jackkt (jackkt) wrote in times_xwd_times,
jackkt
jackkt
times_xwd_times

Times Cryptic 26581

I'm posting this for Ulaca whose Tardis landed a little prematurely on this occasion so I had to reprogram it. Apologies to anyone who chanced upon the early edition:

My second voyage in the time machine proved no less memorable than the first. While the inchoate thrill of maidenhood transcended was absent from this mission, I still spent much time looking out with awe upon the vast cast of the heavens twinkling at me with a look that seemed to say 'We knew The Donald would win'.

I will be brief this week in my description of the labyrinthine interior of Jack's Palace. Continuing further along the corridor off which I had discovered the Caged Room last time, I tiptoed along holding my lantern aloft, stopping only momentarily to observe a staircase on the right leading down under into what from the odour emanating from it I took to be a particularly fell and noxious place inhabited by semi-savages. A sign proclaiming 'No Pommy Bastards or Sheilahs!' sent a frisson down my spine and I knew this was a place I should ever enter only at my own peril.

It was through the next opening on the right that I found myself being drawn, into a room possessing the same kind of neatness and order I had observed upon first passing through the portal of the machine. But this was patently not Jack's handiwork. Instead of oaken fireplaces, bookshelves, nooks and crannies, I was confronted by spreadsheets and graphs giving information on items as disparate as vintages in French vineyards, a comparison of the efficacy of parenting techniques, conversion tables for 'haute cuisine' and other things which I have now mercifully forgotten.

Imagine my surprise when, amongst all the glistening chrome and polished surfaces, my eye was drawn to an abstract representation of a maple leaf under which sat a Vinotheque wine storage cabinet with more dials and buttons than the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. Approaching the cabinet, I saw that one of the doors was off its hinges, and lying on the floor in what can only be described as a sea of ooze with what appeared to be bits of carrots floating in it were a dozen or more cans of beer, some crushed, some with fag-ends congealed in their openings.

Turning from this vile sight in terror and disgust and rushing for the door, I had time yet to glimpse a folded piece of paper which was protruding from between a jar of Saigon Cinnamon and an earthenware pot of Himalayan Pink Salt. Unwrapping it, I received a shock from which I am not yet fully recovered. For, in large type at the top of the page were emblazoned the words 'My 100 Favourite Bisto Recipes'.

31 minutes with one bish.


Across
1 Eg Truman’s protest about Republican getting army backing (8)
DEMOCRAT - DEMO + C + R + TA (reversed).
5 The hospital should send us this set of clothing! (6)
OUTFIT - a rather good whimsical clue, which bamboozled me to the end. A hospital should send us out [in a ] fit [state]...
8 Seize boat in scam woman’s initially engineered (10)
CONFISCATE - CAT (boat) in CON + F (female/woman) + IS ('s) + E[ngineered]. My penultimate, as I couldn't see anything bar con.
9 Work in Northumberland? Emphatically not! (4)
NOPE - OP in NE. I hate this word, especially when people use it online. What's wrong with 'No' or 'I don't believe so, old boy'?
10 Possibly bitch furiously about them, being of possessive type? (3,2,3,6)
DOG IN THE MANGER - DOG + IN ANGER about THEM. You know, I've always thought it was 'dog in a manger', and this is a phrase I use often. Extraordinary, as David Coleman would say.
11 Ground-breaking tutorial cut short by head of Latin (7)
SEMINAL - SEMINA[r] + L[atin]. Almost everything is 'seminal ' these days, if it isn't 'massive'.
13 Cross about one’s king’s bad government (7)
MISRULE - MULE (cross, i.e. hybrid) around IS (one's) + R (king).
15 Part of bridge incorporating copper in Swiss city (7)
BASCULE - CU in BASLE for part of a bridge I've never heard of.
18 Law experts tip off writers of laments (7)
LEGISTS - [e]LEGISTS for a word I wish I'd never heard of.
21 Plucky types may use one, subject to current availability (8,6)
ELECTRIC GUITAR - - a cryptic definition. Was anyone else put in mind of TfTT stalwart McText, the Birkenhead Beatle?
22 Boat-builder’s failure to comply with GP’s request? (4)
NOAH - 'Say "ah", please'. 'Sorry, nothing doing.' Like it.
23 Rider managed to cross island after end of late crusade (10)
EQUESTRIAN - [lat]E + QUEST (crusade) + RAN around I (island); 'rider'.
24 Monkey displaying great vitality at top of tree (6)
VERVET - VERVE + T[ree].
25 Popular soldier making comeback in valid scheme (8)
INTRIGUE - IN + GI (reversed) in TRUE.
Down
1 Unscrambles notes about Eliot’s first poems (7)
DECODES - D and C (musical notes) about E[liot] + ODES.
2 Self-advancing tactics? It’s what non-sporty schoolkids do? (4,5)
MIND GAMES - two parts to this, one on the definitional side, the other on the whimsical; neither that brilliant, in my personal opinion.
3 Hair feature well away from Essex town — not in Paris (7)
CHIGNON - CHIG[well] + NON. Essex doesn't have many sophisticated folk, but most of them live in Chigwell.
4 Strong drink and salmon consumed by everyone (7)
ALCOHOL - COHO in ALL. The coho salmon is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon.
5 Working poet I rave about (9)
OPERATIVE - - anagram*: POET I RAVE is the anagrist, 'about' is the anagrind.
6 Singer cheers knight, one getting older (7)
TANAGER - TA + N + AGER. Tricky bird, dead simple wordplay.
7 Put at risk removing centre of blade from beard (7)
IMPERIL - IMPERI[a]L; a type of facial hair worn by Edward VII, his heir, countless admirals and, um, Mel Gibson.
12 Completely over the top, soldiers entering cultivated area (9)
ALLOTMENT - ALL + MEN in OTT.
14 Disturbing, being out of bed and doing my job! (9)
UPSETTING - UP + SETTING (from the setter's perspective).
16 Amazing article — not all you and I digested (7)
AWESOME - WE in A (article) + SOME (not all); I hear this word, I think of David Hasselhoff.
17 What we may send, say, when ordering his Uncle Vanya? (7)
CHEKHOV - not Checkov, as I styled him, having rejected Chehkov.
18 Reported theatre act, having first left City desk? (7)
LECTERN - L + EC + TERN (sounds like 'turn); 'desk'.
19 Good Queen protecting weakling — a pig, possibly (7)
GRUNTER - RUNT in G + ER.
20 Medical instrument suppliers originally manufactured in grey (7)
SYRINGE - S[uppliers] + IN GREY* ('manufactured' is the anagrind).
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 63 comments
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →