This puzzle was originally published Friday, September 11, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
I found that there was some fairly tricky wordplay today, especially in the southwest quadrant.
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
all over the shop - Brit. (?) colloq scattered everywhere; in numerous places (the equivalent expression in North America would be all over the place)
Goldsmiths - a constituent college of the University of London (England)
SCR - abbreviation Brit. Senior Common (or Combination) Room: noun Brit. a room used for social purposes by fellows, lecturers, and other senior members of a college
Libellule's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 26031].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
24a Awkward situation when academic's room put next to a gym (6)
In this clue, "awkward situation" defines a SCRAPE and the wordplay is SCR (Senior Common Room, or academic's room) abutting (put next to) A PE (physical education, or gym). Despite the surface reading of "a gym" making it appear that gym is an athletic facility, it is actually a course of study (as in gym class). I have to confess that I only discovered the existence of an SCR from Libellule's review. I'm afraid that the best attempt I was able to produce was a highly implausible SC (1 Austral, NZ School Certificate) plus R (room).
20d Mad person's shell? (7)
Libellule states, "A simple but enjoyable double definition." Surely he has misspoken and meant to say "cryptic definition"?
Signing off for today - Falcon
46 minutes ago