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If I had to pick one adjective to describe this puzzle, I'd say, straightforward. There is one word at 18a I didn't know beforehand, but it's deducible from the anagram fodder and the meaning. The rest is fair wordplay, some of it QC level, and I expect to see some fast times and a low SNITCH. If someone can explain 24a better, please do. But I enjoyed it, while it lasted, which wasn't very long. My CoD would be 4d for the smooth surface.

1 House publication with colleague's final tribute (6)
HOMAGE - HO = house, MAG = publication, E = end of colleague.
4 Traveller given licence to go on major road (7)
MIGRANT - GRANT on end of the M1.
9 The old man, looking hot, shaved (5)
PARED - PA is RED hot.
10 Strong suspicion, it's said, must be dealt with (6,3)
IRONED OUT - IRON = strong, ED OUT sounds like DOUBT = suspicion.
11 Procession of a woman and nasty fellow in church (9)
CAVALCADE - A, VAL (random woman), CAD (nasty fellow) inside CE = Church.
12 Test of political division putting British off (5)
TRIAL - TRIBAL loses its B. Three years ago I'd have queried 'of political division' meaning tribal, but now it feels somehow more appropriate.
13 Fox eats a nasty creature (4)
TOAD - TOD is a word for a FOX, insert A. I don't think toads are nasty creatures, we have a family of them living near our back door in a drain cover thing and they're quite cuddly.
14 Escape takes all day — it's nice to get outside (10)
DECAMPMENT - DECENT = nice, insert AM PM i.e. all day.
18 I'm holiest cleric, primarily exercising art of sermonising (10)
HOMILETICS - (IM HOLIEST C)*, the C = cleric primarily. Not a word I've ever used, but I guessed it from the HOMILY route / root.
20 Pick up body part by hospital (4)
HEAR - EAR on Hospital.
23 German woman departs to see swindler (5)
FRAUD - FRAU, D(eparts).
24 Caught in a bad act, ensnared by weird sister showing charm (9)
FASCINATE - A SIN = a bad act, insert C for caught > ASCIN, insert that into FATE; I presume here FATE is one of the three sisters / daughters of Ananke, who weaved things like destinies, but why they are weird I don't know.
25 Storm about proposal at meeting? Order must be kept (9)
COMMOTION - C (about) OM (order) MOTION (proposal at meeting).
26 Dosh foreign character keeps at home (5)
RHINO - Greek letter RHO keeps IN = at home.
27 Daughter is ecstatic making protest (7)
DISSENT - D IS SENT (ecstatic).
28 Farm needing good pasturage (6)
GRANGE - G, RANGE = pasturage.

1 Hard work followed by drink and game (9)
HOPSCOTCH -  H(ard), OP (work), SCOTCH (drink). My FOI.
2 A Gypsy heading north through European region (7)
MORAVIA - A ROM = a gypsy, singular of Roma, heading north = MOR A, VIA = through. It's the Easternmost province of what is now called Czechia.
3 Tribe sits on smart person seen as a pest (6)
GADFLY - GAD was one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Gad himself was the seventh son of Jacob, by Leah's handmaiden Zilpah, apparently, so handmaidens must have been fair game in those days.No worse than Anne Boleyn I suppose. FLY = smart. So I think here the definition is being applied to a person rather than just the annoying insect.
4 Animal imitates the noise of another, having minimal energy (5)
MOOSE - Our MOOSE imitates a cow so MOOS, add E = minimal energy.
5 Mammal to worry about fruit? The opposite (5,3)
GREAT APE - the opposite, in that the fruit GRAPE goes around EAT = worry.
6 Surprisingly, age is no worry (7)
7 Youngster, a learner unqualified (5)
8 Wire that's flimsy insulated by paper wrapping at home (8)
FILAMENT - LAME (flimsy, as in lame excuse) is wrapped by IN = at home, wrapped by FT the newspaper. F(I(LAME)N)T.
15 Blaming statement from book-keeper and swearing? That's not right (8)
ACCUSING - AC = account, statement from book-keeper; CURSING loses its R for Right.
16 Little maids from school possibly see mother coming out (9)
THREESOME - (SEE MOTHER)*. Reference the song in The Mikado: "Three little maids from school are we / pert as a school-girl well can be / filled to the brim with girlish glee ..." to which YUM-YUM says "Everything is a source of fun (chuckle)". Enough said.
17 Happy boys in game with yours truly (8)
GLADSOME - LADS = boys, inside GO a game, add ME.
19 Bad atmospheres spread about by mass media editor denied (7)
MIASMAS - Anagram of (MASS M(ed) IA)* where the ED is "denied". The plural of the Greek word miasma should be miasamata, but I expect dictionaries allow a sloppy, Anglicised, miasmas.
21 Joy's husband, for example, no Romeo (7)
ELATION - RELATION loses its R for Romeo. Is a husband a relation?
22 Reflect on one bishop being hugged by a thousand soldiers (6)
MIRROR - I (one) RR (bishop) inside M (a thousand) OR (ordinary ranks).
23 Met with coffee maybe when turning up (5)
FACED - DECAF coffee reversed.
24 Misleading action is weak, by the sound of it (5)
FEINT - sounds like FAINT.


( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 11th, 2019 05:56 am (UTC)
'Russian Doll'
I venture 8dn FILAMENT is a 'Russian Doll' of a clue with nesting beyond the IKEAN.

Like the 'wise owl' I knew not 18ac HOMILETICS (as per homily) and was rewarded by not to shoving in HOMELITICS My LOI



WOD 11ac CAVALCADE (Cowardly)

24ac FASCINATE - Weird (wyrd) Sisters = FATE from the Scottish Play.

Edited at 2019-09-11 05:57 am (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:31 am (UTC)
Merci, horryd. I know a bit of the Bard's stuff but have never seen or read the Scottish Play. Scared to, I think, it seems to bring bad luck.
Sep. 11th, 2019 05:56 am (UTC)
33 minutes with 18ac deduced via 'homily' like our blogger. The Weird Sisters are usually the witches in the Scottish play, but perhaps being a Fate is weird enough to qualify too.

Edit: I've found the reference now but our Shanghai correspondent has beaten me to it!

Edited at 2019-09-11 06:00 am (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2019 06:01 am (UTC)
Dead Heat
I think our comments were a dead heat! I forgot to mention my time - also 33 minutes.
Re: Dead Heat - jackkt - Sep. 11th, 2019 06:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 11th, 2019 06:24 am (UTC)
43 minutes, drawn out at the end by 2d and 11a, where I’d managed somehow to construct CAROLLAGE, making the only-vaguely-known MORAVIA much harder to see until I finally saw what the “through” was doing... Didn’t know Rom, tod, Gad, or HOMILETICS, all of which slowed me down.
Sep. 11th, 2019 06:41 am (UTC)
I remember Bohemia and Moravia (a puppet state set up by Hitler) from my stamp-collecting childhood. Biffed MIASMAS, never bothered to parse it. The theory of miasmas as the cause of disease persisted into the 19th century, and was one reason Europeans bathed so seldom: bathing opens the pores, making one more susceptible to miasmas. (I had no idea what the plural of the Greek word 'miasma' is; the plural of the English word 'miasma' is 'miasmas'.) Oddly enough, I didn't think of 'Macbeth' but rather of 'weird' as in 'dree one's weird'. 26ac: 'keeps at home'; 8d: 'wrapping at home'.

Edited at 2019-09-11 07:35 am (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:31 am (UTC)
Re: 25:26
I'd go along with weird being a (Scots and archaic) synonym of fate.
Sep. 11th, 2019 07:14 am (UTC)
24 minutes
Straightforward is the word. Nothing stand out.
Sep. 11th, 2019 07:40 am (UTC)
Why should I let the Toad work squat on my life?
30 mins with no brekker.
Very fleeting MER at the choice of 'husband' for relation and the reflect 'on'.
However, I liked it. Mostly I liked: Dec am pm ent and Great Ape.
Thanks setter and Pip.

Edited at 2019-09-11 07:49 am (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2019 07:55 am (UTC)
Let us with a gladsome mind...
...listen to the HOMILETICS without DISSENT. I did know the sermonising word, but my first bash was THEOLICISM until crossers put me right. No, it doesn't exist. 28 minutes with LOI DECAMPMENT still unparsed. I like TOADs too, and I guess the 'nasty' referred to a human version. COD to GADFLY in this workmanlike puzzle. Thank you Pip and setter.
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:18 am (UTC)
RE: Let us with a gladsome mind...
see below, ay endure
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:07 am (UTC)
My miserable run of getting one wrong continued today as I finished with HOMILSTICE, thinking that -stice was a reasonable ending as in justice or armistice and not considering that the word might be plural. With hindsight it feels like a stupid error. Must do better.
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:15 am (UTC)
Some puzzle!
All but 17 minutes but with an idiotic "next door key" typo. Like BW, I only know of the appearance of GLADSOME in Hymns A&M. If we can find another who thinks that way, we can make a THREESOME.
Sep. 11th, 2019 10:52 am (UTC)
Re: Some puzzle!
Now we're a foursome with GLADSOME!
Re: Some puzzle! - (Anonymous) - Sep. 11th, 2019 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:17 am (UTC)
...Praise the Lord for he is kind
bolton wanderer beat me to my headline, knowing GLADSOME from the hymn, and HOMILETICS from doing it. Juxtaposition of GLADSOME/THREESOME seems odd.

