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Diabolically Arcane

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Middle America

21 April, 2015

Back from a great break - lots of rock-hopping, beachcombing, book-gobbling and potbelly fires. In a word: therapy. (And thanks for sharing your own book lists. My pick of the break: Is That A Fish In Your Ear by David Bellos.)

Solved my share of crosswords too, many sourced from Big Dave's Aladdin Cave here. I can recommend anything Anax makes, as well as Gazza and Heiroglyph. (Radler is a required taste, while I'm still to sample the others.) 

One clue from Gazza almost inspired a Cryptic Court. But then I thought, hell, let's have a Storm instead. Here's the clue:

Middle America is rocked by wrongdoing (5)

The answer is CRIME, the five middle letters of AMERICA rocked into one misdemeanour. Pedants could quibble that Middle America is R only, but I don't mind the variation. Besides, the surface story is excellent.

So that's our challenge this week, to dream up a clue that matches Gazza's recipe, manipulating a central block of letters. The heart of ORANGUTAN, say, may well be G in standard clues, but here the ruse could lead to ANGUT (the fodder for GAUNT), or even NGU (revealing GNU!)

My opening bids:

Middle Eastern flower = ASTER

Rips into Middle Eastern conflict = TEARS

Style of screwball comedy, in essence = MODE 

Scottish boy vandalised central Adelaide = LADDIE

What's in your heart?

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