Times Quick Cryptic No 2328 by Trelawney

I did rather a lot of biffing in this sub-tricky affair.

What felt like plenty of anagrams and clear definitions, along with some helpful enumeration, meant only three of the acrosses were wanting after a first pass (5, 10, 15 – numerically satisfying, if nothing else).

I crossed the line in 5.29 with maybe about half parsed, so let’s say many thanks to Trelawney and have a look to see what it was all about…

1 Case of nun infiltrating peak event for ladies (3,5)
HEN NIGHT – NN (“case” of NuN) infiltrates HEIGHT (peak). If it gets a bit out of hand, it can quickly change from a hen night to a sennight.
5 Circle area of water in reverse (4)
LOOP – POOL (area of water) reversed
9 Lout cried occasionally — that’s clear (5)
LUCIDL o UC r I e D “occasionally”
10 Account sent back about old soldier (7)
TROOPER – REPORT (account) sent back about O(ld)
11 Special roles arranged for astronomical event (5,7)
SOLAR ECLIPSE – anagram (arranged) of SPECIAL ROLES
13 Catch parent dancing (6)
ENTRAP – anagram (dancing) of PARENT
15 Whisky, say, I found during excursions to the west (6)
SPIRIT – I found during TRIPS (excursions) to the west = reversed
17 Map-maker with vehicle got over rebuke by that lady (12)
CARTOGRAPHER – CAR (vehicle) TOG (got, over/reversed) RAP (rebuke) by HER (that lady)
20 Denies running after a strong scent (7)
ANISEED – anagram (running) of DENIES after A
21 Part of church is surrounded by beer! (5)
AISLE – IS surrounded by ALE (beer)
22 Adolescent with some cigarette ends (4)
TEEN – “some” of cigaretTE ENds
23 Embarrassed admitting bike is sent for scrap, perhaps (8)
RECYCLED – RED (embarrassed) admitting CYCLE (bike)
1 Place no one wants to go? That guy will! (4)
HELL – HE’LL = that guy will
2 Mexican snack from tin turned up at house (5)
NACHO – NAC (CAN = tin) “turned up” at HO(use)
3 Archaeologist in films upset ninja one said (7,5)
INDIANA JONES – anagram (upset) of NINJA ONE SAID
4 Loathing headgear friend regularly displayed (6)
HATRED – HAT (headgear), f R i E n D “regularly displayed”
6 Pope ran off, in theory (2,5)
ON PAPER – anagram (off) of POPE RAN
7 Suffuse each chicken, say, with root of liquorice (8)
PERMEATE – PER (each) MEAT (chicken, say) E (“root” of loquoricE)
8 Road worker to laze around with one old man and boy (unknown) (8,4)
LOLLIPOP LADY – LOLL (laze around) with I (one) POP (old man) and LAD (boy) Y (unknown, as in x and y)
12 One selling charm, ten bucks (8)
MERCHANT – anagram (bucks) of CHARM TEN
14 Insect — call entomologist initially to capture it (7)
TERMITE – TERM (call) E (Entomologist “initially”) to capture IT
16 Show anger with one getting married without license, at first (6)
BRIDLE – BRIDE (one getting married) without = goes outside L (License “at first”)
18 No difficulty over large picture holder (5)
EASEL – EASE (no difficulty) over L(arge)
19 Group of animals caught, reportedly (4)
HERD – caught = heard, “reportedly” = said


72 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2328 by Trelawney”

  1. 17:18. Well, either I’m getting in a consistent groove or else this week’s puzzles are very similar in difficulty.Three in a row solved in just over 17 minutes. LOLLIPOP LADY and HEN NIGHT were both learned from previous puzzles. I usually just think of ANISEED’s distinctive flavour but of course it has a particular odour too.

  2. I biffed HEN NIGHT & MERCHANT (LOI), parsed post-submission. Biffed INDIANA JONES without reading the whole clue, never bothered to parse it. 5:46.

  3. 9 minutes, so my run of QC targets achieved this week continues. Only one more puzzle to go for a clean sweep, but even without that I welcome the improvement after my poor overall performance last week.

  4. Nice steady solve in what for me would have been a good time of 25 mins. Then had a complete freeze on 7d Permeate looking for words referring to chicken as the bird not the meat. So DNF.

  5. Some generous definitions with the sort of mid-brow general knowledge I can cope with got me to a rare sub-10 finish. Finished in the NE where PERMEATE and LOOP held me up until ‘per’ for ‘each’ dropped in. Otherwise MERCHANT and TROOPER were the hold ups along with BRIDLE where I overthought ‘without’ after the discussion earlier in the week and entered ‘bridel’ before backtracking to see why RECYCLED wouldn’t fit. Now for the M40 for second day in a row.- my longest streak of not working from home in 2023.

