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Puzzle by Polonius

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There are some nice twists to Polonius's puzzle, and he makes clever use of cross-references between clues. He shows a flair for entertaining cluemanship, too – I particularly liked 10 across, 1 down and 24 down, although 11, 26 was my personal favourite. He has the hallmark of a very promising setter, in that most of the clues in this puzzle read well in the superficial sense without sacrificing fairness in the cryptic wordplay. This puzzle is guaranteed to raise a few chuckles.

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ACROSS
8  Five digits recited in the nursery – or in the farmyard perhaps? (4,6,5)
9  Sing high notes? (5)
10 Showing improvements in research? (7,2)
11, 26 The kind of attack needed to take 10 wickets? (3,3)
12 Bite off toffee topping in eastern state (5)
13 Old news in a short moment – couldn't care less! (9)
16 What 8 may have had roasted in oven mark 10 instead of 5 (4)
17 See 25
19 Half a pair of trousers for Miss Brodie perhaps? (4)
22 Rogue state divided by extract in café (9)
25, 17 Get at Oscar? Unlikely, in his profession (5,5)
26 See 11
27 Advertisements describing 8's business? (9)
28 Pigment used in brooch repairs (5)
29 Activist elephant or donkey in America? (9,6)

DOWN
1 Unenterprising type, 8? (4-2-4)
2 An Oscar to best (around the East) supporting animal (10)
3 Letter singer, 10, is to howl at (7)
4 When 10, she gets fitted into ballet shoes (6)
5 Artist taking poor doodle round to place of easy money (8)
6 Honest but conceited person lying in processed milk (7)
7 Animal has swelling in a main artery (6)
14 8's garden path perhaps? (3,3,4)
15 Allergic 10 when midnight's gone – end disastrously in theatre at Christmas (10)
18 Persuade to study Van Gogh informally perhaps (8)
20 Pardon me – an awfully filthy place! (7)
21 Surprise a model in firm (7)
23 Tail implant suffered internally (6)
24 Get log out switch on computer (6)
 

Solution to Puzzle by Polonius