny ear ached (7)
YEARNED — An anagram of (falsely) DENY EAR
22a See you later, carrying one small crown (5)
TIARA TARA (see you later) containing (carrying) I (one)
23a Fellow actor beginning to import tin from Central America (5,5)
COSTA RICAN COSTAR (fellow actor) + the first letter of (beginning to) Import + CAN (tin)
1d Hardy hero holds up many-headed monster (5)
HYDRA — hARDY Hero contains in reverse (holds up) the answer
2d Use European cash machine found in river (9)
TREATMENT E (European) and ATM (cash machine) found in TRENT (river)
3d Detest accommodating ultimately needless urgency (5)
HASTE HATE (detest) holding (accommodating) the last letter of (ultimately) needlesS
4d Without Jack, Jack’s companion is sick (3)
ILL Without J (Jack), [j]ILL (Jack’s companion)
5d More than enough to support old partner, for instance (7)
EXAMPLE AMPLE (more than enough) going under (to support) EX (old partner)
6d Toast put on? No, white wine! (10)
CHARDONNAY CHAR (toast) + DON (put on) + NAY (no)
9d Unexpected note (10)
ACCIDENTAL — Double definition.  In music an accidental is a sharp, flat or natural not in the key signature
11d Fizzy drink’s quirk is brilliant! (9)
FANTASTIC FANTAS (fizzy drink’s) TIC (quirk)
14d Singer‘s rap soon going wrong (7)
SOPRANO RAP SOON anagrammed (going wrong)
18d Snake is crazier without venom in the end (5)
ADDER — [m]ADDER (crazier) without the last letter of (… in the end) venoM
19d Sketched sunrise around summit of ridge (5)
DRAWN DAWN (sunrise) around the top (summit) of Ridge
21d Acquire piece of fishing gear (3)
NET — A final double definition

90 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2515 by Trelawney – too much 3d”

  1. Two in a row completed hurrah! 13:25

    I didn’t know the musical definition of ACCIDENTAL and tbh I still don’t understand the wordplay for HYDRA. How does ‘holds up’ also indicate that it’s contained in the phrase?

    FOI: HYDRA (only because I thought it was an anagram of Hardy and how many many headed monsters do you know really)

    Thank you for the blog! I’m so curious about your mistake now Kitty…

    1. The phrase literally holds (as the word “holds” holds “old”) the answer, if read up rather than down. Couldn’t phrase this way with an Across clue.

      1. Ah. I needed to split ‘holds’ and ‘up’ apart

        Thanks so much that’s so much clearer to me now!

    2. An accidental is any note that falls outside of the given key signature and will be signified by a sharp, flat or natural sign.

      1. No it’s not! An accidental is the sharp, flat or natural sign that alters a note, not the note itself

        1. In music, an accidental is a note of a pitch that is not a member of the scale or mode indicated by the most recently applied key signature. In musical notation, the flat, natural and sharp symbols, among others, mark such notes—and those symbols are also called accidentals. (Wikipedia)

          1. Yes, one can become involved in all sorts of tiresome pedantry over this, and that was what happened in the previous conversation I posted a link to (earlier, below), but to musicians sharps, flats, naturals, accidentals are all possible descriptions of notes.

  2. This was quite easy–currently the SNITCH is at 72, although only 13 solvers have reported in. I biffed HYDRA, never parsed it, and HITCHHIKER, COSTA RICAN, parsing post-submission. DNK the musical ACCIDENTAL. 4:39.

    1. I was surprised that you didn’t know the musical ACCIDENTAL as it was in the 15×15 I blogged last Tuesday, however (very rarely for you) you didn’t post a comment in the discussion that day so perhaps you missed the puzzle completely? I’m sure it has come up on other occasions though as I remember a whole discussion not that long ago about accidentals being sharps and flats and naturals.

      1. I was in a hotel the nights of the 22d and 23d and had forgotten to take my laptop, so I certainly would have missed the 4 puzzles at my usual post-brekker (as Myrtilus would say) time, and probably never got around to doing them when I got home. I don’t remember any discussion of ACCIDENTAL, but then my powers of forgetting grow daily.

