My own major 10a was posed by my last in (27a), where I couldn’t see the parsing on entry and wasn’t very familiar with the vehicle. Perhaps I’ll see it by the time I come to explain it.
Overall, a nice and gentle introduction to the week, with a par Monday time for me of 23 minutes.
1. REMOTE – RE + MOT + [no-on]E; I have always spelt this (‘no-one’) as two words, in which form it looks so much less ugly.
4. SCHNABEL – no I’d never heard of Polish-Austrian Artur either; anagram* of BLANCHES.
10. CONUNDRUM – NUN in COD (‘kid’) + RUM (‘unusual’).
11. BATON – TAB reversed + ON; this setter has a penchant for having the solver transfer words from clue to answer.
12. PROFESSIONALLY – LAYS PINE FLOORS*; for a number of us of a certain vintage and way of thinking, ‘professional’ and ‘skillful’ are very commonly antonymous.
14. RUSTY – RU + ST[a]Y (stay as in rope as in guy).
16. LADYS MAID – DISMAL DAY*; the anagrams appear to be getting no harder.
18. TEA GARDEN – TE + ARDEN around A + G; the Forest of Arden plays a part in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, which popped up in one of our Controversial Clues recently, although the bard rather hedged (sorry) his bets there, by collapsing it with Wallonia’s Ardennes Forest. Marvellous thing, Wikipedia…
20. SHELL – LL (two pounds, or at least pound signs) on SHE (the Haggard book).
21. CONDUCTED TOURS – (DUCT in ONE) in CD (the extreme letters of C[ol]D) + TOURS (place in France).
25. PIECE – PIE (‘dessert perhaps’) + C[rumbl]E; definition ‘portion’.
26. MUSCOVITE – MITE around US and COV[er]; definition ‘Russian’.
27. ROADSTER – ROAD (sounds like ‘rowed’ – well, I suppose it could be ‘rowed’, but ‘rode’ is somewhat more likely; thanks sawbill) + STER[n] (‘back mostly’).
28. INSECT – INS[p]ECT.
1. RECUPERATE – definition ‘rally’; the prize has nothing to do with cups – it’s RE (‘concerned with’) followed by CRATE (‘vintage car’) around UP (‘winning’) and [priz]E. It’s why they pay us so much…
2. MANGO – hidden.
3. TANNERY – ANNE in TRY; literal ‘hides here for treatment’ – the sort of thing a tennis umpire would tell you, after s/he’s said ‘seats quickly please’.
5. CAMEO – a charade (A + B + C) of CA + ME + O; not sure about you, but as I get better at these things – and more warped in my thinking – I tend to find the common or garden charade one of the trickiest clue types.
6. NUBIANS – N + IN A BUS*.
7. BATTLE-AXE – B + A and X in ATTLEE.
8. LING – NIL reversed + G[rilled]; a ling is a fish when it’s not heather.
9. WRESTLED – W (‘with’) + REST + [b]LED; not too taxing.
13. ADOLESCENT – another charade with another word to transfer from clue to answer; A + DOLES + CENT.
15. SOAP OPERA – and another (of the latter, ut supra); in fact, two of them – SO + POP and ERA after A.
17. DANSEUSE – Sudanese*; ‘danseuse’ is putting in a late bid for Crossword Word of The Year.
19. ADDRESS – definition ‘speak to’; A and DRESS (‘groom’) around D (middle letter of wedDing).
20. SET DOWN – the setter is probably referring to Ashford in Kent, but it could be the town north of the Thames now bizarrely in Surrey rather than Middlesex, not a stone’s throw from Ali G’s parish, now even more bizarrely renamed Staines-upon-Thames. Anyhoo – as my daughter would say – the literal is JUDGE, with D (‘day’) in SE TOWN. Booyakasha! Collins has this under ‘set down’: ‘to judge, consider, or regard ⇒ he set him down as an idiot’.
22. COMTE – take every other letter from CoOl MeTiEr.
23. UNITE – TIN in EU all reversed.
24. SPAR – double definition.