Listener 4788 Venn diagram of {blood, love, rhetoric}

Infeasible by Quinapalus

Puzzle explanation

The extra words in across clues were “circle area thirteen pi”, specifying a circle with radius = √13 = √(2² + 3²), thus having some radii as the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle with sides of 2 and 3 cells. The three such circles drawn in the grid traced the partial quotations “Caesar bears such rebel [blood]”, “Any kiddie in school can [love]”, “the quarrel with others, [rhetoric]”, and formed a Venn diagram with each circle labelled by the word missing from its quotation. The initials of down clues in alphabetical order of their answers spelt out the respective sources SHAKESPEARE, NASH and YEATS. Interchangeable characters in across clues gave ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN. In Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, the leading player lists the combinations of blood, love and rhetoric that can be performed as follows (with the corresponding parts of the Venn diagram indicated): “I can do you blood and love without the rhetoric [BL], and I can do you blood and rhetoric without the love [BR], and I can do you all three concurrent [BLR] or consecutive [B, L, R], but I can’t do you love and rhetoric without the blood [LR]. Blood is compulsory — they’re all blood, you see”. Therefore the “infeasible” part to be highlighted was LR. The clue device of interchangeable characters reflected Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s undistinguished nature. In Hamlet (act II, scene 2) Claudius says “Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern” and Gertrude immediately follows with (possibly a correction) “Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz”. Their interchangeability is also a theme of the Stoppard play.

Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Extra word/(alternative character) Answer (partial entry) Explanation; partial wordplay
23 fo(R)ged/fo(G)ged ASSIMILATORY (ARSSMITO) A + STORY around (MAIL IS) *; (p)ARSO(n) around SMIT(h)
18 circle QIBLA (Ira)QI BLA(sphemy)
17 c(O)pped/c(U)pped ECHO-SOUNDERS (SEOOCHES) OS in HOUND in SCREE *; SMOOCHES with E for M
12 rot(S)/rôt(I) BOUCHER (OURB) (CHOU * after B) + E + R; OUR + B(rassica)
30 ensnar(E)s/ensnar(L)s MACROBIOTICS (AISCMRIO) MAC- + ROBOTICS around I; (M + RI) in (A + (d)ISCO)
32 area LOEWI (a)LOE WI(th)
33 brai(N)ed/brai(D)ed SWAGGERINGLY (GAGLWREN) (W + (RAG EG) *) in SINGLY; GAG + L + WREN
31 (C)arphone/(E)arphone TEINDED (DIEE) homophone of TEEN DID; DIE + E
19 li(R)e/li(N)e HARLECH (LHRC) L in RACE * in HH; RC after LH
22 thirteen CRUST CRUS + T(ested)
21 be(A)t/be(S)t EUCAINE (EUIE) homophone of YOU CANE; E(l)U(s)I(v)E
14 (N)its/(T)its HEARSE-CLOTHS (HACLOHTS) HEHS around (ARSE + CLOT); H + ACTS around (LO + H)
1 splin(T)/splin(E) CAPSTAN LATHE (ACLEASTN) (STAN + LATH) in CAPE; (A + CLEAN) around ST
13 laisse(Z)-aller/laisse(R)-aller CIGAR-HOLDERS (SROHGADE) (LARGE ORCHIDS) *; (E + DAG + HORS) <
27 (&)/’(N)’ CRANKHANDLES (SENRCLND) CR + ANKH + AND + LES; SER around N + L in CND
3   HERCULEAN LEAN after (HER + C(ycle) U(phill))
4   ACOL (Coc)A-COL(a)
5   COHOE (ECHO + O(pprobrium)) *
7   ERATO ((p)OETR(y) + A) *
8   SEER 2 meanings
10   NCIS NC + IS
15   ARBA ((c)AB RA(nk)) <
16   SCRUMDOWN (Ye)S + CRUD around M + OWN
19   AIRCREW homophone of HEIR + CREW
20   CRIA CRI + A
24   ARMIL R in (A + MIL)
25   SLIER ’S + LIER
26   OH BOY OY around (HOB with last letter moved up)
27   KATI KAT + I
28   ESDA (Te)ESDA(le)
29   NOLE NOLE with S for N = SOLE
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