        1. Thanks. I’ve now found the discussion I was thinking of which took place on 27 September but it resulted not from the appearance of ACCIDENTAL as an answer in the puzzle but from ‘notes’ clueing ‘sharps’ in wordplay leading to SHARPSHOOTER. ‘Accidental’ appeared 8 times in the exchanges that followed but as you weren’t involved in these you may not have read them.

      2. I enjoyed following that discussion very closely but unfortunately don’t think much of it penetrated.

  3. This was a nice steady (though not super fast at 1 am ) solve for me. Pitched just right for a QC. Thanks for the very clear parsing Kitty. I had epic = long film (not just long) and couldn’t see why the clue worked. I missed the hidden Hydra (which is also an anagram of Hardy). Thanks to Trelawney too.

  4. At 5.37 this was close to PB territory and tbh I’m not sure how physically I could fill in the grid in a significantly quicker time, even if I didn’t have to think about the answers. Good fun from Trelawney, and thanks to Kitty for explaining a couple that just went straight in from the crossers. HYDRA, for instance, and ACCIDENTAL. Hesitated briefly over TREATMENT and COSTA RICAN and missed that OYSTER was a hidden, but mostly it was a straight-forward solve. It’s been a while since I’ve been under 7 so maybe they are getting harder in the last month or so as people say.

  5. 8 minutes although I lost time at the beginning by immediately assuming the Hardy hero would be ‘Tess’ which got me nowhere wih solving 1dn. The arrival of the H-checker soon put me right, however I saw HYDRA as an anagram of Hardy before spotting the hidden reversal.

  6. A proper QC this one, and a good start to the week coming in well under 15 minutes. I was messed around by HYDRA for too long (like others, I could see no anagrist for HARDY but plumped for it in the end as it fitted the checkers).
    I enjoyed YEARNED and ACCIDENTAL in particular.
    A very damp start to the day down here in Dorsetshire, but brightened up significantly by Trelawney’s offering.

  7. 11:14 for a good start to the week. HITCHHIKER foi, HEDGE butr (bringing up the rear), just after CHARDONNAY popped. I miss-parsed HYDRA initially, and was only peripherally aware of ACCIDENTAL as a music thing. Thanks Kitty and Trelawney.

  8. Started with CHARDONNAY as I couldn’t immediately see what was going on with 1a and the rest followed in quick time. Only hold up was with LOI FANTASTIC due to the fact that I’d put roast beeR in at 10a, leaving me with some confusing checkers.
    Finished in 5.15 but with ACCIDENTAL only semi-parsed.
    Thanks to Kitty and Trelawney

  9. Definitely the easy end of the QC spectrum for me with a personal best of just over 7 minutes, even though I wasn’t aiming for speed. A nice crossword to start the week although (at five) still too many anagrams for my taste.

  10. Happy with 6’46” as I’ve had a break from solving for a while.

    Enjoyed the IKEA nature of CHARDONNAY and TREATMENT.

    Music clues normally do for me but something rang a bell enough for ACCIDENTAL not to feel a biffed risk.

    Biffed HYDRA but post-parsing was straightforward.

    Think we’ve see the ‘angered at’ anagram before.

    Thanks Trelawny and Kitty

  11. I was a bit slow getting started but ROAST BEEF got me going. I liked that and CHARDONNAY most. Thanks Trelawney and Kitty. 4:07. P.S. Good to see you at the Sloggers and Betters weekend, Kitty.

  12. Elegant, straightforward puzzle. Trelawney always produces lots to enjoy.

    Despite lots of big-fingers-on-small-phone moments (three goes at typing ILL for Pete’s sake), I still managed this in 06:36 for 1.5K and a Very Good Day. Couldn’t get HITCHHIKER until I had two H checkers, so had to start with CHARDONNAY and work across.
    LOI and COD to HEDGE.

    Many thanks Kitty and the Squire.


