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Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish

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Times 26,309: Clue Rush Fever at the O.K. Tea Rooms [Jan. 8th, 2016|09:32 am]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
I don't know what the record is for number of question marks in the clues of a Times crossword, but double figures of them seemed quite a lot, and was probably a good sign that we were in for something a bit more oblique and wavelengthy than the average. In the event I finished under the 10 minute mark, which I was happy enough with, having hesitated only over the relatively unknown but lucidly clued COCKLOFT and PAIR-OAR. I *almost* committed a classic Verlaine off-by-one as my perverse impish fingers initially entered LEFT-HANDER at 3dn, but even my post-pub brain couldn't let that one slip past the wordplay in question.

Some fun semi-&lits to enjoy here at 1dn, 9ac, perhaps even 8dn, but my COD is probably 14dn whose "on-line clip" afforded me a good chortle when the penny dropped. Many thanks to the setter: that was a lot of fun!

1 BUNFIGHT - function, ironically: Spoonerism of FUN BITE [convivial | snack "for Spooner"]
5 FALL TO - start: FALL [transatlantic season] + homophone of TWO ["on air"]
10 CONTEMPT OF COURT - double def of: (something) racket abuse at Wimbledon could be / custodial offence
11 REFRACTORY - wilful: FRA [brother coming from Italy] in RECTORY [priest's place]
13 EDGE - double def of: boundary / (something) no cricketer wants to get
15 MILKING - double def of: taking advantage of / regular parlour work
17 TENDRIL - climber's part: TEN [five couples] + homophone of DRILL ["in audition" rehearse]
18 ENHANCE - make better: {p}ENANCE [atonement "heading off"] astride H [horse]
19 PLECTRA - essentials for plucky players: P [power] + (CARTEL*) ["arranged"]
21 PILE - double def of: feature of Axminster / edifice
22 INDUCEMENT - encouragement: IN DU CEMENT [fashionable | of the "French" | to stick together]
25 AT CLOSE QUARTERS - tightly packed: AT CLOSE [when stumps are drawn] + QUARTER'S [billet's]
27 NEEDED - called for: ED ED [two pressment] after }{o}NE [one "has kicked over", i.e. gotten rid of an O]
28 BLUDGEON - club: (DOUBLE G{i}N*) ["free" ... "I refused", i.e. minus an I]

1 BUCKRAM - stiffener: BUCK RAM [a couple of males] meeting
2 NAN - family member: admitted to {preg}NAN{cy}
3 ITERATIONS - repeats: IT E RATIONS [Italian | {syndicat}E "finally" | restricts]
4 HOP IT - leave: OP [work] during HIT [strike]
6 ARCH - leading: ARCH{ive} [chronicle "I've overlooked"]
7 LAUNDERETTE - service outlet: LA{DD->UNDER}ETTE [tomboy "has down for days", i.e. UNDER instead of a DD]
8 OATMEAL - basic food: (MAO ET AL*) ["cooked"]
9 DOORSTEP - threshold: reverse of PETS ROOD ["lifting" spoils | cross]
12 FILTHY LUCRE - income: FILTHY LURE [pornographic | attraction], C [clubs] introduced
14 UNDETERRED - stalwart: ERRED [slipped] after ({s}TUDEN{t}*) ["peeled" "bananas"]
16 GUERNSEY - island: (RYE GENUS*) ["flourishing"]
18 EXPLAIN - demonstrate: EX (is) PLAIN could be a disparaging comment on a former lover
20 ARTISAN - operative: reverse of R.A. [gunners "served up"] + TISAN{e} ["endless" brew]
23 USUAL - standard: USA L [American | liberal] adopting U [universal]
24 ROVE - wander: OVE(<---R) ["moving right (i.e. the R) to the front]
26 EWE - farm animal: {f}EWE{r} [not so many "out of bounds"]
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Pubs [Jun. 1st, 2011|01:23 am]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
If anyone wants to meet up in a beer-selling establishment before the week is out; it has been suggested to me that I should be in the following two locations later this week, and I have concurred:


"The Horse", 124 Westminster Bridge Road, Waterloo, SE1 7XG


"College Arms", 18 Store Street, WC1E 7DH

As an industrious fellow, I will be working hard till at least 6.30 each evening, but would expect to be propping up bars by, let's say, 7.30pm.

It would be lovely if you could join me!

(cross-posted from )
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London Calling [May. 30th, 2011|07:38 am]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
As advised elsewhere, my phone number while I'm in London this week is:

07779 950416

Feel free to use it to lure me out of Wandsworth if you need to, though I have to say, my hotel room is quite nice!
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London-Bound [May. 28th, 2011|09:50 pm]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
Hello! It may well be that you already know that, if I do post anything these days, I post it at splendorsine and not here. Though I've been extra busy lately, so don't rush eagerly over there, you'll only be disappointed.

Even so, just on the off chance that you're reading this and are in the UK - I'll soon be in London for a week, flying in on Monday and out again on the Sunday. Are you in or near London? Then maybe we should meet up for old times sake.

