Times Quick Cryptic 2668 by Trelawney

Solving time: 6 minutes

My last QC blog was of a Trelawney offering which many seemed to find at the easier end of the scale, and I think this one will go down well too. Once again as I blogged there seemed to be a lot of anagrams today but there are only 5 (vs 6 last time) however they were all saved up for the Down clues.

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]. “Aural wordplay” is in quotation marks. I usually omit all reference to juxtaposition indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Manager‘s fantastic eyeshade (10)
SUPER (fantastic), VISOR (eyeshade)
8 Take legal action to cover rubbish monument (6)
SUE (take legal action) containing [to cover] TAT (rubbish)
9 Slow song in party commercial (6)
BALL (party), AD (commercial)
10 I fled Middle Eastern country (4)
I, RAN (fled)
11 Feathery scarf and sign for University event (4,4)
BOA (feathery scarf), TRACE (sign)
12 Pull small coach (6)
S (small), TRAIN (coach – as verbs)
14 Prisoner‘s fashionable friend (6)
IN (fashionable), MATE (friend)
16 Reportedly consider drink, and more than a few! (8)
Aural wordplay [reportedly]: MUL / “mull” (consider), TIPLE / “tipple” (drink)
18 Young lady initially encounters strong wind (4)
GAL (young lady), E{ncounters} [initially]
20 Fashion heavenly food for the audience (6)
Aural wordplay [for the audience]: MANNER / “manna” (heavenly food)
21 Pass by the Spanish part of church (6)
EL (‘the’ in Spanish), APSE (part of church)
22 Extravagant  way WW1 troops went (4-3-3)
A straight definition with cryptic support as the second meaning would not take hyphens
2 Roof missing from club, say (5)
{p}UTTER (golf club) [roof missing]
3 European state slipping into sea (7)
Anagram [slipping] of INTO SEA
4 Struggle with voice regularly (3)
V{o}I{c} E (struggle) [regularly]
5 Man buries broken underwater vessel (9)
Anagram [broken] of MAN BURIES
6 Sovereign in French street, bearing left then right (5)
RUE (French street) containing [bearing] L (left), then R (right)
7 Lucky charm from mother’s bed (6)
MA’S (mother’s), COT (bed)
11 Emperor and baronet ordered to carry a piano (9)
Anagram [ordered] of BARONET containing [to carry] A + P (piano)
13 Fixed cut on a bird (6)
Anagram [fixed] of CUT ON A
15 Fighter jet with speed to move elsewhere (7)
MIG (Russian fighter jet), RATE (speed)
17 Got an arrangement for Argentinian dance (5)
Anagram [arrangement] of GOT AN
19 Rope for a cowboy in Dallas somewhere (5)
Hidden [in] {Dal}LAS SO{mewhere}
21 Consume starters of eel and tofu (3)
E{el} + A{nd} + T{ofu} [starters]

111 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic 2668 by Trelawney”

  1. 9:25
    That was very straight forward almost a top down solve except that I didn’t remember the fighter jet, and I couldn’t get ‘ambrosia’ out of my head for ‘heavenly food’. (angels food cake? It took me forever to think of heavenly food). I vaguely remembered the phrase ‘manna from heaven’ and have googled it now. Sounds like Lembas bread from Lord of the Rings 😂.

    I also know nothing about any war whatsoever, so I’m hoping someone will give me a very brief (pls) rundown about why WWI troops went over the top.

    1. After the initial burst of action on the Western Front(northern France) the German army and the French/British armies were locked in a stalemate and the troops dug and then lived in deep trenches on their side of this line. Every so often one side or the other would try an attack and to do that they had to climb out of their trenches, thus going “over the top”.

      1. Oh.

        I just googled ‘trench warfare’ and I guess I had never realised it was mostly a WWI thing.

        That’s a very broad reference then, and not one that refers to a specific event. That’s a nice clue.

  2. I think I biffed BONAPARTE without reading the clue past ’emperor’. Like Vinyl, I was slow to get SUPERVISOR. 4:12.

  3. 7 minutes. No complaints here. I was stymied for a while by MULTIPLE and ended up biffing it after I had the crossers. Like Tina, “ambrosia” was my first thought for ‘heavenly food’ at 20a. My favourite was the surface for the LASSO hidden.

    Thanks to Jack and Trelawney

    1. Well done! Didn’t get multiple – I kept staring at it saying ‘but tipple has two ls’ to myself! Hadn’t come across ‘for the audience’ as a way of signifying an aural clue but knew manna so it had to be manner.

