Monthly Club Special 20,252: There’s A Hole In My Golf Club Dear Liza Dear Liza

This was enormous fun, enough answers that went more or less straight in (1ac, 18ac, 5dn, 17dn) to give a solid framework for tackling the puzzle, but then a panoply of clues requiring careful thought about what elements the wordplay might be providing, in order to cause the fiendish penny to drop.

I must confess I did feel a small stab of despair when, with just a few left to fill in, I was missing a long Greek word for something to do with centipedes, the name of a drug (so literally any combination of letters, pretty much), the name of an obscure Native American tribe, and some kind of African stringed instrument. I did get there but not before essaying OTCHITWES for the tribe – I can never remember if a CHIT is a counter or not. (Reader, it is not.)

Honourable COD mention to 21ac but I thought 22dn was just brilliant, as this month’s blog name tribute suggests. Great stuff setter!

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 Pancake with ham’s filling at parties (4)
DOSA – {h}A{m} at DO’S
3 Crosspiece not attached, except when bearing weight (7-3)
SWINGLE-BAR – SINGLE BAR [not attached | except], “bearing” W
10 IOC man stumbling across university rugby team’s drug (3,6)
NUX VOMICA – (IOC MAN*) “across” U XV
11 Ruse Muslim maybe got from naval officer — short type (5)
POMAK – P.O. MAK{e}. I think Ruse means “Russian” in some way here? Because Pomaks are Muslims from Bulgaria
12 No longer sanction putting upper limit on software (7)
13 Die half numb, after stripping for a ramble (6)
FULHAM – (HALF {n}UM{b}*). Apparently a fulham is a cheaty loaded die
15 Look to be in range, meaning mostly to remain within what’s expected of centipedes (15)
18 Making typically London company with City finance ok, somehow (15)
21 Joint which lies to the west, out of bounds (6)
BIFTAH – reversed {t}HAT FIB{s}
23 Use fleas, oddly, after receiving staff’s order for newts (7)
URODELA – U{s}E {f}L{e}A{s} “receiving” ROD
26 Case coming from pocket found on alien (5)
ETWEE – WEE [pocket-sized] found on E.T.
27 Guards in thoroughfare on left I spot cycling (9)
STRELITZI – ST RE L I [thoroughfare | on | left | I] + cycling ZIT
28 A chap’s personal explosive is presumably … for opening cell? (10)
HISTOBLAST – A chap’s explosive is HIS TO BLAST
29 Pair caught napping, each losing diamonds one plucked from Africa (4)
ZEZE – at least if you are English, napping is catching some ZEDs. Subtract the diamonds from two of those and you get ZE{d}ZE{d}, an African stringed instrument
1 Before chasing shot, racket is just the thing? (4,2,4)
DING AN SICH – DIN before (CHASING*). The unknowable Kantian thing-in-itself
2 Elaborate, that hoax, escorting demos (3,2)
SEX UP – reverse cryptic: you can find SEX reversed in {hoa}X ES{corting}
4 Lightness of touch of lord, leading royal to break rank (9)
WHIFFLERY – L + ER “breaking” WHIFFY
5 Finishes off an Inveraray tea of loaf and local trifle? (5)
NYAFF – {a}N {inverar}Y {te}A {o}F {loa}F
6 Small stones thrown out round island houses I’m going to (7)
LAPILLI – LAP [round] + I “houses” I’LL. Thrown out of a volcano, that is
7 Behind front of market, stacks one’s fish (9)
BUMMALOTI – BUM + M{arket} + A LOT + I
8 Cold deserts rugged, misty in places (4)
9 Men rising to boot around large weight (6)
ROTOLO – reversed O.R. + TOO “around” L
14 Drug that’s rather popular gone into by chap with tablet (10)
AMANTADINE – A TAD IN [rather popular] entered by MAN, + E
16 Craven, maybe, after turning up to counter Native Americans (9)
OTCHIPWES – WES [Craven, the director] after reversed TO + CHIP
17 Welshman having pound bet giving away tips and drinks (9)
19 Alliance crossing border once, never again (7)
20 Fern in area covering the whole of Australia, from the south (6)
AZOLLA – A + reversed ALL OZ
22 One pursuing golf with time going for latest in clubs getting hole in one (5)
HOSEL – in the NATO phonetic alphabet, the one pursuing Golf is HOTEL. The T for time becomes {club}S and you end up with a hole in a golf club (where the shaft goes in). Most ingenious
24 Object to Scot removing header from form (5)
25 Say that pub must shut in blow to Dundonians (4)
PEGH – EG “shut in” by PH

7 comments on “Monthly Club Special 20,252: There’s A Hole In My Golf Club Dear Liza Dear Liza”

    1. So it is! Brillianter and brillianter. The 5th largest city in Bulgaria apparently — and here I was thinking I was clever enough knowing the top 2.
    2. Elias Canetti, winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born in Ruse. Don’t anyone tell me they’ve never heard of HIM.
  1. Elias Canetti, Bulgaria’s goalkeeper; between the sticks, between the Wars? His uncle played for Wimbledon FC sometime in the seventies.
    1. Given that Peter Handke won a Nobel for (presumably) The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty Kick, I wouldn’t be surprised if all Nobel Literature laureates turned out to be footballers.
  2. Given your nom de plume, I admire your restraint in not commenting on this fabulous word. It’s even better than bummaree, a porter at Smithfield.

    Many thanks for the blog.

    I seem only able to outpace you in puzzles that require you to read/parse the whole clue. Then I’m a lot older than you (58).


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