## The Bottom Line by Charybdis

### Puzzle explanation

The graph shows GROWTH IN HUMAN POPULATION, with the x-axis covering roughly 100 years per square to the present day and the y-axis increasing in half-billions from 0 to the current 6.5 billion. 19ac represented “CLIMATE change” (to METICAL). Also indicated were the disappearance of species (SPECtres/guttIES), and lack of fuel (kung FU/evangEL), water (fatWA/typesetTER) and food (FOotie/floODwater). The quotation was “something wicked this way comes” (Macbeth), indicating MAL+THUS (the writer on population), who appears at 19ac. The remaining message was “we need to see a downturn at ten”, ie, the “rising POPULATION” at 10dn had to be reversed.

### Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Answer Explanation ([X] = extra letter)
Across
1 SHMEK S[S] around ME in HK
5 GUTTIES G[O]UT + TIES
8 REAN RE + [M]AN
11 MAO-SUIT M + AO + SUIT[E]
13 EURO OU[T]RE *
14 ELROND (ELROND[H] + LIVES + ME) * = (RIVENDELL HOME’S) *
15 PEST PE’S + [I]T
16 EVANGEL E[N]GEL(s) around VAN
17 DOES DO[G]ES
18 CLOT C[W]T around (L + (kil)O)
19 CLIMATE C[I]TE around LIMA
21 VIGIA (I + GI) in VA[C]
23 TOPEE TO + PEE[K]
24 ONER PIONE[E]R − P(eace) I(nitiative)
25 OLLA OL[D] + LA
27 FATWA FAT + [T]WA
28 DIEU ([H]UE + I’D) <
29 FOOTIE [I]F + OO + TIE
30 AFTER [S]AFER around T
34 EWERS [W]E + WER(e) + S
35 LESOTHO (HOT [A]LOES) *
37 RATS STRA[Y] *
38 ET AL ET[C] + A + L
39 SCRAP C(haracte)R in S[O]AP
40 THAI T(wins) H(ardly) A(ttracted) [M](inimal) I(nterest)
41 LIKING LI[E] around KING
42 NERO N + RO[S]E *
43 LINGUAL ([W]ILL A GUN) *
44 GROW [E]G + ROW
45 THIN (H + IN[N]) After (gna)T
46 HUMPS HUM[E] + SP <
Down
2 HALVE H[E]AL + V(ulnerable) E(nvironment)
3 MORATS STAR[D]OM <
4 KUNG FU (KNOCK STUFFING OU[T]) * = (CONK SO FIT + KUNG FU) *
5 GIDDAP DID[O] * in GAP
6 TYPESETTER TYPE + SETTER[S]
7 SPECTRES (SPECTRES + IN) * = PERSISTENC[E] *
8 RESCIND (soi)RE[E]’S CIND(erella)
9 ARMOIRES I in MOR in ARE[A]S
12 THOLE THE around OL[D]
16 EMPOWERING (OWN EMPIRE G[O]) *
20 CONES CO + NE[W]S
21 VOTES (SOLVE[N]T − L) *
22 FLOODWATER FLOATER around (O(tter) + [T](iger) + D(ove) + W(ildebeest))
26 AIRSHOW HOW after (IR in A[U]S)
27 FASTISH FISH around STA[R] *
31 FLAIL (I[N] FALL) *
32 TELLIN TE[A]L + LIN
33 ATRIUM ARUM alternating with TI[T]
36 HANAP NAP after HA[T]
38 EAST EAS[E] + T(ea)
39 SINH IN[N] in SH