This is a cryptic crossword despite appearances. On the left is a five-by-five grid with no bars; on the right are five colour-coded slats one cell wide and a varying number of cells deep. The clues are grouped by colour (so all the clues that fit in the red slat are listed under 'Red') and are listed in alphabetical order of answer in each group. The answers overlap by at least one cell when sorted into the correct order, enabling solvers to fit the answers into each slat. For example, if the Red group had answers BERYL, NOVEMBER and OVEN the slat would be filled as OVENOVEMBERYL. Once all the slats are filled solvers should insert them vertically into the grid and slide them up or down to obtain a magical solution. The solvers will need to determine the correct colour ordering as well. For the purposes of the green tick, solvers should fill in each slat correctly, and specify the letters that make up the five-by-five grid -- there is no need to show the slats sticking out of the grid at the top and bottom. Each clue should also be correctly explained.
The colour-coded squares in each slat are part of the slat and should be filled. All clues may be treated as 'down' clues for cryptic wordplay purposes. All answers may be found in Chambers Dictionary specifically, though none are particularly obscure. The next detail might be considered a spoiler by some, hence it being spoilered out.
The words in the final grid are fairly well-known but do not all appear in english dictionaries.
For people unable to see pictures, the grid is five-by-five unbarred, and the slats have lengths as follows:
- Votes in the affirmative, content to pay escrow (4)
- Perhaps Mr. Charles's supercomputer brand's no longer about (3)
- In the direction of a drunkard (5)
- Sharpen by rubbing audibly where there's water? (3)
- Half-gallon left for everyone coming first in European country (8)
- Seldom encountered in backtracking hierarchies (4)
- Bring back harbour -- again? (6)
- Without air-conditioning tentacles writhe… they're irritating (7)
- Above local river mount snare that consumed too much (9)
- Emperor oddly absent -- unheard of! (4)
- Repetitive: round, round men, thanks (4)
- Expert short assassin took dagger tip after 'saint'… (7)
- …assigned work initially then assaulted someone's kid (4)
- Southern state embracing default tongue (6)
- Was in session amid accusations (3)
- Ruin plans regularly: how 'Dieppe Roost' reversed (7)