No. 4106, A Change of Clothing by Elgin

This week Elgin gave us a pleasant puzzle with a familiar theme. Answers to four clues did not fit the intersecting answers, and these were GOUDA, STILTON, EMMENTAL and LIMBURG. Three of these had to be replaced by JOKER, PENGUIN and RIDDLER, a trio instantly recognisable to fans of Bruce Wayne. The first letters of the unused answers could be arranged to spell LEGS, which we were told would help to identify an item of clothing. This item of clothing turned out to be TROUSERS. Inserting TROUSERS in the space which would have been occupied by EMMENTAL  produced the expected crime-fighters BATMAN and ROBIN, and gave us new words in the other intersecting Across answers ... except for the plausible-looking DENSALS, which turned out to be a cleverly-laid trap.

In fact, Elgin had not taken us to Gotham City, but to somewhere rather closer to home for most solvers, the town of Wigan in northern England. After jumbling TROUSERS to produce ROUSTERS, GROMIT appeared diagonally, to complement WALLACE found elsewhere in the grid. ROUSTERS is of course “wrong” TROUSERS, which comes from the title of one of Nick Park’s films. This explained why the unused answers were all cheeses, Wallace being a cheese afficionado. The villain to be highlighted was therefore PENGUIN, as all followers of Wallace and Gromit know.

Final grid entries are indicated with []

1 Clydeside equipment putting right a wrong (6)
6 Marine succeeded on time (6)
SEASON SEA (Marine) + S (succeeded) + ON
11 What can be applied to church at any time (4)
ONCE ON (applied to) + CE (church [of England])
12 One who can certify documents lacking name and seal (5)
OTARY NOTARY (One who can certify documents), less N (note)
13 Go Dutch around about here (5)
GOUDA [JOKER] GO + DU (Dutch), reversed, + A
14 Leading character leaves her home for man who’s serious (6)
ERNEST ER (HER less first letter) + NEST (home)
15 In control of gold coins in pile (7)
ROULEAU RULE (control) containing O’ (of) + AU (gold)
16 Area and it includes India (4)
ASIA A (Area) + SA (it) containing I (India) &lit
18 Replacement for the son in the beginning (4)
SETH ETH (anagram of THE) after S (son), &lit
19 Prohibition hasn’t finished and one of the feds is after racketeer’s accomplice (6)
BAGMAN [BARMAN] BAN (Prohibition), less last letter + G-MAN (one of the feds)
21 Copy one suit for another and swap (5)
TRADE TRACE (Copy), with D (diamonds) for C (clubs)
22 Acting company is not to use make-up again (7)
REPAINT [REPOINT] REP (Acting company) + AINT (is not)
23 Inhabitant takes charge in English village (7)
STILTON [ PENGUIN] SON (Inhabitant) containing TILT (charge)
25 Doctor of the law becoming heartless new leader of Israel (5)
RABIN [RUBIN] RABBI (Doctor of the law), less middle letter, + N (new)
27 Minister returns daughter to woman (6)
ATTEND D (daughter) + NETTA (woman), all reversed
28 What’s good for day in wet? (4)
GAMP [GASP] G (Good) for D (day) in DAMP (wet), &lit
30 Cheated one out of a substantial figure (4)
SOLD SOLID (a substantial figure), less I (one)
32 Spread lies and rejections (7)
33 Couple that start engagement with the greatest possible ring with lots of stones? (6)
ENWALL EN (First two letters of ENgagement) + W (with) + ALL (the greatest possible)
34 Eliminates odd numbers (5)
CURES [CERES] o meanings
35 Plumber could make return before November (5)
TRUER Anagram of RETUR, with N (November) makes RETURN
36 They spot eggs — 250 in fact (4)
EYES [ERES] (250) + YES (in fact)
“eyes” being spots on eggs, so they spot (ie make spots on) eggs
37 Newsman’s piece of reporting about motor vehicle appearing on the front (6)
REUTER R (first letter of REPORTING), after RE (about) + UTE (motor vehicle)
38 No longer remove wild lions after closure of reserve (6)
ESLOIN [ESSOIN] SLOIN (anagram of LIONS) after E (last letter of RESERVE)

1 Incite and stir up a Pakistani community (6)
GUJRAT TAR (incite) + JUG (stir ie prison), all reversed
2 It helps to shift large animals before market’s over (5)
ANKUS AN (before) + SUK (market), reversed
3 Noisily I travel across snow feature of Arctic shores (8)
4 Smooth, cylindrical see-saw with end rising above its central bearing (6)
TERETE TEETER (see-saw), with last letter (R) moved above central E (ie East, a bearing)
5 Music, like Beethoven’s ninth, not extremely hard (5)
HORAH CHORAL (Beethoven’s ninth), less first and last letters, + H (hard)
6 German soldier in America is seen — but not properly (7)
Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a German soldier who took part in the American War of Independence
7 Tip for The Listener is almost ready apparently (6)
EARLAP EARLY (ready), less last lettter, + AP (apparently)
8 “Beast of Bengal” knocks out “Heart of Steel” in stadium (4)
ARNA ARENA (stadium) less E (middle letter of STEEL)
9 Promoted very good Welsh woman in charge of dodgy translations from Gaelic (8)
OSSIANIC SO (very good), reversed, + SIAN (Welsh woman) + I/C (in charge)
10 Floating point arithmetic’s beginning to function over Internet at last (6)
NATANT N (North ie a compass point) + A (first letter of ARITHMETIC) + AN (function) + T (last letter of INTERNET)
17 Material that’s been printed about nationalist in Mediterranean area (8)
CRETONNE ON (about) + N (nationalist), all inside CRETE (Mediterranean area)
20 Pieces found among twisted metal in European valley (8)
EMMENTAL [ROUSTERS] MEN (Pieces) inside EMTAL (anagram of MTAL)
22 Luxembourg’s one megabyte drive missing electronic Belgian part (7)
LIMBURG L (Luxembourg) + I (one) + MB (megabyte) + URGE (drive) less E (electronic)
23 To go on foot in America appears strange — but it saves one parking (6)
PASEAR Anagram of APPEARS, less P (parking)
24 Loosen nails left in top of some bunks (6)
UNGLUE L (left)
25 Shores around Loch Lomond tended to dry up (6)
RANCES RAN (tended) + SEC (dry), reversed
26 Military designer is not once absent from army in India (6)
NISSEN NIS (Old form of “is not”) + SENA (army in India), less A (absent)
28 Old equipment base in station overseas (5)
GEARE E (base) inside GARE (French word for “station”)
29 Add trim to ordinary garment (5)
PAREO PARE (trim) + O (ordinary)
31 Victorian plan to rapidly move river fish (4)
DART Four meanings
“Victorian” indicating an Australian word