11
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enter image description here

Across
1. Kind of direct language; used in the Middle Ages (8)
8. Stadiums are small beyond the limits of NBA (6)
9. A blowgun destroyed small house (8)
10. Frog King decapitated a kind of crab (6)
13. In Arabia, spirit of radio host appearing near tavern (5)
14. Never tell him the odds (so low!) on the radio (4)
15. In The X-Files, Scully planned an attack in secret (4)
16. Cave-dwellers hit with knife from behind (4)
18. Greek Goddess's rise misinterpreted (4)
19. The main part of military formation over the air (4)
20. Care about covering space (4)
23. Rolling Stone making remarks (5)
25. Preacher's talk of horrible omens being about right (6)
26. Like Violet and Amber, Terry has aunt in Mexico (8)
27. Revolution to erase a country's clandestine ruler (6)
28. Sycophants are close to rulers in part of Arabia (3, 3)

Down
2. Bullet's shape (5)
3. Heads of poles seen after going out (7)
4. Perhaps the Solomon Islands duly constrain flying (6, 7)
5. Peddling some kind of greeny mass, in a relative sense (7, 6)
6. Support South Chicago's footballers (5)
7. Last of herb as one additional, finishing ingredient in pesto sauce (5)
11. In the Middle Ages, Arab striking heart of Sauron's realm (4)
12. From the south, identify peaks (4)
16. Unfairness starts to become increasingly apparent before the end of elections (4)
17. Category of heartless predator (4)
18. The case of eleven attempts to get permissions to go in (7)
21. Royal Brewery's product knocked back (5)
22. Collect from a man with donkey (5)
24. Deliver flowing verse (5)

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5
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Complete crossword

finished!

Clue explanations - across

  1. Kind of direct language; used in the Middle Ages (8)

FRANKISH (double def "kind of direct" and "language used in the Middle Ages"). Very clever clue!

  1. Stadiums are small beyond the limits of NBA (6)

ARENAS (def "stadiums", first ARE followed by S for small beyond the ends of NbA).

  1. A blowgun destroyed small house (8)

BUNGALOW (def "small house", anagram [destroyed] of "a blowgun"). Thanks @OmegaKrypton!

  1. Frog King decapitated a kind of crab (6)

KERMIT (def "frog", K for "King" added to HERMIT, "a kind of crab", decapitated).

  1. In Arabia, spirit of radio host appearing near tavern (5)

DJINN (def "in Arabia, spirit"; sounds [on the radio] like gin which is a spirit found in a tavern, or DJ followed by INN).

  1. Never tell him the odds (so low!) on the radio (4)

SOLO (sounds [on the radio] like "so low"; I guess "never tell him the odds" refers to Han Solo?)

  1. In The X-Files, Scully planned an attack in secret (4)

DANA (def "in the X-Files, Scully"; appears [in secret] in "planneD AN Attack").

  1. Cave-dwellers hit with knife from behind (4)

BATS (def "cave-dwellers"; reversed STAB or "hit with knife")

  1. Greek Goddess's rise misinterpreted (4)

ERIS (def "Greek goddess"; anagram of RISE).

  1. The main part of military formation over the air (4)

CORE (def "main part"; homophone ["over the air"] of CORPS = military unit).

  1. Care about covering space (4)

AREA (def "space"; appears in "cARE About").

  1. Rolling Stone making remarks (5)

NOTES (def "remarks"; anagram of STONE).

  1. Preacher's talk of horrible omens being about right (6)

SERMON (def "preacher's talk"; anagram of OMENS around R for right).

  1. Like Violet and Amber, Terry has aunt in Mexico (8)

TERTIARY (def "like Violet and Amber", which are apparently tertiary colours; TIA is Spanish for "aunt", in the middle of TERRY). Thanks @Jens!

  1. Revolution to erase a country's clandestine ruler (6)

CAESAR ("revolution" as in Caesar shift, "ruler" also def, appears in "eRASE A Country's").

  1. Sycophants are close to rulers in part of Arabia (3, 3)

YES MEN (def "sycophants", YEMEN is part of Arabia). Thanks @OmegaKrypton!

Clue explanations - down

  1. Bullet's shape (5)

ROUND (double def). Thanks @OmegaKrypton!

  1. Heads of poles seen after going out (6)

NOGGINS (def "heads", ends of SeeN after anagram of GOING). Thanks @hexomino!

  1. Perhaps the Solomon Islands duly constrain flying (6, 7)

ISLAND COUNTRY (def "perhaps the Solomon Islands", anagram of "duly constrain").

  1. Peddling some kind of greeny mass, in a relative sense (7, 6)

HAWKING ENERGY (def "mass in a relative sense"; "peddling" = HAWKING, "greeny" anagram of ENERGY).

  1. Support South Chicago's footballers (5)

BEARS (double def: "support South" and "Chicago's footballers").

  1. Last of herb as one additional, finishing ingredient in pesto sauce (5)

BASIL (def "finishing ingredient in pesto sauce"; last letter of "herB" followed by AS followed by I = one followed by last letter of "additionaL").

  1. In the Middle Ages, Arab striking heart of Sauron's realm (4)

MOOR (def "in the Middle Ages, Arab"; "Sauron's realm" is MORDOR).

