I found this a little tricky and completed in just under 11 minutes. 1dn had me torn between two potential answers (only one valid) and LOI 16dn took some staring at to see an animal from the checkers which then so obviously fitted the word play.
I’ll be interested to hear how well-known 9dn is amongst our wide age range of solvers – I had thought it was pretty recent so was interested when I researched it (see below)
1. Learning of WI’s party ending in bedlam (6)
WISDOM – WI’s (WIS), party (DO), bedla(M).
4. European language buff (6)
POLISH – double definition.
8. Ran back with speed to tell a tale (7)
NARRATE – ran backwards (NAR), speed (RATE).
10. Bowl first of bumpers when at home (5)
BASIN – (B)umpers, when (AS), at home (IN). I wonder why Tracy preferred bumpers to bouncers here.
11. Young man carrying English guide (4)
LEAD – young man (LAD) carrying English (E).
12. One taking an active part grabbing pit boss (8)
DOMINEER – one taking an active part (DOER) grabbing pit (MINE). Boss the verb – to boss about.
14. Reviewing amount of money type of Chinese porcelain raised (7,2)
SUMMING UP – amount of money (SUM), type of Chinese porcelain (MING), raised (UP).
18. Race the old lady runs with unusual hat on (8)
MARATHON – the old lady (MA), runs (R), anagram (unusual) of HAT, on (ON).
20. Present from that woman, ultimate in lingerie (4)
HERE – that woman (HER), lingeri(E).
22. Yarn spun about foremost of golfers up in arms (5)
ANGRY – anagram (spun) of YARN around (G)olfers.
23. Running place is important (7)
SPECIAL – anagram (running) of PLACE IS.
24. Shrewd like famous pharaoh, leader of Egyptians (6)
ASTUTE – like famous pharaoh (AS TUT), leader of (E)gyptians. King Tutankhamen ruled Eqypt for 10 years until his death at age 19, around 1324 BC. I liked this one – COD.
25. Talkative, spiteful about husband (6)
CHATTY – spiteful (CATTY) about husband (H).
1. Engineer in corner supporting wife (6)
WANGLE – corner (ANGLE) supporting (underneath) wife (W). I leapt straight at ‘ingle’ which means a fireplace (convinced myself that inglenook – corner by a fireplace was much the same) so was left trying to remember if I’d ever heard of an engineer called Wingle. This seemed a bit iffy for a QC so reassessed and got the obvious answer.
2. Beat struggling Spurs, netting a second (7)
SURPASS – anagram (struggling) of SPURS including a second (A S).
3. Artist left after nothing said (4)
ORAL – artist (RA) and left (L) after nothing (O).
5. Ten in old game for top universities paired together? (8)
OXBRIDGE – ten (X) in old game (O BRIDGE).
6. Question children (5)
ISSUE – double definition.
7. Underfed country area overlooked (6)
HUNGRY – country (HUNG)a(RY) – with area (A) overlooked/missed out.
9. Economist translated messaging symbols? (9)
EMOTICONS – anagram (translated) of ECONOMIST. Britannica.com tells me that the first substantiated use of an emoticon came from American computer scientist Scott E. Fahlman on 19 September 1982.
We’ve been warned that actual emoticon picture symbols (as opposed to a collection of punctuation marks) may not display properly in certain browsers so be warned! 🙂
13. Crooked team nicking your old small gemstone (8)
AMETHYST – anagram (crooked) of TEAM nicking (holding) your in old language (THY) and small (S).
15. Forecast from pair ahead of decree (7)
PREDICT – pair (PR) ahead of decree (EDICT).
16. Almost spear a horned animal (6)
IMPALA – almost spear (IMPAL)e, a (A). I didn’t see impale for a long time but with -M-A-A I managed to fit an animal into it and everything became clear.
17. Answer includes a repeat fixture (6)
REPLAY – answer (REPLY) includes a (A).
19. Proper shock female being fired (5)
RIGHT – shock f(RIGHT) – female (F) being fired.
21. Married? He’s silly to get engaged (4)
MESH – married (M), anagram (silly) of HES.