Monthly Club Special 20,263: Not To Be Confused With Tiny Paul Rudd

After a too-swiftly-dispatched Friday 15×15, it was great to have this beast to entertainingly fill up the rest of the half-hour. I was repeatedly delighted by the audacity and elan, especially the numerous times the setter faked me out into thinking I was looking for something absurdly obscure, and then found myself writing in ETCHERS, ZILLIONAIRES, SUNDAY SCHOOL or ERRORS. My favourite clue as a former student of Greek was 22ac – always fun counting off the alphabet to remember what the 17th letter is. But also massive props to a puzzle that managed to include both Melanie Chisholm and emotional hardcore, to prove itself down with the kids (of a certain age). And 2dn is a real tour de force of utilizing very standard pieces of the cryptic arsenal to make something startlingly clever and new.

My hat is off. I know I’m effusive about the MCS pretty much every time but that’s because it wows me very consistently. Thank you setter!

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

1 European law enforcer admits dropping every other cause abandoned by English (6)
AMTMAN – A[d}M{i}T{s} + M{e}AN. Does “mean” mean the same as “cause”? Carelessness causes accidents/carelessness means accidents… I guess so. Northern European district magistrate
5 In returning characters framed by HL, don’t mention a rebel (8)
KOMITAJI – in reversed {h}IJK{l}, OMIT A. A member of the Bulgarian Revolutionary Committee in Macedonia, obviously
9 Market trader’s barely credible months in traditional clinic (8)
10 Investigator high in second union (6)
DIGAMY – D.I. + GAMY [high]
11 Chapter number overwhelms person preparing plate for printing? (6)
ETCHER – C “overwhelmed” by ETHER [what makes numb]
12 In Saskatchewan this Canadian duck would be disposed of with a screech (3,5)
OLD SQUAW – put this in SK [Saskatchewan] and you have {S}OLD SQUAW{K} – [disposed of + screech]. Also known as a hareld
14 Idol with two heads to display in staggering size: are they made of gold? (12)
ZILLIONAIRES – LLION [Welsh, or just reduplicatively headed, idol] + AIR [display] in (SIZE*)
17 Undo holy class, wanting learner to disrupt this? (6,6)
20 Yellow-grey horse jerkily unsaddles related ones (8)
BUCKSKIN – BUCKS [jerkily unsaddles] + KIN [relations]
22 Greek sceptic’s years between two forms of his 17th letter (6)
PYRRHO – YR between P and RHO, which are both the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet
23 Radius not within M25 for one marking departure date (6)
25 The box containing western evangelical’s case sensitive music book (8)
TWELVEMO – TV [the box] “containing” W E{vangelica}L, + EMO [sensitive music]
26 Scots secretly love to fill mugs up in turn (8)
STOWLINS – NIL filling up SWOTS, the whole reversed
27 Indications of hesitation when catching first of repetitions or deviations (6)
ERRORS – ERS “catching” R{epetitions} OR. I don’t know what this surface is all about but I’m sure I’ll work it out in just a minute
2 Magistrature, sending away soldiers, runs and engineers Nairobi minibus (6)
MATATU – MA{gis}T{r}ATU{re}, losing 3 well known crossword abbreviations
3 Sporty singer once hastened to cover unknown, mostly to augment aged leader in Genesis (11)
MELCHIZEDEK – MEL C [Sporty Spice!] + HIED “covering” Z + EK{e}
4 Economy’s foremost in political gathering for miners, according to figures (9)
5 Stab in bar certainly upset Tanzanian accustomed to grazing (7)
KONGONI – GO, in reversed INN OK [bar | certainly]. An East African hartebeest
6 Wet and wild primitive instincts (5)
MADID – MAD [wild] + ID [primitive instincts]
7 Piece of safety glass old mug handled more than once (3)
TYG – hidden in {safe}TY G{lass}, a two-handled mug
8 Spread soft cheese from India, saving last for bearer there (8)
JAMPANEE – JAM [spread] + PANEE{r}. A jampan is an Indian sedan chair and a jampanee its bearer
13 For military clerk it’s a thrill to capture hostile doctor (5-6)
15 Origin of psyche quickly arising in this collective consciousness? (9)
NOOSPHERE – P{syche} SOON reversed, plus HERE [in – as in “is Dave in yet?”, maybe]
16 Constrain one to be in dock, which might be a squash (8)
18 Effort to deceive coming our way (7)
CONATUS – CON [deceive] + AT US [coming our way]
19 Greeting to a suitable victim, starting with the conclusion that’ll go over a woman’s head (6)
KHIMAR – HI (to a) MARK, with the last letter moving to the front. A Muslim woman’s face covering
21 Frozen dessert provided jamminess but not cold, contrarily (5)
KULFI – reversed IF LU{c}K
24 Rise of soft Tory is a worry for the country (3)
TEW – reversed WET. Obsolete word for worry or excitement, maybe still found in dialect; let me know if it’s in your own regional vocab

8 comments on “Monthly Club Special 20,263: Not To Be Confused With Tiny Paul Rudd”

  1. You missed the links to the Open Source software movement. There’s STALLMAN (Richard), creator of the GNU project, and NOOSPHERE – the only time I’ve seen that word before is in that well-known essay about Open Source by Eric Raymond, “Homesteading the Noosphere”.

    Anyway, that’s enough geekery from me. This puzzle was a bit weird in that I stared at it for an hour and put half a dozen answers in, then came back to it a couple of days later and finished it in half an hour.

    1. Ah! Richard Stallman did cross my mind – I will never forget him, mainly due to having watched an interview during which he picks at his toes and pops something found there into his mouth, classic Stallman – but I wouldn’t have made a connection to any noospheres. Thanks!

  2. 15d. Perhaps you might read it as IN THIS = HERE. As in, “The solution lies in this/here.”

  3. The old squaw has a more prosaic name in the UK, where nobody says “hareld”. Long-tailed duck

Comments are closed.