Times Quick Cryptic 2656 by Trelawney


Solving time: 9 minutes.

A nice puzzle from Trelawney. As I blogged there seemed to be a lot of anagrams but there are only six, it’s just that two were in consecutive Across clues and three were in consecutive Down clues. How did you get on?

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to juxtaposition indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Small fairy that is producing number one photo? (6)
S ( small), ELF (fairy), IE (that is). Number one / oneself.
4 Seafood and beef mentioned in conversation (6)
Sounds like [mentioned in conversation] “muscle” (beef)
8 Stinginess that makes party arty? (5-8)
‘Party’ becomes ‘arty’ when ‘p’ (penny) is pinched
10 Citrus fruit returned without a message (5)
LIME (citrus fruit) reversed [returned] containing [without] A
11 Get some rest, being terribly idle now (3,4)
Anagram [terribly] of IDLE NOW
13 Tune Laura played in the nude (2,7)
Anagram [played] of TUNE LAURA
17 Choice beginning to rattle a small country? (7)
AND / OR (choice), R{attle} [beginning], A
18 Style of primarily feeble hideaway (5)
F{eeble} [primarily], LAIR (hideaway)
19 Biscuit you’ll get a lot out of? (7,6)
Cryptic, ‘lot’ being another word for ‘fortune’.
21 Football team with which the Spanish tied (6)
EL (the in Spanish), EVEN (tied)
22 Give no food to celebrity vet, mostly (6)
STAR (celebrity), VE{t} [mostly]
1 Starter of pork to feature in excellent meal (6)
P{ork} [starter] contained by [to feature in] SUPER (excellent)
2 Help Dan handle rocks (4,1,4)
Anagram [rocks] of DAN HANDLE
3 Picturesque scene with some untidy llamas (5)
Hidden in [some} {unt}IDY LL{amas}
5 Relative on a road, initially, that’s foggy (7)
UNCLE (relative), A, R{oad} [initially]
6 Hit the slopes and almost lose control (3)
SKI{d} (lose control) [almost]
7 Male gender, partially a myth? (6)
Hidden in [partially] {ma}LE GEND{er}
9 Uncomfortable allies ate messily (3,2,4)
Anagram [messily] of ALLIES ATE
12 Ship‘s latrine OK after turbulence (3,6)
Anagram [after turbulence] of LATRINE OK
14 Take care of uniform return somehow (7)
Anagram [somehow] of U (uniform) RETURN
15 Breakfast item that’s a load of rubbish? (6)
Two meanings
16 Piece of cake and cheeses for the audience (6)
Sounds like [for the audience] “Bries” (cheeses]
18 Disregard loud yobbo (5)
F (loud), LOUT (yobbo)
20 Regret route regularly (3)
R{o}U{t}E [regularly]

80 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2656 by Trelawney”

  1. 8:18. SELFIE was going to be my COD until I read the blog and learned how PENNY-PINCHING worked!

  2. I couldn’t get penny pinching. I mean i should have, how many phrases regarding stinginess can there be. I didn’t get the wordplay even after the reveal so thanks for the blog.

    SELFIE was coined by an Australian because of course it is.

    I was a bit worried about this one because of the number of question mark clues but it was OK in the end.

  3. Came together nicely after a sticky start. Five on the first pass of acrosses on the way to an all green finish in 9. Needed FORTUNE COOKIE to see WAFFLE to see ANDORRA to finish.

  4. Nice puzzle from Trelawny, what curryowen said about SELFIE and PENNY-PINCHING whose artistry was lost on me until Jack explained it. 7.34.

  5. This would have been much more straightforward had I not biffed MONEY PINCHING at first and thereby gummed up the NW corner for several minutes. SELFIE took far longer than it should’ve too, resulting in a time of about 26 minutes.
    I cannot claim total victory as I spelled AU NATURAL wrongly. Doh! So not the best of starts to the week with 1 pinkie and yet another spell on the Special Table beckoning.
    Thanks to Trelawney and Jack.

