Times Quick Cryptic No 2088 by Trelawney

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
A gentle one today from Trelawney: I missed out on 8ac and 21ac with a first pass of the acrosses, but everything else went in as I saw it. Quite nice to get a taste of what it must be like to be properly good at these things! All wrapped up in 5:08 – I forget if I’ve ever broken the 5 minute mark but it’s been quite a while if I have. Brief but enjoyable – many thanks to Trelawney!

1 Accident sort of interrupts plan (6)
MISHAP – ISH (sort of) interrupts MAP (plan)
4 Insect I wager is crawling (6)
EARWIG – anagram (is crawling) of I Wager
8 Typical conversation in market (5,8)
STOCK EXCHANGE – STOCK (typical) EXCHANGE (conversation)
10 Coffee and some alcohol at terminal (5)
LATTE – “some” alcohoL AT TErminal
11 Trouble around one boy’s communication (7)
LIAISON – AIL (trouble) around = reverse, I (one) SON (boy)
13 Transport parcel to a queen (9)
CLEOPATRA – a neat anagram (transport) of PARCEL TO A
17 Trooped out to get weapon (7)
TORPEDO – anagram (out) of TROOPED
18 Keep bottling last of special ointment (5)
SALVE -SAVE (keep) bottling L (“last” of speciaL)
19 Smash prof’s ironware — POW! (8,2,3)
PRISONER OF WAR – anagram (smash) of PROF’S IRONWARE
21 Regularly sells uniform for cricket team (6)
ELEVEN – EL (“regularly” s E L L s) EVEN (uniform)
22 Dog beginning to bother bird (6)
BEAGLE B (“beginning” to Bother) EAGLE (bird)

1 Strength of sea creature, we hear (6)
MUSCLE – we hear as MUSSEL (sea creature)
2 Vehicle to display damage (6,3)
SPORTS CAR – SPORT (display) SCAR (damage)
3 Upset when not opening joint (5)
ANKLE rANKLE (upset), ditch the opening.
5 Fundamentally a mad hatter (2,5)
AT HEART A, and an anagram (mad) of HATTER. Very nice! COD, for me.
6 Come first and finish off champagne, say (3)
WIN take the finish off WINe (champagne, say)
7 Places for putting vegetables (6)
GREENS double definition, the first as in golf.
9 Two unknowns cut perfect instrument (9)
XYLOPHONE – XY (two unknowns) LOP (cut) HONE (perfect)
12 Rascal‘s loot including phone and money, ultimately (9)
SCALLYWAG – SWAG (loot) includes CALL (phone) and Y (moneY, “ultimately“)
14 Reportedly, I ascend ugly building (7)
EYESORE – sounds like (reportedly) I SOAR (I ascend). Yesterday’s 13d was still fresh in the mind.
15 First bit of pastrami inside dry bread, perhaps (6)
STAPLE – P (“first bit” of Pastrami) inside STALE (dry)
16 Qualification held by rude Greek (6)
DEGREE -“held by” ruDE GREEk
18 Music for film perhaps that shows number of points? (5)
SCORE double definition
20 Anger starts to infuse Roman Empire (3)
IRE – “starts” to Infuse Roman Empire

36 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2088 by Trelawney”

  1. 9 minutes. Nearly double my best timing this week but still within my target 10 minutes.
  2. Biffed XYLOPHONE–starts with X, already–ANKLE, CLEOPATRA, parsed post-submission. Fortunately, I checked SCALLYWAG (I spell it ‘scalawag’) and changed the A to Y. 6:30.
  3. A few seconds over 10 minutes so not as fast as some. LOI was SPORTSCAR. If you don’t get 1ac instantly it is never that fast. I don’t remember any holdups, just everything not going in instantly.
  4. All done in around 20 minutes from FOI: MISHAP to LOI: DEGREE all parsed.
    Too many good clues to pick a COD so I’ll go for a WOD: SCALLYWAG.
  5. Struggled to get started with this one, but once I was in the flow of it, things became easier. My last answer was SPORTS CAR. Took me forever to see that one. 22 minutes.
  6. LATTE was FOI, SPORTS CAR, MISHAP and MUSCLE brought up the rear. 8:36. Thanks Trelawney and Roly.
  7. Fifteen minutes, FOI latte, eight on first pass, most going in reasonably easily after, but some cogitation needed in the NE. Did not parse mishap. LOI win. C’s OD earwig and greens. Well done, Roly, and thanks for the blog. Thanks for the puzzle, Trelawney.
  8. A steady solve to a gentle offering today, although could not parse XYLOPHONE: thanks for explanation!
  9. Inside 14 minutes despite some disturbances, so back within target. Lots to enjoy in both crossword and blog. Thanks both.
  10. Didn’t crack 1a or 1d until very near the end, but did see EARWIG (my FOI), LATTE and SALVE quite early. I managed to build out from these at a steady pace, and solving PRISONER OF WAR and SCALLYWAG provided lots of useful checker. Didn’t see CLEOPATRA as an anagram. MISHAP and EYESORE were my last two in. All correct in smack on 30 minutes, which is quite good for me.

