Listener Crossword 3948: Solution Notes

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Word for Word by Aragon

Puzzle explanation

Superfluous (extra) words in clues spelt “Take preamble literally”. Following this advice, the preamble could be read as: Initial letters of “superfluous words in twenty-one clues help” (= SWITCH) give the first part of an instruction to solvers. This instruction is completed by “three pairs of ‘grid’ ‘entries’, so that the asterisked squares read ‘correctly’ ”. Three pairs of answers (lattice/records, network/portals, grille/foyers) are, literally, “grid/entries”. Solvers needed to switch these pairs so that CORRECTLY appeared in the indicated squares. (No highlighting was required.)

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra word Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 FLACK C(ommission) in FLAK
5 topless LATTICE LATE about TIC
12 FEARGAL … won’t FEAR GAL; reference Irish name possibly meaning “man of courage”
14 axing YARRAN YARN about RA
15 kaftans OWE WE coming after O; reference bank account
16 PORTALS PORT (Deal is one) + AL’S (Capone)
17 COOP O in COP; reference TV show about two policemen
18 eventually RENOWN ENOW (obsolete “enough”) in RN
21 paper SELF-ABSORBED BEEF OLD BRASS*
23 CRASH-LANDING CLAN + DIN about RASH + G(randson)
28 rashly JESTER Hidden reversed
30 ONER (l)ONER
31 NETWORK WORK after NET
34 TAR TAR(t); verbal use of tar
35 Embarrassed VAKEEL (A + V) < + KEEL
36 ISOSPIN I’S + OS + PIN; reference monetary security code
37 acknowledged ASCITES ETC IS AS*; breadbasket, as stomach, is part of abdomen
38 mistress GAFFE (tub)E after GAFF
DOWN
1 butler FOYERS ER in FOYS
2 LEAP EA in (a)LP(s)
3 APRON APR(il) + ON
4 like CURR CUR with extra R
6 Egyptian AEOLUS Alternate letters: mAdE fOuL cUrSe
7 lifting TAWSE SWEAT*
8 IGLOO GI < + Loo (heads, as toilet); popular concept of construction of igloo
9 in CAROTENE TRACE ONE*
10 ELOPED POLE < + E (Ecstasy tablet) + D
11 FATWAH FAH (note after me) about TWA (Scots for two)
13 tied RECORDS RE + CORDS
19 Europe EERINESS SS after (E’ER + IN + E)
20 OF SORTS O + FORT’S about S
22 ONE-WAY O + (AY after NEW (compass points))
23 rudimentary CHORIA OR in (A(re) under CHI)
24 air-raid LEERIE IRE < in LEE
25 legends GRILLE GRILLE(d)
26 MÉDOC “ME DOC” (Snow White); Médoc is principally a red wine district, giving its name to its wine
27 lot UNAPT UN + PT about A
29 TREIF (FIT about ER) <
32 OKTA OKLA(homa) with T for L
33 youngster KERF (KNIFER – NI)*
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