G&S by Pilcrow

Puzzle explanation

The song in the unclued entries was The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel (S&G). One choice of first or last letters from extra words spelt out “John Cage’s Four Minutes, Thirty-three Seconds”, referring to the piece 4'33" in which no sound is played, the “music” consisting of the ambient noise at the performance. The other choice gave “erase everything but the notes in Cage’s piece”, thus requiring a blank grid to be submitted. The puzzle’s title and the many references to Gilbert & Sullivan works in the clues were red herrings.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

Extra word Answer Explanation
Urdu ACE AC(t) + E
Varying ALLEGRO LEG in (A + L(ively) R(uddigore) O(verture))
needless ANNUAL ANNUL around A
tremolo BASS 2 meanings
case BELIEVE BELIE + V + E(dwin)
Intriguing BOVRIL BOL(ero) around VRI
theatre DENVER NV in DEER
Baratarian EVENT EVE + NT
extinguishes GEORGE E in GORGE
elegant HAEMANTHUS A(rchibald) in HE-MAN + THUS
Hilarion HAG-WEED H + AGE around W + ED
twenty-eight INVADE (INEZ around VAD) − (Lui)Z
public KELVIN LEK < + VIN
tenor NINE I in NNE
haiku OBVERSE (Mikad)O + B + VERSE
intermezzo OCULAR (j)OCULAR
andante OPULENT OP + U + LENT
timpani PALLOR P(o)OR around ALL
chamber PIBROCH P(irates) + I(olanthe) + BROCH
refuses PORTER 2 meanings
hidden RAIL TRAIL − T(hespis)
Dynamic RENDS RE + N + DS
our RIA AIR <
Approach RIGEL G(ondoliers) in (RI + EL)
noble SELF S + ELF
intro SETTER 2 meanings
entertains SIAM S + IAM(bus)
appearance SKEIN SKIN around (Patienc)E
Elsie SPEW PEWS with the last letter moved to the start
Hears STRESS (d)RESS after ST
enjoying TABLEAU TAU around ABLE
joke TRAGIC RAG in (T + I/C)
terrible TRICK (Sorcere)R in TICK
investor UMBRE R in (U(topia) + MBE)
funny WIDGET WIT around ((G + D) < + E)
Sangazure WOMBAT W + COMBAT − C
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