Well-Connected by Dilwitch

Every clue has a word in common with an adjacent clue.  For twenty-eight clues, solving entails exchanging the part of the clue behind this word with the corresponding section of the other clue (usually to the detriment of both surface readings).  In the completed grid, solvers are to highlight six thematically-linked names and the two countries of their origin.  The Chambers Dictionary (2016) is the primary reference.


1  Look for famous names here. Which people show up? (7, two words)
8  Long, long ago, in poems without end, extremely famous, inspired name (4)
13 See balls lying in a difficult position (6)
14 By end of course one can see red after balls stick to left edge of fairway. It’s too much (8)
15 One reaching age to retire into ultimately idle wrinkly (5)
16 One reaching age to retire needs suitable place for spectacles (5)
17. Showing effects of age, currently active and in large measure sound (7)
19  " ̶̶̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶ ̶  ̶ !", I'd say - a flourish that’s linked to Scotsman (8)
22 Morris man dancing reel next to lift (5)
24 Top brass having left, these are played on cellos (8)
26 Extra lines: these were delivered after show’s ending (6)
27 Legal preliminary to execution to be delivered in advance (6)
29 Devotees of romantic novels, frivolous bit of entertainment with Kobo (8)
31 Holding the lightest of novels, women devour lovers’ antics with ecstasy (5)
33 One racing luge, possibly breaking records (8)
36 With head at the back, one on luge catches one side of track in all corners (7)
38 Ship carrying highly-ranked officer through mists (5)
41 Ornate dome going over highly-ranked music hall (5)
42 Section of Tanach, a letter from abroad (8)
43 Small part of Tanach, one presented to a congregation (6)
44 After end of bash feel unwell and rip off clothes (4)
45 They go in for performance and applaud (7)

1 African tree starts to widen and gain strength rapidly (6)
2 Auditorium whose sound produces gain in takings (4)
3 In USA, kirsch is tipple for people half-cut (4)
4 Whistling for Scotch – expression of enjoyment found by people of Japan (7)
5 Immigrant leader coming from outside (5)
6 Normal girl eats outside before the middle of May (6)
7 How to express support to Latin sextet? (5)
9 What The Observer did – after supporting The Scotsman it’s financially sound (4)
10 Big cat rejected possible mate - round centre of Kenya this number is enormous (9)
11 Nuts used in stuffing – Savoy regulars eat a fair number (6)
12 Wildly rad new No 1, hottest of all the bars, perhaps (7)
18 Having bedded red head at last, ditch partner no longer visiting bars in town? (9)
20 Peg, dishevelled old frump (5)
21 Directions to come back old partners received (4)
23 Having energy to study, one gets to Number One (4)
25 One self-promoting energetically gets a place to dream about (7)
28 Allow loose lips to leak (7, two words)
29 I could mop up leak in church from joint (6)
30 Fruitcake has always risen in this dish (6)
32 Ghandi’s countrymen could support one heading for independence (6)
34 Girl, foreign treasure, could do translation of Sanskrit, a declining art, unfortunately (5)
35 A source of food Delia exploits (5)
37 Source of heat fundamental to taco? (4)
39 After completion of diagram lift a drink in celebration (4)
40 A display of colour that’s striking or it's wasted (4)

To enter this competition, send your entry as an image or in list format, indicating the highlighted words,   to ccpuzzles@talktalk.net before 8th June 2017. The first correct entry drawn from the hat will receive a book from the Chambers range, which has been donated by Chambers.