Times Quick Cryptic No 2628 by Trelawney

Solving time: 5:02

First time I’ve blogged a Trelawney, who in my view, is one of the friendliest setters. This is a very enjoyable grid with a decent mix of clues and plenty of interesting answers. I was really only held up towards the end, thinking of the book at 5d for which I didn’t have the first letter – my LOI 5a was consequently a write-in.

How did you all get on?

Definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [directions in square ones].

1 Talks excessively about large spectacles (7)
GLASSESGASSES (Talks excessively) about L (large)
5 Delight to embrace European animal that hops (4)
JOEYJOY (delight) wrapped around [to embrace] E (European)

A JOEY is the young of a marsupial e.g. kangaroo, wallaby, wallaroo, wombat, opossum or koala, not all of which are known for their hopping…

7 Body part beginning to pain singer known for shaking it? (6)
PELVISP (beginning to P{ain}) ELVIS (singer)

Semi &lit – ‘singer’ is doing double duty here both as the name you are looking for (ELVIS) as well as part of the cryptic i.e. ‘singer known for shaking it?’ where the ‘it’ refers to the answer.

Amongst a considerable number of nicknames, in the early years of his career, ELVIS Presley was known as ‘Elvis-the-PELVIS’. Despite his claims that he was so lost in the rock ‘n roll music that he didn’t realise that his hips were shaking and sending everyone wild, ELVIS purposely used sensual movement on stage to entice an emotional response from his audience.

8 Censor communist law (6)
REDACTRED (communist) ACT (law)
9 Fairground attraction where rifles exploded (6,5)
FERRIS WHEEL – Anagram [exploded] of WHERE RIFLES

Named after George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. who designed and constructed an observation wheel as a landmark for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

The tallest-ever Ferris wheel was the 250 metre (820 ft) high Ain Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, which opened in October 2021 but closed just five months later.

10 Create fashionable outlet (6)
INVENTIN (fashionable) VENT (outlet)
12 Expert not befuddled right away (6)
PRONTOPRO (Expert) then anagram [befuddled] of NOT
14 Stab extremely lazy couple, reportedly, for fruit (7,4)
PRICKLY PEARPRICK (Stab) L{az}Y [extremely i.e. the end letters] PEAR which is a homophone of PAIR (couple, reportedly)

The PRICKLY PEAR cactus, or Opuntia (ficus-indica), is a major food source for wild tortoises, iguanas and many other reptiles.

17 Brit so confused in French restaurant (6)
BISTRO – Anagram [confused] of BRIT SO

A BISTRO or bistrot, in its original Parisian form, is a small restaurant serving moderately priced, simple meals in a modest setting. The term has also become used by more pretentious restaurants.

Is it just the British that can take something modest and make it out to appear far more impressive than it is?

18 King not strict enough on loud horn (6)
KLAXONK (King) LAX ON (not strict enough)

LAX (from the Latin laxus, meaning ‘wide, spacious, roomy’) has been around since C14th Middle English. The word has been used to describe loose bowels (hence ‘laxative’ meaning ‘loosening’), indulgent rule, low prices and poor discipline.

KLAXON on the other hand, is a trademark of the Lovell-McConnell Manufacturing Co., and taken from the Ancient Greek κλάζω (klázōmake a sharp sound; scream”)

20 On reflection, curses celebrity (4)
STARRATS (curses) reversed [On reflection]

RATS and ‘curses’ are both exclamations.

21 Footballers given rock? That’s a sneaky trick! (4,3)
FAST ONEFA (Footballers i.e. Football Association] given STONE (rock)

“That’s a sneaky trick!” as in “They’ve pulled a FAST ONE!”

1 Nerd’s short expression of surprise (3)
GEEGEE{k} (Nerd’s short i.e. remove last letter)
2 Commercial poetry is unfavourable (7)
ADVERSEAD (Commercial) VERSE (poetry)
3 Initially serve up some highly inferior Japanese food (5)
SUSHI – Initial letters of serve up some highly inferior

Not at all inferior in my book, the name SUSHI comes from two ancient Japanese words: ‘su’ meaning “vinegar” and ‘shi’ meaning “sour”makes complete sense as the earliest version of SUSHI was a method of preserving raw fish in a sour, vinegared mixture.

