4063 Resident by Hotspur

Appearing for the second time this year, after a number of years absence in the Listener series, was Hotspur, one of the few setters based outside the UK. A largish grid and an above average number of clues made this a tough challenge, but we were rewarded with the discovery of a rather interesting anagram.

The correct letters in clues spelt out the following rhyming couplet:

Located on the farther side
Where trains with other trains collide

which is a quasi-cryptic clue to TRANSNISTRIA (an anagram of TRAINS + TRAINS), which could be seen using one set of clashing lettters on the main diagonal. The other set of clashing letters spelt out OVER THE RIVER, which was to be written below the grid. The river in question is the Dniester, (an anagram of Resident), which gives the “nistria” element in the name of the region between UKRAINE and MOLDOVA, which also appeared diagonally in the grid and had to be highlighted.

Gregson was curious to know if the rhyming couplet came from a larger work, but could not find any reference to the lines, and so wondered if Hotspur created them for the occasion.

Across
1 Hollers head off boring toons [tooLs] (4)
AWLS [B]AWLS ie Hollers, less first letter
4 Homaloid confused with centre of hybrid, if [Of] squarish shape? (10)
RHOMBOIDAL Anagram of HOMALOID + BR (middle letters of HYBRID)
12 Yorick's regularly sad [Cad] (3)
OIK Alternate letters in yOrIcK
14 It's tall and yields resin from chip [chAp] in cross (6)
TAMANU MAN (chap) in TAU (cross)
15 Make [maTe] raise - or rate maize? (9)
MARROWSKY MARROW (Mate) + SKY (raise)
“rate maize” being a Spoonerism of the first part of the clue
16 Nicks [nEcks] tip of tendon in foot (4)
PETS T (first letter of TENDON) in PES (foot)
17 Give now [noD], a local victory coming after introduction of army (5)
AGREE GREE (dialect word for “victory”) after A (first letter of ARMY)
18 Scott's organization of fort [foOt] retracted allowance in Austria (6)
TERTIA TRET (allowance) reversed, + I (in) + A (Austria)
19 Addendum from Vatican text [Next] (5)
ANNEX Hidden in VaticAN NEXt
20 Lax [Tax] officials in US leaving landing-ground in an erect attitude (5)
ATRIP IRS (Tax officials in US) removed from AIRSTRIP (landing-ground)
22 Doughboy, turned back among taunts [Haunts], lowers himself (6)
DEIGNS GI (Doughboy), reversed, inside DENS (haunts)
25 Once grotesque, Charlie escapes - he may be a fox [foE] (4)
ANTI ANTIC (Old word for “grotesque”) less C (Charlie)
28 Not a lake [Fake] Dürer partially represented (4)
ECHT Half of ALBRECHT ie Dürer
30 After time for a fest [fAst], I composed adagios, perhaps (5)
LENTI LENT (ime for a fast) + I
31 Not somebody taking fun [Run] from a quickie? (5)
NOONE NOONER (quickie) less R (run)
32 In Aberdeen, shay [stay] is found in street (4)
SIST IS in ST (street)
33 Back muscle's not [Hot] ... something thin and rod-shaped? (4)
LATH LAT (Back muscle) + H (hot)
34 Steers damaged Irving's [IrvinE’s] fencings (6)
RESETS Anagram of STEERS
Irvine indicating a Scottish use
35 Numbed [NumbeR] in game of bones, duke got one's measure (5)
SIZED SIZE (number in game of bones) + D (Duke)
36 Less congenial grocer flips [Slips] the centre of his cap (5)
ICIER  EPICIER (grocer) less EP (middle letters of KEPI ie French word for “cap”)
41 Tangled nooses [noIses] presented as plea of explanation (6)
ESSOIN Anagram of NOISES
44 Data [DaDa] representation was his forte, of note in the heart of bolder styles (5)
ERNST N (Note) in ERST (missle letters of boldER STyles)
45 Earth in statues of the dyad [dEad] depicting zygodactyl creatures (4)
KEAS E (Earth) in KAS (statues of the dead)
47 Charles and Louis, say, entertained by bard [Ward] who believes in souls' mortality (9)
AVERROIST ROIS (Charles and Louis, say ie French Kings) in AVERT (ward)
