Times Cryptic 28148

Posted on Categories Daily Cryptic

Solving time: 34 minutes. For an easyish puzzle this one seemed to take ages to blog as some of the clues have less than straightforward wordplay. But perhaps it was just me making heavy weather of it.

As usual definitions are underlined in bold italics, {deletions and substitutions are in curly brackets} and [anagrinds, containment, reversal and other indicators in square ones]. I usually omit all reference to positional indicators unless there is a specific point that requires clarification.

1 Carefully considering one’s options, unlike Charles the Fat, say? (8)
A sort of reverse cryptic hint here with THIN being ‘unlike…fat’  and ‘Charles’ being the name of a past KING or two. One can think without ‘considering options’ so adding those words turns the definition into an example mitigated presumably by ‘say?’ which perhaps also covers the somewhat loose and whimsical nature of the whole construction.
6 Sinister Tory lord returning at start of year (6)
C (Tory – Conservative), then PEER (lord) reversed [returning], Y{ear} [start of]
9 Revival of addict, back with second award (13)
USER (drug addict) reversed, S (second), CITATION (award)
10 Spot man in house holding bomb? On the contrary (6)
Another reverse-type clue.  MP (man in house of Commons) containing [holding] PILE (bomb) ‘on the contrary‘ becomes PILE (bomb) containing [holding] MP (man in house) . I came to grief with this when solving as I mis-parsed it as MP contained by PIPE (a type of bomb) but when I came to write the blog this was clearly an error.  I then wondered if PILE might be a bomb because there are nuclear bombs and nuclear piles, but that’s also wrong. Finally I spotted that ‘bomb’ =  ‘pile’ in the sense that both are slang for a large amount of money. On another matter, there are plenty of women in the House of Commons, of course.
11 Goliath running wild, inspiring northern hatred (8)
Anagram [wild] of GOLIATH containing [inspiring] N (northern)
13 Possibly bitter about China supporter (10)
BEER (possibly bitter) containing [about] FRIEND (China – CRS). On 17 November we had ‘help’ = ‘befriend’ which came as news to me, and I was not alone. This clue relies on the same meaning adapted to an agent noun where BEFRIENDER = helper / supporter. I very much doubt that the word is ever used.
15 Top-class teacher having a lie-in? (4)
A (top-class), BED (teacher – Bachelor of Education)
16 Music-maker‘s poetic invocation of lover in recital? (4)
Sounds like [in recital] “O, Beau” (poetic invocation of lover). More whimsy.
18 Lusty deb drooled horribly (3-7)
Anagram [horribly] of DEB DROOLED. LOL at the slightly distasteful surface reading!
21 Response to expulsion by university admitting not so much (5,3)
BY + OU (Open University) containing [admitting] LESS (not so much). Gesundheit!
22 Seemed happy moving south — but deluded (6)
SMILED (seemed happy)  becomes MISLED when [moving south – S]
23 Head office exploiting position in Barbican perhaps (7,6)
HO (Head Office) USING (exploiting), ESTATE (position in life / social standing). The Barbican Estate is in the heart of the City of London although the name Barbican is surely better known around the world with reference to the adjoining arts and performance centre. As a pedestrian arriving from the underground station , if you ever find it you might never find your way back but for the arrows painted on the pavements.
25 The Speaker’s faction expressed their disappointment? (6)
Sounds like [the Speaker’s] “side” (faction)
26 Unpromising areas in which son finds things to eat (8)
S (son) contained by [in] DESERTS (unpromising areas)
2 Drugs making you a prima donna? (7)
HEROIN + E (drugs)
3 Those curious poker yarns scoundrel initially concocted (4,7)
Anagram [concocted] of POKER YARN S{coundrel} [initially]. The origin of the expression is disputed.
4 Children resulting from affair? (5)
Two meanings
5 Examined closely,   as swordfish might be? (7)
A straight definition and a cryptic hint
6 A bishop trapped by two men in tangled vegetation (9)
A + RR (bishop – Right Reverend) contained [trapped] by CHAP + AL (two men). Dense tangled brushwood, apparently. I didn’t know its meaning and would not have known the word at all but for the existence of a TV Western called The High Chaparral which ran from 1967-1971. I’m not sure that I ever saw a single episode as I was well past my fascination with TV Westerns by then, but I was certainly aware of it in the schedules.
7 Holy man in French island uprising (3)
ILE (French for island) reversed [uprising]. Eli was the High Priest of the Israelites and appears in The Book of Samuel.
8 Coppers accepting a new punishment (7)
PENCE (coppers – low value coinage) containing [accepting] A + N (new)
12 S for sovereign? (4,2,5)
Another of this setter’s quirky clues.  The letter S is to be found at the head of both ‘state’ and of ‘sovereign’.
14 Catcher of worms, as the dodo was? (5,4)
A straightish definition with reference to the saying ‘The early bird catches the worm‘ plus a semi-cryptic hint.
17 Layabout upset by occasionally chaotic dancers (7)
SLOB (layabout) reversed [upset], then {c}H{a}O{t}I{c} [occasionally]. The famous Russian ballet company.
19 Daughter in wig perhaps, having dropped an E? (7)
D (daughted), RUGGED (in wig – slang). More drugs. Does this tell us anything about the setter?
20 Beginner abandons most demanding challenge (7)
{s}EVEREST (most demanding) [beginner abandons]. Because it’s there!
22 Lawgiver playing part in generalissimo’s escape (5)
Hidden [playing part] in {generalissi}MO’S ES{cape}
24 Ailment dispatching commanding officer? How awful! (3)
{co}UGH (ailment) [dispatching commanding officer]

