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1    British and in Bordeaux, she’s a beaut (5)

5   Right to needle soldier’s pal being drier (7)
      WRINGER; W(R)INGER; soldier's pal=WINGER

10 Cook’s tool put inside readily reduced something top-notch (9)

11 Wee bit of pencil, eg, is small, however, returned (4)
      STUB; S-(BUT) reversed

12 Bright Bishop, soft for some (6)
      BRAINY; B-RAINY; dialect for soft=RAINY

13 It wound up inclined (6)

16 Fire in Hubbard, Oregon (5)
      ARDOR; US form of "ardour" hidden in (hubb)ARD-OR(egon)

17 Bit of fun going round bronze left in hock (7)
      GAMBREL; GAM(BR)E-L; bronze=BR;

18 Oddball or hippy clutching gold fowl (9)
      PORPHYRIO; (or hippy)* surrounds OR=gold; the swamphen;

21 With almighty indulgence I tried wrestling with Aga (9, two words)

24 Tub almost necessary once with a dessert (7)

26 Explain about constant aid to immunity (5)

28 Noted one harnessed by Spenser (6)

29 Letter used by Tsipras ahead of recess rejecting eastern city (6)

30 Sturgeon’s joke about universal obstruction (4)

31 Saying standard nonsense before prayer (9)

32 In a kind way knowing about wife and return of what curlers aim for (7)

33 An old word for consider is bear (5)


1 Bird of abnormal size, socially acceptable for one acting (7)

2 Somehow endure tape wanting God of lyric poems (9)

3   Praises surrounding Newham’s first grassy areas (6)

4   City set up around a chap such as Charlemagne (7)

5   Welsh Alderman, sedate forest-ranger (9)

6   Attention-seeking call lifted crowd in a holy state (5)

7   Close to settler getting into marshal (6, two words)

8   Network expecting to lose its central pair (4)

9 Stag would be faithful under a different leader (5)

14 Eg, Mainwaring’s leadership destroyed any pact I see getting in (9)

15 I shall slip into something plunging and resort to night-light (9)

19 Boxers, say, not drinking in here in German section (7)

20 Steptoe’s lane is over the hill one admitted — strange (7, two words)

22 Majesty in France heading to Grenoble on river there (6)

23 Parent left in charge of one similar? (6)

24 Annual treat, maybe, is behind empty promises (5)

25 Advanced skills teacher adopting company tie (5)

27 Term for pain in uncapped passion is concerning in Pope’s language (4, two words)
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A slightly strange grid with 20 across clues and only 16 down and hence quite a number of 4 letter words.

This puzzle appeared on 29th March which was Ximenes' birthday and I have two queries arising from the application of his rules. The first is minor where at 25A my Chambers does not support the padding phrase "for the croft" - possibly it's in the very latest edition. My second is at 6D where, if I'm reading the clue properly, I can't make the wording work. All explanations welcome.

1CARABID - RAC reversed - A-BID; a real beetle, not the car;
7ILEA - hidden I(so)L(at)E(d-c)A(se);
10OTAKU - (out)* surrounds A-K(eyboard); Japanese computer geeks;
11NOONERS - NO-ONE-RS; lust at lunchtime (congess=sexual relations);
12STEGODONT - STE(GO-DON)T; bet=GO; extinct mammal;
13FRAB - FR-AB(out); worry;
17PYONER - P(YON)ER; PER=person; that=YON; old word for pioneer;
18PRIAL - P-RIAL; good hand in brag;
19UGLI - UG-LI(ke); old word for loathe=UG; fruit producer;
21NENE - NE-NE; old word for not=NE; rare bird;
22CADIE - CA-DIE; about=CA; old porter in Perth;
23OBERON - (borneo)*; moon of Uranus;
25ICKERS - (p)ICKERS; my Chambers just gives "ear of corn" as definition - nothing about "for the croft";
27ISIS - (cr)ISIS; crown=cr;
29HORS,LA,LOI - HORS(e)-LALO-I; heroin=horse; French composer=LALO; independent=I; outlawed in Ostend;
31UTTER - (b)UTTER; baron=b;
32ESTS - EST-S; special=S; awareness programmes;
33FOSTERS - two meanings cobber;
1COOF - C(O-O)F; centre-forward=CF; over=O; stupid in Sterling;
2ATTRITE - A-TT-R-ITE(m); dry=TT; run=R (cricket); marmelize in Mildenhall;
3RABATINES - RABAT-(l)INES; old collars;
4BUTTER-COOLER - B-UTTER-COOLER; bravo=B (phonetic alphabet); can=prison=COOLER;
5INEBRIANT - I(nquiry)-N(ot)-E(nough)-BR-I-AN-(Chilco)T; indeed=I; heady is definition;
6BOOTYLICIOUS - I think this is (is absolutely cooing)* minus "gals" and "ne" from (o)ne; what is "such" doing?; how does the clue work? what is the definition - it means a girl with a nice arse;
7INDY - (w)INDY:
8ERNIE - ER(N)IE; nationalist=N;
9ASTERIDS - (disaster)*; see Asterias in Chambers;
14SPADILLIO - SPA-DILL-I-O; the ace of spades;
16PINOCHLE - PIN(OC-HL)E; OC=Officer Commanding; HL=House of Lords; long=PINE; a card game;
24BUOYS - sounds like "boys" who are traditionally dressed in blue when babies;
28SARS - S(e)ARS;
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Solving time : 30 minutes

