17 down: Yes, one may blow this dough! (4, 5)
A very neat partial &lit: yes, one may blow = easy money = yes, one may blow this dough.
28, 24 across: Contrary source described old admirer’s locale? (5, 4)
Very much enjoyed the definition: contrary source described old = contrary roots described aged = stoor described aged = stage door = admirer’s locale.
3 down: Rings assistant for battery chicken’s second marvel (3, 3, 3)
Very much enjoyed the answer even if, as I’ve just come to realise, I don’t have a complete explanation for the aah part of marvel = ooh and aah.
Can anyone help me on this one?
Yes, it’s back:
23 across: Pennant regulars keeping fit? Vice versa (9)
Clever: pennant regulars keeping fit? Vice versa = enn keeping belong vice versa = belong keeping enn = bennelong = theme.
25 across: Likely leader to come second (6)
A delight to the clue’s words all snug in the same semantic range: likely leader to come second = odds on leader to come second = Dodson = theme.
4 down: Mouth, say, true to form (7)
Wonderfully-well-hidden anagram: say, true to form = estuary = mouth.
7 down: Some pang in atrium! (6)
I’ll nearly always include &lits in DA Gold: some pang in atrium! = some pang in atrium! = angina = some pang in atrium!.
22 down: Ringmaster makes bet about no ring vanishing? (6)
Excellent reference to the composer: makes bet about no ring vanishing? = wager about no o vanishing = wagnoer – o = Wagner = ringmaster.
21 down: A crossword legend in love, cherished Old England (6)
I loved the reference to a legend of the trade: a crossword legend in love cherished = a LB in o cherished = Albion = Old England.
26 across: 20-across’s (Mark Ella) sister Pat? (8)
Freakin’ brilliant, the pick of the bunch: Mark Ella’s sister Pat? = Pat Ella = Kneebone = theme.
3 down: Pet mules seen on beach (6, 9)
Classic: pet mules = budgie smugglers = seen on beach.
19 down: Southern nation I left quietly in drag (7)
The more Yiddish the better I say: Southern nation I left quietly = s Chile – i pp = schlepp = drag.
20 down: Professional hits upbeat times? Not first of all (7)
Exceptionally well-hidden direct clue: upbeat times not first of all = up drum eras not a = murd eras – a = murders = professional hits.
11 across: A case of ‘That’s it, Ernesto!?’ (7)
How much of Che Guevara’s fame can be put down to his name’s use in cryptics? Great clue: that’s it, Ernesto! = atta (think ‘atta boy’) Che = attache = a case.
22 down: Mercury in rock shelf finally prepared in report (7)
A fundamentally fair clue that is so cleverly constructed that it’s rather difficult to decipher: shelf finally prepared in report = f ready in report = Freddie = Mercury in rock.
14 across: Career shift nearly converted to chase rainbows? (3-4)
Excellent direct clue: career shift nearly converted = fly fisht nearly = fly fish = to chase rainbows.
19 across: Rose dominating? Ring 501-150 (6)
Excellent placement of the question mark: Ring 501-150 = L I one L = Lionel = Rose dominating ring.
20 across: Tiny blonde bombshell whose quintet was celebrated (4, 6)
Another brilliant direct clue: tiny blonde bombshell = Enid Blyton = whose quintet was celebrated.
5 down: Feller for Spooner’s rational task (8)
Spooner’s are always fun. This one is no exception: Spooner’s rational task = Spooner’s sane chore = chainsaw = feller.
23 across: Sharply returned rose-wreathed cake (8)
Fantastic: rose-wreathed cake = red wreathed torte = retorted = sharply returned.
15 down: _ETTLE T__ BI__? (5, 3)
Just genius: the missing letters are shell, so shell out = settle the bill = _ettle t__ bi__.
16 across: Flashier subhead by show-off? (7)
A risque piece of DA magic: subhead by show-off = s by wanker = swanker = flashier.
22 down: HEA_E? (5)
An outstanding DA special in a very specially themed crossword: hea_e = heave – v = v omit = vomit = heave.
4 down: Sweet athlete ad company thrice exploited (9-6)
A joy: athlete ad company thrice exploited = athlete ad co co co exploited = chocolate-coated = sweet.
Two gold nuggets seems like too few for such a brilliant crossword, but the clues alone are not as great as one would assume. It seems that the theme really drove this crossword upwards into new heights rather than the clues themselves.
Feel free to beg to differ.
26 across: Harmonious threesomes finally flee such impatient coeds (9)
Brilliant trickery that must have taken a long time to think up: threesomes finally flee such impatient coeds = such – uch + impatient – ent + coeds – eds = simpatico = harmonious.
15 down: Meet single clue — not this type (3, 6)
Despite some protestations, I still reckon this one’s a goodie: single clue — not this type = run across (clue is down, not across) = run across = meet.
22 across: Retired killer gets yonks, strangling flash braggart (9)
Mo seems to be DA favourite of late: retired killer gets yonks strangling flash = retired cain age strangling mo = retired cainamoge = egomaniac = braggart.
