Listener Crossword 4261: Solution Notes

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Chefs by Cubic

Puzzle explanation

Extra letters in wordplay spelt “round and round the circle completing the charm”, from The Family Reunion by T. S. Eliot. To pass through 32 cells, a circle centred on the grid’s centre had to be drawn with a radius of 3√2, ie, a quarter of the grid’s diagonal. Reading clockwise around the circle, the empty cells were filled to complete (ie, supply the final letters of) two “charms” (flocks of finches): three members of the finch family (redpoll, twite, serin) and three members of the Finch family (Scout, Jem, Atticus) from To Kill a Mockingbird. The title represents “F in CHES”.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation [extra letter]
Across
1 SPOOM (POO[R] + M) after S(ailors)
5 TELESMS (S(o)M(e) S(p)E(l)L(s) [O](p)E(n) T(o)) <
11 PERDU D[U] in PERU
13 EXTOL EX + TO + [N]L
14 ANI (Venezuel)AN [D]I(strict)
15 CLODPOLE (LOC[A]L DOPE) *
16 SKAT TA[N]KS <
17 QUOAD QU + [D]O + AD(o)
18 RATTLY RAT + T[R](u)LY
21 SLUICEGATE (S[O] I REGULATE + C(hannel) − R) *
24 RERECORDED (ERE + CO[U]RD) in RED
28 KELTIE (T(oyota) + I[N] + LEEK) *
32 MEUSE ME[D]USAE − A
33 TORY TRY around [T]O
34 ALLOCATE A + (CALL TO) * + [H]E
35 AGE APOG[E]E − PO
36 SLEWS S[C]REWS with L for R
37 IRONER I + RENO[I]R <
38 POSEUSE P[R]OSE + USE
39 OLENT [C]HOLENT − H
Down
1 SPAER ’S + PA[L]ER
2 PENNAE (NÉ[E] around (M)A(y)) after PEN
3 ODIST O[C]D + I(nvolved) + ST
4 MUCKLUCK (L[O]CK around U) after MUCK
6 EROTIC [M]OT in ERIC
7 EXPUNGE EX[P] + (s)PUNGE
8 STOOL STO[L]ON − N + L
9 MOLA MAL[E] * around O’
10 SLEDGER (jo)S[T]LED GER(man)
12 RITT (IT + [I]T) after (pa)R
19 PEDERERO DEER * in (PER + [N]O)
20 ARIMASP A + [G]RIM + ASP
22 LEASOWE (A + SOW) in LEE[T]
23 TWIGGEN (baske)T + W[H]IG + GEN
25 OCTAS OV[E]RCAST * − V(apour) − (vapou)R
26 JELLO JE + ’LL + [C]O(o); ref. Pierre, SD
27 ULES LUS[H] * around E
29 LYSOL L[A]YS + O + L
30 TAN TE[R]N with A for E
31 EVERT EVER(y) + TEA[M] − AE <
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