When I first accessed this from the Puzzles site early this morning clue 27a was repeated as 27d which caused a problem with the grid. That was soon corrected however.
As Outnumbered commented on a Giovanni back-pager recently “On the plus side, at least there were no 14th Century religious assemblies to deal with”. That is indeed a plus although there are still a couple of obscurities, not least a very small village which I can’t believe that anyone outside its neighbourhood has heard of.
Thanks to Giovanni for the puzzle.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of the puzzle.
1a Two females, old and unintelligent, wandering around somewhere on sports ground (3-3)
MID-OFF: assemble two abbreviations for female, one abbreviation for old and an adjective meaning unintelligent. Now reverse the lot to get a fielding position at cricket.
5a Idiot yesterday in Paris, one with lots of duds (8)
CLOTHIER: join together an idiot and the French word for ‘yesterday’.
9a What Liesel famously shows, being independent (4-9)
SELF-CONTAINED: an adjective meaning independent may be obtained from a cryptic reading of ‘LieSEL Famously’.
10a Note ‘dumpy’ character embraced by short groom (8)
PRESTIGE: a fictional character who lives in a rubbish-dump goes inside a verb to groom or smarten oneself without its last letter.
11a Travel round Thames-side location (6)
GORING: combine a verb to travel and something that’s round. Should the name of this small village (population just over 3,000) be appearing in a national crossword?
12a US President, not totally honest fellow (6)
TRUMAN: a synonym for honest without its last letter and another word for fellow.
14a Order? I dissent, being awkward (8)
TIDINESS: an anagram (being awkward) of I DISSENT.
16a Son at entrance to playground was first to get animated (8)
SPARKLED: the abbreviation for son appears prior to a playground and that’s followed by a verb meaning ‘was first’.
19a European chum I’d abandoned by church (6)
FRENCH: a chum without the letters I and D is followed by an abbreviation for church.
21a Greek reminder about bathing beach being shortened (6)
EUCLID: reverse a reminder (to a forgetful actor perhaps) and append a bathing beach without its final O.
23a Ruthlessness of central element returning to bolster number losing heart (8)
FEROCITY: a word for the central part of something gets reversed inside a cardinal number without its central F.
25a Making new film, an actress in French region (6,7)
MASSIF CENTRAL: an anagram (making new) of FILM AN ACTRESS.
26a Multilayered account full of energy, written by editor (8)
STOREYED: an account or tale contains the abbreviation for energy with our usual short editor bringing up the rear.
27a Old lover with blemish, not one still with us (6)
EXTANT: glue together the word for an old lover and a synonym for blemish without the Roman numeral for one.
2d One providing cover at home? Certainly right! (7)
INSURER: weld together an adverb meaning ‘at home’, a response meaning ‘certainly’ and the abbreviation for right.
3d Soldiers on the 19 borders (5)
ORLES: an abbreviation for non-commissioned soldiers precedes one of the words for ‘the’ in 19a. The answer (new to me) is a word used in heraldry for borders on shields.
4d Group’s operation in decline seen as deficient (9)
FACTIONAL: insert a military operation into a word meaning decline which is deficient with regard to its last letter.
5d Discharge on street to heap up (7)
CONGEST: a word, from French, for a discharge or dismissal precedes the abbreviation for street.
6d Animal with body part that’s little good drooping (5)
ORANG: start with a body part and let the abbreviation for good droop to the bottom.
7d Obstacle at the back — run with any number getting in the way (9)
HINDRANCE: knit together an adjective meaning ‘at the rear’ and a verb meaning run with the abbreviation for ‘any number’ getting inserted.
8d In broadcasting the leader becomes the last to make resolutions (7)
ENDINGS: start with a synonym for broadcasting or transmitting and move the leading letter to the end.
13d Preacher as mean person getting spoken about? The opposite (9)
MORALISER: a adjective meaning spoken with a mean person around it.
15d Submission of rebuttal about to be squashed (9)
DEFERENCE: a word for rebuttal or counter-argument contains a preposition meaning about or concerning.
17d Travel as Newton’s apple, fruit encountered going down (7)
PLUMMET: a type of fruit and a verb meaning encountered.
18d ‘Brilliant’ star daughter somehow spoilt (7)
DEFACED: concatenate an informal adjective meaning brilliant or excellent, a star or expert and the abbreviation for daughter.
20d Language of cold classical virgin without final word of gratitude (7)
CATALAN: the tap abbreviation for cold and the name of the huntress from Greek mythology who was reluctant to marry without the short word of thanks at the end.
22d Cleaner rag? (5)
DAILY: double definition, the second being The Sun perhaps.
24d Mark on script what could be picked up as incentive (5)
CARET: this sounds like an incentive (rather than a stick).