July 21st, 2021

Times 28035 - from Our Man in Rutland.

Not in Havana, unfortunately from a nice-weather viewpoint, but at least Rutland is not on the amber list. Actually we're moving again, from 1 mile inside Leicestershire (but only 4 miles from Oakham, Rutland's capital town), to a real Rutland village (18 houses and a post box).
This was another pleasant puzzle, not as hard as last Wednesday's I think, it took me 25 minutes or so. I learnt 3 new words, all obvious from wordplay (15a, 23a, 27a) and a new meaning at 24d.
Sorry if the formatting looks a bit odd, I had to rescue what I could when the LJ posting went pear shaped the first time.

Across
1 Degenerative state of Venetian magistrate keeping volunteer army once (6)
DOTAGE - DOGE keeps T.A.

4 One at home in Madrid perhaps — and Paris, surprisingly (8)
SPANIARD - (AND PARIS)*.

10  Blessedness of bishop with key position, so to speak (9)
BEATITUDE - B (bishop) E (musical key) ATITUDE sounds like attitude, position.

11  Eg Hammerstein’s very large limousine (5)
OSCAR - OS (outsize) CAR (limo).

12  Rowdy lout initially stabbing poet with little hesitation (7)
HOODLUM - HOOD, UM (hesitation) insert L = lout initially. Thomas Hood was an English poet 1799 - 1845, but   I didn't know that, being a poetrignoramus, I guessed him.

13  Mineral popular in Oman’s capital, as it happens (7)
OLIVINE - O (Oman's capital), LIVE (as it happens), insert IN = popular.

14  Stuff wrapped round last of wholesome dairy product (5)
CREAM - CRAM = stuff, around E last of wholesomE.

15  New decanter full of sugary fluid (8)
NECTARED - (DECANTER)*. I didn't know something could be "nectared" i.e. filled with nectar, but I see no reason why not.

18  Weaken resistance of son frequently before beak (6,2)
SOFTEN UP - S(on) OFTEN (frequently) UP = before magistrate.

20  Famous clown taking a drink (5)
COCOA - COCO the clown has A inserted.

23  Short song a girl’s written about an alien (7)
ARIETTA - A RITA has ET the usual alien inserted. I assume an ARIETTA is a short ARIA.

25  Picture the writer’s opposed to, enormously at first (7)
IMAGINE - I'M (the writer's) AGIN, E(normously).

26  White mineral artist found in chest (5)
BORAX - insert RA into BOX. Sodium borate.

27  Like one part of speech attorney recalled, insignificant (9)
ADNOMINAL - DA reversed, NOMINAL = insignificant. It means adjectival, more or less.

28  Army musician, possibly, with sergeant-major in bar (8)
BANDSMAN - BAN = bar, insert AND (with), SM.

29  Unlimited load of French ship entering Black Sea Port (6)
ODESSA - O A = load "unlimited", insert DE (of French) SS (ship).

Down
1 Little bird caught by peasant after severe upset (8)
DABCHICK - BAD (severe) reversed, = DAB, C (caught) HICK (peasant).
2 Came about supporting husband dismissed from the plant (3,4)
TEA ROSE - AROSE (came about) "supports" T(h)E.
3 Diving bird’s culpability, eating most of fruit (9)
GUILLEMOT - GUILT eats most of LEMO(N).
5 Advance ideas of newspapers mostly about fertilisation (14)
PRECONCEPTIONS - insert CONCEPTION into PRES(S).
6 Ruth’s mother-in-law’s current grumble going north (5)
NAOMI - I (current) MOAN reversed. As in the Bible story.
7 Turn up, dropping round initially for church record store (7)
ARCHIVE - ARRIVE (turn up) drops an R and gains a CH.
8 Deepen colour of chest in study (6)
DARKEN - ARK in DEN.
9 Novel a Moravian nun originally absorbed happily at sea? (3,3,2,6)
OUR MAN IN HAVANA - insert H A (originally Absorbed Happily) into (A MORAVIAN NUN)*.
16 Noted assertion of right accepted by fab duke (9)
ACCLAIMED - CLAIM (assertion of right) goes into ACE (fab) D(uke).
17 Shrub Conservative woman planted across lake (8)
CAMELLIA - C, AMELIA has L for lake inserted.
19 Old man holding sound-enhancing device — a character! (7)
OMICRON - O for old, RON a bloke, has MIC(rophone) inserted. 15th letter of Greek alphabet.
21 Customers not exactly silent when screwed (7)
CLIENTS - C (circa, not exactly) (SILENT)*.
22 British sailors gathering round African tree (6)
BAOBAB - B (British) AB AB (sailors), insert O (round).
24 Try one’s manipulative procedure in the theatre (5)
TAXIS - TAX (try, as in try one's patience) I'S (one's). In surgery taxis means to move bits about without hacking into them. Or in posh medical speak, a manipulative procedure.