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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 10:18 am (UTC)
Straightforward was the word I'd already thought of when solving. Add me to those unfamiliar with HOMILETICS but who fortunately only saw the one likely-looking solution from the anagram fodder.
Sep. 11th, 2019 10:50 am (UTC)
I managed 3/4 of this lickety-split but got completely stuck in the NE corner. Which was pretty thick of me considering what's been going on with MIGRANTs on the Southern border of the US lately, but no I had to trawl the alphabet for MOOSE before I could get there. Pip, I think the OR in 22d is "other" not "ordinary" ranks but that's an extremely small nit! 20.56
Sep. 11th, 2019 03:44 pm (UTC)
I stand (to attention) corrected, I had always assumed (wrongly and lazily) it was Ordinary, but NATO speak says Other as do you of course. My Dad would have known for sure, he had a Military Bearing like Major Bloodknock. P
RE: OR - boltonwanderer - Sep. 11th, 2019 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 11th, 2019 11:21 am (UTC)
Let me add my momble....
....of 'homilestic' to the pile. Fortunately, this made 'accusing' impossible, so it had to be revised to the correct answer. I was going pretty fast, but this was a real hold-up. I biffed 'filament', so no problem there. Time was about 30 minutes.
Sep. 11th, 2019 11:23 am (UTC)
30 mins
Sort of middling crossword, middling snitch and a middling time for me. Only problems were the sermonising and LOI FILAMENT where I thought the wire was flimsy rather than lame.
Sep. 11th, 2019 11:37 am (UTC)
Ever faithful, ever not so sure...
... about you know what, for which I guessed 'homilstice' like pootle73, so a DNF in 44 minutes.

We had an annual G&S performance at school in Grade 6, rotating through 4 different works and the Three Little Maids were so popular that they appeared every year, even somehow being transposed into 'Trial by Jury'. You might think 12 year old boys would run a mile, but oddly enough we loved it.

Thanks to setter, blogger and John Milton
Sep. 11th, 2019 12:10 pm (UTC)
Wyrd Anglo-Saxon for fate; uncanny or strange meaning altogether linked to that in Shakespeare's time. Liked the am/pm of decampment, my last in as I simply couldn't understand it for a while. 19.47 and slightly amazed to sneak in ahead of the site's wise sisterhood if sotira and olivia will forgive me. Not that one is given to noticing such things except by the merest accident of course. I was familiar with 'homiletics' as it was often the practice to sign off a poem in A/S times with a moralising passage, sometimes possibly an addition by a later writer. I don't know if anyone saw 'The Black Mikado' back in the Seventies, but 'Three Little Maids' was something else - a demure line-up who mid-song suddenly let rip, pretty well literally, with the chorus line 'Three Little Maids from School...'. One meets the "cultured" pronunciation of 'homage' over here too, malheureusement.

Edited at 2019-09-11 02:56 pm (UTC)
Sep. 11th, 2019 12:36 pm (UTC)
12m 01s, finishing on DECAMPMENT - I liked the AM/PM bit, so I'll give it my COD.

I'm trying to work out 22d - the 'on' doesn't seem to serve any purpose in the cryptic, so presumably the definition has to be 'reflect on', but I'm struggling to justify that either. Perhaps 'on one bishop' is supposed to indicate that RR comes just after I, but using 'on' in that sense for down clues is not usually done, is it?

Possibly I'm over-thinking this one.
Sep. 11th, 2019 12:46 pm (UTC)
9:57. No problems here. HOMILETICS unknown but derived from homily.
I always get MORAVIA confused with Genovia.
Sep. 11th, 2019 01:10 pm (UTC)
For me it's Moravia, Moldovia, Moldova, Moldavia that all blend together. In retrospect I never knew Moravia wasn't just a made up word.
RE: Genovia - keriothe - Sep. 11th, 2019 11:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 11th, 2019 01:05 pm (UTC)
Worth a rhino of anyone's itch
I DNFd on this one, plumping for "homilstice" after an age of staring and failing to consider HOMILISTICS. Ah well.

CoD to DECAMPMENT. I spent a long time looking at D(ay)E....T (est, 'is' in Nice), interspersed with musings on CAMP MEN. The "all day" for AMPM was very neat, thought, though alas there must be few opportunities to use it.
Sep. 11th, 2019 05:29 pm (UTC)
HOMILETICS derived from ingrained church missal instruction from 40+ years ago 'Sit for the homily, stand for the creed'.

FILAMENT a write-in though failed to parse more than FT.

CAVALCADE popped up quickly following a recent familial discussion on European horse-related words!

Not sure of TOD, ROM or GAD but checkers generous.
Sep. 11th, 2019 05:36 pm (UTC)
All day
No it didn't take all day, but I loved the AM PM device in 14a and don't think I have seen that before?
Sep. 11th, 2019 06:17 pm (UTC)
50 odd minutes only to DNF. I had heard of Moravia (I might have thought it was the setting for Duck Soup or the Prisoner of Zenda - sorry Moravians - but I had heard of it) so it was annoying to find after submitting that I had actually typed Morrvia. I got a bit stuck in the middle and found it quite hard to polish this one off. I couldn't work out decampment or filament for ages and initially having closed out instead of ironed out at 10ac didn't help. I also had about five cracks at the correct arrangement of anagrist in 18ac before getting that one right. COD to 16dn.
Sep. 11th, 2019 07:46 pm (UTC)
I had a brief flirtation with HOMILECTICS by false analogy with DIALECTICS, but that wasn't working out for me so I left HOMIL- in and came back to it when I had more crossers.
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