More TLS stuff in this one than some of you will be comfortable with, so I’ve added some extra high and low culture just to be even more annoying. Barely a scrap of sciency stuff anywhere in sight.
You might be forgiven for scratching around for the full alphabet as some of the higher scoring letters turn up but Q and X are missing.
I trundled through this in just over 17 minutes, hesitating only over my last in at 14 across, which I should have seen more readily.
I have taken the liberty of placing clues in italics, definitions in underlined italics, and solutions in BOLD CAPITALS
1 Taken to court about smear that’s continuing(9)
SUSTAINED Taken to court: SUED surrounds STAIN for smear
6 Drinkjust less — only halves — in front of papa(5)
JULEP Take the front halves of JUst LEss and add the front of Papa. Better, in my opinion, take mint leaf, bourbon, simple syrup, and crushed ice, mix and serve.
9 Streambroadcast following down time(7)
AIRFLOW I wasted time with this trying to make an anagram of stream follow D for down, but it’s broadcast: AIR, F(ollowing) down time: LOW. The “time”, is, perhaps, not strictly necessary, but makes for a better surface
10 Playwright has Romeo fencing?(7)
BARRIER Well, he has Peter Pan fencing, anyway. J M BARRIE plus the NATO Romeo.
11 Upset if gun rusts?(5)
FUNGI Rust is a fungus that attacks wheat, one of the things you look for when roguing in a seed crop. Here, it’s an anagram (upset) of IF GUN
12 Say what you thinkto be smarter than leading clobber (3,4,2)
OUT WITH IT A charade of be smarter than: OUTWIT plus clobber: HIT
13 Notice article making one very angry(8)
SEETHING Simple. SEE THING.
14 Wisdom, say, not an expected thing(4)
NORM Pass me the stupid hat. I immediately thought NORMAN Wisdom, the darling of ultra Communist Albania (sic), and tried to remember if he’d ever played the part of a forman (which isn’t even spelt right). Added many ticking seconds to my time until I just took the AN (which is not…) off his forename.
17 Facilitate rental agreement, saving pounds(4)
EASE Rental agreement LEASE. Save,or knock off, the £
18 IR webcam disturbed cheery clerk(8)
MICAWBER The Dickensian optimist from David Copperfield, somehow captured in the disturbed, confused form of an IR WEBCAM, which he shouldn’t have been.
21 Russian impresario given good hour in Live Aid broadcast(9)
DIAGHILEV If you know not the name, start with the G(ood) H(our) and sprinkle the letters of LIVE AID around until something that looks like a Russian impresario emerges. Perhaps most (in)famous for staging Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 1913, and for being the lover of Nijinsky (the ballet dancer, not the horse)
22 Openup about antipodean isle?(5)
UNZIP UP is given in plain sight, insert N(ew) Z(ealand) I(sland)
24 Colourful displayof artist in east London?(7)
RAINBOW An artist in east London is an RA IN BOW
25 Attendant eats too much soup(7)
POTTAGE Too much is OTT, which the attendant PAGE ingests. I’m more familiar with the single T version, but either is OK
26 Very familiarwith supporterless North London landmark(5)
PALLY Alexandra Palace is “the People’s Palace” in Haringey, built in 1873 and again in 1875, surviving (somehow) to this day as a magnificently unlikely piece of living British heritage. I sang there once in a scratch choir at one of its many reopenings. It housed the original BBC TV broadcasting antenna (see Dr Who, The Idiot’s Lantern). Anyway, everyone knows it as Ally Pally. For our “supporterless” purpose, remove the Ally
27 Widespread bird split by hill range(9)
PARTRIDGE Fair enough, they turn up almost everywhere, trying not to get shot. Split: PART, hill range: RIDGE
1 Island’s cut back workforce(5)
STAFF The island is Staffa, from which you cut the back. Again, the “back” is not strictly necessary, but pretty.
2 Dogchewed up grannie’s slipper(8,7)
SPRINGER SPANIEL Clearly an anagram “chewed up”. GRANNIE’S SLIPPER has the requisite 15 letters.
3 Nothing left? OK(3,5)
ALL RIGHT I once got into an argument with my primary school teacher (must have been Mr Downing) about whether it was alright to write all right alright. We carried on until there was nothing left to say, which was therefore all right.
4 Recently-discoveredisland — refusing to go ashore (3-5)
NEW-FOUND The island of Noufunland without its go ashore land
5 Chap seen outside bar entrances(6)
DEBUTS Our first random bloke is DES, and the bar he takes in is all BUT
6 Yank wearing leather jacket(6)
JERKIN Yank wearing translates directly to JERK IN
7 One who painted bird somewhere in Bedfordshire(8,7)
LEIGHTON BUZZARDis the setter’s go to Bedfordshire town with 15 letters, and has turned almost as often as it does in the Leighton Buzzard Observer – even at least once in the MCS. For the “one who painted”, you can have either Edmondor Frederic, both of whom produced rather drippy works in semi-rafaelite style. The bird is perhaps more familiar.
8 Get two men in for each worker on reduced hours(4-5)
PART-TIMER We have our next two random blokes, ART and TIM, in PER for each.
13 Drug constituent turned up in police operation(5,4)
SPEED TRAP The drug is SPEED, and the constituent PART is upended
15 Crawler in support guarding time with dignitary(3,5)
PIT VIPER The support is a PIER, which “guards” T(ime) and VIP for dignitry
16 What supports running later bus(8)
BALUSTER An anagram (running) of LATER BUS
19 Caught partner getting fat(6)
CHUBBY HUBBY is an affectionate term for husband in the lower orders (so I believe). Put C(aught) on the front
20 Picturelocal set up with vulgar inside (4-2)
BLOW-UP The local PUB is inverted and houses LOW for vulgar. Blow-up as a picture came to public notice with the 1966 film of the same name with David Hemmings and several skinny lovely ladies. I wasn’t quite old enough to see it in the cinema, more’s the pity.
23 Get annoyed with girl after exercise(5)
PEEVEAnd our random miss to finish with. EVE follows PE for exercise