Listener Crossword 3973: Solution Notes

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Collusion by The Magpie

Puzzle explanation

Extra definitions to be removed from clues are shown in the table below. The 5-letter definitions, applied to unclued down entries, allowed entry of CLEVER CLOGS at 24ac, the 6-letter definitions SMARTYPANTS, the 7-letter definitions BRIGHT SPARK. Corrections to misprints (in 9, 12, 14, 17, 22, 39 across, 34, 35, 38 down, respectively) gave ALZUMOHKI. Adding up the alpha-numeric values of the checked letters of CLEVER CLOGS, SMARTYPANTS and BRIGHT SPARK together with the misprint list and COLLUSION and converting back to letters allowed 24ac to be completed as BRAINS TRUST.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal, † = punctuation/spacing adjusted

No Extra word
/Misprint
Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 flight DIAMONDBACK DIAMOND (“pick” is a diamond in cards) + BACK; rhyming slang for snake
9 Mai(a) OREAD O + READ; eldest of the Pleiades
10 †s upper EPOCHA CHA(p) after EPO
12 Sta(l)k STRIG STRING – N(aked)
14 (Z)orilla’s ATOC A to C
15 †Has ten s UPCHEER CHEER after UP
17 s(u)ck RESORB BRO(w)SER <
20 ranks HABLE B in HALE
21 pal(m) KENTIA K + ENTIA
23 remiss IMODE Homophone (I’M OWED)
27 fosters LACEY LACKEY – K
30 noise EVOKED (r)EVOKED
32 †ret ches ANKLE (r)ANK + L + E, eta’s top = E to right of L
33 †gal let DORSAL DOR + L about S(taff)A
36 letters CANASTA ST in CANAA(n)
39 (O)n IN RE IRE about N
41 bullock KRENG (spe)K + RE(eki)NG & lit
42 garbs ACACIA A/C + A/C + I’ + A
43 howled USURE URE after US (= me)
44 naked THREADMAKER TH(e) + READ-MAKER (facetious reference to novelist)
DOWN
1 †sty Le DOWAR DO + WAR
2 †Was he s AERO A + (h)ERO
3 †hell ene MASCOT (COATS + M(y))* (red indicating anagram)
4 †lat ch ODOUR O’ + DOUR(o)
5 regard NEEP PEEN <
6 †s word BOTHAM AM after BOTH
7 sprees ACRE IF < + (answer) gives FIACRE
8 thumps CHIELD SHIELD, S(pades) to C(lubs)
11a 6dn STEEL = sword
11b 5dn STEEM = regard
11c 41ac STEER = bullock
13a 20ac GREES = ranks
13b 1ac GREES = flight
13c 3dn GREEK = Hellene
16a 1dn CHIC = style
16b 33ac CHIP = gallet
16c 36ac CHIS = letters
18a 4dn SNECK = latch
18b 10ac SNACK = supper
18c 40dn SNICK = deflect
19a 44ac BARED = naked
19b 43ac BAYED = howled
19c 28dn BATED = blunted
21a 37dn BOOKS = tomes
21b 8dn BONKS = thumps
21c 32ac BOAKS = retches
24a 30ac CLACK = noise
24b 23ac SLACK = remiss
24c 31dn BLACK = boycott
25a 29dn EYES = ogles
25b 2dn TYES = washes
25c 15ac HYES = hastens
26a 42ac GEARS = garbs
26b 7dn TEARS = sprees
26c 27ac REARS = fosters
28 blunted ANARCH AN + ARCH
29 ogles ELANCE ELEGANCE – EG
31 boycott ORISSA MAILING about (answer) gives MAORIS SAILING
34 (h)old OAKUM O/A + (M’ + UK) <
35 bra(k)e LEVER CLEVER – C
37 tomes NEAR Ne + Ar (two of the noble gases)
38 D(i)ddy’s TOAD TOO BAD – OB
40 deflect NEUK NUKE, E moved
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