Listener Crossword 3955: Solution Notes

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Band on the Run by Tea Leaves

Puzzle explanation

The instructions given by first and last letters of extra words were: “draw lines to create twenty-one film titles; enter four-word title for Keith at MM” and “twenty starting wd, ls, tih, ac, gwtw, c, gw, s, hn, ds, rm, bac, ff, coahtr, bn, tkai, ds, anoes, gc, tfc” (commas and spaces added for clarity). Film titles interpreted in the grid, with explanations, are listed in the second table below. Some Like it Hot is a film featuring Marilyn Monroe (MM) about two musicians on the run from the mob, forced to take refuge in an all female band.

Entries in which lines were drawn through the letters for each title, or as “sausage shapes” circling the titles, were also treated as correct.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra word Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 decent WOST Hidden
3 Raw STORY ’S + TO + R(ac)Y
6 attendance THEIR T(ories) + HEIR; archaic use
10 Weaken MANILA MAN + I’ + LA
12 left HORSE HORS + E
13 ideology GOTTEN GEN about OTT; American version of “got”
14 Newcomers GONE Two definitions
15 expert ETHE ETHE(r); old version of “easy”
17 Sylvia WIND Two definitions
18 together EACH Hidden
20 outfit TOWN TOW + N
22 cognoscenti GOWN GROWN – R; reference “town and gown”
23 ruffian NORN NO + R + ’N’
24 eating NO-NO NO + NO
25 arrow DROVE Two definitions
25 tripod LOUVRED LOUVRE + (displaye)D
28 exceptional MAARS MARS about A
29 timorous MARA A RAM*
30 wet BANC BAN + C
31 elchi CAFES CARAFES – AR
32 nightmarish TECHNICAL (T + EN) about CH + I’ + CAL
35 Tanzania CLYDE Hidden
36 Yugoslavic WITH A NOSE FOR FOE SHOT IN WAR*
38 Offspring ROOT (TO + O + R) <
41 new SEWN Hidden reversed
44 exit PIKE P + IKE
45 Few KEITH KITH about E
46 idiotic THERIO- TO HIRE*; prefix: “when at the front”
48 looming ANIGH Homophone (an eye)
49 middlebrow NIGHTMARE KNIGHT – K + MARE
50 trolley-bus AROSE A + ROSE
51 Irish ELMS HELMSMAN – H – MAN
52 tradesman STREET STEER* + THIS – HIS
53 lord GNU (U + NG) <
54 exposes CLONE C(oo)L + ONE
55 schemer CONNECTION CO + INNOCENT*
DOWN
1 emporium WATER WAT + ER
2 Nightclub OGAM MAGO(t) <
3 tuba SOCA (A + COS) <; standard abbreviation for the “cosine” function
4 eccentric ROTL Hidden reversed
5 rebuff YAH YAH(oos)
6 Falstaff THEN THE + N; “the” = the best
7 optimistic HOW (s)HOW(s) + two definitions
8 unco SWINDLE SIMPLE with WIND for IMP
9 Regatta ENDURES URE in ENDS, rather than the other way round
11 Welsh TIE Homophone (Thai)
12 outcast CONCHE CON + CHE
15 reappear ATONE AT + ONE; administrative trainee
16 deb ON-DIT ON + DIT
19 taciturn CAMAN CA + MAN; reference Shinty
21 important BREW BREWIS – IS
26 Townsfolk VALSE S in VALE
27 Lima YFERE Y + FREE*
28 Eli SHIP SHIA – A + P(rophets)
33 forward HAEMIC MICHAE(l)*
34 orchestras TRIG GIRT <
34 rota GRIOTS (ORGANIST – (A + N))*
37 Kenyan ANKLE (r)ANKLE(s)
39 Eskimo THORN T + HORN
40 Inane CHAFE CH + A + F(ac)E
41 tactics TRETS TREATS – A; 4 as proportion of 104
42 holidaying EIGER REGIE <
43 Artistic WINO WIN O, ie, win nothing
44 terrorist PALE PAL + E
46 myself MEET Two definitions; reference to Shakespeare
47 manic NOUS NO + US, “we” in object of sentence

Film title explanations

Title Explanation
Watership Down WATERSHIP entered downwards
Love Story O + STORY
The Iron Horse THE IR on HORSE
Animal Crackers ANIMAL*
Gone with the Wind GONE with THE WIND
Chinatown CH in ATOWN
Go West GO + W
Sunrise SUN entered upwards
High Noon NOON*
Doctor Strangelove DR + LOVE*
Rain Man RA in MAN
Bonnie and Clyde B on (NIE + CLYDE)
Funny Face FACE*
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof CAT on (A + H + (T in ROOF))
Broadcast News NEWS*
Some Like it Hot Hidden
The King and I THE R + I
Duck Soup O + SO written upwards
A Nightmare on Elm Street A NIGHTMARE on ELM STREET
Gun Crazy GUN*
The French Connection LE CONNECTION
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