5
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Here's the crossword: enter image description here

I call it "A Abuse"...

You'll find out why.

Made with a crossword maker lol

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ha ha. $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 16 at 0:11
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    $\begingroup$ Though, having solved more of the clues than I had when I wrote that, it seems less thoroughly what I expected than I expected it to be. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 16 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ Would you like to let me know whether the words in my partial solution are the ones you intended? (I have had no success in finding good candidates for the two remaining spaces that fit the letters I currently have.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 22 at 16:12
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Partial answer

After getting (reasonably confidently, but perhaps you had something else in mind for 13a) this far

enter image description here

I find myself stuck:

there are no words in the OED matching --a--o that seem to me like they mean a type of flower (not even taking "flower" with its nasty cryptic-crossword meaning of "thing that flows") and if there are words matching ----m--- that mean "waterspout" in any of that word's senses, I've been unable to find them by searching e.g. for such words whose dictionary entries include "water" or "tornado" or "pipe" or "duct" or "meteorology" or various other such things.

Of course it could be that I've made bad choices elsewhere, but they mostly seem pretty much forced. One thing that gives me pause is that

not all my intersections are on the letter A, as I was expecting after putting in PARADOXICAL (given the "A Abuse" thing). But I guess it just means "lots of the intersections are A, and lots of the words are obscure".

Confession:

in view of the obscurity of the words (there are at least three I've never seen before) I have had no compunction about using electronic help to look for candidates.

And now it's nearly 2:30am local time and I really ought to go to bed, so I'll leave it there.

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  • $\begingroup$ a stretch, but the only word I could find for 14 that was even slightly reasonable was rot13(uggcf://jjj.lbheqvpgvbanel.pbz/nanggb) $\endgroup$ – Luke Bickell Jan 16 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ I did think of that one, but it's seed rather than flower. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jan 16 at 18:00

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