3980: Closed Doors by The Tall'n

This week The Tall’n returned with a puzzle which was towards the easier end of the Listener range. Across clues each contained an extra word, and a number of clashing cells were present in the grid. Gregson suspects that most solvers will not have had too much difficulty when completing the grid, but nevertheless this was an enjoyable puzzle.

The initial letters of the extra words clues spelled out WE HAVE SHUFFLED OFF THIS MORTAL, the missing word being COIL. This quotation comes from one of the most famous monologues in drama, namely Hamlet’s Soliloquy, revealing a Shakespearian theme.

Noting the position of the clashing letters, and tracing out a spiral path in the grid, allowed the following to be spelled out: THE MERCHANT OF VENICE CORIOLANUS HAMLET TITUS AND_ONI_U_ . Completing the title of the fourth play left the letters RSC in the barred off cells, which provided a fine finish. CORIOLANUS was to be highlighted, this being the last play performed before the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon closed its doors for refurbishment.

Extra words are indicated by [].

ACROSS
3 Where to eat the [wonderful] dessert, reflecting ... (5)
TRATT T (The) + TART (dessert), all reversed
8 ... rural [England's] fare, with no cooking! (6)
FORANE Anagram of FARE + NO
14 A girl [hates] to sing a hymn (5)
CAROL Two meanings
15 Removing odd bits of soil, [archaeologist] spies ancient jug (4)
OLPE sOiL sPiEs (odd letters removed)
16 [Villain's] about to give up in alarm, perhaps (5)
TIMER REMIT (to give up), reversed
17 Do [emirs] in harem fancy big awkward girl? (7)
MAUTHER UT (do) inside anagram of HAREM
18 Revolutionary Angolan union lacks time for [studying] language (4)
AINU UNITA (Revolutionary Angolan union), less T, reversed
19 Special greeting's needed for a [heroic] performance! (4)
SHOW S (Special) + HOW (greeting)
20 [Unusual] stories getting Jock's happiness back (4)
LIES SEIL (Scottish word for happiness)
21 After [first] legal action's lost I support Hindu ritual (6)
SUTTEE SUIT (Legal action), less I, + TEE (support)
23 English author [forgets] French friends (4)
AMIS Two meanings
24 Fashionable clique [loves] something in pages of a magazine (5)
INSET IN (Fashionable) + SET (clique)
25 Lock [expertly], and anxiety doesn't begin (5)
TRESS (S)TRESS (Anxiety, minus first letter)
27 Dorset supply [data] put in computer memory (6)
STORED Anagram of DORSET (ie, in a supple manner)
28 Heartlessly I mutter terrible [obscenities] again (6)
ITERUM Anagram of I MU(T)TER, minus centre letter
31 Works steadily with [flighty] ballet movements (5)
PLIES Two meanings
36 Lean forward to wipe out [faults] in tape (5)
INCLE INCLINE (Lean forward), minus IN
38 A luminous glow was [thought] unreal if regularly dispersed (4)
AURA Every second letter in wAs UnReAl
40 [Haunting] tune's composed about a white ant (6)
NASUTE Anagram of TUNE’S, containing A
42 Greek department you lead [intrepidly], yes? Triply wrong (4)
NOME NO + ME
Here, “Triply wrong” seems to invite the solver to substitute “opposites” three times, making the wordplay part of the clue read something like “me follow no”
44 More than one fight's reported, [sadly] (4)
DUAL DUEL (fight) hompohone
46 A [month's] delay put back festivity (4)
GALA A + LAG (delay), all reversed
47 Match umpire's upset after girl's pronounced [offside] (7)
LUCIFER REF (umpire), reversed, after homophone of LUCY
Gregson was not convinced that the first two syllables of LUCIFER form an accurate homophone of LUCY, though the required answer was clear enough
48 See [rogue] grabbing Scotsman's climbing plant (5)
LIANA LA (See) containing IAN (Scotsman)
49&51 I at no time have [trusted] quote about realism in films (10, two words)
CINE VERITE I NEVER (at no time), inside CITE (quote)
A neat trick here from The Tall’n, combining two entries into one clue, thereby adjusting the number of Across clues to match the number of letters in the [incomplete] quotation, without abandoning symmetry
50 [Ascot] races -- John welcomes this chance to get rich! (5)
LOTTO TT (races) inside LOO (John)
52 Female flier also [leads] endless dances (5)
REELS REE (Female bird ie flier)  + (A)LS(O)

