Cycle 20% More by Smudge

Puzzle explanation

In the Gilbert and Sullivan opera The Grand Duke, disputes are settled by a “statutory duel”, consisting of a draw of cards after which the loser is declared legally dead. The words removed from across clues are synonyms of “dead” or “ghost”; their moved letters spell out “Wm S Gilbert” (reversed) and “AS Sullivan” (the two were already engaged in disputes and this was their last collaboration). For each pair of extra and missing words in the down clues, one of the differences represents a playing card (A, J, Q, K or a number spelt out), which when added to the letter at the top of the column produces THE GRAND DUKE at 1ac. Down answers are entered with occurrences of A moved to the bottom, reflecting the discovery that aces are low, not high, that resolves the plot’s complications.

Plotters in the story identify each other by eating a sausage roll; rows of the completed grid contained jumbled types of sausage, which when unjumbled revealed the words STATUTORY DUEL diagonally. The puzzle’s title refers to the story’s setting of Pfennig-Halbpfennig, which translates to penny-halfpenny, monetarily 20% greater than a penny-farthing (bicycle). It also hints at the anniversary of the first performance on 7 March 1896, a century-plus-20% ago.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Modified, missing, [extra] words Answer Explanation
13 car(T)ed, [waned] NIRLED N + IR + LED
14 hea(R)ts, [deceased] SCHUIT SUIT around CH
15 [very], kin(E) KYLOE KY + LO’E (from next clue)
16 (B)orders, [utter] LO’E L(ots) O(f) E(ach)
17 [awfully], gobb(L)ed ATE A(lcohol) + TE(st)
18 [Wra(I)th], van ATABAL (À + BAAL with A moved to the front) around T
19 old, [(G)one] SAYON SAYON(ara)
21 [bu(S)t], good BELONG BELO(w) + NG
22 [s(M)ack], war BATTER BATTLER − L
24 [ended], (W)eight SANS SWANS − W
25 [(A)pathetic], horse NAGA NAGANA − NA
27 [(S)tiff], A ASSUME ((Lover)S after A) + SUM + E
29 (S)often, [late] SMALTO MALT in SO(ak)
30 [Cold], fo(U)nder ABUNA À + BUN + ALIGHT − LIGHT
32 [jumby], so(L)-fa SISSOO (SIS + O) around SO
37 Cog, [f(L)at] NOG (G + (b)ON(e)) <
39 [sp(I)rit], hosted ICH (Pun)IC H(ulk)
40 [Inert], se(V)en RERUN ERR with last letter moved to the front + SUN − S
41 dully, [h(A)unt] SLAVEY ’VE in SLAY
42 [hi(N)t], Med SOLANO SOLA + NO
1 (bits of) Tier PANS PAINTERS − (I, T, E, R)
2 baRman (may pull) FAINT PINT with FA for the first letter
3 [lAgs] DARKEY DAR(e) + KEY
4 [babAs] FLYBOAT (L + BOY) * in FAT
5 (with) T-bar MEAL (MEAL + T-BAR) * = (A LAMBERT) *
6 (must) Quit J’ADOUBE (DOUBLE − L) after JA
7 (including) adenine EASE BASE with E for B
8 sKim (temperature) SCANTLES SCAN + T + LES(s)
9 [subSection] TAHR or THAR HAT * + R
10 [mAst] TULBAN ((AB + L) in NUT) <
11 slY (Liberal) CIAO SOCIALLY * − (SLY + L) *
12 (with) Ess DATELESS DATEL + ESS
19 [Fourier] SYNAPSIS (ANALYSIS with (P + S) for AL(l)) *
20 [five-bar] ANTELOPE (g)ATE around N + LOPE
23 [AdeN] RASORES RAS + OR + E(at)S
24 (double) subJection SUBDUAL BUS < + DUAL
26 (for) lEgs GAMASH GAMS around A + H
28 mUst (not) MAUNNA U in MANNA
31 [sleight] NO-MAN ’N’ + O’ + MAN
33 [batwoman] -ICAL I + CAL
34 (rival) babEs SLAV (RIVAL BABES) * − BARBIE *
35 [Suit] OARY O’ + A + RY
36 [sLim] ACRO- (extr)A CRO(issant)
38 [Ass] GAJO (A JOG) *
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