Listener Crossword 3988: Solution Notes

Back to 2008 menu

Travel Agents by Hedge-sparrow

Puzzle explanation

The grid represents an area of the space-time continuum containing a number of wormholes, hypothetical entities connecting one part with another, in this case acting as short-cuts for words. Across entries enter a wormhole at some point along their length to re-emerge from another wormhole elsewhere to complete a different across entry, always making real words or phrases. Extra wording in each across clue defined the eventual entry made where its answer emerges from its wormhole. Extra letters in wordplay in the down clues spelt “Short-cuts for space-time travel”, defining “wormholes”, which was to be highlighted in the main diagonal.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

The convention in the table’s columns (primarily for Across clues) is:
   Clue number and location of first part of entry / location of second part of entry
   Definition for entry found elsewhere
   Location of that entry, and the entry itself
   Clue answer, showing split between entry parts
   Explanation for clue
Thus, the first part of the answer to 1 (REV) is entered there, with the second part (ERSE) entered at 40, to complete DISPERSE, defined in 1 by “to spread”. The second part of 12 (EALING) is entered at 1, completing REVEALING, as defined by “disclosing” in 12.

No Extra phrase/
Letter
Location: Entry Clue Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 / 12 to spread 40: DISPERSE REV / ERSE (R + VERSE) about E
8 / 40 rows 35: OARS P / ARS (PA + S) about R
11 / 21 Poem 34: ODE COV / E Hidden
12 / 27 disclosing 1: REVEALING REP / EALING ((articl)E + PEAL) in RING
13 / 25 Lead 38: LEASH S / ASH ’S + ASH
14 / 37 to stop drinking 21: CALL TIME MIS / TIME IT’S < in MIME
17 / 34 cuts 30: DOCKS UNION / S (ON + S(chool)) after UNI
18 / 44 Eagle, perhaps 47: FLIER IN / LIER IN + LIE + R(each)
19 / 30 rest 48: RELY LON / ELY L + ONLY about (cur)E
21 / 14 Conspiracy 11: COVIN CALL / IN C(ash) + ALL-IN
25 / 48 one scattering seed 13: SOWER GR / OWER GER about ROW
27 / 39 One answering 12: REPLIER S / LIER LIES* + R
28 / 38 here 44: ADSUM SI / UM I in SUM
30 / 17 one without friends 19: LONER DOCK / ER DOCK + (rop)E + (ladde)R
34 / 11 Conservative 17: UNIONIST OD / IST (IS + T) after OD
35 / 8 became more inclined 49: STEEPENED O / PENED PEN in OED
37 / 46 mistakenly value 14: MISRATE ASPI / RATE AS + PIRATE; references: pronunciation of H(ouse) and Long John Silver
38 / 13 Don’t retire 28: SIT UP LE / T UP LUTE* + P
39 / 43 look 27: SEE SM / EE SEE about M; reference York as cathedral city
40 / 1 bagpipe composition 8: PORT DISP / ORT DI + SPORT
43 / 47 hit 39: SMITE W / ITE WIT + (pik)E
44 / 28 put in sphere 18: INORB ADS / ORB ADS + ORB
46 / 49 eagerly desiting 37: ASPIRING EAR / RING ERRING about A
47 / 18 Removing unwanted growth 43: WEEDING F / EEDING FÉE + DING; reference French for “fairy”
48 / 19 unappealing 25: GRIM R / IM TRIM – T
49 / 35 older 46: EARLIER STEE / LIER STEER about LIE
DOWN
1 S   RESULTS LESS RUST*
2 H   ECONOMISTS (ECHO + S(eries)) about NOMIC
3 O   VOWING V + O + OWING
4 R   EVE EVER, R to start
5 T   AIRN TRAIN*
6 C   IRIS IS about RIC(e)
7 U   NEST US in NET
8 T   PLANT-LORE PLANT + T’ + LORE; “arrowhead” as an aquatic plant
9 S   REE (f)REES
10 F   TRIBES TRIES about B + F
15 O   RILED R + OILED
16 R   TOIL TIRL about O
20 S   ERUDITELY (SLIDE-RULE*, T for L) + Y
22 P   ASHEN SHE in PAN
23 A   LENO LEAN + O(riental)
24 C   MAKES SURE (MASK + SECURE)*
26 E   MODI I after (MODE + E)
29 T   PORED Two definitions (PORTED)
31 I   SCHEMED (SCH + D) about (E + I + ME)
32 M   FASTER F + MASTER
33 E   SPIE ’S + PIE(d) + E
36 T   SARSEN RAS < + SENT
40 R   DIET TRIED*
41 A   IN RE Hidden
42 V   PALP PP about (VA + L)
43 E   WAE EWE about A(pple)
45 L   DIE LIE after D(ifficult); the implied linking of die (dice) and hazard in Chambers, through a game of chance, is supported by OED
Back to 2008 menu