Times 28,415: He Drinks a 1d Drink, He Drinks A 9d Drink, He Drinks a 1ac Drink, He Drinks a 15ac Drink

Apparently the Latin for Friday is “dies Veneris”, so I was halfway tempted to describe this crossword as not being quite venereal enough, but the connotations are not great. In any case there were a few things I certainly did like in this one: the homophone at 11ac, the “brain supplement” definition at 24ac , and the anti-novel just because I like the word. COD to 24ac, how about that.

On the fiendishness front, 5dn is a really clever idea and quite a hard clue, I think! My thanks to the setter.

Definitions underlined in italics, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Beer taken around a camp (6)
LAAGER – LAGER taken around A. Went straight in
4 Brother to present with a bouquet (8)
FRAGRANT – FRA [brother] + GRANT [to present]
10 Fight here to value jewellery (5,4)
PRIZE RING – PRIZE [to value] + RING [jewellery]
11 Have left speaking; I don’t react (5)
ARGON – homophone of ARE GONE. Noble/inert gases are chemically unreactive
12 Mean drunk first to be given meal outside (5-6)
TIGHT-FISTED – TIGHT [drunk] + 1ST with FED [given meal] outside
14 Solution not entirely fully explained (3)
LYE – {ful}LY E{xplained}
15 Dish / needed by the phone (7)
CHARGER – double def
17 Refinement of sister touring a church (6)
NUANCE – NUN [sister] “touring” A + C.E.
19 Several horses, a sort of quartet? (6)
STRING – double def
21 This term, alternative to I Kings used (5,2)
ROYAL WE – cryptic def. The royal we is a term that kings have used where normal folk would use I.
23 Boy who’s fast failing to finish (3)
LEN – LEN{t}
24 Poor ruler given better brain supplement (8,3)
THINKING CAP – THIN KING given CAP [to better]. Nice definition
26 Do drudgery for / Dickens (5)
DEVIL – double def. “Devil” is an antiquated word meaning “to act as a junior assistant for a lawyer or other professional”. I think I’ve only heard it in the context of a printer’s devil…
27 Declaration from senator is out of order (9)
29 Joined up and served? Not I (8)
30 Current year opening for information bureau (6)
AGENCY – A(lternating)C(urrent) + Y(ear), opening for GEN [information]. LOI
1 Spit out, then apply tongue round — to adjust this? (8)
LIPSTICK – (SPIT*), with LICK [apply tongue] around, semi-&lit
2 Flying is stunning (5)
AWING – non-homophonic double def
3 Milk producer breaking bottom off jug (3)
EWE – EWE{r}
5 PC, and a different PC with no husband (5-2)
RIGHT-ON – P(rivy) C(ounselors) are entitled to be a styled RIGHT {h}ON(ourable). The other PC is P(olitical) C(orrectness). No I didn’t parse this fully until afterwards.
6 Sublime swindle taking in some: don’t fall into it! (5,6)
GRAND CANYON – GRAND CON [sublime swindle] “taking in” ANY [some]. A loose but eminently prudent definition part
7 Heavenly cake decoration left behind (9)
ANGELICAL – ANGELICA [cake decoration] + L(eft)
8 Old coin, one lying in the sun? (6)
TANNER – double def
9 Councillor of state that is doubly close to emperor (6)
VIZIER – VIZ [that is] + I.E. [that is] + {empero}R
13 Long ribbons to wind around a legal title (11)
16 Consciously old-fashioned sort of literary fiction? (9)
ANTINOVEL – if you are an early adopter you are PRO the NOVEL; ergo if you are consciously old-fashioned you are ANTI-NOVEL
18 No power to take up in tired arms (8)
WEAPONRY – NO P(ower) reversed in WEARY [tired]
20 Scowl from unyielding champion (7)
GRIMACE – GRIM [unyielding] + ACE [champion]
21 Dashing knight mounted horse, holding hawk occasionally (6)
RAKISH – reversed SIR [knight] + H(orse), “holding” {h}A{w}K
22 Woman is pleased? Yes, extremely (6)
GLADYS – GLAD [pleased] + Y{e}S
25 Capital but short name for dog (5)
CAIRN – CAIR{o} + N(ame); this held me up for a while because of course muggins bunged in CAIRO and left it there
28 Fish picked up in this paper (3)
RAG – reversed GAR [fish]

