Listener Crossword 4048: Solution Notes

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Rules of Construction by Poat

Puzzle explanation

The central eight-by-eight grid constituted a word square comprising the words backache, aphelian, characid, kerosene, alastrim, ciceroni, hainings and endemism, which resolved some ambiguities in the jumbling. Extra words provided definitions for the first five elements in a six-by-six word square: YOUTHS (young people), OSPREY (Fish-eating bird), UPTURN (movement upward), TRUANT (school absentee) and HERNIA (organ Rupture), leaving the sixth to be entered as SYNTAX (much of the definition of which is referenced in the title and preamble). This word square is a particularly impressive one selected from a large number published in 1995 by Richard Sabey.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra
Word
Answer/
Entry
Explanation
ACROSS
1   MERRY ENGLAND MERRY MEN – M + G + LAND; ref Robin Hood
9 young KHEDA Composite anagram of SKINHEAD, using (S (succeeded) + IN); ref rogue elephants
11 people CAMPARI CAMP + AIR *
12 Fish-eating ABED AB + ED; ref oyster bed
14   KACHERI Composite anagram of THICK EAR, using T
15   ELAPHINE ELAINE (meaning of name) about pH (measure of acidity)
18   ESCHAR First letters
20 bird EDDIC EdD + IC
21   MAKER (KA + M) < + ER; ref playing cards
22   SENECA N in SEE + CA
23 movement SALAAM SAM about ALA
25   RIMER RIVER (archaic place for hawking), M for V; ref 21ac as name for poet
28   CISCO (nar)CIS(sus) + C(rowd) + O(ut)
30 upward MAINOR (I AM) < + NOR
32   CHAINING (A + IN) in CHIN + G
34   LEMONED LE MONDE, last letters “twisted”
36   SUMO SUM + O
37   CUNEATE CATE about UNE
38   JOUGS Answer gives JUGS (= prisons) without its O
39   CRÊPE SUZETTE (PET about ZEUS *) in CRETE
DOWN
1 school COMMENDAM END in COMMA + M
2   REBACK REDBACK – D
3   RHAPHE (HER cycled to RHE) about HAP
4   EIK EI (German) + K
5 absentee LARN L + RAN *
6   CARIOGENIC ORGANIC ICE *
7   AMENDE AMEND + E
8   REDAN REPULSE – PULSE + DAN
10 organ SHED SH (quiet) + E + D
13   CHARACIDAE ACID in (A + R + EACH) *
16   SOREE SO + REE
17   REARMOUSE REAR + MOUSE (computer)
19   STRIA ST + AIR <
24   ACHENE HEN in ACE (ripe = excellent)
26   SOIGNÉ (IS + GONE) *
27   MUTISM MUM about ’TIS
29   SCOUR (TEN + NITS) about SCOUR gives TENNIS COURTS
31   AGOG GO in (A + (do)G)
33 Rupture STEN SEN about T
35   MEU MEN, U for N
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