Well. A couple of weeks off DA while I was suitably distracted. So feeling a little out of practice, happily today's puzzle was knocked over pretty easily. Very few clues had to be looked at twice. Most clues had an obvious element that pointed to an answer.
1) THREESCORE : t(cheers)*ore : 'ground' is a favourite anagram indicator.
6) OPUS : Op-us : T-junction
9) UMBERTO ECO : ---umber to eco------
10) FLEA : hm(flee)
12) SANGRIA : sang,air< : while 'air' is strictly not just oxygen, it is synonymous with oxygen.
13) DON DALE : don,dale : bit of a drab clue and a depressing answer. Could've done something else, methinks.
14) ONE IN A MILLION : (Naomi,Neil)*,lion : dunno about lion/celebrity.
17) CHRYSANTHEMUM : hm(Chris),-an-,the,mum : once you see 'Hemsworth' and 'flower' and '(13)', what else can it be ?
19) ORANGES : 'o(ran)ges
21) SENORAS : (oran-es),---s
23) ASHY : as,----hy : 'flaw patched over' is 'remove the ding'.
24) MIDAS TOUCH : (cash,out,mid)*
25) SERE : s-------e,r--e
26) SOLE TRADER : ddef
1) TRUEST : t(-r-u-)est
2) see 22dn
3) ERROR MESSAGE : (mergers,are,so)* : what else ?
4) CRO-MAGNON : (marco)*,nong<
5) RACED : -raced : ie traced/found.
7) PALLADIUM : pall,a,di(U)m : horseshoe/U . . . whatever.
8) STAGE ONE : st(age)one : 'set in stone'/lastingly inscribed.
11) ANKLE MONITOR : (on,KLM,note,air)* : nice anagram.
14) OUR FATHER : -ou-,r(f)ather : bit obvious.
15) MOHS SCALE : Mo(h--)ss,Cale : easy if you know all three elements, which I did.
16) ACROBATS : a,cro--,bats : tumblers/a cro-- , again obvious.
18) ESCHER : -es-,-che-,-r-
20) SLIGO : hm(sly),go : heard of it, so no problem.
22,2) ROUND ROBIN : round,robin : easy clue in every way.
This should be everyone's quickest solve in ages. It certainly was mine.
I'm going to rate it 4/10 as one expects to have trouble with DA, so it's a tad underwhelming.
(Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't, eh . . . )
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