3935 Two Down by Wasp

The design of the grid and the mention of 'appropriate colours' hinted at the theme and this was confirmed when the extra letters were arranged to spell 'Cluedo'. The thematic clues gave the names of the characters from the boardgame, which had to be entered in their colours. This meant that the entry for WHITE (25ac) was apparently blank and could be replaced with the murdered party (Dr) BLACK, HIKE becoming LIKE and MART becoming MARC. 2dn was SCÈNE À FAIRE and this could be completed with the missing member (Mrs) WHITE and the symmetrically placed entries LEAD PIPE and BALL ROOM.

This was a very fair puzzle, thematically sound and with lots of easy clues to encourage the solver.

The jumbled letters of the members of the thematic group are shown in bold type and extra letters in square brackets.

ACROSS
1 To shake off Dracula, perhaps need to go back to the beginning? (9, two words)
LOSE COUNT ref. Count Dracula
8 An idiot wrapped in the torn towel (8, two words)
TEA CLOTH a clot in anag. the
10 Enjoy oneself in second half of game (4)
BALL second half of footBALL
12 I hope a c[u]ckold catches his wife (7)
(Mrs) PEACOCK jumble (wife)
14 She appears regularly in St Austell (3)
SUE regularly spaced letters in St aUstEll
15 Nuclear structure I extracted from decomposition of Iodine and Titanium (5)
IDANT anag. I and T
16 A couple of eye rhymes for "slip" (8, two words)
COME HOME (eye rhymes) of an anchor, to slip through the ground
18 Daguerre catches malaria (4)
AGUE Hidden
20 Order one into mock corps (5)
DORIC I in DOR + C (corps)
23 Half of coal King put in my cupboard (6)
ALMERY (co)al + ER in MY
24 Gather up, set free (4)
REEF anag. free
25 Prepare apple strude[l] with short-order cook (5)
(Mrs.) WHITE jumble (cook)
27 Deserve special note delivered by Oriental (4)
EARN Ea[ste]rn minus S (special) and te (the note)
29 Organic vitamin with carbon substituted for nitrogen (6)
BIOTIC biotin C for N
33 Missing first of landing-strips upset tense alien beings (5)
ENTIA anag. T (tense) + ALIEN minus L
36 House near Kent, perhaps it's unusable in summer? (4)
HOSE Ho (house) + SE (Kent is in the SE of England) ref. hose-pipe ban
37 Go-between delivers letter t[o] classy femme fatale (8)
(Miss)SCARLETT jumble (femme fatale)
39 Outspoken diarist starts to appear (5)
PEEPS sounds like PEPYS
41 Perhaps Paul's partner's painting (3)
ART (Garfunkel) ref. (Paul) Simon & Garfunkel
42 Die-hard t[e]ams up with soldier (7)
(Colonel) MUSTARD jumble (soldier)
43 This space is said to be cold (4)
ROOM sounds like RHEUM
44 Rewrite disordered precis in right tense (8)
RESCRIPT anag. precis in R T
45 Print runs taken from demolished hot property (9)
PHOTOTYPE anag. hot p(ro)pe(r)ty minus R(uns)

DOWN
1 Head plate (4)
LEAD Two meanings
2 See preamble (11, three words)
SCÈNE À FAIRE the climactic scene in a play or opera.
3 In Bow, he's dead? Cheer up! (5)
ELATE 'e (Cockney for he) + late
4 Instrument one has for Northern Irish Peter, maybe (6)
O'TOOLE ref. Peter 'Toole ONE N replaced by TOOL
5 Crept without hood - or anything else! (5)
NAKED (S)naked
6 Having to scrape about for food, soldiers have beaten up sailor (8)
RASORIAL RA (Royal Artillery + anag. sailor
7 Don recognises Pam up [c]lose (4)
(Professor) PLUM (Don)
8 The money in Tehran split three ways (5)
TRIAL t (the) rial (currency of Iran)
9 Language in which William began his career? (5)
OCCAM programming language. Ref. William of Occam
11 Physician sheltered surgeon (5)
LEECH lee + CH (surgeon)
13 I say yes to Eastern red fruit (11)
CHOKECHERRY ch (I) OK + E + cherry
17 Take truck up to market (4)
MART tram rev.
19 Minister to those of confused gen[d]er (5)
(Reverend) GREEN (Minister)
21 Welshman is holding half of round (5)
IDRIS DRI(NKS) in IS
22 I will taste broken rock (8)
TESTATOR (def. I will!) anag. taste + tor
26 Announced high energy walk (4)
HIKE (homophone) hi + KE (kinetic energy)
28 Demolish eskar for Emperor (5)
KESAR anag.
30 Start to use tritium compound (6)
OUTSET anag. to use + T
31 Makes lace from rags (5)
TATTS two meanings
32 Stunner turned up and did exam again (5)
RESAT Taser (rev.)
34 Alexandrian lady movingly entertaining harem's leaders? (5)
ALMEH initial letters & lit.
35 Age of English treaty (5)
EPACT E + pact
38 Yield from credit operation (4)
CROP cr + op
40 In rap, I perkily sing (4)
PIPE Hidden