'_______________________________' by Apex


Definition only clues to words in each row and in each column are given in the correct order and stand side by side without overlapping. Letters entered in the shaded squares of the unclued perimeter (clockwise followed by the central row) give the title of the puzzle and reveal what the perimeter, central row, A and B (when chosen by C) actually did. The 4 unchecked corner letters, the 5 barred off perimeter letters and the 3 mutually checked letters of A, B and C could give - I AFFECT A BEAK. Chambers Dictionary (1993) is recommended.

Across Rows
1 Poisonous plant - everyone a diligent searcher (5,3,6)
2 A LISTENER panther - one of the brightest stars (3,6,5)
3 In the navy, the main second-year student - a star (5,5,4)
4 Resilient hot ashes of Burns for each (6,5,3)
5 High priest briefly institutes poetic clothing (3,4,7)
6 Survives to justify Welsh town (5,4,5)
7 Case for Japanese brandy - place for Spanish sherry? (4,5,5)
8 A base alcohol Scots hide (5,5,4)
9 Unemployed craving a piggy? (7,4,3)
10 Itching long-tailed birds (3,10)
11 Fly high in the air an unfledged hawk no longer hooks (4,4,4)
12 Honey-stone promontory Scots disfigure (7,3,4)
Down Columns
1 Trail, rank-smelling, neglect to take advantage? (4,4,3-4)
2 To be distasteful, a flavoured soft drink (3,4)
3 The stonecrop of butchery? (5,9)
4 Laughter - Spanish gentleman prudishly disapproving (6,5,4)
5 Can any woman in an artistic profession stoop? (6,4,5)
6 Hamlets in Spain - conveyor of blood - a tumbler? (6,4,5)
7 Either of two notes in a scale to halt a rowing boat (1-2-2,4,5)
8 Fifth note of the scale (3)
9 Very slender type of pasta (8)
10 To check ancient affray, ancient gossips (5,5,5)
11 Old desire a series of changes to limit Council tax? (4,4,7)
12 Peg - Jock's graceful amorous habit? (3,5,7)