Monthly Club Special No 20276 – Sept 2023

More monthly fun with some esoteric vocabulary, clever wordplay and sneaky definitions. No time recorded but it took me longer than usual. FOI 9A, LOI 28A. I loved  “Old chap at home with iron”, the novel device at 10A and the entertaining name for underwater hockey. Thank-you clever setter.

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

Across
1 Pulse oddly weak with diamonds on display — no ecstasy (6)
WAXPOD – [Oddly] WeAk {e}XPO (display) without the E (ecstasy), D (diamonds).
5 Old chap at home with iron bed: that French article (8)
COTQUEANCOT (bed) QUE (that in French) AN (article). At home with iron. Ha ha.
9 Seat that folds back in unit, no part separate (10)
STRAPONTIN – Reverse hidden in uNIT NO PART Separate. But you do have to separate “folds back”.
10 Light opera singer’s very in need of a supporting line (4)
DIYADIvA (opera singer) with the V (very) getting a line underneath to turn it into a Y. A clever wordplay trick.
11 Plant that’s busy bringing in key personnel (8)
CALTHROPALT (keyboard key) HR (personnel) in COP (busy).
12 Ball enjoyed by Indians put on in smallest room (6)
LADDOOADD (put on) in LOO (smallest room).
13 Bloke releasing cry of pain collapsed (4)
FELLFELL{ow} (bloke) without the OW (cry of pain).
15 Shoot puck mostly wildly in hockey game (8)
OCTOPUSH – (shoot puc{k})* [wildly].  Great name for a form of underwater hockey. The puck is called a squid. Lol.
18 Judge one’s going to regret eavesdropping on a farm trainee down under (8)
JILLAROOJ (judge) I’LL (one’s going to), A ROO sounds like RUE (regret).
19 Needing a party to back, one which will bear fruit (4)
NONI – {a}NON (party; unidentified individual as e.g. plaintiff) reversed [to back] without the A [needing a], I (one). At least I think that’s how it works. The reversal is unnecessary, but it makes the surface work. [Update: An alternative, and better,  parsing from the commentsIN ON (a party to) reversed (to back) with the definition one which will bear fruit.]
21 Direction for those accompanying quartet into canal (6)
SUIVEZIV (quartet) in SUEZ (canal). Anyone for a canal swim?
23 English private detective rank that can effect a downward curve? (8)
EPINASTYE (English) PI (private detective) NASTY (rank).
25 Wicket to be found to turn for Yorkshire spinner? (4)
WEILW (wicket) LIE (to be found) reversed [to turn]-> EIL. Nice cricket surface. I wasn’t entirely convinced by “to be found”.
26 Criminals nicked on vacation called hotel when expected (10)
NDRANGHETAN{icke}D [on vacation] RANG (called) H (hotel) ETA (estimated time of arrival; when expected). An unlikely looking word.
27 What might have one piece per member country, not conforming to certain law (2-6)
UN-MOSAIC – Double definition, the first a cryptic hint – if you were to make a UN MOSAIC you might use one piece per member country.
28 Work from the East applied to vessel? (6)
SHIPPOSHIP (vessel), OP (opus; work) [from the east] -> PO. An &lit. Shippo is a form of ware is decorated with enamel which is inlaid in compartments formed by small fillets of metal.
Down
2 They’re hollow words often repeated without introduction (5)
ANTRA – {m}ANTRA (words often repeated) without the first letter.
3 Drug for bearing operation that makes me laugh (9)
PRACTOLOLACT (operation) in PRO (for), LOL (laugh out loud).
4 Ways in which lifts succeeded with a delivery (6)
DOOSRA -DOORS (ways in) lifting the S (succeeded) -> DOOSR, A.
5 Cracking the old cryptic? Nothing to Mark, applying light to cells (15)
CYTOPHOTOMETRIC – (the o (old) cryptic o (nothing) to m (german mark))* [cracking].
6 Preservative’s function settled by hospital (8)
TANALITHTAN (function) ALIT (settled) H (hospital).
7 Daughter replacing last pair of pants, maybe ruined (5)
UNDIDUNDI{es} (pants) with D (daughter) replacing the last pair of letters. Nice one.
8 Area, one I must confess includes dock for sugar producer (9)
AMYLOPSINA (area) MY SIN (one I must confess) including LOP (dock).
14 Movement for peace I run that makes for good living (9)
EPICUREAN – [Movement for] (peace I run)*.
16 Everything’s flowing from container: viscous stuff that is hard to lift (5,4)
PANTA RHEIPAN (container) TAR (viscous stuff), IE (that is) H (hard) reversed -> HEI.
17 State without borders within small island recalled part of W Germany once (8)
TRIZONIA – {a}RIZON{a} (state) [without borders] in AIT (small island) [recalled] -> TIA.
20 Beneath Asian peak in the past, dread tailless creatures nearby? (6)
KIANGSKI (K1; Asian peak) ANGS{t} (in the past, dread) [tailless].
22 Ducks going north on journey, commonly (5)
VULGO – LUV (ducks; another term of endearment) [going north] -> VUL, GO (journey).
24 Exercise, with time again for second canter (5)
TITUP – {s}ITUP (exercise) replacing the S (second) with another T (time) [again] -> TITUP.

6 comments on “Monthly Club Special No 20276 – Sept 2023”

  1. For 19a NONI I had IN ON as party to reversed with the definition one which will bear fruit.

    1. Thanks. That’s a better parsing although it leaves the “a” unaccounted for. I guess it’s to aid the surface reading. I’ll update the blog.

  2. Thanks again for the blog. Agreed, this was harder, and took me much longer than usual. This wasn’t helped by general idiocy in the NE corner, where I had the right idea, but DIWA, which is apparently Urdu for light, LODONO, which fits the wordplay but isn’t a word, but which nevertheless I couldn’t get out of my head, and NOCI, which is an Italian walnut tree. All of which made 8d rather problematic.

    Re. 19a, once I’d eventually got it: the A is part of the definition, I think. Can’t find any support for this, though I’ve looked no further than Chambers, but I think the original phrase would have included the article, as in, ‘I was a party to the discussion.’ (PARTY is nounal.) For reasons of brevity or laziness or ignorance, perhaps, the article disappears.

  3. Update: It appears that I have won the competition for this one – my second win in not much more than a year. It just goes to show how its worth completing and submitting these… quite apart fro the fun of solving, of course.

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