### Puzzle explanation

The four “hunters” were knights who came close to finding the Holy Grail. The lettered cells spelt out Chrétien de Troyes, whose French poem Perceval described the quest for the grail. In it, Perceval stays with the Fisher King and sees a procession of objects including a lance dripping with blood, an ornate grail and a salver. He refrains from asking the Fisher King about these and thereby fails to find the grail (and heal the wounded king); “clues” 44 and 33 were questions that he should have asked.

The grid clashes could be resolved to enable SIR GALAHAD to be traced in knight’s moves, but then the unused E was not unique in 44ac and 33dn (both having an E from crossing entries), and there were multiple arrangements of GRAIL in the left side of the grid. The correct solution was to choose different clash letters and trace INDIANA JONES in the other direction, with the discarded letters completing BRIDGE and BLADES and providing a unique arrangement of GRAIL. In the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the hero avoided rotating blades, jumped across lettered slabs, crossed a rock bridge and found the grail. The puzzle’s title was an anagram of THE LAST CRUSADE.

### Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

Across
12 INHERE (p)IN HE RE(moved)
13 INCONNU ICON around N + NU
14 PECTIN (INSPECT − S) with parts swapped
15 ENSCONCES E(at) N(aughty) + SCONES around C(ream)
20 GIRDLES DES with GIRL around the first letter
23 RED ROSES (OUR SENDER’S) * − U − N
25 DECADES DES around DACE <
27 LENT LENT(o)
29 SPENT S + PE + NT
30 ELOIN (th)E + LOIN
32 EALE IF LAERTES = (EALE + FIRST) *
34 VARNISH VANISH around (Octobe)R
37 HATBAND TBA in HAND
41 LUTEOLOUS (c)OLOU(r) in LUTES
45 TERRENE TEENE around RR
46 OBEYED OED around BEY
47 ODESSA ((p)ASSED + O) <
48 TYPIST (IS PRETTY − RE) *
Down
2 IN CODE INC + ODE
3 HEED homophone of HE’D
4 ERNES homophone of URNS
5 REE (whe)RE E(arth); (fi)RE E(rupt)
8 ACCRETE ARÊTE around (C(limb) C(an))
9 WOOD 2 meanings
10 ANN ANN + EX = ANNEX
11 INCEDE IN + CE + PARADE − PARA-
16 SESTETTE (SET SET SET − S) *
17 FELLAH FE + HALL <
18 ANOINT NATION *
19 TELL 2 meanings; T(h)E(n) L(i)L(y)
21 LIPPED LIED around (P + P)
22 DENTON DEN + TO + N
24 SELL 2 meanings
26 RESALES (SO DEALERS) * = DO + RESALES
28 NEAT 2 meanings
31 GRATED 2 meanings
36 NOBBY NOB + BY
39 DUET DUE + T
40 PREP PREP + AY = PREPAY
42 ERE (tim)E (o)R (minut)E
43 SOT (TO + S) <