This is my first analysis and I have been dreading getting the hardest puzzle in twenty years.
In the event it's relatively straightforward but with several homophones, which are not my favourite type of clue because they don't always work in your particular accent. For me there are no outstanding clues but 13 acrooss and 2 down are quite good.

1BUCCANEER - sounds like "Buchan" + sounds like "here"
9WILDCAT - again so soon. Two meanings.
11SHAKE - two meanings
12NICOTIANA - (inaction + a)* proper name for tobacco
13DAILY - DALLY with "L" turned to "I"
14ENTRAMMEL - (lament + mre)* mre from m(a)r(k)e(d)
17MINNESOTA - M-INNE-SOT-A Inne is olde worlde. On edit - should be M-INN-E-SOT-A see blogs
18TAKEN - TA-KEN "ken" is Scots for knowledge
19SUSPENDED - refers to suspended sentence
22RIPON - RIP = scam but with ON rather than OFF
24ECHIDNA - E-CHID-NA the anteater CHID in (p)ENA(l)
25OIL CAKE - OIL(y) + CAKE = set as in mud cakes
27ELSEWHERE - E-LSE-WHERE E=English, LSE=London Scholl of Economics, WHERE sounds like "Wear"
1BOWLS - two meanings
2COLLATION - COL-LATI-O-N COL = officer, O= o(rdered) in LATIN
5RAIN CATS AND DOGS - (conga is standard)*
7MEDIA - two meanings (reference the Medes)
13DAMASCENE - two meanings, from Damascus and putting gold onto Toledo swords
15AFTERGLOW - (great wolf)*
16MAKE PEACE - homophone for William MAKEPEACE Thackeray
21ENDOW - hidden word (m)en do w(ithout)
23NIECE - seems like a straight non-cryptic definition. On edit - paper clue is different. NI-E-CE see blogs
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Solving time : 20 minutes

This is for me to learn and test

I found this one very easy

1MOUNTAINEERING - cryptic definition, scale=climb
9NO COMMENT - exactly
12HUNDREDTH - two very similar definitions
15CA-R-NAL r=rex=king
19TAMENESS -(massenet)*
23P-APE-R - P(ress) R(elease) holding APE=copy
24SNIPE - two definitions. The word "perhaps" seems superfluous
25PR-I-VAT-IZE - I is symbol for electric current
26THAT'LL BE THE DAY - (deathly battle + h)*
1MONKEY BUSINESS - concern=business, howler is type of monkey
6R-E-SURF-ACE - RACE =strong current
7NE-AS-DEN - area of London familiar to Private Eye devotees
8KEYHOLE SURGERY - cryptic definition
14PAR-RAKE-E-T - RAKE=lean over within PARE=reduce + T(ravel)
16BAKE-LITE - my first toy I can remember was made of Bakelite
18TARNISH - (Hasn't RI)*
21DISPEL - (slipped minus one p)*
23PEA-C-H - as H&C running water
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Solving time : time minutes


1clue analysis1a
5clue analysis2a
8clue analysis3a
9clue analysis4a
2clue analysis1d
3clue analysis2d
5clue analysis3d
6clue analysis4d
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Solving time : 45 minutes

1 SUN=newspaper TRAP= sheltered place9 IN=favoured GENERAL=strategist2 (things)*
5 queen=female cat WILDCAT is an oilwell
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