Monthly Club Special 20,260: Surprisingly Chaste Lord Archer Vegetating

The usual cavalcade of extreme ingenuity, with not a duffer among these clues. COD has got to be the truly exceptional 20ac, managing to seamlessly mesh Australian avifauna with the old vicarage in Grantchester. But there were loads of things I really liked and I have annotated at least some of them below.

Many thanks to our trusty monthly setter! See you all next month.

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

1 Proceeding by inquiry, one breaks into variable French also, or the like (7)
ZETETIC – I “breaks into” Z [variable] ET [also, in French] ETC [or the like]
5 Lots of swinging in gym — after crash, I would add (5)
KIPPS – after KIP, P.S.
9 Lots of strange sensations affecting hearing after two more strokes (5)
AURAE – AURAL, then add two more “strokes of the pen” to turn the E into an L. Brilliant device
10 Female duck seen flapping getting pulled from boggy ground by poet (3-6)
FEN-SUCKED – F + (DUCK SEEN*). Found in Shakespeare, inevitably
11 Failing in recognition of some liaison, gamely retreating (7)
AGNOSIA – hidden reversed in {li}AISON GA{mely}
12 Shows great impatience close to lecture, making academic start (7)
ISAGOGE – IS AGOG + {lectur}E
13 America’s to move to block newspaper: a particular one in New York (4-6)
FUSS-BUDGET – U.S.’S BUDGE, blocking the F.T.
15 Trail to the west following a band of Bedouins (4)
AGAL – reversed LAG, following A. More of a headband than a gang
18 US hospital department needing sort of radiation area with licence (4)
ERUV – E.R. needing U.V.
20 Honey-eater 70 minutes late for his teatime in Grantchester? (4-6)
FOUR-O’CLOCK – Stands the Church clock at ten to three? And is there honey still for tea? The friarbird or “Australian honey-eater”.
23 Judge excellent, in the manner of one Basque game (3,4)
JAI ALAI – J + A1 + A LA + I
24 Singer adopting tongue, abandoning old, native one (7)
TLINGIT – TIT adopting LING{o}. Spoken in parts of Alaska and B.C.
25 Italian town hospital within reach, after short drag (9)
BORGHETTO – H within GET TO, after BOR{e}
26 I finally sneak back around noon bringing cheese for delivery (3-2)
KEN-NO – ONE {snea}K, reversed around N. “A cheese prepared in ostensible secrecy for the gossips at a birth”, which raises more questions than it answers if you want my opinion
27 Wife less to the fore in rough stuff no longer beat kid? (5)
TEWED – W moving rightwards in TWEED. Tew is an obsolete word for taw, which is to prepare leather
28 What can aid circulation of choir round piano every so often? (7)
HIRUDIN – {c}H{o}I{r} R{o}U{n}D {p}I{a}N{o}
1 Informal apology for flipping about men wearing furs (7)
ZORINOS – SOZ, reversed around O.R. IN [men | wearing]
2 Sees races with bets one might dash off on the hoof? (8)
TSESSEBE – (SEES + BETS*). Also sassaby, an African antelope
3 Rum form of motor sport for American serving up in northern forests (5)
TAFIA – TA{ig->F1}A. Take a reversed G.I. out of “TAIGA” and replace it with “F1”. Most ingenious
4 Prayer — and possible dish of duck eggs — offered up (9)
CONFITEOR – CONFIT [dish of duck, maybe] + reversed ROE
5 Onager to eliminate one at château walls last, releasing stone (6)
KOULAN – K.O. + UN [one, in France] “walling” LA{st}
6 German silver medallist’s final round no good, with stuff said previously (7)
PAKTONG – {medallis}T O N.G., after a homophone of PACK
7 In need of cheering up, chap gets letter (5)
SADHE – SAD + HE. 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
8 Aberdeen’s extravagant display in cup’s ending with a draw (8)
14 Skin condition got from horse he passed on in Washington hotel (5,4)
DHOBI ITCH – H(orse) + OBIIT, in D.C. H(otel)
16 With large supply key, however small flask appears (8)
LEKYTHOS – L(arge) + (KEY*) + THO + S(mall). Supply as in “in a supple manner”, the cleverest of all anagrinds
17 What emerges after laying into young tough encouraged nag? (8)
TCHICKED – CHICK [what emerges after laying] into TED [young tough]
19 Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race maybe involving British pair with only hair between them (7)
UNIBROW – UNI ROW, involving B(ritish)
21 Investigative procedure soon replacing the years of excess (7)
22 Misfortune suffered when ace and I swapped around hunting game once (3-3)
ALL-HID – ILL HAD, then swap the A and I
23 Ruffle, and shut up, following quick blow (5)
JABOT – reversed TO [as in “push the door to”], following JAB
24 Car thief dropping matching keys and brace (5)

2 comments on “Monthly Club Special 20,260: Surprisingly Chaste Lord Archer Vegetating”

  1. Thanks for the blog, Verlaine. The post is uncategorised, so it’s not found when clicking on the “Monthly Club Special” category in the sidebar.
    And there seems to be no sign of Monthly Club Special 20259 (April’s) anywhere on the website. Did it get lost in transit to the new site?

    1. I’ve updated the category for this one, but I can’t find 20259 on the old site so it didn’t get lost in transit… my Oz mate starstruck_au and I worked hard to ensure we wouldn’t lose anything over the switchover, so I don’t know what happened.

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