DOWN
1 Ascetics, ignoring cold, ordered abnormal stretching (7)
ECTASIS Anagram of ASCETICS, less C (cold)
2 Bond's taken in breath, enduring pain calmly (7)
PATIENT TIE (Bond) inside PANT (breath)
3 More than double ovation finally in hearing ... (6)
TRINAL N (last letter of OVATION) inside TRIAL (hearing)
4 ... music from Gypsy Love (4)
ROMO ROM (Gypsy) + O (love)
5 While swallowing the French drinks ... (4)
ALES AS (While) containing LE (French word for “the”)
6 ... Will's old woman introduces amateur card game (5)
TAROT TROT (Shakespearian word for an old woman) containing A (amateur)
7 Fruit invaded by frost extremely ... (6)
TOMATO MAT (frost) inside (ie invading) TOO (extremely)
8 … unsatisfactory, put in basket for a priest (6)
FLAMEN LAME (unsatisfactory) for A in FAN (basket)
9 "Superfine" -- expression of admiration about piece of music (4)
OPUS SUP (Superfine) + O (expression of admiration), all reversed
10 Networks give comeback to broadcast about film (5)
RETIA RIA (AIR ie broadcast, reversed), containing ET (film)
11 Goddess immediately appears in one Scottish ... (6)
ATHENE THEN (immediately) inside AE (Scottish word for “one”)
12 ... drama with American girl swallowing drug for intellectual perception (6)
NOESIS NO (Drama) + SIS (American girl), containing E (drug)
13 Newspapers say replacing priest's going ... (6)
EGRESS PRESS (Newspapers), with EG (say) for P (priest)
21 ... to appear almost right, to be accepted in a series of communities (4)
SERE SEE(M) (to appear, less last letter) containing R (right)
22 Aussie trucks briefly with native Americans (4)
UTES Two meanings
25 From pasta I take a small portion for Ian (4)
TAIT Hidden in pasTA I Take
26 Wife's gone in to revive Frenchman (4)
RENE RENEW (to revive), less W (Wife)
29 Impressive person retired with worried screech (7)
ULULATE LULU (Impressive person) + ATE (worried)
30 Mature maiden erected incomplete guttering for hall (7)
MEGARON AGE (Mature) + M (maiden), all reversed, + RON(E) (guttering, less last letter)
31 Someone important turned up, retaining Oval ground for one Russian physiologist (6)
PAVLOV PIV (VIP ie someone important, reversed), with AVLO (anagram of OVAL) for I
32 Fool with rubber erases Kelvin Crescent (6)
LUNULE LUNK (Fool) + ULE (rubber), less K (Kelvin)
33 It strengthens Britain to accept competition (6)
BRACER BR (Britain) containing RACE (competition)
34 Language group study's restricted by Ian's refusal (6)
NADENE DEN (study) inside NAE (Scottish word for “no” ie refusal)
35 Moneylender's safe in old city (6)
USURER SURE (safe) inside UR (old city)
37 Puckers besetting tailor's first garments (6)
SHIRTS SHIRS (Puckers) containing T (first letter of TAILOR)
39 Chemical company supporting American's Latin friends (5)
AMICI ICI (Chemical company) below ie supporting AM (American)
41 Harmonise old piece of music for soothing remedy (5)
SALVE Three meanings
43 Earl's to install Identikit on screen (4)
EFIT E (Earl) + FIT (to install)
45 Imprisonment for fellow in lodge (4)
LIFE F (Fellow) inside LIE (lodge)
46 Without justice non-gypsy left prison (4)
GAOL GA(J)O (non-gypsy), less J (justice) + L (left)