Crossword No 12

The clues are in the form of rhyming couplets.
In a few cases, superfluous words have been added to improve scansion or help with the rhyming.

11                  12         
13              14    15        16 
17    18        19  20        21     
22        23  24                 
25              26             
27                  28         

Clues across
1Take whisky to one island in the Med (5)
4Have bite at Rod’s? At these you get your cheese and bread (5-4)
9An advert with the first of dates is seen (7)
10Smart little babies say what manicurists preen (7)
11She fails to start, perhaps, and has no trust (9)
12It’s heard within a narrow strait: “That’s free from rust!” (5)
13If peg-leg has no ‘E’, shake this instead (3-4)
14The German round the valley’s just a tramp – no bed (7)
17Takes off some French, a water pipe to seize (7)
20A queen turns back on insect – but with this it ‘sees’ (7)
22A rowing crew with weight, but leaderless (5)
24I’m taking sides; that means the opposite, I guess! (9)
25Ship sails this way with chief in galley first (7)
26Rotating G and T in urn (to quench your thirst) (7)
27Charles starts with lance round ear to make a gap (9)
28Inebriated, say, or not too loose, mayhap (5)
Clues down
1Not safe to cross – there’s pit on meadow grass (9)
2Is hiring out allowing things to come to pass? (7)
3Achoo! Start cold? I’ll get confused with drink!(9)
4To edge towards no job – there’s drink around (I think) (5,2)
5Bill swore – missed start of race – appeared in dock (7)
6Boys hold their strings – these birds of prey don’t fly in flock (5)
7To this you may be called – and get the bill (7)
8This drug, it seems, can make the waters flow uphill (5)
15Make sense of this: it’s “Peter in RT” (9)
16It should be red at back, not heavy (do you see?) (4,5)
18One with degree’s in river, in disgrace (7)
19An insect ’twixt two poles? It leaves this merest trace (7)
20Perhaps meet up with one who’s lost an arm (7)
21A hit-man’s job? Start nothing when you’ve come to harm (7)
22A moral code the bad, I see, set down (5)
23He perseveres, no doubt, within this German town (5)

To see the solution, click here