Monthly Club Special No 20266 – November 2022

Another very entertaining Monthly Club Special, the acme of cryptic crosswords. As usual, some glorious unusual words of which 10A is my pick. Lots of diverting wordplay too. I particularly enjoyed “abbreviated description of Broadway” but there are plenty more. Super stuff. Thank-you clever setter!

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

1 Old man in need of drink and a sunshade (6)
PALAPAPA (old man) LAP (drink) A.
4 New Year do’s talked of for caretaker (8)
JANITRIXJAN 1 (New Year) TRIX, sounds like TRICK’S (do’s).
10 Welcome notice mostly to avoid backing poet’s right to entertainment (9)
CUDDEEHIHHI (welcome) HEED (notice) DUC{k} (avoid) [mostly] all reversed, [backing]. My word of the month.
11 What can spoil hide, swapping parts of anti-wrinkle treatment (2-3)
OX-BOT – BOTOX (anti-wrinkle treatment) [swapping parts].
12 Proud fairy had an oddly invisible Asian rhino! (7)
RUFIYAA – Alternate letters [oddly invisible] of pRoUd FaIrY hAd An. An imaginative surface that made me smile.
13 Tea ceremony to get to, one November out in China briefly (7)
CHANOYUAN{n}OY (get to) without one N (November) in CHU{m} (China; mate) [briefly].
14 Sweetbreads unhealthy directly alongside mincemeat sandwiches (5)
THYMI – Hidden in [sandwiches] unhealTHY MIncemeat [directly alongside]. Inventive wordplay. Nice one.
15 Fresh opening for thrush in choir of birds (8)
ORNITHIC – [Fresh] (t{hrush} in choir)*. Seeing a couple of checkers I thought “ornithology” for birds, and it was then but a small step to the answer.
18 No good leaving, avoiding going in for early piece (8)
PRELUDIOELUDI{ng} (avoiding) without the NG (no good) [leaving] in PRO (for).
20 Middle East pair coming between leaders of Hong Kong and India’s emperor (5)
MEIJI – Some more inventive wordplay here. ME (Middle East), IJ (pair of letters coming between [leaders of] H{ong} and K{ong} in the alphabet), I (India). Lovely!
23 Officiating at game is beyond one hundred (7)
CANTREF – A division of a county.  If being a referee (officiating at game) is beyond you then you CAN’T REF. Ho ho! It took me quite a while to see this, which made the PDM even more enjoyable.
25 State of torment for one needing to reverse hair dye (7)
GEHENNA – EG (for one) reversed -> GE, HENNA (hair dye).
26 Spineless tunneller, heading right to the back (5)
INERM – Our tunneller is a MINER. Take the first letter [heading] and put it at the end [right to the back] -> INERM.
27 Scottish rock tune wasn’t (mostly) hard to play (9)
WHUNSTANE – (tune wasn{‘t} [mostly] h (hard))* [to play]. Not a rock tune, obviously!
28 In South Australia, see clear sort of earth (8)
SOLONETZLO (see) NET (clear), in S (South) OZ (Australia).
29 Stars unknown in the underworld (6)
HYADESY (unknown) in HADES (the underworld). I actually knew this word -from a Mephisto, I think.
1 Mammals turning up in plain and peak (4,4)
PACK RATSSTARK (plain) CAP (peak) [turning up].
2 Youth, within two years RAF officer, one spotted with wings (7)
LADYFLYLAD (youth), FL (Flight Lieutenant; RAF officer) in Y Y (two years).
3 Finnish” female athlete initially enters for run, after quiet attempt to conserve energy (9)
PTERYGIAL – A little trip to the Uxbridge English Dictionary for our definition here (helpfully indicated by the quotation marks). And what an Ikean wordplay! P (quiet) TRY (attempt) outside, [to conserve], E (energy), GI{r}L (female) replacing the R (run) with A{thlete} [initially] -> GIAL. Bravo! And what a super word too!
5 Henry in Accounts has World Nations Anthem released? It’s not everyone’s thing (1,6,3,4)
A CHACUN SON GOUTH (Henry) in AC AC (accounts), UN (world nations) SONG (anthem) OUT (released). Another that made me smile – for the surface as much as the wordplay.
6 False ideas of a philosopher — and artificial language, note (5)
IDOLAIDO (artificial language) LA (note).
7 Master at home with pupil once restriction lifted (7)
RABBONIIN (at home) OB (Old Boy; pupil once) BAR (restriction) all [lifted].
8 Hospital DJ looking up American or Greek ancestor (6)
XUTHUS – H (hospital) TUX (tuxedo; dinner jacket; DJ) [looking up] -> XUTH, US (American).
9 Character of Lear, tho deaf OK, wasn’t mad (3,5,2,4)
THE AKOND OF SWAT – (tho deaf OK wasn’t)* [mad]. It took me a while of staring at the anagrist and checkers to remember the character.
16 I’m with different broadcaster for gig (3-6)
TIM-WHISKY – (I’m with)* [different] SKY (broadcaster).
17 Old minister’s wife with gentle touch after sex? (8)
VICARESSVI (six in Roman numerals, which is sex in Latin), CARESS (gentle touch). Suits you sir!
19 Author of dossier’s final ambition spelled out first for lecturer (7)
RENDELL – {dossie}R [‘s final] END (ambition) ELL (the letter L; first letter of Lecturer) [spelled out].
21 Local court’s abbreviated description of Broadway? (7)
INNYARD – Broadway is a road in New York, hence IN NY (New York) A RD (road). Clever.
22 Content regulators with joint statement primarily supporting board deputy (1-5)
V-CHIPSVC (Vice Chairman; board deputy), HIP (joint) S{tatement} [primarily].
24 Enter with force Malaysian wood (5)
RAMINRAM IN (enter with force). [Note to self on completing this] “And breathe”.

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