The theme words and their variations:-
A (16A). Peter
leading to two verbs meaning ‘to cook’:-
B (42A). Jonathan
leading to these fish species:-
8A. DOG (Miller’s Dog, s.v mill1 & tope3)
32D. THUMB (Miller’s Thumb, the bullhead, s.v. mill1)
C (12D). Alan
leading to other Bennetts:-
10A. , the novelist.
D(31D). Dudley MOORE
leading via reference to the sculptor Henry Moore to sculptors:-
24D. Sir Edwin LANDSEER
15. Women in service giving wife rare kidneys I dismissed. WRENS (w + re(i)ns; s.v. reins (sic)) We begin with a clue to remind solvers that many of their fellows, and the grander sort of setter, may yet employ dailies or even live-in staff. Some may even enjoy the attentions of Wrens at their weekend retreats. Those of a rare kidney, indeed.
17. Part of famous coaster’s cargo damaged in water. TINWARE (anag.) This clue alludes to the John Masefield poem: ‘Cargoes’, which refers to ‘iron-ware’ and ‘cheap tin trays’ amongst other items, but not to ‘tinware’ directly. As with many of Azed’s most entertaining clues, the ‘definition’ is really a more direct form of indication.
19. New potato not far off. NEARLY (n + early) Azed may have been inspired by the maiden effort of a new competitor in this clue. At the opposite extreme, a few careless solvers may have guessed at ‘nearby’ for their solution here. Well and truly pronged, if so.
20. Working as a diplomat maybe, producing propaganda. INFO (i.e. in F.O.) The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is the United Kingdom’s ministry of external affairs. Stay on message? Cable talk, perhaps.
25. Dark gee ridden by tyrant. NEGRO (G in Nero) It may seem odd to parse ‘ridden by’ as ‘in’. Watson understands this as meaning that ‘Nero’ is astride ‘G’.
36. Lassie’s wee bittie book removed from dress. HA’IT (ha(b)it; s.v. haet) A reference to ‘lassie’ in an Azed puzzle is usually a sign that a Scots word is involved. Clues to solutions in Azed puzzles which involve an apostrophe usually have enumeration in this fashion: (4, apostrophe). For some reason this has been omitted here.
43. How does some milk sound? I never touch a drop. TEE-TEE (i.e. ‘TT’, meaning Tuberculin Tested) That is, how it would be described if so tested, see this link for details.
44. Improvise, lacking kit for well-loved car? BUS (bus(k it); s.v. busk1) Seasoned DIY mechanics will have appreciated this very witty and telling clue. Watson’s favourite in this puzzle.
45. Confectioner is doubly busy with father around. PATISSIER (anag. (of is, is) in pater) A clue featuring an (admittedly mild) indirect anagram. Azed has often advised competitors that all letters of an anagram must be present in the text of the subsidiary indication. Some might argue that, well, they are!
1. Gained entry in queer kind of embroidery. FAGOTING (‘got in’ in fag2) A reminder of how much the world has changed since 1972, surely. Enthusiasts may leave their comments here.
4. A humble bonfire should get going thus for Jock. ALOW (a + low; s.v. alow2) A second Scots solution meaning ‘alight2’ is suggested with the able assistance of our old friend, Jock.
5. Riddle setting, deviously, one may identify widespread affection. SCREENING TEST (screen + anag.) Azed began this year’s puzzles with a very fine clue to CHIYOGAMI in which its surface summarised his professional approach to clueing in the tradition set by his predecessor, Ximenes. He marks his fortieth anniversary in similar vein here with a surface expressing appreciation for the high regard of his loyal followers. Dr Watson trusts that those competitors who refrain from engaging in correspondence with their judge have not been screened out in the process.
9. Get on well with such as Galloway, being obsessively enthusiastic. GEEKY (gee5 + ky) A fabulously witty clue having a surface set in the world of political ambition. George Galloway’s name is understood to have been chosen to hint at that world for no reason other than that it happens also to be the name of a Scottish breed of cattle. Thus the phrase: ‘such as Galloway’ gives an accurate indication of the Scots word ‘ky’, meaning ‘cows’. Gorgeous!
21. One in charge of e.g. palace provisions having power over crown (in part). PANTLER (p + antler) The subsidiary indication in this clue turns on the listed definition of crown1: ‘a stag’s surroyals’. Thus ‘antler’ is correctly indicated by ‘crown (in part)’.
39. It’s limits of the icy waste for him, one imagines. YETI (anag. of t(h)e + i(c)y) This is a very fine clue, affording many experienced solvers exquisite delight, no doubt. .
Across: 14. REARMS (rear + MS; ref. lower panel); 22. APPAL (pa (rev.) + pal); 28. MAHWA (‘a wham’ (rev.); s.v. mahua); 29. GLADE (glad + E); 30. DAMN (dam3 + n); 32. THRUST (h in trust); 35. GOAT-GOD (anag. in goad); 37. ALTOS (salto, ‘s’ moved to rear); 40. BAILEE (ail in bee1; s.v. bail1); 41. PHEERE (he in père; s.v. fere1).
Down: 2. IN RE (rein, pairs swapped); 3. CODEWORD (rowed (rev.) in cod); 6. ERASE (ras in (sp)ee(ch)); 7. BARCA (bar4 + ca); 8. DIMORPH (dim + pro (rev.) + h); 18. ALOE (o in ale); 22. AMLA (alma1 (rev.)); 23. PAD-TREES (anag.; s.v. pad1); 26. GARIALS (air (rev.) in gals; s.v. gharial); 33. UTILE ((f)utile); 34. SALEP (sale p(rice)); 38. SHES (hidden).