The unclued lights are presented in the form of the Lover’s Knots below. Each ‘Knot’ can be unravelled into two words which are connected only for the purposes of this puzzle. These are then to be entered in the grid, always as pairs of consecutive lights.
 
LOVER’S KNOT CLUES
a) A thin bride
b) Bach ate tenderloins
c) Clara’s feminine
d) Islander’s mural
e) Norse warfare
 
Across
1 Fractures both bits – a betrayal (13, three words)
9 Redhead notices extremists (4)
11 0 and O (for instance) sent between the unclued lights? (10, two words)
12 Cheesy saint at river through Biggleswade (4)
14 A chart brought back about a North American country (6)
16 Cane cut back for essential oil (5)
17 Non-standard tracing of gene (5)
20 I first cut slice out with frozen fingers (7)
24 A short while with German joiner at bank (5)
25 A fragment of the capital’s skyline (5)
32 The old devil or drop out (7)
36 Connection that is seen inside container (5, hyphened)
37 Small county flags (5)
38 Joint that’s obtained from 39 and sodium (6)
39 House in Kent, say, by motorway (4)
40 In cell, Anne turned fresh sheets (10, two words)
41 Frank with Martin’s calf (4)
42 Insect – he’s kneeling – it’s absurd (13, two words)
 
Down
3 Middle section of carol omitted by fellow churchman (6)
4 Moulding round two wings on duck (5)
5 Film director collapsed on island (7)
6 Life as we know it is seen in province (7)
7 This firm would follow a bit to town in Kent (6)
8 Help is given to US lawman setting up committees (9)
10 Dessert wine providing minor sensation (10)
13 Fat black cuckoo held whistle cord (7)
19 Spiritless tavern renovated during middle of week (8)
21 Cooking utensil is left out with chief’s (9, two words)
22 Plans showing dimension with gneiss in pieces (7)
26 Old Scottish charge around new plant (7)
28 Introduce you and me to drug without love (7, two words)
33 Weight – about one pound in English (5)
34 Trifle endlessly, maybe (5)
35 Five points for slaves (5)
 
A first prize of £30 for the first correct solution opened on 25 February. There are two runners-up prizes of £20 (or, for UK solvers, the latest edition of The Chambers Dictionary — ring the word ‘Dictionary’). Entries to: Crossword 2099, The Spectator, 22 Old Queen Street, London SW1H 9HP. Please allow six weeks for prize delivery.

 

This article first appeared in the print edition of The Spectator magazine, dated