1 HEART-THROB – anagram* of BOTH RATHER.
7 AFRO – A[bnormal] + FRO (not ‘to’).
9 WATER-SKI – I wanted this to be ‘apres-ski’ despite the helpful Mitty stuff; it’s WALTER’S minus the L[ake] + KIN minus the last letter, and an &lit, I reckon.
10 INTEND - 'mean'; [ratio]N in I TEND ('I'm apt').
11 STOCKY – ‘solid and thickset’ is the literal; STOCK (‘conventional’ as in stock figures, expressions or responses) + Y[outh].
13 CHARCOAL – ‘sketch’ (as in a drawing made with charcoal); and not ‘coalchar’ as I entered with a puzzled backward glance: it’s our old friend CHAR for daily (as in she who does or Mrs Mopp) followed by A in COL. But YOU all knew that anyway.
14 COURT-MARTIAL – ‘one tries’; COURT as in suck up to plus MARTIAL, the Roman poet who is to epigrams as Juvenal is to satires and Horace to odes.
17 ALLITERATION – I’m not sure what to call this, especially given the form I’m in, but is it maybe, perhaps a semi &lit? The literal is ‘device used a lot in Lear’ with the wordplay element provided by A LOT IN LEAR IT anagrammised by ‘turns out’.
20 REALISED – ‘brought in’ (realised in its financial sense); simple but elegant wordplay REAL + ED around IS.
21 ODDS-ON – unless I’m wrong again, this time the faux pas is the setter’s, as the godparent is the sponsor not the godchild; anyway, the wordplay as given is [g]ODSON around D[aughter].
22 BOLERO – I dabbled with various invented steps, before the Frenchman Ravel’s most famous piece came to my rescue via Torvill and Dean; a BOLERO is also a short jacket.
23 OXTONGUE – you get quite a few plants for your money with this name, as it covers a dandelion-like thing as well as various sharp-leaved things, such as mother-in-law’s tongue, surely the most evocatively named plant of them all. Also available in hyphenated and two-word forms; it’s X in O + TONGUE.
25 ADIT – ‘entrance to mine’ from the Latin for approach; it’s ADMIT minus its M (miners’ leader).
26 ELEVEN-PLUS – the exam ushered in by the Education Act of 1944 (AKA the Butler Act), which did so much for the independent schools; it’s PL in ELEVEN + US (where US is British slang for unserviceable or useless).
2 EXACTION – I liked this clue, which focuses on the demand for money when it slips over the borderline of legality and becomes extortion; simple and elegant again: EX + ACTION.
3 RUE – another plant, this time a perennial, which shares its name with the French word for road.
4 TESTY – hidden.
5 RAILCAR – another charade: RAIL + C + A + R.
6 BRIGADIER – A (an) + DIER (sounds like ‘dear’) after BRIG.
7 ARTICULATED – double definition – clearly enunciated and segmented.
8 RENTAL – REAL around NT.
12 CURTAILMENT – another charade CURT (short) + AILMENT (illness) with an extended tongue-in-cheek definition.
15 MILLSTONE – ‘heavy burden’; JS MILL shows he has his uses by joining in the charades and taking TO and NE.
16 HONOLULU – ‘port’; the slightly more intricate wordplay is HON (unpaid) + LULU around O[ld]. My dictionary sweep shows outstanding and remarkable rather than marvellous for Lulu, but that’s probably trumped in one I haven’t seen and is arguably close enough anyway.
18 TADPOLE – ‘one that’s legless’, indeed; another charade: TAD + POLE.
19 SECOND – ‘tick’ as in ‘I’ll have this posted in a tick’; put ON on D (‘dog’s head) and SEC on top of that.
21OUTRE – ‘unusual’; T[ime] in OUR (“yours and my’) + E[ast].
24 NAP – double definition.