Listener Crossword 3981: Solution Notes

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Lip Service by Sabre

Puzzle explanation

The five unclued entries are papa, potatoes, poultry, prunes and prism, the selection of words good for the lips as advocated by Mrs General in Dickens’ Little Dorrit. (See The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.) The letters used in the substitution cipher encode as follows:

AEGILMNOPRSTUY
SAOMURDLHITEGN

The principal diagonal if encoded produces LITTLE DORRIT. This ensured that the N of PRUNES must encode to D.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 OPAHS (HAP in SO) <
5 BEHAVE BE (see worth²) + HAVE
10 SHEARLING HEAR in SLING
11 FASH (Bil)L from FLASH
12 ALLNESS TALLNESS with T removed, vt use of “head”
13 TUSK T(rap) + USK
15 SLOE Homophone (SLOW)
16 SOMA S + (w)OMA(n)
18 ENS ENS(ate), plural of EN = “nut” in printing
19 EEKS (l)EEKS
20 HORSETAILS HORS + (IS LATE)*
22 SPRINGALDS RING in SPALDS
24 IDÉE Hidden
25 HUI Homophone (HOOEY)
27 THIN HINT, it = ’T misplaced
28 GUAR (A RUG)*, size = paste
29 EMIT TIME <, “bird” as in prison sentence
31 AMOK A + MOK(i)
32 ANCESTORS (TEN ACROSS)*
33 TEHRAN T(ham)E H(inde)R A(airma)N
34 OKRAS OK + RASH – H, see Jake
DOWN
1 OFFISH OF + FISH, fish = ferret = get from hidden place
2 ADSUM AD (personal ad) + SUM
3 SHAKO HAS* + KO, mill = boxing
4 HELVETIUM HELIUM (He) about VET (US: Charlotte, NC), giving old name for astatine (At)
6 ERNES Hidden
7 AISLES AIS (ayus) + LES
8 EGRESS SERGE < + ’s
9 RATOOS ROOS about (p)A(r)T(y), boomer = kangaroo
14 INANITION INANIT(y) + I + ON
17 ASPERGER (a l)ARGE PERS(on)*
21 EDITOR DIET* + O’ + R
22 SEALCH LACE* in SH, silky = seal in Scots
23 SNAKES S after SNAKE, racer = snake
25 HAUSA USA after HA
26 GENRO GO about (fo)E (o)N (lawye)R
30 MASK ’s in MAK
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