November 27th, 2019

Times 27519 - cor blimey it's the vernal and the vernacular.

Highly amusing puzzle today, with some tricky post-biff parsing for your blogger once the grid was completed in about half an hour. Compliments to the setter, please give me one of these every Wednesday!
Special mentions for 12a and 19d for tricky parsing, and 6d for a concise triple definition. I'm not 100% happy with my explanation for 17d, but the rest, I think, is satisfactory.
We are talking Vernal at 16a, vernacular at 9a, 2d, 28a.



Across
1 One’s accompanying the Queen visiting military hospital and mess (8)
MISHMASH - M.A.S.H being the military hospital, as in the superb TV series (Suicide is painless, remember?). Insert (i.e. visiting) I'S HM.
5 Gridlocked, perhaps, in transport leaving city (6)
STATIC - EC (the City) leaves ECSTATIC = "in transport". Well, I think that's it.
9 My part reduced after reflecting (3)
LOR - ROLE (part) is reversed and is reduced. Collins says "Exclamation of surprise or dismay", shortened from Lord.
10 Vegetable to go after in place of game (6,5)
SQUASH COURT - SQUASH = vegetable, COURT = go after, woo. Today's chestnut.
12 Dickensian orphan Twist in desperate reversal, having no one (5,5)
EDWIN DROOD - Eponymous orphan in Dickens novel. Fiendish wordplay, reverse engineering for me, take away WIND (twist) leaves you with ED ROOD, reversal > DOOR DE, which is DO OR DIE (desperate) without the I.
13 Work for a while that doctor may take, briefly (4)
TEMP - Double definition, the Doc can take your TEMPerature.
15 Legendary red ointment for child that’s really dear (6)
CHERUB - CHE (Guevara, the legendary red), RUB (ointment).
16 March features one short horse with bullock following? (7)
EQUINOX - EQUIN(E), OX.
18 These usen’t to get worked up about harmful emission? (7)
ECONUTS - CO, carbon monoxide a harmful emission, inside (USENT)*.  Def &lit.
20 Exotic bit of verse could go oddly astray (6)
ESCUDO - alternate letters of v E r S e C o U l D g O. I don't see what's exotic about a 'bit' of Portuguese currency before its final removal in as late as 2012 after the euro was introduced in 1998.
23 Pants one would be expecting to be up! (4)
DUFF - Duff, pants, no good for use. If you're a lady up the duff, you're expecting. A phrase I heard only last evening watching an episode of Peaky Blinders, possibly the best thing on TV (apart from Masterchef, sport and politics, of course).
24 Insults mate with false respect (3,7)
LIP SERVICE - LIP = insults, cheek; SERVICE = mate, for animals not people perhaps.
26 Very close, offering affection (4,2,5)
HAND IN GLOVE - HANDING (offering) LOVE (affection).
27 Put out, I carp (3)
KOI - K.O. = put out, knock out; I.
28 Something digital newspaper makes undesirable (6)
TOERAG - Well, a TOE is digital, and a RAG is informally a newspaper. My LOI.
29 City brothels in kinky shows (8)
HELSINKI - Beautifully hidden city in BROT(HELS IN KI)NKY.
Down
1 Fungus, note, will, finally, before the day’s up (6)
MILDEW - MI (note), L (end of will) WED reversed.
2 Thursday broadcast’s before 9 (7)
STREWTH - STREW = broadcast, TH = Thursday. Another exclamation like the answer to 9a, corrupted from God's Truth.
3 What male dinosaurs could make you? (10)
MISANDROUS - (M DINOSAURS)*.
4 To get around scale, after old-fashioned drill (6-7)
SQUARE-BASHING - SQUARE = old-fashioned, BAG = to get, insert SHIN = scale, as in shin up a tree I presume.
6 Gather friar eats in school (4)
TUCK - clever triple definition.
7 Born bully? (7)
TAUREAN - someone born under the sign of Taurus the bull.
8 Commander leading a team reaching peak in S America (8)
COTOPAXI - CO (commander) TOP (leading) A XI (a team, an eleven). Active volcano in Ecuador, 5,897 metres high. Remembered from my O Level Geography or numerous quizzes. There are about 75 even higher peaks in the Andes, eleven over 20,000 feet (6100 m) but not so many active volcanoes. It's on my bucket list.
11 Seeks zoom lens to snap area imposing restrictions (9,4)
SMOKELESS ZONE - (SEEKS ZOOM LENS)*. When I see an anagram fodder with a Z in it, and 'area' mentioned in the clue, I quickly look for zone as part of the answer. I liked 'to snap' as the anagrind, after zoom lens.
14 Expend least effort, as chiropodists do without hesitation (3,7)
CUT CORNERS - Well, chiropodists may CUT CORNS, so insert ER for hesitation.
17 Chap getting publicity free, still concentrating on features? (8)
HEADSHOT - HE gets AD (publicity) get SHOT (of) = get FREE (from). At least, I think it's that, not ADS HOT as hot doesn't mean free, but I'm not too thrilled with shot = free, without the 'of'.
19 Wrong start, therefore ignoring that (7)
OFFENCE - Another tortuous bit of parsing. OFF = start, as of a horse race. ENCE = HENCE (therefore) (not 'THENCE) with the start (i.e.'that') removed.
21 Readily accept doctor, popular with family (5,2)
DRINK IN - DR (doctor) IN (popular) KIN (family).
22 A house and a car for one turning heads (6)
GEMINI - EG (for one) reversed, 'heads' MINI a car.
25 City just to the west of delta in ricefields (4)
LIMA - in the NATO alphabet you'd finish the spelling out of ricefields with 'Foxtrot India Echo LIMA Delta Sierra'.