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This is a cryptic crossword. Each clue contains an extra letter which must be removed before the clue is solved, leaving real words in place. Solvers may find a use for these letters. Each corrected clue consists of wordplay for itself, and a definition (not necessarily in that order) for a different clue. Solvers will need to put the definitions and wordplay back together.

To obtain the green tick solvers must complete the crossword and indicate what the clues should be when the correct wordplay and definitions are matched (this can be as simple as noting next to each answer which clue contains the correct definition).

All answers are in Chambers dictionary except for certain proper nouns which can be easily found online if all else fails.

enter image description here

Across

1. Rat meat puree cooked for bald soprano playwright (11)
9. E-mosaic instructions: regular choice of Rouen's ignition (3,4)
10. Revolutionary gorilla, for example? Bright loss of memory (7)
11. It goes bang! from the yeast, shields core (3)
12. Woman: win Alaska's passage across (7)
13. Brief cinematic flashies of tale of feeling sad (3,4)
14. Very odd, maybe Hearst, in the morning (3)
15. Ex-frat arrangement: dead musician (5)
17. Emit light din lacking purpose (5)
18. Organic compounds force respiratory organ to close luminance on island (5)
20. Strategy Ptolemy embraced: four Alton Towers, for example (5)
22. Then conclusions of more scientists: scrap knitted fabric (3)
24. Soldiers heading after one mile haps subordinate (7)
25. Arcadian descendant suspends Rouen cat over Vichy water (7)
26. Black holly or good confused ape (3)
27. I am sane, disorganised, and bit's costing less (7)
28. Fakir must take heads of indian cobras explains poor man (7)
29. Telepathy maybe sent about test kit once (11)

Down

1. Overleap with Order-soldiers drinking Spanish wines? Just the opposite! (3,12)
2. Resit (horizontally) of megaton explosion (7)
3. Ken Olsen chides mushrooms (5)
4. A North Carolina particle about misfortune has line for vast extent (9)
5. Refuse lessons, essentially dare the act of polishing (7)
6. Garland's contorted evil sexy piece (VoD) (9,6)
7. Kinky coast found beneath tops of fetishists "rump-embracing articles" is tuber (6)
8. Half? More than anticipated (6)
16. Statue of equality has King following recurrent idea to North African country (5,4)
18. Vegetable, pickled as pods, woman surrounded by young fish (6)
19. Jupiter moon company absorbs Ganesha's essence for average akinetic energy (7)
21. Wart isn't reforming waterproof jackets (7)
23. Magistrate's fork everyone trapped in receipt or bill (6)
25. French Castler starts cooking andouille jambalaya, uniting neighbours (5)

For people unable to see images a version where . represents an unfilled cell and * represents a black cell is presented below; numbering should be inferred.

**...........**
.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.
.......*.......
.*.*.*...*.*.*.
.......*.......
.*.*.***.*.*.*.
...*.....*.....
**.***.*.***.**
.....*.....*...
.*.*.*.***.*.*.
.......*.......
.*.*.*...*.*.*.
.......*.......
.*.*.*.*.*.*.*.
**...........**
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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This was an excellently put-together crossword, and a real challenge - even more so as I didn't notice the significance of the surplus letters until writing up the solution (d'oh!), which would have been helpful to realise sooner! Thanks very much for creating this :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 11:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv I'm glad you liked it! The title was intended to be a subtle hint about the removed letters, but perhaps it was too subtle? Still, you solved it without using the removed letters to help you and I'm very impressed with that! One small change to your solution: I'd intended to remove the "A" from 'meat' in the clue to keep all real words :) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ That makes sense - I have made that alteration. I did actually spot the significance of the title right at the very end, again too late to have used it while actually solving the puzzle! Had I done so, it may have been a quicker or simpler solve for me... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Sep 25, 2023 at 14:21

1 Answer 1

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This was hard! The completed grid:

Completed crossword grid

Clue explanations as follows... Note that definitions are indicated in square brackets, with the clue to which they actually relate indicated in a set of brackets beside them. The individual letters that are surplus to requirements in each clue are shown in braces (curly brackets):

