Listener Crossword 3935: Solution Notes

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Two Down by Wasp

Puzzle explanation

The puzzle’s theme was the UK boardgame Cluedo®, given by a jumble of the extra letters in the thematic clue jumbles. The body of (Dr) Black is in the centre of the board (on which the arrows represent two secret passages). The thematic group and their colours were as follows:

No Answer Explanation
12acMrs PEACOCKho/pe a cucko/ld; extra letter U; definition “wife”
25acMrs WHITE [WHITE]strud/el with/; extra letter L; definition “cook”
37acMiss SCARLETTlet/ter to clas/sy; extra letter O; definition “femme fatale
42acColonel MUSTARDDie-ha/rd teams u/p; extra letter E; definition “soldier”
7dnProfessor PLUMPa/m up cl/ose; extra letter C; definition “Don”
19dnReverend GREEN/gender/; extra letter D; definition “Minister”

(These colours were not shown in the printed black-and-white solution grid.) The five cells of 25ac therefore appeared blank to receive the body, forming new words. Mrs White, no longer visible in the grid was therefore the murderer and four-letter words linked by the secret passages revealed the location (ball/room) and murder weapon (lead/pipe, equivalent to the more exact lead piping, which was also accepted).

Tolerance was given on the matter of colours, since not everyone had ready access to appropriate tools. Thus, a separate list of the entries and the required colours was allowed. Similarly, highlighting cells was allowed as well as writing the names using coloured letters. Titles (Mrs, etc) in the box at the foot of the grid were ignored, consistent with the rest of the grid.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 LOSE COUNT LOSE + COUNT (Dracula)
8 TEA CLOTH A + CLOT in THE*
10 BALL (foot)BALL, or (base)BALL, etc
12 PEACOCK Thematic: see above
14 SUE Every third letter: St aUstEll
15 IDANT (I + AND + TI)* – I; reference “chromosome”
16 COME HOME COME & HOME are eye-rhymes; reference slip of an anchor
18 AGUE Hidden
20 DORIC I in (DOR + C)
23 ALMERY (co)AL + ER (King Edward) in MY
24 REEF FREE* (set indicates anagram)
25 WHITE Thematic: see above
27 EARN EASTERN – (S + TE)
29 BIOTIC BIOTIN with C for N
33 ENTIA (T + ALIEN)* – L(anding-strips)
36 HOSE HO + SE; reference common hose-pipe bans in Summer
37 SCARLETT Thematic: see above
39 PEEPS Homophone Pepys = diarist
41 ART ART (Garfunkel); reference (Paul) Simon & Garfunkel
42 MUSTARD Thematic: see above
43 ROOM Homophone rheum = cold
44 RESCRIPT PRECIS* in R + T
45 PHOTOTYPE HOT PROPERTY* – (R + R)
DOWN
1 LEAD Two definitions
2 SCÈNE À FAIRE Thematic: climactic scene in play or opera
3 ELATE ’E + LATE; reference Cockney pronunciation
4 O’TOOLE ONE with TOOL for N; reference Peter O’Toole, Irish actor
5 NAKED (s)NAKED; “hood” suggests first letter
6 RASORIAL RA + SAILOR*
7 PLUM Thematic: see above
8 TRIAL T’ + RIAL
9 OCCAM Two definitions; computer language and William of Occam
11 LEECH LEE + CH (surgeon)
13 CHOKECHERRY CH + OK + E + CHERRY
17 MART TRAM <
19 GREEN Thematic: see above
21 IDRIS IS about DRI(nks)
22 TESTATOR TASTE* + TOR
26 HIKE Homophone high + KE
28 KESAR ESKAR*
30 OUTSET (TO + USE + T)*
31 TATTS Two definitions
32 RESAT TASER <
34 ALMEH Initial letters & lit
35 EPACT E + PACT
38 CROP CR + OP
40 PIPE Hidden
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