  4. I was getting worried after not getting the first few across clues, but once I got started in the bottom half the answers came flying in, for my second ever sub-7 minute solve and a nice start to the week. Nice approachable puzzle, but I could see MANNER holding people up.

  5. 6.56, held up by LOsI MULTIPLE and TOUCAN where I didn’t realise early enough that it was an anagram. Thanks Jack and Trelawney.

  6. Goodness me! A 6 minute solve for me this morning which has to be a PB. I didn’t really pause all the way through and the only one I had to return to was TOUCAN, having missed the anagrist.
    A fine start to the week then with UTTER being my COD.
    Thanks to Trelawney and to Jackkt.

      1. I’m not holding my breath (nor yet giving up my reserved seat on the special table)!

  7. 6:09 … last two of MULTIPLE/TOUCAN taking about a minute while trying to remain calm. Old PB in January of 7:49 on a Trelawney – the 5th time the Squire has helped me knock my best down.

    A special thanks to Izetti who put an unheard of manna in one of his unsolveables last year without which I’d never have got MANNER so quickly!

    Off to do 200m sprints in celebration 🎉

      1. Part of the overall programme. I want to maximise my speed and strength as that’s the best route for maintaining health as I get older. Most of the current health articles you’ll read talk about this – resistance training.

        I’m not built for distance running and I’d like to see what I can get my 200/400 times down to as never trained properly for it. There are guys in their 70s easily running under 30s/60s and I’m not even down to those. That said, I’m still doing 30miles per week which is too much for a sprinter and I still like to go to parkrun for the social aspect. So it’s trying to balance between health/sprints/parkrun.

        1. Just reading about your programme is exhausting! I’m curious about your remark re not being suited to distance running. Is that to do with body type, leg or core strength, lung efficiency, brain to muscle communication or what? One thing I remember from when I used to run(FWIW 77) was the feeling of joy that would kick in 30 seconds or so after starting. That certainly was a big motivator for me. I don’t think health issues mattered too much to me as a younger chap. More fool me. Good on you for giving them a priority!

          1. With most people logging their training online, I’ve come to realise I train much harder than most and still don’t get close to their results. I once met Iwan Thomas at a parkrun – he was the British record holder for 400m until a couple of years back and he came 5th (behind Michael Johnson) in the 1996 Olympic race. On meeting him I realised I was about the same and build – 6’1″ 13+ stone and 10% body fat as is Johnson. Eliud Kipchoge is about 5’5″ and 9stone. It’s not out of the question to be a still half-decent distance runner but speed comes first and I let mine decline over the last few years – so the focus is on rebuilding it. As for enjoyment, I’ve played sport all my life – I love the whole getting out there, getting sweaty and when I played other sports being competitive. Slowly moved away from competition to being healthy. Even if you’ve not been sports active in years, it’s never too late to restart and reap whatever benefits you can find – just a 10% increase in strength makes everyday tasks and living easier.

        2. Had a double take at 70 year olds running under 60s. Now realise the ‘guys in their 70s easily running under 60s’ are the best in the world rather than some guys down the club on track night!

          Current record is 57.26 by Charles Allie of the USA at the of 71 years and 22 days.

          1. Sorry that was, perhaps, unintentionally misleading as I was going on the fact he was running about 25-26 secs for 200m at age 70. By easily, I meant not just scraping in by hundredths of a second.

            On the other hand, you have to consider how many 70-year-olds don’t know how fast they could run if they actually tried and trained hard for it. It’s a small pool still attempting to run quickly and I reckon more could do it, if so inclined. Bear in mind the Olympic champions and world record holders never do masters, so the guys winning at Masters level were sub-elite in their youth at best.

            Anyway if you want to see Charles in action …. ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oPQOMcKYgE&t=34s … he looks good for 70

        3. Don’t read that article in the Guardian over the weekend then about the runner and his double knee replacements. I’ve done exercise all my life, especially stuff that strains the knees, and they’re already creaking and giving me issues.

          1. I had a knee issue for about one year in the fifteen years when I played volleyball – probably because I was landing heavily favouring one leg and our sports hall had a hard floor. I took up running and the issue disappeared.

            If you have knee issues, you may well have overdeveloped your quads* which puts strain on the knees. Cycling is especially good at doing that and there are many runners who then use a similar action which can wreck their knees. Good runners use their glutes but if you sit down all day, those can get inactive.

            * Can you kneel on the floor? A few years back I couldn’t do it for more than 5-10secs without it becoming excruciating. I did some good hip flexor stretches and it’s no issue these days.