Across:
1. Rat me{a}t puree cooked for [bald soprano playwright][19D] (11) TEMPERATURE = RTMEATPUREE*
9. [{E}-mosaic instructions][1D]: regular choice of Rouen's ignition (3,4) RUN INTO = R_U_N_ I_N_T_O_
10. Revolutionary gorilla, for example? {B}right [loss of memory][27A] (7) CHEAPER = CHE (Revolutionary) + APE (gorilla, for example?) + R (right)
11. [It goes bang!][6D] from the {y}east, shields core (3) LEI = _IEL_<
12. Woman: {w}in Alaska's [passage across][21D] (7) ANORAKS = A(NORA)K’S
13. [Brief cinematic flash{i}es][2D] of tale of feeling sad (3,4) LIE DOWN = LIE (tale) + DOWN (feeling sad)
14. [Very odd][7D], maybe Hear{s}t, in the morning (3) YAM = _Y_ + a.m.
15. Ex-{f}rat arrangement: [dead musician][8D] (5) EXTRA = EXRAT*
17. Emit light {d}in [lacking purpose][5D] (5) SHINE (ddef)
18. [Organic compounds][3D] force respiratory organ to {c}lose luminance on island (5) FUNGI = F (force) + (-l)UNG (respiratory organ, without ‘L’ for luminance) + I (island)
20. Strategy Ptolemy embraced: fo{u}r [Alton Towers, for example][16D] (5) EGYPT = _EGY PT_
22. The{n} conclusions of more scientists: scrap [knitted fabric][29A] (3) ESP = _E _S _P
24. Soldiers heading after one mile ha{p}s [subordinate][4D] (7) IMMENSE = I (one) + M (mile) + MEN (Soldiers) + SE (heading)
25. [A{r}cadian descendant][25D] suspends Rouen cat over Vichy water (7) CHATEAU = CHAT (French for ‘cat’) + EAU (French for ‘water’)
26. [Black hol{l}y or good][18D] confused ape (3) PEA = APE*
27. I am sane, disorganised, and [{b}it's costing less][10A] (7) AMNESIA = IAMSANE*
28. Fa{k}ir must take heads of Indian cobras explains [poor man][23D] (7) JUSTICE = JUST (Fair) + I_ C_ E_
29. [Telepathy maybe][22A] se{n}t about test kit once (11) STOCKINETTE = TESTKITONCE_

Down:
1. [Overl{e}ap with][9A] Order-soldiers drinking Spanish wines? Just the opposite! (3,12) TEN COMMANDMENTS = COMMAND (Order) + MEN (soldiers) in TENTS (wines)
2. [Res{i}t (horizontally)][13A] of megaton explosion (7) MONTAGE = MEGATON*
3. Ken Olsen {c}hides [mushrooms][18A] (5) ENOLS = _EN OLS_
4. A North Carolina {p}article about misfortune has line for [vast extent][24A] (9) ANCILLARY = A + NC (North Carolina) + ILL (misfortune) + A (article) + RY (‘railway’ line)
5. Refuse lessons, essentially {d}are [the act of polishing][17A] (7) USELESS = _USE LESS_
6. [Garland][11A]'s contorted evil sex{y} piece (VoD) (9,6) EXPLOSIVE DEVICE = EVILSEXPIECEVOD*
7. Kinky coast found beneath tops of fetishists "rump-embracing article{s}" is [tuber][14A] (6) FREAKY = F_ R_ E_ A_ + K_Y
8. Hal{f}? [More than anticipated][15A] (6) PRINCE (ddef, with Harold ‘Hal’ Prince)
16. Stat{u}e of equality has King following recurrent idea to [North African country][20A] (5,4) THEME PARK = THEME (recurrent idea) + PAR (State of equality) + K (King)
18. [Vegetable, pick{l}ed as pods][26A], woman surrounded by young fish (6) FRIDAY = FR(IDA)Y
19. Jupiter moon company absorbs Ganesha's essence for [average {a}kinetic energy][1A] (7) IONESCO = IO (Jupiter moon) + _NES_ CO (company)
21. {W}art isn't reforming [waterproof jackets][12A] (7) TRANSIT = (-w)ARTISNT*
23. [Magistrate][28A]'s for{k} everyone trapped in receipt or bill (6) PAUPER = PA(U)PER
25. [French Castle{r}][25A] starts cooking andouille jambalaya, uniting neighbours (5) CAJUN = C_ A_ J_ U_ N_

What about the letters in braces then? Well, when the OP says that 'Solvers may find a use for these [surplus] letters', you will observe that...

...the definition/wordplay mismatches occur precisely in pairs of clues - i.e. the wordplay for one is matched up with the definition of another, and vice versa (it isn't just random reassignment). In each case, the same letter must be removed from both clues in any pair!

(Note that this was also suggested by the title, 'trading places' suggesting a straight swap. However, I noticed this far too late to make use of it myself while solving!)

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