Not a lot of problems with this one, with a high proportion of crossword standards and a promising, if brief, collection of US states. You are to be congratulated for dedication to duty if you stopped to parse the two long ones: if you didn’t, I’ve done it for you, such is my generosity. I have learned that a racecourse can also be a cravat, when an Italian poet lived, and that an oak’s seed is a fruit. I have also learned, but don’t really believe, what a budgie is also known as. Is there a psittacologist in the house?
Let me know if anything caused any issues. I can’t really see any and completed in 16 minutes, parsing and checking all the way. For ease of reference, clues, definitions, SOLUTIONS
1 Silly clowning around outside back of hut (8)
FOOTLING Clowning around gives FOOLING, and it’s outside the back end of huT
5 Keep new judge in the same cricket side (6)
DONJON The slightly less familiar version of dungeon, here in its central keep guise. N(ew) J(udge) in DO (the same, short for ditto) and ON, the cricket side that’s not off
10 Rudely cursed at first by a French climber nursing injury (9)
UNCIVILLY A French is UN, cursed at first C, climber is IVY and the inserted injury ILL.
11 Former tax on a type of neckwear (5)
ASCOT SCOT used to be tax, and you need to put it on A. I would have guessed hat or somesuch, but it is a kind of tie akin to a cravat.
12 Doctor attending Light Infantry member (4)
LIMB Assume Light Infantry abbreviates to LI and add one of the standard doctors, an MB
13 Our Bing? He could be the bloke next door! (9)
NEIGHBOUR An anagram (pretty obviously) of OUR BING HE.
15 Figure in role of duke having noisy argument on phone? (10)
QUADRANGLE In the role of QUA plus D(uke) plus what wrangle, noisy argument would sound like on the phone.
17 Highland Scot’s verbal report of force eight wind, perhaps (4)
GAEL Is exactly a Highland Scot, and another soundalike, here of GALE which is a force eight wind. Generous and informative cluing.
19 Completely unknown person giving us support (4)
ALLY Completely ALL and Y one of the small collection of letters for unknown
20 Stores investing pounds in standard baked foods (10)
STOCKPILES Standard provides STOCK, baked foods are PIES, and £/L is invested therein.
22 Performer from Utah welcomed by one-time City worker (9)
EXECUTANT Which can be a proficient musician, but doesn’t need to be. One time: EX, city EC (the customary postcode) Utah must be UT, and worker ANT. String ‘em together.
24 See about specialised knowledge (4)
LORE This is really easy: see LO and about RE are about as standard as possible.
26 A scam involving introduction of ripe fruit (5)
ACORN Well, it is a fruit, and has been used to make ersatz coffee. A plus CON for scam and Ripe’s first inserted.
27 Accountant’s woman, one fated to be disbelieved (9)
CASSANDRA The Trojan princess who kept issuing dire warnings, and a name adopted by William Connor, columnist for the Mirror. Your accountant is a CA, and your woman SANDRA, a relatively rare visitor to these shores.
28 Liberal leader with a posh four-wheeled carriage (6)
LANDAU Which turned up in heat 2 of Another Place. First of Liberal, AND for with (easily overlooked) A for a and U for posh.
29 Variety of conifers connected with court (8)
FORENSIC I have a very limited range of conifers so it’s as well this isn’t one but the fodder for a rather cute anagram
1 Vendetta not many’d spoken of (4)
FEUD Not many’d translates to few’d if you will, and sounds like our answer
2 Very rarely performing a nice varied 1930s song (4,2,1,4,4)
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON OK, this is a real mix. ON is performing, A NICE is to be varied to CE IN A and BLUE MOON s a 39’s song, which sounds like this when sung by the incomparable Ella
3 What a convict won’t do for a budgie! (8)
LOVEBIRD My mother would say it’s not a budgie. Convicts can usually be expected to back the setter’s assertion that bird/time/porridge etc is not their favourite
4 City don leaving capital to provide material … (5)
NYLON The city is New York, the capital LONDON, which loses its DON. Apparently the story that the material was named after the two cities is a myth.
6 … partly for a chemical plant (6)
ORACHE Fortunately, this plant is today’s hidden clue: fOR A CHEmical
7 Versatile worker’s flag initially overturned by autumn winds (4,2,3,6)
JACK OF ALL TRADES JACK for flag, O for the beginning of Overturned, FALL for autumn, TRADES for winds.
8 Scholar, one barely recognisable outside Alabama (10)
NATURALIST One barely recognised (tee hee) is a NATURIST, and our second (third if you count NY) state abbreviation is AL for Alabama.
9 Unknown in C stream, one child’s first alphabet (8)
CYRILLIC The unknown Y crops up again, embraced by C (given letter) RILL for stream and I for one plus C again, this time for Child.
14 Fuddy-duddies worry, seeing canvas on yard (6,4)
SQUARE SAIL Fuddy-duddies are SQUARES, and worry provides AIL (via “trouble”)
16 Bird which nests in northern university church (8)
NUTHATCH Which provides THAT (again easily overlooked) and N(orthern) U(niversity) and CH(urch) provide the remaining pieces.
18 Escape of liquid ultimately damages sacking (8)
SPILLAGE S from the last of damages, PILLAGE is congruent with sacking if you are a Viking, Goth or Vandal.
21 Proper woman retiring as governess (6)
DUENNA the rather more common ANN turns up (in two ways) to tack on the DUE for proper.
23 Old Italian poet’s sons immersed in Chinese way of life (5)
TASSO Sons produce two S’s between them, and TAO is the Chinese (for) way of life. A poet of the 16th Century
25 Alcoholic drink boozer finally concealed in coat (4)
MARC Brandy made from the refuse of wine production. R from the back of boozer within MAC for coat.