            1. I do a lot of cycling which may be an issue…but I’m at the point where I may have to have a scan, as my left knee keeps “slipping’ when I’m walking, jarring the ligaments and making it painful to bend.

              As for kneeling – it can be painful – but the main issue is getting back up again 😂

          2. Interesting! I started running at 61, so have been doing it now for 6 years. I had a lower back issue which disappeared after 6 months of running (of the jogging sort) and hasn’t returned. I mainly run 5k three times a week but also throw in the odd 8, 10 or 15k just to challenge myself.

  8. Well, thank you Trelawney for my birthday present! A PB, by minutes, of 11.02.

    Pretty much a top to bottom solve with the answers popping into our heads on first read. Only delayed a little at the end by manner, which was our first thought but forget that for the audience is homophone.
    COD to Bonaparte for the image of the noble removals men!

    Thanks Jack for the blog and parsing of Gale which eluded us but had to be.

    Enjoy the BH for those that have it.

    1. Happy birthday 🎉 and congrats on the PB 💪

      BTW was it you who saw a clue involving GPs a while back?

      1. Thank you.

        Oh yes sorry, I meant to come back to you. The clue was “Family doctor at home for head honcho (7)”. I think the fact we had the 1st letter as K was a big help 🙂

        1. No problem – I suddenly remember a few days ago but couldn’t find it. Solving it just now took me longer than it should have despite immediately recognising the 3 components!

          For what it’s worth, to give you an idea of potential progress, I recorded a 11:13 Trelawney PB about 18mths ago.

  9. A fast one for me as well, 08:25.

    LOI UTTER, although I was a bit confused, thought the C{lub} was missing from CUTTER.

    “Mull tipple” went in with a groan.


    1. I needed the checkers to bif UTTER=say having contented myself with a glance at the other end of the clue, seen “roof removed” and thought of GUTTER which I now see is not the correct breakdown!

  10. It took me a little while to get SUPERVISOR at the start and MULTIPLE put up some resistance at the end but everything in between went in very quickly.
    Finished in 4.47.
    Thanks to Jackkt

  11. Raced through at breakneck speed for a rare sub 15 minute completion.
    Will add a glass of champagne to my morning coffee and croissant in joint celebration, adding to announcement today of our full house of Royal Awards. 3 Queens and 2 Kings.
    COD MULTIPLE. Very apt!

    1. Wait hold up, please elaborate on this Royal Award story, you can’t just drop that information and leave!

      1. The annual Royal Awards for industry were initiated by Queen Elizabeth ll in 1965 distinguishing a few UK companies for outstanding achievement in International trade/Innovation. The Awards were continued last year by King Charles lll. My reference is the announcement today of adding our second King’s Award to 3 previous Queen’s Awards. Full House. A good reason to celebrate.

  12. Like nearly everyone else, I found this straightforward, with a 7 minute completion. I didn’t get Supervisor on my first pass (needed the V checker) and was slow to realise that Estonia was an anagram (despite it being pretty clearly signposted too), but otherwise no hold-ups in this enjoyable Monday puzzle.

    Many thanks Jack for the blog

  13. 4:08. Nothing but an underlining of baronet and my time on my copy. No 12A involved in solving. I liked MULTIPLE. Thanks Trelawney and Jackkt.

  14. 6:33 (Battle of Hatfield chase. Northumbria defeated by combined army of Gwynedd and Mercia. Death of Edwin of Northumbria.)

    An easy start to the week. LOI was TOUCAN.

    Thanks Jack and Trelawney

    1. 🙂 we always enjoy your historic date references. Maybe one day in the future we can look up interesting happenings for our own time. Typically a the moment they’re probably things that will happen to Barbarella!

  15. Good fun for a wet Monday morning. I was sub 20m with one to go but it held out until 24m.
    LOI UTTER after nearly settling for the unparsed OUTER.

  16. Nothing too tricky this morning with only MULTIPLE delaying me slightly at the end. I don’t time myself as you know but I seemed to be done and dusted very quickly! Thanks Jack.

  17. Feel I should have been quicker at this relatively easy one. Got the VISOR but didn’t think of SUPER straight away as was pondering about sunshades – doh. Could not parse BOAT RACE or UTTER – very dim. Liked MIGRATE, TOUCAN, BALLAD. Biffed Amulet instead of MASCOT but had to rub out that one.
    OVER THE TOP makes me sad, of course, and I think of the last episode of Blackadder.
    Thanks for blog, Jack.