    Now, just time for a cup of coffee before taking Mrs Random in to have some metalwork taken out of her elbow. It was inserted a couple of summers ago after she’d suffered a front tyre blow-out on her bike. She went over the handlebars and landed on her head, which resulted in concussion (most worryingly), a fractured elbow, three broken ribs and a large gouge in her leg from the chainring. Thank goodness for her helmet. Any cyclists out there? Please wear one.

    Many thanks to Trelawney and rolytoly.

    1. A cyclist pal had an altercation with a car, but was OK. His helmet was in five pieces.
  11. Slow to start and careless at the end with a biffed xylAphone which led to my first pink square for some time, so rather cross with myself.
    Started with LATTE and finished with WIN.
    Thanks to Roly
  12. Mrs Random doesn’t seem too fazed by the prospect of her operation this afternoon. She has just calmly polished off today’s QC in 21 minutes. Strangely, her last two in (EYESORE and MISHAP) were exactly the same as mine.
  13. ….but mopped up quickly on the second.

    TIME 4:03

  14. A speedy morning, with the eventual highlight being the FOI MISHAP. Nice when the phonetics of what you assemble is different from the end product, and you don’t often get SH as anything other than /ʃ/ in English. Thanks R and T.
  15. Oddly, this felt longer, but the time didn’t lie. It’s the fastest QC I’ve ever done (the previous was around 9 mins).

    Granted, I think it was a fairly straightforward puzzle from Trelawney, but luckily every answer came pretty much straight away.

    FOI — 3dn “Ankle”
    LOI — 11ac “Liaison”
    COD — 9dn “Xylophone”

    Thanks as usual!

  16. Upper end of the target range of 30 seconds either side of 6 mins.

    I liked this puzzle.

    Top left proved hardest for me, but also provided my COD in STOCK EXCHANGE. I do like a brief clue.


  17. Nice puzzle.
    11 mins, held up by mishap, ankle, muscle, and LOI liaison.

    COD cleopatra.

  18. I seem to have been on a different wavelength to everyone else today, as it took me a few clues to get started but I did enjoy it. All done and dusted in 11 minutes. I liked SPORTS CAR and GREENS.
    FOI Latte
    LOI Mishap
    COD and WOD Scallywag
    Thanks Trelawney and Roly
  19. All finished in 20m except for 10a. Took us a few extra minutes to realise we had put in mussel for 1d. Nice gentle puzzle.
  20. Any update on whether the forum is going to move to another platform? I am persevering for the moment in order to find out where it is going (if it is), but judging by the comment numbers it will soon be deserted. It would be a shame to lose it, but if there is no sign of a move we will have to assume you are happy to stay on LJ and make our judgements accordingly.
  21. Struggled to get going today and finished in 27mins so sluggish for me. All parsed except 3s (ANKLE). I can only see the across clues in the blog so could someone please help me with that one?

    I loved STOCK EXCHANGE but COD to MISHAP for clever use of ‘sort of’.

  22. Took far too long to spot the hidden DEGREE. Was looking for an anagram of Greek with something in it. The penny finally dropped after another 3 minutes.
  23. Otherwise I could have been in trouble. However, to anyone who, as I did, biffed 9d after getting STOCK EXCHANGE, go back and parse it , as I did when the grid was complete. It’s very neat like much of the wordplay. Nothing too difficult, but thought required. FOI AT HEART, LOI DEGREE, COD XYLOPHONE. Thanx Trelawney and Roly
  24. I think I’m at the back of the SCC today. Missed a few of the anagram indicators and generally thought the clues were much harder than they were. Quite proud of myself for sticking at it. It made me realise just how many words can be used to indicate an anagram. Somewhere round the 45 min mark, but happy to finish.


  25. The gentle one took me 1hr20 in two sittings. 30-mins this morning only threw up EARWIG, WIN, AT-HEART, PRISONER-OF-WAR, EYESORE, IRE, ELEVEN, SCORE in first 15-20mins then some staring. Came back this evening and knocked rest off in 50-mins – NW corner troubled me.

    Brain not putting things together at moment.


    Really nice crossword which on reflection should have been banged out in a low time. Nice one Trelawney and thanks to Roly for the blog

  26. I’m getting worse, not better… 20 minutes for me today and I didn’t get DEGREE or BEAGLE at all (though they’re so obvious when pointed out). Many of the clues I biffed but couldn’t parse. I obviously need more practice (have missed a few days recently).

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