September 1st, 2021

Times 28071 - your Wednesday B and LOG.

Mostly straightforward, I thought, but with one totally unknown word I had to guess and then check, and I find 5a a bit strange or perhaps I'm missing something again. 20 minutes and as long again to sort out the details here.

1 Guard at church coming between wife and husband? (8)
WATCHMAN -  AT CH (at church) between W and MAN.
5 Formula for getting bed assembled (6)
BANDED - well, to get BED assembled we have the ingredients or formula, B AND ED. Is that it?
10 Quality of one smashing seductress I've not lovelessly abandoned (15)
11 Outstanding hospital department with parts separated by tunnel (7)
EMINENT - The ENT (ear, nose, throat) department has MINE (tunnel) inserted.
12 Label certain notes “of uncertain authenticity” (7)
DUBIOUS - DUB (label) IOUS (notes of promises to pay).
13 Pair carrying old item of furniture easy to get to the skip? (8)
PORTABLE - Pair = PR, insert O for old = POR, TABLE (item of furniture).
15 Manage to catch last of criminals in wood (5)
COPSE - COPE (manage) insert S last letter of criminals.
18 A very good person protecting you up to now (2,3)
AS YET - A ST (saint) insert YE = you.
20 Scot had to appear nasty about English and Poles (8)
CATHODES - (SCOT E HAD)*, the E from English. A cathode is a negative pole of e.g. a battery, as opposed to an anode.
23 Go down and see graduate getting certificate (7)
DIPLOMA - DIP (go down) LO (see) MA (graduate).
25 Young magician with the ultimate in spooky craft (7)
POTTERY - Harry POTTER plus Y from spookY.
26 Sigh with a debate rambling: an expression of annoyance (5,3,3,4)
27 Bet there will be no turning back — eager not to stop (6)
YANKEE - NAY (there will be no), reversed = YAN, KEE(N) = eager, endless.
28 Partners, kind to get involved in tricks (8)
CONSORTS - SORT (kind) inside CONS (tricks).
1 Device I would obtain to prop up top of window (6)
WIDGET - W(indow), I'D GET (I would obtain).
2 Evidence in court set up — Athenian guilty finally (9)
TESTIMONY - TES = set, up; TIMON Shakespeare's chap from Athens; Y = guilty finally.
3 Time of festival — Rev's looking silly in tricorn maybe (7)
HARVEST - (REV'S)* inside HAT = tricorn maybe.
4 Place of many races where you'll see a northerner (5)
ASCOT - A SCOT = a northerner.
6 Bitter writer sitting beneath tree (7)
ACERBIC - ACER (tree of maple family) BIC (ballpoint pen).
7 On account of two playing together love ensues (3,2)
DUE TO - DUET = two playing together, O = "love ensues".
8 Daughter is getting behind — almost a total failure? (8)
DISASTER - D (daughter) IS ASTER(N) = behind almost.
9 Being most scatty, gets confused about identity one way and another (8)
GIDDIEST - (GETS)* = GEST, insert ID and DI = identity one way and another.
14 Pain of second celebrity landing outside hospital (8)
BACKACHE - BACK (second, support); AC(H)E = celebrity with H inside.
16 Phony prince initially about to get offer (9)
PRETENDER - P (prince initially), RE (about) TENDER (offer).
17 Pastoral deity — dull-looking or a dish? (8)
PANDOWDY - PAN a pastoral deity, DOWDY = dull-looking; I got it from wordplay then looked it up, it is a New England apple-based pudding, sounds tasty, never heard of it here.
19 Foot in fixed position before toe is manipulated (7)
TOOTSIE - TO (in fixed position as in "the door is to"), (TOE IS)*.
21 Away from home a long time when torches may be necessary? (7)
OUTAGES - OUT (away from home) AGES (a long time).
22 Roundabout way Times gets free access? (6)
BYPASS - BY (times, x), PASS (free access). I came through Milton Keynes yesterday, on a roundabout way back from Oxford as the M1 was closed, and went round about a thousand roundabouts, at least it felt like it.
24 Something to eat when one of the minions entertains king? (5)
PRAWN - PAWN (one of the minions) has R (king) inserted.
25 Some chap, a bloke making a name in Spain (5)
PABLO - hidden as above.

Monthly Club Special 20,251: Slubberdegullions Need Not Apply

I found this quite a beast to solve, but a very enjoyable one, full of literally incredible words from all around the globe. 18ac looks like a basic cluing error to me, unless anyone can prove otherwise, but I really liked some of the elegant constructions elsewhere: 12ac is a sweet anagram, and I loved the clever way of reimagining the word anisette at 28ac, the use of Dorian Gray at 22ac, and 14ac finding a way to begin and end with a racket. Nothing wrong with the down clues either, with RHYNCHOBDELLIDA being todays's word to "take the cake". Apparently these are leeches with "proboscis but no jaw" so I will pronounce 5dn to be jaw-dropping.

