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The perimeter of the grid spells out a phrase (7 words, 28 letters) that is a quotation from a worker to a ruler. The name of the person the quote is attributed to should be written in the grey box at the foot of the grid as well as solving all the clues and filling in the missing letters in the perimeter (5 in total, which are coincidentally exactly the consonants of the last word of the phrase)

enter image description here

Across:
    7. Yankee and his chopper is ordinate, say? (1-4)
    8. Poo zone holds back animal exhibitors (3)
    9. Lots of paper in student-free domains (5)
    10. Put short lad on inactive, druglike substance (7)
    12. Reseat unsettled diners (6)
    14. Plants with cone-shaped flowerheads for dinner (6)
    15. Two balls and hard… pleased expression! (3)
    16. Eddy starts to sample water in Russian lake (5)

Down:
    1. English own lacking victory Scots possess (3)
    2. Dignify worship (5)
    3. Chink found in grim armour (4)
    4. Sierra represents three fifths of county (3)
    5. Zeta-IV is breaking news in Russia (8)
    6. Melancholy Republican's old hat (8)
    10. Actor Al, not popular, has llama (4)
    11. Horde of American Indians after diamonds?  Just the opposite! (5) 
    13. Once upon a time in the middle of a masterstroke… (4)
    14. …quiet house serves soup (3)
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2
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The solution:

enter image description here

The ruler, incidentally, was

Ptolemy I Soter.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do I make these too easy? Well done; by the looks of it it took you about 20 minutes :) $\endgroup$ – postmortes Nov 30 '17 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ Too easy? Nah, I don't think so, though the clues are mostly fairly straightforward ones -- which is not a bad thing unless you particularly want them to be tough. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Nov 30 '17 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ That's good then: I'm aiming for fair above all else. And trying to get better at setting them :) Thanks for the feedback! $\endgroup$ – postmortes Nov 30 '17 at 17:22

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