December 25th, 2020

Eleven Days of Christmas - QC 1774 by Noel

Seasons greetings one and all. So there's a fairly obvious theme here, and also some obscure vocabulary. I imagine the latter is there so that the former can be crowbarred in. But wordplay is fairly easy overall, and I managed to dust it all off in under 6 minutes. All the days of Christmas are represented either in clues or answers, with the exception of the French Hens. This drove me nuts searching for the hidden clue, but I can't see it. What am I missing?


Across
1 Slowly moving — stealing — quietly away (7)
INCHING - PINCHING minus P for quietly
5 Initially, geese are laying specially for lasses (4)
GALS - first letters of Geese Are Laying Specially
7 Boy perhaps, embraced by maids a-milking (3)
SAM - hidden word: maidS-A-Milking
8 One arranging turtle dove (not first or seventh)? (4,4)
TRUE LOVE - anagram ('arranging') of TURTLE DOVE minus the 1st and 7th letters, i.e. URTLE OVE
10 Detective sergeant collecting unusual percussion instruments (5)
DRUMS - DS with RUM inside
11 Old Jute settler, English in his time (7)
HENGIST - ENG inside HIS T. Hengist was invited to Britain by King Vortigern in 449 to assist in defeating the Picts. Apparently.
13 Secular fella, I calculate, in part (6)
LAICAL - hidden word felLA I CALculate
15 A lord’s leaping around at the back (6)
DORSAL - anagram ('leaping around') of A LORD'S
17 Money saved, an inducement to a calling bird? (4,3)
NEST EGG - cryptic definintion
18 Steamship going around pale swimmers (5)
SWANS - SS (steamship) around WAN
20 Novelist William accepting right gift for day five (4,4)
GOLD RING - GOLDING with R added.
22 A pound for a priest’s vestment (3)
ALB - A + LB. Never heard of it.
23 Gunned down last of pipers piping (4)
SHOT - S (last letter of 'pipers') + HOT
24 Got up to collect set award? (7)
ROSETTE - ROSE with SET inserted. EDIT: as pointed out below, this doesn't work and I didn't spot it. I think it must be a setter's (ho ho) error, as I can't see any alternative parsing.
Down
1 Nine ladies dancing somewhere on the motorway? (6,4)
INSIDE LANE - anagram ('dancing') of NINE LADIES
2 Scenic country farm near Dolgellau, last of all — found here (5)
CYMRU - last letters of sceniC countrY farM neaR DolgellaU. Cymru is Welsh for Wales
3 Without a will in the States, husband and son must leave (9)
INTESTATE - IN THE STATES minus an H and an S
4 Awkward, if essential part of Oberammergau, cherished (6)
GAUCHE - hidden word: oberammerGAU CHErished
5 Hair application allergy not oddly brought up (3)
GEL - even letters of ALLERGY reversed
6 Fibs about United v Villa initially affected players? (7)
LUVVIES - LIES outside U V V.
9 Alibi let us off, being of some value (10)
UTILISABLE - anagram ('off') of ALIBI LET US
12 Song’s nine unusually bright red flashy features? (4,5)
NEON SIGNS - anagram ('unusually') of SONGS NINE
14 Is hot? No, perishing, truthfully (7)
INSOOTH - anagram ('perishing') of IS HOT NO. Never heard of this either. I've heard of 'forsooth', which is a word used by the sort of people who say 'gadzooks!' as though it were amusing in some way.
16 Headless bugler grabbing one: what could be more hideous? (6)
UGLIER - BUGLER minus the first letter with I inserted
19 First half of gift on day one is separate (5)
APART - GIft on day one of course is A PARTRIDGE. Take the first half
21 Point to daughter, getting up (3)
DOT - TO D, reversed.