  6. Needed to get WAFFLE to see FORTUNE COOKIE, but just couldn’t see WAFFLE without revealing it, so DNFed at 20 mins. How annoying as Trelawney is my favourite setter (my PB was on a Trelawney).

    Happy Monday. Pi

  7. One of our slower solves this morning with the last 5 of our 37 minutes looking at waffle and fortune cookie. Really thought we had exhausted every kind of breakfast item until the f gave us waffle, d’oh.

    Also unsure why we could only think of lemon and all sorts of orange citrus fruits before, finally, lime popped in there.

    COD the idyll, gotta love an untidy llama 😂

    Thanks Trelawney and Jack

  8. Only my second sub 4 minute solve (the other was also on a Trelawney puzzle), although I only parsed COD PENNY-PINCHING after submission.
    Started with SELFIE and finished with OIL TANKER in 3.54.
    Thanks to Jackkt

    1. “Without” is used by setters to mean outside. So the (backwards) lime is outside the A, and the A is inside the lime.

    2. Those of an age brought up on popular hymns may remember the one that begins:

      There is a green hill far away
      Without a city wall.

      Many used to sing this wondering why a green hill would have a city wall in the first place.

        1. Or dropping down the cultural register somewhat (!), Manfred Mann’s “The Mighty Quinn”:

          “Come all without, come all within
          You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn”

  9. 8 minutes. A good way to build confidence for the week ahead. Had a blank about WAFFLE for a while but otherwise no major problems. Favourites were the AND OR for ‘Choice’ at 17a and the PENNY-PINCHING turning ‘party’ into ‘arty’ at 8a.

    Thanks to Jack and Trelawney

  10. Started slowly on this (like others I did not see Selfie at first), then picked up speed and all done in 8 minutes. Not quite all parsed though as I needed the blog to understand how Penny pinching worked – very clever when one sees it.

    I thought the surface for 7D was “brave” given the heated and often pretty toxic debate over sex and gender identities. I wondered briefly where the clue was going till I saw the answer.

    Many thanks Jack for the blog

  11. Terrible start – first idea for 1d (meal with a P in it) was “repast” and it took a while to reject it; then at 1a I wanted “pixie” to have 6 letters and got very grumpy when it didn’t. After that things moved very rapidly, however, and I stopped the clock at 05:37 (K+, Excellent Day). That only gave me my usual midtable mediocrity on the leaderboard, however, so I’m guessing this is going to have a pretty low QUITCH!

    Great fun with more than a few excellent clues – my COD goes to ANDORRA.

    Many thanks Jack and the Squire.


  12. Gah 8:37 corrected DNF. Put in AU-NATURaL. Not a phrase I have ever written or used so can cut myself a break. Otherwise a good performance given I felt I was struggling with the anagrams, trying to put ALL-AT-SEA, missing clues on my initial readthrough and left with WAFFLE/FORTUNE-COOKIE to stare at. Like others, didn’t understand PENNY-PINCHING – not sure it’s a good clue for the QC when it gives so many checkers. But as always, grateful to have Trelawney setting as the Squire is always my most reliable for fast times. Went skiing in Andorra a couple of times when I was 18-20 – happy memories of a long time ago.

  13. 6:29 for a satisfying and pretty speedy-for-me solve.

    ANDORRA and PENNY PINCHING my CODs with IDYLL close behind.

    Thanks Trelawney and Jackkt

  14. 3:45 but ruined by a typo which gave me MASSELL and ANCLEAR. Pity really as I think it would have been my best ever combined time for the Quickie, Concise and 15×15.

    Got horribly mixed up in the North-West as I tried to get PIC into 1 ac, but after that was sorted it all flowed pretty well. Liked ANDORRA and FORTUNE COOKIE.

    Thanks Jack and Trelawney.

  15. 4:34. Nice one. I liked the surface for LEGEND and the wordplay for PENNY-PINCHING best, but FORTUNE COOKIE and BREEZE got ticks on my copy too. LOI ELEVEN. Thanks Trelawney and Jackkt.

