3938 Babel by Noggs

Eight years after his last Listener, Noggs reappeared with some unusual cluing, which depended on the origin of the word.

Clues were of three types, 1) Normal, containing a definition and wordplay; 2) Definition and origin and; 3) Wordplay and origin. It was a strange experience to tackle clues that lacked a definition. In the end it was a fairly straightforward and pleasing puzzle although it was necessary to check the dictionary rather more than usual.

ACROSS
1 Church provides secluded retreat after single mother is in the money (6)
CAMASH Ma (Mother) in CASH CHINOOK Ch (church) + I + NOOK
6 Horse in charge from Nebuchadnezzar falls (4)
ZARF Hidden ARABIC Arab (horse) + IC (in charge)
10 Image of ancient spirit dance I must follow (11, two words)
KACHINA DOLL (def. image of ancient spirit) HOPI dance + I
11 Being without oxygen for ages (4)
EONS O (oxygen) in ENS (being)
15 Fragrant root for silky-haired cat (8)
KHUSKHUS (def. fragrant root) PERSIAN (cat)
16 I wander back, but it's no good, more than half of the smelly mayonnaise (5)
NGAIO NG= no good + AIO(LI) MAORI I roam (rev.)
17 Invest, say, in bees I disturbed (7)
BESIEGE eg (say) in anag. bees I
18 I must get degree - second, not having studied in the past, or lower (6)
IMBASE I + MBA + SE (second minus cond v. con (3))
20 Clay at one time, catmint before that - teacher's total oddness (4)
TAHR odd letters of teacher. NEPALI Nep (catmint) + (Mohammed Ali formerly Cassius Clay)
22 Antique fishing line rarely used, cut and dyed at sea (4)
EDDY anag. dyed OLD NORSE (antique) + Norsel (cut short)
24 All gone - quit and cut tails off deer (6)
WAPITI (def) ALGONGUIAN All gone - quit and (minus last letters)
26 Without taking Kali's lead, scratch Siva's spear (7)
TRISULA (def) SANSKRIT sans (without) + K (first letter of Kali) + RIT (scratch)
29 Mass in envelope left underburnt (5)
SAMEL M in SAE + L (left)
30 Man-of-war's nationality's American; ran amok in Caribbean island (8)
CARNAUBA A (American) + anag. RAN in CUBA PORTUGUESE ref. Portuguese man-of-war
33 Nympho almost without power supply for dangerous sort of gift (4)
HYMN anag. NYMPH (O) minus P (power)
34 Elderly knife-fighting wife (11)
SNICKERSNEE (def) DUTCH (wife)
35 Suffer pain once turning round king's carriage (4)
EKKA ake (rev.) round K (king)
36 Genius takes bishop, then ducks a couple of hitches with knight's promotion (6)
KARROO Ka + RR + OO (ducks) KHOIKHOI 2 x hoik with K promoted to front
DOWN
1 Eastern bosun loses footing embracing AC/DC fighter (7)
CHETNIK (def. fighter) SERBIAN bi (bisexual) in SERAN(G)
2 Mix up; it turns amber again (10)
MANGABEIRA (anag. amber again TUPI anag. it up
3 Exhibited Unitarian hat (5)
SHAKO (def. hat) HUNGARIAN hung + Arian (=Unitarian)
4 Called, almost came here for Caesar (4)
HIGH (HIGH(T) = called) GOTHIC got + hic (Latin here)
5 Don Corleone ultimately adds new payment (5)
ENDUE E (last letter of Corleone) + N (new) + due
7 Varnish English opponents bean, sort of (5)
ADUKI (def. bean) JAPANESE Japan (varnish) + E (English) +SE (opponents in bridge)
8 Hut with flag flapping, flapping (7)
FLAUGHT anag. hut flag
9 Red leader's off with half a throwing stick to follow prophet of Nineveh, missing mass (4)
ULES (G)ules=red NAHUATL Nahu(m) (prophet) + ATL (half of atlatl)
10 Fiona's heart captured by womaniser Kelvin, old boy (3)
KOB WOLOF O (central letter of Fiona) in WOLF
12 Third of Hindus taken in by French limited company's Islamic branch (4)
SHIA HI (one third of the word HINDUS) in SA (Société anonyme)
13 Mount old donkey's back (4)
OSSA O (old) + ASS rev.
14 Tea laced with last of Cointreau, to follow that Spanish fruit (10)
CHERIMOYER (def. fruit) QUECHUA QUE (that in Spanish) U (last letter of Cointreau) in CHA (tea)
17 Half-turned graphite governor (3)
BEY (def. governor) TURKISH tur(ned) + KISH (graphite)
19 Ridge of discarded earth and stones - kind of cricket pitch, too (7)
MORAINE (def. 19 Ridge of discarded earth and stones) FRENCH Curiously Chambers lists French pitch as well as French cricket.
20 Airline formerly running to Washington (3)
TWA T (to) WA (Washingon) & lit.
21 Tilting at a lion could make Ibo a man (7)
AILANTO anag. at a lion AMBOINA anag. Ibo a man
23 With 22, heartless guitarist heard cheerful beat (4)
DUAN (ref. guitarist Duan(e) Eddy) GAELIC sounds like Gay Lick
25 Hard to beat Bahai's middle way (4)
PATH pat (unikely to be beaten ref. poker) + H (middle letter of Bahai
27 Just a bite - one each of numbers 50, 89 and 19 (5)
SNACK This was the last clue that Gregson resolved! Atomic numbers give the answer - 50 Sn (tin) 89 Ac (Actinium) 19 K (Potassium)!
28 Confusing clues, but they give a degree of enlightenment (5)
LUCES (plural of LUX) anag. clues
29 Latin dance that should swing it, in short (5)
SALSA (def.) ITALIAN it (as in gin and it)
30 Bludgeon Latin youth's head (4)
COSH (def. bludgeon) ROMANY Roman + Y (head of YOUTH)
31 Kind of pastry strip (4)
BARK (def. strip) DANISH (ref. Danish pastry)
32 Uncle Clement demonstrates (3)
EME Hidden