  1. From the south, identify peaks (4)

TOPS (def "peaks", identify = SPOT backwards). Thanks @OmegaKrypton!

  1. Unfairness starts to become increasingly apparent before the end of elections (4)

BIAS (def "unfairness", starts of "Become Increasingly Apparent" before end of "electionS").

  1. Category of heartless predator (4)

TIER (def "category", heartless TIGER). Thanks @OmegaKrypton!

  1. The case of eleven attempts to get permissions to go in (7)

ENTRIES (def "permissions to go in"; outer letters or "case" of EleveN, followed by "attempts to get" = TRIES). Thanks @OmegaKrypton!

  1. Royal Brewery's product knocked back (5)

REGAL (def "royal", reverse "brewery's product" = LAGER).

  1. Collect from a man with donkey (5)

AMASS (def "collect", AM from "a man", donkey = ASS).

  1. Deliver flowing verse (5)

SERVE (def "deliver", anagram of "verse).


Partial solution without using Omega Krypton's answer. After getting this far, I used OK's solutions for 9, 28 across and 2, 12, 17, 18 down, since he said "feel free to use". Just wanted to record how far I got without any help.
Feedback section: this was fun to solve. The easiest clue for me was 24 down, followed by 22 across. Then I gradually put things together starting from the bottom left. The hardest clues were 1, 19, 26 across and 3 down. For both of the massive clues (4 and 5 down), I got one word first (ISLAND and ENERGY) and filled that in because I was pretty sure about it, long before finding the other half of the clue.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 3 down must be rot13(ABTTVAF = nantenz TBVAT + FrrA) $\endgroup$ – hexomino Nov 15 at 15:25
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I suspect 26 is ROT13(Gre-gvn-el, nf Gvn vf Nhag va Fcnavfu) $\endgroup$ – Jens Nov 15 at 15:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also 1 across is probably rot13(SENAX-VFU ) $\endgroup$ – hexomino Nov 15 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @hexomino not rot13(FrrA) but rot13(cbyrf). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 15 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks @hexomino! (For the record, I finished the grid after seeing just your first comment solving 3 down, figuring out both 1 across and what Tnergu ZpPnhtuna said.) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Nov 15 at 15:31
2
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Had to sleep, feel free to use this partial... Solutions (Not spoilered)

Across
9 *BUNGALOW
18 *ERIS
20 _AREA_
23 *NOTES
25 *SE(R)MON
27 >_CEASAR_
28 YE(_S) MEN

Down
2 ROUND (ddef)
12 >TOPS
17 TI(-g)ER
18 E_N+TRIES
21 REGAL<
22 A+M+ASS
24 *SERVE

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  • $\begingroup$ 20,000 rep exactly ... I can't upvote. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Nov 15 at 14:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Feel free, I've screenshot it, moving towards 30k @Randal'Thor +1 $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Nov 15 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ OK, now done :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Nov 15 at 15:14
0
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Got them all but 19A.

SOMEONE FIX MY SPOILERS!

ACROSS

! 1. Kind of direct language; used in the Middle Ages (8) FRANKISH dd
8. Stadiums are small beyond the limits of NBA (6) ARE_NA_S
9. A blowgun destroyed small house (8) BUNGALOW*
10. Frog King decapitated a kind of crab (6) K+ERMIT
13. In Arabia, spirit of radio host appearing near tavern (5) DJ+INN
14. Never tell him the odds (so low!) on the radio (4) SOLO (homophone)
15. In The X-Files, Scully planned an attack in secret (4) planne_D AN A_ttack
16. Cave-dwellers hit with knife from behind (4) BATS<
18. Greek Goddess's rise misinterpreted (4) ERIS*
19. The main part of military formation over the air (4)
20. Care about covering space (4) A+RE+A
23. Rolling Stone making remarks (5) NOTES*
25. Preacher's talk of horrible omens being about right (6) SE(R)MON*
26. Like Violet and Amber, Terry has aunt in Mexico (8) TER(TIA)RY
27. Revolution to erase a country's clandestine ruler (6) C+AESER*
28. Sycophants are close to rulers in part of Arabia (3, 3) YES MEN S - close to rulerS in YEMEN,

Down

! 2. Bullet's shape (5) ROUND dd
3. Heads of poles seen after going out (7) NOGGI* + NS???
4. Perhaps the Solomon Islands duly constrain flying (6, 7) ISLAND COUNTRY*
5. Peddling some kind of greeny mass, in a relative sense (7, 6) HAWKING + ENERGY*
6. Support South Chicago's footballers (5) BEARS dd
7. Last of herb as one additional, finishing ingredient in pesto sauce (5)B_AS_I_L
11. In the Middle Ages, Arab striking heart of Sauron's realm (4) MOOR ( from MO_rd_OR)
12. From the south, identify peaks (4) TOPS<
16. Unfairness starts to become increasingly apparent before the end of elections (4)
BIAS (starts to Become Increasingly Apparent +S)
17. Category of heartless predator (4) TIER (Tiger -g)
18. The case of eleven attempts to get permissions to go in (7) E-leve-N +TRIES
21. Royal Brewery's product knocked back (5) REGAL<
22. Collect from a man with donkey (5)A+M+ASS
24. Deliver flowing verse (5) SERVE*

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