    1. Yes, I agree about OVER THE TOP and Blackadder – in fact, I felt it was a slightly tasteless clue.

        1. By one of those coincidences the subject of this type of warfare was referred to in a clue in today’s Guardian puzzle.

    2. Agree re OVER THE TOP – it seems far too flippant for such a waste of a generation and the horrors involved for all those involved. Altogether very tasteless.

  18. I needed the V of VIE before seeing SUPERVISOR but then raced through the grid until my LOI MULTIPLE which prevented me from achieving a sub 5 mins solve. I was fixated on the idea that the answer started with a Q. 5:23

  19. 8 minutes for me. LOI TOUCAN, biffed and parsed later.
    I carefully checked my spelling of SUPERVISOR, otherwise no real problems in this enjoyable puzzle.

  20. Seeing Trelawney’s name at the top usually indicates a fast one might be on the cards, so I was a bit disconcerted when none of the first three meant anything to me. Then I got IRAN and things started flowing, but it was certainly not a write-in fest. However, despite having to come back to many clues, I still managed 11:11, which is comfortably in my top 20 fastest ever solves (6 of my top 20 are by Trelawney with another two just outside), so it can’t have been too demanding. COD to MIGRATE, LOI TOUCAN. Thanks Jack and Trelawney.

  21. In line with virtually everyone else, a speedy start to the week with a finishing time of 5.30. I was only held up a little with my LOI SUPERVISOR which probably cost me thirty seconds or so. Well done to those achieving personal bests.

  22. Joining the club with a PB today at 5:50. Not sure my fingers type any faster so I am not confident that there is much room for improvement. Hoping for a kind 15×15 now to make up for a wet Bank Holiday in London.

  23. Agreed that this was at the simpler end of QCs. LOI TOUCAN, took me a while to figure out that it was an anagram!

  24. No real problems with this one, though Pumpa did have to help me with 16a.


    My verdict: 🙂
    Pumpa’s verdict: 🐈

  25. 3:42

    That’s my fastest solve since I’ve been recording times (Nov 2022) – as one or two others have intimated, a Trelawney grid is often a gentle ride. I found that almost everything came straight off the bat, held up very briefly at the end by MULTIPLE and TOUCAN (where I initially missed the anagram).

    Thanks Trelawney and Jack

  26. 8:23, a personal record for me – thanks to Trelawney for a gentle start to the week. Thanks also to Jack for an entertaining and informative blog. I always enjoy the blogs and also the comments everyone posts. It’s what makes doing this crossword special.

  27. It’s just possible that the consumption of too much port last night had something to do with my poor solve this morning, but after a vaguely reasonable trot through the grid I was completly breezeblocked by my last pair: Toucan (missed the anagram) and Multiple (wrong end of clue). I should have put it down and had a coffee, but instead persevered in making the hole a bit deeper (though nowhere near as deep as you know who) and consequently ended up with pick of the window seats. CoD to 11ac, Boat Race. Invariant

      1. Sunak has recently been encouraged, by someone whose name doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in polite company, to ‘dig his way’ out of the hole that he finds himself in. . . 😂

        1. Ah – I though it must be related to last week’s elections. I have such an aversion to the person I think you’re referring to that I try to avoid reading anything she says!

  28. My favourite clue was for UTTER – both for “say” being the definition/answer required, rather than the various roles it usually plays in constructing the clue/wordplay; and the use of “roof” to indicate the first letter to be removed in a down clue. Two nice devices. Thanks setter and interpreter.

  29. 5:03. Trelawney was being very kind to us on this pleasant (here at least) bank holiday Monday! Hopefully a good boost for beginners and members of the SCC 👍 Congrats all round for the PBs today.
    There were lots of chestnuts, but it was none the less enjoyable for all that. I saw SUPERVISOR clued in a very similar way in the Guardian’s new puzzle for beginners which MrB has been investigating – but it still took me two passes to extract it!
    FOI Statue LOI Elapse COD Multiple
    Thanks Trelawney and Jack

    1. Hello Penny. I wish Mr B every success in his investigations. Maybe I’ll graduate to that puzzle after a bit more practise here.

      1. I think you’d find it quite easy – it’s gentle stuff for complete novices! Saturdays only. Quite good for the ego 😅 But perhaps we’ll get him doing these before too long … I might get him to have a look at today’s friendly Trelawney later on. I don’t want to interrupt the garden and garage tidying that’s going on just now!
        BTW he went to see a Rush tribute band in Sheffield at the weekend, which he really enjoyed. I can’t remember if they were one you like?

