One answer in each column loses a letter wherever it occurs; the wordplay and bracketed lengths refer to the grid entry, while the definition is to the full word.  The letters in column order spell out the first item of the trilogy.  One across clue in each row has a letter missing somewhere along its length, which should be included for the clue to be solvable.  The letters in row order spell the third item of the trilogy.  Solvers must complete the unchecked central letter and then highlight the central item of the trilogy and the author in the completed grid.


1        Local to lounge about, returning insincere expression of affection? (4)

5        Staring, confess about hard year (6)

10      English MP, perhaps one about to make migration (7)

11      Cold chipped potato (4)

12      Writ involved carer, one snaffling island gold (10)

13      See part of site in Gabon going fast (8)

14      Japanese city formerly beset by any quaking (6)

16      Oil snatched in the art heist (5)

21      No longer adding to family in endless self-confidence (5)

22      Group’s fourth CD in place to rise? (6)

24      Sat amidst whales frolicking, secure in the foam? (8)

26      Aerial mass converted nun for religious establishments (10)

27      Girl locating moth in rears of some gardens here (4)

28      Divine affair had wicked story about King (7)

29      Kit traditionally involving four items (6)

30      Article online? That’s no longer simple (4)


1        The writer’s importing economic article – opiate? (7)

2        Greet the Queen with English power (4)

3        Acceptable gear carried in a left hand (6)

4        An immense number offloading money up in grocery (5)

6        Leading men? The girl’s leading numberless individuals (5)

7        Article carried by many a galloping Outback horse (6)

8        One comes to consecrate, never to bury (7)

9        Active performance, embracing love (5)

15      Remove acid from a lake? Various lakes (7)

17      Result of dig around square in the old Rome (7, 2 words)

18      Gravedigger in Hamlet makes empty remarks initially (6)

19      Two exotic military men in popular novel (6, 2 words)

20      I’ll be back in Arab country, heading off after year (6, 2 words)

23      Guarantee what Government should have done, investing in power and energy (5)

24      Appetiser with the cooking (4)

25      Man’s upset about Knight following Indian religion (4)

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