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enter image description here

I threw this out in 2020 but then regretted it, so I decided to post it now. Enjoy. I guess.

Across
1. Desert mother with pet, being surrounded by guns which shoot flyers from behind (7)
5. Icon of motoring group showing inside it both edges of Veillet River (6)
9. Hollywood's Mr Lee got working; strived to welcome this writer's promotion (11)
10. Tool in the studio for everyone (3)
11. Brewery product infused with rubbery essence by demented extremist with four working limbs? (5)
12. God visiting telecom firm's in possession of excellent flying vehicles (9)
14. E.g. WW84 heroine's new world of wonders? Briefly, pose me whichever questions you see fit in retrospect (6)
16. Killer is home, in pursuit of two simpletons (8)
19. Meeting pilot outside of university rec room I entered (8)
20. Goddess, therefore, entered drinkers' group (6)
23. Requesting review by higher court is tempting (9)
25. Gnome's silver put in fruit juice (5)
27. In the style of one US city (1,2)
29. Notice vehicle, concrete ingredient for progress (11)
30. Show up fifteen minutes before 10:15 dinner's beginning (6)
31. Mr Gore rested on his behind, with some others showing neighbourhood in London (7)

Down
1. "Crimson Tide" university: Following top test result, cleric's received degree (7)
2. Touring surroundings of Reno, hurt tiny bone (5)
3. Climbing up, echoes surround Mount Doom's environs, side of single spot for flyers to come down (9)
4. Yours truly is being hosted by compulsively orderly living thing (6)
5. Beekeeper's silly stir south of city on Upolu (8)
6. Young type of beef (5)
7. First trio in first fellow or first coder (3)
8. Boxer's working for girl (6)
13. The setter, Will, reportedly shows corridor (5)
15. Type of blood pudding, mostly round, for count (3,2)
17. Critters with long noses or horns left to consume food (9)
18. Done for, hurt? – In Siege of Kiev, 1000 lost (8)
19. Suspicious stutterer might smell this Turkish top? (6)
21. One response to Q following 007, possibly imprisoning M: "Ignoring Goldfinger's front is deficiency of the mind" (7)
22. Intention in titled Turk's schedule (6)
24. Induce bewilderment with first letter puzzle (5)
26. Possibly, worker's got extremely gruesome rep (5)
28. Show current time (3)

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9
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I don't think this is horrible - not in the slightest! I very much enjoyed the "lightbulb moment" when I figured out the theme. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jun 30 at 6:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The theme is evident not only in the clues but in the title plus the line of context too - very nice! (This comment furthermore!) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jun 30 at 7:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv I think Deusovi got there before you -- his comment fits the theme just like yours, which I bet isn't just how it turned out. (I did the crossword even though Deusovi'd finished before I noticed its existence. I concur: good fun, not rubbish.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Jun 30 at 11:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan True, "the one mention" could've been removed with enough rewriting, but I decided to keep it in for effect. (Of course, my first comment did follow the rule by design, too.) $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jun 30 at 20:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As an avid aficionado, am absolutely amazed and astounded at all answers, and almost all abstruse, ambiguous, apocryphal and ambiguous abstractions and anagrams. Anyway, applaud all attempts at astonishing ..!! $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Jul 4 at 10:04
11
$\begingroup$

The filled grid:

15×15 filled grid

Clues:

clue answers, annotated with the usual notation

The theme is, of course,

the letter A not showing up even once in the clues, but being the first letter of every single entry!

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4
  • $\begingroup$ 4A - ALL or AWL? Why do you think ALL? $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Jul 4 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim I was unsure at first too! But the word "for" cannot be interpreted as part of the homophone, so it has to connect the wordplay to the definition. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jul 4 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ So, did ALL come from inside , maybe, gALLery? Or another word with ALL in it? No clues in my thesaurus, referencing 'studio'. $\endgroup$
    – Tim
    Jul 5 at 7:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Tim "In the studio" is a homophone indicator. A homophone of AWL is ALL. $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Jul 5 at 16:48

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