Question by Aedites


Gregson found this a difficult puzzle to finish. The 26 letters of the alphabet were allocated to five groups containing C, D, E, F and G respectively. This meant that every clue had to be solved with little help from checked letters. It was fairly easy to discover that the groups were CHIJM, DAS, EBPX, FKNRTUZ and GLOQVWY. The five letters represented bells in English bell-ringing and the changes were to be discovered in two columns in the grid. To complete the grid solvers had to decode a definition given in 1dn/7dn/12dn (4,8,4,1,5,3,5). The phrase that fits the code is TALL BUILDING WITH A TOWER AND BELLS. The question, to be written below the grid is ‘What is a CHURCH?’ The definition is a quotation from George Crabbe.

Across
1 Colouring element reversed for example (5)
TINGE TIN + EG (reversed)
5 Hospital limb injury (4)
HARM H (hospital) + ARM
8 Hooked instrument left inside fruit (6)
GRAPLE L in GRAPE
13 Accepted embarrassment with Society backing snake-bite antidote (6)
SENEGA A (accepted) + GENE + S (all reversed)
16 Oblong coin masked by iroko banisters (5)
KOBAN Hidden
17 Sailor bird (4)
WREN 2 definitions
18 Foolish dull fellow takes iodine (5)
DOILT I (iodine) in DOLT
19 Brief strap to hold party cloaks (6)
JELABS LAB (Labour party) in JES(s)
20 Heat drug inside vat (5)
BEATH E in BATH
21 Male in Afro-American rustic dance left a thin crisp cake (6)
JUMBAL M Imale) in JUBA + L (left)
23 Old prayer for an early English monk (4)
BEDE 2 definitions
24 Scratch about light weight resin in Perth (5)
ROZIT OZ (ounce) in RIT
26 Girl a lecturer guided in the wrong direction (5)
DELLA A + L (lecturer) + LED reversed
28 Outdated field of study with reference to advanced state (5)
REAME RE + A (advanced) + ME
31 Feel head to tail for anything! (5)
OUCHT TOUCH first letter last
33 Instrument for blokes in rhythmic parts (4)
OBOE alternate letters fOr BlOkEs
34 More than one owner talks nonsense (6)
HAVERS 2 definitions
36 Regulations multiply in manuscript volume! (5)
CODEX CODE + X (multiply)
37 I groan about the wild herb (6)
ORIGAN Anagram I GROAN
38 Send hot food to west Scottish town (5)
BURGH H (hot) + GRUB all reversed
39 Dance round (4)
BALL 2 definitions
40 Socks pinching in lift once (5)
HOISE I (in) in HOSE
41 Excitable Irish assembly takes that once back (6)
FEISTY FEIS + YT reversed
42 Hindu festival street theorist on universal systems (6)
HOLIST HOLI + ST
43 Bar to sift through cloth (4)
BOLT 2 definitions
44 Governor offering tea after settlement (5)
PACHA PA (settlement) + CHA (tea)
 
Down
1 See preamble
2 Shameless woman backs bay in extreme cold (7)
JEZEBEL BEZ reversed in JEEL
3 Talk about, but not commit to memory, the sonnet? (5)
VERSE CONVERSE less CON
4 Designed sixty walks planted with trees (5)
XYSTS Anagram SIXTY
5 Erring male misled shirker (10)
MALINGERER Anagram ERRING MALE
6 Military stores endless wealth (4)
AMMO (m)AMMO(n)
7 See preamble
8 Sensitive letter signals the Mayflower (10)
QUICKTHORN QUICK (sensitive) + THORN (letter)
9 Flies collections of aircraft, taking no time (5)
FLEES FLEETS less T (time)
10 They offer a home? (5)
ABODE A’ (they) + BODE (offer)
11 False god is mundane, lacking heart (4)
BAAL BA(n)AL
12 See preamble
14 Light refreshments about ten for the upper structure in a river steamer (5)
TEXAS X (ten) in TEAS
15 Temporary structure with church chest (5)
HUTCH HUT + CH (church)
22 Plough breaking up marl, initially for cashew tree (7)
HOGPLUM Anagram PLOUGH + M(arl)
25 Wild animal decapitates scoundrel (5)
OTTER (r)OTTER
27 Nettles, perhaps, a short distance in front of empty dwellings (5)
WEEDS WEE + D(welling)S
29 Secret forces soldier into short coat (5)
MAGIC GI (soldier) in MAC
30 A Bollandist regularly provides book samples (5)
BLADS alternate letters BoLlAnDiSt
32 A bit of soap to clean a swath? (5)
SWIPE S(oap) + WIPE
33 Stone destroys pails (5)
LAPIS Anagram PAILS
34 Chinese dog food (4)
CHOW 3 definitions
35 Formerly trust the Northern Line (4)
TROW T’ + ROW