4 Blunder and drink without team (5,2)
SCREW UPSUP (drink) wrapped around [without i.e. the opposite of within] CREW (team)
5 Evaluate end of song in NT book (5)
JUDGESONG [end of i.e. last letter of] in JUDE (NT book)

JUDE is the penultimate book of the New Testament and my penultimate answer in the grid – should probably memorise a list of the books…

6 Flight late, so car must be arranged (9)
ESCALATOR – Anagram [must be arranged] of LATE SO CAR
9 Excellent beer when digesting last of her contract details (4,5)
FINE PRINTFINE PINT (Excellent beer) digesting last of HER
11 Imitate departure from Heathrow? (4-3)
TAKE-OFF – Double definition, ‘from Heathrow?’ indicating that the departure is of the flying variety.
13 Perhaps liver and onions primarily contains English herb (7)
OREGANOORGAN (Perhaps liver) and ONIONS [primarily i.e. first letter of] contains E (English)
15 Bury one side of Milan? (5)
INTER – Double definition, the second being mildly cryptic.

‘side’ here is synonymous with football team, as in ‘Which side do you support?’

Football Club Internazionale Milano is commonly shortened to just Internazionale or just INTER, and colloquially known as Inter Milan in English-speaking countries. Their name comes from the founding members’ (who until then had all been AC Milan players) wish to include more foreign players in their team.

16 I agree to pocket one thousand? Blimey! (5)
YIKESYES (I agree) pocketing IK (one thousand)
19 Part of modern poem (3)
ODE – Hidden [Part of] in modern

107 comments on “Times Quick Cryptic No 2628 by Trelawney”

  1. Lots of fast times above – congrats to all the pb’s!

    QUITCH tells me I was a little faster than par.


  2. I was very excited to get a PB of 8:55 especially after being in the SCC for the last few days….then I came here and discovered that general opinion would suggest that it was one of the easiest QCs ever!!! I did enjoy completing it though, fully parsed as I went along. Thanks go to Trelawney and especially to Mike for all the extra detail. MM

    1. I have just discovered that it wasn’t a PB after all. I achieved a time of 8:13 last August 8th on another Trelawney puzzle. I must learn to keep better records!!

  3. A very enjoyable puzzle and really informative blog, thanks to both. It took me ages to get past kangaroo before the penny dropped and I realised I needed the young hoppy version!

  4. Late start for me due to a busy day.

    No problems at all, though needed the Orange one’s help with one clue.

    My rushing caused me to miss a typo, so one wrong answer. (klaxoM)


    My verdict: 😀
    Pumpa’s verdict: 😸

  5. 24 mins. Thought I was going to be even faster as I got most of the across on first pass. But had the wrong end of the clue as the definition for Redact until Screw up finally came to me

    LOI Pronto
    COD Fine Print

    Great mix of clues. Thanks Trelawney and for the blog Mike

  6. 8:22

    Well they don’t come much easier than that. A very rare sub-10 for me with no real holdups. Was looking for a pangram but don’t see a Q.

      1. Thank you, very kind. A very rare visit into single figures indeed.

        I vaguely remember a programme about a dog living next door to a frog but am more of a Daddy Pig fan.

  7. Another miserable day.

    11 minutes so missed a sub-10. Lousy. Stupid hold-ups on easy clues (as always).

    A good QC for newcomers, but not really that enjoyable.

    Is part of the reason I’m so slow that I solve the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper, or is it just that I lack ability?

    Hard to feel anything but gloom when so many solvers who I compare myself with are well below 10 mins. Just shows what a limited level of skill I possess. Please don’t tell me 11 minutes is good. It isn’t.

    Congratulations to those of you with PBs. You must let me know what it’s like to enjoy the QC, as I can’t seem to achieve this.

    Thanks for the blog.

  8. Well I was pleased with my not-quite PB of 8:50, but now I see I’m still one of the slower solvers on here. At least I bucked the JOEY trend by having it as my FOI. COD to OREGANO, LOI PRONTO. Thanks Trelawney and Mike.

  9. 17 across : as I remember from my school days, быстро is Russian for quickly . . . which was how the French associated it with getting quick service in little bars in Russia . . . in Napoleonic times perhaps . . .


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