## Metrical Variations by Hedge-sparrow

### Puzzle explanation

The theme was Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Extra letters in wordplay gave “time dilation” and “length contraction”, both effects predicted by the theory when travelling close to the speed of light. The two effects were represented in across entries by the doubling of “t” or the halving of “ll” in the clue answers. Only the speed of light (the unclued entry) is invariant to all observers in all reference frames — hence, this is entered without adaptation. A contracted form of the theme, “Special Relativity”, was to be highlighted in the finished grid: this took the form of a “c”, the mathematical symbol for the speed of light.

### Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra
letter
Across
10 T TOO Two definitions (TOOT)
12 I AVERT IT after AVER
13 M ENTICE MENT + ICE
14   MOOT MOO + T
15 E TEA TEE + A
17   BELLPUNCH BEL + LUNCH about P
18   HILLSIDE H + ILL + SIDE
21 D UNROLL DUN + ROLL
22   NELL NELL(y); meaning of name
25 I DOLL IDOL + L
28   ALL FOR CALL FOR – C(ouncil)
30 L TAIPAN TAIL + P + AN
33   EAT OUT TEA (15ac) * [ie, “OUT” as anagram indicator]
36 T CHILLI CHILL + IT
37   VILLIAGO V + ILL + I + A + GO
39 I MOELLON (OEL [LEO <] + LION) after M
40 O ALLOW A + LL + WOO <
41 N EINSTEIN TENNIS * about EIN
Down
1 L STETS ST + LETS
2 E ITN First letters, reversed
3 N HOTEL (NOT + E + L) after (Marc)H
4 G POTATO GOT AT in PO
5 T TACE Two definitions (TACET = is silent)
6   TEMPLE PELMET *
7 H TROUSE THROE about US (informal for “me”)
8   ATONING (A + TING) about ON
9 C EATH EATCH(e)
11 O RIBALD R + OI(ly) + BALD; we apologise for the wrongly spelt “unctuous”
16   TINPOT OP < in TINT
18 N HAOMA NOAH < + AM <
19 T IN FUN NIT < + FUN(d)
20   DEHORT DE + SHORT – S(wagger)
23 R ELATION Two definitions (RELATION)
24 A LASTLY LAY after LAST
26 C TITLES TIT + L + SEC <
27   SPOILT PISTOL *
29 T LYDIAN IDYL < + ANT