May 27th, 2020

Times 27675 - what the doctor ordered.

I thought this was a pleasant middle of the road puzzle, not quite as 'vanilla' as last Wednesday's (which some of you thought was more Neapolitan than vanilla). There are some unusual words - a dog, a couple of plants, an insect, a dance, an old fashioned word for a shoemaker - none of them too obscure but all fair play in crosswordland. I hope you enjoyed it and that below I can explain any parsing that might have passed you by.

1 Free Latin book a Greek character returned (8)
LIBERATE - LIBER is Latin for book, (and free!) and ETA a Greek letter is reversed.
5 Popular retired doctor initially under such a cloud? (6)
NIMBUS - IN (popular) reversed, MB (doctor), U S (initial letters of under such).
9 Mother’s ruin? It’s a trap (3)
GIN - double definition.
10 Problem supporter in east restrained by immobilising device (5-6)
BRAIN-TEASER - BRA (supporter - that familiar one), TASER has E for east inserted.
12 Amount of liquid woman, about 51, took regularly at first (10)
MILLILITRE - MILLIE (a woman) has LI (51) then TR (initial letters of took regularly) inserted.
13 Shoemaker, one who behaves condescendingly (4)
SNOB - double definition. See Wiki etymology.
15 Bacon, for example, sent back in restaurants I traduced (6)
ARTIST - Francis Bacon is hidden reversed in RESTAURAN(TS I TRA)DUCED.
16 Joy Orwell originally found in European language (7)
ELATION - E, LATIN, insert O for Orwell.
18 Enclosure outside old abstainer’s rural dwelling (7)
COTTAGE - CAGE outside O and TT.
20 Unknown East Ender’s assistant, one emitting shrill cries (6)
YELPER - Y (unknown) (H)ELPER droppng its H as East Enders are reputed to do.
23 Tyneside area containing popular square (4)
NINE - three squared; the NE has IN (popular) inserted.
24 Extremely low in tree-trunk, harmful beetle (4,6)
BOLL WEEVIL - BOLE (tree trunk) has L W (extremely low) inserted, then EVIL = harmful.
26 Domestic employee’s husband taking ring across river (11)
HOUSEKEEPER - H (husband) KEEPER (ring) has the river OUSE inserted. A keeper ring is e.g. an engagement ting.
27 Deserter? Not in the desert once! (3)
RAT - The second part refers to the Desert Rats being the British 7th Army in North Africa in WW II.
28 Raunchy crew in outskirts of Salisbury (6)
STEAMY - Crew = TEAM inserted into S Y the outside letters of Salisbury.
29 Alienate new sergeant (8)
1 Pulse member finally ate with hesitation (6)
LEGUME - LEG (member) E (finally ate) insert UM (hesitation).
2 Inept type, one playing outside entrance to nightclub (7)
BUNGLER - BUGLER (one playing the bugle) has N (first letter of nightclub) inserted.
3 Like some religious leaders, babble endlessly in upset state? (10)
RABBINICAL - RABBI(T) = babble, endlessly; IN reversed; CAL a state.
4 Dine at hotel abroad, eating most of hot baked food (4-2-3-4)
TOAD-IN-THE-HOLE - (DINE IN HOTEL)* then insert HO(T).
6 Shrub identified by the Italian divorcee (4)
ILEX - IL (Italian for 'the') EX (divorcee). Ilex is holly.
7 Graduate nurse in the past, one keeping judge’s dog (7)
BASENJI - BA (graduate) SEN (State Enrolled Nurse qualification) J (judge) I (one). A hunting dog breed originating in Africa.
8 Dance with girl born first (8)
SARABAND - AND (with) has SARA (a girl) and B (born) in front.
11 Shaky persons, surely, skiing here? (7,6)
14 Mourner possibly, one putting up with oppressive atmosphere? (10)
PALLBEARER - Someone putting up with a PALL an oppressive atmosphere, for the second part of the clue.
17 Shrub head of arboretum is able so to provide (8)
ACANTHUS - A (head of Arboretum) CAN (is able) THUS (so).
19 Characteristic of monk to start to swim in northern river (7)
TONSURE - TO; N URE = northern river; insert S = start to swim.
21 Surround new visitor initially received by English club (7)
ENVIRON - E (English) IRON (golf club) nsert N V (new visitor initially).
22 Heading for ball, supple and cheerful (6)
BLITHE - B(all), LITHE (supple).
25 Smile broadly, seeing supporting member (4)
BEAM - Double definition.