Thanks to the setter for our mensal mental workout!

Definitions underlined, (ABC)* indicating anagram of ABC, {} deletions and [] other indicators.

1 French out of competition over early transit option (8)
HORSECAR - HORS [French "out of"] + reversed race [competition, "over"]
6 Muslim teacher and king scuttle German agreement (6)
KHODJA - K HOD JA [king | scuttle | German "yes"]
9 Concealing their ends, everyone prompting adviser to Charlemagne (6)
ALCUIN - AL{l} CUIN{g}. I know this best as a college at York University
10 Very important to restrict string length round bunting (8)
YELDROCK - KEY "restricting" CORD L, the whole reversed. Same as a "yoldring", according ot the dictionary, which I'm sure helps a lot
11 Leave Home Secretary to reverse country’s sway (4)
SHOG - GO H.S., the whole reversed. Dialect for shake, sway, jog, that kind of thing.
12 Sweet tempered raconteuse (10)
14 Racket’s target? Thug renouncing a racket (8)
BALLYHOO - BALL [(tennis) racket's target] + Y{a}HOO
16 Dress to the left, nearly showing basket of mine? (4)
CORF - FROC{k} reversed. A coalminer's basket, when it isn't a lobster cage.
18 Decorated case recalled in lawsuit evidence (4)
ETUI - hidden but not hidden in {laws}UIT E{vidence}. Is this simply an error?
19 Adviser against imitating the past, the man had backtracked (8)
DEHORTER - RETRO HE'D, reversed. The rarely seen opposite of an exhorter
21 See many in the mirror injecting an ounce that enhances athletic performance (10)
STANOZOLOL - LO LOTS, reversed, "injecting" AN OZ. Wouldn't "in the mirror" turn the Ls and S back to front too? A performance-enhancing drug probably used by Stanislavski when he needed to portray a muscly athlete onstage [citation needed]
22 Excessive indulgence of almost the first couple in Dorian Gray (4)
ORGY - {d}OR{ian} + Gy [abbreviation for the SI unit of absorbed dose of ionizing radiation]
24 For old tragedian, boots banal stuff around day one (8)
COTHURNI - CORN around THU, plus I. Kothornoi, the tragic buskins, came up a lot in my time as an undergraduate doing Lit Hum
26 Perhaps rustle from aged subordinate officer stops during the last month (6)
UNCOLT - N.C.O. "stops" ULT. Shakespearean or thereabouts for "to deprive of a horse"
27 Note a vaccination involving hospital about which Hindus sing (6)
BHAJAN - N A JAB "involving" H, all reversed. Quite different from a bhaji
28 Cordial missive from Folketing possibly avoiding extremes (8)
ANISETTE - {d}ANIS{h} {l}ETTE{r}
2 Official staff raise Henry and Maureen informally (5)
OMLAH - HAL + MO reversed. A "staff of officials" in India, that's human staff not a sceptre as far as I can make out.
3 American’s watery stew of (I’m thinking) chump eaten by small cat (11)
4 Blue worn by new cook reduced problem in throat (8)
CYNANCHE - N "wearing" CYAN + CHE{f}. Quinsy seems to be a vernacular rendering of this handsome Greek word which means something like "dog-throttler"
5 Confusion of inch and yard when checking rustic valley leeches (15)
6 Hookah by another name, mostly secured by knots (6)
KALIAN - ALIA{s}, "secured" by KN. [the nautical measure]
7 Rise of Australian native related to us in Perth (3)
OOR - reversed ROO. Who else remembers "Oor Wullie"? And/or The Broons?
8 Introduction of Justice Bill baselessly expresses doubt about revolt (9)
JACQUERIE - J{ustice} + A/C + QUERIE{s}
13 Mark of injury, mark that’s painful, in eastern European’s forgotten battle (11)
ESCARMOUCHE - SCAR M OUCH, in E E. Old spelling of skirmish it looks like
15 I can’t digest a superior serving of brandy, say, pub having run out earlier (9)
AUTOTROPH - A U TOT, plus P.H. after RO. An organism that generates its chemical constituents from simple inorganic compounds, rather than by ingesting things, I guess
17 After British aid, India supports old city, providing some local food (8)
BHELPURI - after B HELP, I supports UR. Indian puffed rice with onions, which sounds quite nice; FOI
20 Domestic office covering reservation reared antelope (6)
DZEREN - DEN "covering" reversed REZ, as in a native American reservation
23 Forced exile is to saturate surrounding area (5)
GALUT - GLUT "surrounding" A. A Hebrew word meaning the forced exile of Jews from, e.g., Palestine
25 Elevation of God in Rastafarianism or Islamic expectation (3)
HAJ - JAH reversed: one of the Five Pillars of Islam