72 comments on “Times 28,415: He Drinks a 1d Drink, He Drinks A 9d Drink, He Drinks a 1ac Drink, He Drinks a 15ac Drink”

  1. 14m
    In contrast to our blogger, 1ac did not go straight in, because LAAGER just isn’t one of those words at the forefront of my brain. Not convinced it was anywhere at all in my poor brain when I began this crossword. Meanwhile, the “fiendish” RIGHT ON did go straight in, though I elected not to parse it at the time.
    RHS < LHS

  2. Well, I didn’t get half of the clue for RIGHT-ON (the British political details), and I wonder which part V. missed at first. Was working steadily if slowly, but slowed to a halt with at least three-quarters finished. After a break for a turkey/brie/apple/honey mustard croissant and a shot of Smooth Ambler, I returned to the fray with renewed forces and soon conquered.

    1. I bunged it in from definition to be honest – PC and “right-on” are very immediate synonyms in British parlance.

  3. 21:43
    LAAGER and FRAGRANT went right in, but the pace soon slowed down some. DNK CHARGER, and I took ‘by the phone’ as a homophone indicator at first. Never parsed AGENCY. And of course I was clueless about RIGHT-ON, not knowing about privy councillors and not knowing the PC meaning of ‘right-on’; I’ve never come across it, and I suspect it’s a UK usage (ODE doesn’t specify ‘Brit.’, but its examples are all British, bar one Canadian).

    1. Hi, Kevin. I’m an old (b. Dec. 1955) hippie (and was even officially a Yippie), and “Right-on!” has always been a part of my cohort’s lingo. This phrase did exist long before “P.C.,” which itself started as a somewhat humorous label of self-critique on the left (one origin story traces it to the lesbian community), before the right put a more virulent spin on it. Of course “right on” can be a term of general approbation without any political intent, depending on the context, but the context for my crowd was always political. So it seems strange that Collins does not list an American usage pertaining directly to politics, the closest things being “sophisticated, informed, current, etc.” and “up-to-date; relevant”… and Dictionary.com’s the same. I didn’t think twice about it!

      1. ODE has sv ‘right-on’ ‘(informal), often (derogatory) in keeping with fashionable liberal or left-wing opinions and values’. (Note the hyphen.) It’s this meaning that I was referring to, and which I think is what the setter was, and which I’ve never come across. I’ve known ‘right on!’ since its inception. It was specifically a Black expression, which I always found cringe-worthy when uttered by some middle-class honkie trying to sound hip.

        1. The setter obviously meant the “PC” meaning, and you are right that dictionaries give the phrase used with that sense a hyphen, which for the more general sense, “exactly correct,” it has not.

          I’ve never thought of “right on” as specifically African American (and in that case, I would think it was the political variant, with the hyphen, Black people were uttering. It’s been suggested that the Black Panthers had an expression, “Right on T,” for “right on time”). The earliest citation for the more general sense dates from 1925. The sense of agreement in a political sense just seems a logical extension. I think it’s rather cynical to assume that every white person who used the expression was shallow and insincere.

        2. The modern equivalent is of course ‘woke’. These expressions always seem to start as terms of approbation before being co-opted by reactionaries as insults.

          1. I would 100% concur that “right-on” is a lot like “woke” – in British usage I would say it’s not often a complimentary term, more a disparaging one (though obviously, it’s actually good to be right-on, certainly better than the kind of people who scorn others for being right-on). Also, I note the irony of the fact that right-on people are very likely to be on the political left.

