Pip Kirby (pipkirby) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Pip Kirby
pipkirby
times_xwd_times

Times 26631 - you need a spirtle and a shot

When I'd finished it I realised this puzzle has a bit of a gloomy theme to it - there was much complaining and moaning, gnashing of teeth and misery, at 2d, 12d, 20a, and 1d, probably induced by the unappetising food at 11a and 12a or you might have the 6d of being a 1a enduring all that rain. I needed a shot of 29a to cheer myself up. I didn't make a 26d of it, in 20 minutes or so, with 12a stuck in from wordplay and checkers and then looked up to see what the story was about. Thankfully there was a bit of familiar chemistry at 15a and one of those 'Uxbridge Dictionary' clues (from ISIHAC) at 18a to redeem things. 27a !


Across
1 MANCUNIAN - MAN for male, CAN for prison, insert UN as I; D British citizen, someone from Manchester, up north.
9 INTRUDE - HINT for tip, delete the H(usband), RUDE for cheeky, D chip in.
10 RATCHET - Cryptic definition, I can't see more to it than that. I suppose a football rattle is a sort of ratchet that sets your teeth on edge, too?
11 GRUEL - GEL for setting agent, insert RU rugby game, D sloppy food.
12 STIRABOUT - STIR for fuss, ABOUT for concerning, D Wexford's porridge? Apparently while most of Ireland starved when the potato crop failed in the early 1800s, the lucky folk in the sunny south-east around Wexford were growing barley and living on porridge made from it, known as stirabout. The word was also used for porridge generally in northern parts. Is there some other theme here too with STIR and Porridge being synonyms? Anyway I don't think the good Inspector Wexford is on the case here.
13 CHATEAU - CH for companion, (abbr. Companion of Honour); A U for a posh, insert TEA for a drink; D country house.
15 ALLYL - ALLY for sidekick, L final letter of rebel, D radical. Allyl is the unsaturated hydrocarbon radical —CH2CH=CH2. If you're not a chemist (I was once) you can probably infer this from the wordplay and A_L_L.
17 DRILL - Double def, BORE and possibly on the square, i.e. parade gorund.
18 JETTY - D breakwater, if it's black-ish, it's jet-ty, ha ha.
19 TABLA - Reverse A L BAT being a large club; D something played by drummer.
20 ANGUISH - NG divides AU, (HIS)*, D suffering.
23 UNIFORMED - "Uni for me" would mean I'm choosing higher education, D last letter of dressed; D in regulation gear?
25 ROBOT - ROOT for base, insert B for born, D perfunctory worker.
27 CHEERIO - CH first two letters of channel, E E quarters, RIO port; D so long.
28 BASENJI - BASE for ignoble, N for knight in chess, J for judge, I for one, D dog. An African variety of hunting dog.
29 ADRENALIN - A, DR for doctor, ENA the female, L for left, IN for at home; D stimulant. -
Down
1 MOROSE - D gloomy, St Thomas MORE has OS for seaman inserted.
2 NIT-PICKING - NICKING is the illegal activity, inset IT and P, D carping.
3 UPHEAVAL - UP for at college, HE for chap, A, VAL the girl; D disturbance.
4 INTRO - hidden reversed in AIRP(ORT NI)FTILY, D prelude.
5 NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT sounds like knight, CUB for youngster has L for Lima inserted; D hot spot.
6 STIGMA - AM GI'S are American soldiers, insert T for time, reverse all; D sign of disgrace.
7 ZULU - ZU sounds like zoo, L and U first letters of lacking ungulates; D African.
8 BELL BUOY - D navigational aid, sounds like bell boy.
14 EXTRAMURAL - Ex tram for old vehicle, then the Ural river, D outside city boundaries.
16 LITHUANIA - H(ead) U(nrivalled) = HU inside (ITALIAN)*, D country.
17 DIATRIBE - AID = assistant, reversed, TRIBE = race, arguably; D harangue.
18 JACOBEAN - JEAN the woman asride A COB a horse, D early 17th century.
21 INTEND - IN for home, TEND for care for; D plan.
22 ADJOIN - JO for woman, inside A DIN for a row; D border, as verb.
24 INCUR - IN for popular, CU, R for run; D sustain.
26 BISH - BISHOP loses OP; D mistake.
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