83 comments on “Times Cryptic 28148”

  1. I didn’t know of the housing estate, so though that solution occurred to me early on, I delayed entering it until I had more checkers. LOI EVEREST; I never thought of the deleted S. I liked ‘response to expulsion’.

    Edited at 2021-11-30 02:42 am (UTC)

  2. Moving towards a good time but stumped by 13 a. Didn’t see the china=mate=friend connection (pretty tenuous IMHO). So many words sort of came close such as beerheder, bearheader, bear leader, beertender, cheerleader. I eventually went for DEARLEADER on the basis that is what a China supporter might say.

    I appreciate these lower snitch puzzles. Makes the step up from the QC more manageable.

    I still don’t understand PIMPLE.


    1. “Man in house” = MP
      “Bomb” = Pile
      MP holding Pile “on the contrary” – becomes Pile holding MP = PI(MP)LE
    2. ‘China’ is CRS for ‘mate’ (China plate/mate), and pal, chum, friend are equivalents to mate; so I wouldn’t call the connection tenuous. And it shows up here a lot. I had no problem with the wordplay, but I could have done without the solution; befriender, indeed.
  3. 29 minutes. I’d only ever known CHAPARRAL from “The High Chaparral” TV series (good theme tune by the way) until I came across the “thicket” meaning in a crossword a few years ago. I remember seeing a few episodes, in the glorious B&W back then of course, but was never a great fan.

    I liked (or rather, didn’t like!) the idea of the deb, complete with pearls, drooling horribly. UGH.

    1. You may well have watched it in glorious b/w depending on your TV set (as indeed I would have if I’d seen it) but it was actually in colour and originally ran here on BBC2 which was broadcast in colour from 1967.
      1. Definitely a B&W show for us. Australia didn’t officially get colour TV until March 1975, although there was a lead-up period where certain programmes were broadcast in colour, most notably the legendary Lillee-Thomson Ashes series.
      2. Thanks. Yes, as galspray says, we still had B&W TV here in the late 60’s and early 70’s. My brother went to the UK in 1974 and saw colour TV, which was well established by then, for the first time. Some of those old TV programmes still don’t look the same to me, but I realise I’m looking at the past through greyscale coloured glasses.
    2. I think I probably watched an episode or two in colour. Wasn’t the lady of the establishment Mexican? And very posh.
    3. Chaparral was also the name of an auto racing team — I’m pretty sure it was built on Chevrolet engines, and it challenged the Shelby, Ford GT, Ferrari &tc teams at le Mons and elsewhere on the GT circuit.
      1. Thanks. You’re quite right and as a motor racing fan I should have remembered. They were real pioneers in their day, particularly in the areas of aerodynamics and ground-effects.
        1. Their car flew an elevated airfoil — sort of on 3′ tall staunchons — over the rear wheels. I think the height was to keep it out of the turbulent airflow over the car body. I think, but I’m not sure, they were the first team to really do that. It must be an interesting calculation as to whether you lose more to drag with that setup than you gain in better grip and traction.
          1. I kind of remember seeing that the wing was connected to the brake pedal. On straights it went to zero angle of attack for minimal drag and downforce; when braking at the end of the straight it went to maximum angle of attack for maximum drag – help you slow down more quickly – plus maximum downforce to help you corner. Nothing fancy and computer controlled, just a direct link.
            1. That sounds familiar, good memory Isla. I still think that even in the flat position something of that size had to have almost doubled the aerodynamic profile of the car. I’d need to look it up, but I don’t think they ever won anything big.
  4. Some strange clues and defintions, definitely on the quirky side. Everest defined as challenge, oboe, why a swordfish particularly on the grill? Didn’t know what went with Barbican or the archaic meaning of estate, so it wasn’t inked in until the end, along with LOI EVEREST. Chaparral remembered from past puzzles.
    COD to Bless you.
  5. I entirely agree with Isla — strange and quirky! The northern section was fine but as for the southern reaches — here be dragons!

    At 5dn may I recommend the swordfish SASHIMI or the grilled HALIBUT.

    14dn DODO is a late bird — not an early bird IMHO…Cock!?

    13ac BEFRIENDER! CRS China (plate) is strictly mate and not friend, which is the non-CRS! As per Mr. Merlin.

    Is EVEREST our most demanding challenge anymore? Plastic Littering, The Moon, Mars, Covid19 20 and 21 (Omicron) and Democracy v Trumpism — all seem to be loftier challenges. EVEREST is a mere 10ac!

    I think of the Barbican as London’s biggest TRAFFIC ISLAND and so once that went in, I was past caring and forced to retire gracelessly.

    FOI 4dn ISSUE I have no issue with that.

    LOI 21ac and COD (GOD?) BLESS-YOU!

    WOD (17dn) BOLSHIE!

    Mood Meldrewvian!

    Edited at 2021-11-30 06:23 am (UTC)

    1. I must have been holding my laptop the wrong way up as I found the southern half went in quickly but not so ‘oop North’.
  6. Refreshing quick dip into Crypticland after karaoke. DESSERTS was the one where it struck me that the wordplay was much “less than straightforward,” involving the placement of S(on).

    I always liked yer expression NOSY PARKERS, and it was one of my first in.

    I hadn’t earlier known that Barbican is a HOUSING ESTATE. I’ve been to the arts center once, in the late ’90s—I expressly made the trip to London for a La Monte Young concert.

    Edited at 2021-11-30 07:14 pm (UTC)

  7. A big PB today, having not been under 7 minutes on the SNITCH before. I hesitated over PIMPLE, not being sure of pile for bomb but ended up trusting the definition. CHAPARRAL was another minor hold up though it rings a vague bell. BARBICAN ESTATE takes me back to working in the City most days pre-pandemic. With its highwalk which must be the best part of a mile and some lovely landscaping I often found it an oasis of calm at lunchtime.
        1. Any chance of an on-line version of the championship this year? Last year’s fiasco shouldn’t be a deterrent. There was enough interest in it to crash the server!
          1. It’s too late in the year now, I’m afraid. I wish we could have our own Christmas Turkey again but I appreciate it takes a lot of time and effort to organise it.
  8. Not sure what went right today, but this is rare territory for me.

    Only two real hold-ups. ABED eventually went in on a wing and a prayer, as I didn’t see the B.ED reference until some minutes after submitting.

    And at 22ac I spotted the required device pretty quickly, but completely failed to recognise MISLED as a word. A case of jamais vu, if I recall my Catch-22 correctly.

    And count me as another one who ninja-turtled CHAPARRAL.

    All highly enjoyable. Thanks setter and Jack.

  9. In stark contrast to yesterday (when I didn’t post here following a particularly gormless screw-up – couldn’t face the shame and humiliation)…

    …after a false start thinking 1a might be CHOOSING – something to do with oozing fat – I checked the down crossers and solved the NOSY PARKERS anagram, leaving no room for misapprehension. After that, an enjoyable romp through the puzzle with no severe hold-ups, and final two CHAPARRAL (unfamiliar except knowing they can be High) and LOI BEFRIENDER. Only one biffed was OBOE

    Feels like I’m actually quite competent when I don’t have a hangover – thanks J and setter