      1. It only started about a month ago, Saturdays only, and it’s designed for absolute beginners. The key to it – and I quote – is ‘in the quick cryptic series, the setters use only four tricks each week and tell you upfront what they are.
        ‘Hiding what you’re up to is so tightly bound to the essence of cryptics that baldly giving away how the magic works feels transgressive – but Guardian crosswords have long had an idiosyncratic relationship with the rulebook.’ I think many of us already realised that 😅
        Several have been set by Alex of this parish under a different name (Carpathian). So it’s a pretty good training ground – MrB is already speeding up after just four weeks!

  30. If I’m ever going to match or beat my PB (11 mins) Trelawney is quite likely to be the setter. My stats show that I find his QCs more accessible than any of the other regular setters – and by some margin.

    Today was a golden opportunity, I think, but I still had three clues unsloved as my PB time slipped by. Two of those (BALLAD and TOUCAN) went in quite quickly, but my last (MANNER) managed to hold me up for a full 10 minutes at the end. So frustrating! Nearly four years into this game and I still can’t eradicate my tendency to suffer LOI-itis.

    Total time = 24 minutes, which is still a good time for me …. I suppose.

    Many thanks to Trelawney and Jack.

    P.S. The lovely aroma coming from the kitchen suggests to me that Mrs Random is making peanut butter biscuits, which in turn means there must be a bowl to scrape out. I’m off out there to investigate ….

  31. 6.36 A bit of a slow start with VIE being first in but that led to SUPERVISOR and a top to bottom solve. Thanks Jack and Trelawney.

  32. Hi Jack, For 21a, I think the definition for elapse should just be “pass” rather than “pass by”. The by feels like part of a twisted wordplay.

  33. DNF Elapse got me. I was looking for a part of a church. But until that hurdle, I was racing to a 15 min finish that would have been my fastest. So many clues were just write in’s.
    Thx Jack and Trelawney

  34. I enjoyed this. Was held up trying to fashion NECTAR into a word meaning audience, so MANNER was my LOI.

    I also wanted to make STEACH a word meaning pull at 12A.

    I liked the image of the prisoner’s fashionable friend, heads would turn at visiting time.

    Thanks Trelawny and Jack.

  35. 13:38 so no PB, but still relatively fast for me. A slow start, then a smooth solve until getting a bit stuck on ESTONIA and in the SW at 10 minutes. MULTIPLE unlocked that as I said, self, I *told* you it was “mul” something, why don’t you listen? and the rest came with a bit of pick-and-shovel work.

    Lots of good surfaces and enjoyable parsing. COD to 11D for the funny image.

    Congrats to all the PB achievers and thanks to jackkt and Trelawney!

  36. A gentle start to the week which saw a rare foray into sub 5 territory for me. Needed VIE and UTTER before seeing SUPERVISOR, but progressed rapidly from there. LOI was MULTIPLE. 4:55. Thanks Trelawney and Jack.

  37. A pleasing 7.45 today. Not getting SUPERVISOR at first pass perhaps slowed me a little but I did only get six on the first pass of acrosses so might have had more left to do than others before I tackled the downs. Didn’t feel all that easy despite the raft of quick times – well done colleagues!

  38. All done in 9:49 in a rare sub-10 minute solve. Until I came here, I thought I might at last be getting better at solving puzzles, but it appears this one was a little easier than usual. My time was aided by a lot of biffing, and only the briefest of checks that my answers made sense, so I was relieved not to have made any mistakes.

    Thanks to Trelawney and Jackkt

  39. 10 mins…

    A nice, straight forward bank holiday puzzle that will definitely help with my average time. Only issue was nearly making the same mistake I did last time with 11dn, and misspelling “Bonaparte”.

    FOI – 8ac “Statue”
    LOI – 20ac “Manner”
    COD – 16ac “Multiple”

    Thanks as usual!

  40. Breezed through this in what seemed to be a decent time but was somewhat disappointed to find 12 minutes had elapsed. This is still a decent time by my standards but it had seemed quicker.

    LOI – 2dn UTTER
    CODs – 1ac SUPERVISOR and 16ac MULTIPLE

    Thanks to Trelawney and Jack

  41. Slowed down by Bonaparte, manner and multiple, otherwise a relatively quick solve for us.

  42. 9:39, which isn’t much shy of my PB (which was also a Trelawney puzzle). Nice start to the week!

  43. As with a couple of previous comments I was also held up by MULTIPLE and TOUCAN, didn’t spot the anagram until coming back for another try to finish.
    Thanks Trelawney and Jack


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