Times 28511 – meat and drink


Easy than some other puzzles this week, although I did get slowed down in the SE with 21ac and 22dn my LOsI.

The waste receptacle made me smirk – a clever bit of word order, and apposite given the ongoing abuse of our river systems – but the grammatical feature takes my CoD for the double shifting emphasis!

Definitions underlined.

1 Could this make hot war explode? (5,1,6)
THROW A WOBBLY – reverse cryptic, anagram of (WOBBLY) THROW A could make ‘hot war’.
9 Lucky figure deprived of the first course (5)
ASCOT – mASCOT (lucky figure) deprived of its first.
10 Walls of residence with effective buttress (9)
REINFORCE – outermost letters (walls) of ResidencE + IN FORCE (effective).
11 Merchant who used to be a baggage-handler? (8)
EXPORTER – cryptic hint, EX-PORTER.
12 Not going straight, like a Victorian pickpocket? (6)
TWISTY – like Oliver TWIST, who was led astray by the Artful Dodger.
13 Following trouble, Peter’s bound to succeed (4-4)
FAIL-SAFE – F (following) + AIL (trouble) + SAFE (peter).
15 Waste matter goes here, contained by river banks (6)
URINAL – IN (contained by) which URAL (river) contains (banks).
17 Primate and bishop with rings round head (6)
BONOBO – B (bishop) + O-O (rings) around NOB (head).
18 After ruin, Penny and Bill in temporary housing (8)
CRASHPAD – CRASH (ruin) + P (penny) + AD (bill).
20 Gull in delta with duck (6)
DELUDE – D (delta) + ELUDE (duck).
21 Stick with dullard back from house party (8)
JAMBOREE – JAM (stick) + BORE (dullard) + last of housE.
24 Page in uniform: my job is emotionally difficult (9)
UPSETTING – P (page), in U (uniform) with SETTING (my (the setter’s) job).
25 Dry answer about ambassador’s character (5)
THETA – TT (teetotal, dry) + A (answer), around HE (His/Her Excellency, ambassador).
26 Bats maul predator which is hard to attack (6-6)
ARMOUR-PLATED – anagram of (bats) MAUL PREDATOR.
1 Some gunpowder, say, for crook (3,4)
TEA LEAF – gunpowder is a type of tea.
2 Conservative Party leads miss basic training here (9,5)
RECEPTION CLASS – RECEPTION (party) in front of (leads) C (Conservative) + LASS.
3 Vladimir in play, say, wanting one drink (5)
WATER – WAiTER (Vladimir in play, one of the characters in Waiting for Godot), missing ‘i’ (one).
4 Having less bread, disappeared to eat seconds (5,3)
WORSE OFF – WORE OFF (disappeared) containing S (seconds).
5 Black sauce is something unusual (4)
BLIP – B (black) + LIP (rudeness, sauce).
6 Abandoned children getting away from the Tories? (9)
LEFTWARDS – LEFT (abandoned) + WARDS (children).
7 Introduce Polish grammatical feature (7,7)
PRESENT PERFECT – PRESENT (introduce) + PERFECT (polish).
8 Cases of jaundice? Kindly, logical doctor‘s needed here (6)
JEKYLL – outermost letters of JaundicE, KindlY, and LogicaL.
14 Admirer pinching bottom? He rectifies errors (9)
SUBEDITOR – SUITOR (admirer) containing (pinching) BED (bottom).
16 Maybe a Forest defender’s heard, one providing the score (8)
ARRANGER – sounds like “a ranger” (a forest defender).
17 Teacher with complaint or problem after retiring (6)
BEDBUG – BED (bachelor of education, teacher) + BUG (complaint).
19 What a Republican achieved must inspire reactionary (7)
DIEHARD – DID (achieved) must contain (inspire) EH (what) + A + R (Republican).
22 Asian climber in risky venture left without energy (5)
BETEL – BET (risky venture) + L, containing (without) E (energy).
23 Litre in fuel knocked over — it gets blown up (4)
LILO – L (litre) in OIL (fuel) reversed (knocked over).

61 comments on “Times 28511 – meat and drink”

  1. 24:16
    A breeze compared to yesterday’s. NHO RECEPTION CLASS, and was misled by the ‘basic training’ into thinking it was something military. Biffed WATER and UPSETTING, parsed post-submission. I must have come across THROW A WOBBLY sometime in the past, but I didn’t know what it meant, and only parsed the clue after submitting. TWISTY took me some time; I had SWISHY for a while. DNK that BETEL was a climbing plant. COD to URINAL. William, you’ve got ‘logical’ underlined at JEKYLL.

