4007 Songspiel by Dysart

This week Dysart gave us a clearly advertised musical theme. Starting with the correct letter in 1 Down, alternate correct and misprinted letters in definitions spelt out THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’, the famous song written by Robert Allen Zimmerman, more familiarly known as Bob Dylan. Interpreted two ways, this gave the method for modifying grid entries. Where clashes occurred in the grid, the clashing letter T (which, as all solvers should know, is an abbreviation for “time”)  had to give way to the other letter. Additionally, four answers synonymous with “time” (SEASON, AVENIR, PORRIDGE and PERIOD) had to be jumbled before entry into the grid. Modified grid entries always made real words.

However, resolving clashing letters and jumbling four answers was not sufficient to complete the quota of modified answers given in the preamble. Therefore, remaining grid entries containing the letter T had to have this letter replaced by another, creating real words in the process, so that BOB DYLAN appeared in the top left corner of the grid. The hint here was “nominally”, pointing solvers in the direction of a name.

The six groups of people, which are mentioned in the second, third and fourth verses of the song, were writers, critics, senators, congressmen, mothers and fathers. These were represented in the grid by: writers = PENS (susPENSers), critics = SNIPERS, senators = ANZIANI, mothers = MAS (MASe) and fathers = PAS (el PASo). The missing group was therefore CONGRESSMEN, which had to be written below the grid.

Misprints, and modified grid entries, are indicated by [].

1 Clumsy person dropping second small cup? (3)
TOT [BOB] STOT (Clumsy person), less S (second)
Both Ts are replaced here to allow BOB to appear, though neither is a clashing letter in the original grid
6 Councillors bypassing outskirts of former German town, one beginning to industrialise (7)
ANZIANI DANZIG (German name for Gdansk, formerly under German control), less first and last letters (outskirts), + AN (one) + I (first letter of INDUSTRIALISE)
12 Mature English author previously arrested by State Department (7)
RIPENED E (English) preceded by PEN (author), all inside RI (Rhode Island, a US state) + D (Department)
13 Vocal East-ender's sexier having more bristles (6)
AWNIER Homophone of HORNIER (sexier), when pronounced as a Cockney might, without the leading H and a more or less silent R
The homophone here caused Gregson some difficulty
14 Summon assistant weeding borders for tycoon (7)
ONASSIS Hidden in summON ASSIStant
16 Rotten eggs might produce these as I'm cooking my supper's starter (6)
MIASMS Anagram of AS I’M, + M’ (my) + S (first letter of SUPPER)
17 Companions united for acting becoming actors with nothing to say (5)
MUTES [MUSES] MATES (Companions) with U (united) for A (acting)
19 Ruler shortly before going nuts (4)
MAST [MASE] MASTER (Ruler) less ER(E) (ie “before”, minus last letter)
20 Having no means of support, without housing for example and close to suicidal (7)
LEGLESS LESS (without) containing EG (for example) and L (last letter of SUICIDAL)
21 Ruffian spending time in choppy Med, getting soaked (7)
EMBRUED BRU(T)E ie Ruffian, less T (time) inside anagram of MED
23 Queen is informed about crafty destroyer (5)
Q-SHIP Q (Queen) + ‘S (is) + HIP (informed about)
26 Old writer grips us with this! (9)
SUSPENSER SPENSER (Old writer) containing US
29 Young ox and tailless steer no longer on back of truck (5)
STIRK [SMIRK] STIR(E) (old word for “steer”, less last letter) + K (last letter of TRUCK)
31 Duke in queen's embrace - queen is increasingly lustful (7)
RANDIER D (Duke) inside RANI (queen) + ER (queen)
34 Doctor takes alcohol before beginning to inspect inner parts of sensory organs (7)
MODIOLI MO (Doctor) + DIOL (alcohol) + I (first letter of INSPECT)
35 Former citizen of Germany is, in due course, going back (4)
OSSI IS + SO (in due course), all reversed
37 Very little like an adolescent? (5)
TEENY [WEENY] Two meanings, the second being a nonce word derived from teen = teenager, hence the question mark
38 Declining baron yields to pressure twice in market town (6)
EPPING EBBING (Declining) with B (baron) replaced by P (pressure), twice
40 Dynamic gearing - it gives more power to handle a Mustang for instance (7)
41 Fall in Wall St, perhaps, stokes debate after capital loss (6)
SEASON [NAOSES] S (stokes) + (R)EASON ie debate, less frst letter
42 English bank pursuing deal? - this might warm things up (7)
FIRE-BAR E (English) + BAR (bank, see bar(1) in Chambers), all after FIR (deal)
43 Contract school must accept even when cut back (7)
DEVELOP POD (school) , containing LEVE(L) ie even, minus last letter, all reversed
44 Rum officer primarily gave as a gift (3)
ODD O (First letter of officer) + DD (gave as a gift)

