Listener Crossword 4076: Solution Notes

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Labour by Elint

Puzzle explanation

The eight thematic entries suffer from amelia (25ac), a condition in which one more limbs are completely absent. Synonyms for human limbs were to be removed from these answers before entry; the unaffected answers (with the definitions of their mutilated forms given by extra words in down clues) were: 1 Scotch pines (squashes) 6 confine (figure) 12 tarmacking (Fixing) 16 climbable (wire) 31 allogamy (mixture) 35 Procrustean (Variable) 38 Camemberts (animals) and 39 cycloplegic (Giant). Taken alternately, initial letters of remaining extra words in down clues give Bloomer and Earhart, both famous Amelias. The word to be highlighted was “ashtanga”, which means “eight-limbed” in Sanskrit, as confirmed by The Chambers Dictionary. The name Amelia means “labour”, hence the title.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra word Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1   SCOTCH [PIN]ES (T + CHIP *) in SCONE’S
6   CON[FIN]E CONINE about F
9   HEPTAD Composite anagram of TO THE PLEIADES using ÉTOILES
11   REALOS (SOLAR + E) * & lit
12   T[ARM]ACKING MAKING CAR * after T; “Victorian” refers to the Australian and New Zealand meaning of the verb “to seal”
14   PULSE Two definitions; Dahl as a pulse (pigeon pea)
16   C[LIMB]ABLE (I + (MB about BA)) in CELL *
17   PSYCHO Composite anagram of ASTROPHYSICS using STARS
19   EN FÊTE TENERIFE * – (R + I); surface reading refers to the clothing chain
22   TIETAC TIC-TAC, C [computer language] replaced by E; reference Ascot racecourse and necktie named after it
25   AMELIA Thematic
28   TIPPET TIP + PET; two meanings of noose
30   GNOMIC COMING *
31   ALLO[GAM]Y OGAM in ALLY
33   AGGRO Alternate letters
35   PRO[CRUS]TEAN CORN PASTURE *
36   INNUIT INNIT about homophone (YOU)
37   WATUSI W + IS < after (A + TU)
38   CA[MEMBER]TS (C(heeses) + A(uthentically) + M(ade) + E [250] + M) before [west of] BREST *; semi & lit
39   CYCLOP[LEG]IC PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECT * – SOFTHEAD *
DOWN
1 (B)ought SHIPPO N from SHIPPON
2 (E)xtremely OPAL (PO < above L) about A
3 mixture: 31 CAKEHOLE (HAKE, H lower) in COLE; semi & lit
4 Fixing: 12 ERNIE E(ven) + IE after RN; reference ([Naval] Commander) James Bond
5 (L)ike SEG SEG(o)
6 (A)t CABA Hidden
7 (O)ffensive OLD BEAN ((Eng)L(and) + DBE [see DBE] + A) in ON; see under old, also “Tosh” means “friend”
8 Variable: 35 ESTEEM E(quities) + S(een) + TEEM
10 (R)equirement DIVOT (TO + V + ID) <; reference golf
13 figure: 6 ELTCHI (TO CHILE – O) *
15 (O)ut SCYE C in SYE
18 (H)e SNAILS Two definitions
20 animals: 38 NEONATAL (NEON + FATAL) – F
21 (M)ean IMPLANT SIMP – S + (s)LANT
23 (A)pes TROG First letters; both words mean “tramp”; reference Barbary Macaques in Gibraltar
24 squashes: 1 ATAXIC Hidden
26 (E)xtinguished AGLOW AG + LOW
27 wire: 16 ICONIC (IC + IC) about ON
29 (R)ef TARTY T’ + ARTY.; The Chambers Dictionary doesn’t make it clear whether this abbreviation refers to the soldiers, the weapons or both together; reference Arsenal FC
32 (R)ent ONUS BONUS – B(lank)
34 (T)otally GAUP GAP(e) about U
35 Giant: 39 PIC PC about I & lit
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