Listener Crossword 3939: Solution Notes

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Novel Connections by Buff

Puzzle explanation

In clue order, extra letters in wordplay gave Londinium, Lindum, Aquae Sulis and Viroconium, the Roman names for London, Lincoln, Bath and Wroxeter, respectively. Cells filled by their initials were linked by Ermine (St), Watling (St) and Fosse Way, and these roads were to be highlighted. Two clues (34ac and 38ac) had wordplay which omitted “ST” to reflect the omissions above. Unaffected clues were 23, 37, 39, 40 across and 6, 36 down. The title could be equated to “Roman roads”.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Letter Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 L BACKFIRING BLACK + FIRING
10 O FORETOPMEN FORE + TO + MEN about OP
12 N LEGIST GIST in LEN(d)
13 D ASLANT (c)AST about LAND
14 I TRANSMIT TRAINS + MIT (German for “with”)
15 N ERAS SANER*
16 I BRRR BIRR + (winte)R
18 U LEARNERS RULES* about EARN
21 M RESELL R + E + SMELL
23 ITCH (b)ITCH
24 L PIETISM (IMPLIES + T(enderness))*
26 I OHIO OI (twice) about H (husband)†
28 N AERIER AERIE + NR
29 D DANSEURS DANS (French for “in”) + RUDE* + S
30 U ELSE E + SUE about L
32 M DUOS (SO + MUD) <
34 [ST] ARBALEST Comp anag: ARBALE + O (round) + C = ALBACORE; ST omitted in wordplay
37 EFFORT Two definitions
38 [ST] STARER RARE with first R at end; ST omitted in wordplay
39 AFFLUENCES A + FENCES about FLU
40 TENDERFEET TEND + ERF + (b)EET
DOWN
1 A BELT TABLE*
2 Q AVER QUAVER – U(lulation)
3 U CIGAR CU + (RAG <) after I
4 A FOSSILISE (I + LIES*) after FOSSA
5 E REVIEW ERE + VIE + W (also two definitions)
6 NOSY NO(i)SY
7 S AMARETTI TREAT* in AMIS
8 U MENARCHES MEN + ARCHES + U
9 L ANTS SLANT with S at foot
11 I TATAMI (I + MAT) < in TAI & lit
16 S BROOD Two definitions
17 V RÉCHAUFFÉ (FARE + UV + CHEF)*
19 I ROSEWATER WAITER below ROSE (“ideal” as noun)
20 R SHARE Hidden: (har)SH ARRE(st)
22 O SPIN-OFFS F + F in POISONS*
25 C ELUATE CLUE* about TEA*
27 O ERRAND AN ORDER* & lit
31 N LERNE NL + ERNE
32 I DEAF IDEA + F
33 U GRUE GURU + E
35 M SEMÉ SEE(d) about (su)MM(er)
36 TROT TROT-COSEY – COSEY; reference Trot(skyist)
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