Monthly Club Special 20,253: One Flew East, One Flew West

A lovely puzzle with some truly majestic nesting and plenty of cuckoo. 1ac and 17ac are particular favourites of mine, but it’s all good. WOD to 7dn. If you’re up before the beak, perhaps you could use a CUFFINEER to make him sweet and evade a stiff sentence?

Thanks to the setter for a really good October puzzle. Onward to November and the onset of months of wintry dark – perfect crosswording weather!

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

1 Horny old beast put in A&E by one serving unbeatably on team? (10)
CERATOPSID – so if you “put this in A&E” you would get ACER ATOP SIDE [one serving unbeatably | on | team]. Brilliant!
7 Islamic judge’s bit of publicity in show of surprising facts (4)
QADI – AD in Q.I., the quite good TV panel show.
9 Begrudge developing tool for improving software (8)
DEBUGGER – (BEGRUDGE*). Simple as that.
10 Old lady recalled European woman frequenting orgies (6)
MAENAD – MA + reversed DANE
11 Australian nipper back in the same place in auction site (6)
YABBIE – reverse the whole of: IB. [in the same place] in EBAY. Not a child, but a crayfish.
13 Hostilities engulfing Britain whenever English and Scottish on the alert (8)
WAUKRIFE – WAR “engulfing” UK + IF [whenever] + E. What a lovely Scots word.
14 Honour someone striking gold with gram in Bavarian village (12)
OBERAMMERGAU – O.B.E. RAMMER AU [honour | someone striking | gold] with G(ram) in
17 Careful with sauce covering paper and disinfectant doing the same (6-6)
SOFTLY-SOFTLY – SOY “covering” FT + LYSOL (also) “covering” FT. Most impressive cryptic nesting I think I’ve seen.
20 Foot bones start to hurt less when November’s gone (8)
DOCHMIUS – DOC [(saw)bones] + H(urt) + MI{n}US. Metrical foot, short long long short long, e.g. “your just doom has come”. Prize for the best dochmaic in the comments?
21 Gum resin mastic on images’ frames (6)
CONIMA – hidden in {masti}C ON IMA{ges}
22 Bulk needing one to change to vineyard’s disused press (6)
SCRUZE – take SIZE and change the I [one] to CRU [vineyard]. An old word superseded by squeeze. Well, ex-SCRUZE me!
23 Secure what holds edges of railing for water pipe (8)
NARGILEH – NAIL EH?, “holding” R{ailin}G
25 Crossbar in support of millstone’s outer edge’s sound (4)
RYND – homophone of RIND. The word for a crossbar in support of a millstone that you never knew you needed, until now.
26 Gardening charity crossing over here to Nancy with shady evergeen climber (10)
RHOICISSUS – R.H.S. “crossing” O(ver) ICI [here, in Nancy or anywhere else French] with SUS
2 Gem cut at top and six-pack comprising Mike’s dearest possessions (3-5)
EWE-LAMBS – {j}EWEL + ABS “comprising” M(ike)
3 Sweet-tasting fish a second person starved of oxygen (3)
AYU – A + Y{o}U
4 Raise grand in shared currency for multibarrelled shooter (5)
ORGUE – reverse all of: G in EURO
5 Ancient form of document left in county to the north and east (7)
SCROWLE – L(eft) in reversed WORCS. + E(ast). A categorically superior spelling of SCROLL.
6 Creator god protects fighter circling Sumerian city (9)
DEMIURGUS – DEUS “protects” MIG “circling” UR. More quality nesting.
7 Ruler used to circumscribe radius and clip one’s beak (5,6)
QUEER CUFFIN – QUEEN “circumscribing” R + CUFF I. According to the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, “a justice of the peace; also a churl”.
8 Aperitif, extremely fine to be imbibed by thirsty good-for-nothing (6)
DRAFFY – A{periti}F + F(ine) “imbibed” by DRY
12 Board accepting bit of work on school drive’s deep crack in ice (11)
BERGSCHRUND – B(oar)D “accepting” ERG on SCH. RUN
15 Greek character following more commendable Echo is captured by Castor (9)
MUFFINEER – MU + F(ollowing) FINER, “capturing” E(cho). A shaker for applying sugar to muffins, an essential in any properly appointed household.
16 Boyfriend has local cheat to carry a torch (8)
18 Salyut’s middle level involves senior Soviet scientist (7)
LYSENKO – {sa}LY{ut} + K.O. [level] “involves” SEN. “The Soviet era’s deadliest scientist”, says Google, somewhat judgmentally, but he did have some pretty silly ideological ideas with fairly disastrous consequences for Soviet agriculture, it seems.
19 Sodden chamber giving nonstop pain (6)
POACHY – PO [chamber(pot)] + ACHY
21 Modern dance clubs with revolutionary ending in popular music (5)
CEROC – C(lubs) + reversed -CORE [as in, grindcore, emocore, queercore, nerdcore, and other popular musical styles among MCS solvers]
24 Ruling party members regularly rejected Zionism (3)
INS – {z}I{o}N{i}S{m}

3 comments on “Monthly Club Special 20,253: One Flew East, One Flew West”

  1. ….of finishing this one was derailed by my FOI MEGALOSAUR. As the first three down clues happily fitted in from this piece of idiocy, I never considered the possibility of its downright incorrectness. However, I also got stuck in the SW corner, while QUEEN CUFFIN was never going to jump out and bite me. Hey ho ! It’s my birthday this month, so maybe I’ll be luckier with November’s offering.
  2. Liked this one, not quite as hard as some recent ones. Getting 14 and 17ac in early helped.
    Always been a fan of nargilehs, hubble bubbles that is. In Qatar where my daughter used to live, nargileh cafes are very popular. Having given up smoking after 30 years or more, I never did dare to try one, sadly.
    I never parsed 1ac; and it has taken me a while even with the instructions V has kindly provided.

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