Monthly Club Special No 20272 – May 2023

It’s that time of month again. A new Monthly Club Special and the answers to last month’s revealed… and blogged. This one took me an age, but I got there in the end. Lots of lovely words and chewy wordplay to enjoy as usual. But I found as I was writing the blog I had spelt a word wrong, so I’m expecting a pink square when I check my solution. Grr! Thank-you clever setter for the entertainment.

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

1 Exasperated request, left hand raised, to return and suspend missing father (3-5)
PUH-LEEZE – LH (left hand) UP (raised) reversed -> PUH-L ,{fr}EEZE (suspend) without FR (father).
5 Music player with glower cut short drum (6)
DJEMBEDJ (music player) EMBE{r} (glower) [cut short]. Rats. I saw when doing the blog that I had submitted “DJEMBA”. “I know that word” I thought when solving… but, clearly, I didn’t know how to spell it!
8 Busy year resulted in journalist getting published without restrictions (10)
COPYLEFTEDCOP (busy) Y (year) LEFT (resulted in) ED (journalist).
9 News, oddly absent, didn’t flow (4)
INFO – Alternate letters, [oddly absent], of dIdN‘t FlOw.
10 Clay’s farewell boxing blunder is a flipping breather! (5,9)
TERRA SIGILLATATATA (farewell) [boxing], ERR (blunder) IS A [flipping] -> ASI, GILL (breather).
11 Film’s about university in US provinces (7)
EYALETSET’S (film’s) [about] YALE (university in US). Provinces in the Ottoman Empire.
13 Producer of tack for local religious feast repulsed temple (7)
WHITTAWWHIT (religious feast), WAT (temple) [repulsed] -> TAW. UK dialect for a saddler.
15 Welsh swimmer, close to buoy, wading out (7)
GWYNIAD – ({buo} y wading)* [out]. A white fish related to the powan found in Lake Bala in Wales.
18 Feline with claw pared gets cross (7)
CATTALOCAT (feline) TALO{n} (claw) [pared]. Like Beefalo – a cross between CATTle and buffALO.
21 Spotted piece of game pie initially, then finally, stopping a past slimming operation (14)
ABDOMINOPLASTYDOMINO (spotted piece of game) P{ie} [initially] LAST (finally) all inside A BY (past).
22 Quietly force approval from Elysée Palace, ditching old, sceptical reaction (4)
PFUIP (quietly) F (force) {o}UI (yes in French; approval from Elysée Palace) with out the O (old).
23 Slack outfit from the Right is OTT, awkwardly embracing America First (6,4)
TSOTSI SUIT – ( is OTT )* [awkwardly] outside US (America) IST (1st; First) all reversed [from the Right]. South African – a Sotho corruption of zoot suit.
24 Sky no longer used source for broadcast by similar group (6)
WELKINWEL sounds like [for broadcast] WELL (source), KIN (similar group).
25 Half-fall of Briton in time accounts for fencing manoeuvre (3-2-3)
TAC-AU-TAC – [half of] AUT{umn} (fall of Briton) in T (time) AC (account) twice (time accounts).
1 Illustration accompanying books, extremely elaborate, with darker edges (7)
PICOTEEPIC (illustration) OT (Old Testament; books) [extremely] E{laborat}E. A type of carnation of which the flowers have a light ground and dark-edged petals.
2 One talking up high, not allowing husband to be lower? (9)
HYPERGAMYHYPER (one talking up) GAMY (high). The action of marrying or forming a sexual relationship with a person of a superior sociological or educational background
3 Young migrants meeting flow of social assistance after reversal of original direction (7)
EELFARE – {w}ELFARE (social assistance), reversing the initial W to E (reversal of original direction) -> EELFARE. From the Thames valley, the migration of young eels up the river
4 Sea monster god’s energy is providing twice, back to back (7)
ZIFFIUSZ{e}US (god) replacing the E (energy) with IF FI (providing) [twice and back to back].
5 Assisted in East End hotel: lifted top drawer and pocketed order? (9)
DIDELPHIADID ‘ELP (assisted in East End) H (Hotel on NATO phonetic alphabet) AI (A1; top drawer) [lifted] -> IA. A genus of marsupials
6 Send out guards to put a stop to flashing (7)
EMICANTEMIT (send out) outside CAN (put a stop to).
7 Gift turning up the month after it’s due, a crushing blow (7)
BEFFANA – An Epiphany gift, hence FEB (month after it’s due) [turned up] -> BEF, FANA (crushing blow). [Update: I think dcrooks in the comments has a better parsing…. BEF (as above) A, outside, [crushing], FAN (blow)].
12 Slimline drinks in vending machine, to cut out sweetener (9)
THAUMATINTHIN (slimline) outside, [drinks in], AU{to}MAT (vending machine) with the TO cut out.
14 Neat turns somehow producing effect outside the mind (9)
TRANSEUNT – ( Neat turns )* [somehow].
16 Docker down under working mostly when fair (7)
WHARFIE – [Working] ( whe {n} [mostly] fair )*.
17 Drag artiste’s bottom hidden, fully exposed bust (7)
NUDNICKNUD{e} (fully exposed) without the E [artiste’s bottom], NICK (bust). Drag as in a boring person.
18 State constant, universal principle in broadcast coming up (7)
CROATIAC (constant), TAO (universal principle) in AIR (broadcast) [coming up] -> ROATIA.
19 Mum finds out from me after one has dropped plants (7)
TELLIMA – I TELL MA (mum finds out from me), with the I (one) [dropped] -> TELLIMA. A genus of hardy perennials with palmate lobed leaves and long racemes of small nodding five-petalled flowers found in western North America.
20 Tiny cox frantically releasing a lot of corrosive stuff (7)
OXYNTIC – ( Tiny cox )* [frantically]. Of or denoting the secretory cells which produce hydrochloric acid in the main part of the stomach.

3 comments on “Monthly Club Special No 20272 – May 2023”

  1. Re. BEFFANA: I had FEB reversed + A containing (crushing) FAN = blow.

    For 17d, I had ‘Drag artiste’ as the tongue-in-cheek def., with ‘bottom hidden’ indicating the incomplete NUDE. But I agree it could work either way.

    And, yes, it was a bit of a proper workout. Ta for the blog.

    1. Thanks. I think you’re parsing for BEFFANA is more likely than mine – I didn’t see past there being a word FANA that sort of fit the wordplay. I’ll update the blog. But I beg to differ on NUDNICK.

  2. I did say that both parsings work equally well. ‘Drag artiste’ just strikes me as a wittier definition.

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