Chambers has ward = “ward off”
48 Remove high sloes [sHoes] from tree in one part of the Bible (6)
UNBOOT BO (tree) in UN (one) + OT (Old Testament, ie part of the Bible)
49 When indoors, the wife is right chasing the malt [malE] (3)
HER R (right) after HE (male)
50 Like boy with pies [pieR], left making sounds like "need" and "feel" (10)
ASSONANTAL AS SON (boy) + ANTA (pier) + L (left)
51 Boss [BEss] leaving Welsh town for forensic test (4)
 ESDA BETH (Bess) removed from BETHESDA (Welsh town)
Down
1 Egyptian hoofer feasts, consuming new scones [sTones] (10)
ALMANDINES ALMA (Egyptian hoofer) + DINES (eats) containing N (new)
2 Mrs Brown in an affaire d'amour is a past [paRt] number (9)
LIVRAISON VR (Mrs Brown) inside LIAISON (affaire d’amour)
Mrs Brown being a nickname for Queen Victoria
3 Danish brass in convalescent home fire [fAre] (5)
SKRAN KR (Danish brass ie money) inside SAN (convalescent home)
5 Strix minor's wife in band [bInd] with tenor (6)
HOWLET  W (wife) in HOLE (bind) + T (tenor)
6 Unrest [UnreNt]? Judge is removed from clash of lancers (4)
OUST  J (Judge) removed from JOUST (clash of lancers)
7 Stirrers tweaked beak in chest [chesS] closures (9)
MAKEBATES  AKEB (anagram of BEAK) inside MATES (chess closures)
8 Here grain is rid of net [Wet] odour and smells tangier, to begin with (4)
OAST First letters of Odour And Smells Tangier
9 Second portion of ice-cream makes dosh [dIsh] for Mac (3)
DAE Second half of SUNDAE (ice-cream)
10 Like some suckers, less competent batsmen getting sent back in near [neaT] upset (8)
ANTLIATE TAIL (less competent batsmen) reversed, inside ANTE (anagram of NEAT)
11 Oz mophead [Hophead] starting topless (4)
LUSH FLUSH (starting, see flush[4]) less first letter
12 Murals [MOrals] reflected in Billingsgate (4)
TAGS Hidden, reversed, in BillinSGATe
13 Cart [Tart] no longer has suitable role for gardener (4)
HOER HOOKER (Tart) less OK (suitable)
14 Tsars kill [Hill] residents in pursuit of war god (7)
TYRANTS ANTS (Hill residents) after TYR (war god)
16 Those feeling sorrow object being taken in by old Pater [PEter] (7)
PITIERS IT (object) in PIERS (old Peter)
21 Variety of spunge [spuRge], it is possibly confused with saponite (10)
POINSETTIA Anagram of IT + SAPONITE
23 Unarmed, if now [noT] following centre of fight (7)
GUNLESS UNLESS (if not) after G (middle letter of fiGht)
24 Violent Huns went [Rent] without absolution (9)
UNSHRIVEN UNSH (anagram of HUNS) + RIVEN (rent)
26 They may be found in quids [quAds], between joints, we hear (9)
INTERNEES INTER (between) + NEES (homophone of KNEES ie joints)
27 Unit's accepting chess pieces (great pawns [paIns]) (8)
MOLIMENS MOL (Unit) + IS (‘s) containing MEN (chess pieces)
29 Deck [Neck] wear after a time in court? It's designed for calm waters (7)
CATBOAT BOA (Neck wear) after A + T (time), all inside CT (court)
34 Maps [MaSs] of lava showing return of top potassium-free stones (6)
SCORIA AI (A1 ie top) + ROCKS (stones) less K (potassium), all reversed
37 Stray [SCray] spell, reportedly (4)
TERN TURN (spell) homophone
38 Previous day embodies my cry of someone well-riled [well-Oiled] (5)
EVOHE EVE (Previous day) containing OH (my, interjection)
39 Taxi [TaLi], perhaps, a foot short of ditch (4)
OSSA FOSSA (ditch) less F (foot)
40 Predatory creature's posh, appearing in kilts [Lilts] from Kingston (4)
SKUA U (posh ie upper class) in SKA (lilts from Kingston [Jamaica])
42 Sage disposes of lecturer in a short tome [tIme] (4)
SOON SOLON (Sage) less L (lecturer)
43 Snow [SnoD] from peak of Aconcagua in clear surroundings (4)
NEAT A (first letter of Aconcagua) in NET (clear
46 Shaman's [SEaman’s] display of obliques? (3)
ABS AB’S (Seaman’s)
Oblique being a kind of muscle, although difficult to verify in Chambers