Monthly Club Special 20,259: Anais, Zaha and Ella Walk Into A Bar…

It seems this got lost in the shuffle of the site move, but very unjustly, since it contains many many moments of pure cryptic artistry. Nothing pushes the envelope further (and better!) than these MCS puzzles, and every clue is worthy of close study if you want to see how setting is done.

All sorts of LOLsome and surprising moments but I think my favourite, and thus COM, was 16 down. Thank you setter and sorry for the wait!

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

1 Ferrari fan spun round last of circuits, oval in shape (6)
TIFOSO – reversed [“spun”] O [round] + {circuit}S + O [oval] + FIT [in shape]
4 Pretentious comeback of award-winning architect Henry (3-2-3)
LAH-DI-DAH – reversed HADID [award-winning architect Zaha] + HAL [Henry]
10 Used trickery on engaging Washington floater picked from natural setting (11)
WILDCRAFTED – WILED [used trickery on] “engaging” D.C. RAFT
11 Put a canvas cover over stiff hair (3)
AWN – double def
12 Rage and rage past defensive barrier (7)
RAMPIRE – RAMP [rage] and IRE [rage]
14 Ditch Hank, not having any heart for randy tosser’s game (7)
JUKSKEI – JU{n}K SKEI{n}, not having any Ns (N being the “heart for” {ra}N{dy})
15 In fraud as we see it, more than one spoke about court prone to rebuttals (14)
CONTRADICTIOUS – in CON [fraud] TO US [as we see it], RADII [more than one spoke] about CT
17 During lapse there in Rome, scene of combat, they’ll believe any bull (14)
INFALLIBILISTS – IN [during] FALL [lapse] IBI [there, in Latin] LISTS [scene of combat]. Bull as in “papal bull”
21 Different than leg towards the extremities? (7)
22 Pass into doze somewhere on the Danube (4,3)
NOVI SAD – VISA [pass] into NOD [doze]
23 German court house introduces fine (3)
HOF – HO introduces F
24 Allowed to bring round key narcotic for minor group of stars (11)
TELESCOPIUM – reversed LET [allowed] + ESC [key] + OPIUM [narcotic]
26 Sudden arrivals where lawgiver was kept safe (8)
INRUSHES – biblically, Moses was kept safe IN RUSHES
27 Remains in the country, returning before midday ramble there (6)
STROAM – reversed ORTS [remains, in dialect] + A.M. [before midday]. Ramble “there”, as in, in the country/in dialect again
1 After a breakdown it may help to row to maintain weight (3,5)
TOW TRUCK – TO RUCK “maintaining” WT
2 Pop by marriage to prevent losing ring (3)
FIL – F{o}IL. Father-In-Law
3 One provides something for sweetening fiery curries (7)
5 Company reject is in crowd supporting colonist, one showing moderate Republican policy (4-10)
ANTI-JACOBINISM – CO [company] BIN [reject] IS, in JAM [crowd], supporting ANT [colonist] I [one]
6 Traveller saw the sights of alternatively named isle (7)
DIDAKAI – DID [saw the sights of] A.K.A. [alternatively named] I [isle]
7 Editors question Continental alliance when beset by noises from Telegraph (11)
8 Gossipy female diarist’s pointed (often veiled) article on hair (6)
HENNIN –  HEN [gossipy female] + (Anais) NIN
9 Market women blasted party pills Fitzgerald for one heaved up (5,2,2,5)
DAMES DE LA HALLE – DAM [ blasted] E’S [party pills] + reversed [“up”] ELLA HALED [Fitzgerald for one | heaved]
13 Pit town west of Glasgow on the rise, putting up new mortar (11)
MINENWERFER – MINE [pit] + reversed RENFREW, bringing the N [new] higher up
16 Masonic uniformity was shown by this emphatic vow at wedding that mother officiated? (8)
18 Seaweed supplement for teachers — in the North, anyway (7)
ALGATES – ALGA [seaweed] + T.E.S. [Times Educational Supplement]
19 This could have two answers defined as despicable boarders don’t (4,3)
LIVE OUT – double reverse cryptic: (LIVE*) [“out”] = EVIL or VILE, both “despicable”
20 Lowly Sikh’s note framing “extremist” letters with pencil marking (6)
MAZHBI – MI [note] “framing” A-Z + HB [hard black (pencil)]
25 Southern Nigerian judge interrupting contrasting bits? (3)
IJO – J “interrupting” 1 and 0 [the two possible states of a bit in a byte]