Smooth sailing until I was left struggling with 8dn, 3dn and 1ac which fell in that order in 11 minutes. A well crafted QC in my opinion - what’s yours?
1. Professional baritone upset one being tried out (11)
PROBATIONER - professional (PRO), anagram (upset) of BARITONE. I was looking for an anagram of baritone and one with a definition of 'professional'.
9. Meat for haggis, perhaps no longer fresh — a pound (5)
OFFAL - no longer fresh (OFF), a (A), pound (L). Appropriate with Burns night on the horizon.
10. Officiate live, following pressure (7)
PRESIDE - live (RESIDE) following pressure (P).
11. Flower spread gets trophy (9)
BUTTERCUP - spread (BUTTER), trophy (CUP). Do we have any Real Butter enthusiasts who object to the term spread?
13. Fantastic being regularly well-off (3)
ELF - regularly w(E)l(L)-o(F)f.
14. Require time during unusual dissection of alien (6)
ENTAIL - time (T) during an anagram (unusual dissection - some indicator!) of ALIEN.
16. Bad to rent — bad (6)
ROTTEN - anagram (bad - pick whichever you wish) of TO RENT.
17. The woman Basil cut short? (3)
HER - Basil cut short (HER)b.
18. Avoiding alcohol, having gone without can (9)
ABSTINENT - having gone (ABSENT) without can (TIN). Nearly COD for the parsing.
21. Note lithe mountaineer (7)
CLIMBER - note (C), lithe (LIMBER).
23. Get into American’s heart, not cold (5)
ENTER - heart or centre in American is c(ENTER) - with the cold (C) removed.
24. Popular commercial with gent missing good chance? (11)
INADVERTENT - popular (IN), commercial (ADVERT), g(ENT) - missing good (G).
2. A change of insides — ref is on top of it (5)
REFIT - ref (REF) is on top of it (IT). COD for a clue that is so simple it could not be so - but is!
3. Who works on toes held by footballer in agony (9)
BALLERINA - held by foot(BALLER IN A)gony.
4. Subject to go for mostly (5)
TOPIC - to go for mostly (TO PIC)k.
5. Caedmon’s central character in Old English verse (3)
ODE - Cae(D)mon inside old and English (O E).
6. Clear I’d got wrapped up in incident (7)
EVIDENT - I'd (ID) wrapped up in incident (EVENT).
7. Take another look at American’s 100% overpayment (6-5)
DOUBLE-CHECK - a cheque in America is a check so 100% overpayment is a DOUBLE-CHECK.
8. Hasty and careless entry for cup goes adrift (11)
PERFUNCTORY - anagram (goes adrift) of ENTRY FOR CUP.
12. Important for pit not to be empty (9)
PROMINENT - for (PRO), pit (MINE) not to be empty (N)o(T).
15. Twisting in roots is unusual (7)
TORSION - anagram (is unusual) of IN ROOTS.
19. Sons press for big increase (5)
SURGE - sons (S), press (URGE).
20. What’s in tea tent — to be this? (5)
EATEN - in t(EA TEN)t.
22. Friend in the US, one not yet out (3)
BUD - double definition.