            1. Indeed. The original meaning of ‘woke’ was just (simplifying a bit) ‘not racist’. Of course people sometimes get a bit holier-than-thou about these things, delighting in opportunities to highlight the perceived transgressions of others. But equally some seem latch on to the derogatory form of the word as an excuse to ignore its original meaning.

  4. I had a number of parsing queries so early on here that I found myself in biffing mode and that led me almost inevitably into trouble. I completed the grid in 36 minutes but was still unable to parse everything so I settled for my answers and found I had two wrong: ACING for AWING at 2dn and CHIEN for CAIRN at 25dn. I had the first of these as a possible double definition although on reflection I am unable to account for either now. I had the second as CHIE{f} (capital) [short], N (name) with ‘dog’ as the definition. This parsing also doesn’t look so hot now but for all I knew CHIEN might have found its way across the channel into the English language – research now suggests it hasn’t.

    DEVIL, ANTINOVEL, RIGHT ON, ANGELICAL (what’s wrong with ‘angelic’?) and PRIZE RING (NHO) all remained with queries against them.

      1. We do sometimes make -ic/-ical distinctions–a historic event/a historical novel, economic development/economical with the truth–but I don’t see one here (angelic=like an angel/angelical=like angelica?).

        1. In Bristol (England) they have a peculiarity in their dialect whereby they add an “l” to a word ending in “a” (e.g.”panaramal”- get the ideal?). So in that fair city Ms Houston would indeed be known as Angelical, the famous primal donnal.

      2. I agree, when it’s used in the adjectival sense. But it does have a place as a noun: in Elgar’s ‘The Dream of Gerontius’ there is a group of singers (I think) called angelicals.

        (I see that this post has found a place where it doesn’t really make sense, or at any rate not the intended sense: this was a reply to Guy a few places above.)

      3. Sometimes “fantastic” just won’t do and you need to go all the way to “fantastical”.

    1. exactly the same parsing as you for CHIEN, Jack. But I thought the setter should have indicated that the dog was a French one! An alpha trawl only yielded CAIRN as an alternative, but I’d never heard of the dog.

  5. I was also a CHIEN, which at least has an association with “dog” in my head, unlike CAIRN. Bah. I didn’t like this one when I thought I’d finished it correctly; I’m even less fond of it now!

    1. Toto, Judy Garland’s dog in The Wizard of Oz, was a Cairn Terrier. We had a couple over the years and they were good fun but a little on the nervous and snappy side around little kids or food.

  6. DNF. I went for CHIEN for the dog, although I know it is French it seemed like it might be used in English too. My other problems were all in the SE too, with AGENCY and RAG (I thought “picked up” meant homophone and was wondering if I’d ever heard of a Rague or similar). Fell at the final fence, as it were, since CHIEN was my LOI.

    1. I was also trapped by CHIEN, unable to remember the little terrier, but as so many others were either NHOs or just plain wrong it made very little difference!

  7. 29:13
    Managed to avoid the chien trap. Parsing of right-on was beyond me, but in it went nonetheless.
    Thanks, v.

  8. I made a garland for her head, And bracelets too, and Fragrant zone;
    She looked at me as she did love, And made sweet moan.
    Oooh er.

    I needed 35 mins mid-brekker. Couldn’t parse Right (H)on and only guessed that to ‘devil’ was to do drudgery.
    Thanks setter and V.

  9. 45m 45s
    Another pleasing puzzle but the last three clues took around 15-17 mins: ANTINOVEL, DEVIL and SOLDERED.
    I’m pleased I didn’t think of CHIEN otherwise I might have taken that route.
    My only query, post submission, was RIGHT ON, so thank you Verlaine. Didn’t Marvin Gaye and his ilk tend to use that phrase a lot in their songs?

  10. 38 minutes with LOI the straightforward TAGLIATELLE. I didn’t parse ANTI-NOVEL but did RIGHT-ON, which I was pleased about. COD to THINKING CAP. Thank you V and setter.

