3948: Word for Word by Aragon

Aragon gave us a neat puzzle where the preamble was crucial. The initial letters of superfluous words in twenty-one clues helped give the first part of an instruction to solvers. This instruction was TAKE PREAMBLE LITERALLY. The initial letters of “superfluous words in twenty-one clues help” is SWITCH completed by three pairs of grid entries. Thus it was possible to switch the position of LATTICEand  RECORDS, NETWORKand  PORTALS, GRILLE and FOYERS (all pairs of grids and entries!) so that the asterisked cells read (the word) CORRECTLY.

Redundant words are shown in bold

ACROSS

1 Hint of commission introduced to fire publicity man (5)
FLACK C (hint of commission) in FLAK
5 Behind keeps twitching in topless bars (7)
LATTICE TIC in LATE
12 Brave Irishman won't when courting? (7)
FEARGAL (man of courage) he won’t FEAR GAL
14 Story about gunners axing Australian tree (6)
YARRAN RA (Royal Artillery) in YARN
15 Pursuing love, we are in red kaftans (3)
OWE WE after O The definition is – are in red
16 Deal, perhaps, with gangster's websites (7)
PORTALS PORT (such as DEAL) + AL’S
17 Nothing separates, say, Starsky and Hutch (4)
COOP O in COP
18 Celebrity eventually old enough to go in Navy (6)
RENOWN ENOW in RN (Royal Navy)
21 Wrapped in paper one's own things: beef, old brass cast ... (12)
SELF-ABSORBED anagram beef old brass
23 Family row about foolish grandson's first sudden comedown (12)
CRASH-LANDING RASH in CLAN + DING
28 Fool, on reflection, regrets rashly ejecting guards (6)
JESTER Hidden reversed
30 Blow head off enemy of company? (4)
ONER (L)ONER
31 Labour's goal first to connect socially (7)
NETWORK NET (goal) + WORK (labour)
34 Prostitute shortly put on dark coat (3)
TAR TAR(T)
35 Embarrassed rep turning a very red colour (6)
VAKEEL A V (very) (reversed) + KEEL
36 Quantum number: one's opening code (7)
ISOSPIN I’S + OS + P.I.N.
37 Gathering of water in breadbasket, etc, is acknowledged as crazy (7)
ASCITES Anagram etc is as
38 Boob tube mistress finally put on hook (5)
GAFFE GAFF + E (last letter of TUBE)

DOWN

1 Queen's butler leaving gifts outside youth centres (6)
FOYERS ER (Queen) in FOYS
2 Spring water running through central Alps (4)
LEAP EA in LP (central letters of ALPS)
3 May predecessor forward protection? (5)
APRON APR (April precedes May) + ON
4 Sound pleased, like dog with two tails (4)
CURR CUR with two last letters
6 Egyptian deity made foul curse on regular visits (6)
AEOLUS even letters of mAdE fOuL cUrSe
7 Worked up sweat lifting belt (5)
TAWSE anag. SWEAT
8 Soldier rising heads for blockhouse? (5)
IGLOO GI reversed + LOO (Heads = toilets) An igloo is a house made of BLOCKS of ice!
9 Exotic trace in one pigment (8)
CAROTENE anag. TRACE + ONE
10 Stole off bar, lifting tablet and old penny (6)
ELOPED POLE rev. + E (tablet) + D
11 One pursuing me about Tayside Two verdict (6)
FATWAH TWA (Scots TWO) in FAH (the note following ME)
13 Tapes tied on trousers (7)
RECORDS RE + CORDS
19 Scary state guards following always in Eastern Europe (8)
EERINESS EER (always) + IN E + SS (guards)
20 Rough round tower's imprisoning sons (7, two words)
OF SORTS O (round) + S in FORT’S
22 Nothing ever passes points of no return (6)
ONE-WAY NEW (points of compass) in O + AY (ever)
23 Membranes before breaking are supporting rudimentary life force (6)
CHORIA OR (before) in CHI + A (are)
24 Lamplighter turned up heat in air-raid shelter (6)
LEERIE IRE reversed in LEE
25 Screen legends questioned endlessly (6)
GRILLE GRILLE(D)
26 Red Dwarf identifying himself? (5)
MEDOC Red wine One of the 7 dwarfs might identify himself as ME – DOC!
27 Not fit, one exercises outside a lot (5)
UNAPT  A in UN (one) + PT
29 What's fit to eat? Er, on reflection ... (5)
TREIF (ER in FIT) reversed
32 Part of sky line vanished for time in US State (4)
OKTA T for L in OKLA (HOMA)
33 Knifer out of Ulster running amok saw youngster cut (4)
KERF anag. KNIFER less NI (Northern Ireland)