Even with two big hold-ups, I managed a time of just under 9 minutes. Generally, then, I found the level relatively easy but there were a few unknown terms which may prove to be a problem – but I hope no one is put off – learning new terms is part of cryptic solving. My hold-ups were 13ac where, with all the checkers, it was a half intelligent guess which proved correct. Finally, I was left staring at 22ac which, in the end, wasn’t really hard at all. So thanks to Orpheus for a QC with, for me, a few learning points. I was wondering about a theme having noticed a few religious references and the author’s name at 1ac. Please enlighten me if there is.
1. Like some 19th-century novels, a kind since abandoned (10)
DICKENSIAN – anagram (abandoned) of A KIND SINCE.
8. Profile of Conservative leader travelling from place to place (7)
CONTOUR – Collins has contour=the outline of a mass of land – which ties with profile. (C)onservative, travelling from place to place (ON TOUR).
9. Be concerned about daughter in service unit (5)
CADRE – colins has cadre as a small group of people specially chosen and trained for a particular purpose – so cadre. Be concerned (CARE) about daughter (D).
10. Lecherous look making us stagger backwards (4)
LEER – stagger – reel – backwards (LEER). The ‘us’ seems to be filler to allow the clue to form a sentence.
11. An account giving rise to extreme distaste (8)
AVERSION – an account (A VERSION).
13. Duke introducing American composer, a rich man (5)
DIVES – Collins again – Dives is a rich man in the parable in Luke 16:19-31. Dnk this but got there thinking that Ives is the most likely composer from -V-S. Charles Edward Ives 1874-1954 ‘noted’ for his innovative use of polytonality.
14. Head of class unwell, nursing start of horrible cold (5)
CHILL – (C)lass, unwell (ILL) nursing (holding) (H)orrible.
16. Hunt a boa slithering around German motorway (8)
AUTOBAHN – anagram (slithering around) of HUNT A BOA.
17. Move domestic animals from the east? (4)
STEP – domestics animals – pets – from the east/backwards (STEP).
20. Internet pest missing start of leisurely walk (5)
TROLL – leisurely walk – s(TROLL) – missing start.
21. Go berserk – hit boy attendant (7)
RAMPAGE – hit (RAM), boy attendant (PAGE).
22. Graciously departs in old cab by Cambs cathedral (10)
HANDSOMELY – departs (D) inside old can (HANSOM), Cambridgeshire cathedral (ELY). I could see the D and ELY but struggled for the old and cab with -A-S-O- for a while until it became blindingly obvious.
1. Like a nobleman‘s double, taking in Commons at first (5)
DUCAL – double (DUAL) taking in (C)ommons.
2. Safekeeping of satin cover on ground (12)
CONSERVATION – anagram (ground as in coffee beans) of SATIN COVER ON.
3. Winged statue thus about to be erected? (4)
EROS – thus (SO) and about (RE) erected/upwards/backwards.
4. Tried hard to get supper finally in oven (6)
STROVE – suppe(R) inside oven (STOVE).
5. Correctness of notes on church office (8)
ACCURACY – notes (A and C) on top of church office (CURACY).
6. Manage publicity initially required in small country? (12)
ADMINISTRATE – publicity (AD – vert), (R)equired inside small (MINI) country (STATE).
7. Report of senior officer – a bit of a nut! (6)
KERNEL – homophone (report of) senior officer – colonel.
12. Spanish queen, the first murder victim in one’s city? (8)
ISABELLA – original name Elizabeth Farnese 1692-1766, second wife (1714-46) of Philip V of Spain and mother of Charles III of Spain. First murder victim (ABEL) inside one’s city (I’S LA).
13. Shortage of food ultimately overwhelming planet (6)
DEARTH – foo(D) overwhelming (on top of) planet (EARTH).
15. Divided paintings briefly kept in outhouse (6)
SHARED – painting briefly (AR)t inside outhouse (SHED).
18. Shame about conclusion of padre’s godliness (5)
PIETY – shame (PITY) about padr(E).
19. Pulpit used by Uppingham boys (4)
AMBO – either of two raised pulpits from which gospels and epistles were read in early Christian churches. Well, we didn’t need to know this to see the answer in the clue – used by (in) Uppingh(AM BO)ys. For no particular reason I just checked and Uppingham school (for both sexes) is one of the leading British boarding schools and is in Rutland.