Listener Crossword 4175: Solution Notes

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The Winning Line by Ozzie

Puzzle explanation

After numerical substitutions there are no 2s, so the instruction MULTIPLY BY TEN (file 7) leaves only 0 or 10 in each cell. To justify the description TIC-TAC-TO GAMES (rank 4), the Roman numeral X is used for 10, and the grid is to be considered as sixteen 3×3 blocks. Most of these do not represent feasible games of noughts and crosses (many have too few 0s), but the last one can be “won” by adding an X in the bottom-right corner cell to complete the winning line.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation
RANKS
1 CUISSE-MADAME (SAUCES + I’M) * + MADE *
TALC A in TLC
2 SEGUE (hou)SE GUE(st)
TIDES D in TIES
3 LIES 2 meanings
DOGIE DOG + IE
4 TIC-TAC TACTIC with the halves swapped
TOGA TOG(s) + A
MESA MESA(l)
5 SESQUIPEDAL (gos)SES + QUI + PEDAL
TWO-STEP STEWPOT *; ref. Aztec two-step
6 PLATO PLAT + O
7 APOSTOLIC AIOLI with (A + POST) for A1 + C
WILE homophone of WHILE
8 SASHAY SHAY after SA
CYST (fan)CY ST(itches)
9 MISHIT (I’M THIS) *
BESIEGE (BEE GEES with I for E) *
10 ME-TOO MET + O + O
YGOE GOEY with last letter at the front
ODEA ODE + A
11 SEPS SPES <
TILLED TED around ILL
12 STATICE ’S + TATI + CE
SALLE HALLÉ with S for the first letter
13 CHALCANTHITE CHAL + CAN’T + HIT + E
FILES
1 CASTAWAY CAST + AWAY
MOES SOME *
CULLIS CULL + IS
2 OPSIMATH (OAP + MHIST) *
3 ICES ICE + S
OASES (n)O A(s)SE(t)S; ref. next answer
ASSETS AS + SET + S
4 SHTETLS SH + LETTS *
5 ETHIOPIC ETHIC around (H)OPI
6 EGGCUP cryptic definition
TOSCA (shiv) TO SCA(rpia); ref. characters in Puccini opera
7 MULTI- M(aths) + UT around L + I
PLY PLAY − A
BYTE BE(t)TY *
NAE EAN <
8 COPPICE COP + PI(e)CE
GIST G IS T
9 DODGE 2 meanings
SOLA HAT (HALO + S) < + A + ’T
10 ADAWS A + DAWS
ELL WELL − W
11 MIGMATITE M + I + G + (MATE around IT)
PELTED ELT in PED
12 LOLIGO LO + L(imbs) + (f)I(ve) + (or)G(ans) + (red)O(ubled)
DEET TEED <; cf. “teed up”
13 ESTEEMED (SEE + DEET + M(ozzie)) *
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