How does one pronounce 1ac? And do the the two pronunciations have different meanings?

13', thanks pip and setter.
Sep. 11th, 2019 10:59 am (UTC)
I don't know how it is in the UK these days but some annoying people in the US like to demonstrate their erudition by pronouncing it as if speaking in French. They're the same people who insist on pronouncing "herbs" as "erbs".
Erudition - horryd - Sep. 11th, 2019 11:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Erudition - oliviarhinebeck - Sep. 11th, 2019 12:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Erudition - kevingregg - Sep. 11th, 2019 12:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Erudition - oliviarhinebeck - Sep. 11th, 2019 12:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: Erudition - 84801442 - Sep. 11th, 2019 05:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: homage - keriothe - Sep. 11th, 2019 12:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: homage - gothick_matt - Sep. 11th, 2019 12:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: homage - oliviarhinebeck - Sep. 11th, 2019 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: homage - kevingregg - Sep. 11th, 2019 01:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: homage - (Anonymous) - Sep. 11th, 2019 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: homage - (Anonymous) - Sep. 11th, 2019 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: homage - guy_du_sable - Sep. 11th, 2019 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
RE: Re: homage - guy_du_sable - Sep. 13th, 2019 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Re: homage - (Anonymous) - Sep. 17th, 2019 04:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:21 am (UTC)
26:11 … with a personal Nitch of 147 it would be fair to say I made hard work of this, though any puzzle that features HOMILETICS and Russian doll wordplay (FILAMENT) does not in my book qualify as 'straightforward'!

Major problems with MORAVIA, too, one of those place names I can never remember and routinely confuse with several others. ROM totally forgotten. The THREESOME reference also had to be dredged up rather painfully from somewhere or other — now had it been Gilbert O’Sullivan rather than Gilbert & Sullivan I’d have been laughing.

I see it’s a fine day for Momble connoisseurs, with THEOLICISM, HOMILSTICE and CAROLLAGE already essayed .. and it’s only just past breakfast time.
Sep. 11th, 2019 08:36 am (UTC)
Total disaster! Didn't know the Mikado song and couldn't tease out the anagram, beaten all ends up by decampment, and didn't show the same restraint as Horryd, happily bunging in HOMELITICS which looked more likely.
No troubles with the European region, home of 90s radio and TV star Keith the Moravian Swear Bear.
Quite like the macabre surface of 20 ac. Also not sure a moose wouldn't moo?
Sep. 11th, 2019 09:11 am (UTC)
As my daughter is a member of Teesside G&S Society, Three Little Maids sprang to mind easily. She's rehearsing for The Gondoliers at the moment, but did The Mikado a couple of years ago. I derived HOMILETICS from Homily. I didn't fully unwrap FILAMENT, so it was more of a biff. Liked DECAMPMENT. Didn't know ROM for Gypsy, but it was close enough to ROMA and I knew MORAVIA. HOMAGE was FOI and MOOSE LOI. 28:05. Thanks setter and Pip.
Sep. 11th, 2019 10:06 am (UTC)
37 mins for this little pickle. Reminded me of the three fates: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos (set to music by Keith Emerson in 1970). Filament took ages. Thanks pip.
Sep. 11th, 2019 10:16 am (UTC)
I was reminded of the late Joyce Cansfield....
....who was one of the most elegant Times setters, and who would frequently throw in some Gilbert & Sullivan. THREESOME therefore gave me a smile.

I started like a house on fire, and was down to half a dozen clues in around six minutes. I had to grind out the rest.

TRIAL, FILAMENT, and MIASMAS were all biffed, but parsed post-solve. DNK HOMILETICS but it made perfect sense.

TIME 12:02
Sep. 11th, 2019 10:39 am (UTC)
I must add my heartfelt sympathies to yesterday's sad announcement. I know exactly where you are at, as I myself have been through the wringer. Take care and God bless your precious family.

Mood Meldrewvian
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