May 10th, 2020

Unicorn
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Mephisto 3114 - At the Gentleman's Club

I found most of this puzzle approachable, but, as usual, ended up with a couple of things I didn't know.   My wild guesses were surprisingly successful, but I still ended up with two wrong.   There is nothing too esoteric here, except for the Australian tree that tripped me up - it's not often you will see three vowels in a row like that.   On the other hand, my reading of Spenser as a graduate student and my fondness for astronomy as a boy proved most helpful.

Across
1 United correctly directed to hang on to apprentice (6)
LAPPED -  L(APP)ED, an easy starter clue.
6 A swathe of academicians we regularly meet (6)
ANSWER - hidden in [academici]ANS WE R[egularly], with a reverse-cryptic literal.
10 Academician and a college in step for investigation (10, two words)
PAPER  CHASE - P (APER, C) HASE. P(A, PER C)HASE.
11 Sweet alcohol mixed in malt, no? (8)
MANNITOL - anagram of IN MALT, NO.
13 English chap’s gentle oath, one that's dated (4)
ECOD - E + COD, where 'cod' is a 17-18th century term for 'chap' or 'fellow'.
14 Great potentate accepting a fawn, silky garment (5)
TASAR - T(A)SAR.  More often spelt 'tussar' or 'tushar', a silk used to make saris, or the garments themselves.
16 Curtailed tour with a rip-off rocket (8)
ROASTING - ROA[d] + STING, or maybe RO[ad] + A STING.
18 Watch performer cutting remark when Queen’s absent (6)
TURNIP - TURN + [r]IP.   It is very helpful if you remember what the oversized pocket watch was called.
19 Extraordinary deeds surrounding tense case in the old days (6)
STEDDE - Anagram of DEEDS around T, an obsolete spelling of stead.
20 In Hamlet, maintains squires wanting resistance (6)
ESCOTS - ESCO[r]T.   Maintains in the sense of support or pay for.
22 First flivver off assembly line in Delaware in shed there (6, two words)
MODEL T - MO(DE)LT, using MOLT as opposed to the UK spelling MOULT.    Previous Ford cars had been hand-built by groups of workers.
24 Where to get them in in practice? (8, three words)
AT THE BAR - Double definition, referring to both drinking and legal practice.
26 One in wind to tilt, per Spenser (5)
GIUST -  G(I)UST, which in more modern spelling is joust.
28 Clownish sort of dingbat (4)
HOBO - Double definition, where a dingbat is "an old hobo who mooches off of other hoboes".
29 Repeatedly return from work at morning place of seclusion? (8, three words)
DO A MELBA -  DO + AM + ELBA, where Napoleon was unsuccessfully secluded.   An allusion to Nellie Melba's numerous 'final' concerts.
30 Clear of particles? Cleared out parts (10)
EDULCORATE - Anagram of CLEARED OUT.
31 Harrowed Hell being close to parasite? (6)
DISKED - DIS + KED, two cryptic mainstays.
32 Supplement, say, still stocking section (6)
INSERT - IN(S)ERT.
Down
1 To Shakespeare’s readers mean imperfect collection of texts (6)
LAMENT - LAME + NT.  A very obscure usage that seems to occur only once in Shakespeare.
2 Reminiscence caught by clown to do with early notes? (10)
ANACRUSTIC - ANA + C + RUSTIC, the upbeat of a song.
3 Traditionally Chinese resident, although in past (5)
PANDA - P(AND)A.
4 En passant, I must cover worn-out foot (8)
EPITRITE - E.P. + I + TRITE.
5 Rising Left on education in Sorbonne — not wanted (6, two words)
DE TROP - PORT + ED, upside down.
6 Whiffs when circling Urbs Aeterna, as they call it (6)
AROMAS - A(ROMA)S, another starter clue.
7 Quiet cut means an indistinct sound (4)
SHWA - SH + WA[y], more often spelt SCHWA, the phonetician's vague vowel sound. 
8 Very special fish in outer limits? (8)
WAYSIDES - WAY S IDES.   The plural of IDE is seldom seen in crosswords, but it is needed here.
9 Roller in which army corps must replace head to drive again (6)
REURGE - (-s, +RE)URGE.
12 Gentle weeping two bishops expressed for one quite unlike Jack (10)
LANDLUBBER - (-b,+LAND)UBBER.  I thought I had the parsing, but now I'm not sure. [b]LAND [b]LUBBER, thanks Midas.  An obvious biff.
15 Take in routine beast, one shining brightly (8)
ARCTURUS - ARC(RUT backwards)US. A(R)CT + URUS.   The first magnitude red giant in Bootes.
17 One who supplies articles could be smart one (8)
STOREMAN - anagram of SMART ONE.
20 Having scored better than most ditch Scottish kite (6)
EAGLED - EA + GLED.   'Ea' is an archaic word from the Fen country.
21 Finding nothing in ground round British Library swear (6)
SBLOOD - S(BL, O)OD.
22 Spoil mostly meagre  Maori seafood (6)
MARARI - MAR + ARI[d].
23 Extremely artificial tree (6)
TOOART - TOO + ART, an Australian tree more often spelt Tuart.
25 Wife warmed up small appetisers (5)
WHETS -  W + HET + S.
27 Pet to lurk wanting what comes second (4)
SULK - S[k]ULK.