21 down: Vaults hoisted by one charter plane (3-4)
Very clever indeed: vaults hoisted by one = atria hoisted x 1 = air-taxi = charter plane.
14 down: … against ex-follower (9)
Such terse elegance: against ex = con former = conformer = follower.
3 down: Stalks onstage, it’s said? (7)
I was too busy thinking of homophones to get this one: onstage it’s said = rhubarb (what actors say on stage to mimic the sound of indistinct background conversation) = stalks.
12 across: Exercise Bureau regularly provides flirtatious apparel (4-2, 3)
A welcome return to the racier side of DA’s oeuvre: exercise bureau regularly = push-up bureau = push-up bra = flirtatious apparel.
21 down: Refuse ball-girl by chance, almost (6)
Excellent way to refer to a name: ball-girl by chance, almost = deb by risk almost = debris = refuse.
3 down: A salesman catches my aircraft, not a military ride (4, 4)
A deliciouly difficult clue that employs one of DA’s classic tricks: a salesman catches my aircraft not = a rep catches my jet no t = arep catchy myje = army jeep = a military ride.
25 across: Mighty river halved by eccentric explorer (2, 4)
Excellent sentence meaning: mighty river halved by eccentric = Amazon halved by dag = Da Gama = explorer.
6 down: Jumbo pilot wheeled meat away (6)
DA as the king of direct clues: wheeled meat away = wheeled ham out = mahout = Jumbo pilot.
12 across: Retrograde developer of modern cinema? (8, 6)
Clever cryptic definition: retrograde developer of modern cinema? = Benjamin Button.
10 across: Messiah admits sermonising, reaching out, aggravated stress (8)
Great clue that I also thought clunky at the same time: messiah admits sermonising, reaching out, aggravated = messiah admits preaching – reaching aggravated = messiah admits p aggravated = messiahp aggravated = emphasis = stress.
2 down: She fell sick after Juliet (4)
Loved the direct clue: sick after Juliet = ill after J (NATO phonetic alphabet) = Jill = she fell (from the nursery rhyme).
8 across: So attached to food store (8)
Excellent clue hiding: so attached to food store = very attached to deli = delivery = cricket theme.
26 across: He’s covered in facial hairs? (3, 5)
I like it and hate it at the same time, but considering the importance of a good mo in the history of cricket, I had to include it as gold: he’s covered in facial hairs? = he covered in tashes = the ashes = cricket theme.
22 down: Not for worry? Not depressed? (6)
So very deftly worked: not for worry = con vex = convex = not depressed.
5 down: Tedious second zip? (8)
Difficult yet clever, as are most of DA’s succinct clues: second zip = mo + not one = monotone = tedious.
Update: RB pointed out the palindromic brilliance in the following clue that turns what was bullshit into gold:
4 down: Sounds mentally focus lean rider (7)
Palindromic awesomeness: sounds mentally focus lean = sounds psych up list = cyc up list = cyclist = rider.
1 down: Privates dope Florentine shrink (9)
Playful DA: dope Florentine shrink = gen Italian shrink = genitalia = privates.
25 across: Little looks at newspapers? (8)
Me and a few more liked it lots, others not so much: little looks = gazettes = newspapers.
19 down: Report wise to include dearest sort recently (9)
I loved the aural part of this clue: report wise to include dearest sort = YY to include esterda = yesterday = recently.
21 across: I’m back-to-front describing lair riders (7)
It’s DA everywhere: I’m back-to-front describing lair = AD DA describing den = addenda = riders.
6 across: Pack Quadrant? (4)
Deliciously DA: quadrant = south to west = S to W = stow = pack.
10 across: Unit 2D (4)
Excellent: 2D = two dimensional = flat = unit.
14 down: CSIRO’s set nominee partly backed radical educator (10)
Wonderfully-well hidden: CSIRO’s set nominee partly backed = CSIRO’s set nominee partly backed = Montessori = radical educator.
20 across: … deadly weapon, said to be a lone toy (7, 5)
DA makes the best aural clue (and the most questionable): said to be a lone toy = said a sole trifle = assault rifle = deadly weapon.
3 down: Misguided nature seizing Central Australia, poorly reflecting on us! (5, 7)
Career-best &lit that is even better than last week’s career-best &lit: misguided nature seizing Central Australia, poorly reflecting on us = misguided nature seizing r, ill reflecting on us = terra nu lli us = terra nullius = misguided nature seizing Central Australia, poorly reflecting on us.
25 across: Curtailed accord if a felon joins our neighbourhood (7, 3)
Nice: curtailed accord if a felon = curtailed pact if 1 crim = pacific rim = our neighbourhood.
1 down: Vietnamese detained celeb (4)
Exceptionally easy once you know the answer: Vietnamese detained = Vietnamese = name = celeb.
16 down: Vile, outré, unthinking Pom or Dane?! (9)
Is it &lit or not? I’m giving it the points for reasons I explained earlier, reasons which I freely admit are iffy: vile, outré, unthinking Pom or Dane = eurot rash = eurotrash = vile, outré, unthinking Pom or Dane.