Looks like this one is a themed crossword, although I’ve yet to have a proper crack.
But here discuss, digress, complain, laud, extol and grumble.
Update: And here it is:
RC and I at Il Fornaio on Sunday were looking the worse for wear after a long time with a very blank crossword in front of us. The breakthrough happened when RC mentioned Peter Weir and Weter Pier, and everything then fell into place (I’m a big fan of Orwell’s).
Happy times all round (except for 19-down, the Paris wall clue, which remains stubbornly unsolved — is the answer mersey?).