Celebrity Squares by NOx Solution

A tribute to Brian Cant.

Across: 1 MATE + LOT, &lit, 7 Two defs, 12 (WEL(l) around (A TERM)) + ON , 13 (ER + (k)AR(im))<, 14 P + REGNANT, 15 HARROGATE’S – H, 17 STY + LUS(t), 19 PROM + PT, 21 STOOL – S(ecret), 23 N(iff) + ILL, 27 (gru)B + (COYER – C), 28 ATILT – L(ively), 29 RAYS around EP; ‘ray’ = ‘a look or glance’, 33 SPRAG around (argenti)N(a), 37 PHONE around MORE<, 39 AS around (BET + (FLAT – F(our))<); ‘fail’ = ‘to desert’, 40 Two defs, 41 (I in RACA) + LISTS; ‘bill’ = ‘a list of performers etc’, 42 DURESS – U, 43 DIE around (SEA + S).

Down: 1 A in MARS, 2 G in (AA + R(um)), 3 ERR in (emp)TY(ing), 4 DALLYING* around (b)U(rgers), 5 (STRETCH – CH)<, 6 RE in CEP, 8 LENT + O, 9 (A + LIST) around ARM; ‘arm’ = ‘power’, 10 (s)TONE, 11 TIT in (EN LE), 16 O(f) + ALL<, 18 Two defs, 20 R(ak)E + (PORT in SEX*), 22 O + ((E + P) in NIECE); ‘niece’ = euphemistically, a priest’s daughter, 24 BODY with LO IN = BLOODY, 25 FOR + WARD, 26 W + (HARM – H), 30 (AGAINST – A G)*, &lit; ‘cut’ = ‘to stay away from’, 31 SHALLOW – OW, 32 GELD around I, 34 A after (A OR T), 35 GEE around (N + R(ussell)), 36 (erec)T BAR(gain), 38 NANSEN – EN.

The celebrity pairs are (clockwise from top left) ROGER Federer/Shane WAR[N]E, PETER Duncan/Christopher TRA[C]E, LEONA Lewis/Jackie TREN[T], TI[N]A Charles/Jackie WILSON, S[I]MON Callow/Hugh GRANT, SAR[A]H Greene/Janet ELLIS, B[R]ITT Ekland/Michael CAINE and AL[A]N Shearer/Wayne ROONEY, the missing letters therefore being N, C, T, N, I, A, R and A.

The ninth missing letter has been omitted from 27ac, BOYER being entered as OYER. The letter B is indicated in the clue by ‘Grub ultimately’, an allusion to the roll-call of the Trumpton Fire Brigade.

The lost letters can be rearranged to form the name of the inimitable BRIAN CANT, which should be entered as above to complete the words BRIE, DANCE and LANT.