8. PAULINE – girl. Pyrenean city (PAU), left (L), in (IN), east (E). Dnk Pau – it’s a city in southwestern France, set along the Pyrenees mountains’ northern edge approximately 85 km from the Spanish border.
9. ROUGE – cosmetic. Degenerate man (ROUE) secures good (G).
10. TENET – item of belief. That may be reversed = read backwards and forwards.
11. TOP GEAR – double definition. Best outfit – top clothes/gear and fourth or fifth – top gears in a car or bike.
12. PLASTIC – credit card. This one took forever as it’s been so long since I used the term – does it go back the ‘my flexible friend’ era? Finally (LAST) gets admission to film (PIC).
14. STAKE – interest (in something). Anagram (unusual) of KATES.
15. WAGER – bet. Comedian (WAG), queen (ER).
17. LURCHER – dog. Temptation (LURE) and run (R) around church (CH).
19. SOLOIST – individual performer. Thus (SO), is (IS) inside luck (LOT).
20. MULCH – soil improver. Left (L) inside rage quantity (MUCH).
22. ORIEL – window (NOT widow as in my first reading). A little of the clue Maj(ORIE L)oves.
23. ORPHEUS – fabulous singer. Knew of Orpheus but not the singing exploits – Orpheus is a legendary musician, poet, and prophet in ancient Greek religion and myth. Anagram (amazingly) of U POSHER. A pretty clear anagram.
1. SPOT – notice. Small (S), urn (POT).
2. GUINEA – country. Experimental sort of pig = guinea pig.
3. LIST – double definition. A boat lists – leans over. A series of items on a (shopping) list.
4. GESTICULATION – hand-waving. Anagram (storming about) of LUNATIC EGOIST.
5. PROPOSER – one opening debate. In favour of (PRO), model (POSER).
6. EUREKA – I’ve discovered something! Losing head (without the first letter) of w(AKE), French street (RUE) up – all upwards/backwards.
7. HEAR-HEAR – I approve. To try in court is to (HEAR)x2.
12. PAWNSHOP – place of uncle. Newcomers to crosswordland may be unfamiliar with this term but it’s pretty common here. I think it’s origin is from the ‘avuncular’ help given by a pawnbroker to people in times of temporary financial distress. Men on board (PAWNS), dance (HOP).
13. TORTILLA – pancake. Wrong (TORT), one (I), everyone (ALL) picked up = all upwards/backwards.
16. GALLIC – French. Resentment (GALL), I (I), (C)alm.
18. HOLMES – famous solver. Mark (M) in gaps (HOLES).
20. MOPE – feel miserable. Anagram (translating) of POEM.
21. HISS – show disapproval. Man’s (HIS), son (S).