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The Nagging Nine [Huh 56]

28 February, 2018

For those who missed my recent Wordplay column, I talked about crossword-cracking as the equal of keeping a crypto-journal. When I travel, I solve, and solving is a sly avenue to seeing and recording what's around you. 

But along the way, working through the old Times collection I carried, there remained nine clues I've yet to fully unravel. (Several solver-readers rejoiced to hear about this hurdle, I should add. It's called Schadenfreude.)

So here they are. Some with 'speculated answers' and other solutions left blank. Two challenges: can you confirm each answer; and can you parse how the wordplay works? Your contributions are as close as I get to travel insurance.

1. Holmes booked a table for this despot = 'AUTOCRAT'

2. The drone of woodworking (6-2)

3. Where light may be located, in secret = 'UNDER THE ROSE'

4. Stone frigate (8)

5. Cut grass = 'SPLIT'

6. No cooker for a consumer = 'EATER'

7. Voice strong objection to fashion (6)

8. A lot of men take retaliation on club = 'BATTALION' [It must be BATTALION, since the answer fits. Club = BAT, but what's going on with TALION? Is that a Middle-earth allusion that's over my noggin?]

9. Lord of the jungle = TARZAN?  [Where's the cryptic element - or have I guessed wrongly?]

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Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
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