Well, it's a stinker this week: 4 to go after a long effort. I feel cheated when I know the answer but can't work out why. And also when I see the reasoning but disagree with the setter. Any comments or help with explaining these would be appreciated:
17a Cobblers needing hammer to remove horseshow = R_T Seems to be Rot (=cobblers). Why?
18a It's essential to keep ice ready, after reading it back? (6) = Recipe (buried in there backwards). But how is a recipe essential?
29a Plant a departing kiss (5) = cress (caress - a) but a kiss is not a caress, and the phrase "to kniss and caress" show we do draw a distinction between the 2. And my Chambers doesn't mention kiss in the definition of caress either.
7d Sweet bandleader in the sixties, unused to stuff about ecstasy (10.5) = peppermint cream. Don't know why, although a friend tells me there was a group called Cream which may be the 'bandleader'.
8d Lucky miss discovering that top's been traded in (1,4,5) = a near thing (probably). No idea why.
43d Vulgar account - putting book down, embarrassed (3-4) = ill-bred. I can see b for book, red for embarrassed, but how do you explain "account - putting"?
46d Cricket team captain finally bursting for one win (7) = England. Apart from captain finally - n, I can't see any word play at all.