fam

Times Quick Cryptic 1091 by Rongo

Greetings from your newest blogger, Jeremy.  I'm a long-time solver (more like 'attempter') living in New York City, and quite pleased to be giving back to the blog that has given so much to me!

I thought this puzzle had wonderful surface readings and (therefore) a deliciously tricky bent to the wordplay.  Accordingly it took me 14 satisfying minutes to solve.  A random observation:  I noticed a lot of question marks in the clues, not all of which seem strictly necessary.

Across

1 It’s turning into ursine creature unknown [in] animal book (8)
BESTIARY - ITS reversed ("turning") into BEAR ("ursine creature") + Y ("unknown")
5 Anglicans primarily marry in a state of wonderment (4)
AWED - A ("Anglicans primarily") + WED ("marry")
8 Tin not fashionable [for] muzzle (5)
SNOUT - SN ("tin", on the periodic table) + OUT ("not fashionable") Which came first, the muzzle or the muzzle?
9 Accurately detailed exotic recipes (7)
PRECISE - anagrammed ("exotic") RECIPES
11 English River Test keeping both sides of river connected to land (11)
TERRESTRIAL - TEES ("English river") + TRIAL ("test") containing ("keeping") first and last letter ("both sides") of RIVER Here, neither 'English' nor 'River' stand for their usual abbreviations.
13 Outsiders from ailing European company, one that supplies temps? (6)
AGENCY - first and last letters ("outsiders") from AILING, EUROPEAN, and COMPANY
14 Farm vehicle attached to box (6)
CARTON - CART ("farm vehicle") + ON ("attached to") Here, 'vehicle = CAR' is a red herring.
16 Deceitful NI party allowed contents of house (11)
DUPLICITOUS - D.U.P. ("NI party") + LICIT ("allowed") + middle letters ("contents") of HOUSE
18 Broadcast boss, one who’s simple-minded (7)
AIRHEAD - AIR ("broadcast") + HEAD ("boss")
19 Expect an ounce, say, to be announced? (5)
AWAIT - A WEIGHT ("an ounce, say") changed into a homophone ("to be announced") My reciprocal version of this clue: Release a weight, say? (8)
20 Boy with yen [for] peeress (4)
LADY - LAD ("boy") + ("with") Y ("yen", currency abbreviation)
21 Require to enter hold, flooded above calf height? (4-4)
KNEE-DEEP - NEED ("require") in ("to enter") KEEP ("hold")

Down

1 Attempt to criticise party (4)
BASH - triple definition For newer US solvers: 'attempt = BASH' is chiefly British.
2 Irascible stepmother strangely embarrassed? (5-8)
SHORT-TEMPERED - STEPMOTHER anagrammed ("strangely") + RED ("embarrassed")
3 Bury law? I have, responding to input (11)
INTERACTIVE - INTER ("bury") + ACT ("law") + I'VE ("I have")
4 Sword [in] poor repair (6)
RAPIER - anagram of ("poor") REPAIR And not, for example, ROPINO, ROPOIN, etc — that is, a 'repair' of 'in poor'.  D'oh!
6 Vigorously train to prepare egg whites for meringues, maybe (4,4,5)
WHIP INTO SHAPE - double definition Here 'train' is transitive in the answer.  Technically, you do more beating and folding with egg whites, but that's just cleaving hairs on my part.
7 House Democrat experiencing an upward surge? (8)
DWELLING - D ("Democrat") + WELLING (experiencing an upward surge) And not the House of Dreeling, as I initially thought.
10 Additional circular shape in dish to make projections (11)
EXTRAPOLATE - EXTRA ("additional") + O ("circular shape") in PLATE ("dish")
12 Feel unwell after hospital, a new doctor [giving] support for unsteady walker? (8)
HANDRAIL - AIL ("feel unwell") after H ("hospital") + A ("a") + N ("new") + DR ("doctor")
15 Part of orchid denied [or] concealed (6)
HIDDEN - middle letters ("part") of ORCHID DENIED How delightfully self-referential!
17 Prevent post getting broken (4)
STOP - POST being anagrammed ("getting broken")