  13. It seems that brand names are becoming the norm these days, but still MER at Fanta.

    TIME 4:17

  14. 8:18 (Coenwulf of Mercia raids Dyfed)

    A gentle start to the week. LOI was CHARDONNAY.

    Thanks Kitty and Trelawney

    1. Thanks for clarifying this for me- I had always thought it was Dyfed who raided Coenwulf in 818!

      1. I agree I was somewhat scraping the barrel for British historical events, devastating as they must have been for the people of Dyfed. Maybe I should widen my interests to include Viking raids in the Byzantine Empire, or the Franks in Italy.

        1. I have an unfortunate habit of throwing out silly rejoinders that I find wildly witty. But please continue with your references-I do enjoy reading them and often research the people and events called up!

  15. 4.16

    Red letter day going sub-Phil. Must check what was in the coffee this morning.

    Like John enjoyed the wine and beef clues and TEA GARDEN as well.

    Thanks Trelawney and Kitty

  16. Enjoyed this – thanks Trelawney and Kitty. I always thought that Ta ra was a Cilla quirk so I was surprised to see it a a general northern variation. I’m more used to ta ta as in TTFN 🙂 Thanks again!

  17. I’m a newcomer but is it a coincidence that there are a few double letters. H L C N E D. Maybe not!

  18. 9 minutes for me. LOI COSTA RICAN.
    I too was surprised to see Fanta, but we’ve had a few brands in the past.
    A good QC for most I imagine.

  19. Definitely friendly, and all done in 6½ minutes. In fact I could echo almost all of Templar’s comments above, from the time (snap) to the fat fingers (also snap) via getting Chardonnay before Hitchhiker (snap again) all the way to LOI Hedge. Uncanny!

    Many thanks to Kitty for the blog

  20. After last week’s travails when I began to wonder if I was old enough to use memory loss as an excuse, 8:36 was possibly a PB. One thing I have learned is what the quick cryptic giveth, the quick cryptic taketh away and I expect DNF’s for the rest of the week

    1. Ill-use and ill-treatment are synonyms but I can’t think of an example where they are interchangeable without the ill-.

  21. Very much enjoyed this one with a PB of 9 minutes- about 6 minutes off previous PB. However many solved with some of the clue rather than working it all out, which was then an extra pleasure.
    What fun these are greatly improved by the blog so thanks both.

  22. Never thought I would type these words. I found this a little bit too easy. I missed the mental struggle I usually have for the last few answers. LIO ACCIDENTAL – did not know the musical connection.

    1. Sometimes we often complain about them being too hard, so when an occasional easier one comes along, I keep my mouth firmly closed 😀

  23. 11:11. HITCHHIKER was COD- only holdups were seeing TA-RA and CO-STAR to complete the parsing.

  24. Straightforward today – a nice gentle introduction to the week. 11 minutes for me but I didn’t stop to parse everything (COSTA RICAN, HYDRA, CHARDONNAY), so thanks for the explanations Kitty. Would have been a bit quicker if I had not started looking at 2dn trying to use the Test as the river instead of the Trent.

    COD – liked 2dn TREATMENT best, when I finally got it. Also liked ILL, FANTASTIC and ADDER

  25. Was a bit slow to get HIKE from “rise” so waited for all the checkers.
    Wasn’t sure how many Ns are in ABC (Anything But Chardonnnay, my late wife’s wine specification) but guessed right.
    Also foxed by the coincidental HYDRA Hardy anag, but suddenly saw the hold-up.
    Was slow to see Co-star, but got a nice PDM when it arrived.

  26. A pleasant enough solve, with a few wrong end of the clue rabbit holes and a frustrating delay over loi Intend pushing me out to 17mins. The ATM part of Treatment didn’t come to mind easily – for that matter, Use/Treatment also seems a bit of a stretch. Quite a few CoD candidates, but 19d Drawn gets the nod for the smooth surface. Invariant

  27. Steadily solved a puzzle on the easier end of the spectrum. Did it on line today, rather than from a printed copy – gave me a time of 18′ 23″. (I am very much part of the QC only brigade: can rarely solve more than the odd clue on the 15×15, despite many efforts.)

