It was generally considered a hard puzzle with not a lot of feedback from the grid in some cases – that was one reason I put the word to be clued on the diagonal, so that even incomplete solutions might allow the solver to determine the word to be clued and enter.
The winning clue did so by what I think was the largest margin yet, and the winner is now set up for a hat-trick.
The additional letters spelled FRENCH BRANDY, a definition of ARMAGNAC, an anagram of ANAGRAM + C.
1 MORTICIANS; anag. – c in moans; + F => INFORMATICS
11 EURUS; rue (rev.) + US; somewhat n; cloudy = OVERCAST
12 ROAN; ro(M)an
13 SMATTERED; S mattered; of heavenly beings = ANGELICAL
14 OCTAVES; o + T in caves; + R => OVERCAST
15 MICRON; M1 + cron(y); + E => INCOMER
16 SPET; P in set
18 EPHAS; EP has; have some food = DIG IN
20 VARECH; rec. in hav(en) (rev.)
22 GHERAO; H in oar e.g. (rev.); IT = INFORMATICS
23 LONGE; N in loge; without much sense = NUMB
24 LUSH; (f)lush
26 DENMARK; den mark
28 SALTIRE; salt ire; + N => ENTRAILS
31 GALILEAN; L I in gale + an; + C => ANGELICAL
32 IAGO; I ago; wise woman = SAVANTE
33 KNELL; n in kell
34 SEA SERPENT; easer in spent; + H => PARENTHESES
2 MUN; m un; + B => NUMB
3 FRATCHES; F ratches; generating heat = THERMAL
4 OUTROAR; outro a R
5 MAEVE; Am. (rev.) + eve(N); American University =YALE
6 AIRER; ire in Ar
7 HAMLET; elm (rev.) in hat; + R => THERMAL
8 CODA; cod s; new arrival = INCOMER
9 LESS; hidden; + A => SALSE
10 IN AT THE KILL; e in anag.
11 ESPIEGLERIE; espie(d) + RI in glee
17 PENANCES; n in pen aces; additional comments = PARENTHESES
19 AVESTA; vest in a a; + N=> SAVANTE
21 ROMAINE; ro(w) Maine
25 UNCAP; c in U nap; volcano = SALSE
26 GINI; G in I; + D => DIG IN
27 ELECT; (s)ele Ct.
29 TOGA; A got (rev.); guts = ENTRAILS
30 LEA; lea(d); + Y => YALE
Winning clues to ARMAGNAC
1st Car man excited about Silver Spirit (Ross Beresford)
2nd Waving of American flag may convey such spirit and life (Don Manley)
3rd Athletic grandma caught daughter out playing bingo (Chris Brougham)
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