1. EXCUSE – pardon. Former (EX), copper (CU), (S)incer(E).
2. CARTON – box. Needed by (an integral part of) vi(CAR TON)ight.
8. LUNATIC – foolish. Learner (L), international body (UN), half of dogm(ATIC).
10. AGAIN – once more. A (A), profit (GAIN).
11. SCI-FI – literary genre. (S)ome (C)ommend (I)t (F)or (I)magination.
12. RED MEAT – description of bacon as an example (noted by the ?). Embarrassed looking (RED), setter (ME), at (AT).
13. EDGBASTON – Warwickshire cricket ground in Birmingham (good luck non-UK, non-cricket aware people). Anagram (excited) of BAND GET SO.
17. HEADSET – cans (an informal name for headphones/set). Top teacher (HEAD), prepared (SET).
19. SHOVE – push. Very (V) involved in footwear (SHOE).
20. ELITE – exclusive. European (E), description of low calorie items (LITE).
21. SWAHILI – language (
the ! indicating definition by example – DBE). Anagram (dreadful) of WAIL HIS.
22. TANDEM – cycle. Time (T), with (AND), English (E), Male (M).
23. NESTOR – wise man (the oldest and wisest of the Greeks in the Trojan War – or any wise old man; sage). Cosy home (NEST), centre of f(OR)t.
1. ENLIST – join up. In from the French (EN), lean (LIST – as in a boat). Simply couldn’t work out why ‘roll’ could mean ‘lean’ but eventually realised it didn’t so I looked further.
2. CONSIDERATION – fee. Argument against (CON), team (SIDE), allowance (RATION).
3. SITTING – session (e.g. of parliament). f(ITTING) to get change of leading letter – in this case ‘S’.
5. AWARD – medal maybe. A (A), person under protection (WARD).
6. TRADE UNIONIST – member of workers’ organisation. Anagram (upset) of OUTSIDER AT INN.
7. NINETY – number. No indication of DBE – I’m not sure what the rules are. [On edit – with thanks to Kevin and John, and I hope I’ve got his right now – 21ac and 7dn are not DBE as the answers are examples of a category. 12ac is DBE as the answer (red meat) is the category of the example in the clue (bacon).] Popular (IN) and tips – ends from (E)lemen(T) captivated (captured) by New York (NY).
9. CERVANTES – Spanish writer (on look up – the chap who wrote Don Quixote 414 years ago). Happily, the answer is in the clue (somewhat) ni(CER VAN TES)t (thank you, Hurley).
14. TESTATE – with final instructions given (what a great definition). Had food (ATE) after cricket match (TEST – possibly played at 13ac).
15. THREAT – source of danger. That (THAT) is drawing inside itself Royal Engineers (RE).
16. SENIOR – older. Anagram (unfortunately) of NOSIER. Great surface.
18. SIEVE – kitchen item. Is turned upwards (SI) beside girl (EVE).