July 31st, 2020

Times Quick Cryptic No 1669 by Breadman

Not the easiest of Quick Crosswords today, I think, with quite a range of general knowledge needed including a Japanese healing technique, an anti-ship missile, a medicinal herb, a film director and geography from around the world. 23A was my LOI, correcting my wrong spelling in 4D.  In all it took me just under 6 minutes - about a minute longer than average. Some nice clues - I think 22A is my favourite. So thank-you Breadman. How did you all get on?

Weekend Quick Cryptics. Thanks to all who provided comments on Phil's crossword 2 weeks ago. He has persuaded me that we can continue to provide them on a regular basis, so this week it is my turn. You can find my "Summer Holidays Quick Cryptic" here, if you would like to have a go.

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verlaine

Monthly Club Special 20,238: A 13ac Cluesack Writes

Once again the most perfectly constructed puzzle of the Club month, with some truly ridiculous words that you'd never believe could be wrangled into yielding such splendid and audacious surfaces, balanced out with plenty of normal-strength "entry point" clues. I loved loved loved 9ac and 18ac, and there are numerous superb anagrams and charades for the connoisseur of such here too. Do yourself a favour and get regular with the MCS!

ACROSS
1 Unusual aroma, etc, as TV interviewee speaks? (2,6)
TO CAMERA - (AROMA ETC*)

6 A dance party collects starchy food for Aussie (6)
ADJIGO - A + JIG "collected" by DO. Some kinda Australian yam.

9 Chap’s after two staples of “learning to read” sentence — one with a comprehension problem (13)
ACATAMATHESIA - HE'S after A CAT and A MAT, plus I plus A

10 Clumsy American, good at logarithms, initially backward in addition (6)
GALOOT - G{ood} A{t} L{ogarithms} + reversed TOO

11 Pound perhaps to dress old monsieur, returning in French silk (8)
ARMOZEEN - reverse all of (poet) EZRA "dressing" O M, then add EN [in, in French]

13 As certain Cossacks kill, or blunder defending area in borders (10)
ZAPOROGIAN - ZAP OR O.G. [kill | or | blunder defending] + A "bordered" by IN

15 Garment for the female aforesaid improperly reveals back (4)
MIDI - hidden reversed in {aforesa}ID IM{properly}

16 Henry V’s contemptuous gesture, neglecting odd parts of kingdom (4)
FIGO - {o}F {k}I{n}G{d}O{m}

18 Wasting time, I must abandon “Lincolnology”? (10)
TABESCENCE - T + ABE SC{i}ENCE, clearly the academic study of Abraham Lincoln (minus I)

21 Nun I once bumped into an unfamiliar woman (8)
INCONNUE - (NUN I ONCE*) ["bumped"]

22 Tea mostly taken with right grub (6)
ASSART - ASSA{m} + RT

23 Trouble with PR is, there is no room for sport! (13)
SPHERISTERION - (PR IS THERE IS NO*)

25 Odd to put on uniform? The first thing asked maybe in Chinese city (6)
URUMQI - RUM "puts on" U + Q1 [= question one, "the first thing asked maybe"]. Possibly "the most inland major city in the world".

26 Iodine brought in as broken arm is for cutting off? (8)
INISLING - I brought into IN SLING ["as broken arm is"]

DOWN
1 Longer spell of fine weather’s third month — ace for a Japanese city (7)
OKAYAMA - OKAY [longer spell(ing) if OK = fine] + {we}A{ther} + M + A

3 Rugby players, a reserve, with half back, repeatedly supporting team in second half (11)
AMABOKOBOKO - Okay: reserve is BOOK, but with (the second half) back(wards), it's BOKO. A + BOKO repeatedly "supports" the second half of {te}AM; result: a South African rugby side you may prefer to recall as the Springboks.

4 Praise old singer cutting disc (5)
EXALT - EX ALT{o} [old | singer, minus O = disc]

5 Motoring organisation in another limitless trip: it’s got a huge bill (7)
ARACARI - RAC in AA [(one) motoring organisation in another] + {t}RI{p}. As you might expect from the definition it's a variant on a toucan.

6 Perennial sufferings besetting island people (9)
ACHIMENES - ACHES "besetting" I MEN. Not a Trojan War hero but a South American plant.

7 Law finding politician out of bounds (3)
JUS - JU{mp}S [bounds, minus MP = politician]

8 Attack old astrologer turning up unshaven (7)
GOATEED - GO AT [attack] + reversed (Doctor John) DEE

12 Publicizes me sneakily dropping Charlie for one of the Germans (3,8)
ZUM BEISPIEL - (PUBLI{c}IZES ME*). z.B. is German for "e.g."

14 Two managed firm, keeping books, elevating particular lines (9)
OCTONARII - reverse all of: II RAN CO. "keeping" O.T. Octonarii are lines of eight (metrical) feet, if hexameter and hendecasyllabics are too commonplace for your jaded palate.

17 Ironies rampant in one improving atmosphere through negativity? (7)
IONISER - (IRONIES*)

19 First meals casually halved, then one restricts wife’s US beer (7)
BREWSKI - BREK{kies} then I, "restricting" W'S

20 A hundred personnel at the double taking next to no time (7)
CHRONON - C H.R. + doubled ON [taking, as in "on drugs"]. 6.27×10−24 seconds, equal to about 2.3 Magoos on one of his good days.

22 Fifty per cent cut in publicity used by record label (1,4)
A DEMI - AD used by EMI

24 It’s a puzzle with anagram form for which tips needed (3)
HMM - {wit}H {anagra}M {for}M