    1. Cheers. I only knew BETEL from the nut chewing habit prevalent in some parts of the world I’ve visited, but similarly had no idea it came from a climbing plant.

      1. Me too, I thought of BETEL right away, but didn’t have the horticultural knowledge to enter it confidently until I was sure of the wordplay.

  2. Nice Friday puzzle. I learned LILO from this, and took a long time to see the Jamboree / Diehard pair. Everywhere else it was a slowish but steady solve. Thanks Wm, & setter

  3. Tired, so slow. Victorian pickpocket… must be the musical Oliver! Spent ages trying to remember the Artful Dodger, to no avail. Vladimir – he was in Godot. But I don’t remember his job ever being mentioned, was he a waiter? etc.
    Bad day. Nice puzzle. Threw, and throw, a wobbly have both been seen before, but still make me happy.
    L2I diehard and jamboree a la Paul.
    COD to SUBEDITOR for the surface.

  4. LOI LILO, and NHO too: not in the American lexicon at all (absent from Merriam-Webster)… aha, it’s a trademark!
    I had only a couple in each quadrant to fill in at the end, and cleaned up going counterclockwise from the NE. I had to get MUS out of my head to get BEDBUG. Don’t think I’d read the clue for JAMBOREE once before I got there in the end and solved it, which gave me DIEHARD.
    I like the way THROW A WOBBLY works.

    1. We had LILO here a couple of years ago; this time I actually got it from the wordplay before I remembered it..

  5. I’m another who struggled with some of this but at least today when I had answers worked out I knew them to be correct, unlike yesterday when I wrote in several just hoping for the best.

    My only unknown was BONOBO arrived at eventually from wordplay having previously tried unsuccessfully to justify ‘baboon’. DIEHARD was another that gave me trouble so it was a very satisfying moment when it emerged by carefully assembling the various elements of the clue.

    Imaginary commas were needed to make sense of the word order in the clue to RECEPTION CLASS which lost me time although I could have biffed the answer if I’d been racing the clock.

    URINAL proved elusive and was my LOI.

      1. There was an article in The Times yesterday or the day before about chimps and bonobos.
        Apparently humans can recognise their sign language because we are so closely related; but I’m pleased to say I couldn’t ..

            1. It may be good enough for you, but not for a linguist. I read the article, and if I recall, the researchers did not use the term ‘sign language’. I was surprised, though, at the size of their repertoire of gestures (the primates’, not the researchers’).

            2. Pfft, linguists, what do they know 🙂
              Collins says for sign language: “any system of communication by manual signs or gestures”
              Do you deny that the chimps are communicating, using manual gestures? I wonder how many gestures you need, to morph from a repertoire of gestures to a language..

  6. 56m 56s
    As Kevin says, this was a breeze compared to yesterday’s.
    The only clue I couldn’t parse properly was RECEPTION CLASS, so thank you, William.
    In 22d I wanted to put RATEL but that didn’t make sense.
    14d SUBEDITOR: “He rectifies errors”. Not so much in The Times Online these days judging by the phot captions in the News in Pictures feature.
    Several very good clues notably: EXPORTER, WATER, THROW A WOBBLY and DIEHARD.

  7. 62 minutes. Much the same comments as others with a few unfamiliar terms such as RECEPTION CLASS and TWISTY holding me up. Good to see THROW A WOBBLY which is what I was doing yesterday.

  8. 29 minutes with LOI BEDBUG. COD to THROW A WOBBLY. The biggest delays were in parsing RECEPTION CLASS and DIEHARD, which were both pretty clear from crossers. But nice to be on terra firma again after spending yesterday at sea. Thank you William and setter.

  9. “THROW A WOBBLY, and make it rude!”
    UPSETTING the way 20’s clued
    But the gull and the duck
    Make no bird; and oh ****
    I’m a DIEHARD – a cinch to DELUDE

  10. 26 minutes or so.

    This was considerably more straightforward than yesterday, though there were a couple of unknowns – WATER, where I hadn’t heard of Vladimir the waiter, and the BETEL plant – where I relied on the wordplay. I also didn’t figure out how the clever DIEHARD worked at all, so thanks for the explanation.

