One that is at the easier end of the scale today, with plenty of anagrams and double definitions. I count 6 of each. However, I wasn’t on form with anagrams, and ended up taking 16:20, which puts me dead last on the leaderboard as I type this.
I wasn’t keen on 1d and 5d: they seemed like a pair of weak clues that just about held each other up: DAD went in with a “well, what else could it be?” attitude, and then MUM in 1d confirmed that DAD was correct. I may be missing something and they may in fact be the cleverest clues ever, but if so, it was too clever for me.
Definitions underlined, synonyms in round brackets, wordplay in square brackets and deletions in
|1||Seamen, I suspect, nasty lot (7)|
|MEANIES – Anagram [suspect] of SEAMEN I|
|5||Avoid nothing (4)|
|DUCK – Double definition|
|7||Police force and uniformed personnel originally came together (3,2)|
|MET UP – MET (Police force) + first letters [originally] of Uniformed Personnel|
|8||Look at where one’s home is (7)|
|ADDRESS – Another double definition.|
|10||Metal, very little cut (3)|
|TIN – TIN
|11||New receipts, including fifty for liqueur (6,3)|
|TRIPLE SEC – Anagram [new] of RECEIPTS and L [Roman 50].|
|13||Hard stuff bringing together two little girls (6)|
|ENAMEL – ENA and MEL are both women’s names.
Perhaps the “little” refers simply to the length of the names?
|14||Unwilling drunk, as ever (6)|
|AVERSE – Anagram [drunk] of AS EVER.|
|17||Veteran sorted gal out (3,6)|
|OLD STAGER – Anagram [out] of SORTED GAL.
This phrase is new to me. But the crossers made it inevitable.
|19||Meal taken every afternoon, initially (3)|
|TEA – First letters [initially] of T
|20||Slaver, something footballer might do? (7)|
|DRIBBLE – Double definition.
That’s “slaver” as a verb with a short “A” sound, meaning to drool.
|22||Imperial unit formerly guarding university (5)|
|OUNCE – ONCE (formerly) around [guarding] U for university.|
|23||Sell sport the wrong way (4)|
|FLOG – GOLF (a sport) backwards [the wrong way].|
|24||Able to pay for vinegar, say? (7)|
|SOLVENT – Another double definition.|
|1||That’s confidential: you don’t say 5 down! (4,3,4)|
|MUMS THE WORD – Since 5 down is DAD, if you don’t say DAD, then perhaps you say MUM?|
|2||Number secured by girl — might one of those be on the house? (7)|
|ANTENNA – TEN (a number) inside [secured by] ANNA (random girl).|
|3||One’s clear about one becoming very eager (9)|
|IMPATIENT – I’M (one’s) + PATENT (clear) around [about] I (one).
“One is” is the third-person equivalent of “I am”, so “One’s” as an indicator for “I’m” seems fair enough.
|4||Fixed charge? (6)|
|STATIC – Yet another double definition.|
|5||“Pop” as a palindrome? (3)|
|DAD – A word for “Pop” that is a palindrome.
Once the D was in place from DUCK, this just had to be the answer.
|6||Game he’s into completely strategical, firstly (5)|
|CHESS – HE’S inside [into] C
|9||Spook dancing centre stage (6,5)|
|SECRET AGENT – Anagram [dancing] of CENTRE STAGE.|
|12||Organ fund for city with two cathedrals (9)|
|LIVERPOOL – LIVER (organ) + POOL (fund).
Don’t lots of cities have two cathedrals?
|15||People following some mobile unit, erroneously sent up (7)|
|RETINUE – hidden in [some] reverse [sent up] in “mobilE UNIT ERroneously”.|
|16||Giant roses scattered round top of garden (6)|
|OGRESS – Anagram [scattered] of ROSES and G [top of Garden].|
|18||What dentist might use in practice (5)|
|DRILL – Our sixth double definition!|
|21||Huge piece of crab I grab! (3)|
|BIG – hidden in [piece of[ “craB I Grab”.|