I'll probably be working quite hard for much of the week, as this is a work-related trip, but there may be a few tiny windows of opportunity for catch-up and beer. Let me know!
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It's On [Aug. 17th, 2010|10:34 pm]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
Crushing jetlag notwithstanding - our flight leaves at 5pm Canada time and lands at 10am London time - that's 2 in the morning for us - we will be in the Penderel's Oak at Holborn from 6pm on Thursday the 19th.

Dunno how long we'll last, probably not till closing time, but we'll do our best.

I'll be the one holding the fuzzy little baby. Hope to see people there! I may be able to check my mail once or twice between now and then but probably not three times, so I can cajole you no more; just be there on Thursday for my first day back on English soil in three whole years!
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Thursdays Impending [Aug. 12th, 2010|09:54 am]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
I'm thinking of trying to be in the Penderel's Oak (near Holborn Tube, unless it's moved in the years I haven't been looking) next Thursday evening. We may be extraordinarily jetlagged and we've a train to catch absurdly early the following morning, so we may not last too long. I might aim to be there circa 6 pm, anyone interested in joining? We will be back in London towards the beginning of September, so there will probably be more chances to catch up with us.

The following Thursday, that's the 26th, we will be in OXFORD and the inhabitants of the house known as Templars are kindly making their living room available for a little soiree. If you are in Oxford and free that evening we'd love to see you, get in touch and I will give you addresses and so forth. We will be in the area for a few more days after that, so alternative get-togethers may be possible by arrangement.

In between those Thursdays - we'll be in North Wales. Thinking of possibly visiting Chester on the Saturday and then doing more Welsh stuff on the Sunday? You would be very welcome to join us on either day that weekend if you are of a north-westerly disposition. Or even during the weekdays following if you are really hardcore.

Organization is hard! I thought I'd given this kind of stuff the slip when I ran away to Canada :(
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The Countdown Commences... [Aug. 5th, 2010|11:59 pm]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
In two weeks we'll be in the UK! Weighed down by heavy luggage and an 8-hour time difference, but touch wood alive and well. I hope, if you're reading this and you too are in the UK, we might get a chance to see you...

We're not leaving for Wales until the morning of Friday the 20th, so anyone who's about in London Thursday afternoon or evening... it'd be fun to see you then. We're staying with my dear friend Clare in Walthamstow that night. The following weekend we hope to catch up with some inveterate northerners in the vicinity of North Wales, but we'll be on a train back down to Oxford on Thursday the 26th, hopefully to catch up with various people before they disappear to Norfolk for traditional summer's-ending festivities.

That's our first week (of three) in a nutshell; we'll be in Oxford, London, Cambridge, places like that, for most of the other two. I guess I have to start bothering people, so many people, to find out when/if our paths can intersect. If you read this and you are not violently opposed to renewing our old acquaintanceship, drop me a comment and we'll work something out...
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It's A Long Way To Itinerary [Jul. 12th, 2010|11:54 pm]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
I do my daily wuthering - most of it about boardgames, Primeval and countries of the world beginning with A, uninterestingly enough - over on splendorsine now, but it seems like verlaine is still the place to say:

Hello! People who live in Britain! For three weeks in August-September I, and my lovely wife and adorable child, may be passing through a town near you! We would probably enjoy meeting up with YOU, and as such here is approximately where we plan to be on any given day:

Wed Aug 18th: jump on a plane in Vancouver, British Columbia
Thu Aug 19th: Heathrow->North Wales: jetlag plus British Rail = day mostly a writeoff
Sun Aug 22nd: pencilled in with Mr Dylan Owen for North Wales Coast adventures
~Wed Aug 25th: leave family estates for South - visit Rob & Cressida in Birmingham?
Thu Aug 26th: ->Oxford to spend time with secretrebel et al?
That weekend: Oxfordshire fun, visiting honorary grandma Mary Hoffman?
~Mon Aug 29th: drop by to see bateleur, lathany and family?
~Tue Aug 30th: ->London to stay with miss_newham, several_bees and kevandotorg
Sat Sep 4th: Catriona's wedding in Cambridge, assuming invitations not revoked
4th->8th: If no better plans arise, we might try to get to Paris, where I've never been
Wed Sep 8th: Plane from Heathrow->Vancouver

So as you can see, if you live in the Northwest, Oxford, London and possibly Paris there really is no excuse for us not getting together for old times' sake. Oh, except for the fact that they might not let us hang out in pubs with a 6-month old? Hmm, probable dealbreaker, eh...
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Unfortunate Timing? [May. 30th, 2010|05:03 pm]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
Forgive me if anyone else has already pointed this out and I'm late to the party...

Cut For Spoilers for Cold Blood and The Beast BelowCollapse )
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What's Cuter Than A One-Month-Old Baby? Five One-Month-Old Babies... [Feb. 28th, 2010|09:53 pm]
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish

Mine's the one in the owls.
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