Bit delayed. Had to take my car in for service this morning. Did this puzzle while I waited in the nearby café.
I had to confirm a few answers then stared at 1dn for a few minutes until something clicked and I was done.
1) BACKWATER : ddef(?) : as Naïve is Evian (water) backwards.
6) THRIP : t(H)rip
9) AQUARIA : a(-qua-)ria
10) DURAMEN : (manured)* : manure for surface . . . very clunky.
11) PUT ON A PEDESTAL : put on,aped,(Astle)* : should I be perturbed about DA referring to his own name ? I am somewhat. Years ago he clued something like 'setter' and we were meant to insert ASTLE into an answer. That really smacked of celebrity. This less so but it still rankles. Also, what does 'making' do ? Nuffin'. An unsatisfactory clue.
13) INERT : i(-n -e-r)t : again, dumb surface.
14) CATFISHES : (if,set,cash)* : I know from some TV show my daughter watched sometimes. Again again, dumb surface.
15) EASTERNER : A------e<,sterner
17) GABON : nob,ag< : why not 'somewhere in Africa' ? Doesn't disturb the clue but makes the definition correct.
19) LIGHTNING RIDGE : light,nin(Grid G)e : surface, what ?
22) IN UTERO : -----ore tuni- <
23) RICHTER : rich(t-----)er
24) GODOT : to dog < : where is the surface fairy today ? Off sick ?
25) MOONSHINE : ddef
1) BAAS : Saab< : my LOI
2) COUTURE : c(out)ure : haven't checked references but is 'doctor' a synonym for 'cure' ?
3) WORD ON THE STREET : (who,deters,rotten)*
4) TIARA : --ti--,Ara- : ie Arab.
5) RED SETTER : red,setter : meh.
6) THREE RING CIRCUS : ddef of sorts
7) REMATCH : tamer<,C,H
8) PENALISING : (single,pian-)*
12) KITE-FLYING : crypdef of sorts
14) CUNEIFORM : c---,hm(uniform) : partial homophone . . . not my favourite . . .
16) SIGMUND : s.i.g.m.,und : ie 'and' in german is und.
18) BUGATTI : bug,atti-- : ie attire. According to Wikipedia, a French car manufacturer founded in a then German town by an Italian. Complicated.
20) GARBO : ddef : ie Greta.
21) ARNE : -arne- : ie earned. A frequent visitor to English puzzles.
I obviously struggled with some surface reading in a number of today's clues. Plus the 11ac issue. So I can't rate this puzzle above 5.
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