  6. Just sub 10’ with POOL, TROOPER and PERMEATE holding me up. None of them should have done in hindsight, although ‘area’ always leads me to look for ‘a’ in the answer. The comma in the clue for MERCHANT led to me missing initially the anagram.

    COD to 1ac.

    Thanks Trelawney for a neat puzzle with just the right amount of tricksiness for me and Roly for the clear blog (bar ‘sennight’ – but a quick search and I am now better educated!)

  7. I was distracted at first by the double letters in the early across clues. However, I can only see 7 in the whole grid. I liked SOLAR ECLIPSE. Thanks Roly and Trelawney.

  8. I stupidly biffed HEN PARTY at the start and the error dawned slowly when I came back to 4d and couldn’t get it. Quite a bit of biffing (but all the rest were parsed). The longer answers came to me very quickly and helped a lot.
    I, too, was held up by TROOPER, LOOP, and PERMEATE (LOI) at the end. My early stupidity took me a minute over my target, drat!
    Thanks to both. John M.

  9. Gentle going, despite an early biff of HEN PARTY which Indy later sorted out.
    Started with POOL and thereafter almost a top to bottom solve with just LOI PERMEATE putting up a bit of resistance. CARTOGRAPHER and LOLLIPOP LADY parsed post submission.
    Finished in 5.37
    Thanks to Roly

  10. Echo much of what has already been written.

    TROOPER, PERMEATE and LOI LOOP held me up a touch at the end. Biffs all cleared up post solve e.g. CARTOGRAPHER, INDIANA JONES.

    V similar to yesterday’s time.


  11. I found that a lot of the solutions were clear but the parsing was not, so I had to scratch my head quite a bit as I went to justify the answers. Lots of very smooth, neat surfaces – loved the dad-dancing (13a), the Pope doing a runner (6d) and the cheapo charm (12d).

    All done in 09:12 for 1.8K and an OK Day.

    Many thanks to roly and the Squire.


  12. Like Blighter, I initially put HEN PARTY, before realising my error when I had the answer for 3D and 4d.

    Never heard of BRIDLE in relation to showing anger, but guessed it.

    Completed, but unfortunately a DNF as I put HOOP rather than LOOP. No idea why I did that.

    45:51 (DNF -1 wrong answer – 5a)

  13. An enjoyable puzzle with a few clues that took some thinking (especially my LOI Permeate) balanced by some rather easier ones. I was much helped by getting the two long clues Indiana Jones and Solar Eclipse very early, and this helped me to an 11-minute finish. Slight initial MER at caught = heard but then thought of “I didn’t catch/hear that” so eyebrow lowered again.

    Many thanks to Roly for the blog

  14. 10:54. 1054 Start of the Great Schism that created separation of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faiths. ( Date facts back by popular demand)

    Rattled through the acrosses in what looked like a PB with only one left. Got a chance to use our new word, as I hit a breezeblock, PERMEATE which required me to get a pen out and deconstruct what could actually fit the checkers. Put off with “EA” for “each” (very common on commercial invoices), and distracted by “percolate” and “pervade”.


  15. Fairly straightforward with a couple of generous clues (map-maker, astronomical event) and anagrams, but PERMEATE took a while to get.

  16. 8 minutes including what seemed like a long look at LOI PERMEATE. I thought at first that root= L; but it had to be the first or last letter.
    Most solvers above also seem to have PERMEATE as LOI.
    Good surfaces and a fun puzzle.

  17. I had a very slow start, not seeing 1a immediately and switching to the downs, which were equally recalcitrant initially, then biffing HEN PARTY and having to address that little error. In the end, I finished with MERCHANT after 14 minutes, and was amazed to be inside target. Many thanks Roly and Trelawney.

  18. 9:30. I’m ‘Embarrassed admitting’ that RECYCLED was one of my last in; looking at it now I don’t know why. The rest came steadily though like others it seems, I didn’t get PERMEATE straight away. I liked the image of the ‘nun’ at the HEN NIGHT and the misleading ‘Road worker’ def for LOLLIPOP LADY.

    Thanks to Trelawney and rolytoly

  19. Incredibly disappointed with 34+ mins having got the 6-7 clues in the NW done in about 45 seconds. Scarily bifd with no understanding of the parsing of HEN-NIGHT or NACHO. Lower down I bifd TERMITE and could never parse it.

    At about 15mins, I had BRIDLE, POOL, PERMEATE left and struggled through those. Not helped by putting “loop” in when I did finally get it. A good 10+ mins having little idea what “suffuse” means and that really sums this one up.

    If you could get the definitions, you could maybe parse the clue after but a huge struggle to build the answer from the parse. CARTOGRAPHER would be a good example of that.

