I can’t give a time as I’d just crept to the 10 minute mark with 1ac, 5ac, 11dn and 21ac yet to complete when I was interrupted. I came back to find the timer at an extremely large number.
Anyone who struggled and is wondering how people got faster times should realise that it’s all a continuum. The fast solvers here will look with equal awe at Mark Goodliffe's performance at the weekend - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/times-crossword-king-does-not-dither-in-regaining-his-crown-vmhrlhmrq (to whom - well done!).A brief note to other bloggers - I've been having problems copying into the blog and (despite trepidation) had to resort to the new editor version. I hope it can be viewed OK.
1. At work see about upper limit, finding way out (6)
ESCAPE - anagram (at work) of SEE around (about) upper limit (CAP) - not an easy starter.
5. Dog with hardly any time to come in? (6)
CURFEW - dog (CUR), hardly any (FEW).
8. Proud now — unexpectedly getting a fall? (8)
DOWNPOUR - anagram (unexpectedly) of PROUD NOW.
9. Get tender initially with US soldier on return (4)
TWIG - (T)ender (W)ith, US soldier on return (GI backwards).
10. Just love Northern Line railway in the end (4)
ONLY - love (O), Norther(N) Lin(E) railwa(Y).
11. Derisive star having no time to meet academic in charge (8)
SARDONIC - star having no time (S)t(AR), academic (DON), in charge (IC).
12. Brief minute with the German bodyguard (6)
MINDER - brief minute (MIN), the in German (DER).
14. Tricks female animals, impressing Director-General? (6)
DODGES - female animals (DOES) taking aboard (impressing) Director-General.
16. Golf side’s sad, wretched existence (4,4)
DOG'S LIFE - anagram (sad) of GOLD SIDE.
18. From finalist, a brave attempt (4)
STAB - from finali(ST A B)rave.
20. Trip organised using rep first of all? (4)
TOUR - (T)rip (O)rganised (U)sing (R)ep. The definition being used with the parsing of this partial &lit.
21. Reckless one — drop out (8)
TEARAWAY - drop (TEAR), out (AWAY).
23. Calm, extremely sure at romantic meeting (6)
SEDATE - (S)ur(E), romantic meeting (DATE).
24. Person’s speciality encountered? That is right (6)
METIER - encountered - MET), that is (IE), right (R).
2. Second musical instrument cut (5)
SHORN - second (S)econd, instrument (HORN).
3. Girl and boy failing to start — editor cross (7)
ANNOYED - girl (ANN), boy failing to start b(OY), editor (ED).
4. Self-image, say, associated with Oscar (3)
EGO - say (EG), Oscar (O - phonetic alphabet).
5. Tottering, carried G&T in container (9)
CARTRIDGE - anagram (tottering) of CARRIED G and T.
6. A tango in Rio leading to relationship (5)
RATIO - a (A) and tango (T - phonetic alphabet) inside Rio (RIO).
7. English daughter with doubt over cool building (7)
EDIFICE - English (E), daughter (D), doubt (IF), over cool (ICE).
11. In street I’ve arranged something to assist consumer (9)
SERVIETTE - anagram (arranged) of STREET IN).
13. Brought up by hero, no-risk metal source (4,3)
IRON ORE - brought up (all upwards/backwards) of 'by' indicating inside/owned by the clue h(ERO NO RI)sk.
15. Aloof, I’d upset street worker (7)
DISTANT - I’d upset (DI), street (ST), worker (ANT).
17. Country, say, troika visited regularly (5)
SYRIA - (S)a(Y) t(R)o(I)k(A).
19. As you say, an inducement, moderate (5)
ABATE - homophone (as you say) of an inducement (a bait).
22. Target excellent month (3)
AIM - excellent (AI), month (M).