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Crossword 1135 answers and explanations

ACROSS    
5 MILDEWING Gentle English rugby back shows the rot setting in (9) 
Gentle = MILD, English = E, rugby back = WING
7 CHAR This housekeeper is over cook? (4) 
Double definition
8 ASHORE Evidence of fire and mineral on dry land (6) 
Evidence of fire = ASH, mineral = ORE
9 DRIVEWAY Turn back, missing a private road (8) 
Turn back = DRIVE AWAY minus A
10 ACTIVE Participating in the fourth part of a play, Shakespeare's last (6) 
fourth part of a play = ACT IV, Shakespeare's last = S
11 PUKEKO Bird with quiet little musical instrument gets approval to go back in the end (6) 
quiet = P, little musical instrument = UKE, approval = OK, to go back = reversal indicator
12 MIGHTY Powerful myth concocted about returned serviceman (6) 
Anagram of MYTH, returned serviceman = IG
14 LEVITY There's sex appeal in tax and frivolity (6) 
sex appeal = IT, tax = LEVY
17 AGENDA Schedule a sexual identity announcement (6) 
sexual identity announcement = homophone for GENDER
19 GUITAR It is wrapped in a rug loosely with strings attached (6) 
IT inside anagram of GUAR
21 SCARCELY Church left in frightening circumstances? Almost not (8) 
Church = CE, left = L inside SCARY ("frightening")
22 WEAKLY Regularly like this publication, say, in a feeble sort of way (6) 
Homophone for weekly
23 HAZY A bit of a laugh: the last two letters are vague (4) 
A bit of a laugh = HA, the last two letters = ZY (not in order)
24 YACHT CLUB Broken clutch in alcove back where sailors gather (5,4) 
Anagram of CLUTCH in BAY ("alcove") back = reversal indicator
                                 
DOWN    
1 ALLOWING Bearing in mind everyone outstanding (8) 
everyone = ALL, outstanding = OWING
2 SEVERE Cut off bridge player getting serious (6) 
Cut off = SEVER, bridge player = E
3 AIR DUCT Vent finding a tax collectors' cut made in error (3,4) 
A + tax collectors = IRD + anagram of CUT
4 MALARKEY Mistakenly alarm former prime minister with idle words 
Anagram of ALARM + former prime minister = KEY
5 MUSIC Catholic and I sum up the score (5) 
Catholic = C + I SUM, up = reversal indicator
6 GLIMPSE A quick look by general leads to simple error (7) 
good leader = G + anagram of SIMPLE
7 CREAK The squeaking sound of the brook (5) 
Sounds like CREEK
12 MAGICIAN Maniac madly hugs soldier, a tricky character (8) 
Anagram of MANIAC around GI ("soldier")
13 TRAGEDY Attempt to absorb old tale of woe (7) 
Attempt = TRY, old = AGED
15 IMITABLE Some limit a blessing as worthy of being a model (8) 
Hidden word
16 PLAY-ACT Treaty requires amateur participation to tread the boards (4-3) 
Treaty = PACT, amateur = LAY
18 NERDY Deny being upset about monarch being a boring sort of person (5) 
Anagram of DENY, monarch = R (rex or regina)
19 GO WITH Accompany rocker with a macabre style going around Wisconsin (2,4) 
rocker with a macabre style = GOTH, Wisconsun = WI
20 AD LIB How an actress might improvise the middle bit of the headline on bishop (2,3) 
middle bit of headline = ADLI, bishop = B