October 1, 2019 - "AVCX Cryptic Crossword #1" - Francis Heaney, edited by Ben Tausig

Puzzle Notes

Dear Friends:
In October, November, and December, we run a lot of bonus puzzles. We're starting early this year with a fun cryptic crossword by Francis Heaney.
Rating a cryptic crossword on the same scale that we use for regular crosswords is a bit hard to gauge, but this one is a challenge as cryptics go, so we've got it at 4.5/5, and we've numbered it as our first cryptic (although officially it's our second; Francis made a "cryptic progword" with musician Wesley Stace in March 2014, but that was kind of its own thing). The solution is attached, including explanations.
Happy fall, and may you be written in the Book of Life,
Ben and the AVCX crew
avxwords.com // @avcxword