Listener Crossword 3966: Solution Notes

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Mercury’s Whereabouts by Dysart

Puzzle explanation

Extra letters in across wordplay spelt “The past is a foreign country” the opening of The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley. Extra words in down clues consisted of “go” and approximate synonyms for “go” as a noun, each having to be inserted within another answer. These were, in clue and column order from left to right, spell, go, life, zest, Vim, PEP, deal, turn, bout, shot, Move, Kick, try. The correct numerical sequence of down clues was j2, a3, f4, c5, b6, d8, g9, m10, k11, l12, h13, i17, e23. Solvers were required to highlight the three names, with “Leo” appearing vertically in the grid between “Marian” and “Ted”, for whom Leo was the go-between. The puzzle’s title alluded to the grid location of Leo, as the messenger, while exemplifying the down entry method with “bout” inside “whereas”.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra letter
Extra word
Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 T ASCENT A + ’S + C(hilean) + TENT
7 H PLEONS ON(e) in PLESH
14 E DEBARKS (DECKS – C) about BAR(e)
15 P ATILT TIP in ALT
16 A PEPO PEA + POT – T
18 S FOVEAL A LOVE* after F(it)
19 T TECH T’ + ETCH
20 I AGE AGGIE – G; reference AGATHA (good), AGNES (chaste)
21 S PLATH PLATS + H; reference Sylvia Plath
22 A SOLEMN SO + LEMAN
24 F TET T(roublemaker) + FET (obs “fetch”); reference Tet offensive
25 O PAISA PA + OI + SA’
26 R EERIEST PEER – P + TRIES*
27 E TRIO Hidden
28 I LIAS ILIA + S(kull)
29 G UNHOLY BUNG – B + HO + L(uxur)y
30 N LETTS LENT + T(alker)S
31 C LARGO CLEAR + GO – E
32 O VIE (m)OVIE
33 U NETE NEUTE(R)
34 N TORRENT RN + RENT after TO(m)
35 T ONEGA ONE + GAT(e)
36 R EMESIS MESSIER*
37 Y RUG RAT (GU(y) in TARRY) <
DOWN
(a) → 3 spell CLIMATURE CURE about TAMIL <
(b) → 6 go PLEONASTE PLEONS – S + EAST; reference 7 across
(c) → 5 life TENAILLONS IN LANE LOST*
(d) → 8 zest LORING LORDING – ’D
(e) → 23 Vim DEER DETER(gent) – T; reference female deer (doe)
(f) → 4 PEP NOTARISE Homophone (NOTE A RISE); literal (NOT A RISE)
(g) → 9 deal EARTHLING EARN + G about (TH’ + L(icensed) + I(vory))
(h) → 13 turn KLOSTERS (ER + S) after K(ick) + LOST
(i) → 17 bout WHITE RAT (WITH + TA(m)ER)*
(j) → 2 shot SATRAPIES SPIES about (AT + RA)
(k) → 11 Move NESTLING Two definitions
(l) → 12 Kick NAMASTE (A MAN) < + STE(ady)
(m) → 10 try ORIENTEER E in (OR I ENTER)
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