Club Monthly 20203 August 2017. Out with the old..

Solving Time: For some reason I found this more straightforward than usual, about 40 mins, in one session. I have no idea whether I was in good form or others have found the same thing, as the Crossword Club website no longer publishes information about other solvers’ times. I also no longer know if my solution is correct or not. Moreover, extracting the clues from a .pdf, cleaning them, and pasting them into this page is more difficult and time-consuming for me to do than the simple cut-and-paste of before. As if that were not enough, this will be the last crossword I have printed on which the clue numbers are legible. Those in the .pdf are so small I have to guess at the numbers, or use a magnifying glass. Still I shall soldier on, and hope some at least of these problems will be corrected. Whatever the situation with the website, I think the general standard of both weekday and Sunday crosswords is higher than it has ever been in my memory, both setting and editing. I am grateful for that, and for the willingness of editors and setters to interact now and again with us humble solvers and bloggers, which greatly adds to the gaiety of nations.

In future I will publish this blog on the first of each month. I will still write it beforehand, and if it turns out I have one or more clues wrong – not an infrequent occurence with this particular crossword – I will edit it afterward, in italics.
It will help to keep me on my toes 🙂 On edit: the website will not confirm whether I got it all right or not .. it says 100% complete but no score. I definitely submitted it, though possibly while the old system was still running. So far as I can see I have no errors.

Dictionaries: The Club Monthly uses several dictionaries. The main ones are the Concise Oxford Dictionary (COD), Collins, and Chambers. I use Chambers, the online Collins dictionary, and the ODO. I use the online Oxford English Dictionary occasionally too (OED), for background.

If I have not explained an answer fully enough, do please ask…

cd = cryptic definition, dd = double definition, rev. = reversed, anagrams are *(–), homophones indicated within “”


1 Female attendants, entertaining son, occupied time around quarter to one o’clock? (6, 8)
filles d’honneur S(on) in FILLED (occupied), + N(orth) (quarter) in ONE in HOUR (time). I think that’s right!

9 Lines for last two characters in mostly silent start of Arsenic and Old Lace (9)
reticella RETICENT (mostly silent) with the N and T replaced by LLs, + A(rsenic). The “start of” is required since the chemical symbol for Arsenic is not A but As.

10 What should working Oz ATM provide? (5)
motza *(OZ ATM). An &lit, motza being Strine for “loads of money”

11 Old-fashioned lift university’s made current in one of its colleges? (5)
hoise HOUSE (college) with the U made into I (ie i, current)

12 Managed reservoir, protected by dry copy of legal document (9)
transumpt RAN SUMP (managed reservoir) in TT (dry)

13  Hard Rock Cafe half-forgotten, left covered with musical instruments (8)
hornfels (ca)FE + L(eft) in HORNS. A fine-grained, non-schistose rock composed mainly of quartz, micas, and feldspars and formed by the contact metamorphism of an argillaceous rock, as I expect we all knew

15 First person rolls over, producing sudden awakening (6)
satori I (first person) + ROTAS, all rev. How rolls and rotas equate, I’m not certain. A roll can be a register of names, as can a rota, though normally for a different purpose, so perhaps that’s what is intended

17 Resin for colouring a wildfowl is regularly depleted (6)
gambir GAM(e) BIR(d)

19 To poke giant from behind, one might be taken for a fool (8)
goosegog GOOSE (poke from behind) GOG (giant, with Magog). The def. refers to a gooseberry fool, not my favourite dish I’m afraid

22 Judge and government members back Oscar, showing some salutary manipulation? (3, 4, 2)
jin shin do J(udge) + INS (Chambers: “Members of the party in office”) + HIND (rear) + O (Nato alphabet: Oscar). Collins defines jin shin do as “the use of gentle yet deep finger pressure on specific acu-points and verbal Body Focusing techniques, to help release “armoring” or chronic tension, balance the “Qi” or energy, and improve vitality.” I could use some of that to release the chronic tension caused by The Times IT dept

23 Old poet’s pillage as bishop stood back (5)
berob B(ishop) + BORE (stood) rev. Three guesses as to who the old poet might be .. yup, Edmund Spenser.