1 People smooching [smoothing] in the river plunge without reaching the bottom (8)
TRIMMERS [BRIMMERS] T’ (the) + R (river) + IMMERS(E) ie “plunge”, less last letter (bottommost in the Down sense)
2 Cut fuel, raise money for relief - these might distort the graphs [grapes] (5)
OIDIA OI(L) ie “fuel”, less last letter, + AID (money for relief), reversed
3 Lass [Less] relaxed to catch up on first half of lecture (6)
TENSER [DENSER] NET (to catch), reversed) + SER (first half of SERMON ie lecture)
4 Tame [Game] birds in Edmund's company flying up over vehicle (7)
YNAMBUS MANY (Spenserian word for retinue ie “company”) + BUS (vehicle), reversed
5 Notes support one setting [sitting] SAT? (6)
TESTEE [LESSEE] TES (notes) + TEE (support)
One T being replaced as a clashing letter, the other being a residual T in the grid, changed to allow DYLAN to appear
7 Mime [Time] from now on when prematurely closed airway stops voice (6)
AVENIR [NAIVER] VEN(T) ie “airway”, less last letter, inside AIR (voice)
8 Unstimulating to fat [eat] one, unless running ... (7)
INSULSE I (one) + anagram of UNLESS
9 ... topless bar providing sex [vex] (3)
AIL RAIL (bar), less first letter
10 Knight and Prince leaving premises in a shambles for unbearable (unbeatable) rival (7)
NEMESIS N (Knight) + anagram of PREMISES, less PR (Prince)
11 Hery [Very] saint keeping king going heavenwards (4)
TRES [IRES] ST (Saint) containing ER (Edwardus Rex ie King), all reversed
15 Walking with a real [reel] fur's not right in Hertfordshire town (9)
TOTTERING [SOLDERING] OTTE(R) (fur, less R ie right) in TRING (Hertfordshire town)
18 The man's up before most of American team, being nosy [nosh] before dawn (5)
SEHRI HE’S (The man’s) reversed, + RI(G) (American word for “team”, less last letter)
22 Wait to receive shilling for lending [leading] part of record? No, the reverse (5)
B-SIDE BIDE (Wait) containing S (shilling)
24 Crest found under short harbour rail [jail] (8)
PORRIDGE [PERIGORD] RIDGE (Crest) after POR(T) ie “harbour”, less last letter
25 A president going up in more basic forms of lift [life] (7)
AMOEBAE A + EBA (ie ABE, Abraham Lincoln reversed) inside MOE (more)
27 Blue's essentially popular in showy plant related to pea [pee] (7)
URINOSE U (Middle letter of BLUE’S) + IN inside ROSE (showy plant)
28 People shooting from Rover [cover] briefly cut through square (7)
SNIPERS SNI(P) ie cut, less last letter + PER (through) + S (square)
30 Rock group holding dance in American city (aka "The Hun [Gun] City") (6, two words)
EL PASO ELO (Electric Light Orchestra, a rock group) containing PAS (dance)
32 State's adopting the Italian name for dome [dame](6)
AVERIL AVER (State) + IL (Italian word for “the”)
33 Tern [Term] died after a cry (of grief possibly) (6)
PERIOD [DOPIER] PER (A, as in eg tuppence a bag / tuppence per bag)
36 Live [Give] benefit to state importing marijuana (5)
STEAD [SNEAD] SD (South Dakota, a US state) containing TEA (marijuana)
37 Lick [Lack] of whiskey on top of tequila (4)
WANT [WAND] W (whiskey) + AN (on) + T (first letter of TEQUILA)
39 Run to seed [seen] (3)
GOT [ GOV] GO (Run) + T’ (to)