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2? Certainly Not by PQR
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This is a nice thematic puzzle in the mould of Listener or Enigmatic Variations crosswords. There are some lovely clues here notably 14 across and 26 across and the theme will keep you guessing for some time. I found this a very rewarding puzzle to solve and I am sure that you will find the same.

Four answers must be amended before entry in a way suggested by some of the discoveries of 14 Down 4 18 Across, to whom a two-word epithet formed from the letters in the shaded squares can be applied.


1 After start of meal, bolt vegetable
5 Bully off a wet bob is engaged around river
9 Suspicious candidate bears examination
10 Prepared to see the last of wicked idolaters - about time! (three words)
11 Working at night, smooth type drinks a blend of gin (two words)
12 Two small boys in Casualty
14 Short swan? (two words, hyphenated)
16 Coach, one sometimes travelling on the pavement during running
18 See preamble
19 Spending the money and failing to take the consequences (three words)
23 My Fair Lady on television? Listen to this for melodies
24 Cries out for broadcast material
25 Bird that manages gale with ease? (two words)
26 Number Ten I must go round in New Year
2 See title
3 Extend upwards, for example, doubled over
4 See preamble
5 Ask around in essence
6 Circulation fundamental to free issue
7 Stall commotion in American campaign
8 Sonar engineers burning on purpose
13 In solution terrapins breathe
14 See preamble
15 For spare tyre bear left, regularly looking up
17 Not any one can be reduced to nothing in this way
18 Fellow falls down in free bar
20 Jazz centre on the river, exemplar of the blues
21 Plain food
22 Pope's timeless head-covering

Solution to 2? Certainly Not by PQR