24 Local mother and son clipped voodoo priestess (5)
mambo MAM (local mother) + BO(y). A familiar word, thanks to one of the Bond films

25 Old queen stopping eccentric losing one of covering parts (9)
opercular O(ld) + R(egina) in PECUL(i)AR. An operculum covers one’s gills, should one be a fish, or one’s shell, should one be a gastropod

26 To attack island bread shop keeping unknown flours in the middle is irregular behaviour (5-9)
bashi-bazoukery BASH (attack) + I(sland) + Z + (fl)OU(rs) in BAKERY. Bashi-bazoukery is a fine phrase that I will try to work into the conversation at the earliest opportunity. It is Turkish and literally means “wild head.”


1 About to hang on drug euphoria, magistrate admits a sign of doubt (3, 3, 4, 4)
for the high jump FOR THE HIGH (on drug euphoria) + UM in JP

2 Guitar maker one’s introduced to reformer (7)
luthier I in (Martin) LUTHER

3 Someone presenting red mackerel chopped unevenly? (5)
emcee alternate letters of eEd MaCkErEl. A completely pointless word, what is wrong with MC?

4 He talked with creatures I’d tell to get lost (8)
Dolittle *(ID TELL TO)

5 Connected with stomach situated in coelom, as always (6)
omasal hidden in coelOM AS Always

6 Senate’s core war representative about to expect greetings from India (9)
namaskars (se)NA(te) + ASK in MARS (war representative, in the Roman pantheon). I suppose ask = expect, as in for example “I’m asking/expecting a lot from you this term.” I had heard of the more common namaste, but not this variant

7 Baseball ref accepting private form of ball played fast (2-5)
up-tempo PTE (private) in UMP, + O. And yes, ump is in all the usual sources, described as “US informal”

8 Separate elevated line, railroad skirted by former governor’s trailer in N America (14)
partridgeberry PART (separate) + RIDGE (elevated line) + RR (railroad) in BEY (former governer). “a trailing North American evergreen (Mitchella repens) of the madder family” (Collins)

14 Provincial alarmed over plunder brought up very hard cases in peace-keeping group, once (9)
frithborh – FRIT (dialect alarmed) + ROB (plunder) rev. in HH which is very hard, at least in the case of a pencil

16 Single time engaged in sorry, salty, earthy stuff (8)
solonetz LONE + T in SOZ, (sorry)

18 Note for which brief guide is the carrier pigeon of Polynesia (7)
manumea ME (note, “ME, a name I call myself, FA a long long way to run”) in MANUA(l). Clever to conflate carrier, and pigeon..

20 Mushroom wrap for martial artist almost made cylindrical (7)
girolle GI (wrap for martial artist) + ROLLE(d). One of my favourite mushrooms

21 Dig up upper-class male welcomed by no ball (6)
untomb U (upper-class) + TOM (male) in NB

23 Medicinal shrub to form a tight cluster, deprived of nitrogen and phosphorus (5)
buchu BUNCH UP, deprived of N and P

Author: JerryW

I love The Times crosswords..

3 comments on “Club Monthly 20203 August 2017. Out with the old..”

  1. Many thanks for blog, and for jin shin do, which had defeated us. Like you, we find the new format extremely hard to read, and all we’re doing is trying to solve the printed version. The contrast with the August crossword in front of me is striking. There have been many comments to the same effect. However, getting the powers that be to admit that they’ve got it wrong is about as likely as getting TM to admit that Brexit would be a mistake
  2. Jerry just how many comments, excluding yours and mine, did you get on the August Club Monthly?
  3. 1ac: The second part of the wordplay is HOUR (time) around NNE (quarter to one o’clock?) by analogy with N = 12 o’clock, E = 3 o’clock etc (see “o’clock” in Chambers).

    1dn: The second part of the wordplay is FORTH (on) + E (drug) + HIGH (euphoria).

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