10 across: Spooner’s two exhalations in open passage?
Everyone loves a Spoonerism, and who could forget DA’s nong’s rumba from wrong number (which happened to be in the same edition that contained the super-nasty he turns majestically = muralidaran — goddamn I wish I still had that cryptic!) In this one, wheeze bray = two exhalations, Spooner’s two exhalations = breezeway = open passage.
5 down: Amazed when vocal Eastenders mount transport (9)
DA shines with the accents and this one is no exception. Transport = truck, mount = horse, Eastenders mount = ‘orse, vocal Eastenders mount = awes so that vocal Eastenders mount transport = awestruck = amazed.
5-28 across: Toothless threat from devious, banal, [blank] editor (3, 4, 3, 2, 4)
This one’s just an anagram clue, but, such is DA’s artistry, those simple brackets around blank make one believe it to be not so simple. Devious, banal, [blank] editor = all bark and no bite = toothless threat.
27 down: Doctor liable to call a spade a shovel? (5)
This is my favourite of the past month. I would never have gotten this without the cross clues, but with them, Roget made for a good fit, and he seemed exactly the type to call a spade a shovel. And although I didn’t actually know this to be the case, Google later confirmed that he was indeed a doctor.
(On a side note, thesaurus means etymologically from the Ancient Greek “house of treasures” or “treasury”.)
23 across: Doc, for one, added two vaccine grams after seconds (5)
In lesser hands, this might have been a stock-standard initialism clue. But, of course, DA has to add a nice little twist, so that here we have every second letter of added two vaccine grams being the key to the clue, meaning that added two vaccine grams after seconds = dwarf = doc, for one.