ICONOCLASM ''Q'' CLEARANCE by Peter Benchley Random House; 340 pages; $16.95

The man who brought chills to millions of summer vacations with Jaws and The Deep has returned. But this time out, Peter Benchley has jettisoned the oversexed surf-and-turfers in favor of Timothy Burnham, a fortyish journalist turned speechwriter whose only obsession is quoting the wisdom of Samuel Johnson, as in ''No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.'' Burnham writes not only for money but for President Benjamin T. Winslow, bullying, foul-tongued and Johnsonesque (Lyndon, not Samuel), and the assignments are rarely more demanding than ''Representative Whipple has told me a great deal about the fine work you ladies...

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