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More straightforward than usual, perhaps? Certainly I started it on the plane from Zürich (after finishing my reading of a draft International Programmes subject guide on Advanced Graphics and Animation), and finished it on the bus between City and Plaistow, which speaks either to the level of the crossword or to the relative lack of distractions in those environments.

  • 7ac: WASHED UP: Took part in after-dinner activity – knackered: Double Definition
  • 9ac/10ac: PARTY ANIMAL: Good-time Johnny, Labour's ‘Beast of Bolsover’?: Double Definition
  • 11ac: NARCOSIS: In a cross-dressed sort of stupor: *(INACROSS)
  • 12ac: GREENFLY: Rose's downfall, inexpert trouser opening: GREEN (= inexpert) + FLY (trouser opening)
  • 14ac: LIB-LAB: “Past alliance – Balls at the centre!” Cyclops squeals: (ba)L(ls) + I BLAB (Cyclops squeals)
  • 16ac/27ac: POLITICAL CLOUT: What Clegg hopes the coalition will give him? Iodine-impregnated fancy lilac top and sock combination: *(I LILAC TOP) + CLOUT (= sock)
  • 20ac: SPOT ON: As Page 3 girls would have to make a comeback? Exactly: NO TOPS reversed
  • 22ac: SCRUBBER: Boris's ultimate carbon johnny cleaner: (bori)S + C(arbon) + RUBBER (= johnny)
  • 23ac: IN A PADDY: Rice to be seen here throwing a wobbly: Double Definition
  • 26ac: ON SALE: Noel's pissed about uprising of his band's nos. 2 and 3 – yours for a fee: *(NOEL) around (o)AS(is) reversed (ref. Noel Gallagher, Oasis))
  • 28ac: RUNNER UP: Not the top choice, ‘Bean Out of Bed’: RUNNER (= bean) + UP (= out of bed)
  • 1dn: LAUNDRY: Steamy place, Los Angeles, not banning alcohol?: L(os) A(ngeles) + UN-DRY
  • 2dn: CHAMBER POT: Where parliamentarians may be seen with drug dumping receptacle: CHAMBER (ref. Chambers of parliament) + POT (marijuana)
  • 3dn: SPUN: Proprietor primarily involved in tabloid cover-up is put in a good light: P(roprietor) in SUN
  • 4dn: SPIRAL: Is lap dancing about right to screw?: *(ISLAP) around R(ight)
  • 5dn: BRIO: Eye rather grandly on the up, absorbs Independent – dash!: ORB reversed around I(ndependent)
  • 6dn: CYNICAL: Disenchanted Clegg not quite squeezing into lacy creation: NIC(k) (ref. Nick Clegg) inside *(LACY)
  • 8dn: DOLEFUL: Wretched as an unemployed person's existence?: Double Definition (ref. Dole)
  • 13dn: YETIS: Old rock band keeping it up – hairy beasts: YES (ref. Yes) around IT reversed
  • 15dn: BALL BUSTER: Bullet bra's elastic is a real demoraliser of a bloke: *(BULLET BRAS)
  • 17dn: CARTOON: Strip, possibly showing oxygen-inflated ‘package’: O(xygen) inside CARTON (= package)
  • 18dn: SPINACH: Sailor man's muscle builder: orgasming in chaps: *(IN CHAPS) (ref. Popeye)
  • 19dn: BELLY UP: Bishop deployed pulley to achieve female missionary position: B + *(PULLEY)
  • 21dn: NUDITY: No cover-up with this state: Complete Definition
  • 24dn: PLOT: Plan to apply pressure to lashings: P(ressure) + LOT (?= lashings)
  • 25dn: YARN: Strand: any cruising to include river: *(ANY) outside R(iver)