Listener 4589 intermediate grid

Progress Report by Tibea

Puzzle explanation

The initially jumbled letters, in red in the intermediate grid shown here, spelt out “last of line underneath this masthead”, referring to the final crossword in the BBC magazine The Listener, which was published on 3 January 1991. After restoration of the mutilated answers, these letters spelt “thousand and a half, The Times Listener”, marking the fact that this puzzle was the 1500th Listener crossword to appear in The Times.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Definition; clued entry Explanation
Across
4 RETROVERT   RE + TT around ROVER
12 THOUGHTS (24dn) ideas; LASTGHTS L + AS + TIGHTS − I
13 SAND (19dn) Feature of desert; OFLI FOIL with inside letters moved to outside
14 OIL PAN   NAPOLI *
15 AND ALL (34ac) as well as the rest; NEUNLL NUN’LL around (nap)E
16 DÉVORÉ   ERODED < with V(elours) for D
17 HALFWAY (1dn) imperfectly; DERNWAY (YAWN + RED) <
20 AMPERAGE   RAGE after (AM + PE)
22 IGNITION   (NO + I + TIN + G(arner) I(ll-will)) <
26 EPITHET (15dn) Adjective; EPIEATH EAT around PIE + H
27 CRISIS   (IS + IS) after CR
29 ANIMES (17ac) Gums; ANTHIS ANT-HILLS − LL
31 LAVAGE   (EG + AVAL) <
32 LIST (8dn) Fillet; MAST MA + ST
34 LOOSENER (33dn) laxative; LOOSHEAD (Mi)LO O’SHEA D(irected)
35 SIDEARMER   (RED ARMIES) *
Down
1 UTS (29ac) First notes; ULO (So)U(th) (Wa)L(es) (ch)O(se)
2 WHANAU (3dn) extended family down under; WAFEEU W + FEE in AU
3 FONDLING (32ac) old fool; FSLURING F(riend)S + LURING
5 EGAL   (r)EGAL(e)
6 THALAMI   LA in MATH * + I’
7 OSIER   COSIER − C
8 VELVERET (12ac) Silky cotton; VELVEREE ELVER in VEE
9 EXPO   (t)EX(t)P(h)O(ne); ie letters in prime positions
10 RYA RUG   (BURGLARY − B − L) *
11 TENEMENTS (2dn) Multi-unit dwellings; TENEMENHS TEN + EME + NHS
15 À HUIS CLOS (26ac) in private; NDUISCLOS UNDISCLOSED with first letter moved down − ED
18 FAIL-SAFE (13ac) sure to work; NAILSAFE NAILS + A + FE
19 PASHMINA (15ac) Fine shawl; PASAHAEA PA + SAHARA with E for R
21 POPADOM   POP + MODA(l) <
23 GURAMI   (q)UAGMIR(e) *
24 FEESED (11dn) worried; FTISAD FT + IS + AD
25 SIGLA   SIGMA with L for M
28 IVY’D   DIVVY with letters cycled − V
30 NOSE   homophone of KNOWS
33 TRY (18dn) effort; TDY TIDY − I
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