  28. 3:58

    Think is the fastest I’ve completed a QC in the Quitch era. On seeing Trelawney’s name, I guessed it would be fast but still managed to skip half a dozen acrosses on the first pass. Each of the four edges were bifd from a few checkers and only parsed after completion – everything else parsed inflight. LOI HASTE

    Thanks Trelawney and Kitty

  29. Quick start to the week.

    HITCHHIKER LOI as I worked my way back up the puzzle. Remembered accidental from discussion on a previous puzzle.


  30. A bad day at the office for me. I usually find Trelawney the most benign of the regular setters, but not today. I had trouble even getting started. Things quicky improved once I had, though, and I found myself with just five to do after only 17 minutes or so. However, that was when the wheels came off.

    Eight more minutes passed before HYDRA and HITCH HIKER fell, but I then sat staring at A_____N_A_ (9d), P__ (12a) and _N_E__ (15a) for fully half an hour before making the next breakthrough.

    Eventually, and only after a massive alphabet trawl, I found INTEND and realised how simple the clue should have been. ACCIDENTAL followed almost immediately, but only by guessing at random a word that would fit the space. I had NHO the type of music note and I don’t really think that ACCIDENTAL means unexpected. Even then, it took me at least two minutes to plump for PIC. I had earlier written down 34 words to fit P__, but PIC wasn’t among them. For some strange reason I simply never thought of ePIC for long film.

    Total time = 58 minutes. Oh dear! I’m clearly losing it.

    Thanks to Trelawney and Kitty.

    1. Well, you and I seem to have the SCC largely to ourselves today – what would you like? My Monday brain wasn’t really firing on all cylinders; possibly just 1. All very doable, I just wasn’t very quick doing. Enjoyed it anyway. Liked HITCHHIKER once i worked it out. ACCIDENTAL was LOI where the note wasn’t coming to mind: i wasn’t any sort of sharp today, definitely flat…

    2. Put it behind you Mr R. I don’t think this was as easy for solvers in our bracket as some of the times from the speed merchants would suggest.

      Although I avoided the SCC, I might easily have had one of my horror shows on INTEND (looking for something more tricky), ACCIDENTAL or HEDGE.

  31. Pleased to achieve a new PB of 8:37 today. FOI – SULTANA, LOI – TREATMENT, COD – ROAST BEEF, liked the surface reading. Enjoyable puzzle, thanks Trelawney and Kitty.

  32. A very gentle start to the week and I found it very straightforward as my time of 5.37 would suggest. I was only held up a little by my LOI which was TREATMENT, as I couldn’t remember the acronym for a cash dispenser. I hesitated with FANTASTIC because I still find it strange that they now include product names.

  33. Not too taxing today, with HYDRA going in first and CHARDONNAY finishing the job. 7:29. Thanks Trelawney and Kitty. Great to see Kitty and Johinterred (and lots of others) at the weekend in York.

    1. Great to see you, John, and Johninterred at John’s gathering. It was also good to see some people not called John!

  34. Fun and fairly easy, in that I completed it without stopping. Slightly held up by LOI FANTASTIC because I couldn’t read my own writing (did not think of Fanta either – mer). Biffed HITCHHIKER, kind of FOI along with HYDRA.
    Amused by CHARDONNAY, TIARA, among others.
    Thanks vm, Kitty.
    Now back to the London Metro game. The names of 40% of stations may be my limit.

        1. thx for the tip – too many decades since I used the Tube – now prefer the buses. They’ve discontinued some bits I used to use and built more since! So will never get to even 80%. Got to 20.5% without too much difficulty so got to decide whether to push on, or not!

        2. BTW have you tried the anagramtubemap? You will need to search for it as TfL objected, but it can be found. I got to just over 40% of ‘your’ puzzle – very few south of the river!

    1. So close ! (Remember to look at the other end when stuck. . . said the man who often doesn’t)

  35. 12 mins…

    A nice and gentle start to the week. Liked 1ac “Hitchhiker”, 9dn “Accidental” and 6dn “Chardonnay”.