  16. Clever puzzle. Biffed PENNY PINCHING – thanks for the explanation! LOI was SELFIE – obvious really!

  17. 6:07

    Wasn’t the smoothest solve – got very little of the LHS on the first pass of acrosses, whereas the downs seemed a little friendlier. Effectively completed corner by corner finishing with the NW where SUPPER and SELFIE were my L2I. As I completed the grid on my phone I didn’t know who the setter was… until now! I have Trelawney down as the gentlest of the main QC setters so perhaps no surprise that it was fairly quick.

    Thanks Jack and Trelawney

  18. Slow start with the acrosses but improved once I tackled the downs. Struggled to think of the breakfast item and the biscuit but fairly plain sailing apart from that. 18 minutes, all parsed except PENNY PINCHING – thanks for the explanation Jack.

    FOI – 11ac LIE DOWN
    LOI – 15dn WAFFLE
    CODs – PENNY PINCHING (now I know how it works) and 17ac ANDORRA

  19. A nice start to the week FOI SELFIE and NW corner quickly sorted. FORTUNE COOKIE and PENNY PINCHING were clearly the ones that fitted, but no idea the relationship with the clues! Is that what “biffed” means? LOI and COD BREEZE.
    I don’t time my efforts, but this was one cup of coffee, often it’s two or more!

    1. Welcome! Hang around a bit, browse the glossary, and get to know all these pleasant people. It’s a lovely coda to the puzzle itself.

  20. 8:20 (birth of Rhodri Mawr)

    Like others, I was slow getting most of the across clues, picked up on the down clues, and finished in a time which seemed fast, but only gave me a WITCH of 97.


    Thanks Jack and Trelawney

  21. PENNY PINCHING was biffed at the time, but appreciated afterwards, and I liked SELFIE too. Easier puzzles can also have great clues!

    Nice Monday puzzle, and my first under 4 for a while I think, though I see speedy Plett beat me.



  22. Very friendly one to start the week – thank you, Trelawney. Only … I do wish there wasn’t quite so much American culture in our British crosswords. Who in UK eats waffles for breakfast? And NHO the (biffed) FORTUNE COOKIE.

    1. I think the latter is Chinese. They are about as appetising as a communion wafer and contain a piece of paper on which is written something lame meant to guide you through life.

      1. With respect, may I suggest that they’re as Chinese as chow mien (or as Indian as chicken tikka masala)? You’ll never see them in China! In other words, they’re an American invention, seen in Chinese restaurants there (and so, increasingly here). Correct me if I’m wrong, but Mrs M is half Chinese and that’s what she says …

        1. Ha ha that sounds exactly right, I never really thought about it. But I bet Mrs M won’t argue with my second sentence!

    2. I think I had a waffle at a breakfast buffet in a hotel once, though that might have been outside the UK.

  23. 6.22

    Thought this was a par sort of time before seeing so many sub 4s. Well done all. Gentle fare with OIL TANKER raising a smile

    Thanks Jackkt and Trelawney

  24. A gentle start to the week with SUPPER getting me off the mark while I had breakfast. Another who was baffled by PENNY PINCHING until I read the blog! LOI was BREEZE. 6:01. Thanks Trelawney and Jack.

  25. A swift start to the week at 6.14, with no real holdups. I did hesitate at the spelling of AU NATUREL but took the trouble to carefully check the anagram. I will also say that when I stopped the clock I hadn’t parsed PENNY PINCHING, but worked it out before coming here.

  26. Pretty quick at 6:30. Hesitated over waffle as a breakfast item, had ‘AL’ to start for AU NATUREL and got LOI FORTUNE COOKIE by working backwards from cookie. Liked penny pinching and was fortunate to see the device straight off.

  27. A DNF for me as 1) Neither myself nor Pumpa could answer 17a, though we both slapped our foreheads with our hands (or paw in Pumpa’s case) when we saw the answer here. 2) a clumsily missed typo.


    Enjoyable with some tricky clues.

