Tough cryptic no.2

 "SECOND HALF" by Ravel
Each across clue leads to the first half of a familiar coupling formed with 'and' (e.g. FINE and DANDY) but it is the coupling's second part that is to be entered in the grid. The first letter-count refers to the clue answer; the second to the grid entry.
Example: 'Sailor season (4) (6)' = 'salt' but PEPPER is entered in the grid. Down clues are normal.

Across
"Let go" and set off (4) (9)
Lodge's contribution to the novel (7) (5)
Grand Greek feast (5) (5)
10 Dead embarrassed being hugged by old people a great number (8) (9)
11 Head reported row (5) (10)
12 Outside left champion, 'Jet' (5) (4)
14 Alcoholic drinks containing lemon-tip twists (6) (7)
15 Ball, absorbent, missing missing (3) (7)
16 August plant alternative's around (5) (7)
19 Management speechifying lacking interest (5) (7)
21 Sound horny and hot, being canine? (5) (4)
22 He's two hospital sections combined into one? (6) (3,7)
25 Plot to have sex (3) (9)
26 'Delta' area of ice is down (5) (5)
27 Name the US TV series with 'Chip' (4) (5)
28 Nut loaf (4) (9)

Down
Spartan language, technically speaking (5)
Briefly summarised old Darwin's evolution (2,1,4)
No altruist puts out feelers without knight following directions (4-6)
Expose rabbits' tops (7)
Match fixers on the run bound to be beset by expressions of hesitation (7)
Five a side team starts great (4)
Buzz needs permit for lock (7)
Bearing flower, prompt for seasonal gift (6,3)
13 Bald head short doctor treated weekly (10)
14 Humorous Edward North, gifted and not resistant to being picked up (9)
17 Correspond with other campanologists? (5,2)
18 Dangers of handles without height (7)
19 Country hotel's masked ball (7)
20 The done thing at the top of a tree to draw breath (7)
23 Listener's "Works with the hands" demands ... (5)
24 ... location of "heaven on earth" (4)

© Eddie James 2002       Solution

Other tough puzzles :- 1  3
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