4019 Au Contraire by Sabre

This week Sabre gave us a puzzle which was well up to the standard we have come to expect from him, and which turned out to be somewhat surreal. Answers had to be entered cyclically in the rows and columns, with clashes occurring once per row. The clashes in the grid could be arranged to spell out CECI N’EST PAS UN MOTS-CROISES (French for “This is not a crossword”). The explanation for this apparently contradictory statement was found in the central column. This spelt out RENE MAGRITTE, the surrealist whose works include the famous Ceci n'est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe), which was not, of course, a pipe, but a painting of a pipe. Some devious but fair clues made this a tricky but enjoyable puzzle.

1 No limits to bluish-green eggs
OVA LOVAT (bluish-green), less first and last letters
1 More than one rodent suffers in trap
SPRINGHASE HAS (suffers) inside SPRINGE (trap)
2 Ring a long time back
ARENA AN ERA (a long time), all reversed
2 Reds sure kiss wildly
3 Starts to see the areola in sun spots
STAINS STA (first letters of See The Areola) + IN + S (sun)
3 Leave without conclusion of our accord
CONGREE CONGEE (Leave), containing R (last letter of OUR)
4 What's lacking in Berkshire
WANTAGE Two meanings, with the whole clue doing double duty
One meaning is a US word for “What’s lacking”, as may be used in Berkshire County, Massachusetts (or any of the other US places of a similar name). The other meaning is the UK town, historically in Berkshire, but now in Oxfordshire
4 Ship across most of oil
TRADER TRA- (across) + DER(V) (ie oil, less last letter)
5 Emergency aid left chemical spray in patient (two words)
CALL ALARM L (left) + ALAR (chemical spray), inside CALM (patient)
5 Call old Henry when Nancy's hot?
HETE H (Henry) inside ETE (French word for summer)
Nancy being a city in France
6 Projections on palace the French removed
OVERSAILS O’ (on) + VERSAIL(LE)S (ie palace, less French word for “the”)
6 Brief codicil is fully positive
SUPP ‘S (is) + UP (fully) + P (positive)
7 Guessing princess is away processing peas
VINING DIVINING (Guessing), less DI (princess)
7 West perhaps leads spades indicating three top ranks
MAESTRI MAE (West, perhaps) + S (spades) + TRI- (indicating three)
Mae West
8 Crazy female student follows lecturer round
LOCOED COED (female student), following L (lecturer) + O (round)
8 Advanced in time of anger possibly (two words)
9 African rhino will weigh pounds
LWEI Hidden in wilL WEIgh
9 Joke, one dry in devastation
WISECRACK I (one) + SEC (dry), all inside WRACK (devastation)
10 Wingless insects are strange flies
10 John loses what's literally the last food
KAI KAZI (John ie a lavatory), less Z (last letter of the alphabet)
11 Legless canine - heads of amputating idiots partly broken
PARALYTIC Anagram of C (canine) + A I (first letters of amputating idiots) + PARTLY
11 A lot of fish whirled in your dreams (two words)
AS IF A + FIS(H) reversed
12 Carl transposing dry musical settings
MISERERES MISER (Carl) + SERE (dry), reversed
12 Augusta's lip is, like, square
SASS ‘S (is) + AS (like) + S (square)
1 Attach hammer to a rucksack
PICKAPACK PICK (hammer) + A + PACK (rucksack)
1 A wife left one that's boring
AWL A + W (wife) + L (left)
2 Mouldings of heraldic wings lead to inspiration
OVOLI O (of) + VOL (heraldic wings) + I (first letter of INSPIRATION)
2 Retiring from a society in Alabama
ASOCIAL A + SOC (society) + I’ (in) + AL (Alabama)
3 Instrument putting drug in vein
VEENA E (drug) inside VENA (vein)
3 Take in six sheep inspectors
VIEWERS R (Take) inside VI (six) + EWES (sheep)
4 Gather before noon when close to Christmas
AMASS AM (before noon) + AS (when) + S (last letter of CHRISTMAS)
4 Fine son who has advanced
SLENDER S (son) + LENDER (who has advanced)
5 Girl from Deal is agitated
LISA Hidden in DeaL IS Agitated
5 Fruit form to the south of island
CAPRI-FIG FIG (form) following CAPRI (island)
“to the south of” indicating “follosing”, in the Down sense
6 Child has trail mix getting upset
SPROG ‘S (has) + GORP (trail mix), reversed)
6 Unwary airman's first scrambled flight
RUNAWAY Anagram of UNWARY + A (first letter of AIRMAN)
7 Cleaning fluid, rarely pleasant when upset
ENEMA AMENE (rare word for “pleasant”)
7 German nobleman who makes road safe
GRITTER G (German) + RITTER (nobleman)
8 Publication's free gift unopened
AIRING FAIRING (free gift, see free(2)), less first letter
8 Slim jacket for Giles gives problems
THINGS THIN (Slim) + GS (first and last letters of GILES)
9 Teen-arresting cops close once
NARRE Hidden in TeeN-ARREsting
9 Concealment of lagging around enclosure
LATENCE LATE (lagging), containing ENC (enclosure)
10 Degree course causes disharmony, you hear
GREATS Homophone GRATES (causes disharmony)
10 It was dry up north - see a rocky river
ENSEAR Anagram of N (north) + SEE + A, followed by R (river)
11 Like Petra's bizarre red house
Petra being known as the Rose-red city, as Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable confirms
11 Being penniless, Edmund's confined
ESSE Hidden in pennilESS Edmund
12 Copper salt destroyed special sword
CUTLASS CU (Copper) + anagram of SALT + S (special)
12 Old lock has one letter inverted
SASSE ‘S (has) + A (one) + ESS (letter, reversed)
13 Band parties without hint of tiredness
FESS FESTS (parties), less T (first letter of TIREDNESS)
13 Follow path outside for stone with fine grain
TRAPROCK PRO TRACK (Follow path) containing PRO (for)