RR XVI - At Sixes and Sevens

In an effort to be as fair as possible to clue writers, each was allocated a plain clue to a seven-letter answer. However, the grid proved too difficult to build, so for 12 answers the first six letters are used ‘at sixes and sevens’ to make a new Chambers entry. The last letters of these answers could be arranged to form the unclued centre row, which was a consideration for the title. Solvers should highlight another Chambers entry, crossing the centre row, that likewise could cryptically explain the 12 modifications (8 cells).
The Chambers 13th edition is the primary reference.

  1 Committee initially to interrogate quiet believer in positivism
  5 A fuss about actuaries’ failure of recognition
11 Fasten vessel carrying Scottish preserve (2 words)
13 Those who ramble are getting more confused about Rishi Sunak, primarily
14 Element of logic in a grower turning chemical-free
15 Suffering single mum’s after prime beef cut?
16 Brief text I, for one, answer about old prejudices
17 A habit's redesigned for religious adherent
18 Said about university furnished with sculpted forms
19 Comparatively speedy replacing whiskey with new dram
23 Surprisingly learn MP admitted he’s a sucker?
27 Caught eating cat, occasionally canines will be hurling
32 Encounter's commencement is sealed by a glove shaken about and put down (2 words)
33 Casino's gutted, fleeced by unerring gambler ultimately becoming flusher
34 Thick bread left to cut bread slices
35 Silver regularly missing, thus arranged detectives
36 Bishop against women in places of worship
37 Nothing less (nothing gained) - that's not looking promising
38 College function holding another finale
39 Cartoon characters made for lively dance

  1 Cerebral structures one found in layers
  2 Will’s boat shifted TNT with care
  3 Desire place overlooking lake for everyday work
  4 Put too much text in books about poetry
  6 Worry about craving for cake decoration
  7 Biting off each end of twig as medication
  8 Our site's dilapidated - shabbiest in Glasgow
  9 Sit pens haphazardly on instruments
10 Greedy horse in house is starting to hallucinate
11 African singer, live in Costa Rica, intoned sacred syllable by clubs
12 Fix dye in fading raincoat
20 Managed to detain evil criminal in part of fortress
21 Start to hope potters lacking money still produce on the black market?
22 Big easy golfer works around poor lies, but they leave sour taste
23 An example of this is kinda rising sound overwhelming Ligeti's boundaries
24 Mealtimes are disturbed as this wind blows
25 Softly a sexy European pinched near the ear
26 Distilled oil and trace nutrient eyesight requires primarily
28 One applying finishing touches to rug woven by old queen
29 Such a shaggy look for Irish pet
30 Ignorant preacher, following mass, omitting chapter from translation of extract
31 Nieces excited about introduction to Ruby Wax

Clues by

…Anax, Steve Bartlett, David Beamish, Rod Beards, Brian Betker, Kieran Callaghan, Chalicea, Conto, John Covenhope, Simon Griew, Derek Harrison, Hawk, Richard Heald, Helen Heath, Hedge-sparrow, Karla, Chris Lancaster, Loonapick, John Nolan, Kevin McDermid, Mertytsetesh, Mr E, Pandiculator, Bhalchandra Pasupathy, Phylax, Ed Powles, Nick Pursey, Sowmya Ramkumar, Skinny, Simon Shaw, Ian Simpson, Peter Smith, Sprout, Robert Teuton, Colin Thomas, David Thompson, Trigot, Verbascum, George Walker, John Walsh, Luciano Ward and Keith Williams.

To enter this competition, send your entry as an image or in list format giving the final entries to ccpuzzles@talktalk.net before 8th April 2024. The first correct entry drawn from the hat will receive a book from the Chambers range, which has been donated by Chambers.

You may vote for your favourite clue with your entry. You can just nominate one clue, which will be awarded 3 points, or your top three which will be awarded 3, 2 and 1 points. The person whose clue accumulates the most points will receive a prize, which also has been donated by the Crossword Centre.