Difficult is not the same as clever. It takes little to select the least likely definition of a term and by so doing make the puzzle difficult to solve. I’m not complaining that the puzzle was too hard, only that it was singularly unimaginative. (Lest you get the wrong impression, I solved this in ink cleanly with no write-overs.)
The following off-the-mark clues are illustrative of what I mean:Glowing, perhaps
PLEASED [glowing connotes extreme pleasure; pleased is closer to simply satisfied]Banter
JEST [I suspect Thomas B. Costain was the last to use the terms interchangeably]Play up to the max?
BLARE [the term is used almost always as a noun or intransitive verb; rarely is it transitive]Bumpkin’s lack
TACT [though they lack sophistication, they don’t have to be tactless]
Crossing ULLA and AYLA seems a bit unsporting Fix, as brakes
REPAD [not buying this as a real word]
Rating: The usual system does not apply. I appreciate the 24 blocks and the challenge, but this work is just not my kind of puzzle.