  10. 16 minutes with LOI BEFRIENDER. COD to BLESS YOU with DRUGGED a close second. I’m not sure that the Barbican would want to answer to the description of HOUSING ESTATE, even if that’s what it is. Or are residents proud of the description? I never watched The High Chaparral either, but like you Jack was aware of its existence on the schedules. Enjoyable.Thank you Jack and setter.
  11. So, that’s what CHAPARRAL is! I never watched the programme either.
    I enjoyed this puzzle, especially BLESS YOU, EARLY BIRD, HEAD OF STATE, THINKING and RESUSCIATION.
    For some reason this took me a long time to get going and I started hunting for anagrams to get me moving.
    LOI: HEROINE…..with H x R…I was looking for something with HORSE in it.
    Grilled swordfish aka ‘pesce spada’ was a staple of Sicilian restaurants when we lived there.
  12. No real problems, 21 minutes with the clever THIN KING my LOI. I don’t see a problem with CHINA = friend.
  13. 6:24. I knew there was such a thing as a CHAPARRAL, particular of the high variety. I’ve no idea how I knew this, and wouldn’t have been able to tell you what one was, but the knowledge was sufficient, and probably necessary given the rather vague indication ‘men’.
    Otherwise this was straightforward but quirky. I thought the swordfish thing particularly odd. I mean why swordfish? You could substitute almost any foodstuff. Why not, I suppose.
    1. I guess swordfish has an advantage in that your first thought isn’t that it’s foodstuff so it provides some misdirection.
  14. No ISSUE to solve this real fast
    HEROINE was the clue I did last
    Not convinced by dodo
    It lived in the quite recent past”

    P.S. Loved horryd’s “late bird” gag!

  15. 41 mins with LOI EARLY BIRD and POI CHAPPARAL, only known from the show which was in B&W for us as we only a B&W tv. Did not know the bushy meaning (looked up post solve.)

    Quite chewy in parts I thought. I liked RED-BLOODED, BLESS YOU and PIMPLE made me smile. Didn’t like BEFRIENDER.

    Thanks Jack and setter.

  16. 14.10 with a typo and an unnecessary check on CHAPARRAL (the wordplay was pretty generous) to make sure it was really tangled vegetation and, not just high.

    There are many organisations around that happily use the term BEFRIENDER, mostly volunteering bodies trying to make the world a less lonely place. I direct all you disbelievers to Befriending Networks, for example, but there are many others.

    The City of London Corporation once employed my charity to work on its fringe housing estates, including the Barbican, then (and probably still) a curious mix of the dramatic and exclusive high risers and the low rise social housing, the latter itself a mix of disadvantaged people and pied-a-terre professionals. It still seems an odd and somewhat micro-parochial inclusion in the crossword, and I wondered (fruitlessly, as it turns out) whether it had a more general application.

    Mrs Z was very fond of grilled swordfish as served in Thailand, but I’m mildly mystified why it’s singled out as a grillable item, and likewise why the dodo is an especially early bird. I appreciate Horryd’s comment that it’s more realistically late.

    1. After a couple of centuries, I’d think it’s time to drop ‘late’. The late Oliver Cromwell?
      1. I believe horryd was alluding to ‘as dead as a dodo’, Kevin! Have you not heard that phrase!? Cromwell is ‘warts’.
  17. Clearly on for a clean sweep of under 20s this week — not sure I’ve managed two in a row before.

    Only CHAPARRAL held me up at the end, but with all crossers in place, once I’d thought of CHAP and immediately saw that bishop wasn’t B this time but RR, it went in with the usual shrug as far as the definition was concerned.

    Edited at 2021-11-30 10:33 am (UTC)

  18. 9:56. Straightforward enough solve with a couple biffed. On a train so wearing a mask and my reading glasses steaming up didnt help. I liked RED BLOODED and MISLED…. yes i moved South many years ago but on my way to Inverness today. Thanks Jackkt and setter.
  19. Definitely agree that this was a bit quirky. Quite enjoyable though. I began with CREEPY ELI, as the NW looked unfriendly at first glance, and indeed turned out to be the site of my final entries. CHAPARRAL was a latish entry, bring back memories of Big John Cannon, Victoria and Manolito, in colour. Nice to know what the title actually means after all these years! GRILLED, RED BLOODED and BLESS YOU all raised chuckles of appreciation. My brain must have been firing on all cylinders this morning as I spotted MISLED and PIMPLE straight away. Back in the NW, GRILLED led the way to THINKING and LOI HEROINE. Liked DRUGGED too. 21:05. Thanks setter and Jack.
  20. As a member of the Georgette Heyer club I had “bearleader” at 13A until the very end when I took a second look. The bearleader was usually an impoverished chap of good “estate” and education sent to accompany a rich neer-do-well youth on his grand tour of Europe – to make sure he doesn’t get into too much trouble and picks up a smattering of learning on the way. But then I was stuck with ARLEAD in the middle which didn’t look much like any kind of china. Back to normal speed today with 12.46
    1. I said to Jerry two weeks ago that I’d only ever heard of Georgette Heyer on this forum and here she is again!
  21. “I’m on the roof.”
    “I said follow the signs to the exit.”
    “I did — I’m on the roof.”