    FOI Jekyll
    LOI Delude
    CODs Armour-plated/Diehard

  11. 12:45. Excellent stuff this. A puzzle in which everyday words are indicated by clues that are tricky because the definitions are well-disguised and the wordplay makes equivalences that are not immediately obvious, but nothing is obscure or too much of a stretch. In other words the opposite of yesterday’s puzzle. The surfaces are really good too.

  12. 70 mins so another toughie for me. Took a while to see the CLASS bit of 2d which held up my LOI DELUDE. Tricky clue. My other big delay was DIEHARD which I never parsed and didn’t really understand at all, but it seemed the only word that would fit.

    I liked THROW A WOBBLY when I finally saw it, URINAL and the doctor too.

    Thanks William and setter.

  13. Enjoyed this, some fine clues … loved 24ac, 19dn, and Vladimir the waiter. I spent far too long wondering if that was his job ..

  14. Just under 20 mins but one error. Wobble for Wobbly.

    I liked Subeditor and Diehard. But for COD I’m going to (the) URINAL.

  15. 10:30

    A lovely puzzle, and a WITCH of 62 suggests it played to my strengths, whatever they are. I should have gone sub-10 but at 15, although I twigged I had to put IN inside a river, I couldn’t quickly home in on the correct river or waste receptacle.

    TWISTY and LILO both made me chuckle.

    1. Not sure what it says about my mind, but URINAL presented no problem at all! TWISTY, however was LOI.

  16. 45:31

    Not sure that this was a breeze – the top half seemed pretty straightforward, but apart from BONOBO which came to mind thanks to a very recent article about understanding ape sign language, had nothing in the bottom half for quite a while.

    Some painstaking answer-building in the SW later, finally saw the anagram along the bottom which opened the door to the SE corner – last in JAMBOREE followed by BETEL (heard of the nuts, didn’t know it was a vine).


  17. Fail because I had SWISHY instead of TWISTY. Felt convinced I’d heard the slang term ‘swish’ for pickpocket, but now I look it up I can’t find it anywhere. Memory plays tricks.
    Otherwise a huge sigh of relief after yesterday’s horror. Liked BEDBUG and WAITER.

  18. The SE gave me most trouble, having got off to a good start in the NW with ASCOT and TEA LEAF. Liked THROW A WOBBLY when it arrived and it also helped me to get WATER. Lots of PDMs. TWISTY, PRESENT PERFECT and URINAL being highlights. BETEL was constructed from wordplay, then DIEHARD was the key to the final corner, with JAMBOREE and ARRANGER finishing the job. 32:44. Thanks setter and William.

  19. 23:14
    A fairly easy one for a Friday but I’ll happily take that as it’s the first one finished this week. Good fun too.
    For a while I was thinking of GRAINGER for my ARRANGER. I liked THROW A WOBBLY, TEA LEAF and JAMBOREE. In the sixties one used to be able to buy Jamboree Bags – the contents being a lucky dip of sweets and small toys. It’s a long way from there to an Xbox.

  20. 46 mins

    Couldn’t parse RECEPTION CLASS or DIEHARD thinking the latter was a double definition. A MER that disappeared = wore off. Otherwise great fun and a pleasant relief after yesterday’s trial

  21. 49 minutes, which was a lot better than yesterday, although the SNITCH is still quite high and if we hadn’t seen yesterday’s we might be saying how difficult this was. A slow start, which made me suspect the editor had inflicted two stinkers in succession on us. But then it went quite smoothly until I was held up for ages on BETEL, JAMBOREE and DIEHARD, partly because I was ignorant of the Asian characteristics of the betel, partly because of the apparent impossibility of finding a word to fit _A_B_R_E, and partly through inability to parse diehard, which I now see is very good.

  22. The setter seems to be a film buff: Oliver Twist – he isn’t actually a pickpocket except by joint association; Die Hard – is it a Christmas film?; Fail Safe – superb and very scary Henry Fonda classic.

    All this helped. I have seen Waiting for Godot – Vladimir and Estragon are of course waiters, as are the audience.

    Much better than yesterday, 23′ 45″, thanks william and setter.

    1. Dr JEKYLL and Mr Hyde, LILO and Stitch, and The ARRANGEment are also hinted at. There was an Indo -Canadian movie WATER (part of a trilogy with Fire and Earth) that received an Oscar nomination back in the 2000’s.

