### Puzzle explanation

The two treatments required to make all clue answers read “normally” in the grid were enlarging 12 letters to occupy four cells each, and squeezing a film title of two or three letters into each of eight other cells: It, Elf, Ali, If, Pi, Ran, Ray and Up. The extra words in clues gave cryptic clues to BILLY and WILDER (see below). Billy Wilder co-wrote the 1950 film Sunset Boulevard. The letters immediately after extra words spelt out NAME IN LIGHTS. Adding those letters to the oversized letters in the grid, clockwise from the bottom row, produced NORMA DESMOND, reading in normal grid order. In a line from the film (included in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations), Norma Desmond says “I am big, it’s the pictures that got small”, which described the two entry methods. The puzzle’s title hinted at the film’s closing line, “All right, Mr DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.”

### Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

Extra word (next letter) Answer Explanation
Across
TEST TUBE TEE around BUTTS <
HARPO OPRAH <
INHERIT (d)ITHERIN(g) *
Can (N)emesis BLUTO OUT * after BL
AOK OAK with O moved later
BALISE BASE around LI
HOSEA (HAS + O(bjectionabl)E) *
DIAPIR DIAPER with (poo)I(est) for E
TOD TO + D
BOYCOTTS BOYS around COTT
SDEIGN SINGED *
Difficult (A)t NOT A FEW NOW around FATE *
entering (M)exican YUCATÁN CAT in YUAN
RELISH DELISH with R for the first letter
REFOREST FORE in REST
SIB (B(uffy) + IS) <
in (E)ntrepreneur’s ARDENT (postc)ARD ENT(repreneur’s)
USAGE US AGE (years since Declaration of Independence)
Times (I) TORANA TIRANA with O for I
FEU FEU(d)
STOEP P after (S + TOE)
UPRISAL PARULIS *
DITSY ST < in DIY
SPIELERS REL < in SPIES
Down
render (N)eat TIGHT TIT around GH
SHELFS FLESH * + S
idle (L)ed TELEDU (qui)TE LED U(nion)
TRADE GAP TR + A + PAGED <
BOLOGNA BO + LOG + N + A(nthem)
HUI homophone of HOOEY
AT-BAT A + T + BART − R(elationship)
weekend (I)n POSITIF POSIT + I’ + F
OVERSOWN O’ + VERSO + W(igeo)N
LICHTS ((prodiga)L + S) around ITCH *
GOOSY G + OOSY
TEN 2 meanings (factor of integers ending in 0)
HYDRATED HATED around DRY *
MANICURE MAN I CURE
AUF F after AU
recreation (G)round STERNE ENTERS *
initially (H)igh ONE-STEP (POET SEEN) * − E
WHIGS H in WIGS
more (T)rouble ASSAIL ASS < in AIL
PIEROGI (RO + G + I) after PIE
FEATS FEAST with (Denni)S moved down
Savage (S)cotch BELLS BELL’S; ref. whisky brand
NOY ANDY with NO Y = AND
ARAYSE A + YEAR’S *
Extra-word clues
Can Difficult entering in Times BILLY ILL in BY
render idle weekend recreation initially more Savage WILDER (IDLE + W(eekend) R(ecreation)) *