Listener Crossword 3978: Solution Notes

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Symbolism by Wasp

Puzzle explanation

Extra letters provided by the wordplay in down clues spelt “ONE LETTER RELOCATED”. By moving one letter in entries crossing the unclued down entries into those entries, these could be taken to contain MONSIEUR and THOUSAND. Affected across answers were: 13 lemon 14 hinds 15 unlearn 16 mantis 20 uvula 21 issue 22 sewers 25 theatre 28 Seoul 29 laden. Initial letters of extra words in the remaining across clues spelt SE(M)BLANCE. Highlighting the two unclued entries and MAIDEN (all three represented by M) caused the missing letter M to appear in the grid, as hinted at by the title read as “Symbol is M”.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra Word
/Letter
Answer Explanation
ACROSS
2 scantily LANDSCAPIST (PAINTS + CLAD)* about S
10 escaping MAGENTA M + A GENT + À
11 barely CARTA CART + A
12 lodgings DELHI HELD* + I’
13 LEMON LE + MON
14 HINDS HIND + S
15 UNLEARN UN + LEAR + N
16 MANTIS MIS(s) about ANT
20 UVULA (U + L) in UVA
21 ISSUE IS + SUE
22 SEWERS EWER in SS
25 THEATRE Three terms (RE, T’, HEAT) reordered
28 SEOUL Homophone (SOLE)
29 LADEN L + ADEN
31 any DIODE DO < in DIE
32 new ISLAM ISM about LA
33 crystalline IRON ORE Composite anagram: PREROSION → SP(ecies) + answer
34 European NEONATOLOGY NATO in NEOLOGY
DOWN
1 O AMYLUM MOY in ALUM
2 N LAVE NAVEL*
3 E NEUME NEU + EME
4 L STEER STEEL + (tou)R
5 E CALENDS ED CLEANS*
6 T ACHIEVE THIEVE after (A + C)
7 T PAINT PATIN + T’
8 E STUDDLE STUD + DELE
9 R TARSIA TARA about SIR(i)
17 R ASPERSE A + SR + PER SE
18 E TELLIMA LIME in TELA
19 L INTROIT I + TRITON* + L
21 O SISKIN SO + I + SKIN
23 C REELED CREE + LED
24 A WODAN OD in (A + WAN)
26 T HYDRO THYROID* – I
27 E TAINO ETA + IN + O
30 D DORY RODDY*
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