    A great piece of dialogue re the Barbican Centre, from ‘Edge of Darkness’.

    Now that I know the definition of CHAPARRAL, I now want to know why the ranch appeared to consist of desert with an occasional cactus. John Cannon was the owner.

    COD to OBOE, although it actually means (is) haut bois ‘high wood’ in French.

    15′ 22″ thanks jack and setter.

    1. I can picture that – the wife in a big chunky multi-coloured knitted jumper, everyone bolting in different directions when the spooks (Special Branch?) appear, and Craven popped out into the theatre foyer where Clemmie was waiting with their tickets. That’s the Barbican Centre, is it? They mentioned something about the office being brand new in 1985.
  22. 37 minutes. Never understood ‘grilled’ but now I see it’s quite obvious. Like many others I had never known what the high chaparral was, but the clue made it so obvious that I didn’t bother to check.
  23. About 40 minutes for me which is sort of fast average. I parsed 1a differently to Jackkt, taking carefully considering as the definition. Ones options then becomes part of the wordplay, an alternative for example, to Charles the Fat might be a thin king. Whichever is correct, there were some very good clues here, as well as some quirky ones. I enjoyed BLESS YOU, MISLED and SIGHED amongst others. Thanks both.
  24. Not even a fat-fingered technical typo error, but a very foolish DIMPLE for PIMPLE caused by a basic failure to read words and understand what they mean. Enjoyed the puzzle, apart from my own idiocy.
  25. 17m give or take a few seconds. The teacher definition of BEd puzzled me until coming here, similarly CHAPARRAL, which I knew from the TV series but always rather lazily assumed it was another word for ranch. The (to my mind) decidedly odd “support” version of BEFRIEND makes a defiant reappearance but this time slips gently by, largely unnoticed.
  26. Slow on the uptake as there were some strange clues. Housing Estate, Desserts and Early Bird – loved the ‘late’ comment.
    Chaparral – a thicket of dwarf evergreen oaks : a dense impenetrable thicket of shrubs or dwarf trees. An ecological community composed of shrubby plants adapted to dry summers and moist winters that occurs especially in Southern California. My COD

    Edited at 2021-11-30 01:26 pm (UTC)

  27. I had no idea that the barbican was a housing estate. I was under the impression it was a fortification manned by guards….perhaps a detachment of beefeaters? And indeed it was in Roman times. I haven’t visited London this century. Held up by this, but the parsing was good, so in it went. 17:40
      1. 15 times from Shanghai but not recently! my new, blue passport lies dormant.

        Edited at 2021-11-30 03:27 pm (UTC)

  28. All finished in 28’ 11”. Only the second time under 30 minutes. Perhaps I’ve had a breakthrough.
    Spent at least a minute at the end on 10ac. Tried to make it nipple for a while but couldn’t justify it. Came to MP by trying to use ‘mine’ as the bomb. As soon as I saw the MP combination, the rest followed.
    COD to Head of State.
    Thanks setter and blogger.
  29. 15.27. Nice puzzle. I found the top half a bit trickier than the bottom but I was slow to see resuscitation which would’ve helped with a few checkers. I was a bit thrown off by the significance of Charles the Fat until the penny dropped. The swordfish’s grillability was not the first of its qualities that sprang to mind. I also didn’t think LOI heroine was necessarily a prima donna.
  30. Charles the Fat, or Charles III, was King and Emperor of the Carolingean empire. I parsed 1AC as Jakkt, except “unlike Charles the Fat, say” would be a THIN KING.
    1. Thanks for the info on Charles the Fat as being an actual person, but leaving that aside I can’t see that my parsing of the wordplay is different from yours.
  31. 14.30. I really enjoyed this puzzle, nothing too easy and some excellent cluing. LOI oboe, shortly after working out bolshoi, a real relief as the hoi ending had me thinking it was some very ancient greek term.

    Also liked housing estate, sighed and chapparal which relied- like the blogger experience- on a vague recollection of the TV programme and then seeing RR as the bishop.

