Listener Crossword 4019: Solution Notes

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Au Contraire by Sabre

Puzzle explanation

The clashing letters spelt “Ceci n’est pas un mots-croisés” and the central column, to be highlighted, gave René Magritte, the inspiration being Magritte’s painting depicting a pipe, entitled “Ceci n’est pas une pipe”. Sources differ as to whether mots-croisés is singular or plural; here the former is used, forced by the start of the thematic sentence.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1a OVA (l)OVA(t)
1b SPRINGHASE HAS in SPRINGE
2a ARENA (AN + ERA) <
2b RUSSKIES SURE KISS *
3a STAINS S(ee) + T(he)+ A(reola) + IN + S
3b CONGREE CONGEE about (ou)R
4a WANTAGE Two definitions. Wantage left Berkshire to join Oxfordshire in 1974; although this makes the clue a subtle & lit (Wantage is lacking in Berkshire), the editors apologise for failing to notice this change
4b TRADER TRA- + DER(V)
5a CALL ALARM (L + ALAR) in CALM
5b HETE H + ÉTÉ (summer in French)
6a OVERSAILS O’ + VERSAILLES – LE
6b SUPP. ’S + UP + P
7a VINING DIVINING – DI
7b MAESTRI MAE (West) + S + TRI-
8a LOCOED COED after (L + O)
8b FAR GONE OF ANGER *
9a LWEI Hidden
9b WISECRACK (I + SEC) in WRACK
10a ERGATANERS ARE STRANGE *
10b KAI KAZI – Z
11a PARALYTIC (C + A(mputating) + I(dots) + PARTLY) *; references to being drunk
11b AS IF A + FIS(h) <
12a MISERERES MISER + SERE <
12b SASS ’S + AS + S; reference Augusta, Georgia to indicate N Am usage
DOWN
1a PICKAPACK PICK + A + PACK
1b AWL A + W + L
2a OVOLI O’ + VOL + I(nspiration)
2b ASOCIAL A + SOC + I’ + AL
3a VEENA E in VENA
3b VIEWERS R in (VI + EWES)
4a AMASS AM + AS + (Christma)S
4b SLENDER S + LENDER
5a LISA Hidden
5b CAPRIFIG FIG below CAPRI
6a SPROG ’S + GORP <
6b RUNAWAY (UNWARY + A(irman)) *
7a ENEMA AMENE <
7b GRITTER G + RITTER
8a AIRING (f)AIRING
8b THINGS THIN + G(ile)S
9a NARRE Hidden; in fact, narre is an old comparative for near, so the clue should have used “closer”
9b LATENCE LATE about ENC
10a GREATS Homophone (GRATES)
10b ENSEAR (N + SEE + A) * + R
11a ROSE-HUED RED HOUSE *; ref ancient city in Jordan
11b ESSE Hidden
12a CUTLASS CU + SALT * + S
12b SASSE ’S + A + ESS <
13a FESS FESTS – T(iredness)
13b TRAPROCK TRACK about PRO
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