Listener Crossword 4072: Solution Notes

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The Isolated Word by Ten-Four

Puzzle explanation

The clues with an extra letter in the wordplay are shown in the table below. These letters could be arranged to form “acrostic”; a pointer to the first letters of the clues which spelt “extra letter from clue n occurs n times in final grid”. Thus in the completed grid could be found 1 C, 12 Os, etc. The twelve blanks in the grid, once all clued answers were entered, must therefore have been A, A, C, I, O, O, R, R, S, S, T and T. Only one 11-letter word, which could be formed from these letters, was also defined by a 29ac that used the remaining letter (O).

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

Number Extra
letter
Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 C SOMERSAULTING SINGULAR COMET’S *
11   ORIENTEERED (EXTERIOR NEED – X) *
12 O LEARN LEAR + NO
13   ANOPLURA R in (AN + O + PL + U(nnoticed) + A)
16 R STARED Two definitions (STARRED)
17   SILENES (LEN after I) in SE(a) + S
19 A TAPS Two definitions (TAPAS)
20   RENAL LEARN *; reference 12 across
21   RAKE Two definitions, semi & lit
22   PULP PUP about L
25   SPOIL P(lant) in SOIL
29   NOBS Unclued: thematic
31   SEA REED (f)EARED about E after S(kunk)
33   TEAZEL TEA + HAZEL – HA
37   EPSILONS EONS about LISP <
38   TEWIT Hidden
39   TAU NEUTRINO OUR NEAT UNIT *
40   STREET SWEEPER TESTER’S * + WEE + PER
DOWN
1 C SOLO STOPS COP’S SO LOST *
2   OMERTA First letters, semi & lit
3   MOAT MO + AT
4   ERRORS (t)ERRORS
5   RINGER Two definitions; reference bell-ringing
6   ANNAS ANN + AS
7   UTOPIA U + TOP + I + A(nywhere), & lit
8   TELLER Two definitions, 5 across = bell ringer
9 I NERD (DIRE + ’N’) <
10   G’DAY G(eordie) + D(enomination) + AY; Newcastle in New South Wales, clue’s surface misdirects to NE England
13   AIDE (m)AIDE(n)
14 T PULL PULLET – E
15   ULNA L in (t)UNA
18 S SEA SLATER SLATE in SEARS
23   LAGS (S + GAL) <; reference billiards
24   PRUINE I(nsect) in PRUNE
25   SEAL SE(xu)AL
26   PEG OUT UT [= as] after (PE + GO)
27   ITAS I + SAT <
28   LEFTIE IE after LEFT [politics]
29   NA-DENE NEED AN *
30   BESIDE BEDSIDE – D; “a degree” ensures just one D removed
32   DANTS DANTE’S – E
34   RETS Hidden
35   SPAT Two definitions
36   SWOP POWS <

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