April 17th, 2019

Times 27327 - at least I had time to read all about dear old Alfred.

I like a struggle on a Wednesday; I enjoy the frisson of solving a tough test under pressure and understanding every clue so as to write a convincing account. This week I was disappointed. This is a perfectly good puzzle, of course, but it was done and dusted in 12 minutes, an equal PB for me. The parsing, likewise, held no difficult secrets.
It's always good to see a less popular element come along, here at 6d, although these days if you watch the Pointless quiz show at tea time on BBC you'll know that everyone is swotting up on them; especially from 95 Americium to the latest to be named, 118 Oganesson, of which 5 atoms have been fleetingly produced.

1 They’re a blow to Conservatism? (5,2,6)
WINDS OF CHANGE - Cryptic definition.
8 Seafood, cold, local sent back (4)
CRAB - C followed by BAR reversed.
9 Zest of primate left clutching sword (6-4)
ORANGE-PEEL - ORANG = primate, L = left, insert EPEE = sword.
10 Single idea lost in translation (8)
11 Marrow jam (6)
SQUASH - Double definition.
13 S American rang up AA a year after crashing (10)
16 13th or 15th, team’s heading into last place (4)
IDES - SIDE = team has its S moved to the end. In Roman times the Ides was on the 15th in March, May, July and October, and on the 13th otherwise. Thanks to deezzaa for pointing out I had initially typed 13 / 15 the wrong way round. My Latin master, one Mr Percy Cushion (really!) didn't make it stick well enough to last 60 years.
17 In which one could be expecting stick (4)
CLUB - Double definition; a stick, and if one were 'in the club' and a female person, one could be expecting.
18 Ace having people following India in test (10)
EXPERIMENT - I (India) MEN, inside EXPERT = ace.
20 Display containing goods one can’t choose? (6)
BEGGAR - BEAR = display, insert GG = goods; beggars can't be choosers, they say.
22 Tracks one in run continuously (8)
RAILWAYS - R = run, ALWAYS = continuously, insert I.
24 No longer having to conduct tourist periodically alfresco (3-2-5)
OUT-OF-DOORS - OUT OF = no longer having; DO = conduct; O R S = alternate letters of t O u R i S t.
26 Reversed bank’s repeated instructions (4)
LOOP - POOL = bank, reversed.
27 Read wrong notes: foreign articles tolerated (13)
MISUNDERSTOOD - MI'S = notes, UN, DER = articles in foreign, STOOD = tolerated.

1 Wife formalised renewed expression of astonishment (5,4,2)
WORDS FAIL ME - (W FORMALISED)* where W = wife.
2 Chemist’s lack of alarm when speaking (5)
NOBEL - Sounds like "NO BELL" = lack of alarm. With time on my hands I read up the life of Alfred Nobel on Wiki, he was a more interesting chap than I'd realised.
3 Quick temper of female with uniform — wearing trousers, note (5,4)
SHORT FUSE - F and U have SHORTS around, then add an E note.
4 Charity event in Florida welcome in Australia (4,3)
FLAG DAY - FLA = Florida; G'DAY what allegedly Australians say in greeting, although I've never met one who did.
5 Trips with school society (5)
HIGHS - HIGH school, S(ociety).
6 Element in UN put me off (9)
NEPTUNIUM - (IN UN PUT ME)*. Element 93, not surprisingly being the one following Uranium and before Plutonium.
7 Girl’s flat unfinished (3)
EVE - EVEN = flat; unfinished.
12 Serial killer sugared rum to entrap marshal (7,4)
SWEENEY TODD - SWEET (sugared) ODD (rum) has Marshal NEY inserted.
14 Equivocal claim to generosity by posh old American (9)
AMBIGUOUS - AM BIG could be a claim by a generous person, big-hearted for example; U (posh) O(ld), US.
15 Drug agent I figure out on reflection is a plant (9)
NARCISSUS - NARC = drug agent, I, SUSS (figure out)  reversed.
19 End of contract entered into by Post Office (7)
PURPOSE - PURSE = contract, e.g. lips; insert PO. END as in 'to what end?'
21 Stick with popular French form master (5)
RODIN - ROD = stick, IN = popular. The sculptor or 'form master'.
23 I’ll do that when I’m legally called on, initially (5)
WILCO - Initial letters of W hen I 'm L egally C alled O n. Origin WILL COMPLY in early radio talk.
25 German city firm ludicrously upset hosts (3)
ULM - City reversed hidden in FIR(M LU)DICROUSLY.