    Thx to Big John, Buck, Manolito, Blue, blogger and setter.

  32. Arthur Scargill and Norman Tebbbit both used to live in the BARBICAN. Can’t see either ever popping round to borrow a cup of sugar from the other.

    I enjoyed the quirkiness (I’ve just finished reading John Banville’s April in Spain, which has a Doctor Quirk as a central character). I particularly liked OBOE, RED- BLOODED, UGH and my COD, BLESS YOU.

    Thanks to Jack and the setter

  33. Standard kind of time for a puzzle rated thus on the snitch.

    BLESS YOU was a super clue. I also liked BARBICAN.


  34. DNF HEROINE (can’t think of her as prima donna) & PIMPLE. Thanks for elucidation all. 51 mins — got bored with staring at it.
  35. Mostly done at lunchtime in about 30 minutes but got stuck in the NW.
    Had WEIGHING at 1a before NOSY PARKER. Had DIMPLE for a very long time before carefully parsing (unlike on the QC this morning).
    And could not see how 2d and 1a worked.
    I thought the drugs were Es. And Charles the FAT prompted no clear ideas until a final read through. Unlike Charles could mean not a king, but I got there in the end. And HEROINE was LOI. Not always a prima donna surely?
    Good fun overall. Long time taken after all that.
    1. I forgot to mention in my Meldrewvian monologue that Grace Darling, Elaine Plewman, Madame ‘Joseph’ Krug, Princess Noor, etc. we’re hardly prima donnas. The setter was referring to operatic heroines… but it was not clear enough even with the question mark.
  36. 42’32”, but with a few minutes off for making the bed, usually a morning chore but one which I unaccountably forgot today and discovered only on venturing upstairs to close the curtains. But enough of my domestic habits: particularly liked the clues for PIMPLE and CHAPARRAL; like our blogger, was less enthused by BEFRIENDER even though it was my FOI.
  37. As I mentioned above, I knew Chaparral first from the actual vegetation, then second from a Shelby-era racing team, and only tangentially from the TV series.

    I can’t say I ever got on the wavelength, other than to expect something quirky. My quibble is the O in Bless You — which is simply not clued. There is no reason to think that the letter between Y and U should be attached to the university, and with hundreds of universities to choose from no particular reason to favour the Open one.

    1. I wondered about the O as well, but as an alumnus of the Open University, not for long. Can’t OU also indicate Oxford?
      1. It could. But to me the point isn’t that the are many choices for what an O could stand for, it is that as written the clue means U and only U.

        If you rumble that the answer needs to be a two letter U, which is not indicated here, the clue then really needs to specify why O instead of any other letter of the alphabet. Otherwise the cryptic part of the clue is incomplete.

        1. Well, we’ve had OUP for Oxford University Press, so I took this from that, rather than the Open U, but your point is certainly well taken.
          1. I guess “university” could be taken as cluing Yale or MIT or Exeter or Trinity or whatever, and it’s up to the solver to figure out which one; in this case all you need to do is find one with a letter that fits. I was focussed on the usual university = u, so wasn’t thinking of it in the more general way.

            Still, we whine when setters clue “note” to mean any of the letters A-G; in the case of XU I’m betting that there is a univerisity for every letter of the alphabet.

  38. 11:22 late this afternoon, having earlier been driving in and around central Edinburgh, negotiating a plethora of roadworks and potholes, latterly in the dark. Are all our cities in the same state of chaos I wonder?
    So, happy with my time in the circumstances, for what I thought was an interesting puzzle, many of you have said “quirky”, I’m going to say “inventive”.
    FOI 11 ac “loathing” and then picked up speed generally as helpful crossers appeared.
    POI and COD 17 d “bolshoi” followed by LOI 16 ac “oboe”, a tad contrived perhaps but far from the poorest clue I’ve ever come across.
    Thanks to Jack for a comprehensive blog and to setter
  39. Nobody seems to like the word befriender but I can assure you that it is in constant use chez nous. I like to think they play a vital role in giving emotional support or simply company to elderly and vulnerable people. I’m sure your local council would love to hear from you if you have a couple of hours a week to spare. Your befrienderly, Jeffrey
  40. And who remembers Barbigan algol-free lager with Laurie McMenamee? Like everyone else, I’d no idea what a chaparral was – in fact I always assumed it was a person like a sheriff. So thanks for the enlightenment. Rugged made me think of Martin Amis, and his “rug re-think”. Can’t remember whjch book.

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