Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish (verlaine) wrote in times_xwd_times,
Cityish Alt-ish Fortyish
verlaine
times_xwd_times

Monthly Club Special 20,247: Can We Solve It?

An enjoyable tour of the less well-trodden reaches of the dictionary, with some really brilliant clues: My favourite moments being "presumably gross" to clue UNNET, and my Clue of the Month 27 ac. That Laotian currency cryptic gag literally never gets old. WOD to 15ac. Shout out to the crossers 26ac and 20dn, which you might well think would be ISABGOL and CALLALOO if you weren't paying close attention to the cryptic. In your metal face, Dr Fill!

I was marginally less fond of 2dn because it's a word the chances are you haven't heard of, clued by a synonym for a "pointed stick" _A_ in the middle. As "gad" is also an obscurity, I felt like this clue was too likely to send us scurrying for external aids, not that there's anything intrinsically wrong with that of course. Overall, this pudding was excellent.

Possible Nina: signed by the artist on the bottom row? Thank you so much for these puzzles sir!

ACROSS
1 Focuser of light reflected around flower, one seen in mountains formerly (8)
SPICKNEL - LENS [focuser of light] reversed round PICK [= cream = flower]. Apparently this is a plant from mountainous European regions; "formerly" because the modern spelling is "spignel", per Chambers.

9 Zulu king stopping to bind a bale perhaps recalled anniversary of loss (8)
YAHRZEIT - Z R "stopping" TIE HAY, all reversed. Jewish anniversary of a relative's death

10 Lily of the Mediterranean except as otherwise noted in Jerusalem (3,5)
SEA ONION - E.A.O.N. in SION. Aka the sea squill

11 Japanese corporation turning into queer person’s guiding light (8)
CYNOSURE - SONY reversed into CURE [queer person]. The Dog's Tail = The North Star

12 Intrusive photographer added to agitation of Euro politician in Greece (10)
PAPANDREOU - PAP(arazzo) AND (EURO*). Founder of PASOK and two-term Greek PM

14 Retired crawlers etc in post at Balmoral (4)
STOB - reversed BOTS [(web) crawlers]. A Scots stake or stump

15 Purple colouring in food partly digested by stomach (7)
CUDBEAR - CUD [food partly digested] by BEAR [stomach, as a verb]. Not what you might think "cudbear" would mean, if you didn't know any better

17 Sketch libertine undressed (7)
ÉBAUCHE - {d}EBAUCHE{e}

21 Processes that bend back even pieces of zirconium (4)
UNCI - reversed {z}I{r}C{o}N{i}U{m}. An uncus is "a hook-like process"

22 Dense vegetation and sand trap Chesapeake Bay herring (10)
MOSSBUNKER - MOSS + BUNKER. Big noises in the world of fish oil manufacture

23 Something from Punjabi has me musing over his European wife? (8)
MEMSAHIB - hidden reversed in {punja}BI HAS ME M{using}, semi-&lit

25 Symbol to represent sound limit in Muscat, say (8)
GRAPHEME - HEM in GRAPE

26 Cry audibly, not finishing thick, leafy soup (8)
CALLALOU - CALL ALOU{d}

27 Reels in 100 at traditional country scene (8)
LANDSKIP - LANDS [reels in] KIP [100 at, in Laos]

DOWN
2 Long, pointed stick breaking up turned hard wood (8)
PYENGADU - YEN [long] + GAD [pointed stick, something like a goad presumably] "breaks" reversed UP

3 Cambridge hosting colourful spring festival’s somewhat irregular verse (8)
CHOLIAMB - CAMB "hosting" HOLI. "A variety of iambic trimeter having a spondee for a iambus as the sixth foot". One to commit to memory I feel

4 Duke outdated as he used to go by every time (4)
NEIF - NÉ [as he used to go by, bit rarer than NEÉ probably] + IF [= whenever = every time]. Neif is an old word for a fist

5 Local terraces include this Rovers manager and Roman (7)
LYNCHET - (Bet) LYNCH [manager of the Rover's Return in Corrie] + ET [and, in Roman].

6 Weak glue builder used for whatnot (10)
THINGUMBOB - THIN GUM BOB (the Builder, can we fix it, yes we can)

7 Juiciest tangles of subtle arguments (8)
JESUITIC - (JUICIEST*)

8 Aspen is a source of timber to veneer medium barrel (8)
ATREMBLE - A + TREE [source of timber] "veneering" M BL

13 Daughter damages hotel after hostel in India (10)
DHARMSHALA - D HARMS H À LA

15 Crook caught by unusual practice for test (8)
CRUMMOCK - C by RUM MOCK. Shepherdy implement

16 Submerge breakwater for platypus (8)
DUCKMOLE - DUCK [submerge] + MOLE [breakwater] = a word we should use more for this delightfully rum beast

18 Scarcely aged, presumably gross males (8)
UNNETHES - UN-NET (therefore "presumably-gross) HE'S. Spenserian for "almost", hardly, etc etc

19 One with no more than a word of sympathy raised a welcome in NZ (8)
HAEREMAI - I with A MERE AH!, the whole reversed. Maori "welcome"

20 Heave herb cut up as thickener for food (7)
ISABGUL - LUG BASI{l}, reversed

24 Spirit that’s weakest in month around November (4)
JANN - JAN around N. The least powerful order of jinn
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