    My verdict: 🤦‍♂️
    Pumpa’s verdict: 😹

  28. Agree with Goldy – just a ‘one cup of coffee QC’ today. Zipped through pausing only to unscramble SELFIE and to parse LEGEND (dearie me, yet another hidden I failed to spot). For me this was the most straightforward QC I have ever attempted, but some great surfaces, especially LEGEND. Also liked PENNY-PINCHING, ANDORRA and BREEZE (although I’ve seen this before!). Thanks Jack.

  29. Super puzzle, because it turned into a PB at 11 minutes. Way behind the scorchmeisters, but never mind. I feel a sort of newbie affinity with Trelawney’s style of clueing – the elf in selfie and the muscle qua beef gave me a flying start and the only (slight) delay was the fortune cookie which only fell when waffle dropped in. I can’t imagine a French person ever pronouncing a final ‘s’ on a collection of brie, so breeze is defo franglais: but a tasty clue all the same. Thanks too for excellent blog.

  30. 12:18 for a pleasant Monday start. I’m with the majority in never parsing PENNY-PINCHING although it went right in. Loved LEGEND. LOI, appropriately, was BREEZE.

    Thanks Trelawney and jackkt!

  31. 9.08 Held up for a couple of minutes by FORTUNE COOKIE, WAFFLE and BREEZE at the end. I opened a fortune cookie the other day that read “Some cause happiness wherever they go, others whenever they go, aim to be the latter”. Thanks Jack and Trelawney.

  32. I was unlucky with FORTUNE COOKIE, which temporarily held me up over 30min target. Shot through the rest with a couple of domestic pauses

  33. 11 mins…

    A brilliant start to the week, and a lot quicker than I was expecting when I looked down at the watch. Some nice clues here, although I will confess I didn’t parse 8ac “Penny Pinching” – (a good job it was so obvious from the grid otherwise I would still be trying to work it out). Only other hesitation was 1ac “Selfie”, where I was initially trying to link Pixie and Pixel together.

    FOI – 10ac “Email”
    LOI – 17ac “Andorra”
    COD – 8ac “Penny Pinching” – a bit too clever for me, a worthy clue of the day.

    Thanks as usual!

  34. A very swift 6:31 for me. Liked this a lot, COD to PENNY-PINCHING.

    Thanks to Trelawney and Jackkt.

  35. 9:32, so a fast solve for us though we had to wait for the blog to reveal Trelawney’s craft with PENNY PINCHING – a switch to it from BREEZE for COD! Thanks to jackkt and Trelawney.

  36. A handful of Across salvaged by a slew of Down solves. All but 16d solved waiting my turn at the dentist (OK, I did arrive 20 minutes early!). Must have stared at 16d for at least 15 minutes. Completely breeze-blocked on 16d despite have brie (s) to hand – just didn’t make the leap, so a DNF. Curses….
    FOI – 11a Lie Down
    LOI – should haven 16d Breeze
    COD – a toss up between 17a Andorra and 18d Flout.

  37. 20 min analog timed finish. Pleased as a very slow start. Biffed Penny Pinching but needed the blog to Parse.
    LOI and COD Andorra (not great skiing but the Apres ski is sooo much cheaper than the Alps)

  38. All done happily for a Monday qc.
    listened by chance this morning to ‘Shall Trelawney Die’ by the Yetties (West country folk group).

  39. 12:11

    A gentle start to the week. Could have been very fast (by my standards) had I not put BANGER for the breakfast item that’s rubbish. Only when I realised the footie team was ELEVEN did I spot my error and complete the puzzle. LOI BREEZE.

  40. 9:08. Liked PENNY PINCHING, but needed help from this blog to see how it worked.

    Looking forward to meeting some TFTTers in Melbourne later today.

  41. Enjoyable start to the week. Biffed PENNY PINCHING – so good to have the blog to see why! Thanks Trelawney and Jackkt.

  42. 15 minutes.

    A poor performance and a miserable start to the week. Usual inability to spot obvious word play meant a lousy time, given the Snitch score.

    Well done to those with great times 👏👏

    Thanks for the blog.


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