    Left with a bad taste in the mouth about today’s 😕

    1. To quote the old Afro-American spiritual song:
      “Sometimes I’m up
      Sometimes I’m down
      Sometimes I’m almost to the ground.”
      So tomorrow you should be up!

      1. Which reminds me of the old “Sometimes you’re the pigeon, sometimes you’re the statue” saying!

  20. Left side went in almost immediately, RH a little trickier but all enjoyed. FOI+COD HELL, LOI PERMEATE, which took about as long as the rest together as I first tried L as the root – isn’ liquorice a root anyway? Only real problem cane later: NHO SENNIGHT! Thanks Trelawney and Rolytoly.

  21. I also thought Hen Party at first, but could not parse it, so left it until after the down clues, when Hen Night became obvious. Permeate and Bridle were my last two in, to finish in 8.09.


  22. On the cusp of the SCC, but took a long time to see loi Permeate, so have to be content with a window seat. I liked the build up construction of Cartographer, but CoD to 20ac Aniseed for the head slapping pdm. Invariant

  23. Resisted the temptation to biff HEN PARTY my first thought, and profited by taking the trouble to parse it correctly. I was pretty speedy with this one being held up only with my LOI which was PERMEATE, where I was for too long thinking of the alternative definition of chicken as being lacking courage. Happy to cross the line in 7.11.

  24. Similar experience to many others. FOI HELL and then reasonably steady progress in 17 mins up until the breezeblock PERMEATE. PER was clear but then I couldn’t get HEN out of my mind for the next three letters. Eventually clicked in 19:15 so escaped the clutches of the SCC. Needed the blog to parse TERMITE – didn’t suss call=TERM – but the risk paid off. Thanks Trelawney and rolytoly.

  25. Lots of very fast times above! Just inside the SCC at 21 minutes for me – not sure why as this felt fairly gentle.
    In good company being held up by PERMEATE, with LOOP my eventual LOI. Pleased to spot INDIANA JONES early on which forced correction of ‘hen party’ to HEN NIGHT. Looking forward to the new Indy film… Liked HELL. Many thanks to Trelawney and roly.

  26. 6:11

    To coin the word of the week, I breezeblocked on my LOI PERMEATE having thought root of liquorice might initially be L rather than E. Other than that, plenty of biffing going on, notably CARTOGRAPHER and INDIANA JONES going in on definition and a brief check on the number of letters in each word.

    Thanks Trelawny and Roly

  27. I started with NACHO, HELL and LUCID, and resisted the temptation to shove HEN PARTY in. It seemed obvious that the case of nun would mean the second word starting with N, and so the NIGHT fell. Steady away for the rest of the puzzle, with PERMEATE needing extra thought, and MERCHANT bringing up the rear. 7:48. Thanks Trelawney and Roly.

  28. Lots of interruptions today but finished with slight (long?) hold up over PERMEATE. Liked INDIANA JONES, SOLAR ECLIPSE and the helpful CARTOGRAPHER (all biffs), plus LOLLIPOP LADY. Also AISLE and EASEL.
    Thanks vm, Roly.

  29. We found this difficult. 25 minutes at the slower end of our range (17-25+)
    Still can’t see call=term but few mentioned so must be missing something obvious.

  30. Certainly on the trickier end of the scale, although I’d have turned in a sub-4 minute finish but for the trouble I had with my LOI.

    TIME 4:17

  31. Dnf…

    Had a brain (breeze?) block on 7dn after getting everything else after 20 mins.

    I could see the structure, and even had a few letters, but just couldn’t equate chicken=meat – even though it obviously is.

    I also think it was a bit of a biff-fest, although I confess I bunged in Hen Party for 1ac, until I came to 3dn.

    FOI – 1dn “Hell”
    LOI – dnf
    COD – 1ac “Hen Night” – for the nice surface

    Thanks as usual!

  32. 8:00. A mixture of biffing and borderline breezeblocks! SOLAR ECLIPSE, CARTOGRAPHER and INDIANA JONES all went in as I was reading the clues, but BRIDLE and LOLLIPOP LADY took a bit longer to fall, and I never did fully parse the latter. I got PERMEATE quite quickly, but it took some unravelling. I suspect that a TEEN is more likely to have one of those sickly smelling (maybe ANISEED) vapes than a cigarette end these days.
    FOI Lucid LOI Lollipop lady COD Merchant
    Thanks Trelawney and Roly

  33. On average, since starting these QCs in June 2020, I have managed to escape the SCC approximately once every six weeks. So, given the last time I broke free was only yesterday, I am absolutely delighted to have backed up that performance with another SCC escape today. 18 minutes for me and my first ‘twice-in-two-days’, although I have some trepidation about tomorrow.

    I started with LUCID and progressed slightly slowly at first. However, when I picked up speed I was able to maintain it almost to the end. Like others above, my LOI was PERMEATE and it required an alphabet trawl to find it. HEN NIGHT, CARTOGRAPHER and LOLLIPOP LADY also put up some resistance, but I wouldn’t attach the ‘Breezeblock’ label to any of them.

