Listener Crossword 4026: Solution Notes

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Elitism by Zero

Puzzle explanation

Letters omitted from wordplay, in grid column order, spelt “crème de la crème”. Accordingly, solvers had to allow these letters to rise to the top, other letters being displaced downwards to reveal “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” and “Bright as the Sea”. The latter phrase is the suggested meaning of the name Muriel in The Chambers Dictionary. Extra words in clues were as shown below, all of which can mean “spark”. Muriel Spark wrote the story of Miss Brodie, who told her girls: “You are the crème de la crème".

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Extra word/
Missed letter
Explanation
ACROSS
4 BODHISATTVA lover THAT DIVA’S * after BO
12 THUMP M TUP about H(ang)
13 UNNATURAL A UN(pleasa)NT + URAL
15 THEME E M in THE
16 TASSELL E T’ + ASS + ’LL
18 ENTERPRISE Electrician ENTER + PRISE
20 CUSH C PUSH – P(oint)
23 MAYFLY   FLY after MAY
24 HAEMAL E H + A(lleviate) + MAL
25 TOURACOS   TOCOS about (UR + A)
28 TIE animate IT < + E
29 AREA   RE in (A + A); RE: either the Egyptian sun-god or the school class
30 UNCO C UN-O
32 AIR   A + I’ + R(ome)
34 MESS-JOHN spunk MESS + JOHN; reference prostitute’s client
36 BRIDGE   (BR + G(am)E) about ID
38 ARAISE R A + AISLE – L
42 TEEN Kindle E in TEN (commandments); this should have read “European” to be consistent with The Chambers Dictionary (E in E number), although it is also claimed elsewhere that E stands for Europe in this usage
44 PALINDROME M (IND + RO) after PAL + E; 21dn (sees) is an example
47 HAGGADA D HAGG + AA
48 SEWEN   SEW + (orang)E + (lemo)N
50 BRIGHTEST E B(ang) + RIGHT + ST
51 HOSEA flash HO + SEA; a book of the Bible
52 INSPISSATOR R INSIST SOAP *
DOWN
1 UTRECHT C UT RE (start of scale) + HT
2 WHENUA   WHE(re) + NU(trition’s) + A(vailable); 3, 2, 1 letters
3 BUTT Trigger BUT + T(arnish)
5 OPE E Two definitions (OP)
6 DUMP   Three definitions
7 INTIL L Two definitions (INTI)
8 AT SEA diamond (ATE + A) about S (7)
9 TREIF E TR + IF
10 VALE beau VALETA – TA
11 ALLEYS E SALLY with S to end
14 NERITA ignite Hidden
17 SOYA Flake SO + (clo)Y(ing) + (car)A(mel)
19 REAR   Two definitions
21 SEES E SITES – IT
22 CLEO glitter C(hucking) + LEO
26 UNBE   BU(shm)EN *
27 CADE   (Heroin)E below CAD
30 UNKISS funk NK IS in US
31 CRUD C Two definitions (RUD)
33 RENEWAL start (E + W) in RENAL
34 MAZHBI   (I + BAM) < about Z(akir) + H(ussain)
35 SING   S(chapps) + IN + G; peach = become informer
37 GEMMED M GED about M(edusa)E
39 AEGIS   IMAGES * – M
40 SPAHI Discharge PAH in (S + I)
41 BLAES E BLAS(t)
43 YARN   RAY < + N
45 NETT   N + E + TT
46 ONST   CONSTABLES – (C … ABLES)
49 WHO initiate HOW *
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