Listener Crossword 4096: Solution Notes

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Some Assembly Required by Mr E

Puzzle explanation

The wordplay in 26 clues used an apparently arbitrary word in place of a single letter; every letter in the alphabet was treated in this way. The letters in the normally clued entries, when replaced by the corresponding words, produced clues for three unclued entries: ONUS = “Each expert’s holding prize” for APIECE (1dn); ZARF = “Grandma’s tiramisu uses wine” for ASTI (30ac); HIVE = “Mistakenly cite Hopi tongue” for ETHIOPIC (5ac). The remaining letters produced two further unclued entries, which generated clues for the final two unclued entries: PJCKMQW = “African city grew up by dry area” for ROSETTA (25ac); LXDYBTG = “Our people started rioting after hurtful publications”, for ILLUSTRATEDS (7dn).

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Letter / Word Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 J / city AJEE A + [J] + (regulat)E + E; Perth in Scotland
5 Thematic ETHIOPIC CITE HOPI *
12 N / expert’s EL NINO EL + [N] + IN + O
13 F / wine DOUBLE BLUFFS (USED + B + OF + BULL + [F]) *
14 E / tongue ESNE [E] + SNE(d)
18 O / Each COOLER ([O] + L) in C/O + ER
19 U / holding RESOUND RES + ON about [U] + ’D
21 B / after ABSTRICT ([B] + STIR *) in (A + CT)
22 C / grew ALICANTE (ETNA + [C] + I + LA) <
25 Thematic ROSETTA ROSE + TT + A
27 T / hurtful WALNUT ([T] + UNLAW) <
30 Thematic ASTI Hidden
31 A / tiramisu ARMISTICE DAY ARMY about ([A] after (IT’S * + ICED))
32 S / prize REEVES Two definitions and (REEVE + [S]) in middle
34 R / Uses FREEDMAN [R] in FEED + MAN
35 X / people SEXY (YES about [X]) <
DOWN
1 Thematic APIECE ACE about PIE
2 M / by ECONOMISE [M] in (ECO + NOISE)
3 K / up EKUELE EU about [K] + ELE(ven)
4 D / Started EMBLEMATISED [D] after (BELÉM + TEAMS + I) *
6 W / area TWEER [W] in (TEE + R)
7 Thematic ILLUSTRATEDS (US + STARTED *) after ILL
8 Keyword ONUS (obligation is) ON US
9 I / Cite INFANCY [I] + N + FANCY
10 H / Mistakenly COSH ([H] + SOC) <
15 Z / Grandma’s KRANTZ K + RANT + [Z]
16 P / African PESEWA (’S + EW) in ([P] + EA)
17 Q / Dry QUIÉN SABE? [Q] + (BEAUNE + IS) *; see Appendix in The Chambers Dictionary
20 L / our FLOORER (FOR + [L] + ORE) *
23 G / Publications GLADYS ([G] + S(peak)) about LADY
24 Y / rioting STINGY STING + [Y]
26 V / Hopi AVILA [V] in AIL + A
28 Keyword ZARF ZA + FR <
29 Keyword HIVE (mont)H + I’VE
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