    Many thanks to Trelawney and rolytoly.

      1. I have, from time to time, fluked a faster time than Mrs R. However, I am well aware that she can dash it off much more quickly when she wants or needs to. Also, I won’t mention my upturn in form, as she is about three crosswords behind and has yet to tackle yesterday’s or today’s.

    1. Good work MrRandom.

      If I understand averages correctly you can expect your next SCC escape around April/May 🤣

    2. Three in a row Mr R and we’ll terminate your membership of the SCC!!!!

      Seriously, well done and fingers crossed 🤞 for tomorrow.

  34. I seem to be in good company next to Plett on the leaderboard and just above Kevin. FOI HELL and LOI CARTOGRAPHER in a super quick 5:33. A red letter day! Interestingly the clued PERMEATE which seems to have scuppered most commenters hopes of a quick solve came to me straight away although I only fully parsed it while typing it in.

  35. A dnf today with hot night instead of hen night though I suppose one could turn into the other.
    Also failed on nacho which I really should have solved and permeate which was a toughie.
    Needed the log to explain some clues e.g. termite so thanks all round.
    2/4 this week so let’s see what tomorrow brings.

  36. A rare sub-10 minute solve for me, all done in 9:07, with the last minute devoted to PERMEATE, like many others.
    Thanks to Roly and Trelawney.

  37. Started rather slowly but soon picked up speed and rattled off the remaining clues except for 7dn. Not a breezeblock exactly but it did take a little while. Several parsed after stopping the clock at 13 minutes. An enjoyable puzzle from Trelawney – about the right standard for me.

    FOI – 9ac LUCID
    LOI – 7dn PERMEATE
    COD – liked LOLLIPOP LADY for the misdirection and thought TROOPER was very neat

    Thanks to Trelawney and Rolytoly

  38. Lots to enjoy and everything in bar one in 8 something minutes. Then the roadblock at PERMEATE which took another two minutes. Congrats to all the 5 minute-rs today!

    1. Good to hear ‘roadblock’ instead of the newly fashionable ‘breezeblock’, Chris.
      I don’t understand the use of the latter term by many other bloggers. Breezeblocks are relatively light building blocks. If anybody wanted to cause a blockage, they would do much better to use bricks or stone blocks which are heavier and more effective. Just saying…. John.

      1. It’s a play on words, John – the solve was a breeze/walk in the park until the block/halt caused by Permeate.

        1. Thanks. I didn’t do my due diligence – too lazy/busy to check back through the blogs to see where/when it was first used. John.

          1. Maybe I should have said that I breezed through the rest until I tried to permeate the final clue. Thank you both for keeping me up to the current terminology.

  39. 6:58 this afternoon. I thought this one of Trelawney’s trickier offerings but I felt I was sluggish throughout, as exemplified by the brain freeze over the two clues in the NE corner, namely 5 ac “loop” which wasn’t hard really and 7 d “permeate”, where I was another to struggle with a synonym for “suffuse”.
    11 ac “solar eclipse” was a neat anagram and also quite liked 17 ac “cartographer”. At least 100% parsed prior to submission but “one of dem days” really.
    Thanks to Roly and Trelawney

  40. 11:59

    Super easy and should have been a very rare sub-10 had I not got stuck for 2 minutes with the wrong anagrind on LOI MERCHANT.

  41. Permeate was a mite misleading and the last one in
    Medium difficulty
    just over one course

  42. 6.28

    Slightly held up by PERMEATE but otherwise on the gentler side I thought

    Thanks Rolytoly and Trelawney

    Ps Welcome back date facts!

  43. I will never say that a QC was easy, but this was about as straightforward as they come, largely because several were biffable and the long anagrams didn’t give me the normal headache. Like others, finished with PERMEATE. Pleased with myself for remembering PER for each.

    Well under the SCC cut-off!

    FOI – LOOP
    LOI – see above

    Rather hoped to see Ian back today as he would have had a decent chance of completing this one.

    Thanks for the great blog.

    1. Certainly seems to have given up at the wrong time. The past two days have held good opportunities. Hurley and Trelawney are two of my favoured setters

      1. I agree. Hurley was my nemesis for a while, but has become more amenable of late. Trelawney always sets entertaining QCs and is perhaps a little more ‘contemporary’ with the answers. Can’t see too many of the others giving us Indiana Jones!

  44. Another biffed HEN PARTY to start here. Trying to be too clever by 3/4, as my Dad used to say. It made me puzzle over INDIANA JONES for too long before I realised. I enjoyed the chicken with aniseed recipe. Must give it a go. Thank-you Trelawney and Tolytoly. 4:48.

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