Listener Crossword 4178: Solution Notes

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Confused by Tea Leaves

Puzzle explanation

All answers began or ended with a colour, specifying how the remainder was initially to be entered, leading to clashes of colour in every cell. The message from across clues was “Applying ‘F is T’ to title suggests two colours; use second for every letter apart from ten as described by Henry”. This transformed the puzzle’s title to “Contused”, suggesting “black and blue”, so letters were written in blue except for MODEL T FORD in black, a reference to Henry Ford’s dictum about “any colour … so long as it is black”. The optional signature represented “teal EAVES”.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

Extra word Answer Explanation
applying (CHAMPAGNE) SOCIALIST (COACH AGAINST SIMPLE) *
fist (EBON)ITE (ONE BITE) *
to (BLUE) MURDER MURDER (crows) after B(eag)L(es g)U(ard) E(ggs)
title (BLUE)-CHIP BLUE + CHI + P
suggests SMEA(RED) SM + EA + RED
two (BUFF)I BUFF + I
colours (TAN)KS TAN + K’S
Use MOD(RED) M(ove) + O’ + D + RED
second (SALMON)ELLA ELLA after SALMON
for (HAZEL)NUT (HUNT + ZEAL) *
Every (GREEN)FORD GREEN + FOR + D(ecaying)
letter (BLOND)IN B(erate) L(iberal) O(ver) N(ational) D(ebt) + IN
apart (BLACK)EN B + (wel)L + A (from) + NECK *
from (SAND)HIS (SAN + H + I’ + S) around D(ementia)
ten (GREEN)BERG GR + EEN + B + ERG; ref. Ben Stiller’s 2010 film
as SCULPT(OR) (CURLS POT) *
described MO(ROSE) MORSE around O
by (BEIGE)L BE + I + GEL
Henry (YELLOW) SUBMARINE YELLOW + SUB + MARINE
  (GREEN) SICKNESS GREENS + ICK(y) + NESS
  (PINK)O PIN + KO
  CE(RED) (for)CE(ful) + RED
  IMPO(SABLE) IMPOS(t) + ABLE
  A(ROSE) A + ROSE
  L(UMBER) LUMBERJACK − JACK
  (CYAN)IDE homophone of SIGH + AN IDE(a)
  (GREY) SEAL GREY + SEAL
  (GOLDEN) TRIANGLE (I LET LONG GARDEN) *
  TH(OR) THOR(ough)
  (VERT)US VERT (become a convert) + US
  (OLIVE)R OR around LIVE
  IM(PEACH) I’M PEACH
  MER(CERISE) MERCER + IS + E(xpected)
  SUN-CU(RED) CUR in DUNES *
  DO(OR) DOR around O
  L(OR) (g)LOR(y)
  TH(RUST) H(itchcock) in TRUST
  (BLUE) FILM BLUE + FILM
  DEMI(SABLE) DEMI’S ABLE
  (SAND) IRON THOUSAND − THOU + (NO + R + I’) <
  SPA(RED) BATES − BATE + PARED
  (PLUM)B PB around LUM
  U(SABLE) USA + B(e)L(i)E(f)
  T(RUST) T’ + RUSA − A + T(repidation)
  B(ROSE) MOSS BROS − MOSS + E
  (SLATE)R ’S + LAT + E(a)R
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