    FOI – 1dn “Hydra”
    LOI – 9dn “Accidental”
    COD – 11dn “Fanatstic”

    Thanks as usual!

  36. Just went completely blank and couldn’t remember the abbreviation for a hole in the wall machine, so returned to 2d once I’d got all the checkers – this despite reckoning that the very useful River Trent was most likely! Otherwise all pretty straightforward for me. All done and dusted in 6:35 – basically one Templar or Cedric, so I’ll claim a Very Good Day too, particularly since I’m struggling with vertigo and my brain is rather foggy.
    I found the biggie similarly user-friendly apart from one unknown, which luckily I got right – that one was a stab in the dark, for sure. Kitty would be far too young for it to apply!
    FOI Hitchhiker LOI Treatment COD Accidental
    Thanks Trelawney and Kitty

    1. Either 1xT or 1xCS …. or …. SRC/9!

      Btw, Mrs R did it in a very relaxed 19 minutes (SRC/3).

      Kind regards to both you and Mr B.

      1. Well done Mrs R and hard luck SRC – you’ve certainly been experiencing some ups-and-downs recently . Tomorrow, as they say, is another day🤞
        Best wishes to you both too 😊

  37. 11:06 here, with fully ⅓ of that time spent staring at H_D_E, completely unable to get past the “swordplay” meaning of “fence”. But for that, it would have been a very fast time for me. Didn’t parse HYDRA correctly, so thanks for explaining that, Kitty.

    Thanks to Trelawney too.

  38. Nice straightforward QC until I stupidly got bogged down with 23a and managed to persuade myself that an unparsed and misspelt PORTORICAN was the answer for a 33m dnf.
    Enjoyed it all though, especially TIARA which reminded me of an old friend’s cheery farewell.
    Thanks Trelawney and Kitty.

  39. Started this one late as the Daily Telegraph QC had me in its grip.

    Found this one to be a quick one for me. I do not time myself, but I’m sure this one could have been, or was close to being, a personal best for me.

    Struggled a little on 2d as it appeared to be utter nonsense to me at first. However, as more and more letter me fell into place, the answer came to me.

  40. What a lovely QC! Accessible (at least to me) and finished without aids. A real joy, especially after last week. Thank you Trelawney. (Time was still in SCC, but I’m not bothered)

  41. Enjoyed that one a lot, despite a slow start and a slow brain. 21:06, which isn’t bad by my standards. COD: CHARDONNAY – I like this sort of clue, where you build the answer out of blocks, and in this case there’s an outside chance that I’ll remember it the next time that I have to spell it.

    Thank you Kitty and Trelawney!

  42. 17:36

    Hugely disappointing. That should have been a PB. Had 90% done in around 5 minutes but ground to a halt on the last few and just couldn’t see INTEND and never did parse LOI ACCIDENTAL which only became obvious one I had all the checkers.

  43. I finished in 15 mins but didn’t really enjoy it. Rather a biff fest until held up by INTEND, ACCIDENTAL and TREATMENT. I never use cash machines and struggled badly to recall the name for them.

    When I worked as a solicitor, I represented several clients who experienced ‘phantom withdrawals’ from their bank accounts due to problems with ATMs, and I’ve given them a wide berth ever since.

    Quintagram was a write in today. That’s never happened before!

    Thanks for the blog Kitty.

    1. Good time Gary.
      Thanks for the tip about the Quintogram. Finished in 2.22. It was you who first put me on to it as good practice for the QC

  44. I’ve lurked here for a while while trying to learn the dark art of solving cryptics. I’ve slowly improved although still only at QC level. Finishing this in 12.01 was definitely my best showing to date and felt I should finally comment to thank all those bloggers who have explained so much.

    1. Welcome Dapplespider. 🙂

      Sorry for not replying earlier. I got swept up in Tuesdayness and before I knew it it was today! Well, I’ll reply to you know just in case you return here.

      A great time to delurk with – well done! I hope we hear more from you.

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