      1. Thanks for pointing that out (you too, RobR). With all the other xIxO possibilities to choose from I actually spent 30 seconds wondering why a setter who seemed to take such care otherwise had gone to LI-LO; I’m much happier with it now that it’s not product placement but rather part of a theme.

  23. 38:24. This all went in very nicely. Quite a few took time to figure out, including THROW A WOBBLY and JAMBOREE. LOI BEDBUG. I liked DIEHARD, SUBEDITOR and TWISTY

  24. 13:13, nice steady solve to follow the Friday Beast which we got a day early this week. As with others, the main penny-drop moment was URINAL, so it even came with a metaphorical splash.

  25. An enjoyable puzzle, with half the answers completed within 10 minutes, then 32 minutes struggling with the rest. But all the clues were fair, and did not leave me scratching my head as I did yesterday.
    FOI – ASCOT, which was also in the Quickie which I did first to warm up
    COD – shared by BEDBUG and SUBEDITOR, even though the beds are parallel.
    Thanks to william and other contributors.

  26. Pleased to finally get there after 48 mins only to find that I’d THROWN A WOBBLE as well. BEDBUG was hard but fair, my LOI.

    1. I also threw a WOBBLE in the unchecked end letter.
      I fell three short, not getting DIEHARD, BEDBUG and DELUDE.
      I though this was tough but with excellent wordplay and well disguised clue definitions.
      It’s been a bleak week, with a mistake on Monday, DNF on Wednesday, and did not bother yesterday. Still, I got Tuesday’s all correct.
      Thanks for the blog and the puzzle.

  27. 40 minutes, without fully understanding TWISTY or BETEL (I knew it was a chewy leaf but not a climber). Took ages to get the ARRANGER / JAMBOREE crossers at the end, I was hung up on Notts Forest defenders. Nice tricky puzzle thank for blog.

  28. Have you all missed me ? I’ve had a nightmare week : Monday and Tuesday both puzzles with an incorrect answer, Wednesday a typo, Thursday abandoned after making very little headway.

    I’ve avoided a wipeout thank goodness, though I had to come here to find how my LOI worked, having biffed it because nothing else would fit.

    TIME 11:54

  29. Back down to earth after yesterdays triumph. DNF as bedbug refused to yield and I could think of diehard but failed to parse and forgot the definition of reactionary so had to consult aids.

    Am I the only one with a meh for twisty? Victorian pickpocket – I could have got on board with Dickensian pickpocket but even that is surely a traduction on the character of master twist?

    Thanks William and setter

  30. Desperately lost over WATER 3d because I thought Vladimir was a philosopher, and so not likely to be a waiter. DOH, penny never dropped until a moment ago. Never thought the people waiting for Godot were waiters!
    Couldn’t parse 19d DIEHARD, so thanks blogger.

  31. After yesterday’s horror show, and today being Friday, I was a bit worried when, on first pass, I got only two or three solutions today. But a second look yielded plenty of fruit in the top half and a bit less in the bottom half. Eventually all fell into the place, with URINAL being my LOI and raising a satisfied smile. COD probably goes to DIEHARD, but I also liked BEDBUG, with ‘teacher’ not being ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’ for a change. Thanks to setter and blogger for a pleasant close to the working week.

  32. I remembered that Victorian pickpockets were called ‘dips’ so pencilled in ‘dipsy’ for 12a. Even though (I’ve just realised) it doesn’t have enough letters. Enjoyable 41 minutes.

  33. Dazed, fazed, amazed. But once I started things fell into place.
    COD: ASCOT? LILO? Hard to choose.
    Biffed DIEHARD
    Thanks to setter and blogger!

  34. An hour and a half and I will throw a wobble about having entered that, but I did have do give up about 2/3 of the way through and come back later to finish everything else correctly. LILO of course entirely from wordplay, which at least was very clear. Very good puzzle, very misleading clues, in some cases only made possible by a very awkward word order.

  35. Much better effort from me than yesterday, with a confidently entered THROW A WOBBLY to start, and a rack of the brain to remember which play Vladimir came from… after that a halting stop-start progress. Never thought of TWISTY for the pickpocket and 21a refused to reveal itself as a party, but was happy to work out SUBEDITOR, knew BONOBOs etc. So all told, not as unhappy as yesterday, and a lot of admiration for the setter’s subtle misguidance.

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