Monthly Club Special No 20277 – Oct 2023

The best crossword of the month, as ever, with typically inventive wordplay and wonderful odd words from the dusty corners of the dictionary. I was all done and parsed in a single session of about 1hr 20 minutes, which is quicker than usual, but I’m not complaining it wasn’t hard enough! Clue of the month for me is, I think, 17A with its 6 part assembly instructions resulting in an interesting and unlikely looking word, although I did enjoy 3D too. Thank-you clever setter.

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

1 After time this would result in repetitive spasm of abnormal stress (5)
ICTIC – With a T (time) on front {t}ICTIC is TIC TIC (TIC twice; repetitive spasm).
4 Width in top seats, best condition for flyer from Prestwick (9)
GOWDSPINKW (width) in GODS (top seats in the theatre), PINK (in the pink; best condition). Enjoy yourself!
9 Inject privates with iodine drug to produce sweating (9)
JABORANDIJAB (inject) OR (other ranks; privates) AND I (Iodine).
10 Bent, discarded and black in the middle (5)
CORBE – An obsolete definition [discarded]. B (black) in CORE (middle).
11 Exclude middle third from an irregular protective coating (6)
RESIST – Remove 3 middle letters of RES[erv}IST (irregular soldier). Clever!
12 Layer in firm container for beans or beetroot, say (8)
CHENOPODHEN (layer) in CO (company; firm) POD (container for beans).
14 Alien, horror edited with extra hour for streaming? (12)
RHINORRHOEAL -A great word. (alien horror)* [edited] with an extra H (hour) added.
17 Literary Greek king engaged in race with very old country outside Europe (12)
KATHAREVOUSA – Another interesting word. A form of written Greek.  K (King) AT (engaged in) HARE (race) V (very) O (old) USA (country outside Europe). Great 6 part assembly!
20 Sailing the yacht as a cutter (8)
HATCHETY – (the yacht)* [sailing].
21 Hollowed out part included reproductive cells in recession (6)
INCAVOINC (included) OVA (reproductive cells) reversed -> AVO.
23 Defame officer commanding former member of arcana (5)
TAROCTAR (defame) OC (officer commanding).
24 Whenever close friend returned, hit deck and celebrated riotously (9)
MAFFICKED –  IF (whenever) FAM (close friend) all returned -> MAFFI, (deck)* [hit].
25 King is out of black-tie role, entertaining classy star (9)
FOMALHAUTFO{r}MAL (black-tie) without the R (King), U (classy) in HAT (role).
26 Faddish toy from Japan — not magot but samurai sword (5)
TACHITA{magot}CHI (faddish toy from Japan) without the MAGOT.
1 They’ll spoil cool sauce containing bases from our beurre noir (8)
INJURERSIN (cool) JUS (sauce) including last letters of ouR beurrE noiR.
2 Preparation of bamboo sap: try one covered with salt (8)
TABASHIRBASH (try) I (one), in TAR (sailor; salt).
3 Chapter four’s ending with morals about most unusual area of a learner’s anthology (15)
CHRESTOMATHICALCH (chapter) fouR [‘s ending] ETHICAL (with morals), about (most)* [unusual] A (area). Another great word and Ikean construction.
4 Good stuff to use for writing case (4)
GINKG (good) INK (stuff to use for writing).
5 Edges of garish long scarf hemmed with strange thin seam (10)
WEIGHBOARD – Outside letters of GarisH, BOA (long scarf) in WEIRD (strange). Neat wordplay and surface.
6 Wayward discontent saved in Redeemer’s return I believe (6-9)
SECOND-ADVENTIST – (discontent saved)* [wayward].
7 Flock in turn express satisfaction during appeal (6)
IRRUPTPURR (express satisfaction) reversed in IT (sex appeal).
8 Massages as protection for joints with excision at the centre (6)
KNEADSKNE{ep}ADS (protection for joints) losing the 2 letters in the middle.
13 Perhaps Belafonte with lowered head and level height raised beat’s irregularity (10)
ARRHYTHMIA – HARRY (perhaps Belafonte) moving the first letter to second last -> ARRHY, AIM (level a weapon) HT (height) all raised -> THMIA
15 Extremely anti a truck, actively opposing inward traffic? (8)
AUTARKIC – (a{nt}i a truck)* [actively].
16 Number orfe among yield mostly producing shiny-scaled fish (8)
GANOIDEINO (number) IDE (orfe) in GAI{n} (yield) [mostly].
18 To accommodate a husband, wife rebuffed speculation (4-2)
WHAT-IF – FIT (accommodate)  A H (husband) W(wife) all reversed -> WHAT-IF.
19 Again taking part, despite rumours (6)
ITERUM – Hidden in [part] despITE RUMours.
22 What has frame for face set up with use of computers? (1-3)
E-FIT – A neat semi-&lit to finish.    [frame for] F{ac}E, reversed -> EF, IT use of computers.


2 comments on “Monthly Club Special No 20277 – Oct 2023”

  1. I think ‘of’ should be underlined at INCTIC; and I don’t know what’s abnormal about an inctus.

  2. Chambers has “Rhythmical or metrical stress in contradistinction to the usual stress of a word in prose, etc (prosody)” as the first definition of ICTUS. Thanks will underline the “of”.

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