Happily...I've gone through eight leap gates (not jump gates--I'm a doofus) now and I've only hit one that had a :55 time limit. All the others were quite a bit easier. So if you're early in the game and hit that gate, there are plenty of others that aren't nearly as difficult.
Seriously, this game is compulsively addictive. There's much, much more to do, seemingly, than in the previous Puzzle Quest.
Including crafting. Crafting!