Listener 3969: Carte Blanche by Homer
 
Gregson considered this to be one of the best puzzles of the year. There were a number of levels and the theme was tightly controlled throughout. The first task was to fill the carte blanche grid and there had to be a lot of clod solving. The secret was to fit the 13 letter entries. When all the answers were entered there remained two words – WEARY and WINZE. A quick check in Chambers revealed that both words can mean CURSE in Scottish. The CURSE OF SCOTLAND is the nine of diamonds. The Duke of Cumberland is said to have scribbled the order to give "no quarter" on such a card before the Battle of Culloden. There were only nine Ds in the grid and when these were shaded in red they formed the playing card. Thus the Carte Blanche was really a blank card!

ACROSS
Injure calico, with third of nails going extremely awry? (6)
ACCLOY Anag. CALICO less I (3rd letter of NAILS) + (awr)Y; & lit.
This, in the first instance, attracts helmsman on yacht (4)
AHOY First letters
Quantity of herrings packed in Killiecrankie (4)
CRAN Hidden
Building over grave needs a day's work, that's all (5)
DARGA DARG (a day’s work) + A (all)
It's gold/yellow, found in the sea -- not one seen regularly in chip shop? (5)
DOREE OR (gold/yellow) in DEEP less P (appearing regularly in chiP shoP); & lit.
Vintage puzzle that's back to front might be the work of Homer (4)
EPOS POSE (last letter first)
Stop on hole six, after fluffing bunker stroke (13, two words)
EXPLOSION SHOT Anag. STOP ON HOLE SIX
Dated list requires principal to include Latin (5)
HEALD (obs. HEEL, LIST) L in HEAD
You'll see me leaping round Rand where brook's about? (3)
KOB BROOK (reversed) less O (round) + R (rand): & lit. (the kob is a water-antelope!)
What could be central to galleon sinking with ingress of water? (4)
LEAK EA (water) in L + K (middle letters of galLeon sinKing)
In Alloa bar one knocked back a jar (4)
OLLA Reversed ALLOA less A (one)
Clearly, it's a pair of cut-price slippers you ruined (13)
PERSPICUOUSLY Anag. CU (pair of letters from CUT-PRICE) + SLIPPERS YOU
Sister's up barking -- for why? (9)
PERTUSSIS Anag. & lit.
Old Nick returned after second of operations and worked steadily (5)
PLIED P (2nd letter of OPERATIONS) + DEIL (reversed)
Clever observation according to Gay-Lussac, who is associated with pressure (4)
QUIP QUI (WHO in French) + P
University's ruling body collected number going in for degree (6)
SENATE SEDATE changing D (degree) for N (number)
Men who whistle at retired skiers get flowers in Val d'Isère (9)
SIFFLEURS FIS (Fédération Internationale de Ski ) (reversed) + FLEURS
What's bottled by fellow in Entre-Deux-Mers? (4)
WINE Hidden: & lit.
Sound effects in ventilation shaft (5)
WINZE Homophone
Where calendar girls met before appeal, getting stripped off for rag (4)
WIPE WI (ref. the film Calendar Girls) + PE (apPEal)
Warp factor to be determined shortly, commander (3)
ZAG Z (factor to be determined) + AG(a) (commander)

DOWN
Choirboy with a pair of spectacles makes such a wail, I cry (6)
BOOHOO Compound Anagram CHOIRBOY + OO (pair of spectacles) = BOOHOO + (I CRY)
Well flush in the past, piling up money from old Spain (5)
DUROS (the old 5 peseta coin) SO (well) + RUD (obs. FLUSH) (reversed)
Cloth no longer used in cooking your dumplings, primarily (5)
DUROY anagram YOUR + D(umplings)
Itching when driving North from the corner of Galloway (3)
EUK NEUK less N
A quarter boll or half firkin, that's a large amount (6)
FIRLOT (a quarter boll) FIR(kin) + LOT
40 loose fibres (4)
FLAX F (40) + LAX
I cheat by language (3)
IDO I + DO (cheat)
Immoral woman's introduction to jail (3)
JAY (letter J – first letter in JAIL)
This may be built up by rickety engine, when moving (13, two words)
KINETIC ENERGY Anagram RICKETY ENGINE: & lit.
Punch and Judy contracted to appear in drag (7, two words)
NAIL SET NET containing AILS(A)
This one could style both OAP and child, confusingly (7, two words)
OLD CHAP Anagram OPAP + CHILD: & lit.
Stimulant drug student leaving university's got in place? (7, two words)
PEP PILL PUPIL less U in PL (place)
Flat dough, essentially, among starters from Punjab or Madras? (7)
POPADUM PAD (flat) + U (doUgh) in P O M (initials); & lit.
Sweden's ill goalkeeper runs away shivering to have a good kip (13, four words)
SLEEP LIKE A LOG Anag S (Sweden) + ILL GOALKEEPER less R (runs)
The back of a leaf holding ordinary poetry (4)
VERS VERSO less O
Regeneration of wetland could find this open country annexed by National Trust (5)
WEALD Comp. Anag. WETLAND less NT
A rye whiskey could make you tired (5)
WEARY anag. A RYE + W (Whiskey)
I take in couple -- that's strange (5)
WEIRD I + R in WED (couple)