Listener Crossword 4108: Solution Notes

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Past and Present by Emkay

Puzzle explanation

The quotation in the central square is “A square of text that looks a little blot, [the] text no larger than the limbs of fleas”, from Merlin and Vivien, the sixth poem of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King. Other thematic entries suggest a modern interpretation relating to texting on mobile phones.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 ORF OF around R
4 MESSAGES SAGE in MESS
9 SEG SKEG − (thic)K
12 PARELLE PALE around (RE + (ca)L(yx)
13 SIGHTLY LIGHT in SY
14 MOBILE PHONES (BLEEP HIM SOON) *
15 HEN HE (helium) + (Appleto)N
16 NIP N + IP
17 VETO (O’ + TV around E) <
18 STRATAGEM START * + GAME *
22 VANTAGE AGE after (V + A + N(autical) T(raining))
23 NETHER T in (NE + H + ER)
24 ICEBOX ICE + BO + X
26 FOOTFALL FOOT + F + ALL
27 NETBALL LAMENTABLY * − AMY *
28 LONDON L + ON + DON
29 FRA R in (F + A)
30 UMS HUMS − H
32 AIBLINS A1 + B(uilt) + LIN + ’S
35 DETROIT (TIED around ORT) <
37 SALERNO O after SRN around ALE
38 APOLUNE (UP ALONE) *
39 TENNYSON NY in TENSON
DOWN
1 OPAH (HA + P + O(ffered)) <
2 RAMEE AME in RE
3 FRONTON FRONT + O’ + N
5 ELIXIR EX around LI + I’ + R
6 SEETHE THESE * + (casserol)E
7 ASPHALT (PATHS AL) *
8 EGOTISM (Wher)E + ’TIS in GOM
9 STENGAH (THEN SAG) *
10 ELSIE ISLE < + E
11 GYMP GYM + P
17 VIVIEN (N + E + IV + IV) <
19 MERLIN MERL + IN
20 BACTERIAN (A BIN) * around TRACE *
21 WELCOMING WE’L(l) + COMING
25 EATABLE EA + TABLE
26 ARDUOUS A + RD + U + O’ + U + ’S
29 FASH F + ASH
31 STEW 2 meanings
33 SQUIRE QUERIES * − E
34 KELSON KEN around (L + S + O’)
35 FEAST-DAY FASTED * + AY
36 TATTOO 2 meanings
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