February 6th, 2019

Times 27267 - nothing to complain about or shout about.

A pleasant if somewhat vanilla puzzle today, mostly straightforward wordplay and only one word and parsing at 19a which caused me any delay in my 20 minute solve. Hard to pick a special clue out of these, but I'll settle for 28a for a relevant surface.

1 Burst ball seen after Slav fouled (5)
SALVO - (SLAV)*, O for ball.
4 State capital has no love for religious ritual (9)
SACRAMENT - The state capital of California loses its O.
9 Furious Berber perhaps put back in guest accommodation (5,4)
SPARE ROOM - SPARE = furious (as in 'he went spare'), MOOR = Berger, reverse him. No room in our spare room, it's full of boxes since we downsized.
10 American author, Tolstoy's hero (5)
LEVIN - Double definition; hero of Anna Karenina, and choose an Amercian author, Ira, Robert, Mark, Michael, and probably more.
11 Song always going round is atmospheric thing (1,5)
E LAYER - E'ER goes around LAY = song; the E LAYER is one of several radio-reflecting layers (D, E, F1, F2...) in the ionosphere.
12 Remove sozzled sot in plane put at the front (8)
JETTISON - JET followed by (SOT IN)*.
14 A bloomer, moving east in ultimate people carrier? (10)
HEARTSEASE - (EAST)* inside HEARSE, the ulimate people carrier. Viola tricolor, a pretty little wild flower.
16 Hindu music about to make contribution to culture? (4)
AGAR -  A RAGA is Indian music, reversed it makes the medium used for culturing bacteria.
19 Head’s lack of heart in grilling? (4)
NOLL - The heart or middle of grilling is LL, so a lack of that would be NO LL. Old fashioned word for head, or crown of head.
20 Oh, for tale of adventure on high seas! (8,2)
WESTWARD HO - HO going 'west' becomes OH. Or vice versa. Novel by Charles Kingsley.
22 One leaving restaurant worker means to serve course (8)
23 Water level reversed by old king in cutter? (6)
EDITOR - TIDE reversed, O(ld), R = king.
26 Round relative sheds pound in weight (5)
OUNCE - O = round, UNCLE loses his L.
27 End of hip strain announced (9)
INTENTION - IN = hip, with it; TENTION sounds like tension.
28 Daughter, in splitting huge cost, pays thus? (4,5)
29 Neat looker appears in small window (2-3)
OX-EYE - OX = neat, EYE = looker. Small circular window, more usually left in the French as œil de bœuf.
1 One martyred in street on walk with female (2,7)
ST STEPHEN - ST, STEP = walk, HEN = female.
2 Fools seen within the French city (5)
LHASA - HAS = fools (as in 'he had me that time') inside LA = the in French.
3 One takes beating over races amid scuffle (8)
OMELETTE - O = over, MELÉE = scuffle, insert the TT races.
4 Hard ground outside with hooves protected? (4)
SHOD - SOD outside H.
5 Firm 21 admits writing articles in attempt to limit damage (10)
COMPENSATE - CO = firm, 21 = friend = MATE, insert PENS.
6 Skilled nurses are there principally to do surgical removal (6)
ABLATE - ABLE = skilled, 'nurses' A and T being initial letters of are there.
7 English newsman packs travel document as predicted (9)
ENVISAGED - ENG ED has VISA inserted.
8 Join group that's on the rise (5)
TENON - NONET is a group of nine musicians, reversed. I didn't know you could have TENON as a verb to mean 'make a tenon joint', but obviously the setter did. Or maybe kevingregg below is right and join is a noun, alternative to joint.
13 All-rounder needing some Linnaean classification? (10)
GENERALIST - Well, a LIST of GENERA would be piece of Linnaean classification.
15 Simultaneously everyone agreed to accept Conservative (3,2,4)
ALL AT ONCE - C for Conservative goes into ALL AT ONE = everyone agreed.
17 Answer found in ordering afresh for banker (3,6)
18 Dance enthusiast circling with energy (8)
FANDANGO - FAN encircles AND = with, GO = energy.
21 Devil embraces Remainers' leader, being intimate (6)
FRIEND - R inside FIEND.
22 Grace maybe saving man — but there's wickedness! (5)
WRONG - W G (Grace the cricketer) encircles RON a bloke.
24 Public rights guardian bans one Parisian race (5)
TRIBE - TRIBUNE the public rights guardian, loses its UN = one in French.
25 American location in Connecticut a haven (4)
UTAH - Slightly hidden in CONNECTIC(UT A H)AVEN.