Listener Crossword 4109: Solution Notes

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Not a Black and White Decision by Brock

Puzzle explanation

The two halves of the grid represented a “greenfield site” and a “brownfield site”, indicated in rows 6 to 9 by the resolution of clashing letters between across and down answers in each side of the grid in the last three of these rows. In every case the same two clashing letters featured on both sides of the grid. This leads to a certain level of ambiguity since the grid can be completed with fewer clashes. Apart from the C/T letter clash between the answers to 5 and 14, the ambiguity can be resolved by noting that the clash is always resolved in one side of the grid in favour of the across answer and in the other in favour of the down answer to give a total of 18 clashes as stated in the preamble. The entry of the two words HORSES/HOUSES at 20 could only be resolved by reference to the theme. The resolution was to place HORSES on the left greenfield site as indicated by STABLE (1ac, left half) and HOUSES on the right brownfield site in BLOCKS (1ac, right half).

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation
ACROSS
1 STABLE BLOCKS (STALKS + COBBLE) *
6 BUSY BUS + Y; 2 meanings
MERC 2 meanings (mercenary, Mercedes)
7 AMATOL AM + ATOL(l)
COMODO (MOOCHED SO) * − SHE *
8 TINDAL LAD < after TIN
KNAWEL WE in LANK <
9 EEN (gr)EEN(ish-blue)
HAG H(air) + AG
12 WEB WE + (Bo)B
LEG 2 meanings
13 REENS SNEER <
SOWFF SOW + FF
14 ELDEST EL(uant) + DE(tergent) + ST(arch)
BEDSIT BESIT around (irone)D
16 ECHT (Br)ECHT
PFUI (IF UP) *
18 LADDIE DI in LADE
HALERU HAULER *
19 CLEATS SCARLET * − R(ed)
ANANAS BANANAS − B
20 HOUSES HOS around USE
HORSES HORS (d’oeuvr)ES
DOWN
1 SUCKERS 2 meanings
BLATHER L in BATHER
2 LAMIA (LAMIA + BE) * = AMIABLE
TRONE ONE after TR
3 OBANGS OS around BANG
AMMANS S after AMMAN
4 CUT DOWN C(o)U(r)T (I’)D + OWN
BEOWULF (BELOW + U) * + F
5 ECOLOGIC (COL + O(range)) in (ICE + G) *
SYLLABIC (ALLY < + B) in SIC
10 TESSERAE ESSE in EART(h) <
DEFINITE (IF IT NEEDS) * − S
11 BEEFALO (A + L) after BEEF + O
VOLCANO VOL + CAN + O
14 EPHAH HH around A after EP
BELCH BEL(l) + CH
15 SIDAS S + I’D + AS
ETENS TEENS with E moved up
17 LESS LES + ’S
FUSS (i)F (yo)U (gues)S (conjugation)S
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