Rentokil by Jago

Puzzle explanation

Hunting the Wren (Genus: Troglodytes) traditionally took place on St Stephen’s Day, December 26; see “Wrenning Day” in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Villagers would hunt and stone a wren to death, to commemorate the stoning of St Stephen. The title suggested “Wren to kill”. The first letters of the clues gave “fold grid to origami bird so one is head, see wing”. Folding the grid into the “classic” origami bird with cell one at the head results in the letters shaded in the solution grid coming together at the base of the right under-wing, the M and Z being turned through ninety degrees to supply the E and N of WREN, which was to be highlighted on the folded bird for entry, as shown in the photograph.

Clue explanations

There are alternative jumbles in a few cases.

No Answer Jumble of answer
1 UPSY sup: Y(uletide)
5 SMASHED (pu)ds — shame
11 PRANK par — “Kn(ock)
13 CHUTE cut he(ad)
14 POMPEII I’m Pope, I
17 DENOMINATIVE (r)ed vino meant I
20 GISMO I’m so g(lad)
22 SAWN was n(o)
25 ÉPÉE pee e(arly)
26 GIGOT I got g(iven)
30 ANTICIPATED (garl)ic pate — and it
37 ERRED Red, re(d)
38 SPRAG grasp(ing)
39 DISDAIN (Gra)nd,” said I
40 FETE feet
1 UPPED (f)ed pup
2 PROTEIN (so)re point
3 SAM (X)mas
4 SKEG keg’s
5 SPILITE (E)pistle I
6 ACED a Dec(ember)
7 SHAY (tr)ashy
9 ETHE the e(arly)
10 DESSERT (Or)ders set
12 ZION No “zi(zzing)
16 OOMPH (catechis)m? Pooh
18 MOE (epit)ome
19 TWIST It’s tw(o)
20 GROANED danger o(f)
21 SETTERS Trees st(ored)
23 AGA (s)aag
24 WOODRAT (g)o toward
28 FITT (snowdri)ft: it
29 FUDGE fed gu(ests)
31 NORI or ni(bbled)
32 ICED I dec(ided)
33 CODA a doc(udrama)
34 AESC Caes(ars)
36 IRE (th)eir
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