  11. 13:32. Moderately tricky one. No unknowns in the answers so it must have been the right kind of trickiness. I had no idea about the parsing of RIGHT-ON, so thanks for that v. Seems a bit of a stretch.
    It’s indicative of my accident-prone solving style that I glanced superficially at the clue for 25dn, reflected briefly that I thought Brisbane was the capital, then just bunged it in anyway and moved on. Fortunately I’d heard of the CAIRN terrier so CHIEN never even entered my mind.

  12. DNF. Struggled to get to the end and gave up on DEVIL = Dickens (forgotten) and CAIRN unknown. Oh well. Not a good week.

    I did like THINKING CAP.

    Thanks V and setter.

  13. 54 minutes. Challenging enough for me. Like a few others it seems, the parsing of RIGHT-ON escaped me and I didn’t know DEVIL could be a verb. My LOI was ANTINOVEL which I’d never come across as a literary genre.

    Favourite was the original ‘I don’t react’ def for ARGON.

  14. The Dickens DEVIL was a nice one and wouldn’t have been out of place in a TLS puzzle. In Tale Of Two Cities Sydney Carton was the briefless barrister who does all the drudge work as devil for the obnoxious and more successful Stryver. This went in more smoothly than the last two we had this week but I certainly needed my THINKING CAP. Good one. 22.47

  15. Learnt something new, the drudgery sense of devil. Right-on was a mystery in its parsing, although evidently right on. All I could think of was Brighton, not much use. And I thought the ROYAL WE was rather a mess, again evidently right on, but all I could see was that it was a vague CD. 42 minutes. Wasn’t sure about poor = thin in 24ac although I’m sure it’s in some dictionaries.

      1. I was just making a comparison between Brighton and Portland Oregon to someone in the pub last night – not sure it’s that close but there are certainly some points of correspondence.

        1. A quote from Keith Waterhouse:
          “Brighton looks like a town that is constantly helping the police with their enquiries”

  16. Made a reasonable start in the NW with EWE FOI. RIGHT-ON went in without parsing. CHIEN was discounted as having no indication for the French usage. CAIRN arrived from an alphabet trawl, and although I didn’t parse it correctly (CAIRNS in OZ shortly), I did know the terrier. ANTINOVEL was new to me, but DEVIL left no alternative with the other crossers. I only knew the Old Nick definition for Dickens. LYE was LOI as I finally spotted the hidden. 34:07. Thanks setter and V.

  17. Not as hard as a usual Vendredi, 25 minutes, thanks V for parsing RIGHT ON which I half understood, it’s clever. LAAGER my FOI too. Liked CAIRN and the (printer’s) DEVIL.

  18. I found the SW a bit tricky, and had to think about the spelling of the pasta ribbons, but otherwise I thought this was more like a Monday puzzle. I had no trouble parsing the clues but the cryptically redundant ‘behind’ in the clue to ANGELICAL (7d) puzzled me initially. Seems just unnecessary surface decoration, one might say.
    25 minutes.

  19. DNF

    AUTONOVEL. I’ve heard of an antinovel but didn’t bring it to mind and tbh I don’t understand V’s explanation. I thought there might be an old-fashioned cross between a novel and an auto biography called an autonovel (the forerunner to the autobiographical novel, if you will) that required (self-) conscious thought on the part of the author. Yeah.

    I mis-parsed RAG, thinking that picked up was a homophone rather than reversal indicator and that there was a fish called a wragge, close relative to a wrasse. I also couldn’t see how AGENCY worked so I was expecting pink squares in that corner.

    On edit I get the antinovel thing now, novel as it what’s new, nowt to do wi’ books.

  20. 22 mins held up at the end by ANTINOVEL and DEVIL, neither of which I had heard of. That allowed me to finish with SOLDERED which would have helped had I seen it.
    I never saw CAIRO, thinking that maybe CAIRNS was a capital of somewhere.

