vinyl1 (vinyl1) wrote in times_xwd_times,

Times 26803 - Not as meaty as you might suppose....

Time: 19 Minutes

Music: Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, Joselson

Well, this was an easy Monday for me, but lurking at the back of my mind was a suspicion that not everyone will agree.   Long-time solvers will have seen 'buckram', 'Chateaubriand', and 'thimblerigger' before, but that may not be the case with everyone - we shall see.    I am not sure how helpful the wordplay might have been, since I mostly just plugged in the evident answers.    The only thing I had never heard of was 'scabious', but in this case the wordplay is perfectly obvious, and the checkers confirm what the answer must be.  

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with our Friday blogger Verlaine in New York City.   In the blog for that day, I didn't have the pictures that Paul's friend David took available, but now I do.   The light was not very suitable for photography, but I have made a few basic adjustments in the color and contrast to one of the pictures:   From left to right around the table: me, Verlaine holding a copy of the Times, Paul_in_london, Jon88, and Guy_du_sable.  

1 Gradual assimilation of silicon in universe, not carbon (7)
OSMOSIS - [c]OSMO(SI)S, where the definition is a bit loose from the technical scientific point of view.
5 Dollar horny male laid out for coarse material (7)
BUCKRAM - BUCK + RAM, in very clever aliases.
9 Old preacher touring north finally offered beer and cheese (11)
WENSLEYDALE - WE(N)SLEY + [offere]D + ALE, a fine cheese.
10 Hanger-on recognised in most of Lancaster (3)
BUR - BUR(t).
11 Disreputable thug wasting time and energy casing church (6)
12 Shifting him risks a minor set-to (8)
SKIRMISH - anagram of HIM RISKS.
14 Briefly meet bright girl reforming cheat (13)
THIMBLERIGGER - anagram of MEET BRIGHT GIRL, one we had a couple of times about six months ago.
17 French statesman talked heartlessly about a university man (13)
CHATEAUBRIAND - CHA[t]TE(U BRIAN)D, who is perhaps better known nowadays as an author.of rather lush prose.
21 German opposed to music that’s sung in bar (8)
23 Part of brief is calculation of public revenues (6)
FISCAL - Hidden in [brie]F IS CAL[culation].
25 Admit wife into cricket side (3)
OWN - O(W)N, one from the Quickie.
26 Gardening aid scoundrel concealed in West Cumbrian town (11)
27 Relentlessly back Liberal youth leader (7)
STERNLY - STERN + L +Y[outh].
28 Circumnavigating America, be at helm of ocean greyhound? (7)
STEAMER - STE(AM)ER, with a rather fanciful literal.  

1 His literary works a gold mine? (6)
ORWELL - OR + WELL.   I don't know why I wanted to put 'Oswald', which didn't make any sense.
2 Vandal caught by male worker in police operation (7)
3 Slim hips Kelly developed (9)
SYLPHLIKE - Anagram of HIPS KELLY, not the first word I tried, but gettable.
4 Underworld river remains audible (4)
STYX - sounds like STICKS.
5 Fruit shortage in B&B initially explained on right lines (10)
BLACKBERRY - B(LACK)B + E + R + RRY, a rather convoluted cryptic.
6 Festive fare honoured companion always provides (5)
CHEER - CH + EER, Companion of Honour.
7 Making fun of knitting pattern? (7)
RIBBING - double definition, another easy one.
8 They may demonstrate gear ultimately in the borders (8)
13 Old boy properly restricting speed in stubborn way (10)
15 Lifeless? It’s where one finds friendship around part of UK (9)
INANIMATE - IN A (N.I.) MATE, as part of the UK is nearly always Northern Ireland.
16 Strikebreaker promises to pay for plant (8)
SCABIOUS - SCAB + I.O.U.S, which is indeed a plant.
18 Counsel sacrifices one for an early payment (7)
ADVANCE - ADV(-i,+AN)CE, a simple substitution clue.
19 Good form and spirit underpinning a style of art (7)
20 Phone bishop north of Hereford, perhaps (6)
BLOWER - B + LOWER, i.e. a Hereford cow.
22 Tree Reagan planted outside Washington (5)
ROWAN - RO(WA)N, the correct abbreviation for the state of Washington
24 A city boss’s conclusion, sad to say (4)
ALAS -  A + L.A. + [bos]S
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