Hey Bob Kazoo!
I think I have found the relevant information to your question regarding deleting Time Machine backups in the following article:
You can move, copy, or delete the Backups.backupdb folder on your Time Machine backup disk as you would other folders. You can also delete folders within the Backups.backupdb folder. You can’t delete individual items inside the dated folders.
Important: Do not use Terminal or any app other than the Finder to move, copy, or remove items from the Backups.backupdb folder.
Thanks for using the Apple Support Communities!
Thanks, Braden! Appreciate your response. The discussions I had read seemed to imply that it was a difficult matter, but this seems to be easy enough. I suppose it will create a whopping trash to empty, but would avoid having to erase the backup disk, which doesn't seem to be a quick process either.
Some of what I read indicated I just needed to delete the last backup, which I suppose would bollix up TM as to what is where and would force it to create a whole new backup, but those comments didn't mention what to do about all the other existing backups. I've also read the Pondini instructions, but was confused as they seem to skip around.
So, this seems to be the most straightforward way to go.