  21. DNF — put Acing instead of Awing. Nice clue though, now that I understand it.

    Never heard of ‘Devil’ in that context, but couldn’t see what else it could be.

    About 50 mins — some at the bus stop, some on the bus, some over a cappuccino.

  22. Lots of blanks in the SW and a resounding DNF. I should have seen the anagram for TAGLIATELLE then the rest might have fallen into place but I am not so sure. Am attributing it all to a streaming cold.

  23. 16:31, 1 error. Oh well, at least I don’t feel quite as bad about my CHIEN after coming here. Quelle dommage.

    1. Surely “chien de chien, non, je ne regrette chien” is the way you should have phrased this.

  24. 36:09 but with CHIEN for the dog. We seem to need more and more French in the clueing, so just a MER to see it in the grid

  25. I’d done all but five of these in about 5-6 minutes, then needed another 8 minutes to get those five in the SW corner. TAGLIATELLE was a beautiful anagram that wrong-footed me, but DEVIL, CHARGER & ANTINOVEL were all unknown (in those senses), so took some getting. Nice puzzle.

  26. LAAGER pointed to an easier than normal Friday, and soon I was popping them in all around the grid. I got the parsing for 5D, very clever, but confidently bunged in DOC for 28D, before AGENCY forced a re-think. Then I ended up bogged down in the SW with 23, 26, 29A and 16D to go. Not having come across ANTINOVEL before meant I had to resort to aids, and then the rest became clear. Like Keriothe, I got the terrier, but assumed Cairns without questioning its status! Enjoyed the neat clueing for VIZIER.

  27. The title of this blog is too subtle for me. I have no idea what it means. Please could someone explain it.

    1. Haha, I do aim to baffle and perplex. You will need to listen to the lyrics of the song Tubthumping by Chumbawamba to see where my oblique brain processes were coming from.

  28. 22:13 late this afternoon, after a brief country walk with Mrs P for the first time since Monday – lots of wind and rain up here recently.
    Although this represents a pretty good time for me on a Friday, I felt I blundered through a lot of it, somehow coming through unscathed but too frequently unparsed as well.
    For example, 28 d “rag” wasn’t exactly tough but I managed to convince myself that the answer was a homonym for that hitherto obscure fish called a “wragg” (as Paul alluded to above), rather than stopping to think about developing the alternative meaning of “pick up”. And as for parsing 5 d “right on” – write off!
    Also struggled to finish the S W Corner, where the eventually recalled “charger” for 15 ac and a slightly desperate choice of “devil” for 26 ac got me over the line.
    COD 1 d “lipstick”
    Thanks to V for his concise blog, which confirmed that I had gotten lucky today and to setter.

  29. 40:16

    LAAGER – bunged in with shrug
    STRING of horses
    DEVIL in the lawyer context
    ANTINOVEL – from checkers

    As for RIGHT ON, I’ve always been aware of it – don’t know if it was from hippie or black culture – it certainly spilled into seventies cosmopolitan South London. Nowadays, it’s considered by some as a derogatory/sarcastic term for woke people.

  30. Re RIGHT-ON, about 20-30 years ago the comedian/actor John Thomson had a character called Bernard Righton, a parody of Bernard Manning, who told old jokes that began in an apparently un-PC fashion but had a subversively inoffensive punchline.

    15a CHARGER: I thought The Times was stricter than, say, The Guardian about this kind of clue, where “needed by the phone” doesn’t lead to a noun answer, and really needs “that’s” in front of it. No one seems to have commented on it though, so maybe it no longer matters.

  31. Bit late to the party, been catching up all week. I thought this, if not exactly Fridayish, definitely Wednesday or Thursdayish.
    No trouble with CAIRN, my parents had two. Though I did carelessly think of Cairn(s) rather than Cair(o). I wonder how on earth the chien-ites parsed the clue?!

    1. chei{f} (capital, but short) + N. Seemed pretty straightforward, and it wouldn’t have been the first time that some random bit of French was used in English in some way I just didn’t happen to know…

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