April 20th, 2020

Astarte1

QC 1595 by Tracy

Sorry, I have absolutely nothing to say today, as I fell asleep after cooking dinner (whilst taking on board the customary amount of chef's 'inspiration') and woke up in the middle of the night realising I had not written this. FOI was 6A and LOI was the slightly unusual 8A. There were several possible CODs with some neat surfaces competing for the crown but in the end I will probably go for 11D as being the neatest and most compact whilst also incidentally reminding me of one of my oldest friends (although to be fair to him he rarely causes impasses). Slightly distracted along the way by reading a highly entertaining article about Joseph Heller being asked to write a script for Casino Royale but finally got here saying thanks to Tracy for an entertaining medium-difficulty small hours solve.

Definitions are underlined and everything else is explained just as I see it in the simplest language I can manage.

Across
1 Police officer in Cape, working with firm (9)
CONSTABLE - C (Cape) + ON (working) + STABLE (firm).
6 Man behaving dishonourably — Conservative, notice (3)
CAD - C (Conservative) + AD (notice).
8 You and I filling awfully large trousers? (7)
LEGWEAR - WE (you and I) 'filling' LEGAR (anagram ('awfully') of LARGE).
9 Information supplied by American group (5)
GENUS - GEN (information) + US (American).
10 Joined female taken advantage of (5)
FUSED - F (female) + USED (taken advantage of).
12 Backing students, a mistake (4-2)
SLIP-UP - PUPILS (students) reversed ('backing').
14 Decoy, small, speaking with rough voice we hear (8-5)
STALKING-HORSE - S (small) + TALKING (speaking) + HORSE (sounds like HOARSE - with rough voice 'we hear').
16 Get away at one in punt (4,2)
BEAT IT - AT I (at one) 'in' BET (punt).
17 Fling? Witness pair inside (5)
SPREE - SEE (witness) with PR (pair) inside.
19 Charlie spots accident (5)
CRASH - C (Charlie) + RASH (spots).
20 Naval officer, mostly commendable, book omitted (7)
ADMIRAL - ADMIRABLE is commendable, most of it is ADMIRABL, and omitting B (book) gets you to the answer.
22 Biblical character, drawn endlessly (3)
EVE - EVEN (drawn, as in 1-1 or 2-2 etc.) 'endlessly'.
23 One holding the purse strings in power may, somehow, by changing rates (9)
PAYMASTER - P (power) + AYM (MAY 'somehow') + ASTER ('changing' RATES).
Down
1 Person showing no emotion, caught getting on after nicking francs (4,4)
COLD FISH - C (caught) + OLDISH (getting on) with F (francs) inserted. 
2 Knight on silver horse (3)
NAG - N (knight in chess notation) 'on' (i.e. 'above' in this down clue) AG (silver in periodic table notation).
3 Cloth in river at Berwick (5)
TWEED - double definition.
4 Disturb canary, unfortunately, where it's protected? (4,9)
BIRD SANCTUARY - straight anagram ('unfortunately') of DISTURB CANARY.
5 Single out hard school subject (7)
ENGLISH - ENGLIS (anagram ('out') of SINGLE) + H (hard).
6 Victor perplexed coroner entertaining question on uniform (9)
CONQUEROR - anagram of CORONER ('perplexed') 'entertaining' Q (question) 'on' (i.e. 'above' in this down clue) U (uniform).
7 Dart in dartboard, a shocker (4)
DASH - hidden word: 'in' dartboarD A SHocker.
11 Old friend causing impasse (9)
STALEMATE - STALE (old) + MATE (friend).
13 Derisive remark about prosperous gem dealer (8)
JEWELLER - JEER (derisive remark) 'about' WELL (prosperous).
15 Sauce boat raised (7)
KETCHUP - KETCH (boat) + UP (raised).
17 Finally asks a male graduate for a dance (5)
SAMBA - S (askS 'finally', although I always think this is a cheap way of cluing an 'S') + A (a) + M (male) + BA (graduate).
18 First of mannequins wearing superb top (4)
ACME - M (first of Mannequins) 'wearing' ACE (superb).
21 Predictable way of life, in truth (3)
RUT - hidden word: 'in' tRUTh.